Malaysia is the most under-rated country to travel in SouthEast Asia

I’m not going to lie – I’m absolutely in love with SE Asia.  I’ve spent over seven consecutive years abroad and I’ve covered a decent amount of territory as a backpacker and expat living overseas; however, there are a few things I’m embarrassed to admit.  I’ve yet to travel to Europe.  I’ve never set foot in Africa.  Dido for Central America.  The Middle East?  I haven’t gone there yet either.  So what’s my excuse?  Southeast Asia.

Nothing beats the hot & humidity of typical day in Malaysia better than a refreshing locally produced cup of longan juice - Melaka, Malaysia.
Nothing beats the hot & humidity of typical day in Malaysia better than a refreshing locally produced cup of longan juice – Melaka, Malaysia.

Without a doubt, if I only had to travel in one region of the world for the rest of my life, I would almost certainly pick Asia.  If forced to narrow it down even further I would likely select SE Asia.  There is just so much that I absolutely love about this part of the world.  I’ve had many friends ask me which country is my favorite in the region.  I simply cannot say at this point in time.  Three years ago it was clearly Thailand; however, my tastes have changed and on my latest trip I found myself spending more time in Cambodia and Laos than ever before.

Malaysia: Most Underrated Country In Asia

Scenic riverside views from Melaka, Malaysia
Scenic riverside views from Melaka, Malaysia

One thing I absolutely can agree on though is which country in the region I think is the most under-rated.  Here’s a hint:  It’s truly Asia.  For those who didn’t guess, the answer is Malaysia.  The official tourism slogan is Malaysia – Truly Asia.  I couldn’t agree more. It’s easily one of the most under-rated travel destinations in the world.  Although Malaysia has so much to offer it’s not nearly as popular for backpackers or travelers as countries such as Thailand, Malaysia or the region of Indochina.  However, it’s most certainly a place backpackers, tourists or those seeking luxury holidays can all equally enjoy.  From the top attractions in Kuala Lumpur to the culture hubs of Malacca and Penang it has something for everyone.  Here are 5 reasons why I think it rocks!

A parked rickshaw on the streets of George Town (Penang), Malaysia.
A parked rickshaw on the streets of George Town (Penang), Malaysia.

1) Cultural Hubs

Malaysia has two of my favorite cultural HUBs in all of SE Asia – George Town (Penang) & Melaka.  Many backpackers and travellers are familiar with George Town in Penang.  It’s a popular destination for those looking to renew their Thai tourist Visa or to continue onward southbound to Singapore or Indonesia.  For those who take their time to explore this UNESCO heritage city a wonderful selection of colonial homes and diverse cuisine await them.  Even more under-rated, in my opinion, is Melaka.  Many tourists only take the time to check out Kuala Lumpur or head straight for Singapore.  That’s a big mistake in my opinion.  Melaka offers gorgeous riverside views, a rich colonial history and very distinct neighborhoods that a treat to explore on foot or by rickshaw.

2) Melting Pot of Cultures and Cuisines

Nowhere in South East Asia have I found such a diverse melting pot of cultures and cuisine.  For those who don’t know, Malaysia is ethnically diverse with a large Malay, Chinese, Indian and expat community.  Its rich colonial history combined with Indian, Chinese and SE Asian influences have resulted in some of the most diverse and satisfying cuisine I’ve ever tried in my entire life.

3) Diversity in Landscape

I never realized how diverse Malaysia was until I first visited.  From gorgeous beaches such as Pulau Perhentian (Perhentian Islands) to hillside retreats such as the Cameron Highlands to exotic jungles such as Tamah Negara there is something for everyone.

Dim Sum for breakfast in George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Dim Sum for breakfast in George Town, Penang, Malaysia

4) Best Breakfast Options in the World

I was recently conversing with a friend discussing our favorite options for breakfast.  It was then that I realized Malaysia has that corned. I’m a huge fan of dim sum which is readily available in Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and Penang.  Moreover, when I’m feeling like something else I can’t think of anything more delicious than roti canai – a type of Indian-influenced flatbread – that can be stuffed with fried bananas and dipped in curry sauce.

