• July 21, 2024

Year-end travel 2023: Have ₹1 lakh? Get away to Malaysia | Travel

Ancient literature will tell you that the term Suvarnadvipa (Golden Peninsula) mentioned in the Ramayana might be a reference to the Malay Peninsula. Vayu Purana also mentions a place named Malaydvipa which probably referred to Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula. One can argue for and against these references but no one ever doubts the popularity of Malaysia as a popular holiday destination for Indians. From delicious culinary delights, captivating culture, and breathtaking nature and scenic spots set against a vibrant metropolitan vibe, Malaysia has it all. Not only is Malaysia not so far away, it is affordable and can easily fit a 1 lakh budget.

Malaysia offers a vibrant blend of culture, modernity, and stunning landscapes. (Pixabay)

Here is a quick look at what to see/do/eat/buy/shop in Malaysia. If you are not sure about your itinerary, go to www.malaysia.travel/travel-ideas, the official website of Malaysia Tourism, for interesting itineraries.

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Important cities: Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Georgetown, Langkawi, Johor Bahru, Malacca, Alor Setar, Ipoh, Genting.

Must-see/do: Meet the orangutans in Malaysian Borneo, Visit the Petronas Twin Towers, Visit the historic city of Georgetown, Explore Langkawi, Climb Mount Kinabalu, Hike one of the Cameron Highlands Trails, Trek through Taman Negara National Park & Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Visit Porta De Santiago (A Famosa) and Dharmikarama Burmese Temple, See Proboscis monkeys inBako. Do food trails.

Must-eat:

• Mee goreng mamak: Yellow noodles with beef or chicken, shrimp, veggies and eggs

• Apam balik: Pancake-style snack

• Nasi kerabu: Blue rice

• Ayam percik: Chicken with percik sauce

• Roti John: Sandwiches made with grilled minced meat and egg in the middle of slim bread

• Laska: Spicy-sour fish broth

• Cendawan goreng: Fried mushrooms

• Lemang: Rice mixed with coconut milk and cooked in bamboo

• Tepung pelita: Malay-style pastry

• Roti Canai: Flatbread dish

• Ramly Burger: An iconic Malaysian street food

• Satay or Sate: Barbecued meat

• Lok-Lok: A fusion of sate and hot pot

What to buy: Batik fabric, wall hanging, Pewter goods, handwoven craft, Malaysian dodol, Songket fabric, Pia Kumbu fabric, Kerongsang (brooch), Labu Saying (gourd-shaped clay jar), Nyonya beaded slippers.

Where to buy: Petaling Street Market (Chinatown), Little Indian Arcade, Pavilion, Berjaya Times Square, & Central Market in Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Marketin Sabah, Kuching Main Bazaar in Sarawak, Langkawi Night Markets, Sabai-Sabai Market in Penang, Suria KLCC, Cameron Highland.

Packages:

• Escape to Kuala Lumpur (4 nights, 5 days). Cost: 42,000+ (including flight). Book on: makemytrip.com

• Budget Special Kuala Lumpur Trip (4 nights, 5 days). Cost: 36,000+ (including flight). Book on: makemytrip.com

• Romantic Langkawi (4 nights, 5 days). Cost: 79,000+ (including flight). Book on: makemytrip.com

• Astonishing Malaysia (3 nights, 4 days). Cost: 24,000+ (excluding flight). Book on: thomascook.in

• Exciting Malaysia (5 nights, 6 days). Cost: 27,000+ (excluding flight). Book on: thomascook.in

• Genting Dream Cruise Penang (3 nights, 4 days). Cost: 26,000+ (excluding flight). Book on: sotc.in

• You can find interesting itineraries on www.malaysia.travel/travel-ideas, the official website of Malaysia Tourism.

Return Flight (Economy): Delhi-Kuala Lumpur-Delhi return flight starts at 24,000+. Return flight from Bengaluru starts at 20,000+; 16,000+ from Kolkata.

Visa: From December 1, 2023, Indian nationals have been granted visa-free entry to Malaysia for a duration of up to 30 days.

Good to know:

Currency: 1 Malaysian Ringgit = INR 17.98

Language: The official and national language in Malaysia is Malay or Bahasa Malaysia. English is widely spoken.

Local transport: Public transport like metro trains and buses are cheaper than taxis. Do take advantage of the Go KL City Bus, a bus service plying Kuala Lumpur’s downtown hotspots, completely free of charge. From Kuala Lumpur, RapidKL and KTM Komuter connect Kuala Lumpur with all major suburbs and states, respectively. Within Kuala Lumpur itself, the KL Monorail runs through the city centre.

KL Sentral is a modern transportation hub serving many trains – KTM Komuter, LRT, MRT, KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit – as well as local buses including those to Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Use MyRapidKL buses for inter-city and inter-state travels.

If you prefer to avoid the road, catch a ride aboard one of the KTM Trains .

Wi-fi: Most luxury hotels have free wifi.

Security tips:

• Like most cities, be careful of your surroundings.

• Obey the local laws and regulations.

• Don’t keep all your money and travel documents in one wallet or bag. Separate cash, traveller’s cheques, credit cards and other valuable documents.

• Don’t carry large sums of cash in public places.

• On roads or footpaths, be aware of any movement behind you and, where possible walk towards traffic.

• Don’t leave your bags, suitcases and other belongings unattended, even for a moment.

• If you are heading to the beach, keep your valuables in a safe locker.

• In cafes and restaurants, don’t hang bags on the backs of chairs. Keep them on your shoulder or lap or between your feet on the ground.

• Ensure all credit/debit card transactions are done in front of you.

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