What makes Malaysia so special and unique

Vacation in Malaysia? 7 travel bloggers reveal their best tips

Dream beaches, untouched nature and cultural diversity. There is a lot to discover on a trip through Malaysia. Seven travel bloggers give tips on what you should definitely see.

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Malaysia is one of those travel destinations that make route planning difficult for you because there is so much to discover. And there is something for every taste. Among the most beautiful destinations in Malaysia are undoubtedly beaches such as those on the Perhentian Islands or Tioman, dense jungle such as in Taman Negara National Park, mountain landscapes such as the Cameron Highlands or fascinating temples such as on Penang. But diving and snorkeling in Malaysia is also a real highlight - especially off the coast of Borneo.

To make it easier for you to choose your destinations, the following seven travel bloggers answer three questions each about traveling and backpacking in Malaysia.

Tips for your Malaysia vacation

The creators of these blogs are well worth reading:

  • Anecdotal
  • Home is where your bag is
  • Rapunzel wants out
  • Travel recordings
  • Travel bites
  • Sinograph
  • To be elsewhere

The following questions were answered:

  1. Why is Malaysia an interesting travel destination?
  2. Whether it's an insider tip or a well-trodden path - what do you absolutely have to see in Malaysia?
  3. Each trip also includes culinary discoveries. Which dish should I definitely try in Malaysia?

Clement of Anekdotique

1.) Malaysia offers a lot more than just a short stopover in Kuala Lumpur and a subsequent beach holiday in Penang or Langkawi, which of course also has its charm. But there are also numerous less touristy areas and especially islands that are waiting to be discovered. You can find one thing everywhere: astonishingly diverse local cuisine. However, you shouldn't be afraid of food stalls.

2.) Even if you only have two weeks, a short detour to the Malaysian part of the island of Borneo in the heart of Sarawak is worthwhile. Flights to Kuching and back from Kuala Lumpur are often available for just a few euros. The area is much quieter than the big tourist magnets in the west of the country and awaits you not only with wild orangutans but also with the famous Iban longhouses. Definitely worth a visit or two.

3.) Nasi Goreng! The classic of Malaysian (and Indonesian) cuisine is basically nothing more than rice fried with oil, leek, onions and garlic, as well as a little egg. Always works!


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Tobias and Marcel from Home is where your bag is

1.) Malaysia is a great destination for both novice and experienced backpackers alike. You can get around the country very easily and in most cases you won't have any language problems as the people in Malaysia speak good English. In addition, in our experience, the people are very friendly and helpful.

You get everything from beautiful nature, pulsating big cities to of course beautiful beaches and snorkeling spots. Another point that makes Malaysia unique in Southeast Asia is the colorful mix of cultures. Chinese, Indian and Arab influences make the country - in addition to the Malaysian influences, of course - a highlight for food and culture lovers.

2.) We ourselves have unfortunately seen far too little of Malaysia so far. Most visitors most likely land in the capital Kuala Lumpur first. Some are disappointed with the city and leave it quickly, but most travelers love this colorful metropolis. We like the city very much and we always like to come back for a stopover. Because flights to and from Kuala Lumpur are often very cheap. One of our personal highlights in the city were the Batu Caves, Petaling Street with its chaotic markets and the Heli-Lounge Bar - a converted helicopter landing pad.

3.) You should definitely try Roti Canai. A very simple dish, but delicious! It was introduced to Malaysia by the Indian immigrants and is basically nothing more than thin, Indian flatbread with 2-3 types of curry / dal sauce. The bread is torn off with the hands and dipped in the savory to sometimes very hot sauces. A delicious dish that we have eaten often and that we miss very much in other countries in Asia.

Home is where your bag is

Sarah von Rapunzel wants out

1.) Malaysia has pretty much everything for everyone! There are beautiful islands and beaches, cultural diversity, big cities, mountains to climb and great food. No matter what the traveler is looking for, the chance of finding it in Malaysia is great. Although Malaysia consists of an incredible number of different cultures, it is a perfect country for beginners in Asia. A great infrastructure, a functioning bus network and a population that speaks good English make it easier to get to know Southeast Asia.

2.) I don't even know where to start talking! There are so many great things to see and do. Everyone will definitely visit Kuala Lumpur - don't miss the view over the city from the Heli Lounge Bar! Georgetown on Penang is a great city and is ideal for culinary explorers. But what most don't visit and what I recommend to everyone: Borneo. The island is completely different and there are many cultures to discover again. How about climbing Mount Kinabalu there? Diving in Sipadang? Or - who really wants to what feels like the end of the world - a visit to Kudat?

