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Old 20.07.2009, 18:23
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Malaysia in October 2009

Hi,

My wife and I are planning a trip to Malaysia for later in this year.
Although we've been to Asia before (to Thailand, which we loved) this will be our first time in Malaysia and Singapore.

We're planning on being down there for around 3 weeks, and was looking for some tips from people who've been, on what to do, where to go and what to see.

Ideally we are thinking of maybe a few days in KL and Singapore, some culture and jungle, then finally a week on the beach somewhere.

Any advise here would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,

Phil.
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Old 20.07.2009, 19:28
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

Not sure how long you are dedicating to Singapore exactly but these, IMHO are definitely worth your time checking out. I suspect the Malaysians will come along soon with their tips

1. Night Safari - Singapore Zoo


Starts from 730pm at night - you can view all the nocturnal animals in their natural habitat riding a tram or walking. Quite an experience. Pitch dark, calm and serene. A lot of Singaporeans tend to scoff at the Night Safari but I visited it for the first time ever since it opened years ago before I left Singapore and I was really impressed.

2. Sentosa
This will take a day - loads of places to check out. Go by cablecar leaving from Harbour Front.

Contains a museum of Singapore's history and it also has an underwater world, and the infamous Cafe Del Mar opened a branch on one of the beaches, where you can chill and have cocktails during the day. Bring your swimming stuff!
http://www.cafedelmar.com.sg/index.html

Unfortunately, Singapore is not famed for beaches.. I mean, we had to import sand from Honolulu Beach just for the MAN-MADE beaches on Sentosa Island.

You are better off checking out places in Malaysia or hop onto a budget flight from Singapore to Bali in one hour.

3. Clarke Quay
For night life. It has loads of pubs / clubs and restaurants to choose from (the Ministry of Sound is here). Great for a night stroll and people watch after a meal if you are not into clubbing.

There's also the river cruise if you like to do that. You'll take a bumboat and cruise down Singapore River (which runs parallel to Clarke Quay) and it will be quite magical finding out how this small country depended on that very same river for its growth and success today.

Singapore is higly cosmopolitan yet very diverse in culture. The Chinese make up the majority of the population but the Malays and Indians have also stamped their cultual mark in different parts of Singapore.

4. Make a trip to Little India - accessible by the MRT (Singapore's version of the London tube) and you will feel like you are 'almost' in India.. Just walk the entire stretch of road to soak in the atmosphere and admire the beautiful Hindu temples as you go along. Cheap bargains are also abundant here for jewelry and fabric.

5. Another place to check out is Chinatown. I took a friend visiting Singapore there once and she went home with loads of beautiful Chinese handicrafts - beaded evening bags and shoes, fans, antique chinese home decorative items, silk scarves, etc. Do remember to bargain.

6. Visit the Peranakan Museum - you will be intrigued by their lavish costumes, rituals and unique culture.

7. Go to the famous Raffles Hotel and have a Singapore Sling. Afternoon tea there is fantastic as well.

8. Singapore Flyer - again, its our version of the London Eye which opened in 2008 (we really need more originality).

9. Orchard Road - your wife will be thrilled. Long long stretch of huge shopping centres ranging from your high street brands, local brands to the high end stores.

FOOD

If you are on a budget, eat at the hawker centres versus restaurants and cafes where you can get local food at very very reasonable prices - and I am talking about less than 8CHF per person. The only down side is the sweltering heat. Dont let the initial impression of a hawker centre fool you - some look oily, hot and dirty but Singapore has a high standard of hygiene and all food establishments are required to display their health certificate issued by the health authority, grading from A being the best to D. If you are apprehensive, just check the store's grade before ordering. Hawker centres are available everywhere. The most touristy ones are Newton Circus and Lau Par Sat - which also mean you pay tourist prices versus what the locals pay. Hop into a taxi and ask the driver for his favourite or your hotel staff.

There are too many must-try foods in Singapore. I suggest you do a quick google yourself as I will seriously drool and die of homesickness if I type them out now.

TRANSPORT
Best way to explore the city is via MRT as traffic during peak hours are a NIGHTMARE - Singapore's version of the London tube. Highly efficient and zero chances of strikes. Most of the interesting places (except the Night Safari at the Singapore zoo) are accessible by the MRT.

Alternatively, taxis are rather reasonable as well. Ask for a receipt when you get into the taxi (regardless if you are going to have any use for them later on or not) as there are rogue taxi drivers out there who like to take the poor unsuspecting tourists on a joy ride.

