13 Ultimate Outdoor Adventures To Conquer In Malaysia


Cheng Sim •  Feb 05, 2020

[Updated 29 June 2021]

Malaysia is more than just a country with super affordable weekend getaways, incredible nature retreats, and amazing exotic islands. If you want a rush of adrenaline, there are many adventurous things to do in Malaysia.

Paragliding, tandem skydiving, white water rafting - your name it and this country has it! While Malaysians are staying home during MCO (Movement Control Order), don't let it stop you from dreaming about crossing off these bucket-list adventures in Malaysia once it's safe to do so!

Disclaimer: As of June 2021, do note that all outdoor attractions and tour operators are temporarily closed during MCO. We recommend saving this article for your future adventures and support them once it's safe to travel again. 

1. Tandem skydive in Langkawi

Update: As of January 2021, Skydive Langkawi is temporarily closed until further notice

If there's one travel resolution to tick off from your bucket list, that would be tandem skydive in Langkawi. You can do so with Skydive Langkawi that's situated near Langkawi International Airport. Perfect for any adrenaline seeker, you can tandem skydive with an experienced instructor (rated by Australian Parachute Federation) from as high as 14,000 feet - and that's 9 times the height of KLCC, one of the tallest buildings in Malaysia! And they also have a female skydive instructor on board.

The entire duration takes around 3 hours - from the moment you arrive until you depart from the skydive centre. Skydive Langkawi offers two packages and it starts from RM1,650 per person. Since tandem skydive is a weather-oriented activity, it's best to allow half a day to complete your jump as it can be delayed by weather. For more details, check out our article on Skydive Langkawi!

Where to book this experience

2. Stargazing in Kota Belud

For those who lived in the city long enough, a sky full of stars is hard to spot in Malaysia. That's because you've yet to visit Kota Belud and enjoy a stargazing experience in Lasau Podi. About 30 minutes drive from Kota Belud, your driving journey to Lasau Podi will be smooth one thanks to the good road condition, so rent a car if you wish!

Most local stargazers would drive to Lasau Podi when it's close to midnight where the area is in complete darkness. Some would also camp underneath the starry night. Do note that restrooms and accommodations are not available around this area, and you may need to rough it in nature.

For accommodation with facilities, head over to another stargazing spot named Tegudon Tourism Village, Kadamaian, a 30-minute drive from Kota Belud (or a 40-minute drive from Lasau Podi). Besides giving you another spot to witness the Milky Way, this tourism village provides facilities such as toilets, changing room and camping sites.

Where to book this experience: 

  • Currently, there are no available stargazing tours in Lasau Podi. We recommend renting a car and driving to Lasau Podi (refer to this Google Map) for this experience.

3. White water rafting in Gopeng

Beyond the delicious Muslim-friendly food and stunning Insta-worthy spots, Perak is also one of the best places for white water rafting in Malaysia! Narrow your search to Gopeng, and you'll discover many local tours that'll bring adrenaline seekers closer to this exhilarating experience. White water rafting usually takes place along the Kampar River famous for its wild rapids and refreshing water.

You need to be physically fit to do white water rafting, but you don't need rafting experience to join this activity. The rapids at Kampar River are classified from Class I-III, which means the journey begins with small and pleasant waves before it escalates into gushing water and wave splashes along narrow river passages.

Where to book this experience: 

4. Food adventure in Penang

Mention Penang and the few things that come to mind are nasi kandar, char kuay teow, and cendol. Known as the street food capital of Malaysia, it comes to no surprise why locals would plan a food adventure in Penang. Start with our breakfast of champions, nasi lemak at Ali Nasi Lemak before moving on to something hearty like nasi kandar at Hameediyah Restaurant, Malay-style prawn noodles at Ayu Mee Udang or cow's tongue soup with roti benggali at Sup Hameed. For the full experience, eat your way through Penang with our list of halal eateries!

