Updated: Mar 17
Cherish in the vastness of the coastline, watch the towering skyscrapers light up the Kuala Lumpur skyline, worship at the Batu caves, have fun with the Bornean orangutans, delve into the lovely Langkawi, be enthralled by the grandeur of the colossal caves..., and the list could go on and on. Encompassing the Malay peninsula and the Bornean region, consisting of thirteen states and three federal territories, Malaysia is undoubtedly a mesmerizing destination with a vast array of tourist attractions. Below is a brief look at some of the places you should consider visiting on your next trip to Malaysia.
Langkawi – Jewel of Kedah
Widely popular for its mangrove swamps, flourishing coral systems, adjoining islets, and island-hopping, Langkawi is arguably the best tourist destination in Malaysia. The proud host of white and unspoiled beaches, serene waterfalls, ancient sites, and marine parks also offers an array of delicious yet cheap local seafood cuisine. Do not forget to visit the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park – the home of mangrove swamps, floating fish farms, and 500-million-year-old limestone caves. The islets of Pulau Dayang Bunting, Pulau Beras Basah, and Singa Besar are also popular among tourists that engage in activities like eagle feeding.
Petronas Towers – Tallest twins in the world
Unquestionably, Petronas towers is the symbol of modern Malaysia and one of the top places to include in your Malaysia itinerary. It is also the host of other attractions such as a mall, park, observation deck, art-gallery, Kuala Lumpur convention center, Dewan Filharmonik Petronas concert hall, and the double-decked sky-bridge. Influenced by Islamic architecture, these enormous skyscrapers are definitely a sight to behold while also providing panoramic views of the city of Kuala Lampur from the top.
Cameron Highlands – Network of walking trails
Hikers Assemble! Cameron Highlands is the ultimate destination to get the best hiking experience. With its comprehensive network of 14 hiking and jungle walking trails built during the Second World War, Cameron Highlands gives the absolute experience for audacious adventurers. The refreshing atmosphere and lush greenery lure travelers from all around the globe. Famed for its massive tea plantations and cold weather, Cameron highlands hosts a stellar view that makes it an irresistible place to enjoy a hot cup of tea.
Kek Lok Si Temple – Serenity in grandeur
Find peace of mind at one of the largest Buddhist temple complexes in Southeast Asia. Located close to George Town, Kek Lok Si is frequented by pilgrims and non-pilgrims alike. This place of veneration and cultural heritage comprises hundreds of gorgeous and meaningful paintings, engravings, and murals covering the temple halls, gazebos, shrines, and archways. You can find pink-hued Lord Buddha statues with a swastika symbol (No, not Nazi symbol), which symbolizes the abundance of virtues that will accumulate auspiciousness.
Sunway Lagoon – Whirl, Twirl, Scream!
Fear the tropical heat might scorch your back? Well, no need to fear. Beat the heat whether you are below 8 or above 80 in the enormous waterpark spread over 88 acres with more than 80 attractions. Explore the world’s largest vortex ride and surf pool or ride a 360-degree revolving pirate ship. The Sunway Lagoon has been divided into five different zones where each section has been specialized to offer a unique experience to its daily visitors.
Penang Hill – Hill station habitat
Famed among tourists for its fresh climate, Penang Hill is the first colonial hill station of the Malaysian Peninsula. Home to a group of nine hills, the highest peak stands at an elevation of 2,732 ft above sea level. Penang Hill consists of a funicular track stretching a long distance of 1,996 meters and is the proud bearer of the title, the longest track in Asia, and the steepest track in the world. Indulge in an array of mesmerizing experiences like trailing through canopy walks and nature trails with exotic flora and fauna in the 130-million-year-old rainforests. Don't forget to enjoy the 360-degree panoramic view of the diverse Penang island from the Curtis crest treetop walk.
Aquaria KLCC – Marvellous marine life
Get lost in the enormous vastness of the Aquaria KLCC spanning an area of nearly 60000 square feet. This state-of-the-art aquarium provides visitors access to stunning and diverse aquatic life in depth and detail. Witness water-based creatures ranging from piranhas, electric eels, tiger sharks, and giant stingrays to lethal sea snakes.
Semenggoh Nature Reserve – Hola orangutans!
Watch wildlife in action! The rarest opportunity to watch orangutans swing life into nature. The rangers of the Semenggoh Nature Reserve are immensely passionate about the livelihood and the wellbeing of these gentle beasts. Orangutans are endangered species native to Borneo and are rescued and rehabilitated by these rangers. The reserve is the proud host of enormous apes led by an alpha male orangutan fondly named 'Richie' by the locals and the rangers.
Mulu World Heritage Area – King of Karst
Mulu is an unprecedented world heritage site that would ideally require a week to discover. Exotic flora and fauna and the remarkably magnificent karstic terrain make it a spectacular sight. The two main attractions of the Mulu Park are Gunung Mulu (A 7,798 ft long sandstone pinnacle) and Sarawak Chamber (The largest cave chamber in the world). Visitors can also engage in activities like cave bat watching or hopping on a sunset river cruise.
Ipoh – Colonial Charm
Ipoh is an all-in-one city with a unique set of attractions ranging from limestone cliffs, exotic cave temples, colonial architecture, authentic food, and a range of quirky museums. Discover the secret of modern street arts and the mystery behind the oldest Neolithic cave arts in Ipoh. Explorations are limitless in Ipoh as it boasts of vast cave networks where you can choose from a range of adrenaline-pumping adventures at Tempurung Caves. In a nutshell, Ipoh is the perfect mixture of art, culture, and cuisine.
