What to absolutely see in Malaysia and the 2 most beautiful itineraries to follow

Who I am
Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Malaysia is known for its beaches, rainforests, and the harmonious blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cultures. In fact, the multiculturalism and friendliness of the population are two strengths of this land.
Its peculiarity is given by extreme contrasts that characterize it: immense skyscrapers next to wooden houses built on stilts, luxurious resorts next to ancient coral reefs.
So let's see together what to see absolutely in Malaysia and the most beautiful itineraries to follow.


  1. Useful info and necessary documents
  2. When to go: climate and best time
  3. How to reach us
  4. Getting around
  5. 10 things to see absolutely
  6. 8-day itinerary: Classical Malaysia
  7. 11-day itinerary: Grand Tour of Borneo
  8. User questions and comments

Useful info and necessary documents

  • Airports available: Kuala Lumpur Airport, Penang Airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport
  • Entry requirements: passport with residual validity of at least six months at the time of departure for Malaysia. The tourist visa is not required for stays not exceeding three months.
  • When to go: climate and best time

    • Weather: the climate is equatorial, i.e. hot, humid and rainy all year round. Temperatures are stable and high in all months, with highs around 30/31 ° C and lows around 23/24 ° C. There is a slight increase between March and August (highs of 32/34 °) and a decrease between November and January (28/29 degrees). The rains, abundant and frequent, occur due to the monsoons, which vary according to the coasts: between mid-October and January it hits the north-east monsoon, especially on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia and the north-east coasts of Borneo. Between June and September the southwest monsoon blows, which is less intense. The sun never fails, as tropical rains are in the form of a passing storm. In practice, there is no dry season in Malaysia. The sea water is always warm, around 29/30 degrees.
    • Best time: from June to August in general, but it must be taken into account that it rains all year round. On the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia we find less rain from February to April; on the west coast the favorable time is January and February, followed by June / August. In Borneo Malaysia, June to August are the "least worst" months.
    • Period to avoid: in Peninsular Malaysia, especially on the east coast, the periods to avoid as the wettest are November / December, on the west coast September / October and in eastern Malaysia from October to March.
    • Trip duration: minimum 8 days, the ideal is 13.

    How to reach us

    • From Milan or Rome: there are no direct flights. From Milan you stop in Dubai and from there you arrive in Kuala Lumpur in 7 hours with Emirates (total duration 15 hours). From Rome you stop in Singapore and from there you arrive in Kuala Lumpur with Singapore Airlines in an hour, for a total duration of about 15 hours.
      Flights Rome - Kuala Lumpur from € 485,55 - Flights Milan - Kuala Lumpur from € 409,77
    • From the main European capitals: from Paris you have a stopover in Amsterdam and up to Kuala Lumpur are 12 hours of travel (altogether 14) with the airlines Air France + KLM. Also from Berlin you can make a stopover in Amsterdam with KLM for 14 hours and 30 minutes of travel. From London there is a direct flight with Malaysia Airlines or British Airways which lasts 13 hours.

    Getting around

    Malaysia is not huge (more or less the same as Italy and Switzerland combined) and, therefore, getting around is fast and relatively cheap.

    Movements from one end to the other are guaranteed by internal air flights which connect national airports. Near urban areas, the bus they are punctual, frequent and reach every place, as well as i trains.
    One option to consider is therental of a car: the roads are good and safe, the gasoline is cheap and the prices are not very high.

    I taxi they are recommended for short trips, for longer ones it is better to rely on buses. Finally, very useful are the Ferries which will take you to all the islands and, in the more touristic ones (Perenthian, Tioman and Pulau Langkawi), the service is even more efficient.

    10 things to see absolutely

    Between beautiful cities, pristine parks and many other places of interest, here are the 10 things to see absolutely in Malaysia.

    1 - Kuala Lumpur

    Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia. Do not miss the Petronas Towers, two 451 meters high skyscrapers, built in glass and steel with Islamic motifs. Inside there is a suspension bridge and an observation point, both open to the public; the entrance ticket costs about € 17,00.
    Furthermore, in the city there are the railway station and the Sultan Abdul Samad's palace, monuments of the British colonial era, the district of Bukit Bintang where you can shop, the Brickfields (Little India) e Chinatown. At the National Museum and the Islamic Arts Museum you can admire the art and history of Malaysia, while at the northern border of Kuala Lumpur are the Batu Caves, with some Hindu temples inside.

