10 Fun & Awesome Things To Do In Malaysia

,

A visit to Malaysia is bound to be nothing less than a trip you’ll never forget! There are so many things to see and do in Malaysia, that wherever you go, you’ll surely run into something unique and surprising! Whether it is food, adventure, shopping, or entertainment, Malaysia never ceases to surprise its visitors. The country is blessed with astounding natural beauty too, including pristine beaches, the world’s oldest tropical rainfrest and the oldest national park, ideal for hiking enthusiasts.  Check out this list of 10 fun & awesome things to do during your next trip to Malaysia!

1) Snorkeling / Diving around The Perhentian Islands

Easily one of the most beautiful parts of the country, spending a day on a boat exploring the underwater life around the Perhentian Islands will be a highlight of your vacation.  You’ll be left speechless at the underwater life, beautiful corla, and you’re also pretty much guaranteed to see a couple turtles!

DCIM109GOPRO

2)  Genting Highlands, Kuala Lumpur

Welcome to the ‘City of Entertainment’ – Genting highlands – a magnificent resort perched on a hilltop, about 50km from the city of Kuala Lumpur, offering the coolest getaway to re-charge yourself! Home to the only casino in Malaysia, Genting Highlands also offers indoor and outdoor theme parks, over 50 fun rides and about 150 outlets comprising numerous restaurants and shopping centres.

3)  Exploring the Cameron Highlands

Just a bit further north from the Genting Highlands, you’ll find yourself mesmerized incredible green and luscious rolling landscapes.  Choose between jungle trekking, exploring tea plantations, or stunning view points.  The Cameron Highlands is a visit to

DSC_1870

4)  Butterfly Park Tour, Kuala Lumpur

Who wouldn’t want to recall childhood day trying to catch colourful butterflies, or trying to fly like one?! Serenity of nature, a beautifully manicured garden with lush greenery and colourful flowers, and a haven where one can relax on the benches or soak in the sweet incense of exotic flowers, the Butterfly Park in Kuala Lumpur is a must-visit! An ideal destination for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers, this is the largest butterfly park in Southeast Asia, where you can admire up to 6000 butterflies from over 120 species!

5) Pulau Payar Marine Park, Langkawi

Time to bid goodbye to all your worries and gear up for some excitement! Go snorkelling or swim with the colourful fishes at the Pulau Payar Marine Park. This uninhabited, well-preserved marine park, surrounded by coral reefs and ideal for an extensive array of water-sport activities, is one of the most exciting places to visit in Malaysia. If you are not a fan of water-sports, go and check out the surrounding hiking trails or simply sit back and admire the endless ocean – a diverse mix of shades of blue!

6)  Try Malaysia’s delicious Cuisine!

Do we even need to mention the food trails of Malaysia? Malaysian cuisine is not about a few particular foods, rather, it’s all about the country’s culinary diversity and dynamic mixture stemming from its multi-ethnic population of Indians, Malay, Chinese, Eurasians, and the indigenous people of Borneo. Malaysian food is all about letting your senses tantalise your taste buds by sampling the best dishes of Malaysia. Truly, feasting on the heavenly Malaysian cuisine on your holiday is a one-of-its-kind experience which shouldn’t be missed!

DSC_1922

7)  Experience Paradise on Pulau Kapas

While not one of the most well-known islands in Malaysia, Pulau Kapas might just be the most stunning islands I’ve ever visited.  This idyllic island is just a short 20 minute boat ride from the mainland, and will keep you there much longer than expected.  With no roads on this island, you’ll truly experience the laidback island lifestyle.  There’s amazing snorkeling just a short swim off the beach, crystal clear water, and a few amazing spots to eat!

DSC_1543

8)  Khoo Kongsi, Penang

One of the best things to do in Malaysia is visiting the famous Khoo Kongsi clan house. Hidden in a maze of alleys, this clan house was built more than 100 years ago. One of the country’s hidden gems, the grandest clan temple is surrounded by tall buildings, and inside clan temple, you will witness elaborate murals and carvings that reek of a rich history. Believers come here for religious reasons, while non-believers come to feast on its ornamental architecture. Whether it is a New Year’s celebration or a cultural show, the grandeur of this place has to be seen, in order to be believed.

 

9)  Cable-car ride and oriental village tour, Langkawi

Not a hiking enthusiast? Not a problem! Hop onto a cable-car that will take you to the peak of Mount Mat Chinchang, from where you can soak in legendary views of the fascinating island of Langkawi. The breath-taking scenery, the rustic ambience enhanced by rich flora and fauna, and the spectacular limestone formations – Langkawi is an idyllic retreat. Experience the thrill of speed while riding the longest free-span single-rope cable car ride of the Oriental Village through the virgin forest of Langkawi, and immerse yourself into in the serenity of the environment.

10) Rooftop Views in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur has made this list a few times already ,but for good reason.  Whether you’re enjoying a drink on a helipad, or swimming in one of the most amazing infinity pools, you definitely can’t miss the opportunity to get an amazing view of the city from up above.

[divider]

I collaborated on this post with the awesome people over at HolidayMe to promote some of their amazing tour packages in Malaysia!  As always, all opinions are my own, and think Malaysia is an incredible country that I strongly encourage people to visit!  

Like this post?  Follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for more adventures Around The World…

The 15 Best Places To Party in South-East Asia

, , , , , , , ,

Looking for the best places to party in South-East Asia?

You’ve come to the right place…

Whether you move over here to teach English, book a short vacation, or embark on long-term backpacking trip — you are going to fall in love with South-East Asia.  The food, the culture, the beaches, the islands, the cities, the hostels…and the epic parties.  This region of the world has it all.

I’ve spent over 18 months in total traveling around South-East Asia, and I’m always down for a good rager.  I’ve always said that I’m happiest when I’m on a tropical beach, listening to good music, and watching the sunset (or sunrise after a long night of dancing).

I’ve put together this list of which I believe to be the best 15 places to party in South-East Asia.  If you’ve been to any of these places, I’m sure you can agree that they are all amazing places to get a little boozy, meet fellow travelers, and have a solid night.  If you’re planning a trip to any of these destinations, feel free to Contact Me with any questions you have.  I’d be happy to help out anyway with any questions.

How many have you already visited…?


1)  Koh Phangan, Thailand

IMG_2339

While most people head to Koh Phangan just for the infamous Full Moon Party — this island actually has so much more to offer.  I like to refer to Koh Phangan as the “Ibiza of South-East Asia”, because there is literally a different party every night of the week.   If you’re planning a trip anytime soon, make sure you check out a website called the Phanganist.com.  They go over all the parties, hostel information, and other useful tips for visiting Koh Phangan.

Parties On The Island To Check Out Other Than The Full Moon Party  

  • Merkaba Beach Club — A really cool Ibiza style club with a pool, and amazing underground house music.  Check the FB page for upcoming party dates.  I actually went here one night instead of the FMP!  Located just a short drive away from Haad Rin Beach.
  • Maya — A beautiful and colorful venue in the jungle.  The type of music varies for each party, but it’s definitely worth a visit.
  • Guy’s Bar / Eden — An absolute must attend during your visit to Koh Phangan.  Tucked away in the deep part of the jungle, these are two of the best places to party on the island.  Known for it’s long hours, it’s the party that doesn’t stop.  It’s hard to get to, where you have to take a jungle taxi or boat to get to, but it’s well worth it!
  • The Jungle Experience — Normally happens before and after each Full Moon.  A bit expensive for the entry charge at 400 baht, but it’s a solid party with amazing music.  You’ll meet a ton of people, and see some pretty interesting characters dressed up in crazy body paint.
  • Sandcastle — A small club venue located in Haad Rin that is the best place to party during the Full Moon Party.  It’s not located directly on the beach, but definitely cruise here for a couple drinks.
  • Backyard Afterparty — If you go to the FMP and don’t see the sunrise, consider yourself a failure.  As well, part of the Koh Phangan experience is going to an afterparty.  Go to BACKYARD.  It’s amazing.

IMG_2340


2)  Vang Vieng, Laos

DSC_0267

The hedonistic party capitol of Laos has gotten a bad reputation in the past decade for being a destination fueled by booze, drugs, sex, and irresponsible backpackers.  Several years ago a few backpackers died in Vang Vieng, and the local authorities finally cracked down on the city.

While the current party status of Vang Vieng might be a little bit more tame than “the glory days”…have no fear– this place is still absolutely insane.  If you’re not careful — you will lose your mind.

Tubing in Vang Vieng is an absolute blast.  It’s basically a bar crawl, but instead of walking from place to place, you float down your tube (beer in hand), and get pulled back to the mainland with a rope at the next bar.  The backpacker vibe is awesome.  Everyone is here to meet people, drink, and have a good time.

DCIM103GOPRO

One of the bar stops while tubing in Vang Vieng

DCIM102GOPRO

When you’re not tubing,  you’ll most likely find yourself paryting at one place — SAKURA BAR.  The motto of this place is “Drink Triple, See Double, Act Single.”  This place gets ridiculous at night, and you’ll definitely love it.  They offer free alcohol every night before 8 P.M, decent drink specials, and sell large laughing gas balloons.

If you happen to find yourself in Vang Vieng on a Friday night — make sure you check out the weekly Jungle Party.  It’s about a 15 minute drive away from the main strip, but there is free transportation available outside Sakura bar.  The venue is really cool, the party lasts all night, and it’s amazing underground house music.  Don’t miss out!  They also sell mushroom shakes there if you’re feeling like taking a trip down the rabbit hole.

DSC_0488


3)  Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

DSC_0382

The largest of the three Gili Islands has been nicknamed “The Party Island” — and for a very good reason.  Gili Trawangan isn’t just one of the most beautiful places in South-East Asia, it’s by far one of the craziest places to get your drink on.  There is a “weekly schedule” on the island for which bars / clubs to go to, and each and every one of them is a pretty damn good time.

As well, Gili Trawangan has two booze cruise parties that are too epic for words.  You join dozens of other young backpackers on a beautiful boat, sail around idyllic islands, and listen to amazing music.  The booze can get really pricey, but it’s all worth it for the experience.  The atmosphere on the boat is awesome, and watching the sunset while sailing around Indonesia with a bintang in your hand is something you’ll never forget.

Gili Trawangan Booze Cruise

Gili Trawangan Booze Cruise

As well, Gili Trawangan throws their own version of the “Half-Moon” & “Full-Moon” Parties.  It’s basically just an all night beach rave about a 20 minute walk from the night market, but it’s hands down one of the best parties on the island.  If you’re feeling like getting a bit more crazy, there are (practically legal) mushrooms on Gili Trawangan that are guaranteed to take your night to the next level.

