Figure out the best place to stay on Khao San Road in Bangkok and where to escape when you've had enough of the mayhem. From Singapore Slings to the changes in Bejing after the 2008 Olympics, gab about it all here.



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Lost in Place
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  • Added on: August 1st, 2012
Hey all,

I have never intended to travel to Asia, i'm still up in the air about it all. I have an objective to visit a particular shop in Malaysia so i figured...good an excuse as any.

Since this location was never on my 'to do', i have no idea about anything...prices? places to visit? things to do? nothing...nada

My questions:
-how much and best route to fly from Toronto, CAN to Kuala Lumpur? Direct flights? cheaper to go other routes?
-what are the must see places in Malaysia? Must do places?
-if i'm not intending to rough it and hostel it (unless it's private room with flushing toilet), how much am i looking it?
-safe for solo woman?

thanks all


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Street Food Connoisseur
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Joined: November 3rd, 2005

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  • Added on: August 2nd, 2012
From Canada I don't think there are too many direct flights to Malaysia. Non stop flights are more expensive than flights with stops in between. Most flights from N. America go through Japan, Korea or Taiwan. Some may go to Hong Kong or Singapore too and then on to your final destination. Depends on the airline you choose. Some flights you choose may shuttle you to a US airport where you pick up the international connections. Depends on airline you choose. Local travel agency in your home town can provide more information.

Coming from Canada stay at least 2 weeks in Asia. Since your flights are not cheap why not make a good holiday of it. When you fly affects prices of your seats as well as the class you choose. December through January usually more expensive than other months of the year. When it is cold in Canada it is high season for hotel pricing in Malaysia and Thailand. Sign up for the frequent flier program the airline has or use a card you already have. Lot of miles on round trip flights to Asia.

My KL info is a little old now. The last time through Malaysia for me was a long train ride from Bangkok, through Malaysia and on to Singapore. When you ask for hotel suggestions you should also include how much you want to spend on a hotel room. That way you get hotels in your own price range. Even a Google search will give you some of the "things to see and do" in various cities. Buy or borrow a travel guide from your local library. Petronas Towers is one thing I remember from KL and Batu Caves. If you do not know what to order for food you can live on fried rice and simple chicken meals. You will find modern malls with food courts in KL. Further down the road via train or bus is Penang/Butterworth. That little city I prefer to KL. Cheaper and people are friendlier. More backpackers choose Penang to save money.

An alternative is to fly to Bangkok. Spend some time in the city. Purchase a plane ticket to KL or use a train. Return to Bangkok for your flight home. Round trip flights to Asia on major airlines from N. America are cheaper than 2 one way flights. Local flights within Asia are very reasonably priced. Buses and trains are cheap. Make your trip a twofer and visit more than one country. (With my US passport I had no problem entering Malaysia without a visa, same for Thailand and Singapore. I would expect the same for Canada. But check.)

You will find Malaysia safe enough for traveling. Millions of tourists go there. But, here is my opinion, the more religious zealots take over the country the more repressive it will become, a little at a time. Malaysians visit Thailand to put a little fun in their lives by the millions, especially for the border areas like Hat Yai. Or they fly Bangkok and visit other places in Thailand.

If you intend to use a credit/debit card in Malaysia or anywhere in Asia first notify your bank. Otherwise when withdrawals start showing up from overseas they may think your card has been stolen.

Many women travel to Asia alone, in particular Thailand and Singapore, all the time! Singapore can be reached by train or bus from KL. Singapore will be more expensive than KL and Bangkok but a nice safe, clean city to visit. Almost sterile.

Good luck.
Travel the world now before you get too old to do it!


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The Thunder From Downunder Goddess
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Joined: December 5th, 2006
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  • Added on: August 20th, 2012
IG wrote:-what are the must see places in Malaysia? Must do places?
-if i'm not intending to rough it and hostel it (unless it's private room with flushing toilet), how much am i looking it?
-safe for solo woman?

Must see places really depend on your interests. Do you want beach? Cities? History? Culture? Food?
KL, Penang, Cameron Highlands and Malacca.

Penang, or rather Penang Island is known as "The Pearl of the Orient" and rightly so. It's a food lovers delight and has beautiful temples and many historical buildings and museums. Many streets and buildings are redolant of the British Colonial era and have all the charm of yesteryear. Kek Lok Si is the most famous temple and is magnificent, Gurney Drive for food lovers, Afternoon "High Tea" at the E & O Hotel, Batu Ferringhi for the beach and fabulous night markets and Hard Rock Cafe.
Georgetown, the capital of Penang is a UNESCO Heritage City and is quite the nicest area to stay. I can recommend the Bayview Hotel Georgetown. This was my splurge and the room was around 200 ringgit per night.

Cameron Highlands was a British hill station in the highlands and is where the locals go to escape the ever present humidity. Known for its many tea plantations and forest walks and waterfalls. Cameronian Inn was where I stayed, they have a dorm but I had a single room with private bathroom and loo. Cost was 65 ringgit. Nice place, short walk into town, lovely area. Great homemade biscuits.

