Solo Travel in Malaysia: The Ultimate Guide

Solo travel in Malaysia is a joy.

This underrated jewel of a country offers a diversity of cultures and landscapes and has a rich historical heritage. Furthermore, it is relatively safe for female solo travellers to explore on their own.

Discover how to travel alone in Malaysia with expert tips and a relaxed 2-week itinerary that showcases some of this diverse & distinctive country. This article is also packed with useful practical information, including how to get around Malaysia, where to stay, what to eat and solo travel safety tips.

mountain overlooking sea and islands on langkawi malaysia

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What is the Best Month to Visit Malaysia?

The best time of the year to visit Malaysia will depend on where you are in the country.

The best time of year to visit Western (Peninsular) Malaysia is in the dry season between November and February.

Peninsular Malaysia can get busy during the dry season, and especially around the Chinese New Year (usually late January to mid-February).

Prices are lower and crowds are fewer between March and June, although you are likely to see some rain.

To escape the monsoon season, you should travel to Eastern Malaysia between March and September

What Are the Best Places in Malaysia for Solo Travellers?

Broadly speaking, if you only have two weeks to spare, you will need to make the choice between Eastern or Western (Peninsular) Malaysia.

Bearing in mind the size of the country, you won’t want to spread yourself too thin, pinging from one place to the next. Also, the weather patterns favour east and west at different times of the year.

So what floats your boat holiday-wise?

Peninsular Malaysia is more developed, and more touristed, and boasts the capital, Kuala Lumpur, along with other popular destinations, including Melaka and Penang.

By contrast, Eastern Malaysia is quieter and may appeal to your more adventurous nature. This side of the country features white sand-fringed islands that offer sensational diving off their shores, and the jungles of Borneo.

cycle rickshaw outside weathered chinese building in penang malaysia
George Town, Penang

How to Get to Malaysia

Most travellers arrive in Malaysia by air.

Its main international gateway is Kuala Lumpur (KUL), which is also a major regional hub. In addition, Penang and Langkawi have domestic and international airports. To the east, the main hubs are Kuching, Miri and Kota Kinabalu.

You can cross into Malaysia by land from Singapore, Thailand, Brunei and Indonesia. Kuala Lumpur is connected by rail to Singapore and Bangkok (via Butterworth).

By sea, boats and ferries connect Malaysia with Singapore, Thailand, Brunei  Indonesia and The Philippines.

Cruise ships also visit Malaysia’s ports.

Getting Around Malaysia

Travelling around Malaysia is easy; public transport is inexpensive and reliable.

Although the most commonly used options for getting around Peninsular Malaysia are buses, minivan and budget flights, there is also a limited railway network.

Popular routes are served by multiple bus companies. This plethora of operators means that fares are cheap and departures are frequent.

You can usually just turn up and buy a ticket for the next departure. Each company in a Malaysian bus station will have its own booth.

I love train travel and recommend the train journey from Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth (for George Town, Penang). Western Malaysia’s intercity train service is operated by KTM.

man sitting in rickshaw giving a thumbs up sign
Another mode of transport in Malaysia

A 2-Week Malaysia Itinerary for Solo Travellers

This 2-week Malaysia itinerary starts and ends in the capital city Kuala Lumpur and also includes three of the most popular west coast destinations: Melaka, George Town on Penang Island and Langkawi Island.

For each destination, I have included the best places to visit, how to get there and where to stay.

Malaysia itinerary infographic
Malaysia itinerary for solo travellers

What about the Cameron Highlands?

Intentionally, this is a relaxed 2-week Malaysia itinerary. However, you can squeeze more in.

An obvious addition is the Cameron Highlands, the inland region of Malaysia known for its tea plantations, hiking trails and strawberry farms.

For me, this was one stop too many. Nonetheless, adding it to this itinerary is entirely feasible, albeit resulting in a faster-paced two weeks.

Day 1: Kuala Lumpur (overnight stay)

Many overnight flights from Europe land in Kuala Lumpur in the evening. If Melaka is the first stop on your itinerary, it makes sense to travel to stay overnight nearKuala Lumpur International Airport rather than in the city centre before you make tracks for Melaka.

