Malaysia is a refreshingly modern and hassle free stop in SEA. The food, souvenir and public transport prices are same for everyone (not 10x times more for tourists), so you don’t need to bargain and triple check everything. Of course there will always be people who’ll try to get your money, but it’s significantly less.
The buses are luxuriously big with comfortable seats and working A/C. Traffic is not as horrible, and there is all sorts of food (chinese, malay, indian and western) to choose from. Of course it’s slightly more pricier than some other SEA countries, but here you usually get what you pay for.
You’ll manage with English in most places and need to learn a few words of Malay if you want to get out of the big cities. Majority of people are muslims, so that shows in the daily routines and behaviour. And yes, that’s why alcohol is not very cheap either.
We interacted mostly with Chinese people and had the impression they are quite well educated, entrepreneurial and have a will to take the country forward.
Our favourite spots:
- Melacca - Be there for the weekend markets. mmm… such great food
- Penang - just for chilling out and also good food
- Ipoh - Definitely visit the Perak cave temple
- Cameron highlands - escape the heat and hike up the picturous tea plantations
There were not really dislikes. Even Kuala Lumpur was allright We especially recommend a visit to the Muzium Negara to learn about SEA and Malay history.
What is missing maybe, is a very beautiful beach and something really exciting to do (after Indonesia Malaysia seems almost a bit boring). Maybe these things can be found in Borneo, where we didn’t go this time.