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Travelling by trishaw can be a wonderful experience in Malaysia.


The decorated bullock carts of Melaka.

Whether by road, rail or air, travelling within Malaysia is convenient, speedy and relatively inexpensive. There is a good public transportation system which include rental cars, taxis, buses, a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur which links to the adjoining districts in the Klang Valley. Another rail service known as KTM Komuter connects Kuala Lumpur to the outskirst as well to destinations in the two neighbouring states of Selangor and Negeri Sembilan.

Air
Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is the country's main domestic operator. From KLIA, visitors can make flights to most major cities and towns in Peninsular Malaysia as well as to Sabah and Sarawak. Points linked to Kuala Lumpur include Ipoh, Penang, Alor Setar. Langkawi, Kota Bharu, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Tawau, Labuan, Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri. It operates airbuses, Boeing 737s and Fokker F50s on its domestic routes, plus 12-seater Twin Otters on most of the more remote Sarawak and Sabah routes.

A wide variety of worthwhile discounts are available, especially for groups and for travel between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines also has a number of special night flights and advance purchase fares (restriction apply). Seven-day advance purchase one-way tickets/Apex 30-day return tickets are available for certain flights from Johor Bahru or Kuala Lumpur. There are also a few economy night flights between Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Alor Setar and Penang, and between Johor Bahru and Kota Kinabalu.

The following discounts apply for families or groups (a group must comprise at least three people) on regular Malaysia Airlines return economy air fares. Maximum stay is 30 days, and tickets must be booked and paid for at least seven days in advance.

  • 50 per cent between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia, and between Sabah and Sarawak.

  • 25 per cent within Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah or Sarawak.

  • 25 per cent anywhere in Malaysia for families (a couple with or without children), provided one spouse pays full fare. Children receive a discount on the applicable child's fare.

Other discounts include travel for groups of 10 or more between Malaysia and Singapore or Brunei, and for escorted disabled passengers (50 per cent discount and 25 per cent for the escort).

The other alternative is to use domestic services available from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah International Airport at Subang, Selangor. In addition to Malaysia Airlines, other domestic airlines such as Pelangi Air, Berjaya Air, Transmille, Air Asia and Sabah Air also serve popular tourist destinations within the country.

Road
It used to take 10 hours to drive from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. With the completion of the North-South Expressway, the time taken has been slashed by half. The expressway is an excellent road network which allows you to drive through Peninsular Malaysia. There are other modern highways which connects towns and villages throughout the length and breadth of the country.

Rent-a-car operations are well-established in Malaysia. Major rental operators include Avis, Budget, Mayflower, Hertz, National and Thrifty. A valid overseas licence is needed to rent a car. An International Driving Permit is usually not required by local car hire companies but it is recommended. Age limits apply, and most companies require that drivers are at least 23 years old.

The bus system is also excellent in Malaysia. There are public buses on local runs and a variety of privately-operated buses on longer trips, as well as the big fleet of Express Nasional express buses. On main routes most buses are air-conditioned.

One can also engage the service of the long distance taxis. In almost every town, there is a taxi stand where cars are lined up and ready to go to their various destinations. The taxis are ideal for groups of four, and are also available on a sharing basis. Rates are fixed by the Government and are posted at the taxi stands.

Rail
The railway network extends from neighbouring Singapore through the major cities and towns within Peninsular Malaysia up to Thailand on both the West and East Coasts. There are three types of rail services: express, limited express and local trains. Express trains are air-conditioned and one generally first and second class only, and on night trains there is a choice of sleepers or seats. Limited express trains may have first, second and third class with overnight sleepers. Local trains are usually third class only, but some have second class.

Keretapi Tanah Melayu offers a Tourist Railpass for 30 days or 10 days. This pass entitles the holder to unlimited travel on any class of train but does not include sleeping berth charges. Railpasses are available only to foreigners and can be purchased at a number of main railway stations.

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