15 Incredible Spots In Malaysia You Need To Visit Before Anyone Else


Syaeeza Liana Ramli •  Aug 10, 2017

[Updated 14 September 2020]

Ask any Malaysian and they'll sing praises about the country's scenic attractions and hidden gems. Whether you're a first-time traveller or a seasoned vacationer, there are many things to see and do in Malaysia. If you're game to explore a different side of Malaysia, check out these incredible places in Malaysia you need to visit before anyone else ?

1. Mulu National Park, Sarawak

Named after Mount Mulu, which is the second-highest mountain in Sarawak, this national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Surrounded by the rainforest of Borneo, this nature spot has a unique sight. Check out the jagged limestone formations that are an amazing sight to behold. The Mulu pinnacles are just one of the reasons why locals and tourists love to hike the mountain ⛰

Other than the Mulu pinnacles, the Mulu National Park is also known for its enormous caves especially the Clearwater Caves. True to its name, the cave has crystal clear subterranean river and it's known as one of the biggest cave systems in the world, measuring approximately 220KM in length!

2. Kota Belud, Sabah

If you need to another reason to return to Sabah after conquering Kota Kinabalu and Kundasang, let it be Kota Belud. Situated in the west coast of Sabah, it requires a 1.5 hours drive from Kota Kinabalu to reach this charming district. In Kota Belud, you can experience the laidback charm of Kota Belud at the weekly tamu (open market), take a river cruise along the Nanamun River, explore the popular hiking trail of Bukit Bongol and snorkel at Usukan Cove.

If there's one hidden gem in Kota Belud we would love to share, it has to be Polumpung Melangkap. A famous camping site with a clear view of Mount Kinabalu, tents are available for rent if you wish to spend the night here. You can also enjoy a cool dip in the nearby river, prepare a barbecue dinner, and stargaze the night away once it's dark outside.

3. The Habitat, Penang Hill

Opened in 2016, The Habitat is a world-class rainforest discovery centre that enables visitors to admire our diverse 130-million years old Malaysian rainforest with minimal impact on the environment. True to its mission, the park's iconic structure was designed to not only showcase the surrounding flora and fauna but to protect it as well!

Perfect for nature lovers, there are many things to do at The Habitat! You can walk on the Langur Way Canopy Walks measuring 230 meters in length, visit The Habitat's highest viewing platform at Curtis Crest Treetop Walk, and enjoy an exciting five-course zipline adventure at The Flight of the Colugo. You can read more about The Habitat Penang Hill here!

4. Sky Mirror, Kuala Selangor

Popular for its mirror-like reflection of the sky, Sky Mirror is known as the Salar de Uyuni of Malaysia. Situated at Sasaran Beach, not everyone has had the chance to experience it for themselves because this natural wonder only occurs twice a month - during the full moon and new moon! This sand bar, located off the coast of Kuala Selangor, is only visible when the tide recedes during these specific times, letting you take beautiful shots. Before you visit the Sky Mirror, check out the dates before you embark on this trip!

Home to a variety of marine life, it is incredibly common to find sea clams and baby clams buried in the sand. If you're lucky, you may be able to find other interesting ones like the sea anemones and shore crabs!

5. Mossy Forest, Cameron Highlands

Update: As of September 2020, Taman Eko-Rimba Mossy Forest (including hiking activities to Gunung Irau) is temporarily closed to visitors from 10 August to 25 September 2020. The temporary closure is due to the scheduled road maintenance by Jabatan Kerja Raya Cameron Highlands.

Known as the ‘Lord of the Rings Forest’ among local tour guides, the Mossy Forest is said to be about 200,000 years old! Situated in Cameron Highlands, every single thing in the forest, from the ground to the tree branches are all covered in moss. When hiking at the Mossy Forest, it can get muddy and slippery. Remember to wear proper hiking footwear and be careful as you trek your way through this mystical forest!

If you're not fit to trek up the hard way, you can opt to walk up using the built path available. Surrounded by diverse flora, some of the interesting plants you can find here include pitcher plants, orchids, various ferns and even cinnamon!

6. Bukit Gambang Safari Park, Kuantan

Credit: Bukit Gambang Safari Park on Facebook

Home to over 300 species of animals—including some exotic ones—Bukit Gambang Safari Park is Malaysia’s largest safari park which takes only a 2.5 drive from Kuala Lumpur. The safari park is nestled within over 138 acres of a picturesque lush jungle, and this gives the animals a natural environment where they can roam around freely.

Credit: Bukit Gambang Safari Park on Facebook

The best part of this place is by far getting close to the exotic animals like Malaysian white lions and brown bears! Hop on the ATVs for a fascinating drive through the Wild Savannah zone. And since the park is open till night, you’ll be able to glimpse the nocturnal animals’ life after the sunset.

7. Dayang Bunting Island, Langkawi

Langkawi consists of an archipelago of islands, and Dayang Bunting Island is the second-largest island. This uninhabited island is known as the ‘Island of the Pregnant Maiden’, and the freshwater lake nearby is called ‘Lake of the Pregnant Maiden’. This island is not just any island, as it carries its own legendary folktale. It is said that the hills on the island form the shape of a pregnant woman.

Legend has it that a man named Mat Teja fell in love with a princess named Mambang Sari at the lake. After their marriage, the princess gave birth to a son. However, their son died not long after, so they decided to lay their son in the water of the lake - in hopes that he will rest in peace.

