I once made a joke to my Malaysian friends about the general Malaysians travel attitude towards domestic travel, I blurted, “Malaysians have been to Bangkok more than their own county states!” and I received a lot of answers packaged in one phrase, “Actually, that is true!”
In the Philippines where I am from, people love to travel domestically as it is expensive to travel outside of the country, we have to pay taxes to get out and travel internationally. Imagine that! So when I decided to move to Kuala Lumpur and earn my career here, I made a promise to explore the country during weekends and holidays whenever I can. Here are my top picks:
1. Climb Mount Kinabalu (Kota Kinabalu)
Mount Kinabalu is the highest peak in the Malay peninsula and has received the world known UNESCO World Heritage status. Reaching the top may seem impossible, but you will definitely feel proud and accomplished once you get there. It's one of the things you must be able to conquer: Whether it's your fear of heights, or actually reaching the peak itself. Stamina is all you need.
2. Bargain at Malacca's Jonker Street Night Market
The night market is home to tons of clothes and trinkets you will be able to bring home as souvenir to your family and friends. Coming at affordable prices, you can still badger and negotiate with the friendly salespeople. Try scoring a deal or two! Although my local friends told me that this place is always packed, I don’t mind, I’m a visitor. Haha!
3. Swim with the fish in Sipadan Island
For those who absolutely love the waters, this must be on your bucket list. To swim with marine life and watch how fish live and the beauty of the corals under the clear blue waters... Now that's the life! You'll be able to find the best of waters and marine life of Malaysia in Sipadan Island.
4. Join the Penang Bridge International Marathon
For the runners seeking a challenge, the Penang Bridge International Marathon is right up your alley. The Penang Bridge is the 5th longest bridge in Southeast Asia. It's not only for serious runners but for those who want to check out the beauty of the sunrise when on the bridge! It is definitely one of the best things you can do in a TRIP TO MALAYSIA
5. Stay in a real Malaysian Kampung in Sekinchan
Staying in KL, the city can be quite toxicating. Concrete walls and endless traffic paired with humid air can sure make anyone tired. Luckily, two hours away from the city is Sekinchan, an unassuming town famous for its paddy field. In there you can enjoy activities like seeing fireflies at night and have an authentic Malaysian kampung experience, just care free.
6. Become a Kid Again at Legoland in Johor Bahru
Johor Bahru has its own Legoland, filled with beautiful statues made of your favorite childhood toys! It's even got a water park, a resort, and a ton of rides and attractions. Just make sure to ready your wallet, as it doesn't come as affordable as you would think! But with that being said, the visit will definitely be worth it.
7. Gobble up Penang street food
Forget everything on the list but never this. It’s simply the one thing you must really try. No one would want to go home or leave without trying the best of Malaysia, and you can do that through checking out their street food in Penang! If you're just there to eat, then Penang should definitely be the place to stay.
8. Stay a night in the Sarawak Longhouse
If you have ever wondered how families in Malaysia live, then you can do so through staying at the Sarawak Longhouse, where you can meet families and see how life is. It truly broadens your perspective of cultures and diverse ethnicity tucked in South East Asia.
9. Go skydiving in Taiping or Segamat
10. Adventure Caving at Gunung Mulu Park
I have not been able to do this yet, but I am planning to do this soon. Gunung Mulu Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Sarawak known as the largest natural room or chamber, so huge it can house 40 Boeing 747s, wing to wing with no overlaps. Inside you are able to find rare species of plants and animals only seen in the caves, a real delight for science geeks.
Malaysia is home to tons of activities and places to experience. With the many things you are able to do, not only will you have a new perspective, but you'll also be able to proudly say you accomplished feats and explored the area to the fullest extent as you can.
To be fair, Thailand is cheaper and nearby that’s why Malaysians prefer going there, but honestly speaking Malaysia too is a beauty. You'll find that there are so many things to do, and it isn't just to relax by your hotel room or booze away. It's time to explore and get lost along the way. It's through exploring parts unknown to you because Malaysia is huge man! All this experience and creating new memories with your loved ones. Where in Malaysia should you head on to next? For more information please see our website www.tripovo.com
Author's Bio: Sil is bitten by the travel bug the moment he finished university, A radical sabbatical, Sil moved to Malaysia in 2013 to to expand his horizon, experience the local culture and learning Bahasa. At his free time, he enjoys arts and crafts, and exploring neighborhood gems of Kuala Lumpur.