2 Week Malaysia Itinerary For City, Beach & Nature Lovers

Malaysia itinerary

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So you have 2 weeks in Malaysia? You’re going to love it. Since it’s one of my favourite Southeast Asian countries, I can’t wait to share my Malaysia itinerary to help you love it, too.

While Malaysia receives plenty of tourism, it’s not as popular on the backpack trail as Thailand or Bali. There are plenty of places to escape the crowds and enjoy places you haven’t seen before on Instagram.

If you time for a 2 week Malaysia itinerary, you can get off-the-beaten-track and explore all kinds of diverse destinations.

MALAYSIA ESSENTIALS

E-sim data plan

Copy of Lonely Planet Malaysia

Check visas requirements: iVisa

Getting around: bus and train (12GoAsia)

Pre-book your KL airport to city transfer

Accommodation: Browse hotels on Booking.com // hostels on Hostelworld

Tours: GetYourGuide

Travel insurance: World Nomads

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Many of the best things to do in Southeast Asia can be found in Malaysia. There’s no much variety: Kuala Lumpur is a cultural melting pot with authentic street food alongside opulent sky bars.

But Malaysia isn’t all about big cities: there are some gorgeous small cities like Melaka and Ipoh which are lesser-known to tourists but great for soaking up the charm of Malaysia.

Visiting neighbour countries? Check out my 3 month Southeast Asia itinerary

Then, there are quirky cities like George Town on the island of Penang with countless hipster cafes and plenty of day trips around the island.

There are also paradise beaches like Langkawi and the Perhentian Islands, as well as dense rainforest in Taman Negara National Park and rolling tea plantations in the Cameron Highlands. Malaysia really has everything!

Check out my other 2 week Asia itineraries to Taiwan, Vietnam, Bali and Korea.

Two weeks in Malaysia itinerary

I’m going to share three different 2 week Malaysia itineraries: one for city lovers, one for nature lovers and one for beach lovers.

Follow whichever one best suits you or mix them up. I’ll share the majority of details in the first itinerary as some destinations overlap, then I’ll introduce the new destinations in the following 2 itineraries.

Read next: 101 Southeast Asia backpacking tips

Malaysia 2 week itinerary for nature lovers

Days 1-2 Kuala Lumpur

Whether you’re a city lover or not, you can’t visit Malaysia and not explore Kuala Lumpur. The capital is one of the flashiest cities in Southeast Asia, apart from maybe Bangkok.

The iconic Petronas Towers were once the tallest buildings in the world and although they’ve since lost the title, they make for an impressive view while sipping cocktails from a sky bar opposite.

Petronas towers Kuala Lumpur Malaysia itinerary
Petronas Towers

Day 1: Explore Chinatown, a vibrant area of Kuala Lumpur. Head inside Indian temple, Sri Mahamariamman, and Chinese temple, Guan Di, to begin soaking up the culture.

Browse Petaling Street which is an atmospheric market, although a little rough around the edges.

Check out the wet market behind with authentic food stalls like Madras Lane Curry Laksa. You can also find tasty cuisine in Tang City Food Court, as well as Insta-friendly Merchant’s Lane Cafe and charming Old China cafe with 100 years of history.

For the afternoon, take a trip over to Merdeka Square where you can see Jamek Mosque and the impressive Sultan Abdul Samad Building. Then, take a taxi or walk over to KL Forest Eco Park where you can walk swinging canopy bridges over the rainforest with skyscraper views.

For the evening, spot street art in Bukit Bintang neighbourhood before the sun sets. Eat dinner at Jalan Alor Night Market which gets busy after 7pm with locals dining outside on char kway teow, dim sum and other Malay, Indian and Chinese dishes. If you have energy left, there are lots of bars around Bukit Bintang.

Check out my Kuala Lumpur guides:

Day 2: For the second day of your Malaysia itinerary, we’ll explore the culture and get to know the country’s ethnic populations. Start by catching a taxi to Thean Hou Temple, an enormous temple site dedicated to the Chinese goddess of the sea.

After an hour wandering around and taking photos, call another Uber to Brickfields, the Indian neighbourhood, for an early lunch of curry on a banana leaf. Yum!

