14 reasons to visit Malaysia this year


 

"Home is wherever I'm with you," Malaysia. A home away from home, a place that welcomes everyone regardless of religion, culture or background. Malaysia is not only home to me at the moment but also to some superlative attractions you can't find anywhere else in the world. Give me your hand and let me take you on an unbelievable journey...

 

I will show you the highest skybridge in the world, the world's oldest rainforest, one of the most beautiful islands and from there into some of Earth's magical caves. I will feed you in Penang with the yummiest street food you will ever have and finally, we are going to have a cup of tea in the Cameron Highlands.

 

This wonderful ride is going to leave you speechless, stunned and left with the only conclusion that if you haven't already been then you definitely need to visit Malaysia, and return even if you have. Malaysia is truly Asia and now let the journey begin...

Why would you visit Malaysia?

Petronas Towers

THE HOME OF THE GREATEST SKYSCRAPERS...

Where else would our journey start but in Malaysia's fascinating capital Kuala Lumpur? It is a great place and there is nothing you won't be able to find in this melting pot of cultures. You will find rollercoasters in shopping malls, monkeys lazing about in trees and the one thing you absolutely can't miss, wherever you go.. the Petronas Twin Towers.

 

The most scenic feature of the two identical towers is the highest skybridge in the world, connecting the two giants. The bridge is open to the public and can be visited every day at certain times. Don't miss out on the most amazing view of Kuala Lumpur.

 

Let me provide you with a few facts: the buildings were the tallest in the world from 1998 until 2004, but the still remain the tallest 'twin' towers in the world. They measure at 452 meters from top to bottom and each tower was constructed by a different company - one from Japan and one from Korea - which turned into an epic race to completion. The Korean company, Samsung Engineering & Construction, had been secretly assembling its spire inside its tower, unseen by everyone. In the early hours of one morning in 1996, they placed their completed spire atop the East tower and so won the race...

 

TIP: If you want the most amazing view of the Skyline and the Petronas Towers from an amazing infinity pool, you should book yourself an apartment (around $50 a night) at the Regalia Residence. Awesome photos guaranteed.


 

"I love Kuala Lumpur because the city is strategically planned. The shopping malls, the museums and other tourist spots are in one area which makes everything accessible by walking. Such a cool place!"

 

 

Trisha Velarmino

Blogger and Fashion Queen, Philippines



It is also food paradise...

Street food penang

A PLACE THAT FEEDS YOU WELL...

Barely one great thing comes without another in our forward moving society. If it's good then it will probably be expensive, and if it's cheap you most probably wouldn't consider it great, especially when it comes to food.

 

But in Malaysia you will discover a great variety of mouthwatering dishes for just a few ringgits prepared by local superstars. The little shop and street food stand owners in this country are my personal heroes. Whether you like Malaysian, Chinese, Indian or Thai food, the little "Malaysian" hawker-style food courts have everything for you for just a handful of ringgits.

 

The best place for food you can find on the South East Asian peninsula is probably Penang. A lot of different cultures consider this island their home and that definitely shows in their food culture. You can get a taste of nearly every corner of the world, literally...


 

 "The food in Malaysia is amazing. Not only is there Malay, Chinese, and Indian food, but some foods, like Nyonya’s blending of Malay and Chinese, are an amalgamation of different cultures. It is a food lover’s paradise really. KL and Penang are the top spots for food lovers visiting Malaysia."

 

Talon Windwalker

Blogger and Foodie, United States



A home to many cultures...

cultures of malaysia

A PLACE OF MANY DIFFERENT CULTURES AND BELIEFS...

Where everyone lives in a peaceful environment full of respect and admiration for each other. You will find temples next to mosques and churches next to temples. You can celebrate Christmas whilst preparing for Chinese New Year. You will get to experience the craziness and wonder of the Indian Holi festival or the intensity of the holy month of Ramadan.

 

Malaysia is home to many cultures and people from all over the world, whether they consider themselves expats, locals or travellers. It's a place where people come together from all over the world. It's home to anyone who wants it to be their home.

 

Whether you visit little India in Kuala Lumpur, the Chinese Jetty in Penang, or admire the street art of Lithuanian backpackers, everyone has contributed to make this country a welcoming piece of Earth.


 

"Penang is famous for its unbeatable street food, multi-cultural and religious festivals, and energetic and vibrant arts scenes. It is blessed with beaches, national parks, gardens for nature lovers. Penang has a lots to offer, both old and new, and will surprise and delight locals and tourists alike."

 

Rick Ng

Stockbroker and Tour Guide, Malaysia



...and home to many amazing beaches!

beach penang

WHICH WILL BLOW YOUR MIND...

Malaysia isn't really known for its beaches but you can find a lot of breathtaking spots to just chill and enjoy the crystal blue water. You can't beat Langkawi Island or especially Perhentian Island, which are known to be some of the most stunning beaches in the country.

