Malaysia is actually still an insider tip in Asia! Most travelers tend to prefer Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. While many like to make a stopover in Kuala Lumpur, you don’t see a lot of people actually travel with the final destination of Malaysia in mind.
But Malaysia has so many interesting places and you’ll fall in love immediately, guaranteed! Lush green tea plantations in the highlands, beautiful islands with secluded resorts, impressive colonial buildings and a colorful mix of different cultures of Malays, Indians and Chinese – the variety of adventures and activbbities is huge in Malaysia!
What you can do in Malaysia is almost endless. Sometimes you have to anxiously decide what things you can afford to miss and make tough calls between where you should spend your time, and for how long. I’ve compiled this list to help you make awesome choices when planning your trip to Malaysia so you’ll never forget it!
What to do in Malaysia: The best stops for your roadtrip!
Important information about Malaysia’s entry requirements
It’s super convenient that you don’t need a visa for Malaysia and you’re allowed to stay right up to 90 days in the country! Also a big plus: for the most part everyone – all but the elderly in rural areas – speaks very good English. This makes communication with locals incredibly easy.
Basically, there are several ways to enter Malaysia: via Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, or Thailand. The easiest way is, however, at the central point of Kuala Lumpur. Once you arrive at the airport, you have to get baggage from the carousel, and grab a ticket for the KLIA Express Train to downtown. The train takes about 30 minutes and costs 55 Ringgit (12.50 Euros) one way. Before you get going, there’s a cash machine called Maybank where you can withdrawal from your bank directly without stressing about having money.
Transportation and prices
To get around in Kuala Lumpur, you can take taxis or use Uber. I’ve always gotten around with Uber, because it’s cheap and has mostly worked without problems. With the Uber app you book private drivers that bring you from point A to B. The amount due can be paid easily via your credit card.
There are two different versions of taxis: blue and red. The red ones are budget taxis and slightly smaller and cheaper. They’re for 2-3 people (with small luggage) but perfectly adequate. I paid, for example, a red taxi to take me from KL Central to my hotel in Bukit Bintang for 17 Ringgit (3.90 Euros).
Malaysia is generally a “discount” travel destination. Food, public transportation, and flights are very inexpensive. For a nice place, though, you have to spendc a bit more money than, for example, in Thailand.
The bus network is well developed. Often you can use the mini bus services, but these are more expensive. However, they’re faster, and have good vehicles.
You can also get a flight from the west to the east coast from just 25 Euros including luggage. Firefly, Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines offer domestic flights, with Firefly tending to be the cheapest.
Islam and alcohol
The predominant religion in Malaysia is Islam. On your journey through the land of impressive mosques you will therefore encounter a lot of followers of Islam. This entails veiled women that you’ll come across especially outside the capital of Kuala Lumpur.
In cities like Kuala Lumpur or Penang and even on the islands, you can quietly run around in shorts or put yourself in a bikini on the beach as a woman. That’s no problem at all. In cities such as Kota Bharu and rural areas, where travelers are not so common, you should, however, dress appropriately with long trousers and covered shoulders!
Another point – which is connected with Islam and you should be aware of – is the absence of alcohol. In many hotels you won’t find any alcohol openly offered. If you want to have some wine with your meal or a beer in the evening, then you’ll have to request it from your hotel.
Malaysian cuisine is incredibly diverse! The fact that so many cultures live here means you’ll get a variety of different flavors. Your taste buds will be hit with Indian spices, hot Chinese food, and tasty Malaysian creations. The Malays eat with their hands, specifically the right hand (the left is considered unclean). Have no fear though, there’s cutlery in every restaurant, roadside stand, and food market.
Street stalls are incidentally more hygienic than restaurants because everything is fresh here. I’ve also always had ice in my drink and never got an upset stomach from bad water or food. So don’t get too afraid!
What to do in Malaysia: Let’s go!
1. Start in the capital Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur will inspire you immediately! Veiled women, mosques, Chinese temples, the Indian quarter and of course the super modern Petronas Towers.
