Transportation in Malaysia
Malaysia is served by a great transportation system that offers visitors a vast variety of options to both reach and get around the country, even in the most remote areas. Kuala Lumpur is naturally the transportation hub, acting as the launching pad for many travellers looking to explore the remote areas of Malaysia.
Travel by rail in Malaysia is a great way to see the beautiful countryside
With so many exciting modes of transport in Malaysia, getting from A to B will add favourably to your Malaysia holiday memories. Our Malaysia Transportation Guide gives you some insight into best ways to get to, from and around Malaysia. Join one of the great tours in Malaysia to see the best of Malaysia's incredible tourist attractions.
Malaysia Transportation Guide
Getting To Malaysia
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is Malaysia's main airport. This state- of-the-art airport is situated 50 kilometres to the south of Kuala Lumpur, at Sepang. You can also fly into the airports at Kota Kinabalu, Langkawi, Kuching and Penang. More than 40 international airlines operate flights to and from Malaysia.
Malaysia Airlines is the national carrier of Malaysia. It operates flights to and from six continents and 36 domestic locations. Royal Brunei Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Pelangi Air and Air Asia also operate flights in the domestic sector.
For transport from the airport to the city (or from the city to the airport), we recommend Green Path Transfers, who offer eco-friendly airport transfers in hundreds of destinations around the world.
Visit our partner Air Valid for Airline Reviews and Information about Malaysia.
Many tourists prefer to get to Malaysia by sea because it has a well developed maritime infrastructure that ensures a safe and comfortable voyage. After all, Malacca first gained prominence as a fine port!
Port Klang is the largest port in Malaysia. It is located around 41 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur. The famous Star Cruises, which is owned and operated by the government, has its passenger terminal at Port Klang.
The other ports of call where cruise ships drop anchor are the ports at Penang, Langkawi and Malacca and Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) in East Malaysia. Occasionally, ships dock in at the Tioman islands, near the East Coast islands.
Getting Around Malaysia
The roads in Malaysia are among the finest in Asia. It is indeed a pleasurable experience to explore Malaysia by cruising along its highways, drinking in the scenic beauty and absorbing the local flavour as you drive through its olde world villages. Most of the well known car rental agencies have their establishments in Malaysia making it quite easy to hire a car in Malaysia.
But do remember certain rules and regulations. The enforcement agencies in Malaysia are very strict and any infringement attracts immediate penalty.
In Malaysia, cars are driven on the left side of the road. There are prescribed speed limits in Malaysia on different roads and an alert patrol service ensures strict adherence to them. The maximum speed permissible on highways is 110 kilometres per hour. The speed limit on federal, municipal and state roads is 90 kilometres per hour, while that on city roads and urban areas is 60 kilometres per hour. Signboards on roads indicate the speed limit, so do be alert to them.
Make sure to carry your international or national driving licence at all times. The driver and the passenger next to him must have their seat belts on. This is a statutory requirement and those flouting it are fined immediately. Do not drink and drive or use the mobile phone while driving. Alcohol above the legally permissible limit attracts an immediate and stiff penalty, as does the use of the mobile phone while driving.
By Bus and Taxi
The best way to get around Malaysia is by bus. The bus network here is extensive, economical, and quick and reliable. There are both express air-conditioned and regional non air-conditioned buses plying from Kuala Lumpur to the numerous towns in Peninsular Malaysia. The frequency of each route depends upon the destination, but all buses ply from six in the morning to midnight. Bus tariffs depend on the distances covered, but the minibuses charge a flat rate of 60 sen to any point on their route.
On level 2 at the Pudu Raya Bus Terminal, you will find interstate taxis that ply between the towns of Malaysia. These taxis offer an economical and quick means of interstate travel. While they are not metered and fares are generally fixed, do negotiate and fix the fare before embarking on your journey. There is no additional charge for taxis that are air-conditioned. But a trip between midnight and six in the morning will cost you an additional 50% of the prescribed fare.
In some towns like Kuala Terengganu, Kota Bahru, Georgetown and Melaka, you can enjoy a leisurely ride on the trishaw, which is a cycle rickshaw. It is quite an experience because they are not found everywhere; but again, do fix the fare before you start off!
Trains in Malaysia are operated by the KTM or Keretapi Tanah Melavu. They are air-conditioned with berths for overnight trips, and are safe and relatively less expensive. The arterial lines stretch from Thailand in the north towards Singapore in the south, and from Gemas (Negeri Sembilan) to Kota Bharu on the east coast. If you love trains, do not miss the journey from Kota Kinabalu to Tenom through the beautiful rainforests.
There are two Light Rail Train Lines in Malaysia: PUTRA and STAR run daily between six in the morning and midnight, covering the length and breadth of Kuala Lumpur. You can buy Stored Value tickets for these trains in the denominations of RM 50.00 and RM 20.00 from any station.
And last but not least, Malaysia offers one of the great train journeys of the world on the Eastern and Oriental Express. This voyage from Singapore to Bangkok passes through Kuala Lumpur and takes you on a tour of Georgetown, the capital of Penang and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Eastern and Oriental Express journey is the train aficionado's delight.