Matta Fair March Tips and Tricks are for those planning to visit the largest travel fair in Malaysia this March 2013. As you may already heard of this, sometimes one cannot be too confident while visiting this travel event in Kuala Lumpur. Since I have been going to Matta for over 5 years now, I have managed to talk to a number of people about what goes on here and other related topics which can be used as a rough guide for those planning to go there.
The most important thing to remember is what your main reason for going there. Is it to just look-see, explore the choices or gunning for that particular travel package? Or is it to collect the flyers and re-sell them to a paper recycling center? hehe... Anyway, we all have our own little reason why we wait for the promotions at Matta Fair. It is said that the best deals can be found here, but then again, you have to be aware of what you are buying. Below are some tips and tricks for those heading to PWTC this coming March or September 2013.
PWTC has Three Entrances for the Matta Fair - the main entrance would be right in front of the Sunway Purta Shopping Mall or the old 'The Mall' next to Seri Pacific Hotel. The other entrance is located along Jalan Rahmat which is off Jalan Ipoh. The regulars or vendors usually use the second entrance to the Matta Fair as it is much easier to get in and the third entrance is via the UMNO Building main entrance, most people use this as a drop off point. There is parking up there but not cheap as well. I usually go through the second entrance to PWTC.
Help! I lost my child! Yes, not uncommon but it does happen. They have an intercom service but in this case, please go to the main information centre if this happens. Best to always keep an eye on your children.
Is the place Wheelchair Friendly? Yes it is, but you need to check with the relevant authorities about using an elevator to get to the first floor of the building. Otherwise, it is the main escalators up and down. Inside the halls, there is space to move around and the link bridge is also wheelchair friendly.
Is it hot there? Is there air conditioning? Yes, the entire three halls are fully air conditioned. However, at Hall 3, it can get crowded and stuffy at times.
Are there toilets there and more importantly, are they clean? There are toilets in every hall located at the sides. Outside the event area in PWTC, there are some large toilets as well. However, since there are tens of thousands of people moving in and out, you should not expect a 100% clean washroom. Bring your own sanitizers if you must.
Should I bring bag loads of cash or credit cards? Since most of the travel packages only require a minimal booking fee, you need not do so. Credit cards are accepted by almost all agents there. Cheques are accepted by some companies but I would advise not to.
Can I smoke there? Not in the main halls. There are smoking areas as you exit Hall 3 to go to the link way (across the river). Just before you enter Hall 1 and 2 along the link way, there are ashtrays at the side. Otherwise, you need to exit the fair, do your stuff and then get back in.
Can I bring my pet? Of course not! Are you crazy?
The golden question everyone is asking. My tip is to carefully select the deal that you want, check with a few operators on prices and most importantly, the Terms and Conditions! Many people make that mistake of buying a cheap package without realizing the terms of the packages. Here is a glossary of the travel packages sold so you understand it better;
- Validity of the Travel Packages - Before I start, everyone should know that when you buy any packages at the Matta Fair, the validity of it ranges from 3 months to 6 months. So this means, you have to plan ahead well in advance. ALL travel companies will take a deposit when you make any purchase during the fair. You can then make the full payment after the fair at the respective travel company or you can give them your credit card details. They will issue you a Receipt or Booking Form too, please do not lose that!
- Ground Only - This means there is no flight tickets or airport transfers included. Sometimes you will see 'Beijing 4D/3N at RM888' and you need to ask the company what is in this deal, what kind of hotel and what else is included. Most of the time it is Free and Easy, this means, you just get the hotel room only. Meals may or may not be included too. Sometimes they are sold as Free & Easy Packages, Ground Only. You buy this package, then you buy your flight tickets by yourself. The downside, after you book your package, the flights may be expensive on those dates or vice-versa. Solution: Bring your tablet or smart phone with Internet access, when you check the packages, check flight tickets online at that moment so you can get the best of both and save on your holiday.
- Series Group - This is when you see super cheap packages being sold, BUT this is a Fixed Departure Date and Fixed Group Size. This means the dates are pre-set, you cannot move them around and also the group will only depart when it reaches a fixed size of lets say 20 in a group. Example: You and your wife buy this package, so you would be 2 out of 20. When they reach 20 people who bought the same package, then the tour is a go ahead as scheduled. You must read the terms and conditions or ask them all questions before buying these. Technically, your holiday is in the tour company hands.
- Flight Tickets - You can get some really good flight ticket deals at Matta Fair. Most of the travel agents get cheaper rates from airlines therefore it is a bulk game. You can simply go to any agent and ask them about ticket prices too. AirAsia, FireFly and Malaysia Airlines would also have their ticketing counters there as well. So if you are unsure about flight tickets, you can just ask them everything you want to know. Other international airlines have booths there but they only provide information about their promotions.
- Outside Matta Fair - I am sure you have seen the big travel companies like Reliance Travel or Mayflower promotion booths before entering the Matta Fair. In actual terms, they are not part of the Matta Fair, what they do is rent the outside areas to have their own little travel fair. In a way, they are riding on the fact that thousands of people are visiting the fair. Sometimes they even have it at the main concourse of the Sunway Putra Mall opposite PWTC. You can see staff in uniforms standing at the LRT station and along the main roads targeting the visitors who are going to the fair. Pros and Cons: No wrong here, but if you buy from them, you will miss out on the amazing Matta Fair Lucky Draw where lucky visitors who purchase packages stand a chance to win RM20000 and travel trips.
- Cruise Packages - From local Southeast Asian cruises to International Cruises, these are the high end packages. Cruise companies and travel agents sell all sorts of cruises. Popular ones include the 20-30 days Alaska Cruise, Scandinavian Cruise and even Caribbean Cruises. Note that these packages are well over RM5000 and can reach RM20k per person. Local cruises to Phuket or Krabi are also popular due to the on-board casinos that cater to those who enjoy gambling on holiday.
- Buy One Free One - This is very well known with Club Med Packages as every year, they resort offers these packages to many of their resorts around Southeast Asia from Bintan to Maldives. Honeymooners or romantic couples usually go for these deals. On the light side, if you always wanted to experience Maldives on a budget, this is something to look into. Some other companies may also offer packages like these, but then again, you need to check the terms and conditions carefully.
Overall, it can get hectic or stressful when you visit this fair, the best is to come prepared so you know what to expect. I hope the information provided here will be of some help as this is purely done by me to share with all of you some Matta Fair March Tips and Tricks.