You can choose to start your tour of Kuala Lumpur at the central Merdeka Square, or Independence Square. There are really beautiful colonial buildings and a statue to see. When we visited, we decided to continue to the National Mosque where you can also go inside. For women, however, you have to make sure you’re fully covered. For that you’ll get a robe and a head scarf. The mosque is really exciting to look at from the inside, and you can also come here to learn more about Islam. Your next stop should be the old railway station, a really large white building from the British colonial era.
After a 15 minute ride you arrive at the Central Market, where you can reward yourself with a fresh coconut for 1.80 Euros just around the corner from the bustling Chinatown! And if you have a little time, then make a trip to Brickfields. It’s the Indian neighborhood where you can find great authentic dishes made properly.
Another must, of course, are the Petronas Towers. They’re the tallest twin towers in the world! At night they are especially cool to look at with tons of lights illuminating them.
Kuala Lumpur – in comparison to other Asian metropolises – is a really cool city because it is very green and not as messy. Sometimes the streets feel almost like a jungle because high palm trees and other plants frame the concrete walkways. Overall, it’s very clean and it hardly smells.
Food and drink in Kuala Lumpur
Ras Baloch Restaurant
If you want authentic food, and would like to try the Pakistani cuisine, go to this restaurant a little outside of downtown. From a distance, as you arrive, you can see smoke ascending from the grill. Inside there is a large selection of vegetarian dishes and others with meat. You absolutely have to order a fresh naan or chapati! For just a little more than 2 Euros you can eat really delicious food and spend time among the locals.
This restaurant is all about the grill. How about, for example, a salad made with grilled watermelon? Super tasty and refreshing on warm days in the big city! The grilled meat here is especially good.
Sleep well in Kuala Lumpur
The Journal Hotel is a cool spot in Bukit Bintang! The rooms are modern and stylishly decorated and if you’re lucky, you’ll have a great view of the Petronas Towers from your room. On the eleventh floor there’s a nice, refreshing pool with chairs and sunbeds. In the cafe below where breakfast is served there are fresh bread and pastries served all day.
The Lantern Hotel
The Latern Hotel is a funny, cheap hotel in the middle of Chinatown, on Jalan Petaling. On this road there is also a market, which is open until 22:30. Whether you need a fresh coconut, fruit, clothes or electronics, you can get everything you need here. The rooms are relatively small, but still nicely furnished. If you have a room with a porch, the room ends in a glass box, which provides a view down on to the bright courtyard. Very cool!
2. From Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands
If you’re getting quite hot and sweaty in Kuala Lumpur, you could take your trip to the Cameron Highlands to experience a lower temperature and see nature expand as far as the eye can see! The best thing is you hop on a bus to Tanah Rata, which brings you comfortably to the Highlands in four hours.
Trip to the tea plantation and the jungle
To experience the tea plantations close, you should book a tour with Eco Cameron. First, you can wander around a bit and enjoy the view in the plantation. It is just wonderful! The tea bushes are almost unnaturally green and extend over many kilometers. Your tour continues to a viewpoint, which gives you a great view of the entire area. The tower is pretty rusty and decayed and the steps are quite steep, but the climb to take in the view is worth it in any case!
Up next is a jungle hike in Mossy Forest, which is named because the trees and the ground are covered with moss. The hike wad just been reopened prior to my visit, because the jungle had previously been banned for two years. Locals had damaged the delicate ecosystem too badly.
On the hike you will learn, among other things, about a huge variety of herbs like tiger balm, and wild ginger. At the end of the tour you get to see the tea factory, and how the tea is processed. Here you can see what the finished black tea looks like, and then have a hot cup on the terrace overlooking the plantations!
More tea and an Indian New Year ceremony
In the afternoon, you still might have time for another tea plantation that you’ve probably already seen from the bus! In the Cameron Bahat tea plantation you get a great view over the tea mountains that look as if they were covered with green clouds. Entry to the plantation is 2 Ringgit. Here, you can sit for hours, and at the bottom a waterfall and refreshing creek are waiting for you!
Tip: If you go right along the stream, it will eventually get shallow. Take off your shoes and wade a bit by the cool water! But make sure you’re covered with bug spray, I got a lot of bug bites here!
