2 Weeks in Malaysia: Sample Itineraries

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2 Weeks in Malaysia Proboscis

2 Weeks in Malaysia

In the most recent addition to our popular itinerary series, we give you TWO separate sample itineraries for Malaysia, a country known historically for its wildlife and nature but now as one of the burgeoning economic powers of Southeast Asia. Both of these itineraries begin in Kuala Lumpur as most travellers begin their 2 weeks in Malaysia here in this city that offers much more than just a convenient transit hub.

The first itinerary is designed to help you explore the highlights of Kuala Lumpur and then the rich wildlife and stunning terrain of Sarawak (Borneo’s Western State) where you’ll see the strange big nosed proboscis monkey, as well as orangutans and millions of bats. You will finish up your trip with a quick visit to one of the smallest countries in the world, the sultanate of Brunei.

The second itinerary again hits a few of the best spots in Kuala Lumpur before flying east to Kota Kinabalu in the state of Sabah (Eastern Borneo). Here you’ll begin an adventure that sees you trekking Malaysia’s highest and holiest mountain, visit one of our closest relatives, the orang-utan, take part in a river safari where you may see the elusive pygmy elephant and if you are a diver, experience the world’s best dive spot, Sipadan.

Of course, these sample itineraries are just a guide and you depending on what type of traveller you are, you can modify these to suit your own style.

Malaysia

Looking back on our year in Asia, Malaysia stood out to us as perhaps the best place in Southeast Asia to come face-to-face with truly remarkable animals. While Borneo is a nature lovers dream, Kuala Lumpur is city known as one of the greatest multi-cultural cities in the region as Chinese, Malay and Indians all live together in relative harmony while each brining their own unique cultures into the mix.

When people speak of Malaysia they usually speak of it as two separate areas, peninsular and Borneo. Peninsular Malaysia is the smaller of the two but is the financial heart of the country with Kuala Lumpur at the epicentre. Malaysian Borneo is historically famous for its interesting and unique wildlife, huge rain forests and tribespeople.

If you are lucky enough to have more than 2 weeks in Malaysia then you should combine the two itineraries into one as it suits you.

Figured out your budget yet? Check our what we spent here.

Let’s begin!

2 Week Itineraries

Itinerary One: Kuala Lumpur, Bako N.P., Semenggoh, Mulu N.P., & Brunei

Days 1-4: Kuala Lumpur

  • Ease into your trip by exploring Kuala Lumpur’s highlights while adjusting to the time and culture of Malaysia.
  • Spend the morning (while it is still cool) at Batu Caves located 25 minutes away on the KTM train line. Inside the picturesque limestone caves are many Hindu shrines.
  • Head out in the evening to Jalan Alor Food Street for the cities most colourful and biggest collection of multicultural street food.
  • The next day spend the morning at exploring the Islamic Arts Museum and Masjid Negara, Malaysia’s National Mosque.
  • .In the afternoon explore and shop in China Town and KL Sentral where you can find all kinds of electronics, souvenirs and trinkets. Check out our post on how to Haggle Like a Pro in Southeast Asia to give you some pointers before getting to KL.
  • In the evening check out the KL’s most famous landmark the Petronas Towers.
  • Check out our post on how we spent five nights in Kuala Lumpur

Where to stay: Submarine Guesthouse China Town – $14 USD per night (private room, included A/C)

Petronas Towers KL

Days 5-7: Kuching

  • After breakfast, jump on a minivan or take the #1 red public bus and short boat trip across to Bako National Park where you can get up close and personal to one of the world’s strangest looking monkeys the pot-bellied, red-headed proboscis monkey known lovingly as “The Dutchman”. 20 MYR entrance fee. Check out our photo tour of Bako National Park.
  • Jump on a public bus and head to Semenggoh Nature Reserve to visit Borneo’s most famous inhabitant, the orang-utan. Make sure to arrive by 2:00 pm as the afternoon feeding begins at 3:00 pm. Check out our photo tour of Semenggoh for more amazing pics of orang-utans.
  • Consider the night bus from Kuching to Miri in order to save time and money on accommodation.

Where we stayed: Beds Guesthouse – $10 USD per night (private room, included A/C)

Semenggoh Nature Reserve

Days 8-10: Gunung Mulu National Park

  • Before leaving Kuching, book a flight with MASwings from Miri to Mulu for the day you arrive into Miri.
  • Head to the main park office after checking into your guesthouse to pre-book the excursions that you’d like to do while in Mulu NP as they tend to book up fast.
  • Make sure to spend one afternoon exploring Deer Cave, the second largest cave in the world, and then sit back and enjoy one of the greatest wildlife shows on the planet as millions of bats pour out in search of food.
  • Check out our photo tour of Mulu National Park for some more travel inspiration.

