Malaysia Top Tourist Attractions
Malaysia in one of Asia’s most diverse destinations combining beaches, ecotourism, food and shopping. The most iconic Malaysia top tourist attractions include Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Twin Towers, Penang’s bridge along with pagodas, temples, mosques, islands, mountains, caves and Borneo’s nature reserves. The savvy tourist experiences the cities and natural beauty to enhance their travel experience in Malaysia.
1. Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur
Anyone who visits Kuala Lumpur will see the country’s most famous attraction: The Petronas Twin Towers. Reaching a total height of 452 metres (1483 feet), this building claims the title of the largest twin tower structure in the world. If you’re in Kuala Lumpur, this is one of the must see attractions. The KLCC Mall occupies the complex below and has a wide selection of high-end designer shops. And if you want to get the perfect photograph or selfie next to Malaysia’s top attraction, head to the park behind.
2. KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur
KL Tower, or known locally as Menara KL, is a giant broadcasting and telecommunications tower on top of a small hill in Kuala Lumpur. The towers reach 420 metres (1378 feet) from the base to the top. But, including the height of the hill, it gets to 515 metres (1690 feet) above sea level. The highlights of KL Tower is the revolving restaurant, indoor observation deck and outdoor sky deck giving the very best views of Kuala Lumpur. Tickets are available online. Access may be limited in poor weather conditions.
3. Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Kuala Lumpur
If you’re into history, this is one of Malaysia’s top tourist attractions. Located on Jalan Raja by the Royal Selangor Club and Independence Square, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building is one of the few remaining buildings from the colonial days. After construction in the late 19th-century, British administrative offices filled the building. Today, the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture of Malaysia uses the space.
4. Batu Caves, Selangor
Batu Caves is a popular day trip from Kuala Lumpur. The caves themselves form a temple. During Thaipusam, thousands of Indians flock to the temple. If you want to visit, you’ll have to climb 272 steep steps before you reach the Cathedral Cave where you’ll see a Hindu God statue. There are also lots of other things to see at Batu Caves including Hindu art and lots of monkeys.
5. BOH Tea Plantation, Pahang
Pahang’s tea plantation in the Cameron Highlands always makes the top 10 tourist attractions in Malaysia. The views of the mountains are spectacular while you’ll get some of the best tea in the country from the onsite café. If you want to experience Malaysia with fresh air, cooler temperatures and serenity while enjoying good views and cups of tea, head to this tourist attraction. Most people will visit as part of a trip to Cameron Highlands.
6. Penang Hill, Penang
If you’re in Penang and want to experience Malaysian colonialism, head to Penang Hill. You’ll see a group of hills with the tallest reaching 833 metres (2723 feet), which was a popular spot with the British. The air temperature is slightly cooler, and there’s less pollution, traffic and noise. Penang Hill is a few kilometres from downtown Georgetown in Air Itam. You can either hike to the top or use the funicular.
7. Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang
Penang has a large Buddhist population, and you’ll find some of Malaysia’s best temples here. Kek Lok Si Temple is the largest and most important. Located on the coast of Air Itam near Penang Hill, visitors, worshippers and pilgrims can get some of the best views in all of Penang. The temple dates back to the late 19th-century and is an important site for Buddhists on pilgrimage from South East Asia. The Pagoda of Rama VI with its seven-tiered structure ascending 37 metres (121 feet) along with the thousands of Buddha statues are the temple’s highlights making it one the best tourist attractions in Malaysia.
8. Langkawi Sky Bridge
Domestic and international tourists love Langkawi. The island paradise has beaches, duty-free alcohol and a relaxed vibe. But it also houses one of the best Malaysia attractions places too: the Langkawi Sky Bridge. The Sky Bridge, built in 2004, is a bridge suspended at the top of Machinchang Mountain. It claims to be the World’s longest free span and curved bridge. The bridge covers a total length of 125 metres (410 feet) and hangs 100 metres (328 feet) from the ground. Tourists can come and get some good views of the jungle below. If you want to experience this, check online for ticket availability.
9. Kellie's Castle, Perak
William Kellie Smith was a wealthy Scottish planter who lived in Perak during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1909, he commissioned the construction of his very own castle, which would be six stories high with a rooftop garden and have the first elevator in Malaysia. A few years later, William Kellie Smith passed away before the mansion was finished. His wife returned to Scotland, and the mansion didn’t get finished. Kellie’s Castle is what remains today.
10. Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan, Perak
Most people recognise a picture of Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa. But few outsiders know about Perak’s Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan. The 26 metre (86 feet) tall clock tower tilts to the left giving it an appearance similar to the Italian counterpart. Locals once stored water inside to prepare for periods of drought. They relied on the clock for the time too. If you’re in Perak, visiting one of Malaysia’s most unique attractions is a must.
