27 Weekend Getaways from Kuala Lumpur

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Little girl jumping on a beach in Bali

Need a break from the local scene? Whether you’re looking for the perfect destination for a weekend family trip or need a place to go soul searching, Kuala Lumpur is the perfect jumping-off point for unforgettable weekend getaways.

In this round-up, we’re sharing some of the best domestic and international destinations great for a short trip from KL. As Kuala Lumpur has (relatively) many public holidays, we always try to make the most out of the long weekends and explore places outside of Kuala Lumpur.

In this list, we covered places we have traveled to and those we have yet to travel to outside KL. Also, we collaborated with several fellow travelers for this blog and asked them to share their experiences with some of the destinations.

For each weekend trip, we’ll share why it’s a must-visit destination, the weather, the best things to do, and where to stay, so keep reading to learn the deets on the best weekend trips from Kuala Lumpur!

Marina Bay in Singapore

Best Weekend Getaways from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia

Great news, weary travelers! You don’t have to travel far and leave the country to enjoy a wonderful trip from KL. The destinations below are listed by distance from KL and are only roughly within 3 hour’s drive or direct flight. So buckle up and get ready to take off because we’re taking you to the most popular destinations within Malaysia. Prepare for an epic weekend trip, from beach getaways and culture trips to fun family outings!

Putrajaya and Cyberjaya

One of the things to do in Putrajaya is visit the pink Putra Mosque situated next to a body of water.
One of the things to do in Putrajaya is visit the pink Putra Mosque situated next to the lake.

Why is Putrajaya one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Charming Naturescape: It’s a fantastic place for appreciating nature.
  • Family-filled Adventures: Plenty of activities to do for the whole family.
  • Close Proximity: It’s a 45-minute drive from the city of KL.

Putrajaya, located south of Kuala Lumpur, is a great family destination. It’s also known as Malaysia’s ‘garden city’ with plenty of recreational and cultural attractions. Some iconic destinations are Putra Mosque (popular for its pink color) and Putrajaya Wetlands Park (Malaysia’s largest man-made freshwater wetlands).

Why visit? It’s perfect for a quick getaway with many stunning sceneries and attractions suitable for families with kids. You’ll find its history and modern structures exciting and appealing.

While we have done multiple weekend trips to Putrajaya and Cyberjaya, they are also a great destination for a day trip from Kuala Lumpur.

Weather in Putrajaya

  • Tropical Climate: Hot and warm most days with abundant precipitation throughout the year.
  • Best Time to Visit: April to August is the most ideal for outdoor and summer activities.
  • Humidity Levels: High, especially during the afternoon.

Things to Do in Putrajaya

  • River Cruise: Perfect for relaxing and admiring the Putra Mosque from afar.
  • IOI City Farm: Great for animal lovers, featuring 154 species of plants and over 60 species of animals.
  • Ice Skating: “The cold never bothered me anyway!” Channel your inner Queen Elsa at the skating rink at IOI City Mall. 
  • Putra Mosque: See the pink mosque in all its glory and admire its architecture.
  • Run a (half) marathon: Join and run in one of Putrajaya’s half marathon events for a burst of adrenaline.

Where to Stay in Putrajaya 

We recommend staying at Le Méridien Putrajaya or Dorsett Putrajaya. Le Méridien Putrajaya provides families with kids a great stay with amenities, including a children’s pool and wholesome activities for families and children. We stayed at Dorsett Putrajaya during our last trip. It was located near the start line of a half marathon one of us participated in. They also have an infinity swimming pool, a children’s pool, and breathtaking lake views by the Citra Rasa Restaurant.

Putrajaya provides a peaceful escape from busy cities like KL. With gorgeous nature attractions, mosques with stunning architecture to explore, and plenty of family-filled adventures, Putrajaya is one of the top weekend getaways from KL.

Port Dickson

Port Dickson Beach
Beach in Port Dickson

Why is Port Dickson one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Close Proximity: Only 83 km away from KL, and a driving time of 1 hr and 31 mins.
  • Amazing Beaches: Home to beach gems great for a relaxing staycation.
  • Variety of Activities: Has a lot of family attractions including theme parks, art galleries, and museums.

Port Dickson is a popular beach resort destination near Kuala Lumpur. This small, quaint town was the home of fishermen and traders. Now, it’s one of the most famous beach retreats from KL. Why visit? Because Port Dickson offers a beautiful blend of relaxation and fun in one destination. Visit their popular beach, the Blue Lagoon Beach or have a blast with your family while jet skiing, snorkeling, riding the banana boat and more. Want to rest and rejuvenate? Visit the Cape Rachado Lighthouse and Seremban Lake Garden to get in touch with nature.

Weather in Port Dickson

  • Tropical Climate: Hot and warm most days and experiences significant precipitation throughout the year.
  • Best Time to Visit: January and February are the most optimal time to visit. Also, early June to early October for hot weather activities.
  • Evening Showers: Occasional rain showers ranging from heavy to average can be expected at night.
  • Humidity Levels: Typically humid all year round.

Things to Do in Port Dickson

  • Beaches: Soak up the sun in one of their beautiful sandy white beaches.
  • PD Maze: Enter the largest hedge plant maze in Malaysia and enjoy the awesome art installations hidden inside the maze.
  • Segar Recreation Eco Park: Let’s get physical at this recreational park with activities like Obstacle Challenges, Flying Fox, Rock Climbing, etc.
  • Tanjung Tuan Night Market: Explore the vibrant nightlife in Port Dickson.
  • Army Museum: Discover the rich history of the national military.

Where to stay in Port Dickson

Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson, a 5-star family beach resort, offers a luxurious coastal stay for families and kids. They have spacious family rooms with mesmerizing beach views or sea views. They also provide world-class facilities and amenities to improve your stay, including an outdoor swimming pool, spa, cruise, ATV rides, and more. Giant Bubble, outdoor playground, bicycle rides, and Kidz World are for kids.

Port Dickson promises traveling families new adventures to conquer and new places to explore for an unforgettable family outing!

TIP: Click here to read our blog about our favorite – locally produced – natural sunscreen for kids

Genting Highlands

Contributed by Sharon from ‘Dive Into Malaysia

Genting Highlands by Sharon from Dive Into Malaysia
Genting Highlands

Why is Genting Highlands one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Close Proximity: It’s just an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur.
  • Fun Theme Parks: Genting Highlands is home to two fun theme parks making this a great choice if you’re with kids or love roller coasters
  • Cooler Weather: Want a break from the sweaty KL weather? Genting Highlands is much cooler.

Genting Highlands is in the mountains just to the north of Kuala Lumpur. There are regular buses that depart from several points in the city including KL Sentral. You can also use the Grab app and get there even easier for a great price. Part of the fun of getting there is taking the Awana SkyWay cable car for the final part of the journey. The bus will drop you off here so you can enjoy the views on your way up. Genting Highlands has a fun mix of discount shopping, restaurants and tons of attractions including an indoor and an outdoor theme park. It’s just such an easy escape.

Weather in Genting Highlands

It’s much cooler than in Kuala Lumpur so bring a jacket and dress for colder weather. It can also rain a lot. Most attractions are inside but keep this in mind if you want to go to the new SkyWorlds theme park.

Best Time to Visit: March to September for less rainfall.

Things to Do in Genting Highlands:

  • SkyWorlds theme park: Recently opened, this fun theme park has 26 rides over 9 themed worlds.
  • Skytropolis Indoor Theme Park: Over 20 rides plus virtual reality attractions, a climbing wall and more
  • Chin Swee Caves Temple: This scenic Taoist Temple is halfway up the hill to Genting and easily accessible from the cable car.
  • Genting Highlands Premium Outlets: The place to go for discounted shopping with premium brands
  • SkyAvenue: Huge complex in Genting Highlands home to shops, cinema, bowling, restaurants and many fun attractions like Ripleys Believe It Or Not and Zombie Outbreak.

