With only five days in Malaysia, focusing on one to two destinations is best. Travelers interested in urban adventures can sample street food in Kuala Lumpur and take a boat tour of UNESCO-listed Melaka. Wildlife enthusiasts can spot orangutans and more on Kinabatangan River safaris in Malaysian Borneo, while beach lovers can snorkel at Lankayan Island. Those looking for variety should head to Kuching, where they'll visit historical sites, learn about Bidayuh culture, and see endemic species at Bako National Park.
Malaysia Travel Insights
In just five days, you can experience Malaysian Borneo's highlights on wildlife tours and island trips. Take a boat ride along the Kinabatangan River deep into the rainforest to witness orangutans, proboscis monkeys, and other wildlife in their natural habitat. After a few nature tours with naturalist guides, you'll transfer to Lankayan Island to enjoy white-sand beaches and snorkeling trips to coral reefs.
With two weeks in Malaysia, you can visit five to eight destinations. Adventurous travelers should explore Langkawi island in West Malaysia while those wanting an off-the-beaten-path experience should consider Malaysian Borneo for cultural village visits and cave excursions at Gunung Mulu National Park. For natural highlights, snorkel at Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park and see orangutan sanctuaries, and add a fun day at Universal Studios Singapore for a multicountry trip.
Experience the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur to its fullest as you explore the city and its beautiful natural surroundings over five days. Stroll the charming streets of the traditional Malay village of Kampung Baru, then visit the Batu Caves and embark on a spiritual ascent of the 272 steps. Take a riverboat cruise to explore nearby Melaka before experiencing Ipoh's colonial architecture and vibrant regional cuisine. Finally, climb to the top of Petronas Twin Towers for incredible city views.
Get a taste of the diversity of Malaysia on this compact five-day trip that hits the highlights of Melaka and Kuala Lumpur. Touch down in Kuala Lumpur and hit the ground running as you transfer to Melaka to explore the city on foot. Stroll the streets of Chinatown and take a river cruise along the Melaka River, then return to the capital to see its monuments. Finish your trip with a river cruise near Kuala Selangor and enjoy an explosion of fireflies lighting up the night.
Experience the highlights of the Malaysian state of Sarawak with this five-day itinerary that blends the best of Borneo's culture and nature. From your base in the city of Kuching, you'll see the city's significant monuments on a riverboat cruise, then observe orangutans in their natural habitat at Semenggoh Nature Reserve. Wander through the otherworldly stalactites and stalagmites of the Wind and Fairy Caves, and discover secluded beaches, rainforests, and mangroves on a day trip into Bako National Park—where you're likely to spot exotic wildlife like monkeys, wild boars, and hornbills.
Glimpse Malaysian Borneo's diverse native wildlife as you follow the path of the Kinabatangan River for five days. Start in Sandakan with a walk along the Sandakan Heritage Trail, and visit the Sepilok Rehabilitation Center to observe critically endangered orangutans up close. Then it's time to cruise to the unspoiled jungles of Lower Kinabatangan to reach a comfortable lodge—which serves as your base for three days of wildlife watching, guided treks, and river safaris.
Experience the energy of Singapore before setting off along the western coast of Malaysia on this epic two-week trip. Cycle around the charming streets of Melaka, see the Petronas Twin Towers and Mahamariamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur, and take a twilight river cruise in coastal Kuala Selangor. Strike out into the ancient rainforests of Taman Negara for wildlife and canopy tours, visit the tea plantations and strawberry farms of Cameron Highlands, and learn to cook delicious Malay dishes in Penang.
Malaysia's natural beauty is just as diverse as its cultural past, and you'll get a taste of both on this two-week itinerary. Begin with strolling Melaka's riverfront promenade and see Kuala Lumpur's significant landmarks on a cycling tour around the city. Discover endemic species at Bako National Park and take jungle treks around Kampung Sadir to spot orangutans in the wild. Spend time on the coast snorkeling near Kota Kinabalu, and take river safaris down the Kinabatangan River.
Get ready for wildlife spotting on this two-week nature trip in East Malaysia's Borneo territory. Start in the colonial city of Kuching, where you'll take day trips to see caves, meet orangutans, and cruise along the Santubong River while looking for dolphins. From there, visit a working dairy farm in Kota Kinabalu and go snorkeling in the South China Sea. Keep an eye out for pygmy elephants on the Kinabatangan River before heading to Lahad Datu for bird-watching and waterfalls to finish the adventure.
