Malaysia is one of the most beautiful, enchanting countries in Southeast Asia. With chaotic cities, incredible highlands, and paradise beaches, this accessible country is diverse with wonders. This things to do in Malaysia guide shows you the highlights.
1. Kuala Lumpur
The Malaysian capital is a heady mix of old meets new. The skyline says modern, but the streets below evoke tradition and age-old Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is a must-visit for anyone heading to this beautiful southeast Asian country, and the best place to get yourself initially acquainted with its way of life. Plus, flights to Kuala Lumpur and cheap and easy to come by.
Don’t miss highlights such as staring up at the magnificent Petronas Tower – the city’s iconic skyscrapers – get your best haggling skills on at Petaling Street, the city’s bustling Chinatown, and take a day trip to the Batu Caves, one of the most beautiful underground cave systems in the world.
2. Cameron Highlands
The next stop of most people’s Malaysia itinerary is the Cameron Highlands – and for good reason. This lush paradise in central Malaysia, north of Kuala Lumpur, is a nature lovers’ paradise, where green sprawls across rolling hills for miles and miles and miles.
There are tea plantations aplenty here, making tea drinking in the fresh, clean air one of the most favoured activities in the Cameron Highlands. Hiking opportunities are also abound, with lots of jungle trails that take you through the heart of this wilderness and in touch with dozens of birds and animal species.
3. East coast islands
In Malaysia’s northeast a collection of islands lie off the coast. Here, the typical picture of beach bum Southeast Asia life rules, with crystal clear waters and white sands to complete the picture. Although littered with resorts, this part of Malaysia is worth travelling to for the relaxed way of life and paradise feel, where you can sit back with a cocktail and soak up the sun.
If you’re into diving, this is a great place for it in Malaysia. Head to Redang Island for over 30 dives sites abundant with marine life to see. You can also go wreck diving here to spot the two World War II ships that lies in pieces at the bottom of the sea.
Penang is often listed on lists of the top things to do in Malaysia because its a fine example of the historical side to this country. It’s also extremely easy on the eyes – beautiful architecture is strewn across this region and there’s something of interest around almost every corner.
George Town is this area’s main city, located on the little island just off the shore that makes up some of the most interesting parts of Penang. Stop by here to watch life go by then head onto the beautiful beaches on the island’s west side.
5. Kinabalu National Park
Over on the island of Borneo is Kinabalu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the tallest peak in Malaysia, Mount Kinabalu. Trekking this mountain, which is 4,095m in height, is relatively accessible and the summit can be achieved if you’re in reasonably good health.
However, there are other things to do here if you don’t want to scale a mountain. UNESCO deemed it a special place because of its rich diversity of flora and fauna. Hop on a wildlife tour to spot some of it with an experienced guide, and take a stroll through the canopy on the many walkways that snake through the park.
What would you add to this list of things to do in Malaysia?