Want to know the best places to visit in Malaysia? Where do we even start…
Malaysia is a cultural mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and indigenous customs. Located in the South Eastern Asia, Malaysia is an adventures dream escape. Let us take you through our best places to visit in Malaysia
Malaysia is a popular travel destination however, a lot of travellers will often settle for Kuala Lumpur during transit. But Malaysia has so much more to offer.
This would be a perfect 2-3 week itinerary while you visit Malaysia. There are of course a lot more places you can visit while in Malaysia, but these were our favourites from our experience.
Best Places to Visit in Malaysia
One of our favourite places of Malaysia has to be Tioman Island. Located off the east coast of Malaysia, Pulau Tioman is an ecological paradise island. We stayed on the west (Tekek) and east side (Juara) of the island. The west side offers a beautiful sunset beach and a number of accommodations and small eateries. The east side was our preferred side of the island, offering a very intimate island experience. We stayed directly on the beach; we woke up to watch sunrise each morning and fell asleep to the sound of waves.
You can enjoy lounging on the beach, trekking through the jungle landscape and snorkelling to name a few. However, this was a place we could really slow down and enjoy the slow island living.
Malaysia was one destination which we felt didn’t have enough measures in place to support climate change. However, Tioman Island itself had a number of initiatives to help protect the environment.
Best Places to Visit in Malaysia Penang: George Town
George Town is the capital of the Malaysian Penang state. George Town is full of history and atmospheric streets, with beautiful architecture. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s clear to see why this hot spot attracts a number of tourists year round. The quirky Old Town has a range of trendy cafes, restaurants and pop up bars. Lots of hidden spots, to kick back after a day of exploring, with a book and coffee and watch the world go by.
Arriving late into George Town, we swiftly dropped our bags at our hostel and headed to the bustling night markets of George Town. Walking along the streets you will be inundated with an array of street food vendors to choose from.
Where to stay in George Town Penang:
For great private rooms in a quintessential George Town building. Perfect location to the hustle and bustle of George Town and great vibe within the hostel too.
Bako Kuching National Park
Another rainforest delight in Malaysia, the Bako National Park. Located around 40 minutes from Kuching, aka The City of Cats, you can take a shuttle bus from the city centre to Bako village (Kampung Bako) and then a local taxi boat from the pier. At the pier you have to register with the Park HQ, which takes a couple of minutres. Taxi boat services run every 30 minutes and it is really very beautiful journey with lots of dramatic mountanous landscapes.
Bako national park itself offers some much natural beauty. There are an array of trekking activities, some flatroutes and others with more of an incline. There are beautiful waterfalls, streams and plantlife and also an array of wildlife – we were lucky enough to see probiscuous monkeys as soon as we entered the park.
Penang Puala Pinang
Puala Pinang National Park is located on the north-west part on Penang Island, in Teluk Bahang.
Paula Pinang is the perfect national park for a day trip from Penang George Town. Located around an hour from George Town, the national park can be accessed by public bus (RapidPenang bus).
Before entering the park, you will need to sign in at the desk to register your attendance and so that rangers are aware of your whereabouts. However, we eneded up getting locked in the park after watching sunset and walking back through the park at night time – an interesting (nerve racking) experience.
There are a number of jungle treks you can choose, depending on how long you wish to trek for. We trekked through to Pantai Kerachut which was located on the west part of the national park. The beach is beautfiully quiet with white sandy beaches. It is not advised to swim some days as there can be a high number of jelly fish. You can camp at this part of the park, if you are prepared enough. Or you can enjoy an incredible sunset, and run your way back to the park entrance like us.
Taman Negara translates literally to ‘National Park’ in Malay. Before we visited Malaysia, we weren’t familiar with just how many national parks Malaysia was home to. Malaysia has 25 terrestrial national parks and an additional 40 marine parks.
The Taman Negara national park is the oldest national park in Malaysia and also one of the oldest primary rainforests in the world; over 130 million years old! As well as a national park, Taman Negara is a conservation area. The biodiversity of Taman Negara is extraordinary, and is clear when you wander through the entwined branches of the rainforest. It is even said that there are more species of trees in one hectare of Taman Negara than in the whole of North America. Wow.
There are a multitude of treks for all levels which you can enjoy by yourself. We hear that the canopy walkway is a must – although this was closed while we visited.
The parks entrance is just a 30 second boat trip from Kuala Tahan. Most travellers will stay on the opposite side of the national park at Kuala Tahan, which is a small village located alongside the Tembiling river.
It’s best to visit during dry season during February to September.
Where to stay in Taman Negara:
To channel you inner adventurer, we would advise staying at Danz Eco Lodge. This is basic accommodation, with no frills, but worth it to wake up to the sound of bird song. There are a number of camping options or pods available. This is also a perfect option for to support ecotourism.
If you have a higher budget and looking for a luxury option, then Mutiara Taman Negara Resort is your perfect option. Located on the edge of the rainforest, this offers a truly unique experience to stay within the national park.
Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia, is on the rise among tourists. A very urban and cosmopolitan city, Kuala Lumpur is best known for it’s shopping malls and towering sky scrapers.
Having not been in a city for 4 months, arriving into Kuala Lumpurs buzz had us excited to explore.
Within the city you should make sure to visit Bukit Bintang for a night out. Sunway Mall was our favourite mall for a refresh of essentials; there’s a great sushi deli counter in the food market, selling sushi bites for as cheap as a $1. We also watched Alladin and Lion King in the Sunways cinema as both were playing during both of our visits – a great home comfort when you’ve been away for a while.
If you want to head out of the city for a day, the Batu Caves are a must visit, which are around a 40 minute journey from the city centre by taxi.
Tips: Arrive early and visit on a week day to avoid crowds. Grab taxis are available throughout Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia; the cheapest and easiest way to get around.
So there you have it our 5 best places to visit in Malaysia. A country full of diverse landscapes and so much natural beauty, it is the adventers dream. What are you best places to visit in Malaysia?