Malaysia tips, recommendations

Will be in Malaysia for 2 weeks over the Xmas break

Have 3 nights booked in KL and nothing else

Any tips on things to do/see and places to visit?

Comments

  • +24 votes

    step 1 - eat
    step 2 - sleep
    step 3 - eat again
    step 4 - sleep again

    • +6 votes

      This, some of the best food on the planet.

    • +1 vote

      Amen brother! I am looking forward to the street food!

      •  

        Don't forget to try the durians.

        Just don't try to bring it home as luggage, the airlines might complain.

        Also pig out on the local fruit, jackfruit (my favourite), longans, mangosteens and starfruit.

        •  

          Not sure I could get close enough to a durian to eat it haha

        •  

          I love durians, but sometimes it is a challenge to find around the Golden Triangle. In the past, there used to be some packet ones (from some Tesco). Nowadays, could not even find supermarket packet ones in the supermarkets around there. So often miss out … :-(

          The closest I got to durians, were durian chips at some shop at Pavillion Shopping Centre.

          Anyone with tips how to locate durians easily within this area - would be much appreciated.

          • +1 vote

            @bluesky: My local Coles stock fresh Durians….

            I've yet to purchase one!

            https://imgur.com/a/N5JpE5v

            •  

              @athk: Your Coles has a lot of quantity. I'm impressed! :-) My Woolworths and Coles usually have 1 (2 at most), which I suspect remain unsold for weeks (then thrown out?). Appreciate the heads-up, knowing now that some Coles sell them in fairly large quantities - I will be keeping an eye out).

              The attraction of getting them in Malaysia is obviously freshness, and price factors.

    • +4 votes

      That's wrong!
      Step 1 - eat
      Step 2 - eat
      Step 3 - eat
      Step 4 - eat
      Step 5 - eat
      Step 6 - sleep
      Step 7 - eat
      Step 8 - eat
      Step 9 - eat
      Step 10 - eat
      Step 11 - sleep
      etc!!!
      You have to get in at least five meals a day when in KL, there is so much to eat and it is incredible value.
      My recommendations:
      1. Avoid touristy areas like Bukit Bintang, KLCC, Jalan Alor, Lot 10. Boring, poor food and overpriced.
      2. Night markets eg Taman Connaught (Wed night?) and SS2 (Mon night) are fantastic.
      3. Cheap food in Brickfields eg roti and dosa at ABC Bistro and Sami's corner, banana leaf curries at Vishal, fried banana (pisang goreng) at Brickfields Pisang Goreng, Peter's pork noodles, chapati at Singh's.
      4. Pudu area for great food and cheap beer eg New Imbi market, various street stalls, footpath restos and eating houses (eg Pudu Utama).
      5. Chinatown for the Jalan Petaling market (bargain hard) and the back lanes for the small food stalls and wet market.
      6. Kampung Baru for traditional Malay food eg nasi lemak and satay.
      7. Chow Kit wet market and surrounding areas for food places (eg Yut Kee).
      8. SEAPARK wet market and surrounding areas like Paramount for food places (O&S, Sunrise).
      9. PJ Old Town - Jalan Othman taman selera and surrounding streets.

  • +4 votes

    yes, eat eat eat … bukit bintang … petaling street

  •  

    Langkawi is pretty good, we got a few times a year.

  • +2 votes

    Check out Batu Caves. Its this famous Indian temple in a cave. Very interesting.
    https://says.com/my/lifestyle/batu-caves-staircase-repainted...

    Here's how to get there by train which leaves KL Sentral every half an hour and cost just 4 MYR return ($1.25 US)
    https://www.99boomerangs.com/how-to-get-to-batu-caves-in-kua...

  • +12 votes

    dont use taxi, only use Grab

    •  

      Thanks! What about from KL airport to the city centre?

      • +1 vote

        Catch the Ekspress train, you can use a Visa credit card to tap on and off the train. Will be about $15 AUD per person each way.

        I don't recommend driving as it will take over an hour (train is about half an hour), and you get a lot of crazy drivers doing 180km/h+ on the highway.

          •  

            @Heracles26: Can confirm. I only take the KLCC express bullet train to the city now after taking a car once. It’s so much faster and the way Malaysians drive, the train is also safer.

        • +12 votes

          I think this really depends. I would actually say Grab/MyCar (local competitor) is sometimes still the better option, even if you're alone, depending on your tolerance for changing transport, how far from KL Sentral you're staying and how much luggage you have.

