Extreme contrast is what defines Malaysia, from towering skyscrapers looking down upon wooden houses built on stilts to ancient reefs meters away from 5 star hotels. Home to multi ethnic races and religions of Malays, Chinese and Indians this destination has everything from Rugged mountains to Sandy beaches, forest life to shopping, it is a gastronomical paradise and home to hundreds of colourful festivals.
From the oldest 130 million year old prehistoric forest in the entire world to 3 of the largest malls in the world, weather you are seeking a relaxed beach holiday or an adventure filled one with theme parks and casinos. Perhaps something for the kids (LegoLand ; Hello Kitty World) or a relaxing mountain retreat where you sip your cuppa with freshly baked scones. From an underwater universe to catching the sunrise on Southeast Asia’s highest peaks, Mount Kinabalu.
For a perfect holiday full of surprises, the time is now, the place is Malaysia.
Best time to visit Malaysia: A beach holiday can be enjoyed all year round in Malaysia as the east and west coasts experience their wettest months at alternate times of the year.
April to October brings the wet season on the west (Langkawi, Penang, Pangkor) of the peninsula with thunderstorms in the afternoons, which are usually brief, and the odd downpour is a welcome to reduce humidity. The east coast (Kuantan, Tioman Island, Perhentian Islands, Terengganu, Redang and Kota Bharu ) however tends to have a heavier wet season and is best avoided during the rainy period (Nov-Feb). During these months, many of the beach resorts close, re-opening in March.
Flights to Malaysia
Here is our list of top 10 things to do in Malaysia.
Geographically, Malaysia has 3 federal territories (Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya the island of Labuan) East Malaysia also includes the 2 states (Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo).
1. The Obvious – Visit the World’s tallest Petronas ‘Twin’ Towers, Kuala Lumpur:
Towering at 451.9m above street level, this world-renowned icon is currently the world’s tallest twin structure and fifth tallest skyscraper in the world.
Must Do :
- Visit the Skybridge on the 41st Floor and the Viewing Deck on the 86th Floor for a magnificent view of the city’s skyline.
By Train: Take a train from any station within Klang Valley area and make your way to KLCC Station (KJ10). The integrated train system is the most convenient way to travel around the city centre. Check the map below.
By Car: Access KLCC through Jalan Ampang, Jalan P. Ramlee and Jalan Kia Peng. Tunnels at Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Tun Razak and the Ampang – Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (AKLEH) are also directly connected to the KLCC Parking Bays.
Surya KLCC: Take the central bubble lift to Ground Level. Head to the Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS Lobby and take the escalator down one floor to the PETRONAS Twin Tower Visit Operations to purchase your ticket.
Visiting Days Tuesday to Sunday (closed every Monday)
Open on all public holidays with the exception of Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji.
Visiting Hours 9am – 9pm (closed from 1pm – 2.30pm on Fridays)
Ticketing Counter Concourse level, PETRONAS Twin Towers
Note: Issuing of Tickets will start from 8.30am (tickets are limited and issued on a first come, first served basis). Advance purchase is available.
Adult (MyKad) RM26.50
Child (MyKid) RM12.70
Price is inclusive of GST at 6%.
Local Phone no: +603-2331 8080
Kaula Lumpur never sleeps – here is a list of the hottest dance clubs for the night owls.
Butter Factory KL
Beach Club KL
2. If Shopping is your favourite Sport then Shop till you drop at the BBKLCC, Kuala Lumpur
With three of the world’s 10 largest malls are in KL, offering year-round sales, this is shopping at its best.
The BBKLCC stretch from Bukit Bintang to Kuala Lumpur City Centre, in particular, will leave you spoilt for choice with its abundant fashion, food and entertainment options. Lose yourself in the huge selection of local and international brands available across nine signature malls within the area. The shopping district is also well-connected via a covered pedestrian walkway and an efficient network of public transportation.
image courtesy: handpickedvillas.net
Must Do: Go on a shopping spree by visiting the nine shopping malls within the area
- PAVILION KUALA LUMPUR
- SURIA KLCC
- STARHILL GALLERY
- SUNGEI WANG PLAZA
- PLAZA LOW YAT
- BB PLAZA
- LOT 10
- BERJAYA TIMES SQUARE
3. How about a walk through prehistoric rainforests – Taman Negara, Pahang
Estimated to be over 130 million years old, Taman Negara is Malaysia’s premier national park and one of the world’s oldest rainforests. Home to a vast diversity of flora and fauna, as well as amazing natural landscapes, this virgin rainforest is also the location of Mount Tahan, the highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia. Get an overhead view of the forest via the world’s longest canopy walkway, or take part in the different activities and attractions available at each of the park’s four entry points.
