Malaysia Country Guide

Getting Around

 
 

By Car

Malaysia has an excellent highway network, culminating in the North-South Expressway along the West Coast from Singapore all the way to the Thai border. Tolls are payable on expressways, but these are priced at varying degrees, ranging from expensive to reasonable. While you can drive from Singapore to Thailand within a day on the West Coast, the highway system is considerably less developed on the East Coast, with no expressways, and even less so in Sabah and Sarawak, so be sure to factor in additional travel time if travelling in those areas.
 
 
 
 
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Traffic
Traffic in Malaysia drives on the left, a legacy left by the British.
While driving quality and habits in Malaysia are better than most of the rest of Southeast Asia, it is not necessarily great, especially if for travelers coming from a Western country. It should be advised, beware of reckless motorcyclists, especially during the night, and especially if you are a pedestrian: locals typically disregard a red light for left turns, putting pedastrians at risk. Care is needed when driving in larger cities, such as Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Problems include apparently suicidal motorcyclists, congested traffic lanes throughout the day, and bewildering roads especially in the older parts of the city where planning was virtually nonexistent by the then British colonial occupier.

Traffic in Kuala Lumpur
Traffic in Kuala Lumpur
Car & Scooter Rentals
Out of town however, cars and motorcycles are the best and sometimes the only way to explore the country. Some of the more rural areas have motorcycles and scooters to rent for as little as RM25/day, a great way to explore the local area or larger islands like Langkawi. As expected, most rental agencies will require a valid drivers licence to be presented upon rental. Fuel levels are often compared before and after rental, as well as for damage, so ensure everything is documented, and request a refund of any excess fuel if possible.


Taxis
Taxis are available in all cities and larger towns, although in smaller places you may have to call one (ask any shopkeeper or consult the yellow-pages). You will generally need to negotiate the fare in advance, although prepaid coupon taxis are usually available at airports. RM5 should suffice for a short cross-town trip, while RM100 is enough to hire a taxi for a full day. Beware of unlicensed taxis at the airports. They can literally take you for a ride! At the airports always get your taxi from the authorized operators' booths.

In Kuala Lumpur, the budget taxis are usually coloured red and white and not allowed to travel out of the city. These taxis can be hailed off the roads and are metered. The blue taxis are larger saloons or MPVs (Multi Purpose Vehicles) and more luxurious. These cost typically 25 - 30 % more than the budget taxis and are normally available at taxi stands all over Kuala Lumpur including major shopping malls ans hotels.
Taxi in Kuala Lumpur
Red & white taxi in Kuala Lumpur
 
Malaysia
Country Guide
Hotels in Malaysia
 
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