10 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Malaysia

Jul 22, 2021

In Southeast Asia, few nations have so many spectacular tourist attractions, but that doesn't make the countries in this region any less inviting. Visitors can choose from lush, tropical jungles and busy cities with storied colonial pasts; scenic, mountainous island getaways and sun-bleached beaches lined with frangipani trees; traditional villages where buzzing, chaotic markets blend in with village life; the evocative remnants of old kingdoms; and rich historical heritage.

The enticing array of Malaysia's top tourist attractions will keep visitors busy exploring the country for a long time. Discover the best places to visit in Malaysia with this list of the top attractions in the country.

Kuala Lumpur

Photo of Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur: en.wikipedia.org

Kuala Lumpur, just over a day's drive from Singapore, has a pleasant tropical climate all year round. Its distinctive mosques, mosques, temples, and Chinese shrines and pagodas sit in a city of elegant colonial buildings and beautifully landscaped parks. The beautiful open space of the center of town is the perfect setting for the evening strolls on warm summer nights and for a visit to the Museum of Malay and Malaysian History. The two major sights in the city are the ornate old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and the once (and not too long ago) notorious Hilton Hotel. At the railway station, a railway museum displays old steam trains and the interesting collection of Chinese junk, _kris,_ porcelain and other treasures of Malaysia and Singapore.

Read more 👉  Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Kuala Lumpur

Batu Caves

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Batu Caves: en.wikipedia.org

After almost a decade of reconstruction following an almost catastrophic fire at the caves, you can now view and photograph the former grave of one of the world's most mysterious and ancient men, Aditya, also known as the "Monkey King." An unusual burial mound with a cave structure, the cave is best known for the tale of how a robber was executed, allegedly buried inside the structure, and then sealed in with the human-like creature, while carrying a large sack. This sack supposedly contained money and precious stones, which Aditya did not wish to be removed from his home. The mound covers a 300-square-meter space in the caves and has an entrance behind a high wall, which gives you the sensation of being in a hidden burial chamber.

Mount Kinabalu

Photo of Mount Kinabalu
Mount Kinabalu: en.wikipedia.org

It was almost a life-changing experience for Tom Forbes to realize that he could no longer walk down the mountain that he and other residents of Kota Kinabalu had called home for more than 50 years. Mount Kinabalu has been a beloved symbol in the city's history. It's also an amazing sight to behold from afar. Dotted with mini-mountains, the northern section of the mountain drops steeply and seems to hang over a cliff before ending in a long series of airy limestone peaks that snake their way up to the summit, around which sits a rock chapel. The home of some of the world's oldest, most biodiverse plants, most notably the Pandanus tree, which is known locally as ‘padi,’ the climate here is cooler and wetter than much of the rest of the peninsula, and many of the plants and animals that thrive in its more temperate climate can only be found in this part of the island.

Seremban

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Seremban: en.wikipedia.org

Seremban, a busy and fast-growing city in Malaysia's Eastern Province, is the center of one of Southeast Asia's most prosperous rice-growing regions. It is also known for its busy agricultural produce and seafood markets, which are held in the city's many Chinese marketplaces, where visitors can sample local delicacies, including rice, cucumber, and some of Malaysia's best-known spices, such as chilli and curry. The Pasir Putih neighborhood, with its cluster of shops and restaurants, is a popular place for travelers, as are the attractive parks in the city center. The city's main sights include Sultan Abdul Samad Building, a large, round, domed structure constructed in the 1950s in place of a former mosque and popular among history enthusiasts. The expansive gardens on the site of the previous mosque contain traditional features, such as carefully tended paddy fields and rice terraces, that serve to showcase how the city was founded in 1426, when the Portuguese built a fort there. Also of interest are the two Islamic holy mosques in Seremban. The first, located on Jalan Old Customs, is the Kemuning Mosque and was built in 1783.

Perhentian Islands

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Perhentian Islands: en.wikipedia.org

Perhentian Islands is a pristine archipelago lying off the northern tip of Malaysia. A ferry from Kota Kinabalu in Sabah connects the island group, which comprises three main islands, Air, Buaya and Long. On Long, the tony port of Tambunan, found at the island's southernmost tip, is home to a handful of chic boutique resorts, plus a dive center. A large number of privately owned tour operators operate on the islands, including those that cater to divers and nature lovers. Ferry crossings from Tambunan to the islands are best made in the early morning or late afternoon. Most resorts will be happy to pick up guests from the ferry port and transfer them to the resort of their choice. The long stretch of white sand of Long Island may prove the ideal place for families to go on vacation as there are plenty of beach clubs, and organized activities can be found in several areas. On Perhentian Island, tourists should not travel anywhere outside their resorts. However, on the island of Buaya, tourists can enjoy diving at some great dive sites, such as Merduas Reef or Long Wider Reef, which are very accessible from Buaya. Another great scuba spot is off the island of Air.

