Getting around Malaysia
Travelling from one place to another can be difficult in Kuala Lumpur, due to the country's bustling traffic. One way to avoid getting stuck in traffic jams is to use light rail system that supports the city. Kuala Lumpur has a four-line metro system - the KL Monorail - that connects some key districts where banks, offices, hotels and shopping malls are concentrated; STAR that runs along a 27km track from north to south and another one going east; and PUTRA that connects the city's northeastern section to the west.
The KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) connects the major towns in Peninsular Malaysia, and destinations in Thailand and Singapore. The northbound Express Langkawi departs nightly from Kuala Lumpur to Arau in Kedah. Arriving in the morning, it then proceeds to Hat Yai in Thailand - a perfect travel option for students who fancy a weekend shopping spree without breaking the bank.
Buses are a relatively inexpensive way to travel in Malaysia. Buses travel according to routes and fares are charged according to the distances covered. Bus timings can be pretty erratic and tend not to keep to schedules. The Putra bus, however, is more reliable.
Taxis in major cities are normally fitted with meters. The rate for the first 2km is RM2 and 10cents for every subsequent 200m. For those who would like to explore the rest of Malaysia on a short weekend getaway, hopping on a coach is another easy option. Fares start at RM35, so it's easy and affordable for students to visit other states for a taste of the local food or a sightseeing trip.
There are over 40 airlines that fly to Malaysia. All flights arrive and depart at the new state-of the art Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) which is located in Sepang, 50km or an hour's drive south of Kuala Lumpur, the country's capital.
From KLIA, connecting flights can be taken to most major cities and towns. Students can choose their preferred airlines or even the popular budget airlines - AirAsia and Firefly. If booked in advance, these budget airlines can be very cheap indeed.
There are several ports of entry in Malaysia, namely Penang, Port Klang, Kuantan, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. Coastal ferry services run between Penang and Butterworth, carrying both passengers as well as vehicles from the mainland to the island. Apart from that, there are numerous ferry services available for mainland-to-island and island-to-island travel around the country.
Fast boats and small river crafts are a popular way of getting about in Sabah and Sarawak especially to the more isolated settlements. There are also sea cruises and river-cruises run by local tour agents. For sea travel within the country there are services available from Port Klang (Selangor) to Kuantan (Pahang) and to Sabah or Sarawak. Besides that, there are also holiday cruises that take passengers to neighbouring countries.