If you are reading this blog post, you have probably already booked your 2 weeks vacation in a calendar, bought your airplane ticket to Kuala Lumpur but still have no idea what the hell to do in Malaysia. Well, don’t worry, I am pretty sure that everything you decide to do in the end, will end up by falling in love with Malaysia. At least that is what happened to us.
Throughout this article, I tried to make your pre-holidays preparation easier by suggesting one of the options you have while visiting Malaysia for only 2 weeks. I would say that this itinerary is perfect for people who like to see big cosmopolitan as well as cultural and hipster cities, enjoy nature as well as beautiful beaches and island life, and doing all that while eating delicious food. The suggested trip starts in Kuala Lumpur, continues to Penang through Cameron Highlands and finishes in Langkawi, hidden gem of Malaysian islands.
Exploring Kuala Lumpur is the perfect start of your trip. First of all, the city offers many things to do and see and second of all, it is an airport hub for Southeast Asia, thus you can expect to find quite affordable plane tickets to KL. I recommend to stay in Kuala Lumpur for 3 days in order to have time to see everything properly, however, if you are not a big fan of multicultural big cities, you can see the most of the city in 2 days as well. Kuala Lumpur is clean, developed city full of rules that everyone follows. For example, there is no indecent behavior allowed in a metro, they have some separated wagons for males and females, or no cigarettes butts are allowed to be thrown on a street. So be careful about your behavior when in KL.
Among the things you should definitely put on your travel list are:
When you think Kuala Lumpur, you think Petronas towers. Located at KLCC metro station, Petronas towers became a silhouette of Kuala Lumpur. 452 meters high twin towers were opened in 1999 and for a long time have been the highest towers in the world. It is possible to pay a fee of RM85 and go up or you can take pictures from the bottom of this architectonic beauty. Both of the activities are worth it. Also, if you have spare time, I would recommend seeing Petronas Towers at night as well as in daylight.
National Mosque or Masjid Jamek
Especially in the times of increasing intolerance against Muslims, it is important to understand how Islam religion was born and what is its mission. Therefore, I believe it is a great opportunity to visit the national mosque in KL. The entrance is free, however, you have to respect dress code and time of your visit. The National mosque is opened only in given times as there are no non-Muslim visitors allowed during a prayer which takes place 5 times a day. Non-Muslim visitors are though allowed to visit from Monday-Sunday from 9am-12pm, 3pm-4pm, 5:30pm-6:30 pm. On Fridays, they are allowed 3pm-4pm and 5:30pm-6:30 pm as on Friday midday the most important prayer of a week takes place. Proper dresses can be rent out for free at the mosque.
You can get there via metro as the mosque is located near to Pasar Seni station. From the station, it takes around 10 minutes walking.
Located at the final station of a metro, you can easily reach Batu Caves from the center of Kuala Lumpur. Do not forget to dress properly as knees should be covered for both genders. There is no admission fee to walk up the stairs to the top temple, thus this place can get packed. However, during a clear day, you can get a really nice view of the city.
Little India and Chinatown
During a night it is great to wander around Little India or Chinatown, energetic and vivid neighborhoods in Kuala Lumpur. Both offers local restaurants with delicious Chinese or Indian food in addition to the authentic atmosphere.
Enjoy a view from infinity pool
There is no better experience to do on your last day in Kuala Lumpur than watching the city in the evening from the infinity pool. Unfortunately, the pool is not open to the public, thus you have to be accommodated in Regalia Residence to be able to go there. However, you can find quite affordable prices for rooms on Airbnb. We paid around 40 EUR per night for a very nice apartment. And it was completely worth it.
Read about more things to do in Kuala Lumpur for free in my other post.
From Kuala Lumpur to Cameron highlands
After 2-3 days in Kuala Lumpur and big city life experience, a colonial town in the mountains called Cameron highlands can be a nice change. There is a bus from TBS terminal going to Cameron Highlands for RM35 and it takes around 4 hours to get there. Cameron highlands are cold, mountain area, known for tea and strawberry growing. Due to the favorable climate and fertile land, this area is perfect for agriculture.
