“And I will still be here, stargazing, I’ll still look up, look up, look up for love.” By love, we mean stars. Malaysia is well-known for many things including food and culture, and maybe for some hiking trails and beaches, but stargazing? Not so much, but it should be. If you’ve ever paid attention in geography lessons, you’ll know that we’re situated near the equator a.k.a. the middle of the globe. In other words, we’re at the prime location to view stars in both the Northern and Southern skies. Without further ado, here are 6 stargazing spots in Malaysia to visit!
1) Kudat, Sabah
Sabah has no shortages of stargazing spots, thanks to low light pollution. However, Kudat deserves a mention because of Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, or the “Tip of Borneo”, one of the most well-known spots for stargazing in Malaysia. Besides stargazing, Kudat is also known for its beaches and fresh seafood. Therefore, seafood and nature lovers can get the best of both worlds here! Best of all, you can see the Milky Way here with the naked eye, no telescope or equipment needed. The best views are from mid-February to early-October.
2) Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor
Kuala Kubu Bharu is located on a hill in Hulu Selangor, and is a popular place for short getaways. The best spot for stargazing is the bridge near the broken dam – yeah, they have a broken dam. In fact, said dam was responsible for the destruction of the original town Kuala Kubu in 1883. When the town was rebuilt, the word “bharu” was added, which means new in Malay. At the broken dam, there’s clear water, beautiful scenery and an unobstructed night sky for you to catch some twinkling stars.
3) Perhentian Islands, Terengganu
The Perhentian Islands are a cluster of islands, and its main islands are Pulau Perhentian Besar and Pulau Perhentian Kecil (big and small Perhentian Island, in that order). However, there are also other little islands scattered about the two main ones. Far away from city lights, there’s every chance you’ll be able to gaze up and find a sky full of stars winking back at you. With the salty breeze and lapping waves, that would probably one of the most serene experiences you’ll ever get in your life.
4) Canada Hill, Sarawak
Canada Hill is the location of Shell’s first oil well, and it is now a historical landmark. But of course, it is not a mere oil well. The peak of the hill offers stunning views of the surrounding city and sea, not to mention stars scattered against the inky backdrop of the night sky when the weather is right. Furthermore, Canada Hill is now a national monument, so you have all the reasons to visit. And did we mention? It’s perfect for hiking as well, but you got that, hill and all.
5) Kota Belud, Sabah
As aforementioned, Sabah is a pretty famous place for stargazing, and another one of those spots goes to Kota Belud. Specifically, Lasau Podi. Lasau Podi is about 20 km away from the town of Kota Belud, and it has very low light pollution. In fact, if you are driving after dark, you want to be extra careful as there are no street lights and cows roam about freely. Located on the west coast of Sabah, Kota Belud is the unofficial capital of the Bajau people, and it can even be a stopover en route to Kudat! Stargazing trip, anyone?
6) Cameron Highlands, Pahang
What? You think that all Cameron Highlands was good for are only tea and strawberries? Admittedly, there are several other places in Malaysia with less light pollution, but you can’t deny that the location of Cameron Highlands itself more than makes up for it, as does its accessibility. During the day, go trekking or hiking on any of Cameron’s hiking trails, and look for an open elevated spot at night. Your reward will be the stars gazing back at you as you gaze up at them.