Ways & How

How to Travel to Malaysia

How to Travel to Malaysia

As a travel destination, Malaysia is certainly an interesting one. The country is actually divided into East and West territories—and the South China Sea separates the two. The western part is Peninsular Malaysia, which shares a border with Thailand and is linked to Singapore by a causeway and a bridge. The peninsula is a well-developed region with high-infrastructure and modern amenities. The eastern part is Borneo, which shares borders with Indonesia and Brunei. Borneo is mostly wild jungle, home to remote tribes and an assortment of flora and fauna. Peninsular Malaysia is the tourist destination for most people. The tourism department has been actively marketing Kuala Lumpur as a city of dazzling culture and merriment. The world-famous Petronas Twin Towers can be found here, and it is fast becoming one of the best destinations for bargain hunting in the region. Here’s how to travel to Malaysia:

  1. Citizens of most countries do not need a visa to get into Malaysia, especially if they only plan to stay for 14 days or less. The length of stay allowed for a visa-free entry depends on your nationality.



    or nationals who are required to apply for a visa (Israel, Serbia, and Montenegro), you can apply for a visa though the Ministry of Home Affairs. If the country where you reside does not have one, you can apply through a British embassy or consulate instead. Of course, there will be corresponding fees, depending on where you are.

  2. Once the issue of visa/non-visa has all been sorted out, you can decide how you want to get into Malaysia. It is possible to fly in directly to your regional destination by booking flights with servicing airlines such as Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, and AirAsiaX. Most international flights land at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, but there are also flights that can fly you into Kotah Kinabalu, Sarawak, Penang, Langkawi, and Johor Bahru. Do note that Sarawak has separate immigration laws; travelers who need to travel there will need a new visa other than the one issued by the Malaysian Ministry.

  3. If you are in Thailand or Singapore, another way to travel to Peninsular Malaysia is by train or by bus. Both train lines offer comfortable sleeper train services. The lines to/from Thailand connect Bangkok to Butterworth (near Penang) and Hat Yai to Kuala Lumpur. The Singapore line connects to Kuala Lumpur and Tumpat (near Kota Bharu). Meanwhile, bus lines from Singapore and Thailand also offer a multitude of direct routes to various cities in Malaysia.

  4. Those who are right at the Thailand border by Perlis, Kedah, Perak, and Kelantan can simply travel on foot into Malaysian territory. The same used to be possible via the Singapore Causeway, but it has now been declared illegal.

  5. Those interested in getting into Borneo from Brunei or Indonesia can do so by bus. From Brunei, the main crossing is the Kuala Lurah-Tedungan checkpoint. The main crossing for Indonesia is at the Tebedu-Entikong checkpoint.

  6. There are also ferries that connect Peninsular Malaysia with the neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. Daily passenger boats run between Malaysia and Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. There are also luxury cruises that run from Singapore and Thailand, the latter mostly coming from Phuket.

Figuring out how to travel to Malaysia is actually not that complicated. Thanks to intensified efforts to promote tourism, the country is welcoming to tourists and guests and most travel agencies can make all the necessary arrangements for your party. Surprisingly for its modernity, you can get by comfortably on as little as $15 a day, especially if you go during the lean season, making Peninsular Malaysia an attractive alternative to more popular—and more expensive—island destinations.

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