          If there are 2-4 of you, even if you are staying in the heart of the city, I would recommend you take Grab/mycar. The only situation I would say KLIA Ekspress to KL Sentral is if you're alone, staying right at KL Sentral and don't have too much luggage.

          In KLIA Ekspress is ~RM45 factoring in this Grab promo or RM46.75 with this Visa PayWave promo. You'll then probably be catching a Grab/MyCar/taxi from KL Sentral to your hotel/accommodation, which is probably going to be ~RM10 - total ~RM55 - assuming you're one person. Multiply the KLIA Ekspress fare by however many of you there are.

          I don't recommend driving as it will take over an hour (train is about half an hour), and you get a lot of crazy drivers doing 180km/h+ on the highway.

          Car to the heart of KL is probably about an hour - agreed. Train takes half an hour (27 mins, I think they say) - that's just to KL Sentral specifically, not factoring in having to potentially change to a taxi/grab/MyCar in which case you'll have to battle a bit of traffic anyway.

          As for the crazy drivers doing 180km/h+, probably a bit exaggerated. Assuming you're travelling at the speed limit of 110km/h, I'd estimate that 15% of the cars you encounter will be driving faster than you, and will all overtake you in the overtaking (right) lane at about 120-130km/h anyway. If you're in the right lane, they're flash their lights at you to ask you to move, and then overtake you. You'll get the odd hoon doing 140km/h+.


          Grab (RM65) vs MyCar (RM59) (prices exclude tolls, ~RM9 extra)

          I personally recommend MyCar from the airport because it's RM6 cheaper. Only reason to pick Grab over MyCar is if you can't be bothered downloading MyCar and already have Grab or you want GrabRewards points. Grab has a much nicer UI and has been around for much longer. These are the set/fixed price of the fare from the airport to most areas of KL.

          From KL to KLIA, I'd say it depends - MyCar has less drivers, so only use it if you can get a driver. There's no issue with getting MyCar from KLIA because they're everywhere around KLIA. I'd imagine MyCar around KL city area would be fine, but I've had some trouble with getting MyCars in suburbia.


          Source

          Personal experience. Been to Malaysia about 50+ times, including ~30 times over the last 8 years. I typically travel there about twice per month. I'm also a serial tightass, even in Malaysia.

          If you're really serious about saving money on getting from KLIA to KL Sentral, take the bus. It's ~RM11/pp. There are also buses to other parts of KL but I assume you're staying near KL Sentral.

          Personally, I take:

          • Bus - when I'm feeling really tightarse, and have time to kill and feel like falling asleep on a bus. Bus is probably a bit more comfortable to fall asleep in than the train. Your luggage will sit in the luggage hold area - it's basically one of these.
          • Train - when there are promos like the GrabPay/Visa PayWave kind and I'm alone and don't have a crapload of luggage
          • Grab/MyCar - when I'm with at least one other person, not going into KL city, or if I have a fair bit of luggage.

          edit: Edited/reformatted my comment several times for readability because I realised it was getting long and becoming a wall of text.

          •  

            @illumination: The only time we use Grab to get to the airport is if we have a super early flight (first train is at 5am), anything later that 7:30 we always use the ekspress train.

            Yes, MyCar/Grab will be cheaper but the train is less hassle. Getting a Grab at the airport can take half an hour or more at time, so by the time someone even accepts your ride, you would already have gotten to KL Sentral on the train.
            Plus, you get RM10 to use on Grab when you catch the Ekspress train now to get from KL Sentral to where you're going.

            There is a lot more to just saving money, Malaysian highways are exceptionally dangerous and no one in their right might will argue against that.

            If you're in the right lane, they're flash their lights at you to ask you to move, and then overtake you.

            They will also sit 2cm behind you, until you get out of their way.
            No wonder Malaysia has the third highest death rate on their roads, worse than China and even India.

            • +1 vote

              @Drew22:

              The only time we use Grab to get to the airport is if we have a super early flight (first train is at 5am), anything later that 7:30 we always use the ekspress train.

              Where in KL are you normally travelling from? The only way this is less hassle than taking a Grab/MyCar is if you are basically at KL Sentral. If it's a safety consideration, then it'll be a different discussion.

              Yes, MyCar/Grab will be cheaper but the train is less hassle.

              I find the train is more hassle - which is why I see it as a double advantage to take MyCar/Grab - cheaper and more convenient (door to door).

              Getting a Grab at the airport can take half an hour or more at time, so by the time someone even accepts your ride, you would already have gotten to KL Sentral on the train.

