Looking for a Malaysia getaway? Divided into Peninsular Malaysia & Borneo, you are entering a diverse world of terrain and attractions. Spend a couple weeks (the more the better) exploring the different region, and walk away with a lifetime full of memories!
ALL LIFE IS AN EXPERIMENT. THE MORE EXPERIMENTS YOU MAKE, THE BETTER. – RALPH WALDO EMERSON
PENINSULAR MALAYSIA VISA
Here is a super easy website to determine whether or not you need a visa. Simply enter your nationality and place you would apply for your visa from, and it will show you if you need a visa for Tourist, Business, or Work purposes.
Note, visitors from many countries can visit for up to 30-days without obtaining a visa, so what’s stopping you? Go and see what the fuss is all about…
PENINSULAR MALAYSIA WEATHER
Overall, the region is classified as having an equatorial climate, meaning it’s hot & humid throughout the year. That being said, the monsoon seasons do heavily impact the area, so travelers should plan accordingly.
- Southwest Monsoon Season: May – September
- Diving is good on the west coast outside of the later monsoon months
- Northeast Monsoon Season: October – March
- Best to avoid the east coast altogether during this period as many islands close down over this period
STAY, PLAY & EAT IN PENINSULAR MALAYSIA
Start off in the capital city and explore it in all of its glory!
- Step Inn Guesthouse – Nothing fancy, but just a few steps away from China Town and the metro, make this a popular stop for travellers.
- Dorms KL – Stay in the middle of all the action. Just a few minutes away from all the food, bars and spas you could ask for, Dorms KL is a great place to meet people and mingle with fellow travellers.
- YouniQ Hotel – If you’re arriving late, or leaving early, stay at YouniQ for a fresh, comfortable stay near the airport. With affordable, modern rooms, and an airport shuttle available, you’re sure to rest well!
Petronas Towers – They’re stunning from the outside, but if you’re keen to go inside, here’s all the details you’ll need:
Tuesday – Sunday. 9am-9pm (closed between 1-2:30pm Fridays). Child (3-12) $8. Adult (13-60) $20. Seniors (61+) $10
- Heli Lounge Bar – If you’ve ever wanted to indulge on a helipad, here’s your chance. With no cover entry, enjoy this trendy spot with your choice of drink. One of our personal favs – enjoy the 360° views from the rooftop! Beware, if the weather is bad, you may not be able to go on the helipad, though you can still have plenty of fun in the bar downstairs.
- Skybar – Visit this hip bar by taking the elevator to the top! Catch up with friends while taking in the views inside (yup, it’s got an indoor pool) & outside (ahhh, those KL lights are amazing).
- Nasi Kandar – Enjoy some of the best Indian food in town! And the best news is, it’s incredibly cheap.
- Jalan Alor – It’s also known as “food street” for a reason. Hosting a nightly market, with a range of cuisines, there is something to suit everyone without breaking the bank.
- CH Travellers Inn – At the foothills of town, you’re walking distance to some yummy restaurants, public transport, and a few shops. A bit noisy, but convenient location for a couple days…
- Hire a Scooter – Tour around town, climb the hills, and stop in anywhere that strikes your fancy…fun times await!
- Strawberry Farms – Depending on the season, stop by and pick some yourself. Otherwise, try any of the numerous strawberry delights – from ice cream to chocolate covered berries, your tastebuds will thank you!
- Cameron Bharat Tea Estate – Visit the plantation and enjoy a cup of tea!
- Cameron Highlands Jungle Trails – Choose from one of 14 trails. Visit Gunung Brinchang & the Mossy Forest for a bit of fun and adventure.
- Cameron AA Curry House – Choose from a wide variety of traditional Indian dishes from the Curry House on the corner. Enjoy a cold drink from the big selection they have on offer.
- Steamboat – Try one of the many steamboat restaurants in town. Don’t know what it is? Check it out for yourself…
- The Frame Guest House – Visit this refurbished warehouse and make yourself right at home. With dorms, double bed dorms & private rooms, there’s a place to suit everyone!
- Reggae Love Lane Hostel – Situated on Love Lane (aka Backpacker central), set yourself up with a pod style bed for the night to enjoy a bit of solitude after the party ends!
- Street Art – Rent a bicycle or walk the streets to view all the local works on display. A great day out and the best part is it’s free! Check out our Penang street art highlights
- Penang Hill – Of course, you can take a tram to the top, but check out our guide on hiking up to see the city from above. Trust me, it’s a much more rewarding trip!
- Wen Chang Hainan Chicken Rice – Head to China Town with your lose change and fill up on this local favorite.
- Wheeler’s Coffee – Be sure to stop by Wheeler’s for a coffee, or load up on a meal…the Western-inspired variety is to die for!
- Tom’s Burger Truck – Perfect for a late night stop!
- Night Market – Do not miss the street food – it’s cheap and it’s delicious!
- Zackrys Guest House – For a great stay just outside the hustle & bustle, set yourself up here for a few nights. Walk to a few nearby shops and restaurants or rent a scooter onsite to tour around the island. This family run business can’t do enough for you, so go & make yourself at home!
- Langkawi Cable Car & Sky Bridge – $12. What a bargain! The ticket price gets you a ride up the mountain on the cable car. Once there, take a walk on the wild side and explore the sky bridge. Overlook Thai islands without leaving Malaysia – a truly incredible experience. Also, visit the rabbit petting zoo & 3D dinosaur experience. Great fun for all ages!
