Take Note of The New Departure Levy for Travellers Leaving Malaysia Starting June 2019

In Budget 2019 that was released at the end of 2018, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that they had plans to implement a departure levy on travellers leaving the country. The tax is to be implemented on the 1st of June 2019. Travellers leaving for ASEAN countries will be charged RM20 and RM40 for other countries. This levy is different from the passenger service charge (PSC) that is already in place and imposed by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) to run the operations of the airport.

Lim has also stated that the purpose of this new tax is to encourage domestic tourism.

Passenger Service Charge (PSC), with effect from 1st July 2018

Proposed Departure Levy in Budget 2019, with effect (if Bill is passed in Parliament) from 1st June 2019

In an update statement released recently, the Finance Minister clarified that the new departure levy will only affect air travellers leaving the country. This includes commercial planes as well as privately owned jets. He also said that the tax amount will be decided at a later time as the government is currently focusing on the Bill’s infrastructure.

In addition, pilgrims travelling overseas to complete their Umrah and Hajj for the first time, will be exempted from paying the tax. This decision might be a response to Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan’s inquiry and debate of the Bill on April 9th, that travellers going to ASEAN countries, senior citizens, students studying abroad, and those travelling abroad to perform Umrah and Hajj should be exempted from this departure levy.

A few parties have been questioning the effect of the new tax on Malaysia’s international tourism. Datuk Seri Bung Mokhtar Radin said that, with the implementation of the new tax, maybe nobody would want to visit Malaysia anymore.

There have also been concerns from netizens that with the new tax, foreign tourists might favour Malaysia’s neighbouring South East Asian countries instead.

In response to those concerns, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi has said that the tax will not affect Malaysia’s tourism industry. He claimed to reporters that almost every other country or nation has imposed a travel or tourism tax and it has yet to affect the tourism industries of those nations.

He also said that the money collected from the levy will prove to be a great benefit for Malaysia, as the money will be used to boost development of the country and its people.

Remember to watch out for the tax if you are leaving Malaysia by flight starting on the 1st of June. You wouldn’t want to be stranded at the airport!

Sources :

https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/02/457185/travellers-against-departure-levy

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2019/04/09/guan-eng-departure-levy-only-for-air-travellers-leaving-country/1741428

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2019/04/09/impact-of-departure-levy-being-questioned-in-parliament/

https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2019/04/477625/departure-tax-will-not-affect-tourism-industry-says-minister

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2018/11/02/budget-2019-now-everybody-can-pay-departure-tax/1689335

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/03/budget-2019-travel-departure-levy/

https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/13/departure-levy-different-from-airport-tax/

10 Must Visit Zoo and Aquarium in Malaysia

Bored of sitting at home but you don’t have time for a long trip. Here at Byloka, Byloka recommends you gather all your family and visit a Zoo! If you want your kids to have fun, let them explore. After all, curiosity did not kill the cat!

Zoo Negara, Selangor

Image from Unsplash

Operating Hours: 9.00am-5.00pm

Do you remember the last time you visited the Zoo Negara? No? Then Zoo Negara is a must go place to you, as it features over 5137 specimen from 476 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. A panda? Marmoset? Black and White Ruffed Lemur? Never seen or heard of them before? Zoo Negara is definitely the place for you to see them!

Ticket Price: Adult – RM45.00

                       Child – RM18.00

Senior Citizen – RM23.00

Langkawi Wildlife Park, Kedah

Image from itourism

Operating Hours: 8.30am-6.00pm

Wanting to feed and hug the animal? Or see a beautiful peacock flashing beautiful feathers? Family who loves for interaction with animals can stop over here as this is a great place to spend time with animals. Byloka recommends here, as it also has cute and tame animals such as rabbit, raccoons, deer, ostriches and many others!

Ticket Price: Adult – RM24.00

           Child – RM16.00

Senior Citizen – RM16.00

Crocodile Adventureland Langkawi, Kedah

Image from buytickets

Operating Hours: 9.00am-6.00pm

What is a better way to teach your children about animals rather than to show them? In Byloka, we suggest you take your kids to Crocodile Adventureland Langkawi as it is the largest crocodile farm in Malaysia. See nearly 4,000 species of crocodiles including a crocodile named Bujang Lang that weighs 1,000 pounds in shows and educational exhibits. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Ticket Price: Adult – RM18.00

                        Child – RM12.00 

Senior Citizen – RM12.00

Aquaria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur

Image from thrillophilia

Operating Hours: 10.00am to 8.00pm

Do you know in the 88-floor towers KLCC that are constructed with concrete, lie a place for kids and family? Not just any place but instead it is the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia! Head off to the Aquaria KLCC where 5,000 different exhibits of aquatic such as scary tiger sharks, lethal sea snakes, blue rays, bright coral fish, seahorses and many more are placed!

