Published on November 15th, 2016 | by Passport & Plates


17 pics of Malaysia that will make you want to go RN

Read time: a bit over 4 minutes

Thailand. Vietnam. Indonesia. Singapore. These are just a few of the countries in Southeast Asia that are incredibly popular destinations for travellers. Yet, Malaysia is one Southeast Asian country that rarely makes the “popular destinations” list. When I do meet the rare unicorn who has been to Malaysia, he or she has usually only visited Kuala Lumpur, the nation’s capital. In fact, up until I went on my recent Geckos Adventures trip, I was one of these unicorns. *hangs head in shame.*

So if, like many others, you haven’t been to Malaysia yet (or haven’t even considered it as a travel destination) listen up. I’m about to change your mind. All it will take are some photos: 17, to be exact. I can almost guarantee that these pics will make you want to visit.


Hugging the northwest point of Malaysia, Penang is made up of two parts: Penang Island, home to its capital Georgetown, and Seberang Perai, on the mainland. While its beaches and street art are quite beautiful, Penang is worth visiting just for the food. Fondly known as the food capital of Malaysia, it’s a place every food lover should add to his/her bucket list – and somewhere I’d return to when craving authentic street food.


Trying “pulled tea” at a food stall. The vendor pulls the tea several times to ensure just the right amount of frothiness.


Hunting for street art in Georgetown. This is one of Penang’s most famous pieces, appropriately named “Little Children on a Bicycle.”


Close up of wishing ribbons at Kek Lok Si Buddhist Temple. For 1 Malaysian Ringgit, you can place a ribbon on the wishing tree at the temple. Each color signifies a different wish, such as world peace, excellent health, or academic progress.


Making friends with cats at Purrfect Cat Café. Not exactly cultural, but fun nonetheless.


Discovering how epic the Glow in the Dark Museum is.


Experiencing our first hawker center. Delicious, interesting, and overwhelming would be accurate descriptors.

Cameron Highlands

The Cameron Highlands was a popular getaway with the British during the colonial period, and it’s easy to see why. Unlike many other Malaysian cities, the Highlands are lush, green and cool. In fact it was around 70°F/21°C when I was there. The delicious food, expansive plantations, and breathtaking views make it an area worth visiting and returning to. Some of my fav photos of Malaysia were taken here.


In awe of the expansive Boh Tea Plantation. I learned that all different types of tea come from the same plant species!


Views of Gunung Brinchang, the second highest mountain in the Cameron Highlands. I climbed a rusting radio tower to get this shot! #SorryMom


Picking strawberries in the hills of the Cameron Highlands. Something about the altitude makes them delicious!

Kuala Lumpur

The capital city of Malaysia is best described as traditional-meets-modern. On one hand, its spectacular skyscraper-filled skyline is the epitome of a modern day commercial centre. On the other, its night markets and street stalls remind visitors that there’s plenty of culture behind the glitz and modern – if you know where to look.


The famous Petronas Twin Towers. Did you know they’re the tallest twin towers in the world?


Watching the fountain show outside the Suria KLCC Mall. The light and sound coordination was so impressive.


Spectacular views of KL from the Heli Lounge Bar. Mind. Blown.


Crashing boys night out at the Heli Lounge Bar in KL. Gotta keep them out of trouble, right?


Sampling chicken rice at a café. Apparently this dish is popular both in Singapore and Malaysia.


Located just a few hours north of the Singapore border, Melaka was once one of the busiest port cities in Southeast Asia. Now – not so much. Instead, this UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its Dutch colonial architecture and ostentatious trishaws. This is one place you can truly get around in style.


Amazing views of the famous Dutch Square of Melaka. Check out the terracotta-red buildings!


Pimp my ride, Melaka edition. Each trishaw is decorated according to some theme – we saw everything from Hello Kitty to the Minions!


One way to tour the city is by riding along the Melaka River – now that’s a refreshing change from the bus!

So…have I convinced you to visit Malaysia yet? I mean seriously, these photos are making ME want to go back – and I was just there last month.

Get in on Malaysia like Sally did on our Discover Bangkok to Singapore Tour

Photos taken by Sally Elbassir.

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About the Author

Born in Ireland and raised in Southern California, Sally of Passport & Plates has been a traveler from the start. She boarded her first flight when she was just 10 days old and hasn't stopped traveling since. Growing up Arab and Muslim in the U.S. has made her no stranger to cultural clashes, and summers spent learning to cook resulted in her deep appreciation for all types of cuisine. She's a firm believer that local food and travel experiences are the best form of education. Sally shares her adventures and tips on

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