Less frequented than its Thai neighbour, Malaysia nevertheless has many assets to seduce travelers. This country, little known, is actually split into two territories seven hundred kilometers apart, with a western part – located between Thailand and Singapore – and an island part, north of the island of Borneo. This geographical particularity largely explains the religious and cultural diversity of Malaysia.
With nearly thirty-two million inhabitants, Malaysia also stands out from its neighbors due to the influence of Islam, its still very present colonial past (Portuguese, Dutch and English) and the various Asian imprints ( Chinese, Malay, Indian).
Lush primary forest, exceptional seabed, ultramodern capital, grandiose cultural and religious architecture, there is something for all tastes and desires in Malaysia. So much so that it is sometimes difficult to make a choice. So, to guide you, here is our selection of the most beautiful places to visit in Malaysia.
1. Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur will certainly be your gateway to Malaysia. With nearly two million inhabitants, the great Malaysian capital offers a unique and sometimes surprising mix of modernity and tradition. Start your discovery with the Petronas Towers , national pride, rising to 451 meters in height over 88 floors, which were once the tallest towers in the world. Next, stop at the KL Communications Tower, also known as the Menara Tower, and take in sweeping views of the city from a platform more than 276 meters above the ground.
Visiting Malaysia also means discovering and understanding the different religions that make it up. A visit to the Masjid Negara and Masjid Jamek mosques is therefore a must. The Sri Mahamariamman Indian temple is also worth a look. Afterwards, admire the National Theater and take a tour of the Museum of Islamic Art .
Take time to stroll through the charming neighborhood of Kampung Baru and the bustling streets of Little India and Chinatown. Would you like to bring back some souvenirs in your suitcases? Direction the famous Jalan Bukit Bintang street. You can go shopping, have a bite to eat, but also enjoy the festive atmosphere of the district after dark.
2. Batu Caves
Located just ten kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur and accessible by train, you can admire the largest Hindu sanctuary outside India. Carved into limestone hills, this iconic site is best known for its huge golden statue of the Hindu god Murugan and its 272 steps that provide access to the main cave. At the beginning of each year, more than a million Hindus come here to pay homage to the youngest son of Shiva.
Other smaller caves are also worth a visit, especially the one where the Ramayana temple is located. For the more adventurous among you, know that it is possible to take one of the climbing tracks present in the caves.
Classified by Unesco as a World Heritage Site, the “Venice of Asia” is considered one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Malaysia. Stroll through the alleys of Malacca and discover the many colonial influences that marked the oldest port city in the country.
To better understand the different religious influences that characterize Malaysia, stop at the city’s three main religious buildings, the Kampung Kling Mosque , the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and the Church of Christ. Finish the visit of Malacca by its night market and admire the sunset on the floating mosque Masjid Selat . A dazzling landscape, worthy of the tales of the Thousand and One Nights.
4. The Cameron Highlands
If you are looking for a bit of freshness, take the direction of the Cameron Highlands . These high plateaus, where tea is grown, are more than 1,400 meters above sea level. The region, of an emerald green, offers breathtaking landscapes on the tea plantations, as well as many activities, which will delight young and old. Do not hesitate to go on a trek in the Mossy Forest or to taste a cup of Boh tea, the most popular tea in Malaysia, cultivated on the lands of the Cameron Highlands for more than one hundred and thirty years.
Located on Penang Island and inscribed by Unesco on the World Heritage List, Georgetown is a must-see place to visit in Malaysia. Considered the culinary capital of the country, the city has a surprising architecture, marked by the various colonizations, as well as by the influence of Chinese culture.
A veritable city-gallery, the walls of Georgetown are full of graffiti and works of all kinds. The area is also home to Khoo Kongsi Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you want to venture beyond the mythical district, you can also extend your visit to Penang Island and discover the many Buddhist temples, stroll through the island’s botanical garden or admire the incredible view of the jungle and the city. from Penang Hill.
6. Tioman Island
If you are a fan of heavenly beaches and authentic nature, go to the magnificent island of Tioman, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful islands in the country. Located in the China Sea and famous for its seabed – protected thanks to its status as a marine park – Tioman Island is the ideal place to practice diving or snorkelling and get to know extremely rare fish, such as the fish Napoleon.
But the charm of the island is not limited to its beaches. The interior of the island, classified as a nature reserve, will offer you beautiful discoveries such as the tropical forest and the exceptional animals that inhabit it. You will be enchanted.
7. The Perhentian Islands
A small corner of paradise located on the east coast of Malaysia, the Perhentian Islands are a must to visit in Malaysia. White sand and turquoise sea await you, for long lazy afternoons on Flora Bay beach .
Once well rested, you will have the choice between a trek in the virgin forest or a diving session to discover the breathtaking seabed. You will come across turtles, fish, corals, and even some sharks. You will inevitably fall under the spell of the Perhentians Islands.
8. The island of Langkawi
Better known and frequented than Tioman or the Perhentians, the island of Langkawi , located in the Andaman Sea, offers its visitors an exceptional natural environment. White sand, coconut palms, and lush nature invite relaxation and contemplation.
Do not be surprised if, during your walks on the beach, you meet a monitor lizard, a swimming macaque or a sea otter. Classified as a geopark by Unesco, Langkawi is indeed full of fauna and flora exceptional. The island is also known for its huge suspension bridge and its impressive cable car .
9. Gunung Mulu National Park
Are you looking for one of the most beautiful national parks to visit in Malaysia? Opt for Gunung Mulu Park . Located in the middle of the Borneo jungle, access is only possible by air. The park’s biodiversity is exceptional, since it is home to more than three thousand one hundred and five different plant species.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the year 2000, Gunung Mulu National Park offers its visitors fascinating landscapes, made up of limestone pinnacles and gigantic caves. The latter are home to millions of bats and cave swiftlets which, at dusk, fly in clouds towards the jungle. A magical moment not to be missed!
10. Mount Kinabalu
Also located on the island of Borneo in the state of Sabah, the highest peak in Southeast Asia (4,095 m) towers over Kinabalu National Park , listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its exceptional biodiversity. . Mountain trek enthusiasts will be able to undertake its ascent and enjoy a breathtaking landscape of the surrounding jungle and the turquoise blue sea.
For this, you will have to call on the private company in charge of excursions on the mountain. It is indeed forbidden to go there alone and the number of daily visitors is limited. For the less athletic, there are beautiful walks to do in the jungle around Mount Kinabalu. They will give you the opportunity to discover the fauna and flora of the magnificent island of Borneo.
11. Pangkor Island
If you’re looking for an authentic little island close to Kuala Lumpur, head to Pangkor Island . Beautiful quiet beaches, lush jungle, few tourist buildings, the island of Pangkor offers you timeless landscapes, in absolute calm. A few activities are offered on the island, but the main occupation remains relaxing on the hammocks and other swings suspended by the beach.
12. Kuala Selangor
A nice place to visit in Malaysia with the family? Kuala Selangor is the ideal destination. Just an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, you’ll embark on a stroll along the Selangor River, to admire the thousands of fireflies that twinkle in the night through the mangroves. A magical experience that will delight the whole family.