I recently went to Malaysia for vacation and thought of sharing my experience here, like my other trips so that it would be helpful for those who are planning for a similar trip.
April 20th (Day 0)
Took flight at 6:00 PM (IST) and reached Kuala Lumpur at 00:30 AM (MST) the next day.
April 21st (Day 1)
Sight seeing in Kuala Lumpur. Saw Petronas Twin towers and KL tower.
Went for a trek and ATV driving in the nearby forests. (Would be writing more about it as a separate blog post)
Took the train to Arau in the night
April 22nd (Day 2)
Arrived at Arau and went to Kuala Perlis to board the ferry to Langawi.
After reaching Langawi, hired a rental car to go around the island.
Water sports at the beaches of Langawi. (More about it in a separate blog post)
Spent the entire day at beach
April 23rd (Day 3)
Went for Island hopping.
Shopping at Langawi and it was duty free
Boarded a ferry back to main land. And then boarded a bus back to Kuala Lumpur.
April 24th (Day 4)
Some more shopping in Kuala Lumpur.
Tried various cuisine’s.
April 25th (Day 5)
Went to Batu Caves
Packed up stuff and went to Airport.
Boarded flight from Kuala Lumpur, back to Chennai.
Till last year, it seems that you can get an on-arrival visa for Malaysia. But now they have cancelled that for India and you have to get a visa before you travel.
I got my visa through Thomas Cook and it took me around 4-5 business days and the fees was Rs. 1300
You would need the following documents as well
- Your Passport
- Copy of Address proof
- Copy of your tickets
- Leave letter (if you are working somewhere)
- A covering letter
When you are applying for the visa, mention that you want multiple entry visa and generally you will get a multiple entry visa, which would be useful if you are planning to visit other South East Asia countries as well
The official currency of Malaysia is Ringgit. So you would need to get them before you travel.
In Malaysia most of the hotels don’t accept credit cards and you might have to pay by cash. So it is better to carry cash with you.
If possible try to avoid getting your money exchanged in Thomas Cook. They were quite costly. Try to get it from some small but authorized money exchanges or banks. You might get some good exchange rates. Also try to avoid getting money exchanged at Airport. They were extremely costly and were nearly 40-50% higher.
An alternative is to use your international debit card in the ATM there to get cash. My ICICI bank debit card worked there and the exchange rate was also good. But it seems that Malaysia comes under a list of countries where card tampering happens and after coming back to India I got a call from ICICI customer care and they replaced my debit card. The same thing happened with my credit card as well. So if possible don’t use your primary card there.
To exchange money you would need the following documents
- Your passport with visa
- Your tickets
Also don’t forget to keep the receipt given by the money exchanger with you. Sometimes you might need it, especially in customs.
I booked my tickets though AirAsia and they turned out to be extremely cheap. They also have a couple of offers for other South East Asian countries as well. Check their rates before you book your tickets with other airlines.
Also for return tickets make sure you buy some extra baggage as well. Believe me, Malaysia is a great place for shopping and you might end up with lot of bags. In fact, I ended up buying separate bags to get back the stuff which I bought there
It takes about 3.5 – 4 hours by flight to reach Malaysia from Chennai.
I went during the month of April and it was extremely sunny. So those of you who are worried about your skin, don’t forget to carry Sun screen creams
While talking with the local people I came to know that the climate is same pretty much the entire year. So you may not need winter clothes while travelling to Malaysia.
Malaysia follows MST time zone, which is UTC + 8 hours. So when you compare it with India, they are 2.5 hours ahead.
If it is 2 PM in India, it would be 4:30 PM in Malaysia.
Over the next couple of days, I would continue to write about my experiences so stay tuned