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Things to do in Malaysia

Things to do in  Malaysia

Welcome to Malaysia

Malaysia is a country of contrasts, sliced in half by the South China Sea. On one side, colonial treasure troves, tropical islands, and modern cityscapes captivate; while in Borneo, rain forests and wild animals dominate the landscape. Malaysia is crowned by its sleek capital, Kuala Lumpur, where the Petronas Twin Towers, the Batu Caves, and enticing street food reign supreme. In historical Malacca, UNESCO World Heritage sites jostle for attention; Kota Kinabalu magnetizes travelers with fiery sunsets and a vibrant art scene; in Penang, the colonial gems of Georgetown complement the country’s best food; and on the white-sand beaches of Langkawi, revelers and relaxers soak up the island atmosphere. Opportunities for outdoor adventures abound: Hike through the emerald tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands, trek to the fiery summit of Mount Kinabalu volcano, or explore the fauna-rich rain forest of Taman Negara National Park. Nature lovers can visit rescued elephants at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, observe orangutans in Borneo’s dense jungle, or watch a dazzling display of fireflies at Kuala Selangor lagoon. Plus, Malaysia’s proximity to Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia not only make it an ideal launchpad for traveling Southeast Asia, but also creates an engrossing cultural tapestry guaranteed to excite and enchant.

Top 10 attractions in Malaysia

#1
Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV)

Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV)

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The Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) portrays the varied cultures and customs of Sarawak’s ethnic groups. The village consists of authentic traditional buildings each displaying artifacts made by individual dwellers. Demonstration of arts and crafts like beadworks, wood and bamboo carvings, pua and straw weaving can be seen while visiting the Village.The buildings – a Chinese farmhouse, a Penan Hut, a Melanau Tall House and Bidayuh, Iban and Orang Ulu Longhouses - are set amidst a scenic 17-acre (6.8hc) site. As part of the living museum, members of Sarawak's many ethnic groups can be seen throughout the Village going about everyday activities such as carving, sago-making, crushing sugar-cane, and growing pepper.You can learn how to throw a Malay spinning top, shoot a Penan blowpipe or pick out a tune on an Orang Ulu sape. It’s a touristy set up but does give you a deeper understanding of the culture and heritage of Sarawak’s many racial groups that is not available elsewhere.More
#2
George Town (Penang Georgetown)

George Town (Penang Georgetown)

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George Town (Penang Georgetown) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts a unique mix of cultures. The beating heart of Penang, George Town offers visitors a heady combination of world-class street food, colorful colonial architecture, and street art. This historic enclave, which can be explored entirely on foot, is also famous for its novelty museums.More
#3
Semenggoh Nature Reserve

Semenggoh Nature Reserve

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There are few places in the world with a healthier population of young orangutans than the jungles surrounding the Semenggoh Nature Reserve near Kuching. This thriving population of wild orangutans owes its success to the three-decade-old rehabilitation program at the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, situated within the 2.6-square-mile (6.8-square-km) reserve.So many orangutans were successfully reintroduced into the surrounding forest that the habitat reached capacity, and all rehabilitation activities were moved to the Matang Wildlife Centre inside Kubah National Park. During its years of active rehabilitation, the center cared for nearly 1,000 endangered animals, with birds, mammals, and reptiles representing dozens of species.While rehabilitation efforts have ended, visitors to the reserve can still observe some of the program’s “graduated” orangutans—now living in the surrounding forest reserve with their offspring in tow—during twice daily supplemental feedings. Since the orangutans are free to roam, there’s no guaranteed sightings, but many of them stop by the center regularly for a free meal of fruit, eggs, and sometimes hidden vitamins.Two trails take visitors through the primary rainforest, where it’s sometimes possible to spot rescued gibbons, crocodiles, river terrapins, or porcupines from a safe distance.More
#4
Malacca River (Sungai Melaka)

Malacca River (Sungai Melaka)