              Have never had to wait more than 15 minutes for a MyCar (used it ~5 times), let alone Grab (which has even more drivers) at either KLIA or KLIA2. I don't think waiting time will be significantly different, because you could then argue that you have to wait for the train and time your schedule, which can be up to 15, 20 or 30 mins depending on time of the day. General wait time for Grab/MyCar for me has been 5-10 minutes.

              Plus, you get RM10 to use on Grab when you catch the Ekspress train now to get from KL Sentral to where you're going.

              True, I forgot about that. I believe you only get this if you are not using either the Visa PayWave promo or GrabPay RM10 promo (correct me if I'm wrong), in which case, it wouldn't matter whether you get a RM10 discount straight off the bat instead of a RM10 Grab voucher for future use.

              There is a lot more to just saving money

              Yes, which is why I said, if you really want to save money, you could catch a bus. I wasn't suggesting the "all out save money" option because it's more hassle and takes more time, despite being cheaper, but I still "qualified" the bus option by talking about it being more comfortable to sleep in (compared to train and probably even Grab), and in fact could be more convenient (than train) if you're going to other parts of KL - 1Utama, Paradigm Mall, Jalan Ipoh, Pudu Sentral, Bandar Tasik Selatan.

              Malaysian highways are exceptionally dangerous and no one in their right might will argue against that.

              Don't think I will try and argue against that. But it's not practical to avoid cars all together, which is why us humans jump in vehicles everyday without thinking twice about safety. If "Malaysian highways are exceptionally dangerous" is a big enough safety consideration, you and I (and many others) would avoid Malaysia all together, but we don't because we "perceive the risk to be acceptable" - do you think that's fair to say? Maybe I wouldn't be singing this tune if a relative died on a Malaysian highway tomorrow.

              They will also sit 2cm behind you, until you get out of their way.
              No wonder Malaysia has the third highest death rate on their roads, worse than China and even India.

              Can't deny tailgating is quite prevalent in Malaysia. As above, it's not practical to avoid cars entirely - that's why you take Grab for your super early flights, rather than just avoid early flights. You're still gonna have to jump into a MyCar/Grab/taxi from KL Sentral to your accommodation, unless you're willing to walk, take LRT/MRT, or jump in another vehicle on the road - a bus.

              Source of Malaysia having the third highest death rate on the road by the way? Who's #1 and #2 then out of curiosity? Is KL highway driving any more dangerous than city driving?

              • +1 vote

                @illumination: Thailand is #1 and South Africa is #2

                https://says.com/my/news/malaysia-s-roads-among-the-world-s-...
                The source they use is Bloomberg which in turn used data from WHO.

                Tailgating is an understatement.

                Well, I live right next to St Regis in KL Sentral so its only a 5 minute walk to the train and I don't even have to go outside for it.
                But, I used to like in kLCC and even then the train was better.

                • +1 vote

                  @Drew22:

                  Thailand is #1 and South Africa is #2

                  Didn't expect that. Interesting.

                  Well, I live right next to St Regis in KL Sentral so its only a 5 minute walk to the train and I don't even have to go outside for it.
                  But, I used to like in kLCC and even then the train was better.

                  Well, in that case I do not blame you at all for feeling that KLIA Ekspress is more convenient. I mentioned above, it'd only be more convenient if you're basically living at KL Sentral - and you fulfilled that criteria!

          •  

            @illumination: Need some advice.

            three people (2 adults + 8 month infant). two big suitcases and a pram. arriving in KUL around 6pm.

            need to get from KUL to our hotel in Bukit Bintang.

            1. lots of recent google reviews for Grab/MyCar are quite bad, or do you think these are anomalies rather than the norm?
            2. are cars that dangerous? I assume Grab/MyCar wont have baby seats, are there any other options?
            • +2 votes

              @vietbargain:

              three people (2 adults + 8 month infant). two big suitcases and a pram. arriving in KUL around 6pm.

              need to get from KUL to our hotel in Bukit Bintang.

              Sounds good for Grab/MyCar. I think you'd have to change to either another line after arriving at KL Sentral or change to Grab/MyCar/taxi at KL Sentral anyway.

              lots of recent google reviews for Grab/MyCar are quite bad, or do you think these are anomalies rather than the norm?

              I don't think it's surprising. You're not going to see the tens of thousands of people that have taken "normal" or "pleasant" rides leave reviews online, because that's the expectation. Having bad service is not the expectation, so therefore people will complain. Much like a restaurant - you only leave a restaurant if it's slightly negative (or worse), or if it's absolutely amazing. Anything in between, you won't bother - because it's "met your expectations".

