What is Malaysia Famous For (21 Things)?
Malaysia lives up to the real essence of the word “amazing” as the country boasts of the eclectic blend of unique traditions, one-of-a-kind culture, and ancient customs sprinkled with modernity here and there.
Discerning tourists can look forward to enjoying everything that the country has to offer when it comes to tourist attractions, including its stunning beaches, beautiful islands, adventure spots, quaint towns, and heritage sites.
If your travel bucket list includes Malaysia, you will surely love to know all the things that the country is famous for.
The good news is that no matter what you are looking for, whether you want to explore nature, discover architecture, go on adventures, or just indulge in pure relaxation, you can be sure that Malaysia won’t disappoint.
Take a look at these 21 things that Malaysia is famous for far and beyond:
1. Petronas Towers
Every time Malaysia is mentioned, the very first image that probably comes to mind is none other than the Petronas Towers.
One of the world’s most iconic sights, the Petronas Towers, or also called the Petronas Twin Towers because they come in a pair, can be found in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of the country.
This pair is dubbed as the tallest twin towers that the world has ever seen.
Its architecture is of postmodern style featuring motifs common in Islamic art that serve as a representation of the Muslim majority in the country.
The primary attraction here is the skywalk above the sky bridge joining the two towers together. Visitors can take in the scenic views of Kuala Lumpur as well as the KLCC Park located below.
2. Majestic Mosques
Thanks to Malaysia’s historic migration varieties, the country is home to a rather diverse mosque collection. Sadly, many tourists who visit the country tend to overlook the mosques.
However, religious tourists are given the chance to be in awe of the buildings and their stunning architecture.
Most of the time, tourists can explore the prayer rooms and buildings provided that they are wearing the right attire.
Be ready to be fascinated with the groups of people who attend the daily call to prayer that range from those wearing their traditional garments to attendees garbed in the hottest fashion trends.
If you want to visit Malaysia soon, don’t forget to set aside some time to visit one or more of these traditional buildings to pay your respects.
3. Mount Kinabalu
The true hiker’s paradise is the best way to describe Mounth Kinabalu. As Borneo’s tallest mountain, Mount Kinabalu is truly a striking sight in its own right. Hikers have a wonderful time exploring its impressive trails where they can get a glimpse of the panoramic environment of the area. Quite popular among the adventurous crowd, Mount Kinabalu is among the best places to visit in Malaysia if you are after an experience that oozes with thrill.
4. Malacca Historic City
Back in the days, Malacca was among the most adored destinations of Malaysia. Before the transformation of Kuala Lumpur into a refined high rise capital from a jungle infamous for malaria, Malacca was one of Southeast Asia’s greatest trading ports.
After some time, it turned from a bustling port into a sluggish backwater city, losing its spot as a top destination to visit and overtaken by its up and coming cousins.
However, these past few years, Malacca is seeing a revival as a good choice for a holiday getaway because of its plethora of historic attractions.
Home of the famous Nyonya cuisine, Malacca is a famous destination for those tourists who are interested to know more about the unique heritage of the country.
5. Langkawi Island
Langkawi Island is a wonderful archipelago that is renowned for its long stretches of sandy beaches and clear blue waters that never fail to amaze tourists.
The UNESCO heritage site, Langkawi Geopark, attracts crowds of visitors and is no doubt one of the must-visit spots in Malaysia. This is the best manifestation of the area’s geological heritage.
If you are visiting Malaysia with your family, it would be a shame if you don’t check out the island.
One of the major attractions in Langkawi Island is the cable care popular not only among the kids but even those young at heart.
6. Perhentian Islands
Perhentian Islands is nestled right off the coast in the northeastern part of Malaysia, a short distance away from Thai border. Budget travelers will surely love to visit the Perhentian Islands.
This is where you can find some of the most stunning beaches of the world and excellent diving opportunities as well as some of the most affordable accommodations.
There are two main islands here, namely Perhentian Kecil or Small Perhentian and Perhentian Besar or Big Perhentian.
These islands both have turquoise blue sea waters and white sandy beaches fringed with palm trees.