DSC_0562


4)  Halong Bay Castaway Island, Vietnam

Halong Bay.  Castaway Island tour.  Pure debauchery.  If you’ve been on this tour already — then you know what I’m talking about.  If you’re planning a trip to Vietnam and are keen for an intense 3-day booze bender while visiting one of the most stunning areas in South-East Asia, then you need to book this Castaway Island Tour.  If you’re a budget backpacker, than the price of the tour is probably going to piss you off.  Yes, it’s damn expensive — but it’s honestly a really great experience.

However, I was fortunate enough to go on this trip with an incredible group of people and two awesome tour guides (Shoutout to Emilio & Tom).  But just with any packaged group tour, I think a trip like this ALL depends on the people you travel with.  I think the majority of the time you’ll meet some great people, drink heaps, and enjoy sailing through one of Vietnam’s highlights.  With that being said, not everyone is lucky.

1233955_10152252325538469_1771577738_n


5) Koh Phi Phi, Thailand

1932359_10152256730256153_34738986_n

If people give you advice to skip Koh Phi Phi because it’s become “too touristy”  — ignore them.  Yes, I’m sure visiting Koh Phi Phi 20 years ago was so much better, but it’s definitely still one of the most beautiful places in Thailand!  Oh, and Koh Phi Phi is one the craziest party island in South-East Asia.  

In my opinion, Koh Phi Phi is a backpacker’s paradise.  There’s tons of people everywhere, amazing and cheap food, and really great nightlife.  It’s not a big island, but there’s still plenty to do and explore.  The snorkeling trips are affordable and gorgeous, the view points are stunning, and you can’t leave Thailand without visiting “The Beach”…right?

Favorite Places to Party

  • Slinky’s Beach Bar — This is the place to be when the night comes to an end.  Loud house music, laughing gas balloons, dancing on stages; this place is wild.
  • Ibiza Beach Bar — This starts out as a really chill lounge bar during the sunset and couple hours after, but things start to pick up towards the end of the night.
  • Stones Bar — Located right next to Ibiza Beach Bar, another great option to chill, play pool, and start your night.
  • Banana Bar — Happy hour from 4:20-6:20, Movie’s play every night at 7:00 P.M, then after the movie the party starts with beer pong, loud music, and tons of people.
  • Stockholm Syndrome —  A great place to beer pong, meet people, and party before making your way to the beach.

1911869_10100192923417075_673164247_n


6)  Bali, Indonesia

11282305_644146612385414_960494242_n

The “Island Of The [Party] Gods”.

Bali is one of those destinations people visit once, and will keep going back for another stint in paradise.  There’s a little bit of something for everyone, and that includes those looking for an epic night of partying.  There are basically two main areas to party in Bali:

Kuta, Legian, & Seminyak Area

Sky Garden — This legendary mega club is a place you need to party at least once during your time in Bali.  There are so many different areas and rooms, and there are often big name DJ’s that stop by and play.  If you get in early, there can be ridiculous drink deals as well.  Insider tip: Try to rooftop buffet for dinner…it’s incredible and affordable.

Potato Head Beach Club — This probably needs zero introduction.  Potato Head Beach Club is one amazing venue in Bali, and is definitely the best location for a bit of Bali day drinking!  It is probably one of the most expensive places in Indonesia, but sometimes you have to forget about the budget, and “treat yo self”.  The pool is the perfect place to have a few beers, watch the sunset, and chat up other travelers.  I’d recommend eating before you go there, because the food is heaps expensive.

Jenja — If you’re in Bali on a Friday or Saturday night, this is where you want to go for a night of excellent house music.  This is a much fancier and more elegant venue than the majority of other clubs in Bali.  So dress in your finest, be ready to pay an entrance fee, and prepare for a quality clubbing experience.  Check out their Resident Advisor page for upcoming DJ appearances.    

DSC_0051

Uluwatu

Saturday Night Parties on Padang Padang Beach — Every Saturday locals, travelers, and head down to Padang Padang beach for an awesome night of live music, followed by DJ sets playing some commercial house tunes.  Who doesn’t love a beach party…?

Sundays Sessions at Single Finn — The absolute best party on Bali is found every Sunday night down at the beautiful Single Finn venue.  Perched at the top of Uluwatu Beach, this is the ultimate place to enjoy dinner, drinks, and the gorgeous Uluwatu Sunsets.  Around 9-10 P.M the place gets absolutely packed with beautiful people, and everyone dances to some top-notch electronic music.  You won’t be hearing any obnoxisous EDM here, just quality deep and tech house.  Definitely have a few drinks before you go in, because it can turn into a pretty expensive night.      


7)  Boracay, Philippines

16905282752_16616d8cca_k

While Boracay might not be on the typical South-East Asia backpacker route, it’s hands down one of the best places to party in South-East Asia.  For starters, you have to experience The Boracay Pub Crawl.  It’s an absolute blast, and really does “Turn Strangers Into Friends!  ”

After that, you need to check and see if there is a party at Area 51:  Top Secret Party Facility.  It’s an amazing venue away from the all main action, but there are only parties twice a month for the full moon and half moon parties.  If this place isn’t having an event during your visit, then check out what EPIC Nightclub has got going on.    

There’s tons of bars and nightclubs in Boracay to discover; it really just depends on what you are into and where the night takes you.  Check out this Ultimate Guide to Boracay’s Nightlife  for a more comprehensive look at all your options.

16718853938_30a3c762ae_k


8) Koh Rong, Cambodia

“Nothing Can Go Wrong on Koh Rong” is the motto of this Cambodian paradise.  What is awesome about this place is that it can be exactly whatever you want it to be.  If you want to relax, do nothing, and forget about all your worries; that’s definitely possible.  But for those looking for a good time, Koh Rong has a lively and active party scene.  If there was one place to get to soon in South-East Asia, I would recommend Koh Rong.  Things are changing quickly on the island, but it currently still has it’s authentic charm.

Partying on Koh Rong is simply, all you have to do is walk up and down the main street, and follow the crowd.

When I was there, I spent a good amount of time at Vagabonds.  Definitely swing by there for a drink or two, and then see what else is going on.  The main stretch on Koh Rong isn’t large at all, so it won’t be too hard to find where the party people are at.  As well as the above two islands, Koh Rong does offer it’s own version of the Full Moon Party.  There’s no body paint or neon tanks, but there’s a party tucked away in the jungle with amazing underground house music.

No matter whether you want to party or not, just make sure you get to Koh Rong.  It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places in all of South-East Asia!


9)  Langkawi, Malaysia

IMG_1491

Two words come to mind when I think of Langkawi:  TAX FREE.  Yup, Langkawi is a “duty-free” island, which makes the price of alcohol extremely cheap compared to the rest of Malaysia.  During high-season, this place is packed with budget backpackers and vacationers looking for a good time.

While there may not be heaps of options of party locations, that doesn’t really seem to matter here.  There are a few beach bars located on Pantai Beach which can be a great place to start the night with a few cocktails.  My recommendation would be to grab dinner and drinks at Yellow Café.  It’s a popular spot on the island, and should be visited at least once during your time on the island.

After grabbing dinner and a few drinks, you pretty much one have option — Sunba Retro Bar.  This is where you will be doing the majority of your partying when you’re on Langkawi.  This is pretty much the only club on the island, and it’s a damn good time.  It’s not the biggest venue, but the music is excellent, and it’s a great atmosphere inside.  If you’re not feeling like heading inside the club, just check out the bar right next door to Sunba.


10)  Koh Tao, Thailand

While backpackers normally flock to Koh Tao for the affordable PADI Scuba-Diving courses and rich marine biodiversity, that is only one of the aspects that make this island a must visit during your travels in Thailand.

Koh Tao nightlife is serious business — and you’re in for a couple crazy party nights here.  For starters, you can’t go wrong the Koh Tao Pub Crawl.  This is a great way to see some of the best bars on the island, attend a Lady Boy Cabaret, and meet fellow travelers.  The pub-crawl guides always do an excellent job of keeping everyone entertained, there are drink specials at each stop, and you’ll be looking good rockin’ a “Koh Tao Pub Crawl” singlet.  Don’t miss out.

Maya Beach Club —  The only bar on Koh Tao that has real DJs every night and a “NO CHEESE” music policy, top shelf cocktails and an imported wine list.  Both local and imported DJs spin tunes every night from sunset till late from a variety of genres that aren’t crappy remixes.

The Castle —  Probably the most well-known and respected venu on the island, The Castle is where you go for a quality night of dance music.  It’s about a 10-15 minute drive from Sairee Beach, and they host events about 2-3 times per week.

The truth of the matter is that you really don’t even need any advice about partying on Koh Tao — it’s as simple as partying hopping up and down Sairee Beach.  There are so many different venues playing a variety of different styles of music, fire jump roping (be cautious), and heaps of people to meet.  It’s a damn good time.

251773_199137286799192_5271797_n


11) Sihanoukville, Cambodia

The main beach area of Cambodia “snookville” is definitely one wild and crazy party destination.  Start your evening with dinner & drinks at one of the many beachfront restaurants on Serendipity Beach.  Enjoy a beautiful sunset, a game or two of pool, and few pints of delicious Angkor beer.

The Two Main Party Hostspots in Sihanouvkville are the Dolphin Shack & JJ’s Playground.  There are several other bars and places to hang-out, but if you’re out partying in Sihaouvkille, there’s a 99% chance you’ll end up at one of two of these bars.  They both play similar music of EDM, hip-hop, and throwback classics.  The beers are cold, the drinks are cheap, and the backpacker vibe is amazing.  You’ll  drink, meet people, and will have one epic party night.

Both the Dolphing Shack & JJ’s Playground offer their own Booze Cruise — which I highly recommend.  Is there anything better than drinking while on a boat?   

12) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

DSC_0360

The capital of Malaysia might not be the most popular place to party among South-East Asia backpackers — but this is one incredible city with an abundance of amazing nightlife options!  I’ve spent a decent amount of time in Kuala Lumpur, and I’ve had some really great nights out partying in the city.

Bar 51:  Welcome to your Kuala Lumpur starting point for the night.  Bar 51 is an upscale restaurant and bar located in the heart of Changkat Bukit Bintang, the main nightlife area in Kuala Lumpur.  There is one reason you come to this place — 5 MYR MOJITOS.  Yeah, that’s right.  You can get delicious mojitos for only $1.25 USD.   This special ends at 9 P.M every night, but you can order as many as you’d like right before the time ends, and they’ll keep bringing them out to you.  It’s an amazing spot, perfectly located, with very friendly staff.  If you’re going to Kuala Lumpur and fancy a delicious and cheap mojito, then definitely cruise over to Bar 51.

Heli Lounge This was once a helipad, but they turned it into a bar with amazing 360 degree views of the city.  Pretty cool concept, yeah?  While it might not be the best place to spend your entire evening, it’s definitely a must-visit during your visit to KL.  Go to the top about an hour or so before sunset, enjoy the views during the day and the night, and then head out for the night.

