Last updated on February 26th, 2019 at 12:09 pm
If you will be planning your trip to Southeast Asia soon, you definitely must include Malaysia! Malaysia has two separate parts, West Malaysia and East Malaysia. Malaysia is a multicultural country where you can find Malayan, Chinese and Indian communities. When you can find these different communities of people together, you are sure to find various types of food. Today we will write about our favorite Malaysia tourist spots.
Malaysia is a Muslim country as we wrote in our Travel Guide to visit Malaysia. Around 60% of the population are following this religion. You can find mosques everywhere. But, you can also find temples too. Around 20 % of the population are Buddhist. Malayan is the language of the country and it’s easy to learn a few words.
Read here our top 10 Instagrammable places in Malaysia!
Best time to visit Malaysia
The best time to visit Malaysia is hard to guess. In Peninsular Malaysia, there’s a chance for rain any time of the year. The wet season lasts from November to March. The driest season from April to October. Perhaps dry season is the best for visiting Malaysia. Based in my own experience backpacking Malaysia, there would be many days that it could rain, and I had been in Malaysia in different times of the year. So you decide when is the best time to visit Malaysia!
Malaysia Tourist Spots
If you have the opportunity to spend a couple of days in Melaka while visiting Malaysia, do it. It’s an old and colonial town under Portuguese influence. You will find churches in different style than the usual that you would see in Malaysia. It’s totally different than the other places in Malaysia.
2. Cameron Highlands
You can spend 2-3 days in Cameron Highlands one of my favorite Malaysia tourist spots. You can relax in Tanah rata which is full of backpacker places for accommodation. In the morning, you can go hiking and you can go visit tea plantations. You will get great views on the top of the mountain if you go for a hike in Cameron Highlands. The weather is a little bit cold at night at Cameron Highlands. So make sure that you are bringing a jumper!
3. Georgetown in Penang
Georgetown was an old British colony. It’s the paradise for Malaysian cuisine. When you visit Penang, you will enjoy the food in the local markets. You can go for a day trip to Batu Ferringhi by bus (30 minutes ride), and enjoying the beach too during the day or spending a couple of days there. Read here our favorite things to do in Penang.
4. Batu Ferringhi in Penang
Batu Ferringhi is definitely the second most popular point of interest in the historical Penang, Malaysia after Georgetown. Batu Ferringhi with white sandy beach which is not usually for swimming, but can be enjoyed with other sea activities, lie water sports. There is a popular night market, good for buying souvenirs or gifts for yourself.
5. Taman Negara
You can walk in the forest next to the river. And you can go back down the river with a canoe. Make sure that you are bringing your antimosquito spray when you are visiting Taman Negara. Make sure that you are also bringing cash. When I was visiting Taman Negara, there was no ATM at that time.
6. Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur
The most visited landamark in Kuala Lumpur. Also top of our Malaysia tourist spots, we recommend you visiting during the day and also at night. The show at night with the lights and the fountains is so beautiful and magical. You can even go up the Twin Towers to check the view from the top.
7. Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur
The Batu Caves is a Hindu temple outside the city. You have to go by train or by bus from Kuala Lumpur city center. There is a long flight of stairs that you need to take to reach the temple. You can go there to get some quiet and observe the architecture and the local people visiting. It is only during festivals when the area becomes noisy and populated.
8. Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur
If you want to see the KL nightlife, you should go to Bukit Bintang. It’s full of bars and restaurants, and people are a mix of foreigners and locals. Visit especially in the weekends for a very lively night out!
9. Putrajaya Mosque
Malaysia is a Muslim country where you can find hundred of mosques. Try to go inside one and meet local people. Putrajaya is a nice place to check where you can find beautiful mosques. The city of Putrajaya is only one hour journey by train from Kuala Lumpur. We really love the lights at night around the area!
Langkawi is the perfect place for relaxing that you can’t miss it when visiting Malaysia. It’s a place for you to enjoy the beach during the day, and the quiet at night. The best plan in Langkawi is riding a bicycle or a motorcycle to explore the island. It will allow you to visit the beaches and local markets in Langkawi.
11. Perhentian Islands
Perhentian Islands is paradise. It’s a place for relaxing, sunbathing, diving, and snorkeling in the beaches and islands. At night, it is very quiet. Don’t expect to be full of parties at night, like with what you usually find in Thailand. Make the most during the day light.
It’s the third largest city in Malaysia. You will enjoy visiting markets around Ipoh. It’s a good place, definitely off beaten path in Malaysia and a great place to meet local people. Ipoh is perfect for a weekend to try local food and local coffee. Read here for more things to do in Ipoh.
