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A 3 week itinerary for Singapore, Malaysia and Bali?
I bet you landed on this page thinking there is just no way that you can visit all of these Southeast Asian bucket list destinations in just 3 weeks, and that it was just to good to be true, didn’t you? Well, I’m here to tell you that you’d be wrong! I want to share with you my tried and tested itinerary (including trip costs which you can see at the end of this post) for a 3 week trip to Singapore, Malaysia and Bali, to help you plan your trip! Yes, you can travel and have a full time job! This itinerary will take you to 5 different places across these 3 destinations, and will allow you enough time to slow down a little bit along the way!
Singapore, Malaysia and Bali are the perfect combination of places to visit for a 3 week itinerary to Southeast Asia for three equally good reasons: 1) they are relatively close together on the map meaning air travel takes little time, 2) you can get an abundance of cheap flights in Southeast Asia, so you can travel by air in between these countries relatively cheaply and quickly, and 3) because, why the hell shouldn’t they be the perfect combination, I mean, they are insane?!
Singapore (4 days) → Langkawi (5 days) → Kuala Lumpur (4 days) → Bali (6 days)
Allow 2 days for international travel: 1 day outbound and 1 day inbound (depending on your home departure country)
Know before you go
Always check the entry requirements for the country you are visiting to see if you will need a Visa to enter, and that you have enough validity left on your passport.
Always have a good level of travel insurance for every international trip. This is a non-negotiable part of any trip abroad, as the unexpected can happen.
When to visit
Singapore: The climate in Singapore remains hot and humid year-round. However, it can be rainy throughout the year, with heavier showers in December and January.
Langkawi, Malaysia: Heavier showers can occur in September and October, but can also occur year round, and the climate is tropical.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: The rainy season is April-October but showers can occur year-round, and the climate is hot and humid.
Bali, Indonesia: April-September is dry season, October-March is wet season, temperatures are consistently high 20°C’s all year round.
I went on this trip in October and got very soggy in Bali on one occasion (through to my underwear, wading through flooded streets of Ubud kind of soggy), with one short lived tropical downpour. Overall, the weather across all destinations was dry and sunny. It was especially hot and humid in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur which was expected!
International departure: Day 1
Day 1: Allow at least 1 full day to be lost for international travel to Southeast Asia if you are travelling from outside the region.
Singapore: Day 2-5
On the face of it, you may think that Singapore is an ultra modern city with a phenomenal skyline, and you’d be right. But, dig a little deeper and you will realise that it is also a vibrantly multicultural hive of activity with bustling and colourful neighbourhoods like Little India and Chinatown. You could easily spend more time in Singapore, but 4 days is a good amount to get a taste of the city and see some of the wonderful sights on offer (if you like it, you can go back in future, or at least that’s how I look at it)!
Day 2: Take a pre-booked transfer or use the Metro to get into Singapore City. Spend some time getting acclimatised to Southeast Asia and get familiar with your surroundings – take a wander, get lost, and explore! Head to Marina Bay for your first glimpse at the spectacular skyline. Grab a cold Tiger, and rest and recuperate after your long journey, ready for the ultimate 3 week adventure across Southeast Asia!
Tip: I used a pre-booked shared airport shuttle bus on arrival, from Singapore Changi Airport to my hotel. This is because I arrived at 3:05am and the Metro was not in operation at this time. However, if I’d have arrived at a decent hour I would have used public transport (as I did to return to the airport on day 6) as it is cheap, quick and easy.
Day 3: Spend your day in the Marina Bay area of Singapore, exploring all there is to offer, including Gardens by the Bay. Be sure to stay in this area as day turns to night. Supertree Grove has a spectacular light and sound show, and Marina Bay an unmissable light, sound and water show.
Day 4 and 5: Spend two days soaking up some of the best things to see and do in Singapore. Be sure to explore the various districts of the city, such as the beautifully vibrant Little India and the bustling streets of Chinatown. Make sure you feast on some spicy and aromatic Indian cuisine whilst you are in Little India (there is no shortage of restaurants and you won’t regret it).
Tip: I ate at Komala Vilas Restaurant on Serangoon Road in Little India on my trip to Singapore; a bustling Indian vegetarian restaurant which serves the most flavoursome and authentic food! If you are a fan of Indian food, you should definitely plan to visit (plus, it’s really affordable)!
