Despite its natural and cultural attractions, Malaysia is probably one of the countries in Southeast Asia with the least amount of Western tourism. Yet, this country would give a pleasant surprise experience to any traveller who is visiting it.
In Malaysia, you can enjoy basically everything. There is a natural landscapes like Taman Negara or the jungles of Borneo, paradise islands in Pulau Kapas or incredible turquoise waters in Mabul, cultural enclaves in Melaka, the street art of cities in Penang or a modern city in Kuala Lumpur. That said, Malaysia do offer plenty of travelling elements, as it is one of the multi-cultural in Southeast Asia.
If your idea is to visit this incredible country, we leave you a series of advice and recommendations to plan better what is going to be your route.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND TIPS FOR TRAVELLING TO MALAYSIA ON YOUR OWN
- Leave your prejudices at home: Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country. It is a society open to other religions and happy to welcome tourists.
- It is a perfect country to travel to alone: Like the rest of Southeast Asia, Malaysia is a perfect country to travel to alone. The country is very safe and open to foreign tourists. As we said before, forget about prejudices for being a Muslim country. You can dress as you like, go to the beach as you like (except topless) and only when you want to visit a mosque you will have to dress appropriately (just like men).
- You don’t need to be fluent in English. But if you know it is better. Malaysia and Singapore are the Southeast Asian countries with the best level of English among the local population. If you good in english speaking, you will find it very easy to get along. If you don’t speak english, that’s OK too…as you will still can survive with simple english. The best thing is that Bahasa, even if you can’t understand it, you can read it, so it’s easy to recognise signs and signals.
- It is a country rich in cultural variety: In addition to its original ethnic groups, Malaysia is a multi-cultural country, with a large presence of Chinese communities and communities of Indian or Pakistani origin. This is reflected in its history, culture and religion. Enjoy this cultural variety in every destination you visit.
- Malaysia is one of the best eating countries globally: Thanks to the mix of cultures in the country, Malaysia is a country where eating is a real pleasure. You can enjoy the best of Indian, Chinese and of course the best of traditional Malaysian cuisine. Savouring the country is perhaps one of the best Malaysian travel tips we can give you.
- Kuala Lumpur, the capital: Undoubtedly one of the destinations you cannot miss on your trip. Kuala Lumpur is a modern city, a perfect example of the great capitals of Southeast Asia. It is also the ideal destination for shopping.
- Don’t forget to bring an adaptor: In Malaysia, the power plugs are different, so it is very important to bring an adaptor from home or buy one if you are come from western countries.
- It is a perfect country to spend a long time travelling: Apart from its natural attractions, Malaysia has the advantage of allowing many nationalities (e.g. Spanish, Argentinians and Uruguayans) to stay for three months on a visa and gives you the option to leave and re-enter and get another 30 days more.
- It is a very easy-going country to travel around: Malaysia is perfect for travelling. It has a road network that allows you to connect by bus to any point in the country. It also allows you to travel by train from the north to the south (vice versa) and the best thing is that thanks to the great development of low-cost airlines you can fly to any destination at really low prices.
- Choose your route wisely: Malaysia is a big country, and it takes a long way to get around. Consider the travel time when making a long journey. Consider whether it’s better to travel by land and spend many hours travelling or take a flight, pay a little more and travel for a few hours (or less).
- Choose the right date: Travel at the right time is the key to enjoy travelling in Malaysia. It is better to go Malaysia during its dry season (May to October) of the year. Although there may be some rainfall, you will usually find good weather throughout the country. Travelling in the rainy season has the disadvantage that many islands in the Gulf of Thailand (west coast) are almost closed or that it is very uncomfortable to enjoy the highlands of the country (Cameron Highlands) or its natural parks (Taman Negara or Borneo).
- It is not a country for beer drinkers: Yes, this is perhaps Malaysia’s only drawback. It is not easy to get alcohol, and it is certainly the most expensive thing there is. Being a Muslim-majority country, alcohol is not forbidden, but, indeed, it is not sold everywhere. Except in the cities or destinations where there is a Chinese or Indian community in the country, it will be difficult to find alcohol. On the other hand, it is a country to enjoy non-alcoholic drinks such as fruit juices and smoothies.