Enjoy a bit of everything, from big-city attractions to natural wonders, on this two-week tour of Malaysia. Start in Kuala Lumpur, where you'll visit the famous Petronas Twin Towers and take a day trip to UNESCO-listed Melaka. Then transfer to Taman Negara for some jungle trekking and a river cruise before moving on to the tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands. Finish with sightseeing in Georgetown and island-hopping in tropical Langkawi to complete the adventure.
Head deep into the rainforest of Malaysian Borneo with this exotic and lesser-known two-week itinerary. Begin by flying into Kuching, then transfer to the Semenggoh Orangutan Center, where you'll stay at an Indigenous homestay. From here, hike to waterfalls in Kampung Sadir before flying to Mukah for craft workshops and a boat tour. Next, explore cave systems in Gunung Mulu, see the rice paddies in Kiulu, and cruise down a river known for wildlife before ending your trip in Sandakan.
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.
One week in Malaysia is enough time to visit four destinations, like the classic Melaka to Penang trip for first-timers keen on a quick pace and a variety of activities. Those that prefer a slower pace can take a Langkawi beach holiday, and food-focused travelers will enjoy feasting on dim sum in Ipoh and street food in Penang. The Borneo itineraries are best for outdoorsy types—Gunung Mulu is suited to cave enthusiasts and avid hikers, while the wildlife safaris on the Borneo Adventure are perfect for animal lovers.
Escape into the wilds of East Malaysia on this adventurous 10-day itinerary. Start among the skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur for a taste of city living, then fly on to Borneo and the Sarawak capital of Kuching. From here, you'll venture deep into Batang Ai National Park, home to the Indigenous Iban people and some of the world's last remaining orangutans. As you hop between jungle lodges and isolated camps, set out on jungle treks to spot the elusive primates alongside other remarkable wildlife.
Experience the highlights of Peninsular Malaysia on this fast-paced weeklong adventure. Begin in the charming city of Melaka, where you'll see a variety of UNESCO-listed historic buildings. Then transfer to Kuala Lumpur for some epic sightseeing with a local guide. From here, head north to enjoy cooler air—and fresh tea—in the verdant Cameron Highlands before finishing in Penang for distinct island culture and the country's best cuisine.
Get off the beaten path in Malaysia on this epic adventure to the islands of Langkawi in the Andaman Sea. Over seven event-filled days, you'll enjoy nature tours, Indigenous exchanges, and water-based activities that range from kayaking to island hopping. In between, ride a gondola, shop in duty-free stores, and immerse yourself in Malay culture as you learn the techniques for creating traditional batik art.
This exciting 10-day tour focuses on Peninsular Malaysia, between Thailand and Singapore, where you'll experience a diverse range of cultures and stunning scenery. Start the trip with a visit to the Petronas Towers and Batu Caves, then head north to the Cameron Highlands. Next is Penang Island, where you'll explore the culinary capital of Malaysia before finishing with some relaxing beach time—and a trip to an impressive SkyBridge—on Langkawi Island.
Experience the highlights of Malaysia with 10 days of city tours, museum visits, beach getaways, rainforest hikes, and much more. The adventure begins in exotic Kuala Lumpur, where you'll tour the iconic sights in and around the city. Then jet off to East Malaysia—on the island of Borneo—to hike through Gunung Mulu National Park while exploring caves, Indigenous villages, and the Mulu Pinnacles.
Discover Malaysian Borneo's northern highlights on this 10-day tour that'll take you to rainforests, highlands, and beaches. Touchdown in Sabah's capital, Kota Kinabalu, before escaping to a lodge in the Danum Valley, where you'll hike through one of the world's oldest rainforests, bathe in emerald pools, and spot eerie hanging coffins. Continue traveling through the cool-climate highlands to reach the northernmost tip of Borneo, where soft sands and aqua adventures await in Kudat.
If you've ever dreamed of visiting Malaysian Borneo, you'll love this week-long adventure deep in the rainforest. After a night in Miri, fly to Gunung Mulu National Park to hike between caves, relax by waterfalls, and learn about the diverse plants and animals that live here. Then, return to Miri and visit Niah National Park during an exciting day trip. Here you'll discover the area's fascinating archaeology, visit an Indigenous Iban longhouse, and learn about the tradition of bird's nest harvesting.
Experience the best of Malaysia over 10 days that will take you across its two principal regions. On the main peninsula, you'll tour the capital of Kuala Lumpur, visit famous cave temples, and see the highlights of Penang Island. Then you're off to Borneo, in East Malaysia, where you'll relax on remote beaches, go snorkeling, and visit local farms in the stunning highlands.
