Bordered by Singapore in the south and Thailand in the north, Malaysia is not always included in a backpacker’s itinerary. But this southeast Asian country possesses its own gems that should not be overlooked in a hurry.
In Malaysia, most people will flock to the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. With its commendable international airport, it’s quite easy to spend a short break admiring key sights. Celebrating a mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European influences, you’ll discover remnants of each culture from the colonial buildings to the cuisine.
Home to the glittering Petronas Towers, the Batu Caves and the beautiful Thean Hou Temple, you’ll be famished come night time. Make sure to spend one evening in the city’s splendid street food markets – you might even find the courage to taste the infamous spiky fruit, durian. Read about Jasmine’s experience at Jalan Alor Street Food Market here.
Beyond the city lights, you’ll find relatively unknown coastal towns and opportunities for snorkelling and diving. Around 60% of the country is forested meaning you can head up into the highlands for an eco retreat or frolic among the leaves at a tea plantation.
We’ve covered little ground of this green pocket of Asia. With luck, we’ll return to peel back the layers of Malaysia’s fabulous uniquities.
Top Experiences In Malaysia
1. Climb the colourful stairs to Batu Caves
Your legs will burn as you ascend the steep colourful stairway but it will be worth it. Be warned – the bold, cheeky monkeys will snatch everything.
2. Indulge in street food
Gluttony might not be considered a mortal sin in Malaysia. Food lovers will have their fill and then some more at the sizzling street food markets.
3. Visit the Petronas Towers
The glittering duo light up the night sky in Kuala Lumpur. Book advance tickets for the sky bridge.
4. Go mural hunting in Georgetown
Works of art around the neighbourhood allow you to admire and interact with the murals to add your own creative spin.
5. Go deep into the highlands
Around 62% of Malaysia is forested. Look for an eco retreat or a tea plantation tour.
Before You Go To Malaysia...
We have only spent a little bit of time in Malaysia exploring the capital Kuala Lumpur. Its rainforests and coastal towns remain relatively untouched and unexplored by visitors. But food is certainly a priority so be prepared to feast when you visit Malaysia.
Planning Your Trip To Malaysia
What is the official language of Malaysia? What is the currency in Malaysia? What is the best way to travel around Malaysia? Here’s a quick snapshot to help plan your trip to Malaysia.
Malaysian ringgit (RM)
MRT (lightrail), buses, taxis, rideshare
Malaysia operates on a 240V supply voltage and 50 Hz. Plug type G.
Best Time To Go To Malaysia
Malaysia has consistent weather all year round but where you travel to and the type of activities you’re planning can affect your holiday. Whether you want to go city sightseeing or snorkelling and diving, make sure to research the rainy seasons before your departure.
Christmas, New Year’s and Chinese New Year are key holidays across December & January, whilst June – August are school holidays.
November, February – March. Avoid the heavier rainy season and peak tourist months. There will be minimal crowds too.
April – May, September – October. Differs from east to west coast. Monsoon season is around September – October.
Sound Like A Local
Some basic Malay phrases that will be useful to you when you travel in Malaysia.
YES / NO
iya / tidak
ONE, TWO, THREE
satu, dua, tiga