Many travelers pose the question: where to go in Malaysia? It is an expansive and beautiful country with many desirable options and here we do our best to answer that very question!
Malaysia is a tourist destination with a myriad of options. An expansive country located at the prime spot of the South China and Andaman seas - Malaysia has many beaches, islands, spa retreats, highland resorts and heritage towns to choose from.
Before planning a Malaysian holiday, it is important to figure out the mood of your visit. Is it going to be a vacation of rest and relaxation? Or an adventure packed exploration? Do you want to spend time in a mountain retreat or a beach resort? Or perhaps you want a bit of everything!
If you select your hub for your visit wisely you can give yourself the option of a bit of everything. If you are in the mood for some sun and sand there is Pulau Langkawi, Pulau Tioman, Pulau Redang and some jewels off the coast of Borneo, such as Sipadan. You have all the charms of island life, beautiful sandy beaches with crystal clear waters and options for some great water adventures like diving, sailing, snorkeling and rafting. For a bit of mountain and rainforest adventure there is Taman Negara, Kota Kinabalu, Mulu National Park etc. If you want something for the kids there are theme parks a short distance from KL including Sunway Lagoon and Desaru Beach. Fraser's Hill is a good spot for entertainment too. Alternatively you can enjoy a holiday nestled up in the Cameron Highlands amongst strawberry farms and tea estates.
Getting to your chosen destination
Once you have decided the mood you can plan on your port of entry into Malaysia and get your accommodation in place.
There are many international airlines flying into Malaysia and the county itself has 5 international airports in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu and Senai near Johor Bahru, each serving regular and extensive flights. There are over 70 different airlines that fly into Malaysia, with at least 9 of them coming from Singapore. Choosing the airport closest to your holiday destination is clearly a wise choice. It is likely, however, that you will have to take a ferry ride, a short road trip or a short domestic flight to your destination if it is set off land.
Choosing the perfect accommodation to complete the trip
The next choice is to look for suitable accommodation. If you are opting for a national park adventure you can find accommodation within the park itself. They have a choice between chalets and cottages to dormitory and camping facilities available. Some national parks in Malaysia, including Niah National Park and Gunung Mulu, have dedicated websites with information on tour packages that you can club with your accommodation. Trekking packages up Mount Kinabalu also include accommodation and meals. Those who are not trekking up and staying back in the park can book into cottages with complementary breakfast packages.
The beach resorts offer a multitude of accommodation options depending on the budgets of the holiday. Some travel sites offer flight and accommodation packages. On occasions you can strike a deal in a star spa hotel with airfare and save almost $300 per person (compared to booking both individually), but it is worth browsing MalaysiaExplorer.net's selected booking partners for a range of price-checked inclusive packages. You can always compare hotel reviews too before making a decision.
A view across one of MalaysiaExplorer.net's top-pick beach resorts: the idyllic, old-world charm of Pangkor Laut Beach Resort (pictured). This accolade goes to resorts providing outstanding value to guests.
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Visa, Climate, Tips & Considerations
The Malaysian visa is often the next step. But if you fall amongst the countries that do not require a visa for entry then that’s another hassle out of the way. If you do need a visa then contact the Malaysian embassy in your city and make the necessary applications. Most Commonwealth and European passport-holders along with US travelers may enter for up to 3 months without a visa, however, citizens of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka do require a visa for tourist entry.
It may be wise to make some ferry or domestic flight bookings to your final destination to avoid last minute issues also. You do not want to be stranded in the airport because either the ferry connecting to the island destination is fully booked or the timings did not match.
Malaysia enjoys a tropical humid climate averaging 86F. It gets a bit cooler in the highland areas. So pack in some light sweaters if you are planning a highland holiday. Between November and February the monsoons set in bringing some heavy downpours along the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia, the northeastern part of Sabah and the western end of Sarawak. Mulu national park and most activities around that region are closed during this season. Boats do not ply between the islands as well so try to plan your holiday between April and October to enjoy the best of Malaysia.
Please remember that Malaysia is predominantly a Muslim country although it entertains a diverse population so it is important to respect the traditions and customs. During the month of Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking in public is prohibited by Islamic law so it is advisable to avoid that month while planning a holiday. Always carry some modest clothing to wear when you are walking around towns and among the local villagers. The beaches in Malaysia are pretty lax about clothing and bikinis are totally acceptable (nudity, however is prohibited by law!).
English is widely spoken in Malaysia so there will not be an issue getting around unless you are in a very remote part of the country. Tourist-oriented nationals manage with whatever spattering of English they know and try their best to make your holiday enjoyable! Our Trip FAQs article is packed with more 'need-to-know' facts for your trip.
We hope we've helped you answer the question: 'where to go in Malaysia?' in this piece! Search the widest range of tour and package options in Malaysia with MalaysiaExplorer.net's booking partner - also find verified guest reviews™ and image galleries.