Category: Malaysia

10 Days in Malaysia Itinerary: Travel Guide of Must Visit Places

Malaysia Backpacking Route: Perfect 10-Day Itinerary

Things To Do in Malaysia on a Budget

Malaysia is the perfect destination for budget travellers in Southeast Asia. This beautiful country offers so much and you don’t need to spend a fortune to experience it. With this backpacking route 10-day itinerary you will discover vivid cities, delicious food, stunning beaches, breathtaking nature and the rich culture of Malaysia. This all is perfectly combined on the peninsular and close by islands so there will be no wasted time.

Malaysia Backpacking Route: Perfect 10-Day Itinerary
Malaysia Backpacking Route: Perfect 10-Day Itinerary

Of course you could spend more days to explore Malaysia which is the world’s great cultural melting pot. The famous Malaysian slogan “Truly Asia” proves that the variety of cultures can live together under one roof: Muslim Malays, diverse Chinese, Hindu and aboriginal groups like the Orangi Asli. The whole country embodies the modern development and old-fashioned charm of ex-colonies and nature side. Nevertheless Malaysia has less tourists than her neighbour countries like Thailand and Singapore what makes the local culture even more authentic because it’s less focused on travellers.

Malaysia Trip Planning

Malaysia Backpacking Route. 10 Days Itinerary
Malaysia Backpacking Route. 10 Days Itinerary

Best time to go to Malaysia

It is very typical for Southeast Asia to be characterised as high heat and humidity all year-round. The same goes for Malaysia. There are two main monsoon seasons: The Southwest Monsoon from late May to September, and the Northeast Monsoon from November to March. The driest time to explore Malaysia is January and February which is of course also the busiest period. The most recommended time to visit Malaysia is from April to October.

Food you must try in Malaysia

Nasi Lemak – it’s rice soaked in coconut milk and steamed. It’s a simple dish that is always served with sides like hard-boiled eggs and peanuts to vegetables and meats. It’s spicy and sweet at the same time.

Apam Balik – the best way to describe it, it’s a rice flour pancake filled with sugar, peanuts or corn. Perfect snack on the go.

Satay – on of the most famous dishes that many travellers have tried somewhere else already. It’s skewers of chicken, beef or pork grilled in peanut sauce.

Nasi Danang – a well-known breakfast in Malaysia that contains rice cooked in coconut milk with fish curry. Hard boiled eggs, shaved coconut and pickled vegetables are also added to the meal.

Laksa – yummy noodles combined with a gravy or sauce, veggies, and meat. You should try this Malay dish at different spots because it can be cooked in a different way. Some prefer to use coconut milk base, while others use broths.

Is Malaysia safe to travel?

If it’s your first time in Malaysia then you need to know that it’s a very safe country to travel to. Of course it doesn’t mean that you should lose your precautions, it’s always the best to practise common sense like you would do in your home country. The majority of the Malaysian population can articulate in English since it’s their second language. That makes travelling even more easy and fun.

10 Days in Malaysia: Travel Guide of Must Visit Places

Day 1-3: Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a city to fall in love with. The multicultural capital of Malaysia is an ideal epitome of the modern world meeting authentic traditions. There are skyscrapers, huge shopping malls, incredible restaurants but also sumptuous street food and a rich culture. Go and try some street food from the famous street Jalan Alor. There you can sample everything for low prices. Also pass by Pudu Was Sek Lai and get to know a taste of Chinese-Malay dishes.

Travel Guide of Must Visit Places. Petronas Tower, Malaysia
Travel Guide of Must Visit Places. Petronas Tower, Malaysia

You can also just go through my other article “Perfect Kuala Lumpur Itinerary for 2 Days“. To the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia I would definitely add Batu Caves, Merdeka Square, Little India, Chinatown, Petronas Twin Towers, National Mosque. Spend full 2-3 days in Kuala Lumpur to immerse into the vibes of the country.

