Tourism Malaysia

Heritage, Rediscovered

Visiting Malaysia is like stepping back in time. Everywhere you look, there will be something which either reminds its inhabitants of the past. It could be an old building, a shop which has been open for generations, a spot where traditional performances were held and so on.

Aside from locations, there are also people who still practice old trades such as making furniture by hand, transporting fares by trishaw and even smithies who fashion buckets and other tools from iron and wood at their forges.


This is what I discovered, or rather, rediscovered when visiting Penang. It has been ages since I set foot on Penang island and there is much more to it now than ever when it comes to art, culture and heritage. I personally feel that Penang is now a hub for art in Malaysia.

Heritage here is also preserved in museums and galleries. They dot the main city of George Town and many of them have cafes attached to them which look just as unique as the galleries. One such cafe/gallery is China House.


The cafe’s walls are adorned with vintage paraphernalia while the art gallery upstairs displays paintings, pottery and sculptures by various local artists. They also have booths within the cafe selling hand-made fashion accessories.


Moving back outside, the weathered walls of colonial-era buildings are given some character with art installations and paintings such as this this:

I also noticed that there’s a strong Chinese influence in Penang in terms of culture. There’s a multitude of Chinese clan houses you can find, many of which are open to visitors for more information on each house and some even allow photography.

Over on the coast of George Town is the Clan Jetties Floating Village, a complete village on stilts above water where the Chinese clans used to live in the 19th century. Coming as immigrants then, they established clans to survive in a new environment.

If you’re visiting Penang for the first time, make sure to bring your walking shoes because that’s how Penang is best explored. You won’t discover much if you ride around in a car all day. The real experience is in the hidden gems tucked away in the most unexpected corners of the island. Penang maintains its old world charm and is a cozy destination to wind down or enjoy art and music and most of all, food! But that is a story for another time.

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Tourism Malaysia

Citrawarna 2015

Keeping up with the theme of culture, nature and future, the Citrawarna 2015 festival brings Dataran Merdeka to life with the best of Malaysian tourism and cultural elements. It is without fail that this festival, hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, draws the locals and tourists closer to celebrate Malaysia as a melting pot of culture. Already in its 16th installment, this year’s festival is helmed by the award-winning producer and actress, Puan Sri Tiara Jacquelina. With a name that needs no introduction, you can’t help but expect a brilliantly-put show.

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Starting with a soulful rendition of the national anthem by the students of Enfinity Academy, it sent shivers down my spine. It was heartfelt—it gave me a sense of pride. Citrawarna 2015 was also not short of performances by local artists, an avant-garde fashion show by Malaysia’s famed designers and the acclaimed homegrown musical adaptation of MUD The Musical.

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The production is set against historical events in KL— it was so colourful, vibrant and diverse and captured the essence of Malaysia’s past and present. As anticipated, the show delivers theatrical elements while still integrating an exciting storytelling aspect, where nothing is random.

Beautifully set up against the backdrop of the iconic Dataran Merdeka, it was not hard to navigate the festival grounds. It consists of areas such as the stage, MyFEST Chillax Zone and a jaw-dropping stretch of food truck called #KLFTF (Kuala Lumpur Food Truck Fest) that can go no wrong. Festival goers were spoiled with many choices of food and drinks but my personal favourite was the coconut shake given the refreshing taste on a balmy day. Adjacent to #KLFTF is the colourful lit up trishaws that were also a major crowd puller, which brings us to understanding the preserved heritage still has its identity intact no matter how fast-forward we are today.

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A great number of people showed up and the show went on seamlessly. Tourists, families, groups of friends came and experienced the diverse show and flavours of Malaysia. I personally think that was the whole point of Citrawarna and Tourism Malaysia succeeded in bridging the culture gap at a ceremoniously held event. I look forward to the upcoming Citrawarna in 2016!

citrawarna 4

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Tourism Malaysia

You Think You’re in Paradise, Then…

There you are, in the middle of paradise, and it’s everything you’ve imagined it to be. It’s beautiful, magical and something you’ve only dreamt of before. And then, it hits you.

You can’t be in paradise, can you? You remember getting on a plane, breezing through customs, reaching your hotel. So where are you exactly?

You’re in Malaysia.

Yup, Malaysia does that to you. You come to the country, expecting to be on just another holiday, and BOOM! You’re transported to paradise.

