Travel tips Malaysia, is a multi-racial country located bordering Thailand on the north and Singapore on the south and including the island of Borneo in the east. This is the country in which I was born and lived for 50 years, so which blogger is better to tell you about Malaysia if not me. The weather here is summer all year round average from 25 -35 °C, except few months of the rainy season. Monsoon season at the south-west from May to September while November to March is wettest in the north-east. For beachgoers head to the west coast between January and February, April in Sabah and June and July on the east coast and in Sarawak.
With an area of over 330,000 square kilometers, Malaysia is known for its capital city of Kuala Lumpur, a powerhouse financial and business hub in South East Asia, as well as its secluded islands with beautiful beaches, elevated hill stations, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Malaysia was once ranked 9th in the world for tourist arrivals and the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 ranks Malaysia 25th out of 141 countries overall. In an effort to boost the economy, the government pushed to increase tourism in Malaysia by advertising abroad “Cuti-Cuti Malaysia”.
For traveling whole Malaysia if you have 2-4 person, I suggest you rent a car for 1- 2 weeks (if you have the time and money) daily cost is just Rm80 ($20) if shared by 4 person, just $5 a day and petrol is cheap here at just around Rm2 ($0.50 cents) per liter, full tank just $25+.From south to north is just 800km and you can cover that with 2 full tanks (under $60). Furthermore, there are GPS like Google Maps and Waze, so you can’t go missing, although there is public transport many places especially travelling interstate or rural place is hard to go but you just need to follow speed limit of 110km/h on highways. If you have a group of 8-12 people, my friend has a 14 seater van that can take your group around and he can double as a tourist guide. You can message him at his FB (Stevie Chan)-· Kuala Lumpur Tourist Guide Association (KLTGA). He can take all of you for a 1 whole circle of Peninsular Malaysia.
Their race diversity here, includes Malays (69.6%) and also a sizeable Chinese (22.6%) and Indian (6.8%) and others 1% population in Malaysia which is reflected in the cultural relics found in the country. Visitors here can choose from a wide variety of activities from hiking to diving, to shopping or sampling the local food. Here’s my list of the best things to do in Malaysia.
Petronas Twin Towers, City Center
Almost every tourist that flies in, visit Kuala Lumpur, and the most famous landmark, receiving thousands of tourists daily is Petronas Twin Towers (tallest tower from 1998-2004) and remain the tallest twin tower till today with 88 storeys high. You can experience the sky bridge linking the two-tower at level 41 (170 meters), you can spend 10 minutes here taking pictures and videos, then to the Observation deck on level 86 where you can linger for another 15 minutes to see 360 degrees of KL skyline and then down to the gift shop at the concourse level. Visiting the towers is a very organized event, ticket price at Rm80 ($20) for adults and Rm33 ($8) for children and of course the infamous gift shop. If you are orchestra lovers, Petronas Philharmonic Hall on level 2 hosted many of the world’s leading orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, BBC Symphony and Vienna Symphony has the capacity to accommodate 920 seats which include box seats, corporate suites and a royal suite.
Next is KL Tower, The Kuala Lumpur Tower is a communications tower that was completed on 1 March 1995. It features an antenna that increases its height to 421 metres and is the 7th tallest freestanding tower in the world and tallest in Southeast Asia. The roof of the pod is at 335 metres and we have the tallest revolving restaurant here at 282 meters up, named Atmosphere 360 , you can book a table for lunch/dinner or Hi-tea (3.30-5.30pm) with prices ranging from Rm58 -150 ($14 – 36). You can enjoy your meal with ever-changing skyline views as it revolves.
The Upsidedown house was completed in 2016 featuring a traditional two-storey English cottage, complete with furniture and home décor including kitchen, living room, master bedroom and an attic, completely upside down.
