Overall I spent about three weeks in Malaysia, a country which wasn’t even on my list when I started my journey. Another stopover in Kuala Lumpur before heading to Myanmar / Burma made me decide to at least explore a little bit of that country. I mean, I was there already so why not take advantage of it? Since I had only a few weeks, I decided to travel the Malaysian Peninsula and not Borneo. Maybe a mistake after all looking at it now. But first things first…
Crossing the border from Singapore was a piece of cake and probably the quickest border crossing I have done so far. Everything went so smoothly and was so well organized, a phenomenon which would characterize my entire travels in Malaysia until the very end. It is a very developed country and the government seems to really put a lot of emphasis on tourism, already being the country’s second biggest source of income just after coconut exports. Hence the industry is well developed and set up to cater for every kind of tourist. Buses are super comfortable, always on time and run at regular intervals. Bookings and all inclusive tours can be arranged literally everywhere and hotels and hostels are available for every taste and budget. That is probably the reason why the country is so popular and hence quiet touristy. It is safe to say that I met by far the most German tourists in Malaysia than anywhere else in Asia. I remember staying in a guesthouse in the Cameron Highlands where about 95% of the guests where Germans. Quiet a funny situation back then but not exactly what I am looking for when traveling abroad.
For me personally the country was too developed, too organized, to clean and traveling way too easy. A little bit of adventure, thrill and uncertainty is the spice of traveling and in Malaysia this ingredient was missing a little bit. But then again, what makes a journey rather unexciting for me is just what others might prefer and need to have a great time. So once again, this is my very own and personal perspective on traveling Malaysia. If I would have to choose again, I would probably head for Malaysian Borneo instead the Peninsula Region. I heard good things about that part of the country and it seems to be a little more tailored for the individual tourist.
However, I still don’t regret having traveled this part of the world. Places like Malacca and Penang are definitely worth a visit. The architecture and the colonial flair of these two cities are just very special and unique. The food, especially the cheap eats on the streets in the bigger cities are among the best in Asia and my trip into the jungle of Taman Negara was also an unforgettable experience.
To sum things up, I want to quote Tourism Malaysia. They do a very good job in attracting foreign visitors and facilitating tourism in their country and they promote it with the claim „Malaysia, truly Asia“. This catchy phrase sure seems to work well but after having now traveled all of the countries in South East Asia, I can say that this is nothing more and nothing less than just that…a catchphrase. If you want to see the real Asia, other countries in the region offer a way more authentic experience. It might take some effort, but the rewards will be great. If you are looking for safe and organized travel to take in a lot of places within a short holiday or just want to try traveling Asia for the first time, than Malaysia is the place to be.
Where I’ve been:
2 days Malacca
2 days Kuala Lumpur (plus 5 days for a previous stopover)
3 days Cameron Highlands, Tanah Ratah
3 days Taman Negara National Park
1 day Kota Baru
3 days Perhentian Kecil, Perhentian Islands
5 days Penang
2 days Kuala Lumpur
Bus, Minivan, River Boat, River Taxi, Ferry, Train, Speedboat, Nightbus
Colonial Flair, Chinese influenced culture, Street Art, Good and cheap streetfood
Too touristy, Stupid people on Party island Perhentian Kecil, too organized and too little adventure
Average expenditure for accommodation:
24,50 Ringgit or 5,60 EUR (almost only dorms)
Types of accommodation used:
Dorms, single room, hammock in the jungle
Aimlessly wandering the little streets and alleys of Malacca and surviving the jungle of Taman Negara
Spending too much time in Kuala Lumpur and wasting my time on the Perhentian Islands
Photos shot and kept on file:
About 3,5 weeks in Myanmar / Burma
Below I put a selection of my favorite Malaysia pictures. I hope you enjoyed my reports and the photos I posted. I know things haven’t been too spectacular but the upcoming reports on Myanmar will blow your minds. I will post the probably best pictures I have taken during this whole trip so far. I will try to post the update very soon but it takes time and some effort. So please bear with me, stay tuned and patient. In the meantime feel free to message me or share your thoughts about your experiences traveling Malaysia or traveling in general. Thanks all for stopping by and the positive feedback, I really appreciate it.