61 Things To Do, See, Taste & Feel In Malaysia | 2019 Bucket List

Malaysia was a shock.

In the best way possible. We booked our trip to Malaysia with only 3 weeks until our departure, we knew nothing and didn’t really expect anything. What we got out of our trip was something truly memorable, the experience of a lifetime.

If you are considering Malaysia as an option for your 2019 travels then we strongly urge you book that plane ticket. Malaysia is not the first country on most South East Asian travel bucket lists, but we think it should be!

If you are considering a trip to Malaysia and wondering what to do, see, taste & feel while you are there. Then this blog is for you… Read on and plan out your Malaysian travel itinerary.

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001 - Experience a Mulu Sunrise

Mulu is a tiny village located in Borneo’s Sarawak province. The village is incredibly isolated and WIFI is hard to come by but the trip is definitely worth it. If you are staying in Mulu then make the effort to wake up for sunrise, climb something and get yourself above the fog.

Handy Tip: Bring plenty of cash to get you through your stay. There are no ATM’s here and if you run out of cash it can be costly and tricky to get your hands on more money.

Best Time to Visit: July - September. This is a tropical rainforest so expect rain year round but these months are the driest.

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002 - Hike the Pinnacles in Gunung Mulu National Park

The Pinnacles are an iconic hike in Gunung Mulu National Park (located right next to Mulu village), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The pinnacles are no easy hike though, be prepared for multiple days of tough and often dangerous hiking.

The reward is an incredible view of the limestone pillars that make up the Pinnacles. The origin of these limestone Karsts date back as far as 40 million years!

Handy Tip: Do your research and bring all the gear you need. There are no outdoor gear shops in Mulu and the gear available for hire is very limited.

Best Time to Visit: July - September. This track can be very slippery and often stays closed during the wetter months.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE - ALL CREDIT TO THE ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHER

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE - ALL CREDIT TO THE ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHER

003 - Spend a night at Mulu Village Longhouse

Mulu Village is run by local legends James Baya & his wife Brenda. The pair are responsible for restarting the village after several years of disruption & really want to showcase their amazing culture to the world.

They will not only provide breakfast and accomodation but also offer tours and help with any questions you may have. Truly an amazing stay.

Handy Tip: You can sneak over to the Marriot in the evenings and use the WIFI to message mum.

Best time to Visit: Year round. Just remember that the dryer months are July - September.

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004 - Visit Deer Cave in Gunung Mulu National Park

Deer Cave is the largest cave in Gunung Mulu National Park and is in fact one of the largest cave passages on earth. In fact, Deer Chamber is so large that you could fly a Boeing 747 through it! The cave is also home to over 3 million bats that comfortably fit inside the immense cave.

The bats leave the cave in beautifully rhythmic swarms everyday at sunset. Make sure you are in the best spot to watch the show.

Handy Tip: When booking the cave tours look to pay for the package deals, its much cheaper that way.

Best time to Visit: Aim for July - September or March & April are also an option. The park is open year round though.

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IMAGE SOURCED FROM CULTURE-IST via Chelsea Stuart

IMAGE SOURCED FROM CULTURE-IST via Chelsea Stuart

005 - Explore Cave of the Winds

Not nearly as immense as Deer Cave this little cave is named due to the gentle winds which from through the cave. Cave of the winds is a really cool cave which is generally accompanied by a river cruise up the Melinau river.

Handy Tip: Bring a dry bag when you come to Mulu! There is a lot of caving so having a DSLR tucked away in a dry bag means you won’t miss any amazing photo opportunities.

Best time to Visit: Aim for July - September or March & April are also an option. The park is open year round though.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM CULTURE-IST via Shutterstock

IMAGE SOURCED FROM CULTURE-IST via Shutterstock

006 - Be mesmerised by Clearwater Cave

The tour to Clearwater cave is a package deal with Cave of the Winds and is normally the second cave you will visit. 200 steps will lead you up to the entrance of Clearwater Cave, the water that roars beneath you has been traveling underground for over 170km’s!

Once you get out of the cave you will be greeted by a crystal clear pool which you can swim in. Do not be tempted to swim in the cave, it is not permitted and this river is incredibly powerful.

Handy Tip: Clearwater cave is part of an interconnected cave system that runs below Gunung Mulu National park. The cave system is believed to be one of the largest on the planet!