              Admittedly, I checked MyCar online before I first used it and saw quite a number of not so pleasant reviews too. After briefly thinking about it, I thought I'd give it a shot after applying the logic above. To be honest, I've never checked for Grab reviews because I've used Grab since its very early days and have always found it fine. No different to Uber, really.

              My take on it is if you don't like Uber, or aren't comfortable with Uber, then avoid Grab/MyCar. If you're fine with Uber, then Grab/MyCar are fine.

              The only thing I'd be wary of is how the drivers apply tolls. If they suspect you might be a foreigner/tourist, there is a possibility they may try and charge you extra. This is a potential issue whether you pay by cash or card. They're not going to charge you extra for the fare because it's a flat RM59/65, but the tolls are payable by you - and tolls are no more than RM10 into KL city. You could ask for tolls to be avoided, but I wouldn't recommend that as it takes an additional ~15-30 minutes - unless you're genuinely ok with that. You'd be going through some country roads at the start of the journey, and then the rest is mostly toll-free highways.

              are cars that dangerous?

              Honestly, I don't think so - not any worse than anywhere else in Asia is my feel. I can't argue with stats - and Drew22 provided stats saying that Malaysia is the third most dangerous in the world. Thailand is #1, but I don't ever recall someone having returned from a trip to Thailand and talking about how terrifying it was sitting in a car in Thailand. People talk about food, massages, cheap beer/alcohol and ladyboys. Places where people complain about driving safety? China. But again, I can't (and won't) argue with stats.

              As I mentioned above, if safety of driving is that big an issue to you, you would probably avoid that place all together, because driving is inherently a risky activity yet it provides us humans such convenience that it's impractical to avoid it.

              My feeling is if you've been to India, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, China and been in traffic there and found it ok, then I don't think Malaysia will be an issue.

              I drive around Malaysia quite a bit, but my driving education is from Sydney. It's definitely no Sydney (different, takes some getting used to), but I think the more apt comparison is to other South East Asian countries. I've driven in Malaysia on and off over the last 10 years, from Alor Setar (up north) and as far down to Johor Bahru (down south).

              I assume Grab/MyCar wont have baby seats, are there any other options?

              Hmm, this is a pretty good question. It's not something I've ever had to consider as I don't have kids.

              I've just had a look in the app for you though, and there are two options that look like they might be relevant:

              • GrabFamily (Ages 4-7) 3 seats + booster seat for 1 kid
              • GrabFamily (Ages 1-3) 3 seats + car seat for 1 toddler

              It should be more expensive than a standard Grab. If you're after this, I can't imagine MyCar having what you need. Again, have just had a quick look at MyCar and these are the options:

              • MyCar Now
              • MyCar Economy
              • MyCar Premium
              • MyCar MPV Compact
              • MyCar MPV Premium
              • MyCar Cab

              None of them look appropriate.

  • +4 votes

    As the Ringgit is officially non-tradeable overseas, you will get much better foreign exchange rates with money changers in Malaysia. So bring AUD/USD notes to change in Malaysia than in Australia.

    • +4 votes

      Usual rule of thumb applies. Bring enough to last you for the first day. Airport rates there are a rip off. Then head to any money changer at a shopping centre. I use the ones in Mid Valley.

      • +1 vote

        Actually even the rip off rates at the airport in Malaysia would be better than changing it in Australia. Travelex has it at AUD 1 = MYR 2.780 due to the Ringgit currency restriction. I'm pretty certain that Airport rate in Malaysia would be at least AUD 1 = MYR 2.90 or better.

      •  

        I use the ones in Mid Valley.

        Mid Valley ones are extremely popular and sometimes have long lines. Haven't personally tried them myself but I would imagine the fact that there are often crowds of people lining up there does strongly imply the rates are good.

        I've generally been using my Macquarie card to withdraw from ATMs, and the positive of this is there is no "airport surcharge" on the rates.

        •  

          Honestly the lines at Mid Valley aren't worth the couple of extra cents you'll get.
          Plus there really isn't any public transport that goes to Mid Valley either, so if its the only reason you're going there, you're wasting your time.

          Almost any money changer will give you a good rate, just double check using Google before you hand over cash.
          Although I usually just withdraw using my debit card, and only use money changers to get IDR, PHP, SGD, THB, LKR, etc

          •  

            @Drew22:

            Honestly the lines at Mid Valley aren't worth the couple of extra cents you'll get.
            Plus there really isn't any public transport that goes to Mid Valley either, so if its the only reason you're going there, you're wasting your time.