Pantai Cenang, Langkawi: Day 6-10
Langkawi is a relaxed tropical paradise and is the perfect destination to inject a bit of peace and tranquility into your Southeast Asian itinerary. It will allow you to slow down a little, enjoy your surroundings, and reflect on your time in bustling Singapore! I opted to stay in the popular town of Pantai Cenang, and although it is known as the busiest town on the island, I found it to have a chilled beach town vibe. I decided to stay on Langkawi for 5 days, because I like to have time to relax, but you could stay for less if time is tight.
Day 6: Head to Singapore Changi Airport using the Metro. Catch an early flight to Langkawi to maximise the time you have there and avoid losing a whole day to air travel. Take a taxi to your hotel and settle in. Take a wander around to get familiar with your surroundings. Then, perhaps relax by the pool before heading out for your first taste of Malaysian cuisine.
Tip: When I visited Langkawi, the airport taxis had a fixed rate and you purchased a ticket at one of the booths inside the airport before proceeding to your taxi outside the terminal.
Day 7: Enjoy a day at the expansive and palm tree lined Cenang Beach (watch out for the jellyfish). Watch the sunset with Piña colada in hand at a beachside bar in a hammock chair. Then, perhaps head off and find a kiosk where you can purchase some questionable fried ice cream!
Tip: Langkawi is a tax free island, so there are lots of duty free outlets (you can find these in Pantai Cenang). So, you can certainly afford to enjoy an ice cold beer by the pool whilst watching the aeroplanes glide through the sky (the airport is only a 15 minute drive from Pantai Cenang so these are quite low flying).
Day 8: Head out for the day to Langkawi SkyCab and Skybridge and test whether you’ve got a head for heights or jelly legs (like me)!
Day 9: Take a day trip to Kilim Karst Geoforest Park and hope a monkey doesn’t jump on your boat (because it did during my trip).
Tip: You can easily book a tour to Kilim Geoforest Park online before you depart for your trip. However, if you aren’t a pre-planner then you should be able to book this through your hotel or a local tour agency shop in Pantai Cenang (like you can in most countries in Southeast Asia).
Day 10: Spend your final day doing a bit of shopping in Pantai Cenang and feasting on Malaysian delights, relaxing by the pool and wandering along the beach. Travel can be exhausting and doesn’t have to always be fast paced!
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Day 11-14
I didn’t really develop a bond with Kuala Lumpur like I do inevitably seem to when I travel to most destinations. I can’t really pinpoint why. Nevertheless, I would recommend visiting for a few days if you are in Southeast Asia. The city has some fantastic sights to see and you should always see somewhere once, right? I wouldn’t hesitate to go back despite my distant relationship with the city!
Day 11: Take a pre-booked taxi (you should be able to book this through your hotel) to Langkawi International Airport and fly the short distance to Kuala Lumpur. Use public transport to get to your hotel. Find a rooftop bar or pool and enjoy the skyline light up from day to night, before heading out for dinner.
Tip: Using public transport to get to and from Kuala Lumpur International Airport is a cinch – just grab yourself a return ticket for the airport train (the KLIA express) and then use the Metro to reach your hotel!
Day 12: Do a day trip to the Batu Caves. Climb the many, many steps into the caves where you may see cheeky monkeys grabbing each others tails.
Tip: You don’t need to book on a guided tour to the Batu Caves. It is super easy and cheap to get there yourself by taking the local KTM Commuter Train to and from Kuala Lumpur. Just make sure you check the timetable before heading to the station!
Day 13 and 14: Spend your final two days in Malaysia doing some of the best things to see and do in Kuala Lumpur, such as visiting temples, Central Market and Chinatown! Be sure to head across to the Petronas Towers late afternoon whilst you are in the city, so you can watch them light up the sky as the sun sets over Southeast Asia.
Bali, Indonesia: Day 15-20
If I had to choose anywhere in the world to live, then it would be Bali (more specifically Ubud, in case you’re interested). I am a massive fan of this small island which is overflowing with serenity. I remember instantly feeling at home on my first trip to Bali, which is a feeling I rarely get when travelling (apart from the time I spent 2 weeks in Vietnam).
Anyone who asks me where in Southeast Asia they should go first, is sure to get the answer of ‘Bali’. Bali has a mix of breathtaking landscapes and has an abundance of things to see and do, and I have no doubt that you will fall as hard as I did for this Indonesian paradise. Days could quite easily turn to weeks here, and it really is the island of Eat, Pray, Love!
Day 15: Head to Kuala Lumpur International Airport using public transport, bound for an early flight to beautiful Bali. Head to your hotel in Kuta using a pre-booked private transfer, before going out for some lunch in this lively beach town (be sure to try Nasi Goreng). Spend the evening on the beach watching the sunset with a cold Bintang in hand!