5) The ability to use English when communicating with locals

Lastly, another reason I love Malaysia has to do with the fact that English can used with most locals.  Out of all the countries I’ve visited in SE Asia nowhere (aside from Singapore) can I easily communicate in English for day to day things.  Sometimes I like the challenges of not knowing or being forced to learn the local language, but in Malaysia I can get by in English and this makes travel so much convenient and easy.

10 Reasons Why Malaysia The Most Underrated Country In SE Asia

Malaysia, the crown jewel of Southeast Asia, is a country that is often overlooked by travelers seeking to explore this vibrant and diverse region. Despite its underrated status, Malaysia boasts a wealth of attractions and experiences that make it a must-visit destination for any discerning traveler.

One of the most notable features of Malaysia is its incredible cultural diversity, which is reflected in its people, food, architecture, and traditions. The country’s multicultural heritage, which includes Malay, Chinese, Indian, and indigenous communities, has resulted in a unique blend of cultures that is both fascinating and inspiring.

Malaysia’s rich and flavorful cuisine is another drawcard for visitors. From tantalizing street food to Michelin-starred restaurants, the country is a food lover’s paradise, offering a range of flavors and spices that are sure to delight the taste buds.

In addition to its cultural and culinary offerings, Malaysia is also blessed with stunning natural beauty. From idyllic beaches to lush rainforests and towering mountains, the country’s national parks and wildlife reserves are a haven for nature lovers and adventurers alike.

Moreover, Malaysia’s modern infrastructure, including its efficient transport system and advanced communication networks, make it an accessible and convenient destination for travelers. The country’s multilingual population, who are generally fluent in English, further enhances the visitor experience.

Malaysia is also a shopper’s paradise, with a range of shopping options that cater to all budgets and tastes. From luxury brands to traditional handicrafts, visitors can indulge in retail therapy at any of the country’s vibrant shopping districts.

The country’s vibrant festivals and celebrations, such as Chinese New Year, Deepavali, and Hari Raya, further demonstrate its cultural richness and inclusivity. Visitors have the opportunity to participate in these colorful and joyous events, gaining a deeper understanding of Malaysia’s multicultural heritage.

Malaysians are renowned for their warm and friendly nature, providing visitors with a hospitable and enjoyable experience that is truly unforgettable.

Malaysia is a destination that offers visitors an array of attractions and experiences that are both unique and captivating. Its diverse culture, rich culinary scene, stunning natural beauty, modern infrastructure, and friendly people make it an underrated gem of Southeast Asia that should not be missed.

How about you?  I’m curious to hear where you think the most under-rated country to travel is?

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  1. Well I just arrived here as i am planning to visit malaysia I am a Saudi, I seen the title in which you states malay as under-ratted but I don’t think so my friends already visit it last year and now I am also going to visit.
    Well I am reading that you didn’t come to middle east yet, so if you make your mind than must visit my country and must do safari on sand dunes.

  2. says: James

    I’m a Malaysian. Compared to surrounding SE Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia is a little bit more expensive but not that much. Was in Vietnam not too long back & prices there has risen too.

    You have to know where to eat to get better prices. Obviously tourist traps around KL, Jalan Alor, Chinatown tend to be 10 to 20% more expensive.

    There are lots of nice places to visit in Malaysia beyond the West coast of West Malaysia (KL, Penang, Melacca, Langkawi). If your visit is longer, there is the East coast & East Malaysia (Borneo) to check out too.

  3. says: Paul Farrar

    My wife and I took a 2 week road trip to Central and Eastern Europe back in March (we love going to place other people don’t go). We went to Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Czech, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania. All in all we put over 3000 miles on a rental car and had a blast. I have begun to think about our next adventure and at first I was thinking about Taiwan, but now after seeing many things about Malaysia I am leaning toward that. I am thinking about doing the whole road trip thing again in Malaysia. How would you compare Taiwan to Malaysia?

  4. says: riena

    Malaysia definitely is the most under-rated SE Asia Country but this is where the magic works ! let it be this way. 🙂 you can actually hide yourself here with all the comfort of life ie foods, accomodations, entertainment etc. It is a destination that you are welcome to miss ! lolz..I <3 Malaysia ! Truly Asia.

