Things to do in Malaysia other than Legoland and the Petronas Twin Towers

By Lorelie Ria Panaligan

Legoland and the Petronas Twin Towers easily come to mind when people think of Malaysia. Other than that, there is the UNESCO world heritage site Malacca, the administrative center that is Putrajaya, multicultural Penang, or the paradise-like archipelago of Langkawi. But locals, and regular visitors to Malaysia, will tell you that there are so much more to see in this country of diverse cultures and traditions. Whether interested in adventure, historical sites, architectural marvels, natural attractions, or just the local scene, tourists will find that nearby districts have offerings just as enjoyable as their more popular counterparts.

Ipoh, Bato Gajah District, Perak

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Located only about 200 kilometers away from Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh offers a variety of attractions and activities to suit all tastes. Enjoy freshly brewed white coffee right at the birthplace of this popular drink. Visit Kellie’s Castle and discover why it’s been left unfinished all these years. At Gua Tempurung, adventurous souls can enjoy spelunking and white water river rafting. Art enthusiasts will definitely find the Old Town worth their while. Its successful restoration paved the way for art-cafes, handicraft shops and even pop up restaurants. Not a few shophouses here offer visitors a glimpse of Ipoh’s historic past as one of Malaysia’s most important cities. During the British colonial period, Ipoh enjoyed a booming tin mining industry.

Pulau Pangkor, Majung District, Perak

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About four hours’ travel from KL, Pulau Pangkor will charm visitors with its undisturbed beauty and tranquility. The beaches here aren’t as recognized and as famous as Langkawi’s or Perhentian’s, but that’s exactly why I love it here. Water activities are plentiful here and the seafood is just delicious! Pulau Pangkor is a fishing village, and the fisherfolk here are quite friendly. Strike up a conversation with them, and perhaps ask them too to accompany you on a tour around the temples and ruins in the area.

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Cameron Highlands District, Pahang

CAMERON-HIGHLANDS

The climate here is a treat to those who want to escape the heat in the lowlands, enjoy some flora and fauna, or simply learn a thing or two about tea plantations and strawberry farms. Have a cup of tea at any one of the numerous shops here and be rewarded with beautiful views of lush greenery. One can also opt to jungle trek and be taken to scenic spots, waterfalls and aboriginal villages. If you are not fond of walking, hop on one of the Land Rovers available here and take a tour Cameron Highlands.

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Bukit Tinggi, Pahang District, Pahang

If you're in the mood for French architecture, Bukit Tinggi should be on your list. (gracethang2/Shutterstock.com)

Whether you are in the mood for some French architecture, Japanese garden or maybe a horseback riding adventure, a daytrip to Bukit Tinggi should definitely be on your list. It is only about 60 kilometers away from KL and the drive up the highlands is an adventure in itself.  Should you wish to stay longer however, there are plenty of cozy hotels here that you can choose from.

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Fraser’s Hill, Raub District, Pahang

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Nature, cool temperatures, and English-style architecture. These are some of the things that will make your visit at Fraser’s Hill such a delightful experience. Other activities include birdwatching, trekking and golfing among others. But people really come here to disconnect themselves from the hustle and bustle of the city life –something to consider next time you fly to Malaysia.

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