Best time to Visit: Aim for July - September or March & April are also an option. The park is open year round though.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE via Pinterest

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE via Pinterest

007 - Hike to the top of Mulu Summit

Enough below ground activities. It’s time for some hiking, why not a 4-5 day hike to the highest peak in Gunung Mulu National park? The hike to the top of Mulu Summit is beautiful but very strenuous, you need to be in good physical condition to complete this hike.

You will be required to carry all your own sleeping, cooking & hiking equipment so don’t turn up with a suitcase expecting a Sherpa. This one is all you baby!

Handy Tip: Purchase all your food supplies before departing for Mulu. The food in Mulu is incredible but not so easy to pack away & camping/hiking food is hard to come by. Another option is to get some tips off the locals.

Best time to Visit: July - September. This track can be very slippery and often stays closed during the wetter months.

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008 - Eat Local at Diana’s BBQ Stall

Hands down the cleanest, freshest and tastiest food we had in Malaysia was at Diana’s BBQ Stall. The stall itself looks like a rundown shack during the day but transforms into a bustling little food sanctuary at night. Diana’s is in fact so popular that she has had to begin expanding her make shift store along the road.

Take your pick form classic Malaysian dishes mixed in with local favourites. All of the ingredients are locally sourced, quite often during that same day by Diana herself! We also heard rumours that Diana has begun hosting cooking classes during the day. Just ask James or Brenda at Mulu Village if you are interested.

Handy Tip: Diana also does airport shuttles!

Best Time to Visit: Year round! Would honestly live at Diana’s if it were possible.

If you blink you will miss it. Across from that bus… see Diana’s?

If you blink you will miss it. Across from that bus… see Diana’s?

009 - Hike to the top of Mt Kinabalu

One of the biggest attractions in Sabah is the iconic Mt Kinabalu. This giant lump of Sandstone sits head and shoulders above any of the other surrounding peaks at a massive 4,095 metres. Climbing Kinabalu unguided is strictly forbidden and incredibly dangerous.

If you are planning on climbing the tallest mountain in Malaysia then you will need to book months in advance. Kinabalu is incredibly popular so spaces fill up fast.

Handy Tip: Get fit and opt for the Via Ferrata. The Via Ferrata set up on Mt Kinabalu is the highest in the world and a truly incredible experience.

Best Time to Visit: Aim to book your climb between March - September. This will reduce your chances of cancelations due to heavy rains.

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010 - Spend a night at Kinabalu Mountain Lodge

Tucked away behind the shadows of Mt Kinabalu lies Kinabalu Mountain Lodge. A great spot to rest your bones after an amazing accent of Kinabalu. This quaint little lodge has no wifi and limited service so you can really escape from the world.

The family that runs the lodge are so friendly and cook breakfast, lunch and dinner (you need to pay for the meals though). The rates are also far cheaper than anything you will find in the park.

Handy Tip: Be prepared to walk. The shuttle will drop you at the base of the driveway so you will need to walk about a kilometre to the lodge.

Best time to Visit: Year Round but aim for March - September.

Peace and Isolation.

Peace and Isolation.

011 - Get Hustled at the KK Fish Markets

Yep! Just embrace it, you are going to get hustled at Kota Kinabalu’s famous fish market. The outcome for you is one incredible feed and a uniquely KK experience. The fish markets feel chaotic the first time you visit with salesman dragging you in from all directions.

Once you pick your favourite spot though (or salesman) then you will go back for dinner every night until you leave KK! The fish is incredible, you literally pick what you want cooked (generally caught fresh that day!), grab a seat, order a beer and begin the feast.

Handy Tip: You don’t need nearly as much as the salesman will suggest. The portions are huge!

Best time to Visit: Year round.

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012 - Experience a Jaw Dropping Sunrise at KK City Mosque

Muslim architecture is some of the most fascinating in the world! The pillars, spires, patterns & gracefully carved surfaces are so unique & so mesmerising to behold. Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim nation, although all religions are accepted in this very accepting country.

There are several incredibly crafted Mosques in Kota Kinabalu but one stands out above the rest. Surrounded by water and backed by the powerful presence of Mount Kinabalu, Masjid Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu (City Mosque) is an incredible site to behold at sunrise.

Handy Tip: Order a Grab from your accomodation. Grab can be downloaded on your phone & it will cost you between $2-$10 US depending on where your accomodation is.

Best time to Visit: Year Round. Try catch a clear morning!

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013 - Take a Selfie in front of the Petronas Towers

You just have to!

While in Kuala Lumpur (KL if you want to feel like a local) it is essential to visit the iconic Petronas towers. The towers were the tallest in the world until 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers on earth.

