Malaysia sits between Singapore and Thailand, literally and on the scale of how easy it is to travel

It is a great place to visit if you plan on visiting adventure-filled places but still want to take travel with a relative ease.

This country is hard to miss, especially if you’re flying low coast, with AirAsia.

Inspire your adventure to Malaysia with these must-visit places and top things to do for first-time travelers.

1. Georgetown & Penang

Kek Lok Si (Buddhist temple) near Georgetown in Penang, Malaysia

Kek Lok Si (Buddhist temple) near Georgetown in Penang, Malaysia

Why go — Food in Georgetown, Penang is widely known as the best throughout the country and is reason enough to visit. It’s definitely my favorite place to visit in Malaysia. There is no place in Southeast Asia that can match its satisfying mix of old-world cosmopolitan heritage, relaxed feel, exotic allure, and lush natural landscapes.

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2. Langkawi

Sky Bridge overlooking the forest and the Andaman Sea in Langkawi, Malaysia

Sky Bridge overlooking the forest and the Andaman Sea in Langkawi, Malaysia

Why go — If you’ve been to the best beaches in the Philippines and Thailand, Langkawi’s natural scenery is probably not going to blow you away. That said, it still is a stunning place to visit with worthwhile things to keep you busy for a day or two. What I like about Langkawi the most is that it remains approachable and largely underdeveloped yet convenient.

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3. Melaka

Christ Church at night in the Portugese-colonial district of Melaka, Malaysia

Christ Church at night in the Portuguese-colonial district of Melaka, Malaysia

Why go — Melaka (Malacca) is a former Portuguese-colonial trading port conveniently located between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. If you’re traveling to both cities by land, this heritage and food destination is worth a stopover.

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4. Kuala Lumpur

Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Why go — Kuala Lumpur is definitely worth exploring if ever you’re visiting Malaysia. The capital city’s urban landscape, dominated by iconic KL Tower and Petronas Towers, is dotted with grand heritage buildings, worthwhile museums, well-maintained parks, revered temples, and mosques.

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5. Kota Kinabalu & East Malaysia

Mamutik Island in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Mamutik Island in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Why go — Kota Kinabalu is a bustling yet laid-back city in Sabah, East Malaysia known as a gateway to Borneo’s amazing natural sites including Mount Kinabalu, Mulu Caves National Park, diving spots, and pristine jungles.

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See also

6. Taman Negara National Park

Hanging Bridge in Pahang Taman Negara (National Park), Malaysia

Hanging Bridge in Pahang Taman Negara (National Park), Malaysia

Why go — The Taman Negara National Park is one of the world’s oldest rainforests. If you’re in the mood to explore nature, this place is very pristine with many interesting things to do like walk on the world’s longest tree hanging suspension bridge, enjoy a relaxing river cruise, or go trekking deep into the jungle.

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7. Putrajaya

Putra "Pink" Mosque under the sunset light in Putrajaya, Malaysia

Putra “Pink” Mosque under the sunset light in Putrajaya, Malaysia

Why go — Putrajaya is home to many of Malaysia’s most impressive monuments. Here, you’ll find grand mosques, government buildings, and iconic bridges surrounded by manicured parks and a 600-hectare lake. It can be reached on an easy day trip from Kuala Lumpur or on a drive-by to the airport.

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8. Legoland Malaysia & Johor Bahru

Legoland in Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Legoland in Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Why go — Legoland Malaysia is one reason to visit Johor Bahru, located just across the causeway from Singapore. It is the first Legoland theme park in Asia and features many cool attractions including a Lego-themed water park, Lego-themed hotel, and impressive miniature recreations of many of Asia’s best-known landmarks.

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Note: Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.