Malaysia’s a divided nation. Geography is, rather than by politics, religion, or race. It is in two areas: Peninsular Malaysia, at the bottom of the Asian SE ‘mainland,’ which includes Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, etc., is physically related to Thailand, and there is also Eastern Malaysia in the South China Sea, which is also a greater part in the North of Borneo Island, which shares with Indonesia and Brunei.
Malaysia is very new as a country. It came into being on 16 September 1963, but it is just political recognition, of course. The people of Malaysia are present for centuries nowadays, and with the majority of the Chinese, Indians, and other peoples living in peace, they are very multi-ethnic and multicultural. In many respects, from its values to its cuisine, Malay, English, Chinese, and Tamil have become their key languages.
Here I would like to highlight five of the top destinations in Malaysia, but note that this is a personal selection. There’s a lot more.
- Danum Valley, Sabah
Danum Valley’s pristine rainforest is number one. Danum Valley is the perfect place to explore the lush greenery of the tropics. You can walk along jungle paths and observe the natural environment of orangutans and other wildlife here. Nearly every plant and animal species present in Borneo are found in the Danum Valley.
- Sipadan Island, Sabah
Sipadan Island can’t be skipped in Malaysia if you’re a diver. Sipadan Island is considered Malaysia’s best dive site with over 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of distinct coral species.
- Mulu National Park, Sarawak
The Mulu National Park has become renowned worldwide with its massive caves, extensive cave networks, rocky hills, cliffs, and gorges. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Mulu National Park.
Deer Cave, the largest cave passage in the world, is estimated to have 2 million bats, conducting a spectacular mass evacuation almost every evening in the darkness.
- Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the most modern and largest city in Malaysia and, of course, its capital, widely known as the KL. While the area has been settled for centuries, the small town started to develop into a town in the 1880s. In 1963, when Malaysia became independent, it was eventually declared the capital. While the Federal Government’s offices have been relocated to Putrajaya, KL is still the king’s house and the location of all embassies and diplomatic missions.
- Perhentian Islands, Terengganu
The stunning Perhentian Islands, located 20 km from the coast of Terengganu, is the perfect place to spend a budget of tropical beach holidays in Malaysia. The islands have untouched jungle, white sand, and clear water, suitable for snorkeling and diving.
- Kinabatangan River, Sabah
Where is the best location for wildlife in Malaysia? The Kinabatangan River in Borneo is the best place to visit the fauna, including the probosci monkeys, crocodiles, elephants, and orangutans, almost assured. You can’t skip it if you’re an animal lover.
The UNESCO World Patrimony Melaka or Malacca is a site known for its A Famosa Fortification, St. Paul’s Church in the 16th century, and Stadthuys Square. The sites are well-known. Jonker Street is well-known for being the market of night and is full of exclusive vintage shops and antique shops.
The ruins of the church of St. Pauls are worth visiting. Built-in 1521 by Duarte Coelho, the Portuguese aristocracy, thanks to his god who survived a serious storm by sea. This church is also worthy of visitors. St Francis Xavier, the founder of the Jesuit Society, opened the school in 1548 and was briefly buried here after his death in China. He still remains in his open and empty tomb. Xavier is told an unusual tale. In 1614, its body, now buried in Goa, India, seemed to be troubled and its right forearm was taken away as a holy relic. In 1952, in front of St. Paul in Malacca, a statue of Xavier was erected. The next day the statue was sunk by a tree that broke the same right arm!
- Mount Kinabalu, Sabah
Wander on Mount Kinabalu and observe sunrise in South-East Asia from the highest point.
Mount Kinabalu Park has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is globally known for being excellent biodiversity.
- Georgetown, Penang
In Penang, Georgetown embraces modernity and technology and retains its rich traditional culture and colonial buildings as a fascinating mix of Eastern and Western influences.
Penang’s delicious food inspired by the multi-ethnic cultures is recognized throughout Malaysia as the country’s food city.
- Taman Negara, Pahang
Malaysia’s most famous national park with one of the world’s oldest rainforests.
The National Park of Taman Negara is a great venue for outdoor and rainforest events. Jungle trekking, hiking, climbing, and wildlife exploration are the most common activities.