Have the most wonderful time in Singapore.
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Old 20.07.2009, 19:33
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

Hi Phil

My husband and I traveled up the west coast from singapore to langkawi a couple of years ago.

We spend a night on Penang - didn't see much there but did stay in the most amazing place. It is a UNESCO site - http://www.cheongfatttzemansion.com/.

Also I loved Melaka and stayed in a hotel with a lot of character there - http://www.hotelpuri.com/.
Have fun!
Keryn
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Old 20.07.2009, 19:50
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

We loved Malaya !

We spent our final week at the this place in Penang , which was a really nice 5 star hotel,

http://www.penanghotels.net/

and it had a great market and restaurants in nearby Batu Ferrangi,

Best for couples not kids.

When we were in Kuala Lumpar we used to eat every night in a buzzing market area on a street called Jalon Alor ? spelling
On the way home we were telling the Air Steward all about it, how fab our experience was eating there , he interupted me and said "oh no lady that is where is your husband goes for a massage".
Turns out that when hubby went to the hotel reception asking for places to eat they thought he was a lonely business man ....say no more !!
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Old 20.07.2009, 20:08
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

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Ideally we are thinking of maybe a few days in KL and Singapore, some culture and jungle, then finally a week on the beach somewhere.
Penang, Malaysia: nice city, former crown colony, you can still see british colonial rule resonating through its architecture. go to Lorong Swatow and sample proper peranakan and Guerney drive for even properer seafood. word of advice: pace yourself. if you can't, bring antacid.

Langkawi, Malaysia: reachable from Penang by ferry, gorgeous beaches! if you like jungle, langkawi offers beginners jungle with nice waterfalls (7 Wells). for intermediate jungle, go to Sarawak. for advanced jungle, listen to Goldie. also, do visit the Volcano lake on Isle of the Pregnant Maiden. watch "the beach" before setting off.

Singapore:
Geylang Road for claypot frog legs, seafood and a smorsgabord of tropical fruits. more advice: pace! references include antony bourdain, no reservations! (seriously, you can't make reservations)



ps: does this not belong in the travel section?
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Last edited by Hsiang; 20.07.2009 at 20:09. Reason: ps
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  #6  
Old 20.07.2009, 22:20
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

Wow, thanks a lot for the initial thoughts; that gives me a few ideas to check out already.

I think Penang, KL and Langkawi are definitely on the menu. Not to mention Singapore - thanks for the great tips. I was thinking maybe 3 days there, so i'll try and pick something out for then

BTW - this was originally in the travel section, but was moved Scott the moderator.
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Old 20.07.2009, 22:28
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

Jalan Alor is good for food - try the grilled rayfish. Other entertainment can be had there, but really dodgy.

Historical parts of Penang and Malacca are worth visiting.

Clan house in Penang:



Old jettys in Penang harbour where people still live:



Off the highway near Ipoh, between Penang and KL, are amazing temples set in limestone hill caverns.



Also near Ipoh is an old tin dredge which can be visited:
http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/stor...sec=lifetravel
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nksyoon...40807869/show/

Chinese temples in KL:




For more nature, go on a river boat excursion to Taman Negara, the national park. Or visit the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia for beautiful beaches and islands. East Malaysia (northern part of Borneo island) for the Mulu natural caverns, diving on Sipadan and other islands.
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Old 03.08.2009, 11:45
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

try http://www.penangtuapui.com for tips for delicious penang food while you are there! it's pretty authentic and i can personally vouch for some of the recommendations.
although i have to say the general quality of penang food is very good throughout the island. and remember to try the durians from balik pulau!
wish you a great time in malaysia.
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Old 03.08.2009, 12:21
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

I will be in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand for 2 weeks in Oct two so I will definetely use the informaion thanks all
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Old 03.08.2009, 12:40
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

I'd endorse all the suggestions so far in this thread. To add a bit more, Melaka (Malacca) is also very interesting, having remnants of former Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial history mixed with all the Malay, Chinese and Indian influences still present today. It's a great place to eat and hang out.

