Situated at the crossroads of Southeast Asia, Malaysia is easily accessible from most parts of the world by air, surface and sea links. Over 45 international airlines fly into the country while the national carrier Malaysia Airlines, has a global network that spans six continents and a national network that covers more than 36 local destinations. It is complemented by Firefly, the community airline which services certain regional and domestic routes. The budget carrier AirAsia provides affordable air services to regional and several long-haul destinations.
A large number of visitors to Malaysia arrive by air. There are six international airports in Malaysia with the main gateway being the KL International Airport (KLIA) at Sepang in the state of Selangor. The rest of the country including Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Labuan in East Malaysia is well serviced by domestic airports and airstrips. The fully-computerised, state-of the-art KLIA which was opened in mid-1998 is one of the most modern airports in the world and has replaced the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang as the premier international gateway into Malaysia. The KLIA is a four-runway airport facility capable of handling an initial 25 million passengers per annum with facilities for expansion to 45 million passengers per annum.
Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCC-T)
The LCC Terminal is located about 20 km from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) Main Terminal Building. It especially caters to passangers of Malaysia?s first no-frills airline, AirAsia. There are feeder buses from the KLIA Main Terminal Building, KL Sentral Station and certain ERL and Komuter Train stations available to ferry passengers to this terminal. Alternatively, one can drive or hire a taxi to get to the LCCT. The airport terminal building has suitable rest, recreation, dining and duty-free shopping areas. Besides shops and restaurants, a recreational facility, the Hotel Airside Transit, offers a fitness centre with gym, steam and sauna. An international class hotel is located within walking distance from the terminal building. Car rental, bus and coach, taxi, limousine and rail services into the city of Kuala Lumpur and neighbouring towns are available at KLIA. KLIA is located about 50km from the city of Kuala Lumpur and linked via the ELITE Expressway which runs north to Kuala Lumpur. The journey takes about one hour. There is also a highway that runs east to the town of Nilai along the North-South Expressway. This expressway links the main towns on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Both Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo are accessible via their sea ports. Malaysia’s largest modern sea port is Port Klang, located midway on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It has excellent harbourage and is a major shipping and cargo terminal. Other sea ports are located in Penang and Langkawi, in the north of Peninsular Malaysia, Johor to the south, Kuantan on the East Coast and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.
WESTPORT & PULAU INDAH
Port Klang is already serviced by its North Port and South Port facilities but a recent development is the international harbour city, Westport located on the island of Pulau Indah, Iying just beside Port Klang. Pulau Indah is a free trade zone and is undergoing development as an industrial, commercial and residential hub. Recreational and tourism development projects include a marina and resorts.
The Westport stretching over 11km, with a natural depth of 14-18m is designed to be a high-tech regional port to ships from all over the world. It has a container terminal, large warehouse area and commercial centre. It is also the site of the largest cruise ship terminal in the Asia-Pacific region, known as the Star Cruises Terminal. Star Cruises is the major international leisure cruise line that calls at Penang, Port Klang, Melaka and Langkawi.
FerryLink operates a vehicular ferry service consisting of 4 trips daily on weekdays and 8 trips on weekends from Changi Point in Singapore (near the airport) to Tanjung Belungkor on the southern coastline of Peninsular Malaysia, facilitating speedier access to the popular beach resort of Desaru on Johor’s eastern coast.
By Road & Rail
Located 48km north of Alor Star in the northern state of Kedah, Bukit Kayu Hitam is the main entry point into Malaysia for visitors from Thailand. The Malaysian immigration and customs post is located near restaurants, shops, car parks and a duty-free shopping complex. The North-South Expressway links Bukit Kayu Hitam to Kuala Lumpur, 490km away. Padang Besar in Malaysia’s northernmost state of Perlis serves as another entry point. It is on the main rail route and a daily train service from Bangkok stops here. Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) or Malayan Railway provides the international express from Butterworth to Haadyai in Thailand and has regular services from Padang Besar to Kuala Lumpur and on to Singapore.
The exclusive Eastern and Oriental Express also romances this route on a nearly 2,000km journey from Singapore via Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok traversing the entire length of Peninsular Malaysia with frequent stops at scenic locations, over a two day period. Johor Bahru is the main southern entry point into Peninsular Malaysia for visitors entering Malaysia from Singapore. The North-South Expressway links Johor Bahru with Kuala Lumpur, 220km to the north. A causeway carrying a road and railway, connects Johor Bahru to Singapore. Immigration and Customs checkpoints are based at the entrance to the Causeway. A second bridge links Tanjung Kupang 30km south-west of Johor Bahru, to Tuas in Singapore. Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) has train services connecting Singapore to Johor Bahru and other states in the peninsula right up to Padang Besar on the Thailand border.
Getting around Malaysia is affordable and convenient. There are a variety of ways one can choose to move around while enjoying the interesting sights in the country. Public buses and taxis are one of the most popular modes of transportation in the country. The Light Rail Transit (LRT) services and other inter-city rail services offer hassle-free accessibility to well-known landmarks in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, as well as connections to outlying districts and nearby towns.
The railway network extends from neighbouring Singapore through the major cities and towns within Peninsular Malaysia up to Thailand on both the West and East Coasts. You can travel in air-conditioned comfort in daytime first class coaches with single or double berths. Second class coaches also have sleeping berths. There is a KTM Komuter Train Service from Kuala Lumpur, which connects several satellite towns around the city up to Port Klang and Seremban in Negeri Sembilan.