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Needs lots of advice!!!

Rochdale, United...
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Needs lots of advice!!!

Hi

we have never been to Malaysia and have no idea where the best place to stay will be. We are thinking of going maybe November or December/January.

We love nice beaches, but also like to go out and see "things" We love to try different foods and seeing different places, and have recently been to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Goa. (so you can tell what type of places we like to go to)

Can anyone give us some useful info on places that they recommend, flights, hotels etc that they have used? It would be great to hear from the "Malayasia T.A. as i have so much info from T.A's on all the other places too! We would be flying from Manchester UK. Cheers and look forward to any replies. Morgs.

Edinburgh, United...
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1. Re: Needs lots of advice!!!

November - January coincides with Monsoon time on east coast of the peninsula and malaysian borneo. Thats also where the best beaches are so if beaches are a key factor you might want to consider a different time of year.

Alternatively, the next best beaches are probably those on Langkawi, which should be ok at that time of year. Langkawi is also a short flight (30 mins) from Penang which is the food capital of Malaysia - simply wonderful food here, and also it has Georgetown possibly the most fascinating and historic city in Malaysia.

So potentially flying to Kuala Lumpur (which is also worth a few days for shopping/food/sightseeing) then onto Langkawi and Penang, you could also add on a few days in Kuching to see orangutans and other wildlife which is more abundant than in the aforementioned places. Depends how much time you have - but you could visit these four places in 2 weeks.

London
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2. Re: Needs lots of advice!!!

Hi morgandavies - have you looked into the FAQs on the right?

anyways, to give you at least a few pointers:

1) UK-originating flights - Malaysia Airlines (to KL), Singapore Airlines (to Singapore), Air Asia (KL) and Thai Airways (to Bangkok) - all will provide u easy transit to other destinations. Lots of ABTA agents also provides deals from the UK - packages primarily to Langkawi and Penang (see below).

2) Langkawi - beaches but not as nice as east coast or Sabah/Sarawak. Not much on the island

3) Penang - world heritage city and food capital of Malaysia - lots of cultural sights and amazing food

4) KL - shopping, sights, and food

5) Melaka - heritage city, great nyonya food

6) Terengganu, Kelantan - wonderful beaches but middle of monsoon season

7) Sabah/Sarawak - jungle trekking, beaches, orang utans, nature, caves but monsoon season.

Hope that can get you started...

Norfolk, United...
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for Chaweng, Ko Samui
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3. Re: Needs lots of advice!!!

HI

Where abouts in Thailand etc, what did you like and dislike?

First the boring bit . . .

How long are you away for?

What is your travel style, strictly on a tight budget, or more money than sense?

What sort of budget do you have?

Do you want to travel about lots of areas or do you want to stay in one location?

Are you happy to use lots of time travelling about, as the travelling is more key to actually seeing places or do you want to minimise wasted travelling time so you can see specific places?

How do you want to travel about, cheaply on buses or prefer flights?

Where are you planning to fly into??

and more importantly . . . . .

What have you looked at and what have you discounted as a no!

Secondly some more boring bits . . .

Have a good read on sites like this one, pop into a good book store and read a travel guide on the destinations you fancy visiting.

In the various forums where you want to travel look in the left hand panel of the page and check out the ‘travel guide’ / ‘inside guides’ and ‘things to do’ which list lots of pointers of what to see and where to go as well as other information like restaurants, and ‘……………..hotels’ where you see the full range of hotels / apartment rental / B&Bs etc for that area, and you can also sort by budget [and your style] as well as read recent reviews,

<---------------------------

then on the right check out FAQs / top questions about . . . . . .

--------------------------->

Also read JBR / just back reports / trip reports etc or search and read some of the questions already posted in this forum. Lots of really useful information about already posted.

There are some really useful information and brochures from the Tourism Malaysian about many places in Malaysia, have a read and see what appeals:

www.tourism.gov.my/ebrochures/listing.php

Or have a look at Trip Advisors sister website, Virtual Tourist

virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Malaysia/Trav…

Now your trip . . .

<< We are thinking of going maybe November or December/January. >> The western side of the peninsular is less likely to have rain than the east and the malaysian side bit of Borneo. The northeast prevailing monsoon wind blows between October and March and affects the East side of the Peninsular and Malaysian part of Borneo, whilst from May to September the southwest prevailing monsoon wind affects the West side of the Peninsular. The times of year the wind directions change can, and does vary by weeks. This does mean that out of prevailing monsoon wind that the other side of the country is far less prone to rain / unsettle weather! The prevailing monsoon wind does not mean it will rain all day or even every day, just that the wind is in such a direction that there is a much higher chance of rain.