It’s weird and surreal, because you didn’t think Malaysia would have these near-perfect vacation spots, but it does. You just need a bit of help in finding them. That’s what this post is for. Now, what kind of paradise are you interested in?

The Beach Paradise

Pristine water, glistening golden beaches, the white sands… You hear the soft hum of waves and all you can think of is…relaxation. Aah, beaches. Beaches everywhere. Yes, there are many options here in Malaysia, be it at the mainland or on a secluded island.

But if you’re looking to experience as many beaches as possible, island hopping is the way to go. 

One of the best spots to island hop, is around the clusters of islands off the coast of Mersing in Johor. Located 136 kilometers (approximately 85 miles) from the state capital, Johor Bahru, the tranquil town of Mersing is your gateway to sandy paradise. From here, you can go to many islands including Pulau Aur, Pulau Dayang, Pulau Besar, Pulau Rawa, Pulau Tengah, Pulau Pemanggil,Pulau Sibu, Pulau Tinggi and the more well-known Pulau Tioman.


Pulau Pemanggil

Each of the islands has their own unique charm and attraction but all of them offer stunning beaches, emerald waters and fascinating marine life.  At these islands, you can soak up the sun, frolick in the sand, or go for a dip and even snorkel and scuba dive. Fun is guaranteed, but you might lose all memory of your worries.

Also try: The divers’ haven of Mabul; Pantai Bisikan Bayu for those who likes to surf, and the Similajau National Park with its unique coastline.

The Rainforest Paradise

When you talk about Malaysia, the topic of rainforests will come up. Hey, it’s a tropical country, after all. Dense with flora and fauna, the Malaysian rainforests date back to hundreds of millions of years and some has remained undisturbed for just as long. They’re almost like lands that time forgot. Some of them have been gazetted as national parks to preserve the rich bio-diversity, so when you step into these rainforests you can experience nature’s beauty, enhanced to the nth degree. You can hear symphonies, watch drama unfold, have an interactive experience, all in high definition and live in person.

At the East and West of Malaysia, there are vast rainforests to get your closer to Mother Nature. One of the clear favourites is the Kinabalu Park in Sabah but if you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can try the Maliau Basin Conservation Park.

Almost circular in shape, the conservation park consists of almost 400km square feet of different forest types; rivers; the only true lake in Sabah; and multiple waterfalls including a renowned seven-tier waterfall, amongst others. Most of the park is yet to be explored so the true richness of Maliau Basin cannot be determined but it’s safe to say that it’s a paradise like no other.

Here you can observe the wildlife, trek through the jungle or swim in the waterfall. You have ample opportunities to enjoy the pristine rainforest, and maybe even imagine you’re on the set of a movie about Jurassic worlds.

maliau basin

Maliau Basin

Also try: Gunung Mulu National Park to include cave exploration in your adventure; Taman Negara to experience deep jungle river cruises; and Lambir Hills National Park if you’d like to see biodiversity in all its splendour.

The Mountain Paradise

If you’re not keen on going underwater or into the jungle, how about you climb the heights? You can go to the highest point in the country or you can explore the nation’s longest mountain range. It all depends on how much climbing you’re willing to do.

Of course, there isn’t quite a similar thrill than the one you have when you’ve conquered a World Heritage Site, the majestic Mount Kinabalu. Measuring to more than 13,000 feet above sea level, it is not only a challenging hike, it is also a beautiful one. The park is steep with flora and fauna, bound to take your breath away.

At the peak, the view, to say the least, is amazing. You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world! But more than that, you’ll feel like you’ve worked for your paradise, and that feeling is priceless. A kind reminder, though. You might want to celebrate once you’ve reached the peak but do not take off your clothes. Please remain clothed at all times when enjoying the euphoria of having climbed the highest mountain in the Malay Archipelago

Also try: Gunung Tahan, the highest point in Peninsular Malaysia; Broga Hill, if you’re into casual hiking; or Cameron Highlands if you’re interested in a quiet, chilly getaway.

There are many more spots in Malaysia that are like paradise on earth. All you need to do is explore them. So, what are you waiting for?

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Tourism Malaysia

For All Ages

Malaysia is a country for all. Founded based on diversity, it’s a country that understands the need to have something for everyone. Whoever you are, you’re more likely than not to feel welcome. This is especially true for families.

