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100. KEDAH

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160. SABAH


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206 – Malaysia Travel Guide – Malaysia, The Ultimate Destination For Special Interest Holiday



Malaysia has something for visitors with any interest or preference. A wide spectrum of specialised tours is available through tour operators and travel agents. Whether you are in the mood for shopping, adventure, a romantic interlude or a totally rejuvenating session at the spa, Malaysia is the place for an unforgettable holiday.


Blessed with a year-round tropical climate, Malaysia is one of the region’s top destinations for sun, sea and sand getaways. Lapped by the waters of the Straits of Malacca, South China Sea, Andaman Sea as well as the Sulu and Celebes Seas, Malaysia boasts some of the most beautiful islands and beaches in the region.

Malaysia is home to hundreds of tropical islands ranging from populated landmasses to unspoilt pristine islets. Characterised by pure sandy beaches and spectacular underwater landscapes, they provide the perfect playground for avid snorkellers and scuba divers. Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah and home to a UNESCO Global Geopark, possesses a natural charm that is second to none. Langkawi’s idyllic beaches such as Tanjung Rhu, Cenang and Burau Bay provide the perfect environment for a host of watersports.

Pulau Pangkor is a rustic beach getaway with fishing villages, lush tropical vegetation and places of worship. Just nearby, the privately-owned Pangkor Laut is one of the world’s top luxury destinations. Terengganu’s islands – namely Redang, Perhentian, Lang Tengah, Kapas and Tenggol – are some of the most stunning in the region with stretches of white sandy beaches and coral-rich waters. Pahang’s sole island, Tioman, is considered one of the region’s best island getaways with a wealth of natural beauty and underwater wonders.

Malaysia is also blessed with an abundance of picturesque beaches along its coasts. The nearest to Kuala Lumpur is Sasaran Beach, a place in Selangor that is famed among photography enthusiasts as Malaysia’s Sky Mirror. Sepang Goldcoast beckons with its calm waters and rustic sights. Beach lovers can also visit Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan, a popular beachfront lined by star-rated resorts and chalets. Penang’s beautiful northern beaches such as Teluk Bahang and Batu Feringghi are charming destinations with their overhanging boulders, casuarinas lined shores and secluded coves. Desaru in Johor is another beach getaway for those who are making short trips around the mainland. On the east coast, Pahang and Terengganu’s scenic shores such as Cherating, Teluk Chempedak, Tanjung Jara and Rantau Abang possess a tranquil and laidback atmosphere.

Tanjung Aru in Sabah is a relaxing beachside retreat and the perfect spot to catch the magical rays of the sunset while Damai and Tusan are popular seaside retreats in Sarawak. Tusan Beach rose to fame in the recent times for its ‘horse-stone’, a natural formation resembling the head of a horse.


Located at the epicentre of the world’s richest underwater environment, Malaysia is blessed with an abundance of marine parks, each with excellent visibility and a thriving underwater ecosystem. Some of the region’s best dive sites are located here, particularly in the waters off Terengganu, Johor, Pahang and Sabah.

Langkawi’s Pulau Payar Marine Park is a great destination for day trips. There is no accommodation on the island to protect and preserve the island’s delicate marine eco-system. In Terengganu, Redang Marine Park has an incredible variety of coral species. The islands of Lang Tengah and Perhentian are a diver’s delight with its rich marine life. Pahang’s Tioman Marine Park is another not-to-be-missed destination.

In the southern state of Johor, the islands Sibu, Rawa and Aur are equally enthralling, each possessing its own charm and character. They beckon divers with an abundance of corals and undersea attractions. Blessed with an enviable marine biodiversity, Sabah’s islands – Sipadan, Bohey Dulang, Mabul, Layang-Layang, Kapalai and Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park – are widely-known as some of the region’s best diving sites. Pulau Sipadan, located right in the heart of the Indo-Pacific basin – the world’s richest marine habitat – is rated as one of the world’s top dive sites. Kapalai and Mabul are also popular for ‘muck diving’ activities – a diving term used to describe the search for rare and exotic small marine species. In Sarawak, waters off Miri are known for its reef diving. Labuan Marine Park is famous for its wreck diving, particularly wrecks from World War II.


Blessed with a wealth of natural wonders, Malaysia is a well-known eco-tourism destination. The country’s lush rainforests and rugged terrains make it one of the best places for eco-adventures. National parks are aplenty, each endowed with an incredible diversity of flora and fauna as well as impressive natural landscapes, providing the perfect platform for a variety of pursuits. Taman Negara, Malaysia’s premier park, is the country’s largest national park and one of the world’s oldest rainforests, having been around for over 130 million years. It is home to Gunung Tahan, the highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia, and one of the world’s longest canopy walkways.