Ticket Price: Adult – RM49.00

                        Child – RM39.00

Senior Citizen – RM39.00

KL Tower Mini Zoo, Kuala Lumpur

Image from Farm In The City

Operating Hours: 10.00am-9.00pm

Next, how about a click of a few photos with the birds on your shoulder and hand. To those have kids that love to have interaction with animal, this place is the one! The animals are not only cute but also super tame with people. Sound interesting? Then KL Tower Mini Zoo is a must stop place to you as cheeky squirrel monkeys, cuddly rabbits and colourful parrots are waiting for you and your family!

Ticket Price: Adult – RM39.00

                        Child – RM32.00

Senior Citizen – RM32.00

Pusat Ikan Hiasan, Port Dickson

Image from Utusan

Operating Hours: 9.00am-5.00pm

Wanting to bring your family to an interesting and a free-visit place? Then Pusat Ikan Hiasan is ideal for you! Drive your family to the Port Dickson and drop by here. The coral cultivation, live baby turtles, seahorses, stonefish guitar shark, fish breeding labs and others are waiting for you. While visiting, you can teach your children to support for marine life in Malaysia and the best part the entrance is free!

Ticket Price: Free!

Melaka Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary, Melaka

Image from yallabook.com

Operating Hours: 8.30am-5.30pm

Do you curious on how the beautiful butterflies look like at a short distance? Cause if you did, another place you should drop by is Melaka Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary. Be prepared to get impress as you will have a chance to release the butterfly from the cage. Other animals such as birds, fish, tortoise, snake and many more are ready to meet you!

Ticket Price: Adult – RM22.00

                       Child – RM16.00

Underwater World Langkawi, Kedah

Image from Travelog.com

Operating Hours: 9.30am-6.30pm

Instead of just seeing animals that are breed species from Malaysia, why not this time take a chance and see a penguin. Penguin? Yes, a penguin. In fact, lots of it! Underwater World Langkawi or also known as “UWL” give you the chance to feed them and have a show as well. Attractively, there’s a tunnel for the penguin to swim above you!

Ticket Price: Adult – RM36.00

                       Child – RM26.00

Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm, Johor

Image from Malaysia.Travel

Operating Hours: 9.00am-6.00pm  

Next, another crocodile stop that Byloka can suggest you is Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm. There, you can take a picture with a baby crocodile and for those who are food hunter, you can even try the crocodile soup or satay! But if you have kids who like to run around or climb, make sure you hold them tightly as this place has many crocodiles!

Ticket Price: Adult – RM8.00

                       Child – RM4.00

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, Sabah

Image from Holidaygogogo

Operating Hours: 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Drop by to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park where you can find many animals which also include endangered species such as the photo above. Grab a chance to view this endangered species as we do not know how much time will they have. The zoo consists of the zoological and botanical park. Kids would love to see all those animal. And you would too!

Ticket Price: Adult – RM10.00

                       Child – RM5.00

Bring your kids to one of this destination, teach the kids about animals as kids love the animals as much as we love our money. And you can also re-kindle your childhood memories. Btw, Happy Fathers Day to all the superhero fathers out there!

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15 Places to Visit in Malaysia in 3 Days

Staying in Malaysia for 3 days and 2 nights? Malaysia is just the great place to visit for that short duration! Whether you’re a first time travellers, a solo traveller or even a family, you should be aware of all the best places to visit in your 3 day visit here! This list is great for those who are a bit stuck on where to go. It can also help you decide on how you should go about planning your trip!

Malaysia is filled with a range of many attractions for people of different preferences, from beaches and islands, to a country full of rich culture and history, to nature reserves and adventures, as well as amazing local cuisine! So, whatever your reason is for travelling here, Malaysia always has lots to offer. There are lots to see and do, so if you have a short time to visit, this list will definitely help you sort out just what attractions to see and what to do in your short in Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur

1. Petronas Twin Towers

Source from Wikipedia

The highlight of Kuala Lumpur is this magnificent 88 story twin structure. Firstly, the Petronas Twin Towers were inspired by Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s vision to be a global player. The towers always dazzle at night and is a must-see staple for any visitor! During 1998 to 2004 the Twin Towers were announced the tallest building in the world, coming in at a height of 451.9 meters. Be sure to make a stop at level 86 to go on the observation deck that has the best views of Kuala Lumpur to date!

