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Travel Malaysia (planes, trains, and automobiles)

Abai village

Malaysia is accessible from other countries by sea, road and most commonly by air. By air, the major international airports are: Kuala Lumpur (Sepang), Kuantan, Penang, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu (Sabah), and Kuching (Sarawak). Domestic flights are also available to some of the major towns around Malaysia. By sea, there are several ports of entry at Penang, Port Klang, Kuantan, Kuching (Sarawak) and Kota Kinabalu (Sabah). By road, there are roads linking the neighbouring countries of Thailand, Singapore and in Borneo, to Indonesia and Brunei.


There are some 35 international airlines making Malaysia as one of their destination. Malaysian Airline System (MAS), or national carrier, flies to numerous international cities and has a network of routes within Malaysia. Other domestic carriers include companies such as Transmile (Kuala Lumpur to Borneo), Pelangi or Berjaya air (Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu, Tioman or Langkawi). For these routes, do check out these other airlines, as you may be able to get better deals. Unfortunately, these airlines have limited marketing outreach and it may be difficult to obtain tickets from overseas. Instead, you may need to visit their offices in Malaysia to make purchases.

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The road network within Peninsular Malaysia is one of the best in the region. There are highways linking the major cities along the west coast, and the East-West Highway and Karak Highway are the main routes to the West coast. It is also possible to drive from Singapore (via Johor Bahru) and Thailand (there are a number of different entry/exit stations along this border). In Borneo, the road network is not as extensive but it is possible to drive from say Kuching, via Brunei, to Kota Kinabalu and then south, finally exiting into Indonesia. Do be prepared for poor road conditions though throughout Borneo, excluding some of the roads around major cities (like Kuching or Kota Kinabalu). Car rental services are available in major airports and cities. Do note, cars in Malaysia are left-hand drive and driving in Malaysia in on the left side of the road. An International Driving License is required for tourists wishing to drive in Malaysia.

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Malaysian Railways also known as Keretaapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) operates train services covering from south of Peninsular Malaysia to as far north as the Thailand border. In Borneo, only Sabah runs a short rail service between Kota Kinabalu and Tenom. This is a picturesque journey down the west coast and across the Crocker mountain range to the interior town of Tenom. This is a spectacular route and is worth taking.

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Throughout Malaysia, bus services are available within the major cities. Coach services are available for inter-city travelling. In Sabah, a wider range of buses is available: minibuses, medium sized bus and luxury coaches.

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Photo: Abai village, Lower Kinabatangan, Sabah - © WILDBORNEO.net


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