Top things to do in Penang

  

Top things to do in Penang

Boasting varied cuisine, a diversity of cultures and mesmerising beaches, Penang has the best Malaysia has to offer. Situated about 8km from mainland Malaysia, Penang is a multifaceted turtle shaped island where historic buildings, temples and mosques stand alongside modern developments in the city. Meanwhile, the coast is home to both luxury resorts and sleepy fishing villages.

One of the three British Straits Settlements - along with Singapore and Malacca - Penang has an interesting heritage and is the only area in Malaysia where ethnic Chinese are the majority. Penang is also home to some of the most important monuments in the region.
Georgetown
The capital of Penang is a network of chaotic streets and an important tourist territory. Although Georgetown is a modern city with glitzy skyscrapers and shopping malls, the capital of Penang is also home to colonial buildings, churches and mosques, and many of its sites predate the Second World War. Due to its historical and cultural significance, the core of Georgetown was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
As Penang was a very important trading port once, today Georgetown is a melting pot of cultures - such as Chinese, Malay and Indian - and religions from right across Southeast Asia. Georgetown is also considered the starting point of the Baba-Nyonya culture of Malacca and Penang.
The Blue Mansion is the most photographed building in George Town. Built in the 1880s, this 38-room, 220-window mansion boasts a distinctive blue-hued exterior that once reflected Georgetown's identity and is the result of an indigo-based limewash.
Commissioned by the Cheong Fatt Tze - known as the ‘Rockefeller of the East' - for his seventh wife, the Blue Mansion mixes Eastern and Western designs with louvred windows, art nouveau stained glass and aesthetic floor tiles. This building stands as a testament to the eclectic architectural style preferred by wealthy Straits Chinese.
After visiting this fantastic China House complex, head to Kopi C for excellent Western-style coffee and some of the best cakes and ice creams in Southeast Asia.
Tropical Spice Garden
As you meander through this landscaped oasis, you'll have a chance to see more than 500 species of tropical flora spread across 500 acres. With the help of an audio guide you'll have the chance to learn about local spices and medicinal plants while you wander among lily ponds and terraced gardens.
Batu Ferringhi
This is Penang's main beach resort, where tourists and locals alike flock to enjoy the white sandy beaches and relaxed dining scene.
Cheah Kongsi
Dating back to 1810, this temple was built by an ancestral clan, the oldest Straits Chinese clan association in Penang. Set in the block beside Khoo Kongsi, Cheah Kongsi resembles the grand temples and palaces usually seen in China. Apart from being registered as headquarters of several clans, this building has also served as a temple and assembly hall.
China House
China House, a block-wide amalgamation of shophouses, is a must-see when you visit22 Georgetown. With a variety of dining, drinking and shopping options, in China House you won't get bored.
Khoo Kongsi
One of the five clan houses that still stand today in Georgetown, the Khoo Kongsi clan house takes after a mini clan village. One of the most impressive of Georgetown, the Khoo Kongsi features tall thin columns that support a gently sloping, red tiled roof, topped with carvings of dragons, phoenixes, mythical animals and scenes from popular Chinese legends. The roof ridges are decorated with ceramic sculptures of immortals, carp, dragons, and carp becoming dragons. The interior is an ostentatious display of impressive murals that depict birthdays, weddings and the 36 celestial guardians.
Penang National Park
Nature lovers are also in for a treat in Penang with 2300 hectares of national park. There you can engage in a variety of activities, such as jungle walks, fishing and sunbathing on golden sandy beaches.
Take a 15-minute stroll west to Sungai tukun where you can swim the pools. If you follow the trail along the coast for about 10 minutes, you come across a supply jetty as well as Tanjung Aling, a pleasant beach where you can unwind and stop to rest. If you keep walking for another 45 minutes, you'll come across Tekul Duyung, also known as Monkey Beach.
Another half an hour will take before you reach Muka Head, the isolated rocky promontory at the extreme northwester corner of the island. On the peak of the head lies an off-limits lighthouse that has been standing ever since it was built in 1883. From here, you'll get mesmerising views of the surrounding islands.

 

A guide to Malaysian cuisine

  

Malaysia Satay

Malaysian cuisine is a mix of all the cooking traditions and practices in the country, reflecting the multiethnic makeup of its population. Although Malaysian cuisine mostly reflects the traditions of the country's three major ethnic groups - Malays, Chinese, and Indians - it has also been influenced by the remainder groups, such as the indigenous people of Sabah and Sarawak, the Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia, the Peranakan and Eurasian creole communities, as well as foreign workers and expats.