Tip: Early flights are the best for maximising your time in each destination. Although they can be a little more expensive, it can sometimes be worth paying the extra so you can have more time on the ground!
Day 16: Travel to Ubud in your pre-booked private transfer. Go for a wander to get your bearings and have a look around. Enjoy some down time in your beautiful hotel. Head out for dinner and eat Mie Goreng! You should be sure to eat at The Fair Warung Bale whilst you are in Ubud as the food is super tasty and the profits help to fund local healthcare programmes – you may want to pre-book a table as it is a pretty popular restaurant!
Tip: Pick a serene hotel situated in the rice fields (just make sure you pack mosquito repellant). Ubud has an abundance of beautiful accommodation, and you can easily find hotels situated in the rice fields that are very central, for a balance between tranquility and being close to the hustle and bustle of Ubud town.
Day 17: Today, get yourself up early and spend some time sightseeing in Ubud. Why not go for a massage or spa treatment to relax after a busy day sightseeing, before heading out for some tasty Balinese Cuisine?
Day 18 and 19: Spend a couple of days doing some of the best day trips from Ubud. You will be absolutely spoiled for choice when deciding on which day trips to do, and have various options at your fingertips such as swimming beneath a waterfall, visiting a sacred temple, wandering a coffee plantation, doing an adventurous activity or meandering through some rice terraces!
Tip: Pre-booked private cars are very affordable in Bali. You can request to be taken to the places of interest that suit you in style, whether its waterfalls, temples, or rice terraces! And, these are great to use for your transfers to and from the airport, and in between towns (such as from Kuta to Ubud). I have always used Bali Safest Driver for custom tours and private transfers – the service has always been friendly, prompt and prices are reasonable!
Day 20: Get yourself up early to hike the Campuhan Ridge Walk, and have lunch at a restaurant at the end. Save the final afternoon for re-visiting any places in Ubud you want to see again, grab a souvenir or two at the market, or have some time to chill out in a café and watch life (and a lot of mopeds) pass you by.
Tip: Karsa Café is my absolute favourite café to stop in after walking the Campuhan Ridge Walk. I have visited each time I’ve been to Bali (and I don’t need any amount of persuading to go back). The views across the paddy fields and rice terraces are stunning, and the atmosphere is so serene. If you’re lucky you will manage to seat yourself in one of the stilted huts above the pond.
Return home: Day 21
Day 21: Allow at least 1 full day to be lost for international travel from Southeast Asia if you are travelling from outside the region.
This 3 week itinerary for Singapore, Malaysia and Bali gives the perfect balance between spending time in the bustling cities of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and on the idyllic islands of Bali and Langkawi. It offers enough time indulge in some amazing sights and experiences, whilst also providing the time to just slow down and immerse yourself in your surroundings, whether that be by spending a morning by the pool or enjoying a drink on the beach whilst watching the world go by.
I hope this itinerary provides you with all the inspiration and information that you need to take a multi-country trip around Southeast Asia, and proves to you that you can travel further if you travel smarter!
Trip cost breakdown (per person)
Economy flights from London Heathrow to Singapore, and Bali to London Heathrow = £493.66pp
Regional flights (x3)
Hold luggage included in prices
Singapore to Langkawi, Malaysia = £74.57pp
Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia = £24.75pp
Kuala Lumpur to Bali, Indonesia = £60.57pp
Singapore Changi Airport to City (shared one way transfer) = £5.00pp*
Singapore City to Changi Airport (one way journey by Metro) = £1.00pp
Langkawi International Airport to Pantai Cenang, Langkawi (return journey by taxi) = £3.30pp*
Kuala Lumpur Airport to City (return journey by KLIA express) = £18.00pp
Bali Denpasar Airport to Kuta (private one way transfer) = £5.00pp*
Kuta to Ubud (private transfer) = £8.35pp*
Ubud to Bali Denpasar Airport (private transfer) = £8.35pp*
Singapore 4 nights = £94.50pp*
Langkawi, Malaysia 5 nights inc. breakfast and use of pool = £57.00pp*
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 4 nights inc. breakfast and use of pool = £81.00pp*
Kuta, Bali 1 night inc. breakfast and use of pool = £7.50pp*
Ubud, Bali 4 nights inc. breakfast and use of pool = £63.00pp*
Total = £1,005.55 per person
for 19 full days across 3 Southeast Asian countries (and 5 places)!