Find a full guide to things to do in Genting Highlands here.

Where to stay in Genting Highlands:

Staying at Resorts World Genting First World Hotel is a great choice as you’re connected to SkyAvenue and most attractions at Genting. It has a range of room types and staying here makes everything easy.

So easily accessible, Genting Highlands is the perfect place to cool down and have tons of fun on a weekend getaway from Kuala Lumpur.

Melaka

Contributed by Anna at ‘The Amateur Climber

A'Famosa, a 16th-century fortress located near Jonker Street by Anna from The Amateur Climber
A’Famosa, a 16th-century fortress located near Jonker Street

Why is Melaka one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL? 

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site: Melaka is one out of only 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malaysia
  • Smooth road trip destination: An easy drive on a flat highway just a couple of hours from Kuala Lumpur 
  • A walkable city: Most tourist attractions are within a walkable distance or a short drive from the city centre

Melaka, also interchangeably known as Malacca City, is the capital city of Melaka that lies on the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Getting to Melaka is easy – just head to the North-South Expressway on the Southern Line, and in two hours on a straight road, you will arrive at your destination! 

Why Visit? Melaka is a unique city that strikes a balance between old and new architecture. With buildings dating back to the 15th century with Dutch and Portuguese influence, unique Peranakan (mixed heritage community from the 14th century) culture, and newly-added thrilling adventure parks to explore, it is the perfect destination to keep you and your kids occupied throughout your trip. 

Weather in Malacca

  • Tropical Climate: Generally hot and sunny most of the years with a short downpour of rain
  • Best Time to Visit: April to October during the dry season 
  • Evening Showers: Like all Malaysian cities, it is pretty common to have evening rain showers which makes for a nice weather at night if you are walking around town or on a river cruise!
  • Humidity Levels: High, wear breathable and lightweight clothing.

Things To Do In Malacca:

  • SKYTREX: A kid-friendly adventure theme park that tests your fear of heights gliding through tall stumpy trees in Malacca Botanical Garden
  • PAMPA Rock Climbing: Malacca’s only indoor rock climbing location with top rope and bouldering facilities catering to all ages
  • Melaka River Cruise: A viewpoint of the city’s best attractions whether day or night
  • Taming Sari Tower: A rotating tower that provides a panoramic of the city at 80 metres high.
  • Jonker Street: Explore night markets, iconic landmarks, street food, baking goods (such as the famous pineapple tarts), and museums within the vicinity. 

Where To Stay In Malacca

I stayed at Swan Garden Hotel as it was right next to the rock climbing gym in case the kids wanted to try out. It is a great place to be away from the noise but still strategically located near the city center with a 10-minute drive.

Another hotel worth recommending is the Casa Del Rio Melaka Hotel where you can board the river cruise just right opposite the hotel! There is also a rooftop infinity pool where the family can relax in. 

With its rich heritage and unique adventures, Malacca is the place to be for a short escape from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur. 

TIP: Click here for The Ultimate Guide to the Best Audiobooks for Family Road Trips to keep the whole family entertained during your road trip.

Ipoh

Cave temple in Ipoh
Cave temple in Ipoh

Why is one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Historical Marvel: Ipoh Old Town has a charming history.
  • Delicious Food: Ipoh boasts excellent food and specialties like the bean sprout chicken and the famous Ipoh white coffee.
  • Vibrant Culture and Art: Witness the culture and art scene featured through Ipoh’s heritage buildings, cave temples, street arts, and more.

Ipoh, located north of Kuala Lumpur, is one of Malaysia’s hidden gems. This enigmatic town has been compared to George Town for many reasons, but it has its own charms. Why visit? If you’re looking for a quiet city as vibrant as George Town but peaceful and calming, Ipoh is the place to go. The reserved town, adorned with heritage buildings and street art, tells its story to visitors through art, culture, architecture, and food.

Weather in Ipoh

  • Tropical Climate: Hot and warm, with significant rainfall throughout the year.
  • Best Time to Visit: January to April for mild and dry temperatures.
  • Evening Showers: May experience occasional rain showers at night.
  • Humidity Levels: High with peak humidity during the month of May.

Things to Do in Ipoh

  • Ipoh Railway Station: The “Taj Mahal of Ipoh” and a must-visit tourist attraction.
  • Concubine Lane: Always busy as streets are lined up with cafes and street food vendors.
  • Perak Cave Temple: A Chinese temple worth the visit for its beautiful murals and religious statues.
  • Taste the famous Ipoh white coffee: The traditional Malaysian white coffee originated in Ipoh.
  • Lost World of Tambun: Multi-theme park for families featuring attractions like a water park, adventure park, petting zoo, amusement park, and more.

Where to stay in Ipoh

Lost World Hotel provides family accommodations with family suites overlooking the theme park. The suite includes a spacious master bedroom and 2 single beds for kids. A stay at the hotel includes several benefits and perks, including a complimentary ticket to Sunway Lost World Hot Springs & Night Park, a breakfast buffet at Garden Terrace, and discount vouchers to the Lost World Of Tambun Theme Park and Lost World Crystal Spa Treatment.

Escape the urban buzz and discover Ipoh’s hidden magic – a symphony of history, art, and delectable dishes awaits you in this serene gem near Kuala Lumpur.

Cameron Highlands

Experience a stunning sunrise over a tea plantation in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia, perfect for weekend getaways from Kuala Lumpur.
Sunrise in Cameron Highlands

Why is Cameron Highlands one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Cool Retreat: With cool climate all year round, Cameron Highlands is great for escaping the heat.
  • Abundant Things to Try: Opens you to try new, many experiences.
  • Natural Wonders: From bountiful plantations to incredible nature preserves.

Cameron Highlands is a popular retreat in the state of Pahang. It’s set in a highland plateau above a river valley, hence the cold weather. Why visit? Cameron Highlands is nothing short of spectacular, with many tea plantations, strawberry farms, and stunning naturescapes occupying its land. It offers a relaxing getaway amidst lush forests and colorful floras. Also, if you’re looking to buy high-quality fresh produce, there’s no better place to buy than Cameron Highlands.

Weather in Cameron Highlands

  • Tropical Highland Climate: Cool temperature throughout the year with adequate sunshine.
  • Best Time to Visit: February to April or July to August if you want to avoid rain and do outdoor activities with clear skies. May to June or September to January if you don’t mind a little rainfall and want to see the lush greenery after it rains.
  • Evening Weather: Chilly, can reach 10 or 11 degrees Celsius at its coldest.
  • Humidity Levels: Average 80% of humidity through the year. But, because it’s elevated the humidity is not much of a concern due to the cooler temperature.

Things to Do in Cameron Highlands

  • Mossy Forest: Uncover the mystery and magic behind the Mossy Forest.
  • BOH Tea Garden: Iconic tea plantation with an interesting tour and breathtaking scene of tea fields.
  • Cameron Flora Park: Dreamy and picturesque floral garden perfect for having a picnic or using the flower fields as backdrop.
  • Strawberry Farms: Abundant in strawberry farms and strawberry food products like ice cream, jams, drinks, etc.
  • Golden Hill Night Market: Here’s where you can buy anything from fresh food and crops to special souvenirs and gifts.

Where to stay in Cameron Highlands

Make your stay memorable and comfortable at the Cameron Highlands Resort, featuring rooms and suites overlooking nice greenery. Enjoy luxurious amenities, including a golf course, fitness center, gym, drawing room, spa, and bar/lounge.