The main entrance offers unique photo opportunities, as there’s a bright yellow upside-down antique car hanging above its visitors and is also surrounded by an upside-down garden, housing colourful artificial flowers, grass and trees, as well as gazebos overlooking KL City Centre. Entrance Rm20 ($5) adult and Rm15($3.80)
China Town aka Petaling Street used to be a tourist hot spot where you can find all kinds of imitation bargains from head to toes, designer handbag, branded attires, shoes, watches, belts. Also all kinds of local food available here, there are the famous since 60 over years charcoal Hokkien Fried Noodles (Hokkien Mee), Cantonese Fried Noodles (KwongFu Chau), Char Siu Wonton Noodles (also more than 60 years), Grilled Spicy Fish, Claypot Chicken Rice, Bak Kut Teh, Pork porridge, Beef Noodles, Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai and a variety of seafood dishes like prawns, crabs etc. You can also try another 60 years specialty, Oloiya barbecued dried meat (pork/chicken), roast Chestnut, roast duck has been selling here a long time ago. For drinks we have coconut, sugar cane, Lo Han Kuo, Soya bean, fruit juices etc. but unfortunate now all was empty due to the Covid pandemic. Hope it can be restored to its former glory soon. My friend Stevie a local tourist guide also runs a KL City Heritage Walking Tour which take you walk around for old building as old as 18th Century. Below is the video of his walking tour service and he also runs tours anywhere in Malaysia
Batu Caves, Selangor
From Petaling Street the nearest attraction is Batu Caves, some 14km away, you can get a Grab/taxi costs you less than $10 for the 20 minutes journey. The limestone forming Batu Caves is said to be around 400 million years old and the staircase leading up consists of 272 steps. The caves and temples are Hindu shrines and here is a site of pilgrimage for the many Tamil residents of here where every year during the Thaipusam celebration, more than 10,000 devotees gathered here. They carry the kavadi (a decorated structure bearing the image of several deities including Lord Murugan) on their shoulders and pal kodum (milk pots) carried above their heads up the stairs from the ground. The Devotees prepare themselves for the occasion by purifying their bodies through fasting and abstinence, and observe a vegetarian diet for a certain period of time. Some devotees began in a trance where the god came into their body during the festival and sharp needles are pierced all over their body where they feel painless. Besides visiting the caves, travelers can also experience the local flora and fauna including wild monkeys that inhabit the area as well as bats that dwell in the caves. For the more adventurous visitors, there are also rock climbing opportunities with over 160 climbing routes in the area. This cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, and is dedicated to Lord Murugan. ( the giant gold standing statue beside staircase)
Genting Highland, Pahang
From Batu Caves, your next nearest, travel destination, you can head on to Genting Highland which is about 42km away, an hour by taxi, would cost you roughly $50. It’s Malaysia’s ultimate holiday destination standing at 6000 feet above sea level where the weather is cooling below 20 degrees by day and below 10 by night. Experience world-class hotels, you can stay here for 2 days or more to explore their newly constructed indoor and outdoor theme parks in 2020 plus there are few casinos here, the only licensed operator in Malaysia.
Fraser Hill, Pahang
Fraser’s Hill is a mountain village in Pahang, 100km north of Genting Highland known for its highland rainforest and extensive birdlife along with several nature paths, including Pine Tree Trail and Bishop Trail, cross jungle terrain sheltering migratory birds like the Siberian thrush. The area also harbors Malayan tigers and rare trig oak trees. Near the village is the Jeriau Waterfall. This is a quiet village for relaxing with nothing much to do, good for retreat.
Cameron Highland, Pahang
From Fraser Hill or Genting Highland you can shoot up to Cameron Highlands which is 190 km away. You can either take a bus down the KL city and take another bus to Cameron ($7) or rent/hire a car. Cameron is another high land nestled at elevations ranging from 800 metres (2,600 ft) to 1,603 metres (5,259 ft) above sea level. Here is a quiet, serene location with fresh air and a tea plantation. You can also play golf here under the mild climate below 20 degrees and they are a lot of hotels here. You can also rent the whole apartment where you can buy fresh vegetables grow here and cook yourself as all apartments are furnished with pots and cutlery.
Pulau Ketam, Selangor
Pulau Ketam (Crab Island) is a fishing village located 50km from KL City Center, you can come by KTM Commuter train from Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station and get off at the final stop Port Klang. It costs RM 6.40 ($1.50) one way for adults and half price for children. Then catch a ferry boat cost Rm9 ($2.20) to this muddy island with wooden stilt houses, and mangroves forests which is an ideal habitat for the crabs, mudskipper, hermit crabs and other marine crustaceans. The island was first settled by a group of fishermen from Hainan in southern China in the 1870s and today it is numbered 8000. You can rent bicycles but children and inexperienced cyclists should be careful on the narrow paths or they may easily drop below the soft tidal mudflats as there are no fences or barriers. There are no beaches on this island, it’s dirty and dangerous to swim here, as there are plenty of fishing boats traffic off and on. There are some Chinese temples in the village and a couple of hotels if you miss the last ferry home plus you can also join their fishing tour, which takes you out for an exciting experience. For food try their spicy crabs, oyster omelet, prawns and fish, as here you can get fresh seafood from many restaurants. Also you can buy many dried seafood like salted fish, satay fish, dried squids, dried anchovies and more.
