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Malaysia is a cultural haven. Being a multiracial, multicultural society with most locals who are able to speak more than one language; Malaysia is truly a place of acceptance, unity, and diversity. Malaysia offers the best of both worlds, a natural paradise of vast green rainforests and beautiful natural beaches, but is also home to thriving, vibrant cities that are always busy, lively and festive all year round. For people who love food, Malaysia is undeniably one of the very best. Malaysia’s diversity of food alone can cater to literally anybody, but with such widespread cultural variety, Malaysia is a place where one can come to explore new flavors which were too many once unimaginable.
Top Places to Go In Malaysia
As the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is the heart and driving force of the nation. Home to the Malaysian parliament and the national palace, Kuala Lumpur is surrounded by historical landmarks and rapid new developments now and for the future.
The multicultural premise of Kuala Lumpur is prevalent in the distinct variations and differences that are seen in food, religion, language, and culture. Called home to the three main defining races; Malay, Indian and Chinese. Kuala Lumpur gives the experience of vastly different, yet authentic cultural practices (in food, religion, and language) all in one bustling, beautiful city! When it comes to Kuala Lumpur, the food is nothing short of extraordinary. You must not leave Kuala Lumpur without having tried some original Kuala Lumpur Malay Nasi Lemak with Rendang (the national dish of Malaysia), Indian Mamak Roti Canai or Chinese Pan Mee.
Cultural diversity in landmarks is also no stranger to the city of Kuala Lumpur. Notably, the Petronas Twin-Towers is a staple of Malaysia, has been the tallest building in the world from 1998 to 2004, they remain the tallest twin towers in the world. The grand monument is one not to be missed, you can spend some time there, take photos and explore the luxurious shopping complex, at the Suria KLCC or visit the attached aquarium - Aquaria KLCC. Additionally, it would be worth paying a visit to the Batu Caves temple. As a widely revered 400 million-year-old cave turned temple (built about a century ago) and constructed alongside the largest statue of the Hindu God of War and Victory, Lord Murugan; the vast limestone hill, history, and heritage make Batu Caves a must-visit when touring Kuala Lumpur.
When Malaysians think of a place, rich in history and culture, and is home to irresistible food at every corner; they think Malacca. Regarded as one of history’s major cornerstone for the spice trade between Europe and East-Asia, Malacca is truly a haven for history-lovers. Malacca city has even been declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2008 for its unique cultural and historical significance.
For foodies, places that are rich in history usually mean one thing; amazing food. Malacca is no different. Go back in time and indulge in the savory delights of Baba Nyonya food, with influences from Chinese, Malay and many other cultures, you will be able to experience a facet of food like never before. Packist.com recommends that you have a try of some Nyonya Pai Tee, Chap Chai and some Otak-Otak. After your meal, enjoy some unique but beautiful deserts that will undoubtedly blow your mind. Packist.com strongly recommends that you treat yourself with a Coconut shake for its light, fluffy but fulfilling textures and flavor.
Don’t go home without capturing some beautiful, Instagram worthy photos from the Red Square (also known as the Dutch Square) and its unmistakable Christ Church building, built in the 18th Century, it truly is a landmark of its ages. Boast to your friends when you tell them that you had laid your eyes, up close and personal, of South East Asia’s oldest surviving fort, A Famosa.
From the humble beginnings as a colonial city, Ipoh has flowered in its development; coupling old architectural ingenuity with fresh, modern amenities that give the city a truly Malaysian feel. Ipoh will make you fall in love with nature when you relax and visit the Buddhist temple, Kek Long Tong Cave Temple and Zen Gardens. Ipoh is classed as the ‘foodies’ city’ for the seemingly endless rows of mastered street stalls that serve homely and thoughtful foods. Packist.com recommends that you indulge in some Ipoh Chicken Rice for its light and fragrant chicken broth rice that matches so well with the steamed or roasted chicken, topped off with crunchy cucumbers, it is a real treat.
Gopeng is loved by eco-tourists for the preservation and myriad of natural landmarks and activities that it offers. People looking for adrenaline spikes should partake in extreme activities such as white water rafting or mountain biking in Gopeng for the tropical environment projects a beautiful yet turbulent landscape for those looking for a thrill. Additionally, if you are into getting down and dirty, caving in Gopeng is an adventure not to be missed. Entering the Gua Tempurung limestone cave will enlighten you in the mystique and beauty of our natural Planet, all of which while you enjoy a fun-filled adventure into the unknown.