Craving cool air and breathtaking nature? Escape the city heat and immerse yourself in Cameron Highlands’ lush greenery, charming farms, and endless outdoor adventures, just a weekend trip away from KL.

Johor Bahru

Contributed by Brodi Cole at ‘Our Offbeat Life’

Legoland Malaysia Lego Petronas Twin Towers by Brodi at Our Offbeat Life
Legoland Malaysia Lego Petronas Twin Towers

Why is Johor Bahru one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Legoland Malaysia is your family’s ticket to fun, with hands-on rides and giant LEGO wonders.
  • Delight in local delicacies or gourmet dishes, making Johor Bahru a foodie’s dream just a hop from KL.
  • Discover a world where culture, shopping, and attractions merge effortlessly in Johor Bahru’s exciting streets.

Johor Bahru, known for its vibrant urban life and cultural richness, is strategically situated at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, right next to Singapore. You can easily reach Johor Bahru from Kuala Lumpur by car or bus with the journey taking approximately 3-4 hours. A visit to Johor Bahru is a must due to its unique blend of traditional heritage and modern lifestyle. It offers an engaging escape with attractions for travelers of all ages, from the architectural marvels to the unrivaled shopping experiences and the thrill of theme parks like Legoland.

Weather in Johor Bahru:

  • Rainfall is frequent throughout the year, but the region has the heaviest showers during monsoon season, which runs from November to February.
  • Despite the rain, humidity remains high, and the weather can be quite hot, so visitors should dress in light, breathable clothing and stay hydrated.
  • Johor Bahru typically enjoys a tropical rainforest climate with warm, sunny weather year-round and average temperatures hovering between 77°F to 89°F (25°C to 32°C).

Things to Do in Johor Bahru

  • Explore Legoland Malaysia
  • Visit the Johor Zoo
  • Relax at Danga Bay
  • Visit the Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque
  • Shop and Snack at the Johor Bahru City Square

Where to stay in Johor Bahru

No need to think twice, The Legoland Malaysia Resort is the place to stay when visiting Johor Bahru.

Kuantan

Taman Esplanade, Malaysia - Kuantan.

Why is Kuantan one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Close Proximity: Just a few hours’ drive from Kuala Lumpur, making it an easy getaway.
  • Beautiful Beaches: Home to stunning beaches perfect for relaxation and family fun.
  • Rich Culture: Offers a deep dive into Malaysia’s rich cultural tapestry and delicious cuisine.

Kuantan, the capital city of Pahang, Malaysia, sits cozily on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It’s the kind of place where you can enjoy the laid-back vibes of coastal living. Think of this coastal town as your perfect escape from the never-ending movement of Kuala Lumpur. Why visit? We loved that Kuantan offers a great mix of paradise with its pristine beaches, nature through its lush rainforests and wildlife (think monkeys and hornbills), and a good amount of activities that cater to both adventurous families and those looking to unwind.

Weather in Kuantan:

  • Tropical Climate: Warm and sunny most of the year, with occasional rain showers.
  • Best Time to Visit: April to October for less rainfall and more beach days.
  • Evening Showers: Common, bringing cooler evenings after warm days.
  • Humidity Levels: Generally high, so lightweight clothing is a must.

Things to Do in Kuantan:

  • Teluk Cempedak Beach: Perfect for picnics, water sports, and monkey sightings.
  • East Coast Mall: For a shopping spree and local delicacies.
  • Kuantan River Cruise: A scenic way to explore the city and spot wildlife.
  • MiniZoo Taman Teruntum: Get up close with local fauna – great for kids.
  • Menara Kuantan 188: Offering panoramic views of the city and coastline.

Where to stay in Kuantan: 

We stayed at the newly refurbished Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort and highly recommend this hotel (in fact, we even wrote a review of our stay). It’s on Pantai Teluk Cempedak, and besides its spacious (Seaview) rooms, the hotel offers a variety of kids’ facilities, from a playground to a kids club and, of course, the beach. 

With activities and sights that cater to all ages, Kuantan is a great destination for a weekend getaway from Kuala Lumpur.

TIP: Click here to read our article featuring 5 Car Essentials for Road Trips in Malaysia

Penang

Contributed by Jenny from ‘On Penang

GeorgeTown Streetart
Georgetown street art

Why is Penang one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • UNESCO-listed George Town; cultural sights and experiences contained within a compact and easy to navigate centre
  • Short, frequent flights from KL
  • Street stalls serving an unrivalled variety of food in the region

Penang is located off the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, easily accessible from KL via flights, train, or the excellent North-South Expressway (four hours). If you’re visiting for the weekend and want to make the most of your time, jump on one of the 20+ flights serving the route (one hour).

Penang squeezes more in than most other destinations in Southeast Asia. The quality and diversity of its cuisine is unmatched, with people visiting from far and wide to sample the street food. Multiple cultures have grown up together on the island and their influence makes for a fascinating contrast, with the natural beauty of the Malacca Strait and tropical rainforests waiting for you just outside the city.

Weather in  Penang

  • Penang is in the tropics so there is a rainy season, usually from September to November
  • The driest times of the year are December to March, when you can expect sunny weather
  • The temperature is consistent throughout the year, with a high around 89 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees celsius).

Things to Do in Penang

There’s a fantastic variety of things to do in Penang, but our top picks are:

  • Explore the historic city of George Town
  • Ride the funicular to the top of Penang Hill to enjoy the cool air and cool activities
  • Experience not one, but two Guinness World Record rides at ESCAPE waterpark
  • Kayak, hike, sunbathe or relax at the beach in Penang National Park
  • Expand your taste buds at one of the many street food stalls

Where to stay in Penang

If you’re looking for a touch of old-world charm, check in at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, located in the heart of George Town. One of the oldest hotels in Malaysia, it has many touches of colonial elegance including afternoon tea, luxury furnishings and a swimming pool overlooking the sea.

For something more modern, head over to Batu Ferringhi and the Shangri-La Golden Sands, a five-star resort geared towards families, with themed restaurants, waterparks, beach, and views across the Malacca Strait.

Taman Negara

Escape on a weekend trip from Kuala Lumpur to the rainforest of Taman Negara
Rainforest of Taman Negara National Park

Why is Taman Negara one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Beautiful Flora and Fauna: The unparalleled beauty of Taman Negara makes it worth the visit.
  • Nature Activities: You can go birdwatching, jungle trekking, canopy walks, and river cruises.
  • Accessibility: Easy to get to from Kuala Lumpur by bus or taxi.

Taman Negara is for people who deeply appreciate nature. This nature lover’s paradise comprises a century-old tropical rainforest with thousands of plants, birds, and freshwater species inhabiting it. Within the pockets of the forests lie many places waiting to be explored, from the caves and nature trails to the Orang Asli settlements, home to the original people of Malaysia. If you’re looking forward to visiting the Taman Negara National Park, be prepared to encounter exotic wildlife, gorgeous greenery, and experience the ways of the jungle.

Weather in Taman Negara

  • Tropical Climate: Warm all year round with occasional heavy rainfall.
  • Best Time to Visit: May to September has the most pleasant weather.
  • Humidity Levels: Very humid.

Things to Do in Taman Negara

  • Shoot the Rapids: Get wet and wild while you navigate the rocky rapids down to Sungai Tembeling.
  • Cave Exploration: Explore the awe-inspiring rock formations and caves within Taman Negara.
  • Canopy Walk: Brazen through the world’s longest canopy walkway while suspended 25 to 40 meters above the ground.
  • Bukit Teresek: Get a spectacular view of the lush rainforest on top of the Bukit Teresek.
  • Birdwatching: Catch more than 600 species of birds in the lush forest.