Kinabalu Park in Sabah – Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site – is said to contain more than half of the world’s flowering plant species, including the strange yet fascinating Rafflesia.

Gunung Kinabalu (Mount Kinabalu) – one of the highest peaks in Southeast Asia – is also located here, forming the park’s centrepiece.

Sarawak has the largest number of national parks in the country, including Gunung Mulu National Park, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the archeologically-significant Niah National Park. Home to an astounding series of limestone caves and rare geological formations, Gunung Mulu National Park also has the largest natural cave chamber in the world, the Sarawak Chamber, and the world’s largest cave passage, the Deer Cave. Niah National Park contains two National Historical Monuments, Gua Besar (Great Cave) and the Gua Kain Hitam (Painted Cave).

Langkawi, a tropical island in the waters of Kedah, is home to Southeast Asia’s first UNESCO Global Geopark for its outstanding geological heritage dating more than 500 million years.

Malaysia’s hiking trails are perfect for jungle-trekking. The country’s rivers cater for both river cruising and white-water rafting activities, with varying grades of difficulty. There are also plenty of rocky crags and walls to satisfy rock-climbers. Those who enjoy more challenge can scale up the peaks of Gunung Kinabalu, Gunung Tahan and Gunung Mulu. Kinabalu Park is the site of Asia’s first and the world’s highest Via Ferrata. The country’s rough, undulating terrains also provide the perfect setting for 4WD expeditions and mountain biking.

Malaysia’s lush tropical rainforests and location on the Australasian cross-migratory paths also provide great opportunities for birdwatching activities. Malaysia has a total of 55 Important Bird Areas throughout the country.


Malaysia is made up of a rich tapestry of colourful cultures and well-preserved heritage. The country’s population is an amalgamation of varying ethnic backgrounds, bringing together an enchanting medley of cuisine, crafts, traditions and architecture.

Malaysia’s diverse cultural heritage is evident in their costumes, social practices, recreational pursuits, handicrafts, food, music and other forms of entertainment. Remnants of the past in the forms of heritage buildings, historical sites as well as ancient relics can still be seen all over Malaysia to this day – a reminder of the country’s rich and colourful history. The cities of George Town and Melaka serve as a living museum of sorts, with well-preserved heritage buildings and historical sites, gaining them the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage City status in the year 2000.

Fine craftsmanship is one of Malaysia’s greatest cultural legacies. High in quality and rich in detail, these works of art are highly sought after and make great collectibles. Beautiful hand-woven songket and hand-painted batik textiles remain popular souvenir items, while the country’s woodworks and jewellery are regarded as some of the finest in the world. Pottery, ornaments made from organic materials, metal craftworks and traditional attire such as the Nyonya kebaya are also highly in demand.

Known the world over for its abundance of culinary delights, Malaysia is the ultimate gastronomic paradise. Its multicultural social landscape gives rise to an irresistible array of cuisine with a smorgasbord of cooking styles, from time-tested recipes passed down through generations to fusion versions that give an interesting twist to classic dishes. What’s more, each state comes with its own set of specialities, making dining truly an adventure here.

Experience the unique local culture first-hand by staying with a host family in a Malay kampung or a tribal longhouse through Malaysia’s homestay programme. Learn more about their lifestyles and customs, as well as participate in various local activities such as traditional games and cultural performances.


Religious occasions such as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Chinese New Year, Vaisakhi, Tadau Ka’amatan, Hari gawai, Deepavali and Christmas are celebrated nationwide, with the long-standing tradition of open houses adding to the festive cheer.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri is celebrated by the Muslim community after a month of fasting from dawn to dusk. Muslims wake up in the morning, perform their prayers at the mosque and visit the graves of departed family members before enjoying a family breakfast. Open-houses are held to welcome relatives and friends to strengthen the family bonding and rekindle friendships. Hari Raya Aidiladha is another major Muslim festivals which marks the culmination of the pilgrimage to Makkah.

Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is ushered in with Dragon and Lion Dances. Plum blossoms and décorations can be seen filling the streets while mandarin oranges are given out as a symbol of luck and prosperity. Red packets of money (ang pow) is also given out by elders.

