Malaysia is fast becoming one of the most popular South East Asian destinations. With its warm weather, affordable prices and huge range of attractions, the country has a lot to offer tourists. Here are just several activities worth visiting this country for.
Kuala Lumpur is the country’s capital and is perfect for those seeking a wild city break. Kuala Lumpur has plenty of sights including the 1,438ft Petronas Towers (once the tallest building in the world) and the historical Batu Caves (a series of caves containing ancient temples within). With a range of malls and traditional markets, it’s also a shopper’s paradise. It’s also one of the best places to try the country’s food, with plenty of restaurants to choose from. On top of this there are family-friendly attractions such as interactive museums and an impressive aquarium.
Being a city, accommodation can be a little more expensive here than the rest of the country, but you can still find cheap good quality hotels on the outskirts. Some people choose to rent out a condominium in Malaysia, of which you’ll find many in the city, giving you your own space. There are also hostels for those backpacking on a budget.
Journey a few hours south of Kuala Lumpur and you’ll find the historical town of Melaka. Here you’ll find well-preserved colonial structures and charming traditional markets. Those that are daring can try the notorious durian fruit at Melaka Tropical Fruit Farm. It’s worth also taking a romantic boat ride down the Malacca river at night (Melaka is sometimes referred to as the Paris of the East due to it’s romantic feel).
You’ll find plenty of boutique hotels in Melaka based in historic colonial buildings, helping to add to the experience. There are also plenty of hostels for those wanting to save money. Melaka has recently boomed in popularity as a tourist destination and the prices have been going up (in other words, visit now whilst you can still get some cheap deals!).
Sabah’s coasts are a popular spot for divers. The coral reefs here are home to various marine wildlife including parrotfish, turtles, rays and sharks. There are plenty of guided tours that take you to the best spots for seeing these aquatic creatures. If you head to Labuan Island meanwhile you can explore the numerous shipwrecks hidden beneath the depths – the most explored being the USS Salute, which sunk in World War 2.
You’ll find many diving schools within the Sabah region where you can obtain your PADI license. Most schools will require you to be a minimum of 15 years old to scuba dive, so bear this in mind if you’re travelling with children. Of course, there’s still the option of snorkelling for younger kids and those that don’t want to dive. There are also submarine tours and glass bottomed boats.
Taman Negara National Park is made up largely of rainforest. There are marked trails and boardwalks leading through this national park that can allow you to explore the depths of the rainforest (the canopy walkway is great challenge for those with a head for heights). Wildlife within this national park include tapirs, monkeys, snakes and deer. Even if you don’t see any of this wildlife, the dramatic landscape itself is worth visiting for.
You can find guest houses in Taman Negara to stay at that offers pools and on-site restaurants. There’s also the option of camping for those wanting a wilder experience. It’s possible to take guided tours of the rainforest, allowing you to learn about the ecosystem and increase your chances of spotting various rare wildlife. Night tours are particularly popular.
Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in Malaysia. This mountain is located in Kinabalu National Park and has a peak reaching 4,094m, offering epic views of Malaysia. The climb can be challenging and isn’t for the faint hearted.
It’s best to take a guided tour up Mount Kinabalu. Most of these tours are overnight, allowing you to experience sunrise from the top. There are a few hotels near the base of the mountain for those wanting accommodation.
Malaysia is one of the few countries where you can see Orangutans in the wild. These endangered apes inhabit the rainforests of Borneo. The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is popular tourist attraction, offering 43km of protected land for the rehabilitation of orphaned orangutans.
There are hotels and lodges in the vicinity where you can stay. There are also organised Orangutan tours that can help improve your chances of spotting one of these apes in the wild.
The Cameron Highlands is the largest tea growing region in Malaysia. It was chosen by European colonists for its sloping valleys and cooler climate (those wanting a break from the tropical heat can find it here). In the region there are plenty of tea plantations where you can taste the local tea at its freshest.
It’s possible to take a three day tea plantation tour allowing you to see the best plantations in the area. There are many cheap hotels and guesthouses in the region with great views of the rolling tea farms.
Sunway Lagoon Theme Park is somewhere you must visit if you’re travelling with kids. It contains 80 attractions spread out over 88 acres. These attractions include a vast water park, a Wild West themed adventure zone, a scream park full of scary rides, a wildlife park and Asia’s highest slingshot.
There’s so much to do here that it’s best spreading your visit out over several days. You’ll find hotels in the resort, but these can be more expensive – for the cheapest prices you’re better off looking at the area around the park. There are shuttle buses that you can catch to the amusement park.
Malaysia is also a great country for a beach holiday. It’s year round warm temperatures make it great for catching some winter sun. Langkawi is the most popular beach resort region, carrying a similar vibe to Indonesia’s Bali and Thailand’s Phuket – if not a little more chilled out and family-friendly. There’s no shortage of bars in Langkawi (it’s tax-free making it cheaper than anywhere else in Malaysia for alcohol) and there are some incredible restaurants here too. On top of the golden beaches, Langkawi also offers a backdrop of rainforests to explore.
Langkawi has accommodation to fit everyone’s budget. There are hostels here that are popular for backpackers and there are luxury villas for those that want a taste of the high life. People a popular tourist resort, you’ll often find package deals here, which could help you to save money.
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