Malaysia Transport

Get in


National carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has extensive worldwide network coverage and regularly ranks high in airline quality assessments. Most international flights land at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Other airports which have significant numbers of flights to regional destinations are Kota Kinabalu (Sabah), Kuching (Sarawak), Penang, Langkawi and Johor Bahru. Many major Malaysian cities have service to Singapore via AirAsia or Firefly.


Long-distance trains in Malaysia can rarely match road transport in terms of speed, but state operator Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) provides relatively inexpensive and generally reliable services around Peninsular Malaysia. The main western line connects Butterworth, Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru, while the eastern line runs through Gua Musang and the Taman Negara National Park to Kota Bharu. Tickets can be booked and even printed online at KTMB's site.


Ferries connect various points in Peninsular Malaysia with Sumatra in Indonesia and southern Thailand, Sarawak with Brunei, and Sabah with East Kalimantan in Indonesia and Mindanao in the Philippines. Luxury cruises also run from Singapore and sometimes Phuket (Thailand) to Malaysia.
Get around


The cheapest way to travel in Malaysia is by bus. All towns of any size have a bus terminal offering connections to other parts of the country. Two of the largest and more reliable companies of varying degrees of dependability are Transnasional and NICE/Plusliner. It is advisable to purchase tickets online directly from the bus operators or OTAs. If travelling on holidays or even over the weekend, it is advisable to reserve your seats in advance.


Taxis are available in all cities and larger towns, although in smaller places you may have to call one. You will generally need to negotiate the fare in advance, although prepaid coupon taxis are usually available at airports. RM5 should suffice for a short cross-town trip, while RM100 is enough to hire a taxi for a full day. Ensure that the taxi driver is a Malaysian before you board, as unscrupulous taxi owners have been known to rent their taxi out to unlicensed stand-ins. And beware of unlicensed taxis at the airports.


Cars and motorcycles are the best and sometimes the only way to explore the country. Traffic in Malaysia drives on the left, a legacy left by the British. It should be advised, beware of reckless motorcyclists, especially during the night, and especially if you are a pedestrian. As a motorist, at traffic lights, they will accumulate in front of you, let them drive away first to avoid accidents. Most rental agencies will require a valid drivers licence to be presented upon rental, some also require you to have a valid credit card. The bigger car rental companies is Hertz and Avis.