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KLIA's LCC terminal has been built to accommodate all of the budget airlines, including AirAsia. It's a basic but easy terminal to use.
Before the departure lounge: There are several places to buy hot food, including a McDonalds. There are a few shops selling the normal airport articles such as magazines, and a money changer. Remember that you cannot change Ringgit outside of Malaysia.
Inside the departure lounge: There is a duty free shop.
Regular and Premium taxis are available outside. Premium cost just a few Ringgit more, and I think they are worth it.
All of the terminals in KLIA have free WiFi, including the LCC.
Kecil is the smallest of the Pulau Perhentian Islands, the most popular of the islands with backpackers, and one of the best backpacker beaches in Southeast Asia.
Long beach is the normal boat drop-off point and has the biggest range of accommodation and facilities.
Lemon Grass Chalets
t: 012 900 5756
At the very southern end of Long Beach, set amongst the cliffs. Lemon Grass offers new wooden shacks with baths. Has views of the beach.
t: 019 956 5756
In the middle of the beach. A nice complex set back from the beach, but a little rough around the edges. Has a range of accommodation including long house dorms, double rooms (RM20), small A frame chalets (RM45), ensuite chalets (RM55) and bungalows (RM65). The restaurant is good. There is a generator behind chalets C, D and E, which runs 7pm to 7am and you'll need earplugs if staying in these.
At the very northern end of Long Beach, right next to the jetty. Accommodation includes beach hut and solid bungalows. The bungalows are good high-end accommodation, with AC, hot water, nice furniture, fridge, balcony and sea views (RM100). Towels are included.
Food and Drink
Most places to stay have restaurants offering the normal traveler food and good specials. There are also a few cafes on the beaches. Because of the extra transportation costs food and drink is higher than the mainland. Dishes from RM8 and a beer costs RM10.
Meeting Point Cafe - A good selection of well prepared food. In the middle of Long Beach.
Bubu - Excellent but pricey food (from RM20 per dish). Part of a high-end hotel.
The Pulau Perhentian Islands (including Kecil, the small island, and Besar, the big island) are Malaysia's finest islands and some of the best backpacker beaches in Southeast Asia. The islands are a paradise of white sand beaches, ultar-clear tourquiose-blue water, and a jungle interior. The islands are free of hassles, roads and touts. They are a place to sit back and relax. The islands lie many kilometers off the mainland coast, therefore prices are higher than the mainland.
March to November is the best time to visit. The islands close for the monsoon season and reopen around Chinese New Year in February. The high season is May to September, and finding accommodation can be hard.
Alcohol is available on the islands at bars and some resaturates (RM10 for a can of beer), but at some places you'll have to ask.
There are no banks on the Perhenthians, or the towns from which the mainland boats depart. Stockup with cash before you head towards the region.
Generators provide the power to the restaurants and accommodation. Budget places will have power between 7pm and 7am, and it's likely you'll hear a generator running somewhere in the distance, or every closer! High end accommodation have power 24 hours per day.
There are some phone systems on the islands, but they are expensive. Maxis, and other Malaysian mobile phone providers have reception on the islands.
Diving & Snorkeling
Both islands offer excellent diving and snorkeling. The dive operators contend that the Perhentians offer all the underwater delights of the east coast of Thailand without the 'dive-factory' feel. Classes are smaller
Getting to and from the Islands
Boats leave from 2 jetty towns on the mainland, Kuala Besut and Tok Bali. Prices are RM35 each way.
Kuala Besut is a sleepy fishing with a few boat companies and a small bus station. More boats operate from Kuala Besut and you'll find it easier to get to and from the islands from this port.
Kuala Besut boat operators
Watercolours Resort Sdn. Bhd.
t: 09 6974266
3 Arked Mara Besut, Jalan Pantai
Have fast boats (RM35 each way, 30 minutes) to the islands. They can also arrange a bus and taxi transfers to the Thailand border.
Getting to and from Kuala Besut
Some public buses, and more private bus companies run to Kuala Besut.
To Thailand: There is a bus to the Thailand border for which you'll need to take the 8am boat from the islands. A taxi to the Thailand border costs RM70. Ask your boat operator to have one waiting at the boat jetty for you when you return from the islands.
Tok Bali has a newer and less frequent service to the Pehentian Islands, but services are constantly improving. Most taxi drivers will take you to Tok Bali as they get paid higher comission rates. If you get a boat from Tok Bali to the islands get just a one way ticket. You are then free to take a service back to Kuala Besut should you need to.