Kuala Selangor is a town about 75km from the city center in Selangor state. Most visitors come here to watch the synchronized flashing of thousands of fireflies (a type of insect from the beetle family) glowing spectacularly in the late evenings (after 8pm) along the banks of the Selangor River. Touted as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, this exciting activity is one of the must-visit attractions here and the best way to enjoy this spectacle of nature is by travelling along the river in a traditional sampan to help reduce air and noise pollution and protect the fireflies’ natural habitat. Kampung Bukit Belimbing Firefly Park Resort in Kuala Selangor, is one of three places in this region where visitors can witness the brilliant sight of large groups of fireflies flashing in synchrony and you can overnight at their chalet later. Kampung Kuantan Fireflies Park and Pasir Penambang is another 2 sites. I have seen it 3 times, you can see the Blue Tears together. Price start from Rm20 ($5) for adult and they operate from 7.45pm – 11pm daily.
Blue Tears Kuala Selangor is another night attraction here caused by Dinoflagellates, an algae or marine plankton that emits blue-green light at night. “Blue Tears” are normally found on shore but in Kuala Selangor, visitors get to catch the blue patches on a speedboat ride along the waters where the river meets the sea. The best time to go searching for “Blue Tears” is during the new moon 1st, 2nd and 3rd day of the month in the lunar calendar is the best time to visit due to high tide and darker sky, increasing chances of spotting them. It is recommended to go from 9.00pm onwards, as bioluminescent displays are best viewed at least two hours after sunset. The “Blue tears” can only be captured with a good camera with night mode or higher ISO values to capture the bioluminescence in the darkness, usually, a normal phone won’t be able to snap it as I had tried that.
Sky Mirror, this is a daytime, morning activity at Sasaran, Kuala Selangor where you can snap superb, fantastic, amazing photos like the above pictures, for your Instagram or Facebook. A new natural wonder that has become one of the latest tourist attractions in the area. You jump on a boat to the middle of the Straits of Malacca a sandbank on the ocean that emerges for 3-4 hours in the mornings when the seawater low tide, producing a mirror-like reflection on the water. What’s even more surprising is that this mysterious phenomenon only appears on the 1st, 2nd, 14th, 15th, 16th and 30th day of the month according to the Chinese lunar calendar. The sandbank itself is home to a great variety of marine life, where you’ll find plenty of hermit crabs, crabs, bamboo clams, sand dollars, sea anemones, snails, shells and more. Eagle Feeding is another main attraction in Kuala Selangor. You will be able to experience 20-30 eagles flying in the sky and waiting for the food from your tour boat Eagle Feeding will be your wonderful experience in Kuala Selangor. Contact me if you need this tour for Sky Mirror, Fireflies, Blue Tears and Eagle Feeding tour (my friend Stevie Chan runs a tour here) you can find his FB Stevie Chan of Kuala Lumpur Tourist Guide Association (KLTGA)
Kuala Kubu, Selangor
The adventurous ones can head to Kuala Kubu Bahru which is about 80 km north of Kuala Lumpur or an hour drive where you come to Sungai Selangor, a breathtaking river at the foothills of Fraser’s Hill which has water rafting sport with class 2, 3 and 4 rapids over 8km’s long. The rafting gives you 2 hours of excitement. Price at Rm160/$40 which includes a guide and safety life jacket, paddle and helmet. Below is the video of my experience
Another exciting sport I recommend here at KKB is Paragliding. It is fun, exciting and surely gives you the best flying experience you will ever encounter. Besides, paragliding at KKB will surely helps you to enjoy yourself with the beautiful scenery and a totally thrilling looking at the world through bird’s eye view and it is something you will never experience. The flight site is located at Bukit Batu Pahat, Kuala Kubu Bharu about 426 meters /1,400 feet above sea level. Body weight requirement below 88kg, if above there is a surcharge. Below is a video of my own experience in Nov 2021
Teluk Intan, Perak
If you have the time and interest, you can head to Teluk Intan to visit Leaning Tower of Malaysia, not to compare with Pisa, Italy. It looks like 8 storey but its only 3 when you go inside, it was originally used as a water tank to store portable water during the dry season for the people living nearby and also used as a timekeeper of the town as there is a huge clock on top of the tower. The clock was made by J.W. Benson of Ludgatehill London and the cost of building it was contributed by the local people. The reason for the leaning is because of the soft ground on the base of the tower and the weight of the water tank.
