Malaysia - Places to Visit and Things to Do

Tripoto
27th Oct 2017

Sunset in Langkawi (Kuah)

Photo of Malaysia - Places to Visit and Things to Do by Vaibhav Annam

Malaysia is a very easy and exciting country to go backpacking. Over last one year while I was working in Indonesia, I took several trips to this nation which considers itself as something that's “Truly Asia”. The country has amazing beaches, forests, tea gardens, cityscape, nightlife and what not. The people are very warm, food is tasty & cheap and the experience is surely unforgettable – Malaysia has something for everyone

Photo of Malaysia - Places to Visit and Things to Do 1/1 by Vaibhav Annam
The Famous Putrajaya Bridge

Getting a visa

One of the fastest countries to get a Visa for, you can easily apply for one online on this link (https://www.windowmalaysia.my/evisa/evisa.jsp)

Reaching Malaysia

Malaysia is well connected via flights from many Indian cities. If you plan in advance, your round trip should not cost you more than Rs 15,000 (I have sometimes traveled Mumbai-Bangalore for more than that)

Story Time

So, as the places I have visited in Malaysia are scattered over my multiple trips, this will not be an actual day to day account rather a possible itinerary which one might want to follow when going to Malaysia

Day 1

Kuala Lumpur

You will most likely land in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. One of the most prominent cities in South East Asia, KL is dotted with sky scrapers, colonial architecture, delicious cuisine and lots of natural attractions. The most happening area is around the KLCC area of course, which houses the famous Petronas Twin Towers. People often end up debating whether the towers look better in daylight or night. The area is bustling with shopping malls & bars-restaurants on side and street food & night markets on the other.

Day View of the Famous Petronas Twin Towers

Photo of Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam

Night View of the Famous Petronas Twin Towers

Photo of Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam

Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan P Ramlee have great nightlife places like Hard Rock Café, Beach Club Café, Sangria Island, Ava Bistro etc.

Nightlife in Bukit Bintang

Photo of Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam

A little distance away, Jalan Alor Night Food Court offers a great street food experience with variety of fresh meat balls there for people to taste

Street Food near Bukit Bintang

Photo of Malaysia - Places to Visit and Things to Do by Vaibhav Annam
Day 2

Away from KLCC, one can spend some time visiting the Merdeka Square. Merdeka translates into “Freedom” in English. One of the highest flagpoles in the world (at a height of 95 m) hoists the national flag in the square. The surrounding area has buildings of colonial architecture and thus is a good reminder of the freedom struggle of Malaysia against the British.

The Merdeka Square

Photo of Merdeka Square, Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam

The famous City Gallery is a good place to go to if one wants to know the story of Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia. The Light and Sound show is famous here

Kuala Lumpur City Gallery

Photo of Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam

Inside the City Gallery

Photo of Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam

A trip to Kuala Lumpur is considered incomplete if one doesn’t visit the famous Batu Caves – a temple dedicated to the Indian God Murugan. The Caves are located to the north of the city and you can easily reach there by train, bus or car. A flight of 272 stairs take you into the caves where the main temple is present. What stands out in this temple complex is of course the 42 m high golden statue of Lord Murugan.

The famous Batu Caves

Photo of Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam

Putrajaya

Day 3

Not many people would have heard of Putrajaya, a city which was built in the late 90s around 30 kms south of Kuala Lumpur. With KL getting congested and overcrowded, the administrative centre was shifted to Putrajaya – one of the most planned smart cities I have been to. The buildings here seem way ahead of their times.

View of Putrajaya from Sky Balloon

Photo of Putrajaya, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam

It is easy to spend a day here exploring this place on foot and spotting some iconic places like the Putrajaya Bridge, the Putra Mosque, Prime Minister’s Office and Walkway. One can also take a ride onto the sky balloon here

Taking a stroll in the city

Photo of Malaysia - Places to Visit and Things to Do by Vaibhav Annam

Cameron Highlands

Day 4

One of my favourite places in Malaysia, Cameron Highlands are highlands located 200 kms north of Kuala Lumpur and famous for cool weather, orchards, forest, tea gardens, waterfalls and streams. This hill station is also famous for numerous treks. Owing to weather conditions, some of them might be closed. So please be careful while embarking on one. I took Route Number 10 – a trek through dense forest area ending on top of Gunung Jasar. The trek starts from behind Oly Apartment.

