2020 has been a weird and challenging year for many. And the start of 2021 wasn’t all that amazing, to begin with, either. We have been through MCO, CMCO, RMCO, and a whole lot of other problems.
Many of us are yearning to travel once again. And even though some of us are lucky enough to live in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, where most of the fantastic attractions are, we crave to venture out to other states and into the unknown.
To make your 2021 travels a whole more purposeful and significant, Tripcarte Asia has a list of places to make your travel more meaningful this year! So start adding these places to your 2021 travel bucket list now.
Tour the PETRONAS Towers | Kuala Lumpur
One of the most iconic sights, the PETRONAS Towers, also recognized as the PETRONAS Twin Towers, is located in Kuala Lumpur‘s capital city because they come in a pair the tallest twin towers in the world.
The architecture is postmodern in style and features themes found in Islamic art to represent the Muslim majority in Malaysia. The main pull is the skywalk over the sky bridge that joins them together. Visitors can cherish the views that stretch across Kuala Lumpur and KLCC Park at the towers’ base.
Sunbathe on the beaches of Langkawi | Kedah
If you fancy getting out of the city, then head to Langkawi Island. Truly, an archipelago of over a hundred islands in the Andaman Sea, only two dwelled, and Langkawi is the largest with over 60,000 residents.
Langkawi Island is popular with both backpackers and honeymooners alike and has something to suit all budgets. The island also has a duty-free status so that visitors can stock up on souvenir items cheaply.
Adventure out at the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park | Sabah
The park is accessible by ferry, and some of the islands, such as Sulug Island, are almost untouched, while others, such as Gaya Island, are busier and more crowded. Activities on the islands include hiking and trekking, as well as swimming and scuba diving opportunities.
Dwell in the culture and heritage of Malacca | Melaka
Malacca or Melaka is also known as ‘The Historic State’ and rests next to the Malacca Strait from which it gets its name. The state is declared to have the most impressive architecture in all of Malaysia.
It was formerly colonized by the Portuguese and featured several red lacquer buildings from the era, such as Christ Church. Malacca also has a high collection of museums, galleries, and historical interest places for visitors to explore.
Wander around the beautiful Georgetown | Penang
Visitors can experience this at one of the many famous Penang hotels, such as the E&O established by Stamford Raffles. The latter also founded the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. Penang is also renowned for its Tropical Spice Garden that showcases the best of the region’s local flora and fauna, such as the Torch Ginger, a plant used in many traditional Malay dishes.
Go trekking in Taman Negara National Park | Pahang
Taman Negara National Park is located in the state of Pahang as has several claims to fame that attract a constant stream of visitors. One of these is that this is the most extensive national park in Peninsular Malaysia and the fact that the park features the most distant rope walkway in the world.
The park also has some challenging treks, a 100km round trip, and more mild hikes for beginners. There is a wide array of wildlife and plant life in the park for nature lovers. The area is even home to an indigenous tribe named the Orang Asli, or Original People, said to be Malaysia‘s first inhabitants.
Make your escape to Genting Highlands | Pahang
The Genting Highlands, also dubbed Resorts World Genting, is a resort located in the Titiwangsa Mountains and sits at an altitude of over 5,000 feet. The resort is a popular destination with local visitors and has a wide range of attractions to enjoy.
These include several different theme parks, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs, as well as a cable car attraction known as the Genting Skyway, which previously held the title of the world’s fastest and South East Asia’s most extended gondola lift. Due to its location, they are also several fruit and vegetable farms for visitors to explore and pick fresh produce.
Witness the majestic Orang Utans in Sepilok | Sabah
Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah, East Malaysia, is found outside of Sandakan and was the first orangutan rehabilitation center of its kind in the world when it opened in the 1960s. The center aims to rescue orphaned orangutans who have been left to fend for themselves due to illegal poaching and logging, or who have been found being kept as pets (which is illegal in Malaysia), and administer healthcare and training to the mammals so that they can reintegrate and survive in the wild.
Once they can do so, they are released. Visitors can observe the orangutans in the center, and tours are timed to coincide with feeding times when the animals are usually present on the feeding platforms.
Unwind in Kuching | Sarawak
The city of Kuching in Sarawak in East Malaysia was named after a miscommunication between James Brooke, who discovered the region, and the local indigenous population, who asked the city’s name that the city stood on. However, he was pointing to a stray cat. The name stuck, and the area is located on Borneo‘s island that shares a border with Indonesia.
