The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, is a common favourite. Unlike most of the cities in the world, it is more than where the visitor lands and then goes off to other places, because Kuala Lumpur itself offers a lot. The beautiful skyline, adorned by Menara KL Tower and Petronas Tower, is a must-see. The Perdana Lake Gardens is another great sight. Excellent transport system is ready to help explore the city sights. The cuisine is a must-try, what with the mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian influence.
In contrast to the bright lights and concrete of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Borneo offers an abundance of green rainforests and wildlife. It is the third largest island in the world and definitely one of the best places to visit in Malaysia. It often goes forgotten by those who stay mesmerized by the mainland. But one must not miss Borneo’s repertoire of natural wonders. Only a short, cheap flight away lies the options of scuba diving in Sabah, caving in Sarawak, and the many other adventures.
Selangor defines the most developed and populated states of Malaysia, closely following the urban sprawl of Kuala Lumpur. It has the National Zoo of Malaysia and a Formula One racetrack. There are theme parks including indoor snow parks frequented by hordes of travellers. It is a hot shopping zone, and the country’s gambling capital, Gentling Highlands. Contrarily, there are the Batu Caves with Hindu shrines. Along the river in Kuala Selangor, one can see the exotic abundance of fireflies.
Langkawi is located off the northwest corner of Malaysia, connected to the mainland by ferries and an aircraft, and tops the list of Malaysia’s island destinations, frequented by both foreigners and Malaysians, especially because of great connectivity and a large tourist infrastructure. It can rightly be called the busiest island of Malaysia, with many tourist attractions, like the country’s largest indoor aquarium, or the Pregnant Maiden Lake, a beautiful body believed to make women fertile.
Penang is one of the best places to visit in Malaysia. This big island on the west coast of Malaysia is one that the country is proud of, and for valid reasons. For one, its historic capital city, George Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, what with its landmark homes, fort, temples and museums. Penang offers an excellent spread, including some incredible street food. Some of the best treats and tastes are available at the food joints lining the waterfront esplanade named Gurney Drive.
Kek Lok Si
Also known as the Temple of Supreme Bliss, Kek Lok Si is said to be the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia, and arguably one of the most famous in Penang.
Located in Air Itam, the hills in that area (called “He San” or Crane Hill) have traditionally been regarded as geomantically significant, having all the right “feng shui” for a temple. In fact, they are extremely popular as a retreat for monks and Taoists striving for immortality.
Rolling hills, pristine rainforest, lush flora, enormous granite boulders and stunning views of city, jungle and sea from the top of Penang Hill…sounds great, right? Even better, there’s no need for any arduous trekking to the summit, either.The Habitat on Penang Hill, some 820 metres above sea-level, is an ecotourism site easily accessible via a 7-minute ride on the Penang Hill Funicular Train.
The Peranakan city of Malacca is locally spelled as Melaka, and is another of the best places to visit in Malaysia. It is, in fact, a must-visit, because visiting Malaysia and missing the rich cultural, historical and colonial sites is too big a loss. The old town is another UNESCO World Heritage Site, and never ceases to transcend all expectations. Apart from the historic wealth of the place, there is a level of pleasantness in this city. One can get many options of shopping, too, except on Tuesdays.
Malaysian peninsula is not all about the waters, islands, forests, and the tropical climate. The Cameron Highlands are a stretch of green tea plantations with trekking trails meandering through them, volcanoes and chilly temperatures. The nip in the air during the night is particularly noticeable, yet enjoyable. Trekking is one of the key activities in the Cameron Highlands. For the less active ones, there are butterfly gardens, strawberry farms, and flower greenhouses to explore here.
‘Taman Negara’ literally translates to ‘national park’ in Malay. The name is appropriate for the oldest national park in Malaysia, and one of the world’s oldest tropical rainforests. In the thick foliage are waterfalls and some beautiful scenery. One can opt for trekking, rafting, fishing, elephant or bird watching, or taking a walk along the long walkway to catch a glimpse of the life high up on trees. Visitors can stay in Kuala Tahan across the river, and take an inexpensive ride to the park entrance.