Thean Hou Temple Kuala Lumpur
Thean Hou Temple

I recommend GetYourGuide for KL activities:

For the afternoon, board a train from KL Sentral to The Batu Caves. Check train times on Google Maps because often they only depart every hour.

If you’d prefer, take a guided tour to Batu Caves ($8 USD) or a half day KL tour inc a Batu Caves stop ($14).

The vibrant Batu Caves are a vibrant addition to your Malaysia 2 week itinerary. You can walk up the rainbow stairs provided your legs and shoulders are covered (sarongs can be rented at the bottom if not) and explore the cave temple at the top.

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia itinerary
Iconic Batu Caves

Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur: For a friendly backpackers with private and dorm rooms in the heart of Chinatown, stay at Explorers Guesthouse for $7pn. To splash out, stay at The Face Suites for the incredible infinity pool for $85pn.

Days 3-5: Taman Negara

To visit Malaysia’s biggest national park, translating into Bahasa adventurously as ‘National Park’, you can travel independently or take a tour.

While it takes a while to get there, visiting this 130 million-year-old rainforest was a highlight of my Malaysia itinerary.

Taman Negara 2 week itinerary Malaysia
Swinging bridge in the rainforest

While you can visit Teman Negara without a tour, I enjoyed the chance to relax and let someone else take the lead during my busy 2 weeks in Malaysia.

We departed KL and rode in a minibus until transferring to a longboat and travelling to Kuala Tahan, the village at the heart of the park. From there, we spent 2 days walking canopy bridges, taking guided nature walks, rapid shooting and meeting the local community who live in the forest.

The tour included all our meals and accommodation and they even helped organise our onwards journeys, mine to Tanah Rata in the Cameron Highlands.

To visit independently (and stay overnight) take bus and boat from the Han Travel and organise your own activities when you arrive. Alternatively, visit as part of a day trip from KL.

Days 6-8: Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands Malaysia itinerary

Two weeks in Malaysia wouldn’t be complete without the Cameron Highlands, a misty land of rolling hills and tea plantations stretching as far as the eye can see.

Once you know it was a British hill station, the reason for the tea is clear. The best place to stay is the town of Tanah Rata where you can organise tours and sample excellent Indian food along the high street.

Depending on what you want to do, you can spend one or two days in the Cameron Highlands. We spent the first day visiting tea plantations and strawberry fields on a guided tour and a second day hiking in the Cameron Highlands.

There’s not much by the way of nightlife but at least you can relax and sip some excellent tasting tea! Alternatively, visit the Cameron Highlands as a day tour from KL.

Days 9-11: Penang

The next stop for our 2 week Malaysia itinerary is the island of Penang off the west coast of Malaysia.

Not only is there lots of nature, hiking and scenery on Penang but it’s a good launching point for our final destination, Langkawi. The best place to stay is the island’s main city of George Town.

This hipster city is known for street art famously created by Ernest Zacharevic, as well as world-class street food and more recently, hipster Penang cafes.

Penang Malaysia itinerary
Ernest Zacharevic street art

Day 9: Arrive and head out for some Penang street food. Check out my guide for all the best things to do in Penang which include exploring Little India, the numerous temples, Clan Jetties floating houses and, most importantly, eating cake at Chinahouse cafe.

Day 10: Take a day trip over to Kek Lok Si Temple in nearby Air Itam town. After lunch of famous asam laksa at Pasar Air Itam Laksa, continue to Penang Hill. You can hike or take a cable car up to the top and look out over the island.

Read next: visiting Kek Lok Si from George Town

Day 11: Spend the day exploring Penang National Park. Located 20km from Penang, you can drive there in 30 minutes from George Town and spend the day trekking, walking the Canopy Walkway and visiting Monkey Beach.

If you’re not hiring a car during your 2 weeks in Malaysia, you can take an organised day trip to Penang National Park or catch the 101 bus from George Town for 4 MYR.

The first bus is at 5.30am and the last is at midnight so you’ll have plenty of time to make a day of it. For more details, visit this blog on visiting Penang National Park.

Where to stay in Penang: For a comfy backpack budget option with small dorms and private rooms, stay at Ryokan Muntri Boutique Hostel. For stylish, rustic hotel rooms with an onsite coffee shop and bakery, stay at Kim Haus Loft for $45pn.

