–>Malaysia Must See Places
–>The Shortest Path Through Malaysia
–>Malaysia Daily Budgets
–>Malaysia Best Day Tours, Cheapest Flights
–>Malaysia Walking Tours
–>Malaysia Nightlife (Bar Hopping) Tours
–>Malaysia for Digital Nomads
–>Malaysia Facts and History
Best Cheap Paradise Places in the World
This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. This is my Malaysia tour guide and itinerary. This Malaysia tour has must-see places and how long you should spend in each place.
Of course, the more time you have to spend in Malaysia, the more places you can see. So this post includes a table that allocates how much time you should spend in each location as your total time in Malaysia increases 7 days, 14 days, 30 days, 60 days and 90 days.
I have spent more than a year touring around Malaysia in the last 3 years. So I know where you should go and how much time to spend in each place.
A few years ago, I spent more time in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc. But I met a beautiful woman named Qiang Hui of Hoboventures.com when I first came to Malaysia in 2016. This caused me to spend more time in Malaysia to be near her. We also travel around the world together. I am from the USA.
We just completed a world tour a few months ago, that lasted 16 months, while we visited 5 continents and 13 countries. All of my reports on the best retire or live cheap in paradise locations in the world are located here. Links to everything I talk about is on Vagabond Buddha at a link below this video.
Now we are back in Malaysia but heading to Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia for the next 6 months. Click subscribe here on my Youtube Channel or on Vagabond Buddha if you are curious about where we go next.
Malaysia Must See Places
Here are the Malaysia must see places. How much time you spend in each place depends on the total time you have. You can use this table to set your itenary.
Total Days You Have
Days Per Location
If you are from a favored country such as USA, Canada, EU, Australia, New Zealand, etc., you do not need a visa for a 90 day visit. In fact, I have never been asked by Malaysian immigration for proof of an onward ticket or proof of where I am staying. After 3 years and around 10 visits, all immigration has asked me for been my passport and my arrival flight information.
The only exception to that has been Malaysian Airlines. They are the only airline that has asked me for proof of onward flights when I am boarding my flight to Malaysia. I fly one of the Chinese airlines when I fly to Malaysia because they are usually cheaper. None of the Chinese airlines has ever asked me for proof of an onward flight when I board their flight headed to Malaysia. So, stay away from Malaysian Airlines unless you are buying a roundtrip ticket or an onward ticket to your next destination.
I almost never buy roundtrip tickets because I am always moving forward. I almost never fly back when I fly to a new place.
After this trip to Malaysia, we are spending a few months in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
If you are ever boarding a flight and they ask you for proof of an onward flight, you can get that at various onward flight companies. Just Google “Onward flight proof.” You can also just buy a ticket on Orbitz.com so you have proof of onward flight. Orbitz.com is one of the only providers that allow you to cancel within 24 hours to get a full refund.
Please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or our Youtube Channel to find out all the best places to live or visit around the world. I have been to 65 countries so far. I started in 2007.
The Shortest Path Through Malaysia
Once you decide how long to spend in Malaysia, and which of the above Must-See Places to visit, you will need to pick the order of places to visit.
I am all about traveling cheap and slow. Since I work on my laptop, I am in no hurry to get anywhere. Travel is a lifestyle for me.
Here is an example of how I would traverse Malaysia during a 90-day visit.
Langkawi Island (<–Google Images): You are probably going to fly into Kuala Lumpur or Penang, Malaysia. Those seem to be the two main starting points in Malaysia. If you start in Kuala Lumpur, you can often get a cheap flight to Langkawi on AirAsia. If you start in Penang, you can get to Langkawi a few different ways. Next, I would head to Georgetown Penang.
Perehentian Islands (<–my report): Take the bus from Teman Negara to Jerantut bus station for about 6RM. You can also take a minivan for about 25RM. Once in Jerantut, take the Jungle Train from Jerantut station to Kota Bharu. Once in Kota Bharu, take a bus or taxi to Kuala Besut Jetty from where there are boats to the Perhentian Islands. Take the ferry in Kuala Besut to the Perhentian Islands. You catch the ferry here. The ferry costs 70 RM round trip plus a 30 RM island conservation charge. Next, I would head to Kuala Lumphur.
Tioman Island (<–Google Images): You can get from Malacca to Tioman Island using this bus service. This bus will take you to the town where you can catch the ferry to Tioman Island. Next, you need to return to Kuala Lumpur to catch a flight to Kota Kinabalu or Semporna Airports on Borneo Island, Malaysia.
