Top 5 Best Places To Visit In Malaysia

The most popular places to visit in Malaysia are stunning — and the country's excellent infrastructure makes getting to them relatively painless.

Although Malaysia is always ranked well among the most visited countries in Asia, China usually steals the limelight and #1 spot. Long-term budget travelers often shun Malaysia as being "too expensive" (mostly because alcohol does cost more than in Thailand). Meanwhile, short-term vacationers in Southeast Asia seem to skip Malaysia for lack of time.

But Malaysia has a lot of beauty, diversity, and adventure on offer, as showcased by these tempting top destinations.

List of Top 5 Best Places To Visit In Malaysia

1. Kuala Lumpur

2. Penang

3. The Perhentian Islands

4. Malacca

5. Taman Negara

Top 5 Best Places To Visit In Malaysia in Detail

1. Kuala Lumpur - Top Best Place in Malaysia

Photo: Agoda
Photo: Agoda

Kuala Lumpur (Malaysian pronunciation: [ˈkualə, -a ˈlumpo(r), -ʊ(r)]), officially the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (Malay: Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur) and colloquially referred to as KL, is a federal territory and the capital city of Malaysia. It is the largest city in Malaysia, covering an area of 243 km2 (94 sq mi) with an estimated population of 1.73 million as of 2016. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.564 million people as of 2018. It is among the fastest growing metropolitan regions in Southeast Asia, in both population and economic development.

Kuala Lumpur is the cultural, financial and economic centre of Malaysia. It is also home to the Parliament of Malaysia and the official residence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the Istana Negara. It first developed as a town serving the tin mines of the region circa 1857, before it became the capital of Selangor in 1880 until 1978, and the capital of Malaya before the formation of Malaysia. The city remained the seat of the executive and judicial branches of the federal government until these were relocated to Putrajaya in early 1999. However, some sections of the political bodies still remain in Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur is one of the three federal territories of Malaysia, enclaved within the state of Selangor, on the central west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Since the 1990s, the city has played host to many international sporting, political and cultural events including the 1998 Commonwealth Games and the 2017 Southeast Asian Games. Kuala Lumpur has undergone rapid development in recent decades and is home to the tallest twin buildings in the world, the Petronas Towers, which have since become an iconic symbol of Malaysian development.

2. Penang - Top Best Place in Malaysia

Photo: Tripzilla
Photo: Tripzilla

Penang – a world renowned exotic holiday destination – was known, once upon a time, as Pulau Pinang or the “Isle of the Betel Nut”. Listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2008, this virgin paradise has no shortage of cultural sights and natural scenery.

Nicknamed the Pearl of the Orient, Penang is famous for its soft sandy beaches and is fondly regarded as the food capital of Malaysia. Some of the most interesting sites of Penang include the sandy beaches of Tanjung Bungah, the landscape from the summit of Penang Hill and the vipers in the Snake Temple. The quaint nooks and crannies of Georgetown and the Tropical Spice Garden – the only spice garden in South East Asia – as well as Penang’s many flea markets, pasar malams’, KOMTAR and modern shopping malls also merit a visit.

3. The Perhentian Islands - Top Best Place in Malaysia

Photo: Home is where your bag is
Photo: Home is where your bag is

Although tourism is the lifeblood of Pulau Perhentian, the islands have not lost their rough-and-tumble, jungle appeal. There are no structures over two stories tall, no motorized vehicles, and electricity is provided by temperamental generators which could leave you in the dark with no notice.

Very little infrastructure exists on the islands; there are no real "sites" or activities outside of enjoying the sun and water.

Perhentian means "place to stop" in Bahasa Malay, the language of Malaysia; the Perhentian Islands' crystalline blue water teeming with aquatic life will make you want to do exactly that.

Easily accessible from the northeast coast, the Perhentian Islands are Malaysia's crown jewel of islands. Cheap scuba diving, picturesque beaches, and the chilled vibe of island life cause people to leave their hearts buried in the white sand once they leave.

Two islands make up the inhabited part of Pulau Perhentian, both with their own distinct personalities and devotees. Perhentian Kecil - the small island - tends to attract backpackers, budget travelers, and younger crowds while the larger Perhentian Besar draws in a more mature, resort-oriented crowd.