Due to historical migrations, colonisation by foreign powers, and its geographical position, Malaysia's culinary style today is a melting pot of cuisines, such as Malay, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and ethnic Bornean citizens, and has even been influenced by Thai, Portuguese, Dutch and British cuisines, among others. Thanks to convergence of cuisines, the flavours of Malaysian cuisine are highly complex and diverse.
As a result of its common history with Singapore, Malaysia shares some dishes with this Island state, which include laksa and chicken rice. Similarly, given its proximity to Indonesia, historic migrations and close ethnic and cultural kinship, Malaysia shares culinary ties with this country, which has been reflected in dishes like satay, rendang and sambal.
Banana Leaf
One of the great south Indian cuisines you'll find in Malaysia is Chettinad cuisine, which is from the region of Tamil Nady state of South India. One of its best dishes is the Banana Leaf Rice, an absolute treat to rice lovers.
This dish consists of serving white rice on a banana leaf with an assortment of vegetables, curried meat or fish, pickles and papadum (which resembles big, round flat crisps).
Banana leaf rice was conceived to be a vegetarian dish, so it is mostly served with the gravy of the curry. However, for those interested in getting some protein intake, you can also have it with mutton redang and dry chicken curry. This dish is traditionally eaten with your hands.
Nasi Dagang
This traditional dish consists of rice steamed in coconut milk, fish curry and other ingredients such as fried shaved coconut, solok lada, hard-boiled eggs and vegetable pickles. The most famous Nasi dagang of Terengganu is from a place called Kampung Ladang.
Bakuteh (BKT)
Bakuteh, literally “meat bone tea”, is a traditional dish that consists of fatty pork ribs simmered in a broth of herbs and spices (including star anise, cinnamon, cloves, dong guai, fennel seeds and garlic). It might include offal, varieties of mushroom, choy sum (vegetables), and pieces tofu puffs.
Mee goreng mamak
This Indian Muslim dish consists of yellow noodles with a choice of beef, chicken or shrimp, and then it's served with sauce, veggies and eggs, and topped with a bit of chilli.
Hokkien mee
This another yellow noodles dish, but this time it fried in the Chinese style. Thick noodles are braised in thick dark soy sauce with pork, squid, fish-cake and cabbage. The dish is garnished with cubes of crispy fried pork lard.
Apam balik
If you have a sweet tooth, this is the dish for you. Apam balik is a pancake-style snack folded as an omelet. It's stuffed with sugar or peanuts and sprinkled with corn. There are many versions of this dish and you can choose the ingredients.
Nasi Kerabu
This Kelantanese dish is famous for its extravagant taste and its distinctive blue rice. Nasi kerabu gets its colouring from telang flowers, which are crushed and mixed into flour. This northern Malaysian dish is topped with bean sprouts and fried coconut, then drenched in spicy budu (a fermented fish sauce).
Sang Har Kwey Teow
These dish consists of flat noodles served with prawns cooked Cantonese style in a thick eggy broth. What makes the taste so special is that the orange roe of the prawn infuses into the eggy liquid sauce of the noodles.
Rendang
Rendang is a cauldron of coconut milk and spices. Although this dish resembles a curry dish, it is prepared a different way. First, the meat is slowly simmered in spices until the rosy liquid fully evaporates. This is a popular dish all over Malaysia and it's a favourite, particularly in festive seasons.
Kuih
After sampling all these amazing Malaysian dishes, it's time for dessert or Kuih, which are Malay-style pastries. It is very sweet and bite-sized, so you can get your sugar all in one bite and on the go from colourful stalls. Koih is a fairly broad term and it could be anything from cakes to dumplings, cookings, pudding, and pastries.

 

Top Malaysian beaches

  

Perhentian Kecil Island Beach

Thanks to its endless coastline, Malaysia boasts world-class beaches, many of which are popular for secluded bays, unforgettable sunsets and - thanks to the crystal clear waters and colourful coral reefs - scuba diving. Colonial villages, beautiful temples and lavish resorts complete the picture of wonders that make Malaysian beaches some of the most sought after in the world. Here are some of the top picks:

