petronas towers, KL

I have been to Malaysia twice this year, and I got a huge number of queries about where to stay, what to do, and what to eat. I am going to write a series of posts that can be of help, about stay, places to eat, and things to do in Malaysia, and hopefully that helps. Here, I should give a disclaimer: I am an Indian, and both the times I travelled from Kolkata, therefore, I will write my experience as I traveled from there. But, a lot of this information, like how to enter Malaysia, or how to get a Malaysia VISA, is applicable to many more than me, so read on.

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Borneo National Park, Malaysia

How to Choose where to go in Malaysia

 Malaysia is a huge country, divided into two islands. When I started talking about places to go in Malaysia, the two names that jumped up first were Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi. However, Malaysia is much more than those two names, and that’s what we will be looking at in this post. I wanted to visit jungles and mountains the first time I went to Malaysia, so I picked Kota Kinabalu, which is located in another island, Sabah, and is a 2.5 hour flight away from Kuala Lumpur (I am going to use the term KL after this for Kuala Lumpur). However, you can fly into Kota Kinabalu through Bangkok, and it has got a very busy airport with a huge number of international flights. It is the second most important airport in Malaysia, and the gateway to Sabah, Borneo, through which you can go to a number of locations, including Sarawak as well as the Kingdom of Brunei.

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Kota Kinabalu Pier

Kota Kinabalu offers you magical experiences, like trekking to Mount Kinabalu, which is the highest peak in Borneo’s Crocker Range, the highest mountain in the Malay Archipelago, as well as the highest mountain in Malaysia, and is a World Heritage Site. Apart from that, you can also go into the Borneo National Park, where you can familiarize yourself with some incredible varieties of flora and fauna, especially a number of orchids and carnivorous plants (Yes, you read that right!).

Kuala Lumpur, or KL, is the capital of Malaysia, and it is one of the major entry points into the country. Its also a great place for shopping and eating out, so you can always do that. However, local people told me that the best thing to do from KL would be to go out to different parts of Malaysia from there, since it was literally a fantastic connecting point. The KLCC Aquaria is definitely a great sight. But, From KL you can always go to Genting for gambling, Malacca for a lazy day out, or to Mersing, which is a point from which you can go to a number of islands, like Rawa or Tioman Islands for an overnight trip. There are multiple airlines which can take you to KL, but the two times I travelled it was via AirAsia, so I can only tell you about my experience, which was nice.

KLCC Aquaria

KLCC Aquaria

Penang is a fantastic state to start off your Malaysia tour, especially due to its rich heritage and great food. I haven’t yet visited Penang, but I DO HOPE I CAN SOON because its history sounds fascinating (Sir James Lancaster apparently settled here for a while and pillaged every vessel that came his way, back in 1592). The capital of Penang is George Town, and you can fly there from KL or Johor Bahru easily.

Resorts world, Langkawi

Resorts world, Langkawi

Langkawi is another place I visited, which had a number of things to do apart from lazing about the beach. However, it is actually a great place to just chill out and shop duty-free chocolates and liquor, and also a good place to get a massage. You can reach Langkawi via KL, or you can always get a ferry from Krabi or Phuket, Thailand, and enter from there. From Krabi, it would take about 6 hours to reach Langkawi, and from Phuket, it would take about 9-10 hours, so plan ahead.

Rawa Islands

Rawa Islands

Johor Bahru is a second fantastic option for those who want to enter Malaysia from India, especially who want to also go to Singapore, because Johor Bahru is literally next door. From Kolkata, AirAsia has started a flight that goes to Johor and it is quite reasonably priced, when compared to flight tickets to Singapore. You can actually stay in Johor and visit Singapore as a day tripper by getting a Singapore Visa and a multiple-entry Visa for Malaysia. Johor is also quite close to Mersing, from where you can go off to a number of islands, not to mention it’s the home of Lego Land and Hello Kitty Land, two fun-filled adventure parks.