3.) Malaysia is a unique amalgamation of different cultures from Southeast Asia, which is also reflected in the food. There is delicious Chinese or Japanese food, but of course traditional Malaysian cuisine as well. Nothing beats roti with teh tarik or, for meat lovers, satay, which are meat skewers with peanut sauce.

PS: The best are in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman 213 in Kuala Lumpur!

Rapunzel wants out

Tanja from travel recordings

1.) In my opinion, three reasons speak for Malaysia as a travel destination: the friendly people, the varied options and the price structure.

Especially in Kuala Lumpur, where I would have expected stressed city dwellers, I am thrilled that there is always someone to show me the way and offer me their help.

The diversions in Malaysia as a travel destination start right in Kuala Lumpur, where small dilapidated houses stand next to the skyscrapers and provide exciting pictures. In addition to an interesting capital, the country also offers great beaches and intoxicating landscapes.

I don't have to say much about the price, do I? That is certainly a main argument for most Asian countries.

2.) In Malaysia, the first thing you have to do is determine if you are the Kuala Lumpur type or not. There are people who love the city. Others hate them. I'm a fan of it myself and spend almost a week relaxing there. An incredibly long time when you only have three weeks vacation in the country. I like to explore the different neighborhoods on foot, drink a coconut in the Chinese quarter or enjoy the view of the city in the KL Tower.

There are even more moments of relaxation on the Perhentian Islands. Here, too, the opinions are divided, whether it is great there or not. Yes, it may not be that clean, yes, there are some tourist boats that do not behave as politically correct. But the beach at Perhentian Island Resort is just a dream and swimming with turtles every day is great fun. So far, it's the most beautiful beach I've ever been to for me. Even if some certainly contradict this superlative. Traveling is also subjective.

The Cameron Highlands offer relaxation for the eye. Here you can take walks in the tea plantations and let your eyes wander over the vast green. If you are lucky, you can watch a few workers doing the strenuous work in the fields. I pay them my respect for this tough job and now drink my tea with even more pleasure.

3.) Honestly, the food is no reason to go to Malaysia. I have rarely been so little enthusiastic about typical local cuisine. There are few typical dishes, such as the Curry Mee, but Indian and Chinese cuisine is particularly popular in Malaysia. I always ate well there, but I didn't have to go to Malaysia to do that.

Travel recordings

Nina from Reisehappen

1.) Malaysia is an interesting travel destination because it is so diverse. There are the big cities like Kuala Lumpur, Georgetown or Kuching on Borneo. There are beautiful beaches on Langkawi, Tioman or Pulau Pangkor. But the Cameron Highlands with their endless tea plantations are also beautiful. Nature lovers get their money's worth in the many national parks, especially on Borneo, and Sipadan is an absolute paradise for divers.

Malaysia is pure variety and you will certainly not get bored here.

2.) Penang is really not an insider tip, but I still think that George Town is one of the most beautiful cities in Malaysia. The city is still very original with its temples, the wooden houses in the sea on Chew Chetty and the old Chinese clan houses. But at the same time it is very modern. Tradition meets street art here. The works of the Lithuanian street artist Ernest Zacharevic are an absolute must-see in George Town and it is really fun to discover the countless works of art in the alleys of the city. George Town also has a lot to offer in culinary terms. In addition to the many excellent restaurants, I was particularly impressed by the many pretty cafes with delicious snacks and excellent coffee.

3.) An unbelievably difficult question, since Malaysia has so much to offer in culinary terms. In addition to the Malaysian cuisine and the Nonya cuisine, Indian and Chinese are also eaten in Malaysia. But other Asian and Western influences can also be found in the kitchen.

Roti (Indian flatbread) is definitely a must-eat. If you haven't had cheese roti with different curries for breakfast, you haven't been to Malaysia. But you should also try the wafer-thin, crispy roti tisu with sugar.

I also love the Steamboat food stalls on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. You can choose fish, meat and vegetables from small buffets and then cook them yourself at your table in the steamboats with boiling meat broth.