Pulau Pangkor (Pangkor Island) is about 70 km from Teluk Intan, you need to head to the Lumut Jetty and take a boat for less than 20 minutes to Pangkor Jetty. There are buses from Kuala Lumpur’s TBS (Terminal Bersepadu Selatan), Butterworth and Ipoh to Lumut before you hop on the boat to Pangkor island. To get around on the island, visitors need to either rent a motorbike (or bicycle) or rely on fixed-priced minivan taxis to circle around this 16 km road around the island perimeter. This is more laid-back as not many foreign tourists come here as nightlife is practically non-existent, mostly local tourists. There is numerous resort here where you can spend a night or two here and relax from having the beach to yourself and also can visit a 17th-century Dutch fortress. Like Pulau Ketam, here is also another island where you can buy dried seafood like squid, anchovies, salted fish, satay fish, dried shrimps and more.
The capital of Perak state is flanked by towering white cliffs, some with magnificent cave temples pocketed in the limestone. Famous food here are Ipoh Beansprout Chicken ( Ah Choy Kai in Chinese), Ipoh Shredded Chicken flat rice noodle (Kai Si Hor Fun) and Ipoh White Coffee, being named one of the top three coffee towns by Lonely Planet. The coffee beans are roasted with palm oil margarine, and the resulting coffee is served with condensed milk. a must try for first-timer. Below are 10 attractions here
Lost World of Tambun is a theme park and resort and is said to be one of the city’s premier attractions. If you come with kids, this is a sure go park that features several ‘lost world’ rides and discovery adventures and also has a range of hotels and a large spa offering a variety of treatments for relaxing. There is also a water park, a zoo, and an aquarium.
Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple is Ipoh’s 100 years crown and sprawls across a large complex that covers 12 acres of land use as an important place of worship in Ipoh. Inside you will find an amazing altar that is surrounded by Buddhist and Chinese deities and you will find some pretty trails that take you past two glassy lakes.
Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple, you will find a range of Buddha statues here as well as other famous deities associated with Chinese folklore, flanked by a delightful garden with a pond and you will find charming pagoda here which are speckled with ancient stone lanterns.
Birch Memorial Clock Tower is a famous building in Ipoh, built in tribute to J.W.W Birch in 1909 who was one of the first inhabitants of the city who was assassinated in 1875. The tower is an ode to British symbolism and at the top you will find four figures who are meant to depict the four virtues of the British government.
Ulu Geroh Rafflesia Trail is only for trekkers who want to spot Rafflesia is known for being the largest flower in the world is located a little way outside of Ipoh in the village of Ulu Geroh in Gopeng. To trek along the trail you will need to get a Semai Orang Asil guide from the village.
Kellie’s Castle was an unfinished, ruined mansion built by William Kellie Smith in 1915, who was a colonialist who built the home to resemble his former house in his native Scotland. The building itself resembles a massive ancient castle and locals claim that it is haunted. Located at Batu Gajah, about 20km from Ipoh, it is also a place where legends abound and you’ll find a large statue of William Kellie Smith here dressed in a suit and hat as well as aristocratic furniture and intricate ceilings that were crafted in the 17th century.
Geological Museum has a huge number of exhibits including over 600 minerals and 150 specimens of rocks along with 200 varieties of gemstones. There are also 200 fossils and large murals that show that show how dinosaur fossils and geological structures are formed and also a gallery that tell the story of mining industry history in Ipoh
Gua Tempurung is a stretch of 4.5 km cave, making it the longest here with amazing stalactites and stalagmite along with underground streams and waterfalls and the huge natural domes in the roof of the caves
Enlightened Heart Tibetan Temple if you want to see a different kind of religious building to the myriad cave temples in the area. Built in 1976 on 12 acres of land it houses the largest Buddhist statue at a height of 13 stories with some 200 different statues here which differ from the usual Buddhist and Taoist temples in the area that give you an interesting insight into Tibetan artwork.
