12 Dec THE DIVERSITY OF MAGICAL MALAYSIA
Welcome to Malaysia, an enchanting destination that excites the senses and immerses travelers in a kaleidoscope of colors, flavors and experiences. From the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur to the idyllic islands, and from the hip food culture in Penang, to the pristine wilderness of Sabah.
A trip to Malaysia almost always begins or ends in the capital Kuala Lumpur. Therefore, don’t miss these highlights!
A popular tourist attraction north of Kuala Lumpur in Selangor are the Batu Caves. The Batu Caves have three caves with temples and Hindu shrines surrounded by many monkeys. With 272 steps, lots of tourists and tropical heat, it is better to arrive early in the morning on weekdays, before 10 a.m., to avoid it. Despite this, it is still worth it.
Thean Hou Temple
Located on Robson Hill, this temple is one of the oldest and largest Buddhist temples in Malaysia, as well as in all of Southeast Asia! This temple is not so easy to reach by public transportation, but we definitely recommend you take a look at it, as it is beautifully decorated. Unlike most religious sites, there is no dress code that you must adhere to when visiting the temple. Still, we recommend dressing modestly as a sign of respect.
WHERE TO EAT IN KUALA LUMPUR
– Restoran Rebung by Dato Chef Ismail – a traditional restaurant by a local hero! This TV personality is a well-known chef who serves his meals buffet style in his colorful restaurant.
– Jalan Alor – If you are visiting KL and love food, you should definitely go to Jalan Alor in the evening – located at the north of Jalan Bukit Bintang. During the day, the area around Jalan Alor is relatively quiet, but by late afternoon it turns into a lively outdoor restaurant. Jalan Alor is known for its various street stalls selling tasty and fresh street food, known as the “hawker stalls.
– Little India – For the best Malay and Indian food, you must head to Little India, especially Jalan Masjid India. The colorful and lively street offers fresh, tasty Indian snacks where everyone eats with their hands. Here we ate one of the best Indian meals ever.
For more about Kuala Lumpur, and where to stay, check our full Kuala Lumpur Guide!
A week is not even enough to see half of what Sabah has to offer. But from what we have seen, we can tell you that this green region of Malaysia is magical and we have plenty of tips for you!
Better known as KK, is the capital of the state of Sabah, which only relatively recently (in 2000) gained city status. With an abundance of endless eco- and cultural villages, you are guaranteed an experience unlike any other. In this article, we highlight some of the attractions and places to stay in and around the city and region of Sabah. If you want to spend some time in KK, be sure to stop by the Filipino Night Market. This famous eatery in Borneo is located at Jalan Kampung Air.
Visit Manukan Island
Near Kota Kinabalu, just a 15-minute boat ride away, is a place that is a wonderful treat for nature and adventure lovers. It is one of five tropical islands – Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Sulug and Pulau Mamutik. Many people come here for the underwater activities, so it can get a little crowded, yet Pulau Manukan is one of the best islands for diving and snorkeling.
For more about Sabah and other nice activities, check our guide to Sabah!
One city in Malaysia you do not want to miss is Penang and especially George Town which is located on Penang Island. In contrast to the rest of the region, there is a real coffee culture here. Unique and good restaurants can be found in several streets. But Penang is best known for its beautiful street art that you will find on almost every corner. Many artists are local and often props such as bicycles are used to add depth to a mural. Restaurants and coffee joints pop up every month, so our advice is to just go there, book a nice boutique hotel and browse around.
From Penang, you can take the bus and boat to this tropical island. Don’t expect brand new hotels and tall buildings – on Pangkor it’s nice and back to basics, except for one luxury resort, the Pangkor Laut resort. The island itself is spot cheap, and you have some relaxing beaches with several restaurants. A fun fact; A local man on the island, 20 years ago once started feeding the special Hornbills that you can find here on the island. Since then, they come to the same spot exactly at 6:30 p.m. to eat their white bananas. You can see this spectacle with your own eyes and let a Hornbill Hornbill eat out of your hand while flying! You can find them in the street opposite the Sunset View Chalet.
All in all, Malaysia has many faces. Book that ticket, follow your favourite route, and awaken your senses.