DSC_0917

Reggae Mansion Rooftop BarFor all the backpackers out there, this is definitely one of the most popular hostels in all of South-East Asia.  The rooftop bar is a perfect place to spend a night drinking, even if you’re not staying there!  There is a DJ playing some fun dance music, a pool table, and decent drink specials.

Zouk KL 

UnderNINE:  For underground house and techno fans — this is where you’ll want to go.  The crowd is really great, the music is excellent, and the venue is pretty cool.DSC_0805


13)  Pai, Thailand

DSC_0783

Haven’t you heard…?  Pai is incredible!  When you’re traveling around Thailand, it will be pretty damn hard to find someone who doesn’t think Pai is absolutely amazing.  That includes me.  The whole city is so relaxed and chilled out.  It’s truly a backpacker / hippy’s paradise.  While many will often claim that “Pai is not what it used to be” or “Pai has changed so much” — the Pai that I visited was still pretty awesome.  These were some of my favorite spots in Pai.

  • Pai Pub — A really great spot.  Decently priced beers and mixed drinks, a cool outdoor patio, a well kept pool table; a perfect place to spend a couple hours and start the night.  Located just a couple minutes away from the night market, you can’t miss the giant Kangaroo out front.
  • Sunset Bar — This a great place to chill and spend a few hours.  You’ll most likely encounter some people enjoying a joint, or maybe see some people tripping on a mushroom shake.  It’s a cool place, good music, and you’ll definitely enjoy having a drink or two.  It’s also a great place to watch the sunset (obviously).  Located on a quiet street about a 10 minute walk from the main area of Pai.
  • Don’t Cry Reggae Bar — This is the “after-hours” bar that does not close until really late at night.  When all the main bars and pubs close in Pai, the party crowd all flock to this one venue.  Awesome music and vibe, including a campfire — you’ll love ending your night at Don’t Cry.
  • Moon Parties — In the past few months, Pai has been throwing their own version of the full moon, half moon, and black moon parties.  They don’t happen all the time, but if you’re there, you should ask around or check online and see if there is one happening.

DSC_0664


14) Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia

DSC_2066

While the Perhentian Islands aren’t really a destination people normally visit for it’s crazy nightlife — there are still opportunities for amazing nights out drinking.

Perhentian Kecil is known as the “backpacker island”, and that means that it’s pretty damn easy to meet fellow travelers.  The last time I visited I only planned on staying for 4 or 5 days, but I ended up staying 10.  I met an amazing group of people, and practically every night we went out drinking!

 

What’s nice is that it’s just very simply to party here because people only really go to 2-3 different spots.

  • Panorama Bar:  Probably the most lively spot with a really great atmosphere.  They also have AMAZING PIZZA that you should try at least once.  They are kind of expensive at 25 MYR, but definitely worth it.
  • Monkey Bar:  This is just across the street from Panorama bar, and where I bought the majority of my alcohol.  You could buy a bottle of rum, cups, ice, and two mixers for 45 MYR — which is a really great deal there!
  • Pirates of Perhentian:  This is where the fire-show is held every night at 10:30 P.M.  The entertainment is really great, they play great music, and this is where pretty much everyone who is going to party for the night will be.  You sit down on the beach, order some beers, smoke some hookah, and watch some extremely talented people play with fire.

DSC_2180


15) Bangkok, Thailand

Last but not least, how could I write a post about partying in South-East Asia without mentioning “the Big Mango”.  Bangkok is the “Gateway to South-East Asia”, and there’s never a dull moment when you’re exploring the city, and the nightlife is guaranteed to make you come back for another round.

Khao San Road:  Street food, shopping, and tons of amazing restaurants and bars.  Partying on Khao San Road is something that every South-East Asia backpacker must do before the end of their trip.  You’ll drink towers of Chang Beer, listen to loud electronic music, and meet fellow travelers from around the world.

Sukhumvit:  This major road / district in Bangkok is your best option for when it comes to a good night out partying in Bangkok.  There are tons of different clubs in Sukhumvit , it’s almost intimidating trying to choose which one to go to.  My advice would be to check out Resident Advisor Thailand  to see if there are any special events coming up.  A few clubs I have been to and would personally recommend would be BASH, Insanity, and Spicy.

While you’re in Bangkok, make sure you visit all the temples, various shopping markets, and hit up a rooftop bar!

These are the Best 15 Places to Party in South-East Asia!!

PIN ME!!

Agree?  Disagree?  Think I missed a certain destination?

Let me know in the comments sections!

SHARE THE PARTY!

MALAYSIA Travel Guide: Trip Highlights, Itineraries, & Tips

, , , ,

Welcome to Malaysia! 

Malaysia is an amazing and diverse country that has something to offer everyone.  If you’re looking for amazing food, gorgeous islands, and beautiful landscapes — Malaysia is a destination you should highly consider for your next holiday.  I have traveled pretty extensively through Peninsular Malaysia, and it has grown to become one of my favorite countries in entire world!  I’ve compiled this Malaysia Travel Guide as a source for people planning trips to this amazing country.

This guide will go over trip highlights, how to get around Malaysia, Malaysia itineraries, and general travel advice!

Hope you enjoy reading my Malaysia Travel Guide and favorite photos from my travels!

Note:  This Malaysia Travel will focus entirely on Peninsular Malaysia.  I have never traveled to Sabah or Sarawak, and am not too well informed about those areas of the country. 

Trip Highlights

Kuala Lumpur

DSC_0360

You’ll most likely be starting your Malaysian holidays in the amazing capital city — Kuala Lumpur.  This is truly a special place with friendly people, beautiful sights, and delicious food (just like the rest of Malaysia).  During my travels in South-East Asia , I was lucky enough to call this city home for awhile.  The first time I visited Kuala Lumpur I actually didn’t enjoy the city too much, but after spending more time there I discovered how special the city really is.

For more information on Kuala Lumpur, check out the following blog posts I’ve written:

 

Penang

Penang is the cultural hotspot in Malaysia!  You’ll fall in love with it’s busy streets, beautiful artwork, and enchanting history.  Oh, and the food is absolutely amazing.  Most people come to Penang only planning a few day stay, but end up staying much longer than they expected.  You can spend a day on Batu Ferringi beach, hike through the National Park, and take the journey up to Penang Hill for spectacular views of the entire city.        

Best things to do in Penang:

  • Beach day and sunset on Batu Ferringi Beach
  • Spend some time hiking through the National Park
  • Take a visit to Penang Hill for spectacular views of the city
  • Stroll through Georgetown and check out all the artwork
  • Eat at Penang’s famous hawker stalls

 

Langkawi

Officially known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah, Langkawi is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, around 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia.  It’s right at the border of Thailand, and is a popular place to visit for traveller’s going north/south between Malaysia and Thailand.  It is truly an amazing island with amazing things to do, cheap accommodations, tax-free booze, and beautiful landscape.

Check out some of my blog posts on Langkawi:

 

Cameron Highlands

DSC_1875

The Cameron Highlands is a stunning hill station in central peninsular Malaysia, and has become a popular destination for visitors in Malaysia. Roughly the size of Singapore, the Cameron Highlands covers a large stretch of land, and there’s tons to see, do, and explore.  You’ll fall in love with the beautiful green tea plantations, and will leave you speechless when you visit the highest peak in the Cameron Highlands

For more information on the Cameron Highlands, check out the guide below!

 

Taman Negara

Teman Negara National Park is the perfect place for travelers who love wild life viewing, jungle trekking, hiking, rock climbing, fishing, camping and many more. It is well established as one of the most popular ecotourism in Malaysia.  Popular activities include the canopy walk, jungle trekking, rapid shooting, cave exploration, and boat cruises.

Recommend days spent here:  1-2 days max

Check out the Teman Negara National Park website for more information

 

The Perhentian Islands

DSC_1990

Welcome to paradise.  The Perhentian Islands consist of both Perhentian Kecil & Perhentian Besar.  They are both absolutely stunning, and the minute you step foot on of the two islands you’ll never want to leave.   I’ve visited Perhentian Kecil on two different occasions now, and I definitely would not mind going back for a third.  The beaches are gorgeous, the atmosphere is relaxing, and the nightlife can get pretty crazy.

Perhentian Kecil is more for a younger crowd.  It’s much more lively at night and has an incredible fireshow.  Perhentian Besar has a lot more resorts, and is a bit more family oriented.

If you’re going to Malaysia — you’d be mistaken to skip the Perhentian Islands!

Check out my blog posts on this paradise island!

 

Pulau Kapas

DSC_1545

Pulau Kapas is an idyllic island escape for those looking for a bit more of a remote location.  You won’t find any big crazy resorts, fast wi-fi connection, or luxury restaurants.  What you will be rewarded with is amazingly beautiful water, suburb underwater life, and an extremely laidback atmosphere.  Pulau Kapas is truly a Malaysian gem, and I guarantee if you go for a couple days you won’t regret it!

For more information about traveling to Pulau Kapas:

 

Tioman Island

DSC_1726

If you’ve looking for some more island action, than definitely make your way over to Tioman Island.  It isn’t as gorgeous as the Perhentians or Kapas, but it has some of the best scuba-diving sites in the whole country.  The island is pretty massive, and is a 2-hour ferry ride from the mainland.  It is a DUTY-FREE island, which makes drinking on this island pretty cheap!  It’s a popular destination for weekend trips from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, so book in advance if you plan on being there on a Saturday & Sunday.  If you do plan on going, I’d definitely recommend staying on ABC Beach.

When I was there, I happened to catch really bad weather, and had some transportation issues.  I still had a great trip.  Read about it below:

 

Melaka

Melaka is just a short bus ride away from Kuala Lumpur, and can be a great place to spend one night.  It’s small enough to walk around, explore, and try some delicious food.  There’s not a whole lot to see here, but it’s definitely worth the visit.

To plan your visit, check out this post titled:

 

 

Getting Around Malaysia

The Malaysian transportation is some of the best I’ve found in all of South-East Asia.  Prices are relatively low, there’s tons of options, and they are all relatively comfortable.

Flights / Airfare

Malaysia is actually a really easy country to book extremely cheap domestic flights.

If you know your exact dates, you can actually get great flight deals.  Malindo Air is really great and includes 1 20kh checked bag.  These are particularly useful for flights to/from Kuala Lumpur.

Perhentian Islands

Perhentian Islands

 

Busses

Traveling around Malaysia on the bus transport is actually really easy, budget friendly, and comfortable.  There are loads of different companies that offer a ton of different routes.  None of the journeys take that long, and the busses can actually be really nice.  For bus schedules, routes, and fares, check out the website below.  I’ve booked online tickets with them, and made the process extremely easy.  You can just show the email confirmation at the bus station, and receive your ticket.

