Top 8 Must-Visit Destinations for Backpackers Exploring Malaysia

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Planning a cost-effective backpacking journey to Malaysia? Malaysia has a warm and hospitable environment for travelers to explore their culture and dwellings. The diverse essence of their heritage has endeavored to maintain a connection with nature. The Islands and serene locations are a must-experience for everyone. Here are a few destinations to visit while you’re backpacking in Malaysia. This will also assist you in traveling to valuable and time-saving places.

Destinations to Explore When Backpacking in Malaysia

If you’re unsure of where to go when in Malaysia, don’t worry. There’s plenty to see and do; it’s just a matter of creating a list that will set you on your way. Since backpacking trips are more budget-friendly, it’s important to select a hotel accordingly.

beach with seashore

1. Melaka

Embarking on your journey from Singapore, Melaka is the ideal starting point. There are numerous options to explore in Melaka, but for your backpacking trip, you can limit your visits to the most prominent ones. These include Melaka Wonderland, Big Island, A Famosa, Stadthuys, and Cheng Hoon. Melaka is a must-visit place for all independent backpackers in Malaysia.

2. Port Dickson

explore most eye-catching places

Heading north from Melaka, you’ll arrive at Port Dickson town. If you enjoy the beach, make sure to visit Blue Lagoon beach, as it’s one of the finest places to backpack in Malaysia. There’s also an adventure park with opportunities for animal encounters called the ‘9 wonders of Port Dickson’. Cape Rachado lighthouse and Tanjung Tuan are the most popular attractions in Port Dickson. It is located south of Kuala Lumpur.

3. Kuala Lumpur

experience the flora and fauna in this jungle

Being the national Capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is the focal point of attraction for the tourists. The most captivating locations in this city are the Petronas towers and Batu Caves. You can spend three days in KL and explore these spots. From Kuala Lumpur, you can travel to the east coast town of Jerantut. Travelers who are planning to go backpacking in Malaysia for a fortnight must discover the beauty of Kuala Lumpur.

4. Taman Negara National Park

the jungle railway

On the way to Jerantut, one can attempt to visit the Taman Negara National Park. It presents the best opportunity to encounter the plant life and animal life in this jungle. A guided tour is available for convenient exploration of the entire forest. While you are backpacking through Malaysia, you can also immerse yourself in the peacefulness and untamed surroundings of Taman Negara. If you are looking for a destination that perfectly fits the budget for backpacking in Malaysia, Taman Negara National Park will be a suitable choice.

5. Jerantut

island is a paradise in reality

The district of Jerantut is in close proximity to Taman Negara. After reaching Jerantut, you can stay here and explore the local attractions. Many tourists choose to camp in Kem Nusa Forest, an Eco park. Another option is to visit the Kota Gelanggi Caves complex. For a simpler visit, there is the Tekai Lake and Kuala Tembeling Jetty. Plan the next visit to Kota Bharu after Jerantut. You can reach Kota Bharu by taking the jungle railway.

6. Kota Bharu and the Perhentian Islands

visit the beautiful beach

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In Kota Bharu the main attractions are the Palace of Jahar and Temenggor Lake. The Palace of Jahar is a museum in Kota Bharu. Temenggor Lake is situated in Hulu Perak District of Perak. The Perhentian island is truly a paradise. You can sample the finest seafood of the Island. Heading towards the southeast, explore the local towns such as Kuala Terenggannu and Kuantan. Islands in K.T. like Redang Island and Lang Tengah Island are a must-visit. After these short trips, make a stopover in Cherating.

7. Cherating

most popular islands in Malaysia

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Here you can explore the local beaches like Chendor Beach. It is also known as the resort town on the east coast of Malaysia. Cherating experiences high rainfall throughout the year. Planning outdoor activities may not be advisable. However, the beach can be visited for a few hours.

8. Tioman Island

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Tioman Island is one of the most popular islands in Malaysia. It is renowned for its corals, dive sites, shipwrecks, etc. The place is suitable for relaxation and hiking in the rainforests surrounding the island. There are facilities for rock climbing on the cliff. You can choose to stay at one of the top-rated resorts, such as the Melina Beach Resort, which offers breathtaking views.

Additional Resources: 7 Hill Stations In Malaysia that are Enchantingly Immersed in Nature

Extra Suggestions for Backpacking in Malaysia

  • If you desire to encounter the grassroots of Malaysia, lease a car
  • If you have never tried hitchhiking before, you can test it out here
  • Do not hurry through the experience; relish it and observe it develop on you

The aforementioned locations are ideal for an economical journey. So, Reserve your subsequent trip to Malaysia and prepare yourself to indulge in an alluring trip to this island nation. Malaysia is one of the finest places to enjoy a distinctive combination of culture and tradition. If that was not sufficient, there are numerous places to explore and a variety of activities to engage in, you will be captivated by the magnificence of this country. If backpacking in Malaysia was not on your agenda, it is about time it is!

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Commonly Asked Questions About Backpacking in Malaysia

What can you do in 3 days in Malaysia?

In Malaysia, there are many activities that can be done in 2 days. Some of them are listed below: You can explore Kuala Lumpur, with the highlights of your vacation being the Petronas Towers, Merdeka Square, KL Tower, KL Central Market, and Petaling Street. If you have a little more time and a budget for affordable shopping, Suria KLCC should be your destination on the next day, along with a visit to Batu Caves. You can also visit Sungai Pusu – 9.4km from Kuala Lumpur, Klang Gate Dam lake, Pulau Ketam, Port Klang – 38km southwest of Kuala Lumpur, or Templer’s Park – a tropical rainforest about 21km away from Kuala Lumpur.

What should I wear in Malaysia?

Malaysians are not concerned about how tourists dress. However, since it is a Muslim country, it would be better to respect their culture by dressing conservatively when visiting religious sites or meeting a local family. Rest assured, pack light with your sundresses and summer attire.

Is Malaysia safe to visit?


Malaysia is relatively safe compared to many other countries. While there may be some dangerous areas, as with any other location, it is advisable to seek advice from authorities and local residents.

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