 

Langkawi is located in Northern Malaysia and is also known as the 'Jewel of Kedah'. It is an archipelago of ninety nine idifferent islands with an abundance of great wildlife. The beaches are one of the most beautiful in South East Asia in my personal opinion. If you are looking for crystal clear water and white sands you should probably head to Perhentian Island. The island, located in the North-East has stunning coral reefs and is THE place to be if you love snorkeling. Great and ancient sea turtles can be found here if you're lucky...


 

"Life at the Long Beach is exactly what I need to get away from the city's concrete jungle. During the day, the clear water twinkles at you, making swimming a must. The sand is white and clear, making it easy to take a nap or sit. And music is played in the background by the nearby bars and restaurant huts."

 

Ahmed Amer

Software Engineer, Egypt



You will find the Cameron Highlands!

cameron highlands

AND ENJOY THE BEST TEA IN THE COUNTRY...

You wanna enjoy a cup of tea in an authentic British colonial house overlooking the most beautiful and biggest tea plantations in Malaysia? Yes? Then I have found the perfect place for you. The Cameron Highlands were named after Sir William Cameron, a British surveyor, and are located right in the heart of the Malaysian peninsula.

 

It is mostly known for its amazing tea plantations but has so much more to offer, especially its diverse wildlife. The "Camerons" is one of the few places in Malaysia that serves as a habitat for a wide variety of local flora and fauna. It is also home to the very rare mountain Peacock-Pheasant. If you love nature, enjoy a change of climate and a cup of tea, then this is your place to be...


"The kindness we experienced in Malaysia was memorable. From the old woman on the local bus who helped us find our way after our first bus broke down, to the shopkeeper at the Batu Cave entrance who gave us free ice cream. These acts transcended language and cultural barriers, and reminded us of the good nature of people around the world."

 

Elizabeth & Josh Wilson

Travel bloggers and loving couple, United States



A place with UNESCO world heritage!

malacca city

IN A BEAUTIFUL PLACE CALLED MALACCA...

Malacca is a little pearl located just before the Strait of Malacca. It has been under occupation ever since 1509, first by Portugese settlers and then later by Dutch, French and British. Every occupant ended up contributing a little bit into what Malacca is known for today - a colourful and vibrant place, full of cultural heritage that has even been recognized by UNESCO in 2003.

 

Its colonial architecture is what put the label on this former fishing village. The Dutch Square or the Christ Church are the centers of attention of many visiting tourists from all over the world. Don't miss out on a walk along the Malacca River just as soon as the sun begins to set!


 

''The nicest thing for me in Malaysia was to see different kinds of religion merging together ... Malaysia is a country full of Catholic churches, Chinese and Buddhist temples, Islamic mosques next to each other ... different colours, different sizes and different kind of energy but all respecting each other.''

 

Alexandra Kovacova

Blogger and Entrepreneur, Slovakia



Climb the magnificent Kinabalu!

mount kinabalu

MALAYSIA'S UNIQUE NATIONAL PARK WITH A SOUL...

The Kinabalu National Park is one of the many natural wonders of  Sabah. It is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage site and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Standing at 4,905 meters, the peak of Mount Kinabalu overlooks most of the park and it is one of the most accessible of its kind. It also leads in environmentally sustainable practices.

 

The mountain and its surroundings are among the most important biological sites in the world, with 6000 species of plants, 326 species of birds, and more than 100 mammalian species identified... It is a must to visit while you are in Malaysia.


"Immerse yourself in nature. Whether it be letting kids feed animals at Deerland, learning about the elephant release program at Kuala Ghanda or swimming around the Betong Chamang Waterfall. While there is something special in what humans make, nature is a true gift to us. For more than just a city, head outside of KL and discover the real Malaysia."

 

Josh & Erin Bender

Traveling family and passionate bloggers, Australia



Discover the biggest cave chamber in the world!

Mulu caves

ONE OF THE BIG WONDERS OF ASIA...

Gunung Mulu National Park is located in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Sarawak Chamber is the largest known cave chamber in the world! It is 700 meters long, 400 meters wide and at least 70 meters high and was only discovered in 1981. They say that you could easily accommodate forty Boeing 747's in there... Amazing.

 

Other notable caves in this area are the Benarat Cavern, the Wind Cave, and the Clearwater Cave, which contains parts of one of the world's largest underground river systems and is also believed to be one of the largest caves in the world. It is a place so remote that you can only fly into Gunung Mulu. It is truly a place like no other in the world...


tomislav perko

 

"My favorite spot in Malaysia? Langkawi! - a perfect getaway spot, fresh fish, nice relaxed bars, beautiful sandy beaches, stunning nature, great wildlife, great atmosphere and nice acoustic music that goes with it."

 

Tomislav Perko

Hitchhiker and Author, Croatia.



Meet the Iban tribe!

iban tribe

AND UNDERSTAND THE CULTURE OF THE FORMER HEADHUNTERS...

If you want to learn and understand a little bit more about the vast culture and heritage of Malaysia you should probably meet the people of the Iban tribe. The natives were renowned for practising headhunting and territorial expansion and had a fearsome reputation as a strong and successful warring tribe in ancient times.

