Best Family Vacation in Malaysia With Ways to Save Money
A family vacation in Malaysia will be on the top of your to-do list since overseas travel remain challenging even after all in the country gets the Covid-19 vaccine.
With so many recent significant holidays missed, a family vacation is good for parents and kids who have been homebound since the pandemic.
Even with travel restrictions, we can still travel within Malaysia and find loads of things to do and places to see on a low budget!
Malaysia is an incredibly diverse country and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Here are some affordable places in Malaysia to bring your family out for a fun trip–without blowing your budget.
George Town, Penang
Penang’s culture-rich and diverse capital city, George Town, Malaysians love to visit for street food.
Penang has some of the most delicious street food in the entire world.
There are many rice dishes, noodles, pancakes, bread, meats, seafood, curries, and vegetarian food to suit every taste bud round the clock.
Take your family around George Town and enjoy the delicious cheap foods from the hawkers and street stalls.
To start, try eating from Kopitiam and Food Courts, which has a good mix of rice, noodles, and desserts from Malay, Chinese, and Indian cuisine.
After all that food, it’s time to walk it off and go on Penang Heritage Trail.
Clan Jetties form part of the Penang Heritage Trail.
You can see a complete floating village on stilts above the water in George Town on Penang Island.
Take the children to the inner city and learn about the history of the Peranakan culture since British colonial times at the Pinang Peranakan Museum, the Blue Mansion, and the Cheah Kongsi.
If you enjoy nature, a day trip up Penang Hill to check out The Langur Canopy Walk and the Curtis Crest – the major attractions at The Habitat Penang Hill.
Go towards Batu Ferringhi for the beach resorts and Teluk Bahang to visit the Tropical Spice Garden.
Many visitors love to go mural hunting around the city and search for the world-famous murals by Ernest Zacharevic, a Lithuanian-born artist.
If you want to save more, skip self-driving and take a bus or the train from Kuala Lumpur.
Bus tickets start from USD9 per person (one way), while the KTM train begins from USD19 per person.
As for accommodations, many hotels around the city offer rooms which range from only USD24 and above per night.
Getting to Penang is easy to go by Air, Car, Bus, or Train.
Cameron Highlands, Pahang
Taking the family to Malaysia’s favorite travel destination in Pahang – the idyllic Cameron Highlands, is something the local and international tourists enjoy.
The weather in Cameron Highlands is cool and wet throughout the year. The temperature ranges from 57.2 F to 82F.
Cameron Highlands is best known for visiting tea plantations, hydroponics strawberry farms, jungle trails, and the Mossy Forest.
The moss-choked Mossy Forest was ranked fifth place on Lonely Planet’s list of Most Instagrammable Forests In The World – and looks like a spooky scene from the Lord of the Rings.
Weirdly enough, there is a Cactus Valley where you can see apple trees, strawberries, roses, lilies, tomatoes, and myriads of cactus plants!
You will enjoy the freshly picked fruits, flowers, and vegetables available in the stalls and markets.
At night, grab some buddies together to try some of these steamboat restaurants in Cameron Highlands!
Getting to Cameron Highlands is easy.
A bus trip from KL to Cameron Highlands is about 3.5 hours and costs about USD5.4.
Express buses depart from TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan) and end at Tanah Rata bus terminal.
You can book ahead online on Easybook.com.
We can find accommodations in abundance, with many of them below RM100 a night – be sure to book early!
The Perhentian Islands is the perfect island getaway in Malaysia to holiday with family.
The best time to visit is from April to October.
You will find the most pristine beaches, clear water, and some fantastic snorkeling and diving center.
For kids, they can learn to snorkel right off the beach, go kayaking or jungle trekking.
Nature will surround you for your family vacation in Malaysia.
While two islands make up the Perhentians – Besar and Kecil (big and small). Perhentian Besar is best for families.
Backpacker style Perhentian Kecil with a more extensive range of resorts at a better price.
You can move between the two islands easily in boat taxis.
Places to stay in Perhentian Islands for families.
Perhentian Island Resort
The resort has the best position on the islands with its beautiful beach, a bay home to turtles, and a great place to snorkel.
Check out the Perhentian Island Resort for photos of swimming pools, tennis courts, beach volleyball, and more.
Getting there to the Perhentian Islands
Visitors can either take a domestic flight or travel eight hours by road from Kuala Lumpur.
If you fly, you’ll head to Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, or Kota Bharu in neighboring Kelantan state.
You can get land transfers from the airport, and daily boat rides from Kuala Besut Jetty to Perhentian Island.
Don’t forget Borneo Malaysia when you are planning places to holiday with family!
The City of Kuching is a relaxed, pretty city and the capital of the state of Sarawak.
With its picturesque location on the Sarawak River, Kuching is blessed with the most beautiful riverfront walks with a great atmosphere in the evenings.
Touted as the food capital of East Malaysia – Kuching is the one place to visit if you consider yourself a foodie.
Kuching is most famous for her ubiquitous dish, the cheap and satisfying comfort food — The USD1 a bowl Kolo Mee is an indispensable part of Kuching’s life.
Malay stalls selling the Halal version called “Mee Kolok.”
Other food items that found only in Sarawak are
- Midin Belacan
- Cangkuk Manis
- Satay Sago Worms
- Salted Egg Fried Kway Teow
- Tomato Crispy Mee
- Sarawak Laksa
- Belacan Bee Hoon
- Manok Pansuh
- Sarawak Layer Cake and
Cat lovers will love the city with many cat statues and enjoy visiting the Cat Museum and the Tua Pek Kong Temple (Pre-1839).
Kuching is a great base to explore Borneo, the jungles, culture, and wildlife in this region.
You can arrange day trips to visit the Sarawak Cultural Village, visit authentic longhouse, or Semenggoh Wildlife Center, where you can see orangutans in the wild.
For families who want some jungle adventures – Kuching is the perfect getaway in Malaysia!
Bring your kids to Malaysia Borneo for a holiday to Sandakan in Sabah state.
Sandakan is the gateway to one of the most famous attractions in Borneo, the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center.
They established the center in 1964 to help rehabilitate rescued orphaned baby orangutans from logging sites, plantations, and illegal hunting.
A visit to the center is an eye-opener for visitors.
You can see how orphaned orangutans are rehabilitated and taught how to cope in the wild.
Orangutan adoptions are USD 150 per year, and you can contact Sabah Tourism for more details.
Visitors can attend the feedings, where you are likely to witness the fantastic experience of many orangutans swinging in for their meals.
You can learn about the moving World War II memorial and museum dedicated to the prisoners of war from the Borneo Death Marches.
Sandakan is an excellent place to use as a base with lively markets and the best places to eat a seafood meal.
Sandakan is renowned for its wide variety of delicious seafood at crazy cheap prices.
Exciting, cheap, and tasty meals for the entire family include
- Century Egg Dumplings
- Noodles made from fish meat
- Seafood BKT
- Avocado Sticky Rice, and
- Latok or Sea Grapes (seaweed)
Also known as sea grapes, you can eat Latok raw with hot rice. You can also enjoy Latok as an appetizer by adding lime juice, onion, and chili.
Can’t Wait to Start Your Family Vacation in Malaysia?
Family vacations are a great way to bond and enjoy time with each other.
A memorable family time doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg.
There are places you can travel to in Malaysia even if you are on a tight budget.
You will be glad to travel to some of the best places off the beaten track and discover wonderful Malaysia.
Try budget travel destinations on the East Coast, small towns, fishing villages, islands, and Sabah and Sarawak instead of taking your family overseas.