Heading to the Perhentian Islands? You may need a room in Kuala Besut, Malaysia
We arrived at the Sultan Mahmud Airport, Terengganu, Malaysia by 12:30 pm. Pick up at the airport was slick; no luggage as we travel carry on only, so we simply walked out where our pre-arranged (by our motel on the Perhentian Islands, Suhaila Palace) driver was waiting for us with a sign! The 1 hour 40 minutes drive to the IZ Budget Motel in Kuala Besut cost 130 ringgit / €28.10 / USD$31.77.
Don’t forget to pre-arrange checkin time because it is by appointment. Located above a clinic in a commercial strip mall, there are cafes, restaurants, a supermarket, taxi stand and bus station all within immediate walking distance.
A very friendly young man, possibly the owners’ son, checked us in. The room is very simple with a double bed, a shelf by the NOT international receptacles, air conditioning, large window and a very Asian wet bathroom with cold water only.
Clothing hooks with hangers, 2 towels, 2 blankets,shampoo and shower gel were the available amenities.
A nice community area with sofa, chairs, fridge, water kettle, cups, iron, ironing board, sink and television is in the entrance area.
Receptacles – please do remember to have an adaptor with you as the receptacle are Malaysian only.
There is only cold water, so be prepared for a chilly shower. The noise level from the traffic is loud, and it goes all night. Probably can be muffled with earplugs, so remember to bring some if you decide to stay here.
Unfortunately, we were content until night rolled around and karaoke started blaring right under our window. We kept hoping it would stop, but 10 pm, 11 pm and midnight all came and went and the music still blared. It shook the building on this Tuesday night. We called the owner and he said he would send someone. By 12:30 they packed up and finally left us in peace.
IZ Budget Motel Cost: 70 ringgit / €15 / USD$17
Would I recommend it? If you are a very deep sleeper, yes. If you value/need your sleep, stay away. The price is right, even with cold water!
How to get from Kuala Lumpur to Pulau Perhentian Islands Besar, the big island and Kecil, the small island including costs. A step by step guide.
We arrived in Kuala Lumpur with a 3 hour flight from Bali. After overnighting in an airport hotel, we flew to Kuala Terengganu where our pre-arranged driver picked us up. Our hotel, Suhaila Palace on Pulau Perhentian made the arrangement on our request.
The drive to Kuala Besut takes a little more than 1.5 hours. We booked IZ Budget Hotel to give us the opportunity to grocery shop (Island food supplies cost double of mainland price) for one night. Next morning transfer to the Jetty and Ferry across to the Island.
Prices: – Air Asia Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Terengganu €10 / US$12 pp – Transfer Airport to Kuala Besut 130 MYR / €28.50 / US$32 Hint: Grab would have been a better deal at 95 MYR – IZ Budget Hotel overnight 70 MYR / €15 / US$17 – Transfer to Besut Jetty FREE (from our pre-booked hotel, Suhaila Palace) – Ferry to Perhentian Islands (return): 70 MYR pp / €15 / US$17; be ready for some chaos and waiting .
Total cost for 2 persons: €68.50 / US$78
For interest: our flight from Denpasar, Bali to Kuala Lumpur with Malindo Air cost US$50 pp. In Kuala Lumpur we stayed in an airport hotel called the Bary Inn for 93 MYR / €20.50 / US$20 including airport transfers both ways! Excellent deal.
Also of Interest: – Supermarket Pasaraya Pantai Timur – for water, noodles, snacks, mosquito repellent, sun cream and anything else you may want or need on the islands Address: Lot 2812, Jai An Semiramis, Mukim Kuala Besut, 22300 Terengganu, Malaysia +60 17-953 3620 https://goo.gl/maps/yckU368UYiF2
– Best SIM for the Besar & Kecil Islands is CELCOM purchased at X PAX (across from the Chinese in the side street), 65 MYR for 20 GB + 10 GB. Although it does not work perfect all of the time, it worked most of the time and was 4G. Some other people used Maxis’s Hotlink and said it was also good. We also saw strong advertising for Mspot, a pay as you use for MYR 1 per hour, but nobody we met was using it.