This weeklong outdoor adventure travels deep into Malaysian Borneo, where you can observe local wildlife and see spectacular rock formations and caves. First, fly into Miri and dip your toes in the South China Sea, then head to Gunung Mulu National Park. Here you'll explore the park's sprawling cave networks before hiking to a rustic wilderness camp—your base in the mountains. Complete the trip in Miri, where you'll have free time to visit cultural attractions and local markets.
This tasty seven-day itinerary hones in on Malaysia's colorful culture and distinct food scene. It begins in the capital of Kuala Lumpur, where you'll see famous skyscrapers and visit local markets to shop and eat like a local. Then head north to visit the cities of Ipoh in the Cameron Highlands and George Town on Penang Island. Eat (and sightsee) your way around these two foodie pilgrimage sites that serve up some of the best cuisines in Southeast Asia.
Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to spend in Malaysia, allowing you to explore the region's top wilderness venues and experience many of its cultural highlights. However, you can still enjoy Malaysia with far fewer days: five is long enough for a wildlife-rich rainforest experience, including time for relaxing on white sand beaches and snorkeling the Sulu Sea, while in a week to 10 days, you can dive deeper and experience multiple regions.
In Malaysia, you can expect the same climate that defines most nations in Southeast Asia: hot, humid, and rainy throughout the year. Like those other countries, Malaysia has not four seasons, but two (wet and dry), and any travel plans you make should consider this reality. That said, no matter what time of year you visit, there are parts of the country to enjoy without fear of a rainout.
May is an excellent month to head outdoors in eastern Malaysia, whether hiking through the jungles, climbing a mountain, or diving and snorkeling at pristine reefs. The weather is mostly dry in the east, making this a prime time to seek out orangutans in Borneo. Find out more below about traveling to Malaysia in May.
Tourism picks up in certain parts of Malaysia from December; while the east is drenched in rain, the west is quite dry. This is an excellent time of year for a beach vacation or to explore the cultural and historical attractions of Penang, Melaka, and the capital, Kuala Lumpur. Read on for more tips on where and what to do in Malaysia in December.
November is Malaysia's coldest month of the year, but as a tropical country, it's still warm, albeit wet. It's the low season for travel, and popular beach resorts and jungle areas are best avoided, but Malaysia's fantastic towns and cities offer plenty of cultural attractions. If you want to retreat to nature, head to the famous Cameron Highlands, which are lush at this time of year. Read on to find out more about where to go and what to do in Malaysia in November.
October is a shoulder season month for travel to Malaysia, but with warm weather (albeit a bit damp) and a host of cultural and religious festivals, there's no need to stay away. Head to Kuala Lumpur or Penang to experience Hindu festivals at their best, tour tea fields in the Cameron Highlands, or chill out on a beach in sunny Langkawi. Read on for more inspiration on what to see and do in Malaysia in October.
Rains increase in Malaysia in September, ending the long (relatively) dry season. It's the shoulder season for travel but still a great time to enjoy the country's cultural riches, particularly in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and the northern island city, Penang. Cultural and religious festivals in September, including the Hindu Navarathri and the Chinese Moon Cake Festival, add extra interest. Find out more about visiting Malaysia in September.
Malaysia is hot and humid in August, and the rains gradually return to western areas. But this is a great month to chill out on a beach in eastern Malaysia, spot orangutans in Borneo, or go bird-watching at bird sanctuaries and wildlife reserves throughout the country. Find out more about where and what to do in Malaysia in August below.
Malaysia is hot, hot, hot in July. But it's also generally dry, making this a great month for outdoor and wildlife-focused adventures. Whether you want to go diving among shipwrecks, spot birds in wildlife sanctuaries, enjoy cultural festivals in Malaysia's diverse towns and cities, or see orangutans in their natural habitat, you can do it in July. Read on to find out more about where to go and what to do in Malaysia in July.
June is peak season for travel to Malaysia, with dry weather in most parts of the country and ideal conditions for diving, orangutan-spotting, other outdoor activities, and city-based sightseeing. Whether you want to visit Peninsular Malaysia, Malaysian Borneo, or islands off the coast of these two regions, there's plenty to see and do in Malaysia in June. Read on to find out more.
Wildlife and nature lovers are in luck in Malaysia in April: the weather in Borneo is generally dry, making this an ideal time of year to go out in search of orangutans in the jungles of Sarawak and Sabah. Active travelers who want a challenge can try climbing the tallest mountain in Malaysia, Mount Kinabalu. Read on for more information about where to go and what to do in Malaysia in April.