The restorative power of a good kip and a hot shower after a long flight is not to be underestimated!

Where to stay near Kuala Lumpur Airport

There are slim pickings of standard hotels close to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The only hotel that is walkable from the airport terminal is the Sama Sama Hotel.

An alternative option is one of the transit hotels at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The cost will depend on the number of hours that you will be occupying a room, and many offer rates up to 12 hours, which is enough for an overnight stay.

Before booking a transit hotel check at which terminal your plane arrives.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport has two terminals: KLIA which serves most international flights from full-service carriers and KLIA2 which serves low-cost carriers.

Splurge: Sama Sama Hotel | BOOK A ROOM

I stayed in this modern and spacious 5-star hotel with high levels of customer service, which is joined to the main terminal building by a covered footbridge. But if you are feeling weary after your flight, an orange buggy will also drop you at the hotel’s entrance.

Highly recommended (and not just because they upgraded my room on arrival).

To save money, consider somewhere near the airport. Here are some hotels near Kuala Lumpur International Airport that I have found that might also be suitable:

Mid-range: Movenpick Hotel | BOOK A ROOM

Offering better value for money, this is also a 5-star hotel but is a ten-minute drive from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. However, the hotel does provide an hourly free shuttle bus.

Budget: the youniQ Hotel | BOOK A ROOM

This budget option is a 15-minute drive from the airport and offers dorm beds and private rooms. It also provides an airport transfer service for a small charge.

Malaysia Itinerary Day 2 & 3: Melaka

Why visit Melaka?

Visit Melaka for its beautifully preserved historic centre, with its kaleidoscope of architectural styles, the lively Jonker Walk weekend night market and psychedelic trishaws.

What we see today is thanks to Melaka’s rich history.

One of the oldest cities on the Straits of Malacca, the city started life as a fishing village founded by a Sumatran Hindu prince in the 14th Century. Over the subsequent six centuries, it passed through the hands of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British before gaining independence in 1946.

Awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2008, Melaka’s historic centre is a jumble of restored Chinese shophouses cradled between Portuguese, British and Dutch buildings. Be warned; it can be ridiculously busy, particularly at weekends.

man on scooter going past an orange coloured house

How to get to Melaka

  • There is a direct bus from Kuala Lumpur airport. The journey takes around three hours. Buses also depart from Kuala Lumpur’s chaotic central bus station.
  • Although not necessary, you can book your bus ticket in advance here.

What to see in Melaka

Jonker Street 

Once renowned for its antique shops, Jonker Street today is home to restaurants, clothing and craft shops. It comes alive at the weekend when it is the scene for a hugely popular night market, selling all manner of things that you need, as well as things that you didn’t realise you needed until you strolled amongst its stalls.

Aside from its retail and culinary opportunities, this is a fascinating area to wander through

Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum

The Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum was one of my Melaka highlights.

A guided tour of this wonderfully restored townhouse takes you back to 19th Century Melaka. The museum houses an exquisite collection of traditional furniture and is arranged to resemble a typical Baba-Nonya residence.

Nyonya Baba or Peranakan people are descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to Malaysia in the 15th century. Nyona refers to the Peranakan women; Baba refers to the Peranakan men.

Christ Church Melaka

Built by the Dutch to commemorate the capture of Melaka from the Portuguese, this 18th Century  Melaka landmark is one of the most photographed sites in the city.

Avoid the crowds by visiting Christ Church early in the day.

You can visit Christ Church Melaka from Monday to Saturday.

pink church building in melaka malaysia

Stadthuys Melaka

Adjacent to Christ Church is the cerise town hall and governor’s residence.

Today, this houses the History & Ethnography Museum, exploring the history of Melaka through the lives of the ethnic groups living in the city.

Melaka or Malacca?

You will sometimes see Melaka referred to as Malacca, the Anglicised spelling of the state’s, and city’s, name. Officially, it is Melaka.