Gunung Lang Recreational Park is located just 7km out of Ipoh town, you can check out this gorgeous limestone scenery that spans 30 hectares where half of this is a lake where you can take a scenic boat ride. There are gardens, a small zoo and observation tower plus a campsite here as well.
From Ipoh to Penang is 160km (2 hours journey), this city has plenty of must-see attractions that you should cover in your itinerary. Penang has lots of delicious food like Char Kway Teow , Assam Laksa, Prawn Noodles, Cendol, Nasi Kandar, Wonton Noodle, Curry Mee, just to name a few. As for attractions, I have handpicked some of the best ones
Penang Hill (Bukit Bendera) that stands at 821 metres above sea level is one of Penang’s most popular attractions, a trip up by a funicular train is a must, as it provides visitors with spectacular views of the whole island at the summit. At the peak there are a Hindu temple, church and a mosque. On a clear day you can see the mountains of Langkawi but it is the night view sight of lit-up Georgetown that is especially rewarding. Most people simply come to enjoy the cool, unpolluted air and walk under 30m-high trees along the nature trails
Kek Lok Si Temple sits on top of a hill is one of the largest Buddhist temple complex in Southeast Asia. Founded more than a century ago, the complex is filled with beautiful landscaped gardens and a striking seven-tiered pagoda called The Pagoda of 1000 Buddhas which combines Thai, Chinese and Burmese styles in one structure. There are also statues of The Four Heavenly Kings, guarding the four points of the compass – North, South, West and East – with the statue of The Laughing Buddha in the middle.
Fort Cornwallis traces its history to the 17th century, built in 1786 as a defensive structure against pirates, today is one of Penang’s most well-known landmarks. You can see a 17th-century chapel, some prison cells, an ammunition storage area, and even some cool old bronze cannons, including a Dutch one. Named after Charles Cornwallis, the former Governor-General of India.
Penang War Museum this site on top of Bukit Maung has been used as a Japanese army base during WWII for torturing prisoners as a result, the hill itself has earned a reputation among locals as being haunted. Despite its sad history, it was turned into a museum (nearly three decades later), restoration works maintained its network of underground tunnels and ventilation shafts, making it exciting to explore. On top of that, you can also examine the base’s old ammunition bunkers, cannon firing bays, sleeping quarters and medical infirmary
Escape Adventureland if you are energetic, looking for some thrilling and adventure, then spend hours here to drain up your energy. All kinds of activities like flying foxes hurtling speedily through the open air, dozens of feet off the ground, are pretty exciting. A park specializing in zip-lining, there are other fun activities here including a free fall from a 20m jump platform, an inner-tube slide and a tree rope swing. Open: 09:00 – 18:00 Tuesday – Sunday.
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion is built in 1890 with Chinese feng shui architecture design belonging to an influential Chinese millionaire of those days, by a team of master craftsmen from China that took more than seven years to build. The mansion, has five granite courtyards, 38 rooms, seven staircases and 22 stained glass windows, it remains one of only three traditional Chinese mansions outside of China. In 1989, it was restored and converted into a 16-room boutique heritage hotel/museum combo best known for its indigo blue façade. Guided tours take place at 11:00, 13:30 and 15:00, with an entry fee of RM12 ($3)per visitor.
Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram a Thai temple that houses a giant Reclining Buddha statue measuring 33 metres long, which is said to be the third-largest of its kind in the world. Besides the lounging Buddha statue you can also find smaller Buddha sculptures in various positions around the temple, as well as those of Thai deities.
Penang Butterfly Farm, Entopia is a place where you find over 15,000 butterflies living in a massive conservatory glass with waterfalls, lush tropical greenery and natural features. As you walk thru inside you feel as though you are in a butterfly world where you can interact with them up close and learn about the rare species.
From Penang you travel further north 120km to Kedah which is nearer to Thailand 70km to the border. Kedah is considered the “rice bowl” of Malaysia, where half of the country’s rice production is produced here. It is also where one of the most popular islands, Langkawi Island where you need just take a boat from Kuah jetty. If you are planning a travel to this state, here are the top 10 Kedah attractions that you should visit, mostly in Langkawi Island.