    2 - Kota Kinabalu

    Kota Kinabalu is the capital of the Malaysian state of Sabah, north of the island of Borneo. A coastal city partly surrounded by rainforest, it is famous for its beaches and Kota Kinabalu State Mosque, overlooking the water, its bustling markets and the modern promenade. From this city we leave to visit the Kinabalu National Park, where the famous Mount Kinabalu is located. Recommended Tours: Kota Kinabalu: Mantanani Island Snorkeling Day Trip

    3 - Kinabalu National Park

    Il Kinabalu National Park it was the first in Malaysia to be declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. It collects one of the largest concentrations of plant and animal species in the world, but the pearl is its marvel Mount Kinabalu which, with its 4.093 meters, is the highest peak in Malaysia.

    It can be done trekking inside the park, or climb the mountain with an excursion that generally lasts two days. Although the paths are well marked and the guides prepared, equip yourself with the appropriate equipment, warm clothes and above all good resistance. The cost to make the climb is about € 50,00 with insurance and guide included, while for access to the park it is just over € 3,00.

    4 - Taman Negara National Park

    Taman Negara is located near Kuala Lumpur. Here live animals, unfortunately, endangered like the Malayan tiger, Sumatran rhino, Asian tapir el 'asian elephant.
    As for the vegetation, in this park stands the Gunung Tahan (2.187 meters), the highest mountain in the peninsular part of Malaysia. It is not very easy to climb, but it can be done with a guide; other activities to do are trekking, birdwatching o sailing with canoes within the rivers of Taman Negara. To visit the park, it is essential to bring a raincoat, hiking shoes, a flashlight, insect repellent, water with you. Entrance to the park does not cost even one euro, while taking part in the tours costs from € 5,00 to € 7,00.

    5 - Perhentian Islands

    Le Perhentian islands are a small archipelago located off the eastern coast of the Malay Peninsula. It is a heavenly place with lovely beaches and coral reefs full of colorful fish, sharks, rays and sea turtles: perfect for practicing snorkeling and diving!

    The beaches not to be missed are Long Beach, Perhentian Besar, Three Coves Bay (best place to observe sea turtles), Turtle Beach, Romantic Beach and the small coves north of Kecil.
    The islands can be reached in 20 minutes by boat, starting from the Kuala Besut pier.

    6 - Mulu National Park

    Il Gunung Mulu National Park of Miri is located in Malaysian Borneo and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A spectacular park that contains important caves and karst formations, located in the heart of a mountainous equatorial forest. Often, expeditions are organized for the exploration of caves and forests (note that of the Royal Geographical Society, which saw over 100 scientists at work for 15 months).

    To see the Sarawak room, the largest natural enclosed space, le Caves of the Wind, the Porto Cervo, of Benarat and dell 'Acqua Dolce, which is part of a long underground river that runs through the park.
    Inside the park there is a five-star hotel structure, small tropical-style hotels and cheaper apartments. The cost per night is about € 50,00, while admission is just over € 6,00.
    Mulu is an almost inaccessible area and can be reached using theMiri airport. Boats are used to move around the park.

    7 - Kuching

    Kuching, the capital of the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, with architecture ranging from colonial buildings to modern skyscrapers. Walks along the Sarawak River, full of street food stalls, craft shops and viewpoints overlooking th-century monuments, such as the Fort Margherita, built as a defense from pirates and the Astana Palace, home of the Raja Bianchi.
    Kuching (which means cat in the local language) is known as the "city of cats" and, therefore, in its streets and squares you can meet numerous statues depicting cats, as well as a museum dedicated to this animal.

    8 - Penang

    Il Penang is a state of western Malaysia which, with an extension of 1.031 sq km, occupies a western part of the Malaysian peninsula and the entire island of Penang in the Strait of Malacca. It can be reached by plane, since it has its own airport.

    Its capital is Georgetown, an interesting colonial city where one of the main ports of the entire federation is located: obviously the visit starts from here. To see the Fort Cornwallis, cannon Seri Rampai Kapitan Keling Mosque and the historic center, home to some important monuments. On the north coast are the most beautiful beaches, such as Batu Ferringhi Beach and Teluk Bahang.

    9 - Langkawi

    L'Langkawi archipelago it is made up of 99 islands and is in the Andaman Sea. It is also one of the most popular destinations for movie stars, especially its beach Black Sand Beach. Here the water is crystal clear, rocks and islets emerge from the sea, and the sunsets are breathtaking.

