Sasaran

With weekends and school holidays coming and going, planning ahead helps ensure a good holiday booked at favourable rates.

As a youngster, I prefer places where I could hang out with my friends. On the other hand, I believe parents would like to bring their kids somewhere where they can experience new things that are not possible in their hometowns. There are so many great places in Malaysia that cater to both travel styles. It’s tempting to think Malaysia is simply not as big as countries in the European continent and doesn’t have as many great places. But that’s not true! Malaysia has numerous well-known attractions but it’s also home to a great number of hidden gems as well. A bonus for any traveller! Good for your instagram too ;)

If you’re bored of the usual, here are 8 great places to visit in Malaysia for interesting experiences.

8 Great Places To Visit In Malaysia

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1 – The Concubine Lane and Street Art in Ipoh Town

Concubine Lane and Street Art in Ipoh Town

Just last weekend I rang up a friend of mine to join me for a short visit to The Concubine Lane and the Street Art in Ipoh as he was a local.  He has been promoting these places to me for quite some time and I must say, I did not regret agreeing to explore these hidden gems of Ipoh with him.

We first went to The Concubine Lane where it was packed with the locals and some tourists as well. There were shop lots on each side of the lane and quite a number of stalls selling a variety of souvenirs, street foods, and even clothes. Just a few minutes’ walk from the lane we arrived to another lane which was the Street Art. The murals painted on the wall seems to come alive and it was fun taking selfies with the murals in the backgrounds. It was like we were joining whatever they were doing in the pictures and believe me, the pictures were definitely Instagram-worthy!

 

Let’s Go!

How to Get There: Catch a direct flight to Ipoh and rent a car or grab a taxi at the airport to the Concubine Lane.

Where to Stay

The nearest hotels with good recommendations are the Kinta Riverfront Hotel & Suites and Hotel Excelsior, both located in the city center.

See More Hotels in Ipoh  

2 – Kellie’s Castle

Kellie’s Castle Malaysia

Kellie’s Castle is always in Batu Gajah, which is just like an hour drive from my house. Nevertheless, I have never been to this castle until recently right after coming back from work. Honestly, after visiting this castle, I felt so bad not knowing the history and not appreciating the existence of the castle all this while.
For this trip, I went with a colleague that also has never set her foot at the castle as well so that I will not feel bad on my own not knowing anything about this place. I parked my car and paid the entrance fee, and yes, I was speechless. How can anything like this place ever exist in Malaysia?
The architecture of the castle was exactly like those ancient castles in the European continent maybe because it was owned by a Scottish man back then. The only factor that made me realized that I was still in Malaysia was the weather, it was hot and humid, so bring along your shades and caps people!
Let’s Go!

How to Get There: Catch a direct flight to Ipoh and rent a car or grab a taxi at the airport to Batu Gajah where the Kellie’s Castle is located.

Where to Stay

The nearest hotels with good recommendations are the Symphony Suites and M Boutique Hotel, both located in the city center.

 See More Hotels in Ipoh  

3 – Pulau Payar

pulau payar malaysia

Who doesn’t love beaches and the crystal clear sea-water? Everyone does, of course!

A day visit to Pulau Payar Marine Park in Langkawi is undoubtedly a great way to spend a short weekend with your family members, just like what I did some time ago. We booked a day trip to Pulau Payar at a very good price after hearing great things about the island from the hotel receptionists as well as the locals. As a matter of fact, we never heard of this island before. A van picked us up from the hotel and drove us to the pier where a ferry awaits and after an hour we arrived at the marine park. The hundred bucks we paid was definitely worth it!

The sea-water was so clear that we were able to see the fishes swimming around in the water and even the sea-bed. We did some snorkelling there to enjoy the colorful corals in the deeper part of the sea. Things got more exciting when baby sharks started to swim along with us, but of course, they were babies, they did not do any harm to any of us! 

Let’s Go!

How to Get There: 

Catch a direct flight to Langkawi and book a tour package for Pulau Payar Marine Park that will provide you transportation from your accommodations including the ferry ride to the island.

Where to Stay

The nearest hotels with good recommendations are the Aseania Resort Langkawi and Bayview Hotel Langkawi, both located nearby the jetty for the ferry ride to Pulau Payar Marine Park.

 See More Hotels in Ipoh  

4 – Mount Mat Cincang

Mount Mat Cincang Malaysia

You’ll already know Langkawi is a great place to visit in Malaysia — for a weekend getaway, for a little beach frolicking, for some unwinding in a seaside resort. But Langkawi has its little gems so you can visit again and again, and find a different experience. Or well.. do the same thing. Never too much beach time, am i right?

