Malaysia is a Federal Constitutional Monarchy situated in Southeast Asia. It comprises 13 states and three federal territories separated into two regions of similar size by the South China Sea. These are named East Malaysia and West Malaysia. The National Capital of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur and The Federal Administrative Centre of the Government is situated in Putrajaya.
Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries in the Tropics and home to a large number of endemic species.
Malaysia originated from the Malay Kingdom which came under British rule in the 18th Century and achieved its independence on 31st August 1957. On 16th September 1963, Malaya united with North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore to become Malaysia. But Singapore was expelled from the union due to distrust and ideological differences.
With Islam as the established religion, the constitution of Malaysia grants freedom of religion to non-Muslims. This makes Malaysia a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country. The King known as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the head of the state, elected for a term of five years from the hereditary rulers of the nine Malay states. The Government head is the Prime Minister. Bahasa Malaysia is the official language and English is the second active language.
Things to do in Malaysia:
With an expansive coastline of more than 4600 kilometres and moderate tropical weather, Malaysia attracts many tourists every year. Malaysia has something for everyone, right from beautiful beaches, elevated hill stations, UNESCO World Heritage Sites to mouthwatering cuisines and a wide variety of activities. Given below is the list of the best things to do in Malaysia:
Visit the PETRONAS Towers in Kuala Lumpur
The ‘PETRONAS Towers’, also known as the ‘PETRONAS Twin towers’ offer one of the most iconic sights in the world. The postmodern architecture depicting motifs of Islamic Art imparts this structure with a mesmerising look. The skywalk over the bridge joining the twin towers is a major attraction. This bridge gives a beautiful view of Kuala Lumpur and KLCC Park at the base of the towers.
Sunbathe in Langkawi
Langkawi Island is the largest one, in a cluster of over 100 islands in the Andaman Sea. It has attained popularity among backpackers and honeymooners alike and offers something for every budget. Langkawi also enjoys duty-free status which makes it a popular place among visitors to buy souvenir items at cheap prices.
Observe the Orangutans in Sepilok
Sabah, in East Malaysia, has the world’s first orangutan rehabilitation centre. This was opened in 1960 with an aim to rescue orangutans that have been orphaned and left with little to no means to save themselves from logging and illegal poaching. The mammals are administered healthcare and given training so that they are able to survive in the wild on their own. Tourists can also feed the orangutans from the feeding platforms that were built just for this purpose.
Meander around Penang
Off the west coast of Malaysia, there is an island called Penang that has Georgetown as its capital. The Capital town has been named after the British King, King George. Penang is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the main focus of the administration is on conservation and preservation of the majestic history of this town.
Enjoy a ride to Genting Highlands
Located in the Titiwangsa Mountains at an elevation of over 5,000 feet, is a resort named Genting Highlands. The resort offers a wide range of attractions to the visitors and is popular among locals as well as tourists. You will find several different theme parks, bars, restaurants, night clubs, and a cable car known as Genting Skyway. This gondola lift previously held the title of the World’s fastest and South East Asia’s longest cable car.
Best Places to Visit in Malaysia
Malaysia has a rich ancient heritage and so much to offer to the tourists in terms of its mesmerizing islands, heritage sites, serene beaches, quaint towns, and a number of adventure sports. Below is the list of best tourist places in Malaysia:
At a distance of around 19 km from North-eastern Malaysia lies a group of stunning islands with a beautiful coral fringe. It is located in the marine park, an area where fishing is strictly prohibited. Perhentian Island has the distinction of being one of the most popular places to visit in Malaysia.
Shallow water on most of the beaches provides a perfect view of the vibrant corals and fishes including parrot fish and cuttlefish swimming through them.
Entry Fee: For Marine Park, the fee is RM 2.50 and RM 5.00 for local children and adults respectively, or RM 15.00 to RM 30.00 for foreigners.
On the east of Sabah lies Kinabatangan, famous for the remains of a rainforest. The wildlife lovers are attracted by the wildlife sanctuary. It ranks high among the romantic places in Malaysia.
Location: Northeastern Borneo, Malaysia
Major Attractions: Jungle camp where you can enjoy wildlife in its open natural habitat.
Entry Fee: From RM 450 per person for 2 days 1 night.
Tip: An early morning cruise is the best way to experience rich wildlife.
Mount Kinabalu, the tallest peak of Borneo, offers a terrific sight. It is located at Kinabalu Park, a World Heritage Site, and its impressive trails allow a breathtaking view of the beautiful surroundings of the region. This place is very popular among adventure lovers who wish to get in touch with nature.
Location: West Coast Division, Sabah, Malaysia
Major Attractions: Variation in flora and fauna at different altitudes is a delight for the nature lovers.
Entry Fee: Free
A beautiful historic town that boasts of some rare heritage sites and pilgrimage monuments, George Town is quite popular among visitors. Also, it is considered as one of the best places to visit in Malaysia.
Location: Penang, Malaysia
Major Attractions: Fort Cornwallis, Penang Street Art, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Kapitan Keling Mosque and beautiful Buddhist Temples are the major attractions of George Town.