7. Genting Highlands
Also known as Resorts World Genting, the Genting Highlands is a resort nestled in the Titiwangsa Mountains, sitting at an elevation of more than 5,000 feet.
Genting Highlands is a top destination among local visitors with an extensive selection of attractions worthy to check out
These include a variety of theme parks, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, and the cable car attraction called Genting Skyway that was the previous title holder of being the fastest in the world and the longest gondola lift in Southeast Asia.
Thanks to its ideal location, there are also numerous vegetable and fruit farms where visitors can explore and even pick some fresh produce.
8. Mulu Caves
You can find Mulu Caves in Malaysian Borneo’s Gunung Mulu National Park. The park is composed of majestic caves as well as karst formations all found in a mountainous setting in an equatorial rainforest.
The Sarawak chamber located in one of its underground caves is named the world’s biggest cave chamber.
It is said that this chamber is so large that it can have enough room for up to 40 Boeing 747s with their wings not overlapping.
The massive colony of Wrinkle-lipped bats living in the nearby Deer Cave leaves almost every night to look for food, a spectacular exodus to behold.
9. Redang Island
The wonderful Pulau Redang Island lies at approximately 45 kilometers north-northeast of Kuala Lumpur or 22 kilometers off Tanjung Merang, which is the nearest point on the mainland.
It was believed that the Bugis people that came from Celebes, Indonesia were the island’s first-ever settlers. Most of their descendants now work in Redang’s tourist trade while the rest already relocated to the mainland.
Through the years, Redang was developed to become one of the top destinations for divers and tourists because of its rich marine environment and pristine nature.
10. LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort
If you want to unleash your imagination and just satisfy that kid in you, then, LEGOLAND® Malaysia Resort is the country’s first ever international theme park and is also Asia’s first ever LEGOLAND® theme park.
This is where you can have a fun time exploring an area filled with some of the most dazzling attractions you will ever see in your lifetime.
This is a very wonderful place you should visit with the kids during your Malaysian trip because there is no doubt that they will love to try the different rides, slides, shows, and many other attractions.
What is even more exciting that you will have an unforgettable time at its waterpark that feature more than 20 slides and tubes and more than 70 LEGO® models.
This is where you can enjoy a spectacular underwater experience with over 13,000 marine creatures coming from a total of 11 habitat zones wherein you will even see some distinctive LEGO® figures throughout the journey.
11. Kuala Lumpur
It is not a secret that a country’s capital city always needs to be the best out of all the other places you can visit.
This also holds true as far as Malaysia is concerned but the best thing about the country is that its capital is not only great for the country itself but is also renowned as one of the world’s finest places.
Kuala Lumpur is the perfect example of a place that you would want to visit if you wish to learn more about Asia as a whole.
This is where you can find gardens, rainforest, great food, different world cultures, and so many others.
Kuala Lumpur is basically the mixture of everything you can find separately at different Asian destinations.
12. Merdeka Square or Dataran Merdeka
The impeccable Dataran Merdaka or Merdaka Square used to be a cricket ground during the colonial times. The Royal Selangor Club overlooked the cricket ground that housed a club for colonial rulers.
After the declaration of Malaysia’s independence, this is the very place where the Malay flag was raised for the very first time with the lowering of the Union Jack flag. The flag continues to fly high on the massive flagpole at the corner of the square.
Historic buildings surround the square, with Sultan Abdul Samad building being the most majestic that used to house the British administration and is currently the home of the Ministry for Heritage, Culture, and the Arts.
A tall clock tower affectionately called “Big Ben” dominates this Moorish style building.
The square now serves as the focus of most of the celebrations of the city. The Independence day festival every August 31st is also held here.
13. Sky Bridge
The Oriental Village located in the upper northwest part of Langkawi Island close to Pantai Kok is where you can find the entrance for Sky Bridge, the cable car ride that can take visitors up to Mount Mat Cincang, which is the second highest peak of Langkawi.
As you enter the village and pass through the lovely souvenir and oriental garden shops, you will pay at the counter before you will step onto the escalator that will bring them you to the cable car pedestal.
