Getting Around

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Malaysia’s public transport system is known for being reliable and cost-effective. Traveling in Peninsular Malaysia, the primary modes of transport are buses, minibusses, and long-distance taxis. Budget flights are also a convenient option for traveling around the country. Please note that there are no ferries connecting Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia.

During peak travel seasons in Malaysia, such as Christmas, New Year, July, and August, fares tend to be higher, sometimes double the usual prices. You can often secure more affordable fares by booking well in advance. Fares may also increase during weekends and major local festivals, including Islamic holidays and the Chinese New Year.

In-State Travels

City and Local Transport:

 

  • Malaysian cities offer local bus networks (MyRapid); trains such as monorail, KTM, LRT, MRT. Fares are usually affordable.
  • Taxis are metered in some cities, while others may require negotiation.
  • Trishaws (bicycle rickshaws) are less common but are still seen in places like Malacca and Penang.
  • In some places, private cars and vans known as kereta sapu operate as shared transport along specific routes.

Driving and Vehicle Rental:

  • Roads in Peninsular Malaysia are well-maintained, and driving is on the left.
  • Car rental rates begin at approximately RM120 per day, and you must be 23 or older and possess a clean driving license to rent a vehicle.
  • Motorbike rental is also available, typically costing around RM20 per day.

Intercity Travels

Long-Distance Taxis:

  • Long-distance taxis operate between cities and towns throughout Malaysia. They are quicker than buses but typically operate on a shared basis, so you may have to wait for enough passengers to fill the vehicle.
  • You can also charter a long-distance taxi for your group, offering more convenience for reaching destinations not directly served by buses.
  • For shared taxi services, be prepared for a wait, especially in the afternoons.
  • Long-distance taxi fares can increase during periods of rising fuel prices.

By Bus:

  • Malaysia has a comprehensive national bus network with both express coaches between major cities and slower local services within a 100-km radius.
  • Bus stations can be crowded, with multiple companies vying for passengers. Departures are generally frequent, and you can often buy a ticket for the next bus on the same day.
  • Fares are affordable, but be aware that if you disembark at a small town en route, you may be charged the full fare or the fare to the next major town.
  • Express and local buses usually operate from separate stations.

By Ferries and Boats:

  • Ferries operate to several Malaysian islands, including Langkawi, Penang, the Perhentians, Tioman, and Pangkor. Tickets can be purchased at the jetty booths or sometimes onboard.
  • In Sarawak, boats are useful for traveling between Kuching and Sibu and further up the Rejang River to Belaga.
  • Sabah has ferry services connecting Pulau Labuan with Kota Kinabalu, Sipitang, and Menumbok on the west coast.

By Air:

  • Flying around Malaysia is affordable thanks to low-cost carriers like AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines (MAS), MASwings, and Firefly.
  • While there are numerous domestic flight connections, many require layovers at KL airport.
  • It’s advisable to check all fares and options with competing airline websites for the best deals.