Malaysia is one of the peaceful and economically established countries in Asia, it has a rich culture and is the second home for thousands of people. Malaysia consists on 13 states, it has so many islands and is divided into islands in many parts. Malaysia is a tropical country where weather almost remains same the whole year, and raining begins anytime in the day or at night. Malaysia has borders with Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. The capital of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia got independence from United Kingdom on 31 August, 1957 (Pakistan got independence in 1947). The currency is Malaysian ringgit, and one USD is equal to 3 Malaysian ringgits (MYR or RM). I recently visited Malaysia and spent 12 days there, so I thought to share my travel experience with you.
Malaysia Visa & Return Ticket in Pakistan
In order to visit Malaysia, the first step for me was to get a tourist visa which is also called “Social Visa” in Malaysia, using this visa you can stay in Malaysia for up to 60 days and this is a double entry visa. I was in Karachi, Pakistan so I went to the consulate website and noted visa requirements from there which were the following:
- A passport valid up next 6 months
- Four passport size photographs
- Visa form to be filled out
- The copy of national identification card (CNIC)
- Bank statement of last 6 months with outstanding balance of PKR 200,000
- The bank account maintenance certificate and the visiting card of bank manager
- Return ticket
I just noted the above requirements with me and the next day I arranged these all within a few hours, after that I went to a near by travel agency who has been arranging visas for me, and I gave them all these details, they took only Rs5000 charges which included the visa fee (Rs4000) which they had to pay the Malaysian consulate. Visa was issued within 5 working days after I submitted my passport, and I got visa stamped on my passport. If you want to go to the consulate or embassy yourself then below is the link of Malaysia consulate in Karachi:
The ticket you have to confirm before your travel, because this is necessary to attach with the documents for visa approval, and I also did this by buying my return ticket from the Sri Lankan Airline, which is a very good airline in South Asia, and its tickets are cheap (Especially the round ticket). The return ticket costed me around Rs40,000 ($400). After getting the ticket and visa, in a cloudy morning I arrived at Kuala Lumpur international airport.
After Arrival at Kuala Lumpur Airport (Tips)
Now you have reached at Kuala Lumpur airport and you don’t know where to go, the simple tip is to keep calm and relax. Kauala Lumpur airport is one of the biggest airports in the world, it’s beautiful too!. Just go to the immigration counter (as everyone first goes there), after stamping your passport, just come out from the terminal, in the Lobby area of the airport, You’ll find restaurants, currency exchanging shops and SIM cards counters. First of all exchange some of your currency with Ringgits, so you can buy necessary things (do not exchange all the currency at airport, because later you can find a better rate in the city). If you want to get a Malaysian SIM card then I’ll suggest you to Buy the DiGi SIM card which is very cheap and works great, it also offers reasonable internet package. Buying SIM card will take a few minutes, because the person will take copy or your passport and will register the SIM on your name within a few minutes, they are official people from the respective companies at KL airport. I got my SIM within a few minutes.
Now after doing that, the next step is to reach your hotel if you have already booked a room using AGODA.com, but if you have not yet booked then reach the Bukit Bintang (Jalan Bukit Bintang) in the Kuala Lumpur Central (KLC), this area is fully a tourist area where you can find hotels, guest houses, apartments, bars, clubs, massage centers, restaurants, road concerts and many more activities. From the airport, you can go to anywhere in the city by bus or train, the bus option is more fast and convenient, and it’s very cheap, because the Bus will take around 10 to 12 RM from Airport to the city center, and you’ll have to buy ticket in the bus stands outside the Airport. If you can’t find the bus station then just ask anyone in the airport or outside airport, they will give you direction to the bus station which is just a few steps ahead. But don’t go to the city via Taxi, because it will be very expensive for you, the taxi driver will take at least RM70 to RM80 and I’ll not recommend spending that much money when you already have beautiful air conditioned buses and train service available at Airport. You’ll reach the city within 40 to 50 minutes if you are traveling by bus, and the amazing fact is that you’ll explore the city while coming from the airport, it was an amazing journey for me from Airport to city, the Airport is a little bit far and outside the city, therefore it may take longer than expected sometimes when traffic is JAM.
Cheap Accommodation & Transportation in Malaysia
Malaysia is not an expensive country just because of the strong economy, prices are not higher and comparable with Pakistan & India, If you want to stay in a colorful and more secure area in Kuala Lumpur then there is no better place than Bukit Bintang which is very near to KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Center), the first thing for you will be to arrange accommodation for you, and I’ll suggest you to visit a few small hotels yourself and ask the price, and compare the price and facilities and then book a room, but book the room on per night basis, so if you find another better room the next day then you can easily leave the existing one. The price range for small 1/2 star hotel in Bukit Bintang area is around RM80 to RM100 per night, and I’ll recommend you to stay in a guest house instead of hotel, because the guest houses have almost the same facilities and You’ll actually save more than 50% money on this, You can easily find a guest house on RM40 to RM50 in the same area. But make sure to first check the room yourself and ask if you need anything specific thing in the room. And one amazing thing about this area is that You’ll find a lot of free government buses which you can use to travel to the famous tourist places such as KLCC, Bird Park, Twin Towers and many more. Bus service is free from government which is clean and air conditioned.
And the last thing is that, wherever you travel in Kuala Lumpur or Malaysia, just take bus or train, do not use private car or taxi, because it will be three times expensive than the bus or train service. And the bus/train service in Malaysia is very nice and enjoyable, you’ll not get bored.
How is Malaysia & its people?