– buy alcohol at Chinese restaurant, B.Sakura Seafood Restaurant,131, Jalan Besar Kuala Besut, 22300, Besut, Terengganu
– Take cash, there are no ATM machines on the islands.
Ferry Departure times start at 8 am and go until 4 pm. Private transfers can be arranged for other times.
Of possible interest, but we did not do it: VIP Bus from Jetty to Kuala Lumpur 45 MYR, 7 hours.
Within it’s price category, this hotel deserves a better star rating review than what you find online. The Bary Inn hotel Kuala Lumpur with airport shuttle, free parking, wifi and restaurant is simple but enough.
We wanted a room close to the airport due to a long day of travel, with shuttle, wifi and cheap, for one night. The Bary Inn, located a short 20 minutes away at No 1 Jalan 4, Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi Business Park, Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi, 43900 Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia seemed like a perfect choice.
Shuttle service included? Yes, but… We phoned the hotel at 4:50 pm to let them know we had arrived and they said the shuttle would arrive at 5:30, level 1, exit 3. We found the area by 5 pm and sat to wait. At 5:25 we called to reconfirm and they told us to call the driver. So we took the phone number and called the driver who said he would come at 6:30 pm. We called the hotel again and they said there was nothing they could do. We were tired from travelling and upset that we had to wait – not off to a good start. More about the shuttle further down.
Rather than waiting we ordered a Grab which finally arrived at 6:10 pm – on a different level, but ok. Cost 65 ringgit / €13.50 / USD$15.50. The drive to the hotel took around 25 minutes.
Check In was painless. Reception was friendly, reserved, maybe a little confused. He was not apologetic for the shuttle problem, rather wanted to get us to reserve it for the next day, I assume to avoid any further complications.
The Room: Not the Ritz, but value for dollar it definitely is. Clean, walls not too scuffed and a firm double bed with clean bedding. End tables, a desk with no chair, small tv, ceiling fan and air conditioning complete the small room with a highway window view. Yes, you can hear the traffic whizzing by, but it is muffled and I read there are rooms without windows, so traffic is not so bad. Lots of hooks to hang clothes is a thoughtful addition. Unfortunately, although there are international plugins / receptacles there is only one and none are by the bed, but there is a light switch. 2 courtesy bottles of water are included as is WiFi.
The Bathroom, is a simple bathroom with sink, toilet, and shower. Surprisingly, 2 single use shampoo packets and 2 small soap bars were available!
– 20 minutes from the airport
– Free shuttle
– Restaurants & Convenience Stores within walking distance
The shuttle worked great in the morning. Look for a white van with green Bary Inn on the left door and green Bas Persaran on the side.
Hotel Cost: 93 ringgit / €19.50 / USD$22.20
+ a deposit of 50 ringgit which we got back
Would I stay here again? Yes, it is perfectly located with only 20 minutes to the airport, clean and the price is amazing. Next time, I would make it very clear when our arrival is so there would be no complications with the shuttle.
Address: No 1 Jalan 4, Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi Business Park, Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi, 43900 Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia
Telephone: +60 3-8706 4267
Eat: Restoran Al Zain
Address: G/F No 57, Jalan 4 Medan 120, Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi, 43900 Sepang, Selangor
If you are looking for something to eat within walking distance, down the street is a fair priced local restaurant serving Roti, Noodles, Chicken and more. We ate there (sorry, no camera with me, no photos); Nasi Ayam, Magi soup, lemonade, ice tea and a large water for 17.80 ringgit / €3.90
The place was very busy with locals and travellers alike.
Top things to do on Langkawi Island? Our list includes Hiking trails, beaches, waterfalls, seafood, night markets and more, to name a few, all on a budget!
We flew with Air Asia from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi for $323.32 myr for 2 persons or €34 pp., with a luggage upgrade. A sandwich and water were included in the price. Flight time was approximately 1 hour. Currency is Malaysian Ringgits or rm.
