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Have an adventure through Batu Caves (pictured), the place of pilgrimage for Tamil Hindus. Climb 272 steps to access the main cave, which is free of charge. All the other caves, and the rock climbing, do have a fee.

Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is Asia’s largest bird park. It’s 10 minutes away from the city centre and home to over 3,000 local and tropical birds. The free-flight concept comes about as close to their natural habitat as possible in captivity.

When you’ve got some downtime, go to the Perhentian Islands. It’s made up of two islands – Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil (‘large’ and ‘small’ islands respectively). They’ve got white sand beaches, jungle and clear water where you can find lionfish and barracudas.

You may have come across Nasi Lemak, which is rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. Or for a more savoury bite, try Assam Laksa, which is like a very thick noodle soup. Serve alongside a roti canai (flatbread). Dessert could look like durian goreng – durian fruit dumplings, essentially – or apam balik, a sweet peanut pancake turnover.

The cost of living is very cheap, as evidenced by these figures from Numbeo.

  • Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant: 80.00 RM (£14)
  • 1 litre of regular milk: 7.10 RM (£1.20)
  • 500g loaf of fresh bread: 3.66 RM (63p)
  • One-way ticket on public transport: 3.00 RM (52p)
  • Basics for 85m squared flat: 202.29 RM (£35)
  • One bedroom flat in city centre: 1,602.40 RM (£278)

If you need to get out the house, hop to one of several co-working spaces in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Penang.

Malaysia ranks #39 out of 182 on speedtest internet rankings, so it will have pretty quick internet speeds – quicker than the UK, anyway!    

The digital nomad visa

Name of visa: DE Rantau Nomad Pass

Visa fee: $221 (£183.25)

Length of visa: Three months to one year

Can I extend my visa? Yes – for another 12 months providing you still meet the criteria.


  • Current CV
  • Evidence that you work in a digital field such as IP, digital marketing, digital content creation, cyber security, digital currencies, and software development.
  • Employment contract that has been in place for three months
  • If you are a freelancer, evidence of a contract with a long-term client
  • Proof of income either in payslips or bank statements for last three months and statement of yearly income
  • Health and travel insurance
  • Clean criminal record
  • Copy of passport. Your passport must be valid for at least 14 months at the time of applying
  • Passport photos
  • Signed personal bond form. As a UK resident, you must put up a personal bond of RM1,500 (approx. £292)
  • Additional proof of relationship for dependents such as marriage certificate

Minimum salary: $24,000 (£19,889)

How to apply

  1. You can apply for a Malaysia digital nomad visa here. Make sure you choose the option for the DE Rantau Digital Nomad Visa. You will need to create an account using your email address, for which you will be sent a confirmation email.
  2. Once your account has been set up, you should choose the application form for the DE Rantau Nomad Pass and complete the form and upload your documents.
  3. When you complete your application, you will be asked to make a payment, which can be done using most credit cards or PayPal. The application costs $221 (£183.23) for the principal applicant and there is an additional fee of $110 (£91.20) per dependent.
  4. Once you have submitted your application, you may need to wait for up to four weeks to receive an official response via email. This will provide you with proof of approval that you should print out and take with you when you travel. This will allow your visa to be issued to you upon arrival at an airport in Malaysia.
  5. You can request a 75 per cent refund on your application fee if your Malaysia digital nomad visa is denied. The remaining 25 per cent is required to cover the cost of processing your initial application.

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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