New year, new travel plans! From towering skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur to the laid-back city of Kuching, Sarawak, there is something for everyone!
Due to the country’s proximity to the equator, the Malaysian weather is constantly hot and humid year-round, with the occasional tropical showers. However, the best time to visit is from March to October, as these are the driest months of the year, perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities!
With Malaysia’s beautiful landscapes, interesting cultures and diverse cuisines, there is never a dull moment in this Southeast Asian country! Keep on reading to find out the best places to visit in Malaysia in the new year!
1. Kuala Lumpur
Any journey to Malaysia should start in the nation’s capital! The hustling and bustling city of Kuala Lumpur has a lot to offer, with state-of-the-art shopping malls, picturesque skyline as well as a melting pot of cultures! Kuala Lumpur has a little bit of everything, from delectable street food and wild nightlife to skyscrapers and lush greenery. Some must-visit places include Jalan Alor, Chinatown, KL Bird Park and the infamous Batu Caves Temple!
2. Penang Island
The island part of Penang is a busy, bustling city that’s one of Malaysia’s most popular tourism destinations! Penang’s capital of Georgetown is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site and is known for its amazing street food like Char Kuey Teow and Oyster Omelette as well as unique temples like the Snake Temple and Kek Lok Si Temple! Be mesmerised by the view of Penang from atop Penang Hill, try out local delicacies at Gurney Drive or take your next Instagram-worthy shot at the Avatar Secret Garden!
There are so many reasons to visit the capital city of Perak, especially since it’s conveniently placed between Kuala Lumpur and Penang! Ipoh is home to some beautiful cave temples like Perak Tong and Sam Poh Tong temple as well as the mysterious Kellie’s Castle and stunning limestone cliffs. The foodie scene in Ipoh is also not one to miss! Known for its hawker fare, food courts and local restaurants, some dishes you need to try is the Assam Laksa, Bean Sprout Chicken and the regional favourite, Ipoh white coffee!
The capital city of Sarawak has a lot to offer! For a more intimate, laid-back experience of Malaysia, find yourself immersed in Kuching city’s rich history, lush rainforests, delectable gastronomy and immersive culture. You can explore different tribes at the Sarawak Cultural Village, walk down the Kuching Waterfront, learn more about the state at Borneo Cultures Museum, feed the orang-utans at Semenggoh Nature Reserve or check out local delicacies like Teh C Peng Special, Laksa Sarawak or Kolo Mee! If you’re looking for something a little closer to nature, take a day trip to Bako National Park!
5. Langkawi Island
The island of Langkawi, located 30km off the northwest Malaysian mainland, is home to breath-taking waterfalls, forest valleys and an archipelago of 101 islands! Dubbed the jewel of the state of the Kedah, Langkawi is the only Global Geopark certified by UNESCO in the Southeast Asian region. Langkawi offers some of the most diverse sights, from a mangrove forest and the top of Mount Machincang to the Seven Wells waterfall and the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden, the largest freshwater lake in Malaysia! If you’re looking to do something less strenuous, you can always try your hand at batik painting or indulge in some duty-free shopping!
The small state of Malacca is located between Johor and Negeri Sembilan and is only two hours away from the capital of Kuala Lumpur! Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Malacca was once a bustling port before being taken over by numerous foreign powers. Some of Malacca’s top attractions like Stadhuys, Christ Church and A’Famosa are historical sites significantly influenced by the Dutch and the Portuguese. Other places in Malacca worth checking out are Klebang Beach, Malacca River and Cape Rachado!
7. Sipadan Island
When it comes to surreal sights of the underwater kind, the island of Sipadan is one for the books! Known as one of the most beautiful islands in Malaysia, Sipadan Island, located off the coast of Sabah, is one of the best diving spots in the world, with its diverse and colourful reefs, marine life and underwater creatures. Sipadan is surrounded by wall reefs and deep waters, making it home to several species of sharks, barracudas, turtles and more! However, it’s important to note that diving permits are limited only 176 daily, so make sure you plan ahead! The island is equally stunning above water, with white sandy beaches, crystal blue waters and statuesque palm trees!