Malaysia is a hot country and sometimes it can get unbearably so. But fear not, my fellow friends! There are many cool places in Malaysia you can go to take a break from the stifling notorious Malaysian heat. So it's time to say goodbye to that summer weather and say hello to fresh, cool air at these amazingly chilly places in Malaysia.
1. Cameron Highlands, Pahang
One of the most famous highland retreats in Malaysia, Cameron Highlands has so much to offer for any traveller. Fresh highland air, breathtaking vistas, rolling hills, expansive tea plantations, lush strawberry farms, colourful gardens, scenic hiking trails - the list just goes on and on!
However, the ultimate thing to do in Cameron Highlands is to visit the local tea plantations (such as the Sungei Palas Boh Tea Centre and the Cameron Valley Tea House) for a heartwarming tea time amidst the wondrous surroundings.
A trip to one of its many strawberry farms is also a must as Cameron Highlands is among the few places in Malaysia where this cold-climate fruit can be cultivated. Its many gardens such as the much-loved Cameron Lavender Garden are also one not to be missed. Try their one-of-a-kind lavender ice-cream while you're at it!
Alternatively, there are many other things to do in Cameron Highlands to complete your pretend winter getaway including a visit to the Lavender Garden and the all-new Sheep Sanctuary.
2. Genting Highlands, Pahang
A fun-filled day awaits you in Genting Highlands. Dubbed the City of Entertainment, there are plenty of attractions to entertain you and your family. Take to the skies and enjoy a relaxing ride on the Awana SkyWay as you make your way up. Don't forget to make a stop at the Genting Premium Outlets, a definite shopper's heaven with more than 150 brand names offered!
In search of places to dine in Genting? There are many international food chains and halal-certified eateries in Genting Highlands including Pizza Hut, Marrybrown, Subway, Texas Chicken, and Papparich. It also has Medan Selera, the largest halal dining space located at SkyAvenue, serving local cuisines such as nasi kandar ayam goreng berempah, nasi biryani, and lamb curry chicken shawarma. Before your next trip, check out our ultimate guide to Genting Highlands!
P.S. Want to know how to navigate Genting's newest attraction, Genting Skyworlds Theme Park? We give you 10 tips! Just check out this link!
3. Bukit Tinggi, Pahang
Perfect for a weekend getaway, make your way to Bukit Tinggi and visit the colourful Colmar Tropicale Berjaya Hills. Situated amid the lush rainforest in Bentong, this French-inspired village is reminiscent of the 16th-century Colmar town in France and it's pretty fun to explore its surroundings. You can also spend the weekend at Colmar Tropicale, where there are many rooms and suites available.
If it's been a while since your last visit to Japan, the Japanese Village at Colmar Tropicale will temporarily heal your travel blues. Besides taking photos near the soothing waterfall and strolling around the Zen-inspired gardens, you can also rent a kimono and join a traditional Japanese tea ceremony or immerse yourself in the overall experience that this village has to offer.
4. Fraser's Hill, Pahang
Nestled among the mountains of Pahang, Fraser's Hill is one of the chilly places in Malaysia that's famous for its English-styled bungalows and landscape akin to those of the English countryside.
Taking advantage of the pristine nature surrounding the hill, there are many outdoor activities to do in Fraser's Hill such as bird watching, jungle trekking, golfing, horse-riding, cycling, and boat-paddling, which you can do via Allan's Water, an equipment rental service located before Jelai Highland Resort. You can also go for a refreshing dip into the cold waters of Jeriau Waterfall, a popular nature attraction located at the foothills.
5. Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill), Perak
Formerly known as Maxwell Hill, Bukit Larut is one of the oldest hill resorts in Malaysia. Located at an altitude of 1,250 meters above sea level, you'll be greeted by fresh, cool air and breathtaking views upon your arrival. Undisturbed and serene, this is the perfect sanctuary for some peace and quiet away from the concrete jungle.
A popular spot among hikers, there are many nature trails for you to discover amid the natural surrounding of Bukit Larut. If you're not too keen on hiking, leisure visitors can hop on the Bukit Larut Jeep Ride that'll take you to the top within 30 minutes for a minimal fee. Since you're already in the area, why not explore other amazing things to do in Taiping?
6. Kundasang, Sabah
Hailed as the 'New Zealand' of Malaysia, this quaint town of Kundasang is one of the famous chilly destinations in Malaysia. Popular among the locals for its sweeping view of green pastures, it's also spectacular to see the magnificent backdrop of Mount Kinabalu. This, combined with the cool surroundings are an ideal refuge from the hustle and bustle of city life.
A must-visit place in Kundasang is the Desa Daisy Farm, popular for its Friesian cattle as well as delicious gelato. As of August 2020, Desa Dairy Farm is temporarily closed during the Movement Control Order in Malaysia and we hope it reopens soon!
