Malaysia vs. Taiwan

Choosing between Malaysia and Taiwan for your next travel destination can be like picking between two precious gems. Both countries offer a rich tapestry of history and culture, shaped by diverse influences over the years. Malaysia entices with its blend of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures. Taiwan, on the other hand, presents an intriguing mix of native Taiwanese and Chinese heritages. So, how do you make the difficult choice between these two fascinating places?
Malaysia vs. Taiwan

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Both Malaysia and Taiwan are countries steeped in vibrant history and unique cultures. Malaysia is a melting pot of various ethnic backgrounds, while Taiwan offers a fascinating landscape of cultural diversity. Each destination has its own story to tell, and both promise unforgettable experiences. Ready to dive deeper into what makes each destination unique in terms of history and culture? Read on.

History & Culture

Starting your travel plans can be exciting, and knowing the history and culture of a place can make your trip even more meaningful. It’s like going back in time and seeing how people lived, what they believed in, and how they shaped the country.

Malaysia is like a beautiful quilt, sewn together with patches of different cultures. The native Malays, the Chinese, and the Indians have all lived here for centuries.

This blend of cultures has led to a unique way of life, full of colorful festivals, languages, and customs. Imagine going to a place where you can hear three or four different languages spoken and see different types of buildings, all influenced by various traditions. That’s what you’ll find in Malaysia!

Taiwan is equally interesting but in its own way. While its native culture dates back thousands of years, its more recent history is heavily influenced by China. For a long time, Taiwan was a part of China, but it has been self-governed for many decades now. This history has left a mark on the culture, from the language to the architecture.

In Taiwan, you’ll feel the blend of native and Chinese influences, making it different from any other place you’ve visited.

In terms of religious diversity, Malaysia mainly practices Islam, but you’ll also find Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity. Taiwan, meanwhile, is largely influenced by Buddhism and Taoism, and you’ll see plenty of temples around that showcase this.

To sum it all up, both Malaysia and Taiwan offer rich historical landscapes and diverse cultural experiences. Malaysia gives you a melting pot of Asian cultures all wrapped up in one country. Taiwan offers a unique blend of native and Chinese influences that you won’t find elsewhere. So, whether you’re drawn to the diverse ethnic tapestry of Malaysia or the intriguing mix of cultures in Taiwan, you’re in for a treat.

Attractions & Activities

When it comes to filling your travel itinerary, both Malaysia and Taiwan are brimming with options that go far beyond the usual tourist traps. Whether you’re an adventurer at heart or a lover of history, both countries offer a wide array of unique attractions and activities. So, let’s break it down and see what each destination has in store for you.

In Malaysia, if you’re into nature and wildlife, the Borneo rainforests are a must-visit. The oldest rainforests in the world, they house diverse flora and fauna, including the endangered orangutans.

Additionally, history buffs should make it a point to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of George Town in Penang, famous for its British colonial architecture and well-preserved streets.

Meanwhile, Taiwan is no slouch when it comes to natural beauty and historical landmarks. For instance, the Taroko National Park is a haven for nature lovers. Its marble-walled canyons, lush landscapes, and mountainous terrain offer an array of hiking trails that are a feast for the eyes.

On the historical side, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei offers a deep dive into the life and times of one of Taiwan’s most important historical figures.

Adventure-seekers have different kinds of thrills waiting for them in each country. In Malaysia, the Cameron Highlands offer an incredible hiking experience. Located at elevations ranging from 1,100 to 1,600 meters, the area is known for its tea plantations and beautiful terrains.

Taiwan, on the other hand, offers the Yushan National Park for the more daring, featuring the highest peak in East Asia at about 3,952 meters (12,966 feet).

To summarize, both Malaysia and Taiwan offer a rich selection of attractions and activities that cater to a wide range of interests. From the world’s oldest rainforests in Malaysia to the stunning mountain trails in Taiwan, you’ll find plenty to add to your travel bucket list. Each country provides unique experiences that make them worthy contenders for your next adventure.


Whether you’re a surfer riding the waves or a beach bum looking for the perfect golden sands, choosing between Malaysia and Taiwan can be a challenging decision. Both countries are gifted with beautiful coastlines, but what sets them apart? Let’s find out.

Malaysia is renowned for its stunning islands like Langkawi and Perhentian, boasting crystal-clear waters and colorful marine life. The distance between the islands is relatively short, usually ranging between 30 to 50 kilometers (about 19 to 31 miles), making island-hopping a popular activity.

