Many tourists like to visit Thailand and Singapore as it offers a beautiful scenery and stunning landscapes, but not many people know about the hidden jewels in Malaysia. Blended with Asian and European influences, Malaysia has a rich cultural heritage which is just dying to be explored. Malaysia offers the best natural and cultural sights, locations, and venues ranging from the popular Selangor to the offbeat Malacca A’Famosa fortress. Probably after reading this below list, you will realize the hidden jewel in Malaysia which definitely deserves a visit beyond the usual busy Kuala Lumpur city.
1. George Town
The capital city of Penang, this island state houses the highest Chinese population residing in Malaysia. One of the important trade center used during the British regime, the city has derived its name from the Britain King George III and offers an incredible variety of Asian and European influences which has phased out over the island during its course of history. The multicultural past is preserved through the eclectic architecture that are stuffed with historical buildings mostly spread in the older part of the town. This was named as the UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers amazing museums, historic homes, an ancient fort, and delicious cuisines. Penang is in fact a popular destination in Southeast Asia for its yummy street food. The Gurney Drive, a waterfront esplanade in Penang is lined up with Chinese, Indian, and Malay treats to be savored.
2. Perhentian Islands
This is a true delight for backpackers and budget travelers and the Perhentian Kecil is the sweet spot. Being smaller of the two islands, you have excellent facilities for diving, snorkeling, canoeing, scuba diving, etc. during day time and vibrant party’s kicks off post sunset. The Perhentian Besar caters to a family audience where you can enjoy beautiful scenery, blue waters, and bypass the crowd. The peak season for tourists is July and finding an accommodation here is extremely difficult. The winters go to an extreme with the islands are almost empty. Both the islands boasts of stunning white sandy beaches, blue shallow sea, and tall palm trees. The underwater life here is rich with sea turtles, and many varieties of tropical fish, and coral reefs.
Referred as Melaka, this place offers a sneak peek into the rich culture, history, heritage, and the ancient colonial sites of Malaysia. Named in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2008, tourists and locals will not disappointed visiting this ancient town in Malacca. There is a particular charm of this antique town and the relaxed atmosphere is pleasant for a people to spend a few days here. Shops and museums in Malacca are closed on Tuesday, so make sure you skip Tuesday in your days when you are planning a trip to Malacca. Don’t miss out on visiting the A’Famosa, an ancient fortress in Malacca.
4. Taman Negara
The meaning of Taman Negara in Malay refers to National Park and it is for a reason. This is the oldest national park still standing strong and is home to the oldest tropical rainforest in the world. Visitors and tourists can enjoy a wonderful view of the life on the high trees through the long canopy walkaway, something which you cannot see when you are at ground level. Spread over an area of 4000 square kilometers, you can enjoy a host of activities such as bird watching, trekking, rafting, fishing, and if lucky get a chance to see wild elephants. Most of the tourists rest on the other side of the river in Kuala Tahan. There are cheap boat rides available till the entrance of the park from Kuala Tahan. Placed in between three states in Malaysia, this national park houses many endangered species like the Asian elephant, crab-eating macaque, and the Malaysian tiger.
5. Cameroon Highlands
The green Cameroon Highlands is home to a beautiful area of greenery, wonderful sea plantations, and several trekking trails through the plantations and volcanoes. Being 1500 meters above sea level, the climate varies across extremes with the day time being the typical sweaty tropical climate and the nights becomes quite cold. Carry a jacket or some warm clothes to protect yourself during the night. This is in fact on record the coolest region in Malaysia and a great respite from the hot tropical climate of Malaysia. Check out the butterfly gardens, flower greenhouses, strawberry farms, and other wonderful attractions when you visit Cameron Highlands.
6. Tioman Island
Placed on the east coast of Malaysia next to Singapore, the Tioman Island offers excellent facilities for diving and cheap accommodation as the development is minimal. The island is carved into different beaches, most of them being secluded and offer the much needed privacy that tourists and visitors look out for. The ABC Beach is one of the popular beaches here and gets a huge tourists population during the peak season. You will have to use the speed boat to maneuver through the jungle or you can choose to hike exploring the interiors of the jungle. This place is duty free, but be careful of items you are transporting out of Malaysia.
7. Malaysian Borneo
This is a natural wonder and the third largest island in the world. People who visit Malaysia often forget about this beautiful place which is just a cheap flight away from the Malaysian mainland. Blessed with beautiful green rainforests and abundant wildlife, this place is just dying for your attention and a perfect place to hone your exploratory skills. The place offers excellent diving facilities and if lucky you could get a chance to see the endangered species such as orangutans as you pass through the rainforest canopy walks.
Placed on the northwest corner of Malaysia, this is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. Langkawi is accessible via flight or ferries from the Malaysian mainland, this place is supported with a large tourist’s infrastructure. You can probably name it the Phuket version of Malaysia. Among the top attractions which feature here, the indoor aquarium and the beautiful Pregnant Maiden Lake steal the show. The Pregnant Maiden Lake is said to have medical properties to improve the fertility of women. This place offers stunning scenery, breathtaking white sandy beaches, coastal mangrove swamps, crystal clear water, tropical jungles blessed with luxuriant vegetation and abundant fauna. The nature lovers would fall in love with the beauty of this pristine and untouched place.
One of the most developed and crowded states in Malaysia with close similarity to the urban sprawl of Kuala Lumpur. Some of the popular attractions here include the National Zoo of Malaysia, the Formula One racetrack, and several theme parks including an indoor snow park. With booming shopping malls and vibrant crowds, you can shop till you drop or enjoy peace and serenity at the nearby Genting Highlands, which is perched on top of a mountain. This is Malaysia’s response to Vegas. The First World Hotel was at one time the largest hotel in the world housing 6118 rooms and a beautiful theme park. Don’t forget to browse through the popular Batu Caves, which is a Hindu shrine that is visited by several devotees each year.