2. Petaling Street

Source from flickr

Known as Kuala Lumpur’s very own Chinatown, Petaling Street is lined with a large amount of heritage buildings, along with shopping and food stalls and dozens of restaurants which always serve local favorites. Back in 2003, it underwent a major change when there was an addition of 2 large Chinese arches that welcome visitors at both ends of the street.

3. Pasar Seni

Source from Wikipedia

Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, this market is the center of Malaysian Culture, Heritage, Art and Craft. Not to mention, even outside the building, there’s a walkway that offers even more shopping choices for you to see! There are many esteemed arts events that take place in the building, be sure to be on the lookout for exciting events that are held there, such as Chinese New Year celebrations!

4. Bukit Bintang

Source from Wikipedia

Placed in the heart of the city, this area is a shopper’s paradise! Not to mention, filled with an abundance of fashion, food and entertainment, some of the best (and well-known) malls in Malaysia can be found here. Be sure to take a walk from Bukit Bintang to the Kuala Lumpur City Center through the walkway. As a result, this area contains nine shopping malls that host many options for avid shoppers that have fantastic bargains.

5. Thean Hou Temple

Source from flickr

One of the most famous temples in Kuala Lumpur, the Thean Hou Temple is a Chinese temple that is dedicated to the Queen of Heaven, Thean Hou, who is the protector of people that make their living from the sea. The temple borrows traditions of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. This is one of the sites worth seeing as the trip up the hill offers visitors beautiful panoramic views of Kuala Lumpur.

Selangor

Batu Caves

Source from flickr

Made up of three limestone caves that features temples and Hindu shrines, the Batu Caves attracts many worshippers and tourists, especially during the Hindu festival of Thaipusam. At the entrance of the caves, there’s a 140 feet golden statue of Lord Muruga, and if you climb up the many colorful steps, you can get a reward of a stunning skyline view of the city center.

Sabah

1. Kinabalu Park

Source from Wikimedia

Also known as Taman Kinabalu, this place is home to Malaysia’s tallest mountain, Mount Kinabalu and is Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not to mention, this Park is one of the most important biological sites in the world, having more than 4,500 species of flora and fauna, with 326 bird and 100 mammal species. It’s a great place to challenge yourself with mountain biking or mountain hiking!

2. Tawau Hills Park

Source from flickr

The Tawau Hills Park is a reserve that is blanketed in forested hills that rise from the surrounding plains, If the Maliau Basin or the Danum Valley are too much for you, this is a better alternative option for you. There is still lots of jungle to explore, and trails are much easier on your feet. Not to mention, the park’s peaks are good sites as well!

3. Labuan Museum

Source from Wikipedia

Taking a glossy and slightly superficial look at Sabah’s history, this museum displays the history and culture from colonial days through WWII down to the establishment of Labuan as independent from federal territory. Not to mention, one of the more interesting displays in this museum are the ones on the different ethnic groups that live on this island, which includes a diorama of traditional Chinese tea ceremony.

Sarawak

1. Gunung Mulu National Park

Source from flickr

Located near Miri, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, this National Park became listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, just like Kinabalu Park, in November 2000. It is home of the world’s largest cave chamber, the Sarawak Cave, which can fit as many as 40 Boeing 747 aircrafts. The Deer Cave is the world’s second largest cave passage. While visiting this area, we recommend for you to visit the four main caves, which are Deer, Lang, Clearwater and Wind. You can also walk through the Mulu Canopy Skywalk!

2. Sarawak Cultural Village

Source from flickr

This Cultural Village is the venue for the World Harvest Festival and the Rainforest World Music Festival. It was set up to preserve as well as showcase Sarawak’s cultural heritage. On display, there are costumes, handicrafts and tradition dwellings, not to mention cultural performances that happens twice a day. Make sure to visit the longhouses to take a look at each of the ethnic tribes’ lives. You can also join an interactive music workshop at the Rainforest Music House.

3. Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary

Source from Wikimedia

Along with the adjoining Betung Kerihun National Park in Indonesia, this wildlife sanctuary makes up the most important biodiversity sanctuary in Borneo. Most importantly, it may be home to about 10% of the remaining wild population of orangutans and other rare and threatened plant and animal species, it’s definitely worth a visit!

