Malaysia Ultimate Travel Tips: A Complete Guide to the Country

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Malaysia Complete Travel Guide: Planning Your Trip

Prepare yourself: Your journey to Malaysia is most likely to be unlike any one of your various other travel journeys! Of course, there’s bountiful nature to be delighted in (orangutans, anyone?), and also spectacular islands wait for off both shores. But Malaysia’s mix of ethnic groups are what distinguishes it from the rest of Southeast Asia. As a traveler in Malaysia, you’ll reach take pleasure in a diversity of society that spans food, fashion, spiritual practices, and also celebrations — done in one place!

Planning Your Journey to Malaysia

  • Best Time to Visit: Monsoon season months differ between coastlines on Peninsular Malaysia Kuala Lumpur obtains lots of rain throughout the year however has a lot more sunshine in the summertime. Meanwhile, the islands on the west coast such as Penang as well as Langkawi get better climate in December, January, as well as February. Malaysian Borneo (East Malaysia) obtains a great deal of rainfall all year long. Sarawak is drier in the summer; the driest months in Sabah are from January to March.
  • Language: The official language in Malaysia is Malay (Bahasa Melayu); nonetheless, English is commonly understood and also spoken between the numerous ethnic groups.
  • Currency: Malaysia’s currency is the colorful Malaysian ringgit (MYR). Each ringgit is divided into 100 sen. Prices are usually preceded by “RM” (e.g., RM 1, RM 3.50, etc).
  • Getting Around: Malaysia’s mass transit infrastructure is superb. A mix of trains, long-haul buses, or affordable service provider trips from KLIA2 can obtain you throughout the nation. Order is the most preferred ridesharing app for finding motorists.
  • Travel Tip: Kuala Lumpur as well as Sarawak and Sabah in Malaysian Borneo receive a great deal of annual rains. Mid-day downpours keep landscapes eco-friendly, but vacationers must have an umbrella available as well as a strategy in mind!

Things to Do in Malaysia

Malaysia is honored with adequate exotic islands and also rain forests to keep you going after outdoor journeys for a long time, but the multiculturalism is what makes Malaysia specifically appealing. Walking around Kuala Lumpur or Malacca on any kind of single day, you may feel as though you have actually visited (at the very least) 3 different nations!

  • Explore Kuala Lumpur: Walk, shop, and dine across Chinatown, Little India, and also the other interesting neighborhoods scattered around Kuala Lumpur. Cross the cover stroll in KL Woodland Eco Park on Bukit Nanas, the only slice of virgin rain forest continuing to be in center of the city. While there, increase Menara KL (Kuala Lumpur’s room needle) for a breathtaking view. Finish your rounds of the city with a meal on Jalan Alor as well as seeing the Petronas Towers lit in the evening.
  • Enjoy Food in Penang: Malaysia’s huge island of Penang is famous for its early american past and also cooking customs. Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage City, has a track record for cooking up some of the most effective street food in the world.
  • Visit the Cameron Highlands: Malaysia’s green Cameron Highlands are the location to go when you prepare to escape Southeast Asia’s warmth. Nighttime temperatures can also really feel chilly! The hills are residence to green tea plantations together with rose and strawberry ranches that can be visited. Forest walking, either independent or assisted, is likewise available.

Check out a lot more exciting tasks in Malaysia with our full-length articles about fun things to do in Kuala Lumpur, views and attractions in Penang, and top 20 things to do in Langkawi.

What to Eat and Drink

Malaysia’s culinary scene is as diverse as the many ethnic groups that live there. Possibly the most “local” method to eat is to take pleasure in nasi campur (Malay) or nasi kandar (Malaysian Indian) food in the many family-run restaurants. Prepared meats, fish, veggies, and also eggs are displayed without prices; you pay for just how much you put atop your plate of rice.

Kopitiams (coffee shops) are an indivisible part of Malay society. Sweetened tea and coffee beverages (teh tarik is a classic) are offered along with cost-effective snacks such as roti recipes. Although kopitiams are a Malaysian Chinese tradition dating back, they’ve taken pleasure in a reboot as modern-day, hipster hangouts where people fulfill, mingle, and conduct company.

Often consumed for breakfast or on the move, nasi lemak could be called Malaysia’s nationwide dish. The rice in nasi lemak get steamed in coconut milk to offer it tasty sweetness. Several variants of nasi lemak exist, yet generally a hard-boiled egg, spicy sambal sauce, peanuts, as well as fried anchovies are consisted of.

Explore our articles on must-try street foods in Malaysia, food in Penang, and where to eat in Georgetown.