Perhentian Kecil Island Beach (in photo)
The beaches of Palau Perhentian Besar and Pulau Perhential Kecil are situated just off the edge of the Pulau Redang Marine Park, this is the place to snorkel and scuba dive thanks to the coral-fringed waters. These beaches are also suitable for windsurfing, sailing, canoeing and deep-sea fishing.
Mantanani Island Beach, Sabah
Located in Kota Belud, Sabah, the Mantanami Islands are home to a beautiful secluded beach that frame deep blue waters. Under the surface, you'll find a thriving sea life and colourful corals with changing hues. This beach is rightfully famous for underwater photography, canoeing, rafting and snorkelling.
Mataking Island Beach
Whether you are looking for a retreat or an undersea exploration, Mataking caters to every whim. Located to the southeast of Sabah, Mataking Island comprises two islands: Mataking Besar (which is the big one), and the smaller Mataking Kecil. It only takes about an hour to walk around the whole island, and you can even walk from the big island to the small one during low tide, which makes it perfect for those interesting in island hopping.
The island is also perfect for deep sea diving and snorkelling as it is surrounded by house reeks and there are over 30 dive sites in the area. The most popular dive sites are Frog Fish Farm, Sweet Lips rock, Stingray City, Shipwreck Post, Turtle Playground, Eye Candy and many more.
Dive conditions are mostly great, with good visibility and almost no currents during the dives. If you find yourself a bit lost, there's a dive school that offers great dives at numerous beautiful sites in the area.
The best time to dive is from April to June, with visibility over 30m and up to 50m. From May to August, you might spot green turtles and hawksbill turtles laying their eggs on the beaches.
Rawa Island Beach
Located 16km off the east coast peninsula of Malaysia, Rawa Island is one of the most popular beach destinations in Malaysia despite being a small island with only two resorts. Rawa Island is perfect for a secluded getaway and it's famous for its white sand, turquoise waters and the stunning resort owned by Johor Sultanate. This secluded destination is perfect for snorkelling, kayaking, scuba-diving, hobbycat sailing and island hopping.
Layang Layang Island Beach
Known as the ‘jewel of the Borneo Banks', Layang Layang Island is home to one of Malaysia's most precious beaches. Thanks to its splendid diving conditions, Layang Layang is a must for scuba divers. It is also great for parasailing and gliding. Despite being a popular destination, you can also visit Layang Layang Island Resort from March until August, as it is closed during the rest of the months due to monsoon.
Teluk Duyung, Penang
Located in Penang National Park in the north-west corner of Penang Island, Teluk Duyung is the bay at the base of Muka Head. Popularly known as the Monkey beach, Teluk Duyung is one of the most secluded beaches in Malaysia, with a long stretch of white sandy beach that is good for swimming. This beach can be accessed through the jungle trek, from the Penang national park or by boat. If you choose the latter, you can book one from Teluk Bahang. Visitors need a permit to enter Teluk Duyung, which they can get by registering at Teluk Bahang. This beach is famous for wildlife safari and vivid marine life in the park.
Sibu Island
Also known as Battleship island because of its shape, Sibu Island is a small island in Mersing District, Johor, and it consists of several islands (Sibu Besar, Sibu Tengah Island, Sibu Kukus Island and Sibu Hujung Island).
The most popular activities include snorkelling, diving and turtle spotting, while the main beaches are located on the eastern side of Sibu. Scuba diving and snorkelling is particularly good from Pulau Sibu as the whole area was turned into a Marine Park in 1993.

 

Sabah - Into the Wild

  

visit malaysia Kinabalu

 

Occupying the northeast area of the island of Borneo, Sabah is the second-largest state in Malaysia. The region is dominated by mountains, particularly the towering massif of Gunung (Mount) Kinabalu, With a height of 4,095m, Mount Kinbalu is a trekker's paradise.
Sabah is also surrounded by a national park that houses plant and animal communities in one of the largest tracts of rainforest left in Malaysia. Although, 55% of Sabah is forest and protected areas, the Maliau Basin and the Danum Valley Conservation Area are more accessible than ever. Bug-eyed tarsiers, gibbons, pythons, clouded leopards and huge crocs are some of the animals that pulse in Sabah's jungles.
Sabah's magnificence, however, is not limited to its inland's treasures. Indeed, Sabah is also home to turquoise-fringed desert islands, which boast coral reefs swarming with marine biodiversity.
Given that it's easy to get around in Sabah and that English is commonly spoken here - as it used to be a British colony -, Sabah is extremely traveller friendly.
From pearl hunting in Kota Kinabaly, visiting the largest orang-utan sanctuary at Sepilok, diving or trekking, you'll feel spoilt for choice in Sabah.
Kinabalu National Park
One of Sabah's highlights, the Kinabalu National Park is Malaysia's first World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO for its “outstanding universal values” and the being of the most important biological sites int he world with over 4,500 species of flora and fauna.
Climbers from far and wide flock to Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain between Papua New guinea and the Himalayas. Despite it's altitude of 4,095 metres, it's not a difficult trek, but a guide or a permit are required. There are a myriad of trek options, ranging from one to three-night climbs.
Whether you are a trekker or not, Kinabalu National Park is a must-visit for every traveller. This protected environment is home to rich and diverse flora, including the parasitic Rafflesia, the world's largest flower with red blooms that can measure 1m wide.
Sipadan
Offering top-class views of some of the world's finest coral and sealife, the waters of Sipadan are the mecca for divers from all over the world.
35 Kilometres off the coast of Sabah lies Sipadan, the only deep-water oceanic island in Malaysia, which sits on top of a massive limestone sea-mountain. The sheer walls of this sea-mountain, which extends some 600m down to the seabed, are home to a magnificent reef ecosystem, which has earned the island the reputation for one of the best dives in the world. Thanks to Sipadan's position in mid-ocean, the island also boasts a large number of pelagic (open-water) species cruising the reefs, with schools of manta rays, barracuda and hammerhead sharks. Turtles can also be easily spotted underwater or on the beach where they nest all year round.
Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary
Initially established to retrain young orang-utans that had been captured illegally for the wildlife trade, today this sanctuary is home to orphaned orang-utans brought in from logging camps. Here they are taught survival skills by the wildlife rangers before they are taken to the forest. Here you can watch the orang-utans up close and personal.
Poring Hot Springs
Located in the Kinabalu National Park, the sulphurous water steams into a group of old-fashioned tubs. This is the perfect place to unwind and relax after climbing Mount Kinabalu.
If you walk up the hill, you'll come across a wonderful Canopy Tree Walk. At 50m above the forest floor, as you stand on this 200m walkway, you get a terrific panoramic view of the forest.
Gomantong Caves
32km from Sandakan, you'll find these massive limestone caves that house around a million swiftlets. Locals collect the nests using an ancient technique. To get to the caves, you need to get on a boat that takes you across the bay from Sandakan. Then you need to drive 16km through the forest.

