A Quick Guide For Exploring The Best Of Malaysia
Backpackers, honeymooners, or culture buffs- Malaysia is the perfect destination for all kinds of travelers. Home to a large number of skyscrapers, picture-perfect beaches, forests, and mountains, Malaysia is loved by many. This easy-to-use Malaysia travel guide will help you discover the best of best in Malaysia and will serve as a trusted travel companion while planning a vacation. Ready to discover Malaysia?
Malaysia, the gem of South-east Asia, An Overview
Cities standing as the epitomes of diversity, townscapes laden with the world heritage sites, beaches with a touch of fairytales, and rainforests packed with an abundance of wildlife- Malaysia is truly a precious gem of South-east Asia. While Malaysia is known for its postcard-perfect natural beauty, its colonial shophouses and giant malls make it a shopper’s paradise. Whether it is the twin towers of Kuala Lumpur or the beaches of Langkawi, there are awesome destinations that have flourished the Malaysia tourism. Take a look at some quick facts about this beautiful country!
Some fast facts about the land of gorgeous islands
- The total area covered by Malaysia is 329,758 square kilometers and it has the population of 32,385 million people.
- The capital city of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur which is known for its modern skyline.
- While Malay is the national language of Malaysia, English and Chinese are also widely spoken.
- Ringgit Malaysia (RM or MYR) is the currency of Malaysia and can be exchanged at the banks.
- Islam is the major religion in Malaysia, however, other religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity are also freely practiced.
Best time to visit and weather in Malaysia
Malaysia shares a hot and humid weather throughout the year. The period between November and March is regarded as the best time to visit Malaysia. This is a great time for sightseeing in Malaysia as the country sees the least amount of rain this time. On the other hand, March to September is considered as a nice time to visit the Malaysian beaches as these months are drier than the rest. This is also a good time for snorkeling and trying other activities in the country.
Best Places to Visit in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur- Known for its 451m-tall Petronas Twin Towers, colonial-era landmarks, and high-end malls, Kuala Lumpur is indeed, the best holiday destination in Malaysia.
The Cameron Highlands- The most beloved highland retreat and one of the best places to visit in Malaysia for a honeymoon, The Cameron Highlands creates a tropical paradise at the height of 2000 meters for lovers of lush greenery.
Penang- Located in northwest Malaysia, Penang is most famous for its colonial and multicultural capital George Town and the flower carpet on the Penang Hill.
Melaka- Also spelled as Malacca, Melaka showcases the influence of Portuguese and Dutch culture in Malaysia. From the Dutch-era town hall to Portuguese churches, there are many Malaysia tourism places in Melaka.
Taman Negara- Established in 1938, Taman Negara features a 130 million years old tropical rainforest with canopy walkways, one-of-a-kind flora, and a great birdlife.
Langkawi- Known as the “Jewel of Kedah”, Langkawi comprises 99 picturesque islands with white sand beaches, lush expansive parks, and the world-famous sky bridge.
Selangor- Selangor or the “Abode of Sincerity" is where you will find the best of Islamic as well as Hindu structures in Malaysia. While the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Mosque fascinates visitors with its minarets, the Hindu shrine of Batu Caves is a must-visit too.
Kuching- One of the best places to visit in Malaysia with family, Kuching is an ideal place to learn about the rich culture, history, and lifestyle of Malaysia. A diverse city with many shophouses, colonial buildings, museums, and palaces, Kuching is where the Malaysian soul resides.
The hidden treasures waiting to be discovered
In addition to all the popular holiday destinations in Malaysia, there are some places that are still less explored and unspoiled by the human affair.
Kenyir Lake and its islands - A beautiful artificial lake in Terengganu created in 1985, Kenyir Lake provides a perfect spot for hiking, boating, swimming, and camping.
Janda Baik Eco-Tourism- To experience what nature has to offer in Malaysia, Janda Baik is a great place to be. This small village in Pahang is home to beautiful farms and is popular as an eco-tourism spot.
Colonial Heritage of Bukit Larut- Also known as Maxwell Hill, Bukit Larul is the oldest hill resort in Malaysia. Also known as the wettest place in Malaysia, Bukit Larut offers an insight into the colonial heritage of Malaysia.
Pristine waters of Tenggol Island- Off the coast of Terengganu, Tenggol Island is a highly uninhabited island in Malaysia. A ferry ride from the mainland to Tenggol Island, itself, is an unforgettable experience.
Kanching Recreational Forest- Encompassing an area of 500 hectares, Kanching Recreational Forest is home to 7 gorgeous waterfalls and provides an escape from all the hustle of city life.
The taste of Malaysian delicacies
Malaysian cuisine is nothing but a blend of traditions and cultural kinship. What crowns the Malaysian kitchen are the Chilli peppers, in different sizes, colors, shapes, and forms. You will find the impact of Indian, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, and British cooking styles in the Malaysian dishes. The most popular food among the locals is steamed rice served with different vegetables, curries, and side dishes. Nasi Lemak is called the national dish of Malaysia while Congee, noodles, and kaya toasts are also favored by the Malayan people.
Public transport in Malaysia
Buses, trains, and cars are the main medium of transportation in Malaysia. The transport system that developed during the British colonial period, today, has an expansive network of roads and railways. Malaysia has 6 international airports. Rapid transit and commuter rail are popular inside the Malaysian cities. Rapid bus is the largest bus operator in Malaysia.
Shopping in Malaysia
From street shopping to air-conditioned malls, Malaysia is a wonderful place to get the best retail therapy. While most of the street markets and luxury malls can be found in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, the cities like Langkawi and Cameron Highlands also have colorful and vibrant handicraft markets. Petaling Street, Central Market, and Pavilion in Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi Fair Shopping Mall, and Cameron Square are some of the well-known shopping destinations in Malaysia.
Where to stay in Malaysia
Although there are a large number of relaxing places to visit in Malaysia, you will surely want to stay in a cozy room at night. From luxury resorts to backpackers hostels, there are accommodations for every kind of traveler in Malaysia. While you will find famous hotel chains like Best Western, Sheraton, Novotel, and Marriott, there are budget hotels operated by the locals that offer bed and breakfast at affordable prices.
What to read while in Malaysia
All the bibliophiles reading this blog will surely understand why this point creates a huge importance while planning a Malaysia itinerary. How about reading the books on Malaysia itself? Well, I can suggest you a suitable list!
- A Malaysian Journey by Rehman Rashid
- Malaysia – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture by Victor King
- The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng
- Malaysia: Recipes From a Family Kitchen by Ping Coombes
You can always add some more gems to the list!
Insider tips and Insights about Malaysia
- To understand the local culture, it’s always better to learn the local language.
- There are strict rules for the duty-free concessions. So, make sure that you go to the Red Lane to declare the goods that exceed the limit.
- Malaysia has a hot and humid weather and you must be ready to deal with it.
- If you are willing your Malaysian trip to be budget-friendly, use the well-established public transport in the country.
- You are not required to offer a tip to the waiters and taxi drivers.
Finally, some Malaysian phrases you should remember
Your Malaysia travel would be much interesting and fun-filled if you remember these useful phrases-
- Good Morning- Selamat Pagi
- Good night -Selamat malam
- Please - Sila
- Excuse me- tumpang lalu
- I am going to ..Saya pergi ke....
- How much - Berapa harga
- What time is it - pukul berapa sekarang?
Hope this picture-filled fact-curated guide will help you plan a great trip to Malaysia and you return with a bundle of indelible memories!