Faces of
Malaysia
Pulau Lang Tengah

Pulau Lang Tengah is a small postcard island with only 3 resorts located halfway between Perhentian Island and Pulau Redang.

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.

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.

Tioman

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.

Hawker Stalls in Penang
Selamat Datang! Welcome to BackpackingMalaysia.com!

Chinese New Year, Lion Dance at Jalon Alor, KL
Chinese New Year
Lion Dance at Jalon Alor, KL
Bukit Gasing, view from watch tower to Taman Desa
Bukit Gasing
view from watch tower to Taman Desa


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.

Chinese New Year in Malaysia

Chinese New Year, the spring festival, is the most important holiday for the Chinese community and a public holiday in Malaysia.

Massive Travel Restrictions in Malaysia

Because of the pandemic Corona Virus (Covid-19) Malaysia imposed an restricted travel movement order from March 18 to March 30, 2020

ETS Train Route: Alor Setar - Butterworth - Ipoh - KL

The modern electrified train service along the west coast of the Peninsula connecting the border to Thailand (Padang Besar) with Kuala Lumpur and beyond

Crossroads by Jim Baker

A popular history of Malaysia and Singapore

Travelling and flying with a baby

This is our experience of travelling with a 8-month to 11-month old baby.

The long day wanes (Anthony Burgess)

A Malayan Trilogy - set in the 1950s in the post-war and pre-independence Malaya

Reactions to the Malaysian Election 2018 results

With the 2018 Election Malaysia witnessed a change of government for the first time in its history since independence from the British in 1957. However it didn't last long, only 2 years later the coalition broke apart ...

Malaysian News Snippets 2018

General Election / Airbnb popularity rise / new tallest building

Vaisakhi Festival

Vaisakhi religious festival in Sikhism and Hinduism and is celebrated by the Punjabi / Sikh minority in Malaysia.

How to Properly Secure your Data while Traveling

When traveling for work or leisure, we often remember to secure everything else but our data.

... read more stories

Things to Do & See

Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur

Limestone hill in the north of Kuala Lumpur with a series of caves and cave temples. They are a sacred place for Hindus in Malaysia and the location of the famous Thaipusam celebrations at the end of January attended by up to one million devotees.

Sentosa Island, Singapore

Sentosa, which means tranquillity in Malay, is a popular resort island at the harbour in Singapore with beaches and countless of rides, attractions and things to do

Craft Complex, Kuala Lumpur

graft centre in Bukit Bintang with various graft shops, museum, batik workshops, artist colony and more

Restaurants & Food Courts

Medan Portugis / Portuguese Settlement, Melaka

To the west of downtown Melaka, the Portuguese descendants - Kristang - founded their own settlement in the 1930s. Have an interesting evening trip to Medan Portugis to have a feast in the various Portuguese seafood restaurants.

Pasar Tani Mega, Taman Melawati, Kuala Lumpur

Large weekend neighborhood market selling everything you need for the Malaysian kitchen fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meat and snacks

Fish Farm Thai Restaurant, Kuala Lumpur

Thai restaurant at a fish & vegetable farm in the middle of the jungle in the hills behind Ampang

Nightlife

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

Sky Bar, Kuala Lumpur

Another roof-top bar in the Traders Hotel (33rd floor) with a breath-taking view of the Twin Towers. Located just across from KLCC.

Marinis 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

Transport

Pasarakyat Bus Terminal, Kuala Lumpur

The terminal has been torn down in early 2012! Smaller bus station in Imbi (just off Bukit Bintang) for some luxury buses to Singapore and buses to Genting Highlands. There are also a few other ticket counters of other companies for buses that leave from Puduraya.

Kuala Tembeling Jetty, Taman Negara

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Pulau Ketam (Crab Island), Kuala Lumpur

Mangrove-covered island near Port Klang with two predominantly Chinese fishing villages

... view all hostels

Members of Backpacking Asia Network
TGs Nasi Kandar, Kuala Lumpur
Mamak-style restaurant in Bukit Bintag offering Indian, local Thai and Pakistani food ... more
Mohsin Chalet & Cayaku Restaurant, Perhentian Islands
Chalets and Restaurant on Long Beach, Pulau Perhentian Kecil with the best views over the beach. ... more
Gecko Guesthouse, Langkawi
laid-back backpacker guesthouse / hostel with a bar located about 5min walk from Cenang Beach ... 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
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
Georgetown / Penang, Wat Chaiyamangalaran Thai Buddhist Temple
Georgetown / Penang
Wat Chaiyamangalaran Thai Buddhist Temple
Kuala Terengganu, Bazaar Warisan
Kuala Terengganu
Bazaar Warisan
STORIES

Interview with long-term hostel guest John Mansfield



Automotive consultant John Mansfield from England has been a guest of Red Palm Hostel in Kuala Lumpur since August 2006, on and off. I sat down with him to talk about his vision to set up a Motorsports University at the Sepang F1 Circuit, what he likes about Malaysia, travelling the country and his outlook to the upcoming Grand Prix.
DID YOU KNOW?
Buses

It’s very convenient to take busses in Malaysia. The condition of roads and buses are very good. There several privat and a national bus line (Transnasional). Usual it’s no problem to get ticket on short notice unless there’s a major holiday like Hari Raya (end of Ramadan), Deepavali or Chinese New Year. A 2-hour ride from KL to Melaka costs around RM10 and a 5h ride to Penang around RM25.