Where to stay in Taman Negara

Enjoy a refreshing trip at Taman Negara and retreat to your cozy space at Mutiara Taman Negara Hotel. The 3-star hotel completes the experience with amazing accommodations featuring wooden chalets and bungalows, perfect for solo travelers and families with kids. They also provide shuttle services from Kuala Lumpur to Taman Negara and vice versa.

For an unforgettable encounter with nature’s wonders, from soaring trees to hidden caves, embark on a weekend journey to Taman Negara, easily accessible from Kuala Lumpur, and awaken your inner explorer.

Langkawi

A statue of an eagle perched on a rock is a must-see sight for those planning a weekend getaway from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi
Eagle rock statue in Langkawi

Why is Langkawi one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Vacation Destination: A famous tourist spot all over the world.
  • Gorgeous Scenery and Beaches: Langkawi boasts stunning nature landscapes and pristine white sandy beaches.
  • Adventure Packed: You can never run out of things to do here, from sightseeing to jungle trekking, snorkeling, and cruising.

Langkawi is a beautiful archipelago made up of 99 islands found on the west coast of Malaysia. It was once a hidden gem but is now a flourishing tourist spot, popular among foreign tourists and visitors. What makes it famous? Because of its pearly white beaches and magnificent landscapes, it is one of the best vacation destinations. Langkawi leaves you breathless with its amazing islands, tantalizing cuisine, abundant wildlife, and a full list of attractions to experience.

Weather in Langkawi

  • Tropical Climate: Warm and sunny all year round
  • Best Time to Visit: Between November and March, after the monsoon season.
  • Humidity Levels: Langkawi has high humidity most of the year with an average annual humidity percentage of 80%.

Things to Do in Langkawi

  • Cable Car: Get beautiful panoramic views of the mountains, valleys, and the sea.
  • Langkawi Wildlife Park: A great activity for animal lovers to meet, pet, and feed over thousands of species of birds and land animals.
  • Underwater World: Say hello to your favorite sea creatures at one of the largest aquariums in Malaysia.
  • Maha Tower: Elevate your Langkawi experience with a sky-high ride to the Maha Tower.
  • Water activities at Pantai Cenang: Embark on thrilling water adventures at Cenang Beach and try parasailing and the banana boat ride.

Where to stay in Langkawi

The Westin Langkawi Resort and Spa and Pelangi Beach Resort and Spa are both great accommodations. But, personally, we recommend the Pelangi Beach Hotel because it’s much closer to Pantai Cenang.

The Westin Hotel’s Family Package provides an excellent staycation for families with kids. They can enjoy benefits such as Children Welcome Amenity, Westin Family Travel Journal, and complimentary access to the Kids Club. Meanwhile, Pelangi Beach Hotel offers an indulgent stay with impressive island, beach, or sea views. Enjoy amenities like the cascade pool, horizon pool, gym, spa, and kiki farm and kiki club for kids.

Trade cityscapes for stunning beaches and thrilling adventures in Langkawi, a tropical paradise just a weekend hop from KL, offering endless relaxation and exploration for an unforgettable getaway.

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo

Contributed by Jane at ‘The Family Conscience

Pantai Dalit Beach in Kota Kinabalu by Jane at The Family Conscience
Pantai Dalit in Kota Kinabalu

Why is Kota Kinabalu one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Unbeatable wildlife (orang-utans, proboscis monkeys and hornbills, to name a few)
  • Amazing beaches, snorkelling and diving opportunities 
  • Great views and hiking experiences in and around Mount Kinabalu 

Kota Kinabalu is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Sabah, located on the northwest coast of the island of Borneo. The best way to travel between these two cities is to fly, which takes around 2 and a half hours.

From the majestic Mount Kinabalu (the highest peak in South East Asia) to beautiful islands dotted just off Kota Kinabalu’s coast, this is paradise for those who love to be active and outdoors!

Weather in Kota Kinabalu

  • Kota Kinabalu has a tropical climate with warm and humid weather year round.  There are two main seasons: the wet season and the dry season.  
  • Best Time to Visit: March and April are generally dry
  • When Not to Visit: December and January are best avoided due to heavy rainfall.

Things to do in Kota Kinabalu

  • Book a guide and hike through Mount Kinabalu National Park – we spotted the world’s smallest orchids. You may even get to see a Rafflesia flower which are known to grow in the area
  • Snorkel at Gaya Island or one of the other islands within the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park
  • Visit Kundasang War Memorial – an emotional but important history lesson
  • Head to Poring Hot Springs for a dip in the water and to enjoy their butterfly garden
  • Experience traditional Bornean food, crafts and dance at Mari Mari Cultural Village  

Click here for an example of a perfect family itinerary for Kota Kinabalu.

Where to stay in Kota Kinabalu

We stayed at Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort, a family-friendly resort with its own private nature reserve. You’ll love the resort’s Discovery Centre and the activities on offer, which include a‘Junior Naturalists Program’ for kids who are interested in helping the resort’s resident naturalists and learning about the local ecosystems.

Kota Kinabalu is the perfect weekend trip from Kuala Lumpur.  With beautiful beaches, wildlife and activities on offer, it’s got everything you could possibly want and more!

Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo

Contributed by Deirdre at ‘Build & Board Travel

Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building in Kuching
Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building in Kuching

Why is Kuching one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Pristine rainforests
  • Unique wildlife experiences
  • Quick and affordable flight 

Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak in Malaysia, sits on the island of Borneo, just a quick 1 hour and 50-minute flight away from Kuala Lumpur. It’s an ideal destination for family vacations, offering a wide range of activities to cater to every interest. From visiting orangutan sanctuaries and exploring lush rainforests to immersing oneself in the vibrant cultures, including the indigenous Dayak community, Kuching ensures an exciting experience for all.

Weather in Kuching

  • Warm and Humid throughout the year: little variation between seasons
  • The city experiences two main monsoon seasons: southwest (May to September) and northeast (November to February)
  • Humidity often exceeds 80%,
  • June to August are the driest months

Things to Do in Kuching

  • Semenggoh Nature Reserve: Witness the daily feedings of wild orangutans in their natural habitat.
  • Bako National Park: Search for the renowned Proboscis monkeys amidst lush rainforest trails.
  • Sarawak Cultural Village: Immerse yourself in the traditions of Dayak communities through interactive exhibits.
  •  Kuching Cat Museum: Explore a fascinating collection of cat-related artifacts and exhibits.
  • Kayak along Sarawak River: Glide serenely along the tranquil waters of the Sarawak River, taking in scenic views of the city.

Where to stay in Kuching

For families, I’d recommend staying at the Pullman Kuching Hotel. It boasts large family rooms and a swimming pool. For those who want to visit the Santubong Peninsula (a short jaunt from) Kuching), I’d suggest the Damai Puri Resort, as they can arrange jungle treks and water sports.

Miri, Borneo

Chinese Temple in Miri
Chinese temple in Miri

Why is Miri one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Gateway: Known as the main gateway to many national parks.
  • Rich in Attractions: Boasts a lot of attractions worth visiting.
  • Great Beaches: Home to beautiful beaches, perfect for water sports or sunbathing.

Miri is a city located on the coastline of Sarawak, Malaysia and near the border of Brunei. It’s also known as “Oil Town” for being the homeland of the petroleum industry in Malaysia. Miri is the gateway to few national parks including the famous Gunung Mulu National Park and Niah National Park. Why visit? Because Miri boasts its own grand attractions, from the beautiful coastal beaches to iconic landmarks like Canada Hill, Tua Pek Kong Temple, Coco Cabana, and more. See a different side of Malaysia, unlike anything you’ve ever seen in KL.