Umm Selfie is essential right!? There are several spots to get a great vantage point but nothing will beat a Helicopter ride. If you have the cash then make the investment and let the rest of your social media friends feeling that deep FOMO.

Handy Tip: Explore! It is easy to get caught up right in front of the towers but the best views are actually further away than you think.

Best time to Visit: Year Round.

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014 - Venture into the Batu Caves

Limestone hills, caves + temples… Sounds amazing right? Even more amazing is the proximity these caves are to the city. The caves are literally closer than the airport! In just 16 minutes you can reach the cave entrance.

This cave is one of the most popular Tamil shrines outside of India so you can be certain to expect crowds. The cave + shrine is also the focal point for the Hindu festival Thaipusam in Malaysia, once again showcasing Malaysia’s incredible multiculturalism.

Handy Tip: Order a Grab and aim to get to the caves for sunrise to get in first and avoid the crowds.

Best Time to Visit: Year round but try and experience Thaipusam. The festival dates differ each year but in 2019 Thaipusam will be held on 21Λ’α΅— January.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE.

 

015 - Get a History lesson at Sri Mahamariamman Temple

Founded in 1873, this is the oldest Hindu Temple in Kuala Lumpur. The temple is a great option for history buffs looking to enrich themselves with Malaysia’s Hindu history. Located on the edge of Chinatown is an added bonus, you are only a short walk away from some great food!

For early immigrants from India this temple was an important place for worship and a way to tie them back to their homes and families.

Handy Tip: Be respectful and observe the rules. If you are unsure… ask.

Best Time to Visit: Year round.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM THOUSAND WONDERS.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM THOUSAND WONDERS.

 

016 - Eat like a Local - Order some Nasi Kandar

Hands down!! Malaysian food is the best we have had to date! The food just tastes fresh, rich and full of mind-blowing flavours. Originating in Penang, Nasi Kandar is a Northern Malaysian dish made up of; rice (placed in three foot tall wooden containers to give it a distinctive aroma), a protein & vegetables.

Your meat choice is commonly fried chicken but can also be; curried beef spleen, cubed beef, lamb, fish roe, fried prawns or fried squid. The vegetables will be a combination of locally grown produce including; aubergine, okra & bitter gourd.

It is the sauce that makes this dish though, called Banjir it imparts glorious flavours on your tongue!

Hot Tip: Eat authentic! The local hotspots are always the best… don’t let a few rats running along the street freak you out.

Best Time to Eat: All the time!

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE.

017 - Hang out with the local birds at Kuala Lumpur Bird Park

I mean that is quote the clever pun.. go on give us a quick clap. but seriously, this would be a great day out for couples on the hunt for a romantic and enjoyable activity. Take a stroll through KL’s bird park, laugh, smile and be generally amazed by the local bird life.

Malaysia’s tropical climate means that the country has an incredibly diverse wildlife, for bird lovers Malaysia is a hotspot. The Bird park is home to over 3000 local and foreign birds with over 200 species.

Hot Tip: Get your legs ready. There are over 22 acres of park!

Best Time to Visit: Year Round. Maybe avoid the rainy season, November - March.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to the Photographer.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to the Photographer.

 

018 - Laugh and smile at Sunway Lagoon Theme Park

This is more than just a theme park. With 90 attractions, 150 species of local animals & 6 Parks! Sunway is a super park. If you are out of ideas and your legs are toasted from too much hiking then spend a day exploring, laughing & exciting yourself.

Surf manmade waves, hold huge pythons around your neck, ride pirate ships (that rock side to side as you are tipped to 90 degrees), explore the park on quad bikes or simply get some selfies with the kids & Sponge Bob.

Hot Tip: This is a great option for families.

Best Time to Visit: Year Round.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to the Photographer.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to the Photographer.

 

019 - Get yo shop on!

Kuala Lumpur is an international city and a hub for business woman/men, travellers & local tourists. Shopping is huge and you can find almost any brand you desire in one of KL’s mega malls. So if shopping is your jam, or you are just after a new suit for work then it’s time to β€˜Get yo shop on!’

There are several malls in KL but the three most popular are; Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Shopping Mall, Suria KLCC & Mid Valley Mega Mall. If you are only in transit then don’t worry, Kuala Lumpur International airport is equipped with it’s own built in Mega Mall.

Hot Tip: If you want to get authentic, high quality garments on a backpackers budget then look to purchase items at local markets outside of the big city.

Best Time to Visit: It’s a mall… year round!