Cultural festivals such as Hari Gawai and Tadau Ka’amatan are harvest festivals celebrated by the ethnic communities of Sabah and Sarawak. They are an incredible spectacle with cultural costumes, dances, beauty pageants and lots of merriment. Among the Chinese community, the Mid-Autumn Festival is anticipated greatly. The festival is observed with lantern processions and delicious mooncakes in various shapes, colours and flavours.
The Indian festival of Thaipusam falls on the full-moon day in the auspicious 10th Tamil month of Thai. During this time, thousands of devotees and curious onlookers throng Batu Caves where a colourful procession of devotees bearing ornate frames known as ‘kavadi’ climb all the way up to the Temple Cave in a vibrant display of unwavering faith and devotion.

The Sikh community celebrates Vaisakhi with lots of gaiety and enthusiasm. This religious observation marks the inauguration of the Khalsa in the late 17th century. Members of the Sikh community visit the Gurdwara (place of worship) and share a communal lunch. As in other parts of the world, Christmas is celebrated here, but with a touch of tropical charm. Visitors will see huge Christmas trees, complete with tassels and trimmings at shopping malls, hotels and offices.

The country also celebrates numerous other occasions such as National Day, Federal Territory Day, New Year and many more. With its diversity of races and cultures, Malaysia dazzles with year-round festivals and celebrations!


Malaysia plays host to a number of prestigious world-class events throughout the year ranging from regattas, races to touring exhibitions. Highly-acclaimed international events such as the Royal Langkawi International Regatta, Le Tour de Langkawi, Penang International Dragon Boat Festival, Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival, Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge and KL Tower International Jump Malaysia have placed the country on the world map.

Facilities such as the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Labuan International Sea Sports Complex and Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre are full-fledged venues for large-scale events.

A renowned golfing destination, Malaysia has hundreds of golf courses situated all over the country. Many of these courses are of international standard and located amidst various settings – by the beach, high up in the hills, in or in the middle of the rainforest – giving a truly unique golfing experience. Some are designed by the world’s top names such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman. For a more unusual golfing experience, try night golfing.

Malaysia is also becoming an increasingly popular destination for equestrian sports. With many equestrian clubs and centres sprouting all over the country, horseback-riding has become not just a popular recreational pursuit, but also an interesting way to see the country’s hinterland. The calm waters along Malaysia’s shores and around its islands are perfect for a variety of water sports. With a number of marinas around the country offering complete sailing facilities and safe anchorage assurance, yachting is fast becoming popular among the adventurous.

Other recreational activities such as jet-skiing, kayaking, parasailing and windsurfing are also widely popular. Malaysia’s densely populated waters are also a favourite among fishing and angling enthusiasts. The coasts of Sabah and Sarawak are home to some of the country’s finest bluewater species, while the island of Labuan is located close to the prime fishing areas.

For adrenalin-junkies, Malaysia’s offers a number of extreme sports such as Flyboarding, Ziplining and Zorbing.


When it comes to shopping, Malaysia is regarded as one of the premier shopping destinations in the region. Whether your preference is luxury or affordable shopping, you’re likely to find whatever your heart desires here. Look out for bargains and special offers especially during festive seasons. Sprawling shopping complexes and lifestyle malls with everything under one roof can be found in major cities, especially Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. Areas such as Bukit Bintang-KLCC are well-known shopping districts offering everything from designer labels to computer peripherals. These malls do not only offer retail therapy, but also a host of dining and entertainment options from bowling arena to cineplexes.

Duty-free shopping is available on the islands of Tioman, Pangkor, Langkawi and Labuan as well as along the Thailand-Malaysia border and in the airports. Those looking for traditional handicrafts and ethnic souvenirs can find them in craft centres around the country. Among the most sought after local crafts include fabrics such as Batik, Songket, Kain Tenun and Pua Kumbu, as well as items fashioned out of pewter, silver and woodcrafts. Craft centres such as Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex offer unique handmade items. Find a bewildering choice of local souvenirs at places such as Pasar Seni (Central Market) and Petaling Street (Chinatown) in Kuala Lumpur. There are also flea markets that are decked with irresistible curios and collectibles. Every state has its own treasures found in places such as Pasar Payang in Terengganu, Siti Khadijah Market in Kelantan and Jonker Street in Melaka.


Be it on a tropical island or in the city centre, Malaysia is home to some of the world’s top spas. With an ideal tropical setting and world-class facilities, Malaysia’s position as a top spa destination is increasingly acknowledged worldwide.

There are many types of spa offering a wide range of therapies. Day spas and hotel or resort spas are the types most commonly found, while destinations spas and medical spas are fast gaining popularity. The therapies are mainly of Asian origin, such as Malay, Chinese, Indian, Peranakan (Straits Chinese) and Balinese. Performed by trained therapists, the spa menu mainly consists of home-grown herbs and locally-produced ingredients. Many spas, especially the established ones, offer avariety of packages and a whole range of therapies, which include full-body massage, hair treatment, pedicure, manicure, facial, sauna and steam baths, body wraps, mud baths and body scrubs.