If you're on a cafe-hopping adventure instead, head over to these Muslim-friendly cafes in Penang. You can savour herbal lemuni rice at Jawi House Cafe Gallery, pandan creme caramel at Areca Cafe or caramelised Banana Bakar at Lagenda Cafe. Each visit promises different surprises for your palate and that's definitely an adventure for a true Malaysian foodie.

5. Hike Mulu Pinnacles

You would need 3 days 2 nights to hike Mulu Pinnacles, but challenging yourself through the strenuous climb and challenging trails will pay off for those who endured it all. Situated in Mulu National Park, one of Malaysia's protected virgin rainforests, Mulu Pinnacles should be your next bucket list after you've conquered Mount Kinabalu.

When you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with a view of razor-sharp limestones that overlooks the lush greenery. It requires a great level of fitness, and we recommend first-time hikers to do some training before taking on this tough climb. To make the most of your trip to Mulu National Park, you can explore the show caves, do adventure caving and venture on some guided forest walks in one of Sarawak's famous natural attraction.

Where to book this experience: 

6. Scuba diving in Mabul Island

Besides the islands of Perhentian and Sipadan, your bucket list would be incomplete without scuba diving in Mabul Island. Just off Semporna in Sabah, Mabul Island is known for its rich diversity of marine life, and scuba divers and underwater photographers have been to known to visit this paradise often. While this island is a popular diving spot all year round, the best months for scuba diving are April to December and July to August.

Be in awe by the vortexes of barracudas, herds of bump head parrotfish, turtles feeding all around and thousands of jackfish when you scuba dive. When you're here, don't miss a chance to meet the Sea Gypsies, also known as the Bajau Laut community, who lives on boathouses or huts built on stilts. Many of them spend their days in the water or selling their catch such as live seafood (crabs, lobsters, mussels or fish) on wooden boats to tourists visiting.

7. Paragliding at Bukit Jugra

Paragliding at Bukit Jugra is one of many outdoor adventures you should do in Malaysia. Here's a fun fact: Jugra was the royal capital of Selangor in the late 1800s before the baton is passed to Klang, the Malaysian state's current royal capital.

Besides hiking, the best way to appreciate the Jugra landscape is by paragliding across the sky. Just make your way to the base of Bukit Jugra lighthouse and you'll find the Malaysia Paragliding and Hang Gliding Association. Come between March and September when the wind conditions are at its best and the 15-minute paragliding experience costs approximately RM200 per person.

Where to book this experience: 

  • Malaysia Paragliding Hang-Gliding Association - MPHA (Facebook)

8. Canopy walk at Taman Negara

Walk on the canopy skywalk at Taman Negara to explore with one of the world's oldest rainforests. Situated in Pahang, this 130-million-year-old virgin rainforest is one of Malaysia's ecotourism gems and it'll be a miss not to experience it up close. Anyone departing from Kuala Lumpur will arrive at this rainforest within 2-3 hours and from there, your real adventure begins!

The canopy skywalk also happens to be the world's longest canopy walkway, so you'll get an amazing view of the surrounding tropical rainforest. Hanging at 40 meters above the ground, this suspension bridge is over 500 meters long, and you can only walk on the bridge four people at a time. This canopy skywalk is supervised by the national park's wildlife department, so you'll be in good hands!

#HHWT Tip: Inspired to plan a trip? Check out this amazing 3D2N Muslim-friendly itinerary to Taman Negara!

Where to book this experience: 

9. Rock climbing at Batu Caves

While many worshippers frequent Batu Caves during the Hindu festival of Thaipusam, the locals and tourists would come here to admire the towering golden statue of Lord Murugan and the rainbow-hued steps (there are 272 steps to climb!). Behind Batu Caves, however, lies an adventure spot that's perfect for rock climbing, abseiling, zip-lining and more!

Since rock climbing at Batu Caves is a must-try, Gua Damai Extreme Park offers a chance for adventure seekers to explore the different possible routes to reach the top. Their rock climbing package is good for beginners and families with children. You'll be given the necessary climbing gears, from safety harness to climbing shoes, before you start. Once you're ready to go, you have 3 hours to venture several climbing routes such as Damai Wall for beginners, Nyamuk Wall for the longest route, and more!

