- Malaysia 2013 (KL, KK, Garama river, Sepilok, Sandakan, Tabin, Mantanani, Tiga): The idea for this year's trip to Malaysia was to visit a number of places in Sabah where I had not been before. Essentially the trip consisted of a few days in Kuala Lumpur, followed by nine days in Sabah and one day in Singapore.
In Sabah I explored some islands, such as Mantanani, Tiga, Berhala and the Tunku Abdul Rahman national park. Now, having seen these islands, I wouldn't recommend any for a beach holiday. The only island with nice beaches and seawater is Mantanani, but it lacks good accommodation and there are sandflies.
I visited also a number of wildlife locations ... read more
- Malaysia 2012 (islands off Semporna, KL): In 2012 I spent a bit over a week in Malaysia, travelling to Sabah and spending a few days in KL before flying back to Munich via Dubai. Arriving from Jakarta I travelled via Kota Kinabalu to Semporna to explore a bit the area. This has been my third trip to Semporna, after a first one in 2000 and a second trip in 2008.
Since my last visit in 2008 the touristic infrastructure in Semporna has further developed with the addition of a number of hotels and restaurants.
Accomodation on the islands off Semporna remains limited to very expensive resorts on a few islands with the exception of the budget huts of Uncle Chang on Mabul.
This makes these islands (and there are plenty of islands off Semporna) still not suitable for backpackers or people unwilling to pay high prices for accomodation. In other words these islands ... read more
- Malaysia 2011 (KL, Pinang, KK, Kudat, Tip of Borneo): This was a brief 10 days trip to Malaysia meant to relax a bit after the intensive Iran trip. Basically I spent a few days in KL, four nights in Pinang and three nights in Sabah.
Pinang was chosen because it offers a mix of beach activities and sightseeing due to the proximity to Georgetown and other sites on Pinang island. The beach is nothing special and in fact the sea water is unbelievably dirty, but it was nice to spend a few days on the sea with the family. Pinang has - together with Melaka - been nominated as a UNESCO world heritage site, due to its rich colonial heritage.
The area around the Tip of Borneo is interesting and suitable for a mix of beach holiday and cultural experience. There are ... read more
- Malaysia 2010 (KL, Mulu Pinnacles, Singapore, Lang Tengah, Kapas, Perak, NPs near Kuching, Labuan, Brunei, Dubai): I travel to Malaysia every year, so I'm quite used to the country and there is not much that surprises me. The interesting thing this year was the sharp increase in prices, especially for what concerns taxis in KL and some restaurants. Apparently in the past year prices for some basic goods (petrol, food etc.) have increased substantially in Malaysia, prompting sharp price increases in some sectors.
For this trip I had no predefined schedule when I arrived to Malaysia. I was hoping to visit the Ulu Muda reserve and therefore tried to be flexible timewise, in case it would have been possible to visit this reserve.
It turned out that ... read more
- Malaysia 2009 (KL, Johor Bahru, Mersing, Seribuat islands, Teluk Intan, Sematan, Tanjung Datu, Gunung Gading and Similajau NPs): In this trip I visited a few places in Malaysia for the first time: Johor Bahru, the islands around Mersing (Seribuat archipelago), the western tip of Sarawak (Sematan, the Gunung Gading and Tanjung Datu NPs) and the Similajau national park.
Not every tourist development in Malaysia is a success story: the Seribuat archipelago now is receiving less visitors than years ago and a number of resorts have closed.
In Malaysia western tourists can walk around the streets without being bothered by people trying to sell something. In some ... read more
- Malaysia 2008-09 (KL, Langkawi, Labuk bay, Kinabatangan river, Danum valley and the islands off Semporna): For this trip I combined an initial stay in KL with a few days of beach on Langkawi island, followed by 10 days spent in Malaysian Borneo (Sarawak and Sabah). Malaysia hasn't changed much since my last visit, although the prices for accommodation keep rising (and this already for a number of years). The days spent in Sabah were quite interesting and gave me a chance to see rare wildflie especially in Labuk bay and the Kinabatangan river area. It was interesting to see that islands around Semporna are now accessible at affordable prices, given that a number of operators (Scubajunkie, Sipadan scuba, Uncle Chang) targeting the backpacker market have now established themselves. Semporna has ... read more
- Malaysia 2007 (Kuala Lumpur): This year's trip to Malaysia consisted of two brief stays in Kuala Lumpur, a three days one before the trip to Japan and another three days one after the trip to Macau before flying back to Germany, and one night spent in KL on November 10th between the Japan and the Macau trip.
Not much has changed in KL since our last visit, although you can see that the infrastructure is aging. Malaysia seems to go through a phase of stagnation, with a slowly growing economy and not rising wages. For instance ... read more
- Malaysia 2006-07 (Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Genting highlands): I stopped in Malaysia for a total of eight days, between trips to Dubai and Cambodia and Vietnam. On December 12th-13th I got the Vietnam visa in KL and acclimatised a bit, then I spent another six days between December 29th and January 4th with my wife and daughter in KL, before heading back home.
Malaysia hasn't changed much since my last visit in January 2006. The pace of development has slowed considerably since the 1990s, but there are ... read more
- Malaysia 2006 (Kuala Lumpur, Teluk Intan): This was a short, four day visit to KL and Teluk Intan (Perak), embedded in an Asia trip touching Thailand and China.
Malaysia hasn't changed much since last year. The only thing I noticed is that now the hotels are getting slowly more expensive. You can no longer stay in a four star hotel in Kuala Lumpur for 140 RM, as was the case ... read more
- Malaysia 2003 (KL, Kuching, Bako NP, Miri, Mulu NP, Belaga, Rejang river, Sibu, Kelabit highlands, Brunei, Mt Kinabalu, KK, Kota Belud, Perhentian, Redang): This is a report of our trip to Malaysia in August-September 2003. The focus of this trip to Malaysia was mainly Borneo (Sarawak and Sabah) and I also briefly visited the West Malaysian states of Kelantan and Terengganu. Shirley (my wife) travelled together with me in Sarawak for the first week, after which she flew back to KL to spend some time with family and friends and do some shopping, while I continued my trip across Malaysia alone. I met Shirley again in KL.
To save time we relied extensively on flights to ... read more
- Malaysia 2002 (Kuala Lumpur, Teluk Intan, Melaka, Langkawi): This is a report of our trip to Malaysia in November-December 2002. In the first two weeks of December we organised our Chinese wedding (traditional Chinese wedding in Shirley's home town Teluk Intan on December 7th, wedding photo session on December 13th and party with friends in KL on December 14th). In between, while Shirley was busy shopping and meeting friends in KL, I made some brief trips to Melaka and Langkawi. Between December 15th and 29th ... read more
- Sabah 2001 (Mt Kinabalu, Sandakan, Sepilok): In 2000-2001 I did two trips to Sabah, the first between January 24th and February 5th, 2000 and the second between January 8th and 12th, 2001.
In January 2000 I initially flew to Kota Kinabalu. After visiting the town I drove by bus to the Mount Kinabalu National park, home of the highest mountain between the Himalaya and Papua New Guinea. After climbing the peak I stayed for one night at Poring Hot Springs then continued the next day by bus to the Sepilok Orang Utan rehabilitation centre near Sandakan. After visiting the centre I left for Sandakan and booked a two day stay at Uncle Tan's jungle camp along the Kinabatangan river. These two days ... read more