Our trip to Malaysia was coordinated by Nick,...
Malaysia | Mar 21 - Mar 31, 2024

Caroline C.
Canada | Reviewed on Apr 04, 2024

Our trip to Malaysia was coordinated by Nick, of Kimkim Tours. This was our first trip to Malaysia, so we elected to hire a local company to arrange our transport and activities. Nick presented us with a well-organized tour, and he was quick to reply via WhatsApp to any our inquiries or concerns. The itinerary provided was appropriate for the amount of time that we had, and accommodated the sites and activities we wanted to do on our overview trip of Malaysia. The hotels booked for us were generally well-situated and good quality. Our local guides Zana (Langkawi) and Jason (Cameron Heights, Kuala Lumpur, Malaka) were also great.

Our only hiccups of the trip of the trip included a missed pickup by our driver after we disembarked our ferry at Kualeh Kedah, which was a mis-booking of the company. We ended up hiring a local taxi to get us from Kualeh Kedah to Penang. The company promptly reimbursed us for the 200 ringgit fare that we paid.

Also, we ended up cancelling a planned cycling tour of Penang, not realizing when we booked the tour the hot weather and lack of safe bike lanes would not be conducive to safely biking, nor making the best use of our time. We hired a local driver instead who showed us the city highlights, including Penang Hill, temple, and other sites.

We both thoroughly enjoyed our first trip to Malaysia, and hope to return in the near future. We would recommend using Kimkim tours to help plan your tour.
Henry and Caroline

Jason was our driver and tour guide from Cameron Hills to Kuala Lumpur, and then on to Melaka. It was a great pleasure having Jason as our guide, as we found him to be not only attentive and courteous, but also a wealth of knowledge with respect to the history of Malaysia. As we have travelled extensively, we fully appreciate having knowledgable guides leading a tour. There are many things we did not know about the history of Malaysia with respect to its involvement in previous wars, the dynamics of its diverse ethnicities, and political leaders.

Jason arrived well before our scheduled pick up times, and having stops with local vendors was a nice touch. The cendol dessert with Durian was a treat!
Jason is one of the best tour guides we’ve had, and his ability to connect with his guests is his greatest asset. We both highly recommend Jason as a guide.

Henry and Caroline


We had a lovely time with Zana who was our driver and tour guide during our stay in Langkawi. She was very caring and attentive to our needs. Zana taught us about Muslim traditions and Ramadan, and took us to a variety of temples, including some that were not on the schedule. As we are both into photography, she made sure we visited scenic sites such as the eagle monument and Tanjung Rhu beach. She also brought us to a popular street market where we enjoyed the food and drink. Zana made certain that we made it to the ferry to Kuala Kedah on time, and followed up with us after the ferry ride to make sure that we were OK. We were both very happy with Zana‘s professionalism and kindness, and would recommend her as a guide without hesitation.

Henry and Caroline
Jason Ong
Driver from Melaka to Singapore was very efficient and talked to us about the Malaysian history in Hokkien/ English.
We enjoyed his company.

Hotel Reviews
Holiday Villa Beach Resort & Spa Langkawi

Our experience started off good, but we ended with a bad taste. Beware about the cash deposits this hotel takes when you check in. It is the first time we have been to Langkawi and we stayed at the Holiday Villa resort. The facility is close to restaurants outside, and the beach and sunset views were terrific. It is not a new hotel and I was fine with that. Some of the room renovations they did were not finished particularly well such as the flooring connecting to the bathroom which was not level. This was a tripping hazard, but we were willing to overlook that. Service was good from the beginning to the middle except at the very end when we checked out. When you first check into the hotel, they ask for a 200 ringgit cash deposit which I did and they gave me a receipt. I thought a cash deposit was odd, as hotels we’ve been to normally just do a pre-authorization on your credit card. Upon check out at the reception desk, a lady named Diana wanted me to present a receipt to prove to her that we had paid the 200 ringgit. I wasn’t aware that we had to present the receipt as I packed everything already in my bags. She insisted that I have to give her the receipt before I get my deposit, and I asked her “don’t you have a copy in your receipt book?” She said that she would have to go to the back office to get it. I told her I would have to unpack and repack my luggage to get the receipt. I asked her again for the deposit, and she still insisted that I needed to present my copy that I was paid. My husband arrived at the front desk, and said “what’s the problem, you should have a copy in your receipt book?” She immediately presented the receipt book with the page already open to the copy of the receipt with my signature on it. She said “it’s ok I have it” and showed my husband. She then gave me back the deposit and I signed the book to confirm I received it. The receipt book was never in the back office and was there on the desk all along. Obviously Diana lied that the receipt was at the back office that she had to get it. I later read in another review that the guest also had problems getting their room deposit back. The guest said that they had not received the deposit back after a month and a half. It is not clear if they received it in the end. Nevertheless, a guest should not have to go through with this charade at the end of their stay. I have a suggestion for this resort: Please do not insist on taking a cash deposit for a guest’s stay, and putting the onus on the guest to get the deposit back. Take a credit card pre-authorization only like other reputable hotels do. Cash is also more difficult to account for and can easily go missing. We were otherwise satisfied with the good service of the room cleaner, waiter, bell boy, and restaurant staff. Unfortunately, this game Diana played at the end of not initially returning the cash deposit ruined our stay. Beware of giving a cash deposit to this hotel!

Authenticity & Character
The feeling of being tropical.
Beachfront and close to the restaurants outside. Bobbi’s restaurant was so good.
All were five stars but Diana was no stars and brought everyone who worked hard down. What a world of difference to Marina bay sands. in Singapore. No smiles. No passion in her job. No warm fuzzy feeling. The bell boy at night was always smiling greeted us when he sees us. That should be the case.
Cleanliness & Comfort
The water bottle supplied - the bottles were recycled and dirty looking. We were afraid to touch. No seal.
Hotel Royale Chulan KL
Kuala Lumpur

Fantastic location. Concierge Zuri had great suggestions which made our Penang trip memorable. He recommended where to eat and Balay taxi. Who took us all over for 8 hours. We had Morally who catered to our needs and brought us to many places and to this wonderful and reasonably priced chicken rice restaurant. We also went to coffee tree and got to sample many tea and coffee. He catered to our needs - to take pictures of the wall art. And took us to the biggest temple keh lok si and Penang hllls )(told us to take the funicular ) My highlights were the upside down museum and the temples. Morally took us to the best coconut stands - young tender coconut meat. Hotel has one of the best breakfast.

Authenticity & Character
Close to little India , bank , hawker market?Chew Getty
Friendly but the front staff could be more friendlier and warmer. Smile more. Be more welcoming. Greet the guest with their names. Again my base line is Marina bay sands.
Cleanliness & Comfort
It is also not clear which button means do not disturb. Marina bay sands label them very specifically. So our rooms were never made up. B
Local specialist: Nick Jansen
Nick Jansen
Local specialist in Malaysia | Replied on Apr 09, 2024

Hey Caroline and Henry,

Thanks for your extensive review and feedback. I enjoyed organising the trip together with you and being able to support you during your travels through WhatsApp. I hope you had a wonderful time and created some lasting memories!