  5. says: Abdul

    Please do visit Malaysia Borneo (Sabah & Sarawak). Kuching & Kota Kinabalu is both fascinating Borneo’s cities. Sarawak & Sabah welcome all of you. I guarantee 100% satisfaction to all visitors. Don’t just visit Malacca & Penang. Please visit Malaysia Borneo! You will find another unique experience what is Malaysia all about. Malaysia truly Asia!!!

  6. says: SURAYA

    hi im suraya from malaysia…

    not try to be proud bout malaysian ,i knw some of visitors have bad exp here n me also if i found local dun try to help or give wrong direction i will volunteer to help..coz some of them indonesian working here or local who do not speak english well and lazy. im sorry for that.. but for me, i love to approach them if they look lost for humanity reason imagining if i be at the same shoes… so far, i hve few frens from european that i helped before..sometimes bring them to look for food and see klcc at nite… i can say actually malysian people is friendly 🙂 just try to smile to them. here the culture is to smile..if you didnt smile back to the person, it look arrogant 🙂 ya i can say it cheap FOR food and accomodation and transportation.. even it not good enuf like singapore but yeah it will not be same for evry place u been. tht the most valuable thing tht you cant buy from other or other can have yours. 🙂

    i love malacca, penang n terengganu n not to forget SABAH and sarawak! 😉

    i just wanna know how you guys find the best budget room? im thinking to make small budget house for backpackers. dorm n room. a lot of thing need to think 🙂

    1. says: Reuben

      HI Suraya,

      I grew up in Ipoh and a lot of my Arab friends kept asking me to take them around. The problem is I am not really sure about the good halal food in some state except Penang which I studied there for a year.

      Hopefully you can send me some good recommendation of halal food or local kampung food. it would be much appreciated.


  7. says: Julien

    Oh I just commented on your You Tube that KL was underrated ! I liked it for so many reasons one of which is I didn’t see any drunken boorish Aussies their , I do believe on my limited time their it attracts a different type of traveller , much of the tourists are from it’s near by neighbours !

  8. says: Iskandar

    Yes, Malaysia is under-rated, especially when it comes to the choices of food and the affordability.

    It’s where you could get Singaporean kind of luxury at Indonesian kind of price, and you could meet the whole Asian races in under one country.

  9. says: Charles

    “Although Malaysia has so much to offer it’s not nearly as popular for backpackers or travelers as countries such as Thailand, Malaysia or the region of Indochina.”

    Huh? So Malaysia isn’t nearly as popular as… itself? OK whatever. Malaysia is a cool country, I lived there for a couple of years and enjoyed it. The racist and corrupt government can get annoying, but as a tourist you wouldn’t really be exposed to all that.

    I’m curious, seeing how you’ve admittedly never traveled in Africa, Europe, or Central America, how you would know you’d choose SE Asia to travel in the rest of your life? I know you want to portray yourself as this seasoned, intrepid traveler, but really if you’ve never set foot in sub-Saharan Africa, you aren’t. 😉 SE Asia, (Vietnam and Thailand in particular) are popular with drunks, pedophiles, and package tourists, but tourism has been pretty well-established at this point and it’s getting increasingly difficult to get away from the hordes of mainland Chinese being shuttled about.

    Have you been to Myanmar? That’s been on my list for a while.

  10. No doubt South East Asia has a lot to offer when it comes to tourism. The food, the lifestyle and attractions are unique. I have traveled to a few South East Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore and have learnt a lot in the process of traveling.

  11. says: Fiona

    Samuel, since you love Malaysia (my home country), couldn’t help suggest you find a local girl who loves travelling as much as you do to marry and you can be sure for a good reason to visit regularly lol! One of non-Muslim descent to avoid having to speak Malay…you have to approach them first as Malaysian gals are generally shy but they actually love knowing expats.

  12. says: sduggal

    thank you for your blog. Malaysia is really a cheap country for visitors to visit as though it is a cheap country but there are many happening and good tourist place to visit in malaysia like Kuala Lumpur,Kelantan, Malacca and many others to spend good time there.