The water temperatures are typically warm, ranging between 28-30°C (82-86°F), ideal for snorkeling and diving.

Taiwan, while not as internationally famous for its beaches, offers its own unique charm. Places like Kenting in the south are known for their scenic beauty, natural rock formations, and water sports like windsurfing. The temperatures here can range from 24-28°C (75-82°F), making it a cooler alternative for water activities.

In terms of accessibility, many of Malaysia’s renowned beaches are situated on islands, requiring a boat or ferry ride. This adds an adventurous element but may not be as convenient for some. Taiwan’s beaches are generally easier to access, often just a short drive from major cities like Taipei or Kaohsiung.

So, if you’re stuck between Malaysia and Taiwan for your beach getaway, consider what you’re looking for. Malaysia offers warm waters and easy island-hopping opportunities, while Taiwan provides convenient access and a variety of water sports. Both countries offer fantastic options, so you can’t go wrong either way.

Eating, Drinking & Nightlife

If you’re someone who loves to indulge in culinary adventures, socialize over a few drinks, or dance the night away, both Malaysia and Taiwan have got you covered. So how do they compare in terms of eating, drinking, and nightlife? Let’s find out.

When it comes to food, Malaysia is a paradise for those who love spicy and flavorful dishes. From satay sticks and nasi lemak to laksa and rendang, the options are plentiful. The streets are often buzzing with hawkers selling affordable and tasty local delights, giving you a chance to eat like a local without breaking the bank.

Taiwan isn’t far behind with its own iconic dishes like beef noodle soup, bubble tea, and the infamous stinky tofu. Night markets in cities like Taipei and Taichung offer a smorgasbord of options that range from seafood to desserts, all unique to Taiwan and irresistibly delicious.

When it comes to drinking, Malaysia has a unique offering called “teh tarik,” a strong tea mixed with condensed milk. Alcoholic beverages are available but can be pricey due to taxes. In Taiwan, tea culture is also strong, and it’s the birthplace of bubble tea. For those who enjoy something stronger, Taiwan Beer and Kaoliang liquor are local favorites.

As for nightlife, Malaysia offers a range of options from swanky rooftop bars in Kuala Lumpur to live music venues. However, it’s worth noting that some areas may have fewer options due to cultural and religious factors. Taiwan, particularly Taipei, has a bustling nightlife with clubs and bars that stay open till the wee hours, offering everything from live music to DJ sets.

To wrap it up, both Malaysia and Taiwan offer a rich and varied culinary landscape, each with its own local flavors and specialties. When it comes to drinking and nightlife, Taiwan seems to have a slight edge with its more vibrant late-night scene. Either way, your taste buds and your social calendar will thank you for choosing either of these exciting destinations.


For shopaholics and souvenir hunters, deciding between Malaysia and Taiwan could be like choosing between two treasure chests. Each destination has its own retail charm, but what exactly can you expect?

Malaysia offers a range of shopping experiences from high-end malls like Suria KLCC in Kuala Lumpur to traditional markets like the Central Market. If you’re looking for electronics, Low Yat Plaza is the tech hub where you can find almost anything. For fashion, the Bukit Bintang area in Kuala Lumpur offers a plethora of choices, from luxury brands to local designers.

In Taiwan, Ximending in Taipei is a shopping haven, especially if you’re into fashion and pop culture. For those interested in technology, the Guang Hua Digital Plaza is where you’ll find all things electronic. If you’re looking for traditional items, Dihua Street is famous for its Chinese herbal medicine shops, fabric stores, and tea shops.

While both countries offer similar products like electronics and clothes, the shopping experience can be quite different. In Malaysia, you’ll often find larger malls with a more extensive range of products. Taiwan’s shopping districts are usually bustling with street vendors, giving you a more traditional shopping feel.

To summarize, whether you’re into high-end fashion, looking for the latest tech gadgets, or hunting for unique local products, both Malaysia and Taiwan offer diverse shopping experiences. While Malaysia gives you the comfort of sprawling malls, Taiwan offers a more street-level shopping experience. No matter where you go, your shopping bags will surely be filled with wonderful finds.


When planning your trip, finding the right place to stay can significantly impact your experience. Both Malaysia and Taiwan offer diverse accommodation options, ranging from luxury hotels to cozy guesthouses. But what are the nuances that set them apart?

