Southeast Asia is a treasure trove of beautiful and exciting travel destinations. Among Filipinos, Malaysia ranks third as a favorite vacay spot—and it’s easy to see why.
Malaysia teems with vibrant cities, scrumptious cuisines, and natural havens. Flights to this country are relatively affordable. All these make Malaysia a quick getaway abroad, especially for first-time international travelers.
But what do you need to prepare before traveling to this beautiful country? What are the Philippines to Malaysia travel requirements for 2023? You’ll find that out and more in this handy guide.
Prepare Ahead of Time: Philippines to Malaysia Travel Requirements for 2023
Before you get excited about seeing the Petronas Tower or frolicking under the sun on one of Kota Kinabalu’s beaches, do your due diligence first. Here are the things you should take note of:
👉 Does Malaysia Require a Tourist Visa?
Can Filipinos travel to Malaysia without a visa? If you’re a tourist visiting the country, you’ll be happy to know that a visa is not required for a stay of less than one month for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) nationals (except Myanmar).
So what are the Philippines to Malaysia travel requirements for 2023? Bring the following:
- A Philippine passport with at least six months of validity
- Confirmed roundtrip flights
- Proof of accommodation
- For safety and assurance: proof of employment like a Certificate of Employment (COE) and proof of financial capacity (e.g., bank statement, bank certificate, etc.)
👉 Does Malaysia Have Quarantine Rules?
Just like many other countries that have opened up their borders for travel, Malaysia welcomes all travelers regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status. A pre-departure or on-arrival COVID-19 test isn’t required. Likewise, the Malaysian government doesn’t have quarantine orders regarding COVID-19.
👉 What’s the Best Time to Travel to Malaysia?
The best month to travel to Malaysia will depend on your goals and intended destinations. Regarding the latter, keep in mind that the country is divided into two regions: Peninsular Malaysia (where the capital Kuala Lumpur is located) and East Malaysia. These regions are separated by the South China Sea.
Peninsular Malaysia sits in the Malay Peninsula and is bordered by Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia’s Sumatra Island. On the other hand, East Malaysia is on Borneo Island, the third largest island in the world. This part of the country shares borders with Brunei, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
If you’re visiting Kuala Lumpur, which is located in Peninsular Malaysia, the best time to do so is between July and August. This period sees the least number of rainy days. Alternatively, you may visit in January or February.
If you’re visiting Kota Kinabalu or other parts of East Malaysia, you may choose the months from March to October. This period is usually dry, making it easy for you to tour around.
Remember, though, that both regions of Malaysia sit close to the equator. This means that head and humidity levels in the country can get high.
👉 How to Get to Malaysia?
Leading air carriers in the Philippines operate direct flights to Malaysia’s key cities, such as Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu. These include Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia.
The Philippines to Malaysia travel time is around three hours and 30 minutes.
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👉 How to Get Around Malaysia?
Getting around Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia is easy. Here are your options:
- Trains – In Peninsular Malaysia, two major railway networks operate: the KTM West Coast Line and the KTM East Coast Line. You can use their trains to travel across the Peninsula. On the other hand, urban trains, such as Light Rapid Transit (LRT) and Mass Rapid transit (MRT) serve key cities and districts.
- Buses – Both Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia have a comprehensive bus network. You can ride the buses to visit the next city or state.
- Ride-hailing services – You can book your ride with popular apps, such as Grab and MyCar.
- Airplanes – Flying across various territories within Malaysia is relatively affordable, thanks to various air carriers. These include Malaysa Airlines, Firefly, and AirAsia.
- Ferries and boats – In Peninsular Malaysia, you can visit Penang and Langkawi via a ferry. East Malaysia also facilitates ferry trips and island tours.
👉 How to Communicate in Malaysia?
Malay or Bahasa Malaysia is Malaysia’s official and national language. Nevertheless, English is widely spoken and understood in the key urban areas of the country. Despite that, level of fluency may vary, especially if you visit far-flung locations.
👉 How Much Does it Cost to Travel to Malaysia?
Malaysia’s currency is called the ringgit (RM). As of this writing, RM1 is equivalent to ₱11.84.
A four-day/three-night itinerary will suffice, especially if you’re only visiting the key cities. But if you plan to explore more of the country, provide some leeway in your schedule.
A safe budget for Malaysia travel costs would be around RM700 or ₱8,200+ to RM850 or ₱10,000+. Excluded from this budget are the flights and pasalubong.