            Yea I'd agree. Don't go there just for the money changers. But if you're going anyway, sure!

            There is public transport though

            •  

              @illumination: Thus my "really" part. There is a shitty bus and the shitty KTM which are both garbage, personally I'd rather walk.
              I'd probably be cheaper to get a Grab than KTM to Mid Valley.

          •  

            @Drew22: The train from KL Sentral train stops right outside. Never had an issue getting there

    • +2 votes

      I find that the rate, withdrawing from ATM using the CitiPlus Debit card, is not that far off from the money exchanger rates. Of course, having some cash is always advisable.

      •  

        The last time I withdrew wirh my citibank plus in Malaysia I got 3.38rm when xe was showing 3.32rm per aud.

        •  

          The money exchangers' rate is also a spread around the XE rate. From past observations, their sell rate was quite close to the ATM withdrawal rate.

          I have on occasions gotten better rates from ATM withdrawal than money changers' advertised rates. However, these were around the Sungei Wang/Pudu area. (Maybe money exchangers' rates could have been better at less touristy areas? That I am not sure).

  • -1 vote

    Catch a cheap 4-5 day package trip from KL to somewhere in Thailand like Ko Sumui through https://www.expedia.com.my/Packages

  • +1 vote

    Beach club cafe

  • +1 vote

    No one has said Petronas Tower??. Go there and have a look. You will need to book early or the day before to get up there. At Xmas it will be pretty awesome. There is a shopping centre at the base of the tower, the name slips my mind, Suria, it’s quite large with lots of shops.

    Low Yat plaza is a good place for all your electronic and computer needs.

    If you are feeling adventurous, get on the train system and head out of the city centre to some of the other massive shopping centres There is another one I’m trying to remember that I have been to a few times, and it’s massive. Gardens Mall?

    KLCC park right in the middle of the city out the back of Suria Mall near the Tower has a night light water park show that attracts lots of people, is pretty spectacular at night time with lots of music.

    I miss KL… *sigh*

    • +1 vote

      Have booked the towers for 6.15pm on a Saturday night :)

      Thanks, it sounds amazing!

      •  

        If it is timed right and you get to watch the water light show, it is amazing from the bridge between the towers.

      • -2 votes

        Eh. If you want a really good view, go to this bar

        https://www.google.com/maps/place/DEEP+BLUE+(Rooftop+Bar)/@3.158349,101.703792,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x7f77075be6c657ad?ved=2ahUKEwihxO7FqsLeAhULrI8KHUsaC0sQ_BIwDnoECAYQCA

        I lived in that building for a year and it has an amazing view of KL from the rooftop.

        My new place is a bit further away from the twin towers, but I now have a complete 360 degree view of KL with no obstructions now.

  •  

    Brickfields /india town.

  • +2 votes

    jogoya buffet in KL…

    biggest selection of food I've seen in a while. but that was almost 4 years ago.. it should still be around.

    •  

      I went about a year ago and agree that this was an absolutely amazing buffet.

      However, if you're after local food, this is not where you'd go. This is more for the novelty/experience of going to such a huge buffet with such a great selection of food. It's bigger than any buffet I've been to in Sydney and is about RM100/person.

      •  

        You want a local "buffet", try a mixed rice place like Restoran 68 in Pudu, KL. Check out the photos on Google Maps! It has a massive range of dishes. And a bit cheaper than RM100!

  •  

    There's a free SIM by Unifi with 2GB data. You'll have to pick it up, and the most convenient pick up point for you, assuming you're staying in KL city, is probably Plaza Low Yat/Sungei Wang/UTC Pudu.

    I've personally been using this SIM and must say that the data reception has been patchy, so if you're after something reliable, I would probably pick another carrier.

    I think the cheapest I can recall amongst the other carriers used to UMobile - and you can pick up a SIM with no SIM fee (but you'll need to top up) from KLIA2 as a foreigner. However, I do recall more recently that Digi may have been offering a better deal.

    To be honest, it probably depends on how heavy a data user you are. Digi has superior reception over UMobile, but I've generally found UMobile to be sufficient for my needs, and this includes some highway driving. Unifi (the free one), on the other hand, has been patchy, but I still use it because it's free.

    •  

      Hotlink is great, $1 for 2GB for 24 hours or $2-3 for usually 3GB for a week.
      Good coverage, fast, pickup at the airport.

