There are two major parts of Malaysia that you can travel to. Most people are doing one or the other, a few travelers actually find time to get to both. There is the Malaysian Peninsula just south of Thailand, and then there is Malaysian Borneo (composed of the states of Sabah and Sarawak).
The Malaysian Peninsula is attached to Thailand and there is an abundance of things to see and do here from beaches to jungle to temples. The capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is in this part of the country and it is one of the major flight hubs around the world for cheap flights. If you get a chance, spend some time in Kuala Lumpur some of the surrounding towns and cities if you get a chance before moving onward. Make sure you go and check out the Petronas Towers, catch some of the amazing live original music in the music scene here and catch a cultural show. Shopping is also very popular to do in Kuala Lumpur. If you get a chance, head out to the Batu Caves. You will find an abundance of hostels here in the capital city so do your research as to where your hostel is and make sure that it is accessible to transport to get around the city. For a more local experience, head out to Petaling Jaya, known to the locals as "PJ" and have a midnight snack at some of the mamaks. Try some cendol or a Ribena Special.
South of Kuala Lumpur you will find the stunning Penang Island. With a rich Chinese history, you will find a huge number of beautiful temples here. It is worth taking a hike up Penang hill if you are fit, and if not, take the bus. The climb is brutal in the heat. Malacca, or Melaka, is also a beautiful beach town worth exploring here in the south.
North of Kuala Lumpur on the peninsula you will find the amazing Cameron Highlands area with the stunning town of Tanah Rata. From here you can explore the tea plantations in the hills, go on a hike with a local guide. If you are lucky and it is the right time of year you may even encounter the largest flower in the world, the rafflesia. Langkawi is a very popular island off of the west coast in the north and you will find an abundance of snorkeling and beach activities to do here and a pretty good party scene. You will find multiple hostels per destination in all of these places.
Malaysian Borneo is the more relaxed of the two different parts of Malaysia. You can fly into Kuching, which is one of the larger cities on the island. You will find quite a large number of hostels here. Take your time to explore the amazing scenery of the surrounding area. You can book a trip to climb Kota Kinabalu if it is in the dry season. It's the largest mountain in Malaysia and is a stunning climb. There are lots of hostels here and in the surrounding area for you to rest before and after your climb. The island of Borneo is also well known for being home to orangutans. Ask at your hostel as you land the best way to experience these amazing creatures in the wild and they should be able to help you out.
Hi, I'm Globetrotter,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Malaysia hostels. Welcome.
Staying for a night in Kota Kinabalu made me feel like I'm in a place surrounded by odd people. They seem friendly at first, but after a while they become scary -- the way they stare, the way they move. It's like they want you drawn into their world and then cast spells on you that would make you stay there for the …
Kuala Lumpur is my favourite city in Southeast Asia so far. I love that there are so many trees around, and I really enjoyed the freedom of the subway and buses. It beats haggling with taxis and tuk tuks any day!