image Courtesey: dorian.derobert.free.fr
- Stroll along the world’s longest canopy walkway while enjoying the view of the surroundings at 45m above ground
- Explore ancient limestone caves
- Take your pick from a variety of eco-adventure activities available: rapid shooting, jungle trekking, canoeing, mountain climbing
- Visit the orang asli (indigenous community) settlement
- Spend a night in an observation hide to catch a glimpse of nocturnal wildlife
Chugging upstream along the Tembeling river in a creaking wooden boat is the best way to get into the heart of Taman Negara and its launch point for adventure, the tiny village of Kuala Tahan.
Han Travel (han-travel.com), based in Kuala Lumpur, offers a bus ride to the jetty at Kuala Tembeling and the onward boat ride for 75RM. On this three-hour ride you’ll get to see water buffalo cooling off in the shallows and macaques stalking the banks of the Tahan as the jungle closes in.
Phone: +603-9086 6800
Website : http://www.wildlife.gov.my
4. Seeking some adventure – entertain yourself at Genting Highlands, Pahang
Perched on top of Ulu Kali Mountain at some 1,800m above sea level, Genting Highlands is a one-stop hill resort with hotels, theme parks, a casino and a number of entertainment, dining and retail options. Its cool climate and close proximity to Kuala Lumpur – approximately an hour’s drive – make it a popular highland getaway among city folks. Genting Highlands is also Malaysia’s only licensed on-land gambling spot.
Must Do :
- Ride the Skyway Cable Car to the top of the hill
- Hit both the outdoor and indoor theme parks
- Try your luck at the casino (strictly for non-Muslims)
By Car: A drive up to Resorts World Genting can be very scenic and you can enjoy the chilly weather as you ascend to the top. If you’re travelling from Kuala Lumpur, you can reach Resorts World Genting in a little under an hour.
By Bus: You can opt for an economical mean of transportation to Resorts World Genting by using the Genting Express Bus Service.
This service is available at:
Pudu Sentral, KL Sentral Station
Terminal Putra LRT Gombak
One Utama, Petaling Jaya
By Cable Car:
Have a leisure ride up to Resorts World Genting on the Skyway Cable Cars. They travel in a comfortable speed, allowing you to take in breathtaking views of nature at its best. A Normal one way costs RM 6.40
Local Phone no: +603-2718 1118
Website : http://www.rwgenting.com/
5. The perfect beach life – Tioman Island, Pahang
Located approximately 56km off the coast of Pahang, Tioman Island is hailed as one of the world’s best beach getaways. Picturesque with towering twin volcanic peaks, soft golden sands, cool mountain streams and refreshing waterfalls amidst a lush tropical rainforest, the island’s waters are filled with a diverse range of aquatic species, colourful corals and mesmerising dive sites.
Image Courtesy: www.getintravel.com
Must Do :
- Dive at one of the many dive sites dotted around the island
- Go island-hopping to other islands within the Tioman Marine Park
- Visit charming local villages such as Salang, Tekek and Juara
Phone: +609 414 0532 / 419 1595
Website : http://www.dmpm.nre.gov.my/
6. For those who love the mountains – Afternoon tea and scones – Cameron Highlands, Pahang
Located on the Titiwangsa Range some 1,500m above sea level, Cameron Highlands is Malaysia’s largest hill resort. The cool weather up here makes it the perfect environment to cultivate a variety of produce, including tea, flowers, cacti, vegetables and strawberries. Enjoy the picturesque view of flourishing tea plantations blanketing the undulating hills, which can be enjoyed over a refreshing cup of tea.
Must Do :
- Visit the BOH Tea Plantation to learn about the tea-making process, followed by a steaming cup of tea in full view of the sprawling tea plantation
- Pick your own strawberries to take home
- Enjoy a relaxing walk in the enchanting Mossy Forest
Getting Here: The only way to get to Cameron Highlands is by road. Many years back, you could only get to Cameron Highlands from the south via Tapah but since the opening the new roads from Ipoh (Perak), Gua Musang (Kelantan) and Raub (Pahang), travelling to the highlands has become much more easier. The Simpang Pulai Road is the most popular road taken by most tourists coming from Kuala Lumpur or Penang although some people still prefer the old Tapah Road.