Kuching is set adjacent to the Sarawak River and is often said to have a calm, relaxed feel, and tours along the river are common pursuance for visitors. There are also many colonial architecture instances, such as Fort Margherita and an abundance of cat statues celebrating its namesake.
Discover the beautiful Perhentian Islands | Terengganu
A group of islands in Terengganu, the Perhentians, lie close to the coast of Thailand. The islands can be visited by ferry, and water taxis operate between the various islands giving visitors the chance to island-hop at their leisure.
Key attractions in the Perhentians are the pristine beaches and water, and scuba diving is considered a favorite activity in these parts. At night dine on freshly caught fish cooked over coconut husks on the beach.
Ascend Mount Kinabalu | Sabah
The highest mountain in Malaysia, Mount Kinabalu, sits in the Crocker mountain range and lies within Kinabalu Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mount Kinabalu has a host of biodiversity, including various types of flora, fauna, and fungi. The trek to the top of Mount Kinabalu is strenuous and not recommended to new hikers, and due to the advanced elevation, there is a risk of elevation sickness.
A licensed guide must accompany all hikers at all times, and there are two separate routes to choose from, although these intersect towards the summit. A skilled climber can undertake the hiker in one day, although many favors staying overnight as accommodation is provided en route.
See the skies with the Langkawi Cable Car | Kedah
Ascend Maxwell Hill in Taiping | Perak
A less well-known spot with the double claim to fame of having the only Chinese name in Malaysia and being the wettest city in the country, Taiping is located outside of Penang in Perak. This second statistic is the more important one as it means that the local fauna is lush and rich, and some of the trees found in the Taiping Lake Gardens are over a hundred years old.
There is also a hill station located at an altitude of approximately 1,000 feet named Maxwell Hill that provides visitors with trekking and camping opportunities. Jeep rides to the station are a much-loved attraction with locals and tourists.
Hit the Lost World of Tambun | Perak
The park features several ‘lost world’ rides and discovery adventures and has many hotels and a large spa offering various treatments for tired would-be archeologists. There is also a water park, a zoo, and an aquarium on site.
Marvel at the Islamic architecture of the National Mosque | Kuala Lumpur
Located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s National Mosque is a sight to behold and can accommodate 15,000 worshippers at any given time. Built-in 1965, the mosque follows Islamic architecture principles and has a roof in a sixteen-point star shape.
There is also a strong emphasis on water features such as fountains and reflective pools throughout the mosque complex, and visitors can tour the mosque. Still, they must wear an appropriate dress, which is provided.
Seek out cooler climes in the Cameron Highlands | Pahang
Many local visitors flock to the area as the hill station’s elevation provides cool weather to enjoy outdoor activities such as tea and coffee plantation tours and fruit picking at one of the many different fruit farms. The highlands are also famous for their traditional English cream teas with fresh strawberries picked locally.
Go climbing in the Batu Caves | Selangor
To explore the Batu Caves, head outside of Kuala Lumpur to the region of Selangor and marvel at these limestone cliffs that are studded with caves and carved cave temples. The caves and temples are Hindu shrines and, as such, are a site of pilgrimage for the many Tamil residents of Malaysia.
Besides visiting the caves to worship, travelers can also experience the local flora and fauna, including wild monkeys that inhabit the area and bats that dwell in the caves. There are also rock climbing opportunities for the more adventurous visitors with over 160 climbing routes in the area.
Get back to nature at Gunung Mulu National Park | Sarawak
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gunung Mulu National Park is located near the town of Miri in Sarawak, East Malaysia, and is famous primarily for its caves and karsts formations (made from dissolved rocks such as limestone).
Visit Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple | Johor
Located in the town of Johor Bahru, on the border between Malaysia and Singapore, Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple is set in an area of rapid development and can be found nestled between several skyscrapers.
The temple is thought to be around 130 years old, although no clear records exist, and feature several important historical relics such as plaques and a large bronze bell. The temple is also famous for hosting five important Chinese deities, and visitors can explore the area and these important Chinese figures.
Head to Tioman Island | Pahang
If you want to get out of the city, then head to Tioman Island, located in Pahang state. There are eight villages on the island, and much of it is still covered with lush rainforest, and visitors can go trekking from one side of the island to the other in a day.