Malacca is the historical state, home to the Baba Nonya. British, Dutch and Portuguese ruled here. Lots of historical landmarks. Malacca is also a UNESCO City. You don't need a vehicle in Malacca - it's a walking city. I walked one side of the river one day, the other side the next. The best place to see the sunset is at the top of St. Paul's. The tuk-tuks are highly decorated with flowers and most first time tourists take a ride in them. I stayed at Heeren House down by the river on a friend's recommendation. Lovely place, has a night watchman, excellent location. Includes breafkast, is owned by a Malaysian gent and his English wife. A little overpriced compared to other places but the location is the best. Jonker Street is the most famous street - the Jonker Street night market is fabulous and is held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. They close up earlier on Sunday.

I fly Air Asia each time I go to SEA, when they have their sales, the flights are very cheap indeed. A cheap flight KL to Penang is much quicker than spending hours on a train - the train stops at Butterworth, you will then need to get the ferry across to Penang Island. Bus is faster than train.

KL, I wasn't over impressed with it - to me it was just a city, a big, sprawling city. Bukit Bintang, Bintang Walk is a nice area and Berjaya Times Square is good also. Central Market for cheap stuff, if you want to go up Petronas Towers you'll need to get there very early as they only allow a certain number of people in, or they did when I was there. The KL Hop On/Hop Off bus is a good way to see the sights - I did a full loop first then got off later. Takes around 90 minutes. I much preferred Penang to KL.

Edited to add: Malaysia is safe for females travelling solo. I've travelled through several Asian countries solo and found safety wasn't an issue. Just use normal common sense and don't do things you wouldn't do in your own country.
Never judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes.



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Lost in Place
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Joined: August 31st, 2007

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  • Added on: September 9th, 2012
Awesome suggestions, especially since i have NO clue what to see there..

Just another quick from KL to Australia and best airlines to use?

On $3000, how long can one hang out in malaysia, private bath/rooms for nights?

I like the combination of the sight seeing, beach and all.


Deanna S

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  • Added on: October 17th, 2012
I wasn't planning on going to Malaysia and ended up spending time there twice on my RTW. I am headed back to Malaysia in 3 weeks, this time to the Borneo side.

-Lots of folks will disparage KL, but I loved it! It is not a tourist city, it is just a city with people going about their business. Make sure to eat on Jalan Alor street - often! Tons of great food everywhere you go in KL, the street food is awesome. I stayed at the Back Home Hostel both times and really liked it. It is in a very convenient location walking distance to Bukit Bintang, Chinatown and the main bus station. They do offer private rooms, but I'm not sure if they area en-suite.
-The Cameron Highlands are beautiful and will give you a different view of Malaysia than a city.
-Malaysia has some beautiful Islands! I would spend another week on either of the Prehentians anytime! Pulau Pankor is also nice, both are very low key.
-Penang & Melaka were also good stops - I won't rehash Whistler's info. Eat at the Red Garden Hawker Stalls in Penang!
-I did not get to Tamen Negra NP, but heard others rave about it...

-check flights into Singapore as well. It is super easy to catch a bus from Singapore to Melaka.
-For cheap flights once you are there, check Air Asia and Malaysian Air. It was a couple of years ago but I flew from KL to Perth for about $150 US! I just booked a flight from KL to Sabah on Borneo for $87 US (cheaper to KK)
-buses are cheap and very comfortable, even the 2 overnight bus rides were not too horrible!

I traveled as a solo woman and never felt uneasy at all in Malaysia. But if you are hesitant about being on your own, I'd rethink the "no Hostels" requirement. I met some people in the hostel that I spent the day site seeing with and I met some others that I ended up traveling with to Melaka and the Cameron Highlands for a week.


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  • Added on: October 27th, 2012
I went to Malaysia directly from India, and what a difference!

I loved Malaysia, I liked the people.

In KL, the parts I liked best was walking downtown, the cheap and good chinese food, and the Batu Caves. DON'T feed the monkeys at the Batu Caves!!!

I enjoyed Taman Negara National park, and ended up almost living there. I count my recommendation like a rave.
Its like a paradise next to a tropical river!

I liked Malacca, and regret not visiting Penang. Mallaca has a nice zoo too, but their monkeys escape regularly, stealing peoples bags in search of food.

I´d lived in Darjeeling for a while, so had my fill of charming hill stations.

I'd definitely recommend Malaysia. From there one can take a few days in Singapore. I´d say a week would do just fine, considering how boring Singapore can be. Nice zoo, good electronics shopping, pretty women.

The citizens seem rich, the workers, most of them from Indonesia, malaysia, or the Phillipines are dirt poor, and pretty much stay that way all their lives.
Tortuga traveller


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Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: February 25th, 2013
Location: China

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  • Added on: February 25th, 2013
I too fell in love with the Taman Negara National park. Went there with a very rustic boat, not too comfortable to sit on but the views are dazzling for 3 hours or so. We even saw hornbills! I stayed at the Mutiara resort which is actually inside the park itself. This place is extremely laid back and loads of fun. We even went up to the Mt Tahan with a guide and that became quite an extreme hike adventure. Other stuff we did was visiting a native village, rapid shooting, canopy walk and so on..


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Thorn Tree Refugee
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Joined: February 22nd, 2013

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  • Added on: March 20th, 2013
I would say :

Kuala lumpur : 2/3 days
Taman Negara : 2 days
Cameron Highlands : 2 days
Perhentians : week or less

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