Malaysia is at the top of many people’s travel bucket lists, and with good reason. The perfect combination of incredible beaches, stunning cityscapes and inspiring culture and architecture – it has everything you could want in a travel destination. It’s no wonder that many backpackers spend some time here on their adventures.
But what if you don’t want to backpack? The good news is that Malaysia has something for everyone, regardless of your budget. Planning a luxury trip to Malaysia is easier than you think, and with some considered planning you can enjoy the trip of your dreams.
Take a look at these top tips for enjoying Malaysia in style.
It’s easier than ever to travel to Malaysia, and if you get a flight to Kuala Lumpur, you’ll be able to fly direct from many international destinations. The flight time from South Africa is just over 11 hours, and from Kuala Lumpur International you’ll be able to continue to other destinations in Malaysia. Flights are becoming more affordable all the time, so book your flight and try your luck for an upgrade and start planning your trip.
Destinations to visit
To make the most of your visit, and to avoid having to move too much from place to place in backpacker fashion, you should choose a couple of places to visit and base your Malaysian adventure around them. Some recommended destinations include the capital, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Malacca and the Perhentians in Terengganu. This will give you the best mix of sightseeing, culture, nightlife and relaxation – allowing you to experience the best that Malaysia has to offer.
Where to stay
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation in Malaysia. There are some incredible luxury resorts that will cater to your every whim which will make your trip all that more relaxing and indulgent. However, when you’re in Kuala Lumpur, it’s worth experiencing true city life by booking some self-catering accommodation and getting out to explore the city. Try looking for a house for rent in Cyberjaya if you’re planning on staying for a longer period, as this will give you much more freedom and flexibility. Accommodation in Malaysia is very affordable, so you can afford to splash out on something a little more luxurious.
Things to do
There’s so much to see and do in Malaysia that you’ll want to plan your trip carefully to make sure you don’t miss out on anything! Some of the highlights to help you have an incredible trip include:
- Malacca City – a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the old and new meet for a city that is full of amazing architecture, with heavy Portuguese influence – including the amazing Structure of A’Famosa.
- Visit Legoland in Malaysia, which makes for a fun day out to break up all of the sightseeing.
- Kinabalu Park – featuring amazing landscapes, hot springs and the chance to see some incredible Asian wildlife.
- George Town in Penang – with its shopping and fascinating British-inspired architecture, where you’ll be able to enjoy some great museums and learn more about the history of the town.
There really is so much to do, so try to plan out most of your days in Malaysia to make sure you can experience the best of it.
Take in the temples and mosques
Malaysia is home to some of the world’s most incredible temples of mosques, where you’ll find a mix of temples belonging to Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism faiths. With amazing architecture and a warm welcome, you’ll need to visit several during your stay. Some of the most beautiful temples and mosques to visit in Malaysia include:
- The Batu Caves Temple in Kuala Lumpur
- The Iron Mosque in Putrajaya
- Crystal Mosque in Kuala Terengganu
- Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur
- Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur
Each place of worship has its own distinct look, allowing you to spend many hours admiring all of the colour and detail that makes each one special in its own right.
Fine dining with incredible views
Kuala Lumpur is the place to enjoy some amazing dining, set within some fantastic restaurants. There are influences from all over the world, meaning you’ll get to enjoy everything from traditional Malaysian cuisine to French, Italian and Pan-Asian dishes. Head to the hotel resorts to enjoy some of the best dining experiences in Kuala Lumpur such as Lafite at the Shangri-La, Tamarind Springs and Cilantro – which combines both French and Japanese cuisine for some mouthwatering dishes. It’s also worth trying some of the local street food and restaurants during your stay to get a true flavour of Malay cuisine.
Nightlife in Kuala Lumpur
A stay in the capital city wouldn’t be complete without enjoying some of the local nightlife. Kuala Lumpur is well known for its night-time scene, with plenty of nightclubs where you can dance the night away as well as bars you can simply relax and enjoy the vibe. During your stay, you’ll want to check out some of Kuala Lumpur’s amazing rooftop bars for the views and the cocktails – neither of which will disappoint. From sky gardens to impressive glass structures, there are plenty of options for you to add to your list. The hotel bars are also great locations to enjoy a drink or two at the end of a day of sightseeing, and you’ll find a good mixture of travellers from all over the world to talk to.
Enjoy the local wildlife
Malaysia is home to plenty of fascinating wildlife, and you’ll get to experience the best of it at Taman Negara National Park. Some of the animals you can hope to see in Taman Negara include a gaur (a type of cattle), hornbills (think Zazu from The Lion King), sun bears (also known as honey bears) and various types of monkeys. It’s worth booking a tour to help you get the most from your visit, and don’t forget to bring a camera too! You can also travel to Borneo to get up close with the orangutans as well as other rare species.
Book private tours
Private tours are the way to go to add some luxury to your Malaysia trip. Private tours are ideal for getting to know more about the places you’re visiting as well as get you away from the large tourist crowds. Private tours can be affordable if you book online in advance, and make sure you check all of the details, such as meeting places, well in advance. You’ll enjoy getting to discover more about all of the places you’re visiting, enriching your trip.To learn more about Malaysia and to visit destinations that are off the beaten track, it’s worth talking to locals or experienced travellers who might be able to offer you some insight on the best places to visit.
Visit the neighbours
Malaysia is a great location in Asia which puts you in close proximity to some other must-visit travel destinations. Bordering Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia, you can move on from Malaysia to experience some other great Asian countries. Travelling from one to the other is simple, and you can fly to each destination or take the train. The train from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore is a particularly good route to enjoy, and is an affordable way to travel between the two countries.
Your Malaysian adventure will give you some incredible memories that you’ll cherish forever. Blending different cultures and offering a fascinating history, there’s nowhere else like it. Be sure to book your visit to enjoy the trip of a lifetime, and experience Malaysia with style.
MR LEE FRASER