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The Malaysia and KL master thread

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  • Aston100

    Glad you had such a good time.
    Do you feel 7 nights justified such a long journey though?
    Can you share the routing? I assume an overnighter in each direction?

    Entitled

    Not sure how to quote from multiple sources, so by name:

    Jon:
    Kids under 18 not fully vaccinated (two doses) require a supervised PCR 48 before departure and a supervised LFT within 24hrs upon arrival. Unhelpfully the government’s MySafeTravel website states that under 18 are not subject to any tests but when I called their hotline to check (because the information is different in a number of places, including our FCDO) I was told that their website was out of date. I could have probably argued my case upon arrival if I was compliant with their published rules but I wasn’t prepared to take the risk for the sake of a couple of PCR’s.

    The F&B in the lounge was okay, nothing more. Three hot dishes (quiche, fish bites, noodles, pizza bites etc), two salads, two sandwich types, three desserts, fruit and drinks between 6-8pm. Outside of these hours it was soft drinks only. We didn’t take breakfast here because the main one in the lobby is excellent. Personally, I wouldn’t pay for the lounge but I think the lounge offerings across the board are not what they were 5-10yrs ago.

    RK228:
    The hotel was great. Nice pool (happy hour 3-7pm), good sized rooms with large bathrooms, and staff very attentive. You still have to wear a mask indoors in Malaysia, and this is strictly adhered to, but otherwise it was service as normal. Oh, and as alluded to above, the breakfast variety was the best I have come across in a Hilton minus the obvious absence of pork. The curry Laksa was amazing.

    Ashton100:
    We flew on Saudi who were excellent. Can’t fault the hard product and the staff were pleasant.

    We went 10am LHR to RUH, 3hr layover, then 11pm local to KUL arriving about midday. This worked well with the six hours to RUH passing quickly, the airport provided a break although there isn’t much there, and then we mainly slept on the 8hr overnight second leg.

    On the return we left KUL at 6pm to JED arriving 10pm. We left the airport and went to a hotel for a wander and a proper nights sleep. We then got the 10am flight the next day to LHR arriving 3pm. JED airport is very impressive. The scale, architecture and facilities rival anything else in the Middle East.

    The only downside was the need for a Saudi visa which is about £70 per person but I have never visited the country before I wanted to experience a small taste of it for myself. Sadly my reservations where confirmed and I’m not sure in all good consciousness I would be eager to return. Which is also a quandary because the airline was very good but I’ll cross that bridge next time I come to it. Fights for two adults, two kids were £1500 return in economy.

    As for our time in Malaysia we did three nights in KL which was enough. In the morning we went to a site (Towers, Caves etc) and the afternoon hung by a pool. After three days we were ready to leave and I could see how it could be done in less. It’s a really nice city, and we thoroughly enjoyed it, but there isn’t a lot there for the tourist. Penang was four nights and that allowed a few resort days and a day to wander George Town.

    If you include the travel we were away nine nights, two of which were spent travelling but I viewed that as part of the holiday experience. I’ve no regrets on the length of stay which due to school holidays was either what we did or nothing at all. If we had longer just a couple of days longer, and if we did it again, I’d swap Penang for a trip further afield (Vietnam or Borneo) but I didn’t want additional travel to eat into our time.

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 11 months ago by .
    RK228

    Thanks for the info, @Entitled.

    We are actually travelling with our 4yo and hadn’t realised that there was some conflicting information regarding testing.

    We’re planning to follow this advice which was published with the new rules on 1 May: https://mysejahtera.malaysia.gov.my/faq/FAQ%20Traveller%20BM%20and%20English.pdf

    Out of curiosity, for the MySejahtera app, what did you put for the kids and vaccine? Exempted?

    Entitled

    I wrote to them and asked for clarity and was sent an info graphic updated 1 May that said children required a PCR and LFT and that further information could be found in the linked FAQ’s which said that they didn’t. Hence my call to them during which I was told that the information published was wrong and that we needed the test(s). This is also consistent with what the UK Government report.

    As I say, I think you could argue pretty hard that the fault is theirs but ultimately you cant force someone to let you into their country so we aired on the side of caution.

    In terms of the App, I’ve deleted it but I don’t think exempt was an option. Certainly my kids are not on medical grounds. I merely entered that they hadn’t had the jab, I had to pick a reason why, and then it offered me an appointment which I ignored. I had the hard copy PCR tests on me to satisfy the entry requirements if asked (we weren’t) and they were shown on my app as dependents which pleased the airline who were the only ones to ever ask.

