Our 3-week Malaysia Itinerary: Exploring Diversity

Our 3-week Malaysia Itinerary: Exploring Diversity

Malaysia offers a beautiful mix of culture, nature, and adventure. Our 3-week journey began as we crossed the border from Singapore into this vibrant country. We focused on the mainland destinations as this was most obvious for our travel route. With a carefully planned itinerary, we embarked on a memorable exploration of Malaysia’s highlights.


After crossing the border with the bus from Singapore, our first destination was the charming city of Malacca. You can’t fly to Malacca, but you can fly to Kuala Lumpur and take the bus to Malacca. We stayed for a whole week in the city as we needed some time to rest after a fierce city trip in Singapore.

Malacca has a rich history and has UNESCO World Heritage status. The city welcomed us with its captivating blend of cultures. You can try different cuisines like Peranakan but also a lot of Chinese and Indian foods are found in all of Malaysia. Visit Dutch Square or Melaka Straits Mosque which seems to float on the water. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday there is a bustling (food) market at Jonker Street, starting at 6 p.m.

Kuala Lumpur

From Malacca, we took a private bus to Kuala Lumpur, where we then took a public bus into the city centre. Public transport and private buses are well organised in Malaysia.

We took five full days to explore the capital of Malaysia. Lots of time to spot the iconic Petronas Twin Towers during daytime and at night, explore the bustling streets of Bukit Bintang, eat at Jalan Alor Night Market and Tapak Urban Street Dining, and stroll through Perdana Botanical Gardens. We also took our time to visit some great spots outside the city centre. One of them was the Batu Caves, which is a must-see on your trip. This breath-taking city-escape is perfect to combine with the Federal Territory Mosque, where we got a free guide in this majestic building. We went to Thean Houtemple, from where you also have a great view of the city.

Taman Negara

In Kuala Lumpur, we took a bus to Jerantut where we took a shuttle bus to Kuala Tahan. Kuala Tahan is a small village that’s located just in front of Taman Negara National Park. If you have the budget, you can also book your accommodation inside the National Park.

We spend two nights in Kuala Tahan. Cross the river and explore one of the world’s oldest rainforests. We embarked on a night jungle trek where we saw some huntsman spiders, fluorescent scorpions and snakes. The day after, the famous Canopy Walkway granted us a bird’s-eye view of the lush forest. If you’re more into adventure, you can book a multiple-day trek.

Cameron Highlands

From Taman Negara, we took a bus to Cameron Highlands, where we booked just two nights in the mountains.

We hiked down to Bharat Tea Plantation and did Hike 10. Unfortunately, we couldn’t visit more tea plantations due to road constructions and it would take us too many hours to get to Boh Tea Estate. We skipped Mossy Forest as we heard it became quite a touristy thing and not worth the money. Cameron Highlands, located in the mountains, offers a refreshing break from the tropical heat.

Cameron Highlands tea plantation


We took another bus from Cameron Highlands to Ipoh, known as a cultural gem with culinary delights. We stayed three full days in Ipoh. We walked the heritage walk in the old town and admired all the colonial architecture. A Grab took us outside the city to hike through the beautiful surroundings of Ipoh. Although we read a lot of positive things about Ipoh, we thought it was a bit empty and cafes and restaurants were closed most of the time. Maybe it was because of the Malaysian school holiday, but we had a bit of an unfulfilled experience with the city of Ipoh. The outskirts of the city are absolutely astonishing though!


From Ipoh, we took a bus to Butterworth, where we took the ferry to Georgetown just an hour later. Trains are also a good option for this route. We spend four days on the island of Penang.

Our hotel was located in Georgetown, which is the ideal base to see more of Penang. Georgetown has a rich heritage, you can explore its colonial-era buildings, temples and mosques. Have a walk through some of the jetties and see the unique waterfront settlements that are characterised by traditional Chinese wooden houses built on stilts, extending out over the water. Walking through the streets of the UNESCO-listed George Town is like a cultural immersion. Leave Georgetown to be in nature at Penang Hill.

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