Destinations

These 10 lesser-known Malaysian attractions of Kuala Lumpur and Penang will wow your clients

When the time comes for your clients to turn their wanderlust into reality, chances are they’ll be on the lookout for an experience they could not have had at home.

Malaysia is an ecologically rich nation that packs an assortment of outdoor adventures into a small package. But alongside unique sites, animals, plants, cuisine and culture is a range of amazing attractions.

Together with Tourism Malaysia, Travel Weekly has pooled some of the destination’s best attractions, beginning with a handful of the best lesser-known gems you’ll find in Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur

Image source: iStock/miodrag ignjatovic

Smack bang in the middle of Kuala Lumpur – a bustling city of 1.75 million people – is a tiny, protected tropical rainforest reserve known as the KL Forest Eco Park (pictured).

It is the oldest (gazetted in 1906) and the smallest (at only nine hectares) protected rainforest in Malaysia. The park is squished between the high rises of the city – in one minute, travellers can be in the treetops and in the next at a rooftop bar overlooking them.

Stepping into city-life, travellers can then make their way to the top of KL Tower for an unobstructed view of the bustling city, from the KL Tower Sky Box.

At 300 meters up, the Sky Box extends out from the Sky Deck ledge and is a unique experience for visitors to enjoy the panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur, day and night. This is one vantage point you’ll want to recommend to your clients for the perfect panoramic shot.

Meanwhile, tourists can get a taste of Malaysia’s Chinese heritage, by taking a stroll down the recently restored lane of Kwai Chai Hong, one of Kuala Lumpur’s best-kept secrets.

The Kwai Chai Hong restoration project involved repairing the lane’s ‘60s era buildings. Since these efforts were completed, travellers can now enjoy a dose of the nation’s migrant history, as well as enjoy a variety of different foods and beverages at a range of shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars.

Penang

Travellers can enjoy picturesque views of Penang City at The Top Penang, KOMTAR Rainbow Skywalk (source: iStock/CrystalFoto)

Moving onto the country’s other great haunt, beautiful Penang is home to some of the country’s most popular and unique attractions, including Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm.

The tropical world’s first butterfly and insect sanctuary, the Penang Butterfly Farm was founded in 1986 by self-taught entomologist David Goh. Since then, more than five million local and overseas tourists have visited the sanctuary.

In 2015, Penang Butterfly Farm rebranded itself into Entopia, a nature learning destination led by the founder’s son, Joseph Goh.

Entopia now houses an impressively varied collection of butterfly species as well as an assortment of other insects, arachnids and reptiles, including up to 15,000 free-flying butterflies at any one time.

Although the facility is well-known as a tourist attraction, the butterfly haven has gained a reputation for increasing awareness on the challenges facing rainforest conservation and butterfly habitats.

For added fun while visiting Penang, travellers should make the most of outdoor and water activities at ESCAPE Theme Park, which is home to the world’s longest waterslide.

Given the Guinness World Record for the longest tube water slide, the slide zig zags 1,111 metres through the theme park and among jungle scenery, with the ride lasting three to four minutes.

But if the water slides of ESCAPE Theme Park have failed to get your clients’ adrenaline pumping, a walk on the world’s highest ropes course is guaranteed to do it.

But alongside this world first for Malaysia comes several others, including the world’s first tower curved skywalk, Penang’s Rainbow Skywalk; and the world’s first freestanding vertical drop slide, The G Force; and The Gravityz, which is found at The Top, a theme park connected to the tallest building in Penang, Komtar tower.

With only a rope attached to their bodies, travellers will experience six obstacles courses along The Gravityz, which takes adventurers keen to conquer their fear of heights to 239 metres above ground.

However, if your clients aren’t fans of heights, they can still admire the picturesque views of Penang City at the building’s observation deck, or at Rainbow Skywalk on the rooftop.

There also happens to be what is sure to be an unknown world-beater in the heart of George Town, the steepest tunnel track in the world— the Penang Hill climb.

At 833 metres above sea level, Penang Hill can only be reached by a funicular train ride, which takes minutes and happens to be one of the world’s oldest funicular systems, or through hiking trails. The journey is, however, well worth it with a restaurant and brilliant views at the top.

The journey to Penang Hill takes travellers along the steepest tunnel track in the world (source: Tourism Malaysia)

Meanwhile, travellers can enjoy a world class rainforest experience at The Habitat Penang Hill, a discovery centre located at the edge of the magnificent rainforest that is close to the city.

With its nature trail, iconic Curtis Crest treetop walkway, and  Langur Way Canopy Walk that provides exceptional rainforest experiences, The Habitat aspires to awaken curiosity and nurture support for conservation among the thousands of visitors it receives each year.

Funds generated by The Habitat Penang Hill’s commercial operations go into its non-profit sister organisation, The Habitat Foundation, to support solutions to conserving biodiversity and protecting nature both in Penang and beyond.

The Habit Foundation works closely with communities, scientists, academic institutions, NGOs, government agencies, protected area managers, and businesses to achieve this mission.

To discover more about Malaysia and all it has to offer, click here.


Featured image: Guests enjoy a night at KL Tower (source: Tourism Malaysia)

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