 

Where and what to shop in Malaysia

  

Shopping in Kuala Lumpur Petaling Street

Whether you are into street shopping or luxury brands, electronics or knick knacks, Malaysia suits every shopper's whim. With a mix of flea markets and luxurious malls, there endless shopping opportunities for every traveller to fit into their itinerary in Malaysia's top tourist destinations, namely Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands, and Langkawi. Each destination and market has something different to offer, so don't miss out on everything Malaysia has to offer to your inner shopaholic.

Shopping in Kuala Lumpur
Petaling Street
Located in Chinatown, Petaling is a shopping street that sells all sorts of items, ranging from colourful artificial flowers, bag tags, apparels, bags, electronics, and endless souvenirs. Remember that it is customary to haggle in Southeast Asian countries, so make sure to bargain here, which is part of the fun. This street is scattered with restaurants and food vendors so you can have a break from shopping. This is also a great place to taste Chinese delicacies. In fact, foodies from all over Kuala Lumpur flock to Petaling Street to sample this cuisine.
Central Market
Conveniently located close to Pasar Seni MRT Station, Central Market is a shopping complex that houses shops selling artsy stuff of different ethnicities like Indian and Chinese. One of the best places to shop in Kuala Lumpur, Central Market is also perfect for those extremely sunny days as it is all air-conditioned. Although Central Market is renown for its artsy items, you can also find fancy fashion brands in this complex.
You can complete your day with some street shopping right outside the complex, if you head to Katsuri Walk. There you can buy souvenirs, handicrafts and fashion accessories.
Suria KLCC
Located in the Petronas Towers, Suria KLCC is one of the most iconic shopping malls in Malaysia. This is the place where you can do all the luxury shopping you've been looking forward to, from Salvatore Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Marc Jacobs. This is a great place to buy footwear, bag and apparels.
Although this shopping mall houses very luxurious brands, it doesn't mean you need to spend all of your budget if you shop here; you can also find showrooms like Bata, which are relatively much cheaper. And even if you don't want to come remotely close to spending money, just a stroll around the mall is quite enjoyable.
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur boasts many opportunities to find luxurious brands and Pavilion KL is no exception. Situated in Bukit Bintang District - Kuala Lumpur's entertainment and glamorous beating heart - PL Pavilion is one of the top shopping malls in the country. The shopping area spans seven floors where you'll find both huge international brands, such as Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Esprit, along with famous local brands. Apart from shopping, you can also indulge yourself in delicious flavours and pamper yourself in spa and salons.
Berjaya Times Square
One of the world's largest shopping malls, Berjaya Times Square is the place where you can literally shop till you drop. With over 100 stores to choose from, including Hush Puppies, Giordano, and Esprit, here you'll be spoilt for choice and it's a great place to buy cosmetics, candies, apparels and footwear.
Shopping in Langkawi
With over 40 shopping, entertainment, and food retail outlets to suit every shopper's whim, Langkawi Parade is one of the biggest malls in Langkawi. Offering souvenirs, cosmetics, apparels, fashion products, electronics and liquor, here you'll be spoilt for choice, it's all duty free.
If you are a thrifty traveller, Langkawi Fair Shopping Mall is the place for you. With over 100 retail outlets selling souvenirs, handicrafts and apparels, this is the place to do your duty free shopping. This is also a great place to buy footwear, as you'll find showrooms of brands like Adidas and Nike.
Shopping in Cameron Highlands
Cameron Highlands is a tea-plantation with rolling green hills. One of the best places to shop there is Cameron Square, where you can buy mobile gadgets, souvenirs, vegetable/fruits produce, apparels and souvenirs.