8. Pulau Rawa, Johor

Pulau Rawa may be a familiar destination for Johoreans and Singaporeans, but many Malaysians have yet to visit this beautiful island that's as picturesque as they come. Offering stunning views, plenty of sunshine and a good time, Rawa Island is a seaside hotspot where water activities like snorkelling, windsurfing and kayaking are sure to fill your days.

Besides having fun in the waters, you can also hike around the island or follow the Island Walk Trail for a sunset stroll. Pulau Rawa has a small number of resorts, so you’re guaranteed a secluded and more serene stay.

9. Gua Kelam (Cave of Darkness), Perlis

Do not be spooked by its name because Gua Kelam is a popular cave among adventure seekers. Known for its unique trek, visitors can enter the cave and come out in a completely different location! Make sure you don't leave anything behind at the entrance because you will not exit the same way.

Back in the days, the cave was once a place for tin mine operation in Malaya. Hence, when you enter the cave, you can see some of the remnants of the operation. Gua Kelam may be spooky, but you will be accompanied by the concerto of natural sounds, water droplets and squeaking bats.

10. Lankayan Island, Sabah

Situated in the northeastern coast of Sabah, you'll find Lankayan Island, a jewel-shaped island surrounded by crystal clear waters. Getting to this hidden gem from Sandakan is easy too. Make your way to Sandakan Yacht Club (Sandakan jetty) and then, take a 1.5-hour boat ride to Lankayan Island.

While this is a paradise for divers, you don't need to be one to appreciate the beauty that this island beholds. All you need is a relaxing holiday in Lankayan Island to realise that you should have visited this place sooner.

This island has 14 diving sites where you can see coral reefs and diverse marine life - giant groupers, tiny ribbon eels and more! If you're lucky, you can spot whale sharks between the month of March and May too. You can read more about Lankayan Island here!

11. Royal Belum State Park, Perak

Royal Belum State Park is a forest reserve located in Perak. It's part of the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex that is shared with Thailand and is one of the oldest rainforests in the world, dating back over 130 million years. Royal Belum, which comprises the upper area of the Belum-Temenggor rainforest complex is accessible by boat from Banding Island through Temenggor Lake, a man-made lake (similar to Kenyir lake) that serves as a water catchment area.

There are many things to see and do in Royal Belum and Temenggor Lake including enjoying nature walks, visiting the waterfalls, go jungle-trekking, fishing, kayaking, and hornbill viewing. You might even spot the famous rafflesia flower along the way! The park is also home to a plethora of flora and fauna including wild elephants.

If you're looking for a getaway in the tranquil forest, Belum Rainforest Resort is a popular accommodation that offers an escape from the city, If you're up for something more adventurous, try staying on a houseboat on Temenggor lake!

12. Pantai Klebang Sand Dunes, Melaka

You will chance upon Klebang Sand Dunes in Melaka when you reach the end of the Klebang peninsula. An Instagrammer’s paradise, it is said that a beachfront development has left hills of sand in a deserted part of the beach. It quickly became popular after pictures of this sand dune went viral on Instagram!

Today, it has turned into a unique site for bridal and group photography. Depending on the angle you take, you can catch the sunset and seafront while standing at the top of the powder-white hills.

13. Kuala Sepetang, Perak

You've probably heard about the coastal town of Kuala Sepetang in Perak, and it's true that there are many laidback attractions to discover. It includes the Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary where birdwatchers will have a great time spotting magpies, kingfishers and other migratory birds. For a serene view, make your way to Port Weld Scenic Bridge that's surrounded by a traditional fishing village. It also runs a boat tour that'll take you out to the river where you can spot sea eagles.

Home to Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, you'll find diverse crustacean and coastal migratory birds that call this mangrove their home at Kuala Sepetang. Since it's open to the public, walk on the wooden pathway and let the tall trees shield you from the afternoon sun.

14. Forest Skywalk, Selangor

Credit: FRIM on Facebook

Situated at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) in Selangor, make your way to the all-new Forest Skywalk, also known as Jejantas Rimba! Newly opened on 31 August 2020, the skywalk measures up 18 to 50 metres high and 250 meters in length. Once you make your way to the top of the Forest Skywalk, visitors will be treated to an incredible panorama of Kepong Botanic Gardens and the man-made forest that sits in the heart of FRIM.

Credit: FRIM on Facebook

For visitors who are brave enough to climb to the 50-meter platform, the highest lookout point of Forest Skywalk, you can even spot the buildings surrounding Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya including KLCC, Menara Tun Razak Exchange, and Menara Telekom Malaysia! You can read more about FRIM's Forest Skywalk here!

15. Mabul Island, Sabah

The moment you step into Mabul Island, you'll be welcomed by coconut trees and pristine waters. Known as one of the best diving sites in Sabah, most visitors would put on their gears to get up close with the colourful coral reefs and fishes.

Since the island welcomes a stream of tourists every year, you can spend the night at one of its few island resorts. When you do, prepare to draw the curtains and see the vast sea outside your window. It's definitely a paradise you shouldn't miss.

Whether you're a rugged explorer or relaxed holiday-goer who prefers to chill by the beach; Malaysia has it all! If you're looking for a new place to explore, make sure to visit these incredible spots in Malaysia before anyone else! You'll definitely see and experience a different side of Malaysia.