Things to Do in Malaysia
Recently reopened in 2011 after a nearly five year closure, the North Borneo Railway is a historic bit of Malaysian transportation as well as the only rail line currently operating in the state of Sabah. Originally constructed in 1896 as a means of transporting tobacco from the lush interior of the island to the distant coast, the North Borneo railway now serves as a semi-practical means of moving passengers and cargo in the same fashion it once employed for nearly a century.
Unless you’re a train buff, it’s difficult to discern whether or not the North Borneo Railway can be considered a tourist attraction. Running from the town of Tanjung Aru near Kota Kinabalu to the town of Tenom in the lush interior, the entire journey takes a little over two hours and passes through landscapes which range from the Sabah coastline to open fields cleared by deforestation.
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.
Encompassing a 10-acre (4-hectare) plot of forest in the Krau Forest Reserve of Pahang, Deerland Park is home to some 30 Indonesian deer (Cervus timorences), as well as a couple other species of deer, sun bears, monkeys, snakes, peacocks and ostriches. Set up like a petting zoo, the deer enjoy a large enclosure where visitors can interact with them at close range, feeding them and pet them. A wooden walkway leads up to an observation platform where visitors can watch the deer from above. For those interested in the natural flora of the region, Deerland Park leads medicinal herb treks into the jungle, where about 40 species of herbs grow. Other activities include blowpipe lessons, bird-watching seminars, cooking classes, fishing and night walking.
More Things to Do in Malaysia
A crowning achievement of the Heritage of Malaysia Trust, Rumah Penghulu, or Malay House, is a traditional stilt house from Kampung Sungai Kechil, a small town in Kedah in the very north of the country.
It was the house of a local headman and is suitably impressive in design. There are three main areas; the living area, the bedroom and the kitchen and dining area. The house is solid wood and was built through the 1920s and 30s. It was bought by the trust and painstakingly moved to Kuala Lumpur where it was restored to its former glory and is a celebrated part of preserving the nation’s heritage.
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.
A fascinating exercise in building a city from scratch, Putrajaya is the administrative capital of Malaysia and located just south of Kuala Lumpur.
Planned as an "intelligent" and "garden" city the Putrajaya has wide boulevards and many lovely parks where the city’s population, mainly government workers, unwind and get back in touch with nature. The park offering the best views of the city is Taman Putra Perdana next to Perdana Putra. The city is home to many showcase buildings including the Putra Mosque which is a vision in pink with the highest dome in South East Asia, it can fit 15,000 worshipers. Perdana Putra is the Prime Minister’s office and the jewel in the crown of Putrajaya. The educational Millennium Monument gives an insight into the history of Malaysia.
Translated from Hokkien the Kek Lok Si Temple, or 'Temple of Serene Bliss', sits majestically on a hill, a focal point of the local Chinese community, generous donations mean this temple continues to grow.
The 7-story white & gold pagoda is the largest Buddhist temple in SE Asia, its design - Chinese Octagonal base, Thai middle tier and Burmese crown - reflects its respects to Mahayana and Theravana Buddhism.
On the hillside above is an impressive 100ft (30m) bronze statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy.
Putrajaya Bridge, perhaps the most important bridge in Malaysia, spans Putrajaya Lake at a length of 1,427 feet (435 meters). Inspired by the Khaji Bridge in Iran, the Putrajaya Bridge combines cable backstays and steel tiebacks to create an elegant, sail-like appearance reminiscent of Santiago Calatrava’s sculptural bridges.
The lower level of the bridge accommodates motor traffic and a monorail across the lake, connecting the Government Precinct in the North to a Mixed Development Precinct in the South, while the upper level carries a pedestrian path for jogging, walking or cycling. It’s also a popular spot for watching the sun set over Putrajaya Lake in the evening. At night, changing colored lights illuminate the bridge.
When Captain Francis Light landed on this spot in 1786 and took the island from the Sultan he built a wooden fort, Fort Cornwallis, to defend it against the French, Kedah and pirates during the Napoleonic Wars.
Rebuilt in 1808 using Indian convict labour it is the largest and most intact fort in Malaysia. Once protected by a great moat this was filled in after a malaria outbreak in the 1920s.
The famous great cannons guarding Fort Cornwallis date back as far as the 17th century.
Things to do near Malaysia
- Things to do in Kuala Lumpur
- Things to do in Langkawi
- Things to do in Penang
- Things to do in Kota Kinabalu
- Things to do in Kuching
- Things to do in Petaling Jaya
- Things to do in Ipoh
- Things to do in Tanah Rata
- Things to do in Sandakan
- Things to do in Johor Bahru
- Things to do in Singapore
- Things to do in Cambodia
- Things to do in Pahang
- Things to do in Johor
- Things to do in Perak