11. Pulau Perhentian (Perhentian Islands), Terengganu
If you're looking for a beach or island gateway, head to Pulau Perhentian. The white sandy beaches and beautiful clear waters make the perfect spot for a few days of relaxation in a tropical paradise. One of the most popular activities is to rent snorkelling equipment and swim out into the crystal clear water and see the variety of marine life. If you want to visit one of the top tourist attractions in Malaysia that most foreigners don’t know about, head to Pulau Perhentian. Regular boats take passengers between Terengganu’s Besut District and Pulau Perhentian.
12. Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque, Johor Bahru
Johor’s State Mosque, the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque, has a very unique and distinctive design that you won’t find elsewhere in the world. The Sultan commissioned the mosque in the late 19th-century finishing eight years later in 1900. If you look at the building, you’ll see clear imitations of colonial styles. The minarets have a resemblance to Victorian clock towers. You’ll see elements of Moorish designs on the mosque too creating an eclectic combination of religion and historical architecture. Anyone who visits Johor should visit one of the most unique Malaysia tourist attractions.
13. Pulau Kukup National Park, Johor Bahru
Johor Bahru has a large mangrove island just off the shore of Kukup District. You can join a tour that goes through one of the world’s biggest mangrove forests without human habitation. Highlights include the variety of animals and plants such as wild boars and monkeys. A scenic boardwalk around the mangroves offers the best views of the lush environment and wildlife. This is one of the top tourist attractions in Malaysia for people who want to experience natural beauty.
14. LEGOLAND Malaysia, Johor Bahru
Tourists may have seen LEGOLAND in other cities around the world. And Johor Bahru hosts the first one of its kind in Malaysia adding to the diversity of tourist attractions. It’s not just about nature, shopping and beaches! The theme park is a perfect place for families to enjoy a few days of fun. More than 70 rides and themed areas fill the grounds of LEGOLAND along with a water park and hotel. Most families like to bring their children and stay the night to overlook and marvel at the magic outside of their room’s window. If you want to visit from Kuala Lumpur, expect the journey to take at least four hours.
15. Taman Negara, Pahang
Nature lovers will love visiting Pahang’s Taman Negara. The virgin rainforest covers a vast area and is home to the world’s longest canopy walkway. But the most striking feature making this one of the best Malaysia tourist attractions is the age of the rainforest. Estimates suggest it’s approximately 130 million years old. This means the forest was around at the same time as the dinosaurs. Visitors can go to the aborigine village, hike in the jungle, go bird watching and enjoy the views of the Tahan River. You can also explore the caves, go fishing or spend the night among the wildlife by camping.
16. Niah Cave, Sarawak
Sarawak is famous for having one of Malaysia top tourist attractions: the Niah Caves. The caves are important for a number of reasons including the discovery of a 40,000-year-old human settlement, a swiftlet conservation area and the Iban longhouses. Iban are indigenous to Sarawak. Tourists can see cave paintings, coffins that look like boats and explore the surrounding primary rainforest. Some people visit and spend a few nights whereas other come as part of a day trip. The caves are 110 kilometres (68 miles) from Miri.
17. Gunung Mulu National Park, Miri, Sarawak
Miri’s national park in Sarawak is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with caves, cliffs, gorges and the 2376 metre (7795 feet) tall Mount Mulu. The best part of the caves is the Sarawak Chamber, which is so big and cavernous that 40 Boeing 747s can fit inside comfortably.
18. Mount Kinabalu (Gunung Kinabalu), Ranau, Sabah
Mount Kinabalu is Sabah’s biggest tourist attraction. The mountain has lots of legends and folklore associated with it from the former days of paganism. Reaching a total height of 4095 metres (13,435 feet), Gunung Kinabalu is the largest in Malaysia. If you want to visit, you’ll need to allocate two days to climb with an overnight stay near the top. Booking several months in advance is essential.
19. Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sandakan, Sabah
One of the favourite parts of many tourists trip to Malaysia is the abundance and diversity of wildlife, including the primates. Orangutans, or literally translated to ‘person of the forest’ call the lush jungles of Sabah and Sarawak home. Due to illegal logging, many of the monkeys get injured or orphaned. The rehabilitation centre in Sandakan collects primates and tries to teach them how to survive in the wild again. If you visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, you’ll see up to 80 living happily inside.
Malaysia has everything a tourist could want for an exotic trip in South East Asia. You can see the legacy of the colonial days, mosques, jungles and orangutans as well as a plethora of other types of flora and fauna. Combine this with the delicious food, friendly people and inexpensive costs, and any visitor will instantly fall in love with Malaysia.