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The Malacca River (Sungai Melaka) cuts across the city of the same name, now most commonly spelled Melaka, and is also known as the Melaka River. In recent years, the river has been revitalized into a top destination, with both Malaysians and international visitors coming to soak in its history and marvel at the diverse architecture from the city’s Portuguese, Dutch, and British heritage.More
#5
Petronas Twin Towers (Petronas Towers)

Petronas Twin Towers (Petronas Towers)

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The twin 88-story steel and glass buildings known as the Petronas Twin Towers (or Petronas Towers), completed in 1996, are icons of Malaysia. Designed to symbolize courage and the country’s advancement, the two towers are connected by a double-decker Skybridge between the 41st and 42nd floor—the world’s highest two-story bridge of its kind—to form the shape of an “M” for Malaysia.More
#6
Kuching Old Court House

Kuching Old Court House

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Kuching Old Court House, now officially known as the Sarawak Tourism Complex, was used as the seat of Sarawak’s judicial branch from when it was built in 1871 until 1973. The complex encompasses a series of architecturally interesting structures, like the colonial-Baroque clock tower — the complex’s most recognizable building — added in 1883 and the English Renaissance/English Colonial Pavilion Building, added in 1909 and currently home to the Textile Museum.Other points of interest include the Round Tower, built in 1886 as a fort and later converted to a dispensary and most recently the headquarters of the Sarawak Craft Council, and the Charles Brooke Memorial, added in 1924 to honor the second white rajah of Sarawak.Kuching Old Court House complex is situated near the Kuching Esplanade and makes for a pleasant stroll with some nice architectural photo ops. A small cafe with courtyard seating offers a place for travelers to rest their feet over a cup of coffee.More
#7
Kuching Waterfront (Esplanade)

Kuching Waterfront (Esplanade)

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What was once a worn and weathered trading area in Kuching has been transformed into one of Malaysia’s best public spaces. The Kuching Waterfront, also known as the Esplanade, officially opened in 1993 and extends for a little less than a mile (1.3 kilometers) between the Main Bazaar and the Riverside Suites.Once lined with wharfs and warehouses, this stretch along the south bank of the Sarawak River is now lined with cafes, souvenir shops and food stalls, along with several historic buildings and points of interest, like the Sarawak Steamship Company building and the Chinese Museum. With little road traffic, the area is ideal for strolling, particularly in the evening when the riverside lights blink on. Tiled mosaics along the esplanade depict Malaysian ethnic motifs, while placards offer insight into the area’s history.More
#8
Kuala Lumpur National Monument (Tugu Negara)

Kuala Lumpur National Monument (Tugu Negara)

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The Kuala Lumpur National Monument (Tugu Negara) commemorates the 11,000 people who lost their lives fighting for Malaysian independence. The 51-foot (15.5-meter) bronze statue of seven soldiers, built to replace a colonial-era cenotaph that now stands behind it, is part of a site that also includes a central pavilion with regimental emblems.More
#9
Bako National Park

Bako National Park

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Sarawak’s oldest national park, Bako National Park packs a lot of action into just 10 square miles (27 square kilometers) of land. Seven different ecosystems, including rain forest and mangroves, are home to wildlife from long-nosed proboscis monkeys to orchids, carnivorous pitcher plants, bearded pigs, and mudskippers (“walking” fish).More
#10
Langkawi Cable Car (Langkawi SkyCab)

Langkawi Cable Car (Langkawi SkyCab)

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Formally known as Langkawi SkyCab, the Langkawi Cable Car takes riders high above the Langkawi rain forest on Mt. Mat Cincang (Gunung Mat Cincang) for a panoramic view of the surrounding islands and sea. It boasts Malaysia’s longest free span mono-cable car—at 3,117 feet (950 meters)—and is among the steepest on the planet.More