Day 3-5: Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands is another gem in Malaysia. It’s famous for attractions like it’s beautiful garden, architecture in British colonial style and breathtaking views of the emerald tea plantations. I would recommend to spend 2-3 nights in this former colonial retreat with temperatures rarely going over 30 degrees. The easiest way to get here is to take a bus from Kuala Lumpur. You can find the timetable for the buses here.

Cameron Highlands: must-do things for first timers

Where to stay in Cameron Highlands

I would recommend to treat yourself and stay for few nights at The Smokehouse Hotel & Restaurant Cameron Highlands. The relaxing atmosphere and European colonial flair are perfect to enjoy an idyllic time in the area.

Hike up the Mount Brinchang & Explore Mossy Forest

Cameron Highland is a dream destination for those who search for peace and quiet. It has cooler temperatures than the rest of the country which makes it ideal for hiking lovers. If you are one of them then you should attempt to get to the peak of Mount Brinchang. There is a trail that will take you around 3 hours to reach the summit. On your way to the top of the Mount you will enter a surreal natural reserve, Mossy Forest. It’s not very well-known but this forest is a rich habitat for beautiful exotic plants.

Visit the Tea Plantation

Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.Visit the Tea Plantation
Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.Visit the Tea Plantation

Visiting Cameron Highlands and not visiting the vast tea plantations is like going to Paris and skipping the Eiffel Tower. It’s the leading tea-growing region in the whole of Malaysia. Nevertheless the history of tea is not very old, it all started in the 20th century. Definitely go and see Sungai Palas Tea Estate, the oldest and most famous tea plantation. You will learn a lot about tea culture and taste delicious drinks.

Pluck Strawberries

Another interesting fact is that Cameron Highlands is the center of strawberry production in the country. The iconic strawberries are growing here all year around. In the high season from May to August though you can get a chance to pluck fresh and sumptuous strawberries by hand. The most famous farms are Kok Lim Strawberry Farm and Raju Hill Strawberry Farm.

Visit Butterfly Farm

To visit Butterfly Farm is always a good idea especially when it’s one of the oldest and most popular attractions in Cameron Highlands. It’s a perfect location to admire colourful flying creatures and take a wonderful picture for your Instagram.

Visit National Park Taman Negara

Taman Negara is one of the oldest rainforests and a huge national park on the Malay peninsula. It’s not far from Cameron Highlands so it would be a great choice to visit this 130 million years old tropical rainforest on your last day in Cameron Highlands. The beautiful park is a natural habitat for tigers, macaques and has a rich birdlife. It’s one of the best places to visit in Malaysia due to it’s breathtaking unspoilt flora and fauna.

Day 5-8: Penang & George Town

Chew Jetty, Georgetown, Malaysia
Chew Jetty, Georgetown, Malaysia

Penang is a compact island with many interesting things to see. It’s capital, George Town is one of Malaysia’s great cultural and heritage locations which is filled with UNESCO sites. It’s one of the tropical holiday favourites because of the ensemble of history, tradition established since the 1700s and the fresh touch of contemporary street art. The British colonial island is nowadays a melting pot of Asian and European elements that you will notice in it’s amazing street food, architecture and even culture.

Getting to Penang

The best and quickest option to get to Penang is to take a bus from Cameron Highlands to Ipoh and then hop on another bus to Penang. It can take you from 2 to 4 hours to get to your destination. When you book tickets, inquire about travel times to choose the shortest option. Alternatively, you can also catch a bus or train to Ipoh followed by the ferry to Penang.

Where to Stay in Penang?

Your stay in Penang depends on your intentions. If you want to be in the epicentre of culinary and cultural heritage, stay in the capital, George Town. Budget travellers will be surprised with the comfort, simplicity and beauty at the same time at Queens Hostel. For those who want to experience a unique stay in Penang should book a room at Cheong Fatt Tze Blue Mansion.