Pulau Kapas

Pulau Kapas

 

Hitchhiking in Malaysia

Just like in any destination, you should be careful when hitching a ride alone.  With that being said, Hitchhiking in Malaysia can be done, and it’s actually not too difficult.  I met these Spanish girls on Pulau Kapas who found a ride all the way from Teman Negara – Kuala Terranganu.  It’s not that it saves a ton of money, but it’s a great way to meet some local people, and have a unique travel experience.  For more information on Hitchhiking in Malaysia check the website below:

Kuala Lumpur

Jalan Alor in Kuala Lumpur

 

Trains

I’ve actually never taken a train in Malaysia, but I have heard that the system works out.  I almost boarded a train from Penang – Kuala Lumpur, but ended up extending my stay in Penang, and finding a flight that was cheaper than the train!  I honestly think that dealing with trains on other routes would just get complicated, so I’d just personally recommend Flights and Busses over taking trains in Malaysia.

Sunset on Tioman Island

Sunset on Tioman Island

Renting A Car

I’ve never rented a car and explored Malaysia on my own (mainly because I’m a solo budget traveler), but I have had some friends rent a van and go on weekend trips from Kuala Lumpur.  It’s definitely not the best option for everyone,

Jeep Excursions in the Cameron Highlands

Jeep Excursions in the Cameron Highlands

 

Malaysia Trip Itineraries

If you look at each of these locations on a map, you can see that it actually fits pretty well

One Week Malaysia Itinerary

If you are only in Malaysia for a brief visit, than you want to enjoy your holiday.  My advice would be to enjoy 2-3 days in Kuala Lumpur, and fly to either Penang for 3-4 days.  You don’t want to rush around each destination, because you will want enough time to enjoy each place and do all the activities.

 

Two Week Malaysia Itinerary

Days 1-3 — Kuala Lumpur

Take a morning bus to Teman Negara

Days 4-5 — Teman Negara

Book the early bus ticket to the Cameron Highlands

Days 6-7 —  Exploring the Cameron Highlands

Book the early departure bus to Penang

Days 8-10 — Penang

Catch the two hour ferry to Langkawi

Days 11-13 — Langkawi

Catch a domestic flight from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur

Day 14 // End of Trip — Kuala Lumpur for your outgoing flight..

Island Hopping Boats in Langkawi

 

Three Week Malaysia Itinerary

Days 1-3 — Kuala Lumpur

Take a morning bus to Teman Negara

Days 4-5 — Teman Negara

Book the early bus ticket to the Cameron Highlands

Days 6-7 —  Exploring the Cameron Highlands

Book transportation to Marang Jetty for access to Pulau Kapas (Close to Kuala Terranganu)

Days 8-10 — Pulau Kapas & Gem Island

Book early morning boat back to mainland, and get to main bus station.  Book transport to Perhentian Islands

Days 11-15 — The Perhentians Islands

Book Domestic Flight from Kuala Terrananu Airport – Penang.  Cheap fares available if booked in advanced. 

Days 16-17 – Penang

Catch the two hour ferry to Langkawi

Days 18-20 — Langkawi

Catch a domestic flight from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur

Day 21 // End of Trip — Kuala Lumpur for your outgoing flight..

Water & Lights show at KLCC

Water & Lights show at KLCC

 

One Month in Malaysia Itinerary

If you have a full month in Malaysia, I honestly would just recommend to follow the 3-week itinerary, but travel slower.  This will also allow flexibility with the domestic flights, and also spending less time on travel.  I would also recommend staying in Kuala Lumpur for an extra couple days, and doing a one-day trip to Melaka.  If you want to see it all, you can switch up this itinerary to add Pulau Tioman, but I would honestly skip it.  I found it to be really touristy, difficult to get to, and there are much better islands and beaches in Malaysia.

If you have even more time in Malaysia, look out for cheap domestic flights over to Borneo.  You could scuba-dive off the coasts of the world famous Sipadan island, or hike the highest peak in Malaysia — Mt. Kinabalu!

 

 

General Malaysia Travel Advice

Eat as much as you possibly can!  The food in Malaysia is absolutely incredible.  When you get to Kuala Lumpur, check out a Nasi Kandar and try the various curries, Roti Canai, and Nasi Lemak!

Interact with the locals!  Malaysian people are extremely friendly, and generally speak really great English!  They are very open and welcome to tourism, and can be a great experience.

Understand you are in a Muslim country!  Be respectful with your clothing!

Get a local SIM card!  Malaysia has a wide variety of phone plans, and it will come in handy to have 3G / 4G internet when your traveling.  I’d recommend Tune Talk.  There are great prices and deals, and it’s good coverage.

Download my Free E-Book — 77 Amazing, Helpful, Money-Saving Tips for Backpacking South-East Asia.  This goes over a ton of valuable information for Malaysia!

10 Amazing Thingsto Do (5)

 

If you haven’t figured it out by reading this post, I have traveled pretty extensively throughout Malaysia.   I think it’s an amazing country, and am always thinking about going soon and exploring different parts.  I’m actually dying to get over to Borneo, but I’m sure that time will come eventually.

If you’re ever planning a trip to Malaysia, feel free to Contact Me with any questions!

Thanks for reading!

Share the Malaysian Love!

 

One Month

The Ultimate Guide to Pulau Kapas, Malaysia

,

Pulau Kapas is one of the most beautiful and relaxing places you will ever visit.  It’s truly an island paradise that has a strange power to keep you there longer than you planned on staying.  It’s not a rich and glamorous place with tons of 5 Star Resorts or expensive restaurants.  It’s a very minimalistic island, which is what makes it so special.  There’s not tons of electricity, or decent internet connection — meaning it’s the perfect holiday escape.  The beach is amazing, the water is perfect, and you’ll be left speechless when you first arrive.

I’m hoping that this Travel Guide for Pulau Kapas will answer all your questions and get you stoked for your time on this idyllic island!

I’ve even gone as far as claiming it’s the most beautiful island in Malaysia!

DSC_1534

So Where Is Pulau Kapas?

Kapas is located just a few kilometers off the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia in the Terengganu province.

Know Before You Go

  • Pulau Kapas shuts down during the monsoon season between November and February.
  • Bring CASH.   There are no ATM’s on the island.
  • The Best Time to Visit Pulau Kapas is from April – August!
  • There are a lot of mosquitos on Kapas island!  Bring insect repellant!
  • Bring a flashlight at night to walk around the island!

How to get to Pulau Kapas

The boat ride is only a short twenty minute journey, and leaves several times per day from the Marang Jetty.  The closest city is Kuala Terranganu.

  • Marang Jetty.  Take the public bus from Kuala Terrenganu to Marang.  It’s a short bus trip, just make sure you ask the bus driver to drop you off at Marang!
  • Earliest boat at 9:00 A.M  — Last boat at 6:00 P.M.
  • Round-trip boat tickets.  Make sure you book round-trip tickets.  These should cost about 30-40 MYR depending on the time of the year.

DSC_1544

Flying to Pulau Kapas

There is no airport on Kapas island, but you can always book a flight on one of the many budget airlines in Malaysia to Kuala Terrenganu Airport.  Ideal for those looking for a weekend trip from Kuala Lumpur, Penang, or Singapore.

Bus to Pulau Kapas

The transportation in Malaysia works really well, and the busses are actually pretty nice!  You can easily check timetables to Kuala Terrenganu

For booking busses in Malaysia — check out the helpful website EasyBook I’ve searched and booked many bus tickets through Malaysia with them, and would recommend them to other traveling throughout the country.

DSC_1559


Where to Stay on Pulau Kapas

Pulau Kapas is a very small island, and there are only about 11 or 12 different places to choose from.  These are a couple that I’ve stayed at or have heard great things about.

LongSha Campsite Beach Camping

This is for the ultimate budget travelers, backpackers, and camping  fanatics.  It’s an awesome place to stay.  I stayed there for 5 night during my time on Pulau Kapas, and I highly recommend it.  It’s more than a campsite, it’s a community of like-minded people.  You’ll definitely have a blast if you choose to stay here.  Read my review of the Longsha Campsite on Pulau Kapas!

DSC_1681


Kapas Island Resort

This place is definitely your best choice if you’re not trying to go camping.  With rooms costing as low as $35 U.S.D, it’s clean, comfortable, and well located right by the ferry.  It’s also one of the only places on the island that has a swimming pool.

The Kapas Island Resort is also the only place you can really book online before you arrive on Pulau Kapas.  So if you’re looking for some guaranteed accommodation, this is your best bet.

DSC_1583


Captain’s Longhouse

For the people who aren’t fans of beach camping, wander over next door to Captain’s Longhouse.  It isone of the only other budget places to stay on Pulau Kapas.  I stayed here for one night, and had an enjoyable time.  They have double private rooms, and also a large dorm room as well.  The listed price is 40 MYR for a dorm bed, but you can easily talk them down to 30 MYR.  This definitely

Kapas Beach Chalet

By far one of the best places to spend your time on Pulau Kapas!  Kapas Beach Chalet, more commonly referred to as KBC, is where I spent the majority of my days on the island.  The restaurant meals are delicious, there’s tons of books to browse through, and the staff are all really friendly.  The owner of KBC is a Dutch man who moved to Pulau Kapas and fell in love with it.  It’s a really relaxed vibe here, and I highly recommend eating and spending some time here.

Kapas Turtle Valley Resort:  If you’re not on a strict budget, than this is the perfect place for you.  Located at the very end of Kapas, with it’s own private and secluded beach, Kapas Turtle Valley is an amazing place to spend your holiday.  The owners are really friendly, and the snorkeling right outside the property is fantastic.  Double rooms are still somewhat budget friendly for 190 MYR including breakfast.  There is also family rooms that fits up to four people.  Wi-Fi is also available here!


Best Places to Eat on Pulau Kapas:

Jetty Café

This is the first place you’ll see when you get on to Pulau Kapas if you get dropped off on the Jetty.  The family who owns this place is extremely nice, and the food is incredible!  At the end of my stay, I feel like I had tried the majority of the meals, and they all had me coming back for more.  They even make chicken nuggets, which are pretty great, and only cost 6 MYR.  It’s also one of the only places to find internet on Pulau Kapas.  It’s not really fast, and sometimes does not work too well, but if you need to send a few emails — head here.

Kapas Beach Chalet

As mentioned above, definitely cruise over to KBC for a few meals.  If you’re there on a Friday night, they do amazing BBQ’s!  It’s a little expensive at 45-50 MYR, but it’s absolutely delicious.

Cook Your Own Meal

This is meant specifically for those who are camping at Longsha Campsite!  They have an awesome kitchen, and it can be fun to get a group of people together and cook a communal meal.  All you need to do is to remember to go to the grocery store before you get on the speedboat to the island!