Kuala Lumpur has an abundance of budget-friendly hotel options, yet you’ll initially need to identify which part of the city you like to remain. If eating as well as shopping at big shopping malls are necessary to you, take into consideration one of the flashy hotels nearer to Bukit Bintang. If you prefer smaller hotels in a community with a little more grungy charm, think about remaining nearer to Chinatown. If simplicity of transport is very important, consider a resort near KL Sentral (the heart of Malaysia’s rail network) near Little India.

Lodging alternatives in Malaysia span every budget plan, and space costs are much cheaper than those in bordering Singapore. You’ll locate hostels and little guesthouses beginning at less than $15 a night. On the various other end of the range, you can commonly find remarkably bargains for 5-star resorts in between $100– 150 per night. Airbnb is an option, however examine the place carefully. You’ll invest excessive time waiting on vehicle drivers if based in a household community also far from the action.

Proceed with care when booking online. A few of the least expensive areas in Kuala Lumpur can end up being a great deal rougher than advertised. Room images as well as evaluations on booking sites often get doctored up!

Discover a few of Kuala Lumpur’s a lot of intriguing communities and also our recommendations for the very best hotels in Kuala Lumpur.

Getting There

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) is located around 28 miles south of the city. Malaysia is well connected with Asia as well as Europe via KLIA, especially after the KLIA2 terminal opened up as a growth in 2014. However, there aren’t yet direct flights from the USA to Kuala Lumpur. American travelers will need to attach elsewhere in Asia.

Kota Kinabalu (BKI), Kuching (KCH), and Sandakan (SDK) are the 3 top ports of entry for Malaysian Borneo. For quicker accessibility to Penang, fly right into Butterworth (BWH). For Langkawi, you can fly straight into Langkawi International Flight Terminal (LGK).

Malaysia can likewise be gotten in overland from Singapore as well as Thailand. Many of the luxurious buses from Singapore to Malaysia interest service travelers by using onboard assistants, job desks, as well as Wi-Fi.

Culture and Customs

To be respectful, prevent utilizing your left hand when connecting with others. Stay with using just your right hand as much as feasible when consuming in public. When paying or getting something (e.g., change or food items in a dining establishment), do so with your right hand. For added respect, you can relax your left hand on your right forearm or arm joint so others can see you aren’t using it.

The Islamic divine month of Ramadan is an exciting time to travel in Malaysia. Unique markets, store sales, and events can be seen everywhere. In places such as Kuala Lumpur as well as Penang, plenty of restaurants will still be open prior to dusk. In some smaller locations, you may have less selections when Muslim-owned organisations close. No matter, have a little added persistence for locals who fast during daylight hrs and also may have lower power degrees than common. The server bringing food to your table may be starving!

Although stating “hi” will operate in any kind of circumstance, greetings in Malay are based upon the time of day. Learning the easy expressions can add a little enjoyable to communications on your journey.

Money Saving Tips

  • Tipping in Malaysia isn’t customary; however, gratuity is ending up being extra anticipated in premium resorts that draw in Western visitors. Huge restaurants may add a service fee (typically 10 percent) to the complete costs. Unlike in China and also Japan, showing your gratitude with a tiny suggestion will not cause a scene. You can pick to tip doorpersons and bellboys a ringgit or two; assemble fares for motorists.
  • Benefit from the Kuala Lumpur’s affordable train system, especially the LRT and also monorail, for moving in between sights. Conserve going by Grab as a last hope for when no train terminals neighbor.
  • If you’re required to utilize a taxi in Malaysia, bargain the price first. If the taxi has a meter, pay extra attention to the route taken by the driver.
  • Do not pay the very first rate you’re offered! Haggling is expected in Malaysia, particularly when purchasing in large markets such as Jalan Petaling in Chinatown as well as Pasar Seni, the Central Market.
  • Big occasions can really raise accommodation prices. Chinese New Year is an incredibly busy time as lots of people go out to islands and top destinations during their pause. Reserve your visit during huge events early. As an example, the annual Rainforest World Music Celebration creates a sharp enter resort prices around Kuching.
  • Enjoying scrumptious local food isn’t expensive in all. Be bold: Do not eat in the resort! Check out the area nasi campur eateries as well as food courts that become frenetic with locals around lunchtime– the busier, the much better.
  • Because of taxes of alcohol, partying is a costlier undertaking in Malaysia than in surrounding Thailand. Langkawi and Tioman are 2 duty-free islands where having a sunset beer is less costly than elsewhere.