There are so many unique places to visit in Malaysia, from the bustling capital of Kuala Lumpur to the lush jungles of the Cameron Highlands, that it can often be daunting trying to decide where to even begin.
Once you’ve figured out which of the Malaysia visa types you need to visit the country and started thinking about your actual itinerary, this guide can help you figure out which of the many, many attractions in Malaysia you actually want to include on it!
Places to visit for a short trip in Malaysia?
After my first trip to Southeast Asia, I can personally vouch for the fact that there are so many amazing places to visit in Malaysia and Singapore that you’d need to organize a bumper trip of a few months or more to get around them all.
However, if you’re only going to visit Malaysia on a short trip, I’d advise sticking to sightseeing between the capital of Kuala Lumpur and the state of Penang, as there is more than enough to see to fill up a few days of your itinerary.
Some of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur include:
- Kuala Lumpur Central Market – One of the most popular attractions for visitors to the capital, the Central Market is an authentically Malay space where you can pick up a variety of locally handcrafted products and souvenirs.
- The Petronas Twin Towers – The tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004, these impressive twin towers are home to Suria KLCC, one of the trendiest shopping centers in Kuala Lumpur where you can easily spend a few hours browsing the luxury boutiques.
- KLCC Park – Located at the foot of the Petronas Towers, this expansive green space is the perfect place to relax on a sunny afternoon in Kuala Lumpur.
- The KL Tower – Offers visitors the highest viewpoint from which to take in Kuala Lumpur and a 360-degree view of the city from an observation deck roughly 276 meters up.
Outside of the capital:
- The Batu Caves – Located to the north of the city, these are one of the most popular attractions in Kuala Lumpur and offer visitors an extensive cave system to explore, set among idyllic surroundings, as well as a large population of local monkeys to gawk at!
- George Town – Malaysia’s second-largest city and the capital of Penang state, George Town boasts a bustling nightlife, a heap of food markets where you can sample the fantastic Penangese cuisine, and a stunning old town, one of Malaysia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- Jungle trekking from Tanah Rata – Located around half-way between Kuala Lumpur and Geroge Town, this tiny settlement is an ideal place from which to take a tour of the surrounding lush jungles of the Cameron Highlands.
If you have two weeks in Malaysia, there are a heap of other amazing places to visit, some of which are less known. If you have the opportunity to include it in your itinerary, consider checking out the hot springs at Banjaran. However, if you’re looking for places to visit in Malaysia in 3 days or less then I suggest sticking to the list above.
Best beaches to visit in Malaysia
One of the best things to experience in Malaysia is its gorgeous beaches, many of which can be found in Penang and the northern island of Langkawi close to the border with Thailand.
Terengganu state in the northeast is also home to the lush Perhentian Islands and the longest, cleanest beach in Malaysia, and the sheer number of other great beaches along its coastline has resulted in it becoming an increasingly popular destination for those hitchhiking through Malaysia.
Additionally, while the area immediately surrounding Kuala Lumpur is not known for its beaches (as its coastline is largely taken up by the largest port in Malaysia, Port Kelang), some worthwhile beaches can be found further south in Malacca State.
Best places to visit in Malaysia for couples
With its vast range of dramatic jungle-filled mountainous regions, breath-taking waterfalls, and gorgeous beaches, Malaysia is an incredibly romantic country in general and probably one of the best holiday destinations for a honeymoon.
One of the best places for a romantic holiday in Malaysia has to be the Langkawi archipelago of islands off the west coast of the country. Although it’s made up of 99 little islands, a visit to the main landmass, Pulau Langkawi, is an incredibly charming experience by itself.
Although there are plenty of pristine beaches surrounded by crystal-clear waters on Palau Langkawi for couples to enjoy, the island also boasts a number of other fun attractions to full up a romantic getaway and ensure you’ll never get bored.
One of the best is Langawi’s Oriental village, a themed outdoor complex centered around a huge lake and nestled among the misty foothills of Mount Mat Chinchang. You can take jet ski rides on the central lake, and the surrounding village also offers a range of art galleries and stores offering traditional handcrafted goods.
The main attraction of the Oriental Village, however, is the Langkawi Cable Car that takes you on a ride to the sky bridge located on the peak of the mountain. Situated around 709 meters above sea level, the sky bridge offers incredible views over the entire island and is without a doubt a perfect place to watch the sun go down with the one you love.
Best places to visit in Malaysia for adventure
This is one of the things that I love the most about Malaysia – it’s the perfect destination whether you’re a backpacker, traveling with your family, or on a honeymoon, as well as whether you’re looking for a relaxing holiday or filled with adventures trip.
There are numerous adventurous activities that you can enjoy in Malaysia, from skydiving and paragliding to scuba diving and rafting. The country is a land of many incredible diving locations such as Sipadan Island, Kapalai Island, Tenggol Island, Tioman Island, and Tunku Abdul Rahman Marina Park just to name a few.
And of course, when talking about the best places to visit in Malaysia for adventure, I can not miss mentioning Taman Negara National Park. It is one of the world’s oldest deciduous rainforests, estimated to be over 130 million years old! The park is home to some rare mammals such as the Malayan tiger, Asian elephant, and the Malayan gaur.
In Taman Negara, you can enjoy activities like trekking, rock climbing, caving, observing wildlife, night safari, and many more.
And that’s only a shortlist of all the places to visit in wonderful Malaysia. I am sure that no matter which of those places you decide to include in your itinerary and no matter how long you’ll stay in the country, you’ll love your time in Malaysia!
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