4. Malacca - Top Best Place in Malaysia - Top Best Place in Malaysia

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Before the arrival of the first Sultan, Malacca was a simple fishing village inhabited by local Malays. Malacca was founded by Parameswara, also called Iskandar Shah or Sri Majara, the last Raja of Singapura (now known as Singapore) following a Majapahit attack in 1377. Parameswara found his way to Malacca in 1400 where he found a port, accessible in all seasons and on the strategically located narrowest point of the Malacca Strait.

The city was founded in 1400 by Parameswara (also known as Iskandar Shah), a Sumatran prince. For centuries, it thrived as a major trading port thanks to its central location between the major powers of the region. From the start, Chinese, Indian and Arab merchants all traded and settled here, leaving behind indelible marks of their cultures.

In the 16th century the Portuguese invaded, followed by the Dutch, who eventually traded Malacca to the British. European rule turned a booming economic port into an impoverished backwater, the conquerors unable to maintain the cosmopolitan openness that had made it a success in the first place.

Today, Malacca is flourishing again. That’s largely down to international visitors who come to enjoy the city’s mélange of cultures. In 2008, UNESCO designated the historic core as a World Heritage Site, citing its well-preserved mosaic of architectural styles, which includes elements of Portuguese, Dutch, British and Peranakan (Straits-born Chinese).

Here, grand mosques, pagoda-roofed temples and colonial churches dot the area’s narrow one-way streets. The squares are lined with a jumble of old shophouses, the pastel façades of private homes, chic galleries and traditional tea shops. You can stop at a restaurant that might serve Chinese dim sum for breakfast, Nyonya (a combination of Malay and Chinese) food for lunch and Pakistani tandoori for dinner.

Possibly the most striking buildings in the old town are at Stadthuys (a Dutch word for town hall), a stolid and hulking crimson-red Dutch colonial complex. They feature the architectural notes typical of the era, including heavy doors and louvered windows. Stadthuys served as Malacca’s administrative headquarters until the 1980s, when it was converted into a museum that examines the city’s history.

The area is small and easy to navigate on foot or riding on one of the city’s signature trishaws. In Malacca, these three-wheeled rickshaws are gaudily decorated — festooned with fake flowers, studded with stuffed animals and painted in shocking shades. Many have installed complex sound systems that play music as they roll by.

READ MORE: Top 7 Spiciest Foods in Thailand

5. Taman Negara - Top Best Place in Malaysia

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Taman Negara (National Park) is the first and the oldest official Protected jungle. It cover 3 state in total of 4343 sq km (Almost 7 times of Singapore size). Total of 4 main entrance to the park. Kuala Tahan, Sungai Relau, Kuala Koh and Tanjung Mentong.

Inside the Park are fairly easy boardwalk circuits. With the option of traversing the longest rope walkway in the world. Visitors can enjoy the river and the tropical rainforest. Visitors perhaps see some of the bountiful wildlife. It’s also home to fairly undisturbed indigenous tribes.

The most important thing you have to apply the park entry permit and photography license. Across the river you will see a Wildlife Department or Headquarter (Behind Mutiara Resort). Cost RM1 per permit and RM5 per photography license.

Entrance of Kuala Tahan is the most popular attraction compare with Sungai Relau, Kuala Koh, and Tanjung Mentong. Accommodations are easily to find it here. From comfortable resort-styled facilities, home stay style to tent camping at various camping grounds. Cheaper accommodation is also available for backpackers. Agoh Chalet, Tahan Guest House, Nusa Holiday Village, Abot Guest House, and many others.

Local activities from casual to adventure, and some well organize tour 2 – 4 days. Just make what you want. Here offer a lot of fun things to do. The famous Canopy Walkway with 510 meters long suspension bridge between high treetops. Spectacular views at heights of over 45 meter. Other activities and attractions within the national park are bird watching, overnight in one of the wildlife observation hides (bumbum). Adventurous like Real Inner Jungle trail, visit the aboriginal settlement, rapid shooting toward Sg.Trenggan, night jungle walk and more to find out yourself.

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