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Getting a Malaysia Visa (For Indians)

Here’s the deal: there are a HUGE NUMBER OF FAKE MALAYSIA VISA PORTALS. When I first went there, it took me a good few hours to even figure out which was authentic and what was not. I realized that the Window Malaysia Website is AUTHENTIC and it’s the OFFICIAL WEBSITE FOR MALAYSIA VISA through which you can get a Visa within a short span of time. There are multiple options to choose from, starting with e-visa, but an ENTRI note is sufficient. If you are Indian, then this FAQ sheet can be helpful for you to make up your mind. It is a good idea to get the Visa after you have bought your tickets. It takes a very little amount of time, but ideally, you should apply for your visa at least 4 business days prior to your entry into the country. The application takes no time, and it is free till 31st March 2018 (you will have to pay a convenience fee of $20 though). You would have to fill up an application and have a copy of photo ready, along with copies of first page and last page of passport, hotel booking receipt, and confirmed return tickets.

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You can also choose to apply for an eVISA with Multiple Entry up to 15 days duration of stay each entry (Processing Fee is $20, not including convenience fee), or up to 30 days duration of stay for each entry (Processing Fee is $25 and Visa Fee is INR 1100, which is inclusive of convenience fee) if you are going on multiple trips. If you have been visiting another country, then your last visited country’s entry and exit stamps will be required as well for an e-visa.

So, now that you know about the major entry points and places to go to, time to plan up! Malaysia is a fantastic country to visit, especially between March and September, and 2018 is just around the corner.

 

 

Written by Poorna Banerjee

    35 Comments

  1. Claire 2017-12-05 at 8:43 pm Reply

    Thanks for this!! I have been to KL many times and to the Perenthian Islands, but I plan to go to Borneo next year so this is useful and very exciting!!

  2. Sherrie Fabrizi Allbritten 2017-12-03 at 1:48 pm Reply

    Very informative post. I have yet to travel to this part of the world, so I had no idea on what was required. So thank you for this advice and info!

  3. Divyakshi Gupta 2017-12-03 at 10:16 am Reply

    A very useful post for those looking to visit Malaysia for the first time! Carnivorous plants!! Wow! I have been wanting to go to Borneo and Sabah for the lush forests and pristine waters! 🙂 Thanks for mentioning even the off beat places!

  4. Somnath 2017-12-03 at 8:17 am Reply

    Great and simple words which makes it anyone love the writing you did here.A short detailed description about Malaysia and the wonderful cities.Do you have any idea as to how much does it take to reach Mount Kinabalu from Kota

  5. Christina 2017-12-03 at 2:33 am Reply

    In our experience a multiple entry visa is always worth it. We ended up paying for it when we were in Zimbabwe. It is very important to us to see the city outside the main city when we travel,anywhere. Anyone can see the big attractions but it is the sites outside that can really make a great trip.

    • Poorna Banerjee 2017-12-03 at 3:40 am Reply

      You are so right!

  6. Mei and Kerstin 2017-12-02 at 11:32 pm Reply

    We’ve never been to Malaysia, and are considering going there in a couple of years. Thank you for presenting the essential things of the several places to visit! Perfect! 😉

    • Poorna Banerjee 2017-12-03 at 3:41 am Reply

      Please follow me for more posts about Malaysia. 🙂

  7. My Travelogue by Bhushavali 2017-11-29 at 8:16 pm Reply

    I’m yet to head there. Once I almost went, got my visa but somehow the plan flopped. Yet to plan again, so thanks for this detailed information.

    • Poorna Banerjee 2017-11-29 at 8:17 pm Reply

      glad you liked it!

  8. Joanna 2017-11-29 at 2:13 am Reply

    I’ve never even thought of visiting Malaysiabefore, but after this post I may need to rethink that!

  9. Bee 2017-11-28 at 7:37 pm Reply

    Great tips complied in this post. Malaysia has so much happening it’s hard to decide where and when to go. I’m glad you combined places that please all types travellers.

