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Things to Do in Malaysia

Malaysia is a country of contrasts, sliced in half by the South China Sea. On one side, colonial treasure troves, tropical islands, and modern cityscapes captivate; while in Borneo, rain forests and wild animals dominate the landscape. Malaysia is crowned by its sleek capital, Kuala Lumpur, where the Petronas Twin Towers, the Batu Caves, and enticing street food reign supreme. In historical Malacca, UNESCO World Heritage sites jostle for attention; Kota Kinabalu magnetizes travelers with fiery sunsets and a vibrant art scene; in Penang, the colonial gems of Georgetown complement the country’s best food; and on the white-sand beaches of Langkawi, revelers and relaxers soak up the island atmosphere. Opportunities for outdoor adventures abound: Hike through the emerald tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands, trek to the fiery summit of Mount Kinabalu volcano, or explore the fauna-rich rain forest of Taman Negara National Park. Nature lovers can visit rescued elephants at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, observe orangutans in Borneo’s dense jungle, or watch a dazzling display of fireflies at Kuala Selangor lagoon. Plus, Malaysia’s proximity to Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia not only make it an ideal launchpad for traveling Southeast Asia, but also creates an engrossing cultural tapestry guaranteed to excite and enchant.
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Dayang Bunting Island (Pulau Dayang Bunting)
10 Tours and Activities
The second-largest island in Langkawi archipelago, Dayang Bunting Island (Pulau Dayang Bunting) and its surrounding lake are enshrouded in folklore. Visit the lake where legend says a celestial princess placed her baby after his death (the waters are thought to aid in conceiving). Try snorkeling, bird-watching, and cave exploring too.
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Petronas Twin Towers (Petronas Towers)
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505 Tours and Activities

A highlight of a trip to Kuala Lumpur is the views from the skybridge at Petronas Twin Towers . Each morning 1,700 passes are distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis to visitors who want to visit the skybridge. It’s best to start queuing at 7am as most tickets are gone by 9am.

The views from the ground are equally incredible as you gaze up at the 88 story gleaming towers that reach 1,483 ft (452m) into the air.

The floor plan is based on the Islamic eight-pointed star and the five sections of the skyscraper reflect the five-pillars of Islam.

Beneath the Petronas Towers is KLCC Park, a large urban park with jogging tracks, a playground and wading pools. There is also the huge Suria KLCC shopping mall which has a number of good restaurants.

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Langkawi Sky Bridge
15 Tours and Activities
A unique structure with spectacular views of Malaysia’s Langkawi archipelago, the Langkawi Sky Bridge is a curved suspension bridge on Mt. Machinchang. The 410-foot-long (125-meter-long) span hangs from a single pylon, 328 feet (100 meters) above the ground, offering excellent views of the jungle-covered mountains below and the Andaman Sea beyond.
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Batu Caves
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207 Tours and Activities
The Batu Caves are dedicated to Lord Murugan and an imposing 47 meter high golden statue in his honour stands at the foot of the 272 stairs, which you must climb to view the Temple Cave. The Temple Cave’s ceiling is 100 meters high with holes in the rock illuminating the massive cave below. Beneath the Temple Cave is Dark Cave which is not open to the public without permission from the Malaysian Nature Society who organise daily spelunking tours to see wildlife native only to the caves. The Art Gallery and Museum caves are at the bottom of the staircase and are filled with paintings depicting scenes from Hindu tradition and statues of Hindu deities.
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Cherating River (Sungai Cherating)
2 Tours and Activities

While Cherating is best known for its beaches, the ocean isn’t the only body of water worth exploring. The Cherating River meanders through mangrove forests of the region, and cruising the river has become one of the area’s most popular activities.

By day, river cruisers might spot monkeys, monitor lizards, snakes, otters, terrapins and a variety of tropical birds. By night the river looks completely different. On a nighttime river cruise, thousands of fireflies glow in the mangrove trees — a magical experience. It’s also possible to experience the river by kayak or canoe, or by learning to crab fish in its clear waters.

