I’ve long recommended traveling to Malaysia. It is in some ways it feels like an understated destination, especially when compared to Thailand, the giant of tourism just to the north. If it’s beaches you’re looking for, many of Malaysia’s rival those of Thailand. Plus there are jungles and mountains for trekking and the historical cities of Peninsular Malaysia: Malacca and Penang. In Borneo (East Malaysia) there is wildlife viewing and excellent places for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Perhaps the most interesting reason to travel to Malaysia is it cultural diversity. Malay, Chinese, Indian, and indigenous groups all make up the multicultural society of Malaysia. Each of these groups brings its own customs, languages, and culture to Malaysian society. And, to everyone’s delight, they also bring their cuisine. Malaysia is a place to try all different kinds of foods, from Malay specialties to Indian food to the unique taste of the Malaysian Chinese cuisine.
With a dense population and good foreign revenue from oil, Malaysia has developed a good transportation network over the past few decades. Intercity bus travel is common with numerous high-quality bus companies and one main rail that line goes up the peninsula eventually splitting in two. But where Malaysia really shines is with its network of air carriers. It’s not just the industry leader, Air Asia, but also Malindo, Malaysia Airlines, FireFly, and Tiger Air, among others. But how to sort through all these airlines to get the best price on your route? Enter Traveloka.
An easy way to compare and book different flight options is to do a search on Traveloka.com. The site collects no booking fee and accepts various payment methods. Just enter your flight departure and destination cities and your preferred date and then take the lead to book flight tickets on Traveloka.
Malaysia is split into two main parts. Peninsular Malaysia is known as West Malaysia and has the bulk of the population as well as the history since this was in the center of an old trading route. East Malaysia takes up a third of the island of Borneo, which is shared with Indonesia and Brunei. The States of Sarawak and Sabah have a more independent spirit with more indigenous cultures and plenty of nature.
In West Malaysia, besides the historic cities of Penang and Malacca and the capital Kuala Lumpur there are plenty of other popular destinations. Langkawi, Redang Island, The Perhentian Islands, and Tioman are popular island getaways while the Cameron Highlands are Malaysia’s colonial mountain retreat. In East Malaysia, head for Kuching and Baku National Park or the islands around Semporna for diving. For a classic expedition into the heart of Borneo, try Jungle Trekking in Mulu National Park. To see the famous orangutan or other wildlife, go to the Kinabatangan River.
Have more questions? Read my Travel to Malaysia FAQs.