Entry Fee: No entry fee
Melaka, one of the most famous Southeast Asian trading posts, is a 2-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. After attaining the status of a heritage site that is acknowledged by UNESCO, Melaka has become one of the must-see places of Malaysia. It houses some of the best tourist attractions, the ancient architecture of which speaks about its erstwhile magnificence.
Major Attractions: If you are a history lover, visit the Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum to know about Malays-Chinese history.
Entry Fee: RM 16 for adults and RM 11 for children and add RM 4 per adult for guided tours.
For adventure-seeking tourists, a thrilling water rafting experience awaits just 90 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur. The Ulu Slim River, ideal for Grade 3 and above rafting activities attracts many rafters every year.
Major Attractions: The native village and excellent quality rafting equipment.
Entry Fee: From RM 160 per person
Cameron Highland is the location for hill lovers. This hill station, established in 1930, is one of the oldest tourist destinations in Malaysia. The area is inhabited by quite a diverse group of people. One would feel awestricken after experiencing beautiful tea estates, mesmerising waterfalls, splendid strawberry farms, great weather and pretty orchards.
Location: Pahang, Malaysia
Major Attractions: Strawberry farms, tea estates and beautiful waterfall account for your visit to Cameron Highlands.
Entry Fee: Each attraction charges different rate but most of them are affordable
Johor Bahru is the southernmost city of Malaysia, where a causeway bridge that connects Malaysia and Singapore is present. Royal Abu Bakar Museum, built by the Sultan of Johor in 1866 is a place worth visiting. You can explore local Malaysian food in Johor Bahru.
Location: Johor, Malaysia
Major Attractions: Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, Royal Abu Bakar Museum and Legoland Malaysia
Entry Fee: RM 89 is charged per head upon entering Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, exploring Royal Abu Bakar Museum would cost as low as RM 1, while Legoland charges from RM 189 for adult, and RM 149 for children.
One of the largest aquariums in the world, it is home to over 4500 freshwater and marine species. The prominent being, huge tiger sharks, garfishes, Seahorses, massive arapaima, giant groupers and bright & colourful coral fish. This place is considered as one of the major tourist destinations in Malaysia.
Location: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC)
Major Attractions: Coral fishes and Tiger Sharks
Entry Fee: General admissions cost RM 69 for adults and RM 59 for children. MyKad holders can enjoy cheaper rates!
Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
Spread over about 21 acres, Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is a public aviary in Kuala Lumpur. It attracts about 200,000 visitors every year. The aviary is divided into 4 zones in which the first 2 zones are reserved for free-flying birds and offer them an environment to flourish in their natural habitat. Zone 3 is the Hornbill Park, whereas zone 4 is for birds to be kept in captivity and special areas.
Location: Perdana Botanical Gardens, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Major Attractions: Parrots, the egg incubation area, Hornbill Park, bird gallery, flamingo pond, etc. are the major attractions inside the Bird Park.
Entry Fee: RM 63 per adult and RM 42 per kid. Mykad holders can enjoy cheaper rates!
Kilim Karst Geoforest Park
It is situated in the Langkawi Islands and the tour offers an enchanting view of the beautiful natural mangroves. A swim in the river will refresh you, while a boat tour is an ideal way to explore the p You can watch migratory birds here and improve your knowledge of medicinal plants found in this place.
Location: Kampung Kilim
Major Attractions: Migratory birds, Sea eagle feeding, bat caves walk, and exploration through mangroves are the major attractions of Kilim Karst Geoforest Park.
Entry Fee: RM 200 to RM 500 per person which includes a tour guide and boat.
Streets of Bukit Bintang are famous for offering an enthralling experience for shopaholics. The place gets a festive look with vibrant lights after 10 PM and offers a bustling nightlife to the tourists.
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Major Attractions: Shopping Malls
Entry Fee: No Entry Fee
Tip: Beware of pickpockets
Serdang is popular for Zorbing (also known as Orbing), a sport of rolling downhill inside an orb, generally made of transparent plastic. It is considered to be one of Malaysia’s best tourist attractions that offer an out of this world experience!
Major Attractions: Zorbing
Entry Fee: Price ranges from RM 15 to RM 30 depending on the type of zorbing
Batu Caves is a hill of limestone with a series of temples and caves that are believed to be around 400 milion years old. It is situated in Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia. Dedicated to Lord Murugan or Kartikeya, this place is one of the most popular Hindu temples outside India. Standing 140 feet high, the world’s tallest statue of Lord Murugan is located outside Batu Caves.
Location: Gombak, Selangor
Major Attractions: The steep inclination of Batu Caves, rock climbing, and the statues of Hindu deities are the major attraction at Batu Caves.
Entry Fee: Free
Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower
Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower provides a mesmerizing view of the city at 421 meters. The observation deck at KL Tower is 276 meters high and lets you see a sweeping view of the whole city.
Location: Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur
Major Attraction: Besides stunning height, the tower has much more to offer. You will find Malaysia Cultural Village, a panoramic view restaurant, Mini Zoo, XD Theatre and much more.
Entry Fee: To enter observation deck, fee starts from RM 20 for MyKid holders and RM 30 for adult MyKad holders. Foreigners are to pay a different amount. As for the Sky Deck, RM 99 and RM 52 are charged for non-MyKad holders, adults and children respectively. MyKad holders can enjoy cheaper rates!