The most popular places to visit in Malaysia are impressive – and the country’s excellent infrastructure makes it relatively easy to access.
Although Malaysia is always well placed among the most visited countries in Asia, China generally steals the limelight and first place. Long-distance travelers generally avoid Malaysia because it is “too expensive” (mainly because alcohol costs more than in Thailand). Meanwhile, short-term tourists in Southeast Asia seem to be skipping Malaysia for lack of time.
But Malaysia offers a lot of beauty, diversity and adventure, demonstrated by these tempting destinations.
Malaysia Places To Visit For Couples: Top Places To Visit in Malaysia With Family
Malaysia is an incredible country, known for reflecting an eclectic mix of ancient customs, traditions and culture with a touch of modernity. The country has a lot to offer its discerning tourists in terms of all of Malaysia’s tourist attractions, such as beautiful islands, beaches, picturesque towns, historical sites and places of experience.
If a tour of Malaysia is planned, here is a quick list of the best places to visit in Malaysia and remember, it comes with a mandatory warning Whether you are looking for nature, architecture, relaxation or adventure, these places will ensure that you have a wonderful holiday in Malaysia. So be sure to visit all these Malaysian tourist destinations on your next trip to the country if you want to experience the best that this nation has to offer.
Malaysia Tourist Attractions For Couples: Best Islands And Mountains in Malaysia
We have selected some of the best islands to visit in Malaysia with your family and friends for an incredible getaway. Get ready to get excited and have the best tourist experience in Malaysia.
Let’s explore the best places to visit in Malaysia:
Kuala Lumpur is nestled in the center of the two large towers of Petronas Towers, filled with markets and bazaars of intoxicating street vendors on Petaling Street, pulsating with the energy of Bukit Bintang – the entertainment city – and flooded with the scents of everything from food Chinese fried chow mien for sizzling Portuguese fish grill.
It is one of the great multicultural metropolises in the world, with Chinatown lit by lanterns penetrating districts of Nepalese curry houses and Indian thali kitchens.
In addition to the breathtaking views of the city from the many Sky Bar, you can visit the mysterious Batu Caves and some renowned Islamic art institutions.
The red-colored churches and colonial fronts located along the narrow streets of charming Malacca are without a doubt one of the major attractions in Malaysia.
The city seen today was created over decades of colonial rule by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, and was once a strong commercial power on the outskirts of the Malaysian peninsula.
With control of the Straits of Malacca, he saw everything from silk transport to spice trains and military contingents passing through their ports.
Today, there are immersive maritime museums that help clear up the past along with a pandemonium night market on the Jonker Walk – one of the best in the country!
Penang is often hailed as Southeast Asia on a small scale.
It’s easy to see why.
In the town of GeorgeTown, leaping rickshaws pass through smoky Cantonese kitchens, 19th-century blue mansions and ancient remains of a boastful British past – no wonder the whole place has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You can also expect an incredible mix of food, including Indian curry and Chinese pancakes.
And then there are beaches that shine in shades of deep blue and golden yellow on Batu Feringghi and are lined with thin coconut trees on the outskirts of Jerejak Island.
The Perhentian Islands
Backpackers and budget travelers love the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia, especially Perhentian Kecil – the smaller of the two islands – where fine sand and excellent snorkeling/diving fill the day before parties start in the evening.
The nearby Perhentian Besar – the big island – caters more to families, couples and travelers who are willing to spend more on enjoying the blue water and avoiding some of the parties. Whichever island you choose, take a speedboat to reach the Perhentians. There are some challenges in opening a store on the islands.
The Perhentian Islands are very seasonal. It can be difficult to find accommodation in Perhentian Kecil in July, the highest month, but the islands are mostly empty during the winter months due to rain and stormy seas.
Gunung Mulu National Park
The worn hoodoos and old combs of Gunung Mulu National Park rarely fail to capture the imagination.
The park itself (another UNESCO site) represents one of the last pristine land enclaves and is one of the most difficult reserves to reach in Borneo – you must take a breathtaking flight to the asphalt of the small Mulu airport, or a 12 – hour river boat between snake-infected jungles.
The prize? Damp forests covered with moss, where helmeted rhinoceros birds shout; deep, moist cave systems filled with rare bats; pulling on swinging canopy bridges; the powerful potholes and caves on Mount Api – the list goes on.
The opportunity to exchange dirty concrete for green forests and rich wildlife is just a quick, inexpensive flight away! Malaysian visitors often stick to the mainland and forget the natural wonders of the third largest island on earth, just steps away.
The Malaysian part of Borneo is divided into two states: Sarawak in the south and Sabah in the north. Both have different vibrations and charms. The Rainforest World Music Festival, held outside Kuching every summer, is one of the most exciting musical and cultural events in Southeast Asia.
