Friday, August 30, 2013

8-Day Quick Trip to Malaysia – Itinerary and Travel Report

I was truly delighted when Air Asia finally branched out to the Philippines. It certainly is one of the best airlines in South East Asia that offers discounted flights in the neighboring countries and the announcement of the plan was definitely the time for me to snag cheap tickets to its airlines’ home country, Malaysia. I had to cut my trip short though as I decided to postpone my plans for Sabah and Kota Kinabalu because of the conflict with the Philippines during that time.

malaysia travel blog itinerary
Travel Report: 8 Days in Malaysia

It was a bit hard for me to find stable resources on the Internet for Malaysia, good thing there is always Lonely Planet and Rough Guides to help me out. Simply enough, 8 days is not enough to explore 330,000-square-kilometer of surface area of Malaysia, so I listed down my goal for the trip, which were to see the rich multi-cultural aspect of the country and experience wonderful but cheap food encounters. I was able to narrow down my list to Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Melacca and Penang.

You may download a copy of our 8-day itinerary in Malaysia via this link.
malaysia map travel

Day 1-2, 5
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, was my first stop for this trip. My first task after settling down was to roam around for shopping areas in Bukit Bintang. We were off the next day to Kuala Lumpur’s own Chinatown, seeing what is offered in Central Market and wandering around the religious sites of Guan Di Temple and Sri Mahamariamman Temple.

central market kuala lumpur
the very historical Central Market of Kuala Lumpur
central malaysia
the bustling Petaling Street
hindu temple kuala lumpur
Sri Mahamariamman Temple

The Petronas Towers proves to be one of the “must see” attractions in the city. Being one of the world’s tallest buildings, we did not pass the opportunity to have a glimpse of it during day and night, at both times looking very grand and magnificent.

petronas towers
looking so strong by day
lake titiwangsa petronas towers
Petronas Towers at Lake Titiwangsa
petronas towers kuala lumpur
... and very much romantic by night

Though not exactly in KL, Batu Caves is also flocked with tourists excited to see not just the famous cave but also to experience Indian culture that is very evident in the entire country. We also did not miss to take a heritage trail consisting of seeing the Merdeka Square, and other lovely pieces of architecture such as KTM Headquarters and Old KL Railway Station.

batu caves
merdeka square

malaysia merdeka square
Merdeka Square

KL is one of the largest transportation hubs in South East Asia. I took a direct flight from Clark to Kuala Lumpur via Air Asia, but there are also local companies that offer this route such as Cebu Pacific and PAL Express.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building
Sultan Abdul Samad Building by night
ktm headquarters malaysia architecture

Day 3
Putrajaya, located south of Kuala Lumpur, was very much suited for a day trip as it was only an hour or less away from the central station by the very fast trains of Kuala Lumpur. Though the city had a very quiet atmosphere (almost like a ghost town) feel to us, we still enjoyed its very sophisticated look and seeing the sights it offered. One of the highlights of the trip was being able to go inside the Pink Mosque

perdena putra purtajaya malaysia architecture
the lovely Perdana Putra
lake titiwangsa
a great view of Putrajaya Lake and Seri Wawasan Bridge
blue mosque malaysia
Blue Mosque of neighboring Shah Alam

From Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya can be easily accessed via the KLIA Express Train. Once there, there are buses that can take you to the different tourist spots of the city, otherwise you may also ask a cab driver to tour you around, but negotiate for a good price.

pink mosque malaysia
the unique Pink Mosque of Putrajaya

Day 4
I wanted to do more in Malacca, sadly though, we were only there for a day trip. Its slow pace and quiet ambiance is perfect for travelers who just want to chill and relax. The city is very historic, which I can also almost relate to my own country. It is also very easy to traverse, you can get dropped off at the Dutch Square, and start your tour from there. One of my most favorite things in this city is the Baba Nyonya Mansion, night view of Melaka River and food tripping around its long line of restaurants!

melaka river malaysia
Melaka River
malacca travel
Dutch Square looking so lovely during nighttime

Malacca takes up a good two-hour journey from KL one way by bus. The coach buses are so comfortable that you can even take a nap on the way!

malacaa night
my recommended view of the city!

Day 5-8
It was also a lovely treat to visit Penang but it certainly not for people who are on a diet (if you are, you must stop you must stop dieting while visiting here, eating at the hawker stalls four times a day is a must!) Just like anywhere in Malaysia, the local street food is so cheap, tasty and fulfilling, but the ones in Penang and more diverse and have also been raved about by international travel/food critics by the likes of Anthony Bourdain.

penang travel

The UNESCO-listed George Town is also one of the reasons I wanted to go here. One of the attractions we enjoyed was the Street Art scattered around the place which adds a sense of quirkiness in the area.

clew jetties penang
Chew Jetty of Penang
street art penang
one of the many fun street art of Georgetown

It is also a boosting place of diverse religion. We headed to Kek Lok Si to see one of the largest Buddhist temple in South East Asia that is also situated in Penang Hill, a great spot if you want to get a good view of the city. If you have extra time, you could also head out to these Buddhist temples namely Wat Chayamangkalaram, a Thai temple, and Dhammikarama, a Burmese Buddhist temple: both can be found at Burma Road and also feature very artistic and distinct architecture of the countries they represent.

reclining buddha malaysia
the reclining Buddha of Wat Chayamangkalaram
bhurmese temple malaysia
the relaxed statues of Dhammikarama Temple

Penang can be reached via bus, train or plane from Kuala Lumpur. One can also transit here from Thailand.