To cool down a bit, consider a bit of time in the Cameron Highlands to see the tea plantations and a bit of the remaining jungle, and chill out in the Perhentian Islands off the west coast.
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Old 03.08.2009, 12:51
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

Fly Singapore Airways. Not only do the fly direct from Zurich to Singapore and are competitive on prices, they are the best airline I've ever flown...
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Old 03.08.2009, 12:52
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

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I'd endorse all the suggestions so far in this thread. To add a bit more, Melaka (Malacca) is also very interesting, having remnants of former Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial history mixed with all the Malay, Chinese and Indian influences still present today. It's a great place to eat and hang out.

To cool down a bit, consider a bit of time in the Cameron Highlands to see the tea plantations and a bit of the remaining jungle, and chill out in the Perhentian Islands off the west coast.

Perhentian Islands off the East coast of the peninsula, you mean.

If you're adventurous, go to Sabah and Sarawak where you can savour the lifestyles of the many different indigenous groups, river boating (spot orangutan, proboscis monkeys, etc, in their habitat), cavern exploring (Royal Mulu Resort for the gigantic Mulu Caves) and mountain climbing (Mt Kinabalu, the highest mountain in South-East Asia).

If you can only go to a west coast island, try the Pangkor Laut Resort for a very relaxing, pampered and lazy time. For jungle adventure on the peninsula, Taman Negara (national rainforest reserve) - stay at the Taman Negara Resort.

For the best kept secret re: Night Safari in a zoo - Taiping in the state of Perak. You can walk around in the dark on your own - lovely atmostphere! Taiping also boasts the loveliest lake gardens in the country. (I should know; it's my hometown. )
In Kuala Lumpur, stay at Hotel Maya.

For guided tours in any part of the country, especially the more adventurous or far-flung places, try http://www.pinganchorage.com.my/

I've used their services many times - reliable and decently priced.
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Old 03.08.2009, 13:52
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

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Perhentian Islands off the East coast of the peninsula, you mean.
Fortunately my navigational skills were better when I was there!
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Old 03.08.2009, 15:05
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

for some luxury and pampering go to the Pangkor Laut resort on Pangkor Laut island in the Mallaca straits (sp)

Can highly recommend for some serious R&R luxury

www.pangkorlaut.com
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Old 20.09.2009, 15:53
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

Hi All,

Thanks again for all your advise.

Well with about 4 or so weeks to go before our trip, we've now got most of the details tied down.

Itinery is as follows;


2 days in KL
Cameron highlands
George Town Penang
Kota Bhru then Kota Terrenganu
then drive back to KL.

Flight out to Kuching and two days there, including the Bako National Park
Flight to Sandakan then transfer for 2 nights and 3 days in the Kinabatangan Jungle Camp
Flight back to KL

Flight from KL to Tioman
7 days in the Japamala resort on Tioman

Flight to SG
3 days in SG sight seeing and visiting work colleagues

It's been a long and challenging year, so the wife and I are really looking forward to our trip!

Best regards,

Phil.
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Old 20.09.2009, 16:00
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

While you're near Kuala Terengganu, perhaps you'd like to visit a traditional Malay palace made of wood and no nails:

http://www.puratanjungsabtu.com/PTSheritage.html

You may even stay overnight there (B&B style, with a wonderful Malay dinner thrown in). The prince who owns the place is very friendly and speaks perfect English.
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Old 20.09.2009, 17:00
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

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If you are on a budget, eat at the hawker centres versus restaurants and cafes where you can get local food at very very reasonable prices .
I'd say that even if you are not on the budget, still go to hawkers centers. I tried quite a few restaurants in Singapore (which is by the way my favourite city in the world) but I definitely preferred the food in hawker centres - of course, no white table cloths and fancy china but the food is excellent.

Going back there myself soon and can't wait
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Old 20.09.2009, 17:36
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

I know what you mean.

We were in Phuket the other year, and did go to some restaurants, but the ones in the main resorts were very touristy, and not that great.

The best food we had in fact was from the street hawkers or in the street cafe's - very friendly people, excellent food and at great prices.

Looking forward to trying that again in Malaysia and SG.
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Old 20.09.2009, 17:49
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

Have the most amazing time Philh!
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Old 20.09.2009, 17:54
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Re: Malaysia in October 2009

When in Kuching and if you're looking for delicious seafood reasonably priced, go to the Tip-top (at the roof of a carpark-like building; ask the locals, they'll know) and choose the seafood 'stall' called Bukit Merah. This is dining in open-air, casual style.

Here's to a wonderful, safe and memorable trip! (Watch out for handbag snatchers in M'sia though.)
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