From endangered orangutans to rainforest canopy tours and some of the best diving in the world, Malaysian Borneo should definitely be a part of any trip to Malaysia.
Langkawi, which stretches across the border into Thailand, where the Andaman Sea turns into the Strait of Malacca, far north of the country, is a relaxed and lazy place that offers a real dose of the tropics.
Riddled with iconic beaches, such as the water sports paradise Pantai Cenang or the isolated and rocky sand of Pantai Kok, it has established itself as the right place to seek sun, sea, sand, diving and some pampering.
Finally, head to the all-inclusive 5-star resorts lurking in the coconut palms of Datai Bay.
And for adventure, you can put on your boots and go to the Seven Wells Stream or go to the scenic SkyBridge at the top of the jungle.
Taman Negara National Park
Taman Negara is the great green gem located in the heart of the Malaysian Peninsula.
It covers a full 4,300 square kilometers and stretches through pristine rainforest (some of the oldest established forests in the world, some say) and winding rivers where elephants can be seen basking on the muddy shores.
Today, Taman Negara is elevated to Malaysia’s ecotourism mecca, and travelers come from far and wide to walk on swinging rope bridges, walk the wooded paths and look for people like the elusive Malaysian tiger, naughty wild monkeys, Indian elephants, fierce guarantors – the list goes on!
The mountain station known as the Cameron Highlands, which rises more than 1,000 meters above the lower part of the Malaysian peninsula, rarely fails to breathe.
It crosses the high plateaus of the powerful Cordillera Principal, halfway between Penang and KL and stretches out into lush pockets of rainforest and fields of emerald green tea.
The unique microclimate and low temperatures that dominate the highlands make the region the perfect incubator for interesting plants and animals, while countless hiking trails promise incredible views of Batu Brinchang and its ruined tea towns and even cultural gatherings with Orange’s local Aboriginal Asli.
Located on the east coast of Malaysia, not far from Singapore, Tioman Island is another type of island destination. Excellent accommodation and diving are surprisingly cheap; development is relatively minimal for such a beautiful island. The abundant nature and landscape make up the island’s serious shortcomings in the culinary department.
Tioman is located on many different beaches; you will have to choose when you arrive by boat. Some beaches are isolated and surrounded by jungle. ABC Beach is without a doubt the most popular beach, especially for budget travelers. Moving between beaches by boat is the normal option unless you want to take a hike in the jungle inland.
Tioman Island has tax-free status, just like Langkawi, but don’t even think about taking your tax-free drink across the border to Singapore!
Semenggoh Nature Reserve
Semenggoh continues to reign as one of Borneo’s legendary natural gems.
Located on the outskirts of the city of Kuching, it spreads through the virgin forests that rise with the great inner peaks of Sarawak.
Between its borders are tall teak trees and swinging jungle vines, all spotted with papaya and banana trees in bloom.
These are chewed by the herd of 25 orangutans, which is the main reason why so many thousands of people flock here every year! (There is a famous reserve in the Semenggoh area that allows for some of the closest and most personal encounters with these fascinating monkeys).
Selangor actually describes the most developed and populous state in Malaysia leading to the urban sprawl in Kuala Lumpur. Here you will find a Formula 1 racetrack, the Malaysian National Zoo and large theme parks, including a snow-covered park.
Selangor is busy and growing; shopping malls scattered in several directions. When you can no longer shop, go to Genting Highlands – Malaysia’s version of Las Vegas on top of a mountain. First World Hotel and Plaza is the largest hotel in the world with 10,500 rooms and an amusement park.
But Selangor is not just about concrete and shiny slabs: the famous Batu Caves are a Hindu sanctuary with the largest statue of Lord Murugan (the god of war) in the world. The Batu caves attract large crowds, especially during the Thaipusam holiday.
When you are ready to be planned by nature, the abundance of fireflies along the river in Kuala Selangor is an amazing sight worth seeing!
Bako National Park
Bako National Park, which stands out in the South China Sea, above Kuching from Semenggoh, is also worth a visit – especially if you came to Malaysia for the wild jungles and beautiful hinterland.
The landscape here can change dramatically from the coast to the interior, with piles of sculptural cliffs and steep cliffs by the sea and dense forests with mossy undergrowth dominate the hinterland.
This creates an incredible variety of fauna, including formidable monitor keys and elusive proboscis monkeys.
Hiking trails cover the entire park through forests, mangroves and coastal bays.
For many travelers, Kuching will be the first taste of eastern Malaysia and Borneo.
And where to start better? This 200-year-old city is the capital of the state of Sarawak and comes with a background of British colonialism and the rule of the sultanate.
You can see this in buildings like the whitewashed Astana and in the busy worship halls of the Jamek Mosque.
Kuching is also known for its diversity – Chinese markets vibrate with five spices here; Indian dishes produce chips and bhajis there.
