The long weekend is approaching, and what better way to celebrate than by taking a trip to Malaysia and perhaps rediscovering the country by visiting these heritage places? By Najihah Rashid
From award-winning tropical getaways in the south to inventive heritage discoveries in the north, discover the top destinations to visit in Malaysia that will fuel your wanderlust.
To top it off, we also highlight nearby experiences to dive into, especially ones that invite you to reinvigorate your love for Mother Nature as well as the country’s rich heritage.
From Penang to Johor, here are the best heritage sites to visit and experience in Malaysia:
Where to stay
For your city break, we have two top suggestions. Else Kuala Lumpur is the latest hotel to join KL’s iconic skyline, and it has grown from one of most valuable historical monuments in the trendiest place.
Alternatively, if you are looking for a true five-star hotel experience, look no further than PARKROYAL Collection Kuala Lumpur. From its welcoming biophilic atmosphere to the decadent dining experiences throughout the hotel (not to mention its proximity to some of Malaysia’s best shopping malls), this place is sure to be a haven for your Malaysia Day celebration.
Book Else Kuala Lumpur here
Book Parkroyal collection KL here
What to do
Experience real country life as you descend to Farm Fresh’s Acre. Perfect for escaping the hectic city life, the farm offers a petting zoo and an educational guided tour, ideal for younger guests. There is also a nursery where you can take home a seedling and start your own garden.
Once you’re done exploring the place, check out its farm-to-table cuisine and delicious Farm Fresh milk-based soft drinks and ice cream.
Where to stay
Once in Johor, don’t forget to visit its iconic Desaru coast. And while you’re there, why not make it a trip to Desaru Coast? With phenomenal stays (complete with gorgeous sunsets) dotted across the strait, you won’t want a thing. First, One&Only Desaru Coast, a heavenly and out-of-this-world haven that can accommodate all members of the family. With world-class service and a wide variety of amenities, your long weekend will be filled with fun activities.
For the ultimate celebrity treatment, head to Anantara Desaru Coast. Here vacationers can enjoy breathtaking views of the South China Sea. Nestled in lush tropical gardens, Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas offers a serene escape, with stand-alone villas overlooking the gardens, lagoon and ocean.
Book here One&Only Desaru Coast
Book Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas here
What to do
Of course, once you’ve booked into our suggested staycations, you’ll want to explore heritage sites in Malaysia. However, once you’re done having fun in the sun, it’s time to step out of the hotel business. Just 20 minutes from both hotels is the Desaru Fruit Farm, where you can explore a massive 180-acre orchard that’s home to all kinds of fruit, from jackfruit to guavas. If you are craving something fruity then this is the place to visit to complete your tropical getaway.
There you can also book a Desaru Firefly cruise. Take a slow cruise through the Sungai Lebam mangroves and watch these majestic winged beauties in action. If you’re lucky, the fireflies might even briefly land on your hand.
Alternatively, you can head to Els Club and spend your long vacation swinging clubs while enjoying the stunning views of the Desaru coastline. Choose between the Ocean Course and the Valley Course – the latter is an award-winning golf course, so be sure to take some time to play here too.
Where to stay
In Penang, these are the stays par excellence that you must experience at least once in your life. Eastern & Oriental Hotel, located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Georgetown, is a wonderful stay that will allow you to easily connect to some of Penang’s major sights. With its 19th-century charm (but with five-star amenities and accommodations), it’s a must-visit destination for everyone.
Otherwise, head to Shangri-La Rasa Sayang, Penang for an equally stunning stay with a view of the beach. Featuring a renowned spa and two swimming pools, this hotel will make your long weekend even more relaxing.
Book Eastern & Oriental Hotel here
Book Shangri-La Rasa Sayang, Penang here
What to do
Once you’re done sinking your teeth into all the delicacies the island has to offer, head to Hin Bus Depot, a structure that has stood the test of time and become a vibrant cultural center for the inhabitants. With 60,000 square feet of space, the building welcomes fledgling businesses as well as artists to showcase their work.
Dubbed Malaysia’s Hidden Eden, Tropical Spice Garden is the one and only award-winning spice garden that boasts a treasure trove of over 500 living specimens of lush and exotic flora from around the world. Considered a living and breathing museum, this is where nature meets culture.
Hero image credit: Shangri-La Rasa Sayang, Penang; Featured image credit: The Acre from Farm Fresh
This story first appeared on Prestige Malaysia
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