How to get around Melaka

  • Melaka’s compact size makes it easily walkable. However, if you are feeling weary why not take a ride on one of the city’s psychedelic trishaws? Agree on a price before setting off.
  • You can also hire a bike to get around.

Where to stay in Melaka

As Melaka is awash with accommodation choices, you are unlikely to struggle to find somewhere to rest your head.

If you want to be in the thick of things, concentrate your search around Jonker Street. As there are some really nice hotels at affordable rates, this is a good place to treat yourself.

Mid-range: Jonker Boutique Hotel | BOOK A ROOM

I stayed at this 3-star hotel, in the centre of the action on Jonker Street. Don’t expect luxury, but this is a characterful property which had super-friendly staff.

Here are some other hotels in Melaka that I have found that may suit other tastes and budgets:

Splurge: The Majestic | BOOK A ROOM

This 5-star hotel looks glorious inside and out. Housed in a heritage building dating back to 1920, and set along the banks of Melaka River, it has garnered rave reviews.

Budget: Yote 28 | BOOK A ROOM

As the price of accommodation in Melaka is low, you may not have to consider cheaper options. But if you are looking for a budget choice, this hostel has excellent online reviews and is a 10-minute walk from Jonker Street.

--> None of these accommodation choices take your fancy? Search for other great places to stay in Melaka here.

Day 4 & 5: Kuala Lumpur

Head back to Kuala Lumpur on day four of your 2-week Malaysia itinerary.

Why visit Kuala Lumpur?

Initially, Kuala Lumpur’s scale and its frantic pace can be overwhelming. However, give it a day or so and this vibrant metropolis will win you over.

The cultural diversity of Kuala Lumpur is striking. Ethnic Malays, Chinese prospectors, British colonial rulers and Indian immigrants have all left their mark on Malaysia’s capital city.

KL is all about contrast. Hindu temples and mosques rub shoulders with gleaming shopping malls, the 21st-century cathedrals of consumerism. Cafes offering foam-topped lattés and wi-fi sit cheek-to-jowl with streetside hawker stalls.

How to get from Melaka to Kuala Lumpur

From Melaka, catch the bus to Kuala Lumpur’s central bus station (KL Central) and then connect to the metro to complete your journey.

Places to visit in Kuala Lumpur

Petronas Towers

The iconic Petronas Twin Towers are a must-see in Kuala Lumpur. Once the world’s tallest buildings – they lost that crown to Taipei 101 in Taiwan 2004 – I recommend visiting them inside and out.

city skyline at dusk with mountains in background
Petronas Twin Towers

As visiting the Petronas Towers is very popular, buy tickets online in advance. Note that they are closed to visitors on Mondays.


Try to visit the Petronas Towers late afternoon to watch the sunset and witness Kulala Lumpur light up below you. It’s a magical experience.

To admire them from the outside, head to KLCC Park, right behind the towers. or enjoy the view over a  cocktail at the Traders Hotel Skybar.

KL Bird Park

Home to over 200 species of birds, swooping beneath a massive canopy, KL Bird Park was an unexpected delight. Watch out for the peacocks strutting their stuff.

bird park kuala lumpur malaysia

Islamic Arts Museum

After visiting KL Bird Park, stop by Kuala Lumpur’s outstanding Islamic Arts Museum. As well as housing an astonishing collection of Islamic decorative arts, its gift shop is also a good place to pick up tasteful gifts.

ceiling with islamic art
Ceiling at the Islamic Arts Museum

Merdeka Square

The colonial heart of Kuala Lumpur, Merdeka Square is fringed by handsome heritage buildings. Back in the British era, the square was used as a cricket pitch (the Padang), and it is also where independence was declared in 1957.

cricket green in front of colonial buildings in kuala lumpur malaysia


Fill your face with tasty rice and noodles and then go temple-hopping in Chinatown. For its vibrancy, and for timing my visit with a wedding celebration, my favourite was the Hindu temple of Sri Mahamariamman.