  •  

    Places to see:

    • Batu Caves - the newly painted rainbow stairs look cool
    • KLCC
    • Genting Highlands ("g" pronounced like the "g" in "give", not "gentle") - especially if you're into gambling. There's also a theme park here and a huge amount of shops. Takes about an hour bus ride from KL. Personally, I'm not a gambler but I really like the vibe/atmosphere. It's also got cooler weather year-round here, ~20 degrees. It feels like you're in a secluded city up in the skies, because it's

    To be honest, I don't find there's a great variety of touristy stuff to do/see in KL. As others have already pointed out, it's more about the eating rather than seeing stuff lol

    •  

      Genting Highland is craptacular. The only reason to go there is for a day trip to catch the cable car and see just how tacky the "theme park" is

      •  

        I think it's a personal preference thing. I'm not a gambler but I actually quite enjoy it there. I can also understand that some may find it boring/rubbish, or as you described tacky. But it sounds like you felt it was ok for a day trip?

        •  

          It's worth going to visit simply because I've never seen anything like it (and the cable car ride is cool). The problem is if you don't know better and stay for several nights in a "4 star" hotel - not a good idea

      •  

        Or just to experience the quality hotel buffet at bargain price - see my comment. The rest - a nice day trip - is bonus.

      •  

        And haunted too. Google it. Heh.

  •  

    If you're near the Sental area, go to the Bird Park, Deer Park, Butterfly Park, or the National Mosque is quite interesting (but you won't get in on a Friday, unless you're a Muslim), there's also the lesser known National Museum just off that area, it's walkable. Try the street hawkers food rather than a restuarant. Upstairs in the Sentral markets will charge you a foreigners tax. There was also a 3D museum in that area, which wasn't so good, but might be for you.

    Enjoy your trip!!

    •  

      Oh, and if you need somewhere else to go in those two weeks - don't book it from here - more shopping centers have an Air Asia outlet/stall where you can book cheap flights … you can probably get a week in a lesser known place for a bargain price!!

  • +1 vote

    Try Durian, best fruit ever if you like it :)

  • +2 votes

    Since you have 2 weeks, consider Cameron Highlands - past comment with some details here. For old world charm, don't go past the Jim Thomson Tea Room, Cameron Highlands Resort - for value-for-money afternoon tea in charming surrounds.

    There are free buses running in central KL - in case you want to use them to get around, some info in past comment.

    If you don't mind venturing a bit out of town, Langkawi, Genting Highlands (mentioned by others above), also Ipoh, Penang, and even the east coast are possible candidates.

    Have a great trip!

    PS Also want to acknowledge my appreciation to other OzB'ers giving me great tips to KL/Malaysia, in the past threads. Made my trips there so much more interesting.

  • +8 votes

    My wife is Malaysian so I visit there at least yearly.

    2 weeks in Malaysia, 3-4 days in KL is probably enough. Explore the Central area, KLCC, Petronas Towers or the KL tower (I'd do one or the other, there's a wait to get up Petronas and none to get up KL tower), the Central market and Petaling st is interesting for nick nacks, Bukit Bintang for higher end shopping and Jalan Alor just behind for street food. There's also the KL bird park and museum if you like that kind of stuff. Then you can venture further out to Batu caves for some stair climbing and a traditional temple. If you can't get enough shopping there's 1 Utama, Sunway pyramid or Mid Valley which are pretty epic sized shopping malls. Sunway has a small water park and theme park attached too it as well.

    Outside of KL I would highly recommend visiting Penang and staying near the world heritage area. There is some very unique heritage there and the street art is interesting too. Everyone rates the food in Penang and it really is good, but I've found good Malaysian food isn't unique to Penang.

    Malacca is ok. They are also known for their heritage and the Peranakan culture but I like Penang more. Genting is where you go to gamble in cigarette smoke filled casinos and Cameron Highlands is a good place to relax and take in the scenery in a milder climate than the rest of Malaysia. Langkawi is the place to go for a beach holiday as most of the beaches on mainland Malaysia are not the nicest.

    Sabah and Sarawak is truly different from the West of Malaysia as they are known for their ecotourism and have a strong Philipino influence however the further East you go the more wary you should be of kidnappings etc.

    Safety wise Malaysia looks and feels safe, however my wife will not let me go anywhere on foot after dark as she says pick pocketing, bag snatchings and home invasions are common.

  •  

    Avoid stepping on drains, stick to cement.

