You'll be amazed by Malaysia's contrasts and friendly people. Soak up shiny and modern skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, enjoy a homecooked, traditional meal in a small village, visit the bountybeaches on one of Malaysia's many islands, and explore the amazing wildlife and nature. The reasons to travel to Malaysia are many.
Malaysia is one of the countries in Asia which reminds us the most of our western world, both when it comes to language and lifestyle. Most of the locals know english quite well, especially compared to it's neighbouring countries. This might be a result of the fact that Malaysia was ruled by England until as far as 1957. But even though the country has a predilection for the Western lifestyle it has kept its own distinctive stamps very well. One thing you can't miss out on is the local Malaysian cuisine, and in particular the Malay Chicken Satay – spicy chicken on barbeque skewers served with a sweet peanut sauce.
The capital Kuala Lumpur appears as a modern and busy metropol with its almost 7 million inhabitants. Kuala Lumpur, often shortened as KL, simply means "muddy estuary". Unlike the rest of the country where the major ethnic group consists of Malay, the majority in KL are Chinese. The city becomes more and more popular among travellers, and offers a variety of exciting culture, attractions and sights. You'll find plenty of cultural temples, exotic markets and historical museums. Furthermore, it makes a perfect city for a little luxury getway – KL in fact offers some of the world's cheapest 5 star hotels! The area called Golden Triangle is where you'll find most of the luxury hotels, nightclubs and shopping malls as well as the famous PetronasTwin Towers.
Tours and activities in Malaysia
KILROY has many different tours and activities to offer you on your stay in Malaysia. Please read more about the different Malaysia adventure tours and activities. You can also check out our Malaysia days tours and sightseeing trips.
Visiting Borneo and the Malaysian state of Sabah, "the land below in wind" in local words, is a must for any traveler in Malaysia. Borneo is the world's third largest island and here you can climb Mount Kinabalu (the highest mountain in Southeast Asia), dive in Sipadan (one of the best diving resorts in the world), and meet the orangutangs and proboscis monkeys on close hand.
Perhentian Islands consists of two islands with endless beaches, crystal clear water and gorgeous coral reefs just waiting for you to explore! If you prefer relaxation in beautiful surroundings as well as a choice of exciting adventures, then you should pack your bikini immediately and head towards these wonderful islands.
In addition to cool water sports the Perhentian Islands offers nice trekking through the lush jungles, and spot some unique and colorful wildlife. Catch a bus from KL to Kuala Besut where there's a speedboat service which takes you to your final destination, takes about 30 minutes from the pier. If you prefer flying, jump on a plane to Kuala Terengganu or Kota Bharu and take a bus or taxi to the pier in Kuala Besut, it takes about 1 – 1½ hour.
Penang is and island located to the north-west, close the the border of Thailand and offers you lush jungle forests, cozy farms and small fishtowns. Georgetown is Penang's centre where most travellers head to. Be prepared for herds of Englishmen with pale legs and tennissocks in their sandals! Dont miss out on the cablecar up to Penang Hill, a mountain with amazing views over the entire island. From here you can spot South East Asia's longest bridge among other beautiful sights. Enjoy lunch or dinner at the restaurants located here on the top of the mountain, followed by a tour to Kek Lok si, the country's largest Buddhist temple – absolutely worth a visit. From the temple you'll get great views over Georgetown, and inside it there's a little lake with turtles you can handfeed. See all our Penang tours and activities.
Getting around in Malaysia
For backpackers and other travellers, the busnetwork works well in Malaysia and prices are good. Most of KL's buses are in great shape and provide aircondition. In smaller cities, the buses are still good but most of them wont have a/c. Most of the taxis in big cities operate with a taxametre, but interstate or in small towns you should negotiate prices before getting in the car. Trains in Malaysia are both efficient and well developed so you easily can travel to every corner of the country, as well as to Thailand in the north or Singapore in the south.
Climate in Malaysia
Malaysia has a tropical climate that doesn't change much throughout the year. Temperatures are constant between 20 and 35 degrees. If you're a beach-lover you should avoid the east coast from November to January, and the west coast between September and December when it's rainy season.
Price level in Malaysia
Travelling as a backpacker on a low budget you can get away with around EUR 20-25 per day if you choose simple accommodation, local transport and avoid expensive restaurants. If you want a little more comfort, use taxis and eat at mid-class restaurants you should budget around EUR 40-55 pr day.
Shopping in Malaysia is in general pretty cheap, and at the large malls you can buy famous brands (usually the real stuff) and electronics for a reasonable price. The best shopping is however the one you do at the local markets. Put on you haggle-jeans and jump in!