Traveling in Malaysia with kids

What does responsible travel recommend?

Starting in the capital makes sense, with the Skytrain offering an alternative view of the city. Don’t miss out on Petaling Street in Chinatown for a much more exciting shopping experience to air-conditioned malls. The Batu Caves, just 30 minutes from KL, thrust you into a world of Hinduism, monkeys and steps, lots of steps. Speedy flights to Langkawi Island on the northwest coast invite a few laid back days at the beach, as well as an awesome SkyWalk, although if coral reefs and desert island beaches are your thing, head to the Perhentians (northeast) or Tioman Island (southeast) for a totally tropical treat. Finally, there are some amazing bungalows in Berembun Forest Reserve – the perfect setting for an adventure in the jungle, for the whole family, without any age limits.

Activities for families in Malaysia

What to do with little ones

Head up to the Highlands

We recommend the jungle experience in Taman Negara National Park as it features an easy going canopy walkway as well as chances to spot lots of different types of wildlife. The tea plantations and butterfly farm in the Cameron Highlands are also great places to visit for families as is Georgetown in Penang, if only for the temples and all the different places to eat.


Homestays are a great way to become immersed in local life and families always feedback how well the kids got looked after and how great it was for them to become more trusting of other cultures alongside interacting with local village children, on their level. Homestays also offer a real break from the norm with jungle treks on your doorstep and countless evenings spent looking at the stars.

Day at the beach

If you're looking to take your family to the beach then Langkawi is really family-friendly, although slightly over-developed, with lots of restaurants, beach bars and places to stay, including low-key guesthouses. However, if you're looking to swim with turtles and have an amazing underwater experience then there's nowhere better than the Perhentian Islands for a wild day at the beach.

Traveling in Malaysia with kids

responsible travel asks the experts

Chloe Mckellar, from our supplier Rickshaw Travel, offers some family-friendly top tips: “Be aware, blonde, blue eyed children, as in many other parts of Asia, will get lots of attention. There really isn't any harm intended when perfect strangers ask for a photo with your children or follow you around with selfie sticks however, saying no usually defuses the situation without any problems. Alternatively, cover up blonde locks with a hat!”
“I'd really recommend homestay accommodation for families as it's a great way to let children meet local kids and find out more about traditional ways of life including school activities, play time and general time spent around the home. A lot of accommodations, particularly smaller hotels, have just a few family rooms so it's worth booking well in advance. This tends to be because a lot of guesthouses and hotels are Chinese owned so the policy for one child doesn't extend to needing lots of larger, family rooms.”
Photo credits: [Top box: Emran Kassim] [Jungle experience: Phalinn Ooi] [Homestays: Phalinn Ooi] [The beach: Phalinn Ooi] [Chloe Mckellar - homestays: snowflakegirl]
Written by Chris Owen
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