SkyCab is the cable car that would take you 15 minutes uphill to Machincang mountain where you are able to reach Langkawi Skybridge which stand at 2,300 feet above with 125m in length, this is one spectacular pedestrian bridge that you don’t wanna miss if you are on the island. The unique curve design of the bridge allows visitors to admire the beauty of the island from a bird’s eye view. The bridge is open daily from 9:30am – 7:00pm with the price of Rm55 ($13) for adults and Rm40($10) for children. This ticket also includes SkyDome is a ball shape cineplex equipped with 12 projectors, offered 360 degrees of 3D image projections which easily covered your field of view into the next dimension and further enhanced with high definition. Also included in the ticket is SkyRex is where visitors sit on a tram styled simulator and are taken on a 5 minutes fun-filled journey that assaults that senses-physical platform drops, dynamic motion, blasts of air, water spray, vibrations, dramatic lighting, surround sound and 3D film projected to the front and both sides of the tram, combines to give the most realistic experience possible.
Cenang Beach (Pantai Cenang) the happening beach of Langkawi Island where it’s lined up with the best seafood restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops along with the road selling swimsuit, swimming floats, goggles, t-shirts plus much more. There are also many activities like Jet Ski, Parasailing, Banana boat, snorkeling like the pictures above. Other less known beaches here include Tanjung Rhu Beach (Pantai Tanjung Rhu) and Murni Beach (Pantai Murni) Underwater World Langkawi is located here at Cenang Beach, is an enclosed giant aquarium that houses many types of freshwater and seawater fish. There are also otters and penguins strutting their pose in their enclosure for the perfect picture. Open daily from 10:00am – 6:00pm Entrance for adults at Rm 40 ($10) and Child Rm30 ($7.3).
Crocodile Adventureland Langkawi said to be one of the most collections of crocodile species in the world is another must-go attraction in Langkawi, the best time to see is the feeding sessions. There are open daily 9 – 6pm with an entrance fee at Rm18 ($4.5) adult and child Rm12 ($3)
Langkawi Eagle Square, here you’ll see a huge eagle sculpture spreading its big wings as if ready to fly facing the sea at Kuah town, an iconic landmark in Langkawi Island. Standing at 12 metres tall, this is a perfect Instagram/Facebook picture that you must take while you are here.
Payar Island (Pulau Payar) is a government protected marine park in Kedah. Rich with its marine life and colourful reef, snorkeling and diving are some of the most popular activities to do here. There are also other facilities available in this Kedah attraction such as camping and barbeque sites to make your trip complete.
Lata Bayu is a famous waterfall that is visited by locals, especially on the weekends. This is an excellent place to unwind and relax as it is a well-kept park with many amenities for the comfort of the visitors. This attraction is also a good place to bring your kids for an evening splash as the ponds here are shallow. Junjong Waterfalls (Air Terjun Junjong) is another waterfall with a magnificent view and enchanting natural surroundings. There are also fruit orchards in the same vicinity where you will be able to purchase seasonal fruits such as durian at a cheaper price
Kedah Royal Museum or Sultan Museum houses 2,000 artifacts, documentation and possessions of the former Sultan and his wife. See how the Sultan live their life here. They are open daily 10am – 6pm and entrance is free
Ulu Legong Hot Spring is a top attraction with locals as well foreigners where you can experience natural hot spring which is good for health and destress, advice to go in the evening when the climate is colder.
Tree Top Walk Sungai Sedim is the world’s longest rainforest canopy walk at 1.5km long and it is built 26 metres above ground, allowing visitors an adventure like no other in this uncharted forest, giving you a bird’s-eye view of the beauty of what Mother Nature has to offer.
I have covered the north, from KL if you travel south 160km is Melaka, another state with many attraction with historic buildings of Portuguese and Dutch occupation era. The most visited and outstanding one is the red building area, Christ Church built by the Dutch in 1753 when they took possession of Malacca from the Portuguese and today, it stands as one of Malacca’s most defining structures, flooded with tourists daily, especially weekend with local tourist, making it the most popular sightseeing attractions in the Stadthuys area, The Stadthuys are the official residence of Dutch governors and the oldest-surviving Dutch building in the East, built between 1641 and 1660. There are lots of colorful decorated trishaws here which you can pay to ride it and directly opposite is the Historical Museum and Ethnographical Museum.
A’Famosa Fort constructed by Alfonso de Albuquerque, who led the Portuguese invasion on the Malacca Sultanate in 1511, the remains of the fort is now a preserved whitewashed gatehouse and is located downhill from St. Paul’s Church, one of the oldest surviving European architectural remains in Asia.
