Malaysia! By now countless number of words have been written, praising the glory of this island. When you read all that’s written about Malaysia, you’re left wondering what is it, that this county does not have. When it comes to shopping and entertainment, you know for a fact you’re well taken care of. The Big Malaysia Mega Sale, one of the biggest shopping events finds millions getting their Malaysia visa and flocking to this country. Shopping is just a small aspect of the wonders Malaysia has to offer. There’s a reason why Malaysia is one of the top holiday destinations and it’s got to do with all the beautiful locations which are a great blend of nature and modernity.
The city of Kuala Lumpur sees a lot of travellers from far and wide flocking here. The popularity of Kuala Lumpur ends up overshadowing all the other beautiful places that Malaysia has to offer. While there’s no disputing the fact that Kuala Lumpur is vibrant and enigmatic, here are 5 other cities of Malaysia that can charm a wanderer just as well as Kuala Lumpur, if not better.
1. Kota Bharu
Located on the eastern side of Malaysia, Kota Bharu is the capital city and the seat of the royals of the Kelantan state. Now if you’re confused let me clear the air a bit. Malaysia is essentially a federation of 13 states and Kelantan happens to be one of them. Now if nature is your calling, and being out in the wilderness appeals to you more than the high rises of the city, Kota Bharu is the place for you.
Rich and vibrant in terms of culture, you can see a lot of Islamic influence in this state, especially in the beautiful architecture of the mosques. The Gua Ikan caves and the strong waterfalls will transport you to a world where nature is the ruler. When you’ve had your fun frolicking in nature, you can indulge in some much needed shopping spree at Kota Bharu’s famous day night market.
Ipoh has always been an important city. One only needs to turn the pages of history to learn how it was the second administrative centre during the British colonial era, after Kuala Lumpur. Post that the city gained importance for being the centre of the world’s tin industry. Off late it has started to gain importance as a tourist destination. The city has lots of beautiful sights to withhold. One such being Gunung Lang Recreation park, where many a locals are often spotted spending their time in leisure. The Town hall, Mariamman kovil temple and Kellie’s castle are also places worth visiting for their exquisite architecture.
Apart from its numerous vibrant offerings, Ipoh also becomes a gateway to the Cameron Highlands. Almost the size of Singapore, Cameron highlands is Malaysia’s most extensive and one of the most beautiful hill stations. Just a short drive away, it’s a definite visit should you find yourself in Ipoh.
3. George town - Penang
The capital city of the state of Penang, it is one of the most sought after tourist destinations. The perfect combination of ancient culture and colonial architecture makes it so popular amongst the tourists across the world. One of the biggest attractions of Penang is its architecture. The people, culture and food all come together in a perfect way, making George town even more irresistible. The narrow lanes, the shrines, the occasional shops lined with a stream of paper lanterns give George town a charm of it’s own. A charm that is hard to resist.
If all that wasn’t motivational enough, George town is often deemed as the food capital of Malaysia. The food here sees an influence of South East Asia. George town is known for its street food. Just a whiff of it, and resisting these mouth-watering temptations becomes next to impossible. The seafood here is also exquisite, something that you definitely need to try.
4. Kota Kinabalu
Sometimes you come across beauty that is striking, hard to resist, then you come across the other type of beauty. The subtle kind, the one that is not obvious at first, but later when you see it, it blinds you. Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the state of Sabah falls in the latter category. The beautiful sunrise and the breathtaking sunsets that colour the city in a fiery red glaze, the vibrant art and music scene and most of all the friendly locals. The experience of Kota Kinabalu will transport you to simpler times, a time where beauty ruled.
There’s a lot to see and behold in Kota Kinabalu. The Atkinson clock tower, the Signal hill observatory, the Green Connection Aquarium are just some of the things to keep you occupied. The Likas Bay beach, popular among both locals and tourists is a good place to just sit back and relax and watch the sun dip behind the horizon. But one place that you absolutely cannot miss is the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine park, a group of 5 islands accessible by a 15-30 minute speedboat ride. Why you ask? Well, you’ll have to go there and find out for yourself!
5. Malacca City
One of the oldest Malaysian cities, it is located in the strait of Malacca. This popular tourist destination has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2008. Malacca is just overflowing with things to do and places to grab a bite of the most delicious food. Malacca is known for its famous Jonker Street night market which is always abuzz with people and tourists. Something that you must check out, when you find yourself in Malacca.
Apart from that there’s a lot to see and do as we mentioned above. The St Paul’s church a former Portuguese church and later a cemetery during the Dutch occupation is a definite must visit. There’s also Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, The Kampung Keling Mosque and Bukit China. There’s a small river that runs through the city. A boat trip is highly recommended, especially at night when the entire city of Malacca is lit up and looks like a sight of beauty.
Author : Sanjana Sule