Home to prehistoric rainforests and a melting pot of culture, Malaysia is an amazing country to discover. Here are our Top 15 picks of what to see, do and experience in Malaysia.
- World’s tallest twin towers – Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur
Towering at 451.9m above street level, this world-renowned icon is currently the world’s tallest twin structure and fifth tallest skyscraper. The sky bridge that links the two towers is also the world’s highest two-storey bridge, doubling up as a superb viewing platform. The 88-storey building features glass and steel on the outside, and a traditionally-inspired interior, reflecting Malaysia’s aspirations in moving forward while maintaining its national identity.
- Shop till you drop – BBKLCC, Kuala Lumpur
Featured as the world’s fourth best shopping city in CNNGo, Kuala Lumpur is indeed a shopper’s paradise. Case in point: Three of the world’s 10 largest malls are in KL, while year-round sales offer the best bang for your buck.
The BBKLCC stretch from Bukit Bintang to Kuala Lumpur City Centre, in particular, will leave you spoilt for choice with its abundant fashion, food and entertainment options. Lose yourself in the huge selection of local and international brands available across nine signature malls within the area. The shopping district is also well-connected via a covered pedestrian walkway and an efficient network of public transportation.
- A kaleidoscope of culture – Central Market, Chinatown and Little India, Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur’s cultural enclaves are some of the city’s most popular tourist hotspots. Central Market, a prominent heritage landmark with its 1930s Art Deco style, is a great place to find local arts and crafts. Just down the road, Chinatown is a bustling cultural and shopping spot, with a number of heritage buildings, clan houses and temples. Meanwhile, the lively Little India in Brickfields offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of the Indian community, from its colourful clothing to fiery curries.
- Luxurious underwater living – Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sabah
Named after Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, this cluster of five islands – Gaya, Manukan, Mamutik, Sapi and Sulug – was gazetted as Sabah’s second national park in 1974. Popular among divers and ecotourists, the park’s relatively shallow waters are filled with an abundance of corals and aquatic species – perfect for snorkelling and diving for beginners. Each island features a different collection of flora and fauna, with Pulau Gaya being the largest and most colourful of the five.
- Heritage trails and hawker food – George Town, Penang
Awarded the prestigious title of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, the lively capital of Penang has over 200 years of history and cultural heritage under its belt. Well-preserved colonial buildings and historical architecture draw in the art buffs, while traditional trades, handed down from generation to generation, ensure that age-old culture remains intact. George Town is also renowned for its mouth-watering food, attracting steady streams of foodies from around the world to its warm shores.
- Mystery, myth, legend – Langkawi, Kedah
Part of an archipelago of 99 tropical islands just off the coast of Kedah, Langkawi Island is as much shrouded in age-old myths and legends as it is filled with natural beauty. It was accorded the Global Geopark status by UNESCO in 2007 for its diverse and astounding geological heritage, which dates back to more than 500 million years. Langkawi is also a popular duty-free destination.
- Scale new heights – Kinabalu Park, Sabah
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kinabalu Park is home to Malaysia’s highest mountain and one of Southeast Asia’s highest peaks, Mount Kinabalu. A favourite destination among adventurous souls keen to scale its heights, the view from Mount Kinabalu’s summit is often described as second to none. The park is also a wonderland of ecological treasures filled with thousands of plant and animal species, including a large number of endemic species.
- Drop off to an underwater universe – Sipadan Island, Sabah
Rated as one of the world’s top diving sites, Sipadan Island boasts a truly magical and breathtaking underwater experience. Situated at the heart of the Indo-Pacific Basin, the centre of the world’s richest marine habitat, the oceanic island is surrounded by several exciting dive spots such as the Hanging Gardens, Barracuda Point and the Turtle Cavern. One of its most thrilling features (and certainly not for the faint-hearted) is the Drop Off, where knee-high water suddenly gives way to a 600m drop.
- Mangrove swamps and orang utans – Kabili-Sepilok Nature Reserve, Sabah
Named after two rivers that flow through it, the Kabili-Sepilok Nature Reserve is home to an interesting and diverse array of wildlife and vegetation, consisting mainly of Dipterocarp and mangrove forests. There are several nature trails that lead through the forest, taking you from tropical highland forest to lowland mangrove swamps. The reserve is also home to the world-famous Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, where you get to see this endearing species up close and learn more about them.
- A walk through prehistoric rainforests – Taman Negara, Pahang
Estimated to be over 130 million years old, Taman Negara is Malaysia’s premier national park and one of the world’s oldest rainforests. Home to a vast diversity of flora and fauna, as well as amazing natural landscapes, this virgin rainforest is also the location of Mount Tahan, the highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia. Get an overhead view of the forest via the world’s longest canopy walkway, or take part in the different activities and attractions available at each of the park’s four entry points.
- World’s largest cave chamber – Mulu National Park, Sarawak
Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, Mulu National Park is home to an impressive collection of natural treasures, including razor-sharp limestone spikes called The Pinnacles, and Sarawak Chamber, the world’s largest cave chamber capable of accommodating 40 Boeing 747 aircraft. Meanwhile, the Deer Cave has the world’s largest cave passage as well as a unique rock formation with a silhouette that resembles the side profile of Abraham Lincoln, America’s 16th President.
- Seafaring tales, old world charm – Melaka City, Melaka
Once an important international trading port, Melaka is now one of the country’s most popular destinations. A UNESCO World Heritage City, Melaka is deemed the birthplace of the nation’s historical and cultural heritage, with over 600 years of history to its name. Its landmark buildings inherit their unique architecture from British, Portuguese and Dutch influences, a nod to the city’s colonial past.
- Play time for all – LEGOLAND and Hello Kitty Town, Johor
If you’re looking for fun and adventure for the whole family, Johor’s cutting-edge theme parks offer you just that. The first of its kind in Asia and the first international park in Malaysia, LEGOLAND offers a first-class park experience with thrilling rides, interactive displays and themed areas.
The park’s main attraction is MINILAND, where miniature replicas of Asia’s popular landmarks made with more than 30 million LEGO bricks can be seen. Hello Kitty Town, the first Hello Kitty theme park outside Japan, is a must for fans of this popular Sanrio character. The park’s highlights include Black Wonder, a state-of-the-art interactive experience, and Kitty House, an iconic house filled with everything Hello Kitty from top to bottom.
- Where fashion and value collide – Johor Premier Outlet, Johor
The first outlet mall to open in Malaysia, Johor Premium Outlet is a shopping haven with a collection of 80 designer and brand name outlet stores. Here, you can find discounts of between 25–65% daily. The outlet mall is located at the intersection of the North-South Expressway and the Second Link Expressway, about an hour’s drive from Singapore, three hours from Kuala Lumpur and only a short distance from Senai International Airport.
- Witness the procession of a million people – Batu Caves, Selangor
Comprising a cluster of three limestone caves, the legendary Batu Caves is a magnificent and renowned cave temple. A 140-feet-high golden statue of Lord Muruga looms at the foot of a flight of 272 steps leading up to Temple Cave, the biggest of the three caves. Batu Caves is the country’s main venue for the colourful Thaipusam festival, where a colourful procession of Hindu devotees can be seen carrying kavadi as offerings to Lord Muruga.
Source: Tourism Malaysia