[Updated 25 September 2020]
Ask any Malaysian and they'll instantly proclaim their love for planning short getaways in Malaysia during the long weekends and school holidays. Whether you love exploring the hidden gems or discovering the best halal food in Malaysia, we have some amazing staycation ideas for a quick escape from Kuala Lumpur ?
1. Janda Baik, Pahang
On the outskirts of Pahang, and just over an hour's drive from Kuala Lumpur, lies the relatively serene destination called Janda Baik. Although Pahang is often known for Taman Negara, Janda Baik is stepping up to claim a place in Pahang’s wall of fame! This hillside destination packs a punch with many riverside accommodations and gorgeous resorts to spend the night.
There are also plenty of halal eateries in Janda Baik to discover, ranging from baked sausages with mashed potatoes at Nero Bianco Deli to locally-made coffee at Pinto Coffee+.
2. Sekinchan, Selangor
Time slows down in Sekinchan, a sleepy farming and fishing village about 1.5 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. Urbanites are not the only ones flocking to this place as a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. Migratory birds are known to make a pit stop in Sekinchan, making it a popular birdwatching destination as well.
Cycle along the vast paddy fields and revel in the vastness of it all under the great expanse of bright blue sky. Let the breeze ease you into a peaceful state of mind as you begin to plot your day around this quiet village. If you're game for a sightseeing adventure, don't forget to visit other awesome Instagrammable spots in Sekinchan during your trip too.
3. Cameron Highlands, Pahang
Need a breath of fresh air? Feel on top of the world in Cameron Highlands, a two-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. Here, the cooler air and highland views will definitely make you snap out of that city zombie slumber! If you've fallen in love with the wide vista, turn it into an overnight vacation and stay in a comfortable homestay or budget accommodation in Cameron Highlands.
Next, treat yourself to some fresh strawberries at one of many strawberry farms in Cameron Highlands ? You can savour this sweet and juicy fruit to your stomach's content! While you're at it, be sure to dine away in one of these halal cafes in Cameron Highlands too.
You can also discover new territories in the famous Mossy Forest where you can imagine yourself in an epic fairytale adventure ? There are also more super fun things to do in Cameron Highlands including petting fluffy sheep at the Sheep Sanctuary and taking a step back in time at the Time Tunnel. With so much to do, it's impossible to feel bored here!
4. Georgetown, Penang
Curious souls seeking a multicultural heritage experience have to book a vacation in Georgetown, Penang. Known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the capital city of Penang is home to unique colonial-style architecture that will take you back in time! And there's no better way to experience it than spending the night in a heritage boutique hotel in Penang.
As you wander through the side streets, keep a look out for various street murals and other Instagrammable spots in Penang that depict the playful energy of this town. If you're feeling adventurous, you can conquer all Seven World Wonders of Penang during your trip too.
If you're planning a foodie's trip to Penang, take some time to indulge in the glorious halal food that Penang has to offer! It's possible to eat your way through Penang, and you can start your day at these halal breakfast spots and hang out at one of these Instagrammable Muslim-friendly cafes when your day mellows.
5. Ipoh, Perak
If you can't get enough of the hipster murals in Penang, head over to Ipoh! It's a treasure box filled with historical attractions, exciting adventures and of course, amazing food. To commemorate your trip with awesome photos, take some snaps at these Instagrammable spots in Ipoh.
Need a bit of thrill? Explorers can head to Gua Tempurung for some caving time. The surroundings of the cave are enough to make you feel as though you've been transported to another world! Next, continue your adventure by exploring other things to do in Ipoh including a visit to the stunning mirror lake and a glamping experience at Lost World of Tambun.
Of course, all these activities cannot be achieved without sustenance. And sustenance - food - is what Ipoh is famous for. If you're at lost about where to start, you can begin with these halal breakfast spots in Ipoh before checking off every halal food in Ipoh from our must-eat list.
6. Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan
Port Dickson will never get old (or boring?). Situated in Negeri Sembilan, it is a two-hour drive south of Kuala Lumpur and remains a popular beach destination in Malaysia. It also has many private pool accommodations, beachfront resorts, and water chalets to host your short getaway in Port Dickson!
Stroll along the beach and dip your toes in the waters without getting in anyone else’s way ? If you're a thrill-seeker, embark on the many water activities that Port Dickson has to offer! Feel the sea breeze in your face as you rip through the waters on a banana boat or skid across the waves on a jet ski ?
In the evening, unwind in the company of the coolest animals. Venture out to the ostrich farm to get acquainted with these amazing birds! And if you're craving for some alone time, visit the popular Cape Rachado Lighthouse, which is a scenic lookout point in Port Dickson.
7. Pangkor Island, Perak
Located off the western coast of Perak, Pangkor Island is a three-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. It's not as easy getting here (which makes it all the more exclusive!) as you'd have to get to a town called Lumut before getting on a ferry to reach this island ?
Snorkel and explore the corals in the waters of Coral Bay and Nipah Beach. Or just soak up the sun on the sandy beaches and let the wind carry your worries away. Island life is definitely a tried and true getaway, and you can spend a weekend in one of these beach resorts in Pangkor Island to experience it all.
There is so much wildlife abound, you can even get up close and personal with the hornbills that have made the island their home. Who needs a lover when you can have a hornbill looking at you adoringly? Before you leave the island, remember to shop for some duty-free chocolates at Laris Duty Free Pangkor.
8. Cherating, Pahang
You don’t need to read a research paper to know that the sun, sand, and sea will do wonders for your well-being! Situated on the east coast of Pahang, hit the holy trio at Cherating Beach, a mere three-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. There are many beach resorts in Cherating and it's no surprise why families and honeymooners would plan a trip here!
All you need is a cold fizzy drink, beach mat, and sunnies to laze your day away on the beach. Idyllic as ever, Cherating lets you go about at your own pace, making it a wonderful escape ?
Are you sighing now, tracing your calendar longingly? We hope you've found the perfect staycation for a quick escape from Kuala Lumpur! Still can't decide? Check out these amazing places to visit in Malaysia (that's not Penang, Ipoh or Melaka).