You probably know by now that GE14 falls on May 9, which is approximately 4 weeks away from now! ? And because of that, most of us won't be travelling anytime soon as we are all gearing up to vote (have you registered already? ?), but that doesn't necessarily mean you can't have a little fun before that.
Lucky for us, our own country has a great balance of exciting experiences, picturesque landscapes, and beautiful beaches. It's a country suited to all types of travellers, whether you're a foodie, a nature enthusiast or a family person ?
Here's some of the things you can explore in your own country before the elections! ?
For Beach Lovers
If you would like to get your fix of sea, sand and blue sky, look no further than our own land. Malaysia has some of the best islands in Southeast Asia, and that's something we should be proud of! You don't need to spend on flights, just jump in a car and drive to these destinations. How about a visit to two of our favourite islands? ?
1. Explore Perhentian's underwater world by diving or snorkelling
Spectacular beaches, stunning marine life and amazing sceneries, what’s not to love about Perhentian? Beach vacationers alike will definitely find solace on this pristine island as they get to experience various activities, like scuba diving and snorkelling!
Credit: @sweepindennistan on Instagram
The scuba diving here is more leisurely as compared to its neighbour, Redang or other islands like Tioman and Layang-Layang island. Due to the shallow waters, Perhentian is more prominent as a snorkelling spot.
Credit: @amrlazzim on Instagram
Most of the resorts come with their own dive centers that can provide you the best packages, including diving instructions.
Credit: @vicktunkuazwil on Instagram
For a series of underwater boulders and pinnacles, one of the best diving sites you can explore is the Temple of the Sea!
: If you’re lucky, you might even bump into a couple of reef sharks ?
2. Save turtles at the Turtle BayCredit: nadi0 on Flickr
Not in the mood for swimming? How about a walk to the Turtle Sanctuary Beach and volunteer to save the endangered species and learn the basics of conservation with the local guides? Yes, turtle conservation is part of the government’s initiative to spread awareness among the public to protect the sea turtles from poaching and over-exploitation.
Credit: @lisa.donati72 on Instagram#HHWT Tip
: There are no facilities on this isolated beach, so it’s best to bring your own refreshments.
For a complete guide on the Perhentian Islands, click here
3. Join an island-hopping tour around the many islands in LangkawiCredit: Emran Kassim on Flickr
When in Langkawi, you should definitely not miss the opportunity to join the island hopping tour. A typical tour would last about 4 hours where you will ride a speed boat and visit 3 different places: Dayang Bunting Island, Singa Besar Island and Beras Basah Island.
Credit: @naidaassmiramohamadazamq on Instagram
These 3 distinct islands offer plenty of activities including swimming in scenic fresh water lake, kayaking, paragliding or just sunbathing. You can even get a glimpse of the eagle feeding activity!
: There is a number of tour operators for Langkawi Island Hopping but do be careful in selecting licensed and experienced operators.
4. Feast your eyes on the magnificent mangrove trees at Kilim Nature ParkCredit: Mark Barto on Flickr
Langkawi offers some truly unforgettable sights and experiences on the island, one of which you can be part of is the Mangrove Tour at Kilim Nature Park. This park features an eclectic mix of well-protected green mangrove forests. As you cruise down the calm river, be prepared to observe the wonders of the marine ecosystem at the park and its natural inhabitants.
Credit: Linus Mak on Flickr
While you're there, you can also take in the spectacular views of limestone formations around the mangrove swamp.
When it comes to Malaysian cuisine, we can all agree that it’s a melting pot of cultures and an eclectic blend of flavours and influences. Going on a foodie day out is arguably one of the best things to do in the country, whether you’re in the capital or outside.
For a quick foodie trip, you know where to find the best 2 places ? - Melaka and Ipoh. For the best street food, we suggest you head over to Ipoh and satiate your hunger at these eateries:
5. Have traditional laksa with a twist at Laksa Telur Goreng Bersarang
Start your trip with some carbs and drive over to Café Setinggan where you’ll get a taste of the famous laksa telur goreng bersarang. Sounds unusual to you?
Credit: @man_magnifico on Instagram
Wait until you try it! The traditionally cooked laksa noodles and spicy fish gravy is topped off with a unique style of fried egg that makes it look like a bird’s nest, hence the name.
Credit: @farah_waheda on Instagram
With just the right amount of fish flakes and garnishing of cucumber, red onion and pineapple, the peculiar-yet-worth-a-try fried egg topping complements the sour and spicy dish.
