Faces of
Malaysia
Ipoh

Ipoh is the apital of the state of Perak and the fourth largest city of peninsular Malaysia with a population of 760,000 (Metro area: 1.4 Mil). It is scenically located amoung karst limestone hills in the Kinta Valley, about 2 1/2 hours north of Kuala Lumpur. The city is somehow forgotten by most travellers in Malaysia, however it has a lot to offer with many colonial buildings and shophouses (it used to be a very rich city around the turn of the 19th century due to tin mining) and the nature (hills, caves) around. Among Malaysians it is known for good food like the popular Ipoh Chicken Rice.

Cherating

Cherating is the only real backpacker hub at the east coast of the peninsula on the mainland. Offering plenty of affordable chalets and a relaxed atmosphere, it is good place to stop for a night or two on the way up or down the east coast. The beach itself is not that spectacular and misses the palm directly at the beach. But it has a good vibe and few things you can do like taking a tour or renting a kayak up the river into the mangroves. There is also an active surfer scene when the waves are right. Cherating is located about 30km or 1h by local bus north of Kuantan.

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Man in Kampung

Dangers and Scams in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a safe place for travellers in general. However, there a few scams and dangers but if you are aware of them you should be having a pleasant stay in this vibrant city.

The Poker Scam
The Poker Scam is infamous among the big cities in South-East Asia. Travellers will be approached by local-looking people at the major tourists spots in town. Usually they pick up a conversation mentioning some obvious things like "Oh, nice tattoo. Where did you get it?" or something along this line. The next question will be "Where are you from?". After that they will come up with a story that they have a family member going to your country soon for studying and invite you to their house. These people will appear very friendly and harmless but once you get to their house they will slowly but surely push you into participating in a poker game. You will eventually lose of course and you will be forced to withdraw money from the ATM. They might put something in your drink because quite a number of travellers lost thousands of dollars with this scam and it is still happening after years. If you are aware that this is how they are operating, just walk aware if they approach you.

Fake Monks
Chances are high that you will be approached by a monk at least once on a day walking around the city centre of Kuala Lumpur. These "monks" will approach you actively to ask for donations. However, they are not real monks. This is just their business of making money, putting on a monk robe, make tourists (and locals) believe they are for real and ask for money. They are said to make good money this way. The thing is, real buddhist monks are not allowed to beg for money, so don't be fooled!


Pick Pockets & Hand Bag Snatches
Pay attention to your valueables when you are in busy places such as in public transports during rush hour. Another common incident is when motorbike drives by and snatches hand bags. To be on the safe side, where your hand bags away from the road side.

Overpriced Taxis
Kuala Lumpur is said to have to worst Taxi situation among the South-East Asian capitals. It is not that easy to find a taxi that puts on the metre so mostly prices will be negotiated before you get in. As a rule of thumb you should pay something around RM10 to RM15 for trip within the city centre. The airport, KL Sentral train station and others have taxi counters where you can buy taxi coupons so use these to get a fair deal.

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