Oh, and not to mention the attractive proximity to the city for wonders like Bako National Park and the reserve of Semenggoh orangutans!
You will have to venture further east to discover Sipadan’s legendary tropical treasures: Malaysia’s only oceanic island and a truly perfect diving destination just waiting for photographers to travel through.
The white cotton sand greets the few sailors who travel from the continent of Borneo, while rugged, rock-filled hills covered by the jungle cover the island itself.
However, the real treat here is under water.
There, with bound oxygen tanks, you can find hammerhead sharks and endangered sea turtles, sparkling coral gardens and kaleidoscopic parrotfish!
Super wet Taiping is shaded by the rain from the mountains of Perak, not far from the sunny beaches and multicultural streets of George Town and Penang.
Like Penang, this city has been heavily influenced by settlers from China over the centuries, and the place was once at the center of a mass exodus of Cantonese and San people who came regularly to extract the nearby mountain ranges.
Today it has some beautiful city gardens and parks to explore – be sure to relax in Maxwell Hill, the mirrored waters of Lake Taiping’s gardens or Taiping’s War Cemetery.
Meanwhile, the city center displays a mix of colonial-era facades and Asian wooden buildings, all of which hide local cuisines and emporias.
Lambir Hills National Park
Lambir Hills National Park is just steps from the border with Brunei and is one of the smallest in Malaysia.
However, size does not seem to be important here, as visitors still flock to marvel at the sparkling waterfalls and the ancient rainforest that accumulates in the corners and crevices of the valleys.
Wooden bridges, winding stairs carved into the rock and maintained beach promenades make it a great place to put hiking boots on.
Malaysia Tourist Guide: FAQ
Where should I travel in Malaysia?
Possibly Malaysia’s most popular tourist destination, George Town, is the largest city and capital on the island of Penang. George Town is best known for three things: street food, street art and lively alleys with historic architecture.
What is Malaysia famous for?
If you are interested in traveling to one or more of these places and need a useful reference to organize your itinerary, check out this review of 35 tourist destinations in Malaysia that you should visit.
35 Most Popular Things to Do in Malaysia
- Petronas Twin Tower
- Kuala Lumpur City Center Park
- Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
- Bukit Bintang (Bintang Walk)
- Kek Lok Si Temple
- Langkawi Cable Car
- Batu Caves
- Redang Island
- The Habitat Penang Hill
- Kuala Gandah Elephant Orphanage Sanctuary
- Sunway Lagoon Theme Park
- National Zoo (Zoo Negara)
- Genting Highland
- Garama Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
- Malaka River Cruise
- Dayang Bunting Island
- Langkawi Crocodile Farm
- Malaysia Textile Museum
- Malaysia National Museum
- Penang National Park
- Penang War Museum
- Fort Cornwallis
- Gunung Mulu National Park
- Putra Mosque in Putrajaya
- Legoland Malaysia
- Kuala Lumpur Tower
- Lake Gardens
- Sri Mahariamman
- Desaru Fruit Farm
- Gurney Drive
- Manukan Island
- Taiping Zoo
- Bukit Bendera (Flag Hill)
- Sam Poh Tong
Is it expensive to visit Malaysia?
Travel expenses to Malaysia. A vacation to Malaysia is generally not expensive; most costs come from the return flight plus accommodation. The hotels are relatively cheap, but considering that most tourists stay in Malaysia for 2-3 weeks, the possible costs can be quite high.
How many days in Malaysia is enough?
Most international flights land in Kuala Lumpur and this is usually the first stop for travelers. The Malaysian capital is a thriving center for bars, restaurants and street food stalls. There is plenty to do in Kuala Lumpur to keep you busy all week, but you can cover the sights you need to visit in two days.
What is the main food in Malaysia?
Malaysia travel guide for food lovers! If you are going to Malaysia, you get a real treat when it comes to food. I can honestly say that Malaysia occupies a very high position in all the places I have traveled in the world …
Malaysian food: 10 amazing dishes
There are many other delicious Malaysian dishes to try, but here are 10 that I personally chose for this Malaysian travel guide that I all think you should not stop eating when you are there!
- Nasi lemak
- Ikan bakar
- Banana leaf
- Nasi kandar
- Roti canai
- Curry laksa and Assam laksa
- Char kuay teow
- Hokkien mee
- Nasi campur
- Bak kut teh
Why is Malaysia so special?
There are a large number of unique countries in the world. … It’s because Malaysia is very special among the unique countries of the world. Malaysia is special because of the diversity of races, religions and cultures. As a result of diversity, Malaysia produces a unique element that other countries lack.
What is the best time to visit Malaysia?
The best time to visit Malaysia is usually between December and April. With gusts here and there, the climate is hot and humid most of the year. Malaysia’s tropical monsoon climate guarantees short periods of rain, even in the driest season, so be sure to bring an umbrella.