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Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary
5 Tours and Activities

In the heart of the mangrove forests of Semawang in Sandakan, the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary is a privately owned reserve where visitors can observe these rare and distinctive creatives that are indigenous to Borneo.

It’s estimated that approximately 300 wild monkeys live within this six square­-kilometer sanctuary. There’s also plenty of other wildlife here besides the proboscis, with silverleaf monkeys and some fascinating birdlife, including hornbills, calling the reserve home. Many visit the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary on a day trip, although overnight stays are also possible, with night tours giving visitors a chance to see fireflies, wild boars, flying squirrels, and crocodiles. Booked in advance, it’s possible to combine the monkey’s feeding time with other activities, such as jungle treks or even a boat trip to a nearby fishing village.

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Melawati Hill (Bukit Melawati)
101 Tours and Activities

Bukit Melawati (Melawati Hill) served as a stronghold for the Selangor Sultanate during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Remnants of the fort still dot the landscaped park now occupying the hill, including sections of wall, grave sites, a few cannons and a flat stone that was once used for beheadings. Today the park attracts not only history buffs, but nature lovers and other visitors who come to take in the panoramic views of the Selangor coastline from the top of the hill. On a clear day the Straits of Malacca are visible in the distance. A lighthouse, built in 1910 by the British, sits at the summit, through it’s not open to visitors. Silver-leafed monkeys and long-tailed macaques often hang around the park, hoping for a meal of peanuts or stolen snacks from unwary visitors.

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LEGOLAND® Malaysia
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10 Tours and Activities

With more than 70 rides, tons of interactive shows, a handful of wild water slides and seven LEGO-themed exhibits, LEGOLAND Malaysia has become a top destination for families traveling to Kuala Lumpur.

While the massive park offers little visitors plenty to do and see, one of the favorite stops among visitors is MINILAND, where some 30 million LEGOs have been used to recreate iconic Asian landmarks on a much smaller scale. Kids can bring the models to life with the touch of a button and watch trains, planes and cars travel through the tiny land.

Even the water park, which includes 20 slides, pools and rivers, is LEGO themed, with 70 models build by LEGO experts. Kids can even construct their own rafts from soft LEGO bricks and float down one of the park’s lazy rivers.

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More Things to Do in Malaysia

Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV)

Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV)

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8 Tours and Activities
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Matang Wildlife Centre

Matang Wildlife Centre

4 Tours and Activities
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George Town (Penang Georgetown)

George Town (Penang Georgetown)

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George Town (Penang Georgetown) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts a unique mix of cultures. The beating heart of Penang, George Town offers visitors a heady combination of world-class street food, colorful colonial architecture, and street art. This historic enclave, which can be explored entirely on foot, is also famous for its novelty museums.
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Poring Hot Spring & Nature Reserve (Poring Hot Springs)

Poring Hot Spring & Nature Reserve (Poring Hot Springs)

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Tucked within the jungles of Malaysian Borneo and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kinabalu Park, Poring Hot Spring & Nature Reserve (better known as Poring Hot springs) is a collection of built attractions highlighting some of the region’s wild features. The star is a series of tiled pools and public baths built by the Japanese during their occupation in WWI. Containing naturally hot sulfurous water pumped to the surface, the baths are popular with tired Mt. Kinabalu trekkers as well as area residents, especially on weekends.
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Eagle Square (Dataran Lang)

Eagle Square (Dataran Lang)

30 Tours and Activities
Dataran Lang, or Eagle Square in English, is a square on Langkawi near the port where ferries sail in and out. It is the first sight visitors to this Malaysian island will see when they arrive by boat. In the square is a giant statue of an eagle poised to take flight. The eagle is almost 40 feet tall. The reddish-brown eagle was built as a symbol of the island since, according to folklore, Langkawi’s name came from two Malay words, Helang which means “eagle” and Kawi which means “reddish brown.” It is one of Langkawi's most recognizable sights.
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Semenggoh Nature Reserve

