While many people always rave about their overseas holiday trips to other continents, little do they know that Malaysia offers as many gorgeous options, resembling some of the famous places abroad. Put an international touch to your travels without leaving Malaysia by heading to these local-yet-global destinations!

See Malaysia in a different light

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1. Colmar Tropicale Resort: The French Village of Malaysia

Who wouldn’t want to visit France in their lifetime? With a combination of classic and modern architectures spotted throughout every city and countryside, it’s surely one of your top bucket list destinations. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend thousands of Ringgits on flights and accommodations just to experience European landscapes, for within Bukit Tinggi in Pahang lies the French Village of Colmar Tropicale Resort inspired by the town of Colmar in Alsace, France. Spend a chilly day enjoying its castles, cobblestone streets, park benches, water fountains, cafés, restaurants, art galleries, and street performances, or book a room to experience a night in this medieval resort tucked within the rainforest of Bukit Tinggi.

Colmar Tropicale Resort, Pahang

Best time to visit

Although Colmar Tropicale is open to visitors all year round, avoid visiting on monsoon months especially December when it rains almost every day.

Getting there

An alternative to taking a private vehicle or a taxi is to take a shuttle that leaves Berjaya Times Square, KL daily at 10am, 1pm and 5pm for RM35 per way.

2. Sasaran Beach: Malaysia’s Version of Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni

Dreaming to walk on water, or better yet, in heaven? The 11,000 sq km salt flat of Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, South America is the largest mirror in the world when topped by a thin layer of rainwater. Nevertheless, you can experience this in Malaysia without travelling across the globe. Just head to Sasaran Beach in Kuala Selangor, aka the Sky Mirror during a new moon or full moon when the water level is ideal for the sea surface to reflect the sky. Make sure that you wear bright-coloured clothes or swimsuits for a photo that stands out!

Sasaran Beach, Kuala Selangor

Photo Credit: @ccyjanet

Best time to visit

Plan to go during the new moon or full moon of every month, avoiding the rain.

Getting there

Drive to Jeram, Selangor and make sure you have booked a tour and a sky mirror boat service.

Where to stay

De Palma Hotel has one of the highest ratings in Kuala Selangor for its comfortable rooms.

3. Cameron Highlands: Malaysia Levels With Africa’s Love for Tea

Imagine Africa’s picturesque tea plantations situated at scenic upland areas painting a verdant and bright green lustre. That’s exactly what you can experience at Cameron Highlands in Pahang, minus the long plane ride. The landscapes, cold temperature and the structures surely don’t feel like you’re in tropical Malaysia. Aside from sipping a cuppa tea while enjoying the views, you can also get adventurous with nature: walk through the tea plantations or do a short hike in the mossy forest. Maximize the chill by spending the night on a Cameron Highlands homestay.

Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Best time to visit

Cameron Highlands tend to be crowded on school holidays and weekends, while rain is common throughout the year. Best to visit on weekdays of the dry season between February and April.

Getting there

Most visitors rent a car and drive for 3-4 hours to Cameron Highlands but taking a bus from KL is also an option.

Where to stay

Book at Gerard’s Place, loved by its guests due to clean rooms, friendly staff, serene location and proximity to Tanah Rata town.

4. Perhentian Islands: A Taste Of Caribbean Diving in Malaysia

Usually, a couple’s dream getaway destination, the Caribbean Islands in North America brims with island hopping activities and ocean adventures, especially diving. Lucky enough, Malaysia’s East coast hides a similar gem named Perhentian Islands in Terengganu, offering white sand beaches, clear turquoise water, and best of all, cheap yet excellent diving! Young backpackers and budget travellers tend to stay at the smaller island Perhentian Kecil while the resort-oriented visitors gather at, the larger island of Perhentian Besar. Whether you are a diving enthusiast or a first timer, this is the best spot in Malaysia to get close to the underwater world.

Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

Best time to visit

You can only visit during the dry months of March to November. The islands are closed during the monsoon season.

Getting there

Fly from KL to Kota Bharu, then take a bus or taxi to Kuala Besut jetty where you can ride a speed boat to the islands.

Where to stay

Book The Barat Perhentian Beach Resort for its cozy environment and proximity to snorkeling and diving spots.

5. Langkawi: Cable Car Ride in Malaysia Resembling Queenstown, New Zealand

Famous among the locals and tourists of Malaysia is the archipelago of Langkawi in Kedah, known for its lush islands surrounded by the Andaman Sea. Riding the Langkawi SkyCab will give you a feel of Queenstown, New Zealand’s skyline with a panoramic view of the city surrounded by verdant hills and emerald waters, capped with blue skies.

Langkawi, Malaysia

Best time to visit

The high season of January to March offers the best climate but tends to be crowded. The less touristy mid-season of April to August is the next best time to visit.

Getting there

While flying to Langkawi via direct flights is the easiest, taking a ferry from Kuala Kedah, Kuala Perlis and Penang is also possible.

Where to stay

Stay at The Smith House which offers spotlessly clean rooms and pool area, on top of a good and fresh breakfast selection.

6. Bohey Dulang, Sabah: The Bora Bora of Malaysia

If the tropical paradise of Bora Bora in the South Pacific is accompanied by the dormant volcano Mt. Otemanu, the islands of Bohey Dulang in Semporna, Sabah are entirely a part of an extinct volcanic crater that forms blue-green lagoons. Aside from boat tripping and snorkelling, you can also go hiking for 600 meters to get a view of the surrounding islands, while enjoying the flora and fauna that surrounds the trail.

Bohey Dulang, Sabah

Best time to visit

Go during the dry months from February to April.

Getting there

Fly to Tawau Airport and ride to Semporna where you van take a boat to Tun Sakaran Marine Park.

Where to stay

There are no accommodations on the island, but you can head back to Semporna and stay in Scuba Tiger Semporna Holiday Resort where you can also avail of scuba diving activities the next day.

No matter which scenic corner of Malaysia you’re heading to next, make sure you bring a good camera to capture those cross-continent angles! But don’t worry about photography because it’s near impossible to take a bad picture at these spots, which will surely imprint themselves in your memory.