Complete Guide to MALAYSIA, Asia’s Melting Pot

Here comes a complete guide to Malaysia, Asia’s fascinating melting pot. The Malayan people consist of various ethnicities and different religions.

When it comes to tourism, Malaysia has been stepping it up a notch. Still, it’s by far not overrun by tourists.

Mardaka Square, Represetning MALAYSIA - a Complete Guide to Asia's Melting Pot
At the Merdaka Square, the colonial past and today’s modernity come together.

Apart from a fascinating mix of religions and cultures, you find unspoiled nature and empty beaches.

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This Guide to Kuala Lumpur will lead you to the most important sights and landmarks.

View of Kuala Lumpur from the most imposing landmark - the Lord Murugan Statue in front of the Batu Caves in the district of Selangor.
View of Kuala Lumpur from the most imposing landmark – the Lord Murugan Statue in front of the Batu Caves in the district of Selangor, 12 kilometers north of Malaysia’s capital.

In all honesty, all in all, it’s not such a great city. However, practically everyone is visiting. Because, basically, everyone has to: Kuala Lumpur has not only two major airports. There is also a reliable system of trains and long-distance buses.

Its location practically halfway between the northern border to Thailand and Singapore in the south makes Malaysia’s capital a great hub.

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Guide to IPOH

So here comes a Guide to Ipoh, Malaysia’s third largest city and a two-hours-train ride north of the capital. However, it is mostly considered a gateway: To the Cameron Highlands in the east or to the Pangkor Island in the west.

Railway Station of Ipoh
Ipoh welcomes its visitors at a colonial building – the railway station, opened in 1917.

Still, Ipoh’s own attractions should not be underestimated: The Hakka Chinese heritage, mysterious cave temples, and bustling Asian city life.

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Guide to the CAMERON HIGHLANDS, Malaysia’s Fruit Bowl

This is a guide to the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia’s Fruit Bowl, that should be on every visitor’s itinerary. This mountainous part of Malaysia famous for tea farms, vegetable farms, and flower nurseries – and the fabulous Rafflesia Arnoldii.

BOH Tea Plantation in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia's Fruit Bowl
A visit to the beautiful tea plantations is not to be missed when visiting the cool highlands.

While we poor Europeans are travelling to Asia seeking the tropical sun, the Colonialists – no matter from which motherland – were desperately looking for cooler places in higher regions. Here, they were building settlements and mansions to take a break from….being wealthy and having servants.

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This is a guide to George Town on Pulau Penang, after all, one of my favorite cities in all of Asia.

What makes it so special?
I don’t even know where to start.
It was the first British settlement in Southeast Asia and became – together with Singapore and Malacca –  a British crown colony in 1867.

View of the modern part of the city of George Town on Pulau Penang from the Kek Lok Si Temple.
View of the modern part of the city of Georgetown from the Kek Lok Si Temple.

George Town, counting about 710,000 inhabitants, is Malaysia’s second-largest city and the capital of Penang Island.

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Guide to PULAU LANGKAWI – More Than Just a Beach

Guide to Pulau Langkawi, Malaysia’s northernmost island and actually geographically closer to its neighbor Thailand. Hence, it’s the same turquoise waters, white sands, swaying palms, and enchanting long tail boats as in Krabi and on the Andaman islands.

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Guide to Pulau Langkawi - Pantai Cenang
Lots of space for anyone on Pulau Langkawi. 

But there are so much fewer tourists that you can actually enjoy it.

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Guide to PULAU PANGKOR – a Place for Lazy Dayz

While the most popular islands like the Perhentians or Tioman are on the otherwise very conservative and religious east coast, Pangkor is in the west, three hours from Kuala Lumpur, and even less from Ipoh.

Beach on Pulau Pangkor
Secluded Coral Beach.

So hop on the ferry in Lumut and half an hour later, you’ll find yourself in a tropical paradise.

Yes, Pangkor’s strongest suit is it’s accessibility, also due to its proximity of 3.5 kilometers from the mainland.

While Pangkor’s inland is hilly and forested, the main reason why you should visit are the beaches on the west coast. The most popular ones are Pasir Bogak, Teluk Nipah, and Coral Beach, the most relaxed and secluded one.

Beach Life at Teluk Nipah

The beach of Teluk Nipah stretches just in front of a small fishermen village. Here you find a range of accommodations – from pretty simple to a bit more upscale – no luxury, though. There is also a small supermarket and stalls selling beach equipment, souvenirs, and refreshments along the road next to the beach. Everything is very relaxed.

Sunset on the beach
Even the sunset takes it slowly over Pangkor.

If you’re willing to walk for ten minutes, you’ll get to the even nicer and more secluded Coral Beach in the adjacent bay.

Sundowner on the Beach
Fruit punch with a view.

Both beaches offer fine sand, clean waters, and friendly restaurants serving good food. However, Coral Beach is broader and more separated from the road by palm trees and restaurants; now, how does that sound?!

Beach on Pulau Pangkor
Lazy Dayz on Pulau Pangkor.

To be honest, the other attractions on the island like the Lin Je Kong Temple, the Sri Pathirakaliamman Temple, or the Dutch Fort are not that overwhelming that you have to sacrifice a lazy beach day. Especially if you’ve seen temples and forts elsewhere on the peninsula; just sayin’.

Pulau Pangkor caters mainly to national tourists so during the week – granted it’s not school holiday season in Malaysia – the beaches are pretty empty. Here, you can actually have the entire beach practically to yourself.

There is an ATM and even a bank on the eastern shore of the island, so no worries here.

Like on many of the smaller islands in Malaysia, electricity can be a bit weak and so does the wifi. Great opportunity to unwind….

There is no bus going from Teluk Nipah to the jetty. Also, cabs take you there and around at reasonable prices.

Good Place to Sleep

Accommodations around Teluk Nipah are not expensive, but to our standards, they aren’t great, either. The Anjungan Beach Resort is quite good – and exactly halfway between two beaches….can it get any better?!

Check out their availability and rates.*

Best Place to Eat

There are two really good places on Coral Beach, Daddy’s Café and Nipah Deli. Both serve excellent food and good drinks – and most of all, the owners are very pleasant, helpful people.

Do you want to read about all the other beautiful places I’ve visited in Malaysia? Then go to the main post and take your pick!

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PULAU PERHENTIAN, Tropical Paradise in Two Sizes

Pulau Perhentian – where a tropical paradise awaits divers and snorkelers alike with islands in two sizes.

pulau perhentian besar malaysia asia
My corner of the Perhentian Islands.

Perhentian in Malay means stopping point. It is pronounced perhentee-yan and refers to the once thinly populated islands having been a waypoint for traders between Bangkok and Malaysia.

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Guide to KUANTAN – widely underrated

In Malaysia, it is very easy and comfortable to travel between touristy hot spots such as the Cameron Highlands or the Taman Negara. There are shuttles and connections, in short people practically carry you from place to place.

Sultan Ahmad Shah State Mosque, the state mosque of Pahang in Kuantan
Sultan Ahmad Shah State Mosque, the state mosque of Pahang.

It’s getting far more complicated and time-consuming as soon as you leave these beaten paths. It’s not impossible, nevertheless, it takes some detours and a little more time.

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