With interstate travel resuming from June 10th onwards, that means we are finally free (though not from COVID-19, that is) to go from state to state. While overseas travel remains forbidden as of now, at least you still can plan a domestic vacation within Malaysia. And here are 15 Places To Go in Malaysia During The RMCO (Recovery Movement Control Order) Period, to start you off!
1) KL Forest Eco Park @ Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur
It’s hard to believe that a natural rainforest still stands proud and tall in the middle of the densely-populated city of Kuala Lumpur. Of course, this is made possible since KL Forest Eco Park happens to be a protected forest reserve. Good for stretching your legs and snapping photos, you can enjoy the spectacular aerial view of the treetops from the 200-metre canopy walk. And given its elevated bridge tower, you even have the opportunity to view the Kuala Lumpur city skyline and KL Tower. Nature in the city at its best!
2) Paddy Fields @ Sekinchan, Selangor
If you are coming from Kuala Lumpur, it only takes you around 1 1/2 hours to reach the idyllic little town of Sekinchan by car. There are a few things you can do here, namely enjoying their fresh seafood and making a wish at the town’s famous wishing tree filled with hanging red ribbons all over the branches. And of course, never leave the place without snapping a few Instagram-worthy photos at Sekinchan’s vast paddy fields. Not to mention these fields are perfect for background shots as well. In fact, you can also tour Sekinchan and Kuala Selangor with fireflies here!
3) Kenaboi State Park @ Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan
Nature lovers who have been longing to hike or jungle trek can finally breathe a sigh of relief. This is particularly evident after our government allowed forest activities beginning June 15 onwards. Of course, certain SOPs are applied including such activities being restricted to day trips and only in groups of not more than 20 people.
With that in mind, you might want to consider going to Kenaboi State Park, better known as Taman Negeri Kenaboi. Not exactly the state park that most people are familiar with, it’s considered a hidden gem located around 2 hours’ drive from Kuala Lumpur. There are a few outdoor activities you can do here, namely jungle trekking and birdwatching. Kenaboi State Park is also home to various flora and fauna such as bamboo groves and Oriental hornbills. Do keep in mind that you need to obtain a permit from the State Forestry Department’s office in Kuala Klawang.
4) Klebang Original Coconut Shake @ Klebang Besar, Melaka
The otherwise historical state of Melaka is home to many local food from traditional Nyonya cuisine to thirst-quenching delights such as the coconut shake in Klebang Besar. Given the tropical climate, a glass of refreshing coconut shake absolutely hits the right spot. It consists of freshly grated coconut with milk and vanilla ice cream. More importantly, it’s cheap! And while you are at it, don’t forget to pair your coconut shake with some of their affordable food like nasi lemak and kuih.
5) Kellie’s Castle @ Batu Gajah, Perak
While Ipoh is a great place to hunt for local food, let’s not forget about this fascinating castle in Batu Gajah. Legend has it that the castle is haunted by the spirit of the deceased owner, William Kellie Smith on the second floor. But other than that, Kellie’s Castle remains an ideal tourist spot for history buffs. Avid photographers can also take this opportunity to capture the castle’s eclectic, yet unique architecture.
6) Boh Sungei Palas Teh Centre @ Brinchang, Cameron Highlands
When comes to visiting Cameron Highlands, strawberry farms aren’t the only tourist attractions to look forward to. The popular highland retreat is also home to our very own Boh tea plantation. If you are there, consider making a stop at the Boh Sungei Palas Teh Centre *. You can sip on a cup of Boh tea at the cafe by the window while immersing in the majestic sight of the tea plantation on rolling hills. Not to mention you can purchase some of their Boh tea products at their retail store.
* At the time of writing, the Boh Sungei Palas Teh Centre is only limited to the retail, cafe and exhibit area (including the AV room) only. However, the factory tour is suspended until further notice.
7) Mossy Forest @ Brinchang, Cameron Highlands
Here is another must-visit spot near Cameron Highlands, particularly if you love an outdoor adventure. Located at the highest elevation of Mount Brinchang (2,032 metres above sea level), Mossy Forest isn’t just your average forest. More like a cloud forest, where you’ll find a layer of mist enveloping the surrounding area. Home to many exotic plants and other tree species, there’s something surreal and enchanting about the Mossy Forest, which also explains why the forest is definitely Instagrammable. Of course, hikers will have a field day trekking the forest since it has around 14 trails waiting to be explored. Entrance fees start from RM 10 for Malaysian adults.
