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How to travel around Malaysia?

What you need to know

General information

Most visitors from European countries, the US or Australia get a visa on arrival.

In Malaysia they use the currency Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)

1 MYR = $0,246

1 MYR = £0,171

1 MYR = €0,219

Malaysia is actually a quit cheap country to travel. It was cheaper than Cambodia or Laos. The highest spends was probably on accommodation:

Around 30 MYR for a dorm

Around 60-80 MYR for a double room

Food and even transportation is comparatively favourable.

Transportation around Malaysia.

All you need to know

Getting around Malaysia

Traveling Malaysia is really easy! There is no need to take a train or a plane as the bus system is really good! If you have travelled around Southeast Asia already, you will realize that transportation in Malaysia is totally relaxed! The busses are alright, the streets are ok (a little bit curvy at some spots –  like between Cameron Highlands and Kuala Lumpur – but at least they have proper streets!) and the prices for bus tickets are fixed. So no reason for bargaining and no rip-off!


Penang and especially Georgetown (named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is a place where we could have stayed for weeks. It is hip, relaxed, rich in culture and natural beauties and the food is amazing! The guesthouse Dreamcatcher Travelers Refuge was the best place we stayed in during our whole trip. What you definitely need to do is to search for all the hidden street art all around Georgetown. You can get a free map which helps you to find all the secret street art spots. And there is much more to discover: the street of harmony (temples, a church and a mosque located in one street), the floating market at the jetty or Little India.

And the food on Penang is delicious! There are so many restaurants and so much street food you need to try. The best Indian food we ever had was at Sri Ananda Bahwan! Another place to go we can recommend is the The Mugshot Cafe. The coffee is nice and you can play table soccer with locals! If you are really into food and drinks try the fresh fruit juices they sell in plastic bags – just choose the fruits you like and they blend them for you.

There two places which a great for a day trip:

  1. Hike through the Penang National Park (Taman Negara Pulau Pinang) until you reach monkey beach. You can catch a boat back to the starting point (by the way you pay the boat and not per person – so the more people you are the cheaper the boat ride).
  2. Visit the great Ke Lok Si temple  and go up the penang hill by cableway.

Perhentian Islands (Perhentian Kecil)

The Perhentian islands consist of two islands. We stayed on Perhentian Kecil (small) for a couple of days!  The island has two main beaches Long Beach and Coral Bay. We stayed on the Long Beach side (Long beach is bigger)!

What you need to do is the snorkel tour to Rawa beach, serengeh island and tokong burung! This was just amazing! The reef seems still untouched at some points! So please take care and don’t touch or destroy any corals.

Perhentian Kecial is also the place to learn diving! You can do the PADI Open Water Diver course for only 900 MYR (€200, £158 and $223).

Cameron Highlands

What’s so great about Cameron Highlands?

People will tell you that this is one of the greatest places in Malaysia! For us it was ok… There are advertising posters everywhere, the town itself is not that nice and it is cold! Yeah, really cold as you are very high up in the mountains. It is worth it to visit this place for a short time, have a nice hike and that’s it.

The tea plantations look nice of course and it is great take some pictures over here. Just to let you know, if you plan walking the whole trek, it is quite impossible. We heard this is the one and only place to do hitchhiking – so we did!

Kuala Lumpur

The city Kuala Lumpur is great! It is a central hub when you travel around Southeast Asia and we prefer Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. So if you have to choice, choose KL!
What can you do in Kuala Lumpur? Of course shopping! But where to shop in Kuala Lumpur?  The Petronas Twin Towers are not only the number one sight of Kuala Lumpur, but they also offer an immersive and superior shopping experience. And there are more places where you can shop: Mails Pavillion, Starhill Gallery or the area Bukit Bintang in general.
To give you a quick overview what else you need to do in Kuala Lumpur:
Go to China town (here you can buy everything you need or don’t need – anyways it is cheap, but you have to bargan). Visit the heli lounge bar: a beer, cocktail or wine costs about 30 MYR and wedges about 17 MYR. What’s so great about it? You have an amazing view as you sip you cocktail on a freaking helicopter landing pad.
Another highlight are the Batu caves. The caves are not too special, but the monkeys are funny! You want to see how monkeys attack tourists and steel their food? This is the place to go then. The train return ticket costs 4 MYR (don’t book a tour – they charge you around 70 MYR – just do it on your own).
It is also nice to go for a walk around Merdeka Square.
Getting around in Kuala Lumpur is really easy and also cheap! The green and purple busses within the city are even for free (but watch out: the busses are called green are purple, but they don’t have the actual color. You need to look at the display). More information on http://www.gokl.com.my
Taking a train is also quite cheap. A short distance ticket sometimes only costs around about 1 MYR. More information on http://www.ktmb.com.my.
You find all information about bus and rail rides as well as prices on http://www.myrapid.com.my/.
If you are leaving to another country from Kuala Lumpur, you should check the Ekspress klia train. A ticket costs about 35 MYR and it takes 30 Minute to get to the airport. It is also possible to catch a bus from KL sentral: a bus ticket only costs 10 MYR but you will need at least 1 hour to get to the airport.

Where we didn’t go: Taman Negara, Pulau Tioman and Melaka

Taman Negara: we skipped the jungle in Malaysia as we made some great experiences in Indonesia and preferred to have some clean clothes for a while. People told us that hiking in Taman Negare is great! Take care of leeches and keep in mind, the train going into the National Park was broken for a while. So better ask if there is any train going.

Pulau Tioman: relaxed island, only one road and blue water! What else do you want? This island is in the south on the east coast.

Melaka/Malakka): is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site! This port city is quite close to Singapur.

Food you need to try when you are in Malaysia

Lok Lok (see picture)

Indian Dosa & Naan

Peranakan or Nonya cuisine

Cendol (ice cream and jelly)

5 Must-Do’s in Malaysia

Learn more

  • Find street art in Georgetown/Penang
  • Learn how to dive on Perhentian Kecil
  • Do a snorkel tour all around the Perhentian Islands
  • Visit a rooftop bar in Kuala Lumpur
  • Eat Indian Food all around Malaysia

More information on YouTube