  13. says: Gensoukyou1337

    Why Malaysia? It has more foreign visitors than Indonesia has, and Indonesia has so much more. It’s just shy of broadcasting itself to the world, and the Western press gives too much bad rep to Indonesia.

    Sawahlunto turned from a ghost town into a mining tourism city in 4-5 years.

    Padang has its equivalent of Big Ben (Jam Gadang Bukittinggi).

    Surabaya has the DBL Arena for basketball lovers and various other historical sights.

    Makassar has Losari Beach and, to me, Sultan Hassanudin Airport is comparable to Hong Kong International Airport.

    Also check out Bandung, Manado, Jayapura, Jakarta (goes without saying), Medan, Palembang (cross the Ampera Bridge over Musi River), and Aceh (I think the 8-9 years of rebuilding has transformed it into a good location to visit).

  14. says: Ashieddie Ibrahim

    Hi gregory from Israel… i feel bad to know that you have an interest to visit my country. But yes, we do not have any diplomatic ties with Israel. It is hard for Malaysian to travel to your country as well.

    Thanks to the nomadicsamuel for posting this journal. Guess what? I will be leaving to Malacca too this weekend with my bunch of friends.. and it is only 2 hours away from Kuala Lumpur 😉

    I hope those who come over to Malaysia, will experience the most what we have to offer.. forget not the east Malaysia ( Borneo ) where Sarawak and Sabah. There have more ethnic and and very interesting culture. Sabah will be the top spot for divers. 🙂

    Good luck to travellers and enjoy your stay

  15. I think Myanmar/Burma is probably the most underrated as a tourist destination. It seems more exotic and interesting than Thailand. I’ve seen a map of it, and it looks like it has literally hundreds of islands off the Southwest coast.

  16. says: naz

    Hello,Im sitting in bed on a saturday morning in Cape Town, surrounded by my 2 kids and husband as we make plans for our december trip overseas.I had goosebumps as I read your article to the family.We too love southeast asia and have been to kuching ,penang ,langkawi and kl in malaysia. Our most recent trip took us too khao lak in thailand .We too cant think of any other place in the world we would rather travel too !!! We would love to visit Cambodia but I would not like to give my kids malaria tabs right now.

  17. says: melvin

    actually malaysia is second to china in the entire asia that has the most tourist may not be a backpacker’s favorite but there are many other types of tourists that visit the way is there something that can be done with your videos coz i cant access them using an android phone.

  18. says: Britany

    I am unfortunately guilty of skipping Malaysia on my Southeast Asia trip. I’m dying to get back to the region though and will definitely include it next time! Sounds great!

  19. says: Paul in FL

    Quality of hotel rooms in Malayasia is very low for the money, relative to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. KL and George Town can be quite grubby.

    Tourist spots can be very expensive – 80 Ringgit ($27) to take a tour of the Petronas Towers.

    Food, though inexpensive and tasty, is not prepared at the same standards of cleanliness as most other Asian countres. Be prepared to suffer the runs if you eat street food. It is also not uncommon to buy water or get water in hotels that has been put into bottles that have already been used – i.e., the seal is broken.

    I’ve traveled all over the world to all continents and to all countries in SE Asia and Malaysia is one of the few countries I would never go back to.

  20. says: Chris

    Being a Singaporean, I live super close to Malaysia and have travelled there a few times. You’re right, it’s definitely underrated. My work takes me to Kuala Lumpur pretty often where I stay at one of the serviced apartments there, Fraser Place KL. Whenever I have the time, I’ll go wandering and exploring the city. The food is awesome and cheap as well!

  21. says: Helena

    I’m indonesian & i love my country.. 🙂
    Too bad i’m not yet explore whole my country.. since i stay in Europe now.. too many places & islands to explore,, I miss the foods, beaches, mountain and suuunnn…. :p

  22. YES to Malaysia being under-rated! I’ve got a lot of friends heading off to southeast Asia and, without exception, not a SINGLE one of them has Malaysia on their itinerary. I have no IDEA why, especially as it’s the AirAsia hub and SO easy to get to – and cheap, too! Maybe not as cheap as Thailand or Cambodia, but a lot cheaper than Singapore. I love the food there, the people are incredibly friendly, and it’s so beautiful. People need to stop skipping out on it!