Pahang

1. Cameron Highlands

Source from flickr

Located about 1,500 meters above sea level, Cameron Highlands is Malaysia’s largest highland resort. There are many relaxing activities to do while visiting Cameron Highlands. One of the activities that is a must is visiting the BOH Tea Plantation to learn about the tea making process, as well as enjoying a steaming cup of tea with a view os the tea plantation.

2. Genting Highlands

Source from Wikimedia

Otherwise known as Resorts World Genting, Genting Highlands is a one stop hill resort that contains theme parks, hotels, casinos and other shopping and dining options. Located on top of Ulu Kali Mountain and about 1,800 meters above sea level and in short proximity to Kuala Lumpur makes this place a great short getaway. In addition, be sure to check out the indoor theme parks and take a ride on the Skyway Cable Car to the top of the hill.

3. Taman Negara

Source from flickr

The premier national park of Malaysia, this park has on the of the world’s oldest rainforests that are estimated to be more than 130 million years old. Some of the popular activities to partake in while visiting Taman Negara are the jungle trekking and river cruises to see the wildlife that live amongst us in Malaysia!

There you have it guys! The top 15 places you can go to and visit if you’re in Malaysia for 3 days. Granted it’s not physically possible to visit all 15 in just 3 days, but these are the best options and places to go to when you don’t know where to start!

10 of Malaysia’s Travel Highlights of 2019

Kuala Lumpur may not be the place for an authentic Asian experience. However, it contains links to Thailand and Singapore, and has a melting pot of cultures with Malaysian, Chinese and Indian influences that affects the atmosphere as well as the food

1. Perhentian Islands

Firstly, we start with the Perhentian Islands. It is located in West Malaysia’s northeast coast, providing a very well-known tourist attraction for travelers. As well as previously being a stopping place for traders. In addition, this island consists of 2 inhabited islands named Besar (Big) and Kecil (Small). These are easily accessible by boat from Kuala Besut. In addition, it features turtle conservation centers, white sand beach resorts, jungle trails and the odd monitor lizards.

2. Cameron Highlands

Approximately 200kms north of Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands sits as a calmer alternative to city life. Comprised of lush green estates and British hill stations, make it one of the best places to visit in Malaysia. The Highlands offers visitors a stunning tropical scenery, temples, lake houses. In addition to that, a place for hikers with marked tracks through jungles and mossy forests leading you to hidden waterfalls and misty mountain views.

Source from Wikimedia Commons

3. Kuala Lumpur

It’s mostly likely that your trip in Malaysia is bound to start in Kuala Lumpur, with it being the capital of Malaysia. KL, as daunting as it may seem, has lots to offer to tourists. Ranging from many shopping venues scattered around the city, to places like Chinatown, Little India and Merdeka Square. To get around, we recommend for you to go by the monorail as it is the simplest and hassle-free way to get around. If you’re looking for a place to be outside, but not directly in the heat, Lake Gardens or KLCC Park are most preferred by locals.

Source from Max Pixel

4. Malacca City

Malacca City, a former fishing village, is now well-known in Malaysia for having a UNESCO status that covers the city’s historic central district. This includes Jonker Walk in Chinatown along with several examples of colonial heritage. Malacca stands as a testament to Malaysia’s multi-faith society with a variety of mosques, churches and temples situated side-by-side.

Source from Pixabay

5. Penang

Likewise, if you’re someone who loves art, Penang’s UNESCO capital, Georgetown is the place for you to go to. With the city being covered in paintings and sculptures, along with indoor galleries and heritage museums, you surely won’t get bored! Celebrated as the food capital of Malaysia, Penang is a cornucopia of food places for you to eat at. Hence, it contains food from many cultures, from Malay, India and even Chinese!

Source from Wikimedia Commons

6. Tioman Island

This island is surrounded by protected coral reefs and contains plenty of wildlife in the Pulau Tioman Wildlife Reserve, hence, it’s not a surprise to many that this is a popular destination for hikers and snorkellers. Located on the southeast coast of Malaysia, this island has 8 different villages, with some paths leading you to hidden waterfalls, beaches and long-tailed macaques!

Source from flickr

7. Mount Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu stands as one of the highest mountains in Malaysia with 4092 meters in height. However, it doesn’t contend to be one of the tallest in the world. Therefore, there’s no snow at the peak, it’s considered one of the coldest places in Malaysia. Furthermore, the mountain is located on the northern part of the State of Sabah, in Borneo Malaysia. Moreover, if you plan to climb the mountain, we recommend for you to visit Kota Kinabalu as well, as it is the closest city to the mountain.