- Gunung Raya – If you want to avoid crowds, or not keen on paying the fee for the Cable Car, hike up to the top and you can see the same views for free. Beware, it can get extremely muddy depending on the conditions!
- Half Day Island Tour – $8. Do a hop-on, hop-off boat experience to explore some of the nearby islands. Soak up the sun & water in this half day excursion.
- Temurun & Durian Perangin – Take a short hike before jumping in and enjoying the refreshing nature of these falls. A magical experience!
- Cenang, Tengkorak, Tanjung – Stop by, go for a swim, or just find some shade and take in Mother Nature’s beauty. Great stops on an independent tour around the island!
- Yuan Spa – In need of a massage? This is the place to go…a few more dollars than the taunts in town, but the professionalism and top service more than makes up for it!
- Colonial India – Try this authentic Indian restaurant run by natives. The food and service are impeccable!
- Sugar – A great spot right along the beach to pop in for a pre-dinner drink. If you’re hungry, the meals are just as delicious, so be sure to check it out!
- Burau Corner – A great little restaurant with the freshest food. Choose from seafood, meat or vegetarian options!
- Night Market – Langkawi hosts a night market at different venues on the island each night. So no matter what your schedule is, make it a point to visit during your stay.
- Ringo Foyer Guest House – Get lost (literally) inside this old, restored home. Plenty of common areas and great facilities onsite and within walking distance. If you enjoy cycling, take part in one of the nightly rides with owner and cycling enthusiast!
- Ruins of St. Paul’s Church – Walk up the hill and be rewarded with the ruins of St. Paul’s Church! A beautiful setting filled with a plethora of sites & stories about the local history!
- Porta de Santiago – Part of the A Famosa fortress. Porta de Santiago is a small gatehouse and the only remaining part of the fortress. While a visit will take you no longer than 5-minutes, the history is incredible!
- The Baba Nyonya Museum – Monday-Thursday. 1 hour tours at 10 & 11am, 12, 2, 3 & 4pm. Friday-Sunday. Additional tour at 5pm. Adults $3.50. Children $2.50. Be intrigued as you are guided through a wonderful world of history. The tour is both entertaining and educational – fun for the whole family!
- The Floating Mosque – Situated on Malacca’s man-made island, the Malacca Straits Mosque is often referred to as the Floating Mosque. Dress up in traditional garb and take in the beauty of the site.
- Selvam Indian Restaurant – Malaysia is filled with Indian heritage and Selvam is no exception! Delicious food served on banana leafs ensure you get the most authentic experience in town. Can’t beat the price either!
- Geographér Café – A fun café environment with food to die for! Smokers sit on one side of the street while you enjoy your food in a smoke free environment.
- Vegetarian Restaurant – This is more than just the name of the restaurant; this is a true dining experience. You will not be disappointed!
- Chicken Rice Balls – Be sure to try one of Malacca’s famous chicken rice balls. Though one will never be enough, indulge on these succulent bites during your visit.
PENINSULAR MALAYSIA BUDGET
We budgeted for $64.45 USD/day (for 2 people). Actual was $54.39/day x 16 days = $870 total.
- Accommodation – $265
- Beverages – $92
- Food – $231
- Transport – $168 *
- Entertainment – $90
- Miscellaneous – $24 **
*excludes flight from Kathmandu, Nepal to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia & flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Mandalay, Myanmar
**includes laundry & ATM fees
OUR PENINSULAR MALAYSIA HIGHLIGHTS
- Tantalizing our tastebuds on KL’s food street
- Enjoying a cocktail on a helipad!
- Cruising around Cameron Highlands on the scooter for the day
- Exploring the famous Penang Street Art
- Hiking Penang Hill
- Enjoying Penang’s delicious street food
- Celebrating Halloween abroad
- Langkawi’s Cable Car & Sky Bridge experience!
- Swimming in the local waterfalls on Langkawi’s main island
- Enjoying some beach time in Langkawi
- Visiting the floating mosque & wearing traditional garments
- Exploring Malacca’s riverside!
PENINSULAR MALAYSIA TIPS
- To ensure you don’t miss out, arrange your Kuala Lumpur Petronas Towers tickets a day ahead of time, being aware they are closed on Fridays.
- If visiting Cameron Highlands, rent a bike to avoid all the traffic – scoot around to all the sites in style, in half the time (just make sure you double check where you can and can not go, as some of the trails are excluded).
- If your visit to Penang is overcast, skip Penang Hill, as visibility is really hindered.
- Transport tips for Langkawi:
- Ferry to Cenang Beach will cost approx $7
- If venturing onto Langkawi from Penang you can take a direct ferry, but it will cost you nearly twice as much ($14). Instead, I’d recommend taking the ferry back to Butterworth, catching a bus to Kuala Perlis & then ferrying across to Langkawi
- Book your ferry tickets in advance to avoid disappointment
- Renting a scooter is the best way to explore the island
- Ferry to Cenang Beach will cost approx $7
- The Baba Nyonya Museum tours in Malacca start on the hour. The price is the same with or without the tour guide, so make sure you time it right.
- Visit Malacca’s “floating mosque” just before sunset. It’s beautiful to see the light shining through the stained glass, and perfect for photographers.