Encompassing the southern half of the Malay Peninsula, Peninsular Malaysia is a melting pot of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cultural influences. It’s home to pulsing modern cities, idyllic offshore islands and lush tracts of rainforest, as well as a mouth-watering cuisine.
Things to do in Peninsular Malaysia
Whether you want to experience the bright lights of Kuala Lumpur or escape to the idyllic Perhentian Islands, Peninsular Malaysia offers something to inspire all travellers.
Explore Kuala Lumpur. With its city skyline dominated by the 451-metre-tall Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur is a fascinating mix of traditional Malay, British colonial and modern Asian architecture. Admire the elaborate gopuram of the Sri Mahamariamman Temple and learn about Malay culture at the National Museum before sampling spicy local delicacies at the large Central Market.
Eat in UNESCO-listed George Town. Famed as the foodie capital of Malaysia, George Town is a multicultural city on the island of Penang. Its colourful Old Town streets are clustered with atmospheric mosques and antique Chinese shophouses, while the modern city’s sparkling lights are best viewed from the top of Penang Hill.
Dive in the Perhentian Islands. Surrounded by coral reefs teeming with life, the Perhentian Islands lie just off the north-east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Come face-to-face with tropical fish and turtles in the Perhentian Islands Marine Park or spot huge monitor lizards and playful monkeys in the jungle-covered interiors.
Drink tea in the Cameron Highlands. One of Peninsular Malaysia’s oldest tourist destinations is the Cameron Highlands, a cool-climate region north of Kuala Lumpur that’s renowned for its tea plantations. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the tea-making process on a guided tour before taking a step back in time to the early 20th century at The Time Tunnel museum.
Getting around Peninsular Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur International Airport is the main gateway to Peninsular Malaysia, with smaller airports in Penang, Langkawi and Johor Bahru. International trains connect to Thailand and Singapore while buses travel to destinations throughout the region. Taxis and ride-share services are readily available in most urban areas.