Malaysia is a Muslim country and the people of Malaysia are from three different ethics, 50% are Malay people and all of them are Muslim, around 40% are Chinese people who follow Buddhism and 10% people are called Indian (from South India) also referred to as “Tamil Indian”. In general, all Malaysian people are nice and peaceful, Malay is the official language of Malaysia, and in some states Chinese and Tamil are also official languages. Fighting, killing and protest etc are rare things in Malaysia, You can not easily find fighting or any clashes among people, it’s almost a great peaceful country, especially I was in the capital Kuala Lumpur, and it was very peaceful and amazing. Malaysian people love their country very much and take care of their country, they love peace and they love cleaning, so you’ll find all places clean and beautiful. If you ask anything from a common Malaysian, he/she will give you a nice and friendly answer to your question, and in some cases if you ask about a place which you don’t know, they will give you direction for that place, and even in some cases the person will go along with you to help you reach your place if they have time (in one case this happened with me), see the below picture where a Malaysian student helped me reaching my destination.
Today’s modern Malaysia is all about progress in every field, Malaysian people are very honest and hard working, they are the reason behind today’s developed Malaysia, they don’t compromise on their duties and responsibilities. They also respect foreigners. You’ll find tourists and other foreigners everywhere in Malaysia and especially in the capital Kuala Lumpur.
What to do in Kuala Lumpur?
As I mentioned already, Malaysia has a rich culture, and above that Malaysia is a country of Multiple cultures, you can find people from different countries in Malaysia, alone in the capital KL, You’ll find thousands of people from different countries who speak different languages, but everyone can speak English which is understandable. If you are a person who loves to discover new places and new people then Kuala Lumpur can be the great choice. There is everything you can expect from KL, there is night life, there is tourist attraction, there are beautiful parks, there are beautiful water parks, there are beautiful towers including the tween towers in KLCC. You can also find beautiful beaches near by Kuala Lumpur. If you are a lover of delicious foods then once again KL could be the best choice. I found many Pakistani/Indian restaurants in Kuala Lumpur, especially in the Chowkit and Bukit Bintang areas, meanwhile, you can find Arabic foods, Italian restaurants and Chinese food as well, there is actually a food court in Bukit Bintang area. However, I’ll give you a list of popular places to visit when you are in Kuala Lumpur.
List of Places to Visit in Kuala Lumpur:
- Genting Highlands
- KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Center)
- Petronas Towers (Also called Twin Towers)
- Kuala Lumpur Bird park (A beautiful park)
- Bukit Bintang (A tourist point, where you can stay as well)
- Batu Caves (A Historical Place)
- Kuala Lumpur Tower
- Islamic Arts Museum of Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)
- National Mosque of Malaysia (KL)
- Thean Hou Temple (KL)
- Merdeka Square Kuala Lumpur
- National Museum
- KLCC Park
- Putra World Trade Center
- Stadium Negara (Negara means National)
Above are some of the famous tourist places in Kuala Lumpur, but this is not the limited list, there are many more places you can visit in KL as well as in whole Malaysia, and I’ll just mention the Genting Highlands, Bird park and KLCC and Bukit Bintang myself, because I personally visited these places. The Genting highlands is one of the greatest places I’ve ever visited, it’s hill resort on the top of the mountains of Pahang state of Malaysia, it’s an elevation of 5700 fits. I reached there in 40 minutes from KL with a friend (Salman Khilji) we traveled in Bus, and after reaching the station, we then bought tickets of cable cars which took more 20 minutes to reach the top of the mountains where Genting highland exists.
It’s an amazing place with so many beautiful attractions, you must not miss this place during your stay in Malaysia, it has five star hotels, food courts, entertainment halls, the world’s biggest Casino and jungle areas. Twin Towers is also a great place to visit in KL, and birds park provides a peace of mind.
I was not able to visit other states of Malaysia due to the shortage of time and the illness ( I got ill in KL for 3 days), but I’ll recommend you to have at least 15 to 30 day visit to Malaysia and visit the following states of Malaysia:
- Kuala Lumpur
- Johor Bahru
You’ll enjoy the amazing attractions there, and this will be one of your wonderful visits. You can also go to Singapore by road from the Johor Bahru city of Malaysia which is bordering with Singapore, and furthermore, You can go to Thailand by road via train or bus if you want.
Important Travel Tips for Malaysia
A few important tips which I want to give you in the summary of this travel story, these are not limited to, but as I experienced these myself so I’ll share these few tips with you:
- Never take PKR with you in Malaysia, You’ll not find a money ex-changer for PKR
- Exchange all your currency with Dollars before leaving your country
- Don’t sit in a taxi before finalizing the rate (They may ask higher rate later)
- Don’t give money to strange people for visa or work permit in Malaysia
- Only deal with people for visa & work permit etc if they have an official office
- Do not overstay in your hotel room, else you’ll get RM20 fine per hour (No Justification)
- Double check your luggage before leaving your hotel (Hotel will not be responsible after you leave)
The Final Expenses Summary for 12 Days in Malaysia
- Visa Fee: $50
- Return Ticket: $400
- Accommodation & Food: $400 (12 Days)
- Entertainment & Transformation: $150
- Total: $1000 (For 12 day tour)
Final Words & Your Thoughts:
Finally, it was an amazing visit to Malaysia, everyone in Malaysia was so much friendly and lovely, even I liked the immigration officials at the KL airport who were young boys and girls smiling to each visitor upon arrival. Let me know if you have any thoughts on this or if you have ever been to Malaysia. Happy Traveling!