Faces of
Malaysia
Kuantan

Kuantan is the largest city of the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia with a population of about half a million. It is also the capital of the state of Pahang.

Kuantan is located about halfway between Singapore (to the south) and Kota Bahru (to the north). The city is situated at the coast of the South China Sea near the mouth of the Kuantan River. The city is not a major tourist destination, rather a stopover point for island destinations (Tioman, Redang, Perhentians, etc.) along the East Coast. From Kuantan you can also also reach the popular beach in Cherating in less than an hour with the local Bus.

Alor Setar

Alor Setar is the capital of the state of Kedah. It is a transit point for trips to Thailand and to Pulau Langkawi. The ferry to Langkawi departs from Kuala Kedah, just few minutes outside of Alor Setar. The city is a center of Malay culture and is surrounded by paddie fields .

Ipoh

Ipoh is the apital of the state of Perak and the fourth largest city of peninsular Malaysia with a population of 760,000 (Metro area: 1.4 Mil). It is scenically located amoung karst limestone hills in the Kinta Valley, about 2 1/2 hours north of Kuala Lumpur. The city is somehow forgotten by most travellers in Malaysia, however it has a lot to offer with many colonial buildings and shophouses (it used to be a very rich city around the turn of the 19th century due to tin mining) and the nature (hills, caves) around. Among Malaysians it is known for good food like the popular Ipoh Chicken Rice.

Pulau Kapas

Pulau Kapas is a small island located only about 6km off Marang in the east coast state of Terengganu (about 1h north of Kuala Terengganu). It has quite and relaxed atmosphere because it is bypassed by the majority of the backpacker circuit looking for a more remote place like the Perhentian Islands. Pulau Kapas only get fairly busy on the weekends when locals come to island. There are a few good snorkeling spots around the island. All accommodations and beach are on the west coast facing the mainland. The west coast is the weather side has no sand beach, only rocks - it can be reached after a short walk through the jungle. Pulau Kapas shuts down during the monsoon season between November and February.

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Langkawi, Underwater World
Langkawi
Underwater World
Taman Panorama, view east towards the sea
Taman Panorama
view east towards the sea


The Responsible Tourist and Traveller

This is practical 8-step guide based on the "Global Code of Ethics" for Tourism of the World Tourism Organization. It promotes traveling with an open mind and respect for people, culture, animals and environment.

Chinese New Year in Malaysia

Chinese New Year, the spring festival, is the most important holiday for the Chinese community and a public holiday in Malaysia.

ETS Train Route: Alor Setar - Butterworth - Ipoh - KL

The modern electrified train service along the west coast of the Peninsula connecting the border to Thailand (Padang Besar) with Kuala Lumpur and beyond

Crossroads by Jim Baker

A popular history of Malaysia and Singapore

Travelling and flying with a baby

This is our experience of travelling with a 8-month to 11-month old baby.

The long day wanes (Anthony Burgess)

A Malayan Trilogy - set in the 1950s in the post-war and pre-independence Malaya

Reactions to the Malaysian Election 2018 results

With the 2018 Election Malaysia witnessed a change of government for the first time in its history since independence from the British in 1957.

Malaysian News Snippets 2018

General Election / Airbnb popularity rise / new tallest building

Vaisakhi Festival

Vaisakhi religious festival in Sikhism and Hinduism and is celebrated by the Punjabi / Sikh minority in Malaysia.

How to Properly Secure your Data while Traveling

When traveling for work or leisure, we often remember to secure everything else but our data.

Kuala Lumpur - Butterworth

How to get from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth

... read more stories

Things to Do & See

Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore

Singapores oldest and most important Hindu temple, right in the middle of Chinatown

Batu Kucing, Pulau Lang Tengah

Lookout rock in the south-east of Pulau Lang Tengah with spectacular views

Lake Titiwangsa, Kuala Lumpur

Lake Titiwangsa - also known as Taman Tasik Titiwangsa - is a recreational park and lake north of downtown Kuala Lumpur with good photo opportunities and the adjacent Istana Budaya, an arts and culture centre.

Restaurants & Food Courts

Yoko’s, Kuala Lumpur

Japanese restaurant and bar on Changkat Bukit Bintang

The Social, Kuala Lumpur

Restaurant (western and asian food) and bar with live music on Changkat Bukit Bintang

Betel Box Bistro, Singapore

The Betel Box Bistro is a Peranakan neighbourhood restaurant in the historic Joo Chiat / Katong district of Singapore. It shares a traditional shophouse with the Betel Box Hostel.

