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Transports in Malaysia

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Malaysia provides various means of transport for different needs and budgets. Find out more in this article.

Traveling from one place to another will be a key component of your expatriation to Malaysia. You can choose among various means of transport according to your needs and budget: car, train, bus, long distance taxi, plane, etc. These will generally take you across different cities and also from one city to another, even to remote regions. Most of these are rather comfortable and rates are affordable, varying according to the means of transport chosen and the distances covered.

For more personal or leisure travels, you can also rent a car provided you have a valid driver's license. You can also travel by bike or by motorcycle, especially in busy cities, especially in their centers during peak hours so as to avoid traffic jam.

Plane

There is a fierce competition among Malaysian airline companies, both on local and regional routes. Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia provide international flights while Firefly, which is owned by Malaysia Airlines, covers the regional level. Some companies provide flights so as to connect major cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baharu, Penang, Pulau Pangkor, etc., to one another while others extend their trips to Singapore and Koh Samui, Thailand.

Bus

Malaysia has a very dense bus network which connects all major cities to one another through express lines. In fact, buses are dispatched every 30 minutes to every hour. Moreover, air-conditioned buses are deemed to be comfortable and faster than trains.

In the West of the country, buses are allowed on the North-South highway. On the other hand, the East Coast and across the country is considered as a longer and less comfortable distance, taking between 5 and 9 hours. But anyway, you can ask the driver to stop anywhere. Bus ticket rates generally vary between 35 and 60 ringgit according to the chosen class and route.

Finally, local buses cover shorter routes and are less comfortable. However, rates are much more affordable price. Students, workers and housewives prefer this means of transport for their daily routine. Rates are much lower, that is about 1 ringgit for ten kilometers.

Train

There are two main train lines in Malaysia. The most important one serves the West Coast, from Singapore to Thailand via Penang, Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. As regards the second line, it crosses the diagonal from downtown and serves the Northeast to Gemas where there is an interchange with the first railway line.

Train fares are much lower. However, it is famous for being very slow, the second line in particular, which is also known as the “Jungle Train” as it crosses the rainforest. You can also travel overnight on sleeper trains. These are comfortable, being equipped with real beds with sheets and pillows.

Taxi

Long distance taxis are based on the carpooling concept. In fact, these collect four passengers, whether or not they are traveling together from the starting point but to the same destination. The travel fees are then divided into four equal shares. You can also hire this type of taxi on your own but expect rates to be higher.

Rent a car, bicycle or motorcycle

If you wish to drive in Malaysia, you can rent a car. However, you are advised to remain vigilant due to the conduct of some local motorists. Riding a motorcycle in Malaysia can also be particularly dangerous. But you can still find several car, bike or motorcycle rental agencies across the country, especially in tourist regions such as hotels, resorts, etc.

 Important:

To rent a motor vehicle, you will have to produce an international driver's license if you are making a 90 days stay in the country. If you are staying longer, you will have to obtain a Malaysian driver's license.

 Useful links:

Expat-blog - Car rental agencies
Keretapi TanahMelayu - National Railway Company www.ktmb.com.my

Bus companies:
Konsortium Transnasional Berhad www.ktb.com.my
Transnasional www.transnasional.com.my
Nice www.nice-coaches.com.my
Cityliner www.cityliner.com.my
Aeroline www.aeroline.com.my
Supernice www.supernice.com.my

Airline companies:
Malaysia Airlines www.malaysiaairlines.com
MA Swings www.maswings.com.my
Firefly www.fireflyz.com.my
Air Asia www.airasia.com
Berjaya Air www.berjaya-air.com

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