Malaysia is a gorgeous country that sits in the jewel that is Southeast Asia. It’s quite unique in that it has two main islands that both join onto two completely different countries. Lately, it’s become one of the hottest travel destinations – particularly for people traveling on their own.
Solo travel can be quite daunting, which is why it helps when you have a nice safe place to go to. Malaysia is definitely this, and there are so many things you can see and do as well. Today, we’ll run through all the best stuff for solo travelers to enjoy on their trip to Malaysia.
As a solo traveler, it’s important to know things you need to prepare for your trip to Malaysia. But other than that, what else can you do around the country?
Stay in Kuala Lumpur
We can’t talk about Malaysia without mentioning Kuala Lumpur. It’s the capital city, and probably represents the most advanced part of the country.
Here, you have a city that blends modernity with classic Asian culture – it’s beautiful!
I suggest staying here for a good few days so you can take in all the sights and scenes while you’re there. The good thing about it is that there are loads of cheap houses for rent for singles, meaning you’ve got your accommodation sorted, and much cheaper than staying in a hotel as well!
Generally speaking, this can provide you with a great base during your trip, and it’s not unheard of for people to stay here the whole time and just go on day trips to other parts of the island.
As for the things to do here, well, you’re spoilt for so many choices. There are a few really tall buildings that are well worth visiting and taking the trip all the way to the top. Here, you’ll get the best views of the entire city!
Then, you can’t go without seeing Chinatown – it’s always buzzing with locals, and you get the real Chinese experience here as well.
You’ll come across plenty of temples here too, which are well worth looking at if you want to see some stunning Asian heritage. Batu Caves, which was recently repainted into their instagrammable colorful stairs is also worth visiting while you’re there.
Get the Jungle Experience in Borneo
If Borneo sounds familiar to you, then it’s probably because you’re a wonderful dedicated reader, and you’ve checked out my piece on what I packed when traveling there.
It’s the third largest island in the world and comprises of the Eastern chunk of Malaysia, which borders with Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam. Here, you will see a range of fascinating things to do, and the main attraction is the natural wildlife.
There are a few main things to view while you’re here, including an incredible orangutan sanctuary. Here, you get to be up close and personal with these incredible creatures, seeing how they live and look after themselves in their natural habitat. It’s the kind of thing you only get to experience once, so you better take it all in.
However, the best thing about the Borneo side of Malaysia is the jungle terrain. There’s a place called Sarawak that boasts many vibrant and unique trees in a gorgeous jungle setting. You can trek through the Malaysian jungles and find brilliant limestone caves – the biggest in the world. It’s a massive change from the bustling city life in Kuala Lumpur, which is why it’s so worth visiting this area.
Munch on the Street Food in Penang
Penang is over on the Northwestern side of Malaysia and comprises of a few islands. On the Westernmost island, you have a city called George Town.
Not the most Asian of names, but this place is home to some of the best food in the region. There are countless street food stalls all over the place, offering delicious treats that you won’t get anywhere else. In general, the Malaysian culinary scene is very impressive, but this part of the country is where it’s all going down.
You can probably spend an entire day just eating your way through George Town, and it will be more than worth it.
Part of the reason the food is so great here is that it’s a place where there are loads of different cultures mixing with one another.
You have barbecue dishes, typical Asian food, and so much more. To make the whole experience better, you can even organize a food tour to explore the best eating spots!
While you’re here, it’s worth noting that some very magical botanical gardens are a great spot to just sit down, digest, and relax after your tour.
Enjoy a Scuba Diving Experience Like No Other
As you make your way through this guide, you’ll quickly see why Malaysia is such a wonderful place to visit. I’m onto the fourth thing to do, and it’s utterly different to all the others already mentioned.
Here, you will head back to Borneo and towards the eastern coast of Sabah. This is where you’ll find one of the best scuba diving experiences ever. We’re not just talking about the best scuba diving in Malaysia – of which there are multiple – we’re talking about the best in the world. Pick your best scuba diving wetsuit and have the best time of your life!
The killer thing here is the sheer variety of animals you can see while diving. There are rare turtles and so many other sea creatures that you just won’t see anywhere else in the world. To make things better, the sea here is perfectly clear and a gorgeous blue color.
It makes you feel like you’re actually living in an Instagram filter, that’s how stunning everything looks. While you’re in Sabah, you may as well travel to the different islands showcasing amazing wildlife as well. Sulug Island is a must-go place seeing as it’s barely been touched by humans, so you see the animals thriving in their habitats. Plus, it also offers some brilliant scuba diving experiences for you to enjoy as well.
View this post on Instagram
Chill out on Pulau Perhentian
Pulau Perhentian is the name given to two pretty remote islands close together. There’s a big island, and then there’s a smaller one; both of which offer unique attractions for solo travelers. The bigger of the two islands is the ultimate place to chill.
There’s accommodation here, so it’s well worth staying on this island for a couple of days to just recharge your batteries and enjoy life away from the cities.
You have hammocks by the sea, stunning sandy beaches, cocktails on demand, and the most peaceful experience ever. To add to this, there are snorkeling opportunities as well, meaning you can see loads of cute little sea critters while you’re there.
Alternatively, for a more lively experience, head to the smaller of the two islands. This is known as the party island of Malaysia, with various beach events being held every evening. It’s a great place to let your hair down and meet other travelers, and you can easily get a water taxi back to the bigger island at the end of the night. All in all, these islands give you the perfect blend of relaxation during the day, and partying during the night!
If you didn’t already know, then it should now be pretty clear how much Malaysia has to offer solo travelers.
The best thing about it is that you can set up shop in the central city (Kuala Lumpur) and then take day trips to most of the places on this list.
If you’d prefer to travel around and stay in these different places, then you definitely can!
Hopefully, I’ve provided you with a pretty diverse list of things to do during your travels. I find that the best way to enjoy solo travel is to take in as many things as possible, so try and tick all of these off your list!