But a close second was Sin Sze Si Ya, the oldest Chinese temple in Kuala Lumpur, with its serene atmosphere.

old woman lighting incense stick in chinese temple

Batu Caves

The Batu Caves is the most popular day trip from Kuala Lumpur.

This complex of limestone caves 13 km north of Kuala Lumpur, houses Hindu temples that have been a pilgrimage site for more than 120 years. They are joyously colourful.

Batu Caves are free to visit.


The easiest way to reach Batu Caves from Kuala Lumpur is by the direct KTM Seremban train from KL Sentral. The total journey is about 30 minutes and a one-way cash ticket costs RM2.30 (December 2022 price – check current KTM Komuter fares here).

Alternatively, take an inexpensive organised tour from Kuala Lumpur. Here are a few that will fit the bill and that also offer free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance if your plans change.

Batu Caves

This very affordable half-day tour includes pick-up from your accommodation in KL and a guide.


Private Batu Cave, National Mosque & Religious Tour

This 5-hour tour includes lunch in Little India.


Private tour to Genting Highland & Batu Caves

This full-day tour includes a scenic ride on Genting Skyway, Southeast Asia’s fastest and longest cable car and Malaysia’s only casino resort.


How to get around Kuala Lumpur

  • Thanks to its integrated transport system, it is easy to get around Kuala Lumpur. The city’s trains and buses connect through the central station, KL Sentral.
  • Although you can buy single tickets at machines and counters, if you are in the city for a few days it is worth your while getting a Touch & Go card. Similar to London’s Oyster Card, this allows you to travel around Kuala Lumpur with ease and you also benefit from lower prices.
  • Here’s further information on using Kuala Lumpur’s public transport.
  • Taxis are also a good option and are plentiful and relatively cheap

Organised day tours in Kuala Lumpur

Alternatively, why not consider joining an organised day trip?

If you are pressed for time or need to gain confidence in navigating a city, they can be an excellent option. As a solo traveller, this is also an excellent way to meet people whilst away.

Here are a few from GetYourGuide, my go-to platform that offers a wide choice of affordable excursions with extremely generous cancellation terms:

Kuala Lumpur Half-Day City Tour

Get the lay of the land with this 3-hour tour.


Cameron Highlands Day Tour from Kuala Lumpur

This Malaysia itinerary does not include the Cameron Highlands. But if you would like to visit the popular tea-growing area of the country, this day trip from KL is an excellent option.


Kuala Lumpur Street Food Night Tour

An excellent activity for foodies. This private tour includes tastings, a local guide and a visit to a night market


Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur

As Kuala Lumpur is an enormous city, and each of its districts has its distinct identity and its pros and cons, choosing where to stay can feel like a Herculean task.

On balance, Bukit Bitang and KLCC, in the shadow of the Petronas Twin Towers, are good bets. Both districts are centrally located and have good transport links and dining options.

I chose to stay in KLCC, which is the least busy of the two and close to the city’s landmarks.

As a solo traveller, safety is important to me and walking around KLCC at night always felt safe. However, as home to many of Kuala Lumpur’s luxury hotels, sleeping in KLCC is not cheap.

Bukit Bitang offers accommodation options to suit all budgets and is home to Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur’s hawker stall heaven.

If you are looking for budget accommodation in Kuala Lumpur, Chinatown is brimming with cheap hotels and hostels.

Splurge: Shangri-La Hotel | BOOK A ROOM

This is possibly my favourite hotel ever! The Shangri-La’s faultless customer service sets them a notch above other 5-star hotels.

It’s worth splashing out on a Horizon Club Executive King room. This includes day-long access to the Club Lounge which offered fantastic evening cocktails with canapés and afternoon tea.

Here are some other hotels in Kuala Lumpur that I have found that may suit other budgets:

Mid-range: The Robertson Kuala Lumpur by White Forest Suites | BOOK A ROOM

These 4-star apartments in Bukit Bintang have superb reviews and are excellent value.

Budget: The Bed KLCC | BOOK A ROOM

This centrally-located capsule hotel offers a variety of rooms at bargain prices. Travellers’ reviews are excellent.