If countries have ratings, Malaysia would be rated G: Generally awesome, suitable for all ages. With wholesome entertainment and good, clean fun, you never have to worry about looking for ways to spend quality time with the whole family.

But what kind of entertainment can you expect? Let us count the ways:

Parks and Recreation

When we say park, we’re being vague here because to be honest, Malaysia has a lot of parks. There’s the national parks, the bird park, the butterfly park, the regular parks, the botanical park, the… well, you get the idea. The point is, you can never run out parks to visit in Malaysia. Just pick one and make a trip out of it. Even in the city, you will have your pick of parks to visit even amidst the skyscrapers.

Recommended: The KLCC Park in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. Play in the sun with your children, then drop by Suria KLCC to do some serious shopping afterwards, or even catch a movie!


Culture Club

Your trip to Malaysia can be fun and educational. Learn about the country and its history, pick up fun science facts or appreciate the fine arts. You can visit a museum, see an exhibition at the National Art Gallery, listen to the Philharmonic Orchestra, or learn more about Malaysia’s natural resources at Petrosains. Picking up culture while on your holiday? Sounds like a good plan, right?

Recommended: Rather than going to your standard museum fare, give the Royal Malaysian Air Force Museum a try. Located at Jalan Lapangan Terbang Sungai Besi in Kuala Lumpur, it has more than 20 different aircrafts on display. You can see missiles on fighter jets while the kids can let their imaginations soar as they play pilot for a day.


Also recommended: Check out the Made in Penang Interactive Museum where 3D art becomes selfie opportunities for your teens (or the teen in you).

The Theme Team

If your family loves theme parks, Malaysia is the right place to be because we love theme parks too! Water theme parks are abundant, while the more niche ones are growing too. Be it a park filled with Legos, or an indoor roller coaster – we’ve got ‘em.

Recommended: Hello Kitty Town in Puteri Harbour, Johor. Who doesn’t love this animated feline? So take some time to go on the rides, check out the gift shop then have a tea break at the Hello Kitty Café. Purr-fect!


Also recommended: Okay, this park will be open only in 2016 but the 20th Century Fox World in Genting Highlands is sure to be a family-pleaser especially for movie buffs, so watch out for this one!

Get Touristy

There’s nothing wrong with visiting the more famous spots in Malaysia. Hey, they’re well known for a reason, right? They’re also more accessible, have better amenities and more likely to be tourist-friendly. So, go ahead and visit Batu Caves or Cameron Highlands. Leisure away at Langkawi or Tioman. No one’s going to judge you if want to bring the whole family bargain hunting at Petaling Street. Really!

Recommended: All the places we mentioned above.

Back to Mother Nature.

How can we not include this? Nature is best enjoyed with your loved ones and in Malaysia, we’ve got it in abundance. Beaches, forests, mountains, islands, rivers, waterfalls, rare wildlife, peculiar creatures, majestic beasts… Shall we go on?

Recommended: AwanMulan in Negeri Sembilan is tucked in the hills, and is a cozy retreat fro the whole family. Close enough to nature without it being too dangerous for the family, it’s the perfect getaway, only a short distance from the nation’s capital.


Also recommended: Just go out and you’ll be experiencing some degree of nature. Yes, we’re that kind of country!

Basically, you can’t go wrong with most of the activities you choose to do in Malaysia because there’ll always be something that you’ll enjoy, regardless of your age.

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Tourism Malaysia

Sun, sand and sea: Your guide to Malaysia’s beaches & islands

Enjoy some fun in the sun in Malaysia and sink your feet into soft, sandy beaches. Go on a romantic getaway, and chill out to the sounds of the lapping waves. Or take a wild adventure, and explore the wonders of the deep blue sea. Get to know some of Malaysia’s beautiful beaches and islands in our infographic below:

HeaderN.Sembilan-malacca-johorPerak-selangor-pahangKedah-penang-KelantanTerengganusabah-sarawakDownload the infographic about Malaysia beaches islands here


Whether it’s a romantic getaway in Rawa Island, an underwater adventure in Sipadan Island, volunteering at the turtle conservancy in Tioman Island, chilling on the pristine beaches of Perhentian Island or going duty-free shopping in Langkawi Island, the roaring seas are calling out for you. Book your next beach holiday now at

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