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Travel and accommodation costs for cosmetic surgery in Malaysia

Malaysia has international airports at Penang, Langkawi, Johor Bahru, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Labuan but the main international airport is the Kuala Lumpur 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 served by 14 domestic airports and airstrips.  KLIA is located about 80km from the centre of Kuala Lumpur and is a state-of the-art airport featuring automated shuttle system linking the satellite building (where passengers disembark), to the airport terminal building where immigration and customs takes place, with a connection time of just two minutes.

Getting to/from the airport

Car rental, bus, coach, taxi, limousine and rail services into Kuala Lumpur and neighbouring towns are available at the airport.  The limousine taxi service (for which a fixed price journey coupon must be bought in advance) takes around one hour into the centre of town and there are two rates; RM67 for the budget taxi and RM92 for the premier car.  There are two train services running between the airport and Kuala Lumpur; the KLIA Expres and the KLIA Transit.  KLIA Expres trains depart every 15 minutes in peak hours, and every 20 minutes in off peak periods (between 9am and 4pm and from 10pm to midnight).  The journey time to Kuala Lumpur Sentral station is less than half an hour and tickets cost around RM35.  The last Expres train leaves KL Sentral and KLIA at 12.00 midnight.  The KLIA Transit trains depart every 30 minutes, the last train from KLIA is at 1am and the last train from KL Sentral at 00.03 hrs.  Additionally, the Airport Express Coach departs KLIA every hour from 5am to 10.30pm to Jalan Duta and costs RM20 per person.

By road, visitors may travel via the ELITE highway or the North-South Expressway.  The North-South Expressway also links the main towns on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, and Malaysia can be reached by road from Thailand and Singapore. Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Singapore Airlines run shuttle services between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore every half hour.

There are over 45 international airlines flying into Malaysia from all over the world and Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has a global network which spans six continents.  Malaysia Airlines flies directly to Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Langkawi from London Heathrow and Manchester.  A return fare will cost around £692 inclusive.  To get the lowest airfares it is advisable to travel in the low season and during the week if at all possible.

Travelling within the country

The modernisation of Malaysia has made travel within the country much easier.  Malaysia Airlines has domestic services to over 36 local destinations and AirAsia, Malaysia's no frills budget airline also has services to most major tourist destinations.  Berjaya Air flies to islands such as Tioman and Pangkor on the east coast.

Malaysian Railways (KTM Berhad) has a network which runs between Singapore, the Malaysian Peninsular and into Thailand in the north with express services calling only at major towns to reduce journey time and there are various rail packages to destinations within Malaysia.  KTM trains operate night and day services from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and to Tumpat near Kota Bharu on the east coast.  From Bangkok the International Express leaves daily for Butterworth in Penang where passengers can connect with Kuala Lumpur.  The trains are comfortable and equipped with rest cars.  The islands of Pangkor, Penang and Langkawi can be reached by ferry.

All towns have good public transport.  Taxis are metered and in Kuala Lumpur they are either yellow and black, or red and white.  Watch out for bogus taxis which operate in tourist areas and charge a much higher rate than the registered ones, these unlicensed taxis are called ‘teksi sapu’ or ‘kereta sapu’.  In towns such as Kota Bharu, Kuala Terengganu, Georgetown, Penang and Melaka the three wheeled Trishaws are a good (if slower) way to take in the sights.  Interstate taxis (the old Mercedes Benz vehicles) travel to all destinations in the country and are a much quicker option than the bus.  The taxi is usually shared with other passengers.

There are three types of buses in Malaysia; non air conditioned ones which run between the states, air conditioned buses which connect the major towns and non air conditioned buses within each state.  Plusliner coaches pick up and drop off passengers at the old Kuala Lumpur railway station with daily coach services to various cities and a service to Singapore, which takes four hours.

Driving

Driving is good in Peninsular Malaysia with an excellent network of roads and dual carriageways on the west coast and having a car is great to get off the beaten track and see more of the real Malaysia.  The cities on the west coast are linked by the North-South Highway and driving along the east gives the driver a real taste of Malaysia driving past rubber plantations and rice paddies.

There is plenty of choice of hotel accommodation in Kuala Lumpur.  The average price for a standard double room is between 200 and 400 Ringgits in a three to four star hotel during the peak period.  A room in a luxury hotel will cost around 800 Ringgits.

The unit of currency is Malaysian Ringgit and £1 = around 7 Malaysia Ringgits (MYR).  Malaysia is eight hours ahead of GMT.

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