 

Nowadays, most of the tribes have opened up to modern society and most of their longhouses have water supplies, electricity or even internet. Back in the days the biggest and most prestigious possesion they could have owned was a human skull obtained during headhunting...



 

"I often get asked if Malaysia is safe for solo female travellers. In a word: absolutely. Taking care to dress respectfully, I’ve confidently walked through the night markets in big cities like Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kota Kinabalu all alone. And the biggest risk I faced - eating too much Malay food.”

 

Jo Fitzsimons

Author at IndianJo, United Kingdom



The oldest rainforest in the world...

taman negara

TAMAN NEGARA THE OLDEST TROPICAL RAINFOREST...

Taman Negara, literally translated from National Park, has a reputation as the oldest tropical rainforest in the world. It is estimated to be more than 130 million years old and accommodates a lot of very rare animals. Its most famous rare inhabitant is the Malayan Tiger, which is rarely or usually never spotted...

 

It is also home to many species of monkeys, elephants and also a very critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros. It is one of the last places on Earth to find the rhino, whose numbers are estimated at only around 200 animals left.


 

"Malaysia has a special place in my heart. Not only did I meet some amazing travelers there in 2009, I also survived a scooter accident which could have ended waaaay more tragically than it did (monsoon rainstorm + 80km/h in a curve = mayhem). Luckily, with a few scratches."

 

Victor Eekhof

Project Manager and Travel Writer, Holland

 



The largest Buddhist temple...

Kek lok si temple

KEK LOK SI, LARGEST BUDDHIST TEMPLE IN SOUTH EAST ASIA...

Who would have thought that the largest Buddhist temple in South East Asia is not located in Thailand, nor in Laos or Cambodia. No, you can find it on the beautiful island of Penang! It encompasses a big area and the temple is also accompanied by a thirty meter tall statue of Kuan Yin who was a very important figure in Buddhism.

 

The temple's Chinese New Year celebrations are particularly impressive. For thirty days following Chinese New Year, the temple remains open until late at night whilst thousands of lights turn the scenery into a sea of light...


 

"City views never cease to amaze me, especially at night. Hit the rooftop bar of the Reggae Mansion Hostel right in center of Kuala Lumpur's China Town and you will know what I mean! While the view of the Petronas Towers makes for a great setting to have a nice chat to people around the world"

 

Carolin Pilligrath

Globetrotter and Blogger, Germany



One of the best races in the world...

sepang race

THE MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX IN SEPANG...

Every year, big motorsport names such as Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso arrive in Sepang to compete and race with each other. It is always one of the first races of the F1 Grand Prix season, and the circuit has a reputation for its unpredictable weather. In 2001 the race was hit by a heavy thunderstorm.

 

The conditions were so bad that most of the cars lost complete traction resulting in endless spin offs. A young and rather young driver Jos Verstapen found himself leading all of the sudden. However, as the track began to dry, he fell back to 7th place, but his efforts to keep pole position were memorable.

 

The race is usually held in March every year and is one of the sporting highlights in Malaysia...


 

"Every year Sepang welcomes the best racecar drivers in the world. The atmosphere is electric and the sounds of the engines give you goosebumps every time a car passes by. It's a great event and an awesome spectacle for old and young. Don't miss out on it!"

 

Gambit Saifullah

Actor and Producer, Malaysia



Malaysia Airlines, a true 5 star carrier!

Boeing777 MH370

ONE OF THE ONLY 5 STAR AIRLINES IN THE WORLD...

There is just a handful of 5 star rated airlines in the world and Malaysia Airlines is one of them. The national carrier impresses through exceptional on-board service and this was also confirmed by winning the Skytrax service award.

 

Based at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the airline serves numerous destinations around the world including flights to Europe, America, Australia and Africa. It recently became one of the few carriers to operate the Airbus A380 Super Jumbo...


 

"What can I say that hasn't already been said about this great airline. I enjoy flying with them and I've never experienced better service than on a Malaysia Airline flight. The moment you step on board you literally enter Malaysia, dedicated staff with a true Asian spirit!"

 

Josh Cahill

Travel Writer, Australia



A paradise for divers...

sipadan

SIPADAN, THE BEST DIVING SPOT IN THE WORLD...

Sipadan claims to be the best diving spot in the world. Well one thing is for sure, the diving here is most definitely world class. If you're lucky, you will be able to spot sharks, sea turtles and baracudas just to mention a few different aquatic species. The island can only be reached by boat and is under heavy environmental protection. Only experienced divers are allowed to dive due to the island's strong currents...

 

But if you are an experienced diver you will certainly enjoy this island more than you have enjoyed anything else in your life. It's the place to be and it will offer you a once-in-a-lifetime experience!


 

 "Diving in Malaysia's pristine waters are absolutely incredible. The instructors are really friendly and knowledgeable, and they make it very comfortable for you even if you're a beginner. If you're a keen diver or just appreciate beautiful beaches, do not miss out!"

 

Erika Ylagan

Travel Junkie and Editor, Philippines


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