The taxi from the Airport to our guest house, which was near Pantai Tengah beach was rm25. We booked Hotel Aurora Damai for 5 nights with a total cost of €86.14 or an average of €17 per night through Booking.com. Our duplex had a big room with a queen bed, desk, night table, Asian bath area, small tv, daily bottle of water, fresh towels day 3, water kettle in room (noodles!), and a patio with table & chairs; just 2 km to the beach and offering Moped rental.
We took a walk down to the Pantai Tengah beach (about 1/2 hour), people watched and then decided to search for a place to eat. After looking at menus of many restaurants, we decided to treat ourselves and eat at the Isländischen Seafood Restaurant at Cenang Beach. They have tanks filled with all kinds of seafood and you simply pick what you want and they cook it for you.
– 600 gram lobster rm22/100gram
– 400 grams tiger prawn rm12/100gram
Both prepared steamed garlic
– Thai fried chicken rice
– 1 Heineken draft
– 1 can Tiger beer w/ side can of sprite (to make radlers)
Total: 280 rm ?
The prawns and rice were very good, the lobster not so good. We grabbed a taxi from the beach to our hotel for 20rm
Day 2 – We started our morning with Cup of Soup made in the room and consumed on our patio. (rm2 x2) with a big 5.5 liter water for rm8 which we had picked up the night before at a corner store. Then we rented a moped for 3 days at a cost of rm90. (€19). We ended up adding one more, see total below. It was a little tricky driving at first, as they drive on the left side of the road! We filled the 1/2 full tank to full with gasoline for rm4 (€0.84).
On our way down to the beach, we dropped off our laundry at Langkawi Laundry to be washed. They weighed it in front of us and told us to pick it up in 5 hours for a total of 3.7 kg for rm16.65 . We stopped at the convenience store to pick up some canned vanilla iced coffee rm2.50 ea. and proceeded sightseeing on the bike.
After some time at the beach, we continued on and stopped at The Cliff on Cenang Beach where we had 2 tiger beer and 1 sprite for rm23.10. After a bit more sightseeing, our next stop was at Sugar, a little bar restaurant on Tengah Beach where a sign advertises Happy Hour from 4pm to 7pm. We discovered it was always happy hour if you asked!? We enjoyed 3 Tiger draft beers – rm5 each, a Singapore Sling – rm12, 1 sprite -rm5 and a serving of chicken and beef satay rm22 throughout the afternoon and early evening for a total of rm59.40.
We stopped at the grocery market and picked up a package of 5 spicy Mamee Noodles rm 7, 2 iced vanilla coffees rm2.20 ea., 2 chiang beer rm3.50 ea. and 1 Red Bull 3.30 for a total of rm22. Note : can buy beer! Big bonus as it is complicated in so many places off the beach due to religious beliefs.
For Dinner we chose Zhong Hua Lou Seafood Restaurant at the Tengah Beach area. Again, you pick your seafood, get it weighed, agree or disagree on the price and they prepare it for you. We had:
– Heineken rm5
– Coke light rm2.50
– Water rm n/c
– Prawns 510 grams @ rm22/100gram rm112.20
– Chicken fried rice rm20
– Noodle Chicken Soup rm6 Total: rm145.70 – Still expensive, but very price worthy for what you get. The food was delicious and the service was great.
Day 3 – We got up early, at our breakfast noodles and decided to do a self directed Island Tour. Sights we saw included the Eco Village, Oriental Village, Machinchang Cambrian Geoforest Park, beaches including Kok, Datai Bay, Teluk Yu and Tanjung Rhu, and the beautiful fish farm, all free to see. We passed by the tourist attractions of a crocodile farm, bat cave and horseback riding stables, but did not go in. The monkeys hanging out at the sides of the roads were free of charge, as were the Mangroves. I am horrified of heights, but I believe if you visit the island, you must ride the cable car up the mountains for the best views.
The Night Market is in a different location every day, but on this day the night market was in our area, so we decided to go. It was wall to wall people, a lot of them were tourists. I do not know where they hid during the day, but the market brought every curious body to one place. So many food stalls with a huge variety of local delicacies and drinks to choose from. Our choices were:
– a Shawarma style sandwich x 2 rm5 ea.
– Orange drink rm2 (this is how we secured a sitting area)
– Noodles x 2 rm3 ea.
