Rich in natural and cultural heritage, Malaysia continues to promote its national heritage and believes that this would bring a positive impact to society. Malaysia’s Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohammadin Ketapi went on to declare an additional 255 heritage items and sites recently, a steady increase from the years before to further drive economic growth, specifically through Heritage Tourism.
Besides the often not-to-be-missed iconic KL Twin Towers, Malaysia has a great deal more to offer and its national heritage sites are a definite appeal to wanderlust individuals, who are looking for ways to get to know more about a country, its people and culture.
Brand Expedia has long espoused heritage tourism globally by encouraging travellers to visit local and UNESCO Heritage sites in their quest for unique travel experiences. Speaking of UNESCO Heritage sites, Malaysia incidentally has four and intends to champion more to local and global travellers alike.
If you are keen on exploring a heritage trail in Malaysia and need some guidance on where to start, then let us help you!
4 Must-See UNESCO Heritage sites in Malaysia
There is more to this rich biodiversity park than hiking Mount Kinabalu, with the surrounding park spanning 750 square metres. The mountain garden is open to visitors every day. You can visit and roam by yourself at any time during the opening hours. But if you want a guided tour and the works, the Sabah Park authorities have them too.
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Gunung Mulu National Park
Considered Sarawak’s largest national park, Gunung Mulu covers 544 square kilometres of unspoiled rainforest, rivers, deep gorges and rugged mountains. What is impressive here is the national park protects over 200-kilometres of record-breaking caves – from the longest cave passage, largest cave chamber to the longest cave – they have them all. Ideal for adventure caving, jungle trekking and more, this national park should be in your to-do list when exploring Malaysia.
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Malacca and George Town – Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca
Boasting beautiful colonial architectures, as well as historical and multicultural landmarks, both George Town and Malacca offer travellers a sensory delight as you soak in what makes Malaysia what it is today – the people, its rich and cultural diversity, and not to forget its unique cuisine. Try the heavily influenced Peranakan style cuisine in Malacca or visit the engaging murals on almost every lane in George Town – these are only some of the things you can do here.
Click here for great flight and hotel deals for travel to Malacca.
Click here for great flight and hotel deals for travel to George Town.
Archaeological Heritage of Lenggong Valley
Wannabe Indiana Jones or Lara Croft might want to head on the Lenggong Valley to examine the 11,000-year-old human skeleton found in Malaysia. Known as the ‘Perak Man,’ it is believed to be the oldest in the country. A day visit to this UNESCO Heritage Site will definitely prove educational as there is a museum on-site explaining the way people during the Neolithic and Palaeolithic era lived, or simply explore the caves to know more for yourself.
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Heritage Sites Right in your Backyard
While there are over 255 heritage and culture items and sites on the latest list released by Malaysia’s Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, let’s work ourselves down these noteworthy archaeology locations and monuments right in our backyard.
Candi Pengkalan Bujang and Bukit Batu Pahat
Kedah’s Lembah Bujang is a renowned trading area from as early as the first century A.D and is home to the Candi Pengkalan Bujang and Bukit Batu Pahat archaeological sites. See protohistoric or pre-Islamic artefacts, as well as rebuilt temples when you visit the Lembah Bujang Archaeological Museum, which is located at the site, to learn more about the cultural history of Kedah and matters related to pre-Islamic trade and civilisation in Malaysia.
Situated at the edge of Bukit Puteri, facing the South China Sea in Terengganu, Maziah Palace is truly the pride of the state. With a blend of modern and traditional architecture with its tall shuttered windows that resembles a French chateau, the palace was said to be built by 20 Malay and Chinese workers skilled in art, wood craft and carpentry. The 2-storey high palace is noticeably coffee brown in colour and is still in use today for important official functions. Fun fact: The palace’s early foundations were built from a mixture of chalk, clay, sand salts, egg whites, lime and honey.
The Telegraph Building
Located in Taiping, Perak, the country’s first ever Post and Telegraph office was set up in 1883. The 135-year old building was turned into a museum showcasing the history of telegraph communications system, as a way to preserve the building for future generations. Now, the Telegraph Museum houses more than 50 artefacts and unique items, ranging from telegraph, submarine cable from 1870s right down to massive stone grinder and other items from between the 18th century to 2012, and is open for public viewing.
The MaTiC Colonial Building and Tunku Abdul Rahman Hall
Well, you don’t always have to go to a tourist centre when you are lost. For a taste of heritage in the city, head down to the colonial building along Jalan Ampang that houses MaTiC or the Malaysian Tourist Information Complex, which is right smack in the city. Originally built as a family residence in 1935 by a wealthy and renowned mining and rubber estate tycoon in KL, MaTiC called this building its home in 1989. A one-stop tourist centre, MaTiC offers various services and facilities that tourists would need, including a taste of local cuisine at the famed Saloma Bistro & Theatre Restaurant, which is operates here.
Check out more exciting things that’ll whet your appetite on the Expedia Travel Blog.