Given Malaysia’s proximity to Singapore, most, if not all of us would have been to at least a part of Malaysia. But how much of Malaysia have you actually visited?
Malaysia consists of two main regions: Peninsular Malaysia (also known as West Malaysia) and East Malaysia (on the island of Borneo). Here are the seven regions in Malaysia that are well-loved by travellers and some accommodation options. And if you haven’t visited any of these regions, add them to your travel bucket list!
1. Melaka & Penang
Melaka and George Town, Penang are two historic Malaysian cities with distinct charm. Together they form the historic cities of the Straits of Malacca, a UNESCO World Heritage site. They have developed over 500 years of trading and cultural exchanges between East and West in the Straits of Malacca. The influences of Asia and Europe have also endowed the towns with a specific multicultural heritage that is both tangible and intangible.
Courtyard by Marriott Melaka
Liu Men Melaka
AC Hotel Penang
2. Kuala Lumpur
Known for its iconic skyline dominated by the Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur offers a captivating mix of cultures, festivals, and traditions. As the national capital and the largest city in Malaysia, this is where you can experience the urban pulse with world-class shopping malls and mouth-watering cuisines.
The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur
Chambers Suites KL BY Fortune
Located in the Andaman Sea and known as the “Jewel of Kedah,” Langkawi is steeped in rich folklore, including its pirate haven past and the Mahsuri myth. It comprises 99 islands, each offering stunning natural beauty, from lush rainforests and pristine beaches to towering cliffs and clear waters.
A popular destination for relaxation and adventure, you can indulge in activities such as island hopping, cable car rides, and exploring the vibrant underwater world. Its duty-free status adds to its appeal, making it a fantastic place for shopping and dining.
The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa
Wings by Croske Resort Langkawi
4. Sabah & Sarawak
Sabah and Sarawak, located in the northern part of the island of Borneo, offer a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural diversity, and adventure. Sabah, known as the “Land Below the Wind,” boasts Southeast Asia's highest peak, Mount Kinabalu, lush rainforests, and vibrant marine life in the Sulu Sea. Its rich indigenous heritage adds cultural depth.
Meanwhile, Sarawak, Malaysia's largest state, features vast rainforests like the Borneo Rainforest and distinct indigenous groups like the Iban. Kuching, its capital, harmonises modernity with tradition. These states offer travellers an opportunity to explore Borneo's wild landscapes, exotic wildlife, and unique cultural traditions, making them prime destinations for nature enthusiasts and adventurers.
Le Méridien Kota Kinabalu
Signel Poshtel, the Rare Gem of North Borneo
Fairfield by Marriott Bintulu Paragon
Serving as the country's administrative capital and located just south of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya was designed to alleviate the administrative burden on the capital and to provide a state-of-the-art government and administrative centre.
Putrajaya is known for its futuristic and well-organised urban planning, with striking architecture, grand government buildings, and an abundance of green spaces and man-made lakes. Some iconic landmarks include the Putra Mosque, Putrajaya International Convention Centre, the Seri Wawasan Bridge, and IOI City Mall, the largest mall in Malaysia.
Palm Garden Hotel, Putrajaya, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
Dwiputra Presint 15 at Putrajaya
6. Johor Bahru & Desaru Coast
Situated just across the causeway from Singapore, Johor Bahru is the part of Malaysia that needs no further introduction for Singaporeans. Some of its attractions are the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque, Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple, the Istana Besar (Grand Palace), and Legoland Malaysia.
Also located within Johor, Desaru Coast is famous for its pristine beaches, upscale resorts, and world-class golf courses. This is where you can enjoy water sports, explore adventure parks, savour exquisite dining options, or even plan a romantic escape with your other half.
Renaissance Johor Bahru Hotel
Capri by Fraser Johor Bahru
Four Points by Sheraton Desaru
Desaru Johor by Glen
The capital of Pahang, the largest state of the Malaysian peninsula, Kuantan is a picturesque coastal city renowned for its blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. With pristine beaches such as Teluk Cempedak and Cherating, it is a haven for sun-seekers and water sports enthusiasts.
Surrounded by lush rainforests and nature reserves, Kuantan also offers opportunities for hiking and wildlife encounters, notably in Taman Negara National Park. Kuantan’s Malay heritage is also evident in its traditional architecture, local markets, and mouthwatering Malay cuisine.
AC Hotel Kuantan
Timurbay by Seascape
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