  23. You know what, Samuel? I am similar to you in that I have traveled (and plan to extensively travel) to Central/South America. I would love to be a super world traveler, but my heart’s desire is to really explore the countries within these two regions.
    I say, live it up in South East Asia, man! You’ve found your joy- stick with it.

  24. says: Patrick

    I agree with all of it (except the breakfast thing maybe.. I have different tastes concerning breakfast 😉 ). I also loved Melaka and the Highlands. I stayed for four days each.. which still is not much.. but it’s more than most of the other travelers did which I found curious. Of course the highlights are not many, but the places itself are true highlights!
    I also enjoyed being able to communicate in English. I can do that in Thailand too but then only with people who work in tourism and even with them it’s harder.
    I definitely will recommend Malaysia to anyone who asks me where they should go in Asia.

  25. says: Evanka

    Greetings from Borneo NomadicSamuel.

    Have you explored Borneo? Two Malaysian states- Sarawak and Sabah on the island of Borneo are the most underrated places.
    To witness real diversity, Sarawak and Sabah are the best provider. There are more than 20 indigenous groups. Not just Indian, Chinese and Malay.

    I am a Malaysian but I describe myself as a Kadazan, a Sabahan and a Bornean.

    Borneo is where the real adventure is at (:

  26. Hi Samuel, I am strongly agreed with you regarding the Thailand , it is simply one of the easiest place to live and another place where I find the similar comfort is India and China. Though earlier years , the usage of English language was not frequent in China but now the situation is quite changed.

  27. says: Simon

    I love Malaysia! And I agree that it is very underrated; Malaysian food is wicked, the people are nice and there is so much to see and do. My favourite place in SE Asia, though, still has to be Cambodia.

  28. says: Carl

    Yes yes yes! I couldn’t agree more with this post! I absolutely loved Malaysia during my time there, even though we only got to stay in Penang and KL and pass through the Cameron Highlands. In hindsight I’m really disappointed with friends/acquaintances of mine who’ve done the standard S.E. Asia trip, yet just seemed to pass Malaysia by.
    I’m definitely heading back at some point, so much more to see! Mind you I’d go back just for Penang, as Georgetown is one of the most photogenic places you could hope to come across!
    Ahhh I miss it!

  29. says: Margyle

    Hey, if you love something why change things? I wish I could get out there and see more things too, like this Malaysia you speak of lol. Glad it’s all good!

  30. says: Jarmo

    While I absolutely loved Laos and Cambodia, I can’t say the same about Malaysia, but then again I only saw Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi. And compared to KL, I think I’d take any other capital in SE Asia… but there is more to see in Malyasia, so maybe I’ll give it another change next time.

    1. says: Samuel

      Hey Jarmo,

      I can understand where you’re coming from in relation to KL. I like Bangkok and Phnom Penh more. I think it’s the smaller cultural hubs that are really worth exploring in the country.

    2. says: Charles

      Really? You’d take Jakarta or Manila over KL? It makes me wonder how you spent your time in KL if you feel that way. I will say that public transportation is lacking in KL compared to, say, HK or Singapore. But it is well ahead of Jakarta and Manila in that respect and I personally enjoy it more than Bangkok. Someone once described Malaysia as a more “mature vintage” and I’m inclined to agree. The blend of Malay, Chinese, and Tamil culture with Islamic influences, all under the legacy of British Colonialism is pretty unique. While KL may not have the exotic sense of “other” like you find in Cambodia or Vietnam, it is a far better place to live, and offers a wealth of activities, and Bangkok, Hanoi, et al are close at hand in any case. Moreover KL has got to be one of the greatest food cities in the world. Better to have a local to show you around though!

  31. says: The Real Barbara

    I have been to Malaysia once, but it was a business trip so I did not get enough time to move around. It seems I’ll be heading back for a tour there.

