I wound up spending quite a while exploring this beautiful, highly underrated country, so here’s my Malaysia itinerary for 2 weeks.
Malaysia was actually a total surprise! I only went there because the cheapest flight from Bali went to Kuala Lumpur, and I thought I’d make a proper trip out of it.
I think Malaysia is still a bit overlooked among travelers, and people prefer to travel to neighboring countries like Thailand and Indonesia. Don’t make that mistake! Malaysia is really a very beautiful country. It’s also budget-friendly, travel throughout is pleasant, and Malaysians are both super friendly and speak English.
In my two weeks in Malaysia, I traveled through big cities, through jungles, around tea plantations, and out to tropical islands. It has a bit of everything, and because of this, I think it might just be one of my favorite Asian countries.
Here’s my Malaysia itinerary along with some tips if you want to explore Singapore and Borneo as well!
Malaysia Travel Tips
In the summer, it’s six hours ahead in Malaysia than in the Netherlands. In the winter, it’s seven hours ahead.
Currency + Costs Malaysia
Malaysian money is called the Malaysian Ringgit. In 2018, it’s roughly 1 EUR = 5 MYR
Best travel time
Because Malaysia has a tropical climate, the weather is always nice, somewhere between 25C and 35C. It’s a bit cooler in the Cameron Highlands, and the summer months have the least amount of precipitation. While it generally rains quite a bit in Malaysia, it’s often only in the evening and not for very long.
It is best to make an appointment with the GGD to see which vaccinations you need exactly. In general, we recommend DTP, Hepatitis A and BMR (if you have never been vaccinated against measles). If you go to the jungles of Borneo you may have to take an emergency cure for Malaria. However, make sure you consult with actual doctors!
The Perfect Malaysia Itinerary for 2 Weeks
Day 1 – 3: Kuala Lumpur
Your journey will, of course, start in Kuala Lumpur, one of my favorite Asian metropolises. You may be surprised that it’s actually very Western with its high skyscrapers and shiny shopping centers. It’s also full of culture where you can explore places like Chinatown or get a taste of some Hindu culture in the famous Batu Caves.
For tours of Kuala Lumpur:
- Kuala Lumpur Culture + Heritage Tour
- Kuala Lumpur Suburbs + Batu Caves Half Day Tour
- Putrajaya and Heritage Park Tour
You get the very best view of Kuala Lumpur from the infinity pool of the Platinum Suites. The rooms are also very comfortable: they have their own kitchen, comfortable beds, and are within walking distance of the Petronas Towers. Check rates + availability here
Day 4-5: Cameron Highlands
Between the mountains is a beautiful green plateau, colored with a mix of natural forest growth and the bushes of tea plantations. The temperature is cool and comfortable, and the quiet is an escape from the chaos and heat of Kuala Lumpur. It takes around 3-4 hours to get to the Cameron Highlands, so plan to visit for two nights. This will give you at least one full day to enjoy the beautiful fields
For a full guide to the Cameron Highlands, check this post.
If you do only have a day, check out this day tour from Kuala Lumpur.
If you are looking for something on a budget, many travelers recommend Orchid Haven, which is a more social guesthouse that offers different tours. If you just want luxury, and then stay at the Cameron Highlands Resort.
Day 6-9: Penang
Penang is a state on the west coast of Malaysia. To be honest, the west coast is a much nicer side of the country. Its most famous area is its capital, George Town. Definitely stay here as it’s a nice city with historic houses, trendy street art, and great food. The city center feels more like a village than a city, and it’s even a UNESCO World Heritage site.
From George Town, you can easily visit the beaches of Batu Ferringhi or Penang Hill.
For Tours Around Penang:
I stayed at The Frame Guesthouse, and I highly recommend it. It’s housed in a beautiful, traditional building; the owner is lovely, and the rooms are comfortable. It’s within walking distance of Love Lane on Chulia Street.
Day 10-14: Langkawi
How does ending your vacation with a few days on a tropical beach sound? Sounds pretty perfect to me!
In that case, you can choose between two places: the Perhentian Islands or Langkawi. Because of its location, I chose Langkawi.
The island is full of beautiful beaches and waterfalls, and it has such a lovely, quiet vibe. From the SkyBridge, you have one of the most beautiful views ever.
For four days, I did almost nothing other than floating around in the pool, lying on the beach, and riding a scooter around. It was a vacation in the truest sense of the word, and I ended my trip feeling fully relaxed! *Side Note: Don’t go swimming in the sea as there’s a lot of jellyfish!
You can easily get to Langkawi from Penang via ferry, and the ride will be around 3 hours. You could also just fly, which is often around the same price, and only takes half an hour.
For Tours Around Langkawi:
If you’re on a budget I recommend staying at The Crowded House. It’s a super cozy hostel with a relaxed vibe and a really nice swimming pool. A lot of the guests stay here for more than few days.
If you have 3 weeks for Malaysia…
Add one or more of these destinations :-)
Jungle lovers will love to go to Taman Negara. This nature park claims to be the oldest rainforest in the world, even older than the Amazon. It is also the largest nature park in Malaysia. It’s located about 4 hours from Kuala Lumpur and is easy to combine with a trip to the capital. Check to see if you’d want to do a day tour or an overnight tour.
Only 2 hours by bus, a popular day trip from Kuala Lumpur is the historic coastal city of Malacca. The city has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2008. Because of its convenient location, Malacca has always been a rich trading city until Singapore took this crown. Discover the old center and see, among other things, the Dutch colonial influence in the form of the “Stadhuys.”
These two islands are generally seen as the most beautiful islands in Malaysia and are ideal if you want to snorkel or a romantic getaway with your partner. My friends have been there and said that the islands are nicer than Langkawi, but there’s a lot less to do and may be boring for some. If you go, make sure it’s between March and October to avoid the rainy season.
The beautiful Malaysian Borneo is located on a different island than mainland Malaysia, and is known for its jungle, its enormous biodiversity, great snorkeling, and, of course, the world-famous orangutans! This can be combined with a trip through Kalimantan in Indonesia or a visit to Bruneï, the other two countries that own territory on the same island.
For tours around Borneo:
- Kota Kinabalu City Half Day Tour
- Bako National Park Day Tour
- Tunku Abdul Rahman Island Visit & Boat Snorkeling Experience
If you are in Malaysia, you definitely want to do at least 2 or 3 days in Singapore. A one-way bus journey from Kuala Lumpur takes about 5-8 hours. You could also take a night train that’ll take 7-8 hours or fly over in an hour.
Anything I’m missing from this Malaysia itinerary?
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