Malaysia is a beautiful melting pot of diverse cultures, stunning architecture, tropical rainforests, and gorgeous beaches. It’s no wonder that it is one of the most popular destinations for tourists and backpackers. But don’t let that put you off, there are plenty of undiscovered gems and hidden treasures in this amazing country, you just need to know where to look. So, if you’re looking for tips on how and when to travel to Malaysia, look no further!
Facts about Malaysia
Malaysia is part of the Malay Archipelago, which stretches all the way from Indonesia to the Philippines. It has more than 28 million inhabitants who live in the lush jungles, bustling cities, and traditional Malay kampungs (villages). This is a hugely diverse and multicultural society, so visitors can see everything from Chinese temples to Indian festival days. It is also home to the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia, a rainforest plant that measures a whopping meter across. The flower is well-known for its stench which has been compared to that of rotting meat. Delightful!
There are more than 600 types of birds and 200 mammal species here which makes it perfect for those who love to spot wildlife. Whether you want to see white-tip sharks or orangutans in their natural habitat, Malaysia has everything you could need.
When to visit Malaysia
Malaysia is located right near the equator, which means it has a very predictable climate. The country has two seasons, a rainy season and a dry season, and the temperature stays pretty consistent throughout both.
The monsoon season happens between September and February, so if you are looking to avoid getting wet try to take your trip outside of this period. Monsoon season also leads to delays in boat and ferry trips and all watersports are ruled out.
The peak season is between March and October when the weather is dry, and the skies are clear. However, it’s also possible to visit in the “winter” season between December and February, when there are slightly lower temperatures. It is better to avoid the northeast if you travel during this time though, as this is the area most affected by the monsoons.
What to see and do in Malaysia
The chances are that you will land in the capital of Kuala Lumpur which is a great place to start exploring. From the super-modern Petronas Towers to the ancient Chinese temples, this city is nothing short of jaw-dropping so don’t forget your camera.
Head into the Cameron Highlands to experience the wonder of Malaysia’s nature and landscapes. This is a great place to take a trip around the famous tea plantations or an excursion into the lush jungle of Mossy Forest.
Take a bus ride to Penang to soak up the street art and mouth-watering cuisine offered up by the food stalls. This city has a number of dishes that can only be experienced here, so make sure you try to tick as many off the list as you can!
The East Coast is home to some of the most stunning islands in the world, so it’s worth taking a short plane ride here to spend some time visiting them. They are a snorkeling and diving paradise and offer stunning views of sunsets, lagoons, and mountains.
Also worth a visit is Taman Negara National Park which is the oldest national park in the world! Here you can sleep in a cave surrounded by bats as you listen to the nighttime sounds of the wildlife.
Things to remember
As with every country, Malaysia has its own set of traditions and customs that every tourist should observe and respect. The traditional style of dressing is very conservative, and Malays always use the right hand when eating. Malaysia is also home to one of the world’s most unusual superstitions – here it is thought that if you sit on a pillow you’ll end up with boils on your behind, so it’s certainly worth keeping this particular custom in mind when you go!
You don’t need a visa to travel in Malaysia and for the most part, everyone speaks very good English. This means that travel and communication are super easy here. Most people use Uber to get around, especially in the capital of Kuala Lumpur, as they are relatively inexpensive. Flights are also relatively cheap, and the bus network is well developed.
It’s also worth remembering that the Malays eat with their hands, specifically their right hand, but cutlery is widely available if you don’t feel like partaking in this particular custom!
Malaysia is a well-kept secret in the international travel community, and once you get here you will see why! Whether you’re looking for a romantic break for two or the adventure of a lifetime, Malaysia has everything you could need and more.
Adriana & Matěj
Travelers, sport enthusiasts and photographers behind this blog. Creating high-quality and informative guides for your travels. Read more about us here.
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