In a bid to give a boost to its tourism sector, Malaysia recently uncorked a travel policy allowing visa-free entry for Indian nationals to this Southeast Asian nation. It was announced that Indian and Chinese citizens were granted visa-free entry to Malaysia from December 1 and they can stay up to 30 days in the country. Moreover, Indian travellers no longer have to pay Rs 3,799 as visa fees and don’t have to face the hassles of pocketing a visa either. Malaysia is a destination that should be on the bucket list of every avid traveller as the country is as pretty as a picture and replete with jaw-dropping vistas. Here’s a quick look at some of the must-see spots in Malaysia.
Langkawi is a picturesque tourist center in Malaysia that deserves any travel lover's time. It is the perfect destination for a romantic sojourn as the place is generously dotted with pristine beaches and verdant forests. The sought-after sandy shores of Langkawi are Pantai Cenang, Tengah, and Tanjung Rhu, among others. The travellers have the opportunity to hire a boat and visit all the 99 islands around Langkawi.
One could also enjoy the beauty of the sunset by going on a cruise trip in the evening. Other attractions of Langkawi are the cable car ride to Gunung Mat Cincang Peak, which boasts of the Langkawi sky bridge, and the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park. As part of its efforts to attract more tourists to the Langkawi archipelago, the Malaysian government declared the group of islands duty-free in 1987. The travellers can buy products also without any duty whatsoever.
Kuala Lumpur is not only the capital city of Malaysia but is also known as the food capital of Asia. The mouthwatering dishes, which are spread across the delectable Chinese, Indian, and Malay cuisines, served at the wayside shacks on the streets of Kuala Lumpur are beyond the wildest imagination. The skyscrapers, mega shopping malls, bustling marketplaces, and flamboyant nightlife give travellers an out-of-the-world experience.
The ‘Golden Triangle’ comprising Bukit Bintang, KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Center), and the China Town region is the epicenter of fun and frolic in the capital city. The nightclubs, lounges, and bars can only give a heady feeling to thousands of tourists who flock to Malaysia every year. The Petronas Twin Tower, which is 452m tall, is extremely popular. Many historic and iconic buildings such as the Kuala Lumpur railway station are attracting backpackers in droves.
Penang Snake Temple
The Penang Snake Temple is 3km away from the Sungai Kluang airport in Bayan Lepas. The temple is a well-known tourist center that evokes fear, faith, and enigma in one breath. The temple is officially known as Hock Hin Keong and Cheng Hoon Giam. The temple was built in reverence to Buddhist monk and traditional medical healer Chor Soo Kong who was born in China during the reign of the Song dynasty (960-1279). As the name of the temple suggests, this place of worship is teeming with snakes. Tourists from across the globe visit this temple every year.
Kota Kinabalu is a city facing the South China Sea on the northwestern shore of Borneo. The majestic Kinabalu mountain is situated on the eastern side of this captivating urban area. The Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, which is a modest archipelago of five islands, is on the western side of Kota Kinabalu. The city and regions surrounding it are dotted with attractive tourist centers where the holidaymakers can have a whale of a time. It may be noted that Kota Kinabalu is one of the prominent industrial and commercial centers in eastern Malaysia.
Undoubtedly, Pekan is the royal town of Malaysia and is home to the royal family of Sultan Abdullah of Pahang. The Sultan Abu Baker Museum, which is a repository reflecting the heritage of Malay; the chiefs’ rest house made of wood, Sultan Abu Baker Palace, Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah mosque, royal mausoleum, Royal Pahang Polo field near the palace and Royal Pekan Golf Club are some of the major places of interest in Pekan.
A one-hour drive from Pekan would take you to Chini Lake, which is the largest lake in Malaysia. A resort near the lake has facilities such as a restaurant, jungle trekking, and boat station. The guests have the opportunity to go on a boating spree and soak in the beauty of nature.
Time stops at Batu caves, which are limestone caves that are close to 400 million years old, at Selangor in Malaysia. The sacred caves are one of the popular Hindu shrines outside India. According to the religious scriptures ‘puranas’, Batu cave is the 10th cave in which Lord Murugan resided. It was Thambuswamy Pillai, a wealthy person with Tamil roots, who installed the idol of Lord Murugan in the cave in 1890. The world’s tallest statue of Lord Murugan is standing tall outside Batu caves. The gigantic statue, which costs around Rs 2.4 crore, is 42.7m tall and was brought from the neighbouring country of Thailand.
The holy cave is situated in Gombak district, which is 13km north of Kuala Lumpur. Many other statues that are mentioned in the ‘puranas’ can be found in the caves. The tourists can also experience the spiritualism surrounding the caves through an audio tour. Pilgrims and others throng the caves during the three-day ‘Thaipooyam’ festival held in January-February.