go to Malaysia ?
will find here the results of our backpackers' survey as well as comments on
some aspects of Malaysia.
asked backpackers who had traveled in Malaysia for more than two weeks already
to answer the followings.
you like Malaysia ?
of the backpackers surveyed (47) say yes ! (up)
it was not for the few girls I met who were sexually harassed on the east coast
or the disappointed fun-seekers, Malaysia would probably make unanimity !
Indeed, where else can you find so many different cultural traditions and so
many natural escapes on such a small area ?
you happily come back ? 83%
of the backpackers surveyed (47) say yes ! (up)
is not such a big country so a few backpackers would rather visit somewhere else
(maybe Borneo ?) than coming back. But the majority really would not mind
! I certainly would not !
you recommend Malaysia ? 98%
of the backpackers surveyed (47) say yes ! (same)
excellent recommendation rate but, of course, a targeted one : Malaysia is
indeed not recommendable to everybody and it is much better that way...
also asked them to rate the followings :
The tourists attractions
Backpackers : 13.96 /20
Malaysia is not a country with world's famous attractions
like Angkor or the Great Wall. However, the country is spotted with colonial
architectures, splendid Mosque, Buddhist caves, sandy beaches,... as well as
world's or Asian's records. And considering the size of the peninsula, you
will be surprised by the number of such sights...
The city scenery
Backpackers : 12.51 /20
Cities in Malaysia are, from my point of view, among the
nicest and most interesting in Asia. This is due, I believe, to the mix of
British colonial architecture with Chinese and Muslim touch of life. Kuala Lumpur
is arguably the nicest capital of Asia, with the highest towers in
the world and a couple of other modern records next to old Mosque and colonial
buildings. It did not however avoid the plague of traffic jams and urban
pollution, which may explain the medium rate.
The natural scenery
Backpackers : 15.64 /20 (up)
A good rate as Malaysia boost some
of the nicest islands in the region (Perhentian, Tioman) as well as pristine
primary rainforest turned into national parks (Taman Negara) , splendid panorama
of tea plantations in altitude (Cameron Highlands) or relaxed lake gardens by
the side of its cities (Taiping, KL). And this without reference to the jungle
of Sarawak yet...
The cultural opportunities
Backpackers : 14.21 /20
Being rather developed, Malaysia can afford to preserve
and exhibit its cultural heritage and Malay traditions : its numerous museums
are among the nicest and most interesting in Asia. With Its multi-ethnic and
multi-religious characteristics, Malaysia is also a window to the whole of
Asia. And most local people speaking English, cultural exchanges are just
an "hello" away...
: 16.68 /20
Being such a melting pot of cultures,
Malaysia's diversity can of course be found in the kitchen as well. Malay,
Chinese, Indian, Indonesian or even American cuisine (would be a pity though)
are available at very low prices. A great place to gain back the weight lost on
Backpackers : 15.49 /20 (up)
is on the motorway of development and its infrastructures are among the best in
Asia. Of course, it does not compete yet with its Singapore neighbor, some of
its buses are ready for retirement and its jungle train remains a slow jungle
train but, as a whole, traveling the country is as easy as it can be, that is
from a backpacking point of view. And what about all those records which put
Malaysia on the world's map of infrastructures achievements ?
cost of living and traveling
Backpackers : 14.47 /20
its relative modernity, Malaysia remains pleasantly cheap. Of course, it is not
as cheap as Thailand but it's cost ratio is about on the same level as Laos or
Cambodia, which is quite a performance ! Not however on all aspects : the food
at night markets is very cheap, but the beer, when available, is among the most
expensive in the area (remember that Malaysia is Muslim). And not everywhere :
costs on the islands, whether for transport, food or guesthouses, can easily be
multiplied by two...
: 16.26 /20
There are, as a whole, no safety issues in Malaysia from
a global backpacking point of view. Looking a bit closer, things however do
happen : sexual harassment toward western girls is common (in particular on the
east coast) and robberies do take place on some islands. Violence or physical
aggressions are fortunately very rare. As for the kidnapping of tourists
by philippino Muslims, it happened so far away from Peninsular Malaysia that
people who have been scared off would rather consult a map of the area...
: 12.61 /20
is from that point of view very unfortunate to stand next to Singapore : it
looks real dirty ! Of course, not more than the other developing countries and
much less than India. But, considering its level of development, it is starting
to be a real shame ! What is the point of having the tallest buildings if some
villages look like a rubbish dump ?
: 11.74 /20 (down)
is somehow falling victim of its development : traffic, industries,
logging and tourism infrastructures are all starting to affect the jungle and
the fresh air of the cities. But is it not what all the developed countries have
done ? And from a backpacking point of view, the bus stations are the only
places were your health may be at risk...
Shopkeepers' attitude Backpackers
: 14.21 /20
friendly and fairly honest, Malaysian shopkeepers aren't too pushy as
well. It is actually sometimes quite the opposite : ask for a special care
(not to put fingerprints on your film for example) and you may be asked to look
for another shop !
Malaysia is a multi cultural society. The
Malay are dominant and in charge of the Mosque and the politics. The
Chinese, 30% of the population, controls 75% or so of the business so you are
likely to deal with them for money issues. The Indian (9%) prepares the tastier
& cheapest food and have the most colorful temples. Small groups of Orang
Asli ("original people") are also scattered around the peninsular.
Finally, more than 200 Dayak tribes are reported on Borneo. How would it be
possible to rate such a diversity ?
Local people's attitude
Backpackers : 15.83 /20
If it was not for the sexual harassment
encountered by western females with some Malay, the people from Malaysia
(meaning all the different ethnic groups) would probably be reckoned as one of
the friendliest in Asia. The lack of language barrier certainly help to
appreciate each other...
Backpackers : 11.08 /20
is dominantly Muslim so the beer is expensive and Mosque more numerous than bars
or disco. No full moon parties, drug or open prostitution here ! Singapore
people may come to Malaysia to have fun (and indeed it is possible to have some)
but Malaysia caters certainly more to quiet backpackers in search of cultural or
natural experiences than to people in search of artificial paradises...
Backpackers : 13.91 /20
the daily life point of view, shops are well furnished and you will usually find
everything you are looking for and more. From a souvenir point of view, Malaysia
boost some great arts and crafts but unfortunately at an high (sometimes
ridiculous) price. After Thailand or Indonesia, it is therefore a
disappointment. As for electronic goods, Malaysia is not a bargain (as
expensive or more expensive than in the West) : head toward Singapore !
the country Backpackers
: 15.15 /20
good rate but nevertheless one the lowest in Asia. Is it not surprising
considering the richness of the country (from a natural or cultural point
of view) on such a small area and the ease to travel around ? The explanation
may be double : First, a few girls were really pissed of by the treatment
they had received on the east coast. Second, Malaysia is clearly not for
everybody : fun and beer lovers may not find it to their taste. Not being an
attractive girl nor an active drinker, Malaysia is one of my favorite
for money Backpackers
: 15.57 /20
If it was not for the expensive islands or
the beer, Malaysia would probably rate even higher. If you are scared of the sea
(what a pity !) and follow Muslim's rules, you are likely to find that Malaysia
is one of the best bargain in Asia !
Give your opinion ! If you have traveled in Malaysia for more than 2 weeks, please participate to our
Malaysia with other countries in the Asia
Travel Experiences Banner Exchange