The Ultimate Backpacker’s holiday guide in Malaysia

Where are the top backpacking places in Malaysia?

Malaysia is a wonderful tourist destination and truly has a lot to offer to enthusiastic travellers. From good foods, a vibrant culture, rich history, white sandy beaches and picturesque views, Malaysia has endless opportunities for adventures, unlike any other countries. Malaysia should be on every backpacker’s bucket list.

However, with the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysia has yet to reopen the borders to welcome international tourists. Hence, this would be a great opportunity for locals to visit Malaysia’s gems. Especially, if you love backpacking then we’re pretty sure this is for you!

To make the most of your trip, we’ve put together the ultimate backpacking guide for you, the Malaysian edition for Malaysians.

Backpacking budget

As many Malaysians would already know, accommodations and foods can be highly affordable for locals and tourists alike. To add on, there are plenty of decent hotels and Airbnb all over Malaysia and they often include breakfast.

From noodles, fried rice, roti canai (pratha), a meal can go for as little as RM 5 at most hawker stalls, while a good meal at a food court may set you back RM 10 to RM 15. However, if you want to dine in a restaurant, it usually costs a person between RM 30 to RM 50 depending on what you order. If you’re sensible with your cash, you can easily live with less than RM 50 a day.

Apart from accommodation and food, entry prices for attractions heavily depend on the places you tend to visit. Most of the museums and nature parks are considerably cheap, if not free to enter.

Plan your journey

Before you start planning on the places you would like to visit, decide on how long your trip would take. For some it may just be for three days, but for others it can go up to seven to 30 days. Once you’ve decided on that, then it will be easier to plan out your journey. We’ve decided to share two of the most iconic cities in Malaysia with you and a few places you should visit.

Kuala Lumpur in 5 days

The first stop on your backpacking journey should be the vibrant capital of Malaysia, which is of course Kuala Lumpur. Kuala Lumpur is a modern city with plenty of beautiful architecture.

If you’re not from KL, here’s what you need to know! The first place you want to head to should be the Petronas Twin Towers, particularly at night when it’s lit up. There’s also the option to observe the city skyline from the sky bridge and observatory. Whatever your options are, be sure to experience the scenic of the city.

Besides that, Bukit Bintang is considered to be a popular area for backpackers from all over the world! There are plenty of hotels, local eateries, food stalls and other forms of entertainment. If you’re a foodie, be sure to try out some of Kuala Lumpur’s delicacies which may not be offered in other cities.

Another amazing place to add into your itinerary is Batu Caves, a limestone hill that has a series of caves and temples worshipped by Hindy pilgrims. Getting to the Batu Caves is relatively easy by train.

Upon arriving at the location, the first thing you will notice is the million steps heading towards the Hindu shrine in the cave and the tallest Lord Murugan statue in Malaysia at 42.7 metres in height. As you go on a challenging climb to the top of the cave, there will be plenty of monkeys wandering around. Do refrain from getting too close to the monkeys as some might get a little too aggressive and reach out for your belongings as swift as the wind. Once you’ve reached the top, you will breathe in relief as you start to admire your surroundings.

Georgetown, Penang in 5 days

Upon arriving at Penang, your first stop after checking into your hotel should be to check out the creative and vibrant street arts of Georgetown. With a variety of iconic murals hidden throughout many alleyways, seeking them out is what makes the journey an adventurous one. Apart from that, don’t forget to walk through the Rainbow Skywalk at The Top Penang as you will be in awe from the stunning view of Georgetown and beyond.

Next stop should be the Kek Lok Si Temple, which is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. The temple is strategically situated on a hill with exquisitely designed rooflines and pillars, further enhancing the scenic view of the Buddhist Monastery.

When it comes to food, Penang is known as the street food capital of the country. Hawker stalls can be found on almost every corner in the city. One of the best places we recommend is Gurney Drive. Penang is a great place to spend extra money as you would want to try everything your eyes lay upon. 

Other amazing places you would want to check out includes:

  • Penang Hills 
  • Upside Down Museum 
  • Heritage Houses 
  • Ghost Museum 
  • Snake Temple

There are plenty of stunning natural attractions and hipster cafes to explore around Malaysia and some of the places you should enjoy visiting while the borders are still Cameron Highlands closed, include Cameron Highlands and Genting Highlands in Pahang as well as Pulau Langkawi in Kedah. 

HAPPENINGS

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Left to right: Director of Business Development, Branding & Communications, Dr. Michelle Mah, with Paediatric Cardiologist, Sunway Medical Centre, Dr. Ang Hak Lee and Rizqi’s parents at the Cardiac and Vascular Division at Sunway Medical Centre.

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Left to right: Head of Marketing, Gentle Supreme Sdn. Bhd, Kam Ai Nee and Infectious Disease Specialist and President, Malaysian AIDS Council, Datuk Dr. Christopher Lee at the launch of WIZACT 24, disinfecting spray and clean.