Kota Kinabalu (<–Google Images): You can fly from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to either Kota Kinabalu or Semporna Airports. If I was only going to skip one place in Borneo it would be Kota Kinabalu. In that case, you can fly into Semporna Airport from Kuala Lumpur on Air Asia. Flights to both Kota Kinabalu and Semporna round trip flights on Air Asia for about $100 (USD). Next, I would head to Sepilok.
Sepilok (<–my post): You can fly from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan (45 mins) and take a taxi to Sepilok (90 minutes). You can also take the bus from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan and have the driver drop you at Sepilok. You can walk from the drop off intersection to the resort or call the resort and ask them to pick you up. Sepilok is where the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is located. Here is my video of the area. Next, I headed to Semporna.
Semporna (<–Google Images): The bus from Sepilok to Semporna picks you at an intersection near the Sepilok Orangutan Center. The resort will arrange a taxi bus to drop you where the bus will take you and give you the bus schedule. Semporna is the town where you can take daily boat excursions to the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world. If you are a scuba diver, make sure to dive at the island of Sipidan. The number one diving place in the world, in my opinion.
Flights: The above directions include mostly bus, mini-van, and trains. But if your time is limited, or your budget is large, you can fly from destination to destination for many of these legs. Do your flight searches on Skyscanner to get the best deals. Most flights will be cheapest on Air Asia. But be careful of going overweight with your luggage on Air Asia. They are famous for treating their customers like ATM machines. Check the weight allowance on any flights you book. They do not allow you to check anything for free and they often weigh your checked luggage and charge you at the gate if you are 1 ounce over whatever you are allowed. If you are going over on luggage, then buy the extra weight well in advance online to avoid their ripoff gate fees at check-in.
I am a digital nomad investigating the best retire cheap in paradise locations in the world. If you would like to learn how to live in a paradise location for possibly less money than you are spending at home, or the various ways people make money online, grab a free copy of my EBook:
Cost of living in Malaysia
I actually visited all of the above places except Tioman Island. But I didn’t collect cost of living data for all of them. Here is the data I did collect. Click any below link to find source data or the reports I created when I was visiting.
|Location||Daily Cost Range|
|Perhentian Islands||$22 to $43|
|Alor Setar||$18 to $32|
|Borneo||$13 to $35|
|Kuala Lumpur||$16 to $38|
|Penang||$13 to $31|
|Malacca||$15 to $35|
These estimates are cost of living for one month, for one person as a temporary visitor. It only includes rent and 2 meals per day. I usually have oatmeal for breakfast in my room, so I don’t count that. For a full understanding of what it would cost you to live here, visit Numbeo.com and add any items you spend money on.
The above numbers do not include alcohol, tours, extras, or buses, trains, ferries, or trains moving from one must-see destination to the next.
I am not guaranteeing these prices. These are just my notes and estimates from the time of my visit and this post. Your costs will likely be drastically different depending on lifestyle and the time since this post.
Please book using our links to recommended flights, tours, or accommodations. You will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission. Your kindness will encourage us to keep making these travel guides and videos.
We almost always get our cheapest flights on this Skyscanner. They have a web crawler that is constantly looking for the cheapest prices all over the world. As usual we found the cheapest flight to Malaysia on Skyscanner.
If you are enjoying this, could you please like it, share it, comment below, or subscribe? That will rank us higher in search engines so we can keep making these travel guides.
Best Guided Tours in Malaysia
There are two tour sources I recommend in Malaysia. These are tour aggregators which means almost anybody can put their tours on here. So in addition to price, you should see how many reviews a tour has and read the customers comments before deciding which tour is best. You should also check both links below before making a final decision. Sometimes you will find significant savings on any given day for similar tour quality.
Malaysia Walking Tours
Most reports we create about must see palces around the world include walking tours. Many parts of Malaysia were colonies of the Portugese, the British, or the Dutch. In those areas, the reporst we create include Old Town Walking Tours.
We also create Nightlife Walking Tours in places that have a nightlife.
Just click any of the above links or browse our Youtube Channel to watch walking tours in each country.
Make sure to purchase a SIM card for your smartphone at the airport when you land in Malaysia so you can use all of our walking tours.
Digital Nomads: Food and Experiences
Each report also includes our favorite restaurants. Many of our reports also include videos of us describing our favorite food in each destination.
Grab a free copy of my Ebook. You will learn how to save and earn money living internationally.
Malaysia Facts and History
Many of our reports also include facts and history about each destinnation. Knowing the history of a country or city can bring your holiday experience to life.
If you are interested in the subject of present moment awareness, my new videos on that subject are now being posted at my new Present with Vagabond Buddha Youtube Channel. The older videos are on the Vagabond Buddha Channel’s Presence Playlist.
Please subscribe to VagabondBuddha.com or our Youtube Channel to watch us move around the world. 65 countries so far.
This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Thank you for stopping by. The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?