There are so many gorgeous and exciting places to see and experience when visiting Malaysia that it can be easy to become overwhelmed by choice, especially if it is your first trip to the area. However, there tends to be a consensus on the top five activities that aren’t too be missed. Check out my post below for some detail on them so you can plan a trip where you get to visit all the gems of Malaysia.
Instead of starting with the capital Kuala Lumpur why not head up to the north of the country and visit the glorious UNESCO world heritage site of Kinabalu and Mount Kinabalu? This summit is located in Sabah region, and it’s a real draw for folks that are interested in the great outdoors and hiking.
Low’s Peak is the true summit at 4095m high, but there is a range of lower summits to be reached surrounding this, such Donkey’s Ear and Ugly Sister Peak. All of which will give you a pretty fantastic view of the surrounding mountain ranges.
Of course, this sort of expedition is not for the faint of heart. In fact, because it is so high, altitude sickness is a real possibility, and that means sit so pretty vital that you prepare well for your ascent.
Something that can help you to do this is to be part of an organised hike up to the summit that is run by local guides. These are the folks that are well versed in the locations of the shelters and huts throughout the trail where you will be able to rest, east and recuperate and you make your ascent.
Petronas Towers – Kuala Lumpur
Of course, no visit to beautiful Malaysia would be complete without visiting the jewel in the crown that is the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. Be warned though; there is a lot to do here so you may want to make this stop one of your longest while in the area.
First, it’s pretty essential to visit the glittering modern city centre and check out the Petronas Towers. These twin towers are synonymous with Kuala Lumpur, and the 88 floors of glass and steel can be seen from all over the city. Up close they are no less impressive either, and the sky bridge that joins the two is a fantastic way to walk so high up in the air.
At the Petronas Towers, you will also find some excellent restaurants, and there is a fully functional mall, just in case you want to buy some souvenirs or underwear while being at 451.9 metres! Don’t miss the fountain shows outside either that run from 12-2pm and 6-11pm most days, as these are both free and fabulous as well.
Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
Not all the activities in Kuala Lumpur are centred around commercialism though. In fact, there are plenty of places that celebrate the rich natural heritage of the area.
There are plenty of parrots and other exotic species to see in the bird park.
One such place is the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park in Jalan Cenderawasih. Here you will find atriums in which thousands of birds are allowed to roam freely. Try and spot an Indian Blue Peacock, or a Ring-necked Parakeet, or even a Brahminy Kite as you work your way around. Also, as the route is shaded most of the way around you won’t have to worry about sun exposure or burn as you are enjoying your experience.
Kuala Lumpur is also a popular place for many visitors to stay while enjoying Malaysia and as such you will find a vast selection of hotels and other accommodation to choose from. However, it is worth noting that as there are so many luxe venues to choose from both in the city centre and further out in the Genting Highlands, which you can read more about below, Kuala Lumpur is on the whole pretty expensive place to lay your head.
With that in mind, it can be worth your while to explore alternative accommodation options, especially if you are planning on staying in the area for a long time. One such option is to rent a studio in the satellite town of Petaling Jaya, as this can be far cheaper. You also get the comfort and privacy of having your own base from which to explore the area so it can be the most practical choice for many travellers.
Malaysia isn’t all about high peaks and tropic flora and fauna though. In fact, if you are looking for something a little more luxurious, then The Genting Highlands resort in Pahang is a fantastic choice.
There you will find hotel accommodation, along with casinos, bars, and pools and well as a well-stocked shopping mall. Somethings that make it a fantastic insight into the more modern high end, hip part of Malaysia.
In particular, make a beeline for Bubbles & Bites where they serve some pretty darn tasty pasta, pizza, and seafood. Then there are the uber-stylish Cafés Richard Malaysia on Sky Avenue. Here you will find some rather tasty French style food including croissants for breakfast. The coffee isn’t bad either, making it the perfect place to make a stop and do little people watching, as the world goes by.
Of course, if you are in the Kuala Lumpur area, then it is definitely worth the 12 Km journey to the north to check out the Batu Caves. This is a site of religious significance for those practising the Hindu faith as it contains many shrines and statues.
The site itself is cut from a sheer limestone cliff, and there are 272 steps leading from a massive golden statue all the way up to the cave complex itself, where you’ll find different temples and shrines.
You can even carry a brick from the bottom to the caves to help the restoration project that is currently happening. Although it’s only recommended that you do this if you are in good health as the climb can be pretty tying for older folks or those that aren’t as fit. However, the ascent is most definitely worth it, as the Bantus caves are one of the true gems of Malaysia and as such should definitely not be missed!