If you are craving for a tranquil tropical holiday then escape to Batu Ferringhi. For the big spenders a great decision would be to stay at G Hotel Kelawai. Budget travellers can book a room at Rasa Motel.

Explore George Town

George Town, Malaysia
George Town, Malaysia

On your first day hire a bike for the cheap price of around $5 for the whole day – and head to the capital of Penang, George Town. Walk around it’s beautiful streets to learn more about it’s history and tradition. Best way is to begin at Lebuh Keng Kwee for delicious street food, then check out the street art at Chulia Street and finish your walk down Pitt street to observe some architectonic treasures.

Visit Kek Lok Si Temple

Kek Lok Si Temple is a popular Buddhist temple in Penang which means “Temple of Ultimate Happiness”. Hire a guide who will explain to you the interesting meanings of the numerous carved symbols and a history of this holy place. You are here to get to know a new culture and immerse into foreign history, right? So don’t hesitate to learn something new! You can end the day on top of Penang hill with magnificent night views over the city.

Beachside of Penang

On your third day enjoy the island’s best beaches and nature. The hikers can challenge themselves and follow the Penang National Park’s jungle trails. But there is also something for those who prefer to relax: Beautiful Tropical Spice Garden. The best way to end your day is to watch sunset at Batu Ferringhi.

Day 8-10: Langkawi

How to travel from Penang to Langkawi

There are a few options on how to travel from Penang to Langkawi. There is a direct ferry and also a flight from George Town to Kuah. The cheapest combination is to go by bus or train and ferry via Butterworth on the mainland. Taking a high speed ferry is the easiest but a relatively pricey alternative. Within 3 hours you will reach the island but for those who get sea sick it will be an unpleasant journey.

I would recommend to take the Penang ferry to Butterworth and then catch a bus right next to the ferry terminal to Kuala Kedah. There you will find ferries which operate almost every hour to Langkawi.

Where to stay in Langkawi

Must visit in Malaysia, Langkawi
Must visit in Malaysia, Langkawi island

Langkawi is known for it’s relaxing atmosphere with various sightseeing opportunities. It’s especially popular for honeymooners and families who are seeking for a perfect getaway. There are plenty of nice hotels and guesthouses to stay in which makes it a bit complicated to find the perfect place to stay in Langkawi.

The most popular destination and best place to stay in Langkawi is Pantai Penang. There you will also find the widest choice of hotels with options for every budget. But this is also the area which is very crowded during the high season. The budget travellers will find a great place to stay at BONOBO Bed & Breakfast House. The ones who are searching for something a bit more luxurious should definitely check out Cenang Plaza Beach Hotel and La Villa Langkawi.

For those who are travelling with kids I would recommend to stay in Pantai Tengah. Travellers who don’t want to just relax but to be close to all main attraction should in Pantai Kok. The cheapest Backpacking Hostel in Pantai Kok is SHAKA SeaGypsy. A great budget hotel is ZEN Rooms Basic Pantai Kok.

If you are searching for peace and quiet then definitely go to Datai Bay. It’s an ideal spot for those who prefer exclusive, 5-star resorts. Doubtlessly the best place to stay in Langkawi for honeymooners. Berjaya Langkawi Resort is a great choice to enjoy the idyllic area.

Langkawi Tourist Attractions

Half-day Langkawi island tour

Langkawi Tourist Attractions. Cable Car Ride
Langkawi Tourist Attractions. Cable Car Ride

The best way to experience the beauty of Langkawi island within a short period is to join a half-day tour. It includes popular attractions like Cable Car Ride and Sky Bridge. It’s should be the first thing on every travellers bucket list when they visit Langkawi. It’s a memorable experience with breathtaking views. Additionally you will see the Underwater World housing with more than 500 exotic species. It’s another huge touristic sight to see in Langkawi. Last but not least there is a visit of Eagle Square. It’s another interesting place to visit in Langkawi, a manmade impressive 12 metre-tall sculpture of an eagle.

