Best Short Getaway In Malaysia For Couples
Are you looking for a short getaway in Malaysia for couples?
Looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life with your partner? Dying for a holiday, but you can’t get much time off work?
Look no further, WWB Writer, Suraj, has a list of all the places ideal for a short getaway in Malaysia for couples.
Where To Go In Malaysia For A Short Trip?
- Cameron Highlands
- Pulau Pangkor
Some of the links on here are affiliate links, and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. I hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.
Related Posts on Travel In Malaysia:
- The Best Short Getaways From KL, Malaysia
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- 9 Best Cafes In Penang, Malaysia
- Best Famous Food In Kelantan
- 27 Kedah Attractions You Can’t Miss Out On!
- 47 Things To Do In JB, Malaysia
- 27 Best Places To Visit In Cameron Highland
What Is A Short Getaway?
We’re looking at places you can access within 3-4 hours from the city.
With a limited amount of sights and activities, these spots are perfect for short stays over the weekend or slightly longer.
Short weekend getaways in Malaysia are relaxing, laid back trips that’ll get you all recharged and ready to head back to the daily grind.
I’ve thrown in a couple of fun activities too, for you adrenaline junkies!
Why Choose A Short Getaway In Malaysia For Couples?
Malaysia is a bustling hub of culture and travel at the heart of Southeast Asia.
Its state-of-the-art main airport in Kuala Lumpur (KL) makes it a frequent stopover for travelers heading to Europe and Asia from Australia and vice versa.
Whether you’re transiting for a couple of days in KL or you’re a local/expat living in the city, these few locations will leave you captivated with the country’s rich culture and vast landscape, merely hours away from the concrete metropolis.
There are also plenty of sports for a short getaway in Malaysia for couples!
Best Places For A Short Getaway In Malaysia For Couples
Tucked away on the outskirts of Ipoh in the state of Perak, this unassuming, sleepy little town has every chance of waking all your senses up!
Perfect for those looking for a day trip filled with fun activities and delicious food, the ultimate short getaway in Malaysia for couples.
Exit 135 Northbound on the PLUS highway, Gopeng is a short trip away from KL.
What To Do in Gopeng?
Most tourists make day trips with one or two activities planned.
Glamping is quite popular in these parts, especially after a day out caving/rafting. You might also consider heading over to Ipoh for dinner/drinks and spend the night there if you prefer.
- Watersports – perfect for beginners and skilled rafters alike, adventure-seekers from all over the country descend on the Kampar river for a whole list of exhilarating activities.
River explorer or REX offers good value for your buck with packages for waterfall abseiling, rafting, kayaking as well as caving.
Packages (per pax) start from:
- RM180 (USD45) or white water rafting
- RM250 (USD63) for kayaking
- RM100 (USD25) for river tubing
- RM130 (USD33) for waterfall abseiling
- RM70 (USD19) for caving at Gua Kandu
- RM100 (USD25) for caving at Gua Tempurung
- RM70 (USD18) for hiking at Batu Putih
- RM130 (USD33) for Rafflesia trekking & Orang Asli village visit
- Gua Tempurung – Estimated to be around 400 million years old, at 4.5km long, it is the largest limestone cave complex in Peninsular Malaysia.
It’s called Tempurung (coconut husk/shell) as it houses five large areas with dome-shaped ceilings, resembling a dried coconut. Each dome has its unique pattern of stalactites and stalagmites.
Infamous for being popular communist hideouts during the 1950s and 60s, it became a hub for tin mining in the 70s.
The surrounding area has been developed steadily in recent years to boost local tourism, with activities such as horseback riding and Go-karting now available nearby.
Packages with guided tours start from RM20 (USD5) for the half-day Golden Flowstone tour, suitable for beginners, to about RM50 (USD10) for the Grand tour for the seasoned spelunker!
Do note that there are discounted rates for Malaysian citizens, children, and seniors.
- Kellie’s Castle – Regarded as one of the five most haunted places in the country, this abandoned mansion from the early 1900s remains a popular hotspot for ghosthunters from all around the world.
Built by William Kellie Smith, a Scotsman who owned coffee and rubber plantations in the area, the mansion was supposed to be an ode to his new wife and young family.
His daughter, Helen, was the only one old enough to have a room earmarked in the structure.
Kellie commissioned tons of marble and scores of highly-skilled masons from India to build his dream home.
Dogged with financial uncertainty throughout his life, Kellie died unexpectedly of pneumonia in Lisbon in 1926. His widow later sold the incomplete structure and moved back to Scotland.
Since then, tourists from all over have described various paranormal sightings of a young girl in a white blouse resembling Helen. Figures of Kellie himself have been spotted making the rounds on the estate.
Tickets go for RM5 (USD1) for locals and RM10 (USD2) for foreign tourists, with operating hours ending at 6 pm daily. Night tours have been discontinued for undisclosed reasons.
Where To Eat?
- No 15 Curry Laksa – Probably not the best idea before white water rafting, but this breakfast joint in the morning market has been serving Gopeng-ites for the past 28 years.
Enjoy the dry or soupy versions with your favorite choice of noodles.
- Nasi Ganja Yong Suan – Don’t be alarmed as there’s no Ganja or cannabis served here (or so they say!).
This little road-side stall has been serving Nasi Ganja, Ipoh’s take on Penang’s famous Nasi Kandar, for the past 60 years! It gets its notorious moniker from locals who claim to have experienced semi-sedated ‘trips’ right after a full meal!
The dish consists of a delightfully marinated, red piece of chicken, okra, cucumbers, and a generous mix of curries.
All brought together with a healthy dollop of ganja sambal (a hot sauce/paste made with onions, chilies, and a whole lot of love)
Pretty good value at RM5.50 (USD1.40) a plate, you’re free to purchase add-ons from mutton, fish, and other vegetarian dishes. Be prepared to wait in line though, as it’s famous for its crazy long queues at lunch hour.
- Pak Kong Chicken Rice – If it’s chicken rice and roast pork you fancy, look no further. Eat where the locals do, at Pak Kong Chicken Rice. Enough said.
Where To Stay?
- Gopeng Glamping Park – Fancy a luxurious camping experience? There’s nothing more millennial than glamping. The perfect short getaway in Malaysia for couples.
With 4-star hotel rates ranging from RM150 (USD38) per night on weekdays to around RM320 (USD80) per night on weekends, you’re clearly paying for the experience.
With buffet meals, high-speed Wi-fi, BBQ dinners, and live performances around a bonfire, it’s certainly worth checking out, even if the great outdoors isn’t your thing.
- Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat – If you’re looking for a fantastic gift for your better half, this would be it. Perfect for special celebrations and the ultimate weekend splurge, be prepared to be pampered with delicious food, a sublime spa, and rather enchanting surroundings.
Set over natural hot springs with the rainforest and limestone caves as a backdrop, you’ll be blown away by the service and decked out private chalets (each with its own private pool and hot tub).
Be sure to book your romantic table for two at Jeff’s Cellar and cocktails later at the Sky Bar. This the perfect short getaway in Malaysia for couples who want things to be a bit romantic !
Room rates start at around RM1200 (USD300) a night.
2. Cameron Highlands
Set in the rolling hills of the Titiwangsa mountain range in central Peninsular Malaysia, these lush highlands were discovered by British geologist and explorer William Cameron in 1885.
Made up of several townships along a windy, narrow trunk road, you’ll probably spend most of your time between the towns of Tanah Rata, Brinchang, and probably Kea Farm.
Known for being the country’s top destination for domestic tourists, it is well regarded as the perfect short getaway in Malaysia for couples on a budget.
There are several buses a day from KL, Penang, Ipoh, and Singapore. A one-way trip from KL will cost RM35 (USD9).
There’s a lot to be desired for public transport in the Highlands itself. So it’s always recommended to drive if you have a list of activities planned.
Less than a 4-hour drive from KL, Cameron Highlands, is accessible via four main routes.
- Tapah – the original trunk road built by the British in the 1930s, was the only access to the Highlands until about 25 years ago. Still considered the shortest route from KL distance-wise, but the drive isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Narrow turns and steep ravines accompany you all the way to the top for around 90 minutes from the sleepy town of Tapah. There’s an added bonus of visiting the Kuala Woh Hotsprings and the Lata Iskandar waterfalls if you choose this route.
- Simpang Pulai – a newly built single-carriageway that’s wide and a whole lot easier to drive. Take note that the distance on your GPS app will be slightly more than the Tapah route (especially if your destination is Tanah Rata or Brinchang)
- Sungai Koyan – use this route if you intend to travel via Genting Highlands, Raub, or Bentong.
- Gua Musang – for anyone travelling from Kelantan or Terengganu.
What To Do?
Cameron Highlands has long been a favorite short weekend getaway for couples and families alike.
Its proximity to several urban centers and its cool, refreshing climate has often been a reason for tourists to just come, chill and do absolutely nothing!
But of course, if sipping tea and eating scones with strawberries and cream all day isn’t for you, here’s a list of activities you can look forward to while in the highlands.
- Jungle trekking – There are several treks around and about the two main towns of Tanah Rata and Brinchang.
They are of varying distances and difficulty. I would recommend a combination of Trail 10 and Trail 6. You can thank me later in the comments below!
- Sheep sanctuary – Located smack in the middle of the bustling Kea Farm farmer’s market, this little hidden gem is often missed by the average tourist. A must-visit for kids and animal lovers alike.
The entrance fee is RM8 (USD2) for adults and RM4 (USD1) for children.
- ATV and Safari – Located at the Cameron Valley Tea Shop 3 (TS3) in the town of Kuala Terla, you get to ride ATVs down the steep and rugged terrain of these tea plantations.
Rent an ATV for RM50 (US13) or choose the safer ‘Safari’ option of getting on a Jurassic Park-esque land rover and have a skilled driver take you down the slopes. This is priced at RM10 (USD3) per person.
- Pick your own strawberries – Big Red Strawberry Farm, Raju’s Hill Strawberry Farm, and many others let you stroll right in and pick your own fruit. Weigh and pay for your haul at the till and be sure to try their strawberry-inspired desserts at their cafes.
- The Mossy Forest – Something so unique to this part of the world, you wouldn’t want to miss it. Stunning views of moss-covered everything! From the trees to the jungle bed and everything in between.
Entrance fees have been introduced in recent times, and daily tour groups reduced in capacity to preserve the fragile ecosystem. Here’s a list of the most recent price changes.
What To Eat?
- Tea & Scones – It’s all part of the whole British-colonial vibe when you visit the Highlands.
If it isn’t the clearly evident Tudor-style buildings or the misty, damp mornings, sharing a hot pot of tea with buttery scones slathered with rich clotted cream and freshly-made strawberry jam will definitely get you in the mood.
- Steamboat – there’s no better place to enjoy a hot pot experience! Most outlets charge around RM30-RM40 (USD7-10) per pax but do check out the all you can eat steamboat and grill buffet at Taman Apple Cameron at RM40 (USD10).
- Singh Chapati Urban Restaurant – A tiny, family-owned business with surprisingly tasty and authentic Punjabi cuisine. They enjoy a strong online following, and it’s evident with the number of tourists that visit daily.
- Delicious and Happiness Kitchen – A delightful little place for Chinese dishes. Try the steamed fish and herbal soups.
- Naux Pastry – brilliant French pastries and cakes made fresh daily by an award-winning pastry chef. Be sure to try their famous macarons and locally-inspired swiss-rolls.
Where To Stay?
- Cameron Highlands Resort – If you’re looking for 5-star luxury at its best, then this YTL-owned resort is for you. Room rates are from RM500 (USD125).
