With towering skyscrapers, rugged mountains and warm sandy beaches, Malaysia is a multicultural country of diverse culture, people and beauty. Local Malay, Chinese and Indian influences are felt right across the country, from its stunning rural villages to modern cities like Kuala Lumpur, home of the towering Petronas Towers.
A key attraction of this fascinating and colorful country is its extreme contrasts. Majestic high-rise offices tower above wooden homes built on stilts, while luxurious five-star hotels reside near ancient reefs. The delightful highlands landscapes blend effortlessly with pristine beaches and mangroves.
For travelers who love food, this is the country to visit for delicious Chinese-Malay cuisine, an Indian banana leaf curry, a Chinese buffet or a spicy dish from a Malay food stall. The beauty of Malaysia lies in the combination of everything in a country that is one of the safest, most stable and easiest to enjoy in Southeast Asia.
Mosques, churches, temples, mansions, old Malaysian architecture, monasteries, towers, museums, jungles, rainforests
Culture and entertainment
Museums, traditional cultural shows and performing arts, puppet shows, clubs, bars
Activities and sports
Swimming, jet skiing, sailing, horseback riding, kayaking, cruises, zoos, parks, wellness centers and spas
January – Pongal, Thaipusam
April – Malaysia International Jewelry Festival
May – Kaamatan, Colors of Malaysia
November – Festival of Lights
Whether dining on the freshest barbecued fish at the local night market, visiting the stunning islands just off the mainland, exploring the wilds of Borneo, or simply relaxing on one of the beaches, travelers are easily accommodated in this city. Walks on Mount Kinabalu and through Poring Hot Springs are great day trips, while some additional excursion options include visits to Turtle Island, Kinabatangan Eco Lodges and Sandakan to view the famous orangutans.
- Float off the coast of the beautiful Tunku Abdul Rahman Park group of islands
- Take a sunrise trek to the top of Malaysia’s tallest mountain: Mount Kinabalu
- Overnight or take a day trip to Sandakan to see the orangutans in their natural habitat
- Experience fabulous museums on ancient Islamic civilizations in the Far East
- Visit the Poring Hot Springs for a relaxation session
Kuala Lumpur is a bustling city in the heart of Malaysia and a gateway to the rest of the Far East. It retains much of the local color that has disappeared from many other Asian cities and has a strong cultural heritage, eclectic arts and eye-catching architecture. Travelers can spend time sightseeing, shopping and dining in restaurants with every imaginable type of food to suit all budgets.
- See the legendary Petronas Towers, the tallest buildings in the world until 2004
- Visit the Batu Caves, a sacred Hindu shrine, comprised of three main caves and smaller ones made out of limestone
- Explore the Islamic Arts Museum, which houses more than 7,000 artifacts
- Take a stroll down Bukit Bintang, the shopping and entertainment district known for its al fresco cafés, bars, night markets and eateries
- Discover the rich heritage and unique mix of architectural styles in the port of Malacca
- Visit the mountain resort of Genting Highlands, often called the “City of Entertainment”
Langkawi is a group of islands on the west coast of Malaysia and is the country’s best-known vacation destination. Nature lovers will discover that the island is as beautiful as the shoreline with a beach lined with powder-fine sand and tall coconut palms. Surrounded by turquoise waters, Langkawi is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, relaxing in luxurious spa resorts, exploring jungles and diving in the coral-rich sea. It is also a shopping paradise, as the island is completely duty-free.
- Take the Langkawi Cable Car all the way up to the top of Mount Mat Cincang, Langkawi’s second highest peak
- Visit the beautiful Telaga Tujuh or Seven Wells waterfall
- Buy tax-free goods at Jetty Point Shopping Complex, Sage Shopping Centre or Zone Shopping Paradise
- Don’t miss the Buffalo Park, with over 100 swamp buffaloes
- Trek through the Gunung Raya
Nicknamed the Pearl of the Orient, Penang is famous for its soft, sandy beaches and is regarded as the food capital of Malaysia. World-class attractions at this exotic holiday destination include Penang Hill, vipers in the Snake Temple, the quaint capital Georgetown (which is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site), and the only award-winning spice garden in Southeast Asia. Penang has many sightseeing opportunities, such as Hindu temples, Buddhist statues and colonial architecture in Georgetown. It is also a popular destination for water sports lovers with its famous Batu Ferringhi Beach.
- Take a trishaw ride or walking tour of the Georgetown UNESCO World Heritage Site and check out the colonial architecture, mosques and Buddhist temples
- Don’t miss a trip to Monkey Beach to soak up the sun and spot some monkeys
- Explore the Clan Jetties, a collection of water villages build on stilts along Weld Quay
- Visit Fort Cornwallis, built on the site of Sir Francis Light’s historic landing in 1786
- Stroll through Penang Botanical Gardens, Tropical Spice Garden, Penang National Park and the Penang Butterfly Farm