What will happen to you in Malaysia more often is that you’ll get connected with a local contact and end up throwing all your plans for the day out the window. My Indian taxi driver, on the way back, invited me to tea in the Cameron Valley Tea House. I bought us a warm scone in return. You should totally try this if you get the opportunity! There was an Indian New Year celebration on that day as well, and I was even invited to the ceremony in his community, which turned into a memorable evening!
Tip: Be open to new people, be interested in their culture, and you will fly home with the most brilliant experiences!
I had a little bit more than a day in the Cameron Highlands, but would definitely recommend going for two or more days. You can take your time and go on really nice walks to just enjoy nature.
Food and drink in the Cameron Highlands
The name says it all; here it’s all about fruit. Whether it’s freshly squeezed juices or smoothies, your vitamin intake will definitely be covered here! Fruit Delights is located on the main street of the small village of Tanah Rata, you can hardly miss it.
At The Smokehouse, British high tea is celebrated as the best tea of the highlands and you can get the most delicious warm scones. Sit down here on the lovely terrace and take a minute to just enjoy life!
So you want to try authentic North Indian cuisine? Then this is the right place. Nothing is pre-cooked like in other Indian restaurants. Everything comes fresh on the table. Though it is tucked away and hidden in the second row of the other restaurants on the main road, I highly recommended it!
Sleep well in the Cameron Highlands
Jezzica and Jaycee do everything well here. The homestay consists of five rooms for guests. You can use the small kitchen and living room overlooking the green at any time of the day. Every few days, the two treat their guests with an authentic and really tasty Chinese dinner in which you get the time to get to know the other guests. Jezzica and Jaycee answer all the questions that you have about Malaysia or the Cameron Highlands. They also provide you with the best advice for the area, and organize tours and transfers, no matter where.
3. From the Cameron Highlands to Penang
Your homestay can book a minivan shuttle to Penang – like for me -, an island in the northwestern part of Malaysia. You can’t be particularly sensitive for this trip, however, because the drivers often rush at maximum speed on the hilly roads to complete the route in just four hours. For the largest city of Penang, Georgetown, you should allow at least three days to have enough time to enjoy the place.
Street art and a lot of food
Two things that are very popular and celebrated in Penang are street art and food – lots of food! The city has countless local dishes that are only found here and you should definitely try them at all the opportunities you get. From Chinese pancakes and Indian cuisine, to the very traditional Assam Laksa (rice noodles in sweet and spicy fish broth) there is plenty to discover for your palate!
To make sure you don’t get lost in the streets of Penang, you should get a map at the tourist office or your hotel, where they are marked. A great map is the one that identifies the street art from A to S. It also comprises “Places of Interest”, “Cafes & Museums” and “Hotels”. Most street art you’ll find at the heritage district and sometimes you have to actually stand in line to take a picture. I was really fascinated! There were some very talented artists at work!
The coolest pieces are especially those whose artwork was inserted into objects, such as a real bicycle, a motorcycle, or a swing on which children were creatively drawn sitting and smiling at you. To see everything you can walk, rent a bike, or hire a rickshaw driver. I decided to walk around and found many hidden street art objects!
In Georgetown you should not leave without seeing the stunningly beautiful mansions of two wealthy Chinese. The Peranakan are a special group of Chinese who settled in the 19th century in Penang, Melaka and Singapore. They developed a very unique culture that united its origins with the traditions of the Malays and the colonial lifestyle of the British.
A place to see their opulent lifestyle a little closer is the world famous „Blue Mansion“ whose outer walls shine in bright blue. To visit the Blue Mansion and learn about its history, you need to join a tour. It takes place daily at 11:00, 14:00 and 15:30 and costs 16 Ringgit (3.70 Euros).
The second mansion that you should visit is the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. It’s the home of an influential Baba. It is full of antiques and relics from the time of Niyonas (women) and Babas (men) of the Peranakan community. It’s best to get there early at 9:30 am. That way you’ll have the house almost completely to yourself!
As you explore Penang you will inevitably come to the Street of Harmony, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. This road takes you to the greatest religious gathering places in Malaysia. In the north you come across the first building at St. George’s Church (Anglican). You continue on to the Goddess of Mercy Temple (Buddhist) and the Sri Maha Mariamman Kovil (Hindu). At the end you will reach the Kapitan Keling Mosque (Islamic). You can also make a short stop at the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower.
