Traveling in Malaysia has proven to be an absolutely fantastic choice for us! We arrived in May 2019 and traveled throughout Malaysia for three months. The free visa allowed us to stay this long and we thought why not take advantage of it!
But besides a free 90-day visa on arrival, why should we travel in Malaysia for so long?
Well, we think the why is obvious. It is a beautiful country that offers many possibilities which means that there is always something for everyone. Be it nature, big cities, or beach holidays, Malaysia has it all!
The transportation networks are well developed. The roads are clean, and there are pedestrian paths. The cities are easy and relatively fast to reach, thanks to good public connections such as buses, trains, and airports.
Plus, the country is very multicultural, and the food is absolutely delicious!
We will take you on our journey through this country and show you the itinerary that we have chosen, our travel expenses, travel durations, and what we particularly liked.
Because we think that a trip to Malaysia is totally worth it, and it is a place that we highly recommend.
Our travel route and itinerary in Malaysia
Considering that we are both allowed to stay in the country for three months, we decided to make Kuala Lumpur the first stop of our Malaysia Tour and planned to stay there for a month.
We booked an apartment so that we could get to know the city at a slow pace, as well as plan our further travels in Malaysia.
Our decision to stay a month in this brilliant city was the right one. Not only because we could slowly explore the city, but we also had an apartment with a kitchen. This allowed us to be able to cook again and to have something like a regular everyday life.
Our final route looked like this:
Kuala Lumpur – Cameron Highlands
Cameron Highlands – Ipoh
Ipoh – Taiping
Taiping – Georgetown
Georgetown – Langkawi
Langkawi – Johor
Johor – Melaka
Melaka – Kuching, Borneo
Kuching, Borneo – Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia and is well known because of the Twin Towers. It is also well-liked as a stopover destination. But what surprised us was the variety of green spaces that the city offered.
The quality of life is very high, there are many different neighborhoods, a myriad of shopping malls, and good opportunities for day trips. Everyone speaks English, and it is easy to use the well-developed metro network.
If you are interested in how to get from the airport to the city, what you can do and what sights are available in and around Kuala Lumpur, you can read more here: Our visit to Kuala Lumpur. The appartement we booked was KL Sentral*
We could easily have stayed in KL longer. Despite staying for a month, we didn’t even see everything. And despite staying for a long time, we didn’t get bored in Kuala Lumpur.
But our travels through Malaysia had just gotten started!
Known for its tea plantations, pleasant climate, and striking landscapes, Cameron Highlands is on the travel list of many tourists. After enduring the heat of Kuala Lumpur for a month, we were really looking forward to a change in the climate.
We stayed there for three nights and are still undecided whether it was too long or too short.
We were a bit unlucky with the weather because it rained throughout for two days. Maybe it would have been more attractive for us if the weather would have been drier.
For hiking enthusiasts, we definitely recommend staying here longer.
For ocean lovers, we recommend a shorter stay here so that you can use your saved days for the beach. Two to three nights are, in our opinion, ideal for those who have planned more in Malaysia and aren’t too much into hiking.
To get to the Cameron Highlands from Kuala Lumpur, we took the bus. The bus ride took about 5 hours and cost just 38.50 MYR per person.
Did you know that it is not legally allowed to have a toilet on a bus in Malaysia?! But the bus driver makes stops, on longer distances anyway. And for shorter rides, simply ask the driver if you must deal with a need.
Ipoh was one of the cities which really surprised us. It was equally as impressive as the street art in Georgetown, the food was fantastic, and we even explored rock paintings on an adventurous hike.
From Cameron Highlands, we took the bus for 22 MYR per person. Usually, the drive takes about two hours. But due to holidays and a notorious traffic jam, it took us about four hours that day.
Taiping was a spontaneous decision. We had never heard about it before and thought, why not. A tour guide in Cameron Highlands that we chatted with told us that Taiping had very good coffee. And that was good reason enough for me! After a short research, we also read that Taiping has Malaysia’s oldest zoo, which is also open at night.
We only stayed one night, but we strolled through Taiping’s famous and beautiful garden, saw the animals at the zoo, and heard the roar of the lions at sunset as they started to get active.
From Ipoh, we traveled by bus and the costs were 10 MYR per person. The bus ride took about an hour.
Would we recommend Taiping? Yes, if you have a lot of time and a car. Otherwise, you can easily skip Taiping.
We stayed here Kooning*
Langkawi is a popular destination for both package tourists as well as individual travelers. In the beginning, we had some doubts because we thought that Langkawi could be too crowded for us. But as we would be traveling there during the rainy season and had intended to stay away from the trendy Cenang beach, we thought that we would most likely avoid the crowds. So, we took the chance!
We traveled from Georgetown to Langkawi with a ferry for 70,00 MYR per person.
Despite all the rain that we had we were still able to see the best attractions in Langkawi.
We thought that the island was really beautiful. We traveled during May, and it was not crowded. Regardless, Langkawi is absolutely worth a trip!
We stayed in Malaysia’s second-largest city Johor for just a short time. The city would serve as our base for our day trip to the Desaru Coast to play golf, as well as to simplify our trip to Bintan in Indonesia.
We traveled from Langkawi to Johor by plane. Cost: 155 MYR per person including golf luggage.
We realized that we were beginning to run out of time, otherwise, we would have taken the train or the bus again to Johor Bahru.
We liked Johor and found that there were hardly any tourists in the city. And when we did meet them, they were usually weekend travelers coming from Singapore. We started our days very comfortably and finished them just as comfortably. In the old town, we explored the city and drifted from place to place. We also enjoyed the views on the beach of Danga Bay, where we stayed. Would we travel to Johor again? Any time!
We stayed here The Nines Hotel Melaka*
For me, Borneo has always been the epitome of exoticism. It was a distant world and couldn’t be more remote in every way. I always associated Borneo with cannibals, jungles, and wild animals. And so when we arrived in Malaysia, Borneo suddenly became a possibility. And my dream was about to come true!
We flew to Kuching so that we could see orangutans at the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, explore the Bako National Park, and of course enjoy the Top Highlights of Kuching. From Kuching, we wanted to travel further and see more of Borneo.
While we didn’t see cannibals, we did come one step closer to this distant world.
Overview of our travel expenses in Malaysia
When we decided to travel the world, we knew that it wouldn’t be forever. So we wanted to try our very best to make it last as long as possible. And to be able to do that, we had to think about how to spend our savings wisely.
In order to do that, we define a daily budget per country and try to stick to it as much as possible. Our budget per country is based on the cost of living research, as well as recommendations by other travelers.
For traveling in Malaysia, our budgeted amount was 58,00 EUR per day.
What we spent at the end of our trip, as well as what our largest expense categories were, you can read here: Overview of our travel expenses in Malaysia.
Summary of Links
* Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you make a purchase through the links provided, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Puttering around the World!