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Travel Hacks: Why Malaysia should be next on your travel list

24th October 2019

If you are looking for a vacation that has it all, delicious street food, pristine beaches, rich historic attractions and lively, fascinating cities -then book your next flight to Malaysia!

It is no lie -many travellers tend to fancy Thailand, Indonesia or Vietnam, but I think they’re missing out!  Malaysia is a nation full of culture and ecological beauty. A mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cultures combined have created Malaysia’s unique identity.

Take advantage of the lack of crowds, its proximity to surrounding countries, the affordable prices and their incredibly friendly locals. You’ll soon question why you haven’t been before!

What to know before you go:

Language: Malay is the official and national language of Malaysia, and is the most widely spoken across the country followed by English. While tourists aren’t expected to know Malay when they visit, it is always nice to know a couple of sentences. To get you started, I have listed some helpful phrases below!
Good morning; Selamat Pagi
How are you; Apa Khabar
Yes; Ya
No; Tidak
Do you speak English; Adakah anda bercakap bahasa inggeris?
Have a nice day; Semoga hari anda baik sahaja

Currency: Malaysia uses the Malaysian Ringgit
Notes - RM1, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50, RM100
Coins - 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, $1. Keep in mind that cents are referred to as ‘sen’

ATMs: The main tourist hubs will have ATMs but not all are 24/7. Of course, the further you venture away from busy areas, the fewer ATMs and card-accepting places there’ll be.

Getting around: Kuala Lumpur city has an abundance of transportation options making travel between places relatively hassle-free. If you are looking to travel long distances, there are express trains and long service buses that stretch from Singapore to Thailand. Additional alternatives include rental of a car, catching a ferry, or using one of the many taxis available. In local areas, you’ll find it easy to jump on a bike and ride to your destination!

Top 6 things to do:

Calling all nature lovers… this is your dream destination. With an endless amount of things to do in Malaysia, I found choosing the top 6 was perhaps one of the hardest decisions thus far. From lush green plantations, secluded islands to impressive architecture and cultural festivals, Malaysia will definitely keep you on your toes!

1. Batu Caves

A national icon and a holy place of worship for Hindus is the Batu Caves. This highly important Hindu shrine is dedicated to Lord Murugan - you can’t miss his enormous golden statue standing tall and mighty at the entrance of the main cave. The best way to access the Batu Caves is by catching a KTM commuter train from Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station to the Batu Caves Station, which is roughly a 26-minute journey and will leave you out of pocket RM2.00. Don’t forget, this attraction is a sacred site so you will need to wear appropriate clothing. I suggest you bring a large scarf to tie around your waist otherwise you can borrow one at the gates!

2. Langkawi Sky Bridge

Ready to take a leap of faith? Or maybe just a step of bravery as you walk across a 125-metre curved bridge situated 660 meters above sea level. You may be scared but it will 100% be worth the breathtaking views. You may want to capture the stunning view with your phone or camera, but whatever you do -don’t drop it, as I doubt you’ll ever get it back!

3. The Pinnacles of Gunung Mulu

Warning, this site may look deadly and to be honest the climb to the Pinnacle of Gunung Mulu is gruelling, dangerous and timely.  Regardless, if you make it to the top you will be rewarded with something so much better than that bike you got for Christmas back in 2002. You’ll be greeted with enchanting views of these incredible jagged limestone spikes that pierce through the ground on the slopes of Gunung Api in the jungle of Borneo. A site that is rare to see!

4. Crystal Mosque

The extravagant, Crystal Mosque known as ‘ Masjid Kristal’ honours modern Islam, you can admire its beauty at Kuala Terengganu. Constructed with steel and glass, the mosque is unique and unlike any other in the world. Visit at night time to feel like you're living in a Cinderella story as you watch the mosque be illuminated from the inside and its reflection glister in the water.

5. Petronas Twin Towers

The world tallest twin structures are located in.. yes you bet, Malaysia! Standing at a whopping 452 meters, if you didn't feel small before you’re sure enough to feel like an ant next to these buildings. But don’t worry take an elevator to level 86 and you’ll feel on top of the world! Check out the beautiful park whilst you’re on the ground, walk across the skybridge in the midst of the air and see a 360 degree view from the observation deck.

6. Redang Island

The crystal clear waters that surround this island await you as you prepare to go diving and snorkelling amongst the beautiful coral reefs and marine life. Located on the east side of Peninsular Malaysia, Redang island has a plethora of activities to suit your relaxation or adventure needs. Watch the glowing sunset as you walk along the beach with a glass of wine and the birds singing…. need i say more? The luxurious life is calling you!

Top 3 meals you must eat:

Look, I don't know about you, but for me food is constantly on my mind. So, to satisfy my taste buds and to experience a true Malaysian adventure you’ll have to eat your way through the streets. To get you started, I have listed some absolute must try dishes that you will pretty much find anywhere you go in Malaysia!

Mee Goreng Mamak

Mee Goreng Mamak is a popular Malaysian fried noodle dish. A dish that only the local experts can create or it will never be quite the same. So forget you 2 minute noodles and try this mouth-watering street food that is known for its yellow noodles wok’d with soy, shallots and chillies, with the addition of vegetables or beef/chicken or shrimp. Luckily this will be a staple in the streets of Malaysia so stock up while you can!

Apam Balik

It’s just a fact, you can’t go to Malaysia and not try this sweet delight known as Apam Balik. The pancake-like snack is packed full of flavour, or sugar in other words, as it is combined with peanuts and creamy corn inside a crispy shell. A dish like no other, will leave you reminiscing about these sweeter days for years to come!

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak is celebrated as the national dish in Malaysia and is traditionally eaten for breakfast. Fundamental to the dish is the rice which is cooked in coconut milk and served with accompaniments such as hard-boiled eggs, peanuts, vegetables, fried anchovies, cucumbers and a protein of either lamb/beef/chicken or seafood. Are you drooling? Because i am… this dish sounds delish!

How to budget:

Depending on how much street food you eat a day, you may want to consider budgeting the following. Keep in mind these are estimates only.

Budget - $35 a day
Moderate - $100 a day
Luxury - $330+ a day

For a more accurate budget, give our budget planner below a whirl. It's super simple and will spit out a budget personalised to your needs.

For more travel tips and budgeting assistance, be sure to visit your closest Travel Money Oz store. Your adventure awaits you!


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