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020 - Get Vertigo at Kuala Lumpur Tower

It’s time to get high! Kuala Lumpur Tower often takes a backseat to the Petronas Towers but this tower is equally as impressive. Standing at 420m this free standing tower captures the eye but it is the view from the top that will really get your jaw dropping.

You can book a skydeck tour which allows you to view the city below and is sure to give you butterfly’s in your stomach. This might not be an option for those with a fear of heights.

Hot Tip: Book an early pass or sunset session, the sunrises & sunsets over the city are incredible.

Best Time to Visit: Year round. Pick a clear day.

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021 - Be a child again at Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park

Butterflies!! I once new a guy who was terrified of butterflies… How? They are so damn cute and fluttery. Embrace your inner child again at Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park. This is no ordinary Butterfly park, you are visiting the largest Butterfly Park in the world!

With 80,000sq ft of gardens, hosting over 5000 live butterflies & home to fresh water turtles, koi fish and an abundance of natural plant life. Once you visit this Butterfly park you will never need to visit another.

Hot Tip: Bring a Macro lense & a Telephoto if you are into photography.

Best Time to Visit: Year Round.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to the Photographer.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to the Photographer.

 

022 - Take in the architecture at Jamek Mosque

Now that you have visited KK City Mosque and realised how freaking amazing Muslim architecture is, we are certain you are craving some more incredible Mosque experiences. This is one of the oldest mosques in KL and was first designed in 1909.

Expect something totally different to KK city mosque, the design is unique with much sharper edges and a more defined shape. That is the beauty of Muslim architecture, no two mosques are ever the same.

Hot Tip: β€œJamek” is the Malay equivalent of the Arabic word (Ψ¬Ψ§Ω…ΨΉ) which means; a place where people congregate to worship.

Best Time to Visit: Year Round.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to the Photographer.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to the Photographer.

 

023 - Get acquainted with Royal history at Istana Negara

Get acquainted with the royals and drop jaw at the incredible architecture of Istana Negara. I am not sure western culture comes close to replicating the beauty of Eastern architecture. It is as if you can sense the love and passion that has gone into each iconic structure.

The place complex has an area of 97.65 hectares with three complexes containing 22 domes. The area is huge so prep your legs for some walking and make sure you pack some lunch.

Hot Tip: The current King of Malaysia is Muhammad V of Kelantan. He has been king since 2016.

Best Time to Visit: Year round.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to the Photographer.

 

024 - Experience the KL nightlife at the Golden Triangle

Backpackers & Party goer’s! Or just anybody who wants to experience a bit of KL nightlife, the golden triangle is where it is at. For those exploring Malaysia you will notice the lack of bars, restaurants & liquor outlets in smaller towns.

In Muslim culture the consumption of alcohol is generally banned. Smaller towns where the population is predominantly Muslim, will enforce these regulations. In KL these regulations are much more relaxed and you can find a sprawling nightlife.

The majority of shopping & entertainment is also located in close proximity to the Golden Triangle so you can spend your days shopping and your evenings wining and dining.

Hot Tip: Tipping is not required in Malaysia as a 10% service charge is normally always added.

Best Time to Visit: Year Round.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to the Photographer.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to the Photographer.

 

025 - Swim with Turtles in the Perhentian Islands

Oh Perhentian Islands… you captured our hearts and we wish we could have stayed forever! The Perhentian’s are located off the East coast of mainland Malaysia (pronounced: Purr-Hen-T-ahn’s). These islands are host to some of the most impress tropical landscapes in Malaysia and they lack the ridiculous crowds you will find in the more popular islands.

The best part… You can swim with turtles on the regular! It’s not a case of if you will see turtles it’s a case of when. The best way to see the turtles is by booking a snorkeling trip.

Hot Tip: Book through one of the beach huts, they offer the best prices.

Best Time to Visit: March - October. The Perhentians gets hit hard during monsoon season and the islands will effectively close from October until March.

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026 - Watch a Fire Show on Long Beach

The nightlife on Perhentian Kecil (the most popular of the two Perhentian Islands) is wild and you will quite often find yourself tripping over the boat anchors as the sunrises shortly after 6am. The night generally always starts with a fire show. One of the most spectacular we have seen!

The fire shows kick off shortly after sunset on Long beach and are easy enough to find. There are two fire shows that operate right next to each other, meaning you can pick your favourite.

Hot Tip: Hahaha mind the pun! Two tips; Make sure you tip the performers & be sure to purchase some sheesha (Hookah) to enjoy while you watch the show.

