The places to visit in Malaysia are beautiful and exotic. Millions of people travel there every year to experience its multi-ethnic cultures. It might not be a very big country, but there are just so many wonderful places to visit in Malaysia. There are definitely more than 9 places if you want to get the most cultural experience out of your trip, but these would be my favorites.
1 Pulau Langkawi
This has got to be one of the most popular places to visit in Malaysia. Pulau means 'island' in Malay, so it basically means Langkawi Island in English. It has a population of 65,000 and belongs to the state of Kedah. You might doubt its authenticity due to the high commercialization, but it does bring really cool perks like amazing resorts and restaurants. It's got incredible beaches and scenery, so grab your sunscreen and prepare for some fun in the sun! It's an awesome way to wind down especially if you're feeling stressed.
2 Gurney Drive
Among the locals, Penang is Malaysia's 'cleanest' state politically. But to all foodies, it's heaven on earth. Gurney Drive is an absolute must for me. It is hawker food paradise. Who needs high end restaurants when you can have real food? The Gurney Drive food court showcases the best of Malaysian food. I'd be more than delighted to do a whole list of Malaysian food recommendations if you guys want me too.
3 A Farmosa
For all those history lovers out there, Melaka (sometimes known as Malacca) is the place for you. The story of the Sultanate of Melaka is the first bit of history that all Malaysian students are required to learn. The A Farmosa is what remains of the Portuguese Colonization back in the 16th century. It is one of the very few European structures in Asia that is still standing.
Also located in Malacca, next to Christ Church, the oldest church in Malaysia, is Stadthuys. Stadthuys used to be the residence of the Ditch Governor during the Dutch administration. Hence, it strongly reflects Dutch architecture. It has now become the Museum of History and Ethnography which exhibits traditional living and artifacts from the glory days of Malacca when it was one of Asia's main trading posts.
5 Petronas Twin Towers
Designed by an Argentine architect, the Petronas Twin Towers are the landmark of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's busiest city. They are the tallest twin building and eighth tallest building in the world. It's a suitable destination for families too, as Suria KLCC, one of Kuala Lumpur's most popular shopping centre is located in the first few floors of the twin towers. Children would probably enjoy Petrosains, a Science Discovery Centre that can be found inside Suria KLCC.
6 Mount Kinabalu
Resting on the island of Borneo, Mount Kinabalu is the highest peak in South East Asia. Nature lovers will appreciate the hike up as the cool air creates a perfect environment for rare species of plants to grow, that of which includes The Rafflesia - the world's largest (and very smelly) flowering plant. "The Legend of Mount Kinabalu" tells of a tragic love story.
7 Genting Highlands
I really enjoyed this place as a kid. It was the closest theme park to home. This would be the perfect place if you want to do a little gambling while on a family holiday. Children love it here.
8 Batu Caves
The enormous Batu Caves are in a hill named after the river Sungai Batu, and they are a Hindu shrine. Batu, for your information, means 'rock' in Malay. Dedicated to the Hindu Lord Murugan, it is one of the most popular shrines outside India. It is busiest during Thaipusam. You can go rock climbing and see monkeys there too... though they're sometimes rather dangerous when they're grumpy and not in the mood to be cute and cuddly.
9 Gunung Mulu National Park
Situated near Miri in Sarawak, this is an experience that will leave you awestruck. It's one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, featuring caves and forests rich in flora and fauna. It really is so much of a wonderful and amazing experience that I can't even put it into words. That's seriously high recommendation there, guys.
What makes Malaysia one of my favorite places to visit is that it's one of those very few places where you can actually feel something real and sincere going on, rather than just being in a highly developed artificial environment all the time. What do you think? Are there any other places to visit in Malaysia that you would like to recommend? Feel free to share!