 

Langkawi sightseeing guide

  

Langkawi

Natural landscapes, impressive parks and iconic structures make Langkawi one of the most popular beach destinations in Malaysia. From trekking into the rainforest to wildlife-watching, diving into a wonderful underwater world, dirt-cheap shopping and partying up all night, there are entertainment opportunities in Langkawi to suit every traveller.

The archipelago of Langkawi is blessed with pristine beaches rated among the best in the world, namely Datai Bay, Pantai Cenang and Tanjung Rhu. The best way to explore the area is to rent a vehicle to make the most of what Langkawi has to offer. Here are some of the attractions you can't miss out on when you visit Langkawi:
Langkawi Sky Bridge
This 125-metre long suspended curved pedestrian bridge at an altitude of 700 metres offers breathtaking views of the verdant Gunung Mat Cincang, Telaja Tujuh waterfalls, and several islets surrounding Langkawi. To access it, you have to take the Langkawi Cable Car up to an observatory area and walk on the sky bridge.
Dataran Lang (Langkawi)
Located in Kuah town, Daratan Lang is a large sculpture 9 12 metre tall) of an eagle poised to take flight which has become a landmark of the island. Accordingly, Langkawi's name came from two Malay words - ‘helang‘ (eagle) and ‘kawi‘ (reddish brown). This manmade sculpture was designed to reflect the island's heritage, where the eagle is a symbol of Langkawi.
Also known as Eagle Square, Dataran Lang is conveniently surrounded by shops, eateries and covered pavilions that famous for housing events. The square comprises a landscaped area of about 19-acres bustling with fountains, small ponds and footbridges.
What really makes the Eagle Square special, however, is its view of the bay which opens out to the sea framed by mountains. When the night falls, the square comes to life with bright lights displayed everywhere, including the eagle sculpture.
Underwater World Langkawi
With over 500 species of sea creatures, raging from harbour seals to rockhopper penguins, seahorses, flamingos and mandarin ducks, Langkawi's Underworld World is an unmissable stop in the island. Take a walk through its 15-metre walkthrough underwater world and get up close and personal with sharks, giant stingrays and great turtles.
Gunung Raya
At 881 metres, Gunung Raya is highest mountain in Langkawi. Its enormity has sparked local legends that claim the mountain is the petrified form of a giant called Mat Raya.
Gunung Raya's dense forest is home to numerous wildlife, including leaf monkeys, flying foxes, macaque monkeys, squirrels, mountain hawk eagles, white bellied sea eagles and great hombills. Its natural beauty have made the mountain a popular destination for jungle trekking. If you are not an experience hiker, it is advisable to join a guided tour. Treks are timed to allow you to see wildlife during daytime - such as macaque monkeys, eagles, and great hombills - or after dark; namely, you can see some unique nocturnal in the rainforest like the flying fox and flying squirrels.
Alternatively, you can drive to the peak. The scenic drive takes 30 minutes and the road takes you through the dense rainforest, which won't allow you to see much. You can still see wildlife, however, as you drive up to the summit.
If you want to get the best views, you need to take an elevator that takes you to the top of the watch tower. Alternatively, you can take a cable car ride from Oriental Village to the peak of Mount Mat Cingcang. From the peak of Gunung Raya you can enjoy stunning views of the island and rainforest.
Palau Payar Marine Park
With beautifully colourful corals, Palau Payar Marine Park is a snorkeler's paradise. There you can explore the world under the sea level and step into the underwater observation chamber to view the marine life surrounding a reef. Indeed, the Coral Garden is one of the best features of Pulau Payar Marine Park. This is a secluded section of the park with colourful coral preserved thanks to its sheltered waters.
The islands that make up Pulau Payar lie just 30 kilometres south-east of Langkawi. From there, you can take a catamaran or a speedboat to explore the marine park, which extends over a number of islands, with Pulau Payar being the largest. The islands are strictly regulated by the Fisheries Department of Kedah to maintain their pristine condition, and thus, none of them are inhabited. If you want to explore the park, you need to obtain permission from the authorities, or join a tour group.