DSC_1554

 

Best Activities & Things To Do on Pulau Kapas:

Snorkeling / Scuba Diving

One of the main reasons you should be visiting Pulau Kapas is to be exploring it’s underwater biodiversity.  I only went snorkeling, but it was a daily activity!  I always saw beautiful fish (tons of nemo), turtles, coral, and even a couple sharks!  All you need is a mask, and you can swim out just a minute off the shore, and experience some amazing stuff!  Scuba-diving around Pulau Kapas is supposed to be amazing as well.  For scuba-diving on Kapas island, you’ll want to contact Aquasport Divers.

DCIM109GOPRO

End-to-End Beach Walk

All the places to stay, eat, and drink on Pulau Kapas are on the same side.  You can easily walk from one end, all the way down to the other end in about 30-40 minutes depending on how fast you are going.  It’s an amazing way to see all the main beaches, and soak up the truly relaxing nature of the island.  The best part about doing this — the beautiful golden staircases that you will follow.  They just remind me of a stairway to heaven.  Such a beautiful sight!

DSC_1579

Day trip to Gem Island

There are a few places on the island where you can book transportation to Gem Island.  Just go to the guys at the Longsha Campsite , and they’ll be able to organize a boat trip for you.  Gem Island is a small island just off the coast of Kapas.  There are two really nice beaches that are perfecting for swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing.  This is also home to one of the “Shark Bays”, where you have a chance of swimming with sharks.  (Don’t worry, they won’t bit).  I saw two sharks during my time out there, and they were incredible!  There is also one really beautiful resort on the island.  It’s definitely a little pricey, but would be an awesome place to spend a holiday.  Check out the Gem Island Resort & Spa .

DSC_1613

Hammock & Read

Pulau Kapas is one of the best places in the world to just sit back, relax, and enjoy your time in paradise.  A lot of places around the island have hammocks, book swaps, and beautiful soft sand.  In between meals, snorkeling, and swims — just take a nap in the hammock, or catch up on your reading.

DSC_1676

Jungle Walks

There are two different jungle walks you can do to the other side of the island.  I was actually do lazy to do these during my time on the island (and because I didn’t have any shoes), but I heard they were both pretty quick and enjoyable.

Beach Volleyball

There are a few different volleyball nets on Pulau Kapas.  Get some people together, and get a game going!

DSC_1594

 

Budget Tips

Beach Camping is definitely my best travel advice for visiting Pulau Kapas.  It’s cheap, fun, and you’ll meet some amazing people.

Bringing your own food from the mainland can save you some money on food costs.  The restaurants on the island aren’t TOO expensive, but if you were to go grocery shopping you could save some money for sure.

Bring your own booze because there aren’t many places that sell beer on the island.  The few places that do will charge you around 10 MYR for one can of beer.   

DSC_1679

Conclusion

A weekend or extended trip to Pulau Kapas will be a trip that you’ll never forget.  The beaches are amazingly beautiful, the underwater life is incredible, and you’ll get stuck in the relaxing island vibe.

It might not be the most popular destination in Malaysia to visit compared to the metropolitan Kuala Lumpur, stunning Cameron Highlands, or popular Perhentian Islands — but that is exactly why Pulau Kapas is so special.

 

Thanks for reading!  Share with your backpacker friends!

 

Top 10 Electronic Dance Music Festivals (EDM): Southeast Asia

, , , , , ,

South-East Asia = Party Paradise

Electronic Dance Music (E.D.M) is all over South-East Asia.  Whether you’re partying on Khao San Road in Bangkok, or walking through a night market in Malaysia — you will definitely hear quite a bit of EDM during your travels in this area of the world.  Music Festivals and Raves in Asia might not be as abundant as they are in Europe or America , but over the past few years more and more festivals and events are popping up in different countries.  I’ve scowered the internet, and I’ve compailed this list which I blieve to be the Top 10 Electronic Dance Music Festivals in South-East Asia.

1 )  Shipsomnia

  • When:  Beginning of January
  • Where:  Singapore – Phuket – Langkawi – Singapore
  • Website:  http://www.shipsomnia.com/
  • Why:   A MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL MEETS HI SEAS MYTHICAL ADVENTURE.  Unofficially nicknamed, “Tomorrowland At Sea”, Shipsomnia has gotten a lot of positive media attention.  With the growth of music festivals at sea, like Holy Ship or It’s The Ship (#6), Shipsomnia looks like it could be the next big thing.  Sailing from Singapore – Phuket round-trip, with a quick stop in Langkawi, this looks like a party that can’t be missed.  This all-inclusive music festival is guaranteed to be one epic vacation.

2 ) Road to Ultra – Singapore, Bangkok, Bali, & Manila

  • When:  Various Dates
  • Where:  Singapore, Bangkok, Bali, and Manila
  • Website:  http://www.ultramusicfestival.com/
  • Why:  Ultra Music Festival seems like they have one goal in mind — global domination.  From Miami, Croatia, Korea, Japan, South Africa — it now looks like they have turned their eyes to South-East Asia, and have added several festival locations throughout the region.  If you find yourself on a backpacking trip through South-East Asia, plan your trip wisely and hit up a Road to Ultra event!

13385_10152987451412739_5650467416987177660_n

3 )  Neverland Manila

  • When: Early October
  • Where:  Manila, Philippines
  • Website:  http://neverlandmanila.com/
  • Why:  Known as the “biggest EDM event in The Philippines”, this festival brings a massive line-up full of commercial house music.  If you’re looking for a solid party, this one will not disappoint.  Upcoming festival dates haven’t been posted yet, but be on the look out because this will be one crazy rave.       

11017519_1593427280907372_1646662713757255375_n

4 )  ZoukOut Music Festival

  • When:  Mid-December
  • Where:  Singapore
  • Website:  http://www.zoukout.com/
  • Why:  The people behind one of the biggest and well-known clubs in Asia, “Zouk”, have created it’s own music festival, and it’s been one of the more popular festivals out in South-East Asia.  Located in Singapore, you’ll find the tickets, drinks, and accomodations a bit more expensive, but you can’t complain when they bring A-list talent, incredible stage production, and an overall amazing atmosphere.

10373978_723047567789095_1503917528478694370_n

5 )  DJakarta Warehouse Project

  • When:  Mid December
  • Where:  Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Website:  http://www.djakartawarehouse.com/
  • Why:  If you take a look at the current and past line-ups, that will be reason enough to visit this massive party.  Jakarta might not be everyone’s favorite place to visit in Indonesia, but with this line-up stacked with heavy hitters, you’re definitely in for a wild night.   

6 )  808 Festival

  • When:  Mid December
  • Where:  Bangkok, Thailand
  • Website:  http://www.djakartawarehouse.com/
  • Why:  If you take a look at the current and past line-ups, that will br reason enough to visit this massive party.  Jakarta might not be everyone’s favorite place to visit in Indonesia, but with this line-up stacked with heavy hitters, you’re definitely in for a wild night.   

7.  It’s The Ship

  • When:  Late November
  • Where:  Singapore – Langkawi – Singapore
  • Website:  http://www.itstheship.com
  • Why: IT’S THE SHIP is Asia’s Largest Festival on a cruise. Setting sail on the The Royal Caribbean International’s luxurious Mariner of the Seas– will play host to over 30 international and regional headlining acts.  Sailing out of Singapore to Langkawi, Malaysia, this is guaranteed to be a voyage unlike any other.

7048_840852729334811_4230359284480004963_n

8.  S20 — Songkran Music Festival

  • When:  April 12 – 14, 2016
  • Where:  Bangkok, Thailand
  • Website:    http://www.s2ofestival.com/
  • Why:  Songkran is 3-day celebration of the Thai New Year, and it was one of the most epic experiences of my travels in South-East Asia.  I would personally recommend people to experience the madness up in Chiang Mai, but if you find yourself in Bangkok — checking out this S20 Festival is an absolute must.

9.  Mysterious World

  • When:  Mid April
  • Where:  Kuching, Malaysia
  • Website:  www.facebook.com/MysteriousFest
  • Why:  For Electronic Dance Music fans, there is no better time to fly over to the Malaysian side of Borneo than to experience Mysterious World.  The line-up is never “stacked”, but it would definitely be an experience you’ll never forget.  Kuching is absolutely beautiful, Malaysians are really fun to party with, and tickets are really affordable.

MW2015 PREPARTY SET TIME

10.  The Experience

  • When:  New Years Eve ( 4 Day Festival )
  • Where:  Koh Tao, Thailand
  • Website:  www.facebook.com/MysteriousFest
  • Why:  If you’re a die hard PsyTrance fan, then The Experience on Koh Tao, Thailand will be your definition of paradise.  Over these four days there is practically non-stop psy trance bumping the entire time.  While a lot of people flock over to Koh Phangan for New Years Eve, do yourself a favor and check out The Experience!  The fast BPM, the neon colors, and the atmosphere are a recipe for a damn good time.                

Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok Overland: Backpacking Trip Itinerary

, , ,

Introduction

One of the most common routes for backpacking in South-East Asia is traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok overland.  It’s an absolute amazing trip with tons of incredible places to see along the way!  From starting out this trip in an amazing metropolitan city like Kuala Lumpur, and then breaking away to some gorgeous islands — this is definitely going to be a trip you’ll never forget.  This Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok overland travel guide will go over my proposed route, travel tips, helpful websites, and some of my favorite blog posts I’ve written along my travels.

Brief Overview & Itinerary Route

  1. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
  2. Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
  3. Penang, Malaysia
  4. Langkawi, Malaysia
  5. Koh Lipe, Thailand
  6. Koh Lanta, Thailand
  7. Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
  8. Ao Nang / Railey Beach, Thailand
  9. Koh Phangan, Thailand
  10. Koh Tao, Thailand
  11. Bangkok, Thailand

 Kuala Lumpur (3-4 Days)

Welcome to Kuala Lumpur.  This is truly a special place with friendly people, beautiful sights, and delicious food (just like the rest of Malaysia).  During my travels in South-East Asia , I was lucky enough to call this city home for awhile.  The first time I visited Kuala Lumpur I actually didn’t enjoy the city too much, but after spending more time there I discovered how special the city really is.

For more information on Kuala Lumpur, check out the following blog posts I’ve written:

This is one of my favorite cities in South-East Asia, and definitely worth the visit for a few days.  If you’re on a time crunch, you won’t want to spend too much time here.  Just make sure you cover all the city highlights.

Train & Bus Bookings:  Easybook

DSC_0360

 

Bus to Cameron Highlands (2-3 days)

The Cameron Highlands is a stunning hill station in central peninsular Malaysia, and has become a popular destination for visitors in Malaysia. Roughly the size of Singapore, the Cameron Highlands covers a large stretch of land, and there’s tons to see, do, and explore.  You’ll fall in love with the beautiful green tea plantations, and will leave you speechless when you visit the highest peak in the Cameron Highlands

For more information on the Cameron Highlands, check out the guide below!