Another must is a visit to the Clan Jetties which were settled around 1882 by Chinese tribes. The advantage of these houses on the sea was that the inhabitants didn’t have to pay taxes here. There are small shops, studios and a temple for you to discover while you wander around.
With the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus you can get a great overview of Penang on the way, and easily from point A to B. Another possibility is the free CAT shuttle bus.
Food and drink in Georgetown
This is a really cool cafe, a bit outside the city center, located in an industrial warehouse. Thanks to its own roasting the coffee tastes really very very good. The Macallum is also a great place if you have to work and need good wifi. Due to its size, the guests are really nicely spaced out in the room and you can have some peace and quiet when you need it.
On your hunt for the coolest graffiti Georgetown’s got to offer you definitely need to check out Spacebar Coffee. It’s a cool place with nice food and good coffee. Spacebar is located on Giulia Street in the corner of the Heritage Area. It’s a really cool place with a landscaped courtyard and a hint of industrial charm! The coffee is prepared in a variety of ways and there is always something delicious to eat.
Food Tour Penang
One awesome thing about Georgetown is that it’s all about food! The city has so many local specialities that you absolutely have to try. The best and fastest way is by taking part in a food tour. In a small group you’ll get around by car, which incidentally is perfect to cool off in between the street stalls and restaurants you’ll visit. You’ll also get the chance to discover other parts of the city that you would otherwise not have seen. We ate, for example, at a food market that only the locals knew of and came to.
A total of 15 different dishes are available during the tour, and you’ll probably want to taste everything because it’s super good! The only downside is that you’ll probably eat so much you won’t have room in your stomach for everything. In addition to the specialities of Georgetown you’ll learn a lot about the city itself from your guide.
I can’t recommend going on a food tour enough, because it is in my opinion the best way to get to know the city and its peculiarities! This tour is definitely part of the top things what to do in Malaysia. Book your tour here.
You should definitely visit one of the night markets in Penang! It’s on the Lebuh Kimberley, between Lebuh Cintra and Jalan Pintal Tali. It is relatively small and travelers don’t often get lost here. You’ll get a chance to try a ton of specialities. Something really tasty, for example, is the oyster omelette for 2.25 Euros with a glass of refreshing lime juice!
Practically everything is written in English and the waiters speak English. Besides that, there are many other night markets. Just ask at the accommodation you’re staying at for which ones are closest.
Street stall in the Lebuh Keng Kwee
The reason I put this street stand separately, is because there are two dishes it’s known for in Penang: Penang Assam Laksa and Chendul. The former is rice noodles in a hot and sour fish broth, whereas Chendul is a dessert of green noodles (colored with a plant called Pandan) and beans in coconut milk. The two dishes are in great demand! Even from a distance you will see a massive line!
Living / Dining Room
The Living Room and Dining Room are the restaurants at Macalister Mansion. Any time of day you can get very tasty dishes and the interior will delight you! For breakfast, various egg dishes, french toast, and pancakes are served at the Living Room. In the evening you can eat – for around 40 euros – a very special menu at Dining Room that includes a dish of fried eggs with scallops and matcha foam or blue lobster in peanut sauce. But you would spend at least twice that much in Germany! It’s a true taste explosion in your mouth!
Sleep well in Georgetown
The East Indies is located in the Little India District in a beautiful, open house of dark wood with two inner courtyards. A bicycle sits along one wall and several porcelain plates hang on the other. A cozy corner with comfortable chairs makes a great place to relax. The house exudes incredible charm and is decorated with great taste. In short, you’ll feel right at home here! The staff is also incredibly nice and will help you with any question that you have about Georgetown.
The Macalister Mansion is the place for you if you are looking for something special, because it is in every way! This exclusive hotel has only eight rooms and is the only hotel in Malaysia that is part of Design Hotels. It is located a little bit outside the noise of downtown, and has a nice pool where you can relax. The rooms meet all of your needs: A free-standing bathtub, a huge bed with “pillow menu” for every need, meter high ceilings and really cool interior design – you’ll love it here!