Tea Gardens of Cameron Highlands

Photo of Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam

After the trek, one can easily relax at the famous Cameron Valley Tea House, overlooking the famous Cameron Bharat Tea plantation., before making your way back to Kuala Lumpur

Trail Number 10 (starts behind Oly Apartments)

Photo of Malaysia - Places to Visit and Things to Do by Vaibhav Annam

Changing landscape through the trail

Photo of Malaysia - Places to Visit and Things to Do by Vaibhav Annam

Kuala Selangor

If you have a spare day while in Kuala Lumpur, you might consider visiting Kuala Selangor, which is famous for spotting fireflies. A guided tour through the river after sun down takes you close to the bushes which are filled with fireflies. Looking at their blinking light in the backdrop of the night sky, you feel that you are in a natural discotheque

Photo of Kuala Selangor Nature Park, Kuala Selangor, Selangor, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam

Langkawi

Day 5

Langkawi is one of my favourite islands in the world. With a circumference of around 80 kms, this place provides a good escapade from the hustle and bustle of KL. One can easily spend 3-4 days here. An hour long flight takes you to Langkawi International Airport.

One of the many secluded beaches in Langkawi

Photo of Langkawi Island, Kedah, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam

Cenang Beach is a good beach to hang out in and have a good time. There is a PADI Scuba Diving institute on the beach. I had a great time diving with them. We went to an uninhabited island off the coast of Lagkawi and dived in virgin waters. I got lucky spotting some sea horses and manta rays. You also get special perks for being a certified diver

Scuba Diving at Langkawi Scuba

Photo of Malaysia - Places to Visit and Things to Do by Vaibhav Annam
Day 6

Of course the most famous place in Langkawi is the famous Langkawi Sky Bridge. An engineering marvel, this bridge sits on top of Gunung Mat Chinchang at a height of 660 m. The only way to reach on top is via the famous Sky Cable – which is the steepest cable car in the world. The total length is 2.2 km (1.4 mi), with a journey time from the base to the top of around 15 minutes. It was officially opened in 2003. Once on top of the mountain, one is greeted with spectacular views of Langkawi island and the ocean.

The Langkawi Sky Bridge

Photo of Langkawi Sky Bridge, Jalan Telaga Tujuh, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam

The Langkawi Sky Cable

Photo of Langkawi Sky Bridge, Jalan Telaga Tujuh, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam

Near the Langkawi Sky Cable, one can also go on a small hike to the Seven Wells waterfall. Cascading water forms pools where it is possible for you to go for a swim.

At the foothills, one can visit the famous 3D art museum. This is an interactive museum featuring many elaborate paintings & murals offering optical illusions. A good place to spend a couple of hours.

Inside the 3D Museum

Photo of Art in Paradise Langkawi, Jalan Telaga Tujuh, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam
Day 7

Perhaps the most beautiful beach in Langkawi is the famous Tanjung Rhu beach, which is diametrically opposite to Cenang beach on the island. Beautiful white sands and pristine blue waters make the experience of visiting this beach a very memorable one

Tanjung Rhu Beach

Photo of Tanjung Rhu Beach, Jalan Tanjung Rhu, Tanjung Rhu, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam

In the centre of the island is of course the highest peak of Langkawi – Gunung Raya. It is possible to easily drive all the way to the top of the mountain, where a beautiful resort has been constructed. On the way you will encounter numerous monitor lizards crisscrossing on the road. The 360-degree view of the island from this point is breath-taking. On a clear day, one can see as far as up to the mainland of Malaysia.

Photo of Gunung Raya, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam

In the south of Langkawi is the beautiful town of Kuah, which is famous for the famous Langkawi Eagle. The sunset here is by far the most beautiful sunset I have seen in my entire life. The way various colours disperse across the evening sky is spell bounding and a visual treat in every possible way. A very good way to end the Langkawi trip

The mighty Langkawi Eagle

Photo of Kuah, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia by Vaibhav Annam

I feel Malaysia is a good beginners trip in case you are new to backpacking. Even for the seasoned travellers the country offers a stress free escapade into a beautiful world of its own.

A tree top adventure in Langkawi (Skytrex)

Photo of Malaysia - Places to Visit and Things to Do by Vaibhav Annam

Hit me up if you want to know anything in specific - will be glad to help. Safe travels and Godspeed!

Pro Tips

a) Any time is actually a good time to visit Malaysia. Maybe just avoid peak rains between November to January

b) It is easy to rent a car in major cities and go around driving on your own. I rented my car from Avis (mere brand loyalty) for around INR 2000-2500 per day. However, you might also consider hiring a two wheeler while in Langkawi (around INR 250-300 per day) – any hostel

c) Food is delicious and cheap (added advantage if you are a non-vegetarian) – do try out the amazing street food

d) Currency is the Malaysian Ringgit, which equalled around 17 INR at the time this blog was written

e) Sim cards are easy and cheap to procure – I had good experience with a provider called Digi – one can also opt for Maxis

f) Finding accommodation is easy and cheap (again like a lot of things in Malaysia) – you can choose between a hotel or a B&B or a hostel depending on what kind of a traveller you are

g) Driving is similar to India – right handed drive on the left side of the road

h) Must visit places – Langkawi, Cameron Highlands, KLCC Area (Twin Towers)

i) Adequate public transport exists in the form of trains, metros, buses and taxis

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