    RK228

    I wrote to them and asked for clarity and was sent an info graphic updated 1 May that said children required a PCR and LFT and that further information could be found in the linked FAQ’s which said that they didn’t. Hence my call to them during which I was told that the information published was wrong and that we needed the test(s). This is also consistent with what the UK Government report.

    As I say, I think you could argue pretty hard that the fault is theirs but ultimately you cant force someone to let you into their country so we aired on the side of caution.

    In terms of the App, I’ve deleted it but I don’t think exempt was an option. Certainly my kids are not on medical grounds. I merely entered that they hadn’t had the jab, I had to pick a reason why, and then it offered me an appointment which I ignored. I had the hard copy PCR tests on me to satisfy the entry requirements if asked (we weren’t) and they were shown on my app as dependents which pleased the airline who were the only ones to ever ask.

    Thanks for the response.

    Was it the same infographics posted on the Malaysia Tourism Authority’s website that you were sent? https://www.malaysia.travel/travel-alert

    If so, I think we are okay as our son is under 12 and seems to be exempt from vaccination and testing requirements. That infographic suggests kids 13-17 may require testing, which maybe is why you informed about PCR tests? The conflicting information from what appear to all be Malaysia Government bodies is certainly not helpful though in trying to follow the rules…

    There is an option for “exempted” on the pre-departure questionnaire. I think we might try using this as our son is ordinarily exempt from any vaccination and testing in most countries, seemingly including Malaysia, due to his pre-school age.

    Entitled

    Yes, that is the infographic I was sent dated 28/4 for travel 1/5. I got it from the mysafetravel email address in response to my query. This infographic matches the FDCO advice and what I was told on the phone but not what I read elsewhere. One of my daughters is under 12, which is also obviously under 17, so does she or doesn’t she need a test? I genuinely don’t think they know what they are doing but can at least claim English not to be their first language which may create some confusion.

    As it transpired the airline were also of the opinion that a PCR test was required so it was a good job we had it or else we may not have been allowed to board.

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 11 months ago by .
    RK228

    Yes, that is the infographic I was sent dated 28/4 for travel 1/5. I got it from the mysafetravel email address in response to my query. This infographic matches the FDCO advice and what I was told on the phone but not what I read elsewhere. I genuinely don’t think they know what they are doing but wasn’t prepared to risk it.

    As it transpired the airline were also of the opinion that a PCR test was required so it was a good job we had it or else we may not have been allowed to board.

    Yes, it sounds like you have made the right move if asked for test. If it was that particular infographic that you saw, I presume your kids over 12, right? If not, you might make me panic…

    In mentioning the airline, we’re flying with Qatar, so have just checked their travel advice for Malaysia and it matches that infographic (i.e., 12 and younger exempt from vaccination and testing, 13-17 require PCR), so I am hoping that our little guy is exempt and ready to travel without issue given airline and government advice is fairly consistent about 12 and under (although big grey area for 13-17, I have learned tonight).

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, as good to check guidelines and plan around any potential issues.

    Aston100

    So I’ve booked flights to KL for next summer.
    Some good info in this thread, but I have some questions, mostly not related to KL but this thread is the nearest thing to a general Malaysia Q&A.

    I’ve got 20 nights available.
    I’m going to use points and book only Hilton properties.
    Will be doing KL; Penang; Kuching; Malacca – probably in that order.
    The current allocation is as follows
    KL – 5 nights (have been before)
    Penang – 6 nights
    Kuching – 6 nights
    Malacca – 2 nights
    This leaves me with 1 night to allocate somewhere. I do not want to do less than 5 nights in Penang or Kuching/Borneo as I hate moving around frequently (and I will absolutely be taking full size cases) and also because I want to get the 5th night free at each Hilton property.
    I am not sure that Malacca needs a 3rd night, I will likely end up with almost 2.5 days as it is.
    So where do I put that spare night? Penang or Kuching? Not been to either.
    Happy to hear alternative suggestions (perhaps swap Kuching with Kota Kinabalu?) and can drop a couple of nights from KL too but this itinerary needs to start and end in either KL or Malacca. Not sure if I can get the Perenthian islands in here somewhere.

    Also, can’t tell if there is a train between KLIA and Malacca. Might need to take a bus.
    Also also, according to Wiki there is an airport at Malacca with flights to Penang, but nothing comes up when I check random dates throughout next year.

    Thanks.

    Jon

    I fear you’ll be bored after 4 days in Kuching, unless you plan to do day trips into the jungle or visit other towns etc. I’d consider shaving a night off each of Kuching and KL (or maybe Penang if you’re wedded to the 5th night free in KL) and, added to your spare, do three nights in Kota Kinabalu in addition. 2 nights is enough for Malacca I think.

