Blessed with a tapestry of cultures, lush landscapes, and captivating history, Malaysia’s West Coast beckons with an enchanting blend of modernity and tradition. From the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur to the UNESCO-listed Malacca City, and the pristine beaches of Penang, this open-jaw adventure promises a kaleidoscope of experiences.
- Island Hopping – Phuket to Penang
- Mainland – Malaysia West Coast
- Our 30-day Budget
- Boat Schedules
Our ‘Open Jaw’ Schedule
If you’re planning a multi-destination road trip, then booking an open-jaw flight can be a godsend. Our Malaysia west coast journey would actually start in Phuket, Thailand – just north of the Thai-Malaysian border.
Our flight from Europe would be a Turkish Airlines open-jaw, arriving in Phuket to begin our trip, and taking us back home 4 weeks later from Kuala Lumpur.
The cost of our flight ticket was €674 per person. Although we could have booked a cheaper standard-return flight, the advantage of open-jaw meant we wouldn’t have to double-back to our original destination. It would also save on additional transit expenses in Malaysia.
Island Hopping – Phuket to Penang
The first couple of weeks of our trip involved some island hopping between Phuket, Langkawi and Penang. Despite their close proximity to each other, these are 3 very different types of island. Phuket is quite commercial, whereas Langkawi is much less-developed and laid-back. Penang is culturally the most diverse of the three.
Something for everyone, then 😎
We planned to take a flight from Phuket to Langkawi, and then a boat onwards to Penang.
Starting in Phuket
We would be sharing a villa for our 3-day stay in Phuket, strategically located between the beaches on both sides of the island.
A healthy diet of spicy Thai food would make a great start to our journey.
Phuket to Langkawi
We’d be basing ourselves at 2 locations on opposite sides of the island. The first of these in a mid-range hotel in the capital – Kuah, the second location in a Malay-style house close to the popular beach areas around Pantai Cenang.
Langkawi to Penang
From Langkawi we would travel by boat across the Andaman sea to Penang – a smaller but more built-up and densely-populated island.
Here we would be spending 7 days in the modern and slightly glitzy Neo+ hotel close to the center of Georgetown. Preparations for Chinese New Year would be well under way, so we could expect plenty of color and animation.
Mainland – Malaysia West Coast
Following a week in Penang, we planned to take a bus onto the Malaysian mainland and then down the coast to the old Dutch city of Melaka. This would be followed by a couple of days in the beach resort of Port Dixon.
The final week of our trip would be spent in Kuala Lumpur, where we would rent an apartment close to KLCC – in the heart of the city.
Penang to Melaka
We planned to spend just 3 nights in Melaka, more than enough time to take in the city and sample their celebrated night markets and hotels. This would also give us the opportunity to visit the shopping malls and hopefully pick up some bargains.
Melaka to Port Dickson
The holiday resort of Port Dickson would be our last taste of the sea before heading back to Kuala Lumpur for the final stage of our journey. We booked 2 nights at the Klana Beach Resort, right next to the observatory.
We were hoping to combine our beach-walking with a little star-gazing.
Port Dixon to Kuala Lumpur
For a relaxing end to our trip, we arranged a serviced apartment suite in Kuala Lumpur, within 20-minutes walk of the Petronas Towers.
By this time, Chinese New Year would be in full swing, so there would be plenty to see and do. On our priority list was a trip to the famous Bird Park, as well as a visit to the unique infinity pool at level 51 of The Face.
Our 30-day Budget
Unsurprisingly for a journey such as this to South East Asia, the lion share of the costs are taken up by the flights. A total of €1,500 per person for the return open-jaw flight from Europe plus a couple of internal hops from Thailand to Malaysia.
Other costs included an average of €35 per night for our hotels (based on 2 people sharing), and a daily allowance of €45 per day (again for 2 people).
This totals out at an estimate of €1,950 inclusive per person for the 30-day trip.
So, getting away from the worst of a European winter, we planned to pay just under €2,000 per person – all-inclusive – for a month in the tropics.
Not bad if we could pull it off.
If you would like to learn more about our trip, check out how it began with our first experiences in Phuket.
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