Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the largest city of Malaysia. Being a young city (founded only in 1857) it developed fast into a bustling metropolis of 1.5 million people (6 million including the satellite cities in the Klang Valley). Kuala Lumpur, or simply KL (as it is it called by Malaysians), literally means “muddy estuary” in Bahasa Malaysia. With good and cheap accommodation, great shopping and even better food in this multi-cultural melting pot, increasing numbers of travellers are discovering this little gem of a city.
Having been in the shadow of other big cities in the region like Bangkok and Singapore, KL was put back on the map for good with the opening the Petronas Twin Towers in 1997, until 2004 the highest and still one of the most impressive buildings in the world. Though, the sights are not what makes this city unique, it’s KL itself and it’s mixture of people and visitors.


Largest island of Malaysias east coast. It’s located 32km off the coast and is some 20km long and 12km wide and the highest peak is Gunung Kajang with 1038m. In the 70ies TIME magazine selected Tioman as one the world’s most beautiful islands but lost some flair in recent years due to do development. The island has eight main villages, many beaches and is densely forested and is surrounded by numerous coral reefs, making it a scuba diving haven.


Cherating is the only real backpacker hub at the east coast of the peninsula on the mainland. Offering plenty of affordable chalets and a relaxed atmosphere, it is good place to stop for a night or two on the way up or down the east coast. The beach itself is not that spectacular and misses the palm directly at the beach. But it has a good vibe and few things you can do like taking a tour or renting a kayak up the river into the mangroves. There is also an active surfer scene when the waves are right. Cherating is located about 30km or 1h by local bus north of Kuantan.


Ipoh is the apital of the state of Perak and the fourth largest city of peninsular Malaysia with a population of 760,000 (Metro area: 1.4 Mil). It is scenically located amoung karst limestone hills in the Kinta Valley, about 2 1/2 hours north of Kuala Lumpur. The city is somehow forgotten by most travellers in Malaysia, however it has a lot to offer with many colonial buildings and shophouses (it used to be a very rich city around the turn of the 19th century due to tin mining) and the nature (hills, caves) around. Among Malaysians it is known for good food like the popular Ipoh Chicken Rice.

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Cherating, Boats At Cherating River
Boats At Cherating River
Motorbikes, Chickens in the basket
Chickens in the basket

The Responsible Tourist and Traveller

This is practical 8-step guide based on the "Global Code of Ethics" for Tourism of the World Tourism Organization. It promotes traveling with an open mind and respect for people, culture, animals and environment. ... more

Book Review: The Rice Mother

Fascinating and tragic tale of an Tamil family in Malaya. Starting from when the time when an 14-year old Tamil girl was married to an Tamil clear and moved from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to Kuantan (Malaya) to start a family in the 1920s. ... more

Book Review: Sons of the Yellow Emperor

This books tells in detail the story of the millions of Chinese who left their homeland since the 1600s because of population explosion, poverty and corruption in China and the prospect for a better life in Southeast Asia, England and America. A large part of the book is about the migration of Chinese emigrants to Malaysia and Singapore. ... more

Bogus Monks

As a tourist (especially western tourist) it is likely that you will be approached by a fake monk in tourist hot spots in Malaysia's big cities (Penang, Melaka, KL). These "monks" will approach you actively to ask for donations. However, they are not real monks. ... more

How to get to Redang Island

Pulau Redang can be reached by plane from KL or Singapore or more budget-friendly by boat from Merang or Kuala Terengganu. Kuala Terengganu can easily be reached from any major town by bus or from Kuala Lumpur by plane and is worth a one or two night stopover on the way to or from the island. ... more

Malaysia’s 13th General Election
Singapore Seight-seeing buses / tours
Lenggong Valley declared a UNESCO world heritage site
Merdeka Day
Ramadan and Hari Raya in Malaysia
... read more stories

