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Things to do and See in Malaysia


Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, or KL as it's often known, means ‘muddy confluence’ is a densely populated city, with a population of over 1.5 million. It combines the old with the gleaming new, as towering skyscrapers jostle for position amongst ancient mosques, churches and temples on its famous skyline. The city is home to over 2 million people from three main ethnic groups, with Malays, Chinese, Indians and Europeans all living and working together with few racial problems.

The cities growth took place in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as the ‘Asian Tiger’ economy propelled the city from small buildings, to today some of the biggest buildings in the world. The city is torn between the business like Singapore and the still developing Bangkok. Kuala Lumpur is a shopper’s paradise as you can find some real bargains at many of the shops and around Bukit Bintang or the Chow Kit Market.

I recommend purchasing a 'Touch and Go card' an integrated bus and train pass available from main LRT stations. It costs RM 20 + a 15.00 refundable deposit, which your fare is then automatically deducted as you swipe your card through the turnstiles. This is excellent if you plan to stay a week or longer in the city. For more information go to

Petronas Towers

Petronas Towers is the World's tallest building at 450m and was opened in 1997. It took over from the Kuala Lumpur Tower, as the world’s tallest. This was in the height of the city’s wealth as a world’s power. The Skybridge at the 41st and 42nd floors is open to the public and you can get some great views of the city from there. For more information and admission prices go to or


As the city has a rich diversity of people living there. The Chinese are one of the biggest groups and the colourful Chinatown is worth checking out for shopping and for great food. It has hundreds of stalls selling watches, handbags and many other items of interest.

National Mosque

The National Mosque was built in 1965 and is modern mosque, which main dome is moulded in the shape of an 18-point star to represent the 13 states of Malaysia and the five central Pillars of Islam. The huge main prayer hall can hold up to 10,000 worshippers, although this section of the mosque is closed to non-worshippers. To the rear is a mausoleum holding the remains of some of Malaysia’s most revered sons. Admission is free to get in so it’s definitely worth checking out.

National Monument

The National Monument was built in 1966 is brass sculpture and is one of the world’s largest free-standing sculptures. It’s located in the Tasek Perdana Lake Gardens, which is popular park in the city where people go for walks and to relax.

Menara Kuala Lumpur

Menara Kuala Lumpur is the fourth tallest telecommunications tower in the world and it offers fantastic 360-degree panoramic views over the city from its 300-metre high observation deck. This onion-dome topped building was built in 1996 and the tower stands 420 meters tall and is one of the landmarks of the city. Also, you can check out the revolving restaurant and cafes from above. For more information go to

Batu Caves

The Batu Caves lie a few miles to the north of the city and they were just discovered just over 100 years ago. They consist of Temple Cave and the smaller Dark caves. These large natural caves, reached by 272 steps, house the Hindu shrine of Lord Subramaniam, which is also an important Hindu shrine, attracting as many as 80,000 devotees during the holy festival of Thaipusam which takes place in January or February every year. Admission is free and is an excellent day trip from the city. For more information go to


It’s considered the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ and it was the first British settlement in the Far East situated off the north-west coast. What brings most people here is the fantastic white sand beaches, especially around Batu Feringgi on the north coast. Here you will find excellent hotels and all the comforts of home, like restaurants and shops. Other fantasic beach areas are Tanjung Bungah and Teluk Bahang.

The areas main city is Georgetown, which has a multicultural society consisting of Malay, Chinese, Thai, and Indian and European cultures. If you are looking for excellent photo opportunities, take the funicular railway to the top of Penang Hill, where you will have fantastic views of the whole area. One of the most unusual attractions is the Snake Temple, which swarms with poisonous snakes, but their venomous threat is countered by heavily drugging them with incense. Wat Chayamangkalaram Temple contains an enormous gold-plated reclining Buddha, which at 33 metres long, is believed to be the third largest in the world.

Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu, or 'KK' is named after Southeast Asia’s highest peak and is the capital of Sabah, Borneo. The city lies between rainforest, the beautiful Crocker Range and the Coast. It’s a small area and lots of the sites can be seen on foot. This is one of the most beautiful places I have been to and I highly receommend it.

Mount Kinabalu

You should climb up to the top of Mount Kinabalu, which is 4095m above sea level and Asia’s largest mountain. Here you can get some great views from up above of the whole area and see some amazing rainforests in the Danum Valley.

Pore Hot Springs

This is an excellent place to sit outside in sulphur hot springs, while being surrounded by exotic wildlife.

Pulau Sipidan

If you are into diving this is an excellent place to do it, as this tiny island will have you in awe after you finish your dive.


Kuching is the capital of Sarawak, Borneo and has a wonderful tradition with both Chinese and Malay with old colonial buildings there. There are some excellent shopping at the Main Bazaar, Carpenter Street and India Streets. You should go to the Matang Mountains for amazing sunsets over the waterfront. You should go to Kubah National Park & Matang Wildlife Centre, as they have rainforests, rivers and crystal clear waterfalls.

The Rest of the Country


This has excellent white sandy beaches and Langkawi is the largest of 99 islands. If you are looking to go diving this is the place as Pulau Payar Marine Park encompasses four islands that are surrounded by coral reefs and tons of marine life. Here you have an opportunity to hand feed tame baby black-tip sharks. Another excellent thing to do is take a mangrove boat tour around the island and spot long tail monkeys, crocs and giant sea turtles. If you would like to get some great pictures take a ride on the cable car of fantastic photos of the island.

Perhentian Islands

Located 12 miles off the coast of Kuala Besut are the twin islands of Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil and are probably the most beautiful islands in the country. They both boast pristine white beaches, crystal clear waters and are still relatively unexploited. The islands are popular for scuba diving and snorkelling with easy access to reefs and good visibility and are part of the Terengganu Marine Park. This area is popular with budget travellers as it fast becoming the place to go among travellers. You should take a jungle trek and you can spot huge lizards and flying foxes.

Tioman Islands

This island is located 56km off the Pahang Coast. It’s the largest of a group of 64 volcanic islands, Tioman is considered one of the world’s most beautiful with palm fringed beaches, azure sea and a mountainous jungle. The best beaches are found on Tekek, Genting, Salang, Air Batang & Juara. If you would like to take a jungle trek the place for that is at Tekek to Juara and you can see some great waterfalls along the way. These islands also have some excellent diving and snorkelling around the Marine Park.

Labuan Island

The island of Labuan is 10km off the coast of Sabah, and covers an area of 98 sq km. It is a duty free port and operates as Malaysia’s offshore financial centre. Excellent duty free shopping and wide expanses of white sandy beaches throughout the island make Labuan a popular tourist destination. It is also a popular destination for divers and has four established wreck diving sites. The Cement Wreck is suitable for beginners, but the Blue Water Wreck requires more advanced diving experience. It is possible to penetrate the hull of the Australian and American wrecks, but these dive sights are only accessible to qualified wreck divers with relevant experience.

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