Best Time to Visit: March - October.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to the Photographer.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to the Photographer.

027 - Hang out with Monitor Lizards on Perhentian Kecil

Not quite as large as their cousins, the Komodo Dragon’s, Monitor’s are still very large lizards. The lizards roam freely around both islands and are generally harmless, they scare quite easily and will generally gun it for the trees as soon as you get too close.

Try not to sneak up on one though, there is a tiny chance you could get bitten which would result in a rather bumpy ride to the nearest hospital & more than likely an insurance covered flight home for some rabies shots. Be respectful of these beautiful lizards.

Hot Tip: Go for a walk on any of the island tracks to find some lizard friends.

Best Time to Visit: March - October.

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028 - Swim in Turquoise Blue Waters

This is a tropical paradise and is accompanied by limited WIFI, palm trees, white sand beaches and of course some of the clearest turquoise waters on earth! Needless to say you will be swimming every day, especially when the water is a balmy 27℃ - 32℃.

Hot Tip: For the most secluded spots book a water taxi to some of the hidden beaches around Perhentian Besar.

Best Time to Visit: March - October.

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029 - Get Lost while Exploring the Perhentians

Actually though.. We got really lost a couple of times while exploring the islands but the great thing is you are never more than 45 minutes from civilisation (the islands are tiny). That means now is the time to explore!

The island is host to monitor lizards but besides these easily frightened lizards there is not much else that can harm you.. I mean you might get pooped on by a leaping squirrel. Be responsible but get out and explore the hidden beaches and coastlines!

Hot Tip: Listen to the fisherman when they tell you to find shelter, it generally means a thunderstorm is coming.

Best Time to Explore: During the day. It get’s very dark at night so don’t be caught without a torch.

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030 - Clean up some ocean rubbish!

If you go exploring you will notice one really sad fact about South East Asia in general. There is a ridiculous amount of rubbish! Rubbish from the mainland and passing fishing vessels is washed onto the shores during monsoon season leaving areas of the island with metre deep piles of plastic!

Grab a bag and do your bit to clean up! If you are out snorkelling and you see some plastic do the right thing and collect it. Plastic is slowly but surely destroying our oceans and it is your responsibility to make the change. Reduce your dependance on plastic and clean up the stuff you can no matter what ocean you swim in.

Hot Tip: Bring garbage bags with you on every hike.

Best Time to Clean Up: Every chance you get.

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031 - Fly a Drone over the Perhentians

Haven’t bought a drone yet… Buy One! They can be purchased for under $500 US these days and the investment will be paid off after your first flight. The images you can capture of these stunning islands is incredible.

Hot Tip: We will be putting together some drone tutorial blogs SUBSCRIBE to keep up to date.

Best Time to Fly: March - October

032 - Get your PADI Dive Cert at the Perhentians

If you have been dreaming about getting your PADI Dive cert for a while then a visit to the Perhentians is the perfect opportunity to get this one ticked off your bucket list. Perhentians has some of the most stunning diving in Malaysia and the warm water means wetsuits are an option and not a necessity.

There are an insane amount of options but be careful and be sure to choose a company that is PADI certified. We thought that Turtle Bay Divers on Long Beach, Perhentian Kecil looked like a great option.

Hot Tip: Book ahead of time, the best dive stores fill up fast.

Best Time to Visit: March - October

033 - Explore Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

Back to Borneo for this one! The Tunka Abdul Rahman National Park is comprised of 5 main islands sitting just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu. Each island has it’s own specific charm so be sure to visit them all.

This national park does not compare to the Perhentians but if you are restricted to Borneo for the duration of your travels then these islands will definitely put a smile on your face.

Hot Tip: You can camp on Mamutik island, this is a great option to sleep under the stars.

Best Time to Visit: March - October

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to Photographer.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to Photographer.

034 - Get your cultural fix in Malaca

Malaca is a state located on the southwest coast of mainland Malaysia, not far from Kuala Lumpur. The state is famed for its unique architecture and European feel. The state has strong colonial ties with buildings dating back to 16th Century Portuguese occupation.

Make sure you check out the famous St Paul’s Church originally built in 1521!

Hot Tip: Also check out Christ Church, built by the Dutch in 1753.

Best Time to Visit: Year Round.

Image Sourced from  A Path to Somewhere.

Image Sourced from A Path to Somewhere.

 

035 - Try and escape from tourists on Penang Island

Penang island may be an island but it is no tropical getaway. Penang is a bustling island connected to the mainland by bridges and home to over 720,000 Malaysian’s. That is not to say that there is nothing amazing to do on Penang, just be prepared for some crowds.