Island Hopping

Langkawi is a big island that is surrounded by 103 other smaller islands. To visit these uninhabited islands you should sign up for an island hopping tour. It’s a great way to experience the crystal clear waters, trekking through the dense jungle like Kilim Karst Geoforest. Among all these it’s possible to do kayaking and snorkelling.

Zip-Lining

The adventurous ones should visit a park with high ropes and zip lining through the Forest Canopy. The best way is to do it with Skytrex Adventure. The best way to describe it is challenging tree to tree trek with flying, gliding and adrenalin-filled experiences. You need to overcome obstacles in this forest adventure to get to the finish line. It’s a great way to spend some time with friends or family.

Mangrove River Cruise & Jungle Pool Swimming

This is an amazing tour and once in a lifetime experience of the Kubang Badak river with it’s exotic creatures as the Brahminy Kites, white-bellied sea eagles, mudskippers and herons. There is also a beautiful mangrove forest to observe. The hungry ones can taste a delightful home cooked lunch at the local family house. Definitely an unforgettable excursion.

Beyond Malaysia in 10 days: Where to visit next

Singapore: It’s just stone throw away from Kuala Lumpur. Singapore is one of my favourite modern cities that I could visit again and again! Definitely a must see destination in the Southeast Asia.

Indonesia: Bali, the island is incredibly beautiful and has a mysterious and diverse culture. It’s the perfect spot for backpackers who prefer to explore Bali on a budget but also for those who want to escape loud big city life and hide in a beautiful resort.

Maldives: Maldives is the epitome of heaven on Earth with it’s incredible sandy beaches, luminous crystal clear water and relaxing atmosphere. Check out where the best honeymoon resorts are and how to travel to Maldives on a budget.

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Short Trip in Malaysia: Perfect Kuala Lumpur Itinerary for 2 Days

Kuala Lumpur what means “Muddy Confluence”, is a magnificent city and the capital of Malaysia, where various nations live in peaceful harmony with each other. The great fusion is noticeable through the mouth-watering food fusion on the streets of the grand metropolis. The wonderful city is more than just stopover city for affordable flights. It has much more to offer and you definitely need to check my Kuala Lumpur 2 days itinerary.

I suppose you are planning to visit Asia? Then these tips how to pack light will be very useful for you!

Must see in KL: Between Petronas Towers and KLCC Park

The original location of the Malaysian capital was discovered by 87 Chinese prospectors, who unfortunately died because of tropical diseases. That didn’t stop numerous miners from building a settlement and later a big city on that spot. Nowadays over 8 million people are living in the vast area under a federal representative democratic constitutional monarchy, in more simple words: they have a Sultan. The high population explains the huge amount of traffic especially in the morning but also the loud and chaotic lifestyle. That’s why to save yourself from the mess on the roads and catch all the beautiful historical and futuristic sights, explore the colorful historic monuments, the Mughal-style domes and skyscrapers on foot. Here is a guideline for what to see in this Asian pearl in two days.

Things to do in Kuala Lumpur in 2 Days 

Arrival & The Airport of Kuala Lumpur

The airport of Kuala Lumpur is not only famous for it’s magnitude and plenty of different seductive shops and cafés but also it’s one of the major airports of South East Asia. It’s easy to orientate yourself because there are signs leading you to your goal everywhere. The cheapest way to get to KL Sentral is by bus, which regularly drives to the center and costs only 11 MYR ( 2€ ). Don’t take the train, because you can get to your hotel with a taxi or even better with an Uber much cheaper and more comfortably.

