Tip 1 – Taxis – Many tourists are disadvantaged in KL if they want to take a taxi ride. Where you Tip 1 – Tip1 taxis – normally lose RM 4 according to the meter, rates are charged from RM 15-20. These much higher rates are charged by taxi drivers who do not have a valid license. To avoid having to pay too much, it is best to take a taxi from the taxi stands. These can be found in KL at all department stores and on major roads in the city. Only if you take a licensed taxi is the rate determined by the meter. Moreover, these taxis are easy to recognize. A yellow sticker with the text “WELCOME” is stuck on the left rear window.
Tip 2 – ATMs – there are! You can pin. But ……….. the last day of the month and the first day of the new month can sometimes be empty. In some regions of Malaysia (Penang 2002) they then take their salary and the machines run out. Then you are without money. So keep that in mind and take the days there for more money!
Tip: Take American Traveler Checks! These are insured in the event of loss and theft. You will have new ones within 24 hours! You can change them everywhere in Malaysia: hotels, banks and also with the moneychangers in the shopping centers. I get these checks at the post office!
TIP 3 – Custom shoes – On Penang it is possible to have custom shoes made. In Muntri Street, at the end, is one of the better ones (Hong Kong Shoes Store). They take the size of your shoe and then they need another month to make the shoes. It may be shorter, but this depends on the orders they have.
When the shoes are ready be sent to you, anywhere in the world.
Tip 4 – Kuala Lumpur – It is best to go to China Town between 6 and 7 a.m. This is only in one street: Petaling Street (take a taxi). Trade does not start until the evening. The lights in the stalls are lit. Then it is really nice.
In China Town they sell T-shirts, watches, music CDs, DVDs, video tapes, belts, bags, backpacks, clothing, CD-ROMs, fruit, snacks. In short: there is something to suit everyone. Of course everything is fake, but there is a cozy atmosphere.
Whoever goes to China Town during the day will notice that it is very quiet. Not nice, so don’t do it !! You better choose another destination.
Tip 5 – In Kuala Lumpur there is a small shopping center in addition to the famous Sungei Wan shopping center. It is only separated by a small street. The mall is called: IMBI-Plaza and every resident of the city can show you the way. It has a basement, ground floor and a first floor. Only computer stuff is sold in this mall. From CD-ROMs, printers, hard drives, memory, motherboards, etc. I bought an MP3 player and some memory (cheaply) there. Did you know, for example, that the Seagate hard drives come from Malaysia?
A true paradise for computer lovers! Oh, yes …….. in this mall I have competed for the price of the mp-3 player.
Tip 6 – Penang – The night market in Batu Ferringhi sells copied music CDs from the very latest artists. This is of course illegal. As soon as they receive a tip, the sellers do not appear on the night market with their trade, but simply stay at home. Or they pack their businesses at the first tip and leave.
If they are caught, the CDs will be confiscated and will be fined. The next morning they pay a fine at the police station and then get the CDs back, so that they are back on the night market in the evening.
The prices of the CDs are ridiculously low: 5 for 20 RM (around 6 Euro). The quality is perfect, so I always buy them, but the problem is:
Daar heb ik het volgende op gevonden: ik neem vanuit Nederland een paar enveloppen mee met van die luchtkussentjes. Ik haal de cd’s uit de boxes. De cd’s doe ik in de envelop en deze adresseer ik aan mezelf. Maximaal doe ik er vijf in een envelop. Dat kost me ca. 1½ Euro per envelop.
Het postkantoor in Batu Ferringhi ligt tegenover de Park Royal.
TIP 7 – Penang – Of course I have also discovered places where few or no tourists go. For example, anyone who has visited the Kek Lok Si temple will go down the cozy road through the shops. What one does not know or forget is that there is still a very large statue behind the Kek Lok Si: the Goddess of Mercy. This is also worth a visit.
If you continue up the road behind the Kek Lok Si, you will come to a lake. This provides the water supply of the island. There is a serene tranquility here and you can go for a nice walk. You see large iguanas shoot away, you come across small waterfalls, you see large fish in the water, sometimes you see a monkey. In short: if you are looking for peace and coolness, go here!