4. From Penang to the East Coast
Since it’s further north, comparatively, duty-free Langkawi gets very touristy. I recommend you fly to the East Coast instead. You will not see as many foreign travelers. Rather, Malays visit, and the islands here are incredibly beautiful!
The fastest way to get here is to fly by plane to Kota Bahru. From there you can take a taxi to Kuala Besut. Once there you’ll take a boat to the Perhentian Islands. The trip takes about an hour and costs 78 Ringgit (18 Euros). If you are alone, ask some other people who are in your plane if they want to share a cab. Tickets for the boat and taxi can be purchased at the counter just after the baggage carousel. There and back, by speedboat, costs 70 Ringgit (16 Euros).
The trip to the Perhentian Islands takes just half an hour. It’s best to sit in the back if you’re in a small boat, because the skipper flies quite quickly over the waves, but it’s definitely fun!
Snorkeling and diving paradise
The Perhentian Islands consist of two islands: Perhentian Kecil (the smaller) and Perhentian Besar (the larger). The larger island is usually quieter. At Long Beach on Kecil there’s accommodation, restaurants and bars. Although the bay is a little busy there is definitely a lot more going on than in Besar.
Since the islands are known for their great underwater world, you should definitely book a snorkeling trip. The best trip lasts three hours and is offered at Bubu Resort or Bubu Villa. I can’t recommend this trip enough, because unlike all other snorkeling trips, you’re going to see three small islands where you have the wonderful underwater world all to yourself since no other boats pass through. When booking the Big Island trip you eventually you’ll find about six boats at the same spot.
During the snorkeling trip you’ll encounter Nemos (clown fish), Parrot Fish, turtles, sharks, huge Napoleon fish, stingrays (yellow ones with blue dots) and countless other colorful fish! This trip is for sure one of the top things what to do in Malaysia.
A jungle walk and gorgeous sunsets
Besides relaxing and soaking up the sun, you can also be active and leave for a jungle walk on Kecil. A track just behind Chill Out Café leads you up the mountain to a lookout point. Upstairs there is a wind generator, which was never been completed. The view from there is of a lagoon on the other side of the mountain. It’s super nice, although the hike is quite exhausting at 35 degrees in the shade.
You can watch the sunset on the other side of the island by walking, which takes about 15 extra minutes. The path starts behind the Bubu Villa. It’s also a little quieter, because the bay is small and there is only a handful of restaurants. The beach is not quite as nice as the Long Beach though, because there are many pieces of coral; hence the name Coral Bay.
The jungle and wild animals
On the Big Island it’s a little quieter. Fewer boats go in and out and there are fewer hotels, restaurants and bars. Additionally, the jungle is much denser here.
If you settle yourself, for example, in to Perhentian Island Resort you can hike from there to the other side of the island through the jungle surrounded by huge trees and through thick bush.
At the other side of the island, it’s not that beautiful. A generator blows brown air on the half-dead palm trees, there’s garbage lying around everywhere, and the small, black lake stinks with all kinds of random waste like old electronics.
The hike itself is pretty cool, but you should turn around before you reach the hotel at the other end. In addition to monkeys, there are also tons of little squirrels and large lizards you’ll inevitably come across one way or another.
At the resort you can get a diving license and go to the famous Turtle spot right in front of the hotel, which is part of the great snorkeling tour. So, borrow a snorkel and a mask, and get into the water!
Sleep well on the Perhentian Islands
The Perhentian Island Resort is located on Perhentian Besar and was one of the first on the Perhentian Islands. Thus, the hotel was able to secure a long private beach and is nestled in a quiet bay. A really fantastic image: In the foreground you see crystal clear, turquoise water and behind the fine, white sandy beach. In the background you’ll see palm trees and the wooden bungalows and mountains, surrounded by the green jungle!
The hotel gives a sense of peace and intimacy. If you stay in a bungalow in the first row, you get a beautiful view of the beach from your terrace and will get to fall asleep to the sounds of the sea. In the evening you can watch the turtles crawling along the beach in order to find a place to lay their eggs, if you’re lucky!
