In 10 days in Malaysia, you can see most of the highlights and four to five destinations in Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Choose an itinerary that samples both regions, relax at Langkawi Island on the Andaman Sea, go rainforest hiking and spot waterfalls at Lahad Datu in East Malaysia, or focus your trip on jungle trekking and tracking orangutans in Nanga Sumpa. Alternatively, split your time between city life in Kuala Lumpur and discovering caves and nature in Borneo's Gunung Mulu National Park.

Itinerary #1: Best of East & West Malaysia

Discover Peninsular Malaysia and the Borneo States on this East & West Malaysia itinerary, perfect for first-time travelers as you'll sample both regions starting with the capital of Kuala Lumpur. Visit famous cave temples and explore Penang Island. Then you're off to Borneo, in East Malaysia, where you'll relax on remote beaches, snorkel, and visit local farms in the stunning highlands. 

Travel to remote beaches in Malaysian Borneo, unobstructed by crowds and urban development
Travel to remote beaches in Malaysian Borneo, unobstructed by crowds and urban development
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kuala Lumpur, City Tour Kuala Lumpur
Day 2 Day Trip to Ah Ma House & the Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur
Day 3 Transfer to George Town, City Tour & Peranakan Museum Penang
Day 4 Visit Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang Hill & Durian Farm Penang
Day 5 Free Day in Penang Penang
Day 6 Fly to Kota Kinabalu, Explore Gaya Street, Harbor Sunset Walk Kota Kinabalu
Day 7 Transfer to Kudat, Boat to a Remote Island Kudat
Day 8 Optional Water Activities, Bioluminescence Tour Kudat
Day 9 Transfer to Kundasang, Dairy Farm Visit Kundasang
Day 10 Fly to Kuala Lumpur, Depart  

Kuala Lumpur
will captivate you with its rich culture and diversity. Start by touring its iconic sights, including the Petronas Towers, religious landmarks, colorful Chinatown, and bustling marketplaces. Take a day trip to the impressive limestone Batu Caves before spending three days in Penang, first exploring the coastal city of George Town's colonial-era buildings and sampling stir-fried rice noodles. Wander through the metropolis of pagodas, shrines, and gardens at the Kek Lok Si temple complex, learn the inner workings of a durian farm, and hit the trails at Penang National Park on your free day. 

At the halfway point, transfer to Kota Kinabalu in East Malaysia on the island of Borneo. You're sure to get a healthy dose of culture browsing the vendor stalls on Gaya Street. After your fill of the city's buzz, escape to the white sand beaches of a remote island off Kudat, where you'll lay low in a bungalow for two days. Snorkel and scuba dive, then witness the "blue tears" phenomenon of bioluminescence at night. On the Bornean mainland, you'll discover Kundasang's stunning alpine scenery and rich highland culture, visit goats at a sustainable dairy farm, and enjoy a final evening with a special themed dinner. Learn more 

Itinerary #2: Best of Peninsular Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, Penang & Langkawi

Focusing on Peninsular Malaysia, you'll begin this best-of itinerary in Kuala Lumpur and then head north to the lush Cameron Highlands. Tour the UNESCO-listed George Town on Penang Island and finish with some relaxing beach time—and a trip to an impressive SkyBridge—on Langkawi Island. It's an excellent sequence for travelers wanting to split time between the exciting cultural highlights in cities and a slower pace in the countryside and on the beach.

Visit Penang Hill, overlooking George Town, at sunset
Visit Penang Hill, overlooking George Town, at sunset
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kuala Lumpur, City Tour Kuala Lumpur
Day 2 Visit Sekinchan, Batu Caves Tour Kuala Lumpur
Day 3 Transfer to Ipoh, City Tour Ipoh
Day 4 Transfer to Penang, George Town Tour Penang
Day 5 Visit Kek Lok Si Temple & Penang Hill, Tour a Durian Farm Penang
Day 6 Free Day in Penang Penang
Day 7 Fly to Langkawi, Free Time Langkawi Island
Day 8 Kampung Visit, Batik Masterclass, SkyBridge & Cable Car Langkawi Island
Day 9 Mangroves Tour by Kayak or Boat, Free Afternoon Langkawi Island
Day 10 Depart Langkawi  