Where we stayed: D’Cave Homestay – $12 USD per night (dorm room, outdoor shower)

Deer Cave Malaysia

Day 11: Miri

  • After flying back from Mulu National Park, arrange for a private driver to take you in the morning to Brunei.

Where we stayed: My Homestay Guesthouse – $12 USD per night (private room, shared toilet)

Days 12-13: Brunei

  • Get up bright and early and spend the day checking out the highlights of this tiny sultanate including the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, Royal Regalia Museum, and the Jame’Asr Mosque.

Where we stayed: KH Soon – $23 USD per night (dorm room, share toilet)

Brunei Mosque

Day 14: Kota Kinabalu & To the Airport

  • Fly back home or onward to your next destination!

Itinerary Two: Kuala Lumpur, Mount Kinabalu, Sepilok, Kinatabangan River, Sipadan

Days 1-3: Kuala Lumpur

  • Ease into your trip by exploring Kuala Lumpur’s highlights while adjusting to the time and culture of Malaysia.
  • Spend the morning (while it is still cool) at Batu Caves located 25 minutes away on the KTM train line. Inside the picturesque limestone caves are many Hindu shrines.
  • Head out in the evening to Jalan Alor Food Street for the cities most colourful and biggest collection of multicultural street food.
  • The next day spend the morning at exploring the Islamic Arts Museum and Masjid Negara, Malaysia’s National Mosque.
  • .In the afternoon explore and shop in China Town and KL Sentral where you can find all kinds of electronics, souvenirs and trinkets. Check out our post on how to Haggle Like a Pro in Southeast Asia to give you some pointers before getting to KL.
  • In the evening check out the KL’s most famous landmark the Petronas Towers.
  • Check out our post on how we spent five nights in Kuala Lumpur

Where to stay: Submarine Guesthouse China Town – $14 USD per night (private room, included A/C)

Batu Caves KL

Day 4-5: Kota Kinabalu

  • Consider pre-booking your Mount Kinabalu trek and guide.
  • Explore the evening fish market and enjoy some of Borneo’s best seafood.

Where to stay: The Bunk – $6 USD per night (dorm) 

Kota Kinabalu fish market

Days 6-8: Mount Kinabalu

  • You have two main options if you want to climb Mount Kinabalu. First is the half climb to “Low’s Peak” which requires only one day to climb and the other is to the climb the longer and more challenging via ferrata route. If you choose this option keep in mind that you’ll need at least a day to acclimatize to the altitude.
  • Typical tour cost for the 2 Day/1 Night Climb is $250-$300 USD.

Recommend Reading: Check out this post by Nomad is Beautiful which provides fantastic information on climbing Mount Kinabalu.

Mountains

Option A: For Non-Divers

Days 9-10: Sandakan – Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre

  • Take public bus #14 to the Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre for either the morning or afternoon feeding. Watch in amazement as one of our closest relatives masterfully navigates the trees.

Where to stay: Borneo Sandakan Backpackers – $15 USD per night (private room)

orangutan baby

Day 11-13: Sukau – Kinatabangan River

  • Ask your bus driver to drop you off at the Sukau Junction. There you can either hire a taxi or have your lodge pick you up for about 25 MYR.
  • Enjoy a few river safaris which run in the morning and evenings when the animals are most active. Here you should see orang-utans, proboscis, red-faced, and many other types of monkeys in the wild. You will also see a huge variety of birdlife like hornbills and kingfishers and if you’re lucky you may just see the rare pygmy elephant.

Where we stayed: RB Lodge – $15 USD per night (private room)

orang utan kinatabangan

Option B: For Divers

Day 9-13: Mabul & Sipadan

  • Once you have reached Semporna book your PADI course or your first few dives with a reputable PADI diving company who will shuttle you to the tiny island of Mabul. It’s important to note that you do need your Advance Diving License in order to dive Sipadan.
  • Make sure to spend at least one day diving Sipadan which has been named in the past as the world’s best diving location and is my personal favourite.
  • Check out our post on diving Sipadan here.

Where we stayed: Uncle Chang’s – $18.25 USD per person per day (Dorm room, all meals included)

Mabul Uncle Changs

Day 14: Fly home or onto your next destination

Ready to book your accommodations?

We have booked with Booking.com many times for hotel and guesthouses around the world and highly recommend them.

Wrapping Up

Malaysia is blessed with some of the world’s most epic natural wonders and most unique wildlife. If you are up for a little adventure and are a nature lover like us then I know you will have an incredible time in one of Southeast Asia’s most captivating locations.

I hope these sample itineraries for 2 weeks in Malaysia have helped you plan out your upcoming adventure!

Make sure to check out our post on how much to budget for Malaysia.

We thank you in advance for liking and/or sharing this post if you enjoyed it.

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Cheers,

Ross & Alyse


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Ross

Lover of travel, photography, nature, movies, and nachos. If you love Star Wars and Lord of the Rings we'll probably become best friends.
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