Malaysia beckons travelers to a fusion of history and modernity. It remains to be one of the most fascinating countries in Southeast Asia for the solo traveler, the couple on a honeymoon, and even a family out on vacation.
Here are tips on how to enjoy the best of Malaysia’s unique culture and traditions and breathtaking city modernism without breaking the bank.
Best Time to Visit
Malaysia is a tropical country, making it an ideal tourist destination any time of the year. Hotels and resorts tend to get packed from May to September so make sure to book your reservations in advance if you plan to visit during these months. It is less crowded during the Northeast monsoon season months of October to March as occasional rains and thunderstorms drive pedestrians indoors. However, the west coast cities of Langkawi, Penang, and Pangkor remain alive with beach side attractions and activities to keep tourists entertained in spite of the occasional showers.
Where to Stay
The best approach to finding a good and affordable place to stay in Malaysia is by planning your itinerary ahead of time. List down the sites you wish to visit and check how far one is to the next. Hotel rates in Kuala Lumpur range from RM81 to RM131 per night so it is better to search the internet for a quaint hotel in Selangor or a hostel dorm in Petaling Jaya instead. These cost no more than RM38 to RM60 a night and are only 30 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur.
The KLIA Express train is not your cheapest option to travel from the airport to the heart of Kuala Lumpur, although it is the fastest. A one-way ticket for an adult costs RM55 while a return ticket is at RM100. Take the bus instead and pay only RM10 for a one-way ticket and RM18 for returns. Buses leave every 30 minutes.
Do not miss out on authentic Chinese and Indian hawker fare or your entire trip would be wasted. Jalan Alor and Petaling streets offer a wide variety of affordable local delicacies and street food choices. Fried seafood and vegetables, with two or three items per order, only cost RM1 while a large mug of Kopi, Malaysia’s version of brewed coffee, costs RM2.20. A generous serving of the famous Nasi Goreng, or fried rice, costs RM4 and a Nasi Lemak, Malaysia’s traditional breakfast meal of rice, shrimp paste, cucumbers, egg, and anchovies, costs RM1.50. If you like fruits, a sun-ripened mangosteen is sold at RM8 per kilogram while a good durian can be bought at RM18 to RM30 per kilogram.
Experiencing Malaysia’s vibrant culture need not be costly. When you have secured your budget for your hotel, transportation, and food, you would have a better idea on how much you should set aside to enjoy the sights and sounds of this beautiful country. Temples and mosques are open to the public while city sites such as the Petronas Twin Towers have online ticket sales so travelers can pay for their visit in advance. This should help you plan your expenses better and avoid going over your budget.
Your Southeast Asian tour won’t be complete without seeing the grandeur that is Malaysia. Discover why it has remained a favorite destination among tourists and backpackers.