  32. Argh now you’re making me regret having never been to SE Asia. I think you can find underrated areas in every country. When I spent a summer in Japan I made a habit of taking the train to a random destination and walking as far as I could go (as in miles away), away from the tourists. It turned out great and I got to experience a little piece of life not many tourists get to see.

    1. says: Samuel

      That’s a great idea Craig! Sometimes I think it is best to just throw the map or guidebook away (or leave it behind for a day :P) and just explore randomly. Some of my best travel experiences have been doing it that style.

  33. says: Marco

    This is a fantastic post. I have never been to southeast Asia before but this post has so much energy around the region that it makes me want to take a trip here! I’ve only ever been to Europe and although I’ve always had a good time, there’s something about Asia that intrigues me and screams unique.

  34. says: Oceana | Barefoot Beach Blonde

    I’ve only traveled a little bit in Malaysia, but I’ve loved what I’ve seen and can’t wait to travel more. Personally, I think the most underrated country is Indonesia. Everyone seems to do Thailand and Vietnam, but people skip Indonesia (or just visit Bali and consider themselves done with the place).
    I grew up in Indo and I LOVE it there! I could honestly spend the rest of my life just exploring the wondrous Indonesian islands. Lucky for me, if I ever get bored there, Malaysia is just around the corner 😉

  35. I cannot agree more. I’m in Malaysia now for about 11 days and was only suppose to stay for about three to do a visa run and go back to Thailand. Our visa run was to Langkawi, which during low season felt like the perfect backpacker destination. It’s not so busy that it feels over run, but is busy enough to be fun. We stayed there for ten days haha. After that we should have just started heading back to Thailand, but we fell so in love with Malaysia food, culture and people, that we just had to see more. In KL now and I can’t get over the mix of modern and old, concrete and jungle. Truly amazing place to visit. I feel bad about overlooking it on previous trips.

  36. says: T-roy

    “Although Malaysia has so much to offer it’s not nearly as popular for backpackers or travelers as countries such as Thailand, Malaysia or Indochina.” think you got messed up on that part 😉

  37. says: Arienne

    I completely agree! It was one of the standout countries on my 8-month backpacking trip, and frankly was a breath of fresh air after Thailand. There’s so much to love about the country, from the food, the people and the culture. It’s modern, easy to get around, clean, and yet still maintains some of the cheap prices Southeast Asia is known for. I’d go back in a heartbeat!

  38. says: Antoinette | love.antoinette

    I’ve heard nothing but amazing [and expensive] things about Malaysia and I’d totally visit in a heart beat. I think the Philippines is one of the most underrated countries in SE Asia. People always talk and blog about Thailand, Cambodia, or Laos, and even Vietnam but only a handful of those about the Philippines.

  39. says: Peter Lee

    I think NZ often gets overlooked because it sits next to a Australia. Lots of people when they make their journey down under only spend a couple of days in NZ mainly in Auckland and then spend more time time in Oz, which I think is a big mistake. There is so much to see and do in NZ. Plus, the scenery is just so breathtaking.

  40. Samuel, what a great post! We’ve been to every country in SE Asia (apart from East Timor) and would agree that Malaysia is truly over-rated. KL is one of our favourite cities in the world, the beaches are stunning (did you check out Kapas Island?) the people are so welcoming and the value for money is great here. Oh, and the food is amazing.

    I completely agree with the above comments: Indonesia and Sri Lanka are highly under-rated – awesome locals, great food, beautiful jungles & beaches, cheap travel and you can easily get off the beaten path…basically, they’re perfect budget backpacker destinations!

    Cheers for the article. Safe Travels.

  41. I think Sri Lanka (in South Asia) is one of the under-rated countries to visit. It’s so close to India yet many who travel to India don’t make it to this island. Anyway, I will be going to Malaysia next month so looking forward to experience at least some of these (specially the breakfast, which looks really good) first hand.

  42. says: Ilya

    I couldn’t agree more with your 5 point list. I could easily add another 20 points to it when I think about it. I would definitely add diving (Malaysia has many awesome diving spots), jungle trekking (besides Taman Negara there are so many other national parks), the cheap domestic transport, ranging from flights, trains to buses and rental cars….and not to forget the great shopping possibilities in KL and numerous other bigger cities.

