Super useful and totally free travel guides to Malaysia

View of the entrance to Batu Caves in Malaysia
Entrance to Batu Caves in Malaysia

Why We Love Malaysia – Sure, Malaysia’s tourism scene is often overshadowed by Thailand to the north. But guess what? Just like its more popular neighbor, Malaysia has the same type of tropical blue idyllic beaches with lush jungles climbing up soaring beach-side cliffs. Plus, Malaysia has a distinct culture (actually, more like three of them!) to boot. And all of this can be explored without pushing through the same crowds of holiday visitors that you’ll find in the more popular Southeast Asian destinations.

Best of Malaysia

🏙️ Destinations

The Kota Kinabalu City Mosque and its reflection on the water during sunset
Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

Malaysia is broadly split into two parts: peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo (with more tourists visiting the former than the latter). Some of the best places to visit in Malaysia include:

  • Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia’s capital city is famous for its juxtaposition of cultures and eras.
  • Penang – an underrated tropical island, home to lush rainforest but also to the UNESCO World Heritage Georgetown old town.
  • Kota Kinabalu – a coastal city surrounded by rainforest in Malaysian Borneo, and the usual starting point for orangutan adventures.
  • Langkawi – perhaps the most “touristy” part of Malaysia, Langkawi is still relatively underrated compared to similar islands to the north in Thailand.

✨ Things to Do

Food, history, adventure, and nature – you’ll find so many fun things to do in Malaysia. Some of the most popular attractions and activities include:

  • Petronas Twin Towers – Kuala Lumpur’s iconic soaring towers are the symbol of the city.
  • Mount Kinabalu – climb the highest mountain Borneo, if you dare.
  • Georgetown’s Street Art – hunting for street murals is one of the best things to do in Penang.
  • Lost World of Tambun – a theme park complex that’s a fun activity in Malaysia for the whole family.
  • Batu Caves – limestone hill with a series of caves, temples, and Instagram-famous colored stairs.
  • Hawker Markets – some of the best food in the world can be found in Malaysia’s famous hawker street food stalls.
View of the Petronas Twin Tower at night in Malaysia
Petronas Twin Towers at night (photo: Noppasin Wongchum / Shutterstock)

Malaysia Travel Advice

🗓️ Best Time to Visit

If you’re planning to visit Malaysia’s west coast (e.g. Penang), then any time between December to February would be good. On the other hand, if the east coast (e.g. Perhentian and Tioman Island) is your target destination, it’s best to plan your trip between the months of May to September.

⚠️ Safety

Other than petty theft and taxi drivers trying to rip off tourist passengers–both of which are common types of crime that can be avoided if you’re careful and attentive enough, Malaysia is a very safe place to visit. Still, it is a good idea to check the latest US State Department travel advisories for your destination.

🤓 Facts & Info

  • Population – 32.4 million
  • Capital – Kuala Lumpur
  • Currency – Malaysian Ringgit ($1 = ~4.36 ringgit)
  • Language – Malay
  • Plugs – Type G, 240V / 50Hz.

💵 Budgeting & Money

Major hotels and restaurants in the cities accept debit/credit cards, but you would need to shell out cash when paying for taxis, souvenirs, and street food. ATMs are widely available. 

📰 Malaysia Travel Guides

Getting planning your trip to Malaysia with all our Malaysia travel guides: