One of the Philippines’ richest neighbors, Malaysia is a typical Southeast Asian nation with cities, beaches, rivers, forests, mountains, and caves all in one place. If you like the convenience of the city, you can choose to live in one of its high-rise apartments that give you easy access to malls and public transportation. And if you feel like you want to de-stress for the weekend, you can always take a short drive to Port Dickson, just 1.15 hours away from the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia is one of my favorite countries for food because I love the perfect balance of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, spicy, and tangy of its local meals. And as a rice lover, there is no better way to enjoy Malaysian food with this rich carbohydrate source.
Some Tips on Visiting Malaysia:
- Philippine tourists are allowed, visa-free, up to 30 days in Malaysia. Long-term visa is only given to those with employment passes and for those traveling for medical reasons.
- It is generally affordable to stay in Malaysia. It is way more affordable compared to its direct neighbors, Brunei and Singapore. For example, a private hostel room for two can go from 20-25 USD a night; while a shared one can go as low as 5 USD a night.
- What I love most about Malaysia is its food and coffee, best enjoyed at local food joints usually situated in markets. Got 5 USD? You’ve got a long way to go, and will probably cover your breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
- It is best to enjoy the country through its well-connected public transportation. However, if you need to take a cab, take an Uber or GrabTaxi instead because taxis are not usually metered and you have to negotiate the price with the driver.
- Why I’m going back: I have yet to visit other areas outside Kuala Lumpur. And the food (*drools*)!
- As with any country in the world: Do not quickly assume. Make sense of the why behind the what first and while you’re at it, get lost and find yourself. Happy travels! 🙂
P.S. The keys to sustainable travels are universal: take public transportation | stay in accommodations where cooking is allowed (private or shared, it doesn’t matter) | walk as much as you can | wake up early | stay away from guidebooks | immerse yourself in the local language, culture and history | visit local cafés | know that the possibilities are endless | listen to your gut ❤