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Getting to Malaysia is easyeither by air, surface or sea links. Over 40 international airlines fly into the country, including its own national carrier, Malaysia Airlines which has a global network that spans six continents and a national network that covers more than 36 local destinations.
Most visitors to the country arrive by air. There are six international airports in Malaysia with the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at Sepang, Selangor as the main gateway. The rest of the country including Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Labuan in East Malaysia is well-serviced by 15 domestic airports and 17 short landing and take-off ports.
The fully-computerised, state-of-the-art KLIA which started operations in June 1998 is one of the most modern airports in the world and has replaced the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang as the premier international gateway into Malaysia. The KLIA is a four-runway airport facility capable of handling an initial 25 million passengers per annum with facilities for expansion to 45 million passengers per annum.
Incorporated into the airport's design are an automated people-mover shuttle system which links the satellite building at which passengers disembark, to a contact pier where immigration and customs clearance take place, and finally to the airport Main Terminal Building (MTB). An aerotrain from the contact pier brings passengers to the MTB in two minutes. The fully automated baggage and passenger clearance system ensures reduced waiting time.
The MTB has suitable rest, recreation, dining and duty free shopping areas. The Airside Transit Hotel offers a fitness centre with well-equipped gymnasium, sauna and spa facilities. An international class hotel is located within walking distance from the terminal building. Car rental, bus and coach, taxi, limousine and rail services into the city of Kuala Lumpur and neighbouring towns are available at KLIA.
Operated by Airport Coach Sdn Bhd, the coach service begins daily from 5.30 am from the Hentian Duta terminal and ends with the last coach from KLIA at 12.30 am. Tickets for the bus service can be purchased at the Arrival Concourse of the Main Terminal Building Level 3 or at the Bus Station at the Car Park. The pick-up point is at the Bus Station on the Ground Level of car park Block C. For enquiries, please call Toll Free: 1-800-880-495 or Hentian Duta (Hotline) at 603-6533-154/064 or the KLIA Main Counter at 603-8787-3894.
Operated on a 24-hour basis by Airport Limo (M) Sdn Bhd, there are two types of services: Premier Service and Budget Service. Coupons for this prepaid service can be purchased at the Limousine Counters located at the Arrival Concourse (Level 3) of the Main Terminal Building. Fares and routes are based on a zoning system and vary according to the type of service used.
Elsewhere, if you require an airport taxi or limousine, call free phone 1-800-880-737, 1-800-880-678.
KLIA is located about 50km from the city of Kuala Lumpur and linked via the North-South Central Link Expressway which runs north to Kuala Lumpur. The journey takes about one hour. A second excess is via the eastern route which links the southern towns like Seremban and Melaka to the airport through the Nilai Interchange.
The KTM Komuter train service runs from Kuala Lumpur to the town of Nilai, which is a junction point to other towns. An Express Rail Link (ERL) from KL Sentral, the future main rail terminal and transportation hub in Kuala Lumpur is under construction. Outgoing air travellers will be able to check in at KL Sentral and take the ERL to the KL International Airport in the future.
There are six major sea ports in Malaysia. Both Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak are accessible via these sea ports, the largest modern sea port being Port Klang. Located midway on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, it has excellent harbourage and is a major shipping and cargo terminal. Other sea ports are located in Penang and Langkawi, in the north of Peninsular Malaysia; Johor to the south and Kuantan to the east.
In addition, there is a ferrylink service which operates between Changi Point in Singapore to Tanjung Belungkor in Johor Bahru. Ferry services are also available from Kukup, Desaru and Sebana Cove in Johor to Singapore.
The three main ferry routes between Malaysia and Indonesia are Penang-Medan and Melaka-Dumai connecting Peninsular Malaysia with Sumatra, and Tawau-Tarakan linking Sabah with Kalimantan in Borneo.
Situated 48km north of Alor Setar in the northern state of Kedah, is Bukit Kayu Hitam, the main entry point into Malaysia from Thailand. The Malaysian immigration and customs post is located near restaurants, shops, car parks and a duty-free shopping complex. The North-South Expressway links Bukit Kayu Hitam to Kuala Lumpur, 490 km away.
Padang Besar in Malaysia's northern-most state of Perlis serves as another entry point. It is on the main rail route. A daily train service from Bangkok stops at Padang Besar. Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) or Malayan Railway provides the international express from Butterworth to Haadyai in Thailand and has regular services from Padang Besar to Kuala Lumpur and on to Singapore.
Done in antique opulence, the Exclusive Eastern and Oriental Express also romances this route on a nearly 2,000km journey from Singapore to Bangkok with frequent stops at scenic locations, over a two-day period.
Johor Bahru is the main southern entry-point into Peninsular Malaysia for visitors entering Malaysia from Singapore. The North-South Expressway links Johor Bahru with Kuala Lumpur, 220km to the north. There are several towns along the way.
A causeway linking Johor Bahru with Singapore handles most traffic between the two countries. Trains and buses run from all over Malaysia straight through to Singapore. Immigration and Customs checkpoints are based at the entrance to the causeway. There is also a new causeway known as the Second Link, linking Tuas, in western Singapore, with Tanjung Kupang, 30km south-west of Johor Bahru.
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