Last updated: November 2018
Wonderful and interesting Southeast Asian country, divided between Borneo (East Malaysia) and Peninsular Malaysia (West Malaysia). One of the countries where I spent more time, both for the ease of communication (they speak English around here!) and the beautiful places to see, both for the low cost of living and for the three months of free visa on arrival and for the tasty food, a very good reason to extend the stay!
A land made up of a mix of cultures and styles, from India to China, from Muslim colonizations to European ones. The country is now immersed in a particular and unique richness.
A tour in Malaysia is an opportunity to discover a land still not too crowded by mass tourism, but which offers all the equipment and infrastructure suitable for a trip without any problems.
The people who live here are very friendly and always happy to chat with tourists.
Architectural, natural, cultural and historical wonders and the variety (and exquisiteness!) of their food, a mix of different styles and flavors that will tempt you: this is the richness of Malaysia!
Some of the activities I suggest you plan during a trip to Malaysia:
- Try the Laksa, one of the most popular foods here in Malaysia..attentive that can be spicy!
- Have a swim or dive for a snorkeling in one of the stunning islands on the east coast of the peninsula.
- Visit Melaka and its weekend night market on Jonker Street…can be quite crowded!
- A bike ride in the beautiful Balik Pulau in Penang.
- Visit the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, if you go to the stairs in front, at the end of the fountains in front of the towers entrance, you will see a lot of people posing for the selfies … it’s quite funny and maybe get one even you!
- Visit a tea plantation at Cameron Highlinds.
- Eat some delicacies in Penang, renowned throughout Asia for its great food.
- Take a stroll along the riverside in the pleasant town of Kuching.
- Visit one of the Peranakan museum houses that you’ll find in Melaka or Penang.
- Immerse yourself in the jungle with a trekking to the Taman Negara (national park) of Penang to get to one of its beautiful beaches.
- Visit the “roads of harmony” where within a few meters you will find Hindu temples, Chinese temples and mosques.
- Climb the KL Tower for a breathtaking view of the city of Kuala Lumpur.
- Visit the Batu Caves and follow the steps that will take you to the temple inside the cave.
- If you are in Sabah do not miss the opportunity to meet the orang utan or the proboscis monkeys who live only here in Borneo.
- Climb Mount Kinabalu and its 4,095 m, one of the highest here in Southeast Asia.
- If you are a scuba diver, go to the Semporna islands.
- Take part in the eccentric Thaipusam at the Batu Caves, a festival celebrated by the Indian Tamil community.
Some info about Malaysia:
Capital of Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur
Population: 32 millions
Official language: Malay + English, Chinese, Tamil, local tribes dialects
Currency: Malaysian Ringgit
Calling Code: +60
Malaysia Visa: It depends on your passport, lots of countries can get 90 days visa on arrival at airports or by land. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into the country
N.B. Always check before leaving the rules for obtaining a visa according to your passport!
Phone and Internet: It’s easy to get a sim card (Digi and Cellcom are some of the most used companies), you can take advantage of the wifi service in many hotels and some restaurants, the line is usually good.
The main tourist destinations of Malaysia:
The buzzing capital of Kuala Lumpur, delicious and super cheap street food! Beautiful Hindu temples, Chinese temples and mosques in a city that is becoming more and more modern.
The UNESCO heritage sites of Melacca and Penang: get lost in these incredible gems of the east! Learn a little more about the history of Malaysia in one of the Baba Nyonya museums. Eat all you can in these culinary destinations among the most popular in Asia!
The natural wonders of Taman Negara, a 2 or 3 day jungle trek is part of a typical tour here (sometimes it can get a little crowded).
The fascinating islands such as Perenthian and Tioman. Have a dive with mask and snorkel to discover the wonderful underwater flora and fauna, you can meet some sea turtle and if you are lucky some sharks … do not worry, they are not dangerous!
Borneo is all about adventure! Divided between Sarawak and Sabah, between the cities of Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. You can find natural wonders such as the Kinabatangan River or the Mulu Caves (some of the largest caves on the planet) and the Semporna archipelago, a paradise for divers!
Malaysia, when to go?
You can visit Malaysia all year round. The climate is tropical … hot and humid practically always, accompanied by torrential rains that usually do not last long.
The only thing to keep in mind is that the islands on the east coast of the peninsula (Perenthian, Redang, Tioman…) “close” because of the monsoons, which rain from November to February.
The Malaysian Borneo has more persistent rains from about October to March, but I spent a whole September under the rain in Kota Kinabalu.
High season runs from December to February, when schools are closed.
N.B. Lately the weather conditions are changing a lot, so sometimes the seasons are not always as expected…
Malaysia, what to eat?
Malaysian cuisine is composed of recipes from different cultures, one of the most rich that can be found here in Asia. Chinese, Indian and Malay food that you can enjoy anywhere and at really cheap prices!