Malaysia is an amalgamation of varied cultures reflective of the indigenous tribes together with the Malays, Indian, Chinese, Persians, Arabs and British. These multi-ethnic groups form a unique identity of their own and also retain individual cultural nuances. Malaysia is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world and is known for its scenic beauty in all its splendor as well as its rich and diverse cultural legacy and heritage.
If you’re looking for a well-deserved vacation, Malaysia is the right choice as it welcomes you to a wide-range of tourist attractions right from the techno-savvy city of Kuala Lumpur and its towers, the surreal islands, enchanting hill stations of the colonial era, beaches to drown your worries in, world-renowned national parks to enjoy nature and all her myriad species, and last but not the least, tropical forests which will ensure you have an experience of a lifetime. The number of foreign tourists who visit this “truly Asian” paradise is on the increase every year.
Make sure to visit some of the following cities and sites, if you are planning a holiday to this dream destination. Among Malaysia’s largest cities, the capital draws most attention. Kuala Lumpur is truly cosmopolitan in vein, and is situated at the confluence of Sungai Gombak and Klang. It houses the famous Petronas Twin Towers as well as the Kuala Lumpur Tower.
The Petronas Towers are among the tallest buildings in the world. The architecture is reminiscent of Islamic art, and is made of concrete, steel and glass. The Kuala Lumpur Tower (KL Tower) was erected in 1995. It is largely used for the purpose communications via its radio antenna that reaches 1,381 feet off the ground. The tower is a popular tourist attraction, as visitors can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city in all its glory from KL Tower’s roof pod or revolving restaurant.
The city also exhibits the historical Sultan Abdul Samad building which forms a part of its cultural heritage and is “a dream come” true for shopaholics with its sky-scraping malls and Chinatown - the notorious bargain bazaar.
The other cities of importance include Kelantan, typically known as the “Land of Lightning”, which is known for its fisheries in Wat, Chayamang and other coastal stops. Tourists can revel in river cruises and rafting or indulge in peaceful bird-watching. Malacca is a sea-side city on the western coast, brimming with culture. The city is invested with both Portuguese and Chinese influences. Negeri Sembilian is a federation of nine states and has a coastline spanning 48 kilometers. Penang is otherwise referred to as the “Pearl of Orient” with its enticing and luxuriating seaports, beaches and vivifying greenery.
Sabah and Sarawak are important cites, as they attract lots of tourist attention. Sabah is a tropical paradise with beautiful scenery and landscapes, while Sarawak is famous for its adventure sports and recreation. Most importantly, Sarawak abounds in rainforests which makes it a place of high ecological value.
Malaysia’s most popular holiday spots include the Cameron Highlands, a colonial hill station established in the 1920s. This hill station is known for its trails, cataracts, jungle walks, and its tea plantations. Georgetown Inner City, the namesake of King George III, is a tourist hotspot due to its architectural detailing unrivaled in all of Southeast Asia. The Taman Negara National Park is the world’s oldest jungle, with evergreen trees, tropical rainforests, and canopy walk ways and is a sanctuary for Asian elephants, rhinos, leopards, tigers, small deer, snakes and tapirs.
Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Southeast Asia, is the most sought after attraction for those who crave for mountain climbing and other related sports. It abounds in biodiversity, and nature lovers would want to make it their home! The mountain also has a National Park within its perimeter. The other mountains and hills in this region include the Genting Highlands, Frasers Hill, Bukit Tinggi and Maxwell Hill.
Among the popular beaches, Cherating Beach and Langkawi Island (an archipelago of 99 islands) top the list. Langkawi has an interior jungle and has been recognized by UNESCO as a Geopark, making it one of the most splendid islands. Tourists can entertain themselves in such sports as surfing, skiing and sailing. The beaches are covered with vast areas of white sand and azure waters that welcome you. Other islands include Redang, Tioman and the Pangkor islands. Sipadan Island is renowned for its diving activities.
The famous caves in Malaysia include the Mulu and the Batu caves, and the former has the largest underground cave chamber in the world, making it one of UNESCO’s top-ranking World Heritage Sites. The Batu caves are important during the Thaipusam festival of the local people.
This is article by no means provides an exhaustive list of places to visit in Malaysia, but it should serve to help a discerning traveler categorize an itinerary of “MUST VISIT” sites. So get those backpacks ready and be on your way to island hop, golf, bask on the beaches or soak in the resplendent rainforests! Malaysia is calling you … .
Prabu Mani is an electronics engineer. Since 2004, he has been writing for various content development firms in India, including Mobius Knowledge Services, Writing-Counseling.com, and Status InfoTech. Prabu also served as a business development manager for Streta Systems and Technologies as well as Sumeru Software. He also has 3+ years’ experience in providing SEO services for international clients.
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