 

What to see and do in Kuala Lumpur

  
Batu Caves gomalaysia
Modernity meets old colonial roots and tradition in the buzzing Malaysian capital city, Kuala Lumpur. While KL is a melting pot of Chinese, Indian, Malay and British cultures, it's also pioneering the cutting-edge of engineering in Southeast Asia. Home to the tallest building in Asia, the Petronas Twin Towers, KL also enjoys a fast growing economy. On the other hand, Chinese markets are still in their full splendour as well as other cultural buildings. The ancient temples that sit comfortably next to immense metal structures that bring the skyline to life prove that KL is a city of contrasts.
Petronas Twin Towers
No visit to the Malaysian capital is complete without seeing the city's famous landmarks known as the Petronas Twin Towers. This 88 storey building offers the best views of the city. You can take a speedy lift to the skybridge, which connects the two towers. At 452 metres, the towers are the world's tallest twin building.
Batu Caves (in photo)
Located in the district of Gombak, north of Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves is a limestone hill home to a series of caves and cave temples. This centennial temple features idols and sculptures of the Hindu faith erected inside the main caves.
While the temple is only a hundred years old, the hollow limestone tower dates back 400 million years, and its caverns, crags and crevices were formed in the prehistoric era.
Get your explorer's mode on and head to the Dark Cave for some amateur spelunking tours or try out some rock crag climbing at the back of the mountain. After climbing 272 steps up to the entrance of caves, you will be rewarded with the impressive sight of stalactites hanging down and the 140 foot golden statue of Hindu deity, Lord Murugan.
Bukit Nana's Rainforest Walk
In the heart of the city, you can explore the jungle that used to make up the whole of what is now known as Kuala Lumpur. Follow the trails through the jungle, wooden board walks and suspended wooden bridges throughout the reserve. This patch still preserves many species and features of the original rainforest.
Located at the base of the towering KL Tower stand, the reserve houses trees that still stand tall, cicadas that buzz all day long and allow you to escape from the noise, hustle and bustle of the city.
Menara KL Tower
Dating back to 1995, the Menara KL Tower is a communications tower that is 421 metres tall, and thus the world's 7th tallest communication tower in the world. You can have dinner that the restaurant in the 360 degree view observation deck, which is at 276 metres. Alternatively, you can visit the small zoo, tourist shops and cascading water pools with fountains located at the bottom of the tower.
Central Market
From clothing to batik, you can find traditional locally made crafts in Central Market. Since its early days in 1888, Central Market is the beating heart of Kuala Lumpur, a prominent landmark in colonial and modern day heritage and plays a crucial role in keeping Malaysian heritage and culture alive. Apart from shopping till you drop, if you visit this market on weekends, you might be able to see a traditional theatre or dance performances.
Masjid Jamek
Conveniently located next to Masjid Jamek LRT station on the Gombak River, Masjid Jamek is one of the oldest mosques in the Malaysian capital, and has been popular since its opening in 1909. If you visit the mosque and are a woman, you need a sarong or large scarf to cover your head, but you can also hire a robe on location. This is a great place to admire real Moorish architecture with its white domes and red-stone intricate archways and minarets.
Petaling Street
Soak in the Chinese culture of Kuala Lumpur in this magnificently decorated street that serves as the threshold into KL's Chinatown. The entrance to Petaling Street is marked by large red and green arches of the Chinese sign which is decorated with splendid lanterns. This buzzing area boasts stalls spread out in an undercover shopping area, displaying all sorts of goods, from designer items to shoes and street food. Whether you intend to shop or not, this area is a must-see, as it also boasts colonial architecture painted in different colours.

 

Explore KL like a local with Airbnb

  

Explore KL like a local with Airbnb

Airbnb, the world's leading community-driven hospitality company, has launched “experiences” - a wide variety of tours and events - in Kuala Lumpur. With over 40 handcrafted insider's Experiences courtesy of Airbnb, you can discover this Malaysian city through the eyes of local hosts.