>>> None of these accommodation choices take your fancy? Search for other great places to stay in Kuala Lumpur here.

Day 6 – 9: George Town, Penang

You are almost at the halfway point of your two weeks in Malaysia and the next stop on your itinerary is gorgeous George Town in Penang.

Why visit George Town, Penang?

Cultural diversity is Penang’s calling card. Visit George Town, Penang’s main city, for this cultural mix, a vibrant street art scene and fantastic food.

jetty reaching out to red wooden hut
Clan Jetty, Penang

How to get to Penang

  • For a chance to ride on a section of the iconic route from Singapore to Bangkok, take the train from KL to Butterworth station. It’s cheap, relaxing and takes around five hours. From Butterworth station, it’s a short and scenic ferry ride to Penang.
  • A non-stop bus from Kuala Lumpur to Penang will take around the same time and is also inexpensive.
  • Penang is also served by domestic flights which land at its airport, 18km south of George Town.

The best things to do in George Town, Penang

Explore George Town’s architecture 

The UNESCO World Heritage site of George Town has unparalleled architecture. Romantically dilapidated Chinese shopfronts rub shoulders with British colonial buildings, Hindu temples and mosques.

The best way to explore the historic heart of George Town is to simply stroll along its streets.

Visit The Blue Mansion (Cheong Fatt Tze)

This striking mansion, built in the 1880s, is one of the few surviving examples of the architectural style favoured by the wealthy Straits Chinese. East meets West with art nouveau stained glass, elaborate floor tiles and louvred windows.

Visit the Blue Mansion on one of their daily 45-minute guided tours.

cycle rickshaw in front of bright blue building in penang malaysia
Blue Mansion, George Town, Penang

Visit George Town’s clan houses and clan jetties

Clan houses, known locally as kongsi, grace George Town’s streets and jetties.

Explore George Town’s street art

Today’s George Town is all about street art. Take a self-guided walking tour of the city’s vibrant street art scene to hunt down work by the renowned Lithuanian artist, Zacharevic.

street art of girl and boy on swing in penang malaysia
George Town street art

Eat some of the best food in Asia

George Town is hawker stall heaven.

Malaysians take their food very seriously, and the stalls in George Town serve some of the best street food that you will eat in Asia. The sheer variety and quality of food attract visitors from home and abroad.

How to get around George Town, Penang

As Penang’s sights are close together, it is easy to get around on foot.

Organised excursions from George Town, Penang

If you are looking for something that is more structured or a little bit different, check out these organised excursions from George Town.

George Town Half-Day Tour

Let someone else take care of the arrangements for you and join this tour of George Town’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


3-Hour Heritage Tour with Trishaw Ride

Discover Penang and its heritage from the comfort of a trishaw on this private tour.


Where to stay in George Town, Penang

George Town is awash with accommodation options to suit all budgets, from backpacker joints to luxury hotels. Some of these choices, even those in the lower price brackets, are in characterful heritage buildings in the heart of George Town.

Splurge: Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang | BOOK A ROOM

I splurged on this all-suite, historic 5-star hotel, which is the embodiment of old-world glamour.  Since its inauguration in 1885, the Eastern & Oriental Hotel has welcomed such luminaries as Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Noel Coward and  Somerset Maugham.

However, the Eastern & Oriental is not the most centrally located hotel in George Town.

Here are some other hotels in George Town that I have found that may suit other budgets.

Mid-range: Campbell House | BOOK A ROOM

A superb boutique hotel in the heart of George Town

Budget: Wifi Boutique Hotel | BOOK A ROOM

This centrally-located budget hotel has great reviews. All rooms have air-con and private bathrooms.

>>> None of these accommodation choices take your fancy? Search for other great places to stay in Penang here.

Day 10 – 13: Langkawi

Ten days into your 2-week Malaysia itinerary and it’s time for a little R&R. Welcome to the paradise island of Langkawi.

Why visit Langkawi?

To kick back on a perfect white sand beach. After travelling around Malaysia for nearly two weeks you deserve some relaxation.

tree stump on white sand beach

How to get to Langkawi

You can get to Langkawi by ferry or plane.