Bubu Resort / Bubu Villa
On the small island of Kecil these two hotels are located directly on the sands of Long Beach. Both places are relatively small and therefore not overcrowded. Bubu Resort at one end provides you a great sea view from the first floor. The villas of Bubu Villa on the other side of the beach are further back and offer larger, more luxuriously equipped and expensive rooms. Generally, it is a bit quieter in the Bubu Villa as they do not have many boats coming in and out.
In Earth Café at Bubu Villa there are delicious Western dishes! If you don’t feel like Asian food it’s a great place to go to. As a guest you can get two cocktails for free from 5 to 6 pm!
Eat and drink on the Perhentian Islands
Chill Out Café
My favorite place on Kecil at any time! With your feet in the sand you sit right on the beach. In the evening it is beautifully romantic with candlelight. Try the café’s mango coconut lassi and fresh grilled fish in the evening – yummy!
If you want cheap Chinese and Malaysian food and don’t care about the atmosphere then the Ewan Café is the right restaurant for you. The dishes taste really good here and you meet many young people from the surrounding diving camps.
Note: On the Perhentian Islands there is no ATM! So bring enough cash for your stay! If possible, don’t stay on the weekend. It can often be full because the Malays, especially from Kuala Lumpur, like to spend a few relaxing days here.
5. From the Perhentian Islands to Tioman Island
Depending on how you want to come to Mersing, you should have a night in Kota Bharu scheduled, as there is only one flight per day. In the city there’s not really much to see. It is very traditional and Islamic, so you should make sure you dress accordingly.
I spent the night in an apartment at Dar Es Salam; a really very nice apartment, but it was a bit noisy. Across the street is a good restaurant. Nobody really speaks English here, so you might be surprised at what you get served!
If you take a taxi to the airport the next morning, make sure you have some money on you. The ride shouldn’t cost any more than 10 Ringgit though! From Kota Bharu you need to take a plane about an hour to Johor Bharu. The route to Mersing, which lasts about two hours, you have to travel by bus. I arrived in the afternoon so there were no more boats departing from Mersing. If that’s the case with you as well, there’s still the possibility to take a boat from Temanok Ganung, a half hour taxi ride away.
As a side note, you should definitely watch the boat timetables beforehand, and ask your accommodation about them. You can also book your boat ticket through the place you’re staying. From Kuala Lumpur, the arrival is somewhat easier. With the direct bus, the trip is only five hours.
The jungle and pure tranquility
On Tioman there are a handful of villages that are inhabited by locals. To the west of the island are most of the restaurants, bars and hotels. But if you are looking for seclusion and the jungle, then get yourself a hotel like the Tuna Maya Resort & Spa, which has a private beach and is surrounded by lush green nature.
In the sea around Tioman you can go snorkeling and diving like on the Perhentian Islands. Here you’ll encounter turtles, sharks, Napoleon fish and many other colorful sea creatures. If you have never dived before, you also have the possibility to take a sample diving course. Two hours including a bit of theory and your first attempts at the house reef cost around 50 Euros. It’s something really cool you should try!
Sleep well on Tioman Island
Relaxation and well being is very important here! The resort is embedded into the jungle, in front of two massive mountains. A creek runs through the resort and old trees tower above you.
During the day you don’t see people here. They are spread around the resort doing activities like diving and snorkeling, or exploring the island. Directly behind the resort is an exhausting hiking path through the dense jungle to a high view point. Nevertheless, the lookout is worth every bead of sweat!
Before dinner you can have a relaxing massage and then go eat some really tasty Asian and Western meals on the terrace overlooking the sea. If you like fish, you absolutely have to have the seafood plate – it is very tasty! And the breakfast is probably one of the best that you’ll get in Malaysia!
6. Back in the British colonial era in Melaka
From Mersing there are good, direct connections to Melaka. From Kuala Lumpur you can reach Melaka in two hours; a super destination for a two to three-day trip. Melaka resembles a smaller Georgetown, but is more manageable and the location on the river is fairly charming.
Kitsch meets colonial architecture
When you arrive in Melaka you can walk to the famous Stadthys first. This place is, however, quite full in the early morning. Countless rickshaws cover the place, decorated all over with colorful stuffed animals and flowing with loud music.
You might prefer to go up St. Paul’s hill. A Portuguese Church sits here and you have a really cool view of the city and the sea beyond!