This initiative stems from Malaysia's growing popularity as a global destination, with 137% growth year over year. With this new launch, Kuala Lumpur becomes the first city in Malaysia where Airbnb is not only a platform for home sharing but also offers tours and activities orchestrated by locals to ensure that travellers have the option to see areas and places they wouldn't otherwise know about. Although this programme might be a novelty in Malaysia, there are 60 other destinations around the world where Airbnb's Experiences are already in motion.
Experiences in the Malaysian city is not only designed to make it easier for entrepreneurial locals to share their interests with people from around the world, but it also allows Malaysians to give back to the community by hosting Social Impact Experiences. As Airbnb waives all fees, the entirety of the funds collected from guests goes to whichever charitable organisation the local host picks. Some of this charities include Dapur Jalanan - a soup kitchen that feeds the homeless.
“Travellers are seeking alternative adventures, whether they are travelling alone or with groups of friends or family,” explained Sriram Vaidhya, Head of Trips of Southeast Asia and India at Airbnb. “As well as seeking unique accommodation options, there is the desire among travellers to enjoy their destination through the eyes of a local. Our greatest assets are time and potential and Experiences is a way to unlock that.”
Here are some of the Experiences Airbnb has crafted to maximise your trip as a local:
Waterfall Hiking Day Trip:
This is one of the top-rated experiences Airbnb experiences in Kuala Lumpur. For budget-friendly price, you can join local host Thomas on a day trip to discover one of the city's top attractions. Escape the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur and trek through clear mixed terrain to get to the sheltered summit at 600 meters where you will get to see three beautiful vertical waterfalls. The trek takes place just outside the city in Maya Falls, locally known as Lata Medang. There you'll ascend through trails surrounded with scenic greenery pathway and descend back through the same trail.
From Garden to Skin - Soap Making
Another top activity is this wellness workshop. Local host Yoke King will teach you all there is know about soap making in their yellow cabin, a scrapped shipping container converted into a cosy workspace that leads to a herb garden in the backyard. The workshop will start with a detailed step by step coaching paired with demonstration and hands-on practice for cold process soap making using herbs from their garden.
Live a day as a local Batik painter
With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Local host Colin has amassed a wealth of knowledge concerning the heritage of Malaysia and the history and process of making batik. If you are looking for guidance to create your own masterpiece, he is the right person to assist you. Indeed, during the workshop, his team will guide you to sketch your own design, draw hot wax with a traditional tool and paint dye on the fabric to create your original batik masterpiece.
Magical Kampung Bahru
Born and bred in Kampung Baru - the last Malay enclave in central Kuala Lumpur - Fuad has always been eager to showcase his village to travellers from around the world. Join Feud on a trip to explore Kampung Bahru, learn more about living within the community and the history of the village. Soak in the local culture while sampling delicious local good specialities like nasi lemak, pisang, goreng and karipap.
Documenting Kuala - Untold Narratives
Discover Kuala Lumpur through the eyes of a local photographer, Farhan Iqbal, who has spent numerous hours photographing and documenting the streets. Founder and lead photographer of an initiative called ‘Project Documenting Kuala,' Farhan Iqbal will show you the many unseen aspects of the city while telling you many unheard narratives and secrets of Kuala Lumpur.
Apart from giving you a guided tour of the city, this expert photographer will share some photography tips with you and even take pictures of you.

 

Where and what to eat in Kuala Lumpur

  

Where and what to eat in Kuala Lumpur  

As Kuala Lumpur is home to Malays, Chinese, Indians and even British expats, Malaysian cuisine is awash with a diversity of flavours and cultural influences. As you visit a different part of the city, the cuisine offer changes, from delectable seafood dishes to barbecued skewers to friend rice and pipping hot bowls of noodles. Other Asian cuisines, particularly Japanese, are also popular in this city.
With some of the best fine dining establishments in Southeast Asia, a varied cuisine, and extremely cheap yet delicious dishes, Kuala Lumpur is a foodie's paradise.
Klang seafood
Get a taste of the local flavour and try delicious seafood in Klang - a nearby port that encompasses some of the best and budget-friendly seafood.
Chilli pan mee at Restoran Super Kitchen
With an explosion of textures and flavours, this Chinese-Malaysian noodle dish is an unmissable local delicacy. It consists of soft noodles topped with fried anchovy, deep fried onions, fresh scallions, crushed peanuts, shredded pork and a poached egg.
Restoran Super Kitchen is the place to try this dish. There you can add as much dry chilli as you like. Then you break the egg yolk and make a sauce that coats the noodles with spices, peanuts and onions.
Golden Triangle
The Golden Triangle is known as Kuala Lumpur's commercial, shopping and entertainment hub. There you can find Laksa Shack, a shopping mall, famous for its Malaysian laksa noodles. Go up to the second floor and get your noodles from the famous Assam Laksa.
Curry Laksa at Kam Fatt
Another unmissable place to taste the traditional Malaysian coconut noodle soup is Kam Fatt, which is only open for breakfast and lunch.
Upon choosing either egg noodles, flat rice noodles, vermicelli or a combination of those, the noodles get smothered in a think gravy and served with boiled Hainan-style chicken, fried tofu puffs, bean sprouts, cockles and green beans. As final touch, the noodles get seasoned with a squeeze of fresh lime and extra chilli sauce.
Brickfields
Alternatively, if you are eager to get your hands dirty and ditch plates and utensils altogether, head to Bricksfields - also known as Little India. The area is famous for its banana leaf food - a set meal which consists of rice, a crispy papadum and a choice of curries and chutney that are served on a banana leaf. You can also add chicken, beef, fish or vegetable curry to the meal. The best way to end the meal is with a traditional banana or mango lassi - a yogurt-based drink that originates in the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan. This sweet and cooling drink, somewhat similar to a smoothie, tempers down the heat of the spicy curry.
Head to Keveri, an open fronted restaurant, to try all things South Indian, which include meat and vegetarian dishes. Most dishes are served on the famous banana leaf, which makes it feel more authentic.
If you are curious to see Little India but not eager to try curries, the area also has a western fast food chain and it is famous for its Chinese coffee shops.
Afternoon tea
If you have a sweet tooth, head to Merdaka Square - famous for the predominance of colonial buildings - where you can indulge in a traditional English afternoon tea. One place to try it would be the Carcosa Seri Negara Hotel in the Lake Gardens. Surrounded by lush greenery, the colonial hotel is perfect for relaxing. If you go there between 3pm and 6pm, you will be able to try their special afternoon tea, which includes finger sandwiches, cakes and pastries, serve in white china and cakes on a large cake stand.
Japanese food
You might be in Malaysia, but might not stop you from craving some succulent Japanese good. If that happens, you should head to Wasabi Bistro in KLCC. Although their inventive sushi rolls are to die-for, don't miss out on their Udon - hot thick wheat flour noodles with soy sauce and Ugani sets - dishes with fresh water eel. Their lunches are very popular during the week, so be sure to book ahead of time.
Chinese food in Bunkit Bintang
If you are lusting after some Chinese food, instead, opt for Bunkit Bintang, one of the best Chinese restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. Despite being a reputable restaurant, Bukit Bintang is relatively cheap, although its speciality dishes are a bit more expensive. Make sure you book in advance if you want to try their speciality dishes, which include the ‘Har Lok' - prawns cooked in soy sauce - or the beef brisket in clay pot.

