Getting there – the modern country with the exotic touch of Asia
We went for our trip to Malaysia in March 2013. We have chosen this destination after having spent our first lovely holiday in Thailand one year before and when looking for new impressions throughout the region.
We arrived in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in the morning and we had some three hours to get to the Low Cost Carriers Terminal (LCCT). Although LCCT belonged to the same airport complex, getting there was not an easy thing. The choice of the transportation was between the bus and the taxi. Unfortunately, we opted for the bus and after some 15 minutes we found the bus terminal in the cellars of the airport. The bus was small, quite tired and not very comfortable so that loading the luggage to the bus become a serious challenge because of the narrow doors. After some 40 minutes drive we arrived at LCCT.
Today, the travellers do not have to bother that much. LCCT was closed and the new KLIA2 Terminal was opened to service low cost carriers. The rail service now connects both terminals and it take some 3 minutes to get from one terminal to the other one :-).
Malaysia allows the tourist like ourselves to feel like home. GDP per capita almost equals the Polish one. Even the currency exchange rate is almost 1 to 1 :-). Unlike in Thailand, there is no visible poverty and the quality of public services (i.e. transportation) is not bad at all. There are more traditional and more luxurious residential districts and commercial zones, however they all do not deviate much from European standards, except of the monkeys climbing telecom installations everywhere.
Like all other Far Eastern nations Malaysians are very friendly, always ready to help or just to have a chat in the bus. There is quite significant Indian minority living there, which gives another boost to the visitors who can easily find “Little India” districts in every bigger city.
As compared with Thailand, Malaysia is also more expensive in terms of public services, shops or restaurants. Although being formally a Muslim country, Malysian Islam has a very tolerant face. One one side it attracts plenty of tourists from traditional Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, on the other one purchase of alcohol in the local supermarkets or restaurants does not create any problem.