Source from flickr

8. Langkawi

Langkawi resides just south of Thailand, where there are 4 inhabited islands (which includes Langkawi itself) which consists of rainforest-covered mountains, fine sand and varying degrees of water visibility. Pantain Cenang, on Langkawi Island can get particularly busy and full of tourists so it’s best if you head north to stray away from beach bars.

Source from flickr

9. Taman Negara National Park

If you’re visiting, you can choose either of the following places: Peninsular Malaysia or Borneo. However, if your stay in Malaysia is short, we recommend you stay on the Peninsula, and one of the best wildlife parks in Peninsula Malaysia is the National Park (or Taman Negara). Not to mention, this place is the oldest primary rainforest in the world, and a must-see place to go to!

Source from flickr

10. Belum Forest Reserve

Certainly an important spot for wildlife in Malaysia, Belum is comprised of tigers, elephants, gibbons and sun bears. Here, you can stay overnight in a lodge and get closer to nature, along with the most eclectic and loud dawn chorus imaginable waking you up! Whilst river boat trips allows you to get closer to hornbills that guards the river banks whereas gibbons dominate the durian, mango and jackfruit trees from above you!

Source from flickr

And that concludes our list of Malaysia’s travel highlights of 2019. We do agree that the travel highlights of Malaysia are unlimited. However, this list is compressed, so it would be simpler for visitors. Without a doubt, we do urge you to visit these wonderful places and we hope you have a fantastic 2019!

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Chinese New Year Attractions in Malaysia

To many locals and expats that live in Malaysia, we all know that Chinese New Year is one of the biggest and most important annual holidays for the Chinese and the Chinese community. But what exactly is this holiday?

Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year, marks the start of the new year. Which begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice, and ends on the full moon 15 days later. This holiday is fulls of visits to family and friends, special meals, fireworks and gift giving.

If you’re at a loss on what to do during the Chinese New Year holiday, we’re here to help you! Here are a few Chinese New Year celebrations and traditions in Malaysia during the holidays!

Ang pow

One of the most popular traditions of Chinese New Year is the distribution of ang pow. Which are little red parcels full of money. The distribution of ang pow has crossed cultural lines and is nowadays not only restricted to Chinese locals. It has crossed said cultural borders to the point that Malays and Indians have now adopted it into their own cultural celebrations. Especially during Syawal and Deepavali respectively. In Chinese culture, the red ang pow envelope symbolizes good luck and is thought to ward off evil spirits.

Lucky Oranges

Days leading up to Chinese New Year, places are adorned with red lanterns. Along with the universal slogan of “Gong Xi Fa Cai” – which means “may you be prosperous”. There are usually stalls everywhere selling mandarin oranges as they are very popular during this time of year. In the Chinese culture, mandarins and tangerines are a symbol of prosperity and good luck. Prices are higher during this holiday. In addition, they’re displayed as decorations or given as gifts to many people.

Tossing of Yee Sang

Food-wise, the main dish that is popular during Chinese New Year in Malaysia (and sometimes even Singapore) is Yee Sang. Yee Sang, or the Prosperity Toss, is a teochew-style raw fish salad. It’s believed to bring good health and wealth for the coming year.

In Malaysia, Yee Sang has become so popular to the point that it has been declared as Malaysian heritage food by the Malaysia Department of National Heritage.

The ritual of the tossing of Yee Sang is you and other people to gather around the plate, with each person holding onto a pair of chopsticks and to mix and toss the salad together while they shout “Loh Hei”, which is Cantonese for “toss up good fortune”. The higher you toss the salad, the better the fortune (and unfortunately, the messier the table).

Reunion Dinner

Like any festive occasion in Malaysia, you know that it’s a reason for you to go back home and EAT!!! One of the most important occasions during Chinese New Year is the family reunion dinner. Where families come together and spends their evening together. There’s a legend that goes that on New Years’s eve, it’s tradition to stay up until midnight after the reunion dinner. Then, you’re safe from the evil spirits.

Chap Goh Mei (Lantern Festival)

On the last day of the 2-week celebration, the fireworks and firecrackers are back to tie-up the holiday. “Chap Goh Mei” simply means the 15th day in Hokkien, otherwise known as the Lantern Festival. Nowadays, Chap Goh Mei has a carnival-like vibe with performances that are set up in the middle of town. Traditionally, it’s known as Chinese Valentine’s Day. In Malaysia and Singapore, there’s a tradition where women would write their names and phone numbers on mandarines and throw them into the river for men to scoop up. (It’s essentially a traditional Tinder)

Note:For those that want to join in on the fun, it’s on the 19th of February. And is available to celebrate at these places:

  • Esplanade, Penang– on this night there are competitions. Boys need to scoop up the fruits that the girls threw. The boat that contains the most mandarins wins
  • Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur– Every year, thousands of people, both locals and tourists, offer prayers to the three deities: the Goddess of the Seas (Thean Hou), the Goddess of the Waterfront (Swei Mei) and the Goddess of Mercy (Kuan Yin)
  • The Quayside, Malacca
  • Danga Bay Convention Centre, Johor Bahru

(If you participate, you should throw the mandarin facing the south-east. The best time is to throw it is in between the time of 5:30pm and 8:59pm.)