If you have a little more time and want to enjoy a bit of beach life, head to Klebang. Here you can also eat delicious seafood. In the Portuguese Quarter it’s also all about seafood and fresh fish. Overlooking the sea, the Klebang Bustel is a fun extraordinary hostel, where you sleep in fully equiped busses.
Street art and dream homes
The next day you can go up to Campung Morten, where you can admire different Malaysian houses and take a boat ride on the river. A particularly beautiful house is the Villa Sentosa. Don’t miss this! And watch out for the big lizards swimming in the river!
On the way you also go past many really cool graffiti pieces that almost cover entire houses! You also get a super view of the city from the Sky Tower. Admission costs 25 Ringgit (5.70 Euros), but you can easily just hang out at the restaurant and enjoy the view.
A must is the famous Jonker Street due to their old, beautiful houses; it’s a UNESCO heritage site. There are shops here with Malaysian designer items, clothes, antiques and speciality foods – especially the cookies with different fillings, which you can get at the end of Jonker Street. These taste divine! On the street there’s also a night market, which always takes place from Friday to Sunday from 6 until 12 o’clock in the evening.
Malaysian delicacies and a floating mosque
If you take a 15-minute drive away you end up standing on the roadside of Jalan Klebang in a line up for the Coconut Shake well known beyond the borders of Melaka. If you prefer a good coffee, then look for the old car named Laos Coffee in the marina.
The last stop on your tour of Melaka should be to see the floating mosque. It is a truly amazing beautiful building that sits above the water! For this tour I hired a taxi for an hour, which cost me 50 Ringgit (11 Euros).
Food and drink in Melaka
This place is a nice café in Jonker Street where you can get both delicious coffee and filling food to satiate your hunger. The dishes are mainly vegetarian.
Chicken Rice Balls
The hotspot for lunch! Situated at the entrance of Jonker Street this restaurant serves only one dish: chicken with rice balls. I was here as the only westerner and surrounded by Malays. You can easily recognize the place because of the long line. However, the waiting time is very limited. The restaurant is open only for lunch.
If you love peanuts, you’re in heaven here! As you look over the huge counter you’ll see skewers being made with tons of different ingredients. Meat, fish, vegetables are held in a satay pot of peanut sauce in the middle of the table and cooked. The best part is it is extremely cheap! For 6 skewers and a drink you pay around 3 euros.
Capitol Kerang Lebus
This roadside stand for seafood is tucked away in an alley. It’s a place only the locals know about. The best dishes that are cooked here are the mussels, the one with squid and spinach, the one with tofu and the dried, grilled squid. There are several sauces you can have that are delicious when combined.
If you sit at the big table, you can see how the dishes are prepared. For the dried squid, the cook bashes it thin with a hammer!
Sleep well in Melaka
This hotel is definitely one of the coolest in the whole of Malaysia! It was opened in October 2015. On the lower level you can sleep in caravan-style rooms and above are normal, modern rooms overlooking the park next door. The location is great; you can walk around and have a relaxing nap by the pool – absolute tranquility!
7. Other beautiful places in Malaysia
Taman Negara National Park
A trip to Taman Negara National Park is in store, and the best way to get there is from Kuala Lumpur or the Cameron Highlands. The bus from Kuala Lumpur takes about five hours. This national park is the oldest in the world! Take an overnight trip and you’ll get to sleep in a cave, on a little mattress, surrounded by bats. It’s an amazing adventure!
Malaysia is waiting for you!
Malaysia has so much to offer, so you should definitely check it out! Whether you’re looking for a nice rest and want some relaxation on a gorgeous island, or want to see fascinating British, Dutch and Portuguese colonial architecture, or have adventures in the jungle, Malaysia can show you a way to live out almost any travel dream! Plus, delicious and cheap food is everywhere!
But the best things here are the Malays themselves; they’re so insanely friendly and helpful. They’re the type of people who will make your trip through Malaysia even more memorable thanks to their great style and hospitality!
If you’re still wondering what to do in Malaysia, then you should just book a flight and check it out!
Have you ever been to Malaysia? Where’s your favorite place? Share it with us in the comments!