Cameron Highlands

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Cameron Highlands: en.wikipedia.org

Located inland from the narrow sandy peninsula of Kelantan, Cameron Highlands were originally used by the Kedah Sultanate as a hunting ground, before it became the target of Portuguese, Dutch, and later British travelers. A large number of hunting lodges came to be established in the hills, with lush, verdant foliage and thick jungle providing a stark contrast to the harsh paddy fields of the south. As a result of the first European settlement in 1818, Cameron Highlands now bears the reputation of being Malaysia's best tourist destination. The aptly named Cameron Highlands National Park preserves the natural landscape and forest that give the area its unique beauty. Hiking is a popular pastime among visitors, particularly in the early morning or evening, although there are also many guided walks available in the park. The Cameron Highlands covers 22,000 hectares of natural, unspoiled highland, with trekking trails through jungles and coffee plantations, plantations and reservoirs, numerous river walks and hot spring pools.

Muzium Negara, Kuala Lumpur

Photo of Kuala Lumpur Sentral station
Kuala Lumpur Sentral station: en.wikipedia.org

The National Museum is located in the central location of Kuala Lumpur, the "city within a city." Surrounded by colonial-era architecture and lush greenery, the museum is housed in the former Royal Selangor State Library. It consists of four buildings surrounding a courtyard, with the tallest one covering two levels, including the upper floor, which is designed to resemble a traditional Malay hut. The main entrance has five points on it, making the point of reference for the Mahaprasasti, or the re-enactment of the life of the Buddha in November. The museum consists of four sections: History of Malaysia, History of Chinese Culture, History of Islamic Culture, and History of Multimedia. Each area is devoted to a specific theme. Among the museum's most iconic pieces is the Imperial Throne of King Hussein of Jordan. It was found in Seri Setia, along the Kuala Lumpur River, and sold at auction for £205,000. The museum is open daily, except for Chinese New Year and Christmas Day. The admission is free of charge and the tickets are valid for a maximum of three months from the first time you visit. The building is closed on Fridays.

Kuantan

Photo of Kuantan
Kuantan: en.wikipedia.org

Once an important center of the spice trade in the Southeast Asia, Kuantan, located in the state of Pahang in Malaysia, is well known for its palm-shaped hinterland at the mouth of the Kuantan River. The old town is a great place to wander and, like many Southeast Asian cities, is home to a string of historic neighborhoods, mosques, and temples. The best way to reach Kuantan is by flying from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. Bus rides to the city are popular. The terminal for the Pahang Rail Mass Transit (PRM) is well-marked, and it's easy to navigate using the system of loops, turns and exits.

Genting Highlands

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Genting Highlands: en.wikipedia.org

Genting Highlands is a weekend getaway for those who want to escape the heat of the lowlands. Located at the base of the 5,018-meter-high Gunung Genting, a mountain covered in lush vegetation, this is where you can hike in the wild on nature trails, horseback ride on the Penang Hill – the tallest peak – and enjoy stunning views of surrounding countryside. Genting Highlands is a series of hills, mostly covered in thick pine forest, some parts of which are also situated within the national park. One of the best things to do is take a cable car ride up Penang Hill. It offers fantastic views of the surrounding countryside as well as is connected with the park entrance and a host of interesting sights. Other activities include an adventure course with zip line, swing bridge, tunnel, and wild adventures such as abseiling and rock climbing. What's more, each of the town's hotels and resorts have their own pool, which is a great way to unwind. Travelers can take advantage of car rentals to visit nearby attractions such as the Cameron Highlands, Lake Tumboh (Ijen volcano), Singapore, and further afield to southern Thailand.

George Town

Photo of George Town, Penang
George Town, Penang: en.wikipedia.org

George Town is a superb example of how a city can be brought to life and sustained by a distinctive culture and heritage. The town has been the center of Malay-Chinese trade and culture since the 18th century, and this is apparent in its attractions and restaurants. One of George Town's highlights is the town's Chinese heritage, represented by a large, colorful pagoda dating from 1869 and by fascinating Dataran Merdeka, the former landing area of British merchant ships. Another icon of George Town is the lovely Dutch-designed Malay houses in the area around the center. The George Town Museum contains an informative collection of Malay- and Chinese-based artifacts and displays on the history of Malay-Chinese trade in George Town. The island is only a few hours from the Thai border and the major cities of Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.