More Malaysia Tourist Spots
13. Tioman Island
Tioman Island is a paradise off the east coast of Malaysia. It’s nature is well-reserved and surrounded by beaches, so it’s known for its diving sites which have different types of colorful corals. It has a lot of wildlife surrounding the area too because of its wide forest area/rain forests. There are many colorful butterflies, lizards, monkeys and sea turtles in Tioman Island.
Kuching is located South of Malaysian Borneo in Sarawak. It’s a nice place to walk around the river and obviously trying local food. It’s quiet at night but busy during the day. I liked the enviroment in Kuching and it;s not very touristic area yet!
15. Kota Kinabalu
It’s located North of Malaysian Borneo where you can enjoy their beaches. You can go for snorkeling, diving and swimming. Kota Kinabalu is a modern city because it is the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state. It is also the home of Kota Kinabalu City Mosque, Kinabalu National Park, and Mount Kinabalu.
16. Mount Kinabalu
This 4,095 meter-high mountain in Kota Kinabalu is located in Kinabalu National Park, like what we said earlier. It’s known for its beautiful landscapes, botanical and biological species biodiversity. Anyone who is fit enough can do the 8.8 km trek to reach Low’s Peak, the highest point of the mountain. Most climbers take two days to trek up and down Mount Kinabalu with an overnight stay at one of the huts in Panalaban.
Entrance fee to Kinabalu National Park if you’re a foreigner is RM15 and additional RM120 if you want to climb Mt. Kinabalu.
17. Manukan Island
Manukan Island is one of the 5 islands and second biggest island in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (or TAR Marine Park). Out of 5 islands in TAR Marine Park, it is also the most touristic and most popular with locals because of its long stretches of beaches. The best beach is on the eastern tip of the island where coral reefs can be found so you can do snorkeling, diving, and swimming here. There are also some restaurants and bars in Manukan Island.
18. Kek Lok Si Temple
Kek Lok Si Temple is the biggest Buddhist temple in Malaysia, located in Ayer Itam, Penang. It’s an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists in the Philippines, Singapore, Hong kong, and other Southeast Asian countries.
19. Semenggoh Nature Reserve
Semenggoh Nature Reserve can be found Siburan, Sarawak in Malaysia. It is a nature reserve and primate rehabilitation center that houses some orangutans and numerous bird species. There’s an entrance fee of RM 3 and additional RM 40 for a tour guide (up to 5 people).
This is an island which lies about 45 km off the coast of Terengganu state, and Redang Island is known for its crystal blue waters, white sand, numerous species of fish and some corals. You can go here by boat or by plane and there’s a marine park fee of RM 5 for all tourists visiting the island.
21. Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre
Just like the one in Semenggoh Nature Reserve, Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre is a shelter for orangutans. It’s actually the first official orangutan rehabilitation project for rescued orphaned baby orangutans from logging sites, plantations, illegal hunting or kept as pets. It started in 1964 and is located in about 25 kilometers west of Sandakan in the state of Sabah.
Foreign adults’ entrance fee costs RM 30 and if you want to visit the Sabah Rhinoceros enclosure, it will cost you another RM 10.
22. Mulu Caves in Gunung Mulu National Park
Mulu Caves can be found in Gunung Mulu National Park, one of UNESCO Heritage Sites and is located in Sarawak, Malaysia. This national park is a protected rainforest that is known for its majestic peaks and of course, its caves, including Mulu Caves. Mulu Caves are the world’s largest network of caves.
For a 5-day pass, a foreign adult’s entrance fee is RM 30 and RM 15 if you’re a Malaysian.
23. Turtle Sanctuary Beach
Since Malaysia is rich with wildlife, they make sure that each species is conserved by making shelters and sanctuaries. Another sanctuary they made is the Turtle Sanctuary Beach in Pulau Perhentian Besar. With its crystal blue waters and white sand, you’ll definitely enjoy your stay here. If you will go diving or snorkeling, you’ll witness colorful coral reefs, sea anemones, small sharks and even large sea turtles!
24. Sipadan Island
And the last but not the least, Sipadan Island in Sabah. This island is one of the perfect places in the world to go diving. However, due to the fact that this island is protected, you can only stay at the surrounding islands, Mabul and Kapalai. You have to secure a permit in order to dive at Sipadan Island. They only permit 120 dives per day so secure your permit in advance to witness the underwater paradise in Sipadan Island.
So there you have it! The beautiful Malaysia tourist spots that you shouldn’t miss! Are you visiting Malaysia soon? Please don’t forget to share this with your friends and tell us about your Malaysian trip!
Happy travels! :