As the main touristic area lies between Ringlet and Brinchang the most affordable way how to get around is to rent a motorbike. We paid 50 RM for 10 hours for a semi-automatic motorbike. During this 10 hours, you can visit a few tea plantations. There are BOH Sungai Palas Tea Center on the north and BOH Tea Estate in the south from Tanah Rata. Both of them are very nice and you can visit both in one day. I personally thought that BOH Tea Estate has nicer scenery for Instagram. In Brinchang, there is also a nice Buddhist temple (Sam Poh) worth seeing and also night market worth trying. Strawberries in chocolate are the best!
I recommend staying in Cameronian Inn. Great location, good price, and clean rooms. Definitely good value for the price.
From Cameron Highlands to Penang
After 1 or 2 days of fresh air and cold weather, it’s definitely worth it to travel further to the north and stay few days in Penang. From Cameron highlands, it takes another 3 hours by bus and ferry to get to Penang, gastronomy capital of the country. Georgetown, an old town of Penang doesn’t feel like the second biggest city at all. It is cultural, full of street art and small shops. It has delicious food and such a good vibe that everyone has to love this place. I recommend to stay at least 3 days in Penang, but I think that many of you might decide to prolong your stay. What are the highlights for Penang?
Colonial town with colorful houses and street art by Ernest Zacharevic offers delicious Chinese, Indian or Malay food mixed with eastern cafes and bars. You can easily spend a whole day wandering through streets of Georgetown chasing a different street art, tasting bits of different street art cuisine and enjoying this magical place. I bet you that you will fall in love with this city within first minutes. You can pretty much walk everywhere or use Grab car a very cheap alternative for us lazy people:)
The cheapest beer in town! Make sure you will head towards this place and enjoy one of their special offer to the fullest. In this place, beer just tastes so good that you will find it hard to leave it.
National Park with turtle beach
Renting a motorbike and go around the island for one day is sufficient but if you have time, there is definitely more things to see. Entrance to the national park is for free and you can choose which beach you would like to end up at after walking through the jungle. There is Monkey beach and Turtle beach. Turtle beach is more remote and it takes around an hour and a half to get there, but the views are amazing. Be careful when swimming in the sea as jellyfish might be poisonous.
Kek Lok SI temple
Buddhist Chinese temple on a hill close to Aier Itam is beautiful temple overlooking Penang island. It is said to be the largest temple in Malaysia. We got lucky as we went there a week before Chinese New Year and the whole place was just getting decorated with Chinese New Years motives. Apart from walking around and to the top of the stupa, you can also take a funicular to the highest place where 30 meters tall statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy is located.
From Penang to Langkawi
From Penang, it took around 2 hours to get to Langkawi, an island situated on the borders with Thailand. Langkawi is known for duty-free alcohol, beautiful beaches, and expensive private resorts. It’s a great place to relax and get some tan. There is also the most beautiful beach we have ever seen. Even though we spend there more than 2 weeks I believe that in 4 days you can easily explore the whole island on a motorbike or via car. The best area to stay is around Pantai Cenang (more busy with a lot of restaurants, shops, and tourists) or Pantai Tengah (quieter).
Where to eat in Langkawi?
If you like Indian food, you will love this place, as there are many restaurants offering this type of food. For breakfast, we liked small local place Che Nah Roti Canai Black Pepper, where you can get roti for RM 1 and tea for RM 2. You should also try their specialty Roti Canai Black Pepper. For lunch or dinner, we loved Tomato Nasi Kandar where you can either choose from buffet or from a menu. They are cooking the best Tikka Chicken we tasted so far.
Where to stay in Langkawi?
Regarding the accommodation, we stayed in Nas Homestay Pantai Tengah and I can truly recommend this place. A very kind family runs it and the rooms are clean and comfortable. They also offer more options from rooms with shared bathroom to whole houses for a family. The top things to do in Langkawi is a visiting a sky bridge, enjoying Durian waterfalls, going for an island hopping and getting lazy on Tanjung Rhu beach.
Hope you liked the article. What are other cool places to see in Malaysia? I would love to keep this list updated. Happy Travels and don’t forget to share this post or PIN picture below for later.