1 Week Itinerary: Malaysia

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Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country split in half by the South China Sea into two parts, and is one of the most well developed countries in Asia. One half is known as Peninsular-Malaysia which shares a border with Thailand, and the other half is Malaysian-Borneo which has neighbouring countries Indonesia and Brunei. What makes Malaysia so exciting to travel around is how multi-cultural it is. The country is full of diversity and has an amazing mix of different ethnicities and religions, namely Islam, Budhism, Christianity and Hinduism.

Malaysia is also world-famous for its incredible food. Influenced heavily by Indian and Chinese cuisine, you can't visit the country (especially Peninsular Malaysia) without trying their curries and noodle dishes. My favourite dish throughout my visit was Wanton Mee, a noodle dish served in a hot broth with wonton dumplings and barbequed pork. The best way to taste lots of dishes is to visit a street food market, especially if you're visiting Penang.




We spent one week in Peninsular Malaysia starting and ending in Kuala Lumpur. This itinerary took us through the Cameron Highlands, Penang, and to the northern island Langkawi. I should say now that this itinerary was fairly ambitious and fast paced, with a lot of long travelling in between destinations. We only had one week before flying back to England and really wanted to make the most of it.

Here's how we spent one week in Peninsular Malaysia:




Kuala Lumpur (1 day and a half) :
After arriving at Kuala Lumpur airport at midday we spent one night in the city. It's a great place to start a trip to Malaysia as the city is easy to get around and there are several well-known tourist attractions to visit. We managed to fit in a visit to both the Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest twin towers in the world, and the Menara Tower. Both of which were equally as impressive. 

Slightly further out of the city centre are the famous Batu Caves. This is where you'll find the well-photographed, gold painted statue next to the steps leading up into Temple Cave. You can get here using either public transport or a taxi. After spending a day and a half in Kuala Lumpur, we then got on a bus which took us to the Cameron Highlands.

You Might Like: A Mini-Guide To Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Cameron Highlands (2 nights / 1 full day) :
After a four hour drive from Kuala Lumpur we arrived at the Cameron Highlands late that evening. Luckily the owner of our hotel hooked us up with a day tour for the following morning! The trip was amazing and allowed us to visit all of the main attractions in a short space of time. We were driven around by our guide in a Land Rover Defender and visited the Mossy Forest, the Boh Sungai Palas Tea Plantations (pictured above) and the famous strawberry fields. 

Because of bus schedules we stayed in the Cameron Highlands for an extra night. The following morning we got on a bus to Butterworth, Penang which took approximately six hours. 




Penang (1 night) :
After a very long journey we finally arrived in Georgetown by the early afternoon. Our main reason for visiting Penang was to eats lots and lots of street food, which we most certainly did! Besides consuming far too many noodles, we managed to fit in a little sightseeing. As we only had one afternoon, and the following morning in Penang, we hired a taxi driver to show us all of the sights. It may sound expensive, but it was actually surprisingly affordable split between the two of us. 

We had several hours with a driver, who gave us a list of places to visit that we picked from. We first went and saw the Reclining Buddha at the Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram which is 33 metres long, and then went up to visit the Kek Lok Si Temple. After this, we were dropped off at the bottom of Penang Hill where we took the funicular up to the top. Penang Hill gives amazing panoramic views of the city, where on a clear day you can see out to Penang Bridge and mainland Malaysia. We also briefly visited the Air Itam Dam

The following morning we hopped in a taxi to Penang National Park. The park was beautiful and in all honesty I wish we'd had more time to walk around here. We only gave ourselves a few hours, whereas ideally you need a full day to hike one of the main tracks.

By this point our time in Penang had run out and we headed off to Langkawi. We went by ferry and the journey took around three hours.



Langkawi (2 nights) :
We arrived in Langkawi fairly late so after grabbing some food we headed straight to bed in preparation for our only full day on the island. We stayed on the southwest corner of the island near Pantai Cenang beach, as this is where you'll find most of the restaurants and hotels. For our only day in Langkawi we headed up to the northwest corner of the island to the Skytrex Langkawi Adventure Park. This is where you'll find the Langkawi Cable Car that can take you up to the Sky Bridge. The Langkawi Sky Bridge is in a beautiful part of the island, and on a clear day the views are incredible.

We spent most of the day here, but still wanted to make the most of the few hours of sunlight we had left. We headed back down to Pantai Cenang Beach where we took a long walk in the sand, chatting away about our adventures in SE Asia. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from along Jalan Pantai Chenang road, so we grabbed some dinner before heading in for the night. 

The following morning we began to make the long way back to Kuala Lumpur, which was essentially an entire day of just travelling. The journey started by getting the ferry from Langkawi to Kuala Perlis, and then a 7 hour bus journey to Kuala Lumpur. If you're short on time, or even have a plane to catch the same day, I would suggest flying direct from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur. The flights are reasonably priced and it's only a one hour journey. In hindsight, this probably would have been the better of the two options.

After a very long day, and a whistle-stop tour of Peninsular Malaysia, we finally arrived back in Kuala Lumpur!

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