Bukit Bintang – Epicentre of entertainment
Bukit Bintang is famed for its remarkable abundance of fashion, entertainment, and food options. Appropriate to its name, Bukit Bintang which translates into “Star Hill”, has a lively nightlife with glamorous city lights and bustling crowds. The must-visit spots in Bukit Bintang are Changkat Bukit Bintang – an avenue with popular and trendy bars and restaurants, Jalan Alor – the center of the city’s local cuisine and best known for Chinese seafood and hawker stalls, Central Market – the focal point of the artistic community and Kasturi Walk – to feel the charm of Malaysian heritage walk.
Putra Mosque – Pastel pink domed mosque
Putra Mosque is the perfect blend of the Persian, Malaysian, and Arab-Islamic architectures, and is the extraordinary landmark of Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia. Situated in the calmly spectacular Putrajaya Lake, Putra Mosque portrays the grandeur of the modern mosque, both in architecture and in its capacity to host 10,000 worshipers. The unique feature of the Putra Mosque is its pink dome created using the indigenous rose-hued stones and the excellent craftsmanship of traditional builders.
Batu Caves – Religious Landmark
Batu Caves should be right up there in your Malaysia itinerary especially if you're a cultural enthusiast. Batu caves are limestone grottoes comprising of three huge caves and numerous smaller ones. Incorporating the limestones formed around 400 million years ago is the cave temple constructed 100 years ago with marvelous statues of hundreds of Hindu deities. Majestically standing stretching 140 ft in the air, at the outside of Batu caves is Lord Murugan, a Hindu deity. The 272-stair flight to the temple caves makes the journey a bit tiring yet worthwhile for the mythical glow beneath the stalactites.
Redang Island – Paradise in Malaysia
Crystal clear waters, a white sandy beach, and colorful coral reefs are just a few of the impressive features of Redang Island. Situated off the coast of Kuala Terengganu, Redang Island or Pulau Redang consists of 9 islands in its vicinity. It is a fascinating experience to go island hopping in Redang island, to explore and discover the hidden beauty of tropical nature. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving are popular activities at Redang Island, attracting many tourists each year.
Melaka – Don’t mess with Melaka
Melaka, formerly known as Malacca city, is an irresistible tourist attraction due to its rich heritage, colonial buildings, and historic landmarks. Sitting on the stagnant Melaka River, the port and city of Melaka is now a hub of trade and tourism. With its exceptional and impressive cultural roots still preserved in architectural presence, Melaka city acquired the UNESCO world heritage site honor. Visitors can explore the architecture, culture, history, and archaeology while indulging in authentic Peranakan and Malay cuisine.
Perhentian Islands – Pinnacle of tropical wild
Take a break from the buzz and noise of the city. Enter into Perhentian Islands and rejuvenate yourself in jungle-covered hills and cascades of mini waterfalls. Sandy beaches and crystal clear waters with nestling turtles and reef sharks are indeed a spectacular sight to the eyes at Perhentian Islands. Perhentian Kecil coastline is also renowned for kayaking where visitors could paddle away while cherishing at the exquisite beauty of the jungles, pausing at hidden coves for a break, and most importantly-jumping in for a snorkel at every possibility. Walking barefoot along the forest trailed coastline replenishes one's soul.
Taman Negara National Park – Tranquil Tropical
Mark Meng on Wikimedia Commons
Did you know that Taman Negara is the earliest and primary rainforest in the world that remains uninfluenced by the ice age or any other significant changes over time? Encompassing three states of Peninsular Malaysia stretching over 4000 square kilometers, Taman Negara is the biggest National Park in Malaysia. Bukit Teresek, Gunung Tahan, Four Steps Waterfall, Lubok Simpon, Gua Luas, and Gua Daun Menari are considered to be the top sites for hike adventurers. Visitors have plenty of activities to engage in like going for a fast boat ride, trekking through the rainforest, and climbing the peak of Mount Tahan, all while adoring the grandeur in the simplicity of nature at its core.
Sipadan Island – Sprightly scuba spot
Are you a fearless diver? Then look no further than Barracuda point in Sipadan Island which is renowned as one of the top diving sites on the east coast of Malaysia. Sipadan Island boasts crystal-clear underwater visibility and is the only oceanic island in Malaysia. Among the various marine creatures inhabiting the waters off the island, formations of tornado-shaped barracudas, hawksbill turtles, and reef sharks definitely take precedence.
Genting Highlands – City on clouds
Welcome to the Las Vegas of Malaysia! Situated on the main ridge of the granite mountains forming the Malay peninsula’s north-south backbone, Genting highlands is the premier hill station of Malaysia. Renowned for its lavish and luxurious lifestyle, this breezy resort-town has plenty of casinos, night-clubs, restaurants, tourist hotels, including a first-world hotel, which has earned Genting Highlands its nickname ‘City of Entertainment’. The prominent attractions of Genting highlands are Awana Skyway, Chin Swee Cave Temples, Butterfly Wonderland, Genting Strawberry Leisure Farm, Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre, and World of Phalaenopsis Orchid Farm.