During our visit in Langkawi was definitely the majestic Mount Mat Cincang, one of the three UNESCO World Heritage Geoparks in Langkawi. We were told that treks were available if we had the intention to hike the mountain, but our answer was definitely a BIG NO! Sweating and hiking during a relaxing vacation was so not my idea. I rather pay some extra money to ride that cable car to the top of the mountain where I could just sit back and relax while enjoying the picturesque view of the mountain. Once at the top, we proceeded to the SkyBridge, a curved pedestrian bridge built at a height of 700m above sea level where we enjoyed looking at the sceneries of both the mountain and the sea.

Let’s Go!

How to Get There: 

Catch a direct flight to Langkawi and rent a car to Mount Mat Cincang.

Where to Stay

The nearest hotels with good recommendations are the Aseania Resort Langkawi and Bayview Hotel Langkawi — both are within a driving distance from the foothill of the mountain.

 See More Hotels in Ipoh  

5 – Pulau Rawa

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Pulau Rawa is a small beautiful beach in the district of Mersing, Johor. It is completely unspoiled, with only 2 accommodation options on the island and a well-kept beach.

To be honest, I found that the island is quite similar to Pulau Payar, both are mesmerizing and beautiful. The white sandy beaches awaits anyone who comes to visit and the crystal blue sea-water is perfect for some snorkelling and scuba diving activities. It was pity that I do not have a scuba diving license, wish to have one and dive into the wonderful sea-water of Pulau Rawa.

Let’s Go!

How to Get There: 

Catch a direct flight to Johor and rent a car to Mersing Jetty. Afterward, you have to ride a ferry from the jetty to Pulau Rawa itself.

Where to Stay

The nearest hotel to Mersing Jetty is the Aseania Resort Pulau Besar.

 See More Hotels in Ipoh  

 

6 – Sky Mirror at Sasaran Beach

Sasaran

Sasaran Beach is located in Kuala Selangor, not far away from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s busiest city since forever. Young people enjoy having fun on the beach due to its unique mirror-like reflection of the sky that will only emerged for several days every month. Going there with friends will be the best, believe me. We booked a day trip with a tour agency that offered a tour to the beach. They basically arranged everything, the boat to the beach and even a professional photographer that helped us to snap wonderful pictures of us on the beach.

Let’s Go!

How to Get There: 

How to get there: Rent a car and drive straight to the fishing village in Jeram, Selangor. You have to book a package with any tour agencies that can arrange a tour for you as well as a boat ride to Sasaran Beach.

Where to Stay

Some of the best hotels in Kuala Selangor are De Palma Hotel Kuala Selangor and Apps Hotel Kuala Selangor.

 See More Hotels in Ipoh  

7 – Lenggong Valley

Lenggong Valley

Those who are in high schools should not deny that they do know of the existence of the Lenggong Valley, the home to the 11,000-year-old human skeleton found in Malaysia, known as the ‘Perak Man,’ believed to be the oldest in the country. This fact was in our history subject’s text-book if you are still wondering why you did not have any idea of it, children! 4

A day visit to the Archaeological Heritage of Lenggong Valley, one of the UNESCO Heritage Site in Malaysia was definitely educational as there was a museum on-site explaining the way those people during the neolithic and paleolithic era lived. As for me, exploring the caves and the excavation sites was the best experience ever, imagining how people back then survived just living in the caves and all.

Let’s Go!

How to Get There: 

Rent a car in Taiping and drive straight for an hour to the archaeological site.

Where to Stay

However, there are no accommodations nearby Lenggong Valley. Visitors usually book their accommodations in Taiping town. Some of the best and affordable include Tune Hotel – Taiping and Hotel Taiping Perdana.

 See More Hotels in Ipoh  

 

8 – Royal Belum State Park

Royal Belum State Park

And finally to complete my list of interesting places to visit in Malaysia for your next getaway, is a lush green gem.

Dating back over 130 million years, the state park which is located in the state of Perak is one of the oldest rainforests in the world, and has the potential in becoming the country’s premier eco-tourism destination. I crossed my fingers hoping that the sun will shine brightly on the day I visited the rainforest. Thank God, it was hot and sunny all day long!

There were lots of activities I did whilst hiking and exploring the Royal Belum State Park. Nature at its most pleasant, I enjoyed the calmness and had a lot of fun hiking through the forest with a bunch of friends. Hanging out at the wonderful waterfalls were great, they were not something that you found at the recreational parks you often visited. Boating was fun as well, the pristine lakes were gorgeous and how I wish I can go back there someday sooner or later.

Let’s Go!

How to Get There: 

The closest town to the state park is Gerik, which is accessible from Ipoh. Therefore, it is advisable for you to rent a car when you are in Ipoh to ease your journey.

Where to Stay

The most famous accommodation nearby the rain-forest is the infamous Belum Rainforest Resort which is situated on a lake and few minutes walk to Belum Jetty.

 See More Hotels in Ipoh