Place to stay in Kuala Lumpur: Seri Pacific Hotel

Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur

We stayed in the wonderful Seri Pacific Hotel, which made our stay in the metropolis even more memorable. The service is excellent, very friendly and careful. Our room was immediately upgraded to deluxe because of a water leak issue on our level. Furthermore the breakfast was a dream: The buffet included all kinds of good that your stomach could even imagine. I was very upset that my tummy is not big enough to try it all in 2 days. The hotel properties also include a swimming pool and fitness center, if you are a very sporty person. The best feature of the hotel was the view from our room on the 23d floor: the shining Petronas Towers. You can doubtlessly find cheaper hotels in Kuala Lumpur and I’m sure they are also amazing, but if you stay in the city just for a couple of days why not to treat yourself as a king or queen.

Day 1 in Kuala Lumpur

Shopping paradise in Bukit Bintang

Chocolate baked cheese tart

Chocolate baked cheese tart

 The vivid and dynamic streets of Bukit Bintang are filled with many known brand shops and huge malls. You will find whatever your soul is craving for, you can even have a spontaneous manicure or cut your hair for a very acceptable price. The most famous mall is Pavilion KL, which has an uncountable amount of high brands like Louis Vuitton and Prada. On the bottom of the gallery is a tremendous food hall with various dishes and sweets. We couldn’t resist to try one of the seductive baked cheese tarts. The chocolate one tastes like pudding and the plain cheese tart has a soft and creamy cheesecake taste. Heaven!

Try in Kuala Lumpur at Bukit Bintang: Baked cheese tart


Must Visit in Kuala Lumpur: The KLCC Park

Place to visit in Kuala Lumpur: swimming pool in KLCC Park

KLCC Park is a public green Eden, a 50-acre tropical landscape in the vicinity of Suria KLCC. The unique work of art has been designed by Brazilian architect Roberto Burle Marx to emphasize the importance of nature in the futuristic metropolis. It represents an ideal ensemble of man-made playgrounds, a wading pool, benches, sculptures and natural features of 1,900 indigenous trees and palms. The quixotic park offers a perfect escape from the noisy city into tranquil tropical greenery.

Built in the middle of the iconic park is the 10,000 square meter Lake Sympnony with two water fountains. It provides it’s visitors with 150 dramatical animations ,turning into a light show every evening. Furthermore the main fountain shoots water up to a height of 42 meters. Isn’t it impressive?

The Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Towers, view from KLCC Park, KL Malaysia

When you visit Kuala Lumpur for 2 days the first information that you will find everywhere is the famous Petronas Twin Towers. The two identical towers are the eleventh highest buildings in the world, standing 452 meters above street level. But it’s for the year 2016, we just need to wait for the next Tower of Babylon to pop up. Pertains Towers offer the panoramic view from the skybridge. The double-decker skybridge connects the two gigantic skyscrapers on the 41st and 42nd floors. Many tourists pay 20€ and visit the bridge but I would suggest to go to Marinis on 57 sky bar, which is just next door. The bar is even higher than the bridge and furthermore you can enjoy food and drinks for this money.

Top tourist attraction in KL: Petronas Twin Towers

Take a closer look at the floor plan of the building, because it was designed with the influence of the islamic eight-point star. The sections of each tower represent the pillars of Islam: unity, harmony, stability and rationality. Another interesting fact is that this architectural project required at least 8 years to complete, but the budget only accounted for six. There was no other possibility but to hire two construction companies, one for each tower, who would race to reach the pinnacle. To build the dangerous beauty on time the constructors needed to spend only four days for each floor.  By the end the building costs were US $ 1,8 billion of dirty oil money from national oil company Petronas.

P.S. Remember the movie “Entrapment” with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones? The Petronas Twin Towers play a major role in that film.

Best Rooftop Bars in Kuala Lumpur

The vibrant city KL is a home of numerous rooftops, where you can hide from the the busy streets and crazy traffic behind the huge windows showing you the perspective of a bird. To visit one of the rooftops and enjoy your drink beyond the ground is a must. There are two of them that I absolutely need to mention. Must place to visit in Kuala Lumpur is Marini’s on 57: an exclusive restaurant and bar with neon light and brown leather sofas just in front of the unique Petronas Towers. The views from the 57th floor are unforgettable and extraordinary. The prices are not biting either, cocktails cost around 10-12€.

