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Tropical island of Langkawi

Tropical Gem Langkawi

The tropical island of Langkawi is one of the most popular destinations within Malaysia. Though the island is recognised as one of the most beautiful islands in the world; you will never feel you're visiting a crowded tourist overrun island. Visit Langkawi for wonderful jungle, fantastic sightseeing and beautiful beaches. There is an abundance of accommodation available for every type of traveler, ranging from basic B&B's to luxurious 5-star resorts.

Crystal clear water at Perhentian Island

Perhentian Dream

One of the most beautiful islands in Malaysia is Perhentian Island, which actually consists of a big island and a small island. Both islands offer fantastic scuba diving and snorkeling facilities. The islands are especially famous because of the laid-back atmosphere. Alongside the beaches you will find basic lodges, moderately luxurious resorts, cozy restaurants, dive centers and boat operators advertising their services ranging from water taxis to snorkeling trips.

Lake Kenyir

True Paradise: Lake Kenyir

Lake Kenyir is a beautiful lake located in the state of Terengganu in northeast Malaysia. It is the largest man-made lake in Southeast Asia. The lake borders the wildlife park Taman Negara to the west. In and around Lake Kenyir you will find hundreds of small islands, stunning waterfalls and amazing caves. Lucky travelers can spot wild animals, birds and insects like hornbills, monkeys, snakes, spiders and even wild elephants and tigers.

Mount Kinabalu Summit Trail

A 4095 meter tall mountain

Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in Malaysia and the 20th tallest in the World. Mainly because of the biological diversity the mountain is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Climbing the mountain is not an easy feat for the untrained; though it will absolutely be one of the best experiences ever. Watching the sun rise in the early morning will definitely make you forget all the hardships you had to endure during the hike up.

Most popular National Park Taman Negara

Ultimate Jungle Experience

Taman Negara is one of the world's oldest primary rainforests. The national park stretches roughly across the center of Peninsular Malaysia and is easily accessible from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. Over recent years the park developed into a popular ecotourism destination. Taman Negara is home to some very rare mammals but due to the sheer size of the park, close encounters with wildlife is not that common.

Malaysia top 10 highlights and attractions

Welcome to Malaysia

Below a list with ten of the best to do's when visiting Malaysia. Many visitors enter this website without much knowledge about the great attractions and highlights that Malaysia has to offer. In order to make it easier for you to get an impression, we have listed the main must-visits and must-sees on this page. Of course these are only 10 great attractions in Malaysia, there are many, many more. Check out our section with attractions to read up on even more places you can visit. You can use these 10 to do's as components when planning your trip to Malaysia.

More pages with information about Malaysia

On this page:


1) Visiting the island of Langkawi

Pantai Cenang Langkawi Island

Langkawi is a beautiful island in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia; many people describe the island as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. The island is not (yet) spoiled by tourists, which makes it a perfect holiday destination for travelers. Accommodation is affordable on the island. You can stay in a resort for a mere $30 a night, but also for $3000 for a single night. The island is especially renowned for the many great attractions. Besides that you can shop at some of the shopping malls, you can have splendid dinners at one of the many hawkers, or you can rent a motorcycle (moped) to explore the island (RM40 for 24h). The island is easy accessible from Kuala Lumpur or the neighboring island of Penang. Read more about Langkawi.


2) Perhentian Island

Perhentian Island

Perhentian is a great island for scuba diving and snorkeling. Especially great are the affordable prices of accommodation, you can stay at the island for a mere $15, - a night. Because of these great prices, Perhentian is a very popular island among tourists. Add the crisp marine water to that, and you will be having the time of your life at this island. If I would rate all Malaysian islands, Perhentian would probably score a 9/10. Read more about Perhentian.


3) Shop till you drop in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur City Center

The capital city of Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur - has much to offer for tourists. Shopping in this great metropolis is very popular. Malaysians usually go to the shopping malls during weekend as past time. Shopping in Malaysia is an awesome experience for most tourists. Where else can you find ultra luxurious malls with affordable products? It is not that common to try to bargain for lower prices in shopping malls. You could always try your luck, but on regular clothing and other low priced products, you will probably have zero chance of getting lower prices. When you are planning to buy more expensive products (like jewelry or electronic devices); always bargain for a better price. Read more about shopping in Kuala Lumpur.