For the first two days, soak up a diverse blend of cultures and gain an insight into the modern, historic, secular, and religious aspects of Kuala Lumpur with highlights like the lively markets of Pasar Seni and Chow Kit and the Petronas Towers. Discover the Batu Caves in the northern outskirts, karst caves that have been transformed into a Tamil Hindu religious site. The following day, travel north to Ipoh to enjoy the cooler climate in Malaysia's Cameron Highlands. The town has a fascinating tin mining history with caves, castles, temples, and gardens to explore or be covered with the Ipoh Heritage Walk

On Day 5, head to Penang, an island off the coast. Over the next three days, you'll check out the capital of George Town's beautiful colonial architecture, visit the Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang Hill, a durian farm, and have a free day to browse famous street murals or shop for handicrafts. On Day 7, you'll fly to Langkawi Island for three days of relaxing on its beaches. A day trip brings you to a traditional Malay kampung (village) house, Alam Batik Art Village, a ride on the Langkawi Cable Car, and a thrilling SkyBridge walk. Then on your last full day, paddle through a peaceful mangrove forest in Langkawi before departure. Learn more 

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Itinerary #3: Best of East Malaysia's Rainforests & Beaches

It's all about discovering rainforests and beaches of the Borneo States on this East Malaysia trip. With hiking to forested waterfalls, relaxing on white-sand beaches, and snorkeling adventures in Kudat, you'll experience the perfect mix of active and leisure activities with the backdrop of rainforests, misty highlands, and topaz waters. 

Malaysia, Borneo - Walk amid the rainforest treetops in the Danum Valley in Easy Malaysia
Walk amid the rainforest treetops in the Danum Valley in East Malaysia
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kota Kinabalu, Visit Gaya Street, Sunset Harbor Walk Kota Kinabalu
Day 2 Transfer to Danum Valley, Treetop Canopy Tour, Guided Night Walk Lahad Datu
Day 3 Rainforest Hike & Swim, Guided Night Walk Lahad Datu
Day 4 Rainforest Hike, Visit Serpent Falls Lahad Datu
Day 5 Transfer to Kundasang, via Kota Kinabalu Kundasang
Day 6 Visit a Dairy Farm, Transfer to Kota Belud Kota Belud
Day 7 Transfer to Kudat, Beach Time Kudat
Day 8 Free Day in Kudat Kudat
Day 9 Transfer to Kota Kinabalu, Free Time Kota Kinabalu
Day 10 Depart Kota Kinabalu  

Start your trip in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo, by perusing Gaya Street's market stalls and taking a sunset harbor walk. Spend the next three days adventuring in Lahad Datu, in the Danum Valley—one of the world's oldest rainforests—first with a guided treetop nature walk followed by a nighttime trek through the forest to hear and observe nocturnal wildlife. The next day, enjoy a rainforest hike along the Coffin Cliff Trail to the famed Kadazandusun burial site and cool off afterward in the Jacuzzi Pool at the base of a waterfall. Look out for rare animals like pygmy elephants on your hike, and stop at Serpent Falls

On Day 5, make your way to Kundasang for some crisp mountain air, meet the Holstein Friesian cows at Desa Dairy Farm, and dine in a refurbished retro Labuk bus before your overnight in Kota Belud. The following day, travel to Kudat on the northernmost tip of Borneo. Laze on the sugar-white sands or snorkel in the inviting waters teeming with exotic marine life. Dive with colorful fish and take a nighttime swim to experience the area's glittering bioluminescent plankton, also known as "blue tears." On your final night in Kota Kinabalu, wander through the night market for some fresh seafood. Learn more

Itinerary #4: East Malaysia Adventure: Jungles, Orangutans & Indigenous Culture

Bookended with nights in Kuala Lumpur, this Malaysia adventure is perfect for travelers wanting to dive deeper into East Malaysia's jungle and culture. You'll visit Bako National Park and witness exotic wildlife, get to know East Malaysia's rainforests as you settle into a jungle lodge, take daily treks into Batang Ai National Park in search of orangutans, and learn about the culture of the Iban people and their traditional longhouses. 

