Malaysia just happened to be on our way and we are very glad it was. We really enjoyed our short time exploring the Malaysia countryside and cities, although the countryside was our favourite. It was good to hear that people care about the rainforest but also sad to see the huge expanses of palm oil plantations which are the cause of much of the deforestation. It has definitely made us more determined to live palm oil free in the future.
Our trip through Malaysia lasted just 12 days, during which, we spent £420. Of that sum, we spent 29% on accommodation, 33% on food, 25% on transport and 13% on activities.
Entry to Malaysia is very easy. Most Europeans receive a free visa on entry which is valid for 90 days. If you plan to visit Sarawak or blabla then it is worth checking the entry requirements as permits are given for these areas.
The currency in Malaysia is a the Malaysian ringgit and when we visited the rate was 5.5 ringgit to the pound. We found it easy to withdraw money from the ATM and there were no fees for doing so.
Malaysia is a very easy country to travel around in our experience. The train system is well organised, cheap and wonderfully air conditioned. Where the trains can’t go, there are buses and minivans. Often the bus stations are out of town and sometimes the easiest way to reach them is by using Grab or Uber. We noticed the tourist mini van services between Kuala Lumpur and Taman Negara were ridiculously overpriced so if you are on a budget take the local public buses.
The cuisine of Malaysia has influences from China, India, and Europe so from meal to meal your tastebuds can be tested. We tried a little of everything from the malay noodles to chineses stir fry, to tandoori chicken and even scones with strawberry jam. It wasn’t all great but mostly tasty and we would recommend a food tour of Malaysia. An average main dish cost 8-12 ringgit while a coffee was 7-10 ringgit.
Accommodation in Malaysia covers the full range from budget to luxury and we had no problem finding somewhere nice to stay. Generally the accommodation was of fairly high standard for Asia. On average we spent 60 ringgit per night.
There are plenty of things to do across peninsula Malaysia but sadly we didn’t make it across to Borneo. Some of our favourite days were spent hiking in the cool of the Cameron Highlands. Overall we found the activities reasonably priced.
Malaysia is the real melting pot, where South East Asia meets the influences of the rest of the world. This makes it an interesting place to explore and a good place to try a number of different cuisines. We are very glad we had to pass through on our way to Indonesia and a little sad we didn’t have a bit more time to see Borneo and the Perhentian Islands.