– 3 fried chicken pieces for rm5
– 6 spring rolls rm3 Total rm26 – and every last bite was delicious!
Other costs throughout the evening included a Big water (5.5 liters) , Lychee Juice, Fuel, 2 Coffees and a coke. (added in costs below)
Day 4- After our Breakfast Noodles chased by 4 ice coffees, we headed back to Machinchang Cambrian Geoforest Park to continue exploring!!!? We parked our bike and did the short hike up to the Seven Wells Waterfall locally known as Air Terjun. It is incredibly beautiful; don’t forget to take your swimsuit!!! There are free washrooms, but no vendors, so take water with you. After enjoying cooling off at the falls, we continued the hike up the mountain to Telegah Tujuh or Seven Wells whereseven pools run into each other above the falls, creating little slides and basins to chill in. Cost: 0, nothing, nada!
Back at Pantai Tengah beach, I decided I had to try the Durian Fruit Ice cream, otherwise known as Stinkfruit; I am not sure what possessed me to do this stupidity, but did and it was horrible. Does anybody truly like this stuff? I would love to meet that person! The craziness cost a whopping rm10 – cheap lesson. My more reserved husband stuck with a Carlsberg beer for rm3.30 and found my situation amusing. At least the show of how they handmade the ice cream was good!
Our favorite cocktail bar Sugar helped wash the foul taste from my mouth as we sat on the beach sipping Singapore slings and Beers, watching the gorgeous sunset. (rm40.70)
Zhong Hua Lou Seafood Restaurant enticed us back for dinner; by now they make us feel like part of the family!
– Spring rolls rm15
– Red snapper ,fried w/ garlic rm60
– Tiger prawns rm66
– Large chicken fried rice rm20
– Coke rm2.50 and Sprite rm2.50 Total: rm166
Day 5 was just a relaxing Beach Day, but here is a rundown of our costs: Singapore slings x 2, Beers x 4 Total: rm22
Supermarket: Beers x 2 rm7, Coffees x 1 rm2, KFC ?for 2 rm36
Dinner: Zhong Hua Lou Seafood Restaurant
Rice, tiger prawns & sesame chicken rm120
Beers x 2 rm7 (for both) & Coke rm2.50
On Day 6 we grabbed a Taxi in the morning to the Airport for rm20 and took a flight from Langkawi to KLIA for myr323.32 (for both). The flight delay 2 hours. Our next destination is Bangkok.
Total Costs for 2 persons:
Lodging €86.14 (5 nights)
Motor bike €25.33
Food & drinks €256.96
Laundry: €5.40 Grand Total for 5 nights: €387.36 for 2 persons (excluding flights)
DO: rent a scooter/moped! It is the only way you can see and try everything at an affordable price (budget); but drive careful, at your own risk. DO: interact with the people. They are very friendly and helpful DO: show respect for their culture DO: understand sometimes they do not understand- make sure you are clear
Two Days in Kuala Lumpur, Backpacker Budget, Visit the top sights, Eat some good Food. Here is how we did it!
Kuala Lumpur, a bustling city showcasing the famous Petronas Twin Towers, the KL Tower, Bukit Bintang luxury district, Asian Fusion Foods and shopping with great prices for those on a budget. Chinatown was our hotel destination, Hop On Hop Off Bus helped us discover!
We booked our flight with Air Asia from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur for SGD$178 for both of us – Euro €118.50 or €59.25 pp. The flight was approximately 30 minutes.
Chinatown is an approximate 1 hour car drive or 38 minute train ride; the train is directly at the airport. It was cloudy and raining lightly on our arrival. A friend who lives in the city picked us up with his car, so we did not need transportation, however we did learn that taking a Taxi would have been cheaper than train!
The Currency is Malaysian Ringgit (myr or RM)
On our way to the City, we stopped for some food at a highway stop. (Like a truck stop) Our friend told us the best place to eat is the booth called Satay Kajang HJ Samuri. He recommended the Beef & Chicken Satay with peanut sauce & sambal (spicy)sauce, rice and cucumbers, explaining it is authentic Malaysian food. We ordered a large water with it and our bill came to a total of 35 myr = €7.43 / 3 People. The satay was very good with a strong barbecue flavor and a rich sauce.
