5 Unassailable Reasons Malaysia Should Be Your Next Travel Choice
Malaysia may often rate behind Thailand, Laos, and China for places to visit in Asia, but I firmly believe that this is a matter of ignorance rather than taste. In fact, there are some fabulous reasons to visit this beautiful and diverse country located in Southeast Asia, just keep reading to find out what they are.
Reason 1: It's a spiritual place
Reason number one is that Malaysia is such a spiritual place, something that is perhaps to be expected as there is such a mix of religious believers there. In fact, while the majority of faithful follow Islam, there are also Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus, as well as those that follow the more traditional Chinese religions as well.
What this means is that throughout the country you will find some amazing spiritual sites to visit. One such site is the formidable Batu Cave complex located in Gombak around 12 KM to the north of the capital Kuala Lumpur.
This is a giant labyrinth of Hindu shrines and temples set high up into a limestone rock face. To access the temples you will need to climb the 272 steps to the top, and do remember that as it is a religious site, long trouser skirts are the most appropriate wear.
To get to the Batu Caves from Kuala Lumpur is pretty straightforward, as all you need to do is catch a train from Kuala Lumpur central station and it's only a 45-minute trip. Be sure not to miss the immense gold statue that guards the base of the steps at Batu, or the many monkeys that also inhabit the area.
A Batu Cave monkey, enjoying a drink.
Reason 2: It can be pretty luxurious
Some people have a lot of preconceptions about Malaysia before they have travelled there and experienced it for themselves. One of these is that is a less modernised country. However, while there are some rural regions that are untouched by many modern ways of life, this is only half the story. In fact, the capital Kuala Lumpur and surrounding satellite towns such as Petaling Jaya and the famous Genting Highlands are just as about as modern as you can get, and with that comes the possibility of some incredibly luxurious accommodations and facilities.
In the Genting Highlands, the top hotel seems to be Resorts World Genting, while in Kuala Lumpur itself you can choose from the Grand Hyatt and Villa Samadhi.
Of course, if you are looking to stay for longer than a week or two, it may be more cost effective to rent a studio apartment in Petaling Jaya. This is because Petaling Jaya is close enough to Kuala Lumpur to make it easy to travel in each day to see the sites, but far enough away to enable you to experience luxury stay without the massive price tag.
Reason 3: There is some great grub to sample
Now, for those that count themselves as foodies or gastro travellers, Malaysia is a fabulous choice. In fact, there you will find a delicious and unique mix of Southeast Asian cuisine with influences from China, the Middle East, and India.
The street food culture in Malaysia is something that you will want to sample when you visit as well, but be warned! There is so much choice that it can be pretty easy to end up getting into a state of confusion just trying to pick out what to sample!
A good place to start is to visit one of the more famous street food sites like Gurney Drive in Penang. There you will find many small stalls cooking fresh food over woks that release tempting aromas into the air. If you simply cannot pick one dish to sample during your visit then why not go for the triumvirate of rice dishes Nasi Goreng, Nasi Lemak, and Nasi Kandar?
Try delicious Nasi Lemak.
In Nasi Goreng you will find a filling dish made from spiced fried rice along with egg and vegetables. Nasi Lemak is also a rice dish cooked in pandan leaf with coconut milk. This is known as the national dish of Malaysia and is so popular that the locals regularly consume it for breakfast.
Nasi Kandar, on the other hand, is more of lunch or dinner meal and is made up of a selection of curried meats and vegetables as well as some rice to soak up all that delicious sauce. You will probably find that differ street hawkers have their own twist on this dish using whatever fresh ingredients are available that day, so be sure to ask what is on the menu before making your decision.
Reason 4: There are some amazing natural sites
More people need to realise that Malaysia is a stunningly beautiful country that is packed with majestic natural sites to visit. One that is popular with locals and visitors alike is the Kinabalu Park located in the north of the country.
Kinabalu Park is a stunning location.
Kinabalu Park is such a stunning site that the UNESCO and World Heritage have endorsed it, and there you will find lush green rainforests and meadows surrounding the imposing Crocker Range mountains.
The chief draw here is mount Kinabalu itself, and at 4095m it is easy to see why. In fact, this is a peak that is known as challenging throughout the rock climbing community and this, therefore, make it only suitable for those in great shape and with experience in mountain climbing. Even then altitude sickness can be a problem when you approach the summit, and it's always best to explore it as a part of an organised tour.
Reason 5: There is plenty of fun to be had
Last of all, what too many folks forget is that Malaysia is a big place with lots of fun activities to do.
Check out the Legoland theme park in Johor where you can ride the beetle bounce or the dino island logo flume as well as try out one of the first VR roller coasters in the world. Then there's the massive water park in Subang Jaya known as Sunway Lagoon. A place where you can not only slide down some of the largest shots in the world but is also a welcome excuse to cool off in the hot and humid Malaysia and climate. An activity that makes it a strong contributing element to the argument that Malaysia should be your next travel choice if you are consuming holiday in Asia.