In Malaysia, you’ll often find resort-style accommodations, especially in tourist-heavy areas like Langkawi or Penang. These resorts often come with sprawling gardens, multiple swimming pools, and in-house restaurants serving international and local cuisines.

Guesthouses and hostels are also abundant, particularly in cultural hotspots like George Town and Malacca, where heritage buildings are sometimes converted into boutique accommodations.

Taiwan offers its share of luxury hotels, primarily in big cities like Taipei and Kaohsiung. These often feature modern amenities and could be located in skyscrapers, offering panoramic city views. For a more traditional experience, you can stay in a “Minshuku,” a sort of local bed-and-breakfast, particularly in more rural areas like Hualien near Taroko Gorge.

Both countries also offer unique experiences for the more adventurous traveler. Malaysia has its treetop chalets in locations like the Perhentian Islands, while Taiwan offers the experience of staying in a hot spring hotel, particularly in areas like Beitou.

In summary, your choice of accommodation can range from ultra-modern to deeply traditional in both Malaysia and Taiwan. Whether you want to wake up in a modern skyscraper or a cozy heritage building, both destinations offer a wide variety of options to make your stay memorable.

Family-Friendliness & Children’s Activities

Traveling with family, especially kids, demands extra planning. Whether it’s fun activities or suitable accommodations, both Malaysia and Taiwan offer a host of options for families. Let’s dig into the specifics.

In Malaysia, families can enjoy activities like visiting the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, the world’s largest walk-in aviary, or exploring the interactive exhibits at Petrosains, The Discovery Centre. Theme parks like Legoland Malaysia in Johor are also a massive hit among the young ones.

Taiwan also packs its own set of family-oriented fun. The Taipei Zoo, one of the largest in Asia, is a must-visit, as is the Leofoo Village Theme Park, offering a variety of rides and attractions. For a more educational experience, the National Palace Museum provides interactive exhibits that can engage children.

If your family enjoys outdoor activities, both countries have you covered. Malaysia offers family-friendly hikes in places like the Cameron Highlands, while Taiwan has cycling trails suitable for all ages in spots like Sun Moon Lake.

To sum it up, both Malaysia and Taiwan serve up a wide range of family-friendly activities that can keep both parents and children engaged. From interactive museums and zoos to outdoor adventures, you’ll find a myriad of ways to make family memories in either country.

Getting There & Getting Around

So you’ve decided to visit either Malaysia or Taiwan, but how do you get there and what are the best ways to explore these countries? Let’s break it down.

Getting to Malaysia usually involves flying into Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which serves as the main international gateway. The airport is about 45 kilometers (approximately 28 miles) from Kuala Lumpur. Taiwan’s main international airport is Taoyuan International Airport, located around 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) from Taipei.

Once you’re in Malaysia, public transportation is relatively straightforward. The country offers a well-connected train system, including the KLIA Ekspres that takes you directly from the airport to the city center. Buses and taxis are also widely available.

In Taiwan, the Taoyuan Airport MRT connects the airport to Taipei. The country also boasts an efficient metro system and a comprehensive bus network.

For shorter distances, both countries offer their own versions of ride-sharing services. In Malaysia, you’ll find providers like Grab, while Taiwan offers similar services like Taiwan Taxi.

In conclusion, getting to and moving around in both Malaysia and Taiwan is quite convenient. Both countries have efficient public transportation systems that make it easy for you to explore their respective cities and surrounding areas. Whether you choose Malaysia or Taiwan, you’ll find that navigating your way through either destination is a breeze.


When it comes to vacations, weather can make or break your plans. So, knowing what to expect in Malaysia and Taiwan will help you decide the best time to visit. Both countries have their own set of climatic idiosyncrasies but let’s dive into the specifics.

In Malaysia, you’ll experience a tropical rainforest climate. The average temperature is usually between 77°F (25°C) and 95°F (35°C) year-round. However, the rainy season varies depending on the region. On the west coast, expect heavier rainfall from April to October. On the east coast, the wettest months are between November and February.

Taiwan’s climate is a bit more varied. You can expect a subtropical climate in the northern part and a tropical climate in the southern part. Summers, particularly from June to September, are hot and humid with temperatures ranging from 80°F (27°C) to 95°F (35°C). Winters are mild and somewhat chilly, especially in the north, where temperatures can drop to 50°F (10°C).