Keep an eye out for orangutans in East Malaysia
Keep an eye out for orangutans in Malaysian Borneo's rainforests
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur
Day 2 Fly to Kuching, Gateway to East Malaysia  Kuching
Day 3 Day Trip to Bako National Park Kuching
Day 4 Transfer to Batang Ai Jungle Lodge, Visit a Longhouse  Lubok Antu
Day 5 Nanga Sumpa Orangutan Treks Lubok Antu
Day 6 Hike to Lubok Kasai Camp Lubok Antu
Day 7 Orangutan Treks Near Lubok Kasai  Lubok Antu
Day 8 Transfer to Kuching Kuching
Day 9 Fly to Kuala Lumpur, Explore More of the City Kuala Lumpur
Day 10 Depart Kuala Lumpur  

Admire colonial-era landmarks alongside modern skyscrapers like the Petronas Towers on your first day in Kuala Lumpur. Next, fly to Kuching in East Malaysia and spend two days strolling along the riverfront Esplanade, indulging in the local cuisine, and venturing to the wilds of Bako National Park on a day trip. The next four days bring adventures from Lubok Antu. You'll board a traditional longboat and travel up the Delok River to your Batang Ai remote accommodation before visiting a nearby longhouse, the traditional dwelling of the Iban people, where you'll sip rice wine as you get to know your hosts on the ruai (common veranda)

Lace up your hiking boots on Day 5 for your first day of orangutan tracking from Nanga Sumpa. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the jungle while spotting incredible endemic wildlife like hornbills and exotic birds as you stay in a jungle camp. Day 7 brings more exploration of the Borneo rainforest in search of orangutans. Bid farewell to the jungle and the orangutans the next day as you transfer to Kuching and pay a final visit to landmarks like the Moorish Jamek Mosque and the rural enclave of Kampung Baru with its traditional stilt houses before catching your departing flight in Kuala Lumpur. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Malaysia's Cities & Nature Tour

Slow the pace down as you cover the highlights in Kuala Lumpur before flying to Malaysian Borneo on this city and nature tour to explore Miri and Mulu. Split your time between visiting famous landmarks and museums in Kuala Lumpur and Tusan Beach outside Miri and the many impressive caves and natural wonders of Gunung Mulu National Park. 

Start the trip in Kuala Lumpur, with its iconic skyline
Start the trip in Kuala Lumpur, with its iconic skyline
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kuala Lumpur, City Tour Kuala Lumpur
Day 2 Day Trip to the Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur
Day 3 Explore Kuala Lumpur's Museums & Oceanarium Kuala Lumpur
Day 4 Fly to Miri, Visit Tusan Beach Miri
Day 5 Transfer to Gunung Mulu National Park, Explore Deer Cave & Lang Cave Mulu
Day 6 Visit an Indigenous Village, Explore Caves, Hike to a Jungle Camp Mulu
Day 7 Hike to Mount Api & the Mulu Pinnacles Mulu
Day 8 Hike to Clearwater Cave Mulu
Day 9 Transfer to Miri, Optional Activities Miri
Day 10 Depart Miri  

For the first three days, soak up Kuala Lumpur's cultural highlights like Jalan Masjid India Bazaar, Jamek Mosque, and Chinatown. Next, head to the outskirts for Sekinchan Wishing Tree and the famous Batu Caves before visiting the city's museum and exotic marine life at Aquaria KLCC. On Day 4, fly to Miri to start your Malaysian Borneo trip. At Tusan Beach on the South China Sea, enjoy panoramic views of the ocean and the "blue tears" bioluminescence phenomenon. Meanwhile, on the second half of the trip, tap into your adventurous side with four days of exploring Gunung Mulu National Park, including its caves and natural landmarks. 

Witness traditional culture firsthand by visiting a remote Penan village and longhouse. Continue to hone your spelunking skills with visits to Clearwater Cave and Wind Cave, from which you'll hike to a rainforest camp. On your hike to Mount Api the following day, notice the otherworldly rock formations called the Mulu Pinnacles. The return hike to your jungle hotel on the Melinau River passes by the caves again if you didn't get your fill of exploration the first time! End your journey at Tua Pek Kong, the oldest Chinese temple in Miri, or discover the city's museums and markets before readying for your departure. Learn more

More Great 10-Day Malaysia Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Malaysia? Check out these other 10-day Malaysia itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of 10 Days in Malaysia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 10 Days in Malaysia - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas