Many confuse the experiences of Singapore and Malaysia with each other, thinking that visiting one is fulfilling enough as it is. While this may be true, the complete Southeast Asia experience is best experienced in both countries. From unique food spots to iconic beaches—maybe you want to celebrate a milestone birthday in event space Singapore and Malaysia too?
If you’re still not convinced, read on! Here are the top 6 reasons why you should visit Singapore AND Malaysia this year.
1. They’re right next to each other!
When you travel, you want the best bang for your buck right? Since Singapore and Malaysia are right next to each other, you can go on a two-tropical country tour by flying to just either one.
While there are cultural similarities between the two countries, the food, sights, and people do vary. Take in Singapore’s bejeweled city life and Malaysia’s lush green jungles in one extraordinarily planned trip. Just make sure you know your routes and tourist spots so you don’t waste fuel or energy!
2. The food scene is incomparable and iconic!
Southeast Asia is undeniably a food spot for foodies all over the world. As a melting pot of cultures, the region fuses many types of cuisines really well. Singapore and Malaysia are not exempt from this—both countries’ food culture is diverse in flavor and texture.
For Singapore specifically, Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, and Indian influences are most evident. However, since the island currently stands as a leading ex-pat destination, Western food (like bagels, pasta, and sandwiches) is present now too.
Must-try food in Singapore:
- Hainanese Chicken Rice Set
- Kaya Toast
- Nasi Lemak
- Soya Drinks
- Chilli crab
- Hokkien prawn mee
- Fried Carrot Cake
Malaysia, on the other hand, also brings together many different cultures. However, their flavors and aromas are said to be more authentic to Southeast Asian cuisine (whereas Singapore is a mix between SEA and Chinese). Street food is also a stand-out in the country, whether in the city or the province.
Must-try food in Malaysia:
- Ayam Percik
- Mee Goreng Mamak
- Apam Balik
- Roti John
- Beef Rendang
- Curry Laksa
- Nasi Lemak
3. Singapore offers a balance of city life and tropical life!
As a leading country in science and technology, Singapore definitely has unique experiences for tourists around the world. From a beautifully-lit Gardens by the Bay experience to a trip to their Art & Science Museum, the country makes science accessible to all.
The beauty of Singapore’s take on all of this is that it does not sacrifice natural beauty for manufactured beauty. The aforementioned Gardens by the Bay capitalizes on the country’s biodiversity—boasting plants and flowers unseen in most places of the world. For holistic learning and experiences about the tropics, Singapore is the destination for you.
4. Malaysia’s hospitality is one for the books!
Malaysia, on the other hand, stands out globally for its friendly demeanors and hospitable lifestyle. The country is used to being the home of so many cultures, so living in harmony is no problem for them.
For many people unfamiliar with Southeast Asia, taking your first trip can be intimidating because of how far and different it is from their current lives. As one of the most tolerant countries in the world, Malaysia is a good gateway to SEA culture and experience.
This does not translate to tourism, either. Malaysia is one of the most trade-friendly countries in the world, open to new innovations and solutions in this fast-paced world. Budding start-up owners may be interested in piercing through the Malaysian (and eventually, Singaporean) customer base.
5. Unique theme parks and event spaces!
Taking kids with you on your trip but can’t bring them to big tropical adventures yet? Singapore and Malaysia have their fair share of theme parks and activities that are family-friendly!
The most famous theme park in the region might be Universal Studios Singapore—which boasts 18 unique rides designed just for the Singapore park. Spend a day with your kids there by taking a short trip to Sentosa Island…or better yet, stay there for a few days!
Here are some places you can visit in Resorts World Sentosa and Sentosa Island (that isn’t Universal Studios Singapore):
- S.E.A. Aquarium
- Adventure Cove Waterpark
- Crane Dance
- Trick Eye Museum
- Sentosa Boardwalk
- Madame Tussauds Singapore
As for Malaysia, the country has a lot of underrated theme parks and activity spaces. The most famous theme park (as of now) might be Berjaya Times Square—the largest theme park in the country—but did you know Genting SkyWorlds Theme Park just opened as well?
Take your children to Genting SkyWorlds Theme Park and bask in its nine themed park worlds, with some referencing popular 20th Century Fox movies like Ice Age, Rio, and Epic.
Here are some themed and activity places you can visit in Malaysia:
- LEGOLAND Malaysia
- Adventure Waterpark
- Sunway Lagoon
- ESCAPE Penang
- VAR Live
- i-City Theme Park
6. Mind-blowing getaways!
Of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to Southeast Asia without having fun on beautiful, sandy beaches. Both Singapore and Malaysia have their tropical getaways, so you won’t miss out on the tropical fun whichever country you stay in longer.
However, a quick Google probably will show you that there are simply way too many beaches to choose from. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we’ve got the top picks per country for you!
For those planning to have some beach fun in Singapore, Palawan Beach, Siloso Beach, and Tanjong Beach are must-sees. Any of these would offer memorable lounging and swimming experiences, but if you’re in a time crunch, Palawan Beach is the best choice (it’s just in Sentosa beach).
Those on a budget can opt for a visit to Siloso Beach instead, which is a public beach. Lastly, Tanjong Beach is for young soul-searchers who want to party!
Being a generally bigger island, Malaysia offers more than just beach getaways; they are more island escapes than anything! Top ocean picks for tourists and locals in Malaysia include Turtle Beach, Coral Beach, and Monkey Bay Beach.
Swim with wild turtles and snorkel with family at Turtle Beach, located at Perhentian Besar. If you’re looking for a more rugged tropical experience, sail away to Redang Island and swim in Coral Beach. Lastly, if you want a balance between land and sea tropical experiences, visit Monkey Beach on Tioman Island!
Condense the Southeast Asia trip experience by exploring Malaysia and Singapore! The two countries offer varied and unique experiences for all travelers, no matter their age and their ideas of “fun” are.