Tip 8 – Penang – I don’t want to deny you this undiscovered part of George Town. You don’t come across tourists (yet): the market of: Lorong Kulit. You have to be there around 10 in the morning. You can take the bus from the bus station at the bottom of the Komtar.
It was created this way: on Campbell Street (busy shopping street in the center) there used to be a thieves market. Stolen and smuggled goods were traded here, according to the story. They also sold all kinds of old and antique things.
This market has moved to Lorong Kulit. This is at the Penang football stadium and not far from the prison. Traders are still coming and they are displaying their stuff on the street.
Sometimes there is also an Eastern European selling his goods: night vision or knives from the Russian army, or watches from Bulgaria. They try to earn some money for their “world trip”. However, they cannot act here from the police. So when it appears, they disappear immediately.
What else is sold in Lorong Kulit? Fruit, antique photo cameras, copied DVDs, shoes, jackets from Adidas, etc. All at a very low price.
Tip 9 – Thailand – Many backpackers want to travel by bus from Penang to Thailand (Krabi or Koh Samui). It takes about 6 hours (by bus) by road from Penang to Krabi. It takes longer to Koh Samui because it is further away … maybe another 2 hours. A minibus costs RM33 per person to Krabi. You can easily buy these bus tickets in shops on Chulia Street in Penang. An alternative is to fly from Penang to Phuket and then take the road (by land) to Koh Samui.
I was recently in Singapore and I remember that SIA has a direct flight from Changi to Krabi. A month ago I met a friend at Changi Airport and he told me that he had made the direct flight (SIA) to Krabi.
Tip 10 – Cheap Thailand – Travel is offered on Penang to Trang / Krabi / Ao Nang in Thailand for RM 499. This includes transport and accommodation (3 days / 2 nights). There are also trips to Phi Phi Island and they cost RM 399 (most meals included; also 3 days / 2 nights). The Tour Agent is: Beautiful Planet Agencies, located at 394A, 1st floor, Wayton Court, Burma Road (opposite the Tanjung Hospital).
Tip 11 – To …………… Thailand – You can buy a bus ticket to Thailand (Hatyai) at the Komtar bus station. Normally you don’t have to book in advance, but you never know …………… A train ride to Bangkok can take up to 21 hours, but this also takes you through lovely landscapes.
Tip 12 – Taman Negara tip (or not). The bus will take you to Jerantut. From there you leave for Taman Negara at two o’clock per prahu. It seems ydillic, but in the coming days you are still in such a prahu. This trip to Kuala Tahan goes upstream and takes about three and a half hours. For me that is a long time.
However, you can also go to Taman Negara with a SPEEDBOOT. Of course the speedboat costs a little more. He leaves earlier (at one o’clock) and of course arrives earlier (at half past two). You then have that afternoon to go on an excursion to the Orang Asli. Otherwise you would not arrive until half past four and of course you would miss the excursion to an Orang Asli tribe.
It is best to sign up for the speedboat on the bus with the guide!The return trip is with the prahu. The departure is at 9 a.m. This trip goes downstream and does not last that long This time it only takes two hours.
Tip 13 – Jungle route by car Kuala Lumpur – Kota Bharu – A friend of mine emailed me the following:
I drove this road very often, because I had to visit some companies that were on this route when I was still working at that company. The last time was about two years ago. I did that in a Volvo Saloon (instead of a 4 wheel drive), which I always had before. The road is now completely paved, although occasionally there are still large holes in the road. I am sorry that I cannot tell how long this piece takes, because I usually spent the night in places along the route, such as Bentong, Kuala Lipis, Raub, Gua Musang and Kota Bharu. The road has clearly improved, but some parts are quite narrow and curvy. In particular the pieces at Raub and Kuala Lipis. Nowadays not many lorries with tree trunks drive around the town of Gua Musang. If you drive this route you must go from Kota Bharu south, past Kuala Terengganu and Kuantan. This coastal route is very beautiful. Then you drive back to Kuala Lumpur. This road on the east coast leads you along the most beautiful beaches you have ever seen.