    The other lovely beaches are Pasir Tengkorak Beach, populated by spiteful macaques that occasionally steal something from tourists, Pantai Kok with fine white sand and two artificial islands that complete the panorama. Yet, Pelangi Beach, a tongue of sand framed by a dense forest of palm trees.
    In this archipelago it is possible to do snorkeling and, not to be missed, it Skybridge, from which Thailand can be glimpsed with the naked eye, the waterfalls of Telega Tujuh, Durian Perangin e Temurun. The islands can be reached by sea or by air from Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

    10 - Tioman

    Tioman is an island located about 40 kilometers off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, in the state of Pahang. They are featured on Tioman 8 main villages, reachable by boat.

    The warm and transparent waters make Tioman a paradise for lovers of diving and the snorkeling, who can enjoy swimming among Napoleon fish, horned parrotfish and schools of fusiliers.

    Tioman also hosts a variety of plants and small animals, including butterflies, monitor lizards, deer and monkeys, while the granite formations make it an excellent place for those who love climbing.

    8-day itinerary: Classical Malaysia

    1. First day: intercontinental flight to Kuala Lumpur.
    2. Second day: Arrival at Kuala Lumpur Airport and transfer to the hotel.
    3. Third day: half day tour of Kuala Lumpur. Free afternoon.
    4. Fourth day: departure for the historic city of Malacca, boat excursion across the Melaka River. Travel back to Kuala Lumpur and rest of the day at leisure.
    5. Fifth day: departure in the morning for the Batu Caves Temple, continuation to Cameron Highlands through naturalistic landscapes. Stop in Tapah. Arrive in Cameron Highlands in the afternoon. Hotel accommodation and overnight stay.
    6. Sixth day: departure from the hotel and visit of a tea plantation, then visit of Ipoh, the capital of Perak, travel to Penang. Arrival and accommodation at the hotel.
    7. Seventh day: visit of Penang, afternoon and evening at leisure.
    8. Eighth day: transfer to the airport and return to Italy.

    How much? Price details

    • Price per person starting from: from € 1390,00
    • The price includes: transfers to and from airports, visits, entrances with the assistance of local guides and private car with driver. Accommodation in hotels with American breakfast, meals indicated. Medical and baggage insurance.
    • The fee does not include: flights, airport taxes, meals not included in the various programs, drinks, tips, personal expenses, travel cancellation insurance policy (the price of which is equal to 5% of the value of the services purchased).

    11-day itinerary: Grand Tour of Borneo

    1. First day: intercontinental flight to Kuching.
    2. Second day: Arrival at Kuching airport and transfer to the hotel.
    3. Third day: visit of Kuching and free afternoon.
    4. Fourth dayDeparture from the hotel towards Batang Ai with a stop in Serian and Lachau village. Hotel accommodation in Batang Ai.
    5. Fifth day: departure with the traditional "perahu panjang" (long boat) in the heart of the lake and visit the village. Return to the hotel in the afternoon and rest of the time available.
    6. Sixth day: return to Kuching, hotel accommodation and overnight.
    7. Seventh day: transfer to the airport to board the direct flight to Mulu. Arrival and visit of Mulu National Park, one of the most spectacular parks in Malaysia.
    8. Eighth day: visit of Mulu. Departure for the boat excursion to the Grotta del Vento and the Acqua Chiara cave. In the afternoon we proceed to the suspension bridge immersed in the forest. Dinner and overnight.
    9. Ninth day: Transfer to the airport to reach Kota Kinabalu. Arrival, transfer to the hotel. Free day and overnight stay.
    10. Tenth day: excursion to Mount Kinabalu National Park. In the afternoon, return to Kota Kinabalu.
    11. Eleventh day: time available until transfer to the airport to board the flight to Italy.

    How much? Price details

    • Price per person starting from: from € 1990,00
    • The price includes: transfers to and from the airports, indicated visits, entrances with the assistance of local guides and private car with driver, accommodation in hotels with American breakfast, all meals indicated as per program, handling fees, medical insurance and luggage.
    • The fee does not include: intercontinental and domestic flights with relative air taxes, any airport entrance taxes to be paid at the airport, meals not included in the various programs, drinks, tips, personal expenses. Any travel cancellation insurance policy (the price of which is 5% of the value of the services purchased).

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