    I also think you are right with Malaysia being underrated, even though it has quite the amount of inbound travelers compared to many other SE Asian countries (though this is mainly because of all those millions of Singaporeans that visit the country each year). I have to admit that many backpackers often think Malaysia is mainly an expensive country, probably because of its wealth compared to many neighboring countries. Others describe Malaysia as the perfect 1st time Asian country, mainly for the fact that everybody speaks English, and because it’s quite developed compared to many neighbors.

    Anyway, I love the country and with both my popular sites Wonderful Malaysia and Veelzijdig Maleisie (Dutch) I am already promoting it for well over 10 years.



    1. That’s awesome Ilya! I certainly did cut it short. To be honest there are plenty of things for me to still do in Malaysia and I can’t wait until I get back next spring to try them out.

  43. says: Martie

    P.S. I would probably agree with you on Europe, but what about the Baltic Countries? Don’t pass up South America or for that matter Mexico, it’s intriguing.

  44. says: Martie

    Cambodia stole my heart. The people – the food – history – scenery. Knowing their rich history, surviving Pol Pot. I was told their was not a person I met that had not been touched by a death of a loved one or relative. Their life is still so hard, but their zest for life, hard working, such lovely people. I truly will say no question Cambodia. Interesting your take on Malaka it was O.K. in my book, I felt uncomfortable the entire time I was in Kuala Lumpur, never made it to Penang but so wanted to. Deseree Beach I enjoyed but would never go back. I enjoyed Lankowi (sp) but over all Malaysia unnerved me. Last time I was there 2009. My second favorite country was Indonesia. Loved the people and the jest for life they had. Must say I had a ball in Singapore, spent months there. Still love reading your travel stories – and I so agree with you, I fell in love with S.E. Asia, so much to see and experience. Safe travels.

    1. says: gabriel

      I’m curious to understand more about why Malaysia unnerved you? The muslim cultural influences? I found the cultural diversity and absence of a dominant bar/alcohol culture refreshing.

      1. says: Akma

        I am curious too. I am Malaysian and a Muslim. Here in Malaysia we do not have terrorist that use our Muslim identity to attack you. No worries guys, our country are peaceful and harmonious .Thank you Samuel for promoting Malaysia, if you come back be sure to send me email and I will suggest another interesting location and food for you. I agree with Gabriel, Malaysia is refreshing.

        1. says: muh

          Assalama alikum,I am from Canada.I wana visit your country.If you dont mind,let me know ,how the expenses for two month stay in your country.if you dont,let me know.thanks,take care talk to you soon.

  45. I didn’t make it to Malaysia when I was in SE Asia – I’ll make sure to put it on my list next time! I absolutely loved SE Asia (and that comes from someone who has stepped foot in Europe, Africa, Australia, etc., etc…). Leaving SE was so tough, and I miss it so much! That food looks delish!

    1. says: Abdul

      I think you should try to visit Malaysia Borneo (the states of Sabah & Sarawak). Maybe foreign tourists doesn’t know about Malaysia’s Borneo. It’s divided by South China Sea, Malaysia Borneo is Christians (indigenous/aborigin) by majority. Foreigners only visit the Peninsular Malaysia in Mainland Asia. Believe me, Malaysia Borneo offers something that really unique, adventurous, really nature & paradise jungle. There are Niah Cave, Mulu Cave, Logan Bunut National Park, Lambir National Park, Bario Highlands, Kundasang Highlands, Mount Kinabalu (highest mountain in SEA). Malaysians Borneo are diversed in languages, cultures, religions & ethnics. Must visit!!!

  46. Nomadic Samuel, I love your photos and enthusiasm. I am also a SE Asia junkie. I think Indonesia is my pick for under-rated country. Several or even many of my fellow Americans think all of Indonesia is Bali. While I love Bali, I also cannot wait to go back to Komodo and Kalimantan and top of my list for new places is Sulawesi.
    Thanks for the great read.