Jonker Street, best to visit during weekends as you would meet visitors from worldwide flock to this particular street in Malacca for its busy and vibrant night market with stalls selling all kinds of foods, drinks, souvenirs, live music performances and what not. Even you take just a bite of everything, you’ll be filled up before you reach half of the street but now because of the Covid pandemic, not open for almost a year, many businesses have literally closed down. Hope it would be back to a lively street party-like atmosphere like before soon.
Malacca River Cruise is one of the best ways to visit Malacca by their scenic river cruise, you may bump to see monitor lizard by the river banks. There are few spots to buy tickets and there are also nighttime river cruises which offer you the chance to take in the city illuminations and the journey usually takes around 45 minutes to an hour.
Melaka Sultanate Palace is a reconstruction of a wooden replica of Sultan Mansur Shah’s 15th-century palace in 1985 using traditional construction techniques and materials, based on accounts in the 16th century. The seven-tiered palace was built entirely without nails and supported with carved, wooden pillars and featured a copper and zinc roof. Open daily 09:00 – 17:30 pm except Tuesday closed
Menara Taming Sari is the first and only gyro tower in Malaysia so far, rises from the ground to the top of the tower, up to a height of 110 metres, its revolving glass cabin offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Malacca town, river and the Straits of Malacca for 7 minutes
Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum is a collection of three beautifully restored houses arranged to resemble a conventional 19th-century Baba-Nyonya residence built in 1896. History dates back to 16th-century Chinese traders were lured to Malacca due to stories of the city’s wealth and success. They settle down here and marry local Malay women and their marriages were known as Peranakan or “Straits-born Chinese”. This museum is examples of Chinese-Palladian style, connected by a commonly covered footway, the museum features hand-painted tiles, elaborately carved teakwood outer swing doors and a sturdier internal door which provides extra security.
Hang Li Po’s Well Situated at the foot of Bukit Cina (Chinese Hill), this well was created in 1459 by the followers of Hang Li Po, a Chinese princess and the fifth wife of Melaka’s Sultan Mansur Shah. It is said that if you throw coins into the well or drink water from it, you will visit Melaka again.
Further down south 200km from Malacca is Johor, the southernmost state of Malaysia, also the border to cross Singapore, Johor is known for beaches and rainforest. Desaru Beach has a row of resorts, while Endau Rompin National Park’s mountainous jungle shelters waterfalls and wildlife like elephants. Its capital Johor Bahru’s diverse history is reflected in the Victorian-era Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque, Old Chinese Temple dates from the 19th century venerated by the Chinese community and Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple, a glittering Hindu shrine.
The Royal Palace built in 1886 for the Sultan of Johor is an impressive building with a mix of Malay and Western architecture include the Royal Abu Bakar Museum which has a collection of antiques and heirlooms that would have belonged to the Royal Family.
Kukup Fishing Village is a fishing community in the Pontian district of Johor. This quaint village is built on stilts above the muddy mangrove shoreline a century ago. With a population of 1400 including neighboring Air Masin town, mostly Chinese fishermen, they are flooded by local and Singapore tourists especially at weekends and holidays, who come to savour the fresh seafood.
Gunung Ledang National Park lies just inside Johor’s border with Melaka state, visit here only if you are a hiker, the highest peak is 1276m (4186 ft) Mount Ledang. Malaysia’s 6th most difficult to climb and the highest mountain in Johor state.
Legoland Malaysia is a world-class family theme park in Johor. It opened in September 2012 and is Legoland’s first theme park in Asia occupying 76 acres and has over 70 interactive rides and activities.
Beaches here include Tioman island, I have scuba dive there, where I get my PADI license back in 2013, Rawa island, a rare gem that’s yet to be discovered by many, there are only 2 resorts here, Sibu island, sunbathing, snorkeling, scuba diving, jungle trekking, mangrove swamp exploring are some activities you can do here, Harimau (Tiger) island, suitable for a half-day trip where you enjoy swimming and floating around aimlessly, Tinggi (High) island, homes a turtle hatchery and also jungle trekking on offer, Tengah (Middle) island, Batu Batu Private Island Resort, the only resort available here offers villas ranging from jungle to ocean views Dayang island clear waters and snorkeling opportunities as well as short hike to Letak Semalu which is a must-do and Besar (Big) island, the island has been deemed as a marine park, attracting those who enjoy the underwater world more than ever.
Detailed Travel Advisory
Category of Passengers Not Allowed Entry to Malaysia
Effective 2 December 2021, passengers with a travel history within 14 days at the high-risk countries will be temporarily banned from entering Malaysia.
