Malaysia

Currency

Malaysia has the Malaysian Ringgit (RM or MYR) which can be picked up from local ATMs. 1 Euro equals 4.95 RM, and 1 US Dollar equals 4.12 RM.

Weather

Malaysia has a wet and a dry season although they blend together in some parts. The wet season are different in East Malaysia and the Malay peninsula. It’s usually hot and humid year-round.

Language

The official language of Malaysia is Malay or Bahasa Malaysia which is very similar to Bahasa Indonesia.

Quick Facts

Malaysia is an incredible, multi-faceted country with a lot to offer. It’s divided into two distinct parts; The Malay peninsula and East Malaysia. Most tourists come to the Malay peninsula to see places like Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi or the Perhentian Islands. East Malaysia is a lot less developed and popular for jungle tours, hiking and seeing wild life.

Malaysia has an incredible culture and is a very welcoming country. With only around 32 million people it’s not the largest but there is plenty to see and do. Don’t make the mistake of just seeing Kuala Lumpur and then moving on. Malaysia has so many hidden gems which aren’t overrun by tourists yet and make the perfect trip.

Budget and Prices

2-week budget trip (2 people, without flights) – 4200RM/850€/1000$

2-week mid-range trip (2 people, without flights) – 4900RM/1200€/1440$

0.5-liter local beer in a supermarket – 10RM/2€/2.40$

Bottle of wine in liquor store – 65RM/13€/15.50$

Pack of 20 cigarettes – 18 RM/4€/5$

0.5 liter local beer in a bar – 15RM/3€/3.50$

Meal in a budget restaurant– 6RM/1.20€/1.50$

Meal in a nicer restaurant – 40RM/8€/9.50$

Coke in a restaurant – 3RM/0.60€/0.70$

15-minute Uber/Grab ride – 40RM/8€/9.50$

Hotel room for 1 night – 173RM/35€/42$

Resort room for 1 night – 345RM/70€/84$

Hostel room for 1 night – 50RM/10€/12$

1-day Snorkelling Tour – 200RM/40€/48$

Gas price per liter – 2RM/0.40€/0.5$

Coffee in a local shop– 5RM/1€/1.20$

Rent for 1-bedroom apartment – 1480RM/300€/360$

Utilities per month – 300RM/60€/72$

Basic phone plan per month – 50RM/10€/12$

Public transport ticket – 3RM/0.60€/0.70$

Scooter rent for 1 week – 70RM/14€/17$

Favourite places

When to go

The best time to go to Malaysia depends on which part you’re going to. The Malay peninsula tends to be hot and humid year-round with intermittent rainfalls. The wet and dry seasons are almost blended together in this region although it tends to rain the most in September and October. The months between March and October are a great choice for the east coast of the peninsula and its stunning islands. Langkawi which lies in the north of Malaysia is ideally visited some time around December to February for the best weather.

If you’re planning on visiting East Malaysia you should try to go there some time between March and October which tends to be dry and hot. This is the best time to see wild life like orangutangs or sea turtles.

Where to stay

Malaysia is large and there are plenty of things to do and see. Most people go to Kuala Lumpur first which is one of the best cities in South East Asia (at least we think so). It combines culture with sightseeing and still plenty of opportunities to enjoy the incredible nature. Close by you’ll also find places like Genting or Cameron Highlands which are large resort towns perfect for a night away. You should spend at least four to five days in Kuala Lumpur before you move on to more rural places.

Then there is Penang and Malaysia’s northern island Langkawi. Flights there are quick and affordable and will let you escape the city and enjoy the incredible beaches. Langkawi also has very reduced taxes on alcohol making it a great spot for nightlife.

A little further south from Kuala Lumpur you’ll find Malacca which is a cultural hotspot. Some tourists prefer it over Penang and even Kuala Lumpur and it’s usually praised by foodies and those looking for cultural experiences.

The eastern coast of the Malay peninsula has some of the best islands and beaches around. Tioman Island, Redang Island and the Perhentian Islands include some of the best places in this area with lots of opportunities for diving, snorkelling and other water sports.

The there is East Malaysia which is located very far away from the peninsula. It lies on Borneo, half of which is actually part of Indonesia. This is the place to come for nature experiences and hiking in incredible places such as the famous Kota Kinabalu hike. East Malaysia also has an impressive selection of paradise-like islands which are known for scuba diving and beautiful crystal-clear waters.

If your time in Malaysia is limited stick to the Malay peninsula to make things easier, however, a trip to East Malaysia will take your breath away if you’re up for an adventure.

How to get around

Malaysia has a variety of transport systems that will help you get around quickly and easily. Kuala Lumpur has a fantastic public transport system that consists of trains, buses and monorails which will get you anywhere you need to go. There are also long distance trains that will help you travel to hotspots within the country such as Taman Negara. This train system is convenient and safe and the perfect way to truly appreciate the beauty of the landscape.

Most of Malaysia’s islands (excluding Langkawi) do not have their own airport so you’ll have to take a ferry to reach them. Depending on where you’re going the ferries are usually a great choice and will get you there safely and conveniently.

As mentioned, one of Malaysia’s most popular islands; Langkawi actually has its own airport which means you can catch a quick flight there from Kuala Lumpur. On islands like Langkawi the most common mode of transport is by far the scooter. You can rent them almost anywhere and they’re really affordable and easy to use once you get used to the traffic. Be careful in cities like Kuala Lumpur where people tend to drive recklessly.

For mid-range distances you can also hire a driver in Malaysia. This is a great option if you’re travelling in a group.

How to get to Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur has a large, international airport that acts as a major hub in Malaysia. Chances are, you’ll find flights to Kuala Lumpur from almost anywhere in the world. Once you’ve arrived in KL you can then catch another, shorter flight to your next destination or go for a regional train or bus which might be more budget-friendly. You can also fly to Singapore which actually lies on the Malay peninsula and is well-connected with Malaysia. There are great train options connecting the two as well as flights which are usually very affordable.

Must know words

Selamat Pagi – Good Morning

Apa Khabar anda? – How are you?

Nasi – Rice

Mee – Noodles

Kopi – Coffee

Teh Manis – Sweet Tea

Air – Water

Satu - One

Dua - Two

Tiga – Three

Ampun – Sorry

Selamat Jalan – Goodbye

Terima Kasih – Thank you

Maafkan saya – Excuse Me

Nama saya… - My name is

Ya – Yes

Tidak – No

Sama-sama – You’re welcome

Berapa banyak – How much is it?

Hi, I'm Victoria

I’m 24 years old and grew up in Germany. Right now I’m studying at a university in Scotland and am about to graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

Full-time travel is my dream and I’ve spent the last few years slowly building my online business. Guide your Travel is technically a travel blog, but I also write about photography, social media and how you can start blogging. Don’t forget to check out my destination guides and travel tips.

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