Friday, May 13, 2011

Kuala Lumpur Travel Guide

Kuala Lumpur is not affected by the monsoon from October to March, but gets consistent rainfall from September to December. As the city has no define seasonal weather patterns, a visit can be planned for any time of the year.

This city is hot and humid. Daytime temperatures can reach a high of 33°C (91°F) while the nights can be balmy, with the temperature dropping by as much as 10°C, but most of the time there is no difference between day and night temperatures. Humidity is almost always above 80%. Kuala Lumpur gets its share of heavy rain with downpours mostly in the afternoon and early evening (sometimes will cause flash floods).

Getting there

By Air The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is located 70km (43 miles) south of the city in Sepang and one of the biggest and most modern airports in Asia. Planes arrive and depart from four satellite arms, which are linked to the main terminal building via an aero train.

Nature and greenery are part of the airport in line with the "airport in the forest and forest in the airport" concept. The natural environment of the airport is transformed to functions and activities that continue to enhance nature. The abundant forest areas will be preserved and transformed into an environment park containing recreational facilities.

KLIA houses the country's national carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS) which provide international and domestic connections to destinations on the peninsula and east Malaysia. MAS have discounted fares on some domestic connections but this means that you should prepare to travel at inconvenient times....ask for 'night tourist fares'.

Air Asia offers the cheapest domestic flights (Malaysia's second national airline, became Asia's first low fare, ticketless airline). Occasionally, you can get lower fares from internet booking. Its flight destination already expanding, including regionally. AirAsia currently operates over 100 point-to-point domestic and international flights from its hubs in Kuala Lumpur International Airport ( KLIA) and Senai Airport, Johor Bahru in Malaysia; Bangkok International Airport in Thailand; and Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia.

From KLIA, there are a few options to the city. There is an Express Coach service to town, an Express Rail Link (KLIA Express train) and Airport Limousine service. Express Rail Link is the fastest way to the city centre which takes 28 minutes to get to KL Sentral Station for only RM35. If you are flying with MAS, you can do a flight check-in, including luggage at the Central Air Terminal (CAT) at KL Sentral.

For the Airport Limousine service, buy a coupon with fix fares (RM67 for budget service, RM92 for premier service) for a destination to the city center.

Other than that, accommodation and car hire facilities are also available at the airport. City taxis cannot legally pick up passengers at the airport, but you can catch any taxi from the city to the airport and the fare is base on mileage plus surcharge.

By Rail

Situated on the main rail route with a daily train service from Bangkok, Padang Besar - in Malaysia's northernmost state of Perlis - is another entry point. Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) or Malayan Railway provides an international express from Butterworth to Haadyai in Thailand, and regular services from Padang Besar to Singapore via Kuala Lumpur.

Travelers generally take the express services, which are faster because they make a minimal number of stops. Most trains are air-conditioned and have buffet cars serving simple meals. Sleeping berths are available on long distance trains.

Several times weekly, the luxurious rail service Eastern & Oriental Express makes a brief, late night stop at the railway station. This train carries up to 130 passengers from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and Butterworth, terminating in Bangkok (and vice versa). Passengers may embark at any of these points.

By Sea Port Klang (Malaysia's largest modern sea port) is the closest sea port to Kuala Lumpur, about 40 km (25 miles) away and link to it by highways, buses and the KTM Komuter train service. Port Klang is the main port of call for regional cruise ships, and less regularly, the international liners.

Located 48km north of Alor Star in the northern state of Kedah, Bukit Kayu Hitam is the main entry point into Malaysia for visitors from Thailand. The North-South Expressway links Bukit Kayu Hitam to Kuala Lumpur - 490km away. Near the Malaysian immigration and customs post are restaurants, shops, car parks and a duty-free shopping complex.

For visitors entering from the Singapore, Johor Bahru is the main southern entry point. The North-South Expressway links Johor Bahru with Kuala Lumpur - 220km to the north. A rail and road causeway connects Johor Bahru to Singapore. Immigration and customs checkpoints are based at the entrance to the Causeway. A second bridge links Tanjung Kupang - 30km south-west of Johor Bahru - to Tuas in Singapore.

Try to avoid crossing the border on Friday afternoons and during public holidays because of the traffic congestion at the checkpoints.

Long distance buses and taxis also travel to and from Kuala Lumpur to most destinations on the peninsula as well as Singapore and Thailand. The main interstate bus stations are at Puduraya (near Chinatown) and Perhentian Putra. The air-condition express buses are fast and comfortable and they will make occasional stops for drinks, meals and toilet break.

Long distance air-conditioned taxis also available for your travel to the city but tips for you, for cheaper price you can share the cost with three other passengers and share the cost. You can also book the entire taxi for yourself.