Things to Do in Malaysia

Written by Susan Lanier-Graham

November 21, 2021
Home >> Destinations >> Asia >> Things to Do in Malaysia

Whether you want to visit Malaysia for a short time, or are interested in an extended stay, here is our guide to the best things to do in Malaysia.

Malaysia is a beautiful country where you can relax and destress. Between the abundant natural beauty, the tropical climate, and the culture, there is so much to keep you interested. It would be hard to be stressed in a place like this, where the friendly people welcome everyone to share in their culture. If you are looking to be a part of that, whether you have plans to just visit, or stick around, read our guide to the best things to do in Malaysia.

Petronas Twin Towers

The capital city of Kuala Lumpur is the gem of the country, with an abundance of landmarks and attractions to keep visitors intrigued. The most obvious example is the Petronas Twin Towers. They are the tallest pair of towers in the world and are the focal point of a good skyline photo—especially when they are lit up at night.

things to do in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur city skyline at dusk showing the Petronas Twin Towers. Photo by Daniel Arranz Molinero via iStock by Getty Images

Between Tuesday and Sunday, you can visit inside the Twin Towers and ascend the towers with a tour guide. Your first stop is on the 41st floor, where you arrive at the Skybridge connecting the two structures, which is 170 meters (558 feet) above the street. After that, the tour continues to the Observation Deck on the 86th floor, which stands at 370 meters (almost 1214 feet) above the ground. There you can gain a little insight into the history of the building with digital displays, models, and interactive Augmented Reality.

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Kuala Lumpur Bird Park

If you like to get up close and personal with the local wildlife, you will love the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. It is the world’s largest free-flight, walk-in aviary, allowing the beautiful and colorful birds of the country to exist amongst the visitors. Make friends with the cute parrots or admire the peacocks in their full glory. Visit a bird show and feed the birds from your own palm as you wander through the reservation park.

things to do in Malaysia

Be sure to check out the aviary at the bird park in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo via iStock by Getty Images

Just outside of Kuala Lumpur is the city of Petaling Jaya. You can take a look at the homes available in the area by searching Ara Damansara house for sale.

Jonker Street

If you find yourself closer to Melaka, you have to visit Jonker Street. This market is filled with loads of local produce and street food, to give you a culinary experience you will never forget. At night, the market lights up the street with its colorful stalls full of food and crafts. Traditional sculptures and artworks fill the stalls, allowing you to go home with something truly unique.

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things to do in Malaysia

The Jonker Street night market on Friday, Saturday and Sunday is the best part of Jonker Street, where you can buy everything from tasty foods to cheap keepsakes. Photo via iStock by Getty Images

Admire the street art and try one of the traditional Malaysian dishes, like laska, which is curried noodles, or the trademark blue rice nasi kerabu, which is colored and flavored by telang flowers. The true diversity of Malaysian culture is on full display at this adorable street market.

Panorama Langkawi SkyCab

If you are looking for the best views of the nature around you, you have to try the gondola. The Panorama Langkawi SkyCab on the southwest coast will take you 708 meters (more than 2300 feet) above sea level, for a view that you won't find anywhere else.

things to do in Malaysia

Cable car in mountains on Langkawi island, Malaysia. Photo via iStock by Getty Images

Start at the base station and you travel to the top of the Machinchang mountain, with a constructed footpath available for a more leisurely walk back down. Take in the subliminal nature and experience the SkyBridge, the longest free span and curved bridges in the world.

things to do in Malaysia

Langkawi SkyBridge, seen from the SkyCab. Photo via iStock by Getty Images

Manukan Island

For a simpler and more relaxing holiday, or for those who want to feel the sand between their toes, you can head to Manukan Island. Enjoy the fine white sands, the clear blue water, and the views of the beach.

things to do in Malaysia

The Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park includes Manukan Island in Malaysia. Photo by Luliia Serova via iStock by Getty Images

Enjoy a Piña Colada in one of the beach-side huts or go snorkeling to admire the coral reef and all the creatures swimming in it. There is a range of activities to try on the island, including parasailing, or you can travel further inland for a wetland river safari tour.

Pinang Peranakan Mansion

For a real taste of culture, head to George Town. Not only does it have a vast collection of intriguing street art to admire, but it also is home to the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. The mansion is a walk through history, combining the culture of the Straits Settlements of Penang, Malacca, and Singapore, plus the colonial British to make this beautifully ornate and traditional building.

things to do in Malaysia

The ancestral hall of Pinang Peranakan Mansion in Penang, Malaysia. Photo via iStock by Getty Images

Pinang Peranakan Mansion offers vibrant and colorful rooms of grand furniture to admire, as well as history and culture dripping from every item inside. You can grab tickets and admire the fusion of Chinese, Straits, Scots, and English furniture of the stately home on any day between 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Batu Caves

For a grand experience mixed with nature, you can visit the Batu Caves. The entrance is definitely a “wow moment” with its 140-foot-tall golden statue and its 272-step flight of stairs to the entrance.

things to do in Malaysia

Grand entrance of the Batu Caves in Malaysia. Photo by Javeen Sanghvi via iStock by Getty Images

Inside the limestone walls, you will find all manner of creatures to admire, such as the bewitching fireflies or mysterious bats. If you visit on the right day, you might stumble across a local festival.

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things to do in Malaysia

Batu Caves Temple, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo via iStock by Getty Images

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Experiencing the Best Things to Do in Malaysia

Malaysia, situated in Southeast Asia, shares a border with Thailand and is close to Indonesia and Singapore. This beautiful, laid-back country is filled with culture and history. Enjoy exploring with our list of the best things to do in Malaysia. Be sure to check out Wander for more great places to explore when you visit Asia.

Whether for a short visit or an extended stay, Malaysia is captivating. Here is our guide to the best things to do in Malaysia.

Things to Do in Malaysia

Written by Susan Lanier-Graham

Founder and publisher Susan Lanier-Graham has traveled the world for the past twenty years, filling a passport or two along the way. She has wandered through the jungles of Thailand, explored the mysteries of the Great Pyramids, and shared the night with a leopard in Zambia. She sailed in the Mediterranean, sipped her way through Burgundy canals and Champagne caves. She followed Rembrandt’s footsteps through Amsterdam. Susan found her center on the red rocks of Sedona and soaked up an exquisite sunset over the Indian Ocean in Bali. Susan is always looking for wow moments around the world or across the street to share with adventure lovers everywhere. She has authored more than 75 books and hundreds of magazine articles. Susan is an award-winning travel writer and member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA). She is a Certified California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). Susan's work still regularly appears in print and online. Susan is an award-winning travel writer, a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and is a Certified California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS). Susan has worked as an ambassador for Travelocity and is currently a travel ambassador for Rocky Mountaineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online in a variety of publications. These include various AAA publications, Postcards for Travel Leaders, Alamo.com, Hotels.com, Fairmont.com, So Scottsdale, Uptown, Green Living AZ, Life Refined, Modern Luxury, Marriott.com, WHERE Arizona, WHERE Traveler Phoenix + Scottsdale, and more.

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