I reached Langkawi by ferry from Penang. This journey takes around three hours. As of December 2022, this service remains suspended because of Covid restrictions.

Flights between Penang and Langkawi take 35 minutes.

What to do on Langkawi

Relax on one of Langkawi’s spectacular beaches

Let’s face it. This is the primary reason to include Langkawi in a 2-week Malaysia itinerary.

Just relax on a blindingly white sand beach, under the shade of a palm tree. With a cocktail in hand, of course.

Walk across the Langkawi Sky Bridge

Spoiler alert. You do need a head for heights to walk across the Langkawi Sky Bridge.

I don’t and made it only 20 meters across the bridge before having to turn back.

people walking across suspension bridge in langkawi malaysia
Langkawi Sky Bridge

To reach the Langkawi Sky Bridge, take the cable car to the top of Gunung Mat Chinchang. But even if you are not able to pluck up the courage to step onto this 125-metre-long pedestrian suspension bridge, you will still be treated to sweeping views of Langkawi’s rainforests and islets.

The Langkawi cable car operates daily except for public holidays. The entrance is in the Oriental Village near Pantai Kok.

How to get around Langkawi

  • As Langkawi does not have public transport, a taxi is your best bet.
  • Hiring a motorcycle is another option.

Organised day tours on Langkawi

Given the lack of public transport on Langkawi, an organised day trip is worth considering. Here are a few that are worth checking out.

Langkawi Island Hopping Tour

This half-day tour takes you to three of Langkawi’s most beautiful islands: Dayang Bunting, Singa Besar, and Beras Basah.


Langkawi Mangrove Safari Boat Tour

Explore the mangroves of Langkawi on this 4-hour boat safari with the help of a guide.


Where to stay on Langkawi

Popular Pantai Cenang beach has a wide range of Langkawi hotels to suit most budgets, and is lively compared with other areas of the island.  I chose a hotel in the quieter spot of Pantai Kok, 15 minutes from Langkawi Airport and close to the Langkawi Cable Car.

If you want to splash the cash on super-luxury hotels, head to Datai Bay.

Splurge: Berjaya Langkawi Resort | BOOK A ROOM

Hotels on Langkawi can carry a hefty price tag.  To me, this hotel offered the best value for the quality of accommodation.

The price tag varies enormously with the location of the room. Whereas the rainforest rooms represent affordable luxury, albeit rather gloomy, be prepared to blow your budget on one perched over the water on stilts.

Here are some other hotels on Langkawi that I have found that may suit other budgets.

Mid-range: The Smith House | BOOK A ROOM

Less than a mile from Langkawi Airport, The Smith House has garnered rave reviews. This Pantai Cenang hotel features a rooftop pool and is a 20-minute walk into town.

Budget: Kapal Terbang Guest House | BOOK A ROOM

Also located in Pantai Cenang, this budget option offers rooms or holiday homes with self-catering facilities.

>>> None of these accommodation choices take your fancy? Search for other great places to stay on Langkawi here.

Day 14: Kuala Lumpur

Your two weeks in Malaysia finish where it began, in Kuala Lumpur.

Why visit Kuala Lumpur (again)?

A pre-return flight stay and to take in the sights you may have missed at the start of your 2 weeks in Malaysia.

the twin towers in kuala lumpur malaysia lit up at night
Petronas Towers, KL

Getting from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur

The best way of getting from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur is by plane. I flew with Malaysian Airlines.

Check air schedules and fares here.

Money in Malaysia

Malaysia’s currency is the Malaysian ringgit (MYR). The brightly coloured notes make each denomination a breeze to identify.

Although the Malaysian ringgit is divided into 100 sen (cents) with coins in 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 sen denominations, prices are often rounded to the nearest ringgit. Instead of coins, you might get a sweet as change.

You can withdraw money from Malaysian ATMs. Unlike Thailand, there is no local charge for doing this. At most, the transaction is subject to a modest fee.