    Aston100

    I fear you’ll be bored after 4 days in Kuching, unless you plan to do day trips into the jungle or visit other towns etc. I’d consider shaving a night off each of Kuching and KL (or maybe Penang if you’re wedded to the 5th night free in KL) and, added to your spare, do three nights in Kota Kinabalu in addition. 2 nights is enough for Malacca I think.

    Hi Jon, thanks for that.
    Is Kota Kinabalu quite different to Kuching?
    It did cross my mind to do 5 nights in each, but from a quick skim of the internet, KK seems to be about beach resorts and climbing a mountain – neither of which are important to us (probably not fit enough for the mountain anyway!).

    Entitled

    Aston –

    I write this as someone who is as loyal to the Hilton brand as anyone, and who loves a 4for5 stay, but we drove past the DT a few times on the way in and out of Georgetown from our base in Batu Ferringhi and were very relieved not to have stayed there. It may be a fantastic hotel on the inside, but the location has nothing around it and the road which separates the hotel from the beach is very busy.

    Aston100

    Aston –

    I write this as someone who is as loyal to the Hilton brand as anyone, and who loves a 4for5 stay, but we drove past the DT a few times on the way in and out of Georgetown from our base in Batu Ferringhi and were very relieved not to have stayed there. It may be a fantastic hotel on the inside, but the location has nothing around it and the road which separates the hotel from the beach is very busy.

    I hear what you are saying, and the DT does look a bit away from the action.
    The only other points alternative I can see right now is a Mr & Mrs Smith property on the eastern edge of George Town.
    Does IHG Diamond get you complimentary breakfast with Mr & MRs Smith?

    I really want to try and use up some of my reasonably large pool of HH and IHG points before a devaluation comes round. Else I’d be considering The Edison or maybe the E&O.

    Jon

    @Aston I’m not all that familiar with KK (have only been once briefly some years ago, but it struck me as potentially an interesting place). From what I’ve heard, KK and Kuching are fairly different – if it were me on a 20-day visit I’d probably be trying to fit in both 😉

    Re Mr and Mrs Smith – I don’t know if it’s standard at all hotels, but I got free breakfast at the one I stayed at recently (also IHG Diamond). The Prestige in Penang struck me as potentially good value on points – it’s on my list to check out at some point. I did once see The Edison in the IHG app as a Mr & Mrs Smith hotel available on points, but it seems to have disappeared now, sadly – it’s a lovely hotel.

    BuildBackBetter

    Nothing much unique about Malacca compared to other Malaysian cities you are visiting. Are you staying at any beach resorts at all? You’ll get bored by the cities / towns quickly. I’ll probably replace malacca with a beach resort – Langkawi maybe.

    Aston100

    Nothing much unique about Malacca compared to other Malaysian cities you are visiting. Are you staying at any beach resorts at all? You’ll get bored by the cities / towns quickly. I’ll probably replace malacca with a beach resort – Langkawi maybe.

    Thanks. Have done Langkawi 3 or 4 years ago.
    Haven’t done Penang or Borneo.
    I am wondering if like Jon suggested I should perhaps do both KK and Kuching? 5 nights in each of them; 5 nights in Penang; 5 nights in KL to include a day trip to Malacca.
    I presume KK will give us a beach resort option, not that it is important to us, but as you rightly say too much time in-town might get a bit repetitive, though we are hoping to do some daytrips to wildlife sanctuaries and nature parks in Sarawak, from our hotel in Kuching.

    Though this does cause some logistical challenges and time wasting with returning from Borneo or Penang to KUL in time for an international departure on a separate ticket. Hence why I was hoping to start in KL and end in Malacca (or vice versa).

    Jon

    Malacca’s totally fine as a day-trip (there used to be, probably still are, bus tours from the tourism centre on Jalan Ampang, KL).

    Are you taking the evening flight back to London from KLIA? I’d probably do Penang last if so (or KL), as there are quite a few daily flights back to KLIA, so you’d have some options for making your connection. From Malacca you’d need to take a bus or taxi, or hire a car etc, and be at the mercy of traffic.

    NB you can fly direct between Kuching and KK, and KK – Penang, so no need to return to KL in between, so you could do the whole thing as a round trip.

    polly

    We are at the Edison in Nov for a few days. The E and O is fantastic also. Breakfast on the open terrace with sea view is so lovely.
    Re KK to PEN, did that lots of times bypassing KL, to get home with QR. Those were the days when we cancelled F 241s to KUL for a J ex eu QR sale fare to PEN etc. how we wish we had those options again.
    Sandakan interesting too, war grave memorial, eco lodge trips down the river. Sabah hotel really nice, huge pool, v reasonable, if not using points.

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