We stayed at the Hotel Rain Forest for 2 nights with a cost of €46, booked through booking.com. It was a very simple, but clean room with single beds, small tv, desk, and a separate room with toilet, sink and in toilet shower with hot water.
Very friendly staff, especially the young lady at the front desk. Included in price is free water and of course, internet. Bring adapters and be forewarned, electricity works with key only; if you leave, devices quit charging. You may take gadgets to front desk while you are gone and they will charge them for you. The hotel is a perfect location for the bus station, food stalls, market & shopping. Hop On Hop Off bus picks up and stops around the corner at Hotel 5th Element.
Do not miss the crazy shopping at the Jalan Petaling Street Market where everything is for sale, bargaining is a must and food is your end reward!
Day 2 we bought a ticket for the Hop On Hop Off bus around the corner at the Hotel 5th Element for MYR 45 pp. In retrospect, perhaps we should have checked into booking a taxi driver for the tour? Make sure you check that and let us know! Unlike past experiences, the stops are long (sometimes 15 minutes), allowing people the time to hop off, run and take pictures and hop back on. There are 23 stops with supposedly 70+ attractions.
We stopped for lunch under the KL Tower, where assumedly the prices are higher as are the shops fancier. At the restaurant Fathima Food Corner, we ordered:
– Teh 3 Layer 3.80 myr (iced coffee tea) yum
– Green Apple Juice 3.80 myr good
– Goreng Ayam 8.80 myr (chicken noodles wit fried chicken leg) yum
– Sup 8.80 myr (soup) ok
– Char Kuey Teow 6.50 myr (broad noodle with seafood) ?not so good
Total Cost: $29 myr for 2 Side note ladies: the toilets are standing toilets
For Dinner, we were recommended Kedai Makanan Lim Kee chinese restaurant with plastic stools, wooden tables, pots & bowls topped with chopsticks sanitized at the table and an open kitchen.
Food style: Chinese / Bakut Teh
Food we ate:
– Dumplings Fried (side) 4 myr
– Soy dumpling (side) 6 myr
– Soup 1.50 myr
– Butter Prawns 38 myr
– White rice 4.50 myr
– Sweet Potato leaf 15 myr
– Pork rib soup 32 myr
– Sides of fresh chopped garlic and hot green chilis
– 2 large Tiger beer 18 myr ea., 1 tiger radler 5 myr
Food for 3, too much leftover: 140.50 myr
Day 3 and already we are on our way out the door. Quick stop at trusty McDonalds for:
– 1 spicy deluxe chicken burger 8.95 myr
– 1 Big Mac w/ fries & sprite 13.44 myr
and a Coke from the convenience store for rm1
Total: 23.39 myr
For Formula 1 fans, the F1 track is very close to airport KLIA and it is worth a quick stop for a look around. Entrance is free and there are often events going on. While we were there, they were racing motorbikes. Our Taxi from Chinatown to Airport KLIA was 90 myr + we offered an extra 30 myr to go to F1 track.
We at at the Airport: Dim Sum Restaurant
– Steamed Honey Glazed Chicken Bun rm8
– Steamed Vegetarian dumpling rm8
– Egg Noodle Won Ton Soup rm17
How to sum up Kuala Lumpur? Where old meets new, an Eclectic mix of fancy, trashy, rats and glamour. Definite must see!
Costs (Euro/per person):
Flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur: €59.25 per person (pp)
Highway food: €2.47 pp
Lodging (Rainforest Hotel): €33 per night
Hop On Hop Off: €9.55 pp
Fathima Food Corner lunch: €3.08 pp
Kedai Makanan Lim Kee Restaurant: €9.95 pp
Taxi to Airport KLIA: €19.12 + €6.37 for F1 Track
Airport Food: €4.35 pp Total Cost per person for 2 nights: €84.02 plus the flight
Rainforest Hotel: Address: 122, Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Kedai Makanan Lim Kee Restaurant – No. 54, Lorong Haji Taib Satu, Jalan Raja Laut, 50350 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2692 6915