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Best Places to Visit in Malaysia: A Melting Pot of Culture, Nature and Modernity

TeamAckoJan 18, 2024

Did you love Crazy Rich Asians? Do you want to experience a similar luxurious vibe and cultural richness? Do you want to try the rich culinary heritage and street food culture featured in MasterChef? Do you have a travel bucket list with a mix of urban sophistication and natural wonders? Look no further, guys - Malaysia is your destination! Here are the best places to visit in Malaysia you cannot miss on your holiday.




Must Visit Places In Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's bustling capital, has a lot to offer travellers. It's famous for the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, the world's tallest twin towers. This vibrant city consistently ranks among the top 10 most visited cities in the world. Kuala Lumpur is unique because it blends colonial, modern, Asian, and Malay architecture, creating a unique urban landscape. Don't miss the stunning structures like the National Palace and the House of Parliament, even if you only admire their exteriors. Explore Merdeka Square, shop for bargains at Chinatown's Petaling Street, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of KL Bird Park. 

Shopping enthusiasts will find paradise here, with nearly 70 shopping centres, bustling markets (like the huge Central Market with over 800 shops), and opportunities to purchase hand-carved wood and pewter. 

Visit these best places in Kuala Lumpur:

  • Petronas Twin Towers: Iconic twin skyscrapers with an observation deck offering panoramic views.

  • Batu Caves: Experience a series of caves and temples inside caves set in limestone hills.

  • Merdeka Square: Historic square featuring colonial-era architecture and the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

  • KL Tower (Menara KL): Observation tower with a revolving restaurant and observation deck.

  • Chinatown (Petaling Street): The bustling area is known for its street food and shopping.

  • Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia: Houses a vast collection of Islamic art and artifacts.

  • KL Bird Park: One of the world's largest covered bird parks with diverse bird species.

  • Sultan Abdul Samad Mosque: Stunning mosque with Moorish and Mughal architectural influences.

Penang (George Town)

George Town is like an outdoor museum, where every corner tells a story. In this charming colonial district, you'll find an array of British-era buildings and churches, with the imposing Fort Cornwallis standing proudly. Take a leisurely walk along its streets, where traditional shophouses flaunt their unique styles and designs. But that's not all—the walls come alive with street art and murals that add a touch of whimsy to your stroll.

Dive into bustling food courts, shop to your heart's content, and don't forget to visit the country's longest coffee shop. George Town in Malaysia is the perfect blend of history, culture, and excitement waiting to be explored.

  • George Town Heritage Area: UNESCO-listed historic area with colourful colonial architecture.

  • Penang Street Art: Explore the famous street art and murals throughout the city.

  • Penang Hill: Offers panoramic views of the island and a cool climate.

  • Kek Lok Si Temple: A chance to explore one of Southeast Asia's largest and most beautiful Buddhist temples.

  • Penang Botanic Gardens: Lush gardens with a variety of flora and fauna.

  • Penang National Park: Offers hiking trails, beautiful beaches, and a canopy walk.

  • Penang Butterfly Farm: Home to a diverse collection of butterflies and insects.


A group of 99 islands off Malaysia's northwestern coast, Langkawi is a place of natural beauty. It is home to three unique Geoforest parks and stunning coconut tree-lined beaches, some of the best areas to explore in Malaysia. For the most amazing views of the islands and sea, take a cable car to one of the tallest mountains on the island. At the top, you can walk on the 125-meter-long Langkawi Sky Bridge 660 metres above sea level. Not far from the cable car, you'll find the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls, where you can swim in crystal-clear pools and explore jungle trails. 

For a deeper dive into Langkawi's history, Legenda Langkawi Park, spread across 50 acres, is filled with well-maintained gardens, traditional buildings, and sculptures depicting ogres, mythical creatures, and other figures from Langkawi folklore.

  • Langkawi Sky Bridge: A suspended bridge offering stunning views of the rainforest and islands.

  • Pantai Cenang: Beautiful beach with water sports and vibrant nightlife.

  • Langkawi Wildlife Park: Encounter a variety of animals and birds.

  • Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls: Check out the series of 7 natural pools and waterfalls.

  • Eagle Square: Iconic eagle statue at Kuah Jetty.

  • Island Hopping: Explore nearby islands and enjoy snorkelling and swimming.

  • Langkawi Cable Car and Oriental Village: Ride the cable car for breathtaking views and visit the village for shopping and dining.