Trip ideas

Tea Plantation Tours from Kuala Lumpur

Tea Plantation Tours from Kuala Lumpur

Top National Parks in Sarawak

Top National Parks in Sarawak

Island Hopping Tours in Langkawi

Island Hopping Tours in Langkawi

Top activities in Malaysia

Recent reviews from experiences in Malaysia

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Fantastic Tour with Joelle our...
Neale R, Jan 2018
Private Half-Day Batu Caves Waterfalls and Hot Springs Tour
His knowledge of Batu Caves and all things Malaysian were really interesting but when we went to the Falls he was great with the wild monkeys,they seemed to recognise him and his food bag...
star-5
Great tour, loved it very much
Natalja_S, Mar 2020
Full-day Cameron Highlands Day Trip from Kuala Lumpur
We were very happy with this tour, recommend to any who is interested to see nice nature of Malaysia and learn a lot of things about it's culture and people.
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Cameron Highlands
matt f, Nov 2019
Experience Real Cameron Highland from Ipoh
The tour also includes a visit with the local Orang Asli indigenous tribe and a final stop at the beautiful Late Escanola waterfall.
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One of a Kind Experience!
Climber52134666086, May 2019
Kuala Selangor Firefly Boat Tour with Dinner and Transfer from Kuala Lumpur
He emphasizes that his tours are spontaneous, so he brought us to see a Hindu temple and feed silver leaf monkeys on the way to Kuala Selangor, and to the King's Palace on the way back to KL.
star-5
efficient private tour
vk22014, Sep 2018
Silver Leaf Monkeys and Firefly Tour with Boat Ride and Seafood Dinner
Guide picked us up at hotel on time, drove to several sites for quick stops on the way (palace, natural hot springs, pick up peanuts for the monkeys), then we walked to where hundreds of monkeys were waiting for food.
star-5
We had a fabulous day tour to the...
Brenda G, Sep 2016
Day Tour Hill Resort Cameron Highlands
We went to the Batu Caves nice and early and missed all the monkeys and the crowds, then on to the highlands to see the waterfall, tea plantations, strawberry picking, butterfly and insect gardens and cactus garden.
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After docking we met up with Wong and...
Marion B, Jan 2017
Orang Utan Island and Taiping from Penang
To see the Orangs we walked in a cage unfortunately not good for photography.
star-5
This Private tour was fantastic! Our...
Emily L, Sep 2017
Private Half-Day Batu Caves Waterfalls and Hot Springs Tour
The Batu caves were amazing and the waterfalls refreshing once we got to the top!
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Amazing, the best part of our trip...
Zia, Aug 2018
Day Tour Rainforest Taman Negara
Make sure you take a change of clothes and make sure you change, you will fall ill otherwise.
star-5
I booked this tour with no high...
Antonio Nhat C, Feb 2018
Kuala Selangor Firefly Boat Tour with Dinner and Transfer from Kuala Lumpur
You get to see other parts of Malaysia.
star-4
We were surprised to be picked up by...
Bryce W, Jul 2018
Malacca UNESCO "World Heritage Site" Day Trip from Kuala Lumpur
He was on time and could speak very good English.
star-5
This tour was TOP. Highly...
CJ, Aug 2017
Private Tour Kuala Lumpur with Petronas Twin Towers Observation Deck & Batu Cave
He speaks English well.
star-5
Our driver/guide RIDZUAN arrived at...
Priska S, Nov 2017
Private Full Day Tour : Kuala Lumpur City & Shopping with Lunch
First he told us, what we could visit and see and we decided which places to visit and he was very flexible und adapted whenever we got new questions and ideas.
star-4
Our tour driver was nice, and we...
Kelip Kelip, Jan 2014
Kuala Selangor Tour from Kuala Lumpur with Fireflies Boat Ride and Seafood Dinner
You also get to see some typical country side houses and buildings.
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We were lucky enough to be the only...
Jill B, Dec 2016
Kuala Selangor Firefly Boat Tour with Dinner and Transfer from Kuala Lumpur
Next was to get the boat to see the fireflies.
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