Once you begin exploring inland the island offers some incredible experiences. Penang National Park is host to numerous hikes and also holds an interesting record - The world smallest National Park. The parks still hosts over 1000 species of Flora & Fauna and over 270 species of wildlife.

Hot Tip: Avoid visiting Penang during the busiest months; November - January. Aim for February - April to avoid crowds and the wet weather.

Best Time to Visit: November - April

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to Photographer.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. Credit to Photographer.

 

036 - Go on some serious hikes in Taman Negara National Park

From the worlds smallest National park to the vast rainforests of Taman Negara National Park. This is an adventurers mecca! Spend your days hiking, climbing to the top of peaks, rafting down rivers or walking atop the canopies on 30 metre high walkways.

If you are after a truly jungle experience then embark on the 7 day trek to the peak of Gunung Tahan (2187m). Other options include caving packages or multi-adventure packages, you can find a few options here.

Hot Tip: This Rainforest is believed to be the oldest on earth at an estimated 130million years old!

Best Time to Visit: February - June for a quieter trip. July - September for the driest weather.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to Photographer.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to Photographer.

 

037 - Enjoy some quiet time in Kota Bharu

If you are feeling overwhelmed and ready for a bit of R & R in an authentically Malaysian town the check out Kota Bharu. Be respectful of the dress code, Kota Bharu is predominantly Muslim and the dress codes are much less relaxed than more touristic areas of Malaysia.

The town is the launching location for travelers headed to Kuala Besut & onward to the Perhentians so you will see the occasional tourist in transit. But in general the town is much quieter than other tourist destinations.

If you are in the area then try and spend a few nights in Kuala Besut the tiny town is so beautiful and the locals are as authentic as it gets.

Hot Tip: Guys cover your knees and Ladies where dresses that cover your legs and arms.

Best Time to Visit: Year Round.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

038 - Hang out with Orangutans in Sabah

Wild Orangutans can only be found in two places on earth; Sumatra (Indonesia) & the Island of Borneo (Malaysia/Indonesia). The State of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo is one of the best locations on earth to see these incredible animals!

They are very hard to find though so if you are serious about seeing a wild Orangutan then it is best to book a tour and get that telephoto lens and camera ready! Borneo Eco Tours is a great starting point.

Hot Tip: Speak to the locals and get some insider tips on the most unique jungle treks.

Best Time to Visit: August & September are best but you can visit Year Round.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

039 - Get some rest and relaxation in Kuching

Kuching is one of those cities that often get’s overlooked. It is on the way to the major tourist hotspots in Sabah.. just another transit flight. Kuching has it’s own unique charm and some beautiful National Parks, restaurants, Historical sites & marine wildlife.

Hot Tip: Kuching is the capital of the Borneo state of Sarawak & was once ruled by the empire of Brunei.

Best Time to Visit: Year Round.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

040 - Get a fresh tan on Langkawi

Time to get those pasty white legs looking a little browner or maybe an odd shade of Red for the English readers (love you!). Langkawi is a popular tourist destination but it is easy to find an entire island to yourself.

Langkawi is an archipelago made up of 99 islands (damn so close to 100), with tropical temperatures, incredible rainforest hikes, some of the best diving on earth and the most incredible turquoise blue waters. To top it off you will be surrounded by limestone karsts that jut up from the ocean.

Hot Tip: 5 of the smallest islands are only visible at low tide & only 4 islands are inhabited.

Best Time to Visit: January - March

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

041 - Ride the Cable Car in Langkawi

Everyone loves a good cable car ride.. right? Well unless you are afraid of heights. The cable car is located on the western side of Langkawi island close to Telaga Marina. Langkawi Island is by far the largest of all the islands which make up the Archipelago & also hosts the highest peaks.

You will get high enough to view most of the stunning islands that make up this incredible location.

Hot Tip: Budget 30-55RM for the ride and avoid queues by showing up for the sunrise.

Best Time to Visit: January - March

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

042 - Walk along the Langkawi Skybridge

Guaranteed to be one of the craziest Skybridge’s you walk across! This amazing feat of architecture winds around and between peaks giving you an incredible view of the Archipelago below.

Located 660 metres above sea level at the peak of Gunung Mat Chinchang on Langkawi Island, this is a must see while visiting the islands.

Hot Tip: Go when the sun is out and the wind is down.