A Backpacker’s Guide to the Cameron Highlands

DSC_1887

Bus to Penang (2-3 Days)

Penang is the cultural hotspot in Malaysia!  You’ll fall in love with it’s busy streets, beautiful artwork, and enchanting history.  Oh, and the food is absolutely amazing.  Most people come to Penang only planning a few day stay, but end up staying much longer than they expected.  You can spend a day on Batu Ferringi beach, hike through the National Park, and take the journey up to Penang Hill for spectacular views of the entire city.        

Best things to do in Penang:

  • Beach day and sunset on Batu Ferringi Beach
  • Spend some time hiking through the National Park
  • Take a visit to Penang Hill for spectacular views of the city
  • Stroll through Georgetown and check out all the artwork
  • Eat at Penang’s famous hawker stalls
View from Penang Hill

View from Penang Hill

 

Ferry from Penang – Langkawi (4-5 Days) 

Officially known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah, Langkawi is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, around 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia.  It’s right at the border of Thailand, and is a popular place to visit for traveller’s going north/south between Malaysia and Thailand.  It is truly an amazing island with amazing things to do, cheap accommodations, tax-free booze, and beautiful landscape.

Check out some of my blog posts on Langkawi:

IMG_1331

 

Ferry from Langkawi – Koh Lipe, Thailand  *Seasonal (4-5 Days)

After spending some time on Langkawi, you’re ready to journey further north into Thailand.  You’ll start your Thailand Island Hopping adventures in Koh Lipe, which is known as the “Maldives of Thailand”.  Pristine beaches, incredible food, and amazing sunrises & sunsets.

Ferry from Langkawi – Koh Lipe only available from November – May throughout the year.  If you’re traveling during the low season, you’ll have to take the ferry to Satun, Thailand — and catch the bus + ferry combo ticket from mainland Thailand.  Traveling during this time can be a bit expensive, it just depends on your budget and time restrictions.  It might be best to skip this island if you can’t take the direct ferry. 

Check out this amazing post from my friends at Getting Stamped titled, “The Ultimate Guide to Koh Lipe, Thailand.”  This is one of the most informative guides I’ve ever seen, and will answer all your questions about traveling to this beautiful island.

Sunrise on Koh Lipe. Photo credit

Sunrise on Koh Lipe. Photo credit:  Bambo Corr

 

Ferry from Koh Lipe – Koh Lanta (4-5 Days) 

Also depends on time of the year.  You might have to catch ferry + bus combo ticket up to the Krabi Province. 

After you’ve explored Koh Lipe to your liking, catch a ferry up to your next Thai Island, Koh Lanta.

Check out this awesome travel guide from the crew over at Never Ending Voyage titled, “Finding the Perfect Balance: Our Guide to Koh Lanta“.  This post will go over all the information you need for your time in Koh Lanta.

You’ll fall in love with this incredibly relaxing island.  There’s incredible beaches, a beautiful national park, and loads of other stuff to explore.  My main recommendation would be to hire a moped, and explore the entire island.  It’s the best way to see the island.   You can pack a bag, take breaks at all the beaches, and see how beautiful the island is.

DCIM100GOPRO

Ferry from Koh Lanta – Koh Phi Phi (4-5 Days)

When you’re ready to leave Koh Lanta (which can be harder than you think), you’ll be on your way to one of the most beautiful, photogenic, and most well-known places in Thailand — Koh Phi Phi.  Known primarily for the nearby Maya Bay being the film location for the Leonardo DiCaprio hit movie — “The Beach”.

Some people criticize Koh Phi Phi for being too touristy now, and too focused on partying — but it is still an absolute must visit during your time in Thailand.

Read my following blog posts on Koh Phi Phi

Leaving Koh Phi Phi is no easy task.  The party vibe is solid, there is amazing food, and you’re guaranteed to make some amazing new friends!  I personally think it’s the most beautiful area in Thailand!

Ferry from Koh Phi Phi – Ao Nang, Railey Beach, & Krabi (4-6 Days)

After spending the past couple weeks on Islands, it’s time to cruise back to the mainland.  Ao Nang is a really beautiful beach area, has a decent nightlife scene, and is definitely worth a visit.  There’s an island hopping tour that goes to nearby places, and a really fun pub crawl at night.

Don’t spend too much time in Ao Nang though — make sure you get over to the beautiful Railey Beach & Ton Sai Bay.

You can also hire a mo-ped and explore Krabi town, and the surrounding highlights.

Read:  The Best Hostels in Thailand

Book a Bus + Ferry Combo from Krabi to Koh Phangan (5 Days)

There are loads of travel agencies around Ao Nang and the Krabi that will help you book this ticket.  I typically travel with Lomprayah .  It is by the most established and organized company out there, and enjoy my travels when I book with them.  During peak season, they can sell out tickets.  (Especially prior to a Full Moon Party.)

Koh Phangan is one of the craziest party islands in South-East Asia !  You’ll often hear bad things about the Full Moon Party, but too be honest — it’s a damn good time (if you’re with the right people).  There’s something really fun about getting dressed up in Neon, covering yourself in bodypaint, and dancing all night with fellow backpackers.

To be perfectly honest though, the best party on Koh Phangan isn’t the Full Moon Party.  There’s so many better clubs, venues, and events that you should look into!  If your trip doesn’t align well with a date for the FMP, definitely still go to Koh Phangan!  It’s a great place to spend some time, relax, meet people, party, and enjoy paradise!

IMG_2339

Ferry up to Koh Tao (4-5 Days)

Koh Tao is the very first island I visited in my travels in South-East Asia, and it is by far one of my favorite places in Thailand.  This is a scuba-diver’s paradise, and is the perfect location to get your PADI certifications.  If you don’t want to do the full course, make sure you at least do a “Discover Scuba” one-day course.  It’s one of the most affordable places to try out scuba-diving, and is absolutely beautiful.  When you’re not scuba diving, Koh Tao is an amazing island to explore by moto.  Just choose carefully where you rent it, because this island is notorious for rental places taking advantages of tourists and withholding passports until the pay ridiculous “damage fees”.  Also make sure you do a day-trip to Koh Nang Yuan, Mango View point, The Koh Tao Pub Crawl, and party hard on Sairee Beach!

Read:  7 Amazing Things to do on Koh Tao  

Ferry + Bus from Koh Tao to Bangkok

You’ve seen the best islands Thailand has to offer, now it’s time to finish your trip in the “Big Mango”.  Bangkok is truly an amazing city, and there’s tons of amazing things to do, see, and explore.  It’s the gateway to South-East Asia, and most backpackers out here find themselves in Bangkok more than once.  The street food is delicious, the people are friendly, and you’ll absolutely love exploring all the temples, malls, and rooftop bars.

ReadWhere to Stay in Bangkok

Read10 Amazing Things to do in Bangkok

 


Congratulations!  You’ve just crossed off three amazing countries in South-East Asia, and some of my favorite spots in the world to visit!

Substitutions & Other Destinations

  • The Perhentian Islands:  When you are traveling up through Malaysia, you could easily head over to the stunning Perhentian Islands.  It’s all the way on the east coast of Malaysia, so it’s a bit out of the way for this itinerary- but it would be incredible.  You could get a bus + ferry here from the Cameron Highlands.  Then when you’re ready to leave, take a bus over to Penang to continue the itinerary.
  • Phuket & Koh Samui:  Two of the most popular touristy destinations in Thailand, but I always recommend people to skip them.  They are overcrowded, expensive, and you can find much better places to spend your time.
  • Ko Yao Nai National Park & Ko Tarutao are both absolutely gorgeous, and could easily be worked into this itinerary during your time on Koh Lipe, and Koh Phi Phi.

Travel Tips & Suggestions

  • Travel slow.  I give a recommended time in each place, but if you’re in not on a time crunch, then take it slow and enjoy your time in each place.  Otherwise, you might be spending a lot of time in transit.
  • Buy a Local Sim Card.  This always comes in handy in Malaysia & Thailand.  There are really cheap data plans.
  • Download my Free-Book.  “77 Amazing, Helpful, Money-Saving Tips for Backpacking South-East Asia” for all my best backpacking tips.
  • Stay in Hostels.  This is such an awesome backpacker route, and the best way to experience these destinations is to interact with other travelers!
  • Eat often!  The food in all three of these countries is absolutely amazing!  There are plenty of places for cheap eats, and all the meals are delicious.

Check out These Articles About This Region

Malaysia Travel Guide: Trip Highlights, Destinations, & Itineraries

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Thailand (Instagram Checklist)

Thanks for reading my Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok Backpacking Trip Itinerary!

If you’re planning a trip to South-East Asia and have any questions, feel free to Contact Me with any questions you have!  I’ve spent a lot of time backpacking around the area, and love helping people plan their travels!  Also, make sure you sign-up for my Newsletter below to download my FREE E-Book below that is full of amazing tips and information.

 

The Perhentian Islands: Perfectly Picturesque [Photo Essay]

, ,

Welcome to Paradise…

This was my second time to the Perhentian Islands, and it was a very last minute.  I was in the Cameron Highlands, and had no idea where to go next.

The price to get to Taman Negara (a short bus ride away) was a staggering 70 MYR.  Where as, I could go a long bus ride, and round-trip ferry transport to the Perhentian Islands for 120 MYR.

I’m so glad I decided to come back to these idyllic islands, because I truly fell in love with The Perhentian Islands.  I think you will to after you check out all my photos of them!  True paradise.

The Beach Is The Perfect Place to Relax All Day

DSC_2048

DSC_2068

DSC_1986

DSC_1982

DSC_1977

You can walk over to the pier, and snorkel along these beautiful rocks

DSC_2058

DSC_2061

There are some spectacular views from higher up…

DSC_1999

 

DSC_2000

DSC_1965

The Water is Perfectly Blue…

DSC_2005

DSC_2066

You Can Swim To This Private Beach

DSC_2011

DSC_2015

The Snorkeling Trip Takes You This Amazing Beach

DSC_2097

DSC_2107

DSC_2103

You’ll See Some Cool Stuff Underwater

DCIM109GOPRO

DCIM109GOPRO

There’s an Awesome Fire-Show Every Night at 10:30 P.M

DSC_2180

It’s Definitely a Hard Place to Leave

DSC_1990

DSC_1993

 

I went to the Perhentian Islands with the plan of staying 4 nights, and I ended up staying 9 nights.  I met some awesome people, had a couple great nights out partying, and a lot of fun relaxing on the beach.  

Share With Your Friends

Like this post?  Follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for more adventures Around The World…

A Backpacker’s Guide To The Perhentian Islands

, , , ,

Welcome to Paradise.

The Perhentian Islands are compromised of Perhentian Kecil & Perhentian Besar.  Since I’m writing about the Perhentian Islands for backpackers, I will be writing entirely about Perhentian Kecil.

