Malaysia travel guide & backpacking trip highlights
Why should you visit Malaysia?
Malaysia is a fantastic travel country, with lots of great things to explore and to do.
- There are not only the most beautiful landscapes and great islands with some fab beaches, but also modern cities, jungle and some huge mountains.
- Lots of backpacker are traveling through this country! Transport, either bus or flights are easy to organize and there are plenty of budget accommodations to find.
- The prices in Malaysia for food, transport and accommodations are cheap and comparable with Thailand.
This Malaysia Travel Guide will be a great source if you consider this amazing country for your next trip. We will show you the top places of Malaysia, give you a Malaysia itineraries and surely some general travel advice!
Top highlights and sights of Malaysia – our recommendations
This fantastic island was our first destination when we arrived in Malaysia. We came directly from Thailand, where we had a great time on our Thailand Island hopping roundtrip. Langkawi is not far from the border of Thailand and easy to reach by ferry. Because of its status of a „duty free“ island, the prices at the island are incredible cheap. But this should not be the main reason to visit Langkawi – there are plenty of amazing sights and beaches. The best must see thing is to take a ride with the SkyCab, a cable car that takes you up to the Mt. Machincang. From there you have to visit the SkyBridge – definitely for those who have no fear of heights!
Additionally we recommend to rent a scooter and explore the island by yourself. It’s safe to drive around and the island is not that big. We also had been to the scary crocodile show in the Crocodile Adventureland Langkawi – Jalan Datai, the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls and the Underwater World Langkawi which was also nice to visit. Next time we will definitely stay longer, to see all the great spots of Langkawi!
Penang (Pulau Pinang) – George Town
Penang was so cool! We had such an exciting stay there – sometimes you are not sure if you are still in Malaysia, in China or in Europe. George town, the capital, of Penang, has a unique multicultural history and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is full of historic buildings, starting from churches, and British colonial monuments to Chinese shop houses and temples.
The Blue Mansion – Cheong Fat Tze is a must see if you are visiting George Town and the most popular tourist attraction!
Just near George Town there is the colorful Kek Lok Si Temple which is home to more than 10.000 Buddha statues!
It was an impressive adventure to visit the Snake Temple – 12 km from George Town. Inside of the temple it was so tranquil, the air was filled with holy smoke and the snakes seemed to be asleep – luckily 🙂
Is a popular destination for Malaysia visitors who want to escape some days from the hot climate. Above all, the stunning hill station is a perfect place for hiking! There a plenty of hiking trails, we had been to the Gungung Brinchang and inside the moosy forest. Easily you can stay there a few days, it’s so relaxing there. For exploring the area and the beautiful green tea plantation is the best to hire a motor scooter. It was fun driving around and to stop wherever we found a great place for taking pics and drinking tea. Just near to each tea plantage are cute tea-shops where we tried some delicious black teas. Additionally you can visit plenty of tourist attractions like butterfly farm, strawberry farm, Cactus Valley and Honey Bee Farm.
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For the night we stayed in Tanah Rata, in this little town are plenty of guest houses, tour operators and it’s a perfect starting point for exploring the Cameron Highlands area. Moreover there are lots of delicious Indian restaurants.
Kuala Lumpur is such a great city to visit! The Petronas Twin Towers with its 452 m are just awesome and the must-see in this town. You should go there in the evening, than the tower a lighted and they are looking even more majestic! If you love shopping you have to go inside the towers, there are plenty of different shops and restaurants inside. Additionally we visited the Aquarium in this huge complex. We didn’t went up to the towers but we visited the nearby Menara KL Tower with 421 m. From there you will get the most fantastic view of the town and trough the Petronas Twin Towers. Even though the Petronal Twin Towers are the main attraction in Kuala Lumpur, there a plenty of other sights to visit.
Another must see it’s the Merdeka Square with the tallest flagpole in the world, Jamek Mosque the Masjid Negara Mosque and the Planetarium Negara. Also really cool is the Bird Park in Kuala Lumpur, a giant garden full of different Asian bird flying free around. You can admire the colorful parrots, there are flamingos and even hornbills. We stayed in China town, a vibrant district in Kuala Lumpur. There a plenty of backpacker guest houses and it’s located very central too.
Just around 15 km north of Kuala Lumpur are the spectacular Batu Caves. Visiting the most important Hindu temple outside of India was just an incredible experience – we had been to India before – but still we were flashed. There is a 15m tall version of the Hindu God Hanuman just at the entrance of the cave. Full of adrenalin we walked up the 272 stairs for entering the caves. That was quite fun cause lots of monkeys where waiting for us. The Batu Caves are unbelievable huge – just feel free to walk around and take pics – but don’t forget you have to be dress properly before entering the holy caves!
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Malaysia has like Thailand, plenty of islands to explore. We had been to Tioman, but just for one night because sand flees disturbed our stay. Even Tioman is really beautiful we left the island on the next day to avoid some more nasty bites 😉 – Luckily we had been spoiled with great beaches and islands on our Thailand Island Hopping trip so it was okay for us to leave earlier.
Taman Negara National Park
If you guys not have enough time to flight to Borneo but you would love to visit the jungle you should definitely visit the Taman Negara National Park.
Borneo – Sarawak & Sabah
We have to I say: Borneo was just incredible! We had been inside of deep jungles, we saw plenty of wildlife and we had been to the highest mountain of South East Asia. Borneo is located on the other peninsula of Malaysia. We are going to write a blog post about Borneo soon! Read more about our Borneo adventure: Borneo – Backpacking Trip Guide East Malaysia
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Thank you 🙂