Faces of
Malaysia
Perhentian Islands

The Perhentian Islands (Pulau Perhentian in Bahasa Malaysia) lie approximately 10 nautical miles (19 km) offshore the coast of northeastern Malaysia in the state of Terengganu, approximately 40 miles (64 km) south of the Thai border. The two main islands are Perhentian Besar (“Big Perhentian”) and Perhentian Kecil (“Small Perhentian”). Popular for it’s beaches, snorkeling and driving. Like a real postcard.

Cherating

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.

Langkawi

Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The islands are a part of Malaysia’s Kedah state, but are adjacent to the Thai border. By far the largest of the islands is the eponymous Pulau Langkawi with a population of about 45,000. The island is a declared duty-free zone.

The peak season is from December to March when moonson at the eastcoast shuts down most of the Islands there (Perhentian etc.). This makes Langkawi a good island alternative during that time period. Generally though, Langkawi can be visited all year around.

Pulau Redang

Pulau Redang (or Redang Island)  is a beautiful tropical island off the east coast of peninsular Malaysia in the state of Terengganu. Most travellers visiting Redang come on pre-booked packages from one of the resorts on the island. It is a more up-market destination than Perhentian Islands.

Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang
Selamat Datang! Welcome to BackpackingMalaysia.com!

Kuala Terengganu, view towards Pulau Duyung
Kuala Terengganu
view towards Pulau Duyung
FRIM, canopy walkway
FRIM
canopy walkway


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.

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Amazing places to vitually walk, ride and swim in Malaysia

Google is sending their street view cams to most unlikely places. Here is a list of cool places to visit in Malaysia without (before) getting your feet wet and dirty

How to Share Your Holiday to Malaysia

You’ve marvelled at the spectacle of Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers, you’ve strolled along ice-white sandy beaches, you’ve gobbled up incredible cuisine and you’ve marauded through streets awash with incense.

... read more stories

Things to Do & See

Khoo Kongsi, Penang

The most impressive of Penangs many kongsis. A kongsi is a clan house that is partly temple, partly meeting hall

Kek Lok Si (Buddhist) Temple, Penang

Largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. Construction started in 1893 and took over 20 years to complete but new sections keep being added

Gua Tempurung, Ipoh

Gua Tempurung, located 30min south of Ipoh, are the largest limestone caves in Peninsular Malaysia.

Restaurants & Food Courts

Luminous Restaurant & Bar, Kuala Lumpur

Kebab restaurant and bar on Changkat Bukit Bintang

Big Tree Foot Hawker Centre, Ipoh

Most popular Chinese hawker food center in Ipoh, especially famous for the Yong Tau Foo stall. It is located in Pasir Panjir, just south of the city center.

Imbi Market / Pasar Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

popular morning wet market and hawker center in Imbi, or short walk from Jalan Bukit Bintang, with variety of Chinese hawker stalls serving food from breakfast to lunch time

Nightlife

twenty.one kitchen+bar, Kuala Lumpur

Restaurant and bar on Changkat Bukit Bintang

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

Werner’s on Changkat, Kuala Lumpur

Restaurant (Italian / European Fusion) and Bar on Changkat Bukit Bintang with an upstair club lounge and large balcony.

Transport

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.

Lavender Street Bus Terminal, Singapore

Another pick-up and drop-off point for long-distance buses to and from Malaysia in a parking lot at the corner of Lavender St. and Kallang Bahru.

Kuala Tembeling Jetty, Taman Negara

The jetty in Kuala Tembeling is the starting point for the 3h boat ride to Taman Negara

Shopping

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.

BB Plaza / Sungei Wang, Kuala Lumpur

Sungei Wang, located in Bukit Bintang, is the oldest shopping complex in downtown Kuala Lumpur. The connected BB Plaza was shutdown in 2015 because of the MRT construction to make way for a new high-rise building.

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

(Day) Trips

Bukit Tinggi, Kuala Lumpur

Bukit Tinggi is a hill retreat area about 55km northeast of Kuala Lumpur with resort hotels - most notably the french village themed Colmar Tropicale, a japanese garden, botanical garden and activities like horse riding, paintball, mountain biking and golf .

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, Kuala Lumpur

Elephant Orphanage Sanctuary about 100km (2 hours driving time) east of Kuala Lumpur has been translocating elephants since the 1980s. The sanctuary is open to public.

Kinabalu National Park, Kota Kinabalu

Kinabalu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site located 90km from Kota Kinabalu, offers jungles trekking and climbing Mount Kinabalu - the tallest mountain in the Malay Archipelago at 4,095 metres.

... view all hostels

Members of Backpacking Asia Network
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
Tubotel, Langkawi
Unique accommodation concept located at its own jetty at the northern end of Pantai Cenang with unspoiled sea views and tubes to sleep in ... more
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
Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya Eco Resort,
Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya is an Eco-Resort in the jungles of Pahang only accessible via off road 4×4 vehicles, about 1 hour outside of Kuala Lumpur. It offers 3 types of accommodation: campsite, dormitory and chalets. ... more
TGs Nasi Kandar, Kuala Lumpur
Mamak-style restaurant in Bukit Bintag offering Indian, local Thai and Pakistani food ... more
Batu Buruk Beach, a kite in the sky
Batu Buruk Beach
a kite in the sky
Cameron Highlands, pitcher plant in mossy forest
Cameron Highlands
pitcher plant in mossy forest
Things to do & see
Luna Bar, Kuala Lumpur
Super-chic breezy rooftop bar with a pool in the middle (but you cannot use it unfortunately) and one of the best night views in town ... more

Tugu Negara (National Monument), Kuala Lumpur
Tugu Negara is a monument in the Lake Gardens that commemorates those who died in Malaysia's wars. ... more

DID YOU KNOW?
Alcohol

Malaysia being a majority muslim country, alcohol is highly taxed and thus rather expensive compared to other Asian countries. But alcohol is served in most convenience stores and Chinese restaurants. The booze is comparatively cheaper in Langkawi due to the duty free status of the island.