Malacca (Melaka)

Malacca City, the vibrant capital of Malacca State, is like a treasure chest brimming with history and culture. This charming colonial city, proudly designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, beckons travellers with its local architecture, mouthwatering cuisine, and the famous Jonker Street Night Market. It's not just a place where time stood still but had high Portuguese and Dutch influence. Let's not forget the 15th-century Malacca Sultanate, often seen as the golden age of Malay culture. Must-visit attractions here include St. Paul's Church, the iconic A Famosa Fort, and the historic Stadthuys, the official residence of the Dutch governor.

  • Historic District: Explore the well-preserved Dutch and Portuguese colonial buildings.

  • Jonker Street: A vibrant street known for its night markets and street food.

  • St. Paul's Hill: Climb the hill for panoramic views and visit St. Paul's Hill Church.

  • A Famosa: A fortress gate and a historical site.

  • Malacca River Cruise: Take a boat ride to see the city from a different perspective.

  • Cheng Hoon Teng Temple: Oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia.

  • Malacca Sultanate Palace Museum: Learn about the history of the Malacca Sultanate.

Malaysian Borneo

Borneo is the Earth's third-largest island and is only a flight away from the mainland of Malaysia. Malaysian Borneo comprises Sarawak and Sabah states. Both have different vibes and charms. The Rainforest World Music Festival, an exciting music and cultural event, happens every summer near Kuching. Malaysian Borneo adds more to your trip with endangered orangutans, rainforest canopy walks, and world-class diving. It is a must-visit place in Malaysia!

  • Pulau Tiga:

  • Sipadan Island: A small oceanic island known for its fantastic diving and colourful marine life. (Note: Only 120 diving permits are available each day.)

  • Bohey Dulang Island: A mountainous island formed from a volcanic eruption and is part of Tun Sakaran Marine Park. Trek for breathtaking views of the sapphire-blue lagoon below and explore waterfalls, streams, and rock pools.

  • Lankayan Island: A luxurious retreat in the Sulu Sea. It hosts the exclusive Lankayan Island Dive Resort, perfect for a lavish island getaway with turtle nesting from June to September.

  • Tusan Cliff Beach: Found in Sarawak, it offers stunning coastline views and a rare natural event called the 'Blue Tears', where dinoflagellates (a single-cell marine organism) create a mesmerising neon-blue glow in the sea.

  • Bako National Park: Located an hour north of Kuching, Sarawak's capital, this small but beautiful national park combines jungle exploration, deserted beaches, cliffs, mangroves, and wildlife spotting, including proboscis monkeys.

More Interesting Tourist Attractions In Malaysia

Cameron Highlands

The Cameron Highlands, a hilly region with a rich tea-growing tradition on its sloping mountainsides, has much to offer. You can explore lavender and strawberry farms, orchards, herbal gardens, and the mysterious Mossy Forest boardwalk, where foggy evergreen landscapes reveal local flora and fauna up close. Visit the BOH Tea Plantation, Malaysia's largest tea producer. Head to Mardi's Agro Technology Park, tour fruit orchards, a dedicated jackfruit area, and camp overnight for added adventure. Or step back in time at The Time Tunnel, Malaysia's only memorabilia museum with recreated rooms and shops from the early 20th century, and glimpse life through photographs from the pre-war days.

Timing: NA

Entry Fee: NA

How to Reach: 4 hours away from KL airport via bus

Things to Do:

  • Explore the waterfalls.

  • Visit the orchards and strawberry farms.

  • Visit heritage centres & galleries to learn about Malay culture.

Aquaria KLCC

Aquaria KLCC, nestled at the heart of Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle under the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, is a cutting-edge oceanarium spanning 60,000 square feet. It is home to over 5,000 aquatic and land creatures, offering a unique glimpse into their natural habitats. One of its highlights is the 90-meter transparent tunnel walkway, where you can come face-to-face with seven different shark species, giant stingrays, marine turtles, and a variety of fish. This journey of discovery takes you through Malaysia's diverse biosphere, from jungle streams and mangroves to coastal shores and the deep oceans. It's a captivating underwater adventure in the heart of the city.

Timing: 10 am to 8 pm

Entry Fee: INR 823

How to Reach: 1 hour away from the Kuala Lumpur airport

Things to Do

  • Walk through the tunnels

  • check out the fish hovering above

  • take selfies with the marine life

  • watch some of the most unusual and colourful varieties of fishes.

Taman Negara

Taman Negara is a protected area with a 130-million-year-old rainforest and is a treasure trove of adventure. Trek through the jungle, watch colourful birds and take on the challenge of climbing Mount Tahan, known as one of Malaysia's most challenging hikes. Experience the thrill of the canopy walkway and ride the exciting Lata Berkoh river rapids. Delve into the Gua Telinga limestone cave system with guided tours to witness its main caves. Prepare to crawl, squeeze through tight tunnels, and get wet to reach the chambers. Keep an eye out for endangered species like the Malayan tiger and the Malayan peacock-pheasant - spotting one is a rare and unforgettable experience in this remarkable park.

