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Old 12-25-2010, 03:18 AM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,880 posts, read 6,166,282 times
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Hey everyone,
Can I get some advice on this? I'll have about 10 days in early Feb. and will be flying into Kuala Lumpur. I'd really appreciate it if I can get some in-depth posts about this from this board as the internet is filled with "Man just go to Thailand" posts.

I don't want to lounge on a beach the whole trip but I do want the white sand beaches with clear water experience at least once. I'm sociable but will be traveling alone so will one place be better in this regard? Are there any differences in beaches? How about jungle tours-does Thailand have anything like Taman Negara rainforest in Malaysia? What about for scuba diving? Any options for skydiving? As far as I know, the only option is all the way up near Bangkok.

Please shed some light on the reason everyone flocks to S. Thailand instead of Malaysia. I'd like to also visit Singapore so I'm leaning towards Malaysia unless Thailand is significantly better.

Also, if you do recommend Thailand should I go to the Southwest or Southeast?
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Old 12-25-2010, 06:02 AM
 
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Good questions. I live in Malaysia, so am biased in that regard. The east coast of Malaysia and Thailand are both still in the monsoon season in February. Some island resorts in Malaysia are closed until early March, or if open, have limited food choices. Thus, you might want to look at the west coast of the Peninsula, which means Langkawi (Malaysia) or Phuket (Thailand).

Langkawi would give you probably the entire range of activities in which you are interested. There is jungle on the island including a canopy walk and Flying Fox business. You can also do scuba and snorkeling. Do a web search for Pulau Langkawi and see what comes up.

Since you are already flying into KL, that seems like the more logical choice. There will be flights from KL to Langkawi directly.

Another site to check for advice from other tourists is:
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntre...readID=1995210

Last edited by Teak; 12-25-2010 at 06:15 AM..
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Old 12-25-2010, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Fairfax
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Thanks I'll definitely do some research on Langkawi....how far is it by bus/train?
The only thing is I'm hoping to visit Singapore (if I stay in Malaysia) so it'd take me in the opposite direction.

Since you live there, what's your opinion on Taman Negara for a day or two? Is Malacca worth it? I'm definitely going to visit the Batu Caves since they are so close to KL.

Again, I really appreciate the advice.
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Old 12-25-2010, 08:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decafdave View Post
Thanks I'll definitely do some research on Langkawi....how far is it by bus/train?
The only thing is I'm hoping to visit Singapore (if I stay in Malaysia) so it'd take me in the opposite direction.

Since you live there, what's your opinion on Taman Negara for a day or two? Is Malacca worth it? I'm definitely going to visit the Batu Caves since they are so close to KL.

Again, I really appreciate the advice.
You shouldn't try to do Taman Negara in only 1-2 days. Get one of those 3-day, 2-night packages through Ping Anchorage and really enjoy your jungle experience. They have choices of activities such as inner tube floats, canopy walk, and boat trip up a smaller river.

If you try to cram too much in 10 days, you will spend too much time on buses and trains. Taman Negara, Malacca, and Singapore are doable in 10 days, but don't try to add Langkawi in that mix.
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Fairfax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teak View Post
You shouldn't try to do Taman Negara in only 1-2 days. Get one of those 3-day, 2-night packages through Ping Anchorage and really enjoy your jungle experience. They have choices of activities such as inner tube floats, canopy walk, and boat trip up a smaller river.

If you try to cram too much in 10 days, you will spend too much time on buses and trains. Taman Negara, Malacca, and Singapore are doable in 10 days, but don't try to add Langkawi in that mix.
Hmm yeah I know I'd regret trying to squeeze too much in (I've done that in the past). Would you recommend any islands/beaches on the West coast between KL and Singapore?
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Fairfax
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Forgot to ask: Some of the resorts in Taman Negara have min. amounts of people required. Are any of them good for the solo backpacker? (easy to meet others, group tours, etc)
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:42 PM
 
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decafdave,

The only major islands on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia are Penang, Pangkor, and Langkawi. Penang is mostly a city with a few beaches; Pangkor and Langkawi are good for the beach bum experience. I have never been to Langkawi, but colleagues rave about it. Pangkor was okay, but then I have too much island experience from the east coast (Tioman, Kapas, Tenggol) in which to compare.

If you want both jungle and beach experience, go to Langkawi. Fly to KL; fly to Langkawi; fly back to KL; take the bus or overnight train to Singapore. You could take a bus to Malacca, and then on to Singapore, but Malacca is not that interesting for more than one day.

As a single traveller, you can connect with people at the restaurants; people on vacation tend to be fairly laid back and friendly. If you went to Taman Negara on one of those package deals, you could ask if there are any other groups open to a tag-along; some people don't mind meeting new people that way. We stayed at the Rainforest Resort, booked through Ping Anchorage, and it was great fun. But there are other choices, check out the following website.

http://www.pinganchorage.com.my/taman_negara.htm
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Southern Thailand is by far the worst part of the country, so unless beaches is your primary attraction, I'd avoid Thailand and just enjoy Malaysia.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:44 AM
 
Location: Fairfax
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Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Southern Thailand is by far the worst part of the country, so unless beaches is your primary attraction, I'd avoid Thailand and just enjoy Malaysia.
Well, I'd like to enjoy some culture/food, explore the jungles, possibly scuba dive, and meet other travelers/friendly locals. How would you say Southern Thailand is worse than the other regions?
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by decafdave View Post
Well, I'd like to enjoy some culture/food, explore the jungles, possibly scuba dive, and meet other travelers/friendly locals. How would you say Southern Thailand is worse than the other regions?
On-going squabbles between extremists and the Thai military could make for a pretty cautious visit.
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