- All foreign nationals including international students and foreign workers from or with a travel history within 14 days to the high-risk countries namely South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi are not allowed to enter Malaysia.
- Malaysian Permanent Residents (PR) and active/valid Malaysian Long Term Pass holders (Spouse Visa, MM2H, Resident Pass) will be allowed entry and subject to the following requirements:
- Mandatory quarantine for 14 days at the quarantine station regardless of the vaccination status and are not allowed to undergo quarantine at home.
- Undergo COVID-19 RT-PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival (international arrival) and on the 10th day during the mandatory quarantine period
- Foreign nationals who are transiting in Malaysia to a third-world country and who have been granted entry clearance through MyTravelPass / MyEntry and other related programs are NOT allowed to enter Malaysia.
Travel Requirements and Procedures
- Undergo COVID-19 screening test upon arrival (which may take between 1 to 2 hours)./li>
- Passengers arriving from overseas must provide a negative RT-PCR test result taken within three (3) days before departing to Malaysia, failing which, their entry will be denied. The certificate must be presented in digital or hardcopy, preferably in English or Bahasa Malaysia.
- All fully vaccinated passengers arriving from international sectors must observe a 7-day quarantine. Meanwhile, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated passengers must observe a 10-day quarantine
- All passengers must go through a Health Assessment by the medical officer on duty upon arrival.
- Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T) and their dependent/s
- Passengers who are asymptomatic are required to undergo RT-PCR test for the COVID-19 upon arrival.
- Passengers with mild symptoms are required to undergo a COVID-19, RTK-AG, or RT-PCR COVID-19 test upon arrival.
- Passengers with moderate/severe symptoms will be referred to a medical expert on duty for further action. Further action is based on health assessments by medical experts.
- Passengers will bear any applicable charges.
- The cost for quarantine that includes COVID-19 screening test, transport, accommodation, meal, and handling cost as determined by the Malaysian Ministry of Health are to be borne by passengers. Payment of any applicable charges are to be made through the MySafeTravel System accessible on https://safetravel.myeg.com.my/ or the MyQR phone app prior to their arrival into Malaysia to avoid congestion at the airport.
- Fully vaccinated* passengers including Malaysians and foreigners who have a residence in Malaysia, including permanent residents and MM2H visa holders returning from overseas, may observe their quarantine at home, subject to strict requirements.
- The Ministry of Health Malaysia’s definition of fully vaccinated is:
- 14 days after the second dose of two-dose vaccines from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna Sinopharm and Sinovac; OR
- 28 days after a single dose from Johnson & Johnson, CanSinoBio and Sputnik.
- The Ministry of Health Malaysia’s definition of fully vaccinated is:
- Eligible passengers for a home quarantine are required to apply for approval seven (7) days before departure through Ministry of Health Malaysia official website at https://hso.moh.gov.my/outbreak-portal-hqa/index. The approval is subject to Ministry of Health Risk Assessment.
- All passengers are required to install the MySejahtera application on their phones and scan the QRCODE “Travelers from Abroad” via the app at the international arrival. This is for contact tracing purposes. The app is developed by the Government of Malaysia especially for Malaysians and Non-Malaysians returning or visiting Malaysia starting from departure, upon arrival, and during the quarantine periods.
- Passengers may visit https://mysejahtera.malaysia.gov.my for more information.
- All international arrival passengers with onward connection to following domestic station and have obtained “Home Quarantine” approval can continue their journey. They will be given the quarantine wristband/ surveillance bracelets upon arrival at the destination’s airport and undergo a 7-days quarantine period.
- Meanwhile, those with onward connection to the following domestic station will be given and is required to wear the wristband at KLIA. The passengers will also receive a letter “Kebenaran Menaiki Kenderaan Awam” issued by the Medical Officer (MO) at KLIA before continue flying to the domestic airports.
- Alor Setar
- Kota Bharu
- Foreign passengers transiting in KLIA with onward connection to other international destinations for example LHR-KUL-MNL are not allowed to take the RT-PCR test COVID-19 in KLIA due to the high cases in COVID-19 in Malaysia.
- Passengers are advised to refer to the Official Portal of Immigration Department of Malaysia for detailed information.
- All Malaysian passengers must be fully vaccinated to travel to any international destinations as per the requirement by Malaysian Immigration.