When it comes to traveling in a foreign country, one of the major challenges is figuring out how to get around. If you’ve been to big cities in Southeast Asia like Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, or Jakarta, you’ll be familiar with the struggle of crossing busy streets and getting stuck in crazy jams.
Thankfully, getting around in Malaysia is fairly simple. At central tourist spots like Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Melaka, there are various modes of transportation to help you get around. Nevertheless, here are a few important things you should know before you make your visit to Malaysia:
1. Malaysian drivers don’t always follow the law
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If it’s your first time visiting Malaysia, you may get a little caught off guard by the way Malaysians drive on the road. To drive in Malaysia, you’ll need an International Driving Permit along with your domestic driver's license. However, for tourists unfamiliar with Malaysian roads, your best bet is to let the locals do the driving.
2. Look right, look left, look right again
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The second thing you need to know about Malaysian roads is that drivers drive on the left. Since Malaysian drivers tend to speed, you’ll want to take extra precaution when you are crossing the road. Better be safe than sorry.
3. Unleash the power of ‘The Hand’
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You may get a little intimidated when crossing Malaysian roads. But even if drivers don’t stop for you at the zebra crossing, just bring out ‘The Hand’ and cars will automatically let you cross. The only requirement needed for this to work is confidence.
4. Public transportation may not always be on time
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While public transportation can get you to most major destinations in big cities, you need to be prepared to wait. During working hours, buses and trains may come more frequently, however delays aren’t uncommon. If you’re planning to get around using public transportation, get yourself a Touch ‘n Go card at any nearby convenience store.
5. Try avoiding the rush hour jam
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Whether you’re on the train, driving, or catching a ride, the best time to avoid is between 7am to 9.30am and 5pm to 7pm. In places like Kuala Lumpur, the jam can set you back an hour or more, so just sleep in a little. You’re on holiday anyway!
6. You can walk, but it’s gonna be HOT
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Some of you may prefer walking to get the full travel experience, and indeed you’ll see a lot more things, including random street food vendors, street art, and more. Just dress light, sunscreen up, and bring an umbrella along, ‘cause Malaysia can get pretty hot pretty fast. You also want to avoid getting caught in the pouring rain unprepared.
7. Some taxis in Malaysia may not go by meter
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While efforts are being made to regulate taxi charges, there are still some taxis that still don’t go by meter. It’s important to always ask for the fare before stepping into the car to avoid being overcharged.
8. You may experience language barrier
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A majority of Malaysians understand basic English, but you may still face language barriers especially in less touristy spots and smaller towns. While Bahasa Malaysia is the national language, some Malaysians can only speak in their mother tongue like Chinese (and its various dialects), Dusun, and Tamil. This is especially true outside big cities, which is why having a local driver-guide who speaks your language is extremely helpful.
9. For an unforgettable experience, try getting around on a trishaw
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Trishaws used to be a common mode of transportation in Malaysia up to the 70s. Now it’s mostly a tourist attraction, with some of them decked with elaborate ornaments, and you’ll only be able to find them in Penang and Melaka. Nevertheless, it’s still a nice way to go around the old town and experience the destination from a different perspective.
Sometimes, your experience travelling around a city is just as important as the destinations you visit. Getting stuck in traffic, being overcharged by taxis, or losing your way can make your trips frustrating. That’s why it’s always worth paying a little extra for convenience and complete peace of mind.
Joyzride is a private tour service that brings you around Malaysia—it’s like an overseas chauffeur that will pick you up and drop you off whenever you want to! You can book a 5-seater, 7-seater, and up to a 16-seater, and Joyzride will drive you to all your preferred holiday destinations.
What’s great about Joyzride is that:
- It’s super convenient and hassle-free. Why worry about calling for a cab or catching a train when you can have a private tour chauffeur drive you around all day?
- You can pick a driver that knows your language. Most of our drivers are multilingual, knowing Chinese, English, Bahasa Malaysia, and a variety of other dialects.
- You get to enjoy promo prices on travel destinations. Thanks to our partners, we are able to provide you special rates for entry tickets to popular destinations.
- It’s flexible and caters to your needs. Feeling like changing your itinerary or stopping by an extra spot? You can do all that and more when you get around with Joyzride.
Ready to visit Malaysia? Book your tour with Joyzride today for the best travel experience ever!