Since I stayed in Malaysia for 2,5 months, I have a lot of places to recommend and things I saw and did while there, which is why I chose to split this article into two parts. Otherwise it would have gotten too long! Continue reading to find out what my absolute favourite place in Malaysia is and where the best places are to stay and eat at!
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One of the so many stunning Sunsets on Pangkor
After the Cameron Highlands make sure to got to PANGKOR! My favourite Island in Malaysia without a doubt! So many people don't know about this tiny little island and skip it, but it is well worth going there for a few days! You can get a bus from the Cameron Highlands to Lumut, which will take you about 4 hours and another 30 minutes from there to Pangkor by Ferry (tickets are cheap at only 14 RM return ticket!). Once you arrive get a taxi, there is no other way of transport here, to Teluk Nipah where most people stay. Pangkor is very laid-back, barely any tourists or people around, and it mainly only gets busy on the weekends with a local Malaysian crowd from KL. The PERFECT place to relax and get back some of that energy to continue with all of the travelling. I definitely needed it! The Omback Inn is the best Guesthouse to stay at, at least for me. A lovely double room in a wooden chalet with attached bathroom, fridge, aircon and a nice patio to sit on in the evenings with the loveliest owner you will ever meet! Such a sweet lady who will happily help you out with anything you need. Prices are roughly between 55-65 RM (depending on season and weekdays/weekends). From there the beach isn't far, which is just two minutes down the road or another nicer beach, Coral Beach, just five minutes further along. The view is stunning from the beaches, surrounded by a few different islands, one of which you can actually walk over to on low tide, or easily swim to if the tide is too high. The many hammocks and swings along the beach add a nice flare to rest and read a book in for a while! Food is limited especially during the week, but there will always be one or two options open. Anywhere you go to will be delicious though! Weekends will be booming with a few more choices and the strip of restaurants along the beach front are amazing to see the sunsets from! The very first one on this strip (I don't think they have names ha!) is my personal favourite with many vegetarian options to choose from, good cheap prices, and the best view for the sunset. The sunsets on Pangkor will leave you stunned and that EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! I couldn't get enough - the most beautiful sunsets you will see with the most amazing colours in the sky. As you can tell - I am in LOVE with this place and actually went there twice on my trip through Malaysia (which I have never done before while travelling - going back to the same place twice!) Renting a scooter for the day (30 RM for 24 hours) is fun with a few people to explore the island a bit more and check out some of the other beaches and viewpoints. It isn't a must though, I spent most of the days reading a book in the hammock on the beach, going for swims, and just relaxing and enjoying the views and the amazing food! Recommended stay: 3 Days, or longer depending on how much you want to relax and recover from all the travelling
Just to let you know, Kuala Lumpur, Melakka and the Tioman Islands I was travelling with my boyfriend for two weeks, which is why we spent a little bit more on accommodation to have a nice room to ourselves and splitting the cost between two, makes it cheaper once again. Since I usually travel alone and stay in Hostels, seeking out the best price for value option, these two weeks were a bit more pricey, usually staying in Guesthouses or Hotels.
From Pangkor, Kuala Lumpur is not that far. A 30 minute ferry back to the mainland Lumut and another 3-4 hours to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Here we stayed at the Hotel Paloma Inn, a very centrally located Hotel and Hostelwith nice rooms, aircon, and room service every day. A bit more pricey than what I usually spend, at 50 RM for a hostel room and 80-100 RM for a double room with attached bathroom. From here everything is close and we explored most by foot. The train system in Kuala Lumpur is great as well which connects the whole city easily and is usually between 1-2 RM per trip. Walking to Chinatown you need to do this twice, once by day and once by night, since they are both completely different, to the absolutely stunning Sultan Abdul Samad Jamek Mosque perfectly built on the river, Merdeka Square close by, through little India and a treat for lunch, the Cap Tower for an amazing view over the city (bit costly to go up, but the view is definitely great!), and over to the Petronas Towers, which used to be the highest twin structures in the World and are seriously incredible! This you also need to see during the day and by night when it is all lit up! The water and light show in the evenings are okay, but nothing too spectacular. A day trip out to the Batu Caves is definitely worth it! Take a train from KL Sentral to the Batu Caves for roughly 3,50 RM per trip and an hour later you will be there. The hike up the stairs to the cave entrance can be very tiring in the heat, but the view from the top is amazing and if you like monkeys, you will sure enough have your share here. They will take anything out of your hands, so be careful! Food you will find everywhere in Kuala Lumpur, trust me! Little India has a nice open food court with a huge variety in vegetarian food, and Chinatown is great to go to in the evenings for dinner. Try the fondue place where you can dip in any of the mountains of fresh vegetables and tofu into boiling hot water and sit down to eat it there. Jalan Alor, the famous crazy busy street is overpriced for the food they serve and just way too touristy. Nice to check out in the evening, if you want to see what it is all about, but I recommend eating somewhere else. Kuala Lumpur is a nice and cozy "little" capital city that can be explored in a few days. Recommended stay: 2-3 Days
