Kuala Lumpur is a hub for connections out of the city! Not to mention that Malaysia has so many different diverse locations, from mountains, to white sand beaches on islands and the jungle! It’s so easy, and cheap, to grab a domestic flight, but also interantional flights to surrounding countries like Singapore and Indonesia! In this post I’m going to talk about a few trips I made while staying in Kuala Lumpur, how we travelled and what we did!
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo
Sabah is a northern state in Malaysia and it is also the capital of Malaysian Borneo. Kota Kinabalu is the coastal capital city that provides a relaxing getaway. It’s about a 2 and a half hour flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu.
We booked our tickets roughly 6 weeks in advance but you can probably book them closer to the time as well! We used Air Asia as they have good prices and most domestic flights are Air Asia flights!
It cost RM 681 / £125 for two return tickets, including 1 checked 20kg bag.
Where to Stay
We stayed for 4 days, 3 nights. Although to be honest, as we weren’t able to do a Mount Kinabalu tour, I feel like 3 days/2 nights would have sufficed. We booked an apartment on booking.com, it was slightly out out the city but only a 10m (Grab) drive out. You could walk down the costal promenade too, if the weather is good!
We booked this as it actually worked out cheaper than staying in a hotel in the city. Also you get a whole apartment to yourself! This is perfect if you’re travelling as a family or with friends as you can share the cost. The apartment had 2 bedrooms and sleeps 4 people. Be aware that there are affiliate links in this post which just means that if you book through my link, I’ll get a small commission to help me run my blog, but there will be no extra cost for you, sound good? You can book it here. It’s called Seaside Parkway Lodge.
What to do there
Well I’d say the two main attractions are island beaches and Mount Kinabalu. My favourite day was the day we went island hopping around 2 of the 5 islands part of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.
Also Kota Kinabalu has some of the most amazing sunsets I’ve seen! Seriously we caught two stunning sunsets! Definitely worth a visit just to see them.
One of the best spots to watch the sunset is Tanjung Aru beach! You can watch the video below to see why!
As for visiting Mount Kinabalu, there are many options, from a quick day trip to explore the national park there, to full on expeditions to climb up. However it was slightly out of budget for us as we were trying to keep costs low. But if it’s something you’re interested in then it sounds amazing! We instead spent our last day exploring the markets in the city, including the Central Market and the Handicraft Market.
Now we actually visited Langkwai island about a year ago. It’s on the West side of Malaysia, further north than Kuala Lumpur. And the perfect island getaway! I loved Langkawi, I mean I am an island person, I love palm trees, beautiful beaches and enjoying the sunshine! So it was the perfect relaxing two days that we needed after a mad journey around Malaysia!
How to get there
You can actually take a train, bus or plane to Langkwai from Kuala Lumpur. However the easiest way for us was to take a flight, it actually worked out cheaper than a couple of the other options! It cost RM 220 / £40 per person for a return ticket… not bad at all! The flight is about an hour and again we used Air Asia. To find out more info about the other methods of transport to Langkawi click here.
What to do there
There is actually a lot to do and see in Langkawi! I wish I had more time! But also I think we managed to squeeze a lot into our short stay. The thing I loved most, obviously, was island hopping! It only cost RM 50 / £10 per person for a 3 hour boat ride, visiting 3 islands (well 2 really, we didn’t stop at one). But it was amazing!
Another attraction in Langkawi is the cable cars, which unfortunately we weren’t able to go up as it was windy that day 😨. But from photos I’ve seen it’s worth the trip!
I have another post with all the things we did in Langkawi.
With Singapore being right next to Malaysia, it’s so easy to travel there. As I was staying so close, I couldn’t resist the chance to check another country off my list. Although I’ll be honest 48 hours is not really long enough to explore Singapore as there is so much to do and see! However its still worth a visit and we did as much as we could. I’ll just have to go back someday to properly explore!
You can take a bus, a plane or a train! The cheapest option though is the bus, also the longest. But we were trying to keep costs down for our weekend getaway as we know Singapore is quite expensive!
We booked our bus tickets through easybook.com it’s quite easy to book, and there are various pickup and drop off points. It’s about a 5/6 hour journey depending on the route and times. Also it cost us about 200 RM / €40 for two return tickets, so €20 each. That’s pretty good for travelling to another country! (It’s cost me more sometimes to travel from Bath where I studied to London 😨). Also the coaches are very spacious with comfortable reclining seats, I was quite impressed.
However you do sometimes get what you pay for. The company we booked with going, Billion Stars, proved to be unreliable for our journey. Long story short, it didn’t turn up after we went through Malaysian immigration and had to get on a different bus. Then when we went through Singapore’s immigration, the queue was so long it took about an hour, which meant that the bus left without us! We ended up having to pay 10RM /€2 to take another bus into town, which isn’t terrible but still very badly organised. However on our way back the journey was very smooth. It was with Star Qistna Express who, in our experience, were much more organised. Also, because it was a nighttime journey there were no immigration queues it was all very quick. But then again I have heard generally that sometimes the buses can be unreliable, not sure how much difference which company you choose makes, this was just our experience! Saying that next time I’ll be flying 😅.
Where to stay
Well if you’re trying to keep costs low, and just need a place to leave your stuff and sleep, then why not try a capsule hostel?? Better yet a GALAXY capsule hostel? We stayed at the Galaxy Pods Hostel which is located in Chinatown. It’s a 5m walk from the train station, and 2-4 stops aways from the main locations like Marina Bay and Gardens by the Bay. You can book it here.
If you don’t feel like sleeping in a space pod then you can search for other hotels here.
What to do
I mean do I have to say that there’s so much to do and see in Singapore (wait I think I already did). Well here’s a quick list of the things we did:
Gardens by the Bay – at daytime and nighttime. Make sure you catch the light show!
Did you know theres a Friends replica cafe, with props, sets and a themed menu!
Marina Bay Sands – looks beautiful at night.
We went to an exhibition at the Artscience Museum, we loved it!
Well I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, let me know in the comments which trip seems like one you would take! Are you more of a lounge-on-the-island-beach person, or big-city-getaway person??
Make sure to follow all my social medias, and blog! Until next time 😘