March is an ideal time to visit Malaysia if you want to focus on wildlife and nature. The start of the dry season in the east and Borneo means travelers will be spoiled for choice. Spot orangutans in Sarawak and Sabah, climb Mt. Kinabalu, hike in the jungles, and encounter a range of other wildlife throughout the country. Read on to find out more about travel to Malaysia in March.
February is peak season for travel to Malaysia's west, particularly Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Melaka, and Langkawi. The weather is clear, and there's little rain, making it a great time to enjoy time on the beach, city sightseeing, and some lively cultural festivals. Find out more about where to go and what to do in Malaysia in February below.
With generally good weather in some of the most popular beach destinations and a host of exciting festivals, January is a good month to visit Malaysia. It's peak season in Langkawi, and Lunar New Year (if it falls in January) brings festive crowds to the cities and areas with Chinese influence, but these all add to the fun of visiting Malaysia in January. Read on to find out more.
From the Deer and Lang Caves to trekking the limestone formations of the Pinnacles Trail, there is so much to do and see in Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo. Taste unusual delicacies and delectably fresh fruits, tour cultural centers, and wander through rainforests with an eye keen to see wildlife. Learn more about Bako and Mulu National Parks, village life, and touring by longboat with detailed days below.
Sabah is an area rich with culture, astonishing wildlife, incredible natural landscapes, and wild adventure that, when combined, make this Malaysian state a true gem of Borneo. Some lesser-known experiences and off-the-beaten trails throughout Sabah are a must-see to truly embrace the beauty and diversity of this stunning tropical destination. With expert insight, you'll find the best spots, views, markets, and food to experience Sabah as the locals do.
On this 22-day adventure, you will cross Malaysian Borneo. You'll start in the state of Sabah, where you'll do river safaris, visit the island's northernmost point, and hike the highest mountain in Malaysia. Then, you'll head to the state of Sarawak, where you'll explore bat caves, stay in the heart of the jungle, and spend time in the eclectic city of Kuching. Throughout your here, you'll see many unique species, including orangutans and the rafflesia flower, the largest flower in the world.
This 14-day journey takes you deep into Malaysian Borneo. You will learn about some of the indigenous cultures that have inhabited the island for centuries, immersing in their traditions with local homestays. Simultaneously, you'll have a chance to get close to nature with jungle camping, excursions into national parks, and wildlife safaris. In the end, you'll leave with an understanding of what makes Borneo—the third largest island in the world—so incredibly unique.
With flora and fauna unlike anywhere else in the world, the Borneo rainforest offers a thrilling experience to anyone willing to venture this far. During this 5-day journey, you will explore the jungle by both river and land in search of elusive wildlife, as well as encounter endangered species through the local conservation and rehabilitation centers.
This four-day tour will take you into the heart of the jungle to search for pygmy elephants, orangutans, proboscis monkeys, and Bornean gibbons. Spend your days scanning the shores as you cruise along the river and your nights wandering the jungle trails, always in search of the next wild, elusive jungle creature.
Nature-lovers, grab your cameras! This four-day trip features wild rivers, mangroves, and a rich variety of wildlife as you make your way to Borneo's off-the-beaten-track gems for an immersive jungle experience.
Explore the beautiful Mulu Show Caves and the dramatic, razor-sharp limestone peaks known as the Pinnacles on this immersive Bornean itinerary, made with nature-lovers in mind. Come prepared for challenging hikes and stunning views at every turn.
Get up close and personal with fascinating jungle wildlife on this six-day tour of Borneo’s rainforests. Staying on the Malaysian side of this multinational island, you’ll spot a mind-blowing array of tropical birds, species of monkey, and lush vegetation. You’ll encounter indigenous wildlife like orangutans and pygmy elephants, get a glimpse into the local culture, and enjoy some jungle eco-luxury along the way.
Animal lovers and ocean enthusiasts, get ready: this five-day trip is bursting with sea and wildlife. Make your way through the five distinct habitats of the Kinabatangan River to a chalet on the beach, keeping an eye out for proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, and Pygmy elephants along the way.
Head off to East Malaysia and the island of Borneo for a week of off-the-beaten-path adventures and wildlife excursions. On this unforgettable holiday, you'll trek through virgin rainforest, go on a riverboat safari, tour local villages, and go hiking in Kinabalu National Park.
Following the trail of the White Rajahs in their late-1800s conquest to suppress the rebellious headhunters, cycle into the Iban heartland—a land of authentic longhouses, interior waterways, and rustic forts. This tour is perfect for those seeking a truly off-the-beaten-track experience of dining in longhouses with locals, listening to stories by village chiefs, and immersing themselves in the Bornean jungle.