Lion Dance

A highlight that definitely cannot be missed during this period are the Lion Dance acts. In each lion costume there are 2 people and although it looks simple, it’s not an easy job. Especially for the person in the back of the costume. The modernised Lion Dance requires the dances to have extreme physical skills – especially when they jump from pole to pole.

NOTE – To travelers, photographers, youtubers and videographers. Please do not interfere with people when they are praying or performing rituals in temples. Unfortunately, there are people in this world that go around sticking their cameras in people’s faces without their consent to “capture the moment”. Only do so if you get consent from the person, so please respect the people around you and the culture.

5 Beaches To Visit in Selangor

Malaysia’s coastline is famous for its beautiful sandy beaches, and there are definitely many to choose to from. Therefore, we’ve compiled a short list of 5 of the best beaches for you to go visit in Selangor!

1. Pantai Tanjung Piai

Firstly, is Pantai Tanjung Piai. It is a private beach that is located in Klang, and like the other beaches in this list, Pantai Tanjung Piai is close to Kuala Lumpur and is a good place to go to for a short getaway from the rush and hubbub of the city life.

2. Pantai Morib

Since Morib Beach is one of the closest beaches to Kuala Lumpur, it has since become the ideal spot for people to come to to wind down for a short getaway by the sea. This beach has a shoreline that spans to about 3 km long, shaded by swaying palms. Although most of the beach has been converted into a seaside promenade and recreational park, there are still stretches of sandy beach on the northern end of the beach that extends to the ocean during the low tide.

3. Sky Mirror

Sky Mirror, otherwise known as Sasaran Beach, is one of the biggest tourist attractions of Malaysia and is only accessible for people to go to twice a month (during the new moon and full moon periods). This is due to the fact that when the tide is ideal for people to go to, it is when the sand bar emerges, Malaysia’s very own “Salar de Uyuni” or “Mirror in the Sky”. Sasaran Beach is named this because the shallow waters of this “Secret Island” clearly reflects the sky. Hence creating great photo opportunities.

4. Pantai Redang

Pantai Redang Beach (热浪沙滩) at Sekinchan is infamous for being the shooting area for local dramas and movies, such as Outbound Love (單戀雙城) drama that Hong Kong TVB. Unfortunately, this beach is not the most suitable for you to swim in, snorkel or dive. Instead, visit the the wishing tree, which is adorned with ribbons knotted with coins or visit some temples nearby.

5.Pantai Cunang

Finally, near a mangrove forest in Tanjung Sepat, there’s Pantai Cunang. It’s a beautiful white sandy beach that is maintained by the Mah Meri orang asli villagers. The Mah Meri are people that live in the adjacent village in a place called Kampung Koi. Most importantly, they’re known for their vibrant culture, handicraft skills and their care for their environment.

20 Instagrammable Places in Malaysia

As far as Instagram-worthy spots go, most people overlook Malaysia. Why go and spend so much money, when we have our very own places nearby? See how many of these vibrant Instagram-worthy locations in Malaysia you’ve been to (or can add to your future checklist).

#1 Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur

Address:65, Persiaran Endah, Taman Persiaran Desa, 50460 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

#2 Putra Mosque, Putrajaya

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Address: Persiaran Persekutuan, Presint 1, 62502 Putrajaya, Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya

#3 Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Kuala Lumpur

Address: Jalan Raja, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

#4 Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

Address: Concourse Level, Petronas Twin Tower, Lower Ground, 50088, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

#5 Astaka Morocco, Putrajaya

Address: Presint 1, 62000 Putrajaya

#6 Wonderfood Museum, Penang

Address: 49, Lebuh Pantai, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang

#7 Boh Tea Estate, Pahang

Address: Boh Road Habu, 39200 Ringlet, Pahang

#8 Sky Mirror, Kuala Selangor

Address: 15, 3, Jalan Yu 1, Taman Yu, 45800 Jeram, Selangor

#9 The Blue Mansion, Penang

Address: Ground Floor, 14, Leith Street, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang

#10 Laman Seni 7, Selangor

Address: Jalan Plumbum R7/R, Seksyen 7, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor

#11 Batu Caves, Selangor

Address: Gombak, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor

#12 Crystal Mosque, Kuala Terengganu

Address: Pulau Wan Man, 21000 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu

#13 Pulau Sipadan, Sabah

#14 Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak

#15 Kuala Lumpur Tower, Kuala Lumpur

Address: No. 2 Jalan Punchak, Off, Jalan P Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur, 50250

#16 KL Forest Eco Park, Kuala Lumpur

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Address: Lot 240, Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

#17 Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur

Address: Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

#18 Sri Mahamariamman Temple

Address: Jalan Tun H S Lee, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

#19 Little India, Brickfields

#20 Wilayah Mosque, Kuala Lumpur

Address: Jalan Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, Kompleks Kerajaan, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

10 of Malaysia’s Must-Try Foods

In Malaysia, we boast the fact that we are a diverse country with many cultures, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Malay…you name it, we’re a culture stew of different people coming in from different places. Of course, with different cultures, comes many varieties of foods, here are the top 10 things you MUST try while you’re here.

1. Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak is a Malaysian staple! It’s rice cooked in coconut milk. With a side of roasted peanuts, crunchy anchovies, boiled eggs and finally, the sweet-spicy chili. Granted this meal is not the best for you and for the heart, but for the soul, it’s the best food that you can get in Malaysia that would make you feel connected to the country.

2. Satay

Satay is a popular Malaysian street food. It’s seasoned meat that is skewered on a stick. This dish is grilled over fire, garnished with onions, cucumbers and ketupat (rice cake). Finally, it’s served up with sweet and spicy peanut sauce. In this one plate, you have a balanced meal of carbohydrates, protein, fats, as well as vegetables!

3.Char Kway Teow

Any locals can guarantee that a plate of greasy, savoury char kway teow is the way to go. This famous street food dish is practically all over the country. It’s a plate of stir-fried ricecake strips with prawns and bean sprouts. It will definitely have you hooked, even from the first bite.

4.Nasi Kandar

Another one for the rice lovers, the nasi kandar. This dish is a popular northern Malaysian food that originated from Penang. It contains steamed rice served with a variety of curries and side dishes. It’s accompanied by fried chicken, gizzards, curried mutton, cubed beef, fish roe, fried prawns or fried squid. The vegetable aspect of the dish would usually be brinjal (aubergine), okra/bendi (lady fingers) or bitter gourd. Finally, a mixture of curry sauces is poured on top of the rice.

Top tip: Ask for the sauces to be mixed. You’ll definitely get a better taste of different flavours marrying together! From here, you can now enjoy the sensation that is nasi kandar!

5.Assam Laksa

For those who love sour and spicy, this is the embodiment of the perfect dish for you. This dish consists of rice noodles in a fishy broth and garnished with cucumbers, chilli, fresh shallots and other garnishes depending on where you’re eating.

6.Cendol

Now, you didn’t think that all that’s going to be on this list are savoury foods did you?

It’s no mystery that Malaysia is extremely hot. As a result, locals escape the heat by eating this sweet dessert, a bowl of shaved ice with green rice flour jelly, coconut milk and palm sugar syrup. Therefore, combining sweet and cold to have you asking for more! Making cendol a fan favourite!

7. Apom Balik

For people that are always on-the-go, this dessert is certainly the one for you! In other words, a pancake turnover. Apom balik is a crunchy shell that contains sweet fillings. The best fillings are sugar, sweet corn and crushed peanuts. It’s no surprise that many people find it hard to resist!

8.Rojak

Granted this dish does not look too pleasing to look at, it is undoubtedly refreshing to eat. It’s a plate of chopped fruits and other foods. Topped with a savoury-sweet sauce. To most the sauce is definitely a mystery, but once they start eating this dish, they don’t quit!

9.Roti Canai

Roti Canai is both a meal and a show, as you can see one guy twisting, slapping and layering the dough with ghee, whilst others are cooking the bread on a wok. Whereas some others tend to the massive drums of curry nearby. Although this dish seems like it would be savoury, many locals eat it for breakfast, accompanied with a warm cup of coffee or Milo.

10.Durian

To sum up, we have the durian. One simply cannot leave Malaysia without even trying this fruit! Otherwise known as the King of Fruits, this fruit is definitely not for the faint of hearts. However, despite its foul smell and thorny shell, the flesh of this fruit is quite the opposite of its outer appearance (and smell). It contains a soft and smooth flesh that has what locals can simply describe as a wonderfully complicated.

