Malaysia was one of my favourite countries from my backpacking trip last summer. One of the most under rated in Asia, and so much to offer.
Me and my friend visited 4 places, each completely different but none disappointing in any way. Penang was beautiful and full of culture, highlights included the street of harmony which had a lovely history and Little India with its fantastic smells of amazing food. There was lots to do for free including the walking graffiti tours which we used with an app and the food museum with oversized food from around the world. The villages on the water were cool too, our hostel happened to be pretty close to everything. We took buses around the country which were all easy, cheap and surprisingly nice (minus one dodgy taxi ride in to the jungle!)
Taman Negara was amazing. On the way into the town, there were roadside signs like the ones we have in England to warn of cows crossing, except they had elephants on them. A jungle trek and a sleepover in caves was one of the best experiences. The tour guides were lovely and had tonnes of stories about fights with jaguars, sightings of elephants, and along the trek we saw our own poisonous spiders and were woken up by a hungry porcupine! One of the highlights was visiting a tribal community from a boat tour. Again, so many stories about how they live and worship the dead etc, but I won’t spoil it too much!
Definitely recommend the jungle tour tour, along with a visit to the stunning Tioman Island, and a city break in Kuala Lumpur. The little Island is a good spot for diving, watching sunsets and was really peaceful. When we arrived in KL, we were pretty happy to be back in city life, surrounded by shops and option for places to eat and drink. The shopping halls are huge, te towers are a tourist must-do and we also dressed up one night to visit a rooftop bar, the helilounge bar. We spent some time volunteering in a school with Chin refugees, it was emotional but so worthwhile and rewarding, and if you’re visiting, they’re always looking for help!