Things to Do & See
Koh Lipe, Langkawi
Koh Lipe is a small flashpacker island next to the Tarutao National Marine Park in southern Thailand, about 1h boat ride away from Langkawi ... more
Wats around Kota Bharu, Kota Bharu
There are a few impressive thai buddhist temple between Kota Bahru and near thai border in the north ... more
Historical Quarters, Kota Bharu
part of the city center with lots of museums, the Grand Palace, the Muhammadi Mosque and the tourist office ... more
Members of Backpacking Asia Network
Step Inn Guesthouse, Kuala Lumpur
Guesthouse / hostel situated close to Pudu Sentral (Puduraya) bus terminal in a quite back road, halfway between Bukit Bintang and Chinatown ... more
Gecko Guesthouse, Langkawi
laid-back backpacker guesthouse / hostel with a bar located about 5min walk from Cenang Beach ... more
Panorama Divers, Perhentian Islands
Dive shop at Long Beach on Pulau Perhentian Kecil offering dive courses and snorkel trips. Panorama also has accommodation options and a restaurant. ... more
Mohsin Chalet & Cayaku Restaurant, Perhentian Islands
Chalets and Restaurant on Long Beach, Pulau Perhentian Kecil with the best views over the beach. ... more
Red Palm, Kuala Lumpur
Small, relaxed and very personal hostel in a colonial 2-storey pre-war house in Bukit Bintang and the reason why www.backpackingmalaysia.com exists ... more
Restaurants & Food Courts
The Social, Kuala Lumpur
Restaurant (western and asian food) and bar with live music on Changkat Bukit Bintang ... more
Bazaar Ramadhan in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur
Ramadan food market along Jalan Raja Muda Musa in Kampung Baru - an old Malay residential area near the city centre ... more
Racks Bar & Baby Backs, Kuala Lumpur
Restaurant (specialized in pork ribs) and bar on Changkat Bukit Bintang. ... more
Heritage Row, Kuala Lumpur
Nightlife area at Jalan Doresmy. Nightlife spot for the rich and beautiful. Row of refurbished colonial-era shop houses. ... more
Marini’s on 57, Kuala Lumpur
KL's highest roof-top bar and restaurant on Level 57 of Petronas Tower 3 right next to the famous Petronas Twin Towers ... more
twenty.one kitchen+bar, Kuala Lumpur
Restaurant and bar on Changkat Bukit Bintang ... more
Penang Ferry Terminal, Penang
The ferry terminal is arrival and departure point for the old Penang-Butterworth ferry as well as for the ferry to and from Langkawi ... more
GO KL City Bus, Kuala Lumpur
GO KL is a new (started in September 2012) and free (!) bus service within Kuala Lumpur city that connect Bukit Bintang, KLCC and Chinatown with 2 lines ... more
Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal, Penang
The Sg. Nibong Terminal is the main express bus terminal for long-distance buses in Penang. The terminal is located near Batu Uban about 20min (10km) outside of Georgetown city centre. ... more
Plaza Low Yat (Tech Mall), Kuala Lumpur
Low Yat is the place go to buy electronic and high-tech stuff like computers, laptops , computer parts and accessories, cameras, mobile phones, blanks discs etc. ... more
BB Plaza / Sungei Wang, Kuala Lumpur
Massive complex with 2 shopping malls and hundred of shops in Bukit Bintang. People tend to get lost in there. ... more
VivoCity, Singapore
Singapore's largest shopping mall, located at HarbourfFront with direct connection to Sentosa Island via Monorail or Boardwalk, also has a Golden Screen Cinema ... more
(Day) Trips
Kuala Selangor Nature Park, Kuala Lumpur
Nature Park in Kuala Selangor managed by the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), enjoy views of secondary and mangrove forests and its animals (monkeys, birds and more more) on an easy-to-walk trail through the park ... more
Kuala Selangor (Fireflies), Kuala Lumpur
A trip to Kuala Selangor at estuary of the Selangor River usually includes river boat tour see Firefly colonies living in the mangroves as well as visiting Bukit Melawati and a seafood dinner. The Nature Park is also worth a visit. ... more
Genting Highlands, Kuala Lumpur
Genting Highlands is resort city on a mountain top (1800m above sea level), about 55km north-east of Kuala Lumpur with Malaysia's only casinos and theme parks, restaurants and hotels. ... more
Puncak Inn, Fraser's Hill
Hotel and apartments located at the town square, right opposite the clock tower. Tourist information in the lobby ... more
Sari Pacifica Resort, Pulau Redang
Luxury Resort at Pasir Panjang (Long Beach) on Pulau Redang - from RM448 per night ... more
BackHome, Kuala Lumpur
Backpacker hostel near Masjid Jamek LRT station, located in a 2-storey shop house close to Chinatown ... more

... view all hostels

stall selling Laksa, Mee, Kue Teow and more
Things to do & see
Historical Quarters, Kota Bharu
part of the city center with lots of museums, the Grand Palace, the Muhammadi Mosque and the tourist office ... more

Sungei Palas Tea Centre, Cameron Highlands
The tea center by BOH Plantations at the Sungei Palas tea garden is located just above Brinchang. Located on a hilltop, amidst rows of tea bushes and close to Gunung Brinchang, it offers spectacular views from a 20 foot overhanging platform and tours through the tea factory ... more

Ethnic unity ushers in a new phase in Malaysia (The Age)

Malaysia had it’s 12th general election on march 8, 2008 and it turned into a political tsunami with a strong opposition. This article sums in up nicely.


Traveler IQ Challenge

This is a really cool flash quiz from the Travelpod website. In this game you can test your knowledge about the locations of cities, sights, flags and so on (also some places in Malaysia). There are different versions available: World, North America, Europe, World Capitals, Canada, Asia, UNESCO Sites, Africa, Latin America, Oceania/Australasia, Flags of the World, Photos of the World, USA Challenge, Amazing Race. Let's see how well you know our planet. Check your knowlege here.