5 Unique Things You Can Do with Your Best Friend in Malaysia

Everybody loves a vacation; from your 6-year-old neighbour to your 70-year-old grandmother. The only thing that can make a vacation better, is if your best friend is right next to you for the adventure.

Here, we have compiled a short list of unique things you can do in Malaysia with your BFF that will leave you both wanting and coming back for more!

1. Rainbow Waterfall, Sungai Lembing, Pahang

Are you and your best friend the adventurous type? If so, this destination is perfect for the both of you.

Malaysia has quite a few waterfalls to boast about, however, Rainbow Waterfall sets itself apart due to its ever-present rainbow. And moreover, the view of the rainbow right at the edge of the waterfall as it melts into the rocks below is truly breathtaking. If the mesmerising destination isn’t enough to get you there, maybe the idea of driving a 4WD and jungle trekking with your best friend will be. The natural waterfall is hidden deep within the hills of Sungai Lembing, which is easily accessed by a 4WD that you can easily rent at a local transportation agency, or if you would rather go at a calmer pace, just a short hike is needed to get you there.

The journey itself takes about an hour, so what are you waiting for? Book a trip today!

2. Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple, Johor Bahru

Next on our list is a temple that has made its way on to the Malaysian Book of Records for being the first, and most importantly, only glass temple in the country. Malaysia is a melting pot of culture and religion, which has allowed its people the luxury to witness beliefs and ways that are different to their own. Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman glass temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Johor Bahru and its unique look has driven hordes of locals and tourists alike to its doors.

If you and your BFF enjoy art, this temple will not disappoint. With gorgeous murals that depict social and racial harmony to the 10 gold finished statues that adorn the front of the building, the architecture and artwork alone could keep you there for hours.

The temple is located in a very accessible part of town, with car and coach parking provided. It is open to tourists from 1-5pm daily.

3. Kuching Cat Museum, Kuching, Sarawak

Are you looking to get some fun Insta-worthy selfies in during your trip? Well, look no further than the Cat Museum. One of their main attractions includes a mummified cat from Egypt! Yes, we have a Cat Museum in a city called Kuching – which translates to Cat in English. Of course, the city was most probably not named after Cats but it’s still fun word play.

Although the city is naturally called Cat city, there’s no need to fear, as the city itself is not completely populated by cats. There are however, many cat memorabilia sold around this city, such as cat posters, toys, pictures and anything cat that you could think of.

Entrance to the museum, as well as parking is free, however, there are small charges imposed to visitors when taking pictures with certain exhibits around the museum.

4. Kek Lok Si, Air Itam, Penang

Remember how we said that Malaysia is a melting pot of culture and religion? Another example of that can be seen in one of our other famous temples.

Kek Lok Si is a Buddhist Temple that faces the sea and is located at Air Itam on Penang Island. Construction on the initial parts of the complex of temples first started in 1890, giving this spot a long and unique history.
In addition to that, this attraction is perfect for art and history buffs. Thisis due to the temple’s main attraction, a seven story Pagoda of Rama or Pagoda of ten thousand Buddhas. Besides this, the complex of temples also boasts a 120ft tall bronze statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of mercy.

If you’re lucky, you might even be in town during one of the many Chinese festivals that the temple annually hosts!

5. Durian Buffet, SS2, Selangor

Last but not least, a durian buffet! Are you looking for a truly local travel experience? Well then you can’t leave the country without having our famous King of Fruits! You’ve seen it on TV and online, celebrities taking a bite out if this creamy and custard-like fruit and subsequently, gagging. We’ll admit, the Durian fruit is definitely not for the weak of heart, due to its foul odour, but for us Malaysians, we can’t imagine a more delectable fruit.Think about all the fun you and your bestie would have challenging yourselves to eat a Durian buffet, and hey who knows? You might enjoy it, if not, most importantly, you’d certainly love the experience!

The Durian buffet at SS2 in Selangor is one of the largest in the country. It serves up Durians buffet style during the Durian season and charges by the kilo when it’s not. No matter when or where you go, above all, you’ll be sure to have a wide selection of this amazing fruit everywhere you look in Malaysia.

There you have it guys, finally, a list of random and unique things you can do with your best friend in Malaysia. However, this is definitely not the end of it; as Malaysia has a variety of things to offer our tourists because after all, Malaysia is Truly Asia.