Perhentian Kecil:  A small and beautiful island consisting of Long Beach & Coral Bay, just a short 10-15 minute walk between the two main areas.  There are a few budget accommodations, nice places to eat, and where all the nightlife occurs.  

Perhentian Besar:  The larger island that consists almost entirely of families, vacationers, honeymooners, and expensive resorts.  

Map created by: http://www.perhentiantrans.com/

Map created by: http://www.perhentiantrans.com/

Getting to The Perhentian Islands

The only access point to the Perhentian Islands is from the Kuala Besut, Jetty.  

If you’d like to fly, then book a flight to either Kota Bharu (closer airport) or Kuala Terrenganu.  From the airports, you will have to take a taxi to the Kuala Besut Jetty.

Cost:  If you get to to Kuala Besut Jetty on your own, you can book your round-trip tickets for 70 MYR.  If you are lucky, you can talk them down.  I actually saw one company offering a special for 50 MYR round-trip.

Where To Stay:

The Perhentian Islands don’t have too a lot of budget accommodation options, but I have stayed at these places, and have enjoyed my time at all of them.

Tropicana Inn / Tivoli Backpackers:  This is a combination of two places that offer both dorm beds and private chalets.  There is currently a lot of construction going on, and there will soon be a lot more availability at this place.

Prices vary upon the time of the year.  During low season you can get a dorm bed for as low as 20/30 MYR per night.  During high season expect to pay 50 MYR per night!

Pros:  Air-Con, Comfortable beds, clean shower, towel provided and overall decent facilities.

Cons:  Wi-Fi only available in lobby, No Lockers, and unfriendly staff.   

One of the best aspects of staying here is that is located right in the middle of the island between Coral Bay & Long Beach.  

Coral Bay

Coral Bay

 

Mohsin Chalet:  Really well located on Long Beach, Mohsin Chalet is another solid budget option.  They have some basic private rooms available, but there is also one building they use as the dorm room.

Prices vary upon the time of the year.  During low season you can get a dorm bed for as low as 15/20 MYR. During high season expect to pay 35 MYR per night.  (Potentially more during a busy weekend).

The dorm  room is very basic.  It’s a giant room with  11 bunk-beds in it.  The building is worn-down, and I nicknamed it “the dungeon”.  You’ll need insect repellant or a mosquito net, because you will get eaten alive.  The bathrooms are dirty, no wi-fi in the rooms, and lots of people.

Pros:  Very short walk to the beach, cheapest option on the Island, beautiful reception overlooking Long Beach, and friendly staff.

Cons: The dorm room cleanliness, no lockers, bugs, and overall bad facilities.  

This can be a great place to meet fellow travelers, and is the cheapest place to stay.  If you are a hard-core budget backpacker, then this is where you are going to stay.  

DSC_1965

 

Dive Center Packages:  There are a ton of different dive centers on the Perhentian Islands.  All of them offer a bunch of different packages that can save you money.

If you already have your PADI, you can book a certain number of fun-dives + accommodation for a special price.  I don’t dive, so unfortunately I couldn’t take advantage of these great deals.  

I know people who dived with Panorama Diving, and they really enjoyed it — so I guess I recommend them.  You could also check out these other great dive companies to compare prices:

DSC_2005

 

Things To Do On The Perhentian Islands

The Perhentian Islands are pretty small, and there actually isn’t a whole lot of things to do.

Get PADI Certified:  With all the different dive companies, if you are looking for a great place to get certified, than this is a solid option.  The Perhentian Islands are known for having spectacular diving opportunities.  You can shop around, but all the dive centers offer 4-Day Open Water Certificaiton packages from 950 – 1100 MYR.

Snorkeling / Island Hopping Tours:  For those whose who don’t have their diving certifications, the Perhentian Islands still offer some of the best snorkeling spots in Malaysia.  You’re almost guaranteed to see a couple turtles, sharks, and beautiful fish.  The coral is beautiful, and you can’t go to the Perhentian Islands without diving or snorkeling at least once.  one of the reason you come here is to explore the underwater life.

DSC_1995

Beach Days:  Read books, lounge on the beach, rent a beach umbrella, go for a swim, play beach volleyball, etc.  This is definitely a “vacation” island, and it’s a great place to unwind during your travels and just simply relax.

Movie Nights:  There are several different places on the Perhentian Islands that you can chill-out at night to watch a movie.  My favorite place is at Ombak Resort.  They’ve got delicious food (although a bit expensive for a backpacker budget), and they have the best set-up.

Watch the Sunrise & Sunset:  Depending on the time of the year, the sunset might not be too great because of the monsoon clouds.  However, the Perhentian Islands can surprise you with some amazing sunsets.  Sunset – Coral Bay….Sunrise – Long Beach.   

DSC_1986

 

Best Places To Eat on Perhentian Kecil

Ewan’s Cafe:  This is definitely my favorite place to eat on the island.  The food is delicious, fairly priced, and the staff are all really nice.

They also have some of the fastest wi-fi on the island.  So if you need to get online to book a flight, hotel, or plan your next destination, check out Ewan’s Cafe.

Panorama Divers Buffet Breakfast:  For the small cost of 15 MYR, you get a selection of a wide variety of breakfast foods.  Roti Canai, Pancakes, Cereal, Fried Rice, Fried Noodles, Eggs, Toast, Donuts, etc.  This buffet is definitely worth the money!  You have to try it at least once.  Plus, for only 15 MYR — it’s a fantastic deal for a budget traveler.

The Local Restaurants of Long Beach:  When you walk up and down Long Beach, about right in the middle is a set of 4-5 different restaurants.  Almost all of them have identical menus, fairly priced, and are pretty great.

Chillout Cafe:  If you walk pretty far towards the end of Long Beach, you’ll find a restaurant with a giant reggae sign that reads “Chillout Cafe”.  Eat here at least once.   At first glance, the food might seem a little pricer than other places, but it’s absolutely delicious.  I ordered a Chicken Fried Rice ( pretty standard dish), but it was one of the better CFR I had eaten in a long time.  They also have decent Roti Cani, and tasty fruit juices / smoothies.

DSC_1992

 

Nightlife on Perhentian Kecil:

While Perhentian Kecil is definitely not one the best party islands in South-East Asia, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a solid night out drinking here.

It’s very easy to party here because people only really go to 2-3 different spots.

Panorama Bar:  Probably the most lively spot with a “bar” feel.  They also have AMAZING PIZZA that you should try at least once.  They are kind of expensive at 25 MYR, but worth it.

Monkey Bar:  Just across the street from Panorama bar, this is a spot to grab a drink and chill a bit.

Pirates of Perhentian:  This is where the nightly fire-show is held every night at 10:30 P.M.  Watching this every night is a lot of fun.  You can sit down on the beach, order some beers, smoke some hookah, and watch some extremely talented people play with fire.

 

Where to Next:

The Perhentian Islands are a popular destination for backpackers in South-East Asia.  Since they are located at the top of Malaysia, it’s common that most people are either working there up through up to Thailand, or working there way down to Kuala Lumpur.

Pulau Kapas:  If you feel like you want to explore more of Malaysia’s best beaches, then catch a bus down to Pulau Kapas.  I personally think it’s the Most Beautiful Island in Malaysia.

Penang / Langkawi :  A popular decision is to head to the West coast of Malaysia and check out Penang and Langkawi.  Two amazing islands, with very different vibes.  Penang for some culture and food, Langawi for some fun in the sun and waterfall exploring.  Check out all my Langkawi Blog Posts.

Cameron Highlands / Teman Negara:  Visit and trek through the oldest rainforest in the world, with the tallest canopy walk in the world!  You can take a boat + bus combo from the Cameron Highlands to Teman Negara for 70 MYR.  Check out my Backpacker’s Guide to the Cameron Highlands.

Kuala Lumpur:  The amazing capital of Malaysia, you can’t visit this amazing country with experiencing all the Amazing Things to do in Kuala Lumpur.

 

I hope this backpacking guide for the Perhentian Islands was helpful for planning your trip!  Remember, if you ever have any questions about traveling South-East Asia, feel free to contact me!

Thanks for reading, and SAFE TRAVELS!

Share with your friends!

Like this post?  Follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for more adventures Around The World…

A Backpacker’s Guide to the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

, , ,

The Cameron Highlands is a stunning hill station in central peninsular Malaysia, and has become a popular destination for backpackers in South-East Asia. Roughly the size of Singapore, the Cameron Highlands covers a large stretch of land, and there’s plenty to do, see, and explore.  I spent 4 nights in the Cameron Highlands, and compiled a this Backpacker’s Guide to the Cameron Highlands to share some information for those cruising out this way soon.

Budget Accomodation:

Twin Pines Guesthouse: This is by far the best and cheapest accommodation. They have cheap double rooms for only 40 MYR per night, or if you are a solo traveler, ask to stay in the attic. There are tiny rooms with just a mattress on the floor for 15 MYR per night. It’s not luxury, but for a budget traveler in the Cameron Highlands, you won’t find a better spot.

Kisabel Hotel   Another solid option for those who have a strict budget. Centrally located in Tanah Rata, you’ll find decent beds, really fast wi-fi, and friendly staff.   If you book online, you might be able to find a special price on Booking.com. I stayed here for two nights for 40% off.

Orchid Lounge: A popular place to stay among backpackers in the Cameron Highlands. Located on the corner of the same street as Kisabalu, you’ll climb 3-stories to the reception. The staff are really nice, there’s a great communal area to meet people, and it will provide a great place to relax.

Things To Do:

The main activity to do in The Cameron Highlands is to book one of the package tours to explore the attractions in the area.  The main attractions of The Cameron Highlands are:

  • Mt. Brinchang.
  • The Mosst Forest.
  • Jungle Trekking (Short & Long)
  • Tea Plantation & Factory.
  • Butterfly Farm.
  • Strawberry Picking.
  • Cactus Point.
  • Rafflesia flower.

DSC_1887

There are three different companies to choose from.  Don’t worry about picking the right one, as they pretty much all do the exact same thing.

I only chose to do the half-day tour, because it was cheaper, and covered all the main things I actually wanted to see. Besides I heard from people that the Butterfly farm was a waste of time. But there are some great full-day exploration options.

DSC_1867

DSC_1837

Places to Eat:

The Curry House – Probably the first thing you’ll recognize when you get off your bus is this restaurant on the corner. A big sign above flashing delicious sounding words like “Tandori Chicken” and “Naan”. A wide selection of Indian and Malaysian food, you definitely should try this place one. It can be a little bit more expensive than other places, but it’s worth it to splurge on one meal.

Tip: Bring your own drink to restaurant. They don’t really care, and their drinks were a bit expensive.

Restoran Kumar

There are two places right next to each other that pretty much sell the exact same thing. When you take a look at the menu, only focus on the “set” deals they have available. That’s where your going to get the most bang for your buck.  Just walk down along the main street past curry house and Starbucks, and you’ll find this amazing restaurant.