Timing: 9 am to 5:30 pm

Entry Fee: FREE

How to Reach: 5 hours road journey from KL airport

Things to Do:

  • Try the canopy walkway.

  • Go for a trek.

  • Try the local cuisine and go on a boat cruise.

Perhentian Island

Backpackers and budget travellers love Malaysia's Perhentian Islands, especially Perhentian Kecil - where fine sand and excellent snorkelling/diving fill the day before parties start at night. The nearby Perhentian Besar, the bigger island, caters more to families, couples, and travellers who wish to spend more time enjoying the blue water rather than partying. Getting to either island requires taking a speedboat. The Perhentian Islands are very seasonal. Finding a place to stay on Perhentian Kecil in July, the busiest month, can be challenging. However, the islands are often less crowded during the winter as they experience rain and rough seas.

Timing: NA

Entry Fee: INR 80-100 per person at Marine Park

How to Reach: By flight or by road (8 Hours) from Kuala Lumpur

Things to Do

  • Snorkelling

  • Turtle Observation

  • Beach Hopping

  • Jungle Trekking 

  • Sea kayaking, and so on.

Interesting Malaysian Phrases You Can Learn

  • Yum Cha: Drink tea, but it also means hanging out over drinks or food.

  • Mamak: Originally referred to as Tamil-Muslim Malaysians, it is now used for Indian restaurants with a fusion of Malaysian food.

  • Bo Jio: Hokkien for never inviting, used humorously when not invited to an outing.

  • Belanja: Means I got you covered, especially when someone pays for your meal.

  • Potong Stim: Malay slang for killjoy, used when someone ruins a good moment.

  • Boss: Used by both waiters and customers at restaurants.

  • Tapau/Bungkus: Means takeaway when ordering food to-go.

  • Auntie/Uncle: Respectful way to address elders or older individuals.

  • Ang Moh/Mat Salleh: Terms for Western foreigners.

  • Kantoi: Malay slang for being caught red-handed, often in embarrassing situations.

  • Paiseh: Hokkien for shy or embarrassed.

  • Walao Eh!: Exclamation expressing shock, awe, or frustration.

  • Macha: Slang for brother or good friend.

  • Alamak!: Expression of shock, surprise, or frustration.

  • Lah: A versatile slang word used for emphasis and flavour in sentences.

Protect Your Trips With Travel Insurance 

Travel insurance is vital for providing financial protection and peace of mind during trips. It covers medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost baggage, and flight delays and offers 24/7 travel assistance. Additionally, it can safeguard against personal liability, cover adventure activities, and even accommodate pre-existing medical conditions. Ultimately, travel insurance ensures that travellers can confidently enjoy their journeys, knowing they are financially protected in the face of unforeseen events.


In this era of exploration and adventure, Malaysia emerges as a vibrant mishmash of culture, nature, and innovation. From the dazzling heights of the Petronas Twin Towers to the hidden gems of its rainforests and the tantalising flavours of its street food, Malaysia invites you to step beyond the ordinary. It's a destination where history meets contemporary cool, where Instagram-worthy moments blend seamlessly with authentic experiences. So pack your bags, charge your devices, and get ready to embark on a journey where the past and the future converge, and every moment is a story waiting to be shared.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions about best places to visit in Malaysia


How many days are recommended for a trip to Malaysia?

To fully appreciate Malaysia's beauty and explore famous destinations like Kuala Lumpur and Penang, it's advisable to plan a trip of a minimum of 6-7 days, allowing time for various activities and experiences.

Where should I go for a 2-day trip to Malaysia?

For a short trip to Malaysia, include visits to popular tourist attractions such as the Petronas Twin Towers, Putrajaya, Bukit Bintang, KL City Gallery, and Mitsui Outlet Park.

Is Malaysia a safe destination for tourists?

Malaysia is quite a safe destination for tourists.

What is Malaysia known for?

When vacationing in Malaysia, don't miss its coastal regions like Langkawi, the delectable local cuisine, and the striking Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

What is Malaysia's signature cuisine?

The most renowned dish in Malaysian cuisine is nasi lemak, made with steamed rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves, typically served with various meats.

Is it worthwhile to visit Malaysia?

Malaysia is consistently ranked among the top destinations in Southeast Asia, making it a must-visit for travellers at least once in their lifetime.

Do Malaysian tourist spots have a particular dress code?

No dress code is followed in Malaysia. Generally, people prefer to dress modestly. So although there is no ban on any type of dressing, avoiding very skimpy or revealing clothes is preferable.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to change. Please consult an expert before making any related decisions.


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