The country which suffered under British colonial rule and the Second World War gained independence on 31st August 1957. Since then it has seen steady growth in GDP and is now ranked third-largest industrialized market economy in Southeast Asia. Malaysia has undergone unprecedented growth in the tourism sector also.
The two geographic regions, Peninsular (West) Malaysia and East Malaysia have their unique tourism opportunities. The highly populated West Malaysia comprises the cosmopolitan city of Kuala Lumpur which also is the capital of the country. East Malaysia is more endowed with natural beauty as it consists of dense jungles, coastal plains and mountains. Hence a tourist to the country can involve in both the busy life of the city and a peaceful retreat in the natural environment.
The places to visit and things to do in Malaysia are:
Top attractions in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of the country, maybe the first place that you may pay a visit while on the Malaysian tour. The ultra-modern city is the site of the iconic attraction of Malaysia: the Petronas Twin towers. Standing tall at a height of 452 meters, the 88-story structure retained the title of the tallest building in the world until 2004. Kuala Lumpur also has some other constructions like Sultan Abdul Samad building and Menara KL Tower that are worth a visit. The Perdana Botanical Garden with its orchid and hibiscus collection and a beautiful fountain will make you exuberant. The Batu caves, Aquaria KLCC and Central Market are other attractions in Kuala Lumpur.
Langkawi is an archipelago and a district that is nearly 30 kilometers off the main coast of northwestern Malaysia. The beautiful island was granted the World Geopark status by UNESCO. The three main conservation areas in the park are great tourist attractions in Malaysia. There are some exotic tourist beaches in the area with a long stretch of white sand. The clear water with a turquoise blue shade and shores lined with coconut trees is ideal for swimming and other water sports. There is a sky bridge on the peak of Gunung Mat Chinchang which provides you with a spectacular view of the valley. The cable car ride to the top of the mountain is also a thrilling experience.
George Town, the capital of the island state of Penang, is known for its British colonial buildings, Mosques and Chinese shophouses. The town was once an important hub of trading in the Straits of Malacca. You can find many Hindu temples and Buddhist shrines side by side here. The third longest Buddha statue in the world Wat Chayamangkalaram is located in George Town. The Mahamariayamman temple, built-in 1728, is a famous tourist attraction in Malaysia. The beautiful mosque of Masjid Kapitan Keling is close to the temple. Further, you can pay a visit to the historical Clan Jetty, enjoy the street food and attend the month-long George town festival during your Malaysia tour.
Malacca city is one of the oldest cities in the country. It was the most visited place in Malaysia before Kuala Lumpur began attracting tourists. Declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2008, there are many monuments in the Malacca city that alludes to the rich history of the land. The city which is a blend of Indian, Malay, Chinese and European cultures will attract anyone who is on a tour in Malaysia. Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum – set like a typical Baba-Nyonya residence in the 19th century – is furnished with Victorian and Dutch-style hardwood furniture and will excite the history enthusiast in you. A walk through the Jonker Walk night market on Friday and Saturday should not be missed.
Endowed with emerald green waters, white sandy beaches, and coral reefs, the two islands of Perhentian in Terengganu is a great honeymoon destination in Malaysia. The clear water gives a perfect view of the colorful fishes and other aquatic life swimming freely in their natural habitat. You can enjoy activities like swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving in the sea. You can also enjoy camping, fishing, canoeing and so on in the islands. The romantic getaway is also home to many varieties of spiders, monitor lizards, and geckos. Sea turtles, blue-spotted rays, cuttlefish and clownfish can also be found in its waters.
Kota Kinabalu, the state capital of Sabah, is a favorite destination for tourists. The tallest mountain in Southeast Asia, Kinabalu mountain, located here may be the best place in the world for hikers. It would typically take two or three days to hike the 13,435 feet high mountain. There are many leisure spots in this beautiful land like Anjung Samudra which is a prominent waterfront entertainment spot. It has cafes, pubs and night clubs which would make your tour to Malaysia memorable. The Tanjung Aru beach is another serene place that is lined by Casuarina trees on the shoreline. A bird sanctuary spanning 24 acres can be found in the city center which houses thick growth of mangroves.
Gunung Mulu National Park
Proclaimed as a World Heritage site in November 2000, the Mulu World Heritage area is a land of wonders. This tourist spot in Malaysia is located in the Miri Division, Sarawak. The land is filled with dense equatorial rain forests, lofty mountains, and huge caves. The steep limestone cliffs have a sinister shade and some of them seem like they are straight out of a Gothic horror novel. The huge underground chambers, massive subterranean rivers, and beautiful cave formations are awe-inspiring sights. The other landforms in this unique park are gorges, karst towers, hot springs, rugged summits and so on. There are refreshing small waterfalls that will make your trek through the forest enjoyable. Make sure to call on Danum valley on your Malasia tour.
Replete with rare tropical flora and fauna, Danum valley – a 438 square kilometer conservation area – is one of the topmost attractions in Malaysia. You can find many endangered species like clouded leopard, banteng, orangutan, proboscis monkey and so on in here. It is estimated that there are more than 270 bird species in the reserved forest. A nature enthusiast will be thrilled at the variety and rarity of the flora and fauna here. Another attraction is the three ancient Kadazandusun burial sites in the Danum valley. You can find belian coffins and ceramic spirit jars used by the ancients in this historic site. Moreover, the area is also one of the most important rainforest research establishments in South East Asia.
Cameron Highlands is a unique tourist attraction in Malaysia with a cozy cool climate and an array of hills blanketed in green tea plantations. You will enjoy the great scenery and activities at this tourist destination. The drive through the winding roads up to Mount Brinchang is exhilarating. You may also pay a visit to Sam Poh temple, a lone Chinese temple on the hillside, which portrays Chinese artwork and history. It also houses the fourth largest Buddha statue in Malaysia. A stroll through the strawberry farms and rose gardens in the region is rejuvenating. There is a morning market by the name Pasar Pagi in Cameron Highlands where you can do some shopping and enjoy a delicious indigenous breakfast.
Spreading over 4,300 square kilometers, Taman Negara is the oldest deciduous rain forest in the world. Estimated to be almost 130 million years old, the area was declared as a national park in 1938. The tourist destination is spread over three states namely: Pahang, Terengganu, and Kelantan. There are many unique tourist attractions in the park that will thrill you. One of them is Lata Berkoh; a series of beautiful cascades in the Tehang river. Gua Telinga, the underground cave formations found in the region is awe-inspiring. The canopy walkway is also a beautiful attraction in Taman Negara. You can have a great time in the place enjoying activities like bird watching, trekking and so on.
Best Time To Visit Malaysia
Malaysia has a tropical monsoon climate. So it is best to visit the country between December and April. Though there is a subtle variation in weather from one side of the peninsula to the other, it is generally hot and humid throughout the year. Short spells of rain are available in all seasons. Many colorful festivals like Chinese New year and Thaipusam fall between January and February. Hence it is ideal to visit the country during this time.