Located in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is a country with different cultures and the beauty that it can offer. What makes it unique is the diversity, where in the same country, you can visit thriving modern cities and colonial architecture, unwind on some of the world’s finest beaches, and hike through green jungles.
Besides being home to a picturesque coastline, Malaysia also has humid rainforests in Borneo, whereas the mainland is home to various rare wildlife. In addition, the highlands provide a welcome respite from the heat with a unique landscape covered with tea plantations.
Whether you’re planning to travel or just looking for ideas, below is a list of beautiful places to visit in Malaysia.
If it’s your first time traveling to Malaysia, you will likely hear about Kuala Lumpur or land in the city. As the capital and largest city of the country, Kuala Lumpur is best known for Petronas Twin Towers, which are the world’s tallest twin towers.
At first glance, it may seem like a sprawling metropolis, but once you find your bearings, you will see Kuala Lumpur differently. You will see a part of the city with glistening skyscrapers and shopping malls that cast a shadow over old colonial buildings such as Central Market and Masjid Jamek.
With the various ethnic groups that the country has, you will never run out of food options in Kuala Lumpur. Besides that, most parts of the city are connected by public transport like buses and trains, so wherever you want to go, you don’t have to worry about transportation or where to park.
Perhentian Island, Terengganu
Located on the coast of Terengganu, this island is ranked one of the most beautiful places to visit in Malaysia. With white sand that stretches across the area and crystal-clear water lapping against the shore, you will surely have a memorable trip on the island.
There are plenty of activities you can try, such as snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, and jungle trekking. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen SPF 50+ to avoid getting sunburned. Occasionally, there are a few late-night parties on the beach if you fancy some dancing at night. For those who like volunteering, you can try to volunteer for turtle conservation under the local organizations.
George Town, Penang
If you are a foodie, then you will fall in love with this “food capital of Malaysia”. George Town is home to some of the best street food in Asia that can be found on seafront Gurney Drive and Chulia Street, which are among the city’s oldest streets.
Besides being heaven for food lovers, George Town is also named a UNESCO World Heritage Site with different museums and historic homes that you can visit. Plus, various kinds of murals and street art decorate the walls along the road that will capture your attention.
If you are a fan of tall buildings, this city’s tallest skyscraper offers a U-shaped Rainbow Skywalk, an outdoor glass platform that can give you a whole different view of the city. Apart from that, you can also hop on the tram to the top of Penang Hill for another breathtaking view. Don’t forget to bring along your camera and smartphone to capture the moment.
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Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Kota Kinabalu, known as KK by the locals, is the state’s largest and capital city in the northern part of Borneo. It is known for the tallest mountain in Southeast Asia, Mount Kinabalu, and is surrounded by large forests and tropical islands.
Despite being a focus destination for climbing, the activity is only allowed with the company of park rangers. This is because Mount Kinabalu has a highly protected status and is home to various endangered species such as orangutans and Rafflesia, a parasitic species with enormous flower petals.
If you like islands, you would not want to miss visiting Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park which has five stunning beaches. Visitors can sunbathe on the sloping white sand beach, snorkel in the coral reefs, or hike through the dense tropical forest on one of the many hiking trails.
Cameron Highlands, Pahang
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With a slightly cooler climate, Cameron Highlands is a hilly region famous for its tea plantation that has been growing for centuries on the sloping hillside. It is also known for the stunning lavender farms where tourists often flock to take pictures.
If you are visiting Cameron Highlands, you should visit the largest tea producer in Malaysia, Boh Tea Plantation, where you will have the chance to watch the tea-making process from scratch. Apart from that, you can visit their gift shops for souvenirs and their café, where you can enjoy hot tea and tea-based desserts in a windy temperature.
If you are a huge fan of flora and fauna and want to see them up close, take a trip to the Mossy Forest boardwalk, which promises you a fascinating natural experience with foggy tropical scenery. Besides that, you can also visit the strawberry farms to experience plucking your strawberries. So don’t forget to include Cameron Highlands if you are visiting Malaysia soon!