Are you Preparing to go backpacking in Malaysia? You want to get off the beaten trail, and see something that preferably hasn’t been photographed half a million times. You want to experience life in a place very different from your home land. And you like warmth and heat and everything that goes with that.
Malaysia is a wonderful place to go backpacking. The government is stable, and the country is not unfriendly to tourists. There’s plenty to see: wild rainforests, unspoiled beaches, indigenous cultures in quantity and lots of interesting flora and fauna. Then, to balance it out, there are your big cities; bustling with typical South East Asian life. Here you get an added bonus: as Malaysia is a big cultural melting pot with ethnic Malays, Chinese, and Indians dominating, the street food is something else. If you’re an adventurous eater you’ll never go hungry in Malaysia. And the cities are fairly modern, which means you shouldn’t have much trouble finding whatever amenities you consider part of the necessities of life.
What about costs? As a more developed country, Malaysia is more expensive than much of South East Asia, and you should expect to pay more during a week backpacking in Malaysia than a week in, say, Laos or Cambodia. But it’s cheaper than Singapore, and if you have a tight budget and don’t mind sticking to lower priced food and accommodations you can get in and out without thinning out your pocket book significantly.
You’ve got your backpacking list; but what items should you add to it when getting ready to go off to Malaysia? Here are a few things you won’t want to be without:
• Sunscreen—make sure this is quality stuff, with a spf of at least 45, or you may end up red as a lobster
• Activated Charcoal: street food is good, but it’s not what you’re used to, and the hygiene is probably not what you’re used to either. When your stomach acts up, activated charcoal may be your lifesaver.
• Light, easy-dry clothes: It’s hot there, and you’ll get sweaty. Like, really sweaty. Light, breathable cotton clothes are ideal.
• A cheap mobile phone; buy a prepaid SIM card when you get there and staying in touch with people won’t be any hassle.
• Kuala Lumpur—Malaysia’s capital, this well-developed city full of high rise buildings will introduce you to the modern side of the country. While there, visit the sky-high Petronas Towers and a wildlife and botanical paradise known as the Lake Gardens.
• Penang—this city is a front-row view of old Malaysia, and a blend of Malaysian, Indian, and Chinese Cultures
• Langkawi Archipelego – there are ninty-nine islands in this archipelago, but you won’t be visiting them all; just choose one or two an enjoy the white sand, quiet beaches, and fun water activities.
• Gunung Mulu National Park—if you’re into caving this is one park you won’t want to miss Gunung Mulu National Park, home of the Sarowok Chamber, the world’s largest cave, as well as many other interesting cave systems.
• Perhentian Islands—these islands are a particular favorite for backpackers, and a good place to try out your snorkeling and diving skills.
Have fun backpacking in Malaysia—there’s a lifetime worth of exploration waiting there for you!