Pangkor Island is a romantic, comfortable retreat that is away from the hustle and bustle of the city but remains close enough for many Malaysians and foreigners to enjoy not far from the mainland of Malaysia. While you are in Pangkor, you should spend time on the beautiful Coral Beach and appreciate the soft sand and ocean breezes. Furthermore, you can explore Pangkor’s Foo Lin Kong Temple for the colorful and calming atmosphere; just remember to take some memorable photos of you and your loved ones while you’re there!
If you are looking for an authentic taste of Malaysian culture, Johor is the place to be. Interesting fact: geographically, Johor is the southernmost part of the entire Asian Mainland Continent! Johor is a place which blends a little of everything together, from History to culture, from food to beverage and from ancient to contemporary. Johor’s diversity and harmonious mixture of cultures make a truly special, truly unique state in Malaysia.
Cafe hopping is a favorite for all locals and tourists in Johor. You will have a phenomenal time indulging in aesthetically unique, simplistic foods made only of the finest, freshest ingredients in Johor. Packist.com recommends that when you are spending the day cafe hopping, you should try the Bev Cafe for its delicate dishes and coffees; all of which are a postcard, insta-worthy!
Additionally, you can experience shopping like never before at the Johor Premium Outlet. The collection of high-end and premium outlets are absolutely some of the best you will find in Asia. The shopping facilities are also refined and very unique. The open spaces and well-thought, inviting layout make even mere window-shopping an experience you would not want to miss.
Langkawi is an archipelago of up to 99 islands, it is closely located beside the state of Kedah and is officially known as the ‘Jewel of Kedah’. From its duty-free status and gorgeous sandy beaches, Langkawi has become a hotspot for many tourists to enjoy.
When you are in Langkawi taking trips to the beach is essential, you must see the beautiful white sand and clear blue waters in person to truly appreciate Langkawi as the beach paradise it is. Packist.com recommends a visit to Tanjung Rhu to experience one of the finest beaches in Malaysia and find yourself completed relaxed by your surroundings.
If you had ever wondered what birds see when they look upon beautiful landscapes, wonder no more when you take a stroll on the Sky Bridge of Langkawi. The bridge is suspended in the air 660 meters above sea level, over a stretch of 125 meters. From the above, you will be able to view the Waterfall and rainforest. all of which while you experience the awesome breeze of Langkawi (just remember to keep a good grip of your phone!).
Known for its historical growth as a busy trade hub and deemed the “Army Town” by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for housing many of the nations army camps. The close proximity to Kuala Lumpur but obvious distinction from typical city lifestyle makes Port Dickson a unique location for anyone to enjoy, relax and explore at amazing prices.
Port Dickson is locally revered for their well-kept scenic beaches. Packist.com strongly recommends that you visit the Blue Lagoon beach (‘Pantai Tanjung Biru’) for its photo-worthy sceneries, clean sand, and clear waters. To further appreciate Port Dickson for its coastal wonders, a visit to the 16th century built Cape Rachado Lighthouse, will provide a stunning view of the Malacca Strait (the stretch of water which separates Peninsular Malaysia and Indonesia's island of Sumatra).
Unwind by having your stay in the Avillion, some of Port Dickson’s most renowned hotels. The enticing activities and beautiful views of the ocean that the Avillion will provide is an experience you can truly be proud to enjoy with your loved ones.
You would not want to miss taking a trip to the Army Museum (‘Muzium Tinter Dart’), owned by the Malaysian Royal Armed Forces and located next to a military base, the museum tells the historic tales of the Malaysian military and its achievements. Be fascinated by their collection of decommissioned military equipment such as planes, heavy artillery, tanks and other military vehicles but also be humbled by the memorial fountain, built to commemorate Malaysia’s war heroes.
Tioman Island is an east coast island located in the state of Pahang and is easily one of the finest Islands in the nation. Surrounded by a myriad of coral reefs and declared as a marine life and park reserve, Tioman Island is a haven for snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts.
Be sure to unwind at some of Tioman Island’s beautiful golden white sand and deep-blue water beaches. Packist.com recommends that you visit the stunning Salang Beach and experience the lavish ocean breezes like never before. Remember to take plenty of photos while you are there!