Further south on to Melakka, this little world heritage UNESCO site is well worth the trip. The bus from Kuala Lumpur TBS Station only takes 1,5 hours, for anywhere between 13-17 RM (depending on which bus you take). The town itself is so small, you can do EVERYTHING by foot. Built by the river with a strong dutch influence, the city centre itself is nice to explore with a few viewpoints, ruins from back in the day, and all the red coloured buildings within the city centre. A great cozy Guesthouse right by the river is The Jiong House, run by a lovely boy and girl who are siblings. Rooms are small, with shared bathrooms, but the cozy living room, the flare right by the water, and the amazingly friendly and helpful staff make it worth it. Melakka is definitely food heaven, at least for me. My ABSOLUTELY FAVOURITE restaurant and food experience is at Selvam Banana Leaf Restaurant, where your food will be served on a banana leaf with about four to five waiters bringing all the goodies to you within seconds. Be prepared to eat with your hands, as all the locals around you will be doing the same. The food is extremely delicious and such a great cultural experience. I would say my favourite place to eat in Malaysia for Indian food so far - and THAT says a lot! And needless to say, so many vegetarian options! Another great place to eat is the Shui Xian All Vegetarian Restaurant, where you can find all the typical Malay dishes that usually contain too much meat, with vegetarian substitutes. From soy, mushrooms or other vegetarian protein, the dishes are very tasty and it is extremely nice to have a full menu to choose from for once (all the vegetarians will understand what I mean ha!). The night market on Jonker street is a must doas well. It only opens up on the weekend though, so make sure to plan your trip accordingly! The food here is also amazing! We tried so many different little things, from spring rolls, potatoes, curry soup, to fresh pressed juices and cendol (a local speciality) for dessert. Prices are normal to cheap for all of the places I recommended, which is great. Amazingly delicious food for cheap prices! Love it! Strolling through all the little trinkets they sell and stalls with clothing, it is actually more upmarket selling nice things with good quality for good prices (not all of the night markets are like this, most just sell very cheap things no one needs). Recommended stay: 1-2 Days
From here our next destination was the Tioman Islands, which meant crossing the mainland and heading over to the east cost, taking a good 6-7 hours by bus. Now the Tioman Islands, as beautiful as they are, are expensive (compared to everything else in Malaysia)! Starting with the ferry tickets at 70 RM return and another 30 RM for the Marine Park Conservation fee per person. Depending on which beach you decide to stop at (the ferry will take you to Genting, Paya, Tekek, Air Batang, and Salang) you might have to spend another 25 RM one way for a car to drive you over to the other side of the island. There is no other way of transport, either a car to drive you over to what is said to be the most beautiful beach on the Tioman Islands, Juara Beach, or renting a scooter. We took the car over to the other side and to Juara Beach with our big backpacks, and found an amazing bungalow to stay at while here. Directly on the beach, Juara Mutiara Resort is an amazing place to stay. A big bungalow with everything you need, a fridge, TV, aircon, attached bathroom which even has a bathtub (!), and a huge and spacious room to unpack and get cosy in. A beautiful patio directly on the beach with a great view over the ocean. Expensive for a budget traveller, YES!, going for roughly 150 RM per night, but personally I saw this time on the Tioman Islands as sort of a holiday from travelling and okay to pamper myself a bit and spend some more money on it. And obviously not travelling alone means being able to split the cost, which is nice! There are cheaper options, like the Paradise Point also on the beach a bit further up with nice little bungalows, simple and basic but for a good price of 50 RM a night. Restaurants are scarce and we usually ended up eating at the same two or three different ones. A nice delicious Malaysian restaurant with a huge vegetarian section for fair prices. Sitting directly on the beach overlooking the sunsets, we thought it would be a bit more pricey here, but food prices were always at a normal standard of 5-10 RM for a main meal most places at Juara Beach. This restaurant (again no name, sorry!) is right next to the pier on Juara Beach and was the go to place for us. A bit further along the road walking over to the other beach strip, the Beach Shack was our second favourite. The most delicious banana coconut smoothies you will ever try, with a big variety of tofu dishes and vegetables cooked in a different way than usual (nice for a change). The food is a bit more alternative and very healthy and fresh with extremely friendly staff. Prices are in the same price range for about 7-13 RM per main meal. Nice things to do while on the Tioman Islands are the full day snorkeling trip to 5 different snorkeling spots and the different islands surrounding the Tiomans, and the hike across the Island from Juara Beach to Tekek. A very tiring and strenuous hike through the jungle, but extremly beautiful coming across so many different animals and plants and mushrooms, and even a waterfall! The Tioman Islands will burst your travel budget a bit, so be aware and consider whether it is worth it for you or not. Recommended stay: 4 Days, or longer depending on how much beach and downtime you want!
From the Tioman Islands my next stop was Singapore, so stay tuned to read about some of the great things I explored there and which insider tips I received and will share with you! As always, if you have any further questions or want to get in touch, I am happy to answer any comments you might have! Don't be shy, send me an email or send me a message through my Facebook Page Cutting Loose. Please share and like this article and website with friends or fellow travellers!
Pangkor Beach and views - see that tiny Island?! You will love swimming over to it!
In love with all the beautiful sunsets on Pangkor
Hidden Man Bay Beach on Pangkor
Scooter drive around Pangkor with some awesome viewpoints
Some of the delicious treats on Pangkor
The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, by day...
... and by night!
The stunning Sultan Abdul Samad Jamek Mosque built directly by the river
The amazing view from the top of the Batu Caves
Mother monkey with her baby at the Batu Caves
Melakka built nicely around its river, great for strolls by day or night
Downtown Melakka with its Dutch influence and red buildings
Most amazing food experience in Malaysia - Selvam Banana Leaf Restaurant in Melakka - absolutely delicious!