Malaysia, with its lush forests, verdant mountains, clear waters and wildlife, is a backpackers’ nirvana. It is popular among backpackers because it offers BIG options for less. It is touted to be among of Southeast Asia’s most inexpensive destinations.
What makes Malaysia a perfect getaway for backpackers is the fact that the country offers a wide array of options that can be cheaply explored on foot, from rugged topographies fit for adventure to scenic views perfect for meditative hikes. Similarly, Malaysian cities also offer its guests a wide range of cheap accommodations.
Though economical, there is nothing cheap about the pampering you can get from certain luxury resorts and hotels in this country. This is what Kiki Deere writes about in her post Affordable Luxury, Malaysia for Rough Guides.
- Tanjong Jara, Terengganu: This is a one of a kind haven with its sophisticated and plush majestic designs that befit the royal palaces of the Malay royalty. It covers all of the 17 hectares of exotic ground, sheltered by palm trees. Its renowned Anjung Suite has an expansive space with an al fresco bath. Its opulence is matched with its prized Spa Village therapies that offer traditional Malay-based treatments practiced for generations.
- Tiger Rock, Pangkor Island: The island resort sits on a 12-acre jungle located off the west coast of Malaysia. There are only eight rooms that are reeking of stylishly decorated scattered around the lush grounds overlooking the ocean and the mainland. All the structures are designed, decorated and furnished after old-style, classical Malay village homes called “kampong.”
- Bon Ton Resort, Langkawi: This inimitable resort boasts of eight traditional, old-styled kampong homes staged against a gorgeous backdrop of an exotic lagoon surrounded with lotus blooms. All these are set in the midst of a verdant coconut plantation with an alluring swimming pool. Each kampong house bespeaks of rich history and cultural heritage with its furnishings, accents, decors and fabrics.
- Straits Collection, George Town, Penang: This is found in the UNESCO World Heritage Centre of George Town. The area is dominated by its characteristic colonial building that were erstwhile shop houses painted in pastel. Each has been fully refurbished to echo the George Town’s colorful culture and history, and is completely fitted out with modern features and conveniences as well as a living area.
- Villa @ World Café, Long Beach, Perhentian Islands: Very natural, organic, airy and snuggled along a stretch of fine white beach with clear turquoise waters, it is every city-dweller’s fantasy. The rooms are inviting with its huge windows bringing in a flood of light, eye-catching wooden fixtures and high ceilings. The bathrooms are set outdoors and screened from prying by sprouting bamboo shoots.
- Bagus Place, Pulau Tioman: Are you tired off the humdrum of the city and is looking forward to a beach hideaway? Book any of Bagus Place’ seven chalets built along a gorgeous expanse of beach fronting crystal clear waters. Each chalet is unique with its own character. Notable are the Tree House and the Boat House with interiors that are based around the theme. When you opt for this location, say goodbye to the Internet, air-con and television. Here, it will be just you and nature.
- The Majestic, Malacca: The Majestic manages to preserve its inimitable blend of Straits and neoclassical designs, its original fixtures as well as its distinctive colorful stained glass windows popular in the 1920s. Its other standout features include stylish open-plan spaces with polished timber floors, sliding doors in wood, and decorations in ornate teak and fine Peranakan dishes and the healing therapies of the Spa Village.
Going abroad on a shoestring budget is not easy, but that is exactly the essence of backpacking. They always say that the best places in the world are discovered not by sleeping in a hotel, but by being on foot with a pack on the back. If you are a smart traveler, however, and you can manage to enjoy some comforts without breaking the shoestring budget, you need not make extreme sacrifices. Malaysia is all that and more as its wonderful attractions let you connect to nature.