Best Time to Visit: January - March

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

043 - Visit Crystal Mosque in Terranganu

Say What! A crystal Mosque? Well it looks crystal due to all the glass, nevertheless this is one stunning Mosque and definitely one to visit while you are in Malaysia. Crystal Mosque was constructed using Steel, Glass and of course Crystal.

There are a lot of Mosques in Malaysia but Crystal Mosque has to be one of (if not the most) unique in the country. The way the light reflects off the buildings sharp edges and beautiful panels is simply amazing.

Hot Tip: Go early to catch the Sunrise hitting the reflective panels.

Best Time to Visit: Year Round.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

044 - Drink Tea at BOH Tea Plantation and Factory

BOH is one of the biggest tea plantations in Malaysia, located in the Cameron Highlands BOH will give you a behind the scenes look at Tea. From Planting all the way through to packaging and of course drinking.

The tours run daily from 8.45am and continue every half an hour throughout the day. You don’t need to make any reservations, just show up. Oh did I mention they are free! Don’t worry you will end up buying Tea once the tour is done.

Hot Tip: The Cameron Highlands is home to 70% of all tea grown in Malaysia.

Best Time to Visit: February - April

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

045 - Visit Snake Island off the Coast of Borneo

if Samuel L. Jackson hates Snakes on planes then he is probably going to hate this island. Snake island (Pulau Kalampunian Damit) is home to a huge number of deadly sea snakes. The island it self is in fact a snake breeding ground which explains the ridiculous number of snakes.

Just an island hop away is Pulau Tiga famous for being the filming location for the first ever Survivor TV Series.

Hot Tip: Getting to the island is easy enough but requires booking.

Best Time to Visit: August - September

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

046 - Explore the Cameron Highlands

The Cameron Highlands are home to extensive tea leaf plantations, the rolling green hills make for beautiful photo’s or simply a morning stroll. The Cameron Highlands are not far from Kuala Lumpur, roughly 200km’s.

The Highlands were developed in the 1930’s and are one of the oldest tourist destinations in Malaysia.

Hot Tip: Tee this little Tea adventure up with a visit to BOH.

Best Time to Visit: February - April

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

047 - Check out the The Macallum Cafe outside Georgetown

What would a Massie Bros Blog be without mention of coffee! Georgetown is located on the island metropolis of Penang and has numerous cafe’s and restaurants to explore, taste and enjoy. Macallum Cafe is the one to see in 2019 though.

The venue itself is a Roastery, Cafe, Restaurant & an Academy. Students come from all over Malaysia and Internationally to learn about/how to make good coffee.

Hot Tip: They have an Instagram.. Hit them with a DM if you are in the area.

Best Time to Visit: Year Round.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

048 - Spend a night at Sky Society

Sounds fancy right? It kind of is, but it is also a Hostel in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.. I like to think of it as fancy on a budget. Sky Society boasts incredible city views from the comfort of an Infinity pool.

This is quite a tough Hostel to get a hold of but you can make bookings through most booking sites & directions are easy enough to come by.

Hot Tip: Don’t expect huge rooms!

Best Time to Visit: Year Round.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

049 - Go for a sunrise swim in the Sky Society Infinity Pool

It makes sense that if you spend a night at Sky Society you are going to wake up there the following day. Just make sure you wake up early so you can take in the incredible sunrise colours as they wash over the city below.

Hot Tip: Share these snaps on Instagram!

Best Time to Visit: Year Round.


050 - Venture out to Pulau Mantanani Beach

Back to Borneo & some of the most pleasant beach’s and islands in Malaysia. If your trip has been hectic and you are ready for some relaxing tropical vibes and 32℃ water then Mantanani Beach is the spot for you.

The group of three islands is incredibly isolated and contains some amazing diving. To get uncrowded reefs with minimal tourists then book a spot at Mari Mari Backpackers Lodge.

Hot Tip: This is a great spot for romantics looking to escape tourist eyes.

Best Time to Visit: March - October

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

051 - Take a walk on Lankayan beach

Honeymooners! This spot is for you. Another isolated little getaway perfect for couples looking to spark up some romantic vibes. This island is tiny & only has the one resort so your choices are… well you have one.

If you are also recently certified as a PADI diver then take the opportunity to enjoy some peaceful diving amongst the beautiful white sands, reefs and blue waters.

Hot Tip: Book your stay here.

Best Time to Visit: March - October

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

052 - Be mesmerised by coconut tress on Mabul Island

Located very close to the Indonesian border this miniature island packs quite the punch. This is your classic tropical getaway with swaying palm trees, resorts that stretch out into the ocean & schools of tropical fish greeting your morning swim.