  • +6 votes

    In my opinion as a proud Malaysian :)

    In/around KL:
    - Fireflies in Kuala Selangor are often overlooked and very pretty
    - Central market for traditional type souvenir shopping
    - And all the other things mentioned already

    Food to try:
    - Nasi Lemak
    - Roti Canai/ Roti Telur/ Roti Kaya (and just about all the roti's you can manage!)
    - Chicken rice
    - Dim Sum
    - Bak Kut Teh
    - Char Kuey Teow
    - etc.

    Outside KL:
    - Cameron Highlands, as others said, for beautiful scenery and strawberry picking
    - White Water Rafting in Ipoh
    - Jonker St, Melaka (don't forget to get some chicken rice balls while you are there!)

    Beaches:
    - Perhentian island has some amazing snorkeling
    - Redang and Tioman Island are quite nice as well
    I personally find these beaches nicer than Langkawi which is quite tourist-y because of the cheap alcohol
    (Mind you things might have changed over the years)

    • +1 vote

      Agree, re the beach comment, less touristy beaches nice, but harder to get to. I was tempted to mention Redang which I've been (incredible value for money), but refrained because its start of monsoon season. For east coast beaches, best times are Apr to Oct.

  • +4 votes

    Hey there, I recently just came back from a 2 week trip in Malaysia so hopefully my itinerary can be of some help. I spent 3 days in KL, 3 days in Penang, 3 days in Langkawi, 3 days at the Perhentian Islands and 1 day in Cameron Highlands and 1 day in Malacca. I found this to be just the right amount of time in each place if you only have two weeks.

    I write a travel blog which I'll be going in detail about all the stuff I did on my trip if you need any ideas. But I'll do a quick summary here as well. Feel free to ask me any questions, I've done a tonne of research for this trip so happy to help!
    https://poormansbackpack.wordpress.com/

    KL
    -not much to do within the city apart from food, you'll hear Jalan Alor a lot but I found it to be very touristy. BackHome hostel runs a super cheap food tour that takes you to a market and various street food stalls, excellent value
    -if you got time check out Taman Connaught night market, it's over 2km long with tonnes of food!
    -for views you can go up KL tower which I feel is better/cheaper than Petronas tower. Petronas tower is better to look at, from ground level
    -Batu caves is a good half day trip, but if you want to do something cool very few people know that you can actually do outdoor rock climbing at the back of Batu Caves, if you're interested I can recommend a guide
    -if you got cash to spare, consider staying for 1 night at one of the nicer apartment towers with an infinity pool through AirBnB for about $100 (the Face Suites for close up view of Petronas towers, or Regalia for a zoomed out, background view of the city skyline)

    Perhentian Islands
    -pair of tropical islands off the eastern coast of Malaysia, bit difficult to get to but you can do some amazing scuba diving and snorkelling here
    -if you're interested I've actually written a guide on my blog on how to get here from KL
    https://poormansbackpack.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/backpacker...
    -I have a video showing the diving and snorkelling here too
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvLbBJs-ruU&t=511s

    Penang
    -again famous for its food, just look up where to eat in Penang
    -Kek Lok Si temple and Penang Hill (observation point, good at night as well) makes for a great day trip, with 2 well known food spots nearby (Sister Curry Mee and Penang Air Itam Laksa)
    -Every night there's a night market somewhere on the island, just look up the schedule
    -if you have time, look up Balik Pulau. It's the backside of the island that's mostly farms and villages, you can do a cycling tour which is very interesting

    Langkawi
    -Mangrove tour is one of the highlights, there are many tour operators so do some research (or ask me if you want some help)
    -Sky Bridge is a bit touristy but well worth the views, plus the nearby Seven Wells waterfall makes for a good day trip
    -if you can afford it, do the jet ski tour too. You go around visiting limestone islands on a jet ski, pretty awesome if you never ridden one before, but it is expensive at ~$200-$250 for 4 hours
    -again there's a night market on the island every day, just look up the schedule

    Cameron Highlands
    -On the way between Penang and KL so good as a stopover, also much higher altitude so it's probably the only place in Malaysia that can actually get cold, which is a nice break from the heat and humidity
    -known for 2 things - hikes and tea plantations
    -if you're not a super avid hiker, doing one hike is probably enough, otherwise there are a dozen routes here that could last you for a week
    -do a standard half day tour that covers Mossy Forest and tea plantation, these are everywhere and should cost around RM50

    Malacca
    -known for its colonial heritage sites which are all pretty close by in the main touristy area. Join a free walking tour if you want to learn about the history of the sites and don't want to do any planning
    -visit on Fri/Sat for the Jonker Street night market
    -make sure to try Peranakan food, which is a unique combination of Chinese and Malay culture

    •  

      I didn't read everything you wrote but looks good.

