10 Things To Do in Malaysia: SE Asia’s Most Overlooked Country

10 Things To Do in Malaysia: SE Asia’s Most Overlooked Country

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Malaysia is a country often overlooked on the typical SE Asia backpacking trail, which is a good thing! This country has it all. Whether you’re into diving, jungle treks, laying on beaches, seeing amazing cities or eating great food, Malaysia is the place for you.

Here’s our list of the Top 10 Things To Do In Malaysia:

1. Eat Roti Canai. The food in Malaysia is fantastic. The flavours are Indian, Chinese, Malay, Thai and Indonesian, which makes for a great selection of food. Our must-try dish for anyone in the country is Roti Canai, a delicious, flaky, flatbread that you dip into a spicy curry sauce. The perfect snack or quick meal. Oh, and it costs about $0.30.

The delicious local dish roti canai is something you must eat while in Malaysia

2. See The Petronas Towers At Night. These massive twin towers in Kuala Lumpur are a must see. Standing at 88 stories tall, they are quite the site. Make sure to cross the bridge linking the two towers for a great view of the city!

The Petronas Towers are beautiful at night

3. Go Scuba Diving. Whether you stick to mainland Malaysia, or you head to Borneo, the scuba diving and snorkeling in this Southeast Asian country is great. Our top picks are Sipadan (Borneo) and Perhentian Island (Mainland).

Not a bad dive site!

4. Wander The Streets Of Malacca. Malacca is the perfect place to rent a bicycle and explore. The narrow alleyways, crumbling buildings and Chinese culture in this part of Malaysia is awesome. Don’t miss this gem!

The Chinese influence and architecture in Malacca is beautiful

5. Visit A Night Market. Going to a market in any city in SE Asia is exciting, but going to a night market in Malaysia is exceptional! Here you’ll find lots of local people having a great time with their families, many food dishes being prepared right before your eyes and vendors selling all kinds of things.

The bustling night market of Malacca

6. Hike Through The Cameron Highlands. This hill station is a great retreat away from the heat! The views of the tea plantations are stunning and the hiking in this region is fantastic.

Lush, green hills of the Cameron Highlands

7. Visit The Batu Caves. Located just outside of Kuala Lumpur, this limestone hill is home to many caves, cave temples and Hindu shrines. To reach the main cave, you must climb 272 steep steps (and pass by some cheeky looking monkeys!) At the entrance to the caves stands a massive, 42.7m tall statue of the Hindu Deity, Murugan. Visiting Batu Caves makes for a great day trip out of Kuala Lumpur.

The Batu Caves just outside of Kuala Lumpur make for a great day trip

8. Go To The Duty-Free Island Of Langkawi. This island is spectacular! Because it’s duty-free, this means you can find cans of beer for $0.50! A bargain compared to the cost of beer in the rest of Malaysia. Besides the great beer costs, this island is home to many activities. Check out the go-karts (they go 50kms/hour), take the cable car up to the sky bridge, visit waterfalls and more!

Langkawi is jam-packed with activities, check out the sky bridge!

9. Do A Jungle & River Safari. Seeing orangutans in the wild and experiencing the true nature of Malaysia is amazing. Head over to Borneo and do a jungle and river safari down the great Lokan River with Uncle Tan’s Safari. Here you’ll spot everything from orangutans to crocodiles, while roughing it out in the jungle! An experience not to be missed.

Doing a jungle trek in Borneo is a great way to see orangutans in the wild

10. Visit A National Park. Malaysian Borneo is home to many beautiful National Parks. Some of them can be quite pricey but others can be visited by anyone on a budget. Rent a car and independently visit Bako or Niah Caves. Both have awesome hiking and scenery and both are affordable!

Visiting a National Park in Borneo independently is a must

There you have it, our list of the best things to do in Malaysia. This list could have gone on and on. Malaysia is a country jam-packed with activities for every interest. One of the best things about this country is the friendly local people and how affordable everything is! The next time you’re in SE Asia, make sure to put Malaysia on your itinerary. We promise, you won’t be disappointed.

**A Note From The Goats: In 2 days we are packing up our lives here in China and taking off on a 5 month backpacking journey! We will be camping, trekking, fishing and exploring Mongolia, Central Asia and Iran. Follow our adventure for tips, photos, videos and cool stories from this off-the-beaten-path-region. We look forward to having you along for the ride!


Nick & Dariece have left everything behind in search of cultural experiences, beautiful beaches and off the beaten path adventures. They call themselves Goats On The Road and their website for budget backpackers encourages others to pack their bags and leave the ordinary behind. Visit Goats On The Road and get excellent tips for the adventurous traveler!

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