The best budget hotel is Rope Walk Guest House located in the middle town, 5-10mins walking distance to all the UNESCO sites, street art, cafes, food courts and the main bus terminal. Rooms start from $18pn.

Days 12-14: Langkawi

To finish off your Malaysia itinerary for 2 weeks, relax on the beach in beautiful Langkawi. This gorgeous island across from Penang is one of the best places in Malaysia for holiday vibes, as well as wildlife and natural scenery.

To arrive, simply catch a ferry from Swettenham Pier for 80 RM, taking 3 hours in total.

Langkawi Malaysia
Langkawi is a must for 2 weeks in Malaysia

Day 13: Consider taking a boat tour around the highlights of Langkawi. As well as watching eagles soar to catch fish, you can swim and visit quieter beaches only accessible by private boat.

Day 14: Relax on the beach or explore the island further, soaring over Langwaki on Langkawi Cable Car or walking Langkawi Sky Bridge.

Malaysia 2 week itinerary for city lovers

Want to focus more on cities than nature during your 2 weeks in Malaysia? Follow this itinerary.

Days 1-2: Kuala Lumpur – as above

Days 3-4: Melaka

Melaka Malaysia itinerary
Melaka Straits Mosque

The small city of Melaka is a lovely place to visit during 2 weeks in Malaysia. You can actually take a Melaka day trip from Kuala Lumpur if you’re short on time but I’d recommend staying over if possible.

In many ways, Melaka is a strange place, for example the central square’s windmills and church dating back to Dutch colonial rule of Melaka from 1641 to 1826. Even weirder, you’ll see (and hear!) ridiculous Minion and Hello Kitty tricycles roaming the streets playing Nicki Minaj and offering rides.

Aside from these oddities, Melaka is a charming town with lots of Straits Heritage buildings lived in by the Chinese community. If you’re staying for the weekend, make sure you eat and soak up the atmosphere at Jonkers Street Night Market.

You can also take a trip to Melaka Straits Mosque, eat at authentic Melaka restaurants, and explore the street art.

Days 5-7: Ipoh

From Melaka, you can catch a direct bus passing back through KL to one of my favourite places in Malaysia. If you’re short on time, take a KL to Ipoh return day tour.

The charming city of Ipoh is a must for your Malaysia 2 week itinerary with some impressive countryside and cave temples surrounding it. I actually preferred it to Melaka.

Read about everything I got up to in my Ipoh itinerary.

Ipoh street art Malaysia
Colourful Ipoh

Day 6: Explore the highlights of Ipoh. Start your day at Old Town White Coffee before spotting street art along Mural Art’s Lane, visit Panglima Kinta Mosque, then soak up the markets and heritage buildings along Concubine Lane and Market Lane. Eat famous chicken rice at Luo Wang.

Day 7: Take a trip to the cave temples surrounding Ipoh. Sam Poh Tong is a Chinese Buddhist temple about 5km from Ipoh with colourful statues from Chinese mythology (and a random Pegasus statue). Entrance is free and there’s a hidden temple at the back.

Kek Lok Tong is another set of caves, although the highlight is the incredible scenery rather than the temples inside. Wander around the 14km grounds surrounded by limestone peaks.

Continue to Perak Cave Temple, another impressive place with lots of religious cave art and a panoramic view from the top. Check out my guide to visiting the Ipoh cave temples.

Ipoh Caves itinerary Malaysia
Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple, Ipoh

Where to stay in Ipoh: I stayed at Abby by the River Hotel which was a good budget backpack option. If you have a higher budget, M Boutique Station 18 is a lovely guesthouse with quirky details for $40pn.

Days 8-9: Cameron Highlands

From Ipoh, you’re only an hour and a half from the Cameron Highlands, one of the most naturally beautiful places I visited during 2 weeks in Malaysia. Why not take a break from culture and cities and spend a couple of days soaking up the natural beauty and drinking tea?

A night in Tanah Rata is enough to see the region if you’re not trekking. Jump up to my first 2 week nature itinerary above.

