Malaysia is a stunning country that is steeped in rich culture and breathtaking views of natural and concrete jungles. World-renowned for its wondrous attractions and a harmonious mix of Malay, Indian, Chinese, Arabic, European and Peranakan influences, a trip to Malaysia is definitely worth every Ringgit. Keep on reading to find out the must-visit places in Malaysia, as well as the best restaurants and handy traveling tips.
Batu Caves is a spectacular sight to behold. Believed to be 400 million years old, this majestic limestone hill comprises of three major caves and a few other smaller ones. There is an amazing 100-year-old temple incorporated within the interior of the limestone formations that feature magnificent idols, statues and shrines erected inside, beneath its 100-meter arched ceiling. The colorful celebration of Thaipusam is the main event every year at Batu Caves and it attracts thousands of devotees and visitors, making it one of the largest gatherings in the world. The procession begins at the Sri Mariamman temple in heart of the city in the evening and goes up 272 steps to the top of the caves. This truly miraculous and arduous feat ends in the wee hours of the morning. It requires an immense amount of endurance to work against the bustling masses to reach the top where priests wait to sprinkle consecrated ash over the devotees carrying Kavadis. It is quite a spectacle to witness disciples carrying offerings of milk to Lord Muruga on huge, vibrantly decorated semicircular ornate pieces of wood or steel bent and attached to a cross structure that is balanced on the shoulders. Kavadis can weigh up to 200 pounds and some disciples fulfill their vows that they have made by piercing their bodies with hooks, needles and skewers to further demonstrate their dedication and devotion.
80 acres of absolute fun and adventure, Sunway Lagoon is Malaysia’s premier theme park that offers excitement to just about everyone. If you want to step into cowboy boots and take a walk on the wild side, head to the Wild Wild West section. Go back to when the cowboys and Red Indians ruled the Western frontier and experience old-time saloons and rides that will knock your socks off. Go on great rides like the Buffalo Bill Coaster, Butch Cassidy’s Trail and the Colorado Splash. Bring a set of dry clothes, as you will be soaked when you ride the Grand Canyon Rapid Falls and Niagara Falls Flume ride. Head to the World of Adventure section for more rides and to see the regal Bengal tigers roam their enclosure. Here, you will also find the largest collection of scholar rocks in the world. Be sure to ride Malaysia’s first and only 360-degree rotating pirate ship that swivels you 24 meters of the ground. Another fun filled section is the Waters of Africa, the only African-themed water park in Malaysia. Adrenaline junkies will love the African Python tubes and Cameroon Climb. Cool off at Jeffrey’s Bay, the largest man-made surf pool in the world. Children will love the Kalahari Kids playground that is built to look like an African village complete with huts and a Masai warrior guarding the entrance.
The jewels of Kuala Lumpur, the PETRONAS Twin Towers were once the tallest buildings in the world. Today, the tallest twin structures, this 88-storey wonder stands at a whopping 452 meters tall. With heights like these, the best way to enjoy the scenic views is to have a decadent dinner at a beautiful restaurant in KL like Marini’s on 57, which is Malaysia’s highest rooftop bar, restaurant and lounge. This exquisite restaurant in KL, perched on the 57th floor of PETRONAS Tower 3, offers the best 360 panoramic views of the Kuala Lumpur City skyline. With floor to ceiling glass and the finest Italian cuisine, your experience here will be incomparable. Besides this incredible restaurant in KL, there is also the immaculately landscaped KLCC Park and the phenomenal PETRONAS Art Gallery to visit. For music lovers, don’t miss the PETRONAS Philharmonic Hall, Southeast Asia’s leading venue for classical music. Hailed as one of the world’s best concert halls, it has played host to some of the world’s most renowned and respected musical talents and is home to the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.
Cameron Highlands sit majestically at 1,500 meters above sea level thus bringing about temperatures of 22° to 25° Celsius during the day and 15° to 22° Celsius at night. Named after William Cameron, a British government surveyor who ‘discovered’ the area in 1885 while on a mapping expedition, the Highlands are home to a myriad of agriculture farms and incredible views. The Bharat Tea Plantation has a beautiful teahouse overlooking the estate and has sights that you won’t believe. The Mossy Forest is the perfect biotope for moss, ferns, lichen and orchids as it’s situated at the highest elevation of Cameron Highlands. At such heights, low-level clouds blanket the forest with constant moisture and mist creating a rich repository for a plethora of flora and fauna. If you want to buy some vibrant produce, there is no place fresher than the Strawberry Farm hidden among the hills. Enjoy tranquility and nature at its best at the Cameron Lavender Garden where you will truly feel like you are standing in a piece of heaven.
Historically, Malacca was one of the most prominent trading spots in Southeast Asia. Today, it’s a carefree backwater city that is perfect for a gastronomic getaway. Home to the famous Nyonya cuisine, Malacca is also famous for its lost-in-time atmosphere and unique heritage. Traffic goes by at a lovely, leisurely pace and city life is a languorous affair. At sundown, head to the city’s most popular destination – Jonker Walk Night Market. Here, you will find stalls that sell everything but the kitchen sink. From trinkets to the best-known local fare, get ready for an epicurean feast. There are a good number of bars along the boulevard that offer live music and mini street parties.
Wherever your adventures might take you in Malacca, be sure not to miss out on the Jonker Walk Night Market. For historical sites, the Porta de Santiago and the Stadhuys building are good places to start.
One of Malaysia’s most visited destinations, Penang Island’s Georgetown is a beautifully preserved UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Captain Francis Light took possession of the island on the behalf of the East India Trading Company in 1786. It was then when the state began to flourish and soon after he established Georgetown. Penang Hill (also known as Bukit Bendera or Flagstaff Hill) rises 821 meters above Georgetown and is one of the most popular attractions in Penang. Besides astonishing panoramic views of the whole island, you can find a restaurant, a Hindu temple, a church, a mosque and a snake show on the apex. On a clear day, you can see the mountains of Langkawi and the north side of Kedah. The cool, unpolluted air is pure and crisp when you walk along the nature trails under 30-meter high trees. The dense jungle is home to exotic deep forest inhabitants and over 100 species of birds. The best way to the top is through Penang Hill Railway. The Swiss-designed funicular starts from Air Itam and has 2,007-meter long track that climbs the hill at a quick pace. Along the journey, enjoy lush greenery and the occasional macaque. Speaking of journeys, the drive to Penang takes about 4 hours from Kuala Lumpur on average and almost 8 hours if there is bad traffic. Time on a vacation is precious so it’s best to book a flight to Penang. A flight takes just an hour and Firefly Airline is well known for its low-cost domestic flights. Fly at unbelievable prices from KLIA or Subang Airport and enjoy all that extra time you saved from being stuck in the car. It wise to choose a domestic flight, Malaysia.
Once you are done seeing what Malaysia has to offer and would like to visit incredible India next, here is what you will need to bring on your adventure.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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