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Travel & Holiday Tips

If you're considering taking some time off to enjoy the sights and sounds of Malaysia, the information contained in the paragraphs below will be useful to you.

Peninsular Malaysia

Peninsular or West Malaysia is already quite developed with excellent facilities and a booming travel industry. Most destinations are accessible by a well developed and comfortable transport system is it by air, sea or land. However from an expatriate's point of view, it will be worth your while to take the scenic route and travel by land.

The multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural makeup of Malaysia means opportunities for travel increase greatly thanks to the dizzying number of state and national level holidays, this coupled with the fact that Malaysia is a tropical country with negligible seasonal weather variations make traveling and sightseeing in Malaysia a breeze. Indeed it is an ingrained culture that city dwellers vacate their urban lifestyles and the rat race several times a year and "Balik Kampung" all it takes is a holiday on any day other than a Wednesday and by taking an extra day off you will end up with a four day weekend.

The fact that transport to just about any destination in Malaysia as well as food and accommodation are usually cheap, money is rarely a problem, however a bit of planning will often be necessary. For example the major holidays in Malaysia are Hari Raya Puasa, Chinese New Year and Christmas / New Year. The "Holiday Season" stretches from December to February, a quick check will reveal that these 3 months contain the largest concentration of public and state holidays. This coupled with the long year end break for most schools the payment of year end bonuses and the "clearing of annual leave" and vacation time for most workers mean that the regular tourist destinations will be heavily congested and availability of accommodations will be a problem. Transport will also be a factor due to these considerations.

Destinations will also need to be taken into account, for example beaches and islands along the Melaka Straits tend to more developed, less rustic and well, made less "pure", thanks to heavy sea traffic through these straits. Also roads along the Peninsular west coast are definitely of higher quality than those leading to and running along the east coast. Of course it goes without saying that some hill and forest destinations tend to be more developed and commercialized than others, take stock of what you want out of your holiday, whether it is excitement, entertainment, adventure or just peace and quiet before deciding on where and when to go.

Consequently if you want to take full advantage of your time off and maximize your RM value, advance planning will be a necessity.

Weather in Malaysia while sunny and tropical all year long does have its vagaries, in particular the rainy monsoon season lasting for about 4 months from November onward will see sudden and heavy downpours as well as sullen skies and occasional day long drizzles interspersed by heavy rain. While this is rarely much cause for concern to most destinations, care should be taken if you're traveling to the islands off the east coast as some of these may be closed during the season, the east coast itself, which is often prone to flooding or any hilly or mountainous destinations, due to the possibility of landslides.

Driving in Peninsular Malaysia promises to be smooth and trouble free, interstate highways are well developed and modern and among the best in the region. The scenery is often beautiful and relaxing with picturesque, quaint small towns and villages, sprawling paddy fields, lush plantations, mysterious jungles and majestic mountains. Rest stops and petrol stations are plentiful, and various inns and motels are available in every town. Highway users are normally charged a toll based on the distance traveled, a toll chit is given upon entering a highway toll booth and payment is made upon exiting at your destination.

Following is a breakdown of popular destinations in Malaysia's various states.

See more information on the next page... (next)




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