Malaysia is often ranked among the best countries to visit in Asia, for good reason. It’s a very diverse country that offers a mix of big cities and beautiful countryside, and there are people from all over Asia living there so it has an incredibly rich and diverse culture. Some people avoid Malaysia because it’s considered an expensive country to visit but, while it may be more expensive than some other Asian destinations, it is absolutely possible to take a trip there without spending loads of money. It’s also a great country to visit if you want to see a few different places because getting around is relatively painless due to the good public transport links. If you are going to go to Malaysia, it’s worth planning a slightly longer trip so you’ve got a bit of time to visit different areas of the country because it’s so diverse. These are some of the best places to visit when you’re in Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur

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Starting in the capital city is always a good way to get to know a new country, so you should head for Kuala Lumpur first. It’s likely that you’ll fly into Kuala Lumpur anyway so it makes sense to stay there for a few days before you move on to other areas of the country. Staying in Kuala Lumpur can be expensive if you stay in the fancy hotels but you can easily find a studio apartment for rent in kl below rm1000 for a month, which is only around £185, so there’s no need to spend a lot of money on accommodation. Having your own apartment is often better anyway because you can save yourself money by cooking breakfast and lunch rather than eating out every meal, however, you should sample the cuisine while you’re out there.

The cultural diversity is one of the best things about Kuala Lumpur because you’ll find a mix of Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences. That means it’s one of the best places to eat in the world because there is just so much choice. There are plenty of great restaurants but if you want a truly authentic experience, you should visit the hawker centres. These food markets have plenty of stalls selling traditional food from across Asia, and the prices are very reasonable.

Kuala Lumpur is the ideal place for families because there are plenty of places for a family day out. With plenty of theme parks, water parks, adventure play areas, and wildlife parks to choose from, you’ll never be short of ways to entertain the family.

There are plenty of other places to visit as well, like the viewing platforms on the Perdana Twin Towers (the second highest twin towers in the world and, until 2004, the tallest buildings in the world) or the Botanical Gardens. If you’re interested in the history and culture of Malaysia, you should also pay a visit to the museum in Merdeka Square. It has some great exhibitions about the history of the country and even some about what the future holds for Malaysia.

Penang

Penang

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If the big city experience in Kuala Lumpur is a bit much for you and you want to visit a slightly more traditional area of Malaysia, Penang is a great choice. This huge island off the west coast of the mainland is very popular with tourists that want to visit Georgetown. This old colonial city is a UNESCO heritage site as a result of its historical heritage. You’ll find plenty of great museums and historical sites that you can visit, like the upside down museum, for example. It’s a unique museum which, as the name suggests, is filled with rooms where everything is upside down. It’s great fun and the staff are very welcoming and helpful with taking photos etc. There is also a great 3D art museum that has lots of great optical illusions to discover inside. There are also plenty of more serious museums and historical attractions where you can learn about the heritage of Penang.  

The food is another thing that draws a lot of tourists to Penang because it’s famous for its bustling street food scene. The mix of cultures in Malaysia comes out in the form of food stalls dotted around Georgetown, offering a wide range of traditional food, much like the hawker centres in Kuala Lumpur.

If you’re an art enthusiast, you can spend days wandering around Georgetown. The streets are filled with so many incredible murals on the side of cafes and shops, so it’s the ideal place for simply exploring on foot to see what you can find.

Borneo

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Borneo is one of the best places in the world if you’re a wildlife lover. So many people flock to Borneo every year to experience the lush rainforests that are home to wild orangutans. The locals work hard to protect their habitat so there are certain rules about where you can and can’t go. If you want to see the orangutans, you’ll have to set up a guided hike through the rainforest. If you’re feeling brave, you can do a rainforest canopy walk, it’s the best way to really see this incredible natural wonder and get a better look at all of the wildlife living in the trees.

It’s not just about the orangutans either. They’re not as well known as the rainforest areas, but Borneo is also home to some incredible coral reefs and it’s one of the best places in the world for scuba diving. The marine life that you’ll find around coral reefs is so unique and you won’t see anything like it anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, those coral reefs are under threat. We hear a lot about the great barrier reef in Australia dying due to increased temperatures but it’s happening to all reefs around the globe. If you want to see the reefs in Borneo, you should go sooner rather than later.


These are the best places to visit if you’re taking a tour around Malaysia, but there are plenty of other amazing destinations to discover.

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