The Banana Leaf set meal is really good, and at the Tandori Chicken + Naan set is an absolute must try.

DSC_1806

DSC_1921

General Thoughts & Advice

The Cameron Highlands can be a great and affordable place to chill for a few days. A lot of backpackers come through for a quick 1 day stop, do a package tour, and then leave. You can do that, but if you are looking for a nice place to detox, breathe some fresh air, and eat some good food – this a is a great option.

Make sure you shop around for the different tour companies. Look at what each package contains, if they include or exclude entrance fees, and figure out exactly what you want to do. If you have a group of people, remember, there’s power in numbers. You can probably negotiate them down to a lower price per person.

 

Where To Next:

The Cameron Highlands are so centrally located in Malaysia, that it’s the perfect jumping off point to several of Malaysia’s tourist destinations.

Penang / Langkawi :  A popular decision is to head to the West coast of Malaysia and check out Penang and Langkawi.  Two amazing islands, with very different vibes.  Penang for some culture and food, Langawi for some fun in the sun and waterfall exploring.  Check out all my Langkawi Blog Posts.

Teman Negara:  Visit and trek through the oldest rainforest in the world, with the tallest canopy walk in the world!  You can take a boat + bus combo from the Cameron Highlands to Teman Negara for 70 MYR.

Kuala Lumpur:  The amazing capital of Malaysia, you can’t visit this amazing country with experiencing all the Amazing Things to do in Kuala Lumpur.

Perhentian Islands:  Head on over to the tropical paradise islands that is the Perhentian Kecil and Perhentian Besar.  These islands are truly magical, and will keep you there longer than expected!

 

Backpacking in the Cameron Highlands and Malaysia is truly an amazing experience.

Thanks for reading. I hope this helps you plan your visit to the Cameron Highlands a little bit easier.

Like this post?  Follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for more adventures Around The World…

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you book through these links I will receive a very small commission at no extra cost to you.  This helps with the cost of running the site, and basically just help me buy my next beer along my travels.  : )  

A Weekend Trip to Tioman Island, Malaysia

,

After the brutal weather causing floods in Myanmar, my friends and I decided that it might not be the best time to visit there.  Despite already paying for one flight, entrance visas, and two nights at a hotel; we agreed that it would still be better to spend our time elsewhere than be stuck inside budget hotels instead of being to explore all the temples, cities, and lakes the country is known for.

We had all traveled to a lot of different places in Malaysia before, but there was one place we all would be exploring somewhere new.  That’s when we decided it was the perfect time for a weekend trip to Tioman Island.

Overall, the trip had it’s ups and downs (the downs being mainly transportation related), but we all agreed that Tioman Island was really beautiful, and had a great time.

Trip Highlights

1.  Coral Island Snorkeling Trip

This was a blast.  We didn’t get too lucky with weather, but the underwater life was still pretty great, and went to some beautiful places.  It was also extremely funny laughing at all the big Chinese tour groups who really have no idea what they’re doing.  Our first spot was overcrowded, but the visibility was still great.

DSC_1733

DSC_1742

DSC_1730

DSC_1744

Rachel the model…

2.  Exploring ABC Beach

I hadn’t done much research on what do do on Tioman Island, or where to stay, but I’m glad we ended up staying on one of the main areas called ABC Beach.  It was a pretty quiet area, but also really beautiful.  We found our favorite places to eat and drink, and pretty much stuck to those two;  Nazri’s Place (A.K.A Roger’s Place), and Sunset Bar (Best Happy Hour!).  The Beaches were nice, and was a really cool place to call home.  There was a hike that was an option to a couple hidden bays and beaches, but we decided against it because we’re lazy and didn’t have shoes.

DSC_1759

DSC_1756

Goodbye Tioman Sunset

The first two nights we stayed on Tioman island, the weather was pretty bad.  The sunset wasn’t really visible at all, and the sky stayed the same greyish color from 6-8 p.m.  Luckily for us, on our last night we a spectacular sunset.  I was eating dinner with a friend I actually met on Langkawi (Shoutout to Rohima), and was left thoroughly amazed.

DSC_1766

DSC_1779

DSC_1792

DSC_1797

DSC_1802

[divider]

The Bad

Traveling isn’t always pleasant, and Tioman had a couple aspects that I would have preferred not to encoutner.  Obviously, you got to be ready to handle things go wrong, but a couple of these were extremely annoying.

1.  Getting To/From Tioman Island

This was a pain in the ass.  First of all, the price for a return ticket is 70 MYR, which is around $20.  We took a night bus to get to Mersing, and got dropped off at 2:30 A.M.  From the Mersing bus station, you have to walk 10-15 minutes.  Then we took a 4:30 A.M ferry to get to the island.  The Ferry was freezing cold, and then dropped us off at 6:00 A.M, when there were zero accommodation places open to take people in.  We ended up chilling at some random place outside for over an hour before figuring out where we were staying.

2.  Expensive & Bad Accommodation

There weren’t really any hostels that I saw on ABC Beach, and the accommodation was kind of expensive.  We got suckerered into staying at Mohktar’s place, and it was terrible.  No sheets on the bed, bugs everywhere, and the owner was a dick.

 

3.  Trip Delay / Missed Bus

Leaving the island was absolutely miserable.  The only departure was at 6:00 A.M.  We were told to be at the ferry about 30 minutes before, which was bull shit.  Right at 5:58, a big ferry pulls up to pick us up.  Then out of nowhere, the boat just decides to leave before even docking.  We ended up waiting another hour, for a terribly small ferry which could only fit 25% of the people waiting.  We then had to wait another 3 hours for another ferry, which made us miss our bus departure back to Kuala Lumpur.

[divider]

Overall, Tioman was a great little trip, but without the couple transportation problems we had it would have been a whole lot better.

If you’re planning on going to Tioman, make sure you plan ahead for times of the ferries, and what to do.  Things will go alot smoother if you do.

DSC_1771

[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”7411671″]

Like this post?  Follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for more adventures Around The World…

Pulau Kapas: The Most Beautiful Island in Malaysia. [ Photo Essay ]

, , , ,

Thanks to some of my expat friends in Kuala Lumpur, I was recommended to take a little trip over to a small island called Pulau Kapas.  (They are not too happy with me to be blogging about it…but I can’t help myself).  Sorry, I’m not sorry.

When I got to the island, I was completely speechless.  Only one word came to mind…

Paradise.

DSC_1543

I couldn’t put my camera down.  I took hundreds of photos during my 4-day stay on Kapas Island, and I think they came out really great!  So without further ado…

Welcome to Pulau Kapas:

DSC_1534

DSC_1544

This was the beach right out front of the LongSha Beach Campsite.

DSC_1536

DSC_1537

DSC_1545

One of my favorite aspects of the island was the ease of walking from one side to the other.  There were these beautiful golden staircases that led you around the island. 

DSC_1548

DSC_1550

DSC_1551

DSC_1553

DSC_1574

DSC_1579

There’s only a few main beaches, and they are all incredible…

DSC_1568

DSC_1564

DSC_1582

DSC_1588

DSC_1677

DSC_1545

A day trip over to “Gem Island” is a must…

DSC_1678

DSC_1609

DSC_1613

DSC_1629

DSC_1635

DSC_1636

DSC_1652

DSC_1627

And the Snorkeling is absolutely incredible…

DCIM109GOPRO

Pulau Kapas also brings some incredible views during afternoon and sunset….

DSC_1664

DSC_1657

DSC_1599

DSC_1594

Thank you Pulau Kapas for being the most beautiful and relaxing island in Malaysia.  I’ll be back soon!

DSC_1676

Like this post?  Follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for more adventures Around The World…

LongSha Beach Camping on Pulau Kapas

, , , , ,

When most people think of budget travel, their minds think of dirty hostels or questionable guesthouses, but there is another option: camping.  I had actually never camped before in South-East Asia, and I’m really glad that my first experience was at LongSha Pulau Kapas.

For only 15 MYR per night ($4), you can rent a tent at this amazing campsite.  If you have your own tent, you can stay there for 10 MYR.  However, if you don’t have a decent tent, I would highly recommend just paying the extra 5 MYR, because they have really great quality tents, and provide a thin pad.

DSC_1681

DSC_1597

I went there with just a small backpack, and was okay with sleeping in the tent.  It was a little bit uncomfortable, but I used my clothes as a blanket, and my backpack as a pillow.  This is definitely the cheapest place to stay on Pulau Kapas, and will definitely make you fall in love with the island.

The staff at LongSha Camp Site are really great, and can help you sort out everything you need for the island like kayak rentals, boat rides, or transportation to the mainland.

There’s an awesome map of the island there which will give you a great idea of what to do on Pulau Kapas.

DSC_1671

LongSha Campsite has a kitchen to use as well, which was really common for people to cook at.  One night one the guys who works there went out fishing, and brought back a ton of squid to grill up.  It was delicious, and they didn’t ask any money for it!

DSC_1680

Obviously, I had an amazing time staying at LongSha camp site.  The place is cheap and provides a great environment for people to meet each other.

The backpackers you meet on Pulau Kapas are much different than those you’d meet at Koh Tao or Gili Trawangan.  The people you meet are all long-term travel backpackers.  People that will inspire you to keep traveling, living the nomadic lifestyle, and see the world.

During my 4 days at LongSha Campsite, I met some awesome Spanish, Italian, Belgium, Argentinian, Dutch, French, and German people.  We even organized a boat ride together over to Gemnia island to do some snorkeling.

DSC_1678

DSC_1656

DSC_1631

 

Practical Information:

  • There is no sitting toilet.  If you can’t handle the bare minimum travel lifestyle, than you might want to spend the extra cash and stay at the hostel.
  • There are a lot of mosquitos on Pulau Kapas.  So make sure you bring some bug spray!
  • If you can, bring a pillow to help you sleep.  It’s not necessary, but it will help
  • Pulau Kapas is a very “sticky island”.  Meaning it has the power to keep you there longer than expected.  Don’t rush your stay here.

 

DSC_1536

Pulau Kapas is not a well known island in Malaysia, but it definitely is going to grow in the upcoming years.  This island is truly the definition of paradise, and I think more and more people will be flocking to this amazing place.

If you do come to Pulau Kapas, and are looking for a great place to stay; I’d highly recommend staying at the LongSha campsite.  You’ll meet amazing people, save some money, and really enjoy your stay.  Just be careful, you might find yourself staying here longer than expected.

I’m all about that hammock life.

DSC_1676

 

Have you been to Pulau Kapas before?  Planning on going anytime soon?  Don’t be afraid to contact me if you have any questions, or feel free to leave me a comment!

 

[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”7411671″]

Like this post?  Follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for more adventures Around The World…