Travel tips: How easy is it to train, bus or drive around Malaysia, especially for a trip to Sabah?

TWO OF US WOULD LIKE TO TRAVEL IN MALAYSIA INDEPENDENTLY FOR 18 DAYS. WE ARE NOT SURE ABOUT DRIVING OURSELVES. WE WANT TO KNOW ABOUT TRAINS AND BUSES, WHERE TO VISIT AND WOULD LOVE A SIDE TRIP TO SABAH. J. EATHER, AVALON BEACH NSW

Malaysia is one of the easiest countries you could find to drive around. There are a couple of places where a vehicle is really useful, namely the east coast and the Cameron Highlands. They're both well worth visiting but if your plans don't include either there's really no need for a car. Trains and buses are just fine for getting to Melaka, Kuala Lumpur and the island of Penang. In Sabah you're better off relying on local tourist operators. Highlights include the climb up Mount Kinabalu, but it's a tough slog since you go from sea level to over 3000 metres in just one day, then a pre-dawn start to make the 4095m summit before sunrise. Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is another high, topped off with a couple of nights at a lodge along the Kinabatangan River.

You might follow this up with a few days on Langkawi Island, Malaysia's version of tropical paradise.

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