Compelling cityscapes, idyllic beaches and islands, great cuisine, wildlife filled tropical rainforest, cultural diversity and so on goes the long list of all the good things that Malaysia has to offer to its visitors. It is a diverse country where you would find Asian cultures ranging from Chinese to Indian along with Malaysia’s own ethnic groups. You will be spoiled with choices for activities, ranging from hiking and trekking amidst verdant nature to diving and snorkeling in marine life rich waters. Read on to know more about what you can expect in your encounter with Malaysia.
The South China Sea divides Malaysia into two regions – Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia is home to the country’s capital – Kuala Lumpur. The city’s majestic skyline is dominated by the world’s tallest twin tower – The Petronas Towers. Kuala Lumpur is known for its legendary shopping locations which include bustling shopping malls and heritage shophouses, where you can buy locally made souvenirs and handicrafts. Explore Kuala Lumpur on foot and you will discover numerous street food hubs and hawker stalls for an authentic street food experience.
Merdeka Square, Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, Lake Gardens – the city’s largest green space, Thean Hou Temple, Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Samad and Menara Kuala Lumpur – a 421-m tall tower with amazing panoramic views of the city are popular attractions in the capital.
From Kuala Lumpur, you can easily visit the Hindu shrine of Batu Caves – a limestone hill with caves and temples. Melaka city in southwestern Malaysia is known for antique shops, Jonker Walk Night Market, and the colourful trishaws.
Genting Highlands, a popular getaway from the bustling capital is a prime tourist destination with its luxurious resorts, casinos and adventure parks. The cable car journey above the rolling rainforests of the region is a truly unforgettable experience. Cameron Highlands – the largest hill station in Malaysia, offers a contrasting experience, packed with plenty of natural sights. Its sprawling tea plantations, strawberry farms, rose gardens and indigenous villages offer great trekking and hiking trails to explore the unspoiled charm of the country.
The capital of Penang Island, Georgetown is Malaysia’s second-largest city and known for its British-era architecture and excellent food. Walk around the areas of Chinatown and Little India and you will note the strong resemblance with their respective countries.
From Penang, a three-hour ferry ride will bring you to Pulau Langkawi – an island group with over 100 islands and islets known for pristine beaches and tax-free shopping. Perhentian archipelago and Tioman Island are the other notable island destinations in Peninsular Malaysia. Apart from beaches and resorts, these islands are great for hiking, diving or snorkeling.
Among Peninsular Malaysia’s national parks, Taman Negara is the country’s oldest and largest. It is a tropical forest renowned for its rich biodiversity which includes rare tiger species and over 3000 species of flora. The park also contains the world’s longest canopy walk, splendid hiking and trekking trails and indigenous villages.
Asia’s largest island – Borneo makes eastern Malaysia. As you reach the island from Peninsular Malaysia, you will be greeted by the historical city of Kuching, known as the gateway to the jungle and sea. This region has some of Malaysia’s best national parks like Bako National Park, Kubah National Park and Kuching Wetlands National Park.
Malaysia’s highest mountain and UNESCO world heritage listed Mount Kinabalu welcomes thousands of trekkers each year and can be accessed from the city of Kota Kinabalu. Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sepilok rescues and protects orphaned and injured orangutans and is one of the best places in Malaysia to interact with these critically endangered species.
To experience some of the best diving and snorkeling in East Malaysia, you can visit Semporna Archipelago’s Pulau Mabul and Sipadan Island. Keep in mind that there are no accommodation options in Sipadan and you can only reach the island from Mabul.
Malaysia checks every item on a traveller’s list with its megacities, pristine rainforests, scenic beaches, islands, highlands and cultural fusion. Packed with all these, Malaysia beautifully justifies its official tourism slogan – Malaysia, truly Asia!
The skyline of Kuala Lumpur is dominated by the world’s tallest twin towers – the Petronas Towers.