- Airbnb – To truly immerse yourself in the Highland experience, check out these stays:
- A-Moss Farmstay – Pitched dome-shaped tents on a hill overlooking vegetable farms. Enjoy sleeping under the stars and waking up to scenic misty views of the valley.
- Myhighlandgetaway – For a truly romantic escape from the city, this is the perfect weekend getaway in Malaysia for a couple. Enjoy breakfast on the balcony with a view unlike any other.
- Westwood Highland – Fancy living on an actual farm? This guesthouse is surrounded by lush mountains and fully-operational vegetable farms.
- Budget hotels – There are plenty of these around the Tanah Rata and Brinchang area.
3. Pulau Pangkor
Pulau Pangkor is the perfect short weekend getaway in Malaysia for couples.Pangkor Island in the Straits of Malacca, is probably the closest island retreat to the KL metropolitan area at about 200km Northeast.
Recently declared a duty free zone, so pack your bags, let’s go!
Once again, the fastest way to get there would be to drive, but do bear in mind that you won’t be able to drive (your car, from the mainland) to the island.
Drive to Lumut and park at Marina Island Jetty. This recently built jetty offers ferry e-tickets that you can purchase online.
The price of a return ticket for an adult is RM14 (USD4), and parking is RM14 (USD4)/day.
Ferries to the island start at 6.45 am, and there are six ferries a day on average. The journey takes about 10 minutes. Buses from the TBS bus terminal in KL will take 4 hours to Lumut and cost RM27 (USD7) one way.
The best way to get around Pangkor Island is by renting a scooter.
The best places to rent one are either at Pangkor Town Jetty or Nipah Bay. It will cost you around RM40 (USD10)/day. Be sure to bring your international/local driving license along as you won’t be allowed to rent without it.
Always wear a helmet and be careful on the roads.
Alternatively, you could rent a car, but it’s much harder to do so as they are quite scarce. You could get a taxi but note that all trips are based on fixed prices, with no meters in your cab.
What To Do?
- The Beaches – Pretty much a no brainer, huh?
- Pasir Bogak Beach – the most popular and closest to Pangkor town, therefore most frequented of the lot. Watersports are offered throughout the strip. Lined with roadside hawkers selling barbequed squid, satay, and fresh coconut water.
If you’re keen on jungle trekking, there are a few paths available from here, including the one to Teluk Segadas in the south. It’s quite easy to get lost though, as signs and paths aren’t the best. Ask for a guide if you’re keen.
- Nipah Bay – made up of Nipah Beach and Coral Beach about 400m to the north, separated by a rocky outcrop. It’s quieter and less commercialized, with a beautiful view of the tiny, uninhabited islands of Giam and Mentagor.
Kayaking is available for RM15 (USD4)/hour, and it’s possible to paddle out to both Giam and Mentagor Islands.
Boat trips around the island offer you a unique view of the flora and fauna.
Snorkeling on Giam Island is highly recommended.
Cafes and cocktails by the beach, however, is more my thing. Check out Daddy’s Cafe for some delicious fusion food. Do NOT feed the monkeys!
- Ketapang Beach – a hidden gem sandwiched in between Nipah Bay and Pasir Bogak beach.
There are no hotels or street vendors in the area, so it’s perfect for a quiet picnic or a lazy day soaking up the sun. For the photography enthusiasts, hornbills galore.
- Dutch Fort – Built during the Dutch occupation in the 1670s, it was used to store tin supplies from the mines in and around Perak.
Rooftop canons kept away the prying eyes of the locals and pirates. An uprising by the locals loyal to the Sultan of Perak led to its destruction in 1690. The Dutch later rebuilt it in 1743 and stationed up to 60 soldiers to protect it.
They abandoned it when they lost control of Perak to the British soon after.
It was reconstructed and refurbished in the 1970s and has now been gazetted as a historical monument. It’s located at Teluk Gadong, close to Pangkor town.
- Pangkor Chinatown – A short walk from Pangkor town, experience a total change of scenery with colorful decorations and red lanterns adorning the houses lining both sides of the red, paved street.