4) Penang Island

Georgetown Penang Island

Penang is a beautiful island in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia. While Langkawi is well known for the pristine jungles and beaches, Penang is more renowned for the authentic (Chinese influenced) Asian atmosphere and the great food at the numerous hawkers. Should you ask Penangites to describe the island, many would probably tell you the great food is the main reason why tourists should visit Penang. Read more about Penang.


5) The three major cities on the eastern side of Peninsular Malaysia

Wet market Kota Bharu

I could have named one of the famous cities in the eastern part of Peninsular Malaysia; but that would do no justice to the two other comparable cities. The three cities are Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bharu. Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bharu lie within the two Islamic states of Malaysia (Terengganu and Kelantan). Kuantan is a great city to explore. It is not as big as many other cities in Malaysia, but the atmosphere is great and the beaches (especially Cherating) are superb.

Kota Bharu and Kuala Terengganu are both known for their great authentic markets. These two cities also reflect the traditional Malaysia best. Avoid these cities during monsoon season (October through March), because the weather is usually very bad. These cities lose their attractiveness when it rains 24 hours a day. Both cities are the starting point of your trip to some of the most beautiful tropical islands of Malaysia; Pulau Perhentian, Pulau Redang and Pulau Lang Tengah. Read more about Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bharu.


6) Mount Kinabalu on Borneo

Mount Kinabalu on Borneo

Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Malaysia. With 4092 meters, it is not a contestant for being the tallest mountain in the world. There is no snow at the summit, but it is quite cold compared to temperatures on sea level. The mountain lies in the northern part of the State of Sabah, in Borneo Malaysia. If you are planning to climb the mountain, you should head over to Kota Kinabalu; which is the closest city near the mountain. The trip to the summit is really great. You will probably get back very exhausted, but with many awesome memories. I can say for myself this is one of the most spectacular attractions I have done in Malaysia so far. Read more about the Mount Kinabalu Summit Trail.


7) Kinabatangan; River cruise Borneo

Kinabatangan River Borneo

The river Kinabatangan runs through the state of Sabah in Borneo. Alongside the river, many different exotic animal species can be spotted from out of a small boat. A Kinabatangan river cruise is a great way to explore the inlands of Sabah. This region in Sabah is probably one of the best places to spot animals, birds, insects and many plant species in all of Southeast Asia. We have had such a great time there that we recommend it to everybody else as one of the best attractions Malaysia has to offer. Read more about Kinabatangan river cruises in Sabah.


8) Diving at Sipadan Island

Diving at Sipadan Island

Sipadan is probably one of the best diving spots in the world. Every diving enthusiast knows that the underwater world 'beneath' the island is simply stunning. Sipadan Island used to be open to public, but after the government concluded that the island and its surroundings were quickly deteriorating the island became a protected marine park. Fortunately, diving is still possible, but visitors stay overnight at the neighboring islands of Mabul or Kapalai. Sipadan is a very exclusive diving spot, so you'll pay pretty high prices for a diving trip to the island. Diving conditions are usually excellent, though it is best to be an advanced diver due to strong currents (and depth of diving). Read more about diving at Pulau Sipadan.


9) Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands

The Cameron Highlands are located in close to the city of Ipoh, in the western part of Peninsular Malaysia. Because the Cameron Highlands are higher than many other places in Malaysia, it is usually a noticeable cooler there. For this reason many local Malaysians often go to the Cameron Highlands to escape the warm and humid climate of the big cities of Malaysia. The surroundings are perfect for strolls and hikes; this is the main reason why many tourists head over to the Cameron Highlands. It is again a different Malaysia. Read more about the Cameron Highlands.


10) Taman Negara

Taman Negara

If you are visiting Malaysia you can either stay on the Peninsular Malaysia, or head off to Borneo. Borneo has many wildlife parks, all almost equally beautiful and very much worth a visit. However; sometimes this is difficult due to time restrictions. If you only have three weeks to explore Malaysia, it can sometimes be wiser to stay on the peninsula. Many other tourists describe the National Park 'Taman Negara' as an (lesser) alternative to the jungles of Borneo. This is untrue in my opinion; Taman Negara is the oldest primary rainforest in the world, and an absolute must-visit when you're staying on Peninsular Malaysia. Read more about Taman Negara.

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