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Where to Go in Malaysia: Top Tourist Destinations to Visit
Now that you know the travel to Malaysia from Philippines requirements, you can choose the destinations to visit. Here are your options:
📍 Kuala Lumpur
- Location: Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Peninsular Malaysia
- How to get there: Book a flight from the Philippines to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
Your travel to Malaysia will not be complete without visiting its vibrant capital, Kuala Lumpur. Its modernism is coupled with local charm, making it a must-see for vacationers. Here are the top tourist spots in the city:
- Petronas Towers – One of the tallest twin towers in the world, the Petronas Towers are an unmistakable icon of the city. Get a stunning view of the city from its observation deck. Discounted tickets at Klook are around ₱1,398.
- Menara KL Tower – Can’t get enough of skyscrapers? Go to Menara KL Tower, which offers uninterrupted views of the city. The modernity of this structure is complemented by the lush greenery around it.
- Bukit Bintang – Is shopping your favorite sport? Then head over to Bukit Bintang, the capital’s shopping and entertainment district. Other than commercial retailers, this spot is home to various night markets, hawker eateries, and cafés.
- Batu Caves – Located about 11 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves is a Hindu Shrine that features colorful stairs. You can easily reach it via bus and train.
- Location: Northwest Coast of Peninsular Malaysia
- How to get there: Reach Penang within one hour and twenty minutes via domestic flight. You can also catch an ETS train going to Penang.
The state of Penang is popular for its colonial architecture and natural wonders. If you’re planning to visit this state, here are the most recommended destinations:
- George Town – Penang’s capital has a wealth of attractions in the form of colonial buildings, street art installations, and traditional villages. Among the most popular buildings in the city is the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, which served as one of the locations for the movie “Crazy Rich Asians.”
- Penang Botanic Gardens – If you want to explore Penang’s floral landscape, visit the Penang Botanic Gardens. It features an herb garden, an orchidarium, and spots for jogging and trekking. Admission is free.
- Batu Ferringhi Night Market – Foodies will definitely have a good time at this night market, which has more than 100 stalls. You can also buy your souvenirs here.
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📍 Kota Kinabalu
- Location: State of Sabah, East Malaysia
- How to get there: From the Philippines, book a flight going to Kota Kinabalu.
Also known as KK, Kota Kinabalu is Sabah’s capital. While not as glitzy as Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu offers quintessential tropical destinations. Here are the must-visit spots in the city:
- Tunku Abdul Rahman Park – Just a 20-minute boat ride from the city center is this marine park composed of five islands. The beaches in this location have cream sand and turquoise waters. Entry to the park is affordable at RM25 or close to ₱300.
- Kota Kinabalu City Mosque – Whether you’re into architecture or just want to take a glimpse of the Islamic faith, the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque is the place to be. The man-made lagoon around the mosque perfectly reflects the structure, giving photographers an interesting subject.
- Mount Kinabalu – If hiking and exploring mountains are your thing, don’t miss Mount Kinabalu. With a height of more than 4,000 meters, it’s the tallest peak in all of Malaysia and Borneo.
📍 Johor Bahru
- Location: State of Johor, south of Peninsular Malaysia
- How to get there: From Kuala Lumpur, you can reach this city via plane, train, or bus. If you’re coming from Singapore, you can go to this city via bus or taxi.
Fondly called JB, Johor Bahru is the capital of the State of Johor. It’s located in the southern part of Malaysia, sitting next to Singapore. The city offers a lot of attractions and activities, some of which include the following:
- Legoland Malaysia – Everything is awesome at this theme park that features structures made of Lego blocks, exciting rides, and a water park. Early bird tickets for Legoland’s theme park and SEA Life have discounted prices of RM176 or ₱2,000+ for kids and RM224 or ₱2,600 for adults.
- Johor Zoo – Built in the 1920s, Johor Zoo is home to animals, such as tigers, gorillas, and elephants. Entrance to the zoo is just RM3 or around ₱35.
- Johor Premium Outlets – Looking for luxury fashion items without the steep prices? Johor Premium Outlets houses brands, such as Prada, Fendi, Coach, Bottega Veneta, Jimmy Choo, Kenzo, and more.
- Location: South of Peninsular Malaysia
- How to get there: Book a flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Singapore Changi Airport. A cheaper alternative is a five- to seven-hour bus trip from Kuala Lumpur.
Can I travel from Malaysia to Singapore? Of course! While not part of Malaysia, Singapore is a favorite destination among tourists in the Malay Peninsula.
If you’re in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysia to Singapore travel time is up to seven hours via bus. But if you’re in Johor Bahru, you can reach Singapore within one hour.
Spend a day or two in Singapore by visiting famous attractions, such as the Merlion Statue, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, and more.
Traveling to Malaysia is easy since flights are relatively cheap. On top of that, the Philippines to Malaysia travel requirements for 2023 are light and undemanding. Start planning your trip with this handy guide. Don’t forget to ask family and friends who have been to this country for tips!