Weather in Miri

  • Tropical Rainforest Climate: Warm and humid with frequent rainfall throughout the year.
  • Best Time to Visit: March to May.
  • Humidity Levels: Can get quite humid most days.

Things to Do in Miri

  • Canada Hill: Beautiful limestone formation offering picturesque views of Miri at the top.
  • The Grand Old Lady: An iconic monument of the first oil well in Malaysia that stands on top of Canada hill.
  • Tua Pek Kong Temple: Oldest Chinese temple in Miri.
  • Mulu Caves: Home to the most spectacular caves in the world including the world’s largest underground chamber (the Sarawak Chamber).

Where to Stay in Miri

Treat yourself to relaxing at one of Miri Marriott Resort & Spa‘s elegant rooms or suites. It’s perfect for families with kids looking for spacious accommodations with wonderful amenities like an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, spa, and Kids Club.

Escape to Miri, a gateway to Borneo’s natural wonders and adventure, boasting stunning beaches, historic landmarks, and easy access to diverse national parks, just a weekend flight from KL.

Sandakan, Sabah, Borneo

Contributed by Angela from ‘Where Angie Wanders

Sepilok Orangutan
Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Why is Sandakan one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Rainforest Vibes: Two-thirds of Sabah is covered with dense rainforest, so it differs significantly from KL.
  • Rich in Wildlife: The region of Sandakan in Sabah is rich in wildlife, ranging from mammals to reptiles.
  • Relax in nature: It is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and relax in nature.

The flight from Kuala Lumpur to Sandakan on the island of Borneo takes two hours and 30 minutes, making it an easy weekend getaway for families.

Sandakan is on the east coast of Borneo in the Sabah region. It is one of the last places in the world to see orangutans in the wild and, therefore, a bucket list destination. It is home to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and the Sun Bear Sanctuary – both conserving, protecting and rehabilitating two of the world’s most threatened species. 

Weather in Sandakan

  • Borneo has a tropical rainforest weather system. It is warm and sunny most of the year but sees downpours between October and April.
  • The best time to visit: May to September for less rainfall. 
  • Humidity Levels: Extremely high, especially when trekking in the rainforest, so wear lightweight cotton clothing.

Things to Do in Sandakan

  • Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre: Visit the indoor orangutan nursery to see the babies and teenagers adapting to life. Head to the feeding platforms to see the adult orangutans come along to feed. Learn about the plight of the orangutan in the educational room. Adopt an orangutan to support the charity’s ongoing work.
  • Sun Bear Sanctuary: See the sun bears and learn why they are in Sandakan. Watch them at feeding time and hear talks from keepers.
  • Rainforest Discovery Centre: Join an evening trek through the jungle to see the rainforest’s nocturnal creatures in their unique environment.
  • Kinabanatan River Cruise: To get deeper into the rainforest, cruise along the river to see pigmy elephants, orangutans, proboscis monkeys and various other rainforest dwellers, and then spend the night in a riverside camp.

Where to stay in Sandakan

We stayed at the Sepilok Nature Resort, a magical place next door to the orangutan centre. Its well-equipped cabins are nestled in lush rainforest with hanging vines, lily-pad ponds, boardwalks and plenty of wildlife. It has a fabulous restaurant offering home-cooked Malaysian dishes and an extensive cocktail list! From the airport, it was a 25-minute taxi drive.

Perhentian Islands

Contributed by Jill at ‘Jill On Journey

Looking for a quick weekend escape from Kuala Lumpur? Check out the Perhentian islands, featuring white sandy beaches with clear water.

Why are the Perhentian Islands one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • The Perhentian Islands are two paradisiacal islands where you can relax and enjoy the sea
  • It’s a nice change of scenery from the busy city to the calm nature
  • There are many outdoor activities that are fun for the whole family

The Perhentian Islands are located in the Malaysian state Terengganu, just off the east coast of the Malaysian peninsula. You can get there by boat from the port of Kuala Besut. It’s around a 6-hour drive by car to Kuala Besut, but the boat ride is only around half an hour. The ride is already a beautiful experience and a popular part of a Malaysia itinerary. You pass through the beautiful nature of the Malaysian peninsula with its lush jungles, rice fields, and rural villages.

If you prefer to fly, it’s a 1-hour flight to Kota Bahru, and a short taxi to the jetty in Kuala Besut.

The Perhentian Islands are especially worth visiting for the beautiful, quiet beaches and the clear sea.

Weather in the Perhentian Islands:

  • As in most regions in Malaysia, the weather in the Perhentian Islands is hot and humid all year round with an average temperature of 25 – 30 °C during daytime
  • The best months for a visit are from April to September during the dry season, and for diving the visibility is the clearest during July and August
  • From November to February is usually the rainy season on the east coast

Things to Do in the Perhentian Islands:

  • Explore the beautiful beaches where the kids can build sand castles and you can relax while reading a book
  • Take a boat trip to the other island (if you’re staying in Perhentian Kecil you can visit Perhentian Besar for a day trip & the other way around)
  • Join a snorkeling tour to admire the corals, colorful fish and even reef sharks (don’t worry, they’re not dangerous)
  • Go diving – chances are you may see some sea turtles
  • Watch the sunset by the beach

Where to stay in the Perhentian Islands:

BuBu Villa – if you feel like a treat and want to truly recharge during your weekend trip

Best International Weekend Trips from Kuala Lumpur

For the best international weekend trips, we chose destinations that can be reached within a 3-hour direct flight from KLIA. This list features destinations in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and more.

Singapore

Contributed by Katie & Tom from ‘Trekking The Dream!

Giant Supaertrees in Gardens by the Bay
Giant Supaertrees in Gardens by the Bay

Why is Singapore one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Short Flight: Flights take just over an hour from Kuala Lumpur and are relatively inexpensive, perfect for a short family getaway!
  • Urban Jungle: Singapore is one of the most biodiverse cities in the world, where you will find both Primary and Secondary Rainforests. It is a perfect blend of City Break and Natural Retreat.
  • Cultural Mix: Asian, Middle Eastern and European cultures unite in glorious harmony. Singapore is a food lover’s dream!

Singapore is a city-state located on the southernmost point of the Malay Peninsula, easily reached via a short flight from Kuala Lumpur. Why Visit? Known for its mix of urban and jungle environments, Singapore is one of the cleanest cities in the world, boasting beautiful beaches, world-class shopping and giant, multi-ethnic food halls known as Hawker Centres.

Weather in Singapore

  • Tropical Climate: Hot and humid.
  • Wettest Months: November to January.
  • Average daily temperature: between 27°C and 29°C
  • Best Time to Visit: June to September for the lowest humidity and less rain.

Things to do in Singapore

  • Visit Sentosa Island: Home to beautiful sandy beaches, Sentosa has its own Universal Studios, a waterpark, cable cars, and luxury hotels. Whether you are looking for adventure, fine food or nature, Sentosa has something for you!
  • Gardens by the Bay: This huge nature park feels a world away from the surrounding city and is a ‘must-see’. Much of the Garden is free to explore, including the Supertree Grove, where nature and technology come together in spectacular 50m high structures. Access to the Flower Dome (the world’s largest greenhouse!) costs S$18 for children and S$32 for adults and is well worth it if you have the budget and time.
  • Expand your culinary horizons: Singapore’s legendary Hawker Centres have a vast array of great food from around the globe at reasonable prices. These are hugely popular with tourists and locals and are a great chance to try something you might not usually choose.