Relaxation at it’s finest!

Hot Tip: If you are an underwater photographer then this is the spot for you. The incredible marine life makes this location unique.

Best Time to Visit: March - October

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

053 - Hang out with Pygmy Elephants on Lok Kawi Wildlife Park

Yep you heard right… Pygmy Elephants! They are an animal and you can hang out with these incredible mammals at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. Located in Sabah this park hosts other incredible animals including Tigers.

The park is open daily and will cost you about $3 US to enter.

Hot Tip: They still grow to 2.5 metres!

Best Time to Visit: Year Round.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

054 - Visit Tanjung Aru Beach

Known as one of the best Sunset destinations in Kota Kinabalu this beach is a must visit spot while exploring Sabah. Hell you could come rest your bones here after hiking Mount Kinabalu!

Hot Tip: The easiest way to get here is by using Grab.

Best Time to Visit: March - October

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

055 - Be romantic on Pulau Kapalai

Yep this is another one for those travel couples out there or for those romantics that just met a special someone while hiking Kinabalu. This is the island you see on Instagram with the iconic sunset piers that stretch out into the brilliant tropical oceans.

The vibes on this island are relaxed so unless you are feeling romantic or in the mood for some down time then this is probably not the spot for you.

Hot Tip: This would be a great spot to propose buddy!

Best Time to Visit: March - October

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

056 - Check out the Gaya Street Sunday Market

Every traveler loves a great local market & Malaysia has some incredible local markets. Gaya street market goes off every Sunday and offers travelers a chance to purchase some of the best locally made/grown products.

Located deep in Kota Kinabalu’s business district, these markets are brimming with personality. You can purchase everything from lunch to your next pair of pants. This is a true family affair and the locals love to get out and socialise at this pumping little market.

Hot Tip: Don’t get hustled!

Best Time to Visit: Probably not a Monday hahaha every Sunday!

 

057 - Go diving at a Sipadan Island

This is the mecca of Malaysian dive locations and if diving is your main aim then you need to spend some serious time (and money) at this fantastic Island. Sipadan is not only the best dive site in Malaysia it is one of the best on earth.

Jacques Cousteau himself, one of the founding fathers of modern diving and marine conservation, raved about the diving off the coasts of this magnificent little island.

Hot Tip: Book early! Only 120 dive permits are given per day. You are also going to want to spend at least 4 days on the island to get the most out of your trip.

Best Time to Visit: Year Round. Better conditions March - July & October - December.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

058 - View the birds at Mantantani Island’s

Mantantani Island off the coast of Sabah is the place to visit for bird enthusiasts & wildlife photographers. Mantanani Besar is the only place in Sabah where you can spot the unique Mantanani Scops Owl.

For those just looking to see the birds then we would recommend picking up a pair of binoculars.

Hot Tip: Bring your Camera equipment & make sure you have a great telephoto lens!

Best Time to Visit: Year Round. Better weather is March - October.

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE. All credit to the Photographer

 

059 - Take incredible images of Mt Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu may not be the tallest mountain in the world or the toughest to climb but it is one impressive piece of granite! Jutting out well above any other mountains within the area and pushing it’s way above the clouds this mountain makes for some spectacular images.

Get up early and catch the mountain before it is covered in cloud. You only have a short window so pick your spot and commit to that 6am start.

Hot Tip: Buy a drone! It will give you the best angles!

Best Time to Visit: March - September

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060 - Make friends with the locals

A lot of tourists can be scared of the cultural differences in places like Malaysia and Indonesia. The Muslim culture is vastly different to what we are used to in the West, which can be a bit of a shock. Just remember that religious views aside we are all humans.

Love & Laughter are the international languages that anyone can understand. So be respectful, show kindness & encourage laughter. Make friends with the locals!

Hot Tip: Camera’s are a great talking point!

Best Time to Make Friends: All the Time!

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061 - Almost miss your flight at KL airport

Its a must! Yep Paulo and I were so drained from 10 days of flying, traveling, filming and exploring that we almost missed our flight. We did get some last minute gift shopping in though!

Malaysia is one incredible country! We highly recommend booking your tickets and traveling this amazing location in 2019.


We hope this bucket list of 61 Things To Do, See, Taste & Feel in Malaysia helps you plan out your 2019 adventures to this incredible country. There is so much more to do and rest assured we will be back!

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Life is Great. Travel is Better.
Paulo & Jacques
Massie Bros.