The most popular – travel blogs in Malaysia

Most popular blogs – travel blogs in Malaysia:

The most popular blogs I have written over the past six years are travel blogs in Malaysia. About Penang, Langkawi, Kuala Lumpur, and travel by plane, train bus and car.

travel blogs in Malaysia

The blogs are ordered in the number of views, from the highest down. The top 14. These statistics are from my original Tropicalexpat blog. I have also updated and published some on my new Tropicalexpat site:

Penang to Langkawi by air, ferry; car, bus and/or train and ferry

Penang to Kuala Lumpur by plane, train, bus and car

Kuala Lumpur Sentral Train Station to Malacca by bus – AKA Circling Malaysia by rail (mostly) 2/4

A trip from Penang to Langkawi by car and ferry

Penang to Kuala Lumpur by night train – AKA Circling Malaysia by rail (mostly) 1/4

Penang to Kuala Lumpur by bus

From Penang to Singapore by train

Learning to drive and getting a driving licence in Penang

Malaysia’s Jungle Line; (Malacca to) Gemas to Kota Baru by train; AKA Circling Malaysia by rail (mostly) 3/4 ; late 2017 update

A trip from Penang to Langkawi by bus and ferry – mid-2014

Our trip to Langkawi mid-2014

Langkawi – some observations from my latest visit. And could I retire here?

Driving from Penang to Kuala Lumpur (KL)

Road trip to southern Thailand – driving one’s car from Penang to Songkhla – and parts north

And over the past 12 months – travel blogs in Malaysia again:

Malaysia’s Jungle Line; (Malacca to) Gemas to Kota Baru by train; AKA Circling Malaysia by rail (mostly) 3/4 ; late 2017 update

Penang to Langkawi by air, ferry; car, bus and/or train and ferry

Penang to Kuala Lumpur by plane, train, bus and car

A trip from Penang to Langkawi by car and ferry

Cleaning my air-con

Visiting Pangkor Island – 10 best things to do

A six day road trip around Malaysia – 1/6

Perhentian Jungle Trek

Road Trip – Penang to the east coast of Malaysia by car

Penang to Kuala Lumpur by bus

Learning to drive and getting a driving licence in Penang

A trip from Penang to Langkawi by bus and ferry – mid-2014

Driving from Penang to Kuala Lumpur (KL)

Malaysian Airlines mobile phone check-in and boarding works

So again – travel blogs in Malaysia. The past 12 months is similar to the longer term trend. But recently there is also more interest in Pangkor Island and the Perhentian Islands.

Langkawi or Pangkor Island?

Nippah Bay

one of the beaches on Pangkor Island

If you are in Penang, Langkawi is kind of north, and Pangkor Island kind of south.  So as far as the weather goes – rainy season or not – they have the same pattern.

In theory Langkawi is quicker to get to, but in practice they seem to take a similar time to reach.

If you were to choose one to visit, which would it be? So here are what I consider the good and bad points of both.

  • Langkawi is more accessible, being able to travel there by direct ferry, car /  bus + ferry, or short flight from Penang.
  • Langkawi is more international so caters to a broader range of tastes – for food, spas etc.
  • Langkawi can be visited on the way to Thailand – e.g. Ko Lipe.
  • Langkawi has a marina
  • Langkawi has much more things to do than Pangkor
  • Langkawi has a bigger range of accommodation from homestays to very expensive resorts
  • And, of course, Langkawi is duty-free. Alcohol and even car rental is cheaper.