Where to book this experience: 

10. Bungee jump at Sunway Lagoon

If you want to scream your lungs out, consider a thrilling Bungy Jump at Sunway Lagoon Extreme Park. Situated in the theme park itself, you will need to buy a Sunway Lagoon Pass before heading over to the Extreme Park counter to pay for your jump. Then, make your way to the top of the bridge where your jumping site will be.

Jumping off from as high as 22 meters, you'll be given a safety briefing and harness before you make your five-second jump. At the end of your experience, you'll get a certificate of completion. Since Extreme Park is a paradise for thrillseekers, there are also other ways to get your dose of adrenaline including racing through the Go Kart circuit, strap on Asia's highest slingshot ride at G-Force X and practice your aim in a round of paintball. You can read more about Bungy Jump at Sunway Lagoon here!

Where to book this experience: 

  • Sunway Lagoon Extreme Park (Website)

11. Ziplining at Gaya Island

Update: Starting January 2021, Coral Flyer zipline will only be open on weekends

Ziplining from Gaya Island to Sapi Island is one of the best ways to experience the scenic sight of these paradises in Sabah. Fuelled with an adrenaline rush, this 235-meter-long attraction is the world's longest island zipline and will take you on a journey of intense height and speed. Some say that you will zipline at the speed of 55KM per hour!

Similar to most outdoor activities, you'll be given a safety briefing and harness before you're set to go. While there's no age limit, you need to weigh between a minimum weight of 40kg and a maximum weight of 120kg. Small kids can also do a tandem zipline with their parents, so don't worry!

As you zipline 45 meters above the ground, don't close your eyes or you'll miss the beautiful waters down below. Once completed, you can head back to your starting point at Gaya Island via a free transfer. For tickets, you can buy them at Sapi Island Jetty or book in advance by contacting Coral Flyer at [email protected].

Where to book this experience: 

12. ATV ride in Selangor

Situated in Kampung Kemensah, Selangor, prepare yourself for a thrilling ride at ATV Adventure Park! Known as one of the largest ATV adventure parks in Malaysia, get ready to blaze through various jungle trails and terrains on a roaring ATV. Before your adventure begins, there are various packages you can choose from, which leads to different destinations ranging from Sofea Jane waterfall to Bukit Tabur.

After you've completed the safety briefing, you can explore different jungle trails with your helmets on! No matter which trails you choose, you can expect rough terrains, bumpy hills, and unexpected slopes between the shady tall trees. Since excessive speeding is not allowed, just take your time and enjoy your ride. You can read more about ATV Adventure Park here!

Where to book this experience: 

13. Climb Mount Kinabalu

Update: As of January 2021, all climbing tours at Mount Kinabalu are temporarily suspended due to the recent landslide and road collapses due to heavy rain.

Ask any Malaysian and they'll say that our bucket list would be incomplete without climbing Mount Kinabalu. Situated within Kinabalu Park, which is also a World Heritage Site, journeying to the top of Malaysia's highest mountain is a challenge that's worth saying yes to.

Every day, the Park only issues 185 climb permits to Sabahans, Malaysians, and international tourists - and that's why hikers would book their slots as early as six months to one year before their trip. Standing tall at 4,095 meters, the trails are built with wooden staircases and rock steps but along the way, hikers would need to their limits when coming across large boulders and slippery routes.

#HHWT Tip: Due to safety reasons, it's best to book your climb through licensed tour operators. Many websites recommended Amazing Borneo Tours as this agency is supported by Sabah Tourism Board.

Where to book this experience: 

If you're ready to experience the best adventures in Malaysia, there's no better time to plan a trip than now! Whether you're going tandem skydiving in Langkawi or bungee jumping at Sunway Lagoon Extreme Park, many outdoor adventures await in Malaysia.