  10. Teresa 2017-11-28 at 2:54 pm Reply

    Great post! Lots of useful information here. I’ve ben to Malaysia but would love to revisit and cover a couple of place you mentioned here. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. anshul 2017-11-28 at 1:56 pm Reply

    I am planning for a combo trip of Malaysia and Thailand sometime next year. I hope it is a good experience. Your blog is good for the future references.

  12. Krupa Nagda 2017-11-28 at 12:40 pm Reply

    Malaysia is definatley in my bucket list and i am planning to visit next year for sure. so this post is really useful. thanks for sharing.

  13. Himanshu Sharma 2017-11-28 at 8:39 am Reply

    That’s a great news, free visa till March end. I’ll have to pre pone my plans of visiting Malaysia

    • Poorna Banerjee 2017-11-28 at 8:40 am Reply

      good idea!

  14. matthew 2017-11-28 at 7:01 am Reply

    thanks for this great piece, fortunately i am planning on visiting Malaysia next year summer thanks for sharing this

    • Poorna Banerjee 2017-11-28 at 7:01 am Reply

      Glad you found it of use. I am going to write about beaches and places to visit in Malaysia so stay tuned!

  15. Ritija 2017-11-28 at 6:55 am Reply

    I lived in Malaysia for a year and I luv it .. Ur post is very helpful for anyone who plans to visit .. I will share ur post with my friends if you don’t mind

    • Poorna Banerjee 2017-11-28 at 6:55 am Reply

      thank you. Please do.

  16. Medha 2017-11-28 at 6:48 am Reply

    I travelled to Malaysia on a cruise and it let us spend only 12 hours in each of the cities which was actually not enough! I plan to go back to be able to explore in a better manner. Will bookmark your post for future reference, thanks for sharing!

    • Poorna Banerjee 2017-11-28 at 6:50 am Reply

      You are most welcome!

  17. Hrithik 2017-11-28 at 6:45 am Reply

    saw you on #DIDINUMBER1 #ZeeBangla and it was really good there.

  18. Neil Alvin Nicerio 2017-11-28 at 6:45 am Reply

    Great tips. I’ve only visitedKuala Lumpur though. I hope I could get to visit Kota Kinabalu.

    More power to your blog.

    • Poorna Banerjee 2017-11-28 at 6:47 am Reply

      thank you! I would definitely suggest kota kinabalu and parts of sarawak for the adventurous souls!

  19. Sidhu Jetha 2017-11-28 at 6:10 am Reply

    Short, crisp & to the point. Extremely helpful. Thank you.

  20. Twinkle Gaur 2017-11-28 at 5:20 am Reply

    This is such an informative post. Malaysia looks so beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  21. David 2017-11-28 at 2:21 am Reply

    I appreciate the information on the eVisa in your post. I dealt with an eVisa in Vietnam and I like reading about other people’s experience with dealing with eVisas. Malaysia sounds like an amazing place.

    • Poorna Banerjee 2017-11-28 at 3:43 am Reply

      It is.

  22. Enamulhoque 2017-11-26 at 3:46 pm Reply

    Alltripstory

  23. Amiya Kumar Ray 2017-11-26 at 3:32 pm Reply

    Wonderful and very helpful information. Thanks poorna

  24. B.K.Bandyopadhyay 2017-11-26 at 3:30 pm Reply

    I travel a lot both domestic and abroad. I could be of help in furthering your business interests. I am available for a meaningful dialogue.

    • Poorna Banerjee 2017-11-26 at 9:05 pm Reply

      Hello, unsure how you can help me, but would love to know more. Please mail me at panushwari@gmail.com

  25. Moumita Manna 2017-11-26 at 3:26 pm Reply

    Mam, i am becoming a fan of you.. but i need a help.. from childhood i want to become as you..but i don’t know the way.. mam its my passion to know about anything, learn and rewrite about it.. mam i want to be as you.. please help me and guide me… Please

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