Malaysia has everything you are looking for. White sand beaches, jungle, rainforest, big cities, temples and is rich in Chinese, Indian and Malay culture and food. Find below my top 6 things to do in Malaysia.
Top 6 things to do in Malaysia
Langkawi Island (4 days)
The duty-free island! Especially alcohol is cheap on Langkawi, compared to the rest of Malaysia, as it is predominantly a Muslim country and Malaysia have high tax on alcohol. Therefore, Langkawi is known for nice beaches and partying. I recommend to stay at Pantai Cenang (Cenang Beach) because most action is happening there and for me it’s the nicest beach on the island. Head to the Temonyong Night Market for delicious and cheap food.
Another day I suggest renting a scooter and drive to Tanjung Ruh Beach to get some tan and then to the Langkawi SkyCab (cable car) and take a ride up to the peak of Gunung Machinchang mountain. On top of the mountain there is the stunning Langkawi Skybridge which ranks among the world’s longest curve suspension bridge. Unfortunately I just know it from fellow travellers, as when I drove to the cable car it was closed for 10 days for their yearly maintenance. So check out their operating dates on the official Panorama Langkawi page before you are heading there.
Penang Island (3 days)
Penang, well especially George Town is famous for its street art in the whole city and the delicious street food. Unfortunately there are too many options to try them all. Furthermore, try a cup of the world’s most expensive coffee, Kopi Luwak (also called “cat poop coffee”). I recommend to stay at the lively “Love Lane” street. It is close to all the food options and in the evening there are several places with live music.
Kuala Lumpur (5 days)
Kuala Lumpur is an attractive big city. Its mix of Malay, Indian and Chinese culture is fascinating and the variety of food is one of the best. Kuala Lumpur has tall modern skyscrapers and shopping malls, a lot of green parks as well as old traditional areas. Visit the Petronas Twin Towers and the surrounding KLCC Park, Chinatown, Little India, Merdeka Square and the Heli Pad rooftop bar for a stunning view over the city. Another day you should visit the Batu Caves, which are easily reachable with the train. I recommend to stay at Bukit Bintang shopping and entertainment district.
Check out my cool Kuala Lumpur City Guide for more detailed information of what to do in Kuala Lumpur.
Perhentian Islands (4 days)
Perhentian Kecil and Perhentian Besar are the two amazing white sand beach islands at the east coast of Malaysia. One of my favorite little island is Perhentian Kecil. Get tanned and go diving or snorkeling! The Perhentian Islands are one of the cheapest place in the world for scuba diving. On Perhentian Kecil I recommend to stay at Long Beach at the east coast. A must do is a short boat ride to Perhentian Besar to the picturesque Turtle Beach. Snorkel in the crystal clear water and if you are luckily you will see some reef sharks.
Redang Island and Tioman Island (another duty free island) are two other beautiful island on Malaysia’s east coast.
Perhentian Kecil Long Beach
Perhentian Besar Turtle Beach
Borneo (7 days)
Borneo island is divided into three parts. The biggest part belongs to Indonesia, the most touristy part to Malaysia and a little area is the country of Brunei. Diving is very popular on Borneo in the Semporna region, but for me to see Orang Utans in the wild is the nicest adventure in the Sandakan area at Sepilok.
Taman Negara National Park (4 days)
Taman Negara is one of the oldest tropical rainforest in the world. There are several things to do as Jungle trekking (and see some of the wildlife), Gunung Tahan mountain climbing, the beautiful canopy walk, a boat ride upstream and tubing downstream or a night safari.
Transportation in Malaysia
Day and night buses are the main transportation option in Malaysia. Either go directly to the bus station or buy a ticket at a travel agency. For my experience it was almost the same price.
In Kuala Lumpur I recommend to get a “Touch ‘n GO” top up card. It’s the easiest and cheapest way to get around in Kuala Lumpur with the Metro or the Komuter (train).
Best time to visit Malaysia
West coast: November until April
East coast: March until August
- Interested about other countries in Asia? Don’t wait and check it out
- Read my detailed Kuala Lumpur City Guide to not miss all the details.