Aside from that, you can also make a short historical stop at Kundasang War Memorial, a memorial dedicated to fallen British and Australian soldiers as well as Sabahan during the colonial era. Don't forget to stop by their Fresh Vegetable Market for some fresh produce. To make the most of your trip, check out our 5D4N Muslim-friendly itinerary for the best of Kota Kinabalu, Kundasang and beyond!
7. Janda Baik, Pahang
Tucked in a small valley enclosed by thick rainforest, Janda Baik is a much-visited getaway among city dwellers due to its close proximity to Kuala Lumpur as well as its inviting cool streams and waterfalls. Known as one of the chilly places to visit in Malaysia, it's a nice place for a riverside picnic or a barbeque party with friends and families amidst the soothing sounds of rushing water and peaceful greenery.
It is also a popular wedding venue and honeymoon thanks to the abundance of stunning resorts in Janda Baik such as Fifty4Ferns, Aman Rimba Private Estate, Twinkle Villa, and Danau Daun Chalets.
8. Gunung Ledang (Mount Ophir), Johor
Looking for a cool retreat in Malaysia with a side of adventure? The legendary Gunung Ledang, or Mount Ophir, might just be your answer. This 1,276 meters tall mountain sits on the border of Melaka and Johor and is a well-known destination among amateur hikers.
Gunung Ledang has a few camping trails with waterfalls along the way, so take your time and enjoy what nature has to offer. After all, it's the journey that counts, not the destination 😉 Having said that, be prepared for a view of a lifetime once you reach the peak.
Before climbing Gunung Ledang, do note that the registration fee is RM3 and the day trip fee is RM 13 per adult (Malaysians) and RM 23 per adult (non-Malaysians). You will also need to hire a tour guide which will cost approximately RM140 per day. Book in advance to avoid unwanted setbacks.
9. Gunung Kinabalu, Sabah
Standing at 4,095 meters, Gunung Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Malaysia and one of the highest in Southeast Asia. Always magnificent and at times mysterious, the ascent is not a walk in the park but the satisfaction upon reaching the peak is a lifetime achievement. As is often said, the best view comes after the hardest climb and you can admire it from the peak. On a good day, you can enjoy the awe-inspiring view of the rolling mountain range underneath the fluffy white clouds 🤩
10. Kelabit Highlands, Sarawak
Want something a bit off the beaten path? Then head on to Kelabit Highlands, a remote highland in the deeper part of Sarawak. With a highland plateau of over 1,000 meters, the weather can get a little chilly, especially at night. Untouched by the modernity that is so synonymous with today's world, this is the place to go for those who just want to escape it all and experience a simpler life closer to the heart of nature.
Visitors to the Kelabit Highlands usually stay in the town of Bario, near the Sarawak-Kalimantan border. Some of the things to do in Kelabit Highlands include hiking along the many trails or climbing Mount Murud, a mountain considered holy by the locals. You can also opt for a walk around the many villages and rumah panjang (long house), and mingle with the friendly Kelabit people.
11. Gunung Jerai, Kedah
Gunung Jerai is a mountain located in Kedah, about an hour's drive away from Sungai Petani or 45 minutes from Alor Setar. The foot of the mountain is surrounded by picturesque paddy fields which already make for a pretty view, but once you go up the mountain (reaching up to 1,200m above sea level), you'll be rejuvenated by the lovely scenery and cool air.
There is a resort located on the mountain, the Regency Jerai Hill Resort, where you can enjoy a peaceful and quiet retreat. Don't forget to check out local attractions like the Gunung Jerai Botanical Park or the Jerai Forestry Museum, or enjoy recreational activities like hiking or biking in the area.
12. Gunung Tahan, Taman Negara
Gunung Tahan is a mountain located within the national forest, Taman Negara and is the highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia! It's truly a test of your physical and mental strengths hiking up to the top, where it is said that the mountain is one of the toughest to conquer 😱
The view though is simply a priceless experience you'll never forget; a rewarding one after being able to tahan (endure in Malay) the hike! 😍 By the way, it gets colder at night, when the temperature drops as low as 4°C!
13. Tambunan, Sabah
You might have heard of Kundasang, but have you ever of Tambunan? Located in the interior division of Sabah, this hidden gem has many beautiful terraced paddy fields and is surrounded by dense bamboo forests that truly live up to its nickname, the Switzerland of the East! You should definitely add visiting the Tambunan Rafflesia Reserve and Mahua Waterfall whilst you're at Tambunan! 😊
So there you have it! These are some of the amazingly cool places in Malaysia you can visit to escape the notorious Malaysian heat. For more recommended reads, check out our articles below!
- 8 Chilly Places In Southeast Asia For Your Pretend Winter Vacation
- 8 Chilly Destinations In Thailand For A Pretend Winter Vacation
- 12 Accommodations In Cameron Highlands For A Cool Mountain Retreat