Malaysia garners interest as a favourite destination for a host of other reasons. Malaysia offers same, if not better, standard of services and facilities as more-developed nations but at much lower costs. The country is a top-of-the-mind destination among those who seek quality healthcare and education, retirement in foreign countries as well as cost-effective Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) facilities.

Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H)

The Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) Programme is open to citizens of countries recognised by Malaysia regardless of race and gender, and provides them with the opportunity to enjoy their time off in Malaysia for as long as they wish. A renewable multiple-entry social visit pass is granted to successful participants, which allows them to bring along their spouses, unmarried children below the age of 21 years and parents above the age of 60 years.


Malaysia has a well-developed education system, with highly-recognised educational institutions from international schools to branch campuses of international universities. English is primarily used as the mode of communication in these institutions. A number of higher learning institutions also offer twinning programmes in collaboration with established international institutions. From short-term language courses to post-graduate degrees, the country offers an extensive range of options and internationally-recognised qualifications.


With its warm tropical climate and beautiful natural surroundings coupled with a stable political environment and state-of-the-art facilities, Malaysia is a favourite destination for business travellers. Hotels and convention centres equipped with extensive MICE facilities are amply available all over the country. Choose from the variety of locations in different settings – by the beach, at the city’s bustling business district, or far away at the highlands. There is also the added option of incorporating themed events and corporate games, throwing an element of fun and excitement into the mix.

Copyright © Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board

Tourist Map of Malaysia

There is so much to do and so many places to see in Malaysia. To make sure that you don’t miss anything, use this handy map to navigate your way across the country and find great places to visit.


Perlis is the northern gateway to Malaysia. Despite its small size, Perlis has an abundance of attractions that make it a great destination.


Kedah is Malaysia’s largest paddy producing state. Delve into history in Lembah Bujang, the site of an ancient civilisation or relax in Langkawi, a world-famous resort island.


The site of a UNESCO World Heritage City, Penang is a holiday paradise with fabulous beach resorts and eclectic cultures. It is also the undisputable haven for foodies.


A tin-rich state in its heyday, Perak beckons with a range of sights and experiences. The state’s top attractions include Pangkor, an island getaway and Pangkor Laut, an internationally-acclaimed private island.


Hailed as the Cradle of Malay culture, Kelantan is a destination teeming with age-old arts, crafts and pastimes.


Beautiful islands, culture and nature give Terengganu its magical appeal. Dive, snorkel, sunbathe at the islands or journey to its hinterland to experience the best of nature.


The largest state in the peninsula beckons nature-enthusiasts with exciting eco-adventures. From Taman Negara, the oldest national park in the country, to the idyllic Tioman Island, Pahang is simply mesmerising.

Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia’s dynamic capital city is bustling with attractions and activities. Explore the city by day and night.


Selangor is home to the country’s main airport KLIA, and the main gateway by sea, Port Klang. It is also the country’s most developed state with a long list of shopping malls and themed attractions.


Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia, is a well-planned township with impressive buildings, verdant parks, scenic lakes and beautiful bridges.


From the majestic height of Mount Kinabalu, Southeast Asia’s tallest peak, to the stunning depths of the world-famous Sipadan Island, Sabah is a magnificent nature destination.


Sarawak, the largest state in Malaysia, has a vast wilderness that contains numerous national parks including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mulu National Park.


Located off the northwestern coast of Borneo, this island thrills visitors with its wreck diving sites, historical relics and duty-free shopping.


The birth place of the nation, Melaka is a treasure trove of history and heritage. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage City for vestiges of the past.

Negeri Sembilan

Known for its fascinating Minangkabau culture and a unique social system, Negeri Sembilan is the place to learn age-old customs and traditions.


Visit Malaysia’s southern gateway, for a family vacation at the theme parks or escape to its islands for an unforgettable holiday.

Birdwatching Paradise

Enjoy birdwatching at 55 Important Bird Areas (IBA) throughout the country, tucked away at various habitats such as islands, coasts or lush lowland and montane rainforests.

Cool Highland Resorts

Love the cool highlands? Find refreshing destinations to unwind in Malaysia. From French-themed settings, energetic amusement parks to forest-clad hills, there is something for everyone.

Fun and Fantasy

Find the fun and thrill that you are looking for in Malaysia. Meet your favourite characters, plunge down the world’s longest water slide or enjoy the rides and games!