8) Penang Street Murals @ George Town, Penang
Amidst all the delicious local food and heritage buildings in George Town, there is something else you can’t afford to miss. And that is taking some photos or selfies while going for street art hunting. There are lots of them and we do mean a lot. Of course, one of them happens to be the hugely popular kids-on-a-bicycle mural created by Penang-based Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic. Some of the other murals you might find include “I Want Bao”, “Boy On Chair” and “Girl With The Floating Bottles Balloon”.
9) Langkawi Sky Bridge @ Pulau Langkawi, Kedah
Words like “spectacular” and “majestic” are best described for the 125 metre-long Langkawi Sky Bridge. It offers visitors the chance to witness all the lush greenery as well as Mount Mat Cincang and Telaga Tujuh waterfalls. The bridge itself stands tall at 700 m above sea level and it can be accessed only via the cable car.
10) Perlis Herbal Forest @ Kangar, Perlis
Sure, it may be the smallest state in Malaysia, but that doesn’t mean Perlis is short of tourist-friendly attractions. Among the places that you can visit include Perlis Herbal Forest, better known as Rimba Herba Perlis. As the name suggests, you get to see over 1,000 medicinal plant species as well as learning their origins and respective uses. You can also purchase some of their herbal balms and even taste their refreshing herbal beverage.
11) Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory @ Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Johor Bahru
At the time of writing, it seems that Legoland Malaysia remains closed until further notice. Even so, that doesn’t mean visiting Johor is completely hopeless. If you are a food hunter, don’t forget to make a stop at Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory at Jalan Tan Hiok Nee. It isn’t a hipster or trendy bakery in any sense but more of an old-school establishment. And believe it or not, it has been around for over a century, making it among the oldest bakeries in Malaysia. Long queues are typically a norm upon arriving here, with regular customers and first-timers looking forward to getting their hands on Hiap Joo’s signature banana cakes. Mind you, their banana cakes aren’t the mass-produced kind found in a supermarket. Instead, Hiap Joo’s moist and fragrant banana cakes are traditionally made using a wood-fired oven.
12) Lang Tengah @ Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu
Thinking of going for an island getaway? Instead of the usual popular tourist spots like Pulau Tioman or Pulau Redang, why not go for someplace else for a change? Which brings us to Lang Tengah, a gem of an island situated between Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian. The white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters at Lang Tengah make it ideal for some zen moments, all away from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle. To get here, you need to take a ferry or boat from Merang Jetty.
13) Suri Island Floating Market @ Tumpat, Kelantan
When you think about the floating market, Bangkok is probably the first one that comes to mind. But did you know we have our own floating market in Malaysia? More specifically, Suri Island Floating Market a.k.a. Pasar Terapung Pulau Suri located in Tumpat, Kelantan. Here, you have the opportunity to buy some local goodies from the boat traders. This includes the likes of kerabu nipah, traditional kuih-muih, coconut jelly and nasi tumpang a.k.a. nasi tupe (a spicy rice dish wrapped in a cone-shaped banana leaf).
14) Sarawak Cultural Village @ Kuching, Sarawak
Interested to learn the traditional culture of Sarawak? Well, what’s better than visiting the Sarawak Cultural Village? Spanning across 17 acres of land, some of their attractions include Persada Ilmu (art learning centre), various stone arts at the Sculpture Park and multi-cultural performances at their air-conditioned theatre. You can also visit some of their ethnic houses, namely the Bidayuh and Iban longhouses as well as Melanau Tall House. And finally, to satisfy your food cravings, they serve an array of local specialities like mee kolok and Sarawak laksa.
15) Sipadan Island @ Celebes Sea, Sabah
With over 3,000 species of marine life, no wonder Sipadan Island earns its spot as among the top diving destinations in the world. Other than scuba diving, there are other activities you can do at Sipadan Island such as snorkelling, birdwatching or simply taking a stroll along the sandy beaches.
Not too much into touristy spots yet? You can also check out these relaxing Airbnbs in Malaysia, where you can just kick back and relax! While you’re at it, it doesn’t hurt to be cautious! One of the essentials to bring along for your trip is definitely alcohol wipes from Alcosm, who’s currently running a promotion. Use the code STAYSAFEMY, and get RM20 off a minimum purchase of RM100! Stay safe while holidaying!