 

Malaysia Travel Tips

  

Malaysia Travel Tips

Malaysia is a multicultural and traveller-friendly Southeast Asian destination, with a good mix of touristic activities, ranging from scuba diving to remote island getaways, orang-utan spotting, fascinating tribal longhouse villages and even a heli lounge bar in Kuala Lumpur.

Home to a myriad of cultural identities that speak different languages, the society of Malaysia has been described as “Asia in miniature.” With a mix of Malays with the Chinese and Indian cultures, and an addition of Persian, Arabic, and British, the cultures of Malaysia are as varied as its wildlife.
Highlightsl; If you visit Malaysia, there are certain activities you shouldn't miss out on.
- Head to Sarawak, Borneo, and explore Malaysia's tribal world. There you can soak in Malays' tribal culture and tradition and even meet the locals in a tribal longhouse.
- Dive into the underwater world of Sipadan - Malaysia's only oceanic island situated in the Celebes Seas off the east coast of Borneo. Renown as one of the world's best dive spots, Sipadan Island was morphed and brought to life by coral growing on top of an extinct underwater volcano cone. As you explore its underwater world, you'll get to see some of the 3000 fish species along with the different corals that make Sipadan one of the richest marine habitats in the world. There you'll be able to swim with green and hawksbill turtles, spot sharks, barracuda, bumphead parrotfish, and even whale sharks if you are lucky.
- Some of Malaysia's wonder are out there in the open for everyone to see, so hire a car and explore the Peninsular Malaysia at your leisure.
- If you are up for a challenge, climb Mt Kinabalu, Borneo's highest peak. 20th most prominent mountain in the world by topographic prominence, Mount Kinabaly has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status. If you enjoy outdoor activities but prefer a less challenging quest, go hiking around the tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands.
- You can't leave Malaysia before trying Perenakan cuisine and roaming the colonial streets of Penang. You should also head to the Hawker markets to try a variety of succulent dishes. Order scrumptious treats from the numerous stalls that circle the central eating area and then take them to your table and dig in.
Customs and Etiquette
Given the country's diversity, it's important to know its etiquette and customs. As Kuala Lumpur is a multicultural city, there is a high level of tolerance for foreign rules and etiquette. Even so, it is important to avoid displays of public affection, as it is frowned upon between all couples, whether they are married or not.
Like other Buddhist countries, it is important to take your shoes off before entering a temple. It's also customary to do so when you enter a private residence.
While alcohol is not welcome in Muslim society, it is still widely available as the country welcomes people from all walks of life.
Try to eat with your right hand only, particularly outside urban areas. This rule applies specially in the conservative Muslim north where you have to dress respectfully, which means you need to cover shoulders and legs.
Money
The local currency is the Malaysian ringgit (MYR). If you didn't get a chance to exchange currency prior travelling, there are many opportunities to do so in Kuala Lumpur. You'll get a more favourable exchange rate with moneychangers in local shopping areas rather those in banks, hotels or the airport.
You'll need to carry cash to buy goods from local markets, although there are plenty of ATMs around if you are in Kuala Lumpur. Meanwhile, international restaurants, department stores, and upscale boutiques generally accept credit card payments.
Although tipping isn't necessary, it is appreciated by waiters and taxi drivers.
Weather
Probably one of the reason you are visiting Malaysia in the first place, it is a warm country all year round. Nonetheless, it is also humid, therefore it is crucial to stay well hydrated and take a break from the heat in shopping malls or museums.
The rainy seasons go from March to April and from September to November. Travelling during these months is still advisable as it is slightly cooler. Whether you travel during the months rainfall peaks or not, it is practical to always carry an umbrella as occasional downpours are likely to happen all year round.

 

  
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