Days 10-12: George Town, Penang

City lovers should not miss Penang from their 2 week Malaysia itinerary. It’s easy to spend a couple of days enjoying city life in George Town while eating amazing street food and visiting Chinese temples, Hindu temples, mosques and even churches.

If you visit on a Sunday, take a trip to Hin Bus Depot where the weekend market sees live music, food trucks and a craft market.

Kek Lok Si Penang Malaysia
Day trip to Kek Lok Si Temple

The amount of time you spend in Penang depends how many day trips you take from George Town.

As well as visiting Kek Lok Si Temple, you can take a day trip to Penang National Park or explore the island further. Jump back up to my first Malaysia itinerary for the details. Check out my Penang guides:

Days 13-14: Langkawi

After your busy 2 week itinerary of Malaysia, head over to Langkawi on the ferry for some beach chills. Jump back up for all the details.

Malaysia itinerary for 2 weeks – beach lovers

Days 1-2: Kuala Lumpur – as above

Days 3-7: Perhentian Islands

Located off the northeast coast of Malaysia, the Perhentian Islands are a must for beach lovers spending two weeks in Malaysia. I’m pretty sure you could spend your whole Malaysia itinerary here and leave happy (although I’m including a few extra destinations too).

There are two islands to visit, Besar (big) and Kecil (small) so I would suggest spending a good chunk of time in the Perhentians in order to see them both.

Langkawi Malaysia itinerary
Paradise in the Perhentians

Seasonal note – the best time to visit is March to early November as monsoon season draws in soon after. Unlike many beach destinations around the world, there’s a limited window each year for visiting the Perhentian Islands. Make sure to book your accommodation ahead of time as things can get booked up.

Getting to the Perhentian Islands from Kuala Lumpur: The cheapest option is an overnight bus from PWTC Station in Kuala Lumpur arriving at Kuala Besut where you can catch a ferry to the Perhentians. Alternatively, AirAsia fly into Kota Bharuor Kuala Terrengganu and catch a ferry.

Days 4-5: Perhentian Besar. Visit Turtle Beach and spot turtles from Turtle Point. There are lots of locations around the coast for snorkelling and diving. This island is slightly quieter than Kecil so if you are looking for a relaxing stay, this is the spot.

Days 6-7: Perhentian Kecil. This island may be the smaller of the two but it’s the most popular, making it best for meeting other travellers and finding good deals on snorkelling and diving.

You can even take your PADI license while looking for sharks and turtles. Long Beach is where most tourists stay but you can also explore quieter Coral Beach and stay for sunset.

Days 8-9: Ipoh / Cameron Highlands

Choose either Ipoh or the Cameron Highlands as a stop-off in central Malaysia, although Ipoh is slightly easier to reach. Catch the ferry from the Perenthians then a bus changing at Pasir Puteh.

Alternatively, you could head to Penang from the Perenthians and then on to Langkawi Island.

Days 10-11: Penang – as above

Days 12-14: Langkawi – as above

I hope you enjoyed my Malaysia itinerary and you have a fantastic time during your 2 weeks in Malaysia. This country is so full of friendliness, food and diverse destinations that you’d be hard pushed not to!

Thanks for reading my Malaysia itinerary

See you next time,

Rose

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MALAYSIA ITINERARY 2 WEEKS

Malaysia useful links

FlightsI use Skyscanner and Kayak and search by month to see the cheapest dates.

Confused about visas? I use iVisa to check visa requirements and apply for visas online.

Stay connected with E-sim data plans that don’t require delivery or collection; just span the QR code.

In my opinion, Lonely Planet offer the best guidebooks. Get the latest Copy of Lonely Planet Malaysia.

For Malaysia buses and trains, I use 12GoAsia. The search feature allows you to compare prices and durations.

I use Booking.com for accommodation. They have the best range of hotels and self-catering apartments, plus you can filter by review score and price to find the best-rated budget places. For hostels, I use Hostelworld.

To save money on accommodation, I use Trusted Housesitters, a website that connects homeowners going away and travellers who can sit their homes & pets.

For activities, I use GetYourGuide and Viator as they both have a huge range of affordable tours.

Need travel insurance? I use World Nomads. They cover 150 countries and have 24-hour emergency assistance.

Check out my resources page for more travel discounts and tips!

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