: Jalan Margosa D/8 Jalan Margosa D/8, 31350 Ipoh, Perak
: 12:00pm – 7:00pm. Closed on Fridays.
6. Step back in time and cool down with ais kepal at Bits & Bobs
This nostalgic childhood snack from way back then has made a hipster comeback, and we all know how Malaysians love hipster food!
Credit: @syazwani_syafifi on Instagram
Basically a ball of shaved ice that’s flavoured with syrups, Bits & Bobs serves the ais kepal with a combination of classic flavours like sarsi, gula Melaka, rosella, lychee or asam, wrapped up in plastic lined paper.
Credit: @idrinakhalil on Instagram
You’re definitely in for numb lips and cold sticky syrup running down your hands if you’re a messy eater.
: The trick to eating the ais kepal is to rotate it as you suck on it til you get to the centre!
For more recommendations, check out our Halal food guide
: 99 Jalan Sultan Yussuf (@ Kong Heng Square), 30000 Ipoh, Perak
: Monday 10:00 am – 5:30 pm; Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
For a taste of traditional and modern, you can always count on the historical state of Malacca. The town is infused with everything that a true foodie likes! There's a couple of eateries worth discovering but to get the best of Melaka's culinary scene, we recommend hopping over to these 2 eateries:
7. Chomp on the popular chicken rice balls at Ee Ji Ban
Bet you've never heard of chicken rice balls before! ? Well, we’re all too familiar with the ordinary chicken rice but how about we switch things up a little bit? Yes, we’re talking about the popular Ee Ji Ban’s chicken rice balls.
Credit: @effie_mohamad on Instagram
What is it really? Served with crispy and juicy roast chicken, Ee Ji Ban takes chicken rice to a new level with its rice rolled into mini balls. It’s also the only place with a Halal certification! ?
Credit: @mahanifareed on Instagram
Besides chicken rice, they are also known for Nyonya delicacies such as cili garam, sambal petai, cincalok omelette and sambal udang.
275, Jalan Melaka Raya 3, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka
Open daily; 10AM-9.30PM
8. Immerse in a traditional Nyonya setting and indulge in some sweet treats at Daily Fix
This hidden café isn’t only going to attract foodies, but Instagrammers will definitely pop by just for the aesthetics! ?
Credit: @miniejay on Instagram
Tucked away in a small souvenir shop, this quaint café wins hearts with its top-notch pancakes and aromatic coffee.
Credit: @vacayay on Instagram
We recommend the super decadent Pandan pancake that’s drizzled with Gula Melaka and sprinkled with icing sugar! ?
Credit: @angelbaby390 on Instagram
Besides offering a lovely selection of sweet and savoury delights, you’d want to chill at the café for a little while as you can feast your eyes on the vintage interior (highly Instagrammable, by the way ?).
: This café serves alcoholic beverages, so best to dine at your own discretion. We have also reached out to the owners and they have confirmed that they get their ingredients (including meat) from halal-certified suppliers!
Check out our Halal food guide
in Melaka for more!
: 55, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka
: Monday - Friday, 9am - 11.30pm. Saturday and Sunday, 8.30am - 11.30pm.
One can agree that going on a road trip with your loved ones is the best as the time spent inside the car allows for laughter and discussions about almost anything. It’s just the kind of experience that lets you create memories together! Good thing for us, Malaysia is no stranger to road trips. Get behind the wheels and plan a road trip to these family hot spots in Malaysia.
9. Reminisce your childhood memories at LegolandCredit: Mohd Fazlin on Flickr
Malaysia isn’t just home to beautiful islands and lush rainforests, we also happen to have plenty of theme parks so how about a fun-filled day at Legoland?
Enter the land of miniatures and Miniland where you can admire the impressive masterpiece built with over 30 million LEGO bricks that showcase popular attractions from 17 Asian countries including Malaysia! ?
Credit: Legoland Malaysia on Facebook
Switch things up a little bit by making your way to LEGO Kingdoms and go on an exhilarating journey across the heights and depths of the castle! ?
1-Day Park for Malaysian Citizens: Adults (RM189), Children and Senior Citizens (RM149)
1-Day Park for Non-Malaysian Citizens: Adults (RM200), Children and Senior Citizens (RM160)
: 7, Jalan Legoland, Bandar Medini Iskandar Malaysia, 79250 Iskandar Puteri (Nusajaya), Johor.
