Gap Years, Backpacking & Travelling in Malaysia

Malaysia is a popular destination where you can see beautiful beaches, lush rainforests, exotic wildlife and fascinating cities. This country offers so much and you will be sure to find something to match your interests. Whether you are looking to see animals, join a challenging adventure or do something more meanginful our experiences will appeal to you. 


Malaysia Travel Ideas, Gap Year Programs & Experiences

Find inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to go travelling, backpacking or take a gap year in Malaysia.

Malaysia travel guide

Malaysia Travel Guide

Get information, tips, itineraries and inspiration for visiting Malaysia.

  • Capital: Kuala Lumpur (Population: 1.700,000 approx)
  • Currency: Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) $1 = 3MYR / £1 = 4.8MYR 
  • Population: 28,000,000 (approx)
  • Language: Malay + English + local languages
  • Area: 330,000 sq km (approx)
  • International Calling Code +60
  • Transport: There is a public and private bus service connecting the country, Air Asia provide cheap flights
  • Tourist Visa: Most nationalities can gain a tourist visa on arrival


How to Get to Malaysia

Most flights arrive into Kuala Lumpur (KL) which is connected to worldwide airports. There are cheap internal flights which can also connect most destinations in the country.


Getting Around Malaysia

The cheapest way to explore Malaysia is independently by public transport but sometimes this can be difficult especially if you want to visit different places or if you are either traveling solo or don't know the language. We recommend pre-arranging a tour.


Best Things to See & Do in Malaysia 

  • Visit the spectacular Perinthian Islands, there no cars and you can chill out, go snorkelling or learn to scuba dive
  • Go to the Cameron Highlands and see where a lot of the worlds tea is made, the hills are spectacular
  • Travel to the Kinabalu National Park and climb Mount Kinabalu
  • The Taman Negara National Park is easily accessible and here you can join guided tours of the jungle and rivers
  • Most flights arrive into the facsinating city of Kualar Lumpur - be sure to climb the Petronas Towers 
  • Langkawi is a great area to visit, there are lots of islands and beauty spots to explore


Malaysia Gap Year

Plan a Gap Year to Malaysia

Malaysia is a small country but there really is a wealth of travel opportunities from trekking jungles, to seeing high mountain peaks to floating down rivers you will find something for you. There are some of the best beaches and islands in the world here too. We offer trips for students, graduates, career breaks, budget backpackers and for people seeking to do more than your average experience. 

Malaysia is a beautiful country to spend a gap year. This country is a lot less touristy and cheaper than a gap year in Thailand and there is tasty local food and spectacular places to visit. Also expect beaches and lots of adventure activities for backpackers and budget travellers. Malaysia is a nice mix of old and new, millions of tourists visit every year and head to luxury resorts but with our website you can do something a whole lot more constructive.

If you don't want an experience of just sitting on a beach our gap years will appeal to you. You could learn to dive in this popular South-East Asia gap year destination, you'll also get to meet new people and get up close and personal to exotic fish and sharks! Another popular option is to volunteer with orangutans in Borneo. If you are researching ideas for for what to do on your gap year in Malaysia search ideas on our directory.


Malaysia Travel Tips & Advice

"If you want to do something different after school, something that will really make an impact, not just on those you help, but also on yourself, then I would definately recommend applying for a gap year program with Project Trust! My time in Malaysia was the best gap year experience!" - Alex, Netherlands

"You will find the Perinthian Islands probably the best island to visit, this is so beautiful whilst Tamanegara is great for jungle trekking. The Cameron highlands is a top rated destination high in the mountains. "In KL go to Chinatown and the shopping malls, some are so big they even have theme parks inside. Don't be afraid of the different culture, people are really friendly and you will feel almost at home" 

"I went backpacking in South-East Asia and often gets asked what the best country I visited was. This is very easy to answer... Malaysia. There are so many reasons not least it has some of the best food in Asia. If you are planning an adventure to Asia then Malaysia is a country where you should definitely consider visiting because of the people, the food, the places, the shops and the cheap cost of travelling here. With six Malaysia Ringgit to the GBP and local food costing 1-10 ringgit, backpackers are always onto a winner." 

"Check the foreign office before you plan your trip to anywhere. We intended to go to Langkawi on a cruise from Phi Phi but luckily we were advised to check on the foreign office website due to recent unrest; sure enough there were westerners being targeted by kidnappers at the land borders."

"If you are booking a bus to Singapore - do it in advance - they fill up quick!!! Especially at the weekend, we found out the hard way and luckily got a bus after a 4 hour wait - we had the last two tickets!! We hadn't pre-booked - much to the shock of the staff at our hostel who were convinced that we would not be going to Singapore that evening. They were nearly right; we got the last two seats on a bus to Singapore - it was a Sunday but its worth avoiding the hassle - as we did have to wait for four hours as well."


Recommended Cities to Visit

  • Kuala Lumpur is one of the best cities in Asia, you can walk around quite easily, be sure to go up the Petronas Towers and visit China Town
  • George Town is the capital of Penang and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Sabbah with around half a million people living here
  • Malacca has beautiful buildings from the colonial era
  • Ipoh is a great stop off on the way to the Cameron Highlands, located on the West Coast of Malaysia


Health & Safety

Malaysia is a very safe destination if you stick to the touist trail, there are some ethnic tension on the Northern border with Thailand which you might want to avoid. Malaysia is a multicultural destination with Malays, Chinese and Indian people making up most of the population. Please always be respectful of the local culture, laws and religions. Food is very tasty and in most places Western options are available too, most local dishes are rice, with vegtables and meat/fish.



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