Beyond The Backpacker Hostel: Where Should You Stay In Malaysia?

BEYOND THE BACKPACKER HOSTEL

After being largely ignored for a long time in favour of its more popular neighbours, Malaysia is slowly being discovered by intrepid backpackers looking for something that is a little same same, but different. The big question is, where do you stay when you are exploring this inspirational and majestic country?

The good news is you will never have a lack of choice in Malaysia, with so many different accommodation options  ranging from hostels to high end hotels and everything in between, nothing is beyond your reach. So even if you are a budget backpacker, don’t limit your options and look beyond the simple hostel to the wide range of options available to you.

Beach Huts.

Luxury flashpacking bemused backpacker (4)

An island hoppers perennial favourite option, the simple beach hut has been a staple of many backpackers accommodation options for a long time. The good news is, even though Malaysia isn’t as well known for its beaches and islands as say Thailand or the Philippines, there are still a lot of stunning beaches available with some basic but perfect beach huts on them, like this one on Juara beach on Tioman island. They aren’t luxury, they often don’t have man amenities, but you really cannot beat waking up right on the beach and being able to walk straight out into that beautiful clear water.

Hostels.

The basic backpacker staple will never go out of fashion for backpackers on a budget looking for a cheap place to stay, but unless you are on an ultra tight budget or you fancy a little bit of company and socialisation with other backpackers, there is so much choice at every budget level there is no real need to limit yourself to this option at all.

Guesthouses and homestays.

These are perhaps one of my favourite options as they are often very cheap, not much more than a hostel in fact, you get a great, unique private room in a locals home, and you often get a fantastic local experience with some good home cooked meals to boot!

Hotels.

Lime Tree Hotel Kuching

Many backpackers dismiss hotels as too expensive or as too far out from the whole ‘backpacker experience’, but they are really missing out. Part of being a backpacker is to experience as much as possible, and as much of a range of experiences as possible during your trip, and a part of that is not limiting yourself to one accommodation option. You can get some great deals by booking ahead on booking sites, you can easily get cheap hotel bookings at Traveloka without any fuss for example. Hotels really are great places to stay for backpackers, especially when you are arriving into a new place late at night and need somewhere to get to and get your bearings, or those times where you feel under the weather and need some creature comforts, or even if you have been on the road for a while and just want to decompress. Hotels can be an amazing option if you look around and get a good deal, so don’t dismiss them.

Luxury hotels and spas. 

Luxury flashpacking bemused backpacker (2)

That’s right, you didn’t hear me wrong, you did just hear me as a self confessed backpacker recommend a little bit of expensive luxury, but hear me out.

Just as with staying in hotels, travelling the world is about experiencing a whole range of options, and part of that is pampering yourself from time to time too. I do it all the time, and have no qualms at all switching between a budget backpacker and a flashpacker. And neither should you. By all means stay in cheap hostels and beach huts most of the time, they are amazing and worth the experience, but after a few months of that you may be feeling the need to just spoil yourself a little, kick back and relax, and that is where these accommodation options come in.

There is another reason though. Provided that you have budgeted well and not overspent, staying for any length of time in cheap accommodation options will give you a build up of accounted for funds that will allow you to splurge a little and enjoy yourself, and since Malaysia is in general a very inexpensive country by Western standards you can really get great value for money here, and a relatively small amount of money will get you a lot of luxury.

Don’t deny yourself!

The unique options.

Malaysia is littered with such unique accommodation options that they are literally impossible to categorise individually. From jungle hides and luxury treehouses in the national parks of Malaysian Borneo to liveaboard diving boats off Sipadan and traditional native longhouses, Malaysia has a lot to offer the intrepid traveller.

So if you are a backpacker heading to Malaysia, even if you are on a tight budget, don’t limit yourself to just the basic hostel. Malaysia has a whole host of fantastic accomodation options to unique longhouses to amazing hotels. Get out there, explore this truly wonderful country and take advantage of as many different types of nights sleep as you can!

Did you like this article? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook or Twitter pages and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons. If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.

Disclaimer

This article was written in association with Traveloka. Any views and opinions expressed are entirely the authors own based on personal experiences when travelling and are honest and factual without any bias.

Related Articldes

 Hotel Review: Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

Juara Beach, A Jewel In Malaysia’s Crown.

Malaysia.

Three Days In Kuala Lumpur.

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Michael Huxley is a published author, freelance travel writer and founder of Bemused Backpacker. He is also a charge nurse by vocation with an interest in emergency nursing and travel medicine, but his real passion is travel. Since finding his wanderlust a decade ago in South East Asia, he has bounced from one end of the planet to another and has no intention of slowing down.

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10 comments on “Beyond The Backpacker Hostel: Where Should You Stay In Malaysia?
  1. Hani says:

    Oh wow, I’ve never even really thought of staying in anywhere but hostels, I’ve tried a few guesthouses from time to time but that is it. You are an absolute legend! Xo

  2. Alison says:

    If you don’t mind me asking how exactly did you afford to stay in nice hotels like that when you are on a budget? I’m travelling SEAsia at the moment and I know I couldn’t.

    • I don’t mind at all, it’s quite straightforward, I just budget well. That’s it. If I’m travelling long term I will budget a certain amount for my accommodation per night (say for example £8 -10 GBP) and will stay in budget places most of the time (say around £5 per night), so after a few weeks or months I have a surplus that I can spoil myself with and upgrade to flashpacker status for a bit. Plus hotels can always be bartered down on walk in rack rates just like anywhere else, and there are great deals to be had online if you look out for them.

  3. I don’t know what looks more enticing! That luxury balcony or that hammock! ;D Where was the pic with the hammock taken?

    • Haha I know what you mean. That picture was taken on Tioman Island, on Juara beach. They were some of the garden huts, behind me were a few beach huts and then the open beach! Beautiful place. 🙂

  4. Laura Vitty says:

    Yes! This! I’ve never understood why so many backpackers have such a limited mindset and think you aren’t a ‘real’ backpacker if you don’t stay in ultra budget places all the time! If I’m travelling long term I like to have a bit of privacy every few weeks or so and like to get a comfy room with a private bathroom, that doesn’t mean I’m not a backpacker!

  5. thanks for the tips. been to malaysia but i am planning to go back with my family. 🙂

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Hi, I'm Michael! I'm a published author, qualified nurse and world travelling professional adventurer! I have spent 15 years travelling over 100 countries and I want to inspire you to do the same! Want to know more about me? Just click here!

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