Enjoy Chinese delicacies at the many street vendors and make your way to Foo Lin Kong Temple.
This Taoist temple has “artichoke-leaf” roofs and is filled with bronze and gold statues of Buddha. It is surrounded by well-manicured gardens and a turtle pond. You’ll also find a replica of the Great Wall and the mysterious Rock of Fate.
Where To Eat?
- Chao Sheng Seafood Restaurant – Previously Guan Guan (which sadly burnt down), it’s famous for its signature sauce steamed fish. Seafood lovers rejoice as you will be in for a treat. Prices and portions are reasonable, and it’s pretty easy to spot, located on Jalan Pasir Bogak.
- Uncle Lim’s Kitchen – Located on a picturesque cliff on the private island of Pangkor Laut. Part of the ultra-exclusive Pangkor Laut Resort, Uncle Lim’s is probably the best restaurant in the entire Pangkor area.
Home to authentic Hock Chew and Nyonya cuisine cooked to perfection with the freshest seafood and premium ingredients.
Uncle Lim, who is now 87 years old, travels daily to the main island to pick the catch of the day and supervises his apprentices in the kitchen on occasion. Specials include the fish maw soup and the soft-shelled crabs. Pricey as expected but totally worth it.
- Nipah Deli Steamboat & Noodle House – Located on Nipah beach, you get to enjoy a satisfying seafood dinner and witness the gorgeous Pangkor sunset. What better way to celebrate a short vacation in Malaysia for a couple than a romantic candlelit dinner.
Steamboat and barbeque with a large array of seafood options are what they’re famous for, but a la carte options are also available. They’re well known for their large portions and incredibly friendly staff – Malaysian hospitality at its finest.
- Warong Manshor – While it may not keep regular hours and is usually only open for breakfast and afternoon tea, this cozy stall at Nipah beach has the honor of serving the best Nasi Lemak in Pangkor.
Definitely worth a visit.
Where To Stay?
- Sunset View Chalet – A budget stay close to Coral Beach with rooms as cheap as RM60 (USD15).
Enjoy hornbill feeding at sunset.
Pak Nordin, who owns the place, is a local celebrity, and his knowledge and enthusiasm for hornbills is unparalleled. Hold out chunks of bananas, and watch these friendly, colorful birds perform tricks and swoop down for their dinner.
- Avi Pangkor Beach Resort – Barely a year old, you can hardly miss this cruise-ship themed hotel just across the road from Pasir Bogak Beach.
A 2-minute walk to the beach, it features spacious rooms with modern, chic decor and tasty breakfast options.
- Tiger Rock – A truly unique jungle holiday experience. Managed by locals who are passionate about sustainable living and the environment, the amazing retreat is spread across seven acres of jungle with a total of 8 tastefully designed private rooms and two swimming pools.
You’re served delicious homemade meals at the Pool House, and there’s a library pavilion to just chill out with a book. It’s also well regarded as a perfect location for a writing retreat.
Definitely worth checking out.
A Few Pointers To Be Mindful Of In Malaysia As A Couple
- Malaysia is rather conservative. Be mindful of the locals in public areas and beaches when it comes to PDA (Public Displays Of Affection). For bikinis and speedos, it’s best to book resorts with private beaches.
- If you’re planning to rent a vehicle, you’d need your international driving license.
- The possession of drugs in Malaysia carries hefty fines and jail terms, including the death penalty in certain instances.
- Duty-free concessions are strictly enforced. There’s a limit to buying spirits, wine and cigarettes at duty-free zones and airports.
- There’s no tipping in Malaysia. Most cafes and restaurants charge a 10% service tax that’s included in your bill.
- Although tap water is safe to drink in Malaysia, most Malaysians choose to boil their water. Bottled water is readily available everywhere you go.
I hope you enjoyed all the short getaways in Malaysia for couples.
With so much to see, eat and experience in Malaysia, I could go on and on for pages.
There’s much more where that came from though, check out The Best Malaysia Short Getaways for more exciting places to visit.
So, where will you be taking your partner this weekend?