: Daily, 9:00am – 7:00pm
10. Savour scones at the BOH Tea Plantation in Cameron Highlands
Not into thrilling rides and prefer a relaxing activity? No problem, how about Cameron Highlands? ? The name has a familiar ring to anyone in Malaysia and obviously, we know why.
Cameron Highlands is not just the place to get local fresh produce but also one of the few places in Malaysia where you can experience winter weather ?
It’s the perfect place for every family who’s looking to escape the city and feel the presence of nature.
Credit: @whats_on_my_bowl on Instagram
Picture a day when you savour freshly baked scones and warm highland tea while overlooking this picturesque view of the BOH tea plantation. Beautiful, isn’t it? ❤️
Credit: @alinridzuan on Instagram
Beyond the guaranteed visual treat, you can also hike up to the Tea Plantations and get lost in the endless green labyrinth. ?
: Don’t forget to drop by their tea shop and pack a few teas back home.
: Brinchang, 39000 Brinchang, Pahang
: Tuesday - Friday, 8.30am - 4.30pm
For more suggestions on family road trips
, check out our guide here!
For Nature Enthusiasts
At this point, we all can agree that Malaysia is a pretty awesome country and it is home to some of the best sceneries on offer. For nature enthusiasts, it’s not difficult to find a good spot to bask in the lush greenery and vivid foliage. Here’s 2 places where we think you should go to:
11. Experience the best of Japanese and French cultures in Bukit Tinggi
Bukit Tinggi isn’t always the go-to place when you want to reconnect with nature, but we feel that it might just be the ideal place for a brief respite away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Credit: Sookie on Flickr
A picturesque hidden gem tucked away in the Pahang mountains, every part of this gorgeous town is full of surprises, like the Japanese Garden situated deep in the forest!
Credit: @marcbalayong on Instagram
Take a stroll around the scenic garden and have a taste of the culture by donning a kimono and participating in a Japanese tea ceremony! ?
Credit: Yeoh Thean Kheng on Flickr
If time permits, drive over to Colmar Tropicale - a French-themed town inspired by the real life French village of Colmar in Alsace, France. This gorgeous town has an array of amazing activities in store for every visitor, like climbing up the clock tower or catching the French dance show and play some charades! ??
12. Hike through jungle trails and climb up steep slopes at Sungai Chiling Sanctuary
Of course there has to be a hiking trail on here somewhere! The hike at Sungai Chiling waterfalls takes an hour but the route will fill you with joy as you’ll be greeted by the majestic trees and fishes swimming along merrily in the clear river ?
Credit: @mervinmenon on Instagram
And once you make it to the waterfalls, take your time to enjoy it. Go for a swim or have a picnic. ?
Credit: @yenjiwa on InstagramAddress
: 44000 Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor
: RM 1 admission fee, RM 4 per tent for camping
: +60 3 6064 1214
For Thrill Seekers
Living in a tropical country, you have the luxury to choose from participating in extreme sports activities to simply relax by the beachside. But sometimes, you just want to get that adrenaline pumping and relish a moment of glory with all the adventure activities that Malaysia can offer! But there's a lot to choose from, so where do you start? ?
13. Try paragliding in Jugra, Selangor's former royal capitalCredit: @faris_suhaili on Instagram
Start with the small town of Jugra! Apart from being the best spot in Selangor to catch the sunset, this historical town holds one of the most exciting sports activities in the country – paragliding! ?
Credit: Fauzana Ismail on Facebook
If you don’t know what paragliding is, it’s basically a type of recreational and competitive adventure sport. ? Think of flying but strapped to a harness in front of an experienced pilot who flies you around.
14. Ride out into the Kemensah jungle on ATVCredit: @anakrahmat on Instagram
Though Kemensah is prominently known for its magnificent waterfalls, this village also houses an extreme adrenaline-fuelled adventure involving four small wheels – ATV!
Credit: @shahrinross on Instagram
A jungle tour seems crazy enough but with ATV, your adventure will become even more interesting as you ride through real untamed rainforests while getting in touch with the wildlife and discover hidden, unspoiled waterfalls. ?Price
: From RM100
: ATV Adventure Ride Park, Ulu Klang, Selangor, Kampung Kemensah, 68000, Selangor.
Monday to Sunday, 9:00am – 6:00pm. Closed from 11:00am – 3:00pm on Friday.
With all these options available, you’ll never ever need to laze around while waiting for the elections to come. What are you waiting for? Time to go out and have a whale of a time!