One thing to note is that Taiwan is prone to typhoons, especially between July and October. Malaysia, on the other hand, doesn’t experience typhoons but does have its share of monsoons.

In summary, whether you prefer a steady tropical climate or a slightly more varied experience will influence your choice between Malaysia and Taiwan. Either way, knowing what to expect will help you pack right and plan better.


When traveling abroad, your safety should always be a top concern. Both Malaysia and Taiwan are generally safe countries, but there are differences worth noting.

Crime rates are relatively low in both countries. In Malaysia, petty crimes like pickpocketing can occur in busy tourist areas. Taiwan is similarly safe but also sees occasional cases of petty crime, especially in crowded places like night markets.

In terms of health, both countries have good healthcare systems. However, Malaysia faces more issues related to air quality, especially during the annual haze season caused by forest fires in nearby countries. Taiwan generally has better air quality but can experience occasional spikes.

Natural disasters are another point to consider. While Malaysia is not prone to earthquakes, Taiwan does experience them, along with the aforementioned typhoons.

In a nutshell, both Malaysia and Taiwan offer safe environments for tourists. While each has its unique challenges, being cautious and aware will generally ensure a secure and enjoyable trip.


Budgeting for a trip is crucial, and understanding how far your money will go in Malaysia and Taiwan can help you plan more effectively. Both destinations offer various options for different budget levels, so let’s look at some specifics.

In Malaysia, food is relatively inexpensive. A meal at a local eatery might cost around 12 Malaysian Ringgit (approximately 2.50 US dollars). Transportation is also affordable, with train tickets often costing less than 5 Malaysian Ringgit (approximately 1 US dollar). Accommodation varies, but mid-range hotels average 70 US dollars per night.

Taiwan, by contrast, is a bit pricier. A meal at a local restaurant could set you back around 120 New Taiwan Dollars (approximately 4 US dollars). Transportation costs are similar to Malaysia, but the Metro in cities like Taipei is generally more expensive. Hotels are also on the higher side, often averaging 135 US dollars per night.

In summary, if budget is a concern, Malaysia tends to be a more economical choice. However, Taiwan offers its own set of unique experiences that many find worth the higher price point. Either way, both countries provide a range of options that can cater to both budget and luxury travelers.

Which Is Better – Malaysia or Taiwan?

You’ve journeyed through the intricate landscapes of Malaysia and Taiwan, at least in theory, comparing everything from history and culture to the cost of living. Now, it’s time to put all those pieces together and see which destination rises to the top for you.

In the realm of history and culture, Malaysia offers a mosaic of traditions influenced by Malay, Chinese, Indian, and indigenous cultures. Taiwan, on the other hand, provides a blend of indigenous cultures and influences from China and Japan. Both countries have rich histories, but your preference might depend on the specific cultural tapestry you wish to explore.

When it comes to attractions and activities, Malaysia offers a variety of experiences from urban skyscrapers to lush jungles. Taiwan leans more towards natural beauty, sprinkled with historical landmarks. Your choice might hinge on whether you’re more of an adventurer or a history buff.

Regarding beaches, Malaysia generally offers a tropical paradise with crystal clear waters, ideal for diving and snorkeling. Taiwan’s coastline is more varied, offering both sandy and rocky shores. If you’re a beach enthusiast, Malaysia might be more up your alley.

Eating, drinking, and nightlife provide a unique charm in both destinations. Malaysia offers an array of flavors from its melting pot of cultures. Taiwan gives you the experience of vibrant night markets and unique local drinks. Your preference could depend on whether you’re in search of diverse flavors or a bustling night scene.

If shopping is your priority, both countries have something to offer, although Taiwan is generally pricier. Malaysia is known for its local markets and affordable prices, while Taiwan offers a wide range of electronics and designer goods.

On the subject of accommodations, both countries offer a wide range, from budget-friendly options to luxury resorts. If cost is a significant factor, Malaysia usually offers more economical options. Taiwan tends to be on the pricier side but offers its own unique experiences that many find worth the extra cost.

In summary, if you’re looking for a vacation spot that offers a mix of cultures, lush landscapes, and affordability, Malaysia could be your best bet. On the other hand, if you prefer a destination with a rich history and natural wonders, and are willing to spend a little extra, Taiwan might just be the perfect fit for you.