Why your next holiday should be in East or West Malaysia…or both!
There’s one huge perk to visit Malaysia: the many amazingly accessible tourist destinations. No matter what kind of traveler you are, there’s certain to be a trip to suit both your budget and preferences. Whether you’re a foodie, beach lover or adventure seeker, Malaysia has it all.
Go on a Food Pilgrimage
Penang is called the ultimate food destination for good reason. For a sampling of some of the best food the state has to offer, head to Genting Cafe at Island Glades for the Chee Cheong Fun, Asam Laksa, and Hokkien Prawn Mee. Also a great hunt for Prawn Mee is Granny’s Hokkien Mee on Lorong Nipah. The Ayer Itam Asam Laksa is also worth trying on Jalan Pasar in Ayer Itam.
Another signature dish is Penang’s Char Kuey Teow – easily available but arguably the best is can be found on Siam Road. Nearby you could try the version by Tiger Char Kuey Teow on Carnarvon Road.
Getting there: The fastest way is, of course, hopping on a flight to Penang International Airport. You can often find great flight deals one-way for around or less than RM100 from Kuala Lumpur, with AirAsia and Malindo Air often having promotions. From there you could hop on a Rapid Penang bus (only RM2-3!) that heads to Georgetown, or hail a taxi.
While most people fly over to Sarawak for the cool party that is the Rainforest Festival, maybe spend a weekend in Kuching to try the cheap, unique delights of Sarawak street food. From Mi Kolok to Sarawak Laksa, the fresh ingredients and affordable prices will make the flight over worth it. Just hail a cab and ask to be taken to the Jalan Main Bazaar for some of the best eats in the city.
Enjoy the Active Outdoors Life
While Sabah is a great place for island-hopping and mountain climbing, why not consider flying over to Kota Kinabalu for some extreme sports? Paraglide in Ranau at the foot of the mountains and you’ll get the view of beautiful tea plantations and a glorious expanse of green.
You could also kill two birds with one stone by visiting the islands and trying out ziplining. A 530m zipline connects Gaya and Sapi Island, letting you get an exciting thrill while taking in the beauty of Sabah’s waters.
Just catch a flight to Kota Kinabalu and from there, the islands are accessible from the jetty by speedboat. Ranau is a 1.5 hour drive and you can either book a private car or save money with buses from downtown.
For an unforgettable hiking adventure, Johor’s Endau-Rompin National Park is the second largest national park in West Malaysia at 870 sq. km.
Besides the jungle trek, you could try rubber tube rafting and later relax by the various lakes or waterfalls. The park is closed from November to March during monsoon season.
Fly to Johor’s capital, Johor Bahru, to begin your journey.
Soak Up the Sun
Langkawi is still a place to enjoy fun and sun with pristine beaches that rival the Thai islands on the nearby Andaman Sea. You can even take a quick jaunt to those islands from Kuah Jetty.
The Pulau Payar Marine Park offers quality snorkeling, and if you need a break from the beach there’s the breathtaking Telaga Tujuh Waterfall in nearby Kuah.
To get there, just catch one of the many direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to this amazing island.
There’s always the East Coast states and the beautiful islands of Pulau Kapas and Redang. Maybe even consider getting your diving license while you’re there if you fancy a slightly more productive (but still fun) trip. Redang has some of the best dive spots in the country but you could just enjoy the pearly white beaches instead.
Just catch a flight to Kuala Terengganu and from there, grab a taxi to Shahbandar Jetty.
Getting there: Domestic flights are frequent and affordable from KLIA and klia2 but do look out for the best deals or better yet, book in advance.
Tip: For maximum enjoyment for your beach holiday, avoid the East Coast states from mid-October to March but the rest of Malaysia offers plenty of opportunity for sun then.
What are you waiting for? Your next great adventure could just be a flight away!
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