Travelling in Malaysia

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Driving

You need a licence to drive cars and ride motorbikes in Malaysia. If you prefer to drive, street directories can be purchased from your university bookshops or other major bookshops and even at some petrol stations. Also check out www.streetdirectory.com.my for online maps for Kuala Lumpur and Melaka.

As common in most commonwealth countries, Malaysians drive on the left side of the road, and all cars are right-hand drive. Some driving licenses from foreign countries and also international driving licenses are accepted for use in Malaysia for up to three months.

Please check with your university international office for related advice. For those wishing to acquire a Malaysian license, it is possible to convert your driving license from your country. To find out the procedure to do so, please get advice from your university’s international office or check with the Road Transport Department of Malaysia or check out www.jpj.gov.my.

Public transportation

Public transportation is widely available in Malaysia. If you stay in a small town or rural area, relying on a car or motorbike is still the best option, followed by bus services. Here are some quick facts on the public transportation available in Malaysia:

  » Taxis

Taxis can be flagged down at the side of the road in most places. In most cities, there are also many dial-a-taxi companies that can be easily reached by a phone call.

For taxi services - from midnight to 6.00am, there is usually a surcharge that could amount to 50% of the fare, so be sure to check how much it is when you call or before you board.

In Kuala Lumpur, most taxis come with meters. Insist on the driver using the meter. If there is no meter in the taxi, make sure to agree on a price before your trip so that there are no unpleasant surprises later on. Ask the locals or other experienced visitors on what reasonable fares should be to your intended destination.

  » City and town buses

Bus services are inexpensive and available in many areas. RapidKL (www.rapidkl.com.my) is Malaysia’s main service provider of public transportation in the Klang Valley via its integrated rail and bus network.

Other bus services do not always publish their schedules, so the best way to find out what goes where is to ask the people who are waiting for buses at the stations/ stops.

You could also check with your new colleagues and friends who use bus services

  » Monorail and Light Rail Transit (LRT) Trains

Within the city of Kuala Lumpur, there is an excellent network of monorail and light-rail transit train services.

  » Inter-city train services

 › These services are offered by Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) (www.ktmb.com.my)

 › There are dining carriages that provide hot meals and take-away snacks.

 › Services to Singapore and Thailand are available.

 › Sleeping berths and private rooms are available for overnight trips.

  » Inter-city bus services

Numerous bus companies provide services between most cities and towns in Malaysia. They provide cheap and excellent mode of transport for travelling between towns.

 › All these buses are air-conditioned except for a very few. Always buy your tickets from the counters at the bus    station.
 › Buses to neighbouring countries such as Singapore and Thailand are also available.

Malaysians are a friendly bunch, so be sure to make friends with the locals. They will be happy to show you around and make you feel more at home during your stay here in Malaysia.

Selamat Datang dan Selamat Maju Jaya!

Welcome and Good Luck!

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