From the South via Tapah (Old Road)
Cameron Highlands is about 300km from Kuala Lumpur and it takes about 3 hours to get here via the North-South Expressway (NSE). If you are driving from Kuala Lumpur, find your way to the NSE by following the signs to Ipoh. Once you’re on the expressway, keep on driving north for about 1.5 hours until you reach Tapah.Take Exit 132 and you will be at the Tapah toll booth. Once you have paid the toll, turn left at the traffic lights and from here onwards you will be on the long winding road to Cameron Highlands which is about 60 km’s away.
If you’re driving from the north just take Exit 132 at Tapah and follow the same direction. It takes an average of 1.5 hours to reach Tanah Rata from Tapah. Please note that there are no petrol stations this point forward until you reach Ringlet so if you need to fill up, the Tapah rest area (before you exit the express way) would be your best choice.
Driving Tips :
The toll rate from Kuala Lumpur (Jalan Duta Toll) to Tapah is RM19.40.
The last rest area along the expresswy is the Tapah Rest Area which is about 3 km from Exit 132. If you miss this, you can still take a restroom break at the tol exit on your left.
The road from Tapah to Cameron Highlands is narrow and has a lot of sharp bends. If you have passengers who get motion sickness, its time to get those plastic bags out (just in case)
There will be lots of heavy vehicles going up and down this road so be careful especially when you are overtaking. Most local heavy vehicles will give you the signal to overtake when its safe so be patient. Its also common courtesy to let the vehicle behind you overtake you if you’re driving slower that vehicle.
During the rainy season, watch out for fallen rocks and branches on the road.
For first timers, driving at night is not recommended especially it its raining.
There are a few spots along this road where you can get Maxis and Celcom signals. Watch out for the signs indicating these areas.
From the north via Simpang Pulai / Ipoh
pano sm pulai road 1
Since the road from Simpang Pulai was open, more people are using this route to get to the highlands as its wider and less windy. It only takes about 45 minutes to get to Kampung Raja from Simpang Pulai and this is the fastest way to get to the highlands if you are travelling from the north (Penang or Ipoh).
Take Exit 137 (Simpang Pulai) and turn right at the traffic light right after the toll booth and drive for about 200 metres before you reach a traffic light.. Turn right again and your’re on you’re way to Cameron Highlands.You will get some magnificent views of the mountain ranges along this road.
After about an hour, you will reach the Kampung Raja junction where you will have to turn right from the new road into Kampung Raja town. You’re now in Cameron Highlands and you can just follow the main road to your destination. Brinchang ; Tanah Rata is about 25-30kms from here.
Driving Tips :
If you are driving from the south (Kuala Lumpur), this route would be longer if your destination is Tanah Rata or Brinchang.
Driving up this road is a pleasant experience as it gives you some great views of mountains.
Since the roads are less winding, people tend to speed here but watch out for the sharp bends at some stretches.
There is limited mobile coverage along this road.
Website : http://cameronhighlands.com/
7. Scale new heights – Kinabalu Park, Sabah
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kinabalu Park is home to Malaysia’s highest mountain and one of Southeast Asia’s highest peaks, Mount Kinabalu. A favourite destination among adventurous souls keen to scale its heights, the view from Mount Kinabalu’s summit is often described as second to none. The park is also a wonderland of ecological treasures filled with thousands of plant and animal species, including a large number of endemic species
Image Courtesy: blog.audioguidemalaysia.com
Must Do :
- Catch the sunrise on Mount Kinabalu (prior physical training and preparation are needed)
- Take a refreshing break at the nearby Poring Hot Springs
- Go mountain biking or jungle trekking
Getting Here: The Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is accessible via 15 – 20 minutes speedboat ride from Kota Kinabalu. The departure and arrival point for the boat transfers is at the Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal, situated next to the Malaysia Royal Custom Department. Boat transfers to the islands are available daily from 7.30am to 5pm.
