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10 Things to know Before Traveling to Malaysia


Travel into Malaysia can be a warm, and welcoming experience!

The county is famed for good food, welcoming locals, and thick rainforest. A lot of people skip over traveling Malaysia, and I don’t get it.

Malaysia might be the most underrated country when backpacking Southeast Asia.

I’ve spent months traveling in Malaysia. And In this post, you’ll quickly learn 12 things to know before you travel in Malaysia.

I’ve had many different Malaysia itinerary that has taken me from sleeping at the homes of welcoming locals to the Peninsular Malaysia (in the west) to the British colonial buildings in Penang, and all the way to East Malaysia.

And before booking a flight, see this Safe Travel Resource for Malaysia that lists entry requirements to Malaysia, travel restrictions, quarantine, and other imporant information for arriving tourists in the country. 

Table of Contents

Travel Into Malaysia Tip – UPDATED Covid 19 Restrictions

The capital of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur, or KL for short, is home to the Petronas Twin Towers or Petronas Tower for short. These two Towers are a set of 88-story, identical, Islam-inspired, buildings in the heart of KL.

These 20-year-old towers are a highlight of visiting KL and one of the main meeting areas. 

 Get an awesome view of the city from the amazing sky bridge 170 meters up. KL is also known for shopping, at the bottom of the towers there’s a shopping center.

If you want to escape the city head to Batu Caves. This quick day trip isn’t far away from downtown KL. This cave shows off some of the natural landscape found right outside a major city.

2 – Head into Nature

Or any of nature for that matter. Malaysia has tea plantations, stunning national parks, highlands, rain forests, deep valley, and conservation areas like the Danum Valley

That might seem like a lot, but that is just the tip of the iceberg for outdoor adventures. There’s the underrated east coast, large Mount Kinabalu, and lush Taman Negara national park.

All that to say that when you are playing your Malaysia itinerary. Don’t spend all your time in KL or Johor Bahru! Get out there, see the landscape.

3 – Don’t Be Afraid to Talk to Locals

Malaysian citizens are some of the warmest, welcoming, and honest people in Southeast Asia. 

One thing that sets the Malay people apart is their welcoming nature feels genuine. They see you as a person, and not just a traveller with lots of money. 

So whether you are trekking in the highlands or chilling in Pantai Cenang – on Langkawi Island – talk to the locals. 

This is the best piece of travel advice I can give you because Malaysian citizens will know more about their country than any of us will ever discover.

Note: While the Malay people are known for their kindness, not everyone is good anywhere in the world. The most important piece of travel advice is to trust your gut.

4 – Go Scuba Diving

South East Asia is known all around the world for its incredible scuba diving. In countries like Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia it’s cheap to take a diving course.

No matter where you are in Malay from Peninsular Malaysia to Borneo you can find world-class diving.

Sipadan Island is home to some of the best scuba diving in the world. The efforts to preserve the island have increased in recent years, saving the locations so that visitors can continue to dive and enjoy the natural beauty.

There are many places to learn diving in South East Asia, but you can’t go wrong on peninsula Malaysia.

5 – Embrace the Diversity

One of the first things you’ll notice one your Malaysia travel is the sheer amount of diversity across the country. the is one of the most diverse countries in Southeast Asia .

The country’s population rounds up to about 30 million people and is made up of people, not only the Malay, but also many Chinese, and Vietnam .

Indians, Indigenous People, and an array of European influences. Malaysian culture is a beautiful blend of all of them and is what makes the country all it’s own. This makes for fantastic food, different neighborhoods, and cities that have a unique feeling to them.

With such a depth of culture Malaysia is perfect for hanging with locals , and getting off the beaten path.

6 – Go to the Islands

Malaysia travel isn’t only about visiting at least one national park. It’s also about soaking up the sun on an island.

Malaysia not only has the province of Sarawak and eastern Sabah, on the thick jungle island Malaysian Borneo, the third biggest island in the world and home of the orang utan. 

But you have the beach resort filled Perhentian Island, teeming with beauty, and beaches.

Langkawi, which is a serene archipelago made up of 140 islands, that has fun adventures for the Malaysia Itinerary. Adventures like the Sky Bridge, Cable Cars, and the tall mountain peak of Gunung Raya.

7 – Enjoy the Food

Food is a huge part of Malaysia travel. And I’m not just talking about Malay food. But food from all over Central and Southeast Asia. The Chinese influence is food in the cuisine.

Hakka Stalls are great little food markets that let you try food from all over the world. Some food you find is similar to markets in Mexico. . But I like the Malay, Chinese, and Indian food the best. Hakka Stalls are found all over the country, but Kuala Lumpur has the best ones.

So whether you are in the bustling beach town of Pantai Cenang in Langkawi or in downtown Kuala Lumpur.

Nasi Lemak is a traditional Malaysian dish. It’s made of steamed rice with coconut milk, and pandan leaves.

Eat everything in Malaysia, but not only Malay food. I highly suggest Indian and Chinese food in major cities like Kuala Lumpur. 

Get ready to pack on a few pounds. Don’t worry it is worth it!

8 – Visit Mount KINABALU

 Mt. Kinabalu, with an elevation of 13,435 feet, is the tallest mountain in Malaysia. If you’re like me and love backpacking and hiking, is a must-climb. 

Although here’s a little good travel advice, even if you aren’t a hiker, then consider still paying a visit to Mt. National Park that is filled with a plethora of Malaysia’s natural beauty.

9 – Visit Eastern Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysian

Borneo, one of the largest islands in the world, is held by both Malaysia and Indonesia. Malaysia has two states on Borneo, the states of Eastern Sabah, and Sarawak. 

Borneo is a one-of-a-kind place. It’s lush with jungles, rivers, and wildlife. Here you’ll see the strange proboscis monkey or the Red Apes known as orangutan (orang utan).

Eastern Sabah and Sarawak are a couple of the only places in the world to see these apes in the wild. 


The main religion of Malaysia is Islam so drinking alcohol is socially frowned upon in Malaysia, although it still happens. 

In an effort to reduce drinking further, they do offer are unusually expensive. Try not to waste too much of your budget on getting a buzz.


Trishaws are elaborately decorated bikes that give rides around the cities of Malaysia.

At least one trishaw ride is highly recommended. It is easy to get between cities by bus.

Malaysia Travel is cheap as well.


While Islam is the national religion of Malaysia, Christianity and Buddhism are also very prevalent throughout.

It’s nearly impossible to pass through a major city without seeing some of the many religious temples that litter the streets, so seeing some as you pass through will be worth your time. Just make sure that before you leave grab this Uber Promo Codes and Airbnb coupon code to help you save more money.

Related Post: 10 Things to Know Before Visiting Vietnam / Best Way to Get from Malaysia to Singapore 

What do you think? What is the first thing you would do when traveling to Malaysia?

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