< We love nice beaches, >> Sabah / Kota Kinabalu (on Borneo) then Langakwi

<< but also like to go out and see "things" >> Kuala Lumpur; Sabah and Penang fit the bill

<<We love to try different foods >> Penang, Penang, Penang . . .

<<and seeing different places >> well you will see lots of stuff.

<< places that they recommend >> most of the country is nice but depends on your specifics, what I like you might not etc. When visiting such countries, this is normally is so much to see and do. So, there is a huge amount to pick from for short or long trips, your choice is very much dependant on your preferences, times scales and money.

<< flights >> we use Netflights.com, you can fly into Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok or Singapore and get internal flights really easily.

<< hotels etc >> Well there are so many, it depends on your budget . . just check out the hotels on the left hand panel . ..

DIY is better booked earlier, whilst packages can bag a deal if left to the last minute. We have booked DIY for all our long haul trips to SE Asia and Australia for 20 years or more. We only use the 'Thomson' for our sneeky week away as an AI deal. We book our flights, our internal flights, hotel, tours, transfers, etc ourself. We love the planning process, the research, the interaction etc. Great fun!

Our holiday will probably be a bit cheaper or about the same as a similar trip offered by the larger long haul operators, like Kuoni, but we got the hotels we wanted, for the number of days we wanted, flying when we wanted with the airline/s we wanted, at the times that we wanted, and doing what we wanted - and not what they wanted to sell us. But the word similar sums it up, they don't offer what we wanted and we would have had to compromise! We find with DIY we get what we want and not what they want to sell us! Only you can decide what is better for you, as I bet if you asked 20 people, 20 would have different reasons for doing their holidays the way they do. Some like the flexibility of DIY, some like the fact that packages mean they don't have to worry . . . .

Flights are the cheapest if booked around 300-330 days before your departure date. Unless the airlines offer a deal (which some do) prices slowly get a bit more expensive from around 250-300 days. We always save buying early at the right time and not leaving it. We use netflights.com as it seems to always offer the best 'deal'. You can also compare on sites like kayak.co.uk.

Booking directly with the hotel can bag a bargain or great deal [which are not always the cheapest but work out cheaper], as can one of the many direct hotel booking websites (although with the later check the small print and if the prices include local taxes or not)

We book our internal travel / flights ourselves, but all transport is easy to sort out yourselves. We also sort out our own tours and car hire etc. The down or up side, is you don’t have the tour operators rep’, . . . . . and we all have mixed views on the role this folks play!

We do also buy additional insurance to cover us for internal flights as most UK travel insurance policies DO NOT cover this and only cover from the country you live in to the holiday country, and not flights within that country (read the small print). Most folks think they are covered but they are not – we have one of the best annual travel policies [Columbus] in the UK and they don’t cover it!! With a package deal you do get a little extra protection, but we find with sufficent insurance and paying by credit card the airline will always get you home safetly.

Don't be tempted to do too much. Whilst there is a great flight / bus / road network around SE Asia the more you do the more time you will spend travelling. Some places can take the best part of a day to get too or between. Again flights and buses are cheap when travelling around SE Asia, but if you travel to too many places the costs soon rake up. By the time you add taxis, ferries etc, you have wasted a great deal of time and money trying to explore as much as possible and not actually seen anything other than the inside of a bus, train or airport!

Heres a couple of maps so you can figure out how the country fits . . .

www.geographicguide.net/asia/malaysia.htm

www.malaxi.com/map_malaysia_island.html

Happy to help with any ideas or thoughts . . . .

Rochdale, United...
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4. Re: Needs lots of advice!!!

WOW!!! thanks guys......i have just learnt so much from this and these threads have given us so much to think about!!! We are reading up already!!!

We have flown to bangkok and then got internal flights to vietnam, then taken 7hour speed boat down/up the mekong delta, then over night trains and buses around up and down and cross cambodia and vietnam and loved it, so it sounds like we can do a similar type of thing on this trip. But now we have got all your info im sure it will make it so much easier to work something out!!

And dont worry, im sure we'll be back with more questions........thanks again!

morgs x

Norfolk, United...
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for Chaweng, Ko Samui
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5. Re: Needs lots of advice!!!

We are all here to help . . . .

6. Re: Needs lots of advice!!!

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