Return boat transfer fares to the Islands are listed as follows:
Manukan Island : Adult RM23, Child RM 18
Mamutik Island : Adult RM23, Child RM18
Sapi Island : Adult RM23, Child RM18
Sulug Island : Adult RM23, Child RM18
Two island hops : Adult RM33, Child RM28
Three island hops : Adult RM43, Child RM38
Four island hops : Adult RM53, Child RM48
Boat charter for one island : RM204
Boat charter for Malahom Bay : RM204
Boat charter for Police beach : RM204
The following rates are not inclusive of charged terminal fee (RM7.20 for adults, and RM3.60 for children under 12); each entrance fee is valid for 5 islands per day.* A levy of RM50 per boat will be charged for special pick up times or overnight stays
Other fees and additional charges are listed as follows:
Malaysians: Adults: Rm3 per pax, Children (below 18years old): RM1 per pax
Non-Malaysian: Adults: RM10 per pax, Children (below 18 years og age): RM6 per pax
Local Phone no:+6088-553 500 / 523 500
Website : http://www.sabahparks.org.my/
8. For the Kids ; Play time for all – LEGOLAND and Hello Kitty Town, Johor
If you’re looking for fun and adventure for the whole family, Johor’s cutting-edge theme parks offer you just that. The first of its kind in Asia and the first international park in Malaysia, LEGOLAND offers a first-class park experience with thrilling rides, interactive displays and themed areas.
The park’s main attraction is MINILAND, where miniature replicas of Asia’s popular landmarks made with more than 30 million LEGO bricks can be seen. Hello Kitty Town, the first Hello Kitty theme park outside Japan, is a must for fans of this popular Sanrio character. The park’s highlights include Black Wonder, a state-of-the-art interactive experience, and Kitty House, an iconic house filled with everything Hello Kitty from top to bottom.
Image Courtesy: traveldrafts.wordpress.com
Image Courtesy: www.taxisingapore.com
Must Do :
- Visit all seven attractions within LEGOLAND – each offering different thrills and experiences
- Watch a live performance by Hello Kitty and friends at Hello Kitty Town’s Purrfect stage
Phone: +607-597 8888/+603-2203 9668
Alternatively here are 10 activities just for Kids in Kuala Lumpur
• Petrosains Museum Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
• Aquaria Aquarium
• KLCC park and playground
• Berjaya Times Square
• Aircraft Museum
• KL Tower
• Batu Cave
• National Science Center
• Bird Park
• KL Lake Gardens
9. Drop off to an underwater universe – Sipadan Island, Sabah
Rated as one of the world’s top diving sites, Sipadan Island boasts a truly magical and breathtaking underwater experience. Situated at the heart of the Indo-Pacific Basin, the centre of the world’s richest marine habitat, the oceanic island is surrounded by several exciting dive spots such as the Hanging Gardens, Barracuda Point and the Turtle Cavern. One of its most thrilling features (and certainly not for the faint-hearted) is the Drop Off, where knee-high water suddenly gives way to a 600m drop.
Image Courtesy: imgkid.com
Must Do :
- Discover the island’s world-famous underwater beauty and any of the 13 main dive sites
- Go island-hopping to nearby Mabul and Kapatai
Getting Here: You can fly to Tawau from either Kuala Lumpur (3 hr) or Kota Kinabalu (50 min), continue by minivan or taxi to the port town of Semporna (1-2 hr) and from there to Sipadan itself (1 hr by fast boat).
Phone: +6088-553 500 / 523 500
Website : http://www.sabahparks.org.my/
10. And finally if you are interested in Mysteries, myths ; legends – Langkawi, Kedah
Part of an archipelago of 99 tropical islands just off the coast of Kedah, Langkawi Island is as much shrouded in age-old myths and legends as it is filled with natural beauty. It was accorded the Global Geo-park status by UNESCO in 2007 for its diverse and astounding geological heritage, which dates back to more than 500 million years. Langkawi is also a popular duty-free destination.
Must Do :
- Take a day trip to nearby Pulau Payar Marine Park, a popular diver’s paradise
- Indulge in a range of water sports such as yachting, sailing and jet skiiing
- Shop till you drop in the duty-free heaven of Kush
- Enjoy an exhilarating cable car ride all the way up to Gunung Mat Chincang
Phone: +604 966 7186 / 699 7187
Flights to Malaysia
Key Festivals and religious ceremonies:
• Chinese New Year – January, February or March
• Malaysian Labour Day – 1st May
• Wesak Day
• The King’s Birthday – 5th June
• Merdaka Day – 31st August
• Hari Raya Puasa – August
• Malaysia Day – 16th September
• Deepavali – October or November
• Hari Raya Haji – November
We have a great offer going on for Malaysia, have a look here.