Where to stay in Singapore

We stayed at the family-friendly Paradox, Merchant Court, which was exceptional. Plenty of options exist for all budgets, ranging from Airbnb to upmarket hotels. With excellent public transport, staying out of the city center can save you money without compromising your ability to get around.

Singapore is the perfect family weekend trip from Kuala Lumpur, with something for everyone, young and old!

Jakarta, Indonesia

Contributed by Karlie from ‘Indo Buddies’ (launching soon!)

The national monument (MoNas) in Jakarta
The national monument (MoNas) in Jakarta

Why is Jakarta one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Jakarta is home to many fascinating cultural sites and a rich, intriguing history to discover
  • If you’re up for a weekend foodie trip, Jakarta hides legendary street foods for you to choose from!
  • The megacity has a thematic park to view the entirety of Indonesia’s archipelago and join in a cultural parade

Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia, located on the northwest coast of Java. Despite its modernity, Jakarta has a unique charm, presenting rich history, culture, bold cuisine, and electrifying nightlife – earning it the nickname, “the city that never sleeps!”

So, if you’re seeking a blend of urban life and a journey through Indonesia’s past, Jakarta is the place to be. Plus, it’s just a short flight away from Kuala Lumpur, taking around 2 hours, making it an excellent spot for weekend trips.

Weather in Jakarta

  • Tropical climate characterised by hot and humid conditions
  • Average temperatures typically range between 28°C to 32°C
  • The best time to visit will be between April and October, or the dry season

Things to do in Jakarta

  • A tour of contemporary art museums to visually learn about Indonesia’s culture and heritage
  • Visit Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII) to experience the replica of the whole archipelago.
  • Dive into a street food adventure along Jalan Sabang and Kuliner Pecenongan
  • Explore the Ancol Dreamland complex for a day packed with family-friendly activities by the beach
  • Leisurely stroll through the expansive Taman Suropati Park amid greenery and sculptures

Where to stay in Jakarta

We recommend staying in the Menteng area, which is conveniently located near various attractions and transportation stations. It’ll be easier to get around, especially when travelling with kids. Accommodation options in the area to consider include Hotel Indonesia Kempinski and Grand Hyatt Jakarta.

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Prambanan Temple in Yogyakarta
Prambanan Temple in Yogyakarta

Why is Yogyakarta one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Wonderful Art Scene: Features wonderful works of art from different local artists.
  • Beautiful Temples: Home to many beautiful religious temples.
  • Javanese Culture: Yogyakarta is the center of Javanese culture.

Yogyakarta, the city on the Indonesian island of Java, is the central hub of Javanese culture and arts. Also called Jogja, Yogyakarta is a vibrant city bursting with rich traditions, art, and history. Why visit? So you can experience the beauty of Javanese culture. Learn all about hand-tooled silver products, batik, and leather goods, watch cultural dance performances, and visit majestic ancient architectures of Yogyakarta.

Weather in Yogyakarta

  • Tropical Climate: Temperature is warm and consistent all year round. 
  • Best Time to Visit: July and August is the optimal time to visit Yogyakarta.
  • Humidity Levels: High humidity throughout the year.

Things to Do in Yogyakarta

  • Borobudur: It is the largest Buddhist temple in the world.
  • Prambanan: The largest and most beautiful Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva in Indonesia.
  • Merapi Volcano: Great for touring experience; one of Indonesia’s most active and famous volcanoes.
  • Yogyakarta Palace: Provides an educational experience of the history and culture of Indonesia in relation to the Sultan of Yogyakarta.

Where to Stay in Yogyakarta

Indulge in a pleasant stay at Yogyakarta’s 5-star luxury hotel, Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta. Unwind in one of their luxurious rooms and suites while admiring the views of their tropical garden or pool. Take advantage of upscale amenities such as a nine-hole golf course, swimming pools, poolside bar, spa, and more. Meanwhile, children can enjoy the Children’s playground, Children’s Activities (Kid / Family Friendly), Kids’ pool, and Kids’ outdoor play equipment.

Escape to Yogyakarta for a weekend steeped in history, vibrant art, and Javanese culture, from awe-inspiring temples to batik workshops, just a quick flight from Kuala Lumpur.

Bangkok, Thailand

Contributed by Steffi at ‘Beach Bum Adventure

Sunset from the top of the Mahanakorn building in Bangkok
Sunset from the top of the Mahanakorn building in Bangkok

Why is Bangkok one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Thai food
  • Vibrant city
  • Cheap prices 

Bangkok is located a two hour flight from Kuala Lumpur. You can find cheap direct flights with many budget airlines. Bangkok is a vibrant, crazy city that has something for everybody. Whether it’s eating local food at a market, visiting temples and places of cultural and historical significance, or having a cocktail in a skybar, Bangkok has so much to offer visitors. 

Weather in Bangkok

  • The weather in Bangkok generally follows the rainy and dry seasons of South East Asia. 
  • It is dry between November to April and rainy season begins in May. 

Things to Do in Bangkok

  • Enjoying Bangkok’s parks
  • Seeing monitor lizards in Lumpini park
  • The Mahanakorn building for sky views of Bangkok and daring to walk on the glass balcony
  • Bicycle tours with Ko Van Kessel for older children
  • Trying out your spice levels at local Thai markets

For more activities, read Beach Bum Adventure’s Bangkok activity guide here.

Best places to stay for families would be hotels near the river like The Peninsula or more central Bangkok like the Sofitel.

Note from us at Kuala Lumpur with Kids: we traveled to Bangkok ourselves quite often and totally agree with Steffi that Bangkok is a great destination. We always stayed at the Grand Hyatt Bangkok, which is ideally located in the city center and close proximity to Lumpini park, a must-visit park in Bangkok.

Phuket, Thailand

Contributed by Louisa Smith at ‘Travel Thailand Together

Big Buddha in Phuket
Big Buddha in Phuket

Why Phuket is one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL

  • Many beautiful beaches to explore, many of which are family-friendly beaches with watersport activities
  • Loads of things to do: From elephant sanctuaries to ATV tours to island hopping tours and cabaret shows, there’s so much to see and do in Phuket
  • Affordable and convenient flights from KL

If you’re looking for a quick escape from the vibrant city life of Kuala Lumpur, then consider a weekend getaway to Phuket, where you can find pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a ton of family-friendly attractions. Phuket is well known for its serene natural beauty, backed by the Andaman Sea, where families can spend their days lazing on Patong Beach or hopping on an island hopping boat trip.

With just a short 1.5 hour flight away, with flights leaving Friday evening and returning Sunday evening, it’s easy to transport yourself into a different culture, recharge your senses, and create unforgettable memories before returning back to the buzzing city of KL.

Phuket is located on the South West coast of Thailand facing the Andaman Sea. It’s the largest island in Thailand and is connected to the mainland via a bridge.

Weather in Phuket

  • Tropical Climate: Like most of Asia, Phuket is warm and sunny most of the year, though has a rainy season from April to October
  • Best Time to Visit: November is a good time of year since there is less rainfall and beats the crowds that flock here for December.
  • Rainy Season: The rainy season is the worst time to visit Phuket. Since it’s low-lying, Phuket often floods which interrupts flights leaving from Phuket International Airport, as well as generally getting around. Although the rainy season “officially” ends in September, rain showers continue into October
  • Humidity Levels: Phuket isn’t hugely humid compared to other parts of Thailand because of the sea breeze, but the sun is often very strong and sun protection is needed

Things to Do in Phuket

  • Patong Beach: This is the busiest and most vibrant beach on the island, known for its watersports and parasailing during the day, and thriving nightlife at night.
  • Visit the Big Buddha: This iconic white Buddha sits on a hill overlooking South Phuket. Be sure to visit for incredible views and to soak in the Thai Buddhist culture.
  • Boat tour to Phi Phi Islands: A scenic way to visit the pristine Phi Phi Islands, famous for being home to Maya Bay, the gorgeous beach that featured in the Leonardo di Caprio movie, The Beach.
  • Phuket Elephant Sanctuary: Get up close with the Asian elephant and learn about conservation efforts.
  • Kata Beach or Karon Beach: Two other gorgeous beaches in Phuket but with a quieter, more family-friendly atmosphere than Patong Beach.