kek lok si penang
the Buddhas of Kek Lok Si

You can never call it a good adventure unless you have done a food trip in Malaysia, it is a must! The mamak stalls are basically everywhere! Aside from it being a great place to observe local culture in Malaysia, you could also taste yummy and cheap eats here, which is good for both the tummy and the wallet. It is open even until the wee hours of the night so if you are craving for a midnight snack, then head out here. It's also a great thing that Malaysia has a large multi-racial community as you can get exposed to different types of cuisine: Malay, Chinese, Indian, and sometimes even Thai.

malacca rice ball
famous chicken rice ball of Malacca
craving for something too sweet? get an ice kachang
chicken biryani
this is probably one of my best (and cheapest) Indian meals ever! chicken biryani, tandoori and this apple juice FTW!!!
assam laksa
i totalllllly love Assam Laksa, most especially Penang's version of it!
char kuey teow
char kuey teow, one interesting noodle dishes of Malaysia

> I was only able to spend 8,000 PHP (around 185 USD) for 8 days stay that includes food, transportation (inside the country and outside going to Singapore), and souvenir shopping expenses.
> It is very easy and convenient to go around basically anywhere in the country. Buses and trains are frequent and accessible to most of all the tourist spots. Get used to haggling with taxi drivers, it will come in handy after you travel outside of KL.
> Be prepared to walk! And also spare change/small bills for buses and trains.
> English is widely used. Due to the diverse culture and many languages of the locals, majority of them can speak or understand English.
> Malaysia is a Muslim country so observe some rules that apply to their religion. When visiting mosques, please dress appropriately (cover legs, shoulders and arms). Otherwise, some mosques will be able to lend some shawl or cloak for you.

malaysia travel blog
a great view of Penang at Kek Lok Si

Our trip was focused on culture, religion, architecture and food as you may have noticed with the sights we saw at Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Malacca and Penang. But I believe the country can offer more nature-related attractions in the Eastern part of the country (Sabah) and more.

I regret only having been able to spend 8 days. Anyway, I think I was able to see the highlights of Malaysia and I certainly enjoyed this trip and most especially, the food (which will probably be the major reason for me to come back). :)

Hope this beginner’s guide to Malaysia has been able of help to you! If you liked this article, hope you can help spreading my blog to your family and friends :) You may do so by following me via Google Friend Connect and Feedburner by clicking the buttons below/on the side, or you may also like my page for updates.

Day 1: Kuala Lumpur

Petronas Towers

Day 2: Kuala Lumpur
Batu Caves

Merdeka Square

Day 3: Putrajaya / Shah Alam
Pink and Blue Mosque

City Tour

Day 4: Malacca/Melaka
City Tour

Food Tour

Day 5: Kuala Lumpur

Day 6: Penang
Kek Lok Si Temple

Day 7: Penang
George Town

Street Art

Day 8: Penang

Malaysia Travel Report
Itinerary and Tips


  1. For real 8k lang nagastos nyo?wow!
    please include breakdown expenses :)))

    1. well, those are expenses inside Malaysia (did not include the tickets to KL and taxes out of PH). and I was not able to keep a breakdown :( but I remember I only changed around 7,500-8,000 PHP to MYR and still had extra money for souvenirs.

    2. If u like some kind of nature, then visit the Langkawi Island ( north of Penang accessible by flight fm Kuala Lumpur or ferry from Penang and Kuala Kedah)..it is an idylic island and u can relax with nature of your side or visit the Malaysian National Park, a lush tropical forest. Please google.

    3. Heard good stuff about Langkawi too though we didn't dare to venture there as we didn't have much time

  2. Hi! We've booked a five day trip to Malaysia two weeks from now. I would really like to visit Melaka and Penang, or at the very least, Penang. How do you suggest we manage travelling by bus or train from KL to Georgetown? I've scanned a dozen websites already but I figured a fellow Filipina traveler might help me better. :)
    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Inna, Sadly I have never actually tried long distance trains in Malaysia since they can run a bit pricier than bus fares, so I can not really give an opinion. Though in my experience, I never had buses that left on time (our bus going to Melacca was late 15 mins and to Penang almost 1.5 hr!) but all the buses I've tried have reclining seats and were very comfortable, slept like a baby during my trips. If going by bus to Penang, I suggest you take buses bound for Komtar if there are any available, since this is the closest terminal to Georgetown. Hope this helps!

  3. Hi, just wanna ask where did you stay for the whole trip? As well the travel time, like kl to putrajaya..etc

  4. Dishes picture look clear and delicious, wanna eat that, Great information for travelers

  5. Hi Mariane and every body. First of all i want to say that i loved with your experience especialy about malaysia tour. Hope you can sharing in my site or if i can get your permission to put your articles about malaysia in my site. I would like to invite all of you guy, to contribute your experience about malaysia in http://www.malaysiatrack.com


  6. Hello, I would like to say I love your very informative blogs. I am heading to Malaysia on a week trip myself on November, and this surely will help me a lot, so thank you really! :)

  7. Hi,

    Your blog was great help so far as I have just booked my flight tickets to Malaysia. I need some more help and clarification from you all.

    We are two ladies who'll be travelling to Malaysia in the month of January 2015 for about 8 days. Reading your blog I got fair idea which all places I can visit during those 8 days. However, I need your help to find out budget hotels to stay and travelling around the city. The places you have listed are buses easily available and we are planning to take around $325 each is that sufficient enough to survive 8 days.

    Please suggest and your help is greatly appreciated.



    1. I am sorry but I can't help with budget hotels as we only couchsurfed when we went there. I looked around some hostel dorms and if you aren't picky then you can opt to stay there. When we went there, me and my friend only spent around 200 USD excluding accommodations of course but including a bus ticket from Penang-SG, so if you stay in cheap hostels then i think 325$ would be more than enough.

  8. Wonderful write-up. I am planning a solo trip to Malaysia and this will be my first time outside India. Fingers crossed!


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