Nightlife

The Magnificent Fish & Chips Bar, Kuala Lumpur

Restaurant and bar on Changkat Bukit Bintang

Finnegan’s Irish Pub, Kuala Lumpur

Irish pub and restaurant on Changkat Bukit Bintang

Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur

Bangsar, to the south of downtown, popular entertainment area for local yuppies and expats with an Mediterranean flair.

Transport

MRT KL, Kuala Lumpur

After the opening of the 2 LRT lines in 1998 and the Monorail in 2003, the long overdue first MRT line was opened in 2017.

Bas Kite, Kuala Terengganu

Bus Kite - meaning Our Bus - is KT's version of a hop-on hop-off bus along 2 routes

Pudu Sentral, Kuala Lumpur

Pudu Sentral is the new name for Puduraya Bus Terminal which serves north-bound buses

Shopping

Plaza Low Yat (Tech Mall), Kuala Lumpur

Low Yat is the place go to buy electronic and high-tech stuff like computers, laptops , computer parts and accessories, cameras, mobile phones, blanks discs etc.

BB Plaza / Sungei Wang, Kuala Lumpur

Sungei Wang, located in Bukit Bintang, is the oldest shopping complex in downtown Kuala Lumpur. The connected BB Plaza was shutdown in 2015 because of the MRT construction to make way for a new high-rise building.

VivoCity, Singapore

Singapore's largest shopping mall, located at HarbourfFront with direct connection to Sentosa Island via Monorail or Boardwalk, also has a Golden Screen Cinema

(Day) Trips

Bukit Tinggi, Kuala Lumpur

Bukit Tinggi is a hill retreat area about 55km northeast of Kuala Lumpur with resort hotels - most notably the french village themed Colmar Tropicale, a japanese garden, botanical garden and activities like horse riding, paintball, mountain biking and golf .

Fraser’s Hill, Kuala Lumpur

Hill resort at 1,500 meters above sea-level on the Titiwangsa mountain range, about 100km north of Kuala Lumpur. Originally set up as a tin-ore trading post in the 1890s, it consists of seven hills.

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, Kuala Lumpur

Elephant Orphanage Sanctuary about 100km (2 hours driving time) east of Kuala Lumpur has been translocating elephants since the 1980s. The sanctuary is open to public.

... view all hostels

Members of Backpacking Asia Network
Step Inn Guesthouse, Kuala Lumpur
Guesthouse / hostel situated close to Pudu Sentral (Puduraya) bus terminal in a quite back road, halfway between Bukit Bintang and Chinatown ... more
Arch Studio Cenang, Langkawi

boutique hotel  at Cenang beach with exceptional loft design

... more
Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya Eco Resort,
Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya is an Eco-Resort in the jungles of Pahang only accessible via off road 4×4 vehicles, about 1 hour outside of Kuala Lumpur. It offers 3 types of accommodation: campsite, dormitory and chalets. ... more
Crystal Yacht, Langkawi
Crystal Yacht offers sailing yacht cruises around Langkawi and the Andaman Sea ... more
Red Palm, Kuala Lumpur

Our favourite hostel in KL closed 2015. RIP Red Palm. We miss you!!!

... more
Taman Negara, plants of Taman negara
Taman Negara
plants of Taman negara
DID YOU KNOW?
Buses

It’s very convenient to take busses in Malaysia. The condition of roads and buses are very good. There several privat and a national bus line (Transnasional). Usual it’s no problem to get ticket on short notice unless there’s a major holiday like Hari Raya (end of Ramadan), Deepavali or Chinese New Year. A 2-hour ride from KL to Melaka costs around RM10 and a 5h ride to Penang around RM25.

Bako National Park, Bornean Bearded Pig
Bako National Park
Bornean Bearded Pig
Attractions

Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Perhentian Islands

The small (=kecil) island. With plenty of low-priced accommodation the island is a backpackers favorite and can get quite crowded at peak season on Long Beach.

KL City Walk, Kuala Lumpur

Pedestrian strip mall with fashion boutiques, bistros, cafes, signature culinary and service retailers. KL city walk is located along a 500m long strip between Jalan P. Ramlee and Jalan Pinang, near the Twin Towers.