The Mayalsian Grand Prix is one of the cheapest Grand Prixs to visit on the Formula One calendar. The Sepang Circuit is new and conveniently located right next to the KLIA international airport. Malaysia is a cheap country to visit, compared to western prices, and once you are in Malaysia you'll find a weekend at the Malaysian Grand Prix to be much cheaper than a European Grand Prix.
General entry (hillstand) tickets are 100MYR (. There is a covered general entry area (C2 covered hillstand) which is recommended, as it protects you from the strong sunlight and monsoon rain, and costs 200MYR. The views from C2 are excellent.
There are a range of seated tickets available from 600MYR for the weekend, or 500MYR for Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets generally don't sell out and are available on race day.
Getting to the circuit
On race day getting to and from the circuit can be take time. Trains and buses run throughout the day from various places in the city, and are fairly cheap.
Taxis are also good value. If you hail a taxi you'll have to negotiate the price with the driver. You can also catch a taxi from a pre-paid taxi stand such as those at the airport, Sental railway station and other places. Airport limosene taxis are normally only a few Ringgit more than a regular taxi, and a much nicer way to travel, especially for a larger group of adults. Once the race is over you'll find plenty of taxis waiting outside the circuit areas. Negotiate the price before getting in. If the price is too high haggle. If they don't give a reasonable price then just try a different taxi.
Inside the circuit
Canned and bottled drinks are available from various stalls. A Tiger Beer costs MYR15, and soft drinks MYR5. Chicken & rice, hotdogs, samosas and sandwiches are also available. The quality is average and overpriced for the region.
Food and drink cannot be taken into the circuit. I recommend a hearty breakfast, or eat a sandwich on your way to the circuit.
Companies offer direct transfers to Kuala Besut for boat transfers to the Pulau Perenthian islands, (RM60, see local travel agents and Father's Guest House, Tanah Rata).
The Cameron Highlands are a scenic landscape of tea and fruit plantations. The altitude is fairly high offering cool temperatures.
Sights and Activities
Jungle walk - The Cameron Highlands offer many excellent walks and treks through jungle trails with excellent views.
Tea Plantation visit - visit on of the many tea plantations to see how things are grown. Try the Sungai Palas Boh Tea Estate, north of Tanah Rata. It's best to visit with a rented motorbike, rent a taxi or a 5 km walk from the bus stop on the Kampung Raja bound bus.
Cream Tea - sit back and enjoy a cream tea whilst taking in the views of the highlands.
See the Cameroin Highlands bus information for details of public and private bus services.
Renting a motorbike is the best way to explore the Camperon Highlands (RM30 per half day). Try AJ Travels around the corner from Restaurant Bunga Suria, Tanah Rata.
Tanah Rata is the main town and traveler center. The town is a little rough, but has some nice views and is the most convient place for exploring the highlands and for onward travel.
Accommodation in Tanah Rata
Mini-buses from the biggest guesthouses meet the buses that arrive at the bus station, but most are only a short walk anyway.
Father's Guest House
t: 491 2484
PO Box 15, Tanah Rata
A wide choice of accommodation,with great views and a whole range of traveler services. Set in scenic grounds a few minutes walk from Tanah Rata town center. There is a great range of accommodation from dorms (RM10) and rooms (RM20 - RM80). There is a good cafe, internet access, comfortable lounge with WiFi and an excellent travel agents.
t: 491 2915 17
Spotless, carpeted rooms. The cheapest have shared bathrooms and no views, the most expensive have nice ensuite bathrooms, hot water and reasonable views from a balcony. The most expensive are very nice indeed. Towels included. There is a small cafe downstairs, a lounge with TV and movies upstairs, internet and laundry available. They have a mini-bus that provides pickups from the bus terminal, so look out for the tout. RM30 - RM88.
Eating and drinking in Tanah Rata
There are a number of good restaurants in Tanah Rata. For good cheap Indian food try Restaurant Bunga Suria. There are several good Chinese restaurants.
Train travel in Malaysia
Trains is Malaysia are good and generally on time. There are overnight trains that run from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, and from Kuala Lumpur to Hat Yai in Thailand. There are 1st and 2nd class sleeper carriages on these trains. 2nd class is of a good standard, similar to Indian 2AC carriages and fine for most budget travelers. 1st class is a private cabin, of a good standard are reasonably priced. Food on board Malaysia trains is limited and I recommend taking plenty of supplies with you.
Maxis provide the best rates for international calls, and have good national coverage, including Islands such as the Perhentian Islands. Sim cards cost RM9 including RM4 of credit. Unlocking a phone costs RM30.