Semenggoh Nature Reserve

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10 Tours and Activities
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Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka)

Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka)

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Impeccable Merdaka Square - or Dataran Merdeka - was a cricket ground in colonial times. The cricket ground was overlooked by the Royal Selangor Club which housed a club for the colonial rulers. When independence for Malaysia was declared, it was here that the Union Jack flag was lowered and the Malay flag was first raised. The flag still flies on a massive flagpole on the edge of the square.

The square is surrounded by historic buildings, the most majestic of which is the Sultan Abdul Samad building which housed the British administration and now houses the Ministry for Heritage, Culture and the Arts. The Moorish style building is dominated by a tall clock tower nicknamed "Big Ben." The square is now the focus of many of the city’s celebrations and the Independence Day festival is held here on August 31st.

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Kuala Lumpur Tower (KL Tower)

Kuala Lumpur Tower (KL Tower)

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Along with its considerable effectiveness as an instrument of communication technology, the Kuala Lumpur Tower (KL Tower) also functions as a platform for religious observance. The observatory deck doubles as tourist destination and the point from which the beginning of the Islamic month of Ramadan is marked each August when special designees mark the rising of the crescent moon. There is an excellent restaurant that naturally offers astonishing vistas (it’s a revolving venue), and the tower plays host to a series of annual races, such as the KL Tower International Night Towerthon Challenge. It has also made an appearance in the reality television series The Amazing Race Asia.
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Sam Poh Tong

Sam Poh Tong

18 Tours and Activities
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Kinabalu National Park

Kinabalu National Park

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Kinabalu National Park hugs the base of Mount Kinabalu like a lush, thick blanket. Sharing the same incredible biodiversity and UNESCO World Heritage status as the mountain that towers above it, Kinabalu National Park is recognised as one of the most important biological sites in the world.

For those who can’t conceive climbing Mount Kinabalu’s challenging slopes. Kinabalu National Parks presents an excellent alternative. Home to an estimated 5,500 plant species, including several hundred varieties of orchids and pitcher plants, 326 bird species and over 100 mammals, a walk in the park has never been this diverse.

There are 11km (7mi) of marked and graded trails across the Park, many of which cut across the mountain forest vegetation, which ranges from from rich dipterocarp and coniferous forests to montain oak and alpine meadow plants.

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Bako National Park

Bako National Park

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Bako National Park is Sarawak’s oldest national park and, at 2,728 hectares (6,738 acres), is also one of its smallest. It packs a lot in for its size, however, containing almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo.

Sitting on a promontory at the mouths of the Sarawak and Bako rivers, Bako National Park contains no less than seven eco-systems – from cliff and coastal vegetation to mangrove, peat swamp and dipterocarp forest and grasslands.

But it is the wildlife most people come for - the rare proboscis monkey, macaques, monitor lizards and bearded pigs – that, and the amazing number of pitcher and canivorous plants that call the National Park home.

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BOH Tea Garden (Boh Tea Plantation)

BOH Tea Garden (Boh Tea Plantation)

4 Tours and Activities

The Boh Tea Plantation is one of those must-visit places when in the Cameron Highlands. The largest manufacturer of tea in Malaysia, Boh Plantations have a tea shop, factory, and around 8000 acres of planted tea at this site, all set against a backdrop of rolling green hills.

The Boh Tea Plantation is not particularly easy to reach, with a narrow, seven-kilometer access road winding up the hill to the plantation. It’s therefore recommended to visit as part of a larger tour so that transport is taken care of, allowing you to gaze out at the scenery along the way. A trip to the plantation can be combined with a visit to Tanah Rata Town, the Strawberry Farm, Brinchang Temple, and a number of local markets.

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