      Cameron Highlands
      -On the way between Penang and KL so good as a stopover, also much higher altitude so it's probably the only place in Malaysia that can actually get cold, which is a nice break from the heat and humidity

      Just wanted to point out that Genting is the same - which I mentioned above.

      •  

        True forgot about Genting, although I'd only recommend going there if you want to gamble!

        •  

          If this day-trip package is still available, I could not recommend it highly enough. Ticket bought from KL Sentral, so a call can confirm if it is still running. Package also mentioned here.

          Go Genting Golden Package (Transfer & outdoor theme park ride pass or Buffet Lunch): RM47 (approx AUD16). Price might have gone up a bit.

          Not one for theme park or gambling? No problem - choose the quality buffet lunch instead. Package includes the return bus trip, the cable car and buffet lunch (or theme park).

          Bus leaves from KL Sentral (or other places). If you time it to get there around noon, you can have a leisurely buffet lunch, offered at one of the hotel restaurants. Excellent standard of food covering all the various cuisines. Chefs available to cook up dishes on order at the various counters (a quality buffet).

          After the buffet (which finishes at 3pm), time to wonder and check out the place, then take the cable car and bus back to KL Sentral. Up to you which bus you take, the buses leave hourly in the afternoon.

  • +1 vote

    I just got back from KL for work.

    The best place I went to was SkyBar in Traders building. It overlooks the Petronas towers and has amazing views and is swanky / cocktail style place.

    Guaranteed awesomeness.

    Can walk there from the Petronas towers through the park which is also an interesting walk.

    Must go there.

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    Don't stay in kl too long. You'll see everything in 3 days.

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    I would recommend Lot 10 food court for selection of heritage foods. Heritage in a sense that these shops have been around for over 40years.
    My favourite Kin Kin Chili Pan Mee :)

  •  

    Appreciate all the replies everyone, thanks!!

  •  

    The wholesale shopping centre https://www.kenangacity.com.my/?view=featured is a fabulous place to get leather handbags cheap. There is a shop on the ground floor, I think it maybe Shop Lot: G-95 but not quite sure. It is a few doors down from a restaurant that has seating opposite their shop. The streets around the shopping centre are wholesale too. You can catch the monorail and get off at Hang Tuah Monorail station, turn left and left and head downhill, its a short walk to the shopping centre. Big white building. Have fun

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    Visit mid valley and gardens shopping Centre. You will find everything u need there. 👍. In fact got hotels in same complex too

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    I loved the Sarawak region when we visited a few years back. It was lovely to visit the local communities and the rice whisky was awesome.

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    McDonald's!!

  •  

    Hey my wife is Malaysian so we head back every year.

    1 EAT ALL THE FOOD: get local food, not western. the dodgier the place looks, the better it is. BBQ pork, roast pork, satay chicken, tandori chicken, Nasi Lemak Durian etc
    2 Go shopping: there are dozens off malls. go nuts
    3 Travel: Do KL for 3-5 days and then travel to the beaches in either Malaysia or surrounding countries. its very cheap (Langkowi, Penang, Bali, Phuket, Koh Lipe)

    Good luck

  •  

    Salted egg crab at one of the street vendors on Jalan Alor in KL is a must. Think Restoran Sai Woo is the one I've eaten at before - amazing. Also try the swordfish, pretty good stuff.

    There's also a helicopter pad that turns into a bar at night, very cool birds eye view of KL. Gets packed at sunset. A bit pricey, but a good experience.

  • -1 vote

    Prepare for diarrhoea.

    • +2 votes

      Not sure why I'm getting downvoted. Itss definitely possible/likely to get diarrhoea. Especially if you're eating a lot of street food (and cold drinks).

  •  

    I was in Singapore last year. I used UBER all the way. And it as very pleasant to use UBER. I have not been to Malaysia recently. However, for transportation, I was pleasantly surprised to see UBER there…

    •  

      Yeah, good luck using UBER there now.

    • +1 vote

      GRAB bought out Uber SE - so no more Uber, which is bad for competition.
      Uber drivers then did not know where you want to go, but GRAB drivers did. GRAB drivers pick and choose, usually not accepting short trips during high-demand periods. It was much better when both were operating. Riders could also pick the cheaper one - and Uber often was. Nowadays, there is only GRAB and too often it is peak pricing.

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