Make sure you peak at the side to get a view of Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls cascading stunningly down the grey rock face.
14. Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre
It was in 1964 when the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre opened to accommodate the orphaned baby orangutans that were rescued from illegal hunting, plantations, and logging sites.
These orphaned orangutans undergo training so they will be able to survive and thrive in the wild and once they are ready, they will be released again.
The orangutan sanctuary can be found at the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, with the most part being a virgin rainforest.
Approximately 60 to 80 orangutans live free in this reserve. It is among the top tourist attractions of Sabah and an ideal stopover on any itinerary in Malaysia.
15. Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park
The Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park is basically a collection of a total of five islands found right off the Kota Kinabalu coast in Sabah, East Malaysia.
You can access the park by ferry and a few of these islands like the Sulug Island still remain untouched to this day while the rest like Gaya Island is much busier and also more crowded.
Some of the best activities to try on the islands include trekking and hiking and even scuba diving and swimming opportunities.
16. Thriving Art Scene
If you happen to be a big fan of art, you should never miss out on visiting Penang during your Malaysian trip. It was in 2012 when the government of the country hired a famous artist from London to breathe anew light to the city through street art.
As a way of showcasing the city’s rich history, the artist created some quite wicked works of art and no, these are not your usual street graffiti.
You would surely have a great time as you spend your day strolling in the streets of Georgetown where you can be in awe of all the available street art there.
The area is also the location of several art museums that are almost a staple find in all the major areas of the country.
17. Nasi Kandar
Malaysia’s staple food is none other than Nasi Kandar that means “mixed rice.” When you order this dish, you will be given a plate filled with rice and you can choose from various sauces and toppings.
Nasi Kandar has been inspired by the Tamil dishes because of the sheer number of immigrants from South India. The flavors are also a reflection of this influence with a notable emphasis on the use of chili and curry powder.
Some of the typical Nasi Kandar dishes are fish, chicken, and seafood like squid or prawns in curry sauce and vegetables such as cabbage and okra cooked in mustard seeds.
Many tourists may not be aware of it until they actually live in the country but the locals in Malaysia actually have this obsession with ghosts.
Try to ask any resident to share a ghost story they know and they will surely give you firsthand encounters of mysterious floating women, ghostly lights at the sea and spirits of dead babies.
A simple Google search for penanggal or Pontianak will be enough to give you nightmares.
19. Year-Round Festivals
In a country where various cultures live and thrive together, it would be impossible for you to find one day of the year when no festival is taking place.
Some of the major annual festivals in the country include Christmas, New Year, Deepavali, and Eid Al Fitr although there are still many other smaller ones.
It is very easy to plan your travels so you can be sure that you will be in the country right in time for a holiday season and doing so is actually very rewarding. Oftentimes, there are get-togethers, concerts, and free events.
But, it also means that there will be many days in a year when traffic can be quite heavy and museums are closed. The good news here is that if you are working in the country, you will enjoy lots of public holidays.
20. Thriving Nightlife
If you love to hit the town for some fun, the nightlife of Kuala Lumpur offers a lively and vibrant atmosphere with numerous pubs, bars and rooftop patios that offer stunning city views.
From nightclubs with more happenings to laidback cocktail bars, there are different varieties based on what kind of nightlife you are looking for.
On the other hand, the islands offer a more chilled nightlife by the beach where you can enjoy sipping cold drinks as you watch the sunset and listen as the waves crash the beach.
It doesn’t really matter what your preferences might be because you will surely find a great hotspot in all towns that won’t leave you broke.
21. Multicultural Environment
The last, but surely not the least things that make Malaysia famous is none other than its exciting and interesting multicultural environment. People from different cultures come and live here and now consider it as their home.
About 54% of the overall population of Malaysia is composed of people whose religion is Islam. Malaysia is also a hub for Indian and Chinese natives.
The Chinese who settled in the country are often Buddhism followers while Indians are Hindu believers.
These were just some of the many things that Malaysia is famous for, making it one of the must-visit countries in the world.