Where to stay in Phuket

We stayed at The Melody Hotel in Kata Beach, which was far enough away from the nightlife but close enough to the main attractions and transport links. It has a lovely pool, and spacious rooms, and there’s a 7-Eleven next door with a Dunkin’ Donuts, perfect for grabbing a quick breakfast!

With tons of things to do that cater to all ages, Phuket is worth visiting for a weekend getaway from Kuala Lumpur.

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam

Contributed by Alexandra from ‘Cooltourismical

Cu Chi Tunnels in Saigon
Cu Chi Tunnels in Saigon

Why is Saigon one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Easily accessible by plane: Just a 2-hour flight away from Kuala Lumpur.
  • Culinary Heaven: Famous for its street food and Vietnamese cuisine, offering an unforgettable gastronomic journey.
  • Cultural Melting Pot: A once-capital city where traditional Vietnamese culture meets French colonial influences.

Saigon, also known as Ho Chi Minh City, is a dynamic metropolis to the northeast of Kuala Lumpur, across the South China Sea, in southern Vietnam. From Kuala Lumpur, the most convenient and fastest way to reach Saigon is by air. There are multiple daily flights connecting the two cities that typically take about 2 hours, making Saigon a really accessible destination for a weekend getaway.

Visiting Saigon is an experience that contrasts yet complements the modernity and multicultural aspect of Kuala Lumpur. In Saigon, past and present merge. The city is home to bustling markets like Ben Thanh, French colonial architecture, and significant sites such as the War Remnants Museum and the Cu Chi Tunnels. Its dynamic atmosphere, delicious Vietnamese cuisine, and the warmth of its people make it a must-visit destination. 

Weather in Saigon

  • Tropical Climate: Warm and humid throughout the year, with two distinct seasons, a dry one and a rainy one. 
  • Best Time to Visit: December to April, when the weather is drier and more comfortable for exploring the city.
  • Rainy Season: May to November, with short, but heavy showers. High humidity levels year-round can make the heat feel more intense, particularly during the rainy season.

Things to Do in Saigon

  • Water Puppet Theatre: Vietnamese water puppetry, a tradition that dates back centuries, is a unique cultural and fun experience, especially for families with small children. 
  • Cu Chi Tunnels: A network of underground tunnels used as hideouts, living quarters, and supply routes during the Vietnam War.  For families with older children, a trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels can be an adventurous and educational half-day out.
  • Ben Thanh Market: A bustling marketplace where tou can find souvenirs, local crafts, and taste Vietnamese street food.
  • Saigon Skydeck: panoramic views of the city from the 49th-floor observation deck of one of the most iconic buildings in Ho Chi Minh City, Bitexco Financial Tower.
  • Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office: Architectural marvels from the French colonial era.
  • Dam Sen Water Park: a massive water and cultural theme park perfect for fun family weekends. There is a zoo, a cinema, and plenty of water slides and pools suitable for all ages, including high-speed slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, and children’s play areas. 

Where to Stay in Saigon

For those planning a weekend visit, I highly recommend booking a stay in District 1, the heart of the city. This prime location puts you within easy reach of the city’s major attractions and the best Saigon restaurants. One amazing hotel for families in District 1 is the Sheraton Saigon, found near the Ho Chi Minh City Museum and Ben Thanh Market. It has connected rooms, a children’s pool, and special dining options for children. The hotel also features a club lounge that’s perfect for relaxing with the family. 

Saigon stands out as an exceptional weekend getaway from Kuala Lumpur due to its street life, rich cultural heritage, and great food.

Bali, Indonesia

Contributed by Karlie from ‘Bali Buddies

Offering temple in Bali
Offering temple in Bali

Why is Bali one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • The island features iconic landmarks like Tanah Lot Temple and Ubud’s Monkey Forest, for a glimpse into Bali’s rich heritage and spiritual traditions
  • Stunning beaches and the best Bali beach clubs, offering fun ways to relax and meet new people over refreshing sips
  • You’ll get the chance to experience sunrise trekking at the picturesque Mount Batur

Bali, Indonesia’s captivating island province, lies to the east of Java and the west of Lombok. While it’s famed for its sunset beaches, the island presents an incredible diversity that goes far beyond. You can wander from fiery volcanic peaks to colourful markets and unveil the secrets of ancient temples. And this tropical paradise is closer than you think, just around a 3-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur. If you’re craving an electrifying pulse, Kuta’s vibrant nightlife will fascinate you. But those into tranquillity and cultural immersion will definitely love Ubud and Nusa Dua. Whether you’re here just for the weekend, Bali suits every desire!

Weather in Bali

  • Bali enjoys a consistent warm climate with high humidity
  • Temperatures can soar up to 31°C, yet ideal for beach activities
  • The sunniest period in Bali falls between April and October

Things to do in Bali

  • Take your families to engage in water sports like surfing, snorkelling, and diving along Bali’s stunning coastline
  • Experience sunrise trekking at Mount Batur, and witness the magnificent dawn views from its peak
  • Relax and rejuvenate with a traditional Balinese massage or yoga session
  • Walk through a cultural journey through Ubud’s art galleries, traditional markets, and ancient temples
  • Discover Bali’s rich marine life with a visit to the Bali Safari and Marine Park

Where to stay in Bali

If you need a serene break from the world, we suggest the family-friendly Grand Hyatt Bali in Nusa Dua, which offers a huge, private, white sandy beach and a plethora of kids’ activities for little guests to enjoy, too.

Another option worth considering is the stylish Mamaka by Ovolo in Kuta. It’s just steps away from the famous Kuta beach, trendy bars, and restaurants – a perfect spot to launch your island experience.

Da Nang & Hoi An, Vietnam

Contributed by Sophie Pham at ‘Delightful Travel Notes

Hoi An street in the morning
Hoi An street in the morning

Why are Da Nang and Hoi An among the best destinations for a weekend trip from Kuala Lumpur?

  • Flight accessibility: With direct flights via AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur, reaching Da Nang is easy. The flight is about 2.5 hours.
  • Diverse attractions: Da Nang offers a variety of attractions, including beautiful beaches, historical sites, and a short drive will take you to Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Food scene: Da Nang and Hoi An have many delicious local specialties such as mi Quang, banh xeo and cao lau.

Da Nang and Hoi An are both located in Central Vietnam. With a mix of stunning natural landscapes, historical sites, and vibrant culture, they are one of the most attractive weekend destinations for travelers from Kuala Lumpur.

Weather in Da Nang and Hoi An

  • Tropical monsoon climate: features distinct wet and dry seasons.
  • Best months to visit are from January to May, with the most comfortable weather conditions, moderate temperatures and low rainfall.
  • June to August are hotter months with higher temperatures and humidity, while September to November are the rainy season, with the highest likelihood of typhoons and heavy rainfall.

