How to get around in Malaysia?
Getting around Malaysia may seem like a difficult task at first. However, this is not the case. Malaysian cities have a very good transportation network. To learn more about life in Malaysia, please read our article living in malaysia.
Malaysian cities are full of excitement and life. They are a melting pot of cultures, religions and ethnicities.
The country is a beautiful place to enjoy a relaxing vacation, however a successful trip requires good transportation planning. If you want to know everything about how to get around Malaysia, this guide is for you.
Getting around in Malaysia : buses
Buses play an important role in the daily life of Malays. The country has several bus lines, the most popular routes are: Johor to Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh to Kuala Lumpur, Melaka to Kuala Lumpur, or Kuala Lumpur to Penang. The majority of these routes pass through terminals in different tourist states.
The most important terminals in the Malaysian capital are TBS, Pudu Sentral and Hentian Duta. Buses from these terminals pass through Kuala Perlis, Bas Kangar, Ipoh Amanjaya and Sungai Nibong.
There are several operators that provide public transportation system in the capital of Malaysia. These operators connect the city center to the suburbs in Klang. The bus lines in Kuala Lumpur are excellent and worth a visit.
Buses leave to several regions like Penang, Malacca and others. Buses from Kuala Lumpur to Kuantan pass through scenic routes. The Penang bus station also offers views of unparalleled beauty.
Getting around Malaysia in the city : Taxi Malaysia and Grab
Cabs are an excellent choice for travel. Most Malaysian cities have a long-distance cab stand. These stations are usually located near the bus station. Malaysian cabs run between cities and villages and are faster and more comfortable than buses. Keep in mind that this is a seat sharing system, all seats must be filled for the cab to run.
For tourists traveling in small groups, this is a real advantage. This will not only allow you to leave quickly, but also to negotiate with the cab to take you to unserved destinations.
In the big cities of the country, the places fill up quickly, especially in the morning. Fares are generally more expensive than bus fares. It should be noted that long-distance cab fares may increase depending on the price of fuel.
However, don’t worry, prices are usually listed on a board in the cab office. Moreover, the prices of popular destinations are set by the Malaysian authorities. If you want to know more about cabs in Malaysia, we invite you to read our article taxi Malaysia.
Today, in Malaysia, it is more convenient and common to use GRAB : it is an application, identical to Uber in France.
Except that on the GRAB application, you will also be able to order food, do your shopping, send a courier to pick up packages, etc.
GRAB is indispensable!
Getting around Malaysia between regions : flight Malaysia
Like anywhere else in the world, airplanes remain the fastest and most expensive transportation option. The country’s area is small, so you can fly between distant cities such as Penang and Kuala Lumpur. There are also flights connecting islands such as Tioman and Pangkor.
Prices usually range from RM200 to RM500. Domestic flights are operated by Berjaya Air, Malindo Air or Firefly, Malaysia Airlines or AirAsia.
Firefly and AirAsia are low-cost carriers. The prices of domestic flights in Malaysia are very cheap. If you are going to take an internal flight to Kuala Lumpur, you will have to go to the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah International Airport or the KLIA.
Unfortunately, many connections go through Kuala Lumpur, which makes the flights slower. If you want to know more about flights in Malaysia, please read our article flight Malaysia.
AIRASIA remains the best option to travel by plane (or even to travel “at all” between regions !) : quality, price, and ease !
Getting around Malaysia differently : train Malaysia
There are two railroads in Peninsular Malaysia: the western one, connecting Singapore to Penang, then heading to Thailand, and the eastern one, connecting Gemas to Tumpat on the Thai border. The West line is faster, more modern, air-conditioned and more expensive. And the East Line is slower and more dangerous. The train that serves the eastern route is called the jungle train. You can make reservations for the West line, but not for the East, except for the night train between Johor Bahru and Tumpat.
So if you want to take a train from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh (for example), you will use the ETC service on the West line. You have to go to KL Sentral or the old Kuala Lumpur train station. The ticket costs RM 40 and the whole trip takes about 2 hours. If you want to know more about the train Malaysia, do not hesitate to consult our article train Malaysia.
Getting around Malaysia independently: car rental Malaysia
Renting a car in Malaysia remains the most convenient option. Although the traffic is huge in Malaysia, however it is nothing compared to Hong Kong or Singapore. However, you will have to get used to driving on the right side of the roads. The car rental service is generally cheap. If you want to rent a small car, you will spend approximately RM 90-150 / day. In relation to fuel, prices are generally between RM1.30 to RM1.70 for petrol and RM1.5 to RM2 for diesel.
There are many tolls on Malaysian highways, so you need to take this into account and prepare your budget. Also keep in mind that you will have to maintain the car. You will need to set aside a budget for non-routine expenses. You are never safe from a sudden breakdown. Moreover, most rental cars are not guaranteed, so any breakdown is at your expense. If you want to know more about the car rental service in Malaysia, we invite you to read our article car rental malaysia.
For tolls and parking lots, it will be essential to get a “TOUCH AND GO” badge.
It is a card that will allow you to pay tolls and parking lots.
Generally, all parking lots are equipped with a “touch and go” terminal: simply place your card on the reader and payment will be made automatically, just like when you make purchases with your bank card (contactless payment).
Getting around Malaysia to the islands: boats
Boats are a great way to travel in Malaysia. They are ideal for day trips. Keep in mind that traveling by bus can be a wonderful adventure, you just need to be flexible in your plans. Boats in Malaysia vary greatly and offer the opportunity to rub shoulders with locals, see scenic landscapes and visit cities that you would not normally have access to.
You can take a trip from Penang to Monkey Beach or dive along the Borneo coast. Malaysian boats sail to Langkawi, Pulau Perhentians, Pangkor, and other islands. They are modern and compact speedboats.
Generally, you will need to buy your ticket in advance at the kiosks on the pier, although you can sometimes pay on the boat. In Sarawak state, the only regular boat services you can use are between Kuching, Sibu and Belaga. To go up the small tributaries, it will be necessary to rent a boat. It should also be noted that Sabah does not have river services, although regular boats connect Labuan Island and Kota Kinabalu, as well as Sipitang and Menumbok.
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