Travel bites

Oliver from Sinograph

1.) I have to admit, I have a rather unusual interest in Malaysia: Since I have lived in China for many years, it is particularly exciting for me to see how the Chinese culture in Malaysia has survived in many ways better than in Malaysia Country of origin. But I also find the coexistence of the completely different ethnic groups in the country fascinating. Of course, the house blessing between the Malays, Chinese and Indians hangs crooked every now and then, but the togetherness works largely well overall and is ultimately an asset for the whole country.

2.) I definitely recommend leaving the capital Kuala Lumpur and taking a look at the suburbs. I find the seat of government Putrajaya particularly exciting, where a test-tube city was built for the state administration 20 years ago. I wrote about that here. The project itself belongs to the category of “huge bad planning”, since civil servants and foreign embassies refuse to move into the city to this day. The place with its modern Islamic architecture is still worth seeing.

A few days ago I took a trip to Klang, another suburb of Kuala Lumpur. In the old royal city you can take a historical tour and learn a lot about Malaysia, for example about the settlement history.

3.) My local friends have already invited me to Bak-Kut-Teh twice. The dish is said to have been invented by a Chinese immigrant in the thirties of the last century and then began its triumphal march through the country. It literally means “meat bone tea” and consists of pork ribs in a vegetable broth. Even if the dish itself doesn't taste that good, for me it is a symbol of the tolerance that is lived in the predominantly Muslim country.


All tips for your trip to Malaysia

Inspiration: Most beautiful destinations ✭ Pictures ✭ Backpacking in Malaysia ✭ Book a round trip ✭ Flights: Cheap plane tickets, domestic flights ✭ Travel planning: Malaysia packing list, best travel time, visa & immigration, money & finances, best travel credit card, travel guide ✭ Traveling with children ✭ Health : Vaccinations, first-aid kit, travel health insurance ✭ On site: Find hotels, excursions & tours, transport, train tickets, bus tickets, ferry tickets ✭ Our Malaysia Facebook group

To the Malaysia blog

Oliver and Chizuru from Elsewhere

1.) Malaysia is simply a colorful mix of different religions and cultures, which is not only reflected in the sights, but above all in the culinary offerings.

Malaysia is the ideal start for Asia beginners, because not many countries can offer such a wild mix.

Malaysia also offers an ideal first glimpse for travelers who have not yet been to Muslim countries. In addition to all the colorful temples of the Chinese and Indians, be sure to stop by one of the larger mosques!

An absolute highlight is of course the nature of the country! With a unique flora and fauna, Malaysia also has the oldest rainforests in the world.

Unfortunately, it is not handled quite as gently - keyword palm oil plantations. Perhaps, for once, tourism will help with this point and wake up the relevant bodies at some point.

2.) In addition to the famous Cameron Highlands and of course the rainforests already mentioned, above all on Borneo with the orangutans living there, I would also like to recommend an extensive visit to the Chinese old towns.

We have only just returned from Ipoh, home of the well-known Oldtown White Coffee’s, and we liked it there, in terms of the buildings and the atmosphere, even better than in the much better-known Georgetown on Penang.

If you should ever make your way from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, a stop in Melaka should not be missing either. In addition to buildings from the Dutch colonial era, the Chinatown district there is one of the most attractive in all of Malaysia!

3.) Laksa is a real classic in Malaysia and especially Chizuru’s favorite. This delicious soup is available in various designs, depending on the region. Vegetables, chicken or fish and crabs, ribbon noodles or rice noodles, sometimes with coconut milk and a lot of chilli or even completely neutral. Either way, simply excellent and also wonderfully refreshing on hot days!

But also the soy sprout chicken (Tauge Ayam) or Hor Fun with flat rice noodles are simply awesome and we could really eat both every day. The latter is especially true for the variants that are available in Ipoh!

To be elsewhere

More information about Malaysia:

Malaysia: Book trips and tours on the Internet

Of course, you can book tours and activities on site in travel agencies and, if necessary, hotels. In addition, more and more organizers are now also offering their offers online. On the slowly but steadily growing platforms you can find information about the tour as well as reviews from other travelers. Here is a selection:

  • GetYourGuide: Day Tours, Excursions, and Activities in Malaysia

Travel blogger surveys on other countries:

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About the author

Stefan has been traveling to the countries of Southeast Asia since 2006 and often spends several months there. In 2013 he founded Fascination Southeast Asia and has since written several eBooks and books on the subject (including the insider travel guide “555 Tips for Bangkok”). Between his travels he lives and works in Düsseldorf.

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