Malaysia is like two countries in one, cleaved in half by the South China Sea. While peninsula flaunts bustling cities, colonial architecture, misty tea plantations and chill-out islands, Malaysian Borneo hosts wild jungles of orangutans, granite peaks and remote tribes, along with some pretty spectacular diving. Throughout these two regions is an impressive variety of microcosms ranging from the space-age high-rises of Kuala Lumpur to the traditional longhouse villages of Sarawak.
Populated by a blend of Malays, Chinese, Indians and indigenous groups, Malaysia boasts a rich cultural heritage, from a huge variety of annual festivals and wonderful cuisines to traditional architecture and rural crafts. There’s astonishing natural beauty to take in too, including gorgeous beaches and some of the world’s oldest tropical rainforest, much of which is surprisingly accessible. Malaysia’s national parks are superb for trekking and wildlife-watching, and sometimes for cave exploration and river rafting.
Top 10 Places to Visit in Malaysia
1. Malacca City – Malacca City is the capital of Malacca state in Malaysia and a place that simply oozes with culture, history, and beauty. The city is featured as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008 and attracts thousands of visitors every year with its extra beautiful architecture, extra delicious food, and the famous Jonker Street Night Market.
2. George Town, Penang – Penang is usually featured in every travel guide to Malaysia and recommended as an excellent attraction for tourists and travellers and there is no wonder why. The state divides between Butterworth on the mainland and George Town, the unofficial capital of the Penang Island. George Town is everything you can wish for as a tourist, an open museum with lots of interesting and unique architecture, street art, and murals.
3. The Perhentians, Terengganu– The small Perhentians archipelago is located in the South China Sea and is one of the most interesting and beautiful places you can visit in Malaysia. Simply picture the tranquillity of what seems like endless beachlines of fine white sand and turquoise water along with the many opportunities for water sports and activities.
4. Danum Valley, Sabah – If you fancy some ecotourism you will find Danum Valley the best place to visit in Malaysia where you will be able to experience untouched jungles and unspoiled stretches of luscious and beautiful land. Danum Valley is located deep inside a 130-million-year-old lowland forest and a home to an incredible biodiversity.
5. Alor Setar, Kedah – The majority of the tourists visiting the state Kedah are usually focusing their interest on the island of Langkawi but the beautiful Alor Setar definitely deserves your attention and love too. An attractive, unexplored, and unspoiled, Alor Setar city features intricate architecture, limestone hills, and breath-taking views.
6. Kota Kinabalu, Sabah – Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Sabah state and the city may not win over your heart at first but once you get to know it better you will enjoy its charms a lot. Behind the many buildings and the crowd is where lies a gorgeous orange-sand coastline, a bunch of wonderful small islands conveniently located close to the shore, and the iconic floating mosque.
7. Ipoh, Perak – Ipoh is referred to as “The City of Bougainvillea” and as a capital of the Perak state, it recently enjoyed a tourist boom in 2017. Beautiful flowers dotted around the limestone hills surrounding the city are just the perfect backdrop for the historical core of this beautiful place consisting of interesting colonial buildings.
8. The Cameron Highlands, Pahang – The Cameron Highlands is a favourite place to visit in Malaysia for many years already. Since the “discovery” of the region in 1885 it is a huge tourist hotspot mainly because of the breath-taking nature, the cooler and fresher climate, and the emerald green tea plantations.
9. Pangkor Island, Perak – The name of Pangkor island is derived from Thai and means “Beautiful Island” and we can bet that the Thai people meant it when they gave this heavenly piece of land this name. Once a peaceful land of fishermen and sailors, this land remained untouched for many years and it offers the chance to experience the authentic tranquillity and beauty of this region of the world.
10. Pulau Tioman, Pahang – According to Time Magazine Pulau Tioman island as one of the most beautiful ones in the world in the 70s and we can ensure you that little has changed since then. Located off the east shore of Malaysia in the South China Sea, Tioman Island offers untouched beaches, dense rainforest, and a more secluded and tranquil feel unlike the more popular hotspots for tourists.