13 day trip itinerary to Malaysia
We are a group of 4 planning for a 13 day trip to Malaysia.
We are keen on exploring in and around KL and also want to visit Kota Kinabalu and Mulu caves.
Is Niah caves an alternative to Mulu caves.
Is is feasible to cover KL, KK and Mulu within the time frame.
Could you please suggest itineraries for a 13-day trip.
Technically yes, in reality, not really. The timeframe is just too tight to have an enjoyable experience mate, sorry.
You have less than two weeks and essentially want to explore three completely separate states, peninsular Malaysia and then Sarawak and Sabah in Borneo. You COULD technically visit these places in 13 days, BUT you will be rushed and you will miss out on a LOT.
You have to bear in mind that Mulu National Park is an AMAZING place, but EVERYONE knows it. Treks and tours are often booked out in advance, so that will waste a precious day or two of your time. Getting there as well is also extremely time consuming as it is very remote, it is closer to Brunei than Kuching or KL, the only practical way of getting to and from it is by air, through Mulu Airport which has flights once a day the last time I checked, Kuching which runs about three flights a week Kota Kinabalu which has three flights a week too. So you will waste transit time GETTING to one of these transit hubs, and then waiting round for the flights to get you to your destination and back. You can also take a slow riverboat down (which is the way I got there), it is a great experience but extremely time consuming, it took about 13 or 14 hours.
Basically speaking you will spend your whole holiday in transit and you really don’t have the time. Technically it can be done if you MUST see Gunung Mulu, BUT that will be the whole focus of the trip.
The first thing you should do is decide which is more important to your group, Peninsular Malaysia or Borneo. Then scratch one off the list completely.
You could either explore some of Peninsular Malaysia in 13 days, taking in KL, one of the amazing islands, a little light jungle trekking in Taman Negara and MAYBE at a very tight push Mellacca too.
Or you could fly straight to Kuching in Sarawak and explore the amazing national parks in the area, visit an Orang Utan rehab centre and stay in a long house?
Or you could fly straight to KK from KL, then use it as a base to trek through one of the numerous national parks, do a bit of diving, climb mount Kinabalu (bookings and permits needed of course) and so on.
I visited Niah caves in February this year and have to say that although the cave was impressive, I was quite underwhelmed. To be honest, if I were you I would just stick to KL, KK and Mulu caves. The only reason why I didn’t venture to Mulu caves was because of the price in getting there. Have you factored this into your budget?
Are you planning on climbing Mount Kinabalu? I did. But again remember, it is expensive to do. It cost me about 900 ringgit as a foreigner (I think it is 600 for a Malaysian). That was with a tour. It may be SLIGHTLY cheaper to do it independently. (The main cost these days is the accommodation half-way up Kinabalu. The owners of the hotel/hostel now charge an arm and a leg for essentially a bed.)
Anyway, hope this help and good luck on your journey!
Oh, do visit cameron highlands if you get a chance. A nice place to chill for a couple of days.
On a 13 day budget and depending on your tastes I would recommend the following options:
– 2 days in KK to snorkel/dive and take in the relaxed vibe of the town
– 1 days transit to Kinabalu National Park – I would recommend self drive there are some interesting churches to visit en route. Time enough to explore the trails around the base and prepare for the trek.
– 2 days to climb Kinabalu
- 1 day back to KK / relax your leg muscles at the Hot Springs at Poring
- 1 day travel by air to Mulu airport via Miri and explore the HQ
– 2/3 days caving or adventure trek – we did the Pinnacles climb which was tough but very wild! You need to book in advance
– 1 day travel to Kuching airport.
– 2/3 days exploring Kuching, the culture and the long houses.
– 2 days KL (Max) to see the main sights
– 2 days to explore Penang
– 1 day to drive to the Cameron Highlands via Ipoh for some great local food
– 2 days in the Cameron Highlands, avoid the tacky tourist town and do the treks through the team plantations
– 2/3 days to explore Taman Negara National Park – see forest elephants in the wild, camp out in the forest shelters over night with a guide – a good second to Borneo
- 2 days to explore Melacca and it’s culinary offerings. Drive back to KL
You can get through a lot in Malaysia if you are prepared to travel like a pro and not linger / waste time over packing and recovering from short flights.