Place to visit in Kuala Lumpur: Marini’s on 57

Place to visit and cocktauls to try at Martinis on 57, Kuala Lumpur

Another glamorous cocktail lounge with breathtaking views and amazing drinks is the 33rd floor Sky Bar at Traders Hotel. In the center of the bar you will find a refreshing swimming pool. If you don’t feel like swimming then you can just enjoy your liquid pleasure in the glass on one of the comfy sofas.

There are plenty of the amazing rooftops in KL, it’s impossible to experience them all in 2-3 days. That’s why you need to choose carefully which one you definitely want to see. But one thing is for sure: They are all memorable!

Day 2 in Kuala Lumpur

Merdeka Square & Kuala Lumpur City Gallery

The imposing Merdeka Square is a landmark of the city, which is set in the heart of the capital and in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and next to one of Malaysia’s oldest Anglican churches, St. Mary’s Church. The Square is a historical sight where Malaysia declared it’s independence and the Malayan flag was raised for the first time in 1957. The flagpole is by the way the highest in the world and reaches a proud 100 meters. You can easily reach it by train, it will take just 10 minutes to walk from Masjid Jamek station.

Top things to see in Kuala Lumpur: Merdeka Square

There is also the KL City Gallery, where you can widen your knowledge with the history of the metropolis. Take your time and get to know the hosting metropolis for almost no money: 5RM. The highlight is the incredible City Model Show, which you need to see with your own eyes. The 5RM ticket you can use afterwards in the café or gift shop of the museum. It will be probably very hot outside so it’s a great opportunity to cool down with one of the delicious iced coffees.

Free Things to do in Kuala Lumpur: Perdona Botanical Garden

Must visit in KL: Perdona Botanical Garden

There are many free things to do in Kuala Lumpur like visiting Perdona Botanical Garden. It’s a quite a walk from Merdeka Square, so to save power and your shoes, it would be more efficient to order an Uber to reach the quixotic park. Take a long walk through the peaceful green area and enjoy the beauty of the nature for free. There are a variety of outdoor sculptures, Hibiscus and Orchid gardens where you can relax on one of the benches, Deer Park with a few deer and also including the smallest hoofed animal, the mouse deer. There are numerous different gardens that you can visit for free and explore the flora and fauna of tropical oasis KL.

Must visit in Kuala Lumpur: Perdona Botanical Garden

There are also plenty of popular tourist attractions like a huge family oriented Bird Park. There you can see, feed and take photos with various exotic birds. If you are not interested in birds you can see colorful insects in the Butterfly House.

Visit the Kuala Lumpur National Planetarium for the very low price of 1RM. There is an interesting exhibit about the Malaysian space program and you can even take a ride on the “space ball”, which simulates the high G-forces of reentry into our atmosphere. It’s definitely worth of your time!

Where to eat in Kuala Lumpur: Hawker Food Row/ Jalan Alor

Jalan Alor is the most popular food street and the best spot for locals and tourists to experience the taste of divine Malaysian food. The streets are full with atmospheric seafood restaurants, fanning grills of chicken and beef skewers, woks and many other varieties of amazing food. The long walkway with plastic tables and chairs on both sides of the road will seduce you with smells and spoil you for choice!

Things to do in Kuala Lumpur: visit Jalan Alor

If you are tired of street food and you would like to discover vibrant restaurant scene with traditional dishes and also fusion fare then you need to visit famous Changkat Bukit Bintang. It’s located next to Jalan Alor and will surprise you with trendy restaurants and bars. Enthusiastic foodies doubtlessly need to taste gastronomic delights in El Credo and Opium. Quaint and unique eateries will be another pinnacle of visiting Kuala Lumpur.

It’s very easy to reach Maldives from Kuala Lumpur. Read here how you can travel to the islands of paradise on budget!

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