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10 Things You Must See in Malaysia

Must See Places in Malaysia

To fully experience this beautiful country, here is a list of 10 things you must see in Malaysia, and these are based on the uniqueness of what Malaysia has to offer to visitors and travelers.

I am also sure that even the locals have not seen all ten of the things listed here and for your next vacation, you should consider some of them when you visit Malaysia.

10 Things You Must See In Malaysia
  1. Petronas Twin Towers
  2. Batu Caves
  3. Orangutans
  4. Proboscis Monkeys
  5. Mulu Caves
  6. Fireflies
  7. Rafflesia Flower
  8. Ghost Museum
  9. Snake Temple
  10. Smallest Elephant in the World
Read on to see more details about these unique things in Malaysia.

Malaysia Twin Towers
Petronas Twin Towers, Malaysia's landmark
1. Petronas Twin Towers - The structure that put Malaysia on the world map, these majestic and beautiful twin towers is the number one landmark of the country and possibly the most photographed item in Malaysia too.

They are located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and is easily accessible from anywhere in the city. A beautiful KLCC Park is around the vicinity too.

Statue at Batu Caves
Batu Caves with the golden Lord Murugan in the front
2. Batu Caves

One of the most unique caves in the world is the Batu Caves with a tiring 272 step climb up to the main cave entrance where you continue with more steps inside to the cave temple.

Guarding the cave is the second tallest Lord Murugan statue in the world, standing at 42.7 meters (170 feet) tall and in bright gold. This is probably one of the most visited places in Kuala Lumpur.

The temple underwent a major renovation and now showcases the Rainbow Stairs that lead up to the cave temple.

Malaysia Orangutan
A teenage Orangutan 
3. Orangutans

The closest relative to the humans, the Orangutan is found at various places around Malaysia, including the local and national zoos.

This dark brown-orange colored primate is a must-see in real life as they are absolutely stunning creatures, which is said to have similarities with humans.

Some of them can be seen at conservation and rehabilitation centers around Malaysia, namely at Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center in Sabah and Semenggoh Orang Utan Center in Sarawak. This cute and interesting primate was also the mascot for Visit Malaysia 1990.

Sabah Proboscis Monkey
Proboscis monkey family, seen at Labuk Bay
4. Proboscis Monkey

One of a kind primates, the Proboscis Monkey is truly a wonder of nature where this monkey spots an extremely large nose making them very distinctive compared to other primates.

They are only found on the island of Borneo, namely in Sabah and Sarawak and nowhere else in the world.

You can book a wildlife river cruise in Sabah or Sarawak to spot the Proboscis monkey who was also the national mascot for Malaysia in 2015.

Mulu Caves Ape Lincoln
Can you see Abe Lincoln here in the Mulu Caves? 
5. Mulu Caves

Caves are normal, but going into the world's largest cave chamber is an amazing experience by itself. Imagine 40 Boeing 747 Planes fitting into this chamber - that is how large the Sarawak Chamber is!

Apart from this, you also have the opportunity to see millions of bats flying out on a daily basis from the mouth of the cave. As a bonus, you can also see a side profile of Abraham Lincoln when you look out from inside the cave.

The Mulu National Park is also a UNESCO world heritage site offering a number of other caves to explore here. Most travel agents around Malaysia sell this package.

Malaysian Firelfy
Firefly in the hand. Photo from Kampung Kuantan Fireflies
6. Fireflies

Malaysia is a well-known haven for fireflies and there are over 20 locations that cater to this special kind of tourism, to see natural phenomena of lights caused by thousands of insects.

Think Christmas trees, hundreds of them covered with natural lights as you cruise along a mangrove just after sunset on a battery-powered boat. The best place to see the fireflies in Malaysia are in Kuala Selangor and in Sabah Borneo.

For those interested, I have compiled a list of the best places to see fireflies around Malaysia. Many local tour companies sell packages for this.

Malaysia Rafflesia Flower
Botanist Alastair Robinson smells a Rafflesia flower in Sabah Borneo
7. Rafflesia Flower

The world's largest flower known to exist and can be found around Malaysia. These mega massive flowers take nine months to bloom and only last for one to two weeks only.

There are many species of the Rafflesia but the mother of all is called the Rafflesia Arnoldii which can be found in Sabah and Sarawak Borneo.

The flower can grow to a width of one meter or three feet and can weigh around 15 pounds or 6.8 kg.

You can also see some of the Rafflesia species around Cameron Highlands and Taman Negara in Peninsular Malaysia and most wildlife or nature tours would organize tours for this. I last saw the Rafflesia Flower at Gunung Gading in Sarawak in 2009.

Penang Ghost Museum
Local Malaysian Ghost from the Ghost Museum in Penang
8. Ghost Museum

What? Ghost? Really? Yes, there is an actual Ghost Museum in Penang which showcases the many types of ghosts in Malaysia and also from the region.

The ghost figures or statues are also made from wax and visitors are allowed to take photos here.

Would you? Anyway, you can find the Penang Ghost Museum at 57, Lebuh Melayu in Georgetown and the place is walking distance to many other interesting museums and attractions in this UNESCO World Heritage City.

Penang Snake Temple
A pit viper coiled around a bamboo structure in the Penang Snake Museum
9. Snake Temple

A Chinese temple dedicated to snakes, who would have thought of this interesting concept, but you can find this at the Penang Snake Temple, which has been around for a long time since the 1850s.

Inside the temple, you can find venomous pit vipers coiled around small bushes and so on, but the smell of the burning incense within the temple lulls the snakes into a sense of zen, making them harmless to visitors.

But don't try to get close or pick them up for a selfie, they are after all venomous and snakes.

Sabah Pygmy Elephants
Tourist watch pygmy elephants form a boat in Kinabatangan, Sabah
10. Smallest Elephant in the World

The Pygmy Elephant is almost half the size of a standard elephant, smallest in the world and can only be found in the state of Sabah on Borneo Island.

Not only that, they are only seen around two places which are along the Kinabatangan River and Tabin Wildlife Reserve area on east coast Sabah.

Specialized tours take you on boat cruises or 4WD adventures to try and spot these unique pygmy elephants who usually travel in herds.

There is no guarantee that you can see them, as it is after all nature we are talking about. Trust me, I have tried four times and finally saw one male bull Pygmy Elephant on the fifth time in Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Sabah in 2015.


Even for Malaysians, not many locals have seen all of the above, and sometimes it is also good for the locals to visit their own backyard.

Finally, the list of  10 things you must see in Malaysia is based purely on the uniqueness of each of them and highly recommended for those who plan to Visit Malaysia anytime.

If you have any comments, questions or feedback, please leave them below and I will get back to you. Other than that, do enjoy your visit to tropical Malaysia. 

1 comment

mrsJamal said...

i live near Batu Caves, Malaysia and i believe that every person that comes as a holiday in Malaysia needs to come here. Experience the culture, nature and also the Malaysian heat 100% real. :)