Travelling in Malaysia with kids
Children are absolutely worshipped in Malaysia with well-maintained urban parks and play areas, combining with low-key beach resorts and accessible tropical rainforests.
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.
Our Malaysia family Holidays
Activities for families in Malaysia
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.
HomestaysHomestays 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 beachIf 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.
If you'd like to chat about Malaysia or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
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.”
More about Malaysia
From the Cameron Highlands to strolling Penang, our Malaysia travel guide offers plenty for travellers looking for a lesser-visited Asian alternative.
Find out the best time to visit Malaysia in terms of temperature and rainfall, as well as what we recommend from the country’s cultural calendar.
See our Malaysia map and highlights to help you make the most of your time as you explore quick-fire cities, national parks and tropical islands.
Discover things to do in Malaysia that open up a world of orangutans, coral reefs and mountains that take you way beyond shopping in Kuala Lumpur.
Discover why you should consider travelling to Malaysia and Borneo in one swoop. (Clue: some of the wildlife there has to be seen to be believed.)
Find out how to get around, what to pack and where and what to eat as you read the Malaysia travel tips we've collected from our holiday specialists.
Find out what you can do to help as you learn about responsible tourism in Malaysia and our top tips to help you travel better in Malaysia.
Get inspired with all of our Malaysia travel guides in one place.