Although credit cards are accepted in more upscale restaurants and hotels, don’t rely on them as your sole source of payment.

Tipping is not expected in Malaysia. However, this may be expected at more upscale establishments and service charges may be levied on bills at luxury hotels and smart restaurants.

What to Eat in Malaysia

Welcome to foodie heaven! See how many different dishes you can try during your two weeks in Malaysia.

Here are a few to whet your appetite.

people being served at a hawker stall in malaysia
Hawker stalls, Melaka
  • Mee goreng mamak – An irresistible marriage of yellow noodles, beef or chicken, prawns and vegetables tossed in soy sauce with a hint of chilli.
  • Nasi lemak – rice cooked in coconut milk with variations on a side order of egg, peanuts, vegetables, cucumber, meat curry, seafood and sambal (chilli-based sauce).
  • Nasi kerabu – Blue rice anyone? Served with fried chicken, egg, and fried keropok (crackers).
  • Rendang – Beef, chicken or lamb slowly simmered in coconut milk and spices.
  • Laksa – This spicy noodle soup is one of Malaysia’s greatest exports.
  • Roti canai – A Malaysian street food staple of light flatbread served with three different dipping sauces.

Is Malaysia Safe for Female Solo Travellers?

Trust your instincts. Take a taxi when this is a safer option. Seek local knowledge on the safety of areas.

However, like many other countries in the world, there is a threat of terrorism in Malaysia. Be vigilant and monitor local media.

Due to militant activity by the Islamic group Abu Sayyaf, who operate from the southern Philippines, there is a threat to foreigners of kidnapping and criminality on the eastern coast of Sabah, and in particular the islands close to the Sulu Archipelago in the southern Philippines.

To seek further information on safe travelling in Malaysia, check out the advice issued by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Do you want some expert tips for staying safe as a solo traveller? If so, check out these essential safety tips for travelling alone.

Visiting Malaysia on an Organised Tour

Malaysia is a relatively easy country to explore independently. However, if you want to fit in a lot in a short space of time or are nervous about going it alone, why not consider joining a group tour?

As well as being a relatively hassle-free way of travelling, there are many other benefits of a group tour as a solo traveller. You’ll have an expertly curated itinerary and you often gain valuable insights into the country, the people and its culture.

Generally, there’s safety in numbers. Finally, if you fear solo travel loneliness, there’s the reassurance of ready-made travel companions.

There are lots of group travel companies out there but two companies that I have used and can recommend are Exodus Travels and Explore Worldwide!

single supplement group travel companies opt in image

Malaysia: Suggested Reading

Finally, do you want to learn a little bit more about the country? Here’s my pick of books to read either before your 2 weeks in Malaysia or whilst you are there.

The Ghost Bride (Yangsze Choo)

A great introduction to the city of Melaka, this is a historical novel with a supernatural twist. Set in the dying years of the 19th Century, this chronicles the central character’s experience as a ‘ghost bride’ to the recently deceased son of a rich family.


The Gift of Rain (Tan Twan Eng)

A companion to your few days in Penang, this 2009 novel is set in George Town before and during the Second World War. It’s a tale of the conflicting loyalties of the central character, Phillip Hutton, an Anglo-Chinese member of a powerful trading family.


The Concubine’s Child (Carol Jones)

This interesting dual timeline, multi-generational novel set in Kuala Lumpur tells the stories of Yu Lan, a 16-year-old concubine, and her great-grandson.


Why You Should Visit Malaysia as a Solo Traveller

My view is that Malaysia is often wrongly overlooked by those travelling alone.

Although it lacks the big-hitting tourist attractions of other Southeast Asian countries, such as Thailand, it does offer an enticing mix of city life, colonial towns and beach bliss. Add to this a compelling cultural diversity, welcoming people and fantastic food and you have the perfect recipe for a great trip.

bridget coleman the flashpacker 2

About Bridget

Bridget Coleman has been a passionate traveller for more than 30 years. She has visited 70+ countries, most as a solo traveller.

Articles on this site reflect her first-hand experiences.

To get in touch, email her at or follow her on social media.

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