Posts on Malaysia by Kyle the Vagabond:
Separated into Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo, the nation of Malaysia teems with natural beauty that is often removed from many traveler’s radar. Dense, wildlife-filled
rainforests sit at the base of rugged mountain peaks, and offshore islands offer a tropical beauty both above and below the water. While transport between sites in Malaysia can sometimes be arduous and time-consuming–and the comforts of travel definitely favor those with a higher budget–the natural brilliance of Malaysia can shine through even the toughest travel headaches.
Malaysian Ringgit; Exchange Rate: $1=3.14 RM (August 6, 2010). For more currency conversion info visit xe.com
When to go:
Located smack in the heart of the tropics, heat and moisture are inevitable at any point of the year. While Borneo has a generally unpredictable tropical climate, Peninsular Malaysia sees higher rainfall on the east coast from November-March, and rain increase from May-October on the west coast.
Nearly everywhere has a 10% additional service charge and 10% additional government tax levied on every bill, so basically everything is 20% more than listed on menus, brochures, etc.
The Vagabond’s Personal Top Picks:
1. Climb Mt. Kinabalu
Take in the sunrise from over 13,000 ft. in the sky atop Southeast Asia’s highest peak. Caution: climb not for the unfit.
2. Kota Kinabalu waterfront
Enjoy a cold drink along the happening waterfront as the sun sets against the due west-facing horizon.
3. Dive the southern islands of Sabah
Legendary dive spots such as Mabul, Sipadan, and Kapalai dominate the dive scene in this aquatic paradise on golden sand shores
4. Go dark in Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur
Visit this holy Hindu site just north of the city to witness wild monkey and bats coexisting inside massive stalactite caves. The 140 ft. gold statue is kind of a plus too. You can find cheap hotels in Kuala Lumpur and plan a visit to the Batu Caves.
5. National Mosque of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
Informational pamphlets and free lecture series aim to help Westerners gain a better understanding towards the often misunderstood Islamic faith. No shorts or bare shoulders allowed.