Malaysia Travel Guide
🗝️ Key Facts
🏛️Capital: Kuala Lumpur
💶Currency: Ringgit (RM) (MYR)
🕙Time Zone: +8 GMT
📞Phone Code: +60
🌐Language: Malaysian (English understood)
✈️Best time to visit: Dec-Feb
🍴Eat: Nasi lemak
🗺️Don't miss: Petrona Towers in KL
🗺 Menu of Contents:
Malaysia is in the top destinations that foreigners choose in South East Asia, for its foreigner-friendly, culturally interesting and blessed with exotic beautiful scenery and beaches. Visitors can expect white-sand beaches, fine snorkelling and diving opportunities, top-class shopping and dining, and unmissable attractions.
The west coast is home to Kuala Lumpur, which is Malaysia's glittering, cosmopolitan capital. The city abounds with excellent sights and activities, from the Petronas Towers, to the nearby Batu Caves. Kuala Lumpur is also a world-famous shopping destination and a gastronomic delight for the adventurous palate.
East-coast visitors will find several easy-to-reach tropical islands. For its part, northern Peninsula Malaysia has many hill resorts, which provide a welcome respite from the heat and humidity of the coasts.
Nature-lovers will not want to miss east Malaysia. The tropical island is rich by way of outdoor and water-sport opportunities, all found in the twin states of Sabah and Sarawak. Tourists should certainly visit Kinabalu National Park. Its renowned biodiversity has led to it being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Northwest is Penang, a vibrant island where cultural heritage and modern structures are well balanced, home to the landmarks such as colonial, Fort Cornwallis or the ornate Chinese clan house Khoo Kongsi.
Any visit to Malaysia is sure left with appetite for more, the welcoming people and the delicious food, is just some of the many reasons, tourists repeat to this magical land!
Malaysia is highly accessible by air because it's one of the most visited countries by foreigners thanks to its climate, beautiful beaches and scenery and for its shopping haven. The flag carrier of the country is Malaysia Airlines, which over the years has decreased it's presence due to some unfortunate air accidents which saw it loose two aircraft. However it's reputation and service are excellent and stands out with its legendary service and hospitality.
There are numerous other airlines, both from Europe and the Gulf, offering direct services to its capital Kuala Lumpur. As well there are frequent services to its popular holiday resort, Penang and Langkawi, with at least one stop if coming from Europe.
Another option is to travel to Malaysia from other Asian cities doing a tour of the region as many tend to do. For this the reason low cost airlines are the best to travel with, as they offer frequent fights at good prices. Air Asia, is a dominant player in the market. But you can find many more other low cost airlines as well as legacy carriers.
Lastly, you can travel also by train from Thailand or by road, however there is a ferry crossing so you can't make it direct. Travelling by road will take in excess of 18 hours at least from Bangkok. You can travel however to Singapore by road, which is direct and takes about 9 hours.
Within the country, it's popular to travel by air as the distances are quite long and tourists often don't have much time so the air transport is effective and not expensive thanks to the amount of competition there is. (specially with Low cost airlines).
Public transport is well developed in the country and specially in Kuala Lumpur there is an excellent service of metro and busses, air conditioned, giving frequent and affordable service for locals and visitors alike.
Being located on the equator, the climate is very even throughout the year, specially the weather will be always hot and humid with temperatures around 30°C. However there are different seasons . The best season to travel is the cool season when the sun is less direct and at night it can get cooler. (December to February).
On the other side the hot season (March to June), weather is drier and still very hot. The rainy season (July to September) has cloudy and muggy days but can be hot as well so always carry water around with you. By the beach it's not as hot as the inland but the sun is very strong so always take some protection if you're skin is sensitive to burn.
Malaysia is a great place to taste a multitude of cuisines, an interesting fusion of European, Chinese and Indian flavours can be found in markets and restaurants alike.
The national cuisine shares similarities with Thai and Indonesian food, but Malaysian cooking has its own unique specialities, based on exotic spices, chilli, ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves, coconut milk and peanuts. Many dishes are extremely spicy, but rice is served with almost everything.
Although Malaysia is predominantly Islamic, bars and restaurants in larger cities serve beer, wine and spirits to cater for the tourists.
Specialities which can be found are: Nasi lemak, rice steamed with coconut milk, served with dried anchovies, sambal, peanuts and eggs, the national dish.Char KwayTeow, thick rice noodles stir fried with soy sauce and meat or fish. Nasi goreng, Malay-style fried rice, a favourite at street stalls and night markets.Roti canai, fried flat bread with curry sauce, a delicious and cheap snack served everywhere. Rendang daging, slow-cooked beef with lemongrass and coconut.Rojak, a spicy fruit or vegetable salad, plus other ingredients such as fried tofu and youtiao (Chinese crullers). Laksa, a hot and sour seafood soup with coconut milk.Nasi kandar, mamak-style steamed rice with curries and vegetable side dishes. Aiskacang, a Malay desert of shaved ice, fruits, beans, sweetcorn, grass jelly, condensed or evaporated milk and fruit syrups.
As for drinks: Tehtarik, it's like ‘pulled’ tea, made with sweet condensed milk and poured between two jugs to aerate the mix.
From the three times I've had the opportunity to travel to Malaysia, all have left me with incredible stories, memories and good feelings. The city of Kuala Lumpur is well organised, clean, safe and modern. There is so much to see and do, naturally a heaven for shoppers but great for culture and sightseers too. Friendly locals with good level of English helped me to enjoy the city even further and eating is just a pleasure as you will find every type of cuisine you can imagine. A true mixture of cultures all living peacefully was also a good experience.
In 2019, Penang was another part of Malaysia to have visited. It greatly surprised me by being an UNESCO world heritage site, with lots of blended culture, history and colonial buildings to admire. It's calm way of life but homely and warm gave me a good feeling of relaxation. There are many beautiful spots to discover outside of the city also, with great views, both natural and impressive temples built on the mountain hills. Penang is a great place for a more laid back life, yet again it's local restaurants and many street food stands offer a great taste of rich Malaysian cuisine together with many flavours of other cultures. The food offer is just amazing! Tasty, yet cheap and always comes with great Malaysian hospitality!
Definitely a country I would recommend to visit and explore!
(visited 3 times)