Top 10 Things to do in Malaysia
Situated across two distinct landmasses, Malaysia encompasses culture, adventure, excitement and luxury. Offering visitors the opportunity to hang around with orang-utans, watch playful elephants, shop in style or relax on a sandy beach, there is surely something for everyone in this incredible country. It’s always hard to pick our favourites, but we hope this list will give you some inspiration for your Malaysia holiday! Need more motivation? Speak to an experienced My Malaysia travel consultant today to tailor your experiences to your desires.
Top 10 things to do/places to visit during your Malaysia holidays:
One of the most iconic images of Malaysia are the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Holding many “world’s first” titles, the skyscrapers represent modernity within the traditional Malaysian capital while still embracing the cultural identity of the Malaysian people. Housing commercial offices, a tourist park and upmarket shopping options the Petronas (short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad, a Malaysian oil and gas company) Towers are a popular tourist attraction, with guided tours on offer. Nearby you will also find the Petronas Art Gallery, jogging tracks, a wading pool and the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
The KL Tower reaches 100m taller than the Petronas Towers and offers spectacular views over the city both day and night. The tower sits atop the Bukit Nanas (Pineapple Hill) Forest Reserve; the oldest gazetted forest reserve in the country, which houses age-old trees as well as flora and fauna indigenous to Malaysia’s tropical climate. Primarily used as a communications infrastructure, the KL tower is the fifth-tallest telecommunications tower in the world.
Mentally prepare yourself for the 272-step ascent to Temple Cave, one of the many limestone caves that comprises the Batu Caves area outside of Kuala Lumpur. Upon arrival visitors are greeted by a large (42.7m) statue of Lord Murugan before visiting surrounding caves, many of which house shrines, statues and paintings of various characters from Hindu folklore. Audio tours are available upon arrival, or just lose yourself in the throngs of people making their ways in and out.
Offering guests a completely different experience to the Batu Caves, the Gomantong Caves just outside of Sandakan hold a different purpose. Also made of limestone, the caves are renowned for their valuable edible swiftlet nests, which are harvested for bird’s nest soup. These swiftlets live alongside bats and various creepy-crawlies in the caves, but the wooden walkway around the edge allows visitors to experience the darkness of the caves while not treading on anything undesirable.
Kinabalu National Park, located in northwest Sabah, is home to the 4095m high Mount Kinabalu – Southeast Asia’s highest peak, as is also Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to one of the largest collections of flora and fauna in the world, the journey to the mountain or simply a day spent in the park will recharge even the most weary traveller.
A climb up Mount Kinabalu requires at least 2-3 days, so ensure you’re well prepared and have booked accommodation in advance. First summited in 1851, Mount Kinabalu – or Gunung Kinabalu as it’s known locally – is still an adrenaline-inducing experience. The park’s headquarters, where you pay your entry and guide fees, is about 90km from the town of Kota Kinabalu.
The Kinabalu National park is a paradise for botanists, with the world’s largest variety of the carnivorous pitcher plant. The Kindasang War Memorial and Ranau night markets are also located within the boundaries of the National Park, making for unique and active day out.
Colonial facades abound in the towns of Melaka and Georgetown. Both represent unique times in Malaysia’s history and offer visitors an exciting (and often delicious!) glimpse of the past.
Georgetown, the capital of Penang, was named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008 and is home to over 200 years of history and cultural heritage. With Chinese shop fronts, narrow roads, well-preserved colonial buildings, mansions and ornate temples, the city is an organized conglomeration of styles that have come and gone. Georgetown is well-known for its mouth-watering cuisine and surrounding landscape of beaches, forests and lakes.
Malaka, or Melacca, is considered the birthplace of Malaysia’s cultural and historical heritage. Dutch, British and Portuguese influences abound and can be seen in the architectural remains of the city. Beautiful colonial buildings allow visitors to understand the historical importance of this once-busy trading centre. With a blend of cultural attractions and offering outstanding food options, a visit here is well worth your trip off the beaten path.