As for the bad points:

  • Excepting for the impact of duty-free goods, Langkawi is generally more expensive.
  • And, apart from expensive resorts, there are no bars or restaurants on the beach – with the exception of Scarborough Fish and Chips.
  • There can be jellyfish in the sea

As for Pangkor:

  • Pangkor Island is more relaxed
  • It is easier to find food when you want it
  • Pangkor is small and very easy to get around – by taxi, hire car, motorbike or bicycle
  • The ferry from Lumut on the mainland is cheap – RM10 return
  • The ferry is quite frequent
  • There are restaurants and bars on the beach
  • These restaurants and bars are reasonably priced
  • The beaches are nicer and I haven’t seen any jellyfish

As for the bad points:

  • Transport there is only by car / bus then ferry.  Berjaya Air used to fly there from KL  – but I am not sure if they still do.
  • Often Malay restaurants don’t sell beer – but they sometimes suggest you buy it at the convenience store and bring it to the restaurant
  • Being quite a Malay island girls might feel uncomfortable in a bikini on the beach – so will either go to a more secluded spot or stay with a few other girls in bikinis
  • There is not so much to do
  • The standard of accommodation is generally not high

You can have an enjoyable holiday on either – or if you have time – both.





unfinished blogs – no. 17 – The best of Peninsular Malaysia in one trip

I’ve been writing this blog for three years this month, and have accumulated many partially written blogs that remain unpublished. I may as well just publish them as is, and if I ever feel inspired to finish any, do so later.

I really should finish this particular blog sometime.

October 22nd, 2014


Include round Malaysia trip last October, plus KL, Pankor Is, Penang, Langkawi, Perhentian

It’s easy enough to do a circle of Malaysia by car, but if you don’t go out to some islands you miss the best parts, which means you will have to either access the ports by public transportation, leave your rental car unused for your time on the island or in some cases fly there.

If you take your own car, then you have to return to it – you can’t leave it and catch a train further, without returning to pick up your car.  So mixed mode is difficult.

Mixed mode: KUL – LGW- PEN by plane, car via Kuala Besar & to Perhentian, other islands? – s-e nr Singapore

By car

By train

By plane


My favourite trips in Malaysia (from Penang)

Sitting here right now gazing out at the grey skies and the drizzle, I am thinking of my favourite trips in Malaysia. And of what I have yet to do and see. I won’t bother with more photos as there are plenty in the links. After six years here this is what I think.

the beach

the beach

By far and away my favourite place is the Perhentian Islands.  The beaches are lovely, the sunsets can be stunning, and the snorkelling great.

Then comes Sabah – particularly a jungle tour to cruise the river and see proboscis monkeys.

After this, Langkawi, which we have visited many times.

Next would be a couple of nights in Malacca.  I don’t think there is so much to do or see, but the very centre is nice, and staying near the river is pleasant.

Then, a train trip – the quality of the rolling stock and service is very low, but it’s still fun, especially if it is the first time.  It could be the jungle line up to Khota Bharu from Gemas by day, or simply Penang to KL.

The next would probably be a few nights in KL – staying in a first class hotel.  First Class hotels in KL used to be very good value, but perhaps less so now.  Still, as long as you don’t really intend to get around by car much, as the traffic is terrible, based in a nice hotel near the monorail allows you see to a few fun things and eat some nice food.

Then the Bird Park in Butterworthor in KL, which is bigger but I don’t like as much – to see hornbills.

I also quite like a couple of nights in Ipoh. There are a few things to see nearby,

And an early start from Ipoh to Pangkor Island allows you to spend the day there without spending a night – seeing as the hotels there are pretty bad.

Then there is Penang itself – Little India in George Town, Penang Hill – walking up is better than the funicular if you have the energy and start at dawn – before the heat, Spice Gardens…

A nice drive is also from Penang over to Kota Baru. I’ve done this by car and by bus.

And what I have yet to do – while I have circled Malaysia by train I haven’t by car – I want to see more of the east coast beaches.  Then there are a few east coast islands to see – Tioman Island etc.

What I had expected to be able to do, and can’t is to spend time in the jungle and to camp. Mosquitoes and other biting insects are the main problem, with heat and humidity secondary.  Locals think you are crazy if you want to camp, and they are right.  It is unlikely you’ll get malaria or dengue, but the more mosquito bites you get, the greater the chance.  So stay in hotels, wear long sleeves and trousers at dawn/dusk and where mosquitoes are – but generally, stay away from places where mosquitoes are.

I’ll report back when there is something to add to the list.