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Bamboo leaf canopy
Photo by kazuend / Unsplash

1. Go to wildlife spotting

Malaysia has abundant diversity of wildlife. Orangutans, Malaysian tigers, monitor lizards, and Sumatra rhinos are all indigenous to the country. Malaysia's national parks and wildlife reserves are the best places to see wildlife, including Taman Negara and Bako National Park. For orangutans, go to Borneo! Most day trips will cost less than 500 MYR ($ 121 USD), while a multi-day tour will cost upwards of 10,000 MYR ($ 2,426 USD).

2. Dive on Sipdan Island

Sippdan Island is one of the best diving destinations in the world. Jacques Casto once declared the island "an untouched piece of art". Barracudas, manta rays, hammerhead sharks, whale sharks and greenback and hawksbill turtles fill these crystal waters. Three tank divers in the area will cost around 350 MYR ($ 85 USD) per person while a snorkel trip will cost 150 MYR ($ 36 USD).

3. Taman Negara National Park

At 130 million years old, Taman Negara is the oldest rainforest in the world. You can take the world's largest canopy walk, take a 4 × 4 safari to hunt elephants and tigers, go for a walk, or visit some orang asli villages (belonging to the country's indigenous people). Admission is 1 MYR ($ 0.25 USD) and 5 MYR ($ 1 USD) if you want to take photos in the park.

Beam of light on a forest road
Photo by JOHN TOWNER / Unsplash

4. Relax in Pulau Langkawi

Featured in thousands of different magazines, websites and articles, Pulau Langkawi is a picturesque retreat on an archipelago of over 100 islands made up of white sandy beaches and endless sunshine. Pantai Cenang is the most popular beach area, especially for a bar of restaurants, bars and shops. For a bit slower, visit some of the traditional villages in the area, go snorkeling on the island of Pyar, or check out the Telga Tujhu Waterfalls on the northwest side of the island.

5. Do whitewater rafting Outside of diving

Malaysia is also known for its challenging whitewater rafting conditions. You can find all grades of rafting on the rivers here, and prices start at around 200 MYR ($ 49 USD). Kuala Kubu Bharu River and Ulu Slim River are two popular options.

6. Understand the colonial roots of Malaysia

Malaysia went through a diverse colonial history, falling into Portuguese, Dutch and British hands before finally attaining independence. For a good understanding of this colonial influence, consider a visit to Malacca (or Melaka). The city center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, and the Baba & Nyona Heritage Museum gives an in-depth overview of Malaysia's colonial past.

Smoky morning in Cascades
Photo by Sergei Akulich / Unsplash

7. Visit Borneo

East of Malaysia is Borneo, which is the third largest island in the world with some of the most diverse rainforests on the planet. Pair that with unlimited wildlife viewing opportunities (including Orangutans and proboscis monkeys!), And a rich indigenous culture with the likes of Sarawak's famous headhunting tribe, and you've got a memorable trip. If you are an experienced mountaineer, you can also climb 4,095 meters high, Kinabalu, Malaysia's highest mountain.

Check out our blog on Offkey things to do in Malaysia to know more about this beautiful piece of land.