After a long day of relaxation on Tioman Island beaches, be sure to also find some places to eat in Tioman. The food is good and most restaurants are unique and specially affordable.
Clean golden white sand. Crystal clear waters. Gorgeous sceneries. Redang Island is more than just a beach island. It is a place where families, couples and friends can gather and witness the best mother nature can offer as a tropical paradise.
Snorkeling and scuba diving are the main activities you can experience in Redang Island. This is because the Island is bordered by some of the world’s most gorgeous coral reefs, collection of marine life and mystifying blue waters. Grab yourself a waterproof camera and take some of the most extravagant underwater photos that you can come to imagine!
A group of small islands and located on the northeastern border of Malaysia and not far off the coast of Thailand, Perhentian Island is one of the top beach tourist attractions in the region. Surrounded by vast collections of gorgeous coral reefs, Perhentian Island is a scuba diver's dream. In order to get around in Perhentian, asides from walking of course, is by water taxis, this affordable means of transport are typically negotiable, so bargain, bargain, bargain. Additionally, the water taxis can be used to get from island to island; therefore, it is highly recommended that you explore the undiscovered depths of Perhentian Island and experience its majestic, authentic natural settings. Other popular activities in Perhentian Island include jungle trekking, snorkeling, kayaking, typical beach activities and conservatory volunteering.
When local Malaysians think of Penang, they think of some of the best Malaysian foods they have ever eaten. Composed of Mainland Penang and Penang Island, Penang has something for everybody.
For history-enthusiasts, Penang has a rich international history as a center-point for East-Asian trading. Once part of the centuries-old Kedah Sultanate, then British Empire and occupied by Japanese Imperialists, Penang harmoniously assimilates the cultural, religious and disciplinary diversity it had always been exposed to. To learn and experience more about Penang’s rich and diverse history, you should spend some time walking down the heritage streets of Penang, these include Lebuh Armenian, Love Lane and Lebuh Muntri.
Penang knows to project a kaleidoscope of its own statehood, this makes for some unique and true flavors of its most amazing of dishes such as the Penang Char Kuey Teow, the just-right Penang Asam Laksa and Penang Nyonya Foods.
Fringed by the mountainous terrain and the world’s oldest rainforest, Batang Ai is a place of natural wonder. As the rainforest is heavily protected and well conserved, Batang Ai’s environment is always ready to inspire and captivate any jungle trekkers or animal spotters. It doesn’t stop there. Batang Ai is also culturally rich, home to the local Iban people, visitors can be immersed in the culture and traditions of the Iban peoples.
Biodiversity is not foreign to the Batang Ai rainforest. With many rare and endangered animals, over 1000 species of trees and 200 types of herbs, all which are protected; Batang Ai is a special, cultural and historically diverse place.
While trekking around you may be able to encounter some gibbons, white-fronted langurs, long-tailed macaques, western tasir, slow lorises, civet cats, clouded leopards, sun bears, , mouse deer, otters and many, many more. Or while you are bird watching you may be able to spot the gorgeous, Sarawakian state bird, the rhinoceros hornbill, and 7 other hornbill species. Fun fact: the Iban people hold the belief that the rhinoceros hornbill are the messengers from men to God, while Sarawakian people tend to believe that they are a symbol of good luck.
Pom Pom Island
45 minutes by boat from Semporna and surrounded by lively coral reefs, turquoise waters, and golden white sand, Pom Pom Island is that special place you can take your loved ones on that long-awaited beach adventure. Small and sitting secluded, Pom Pom Island is home to many sea turtles that arrive onto the beach during the night to nest their offspring. If you are lucky, you may even become witness to the migration or even the hatching and release into the sea of baby sea turtles.
As the capital of Negeri Sembilan and is a mere hour drive away from the country’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur, Seremban is right under the nose of many Malaysians and holds many hidden national jewels. Seremban’s economic developments and expanding infrastructure have ensured that Seremban will soon be officially declared as a city on its own. With gorgeous beaches in Port Dickson and many nearby villages such as Kampung Pantai and Sri Menanti with traditional wooden homes, there is plenty of culture, history and natural environment to delve into at Seremban.
Top Travel Tips for Malaysia from Packist