Things to do in Da Nang and Hoi An

  • Enjoy the beaches of Da Nang and participate in watersports activities
  • Take a cable car ride up to Ba Na Hills
  • Explore the ancient town of Hoi An and watch the Hoi An Memories show
  • Visit My Son Sanctuary, ancient ruins recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Cycle around Hoi An countryside to see the rice paddies, local farmers, and experience Vietnamese rural life

Where to stay

Hilton Da Nang to explore the city, or Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai for a luxury beach vacation.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Archeological Park in Siem Reap
Angkor Archeological Park in Siem Reap

Why is Siem Reap one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Sightseeing Haven: Home to a treasure trove of temples, historical landmarks, and museums.
  • Vibrant Cambodian Culture: Watch traditional performances and browse the local markets to get a taste of Cambodia’s culture.
  • Delectable Cuisine: Sample Khmer cuisine and try the best local dishes.

Cambodia’s Siem Reap is full of ancient wonders, perfect to explore on a weekend trip. Why visit? Witness the awe-inspiring Unesco World Heritage Site Angkor Wat, explore hidden temples veiled in the jungle, and immerse yourself in vibrant Cambodian culture through markets, dances, and local smiles. Just a quick flight from KL, Siem Reap offers more than just temples: cruise serene Tonle Sap Lake, unwind at elephant sanctuaries, or find inner peace at yoga retreats.

Weather in Siem Reap

  • Tropical Climate: Sunny and warm most days.
  • Best Time to Visit: December and January, cooler temperature day and night than during dry season.
  • Humidity Levels: High, with September experiencing the most humidity at 75%.

Things to Do in Siem Reap

  • Angkor Tours by TukTuk: Discover the architectural beauty of the temples of Angkor Small Circuit.
  • Phare the Cambodian Circus: Get front row seats to circus-style entertainment featuring high-flying acrobatics with live music.
  • Countryside tour: Tour the Cambodian countryside by Jeep while admiring the scenic route.
  • Wake Park: Wake Park Cambodia offers the ultimate destination that combines relaxation and adventure.

Where to Stay in Siem Reap

Experience upscale staycation at two of Siem Reap’s fantastic accommodations: The Aviary Hotel and Anjali by Syphon. The Aviary Hotel provides guests with sophisticated luxury through deluxe rooms, ideal for traveling families with kids. Amenities included are a swimming pool, spa, and gym. Meanwhile, Anjali by Syphon boasts a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of Siem Reap. Their Family Room is perfect for two adults and two children.

Unveil ancient wonders, indulge in vibrant culture, and savor delicious cuisine – Siem Reap promises a weekend escape unlike any other, just a short flight from Kuala Lumpur.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Contributed by Taylor of ‘Culture Craving Couple

Elephant Jungle Sactuary in Chiang Mai
Elephant Jungle Sactuary in Chiang Mai

Why is Chiang Mai one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • Amazing Food: The style of food in Chiang Mai is ‘Northern Thai” which offers more herbs and a little less spice.
  • Unique Activities: Playing with, and feeding elephants is just one of the cool things to do!
  • Rich Culture: Chiang Mai is home to over 300 ancient temples as well as many markets and a huge art scene to explore.

Chiang Mai sits in the northern part of Thailand on the Ping River in the mountainous part of  Thailand. The best way to get there from Kuala Lumpur is by direct flight. So, why visit? We loved how Chiang Mai blends a laid-back lifestyle with tons to do and a large amount of history.  Pair all of that with the lush nature that surrounds the city and you have a recipe for a fantastic getaway whether or not you are a family of adventure seekers or one that wants to just chill out.

Weather in Chiang Mai:

  • Best Time to Visit: The cool and dry season from November to February.
  • Humidity: The humidity level is high so make sure you pack accordingly.
  • Climate: A tropical climate with noticeable dry and hot seasons and wet, rainy seasons with monsoons.

Things to Do in Chiang Mai:

  • Elephant Jungle Sanctuary: hang out with elephants all day!
  • Mae Ping River Cruise: Get a feel for the city and relax at the same time!
  • Sticky Waterfall: The stone here is “sticky” making these falls safe to climb and get stunning views!
  • San Kamphaeng Hot Springs: Relax after a busy day of exploring the mineral-rich waters.
  • Cowboy Hat Lady: Visit the night market near the North Gate and find the stall with the lady wearing a cowboy hat to eat the best-stewed pork leg and rice for dinner!

Where to stay in Chiang Mai

We stayed at the Garden Yard! The rooms are colorful and beautifully decorated like a garden and there is a central pool which is great for the kids to cool down after a hot day of exploring.  

Cebu, Philipines

Looking for a weekend getaway from Kuala Lumpur? Enjoy a white sand beach with blue water in Cebu
White sandy beach in Cebu

Why is Cebu one of the best destinations for a weekend trip from KL?

  • World Class Beaches: Home to many dazzling white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters.
  • Fascinating Historical Sites: Features a number of significant historical and cultural landmarks.
  • Nature’s Paradise: Aside from the beaches, Cebu also boasts plenty of eye-catching nature attractions.

Cebu, a popular vacation destination among locals and tourists, is a tropical paradise amidst the bustling metropolis. It’s also known as the oldest city in the Philippines, burdened with a great history dating back centuries. Why visit? With its gorgeous white beaches and remarkable historical landmarks, Cebu offers an idyllic escape perfect for unwinding and exploring.

Weather in Cebu

  • Tropical Wet and Dry Climate: Experiences warm and windy temperature through the year.
  • Best Time to Visit: January to April is ideal for water activities, island hopping, and going to the beach.
  • Humidity Levels: High humidity throughout the year with an annual humidity percentage of 81%.

Things to Do in Cebu

  • Magellan’s Cross: A significant landmark marking the birth of Christianity in the Philippines.
  • Casa Gorordo Museum: Great for learning about the history and cultural heritage of Cebu.
  • Basilica Del Sto. Niño: Very popular church and home to the original and oldest relic of the Holy Child Jesus.
  • Bohol Day Tour: Take a tour to the best sights in Bohol including the famous Chocolate Hills.
  • Kawasan Falls: Witness the turquoise-colored waters of Kawasan Falls.

Where to Stay in Cebu

Marco Polo Plaza welcomes its guests with a panoramic view of Cebu City situated 600 feet above sea level. This urban resort features spacious rooms, excellent for families with kids. We recommend getting a room with a mountain or sea view for the best experience. Enjoy outstanding amenities like the swimming pool, fitness center with gym, evening entertainment, and Children Activities.

From Magellan’s Cross to Kawasan Falls, Cebu’s tropical paradise awaits with world-class beaches, fascinating history, and breathtaking nature, all within a weekend’s reach from Kuala Lumpur.

Ready to Choose Your Weekend Escape?

Kuala Lumpur’s central location within Southeast Asia makes it a gateway to countless weekend adventures. From vibrant cultural gems like Singapore and Yogyakarta to the breathtaking landscapes of Bali and Cebu, Southeast Asia’s diversity is at your doorstep. ️

But don’t limit yourself! Malaysia boasts a treasure trove of weekend getaway options, perfect for creating memories that will last a lifetime. Explore the historical charm of Melaka, trek through the serene rainforests of Taman Negara, or reconnect with nature in the Cameron Highlands.

So, pack your bags, choose your escape, check flights below, and get ready to discover the magic of Southeast Asia, starting right from Kuala Lumpur!


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Escape the City! 27 Weekend Getaways from Kuala Lumpur
About Marlieke Kemp-Janssen:

Marlieke is the mom of a four-year-old girl and, together with daddy, they love living in and exploring Kuala Lumpur. As well as being the founder of Kuala Lumpur with Kids, Marlieke is a digital marketing consultant who has helped small businesses grow through her company Aureum Hospitality Advisers.

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