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  • Writer's pictureTania Wee

10 Places in Malaysia that look like Foreign Destinations

Hey, travellers. We know that you’re all wary of travelling due to the Coronavirus outbreak and we hope that the situation will improve for those in China and aboard. But all the same, we know that the travel bug in us is just itching to get out and explore.

Can you guess which ones are in Malaysia

Fret not as we have found several hidden gems in Malaysia that look as though you're in different country altogether. Without the risk of an infection.

1. Sungai Pisang, Gombak

Source: Sungai Pisang from Montanic Source: Gigit Waterfall from BaliSakti

This spot is still a relatively hidden gem amongst hikers and even we're a bit reluctant to reveal it here for worry of further pollution in the area. But the waterfall at the end of the hike rivals those famously found in Indonesia such as Gitgit Waterfall in Bali. The hike along Sungai Pisang is easy and satisfying rewarding with a stunning waterfall at the end of the trail. Even the hike itself offers a unique experience as you pass through two storm drains under the Karak Highway.

2. Bukit Tabur, Selangor

Source: Bukit Tabur from Syibli flickr

Source: Glass House Mountains fromTourism & Events Queensland

Is it possible that we have our very own Glass House Mountains of the Sunshine Coast, Australia right at the doorsteps of Kuala Lumpur? Why, yes it is in the towering form of Bukit Tabur. Also known as the Dragon's Back, this ridge is famous for its mesmerising views of the Klang Gate Dams and the city landscape at sunrise. But we would advice caution as the trail along the ridge can get technical. Best to bring an experienced hiker with you and check with the Forestry Department on the trail status before attempting it.

3. Astaka Morocco, Putrajaya

Source: Morocco by Alex Azabache Source: Astaka Morocco by Sugoi Days

Are we in Morocco? It would seem like it especially when everything in Astaka Morocco aka Morocco Pavilion in Putrajaya was designed by skilled artists in Morocco itself. Inside this building, you will find that no two rooms are alike, each with their own distinctive features Morocco's oldest imperial cities. The architecture design is simply intricate and amazing plus totally instagram-worthy! Do bare in mind though that photos are only allowed in the external part of the pavilion and there is a fee of RM3 to enter the other section.

4. Klebang Beach, Melaka

source: Malaysian Flavours

Sahara Desert may be out of reach for now but if sand boarding or surfing is something you've been itching to try, have a go at Melaka's very own Klebang Beach. Manmade sand dunes have unintentionally turned it into a recent tourist attraction with white sands towering along a pathway to a pond in the middle of it. If angled right, it will really look as though you're in the Sahara Desert or Japan's own Tottori Sand Dune.

source: Sahara Desert by Falkenpost from Pixabay

5. Kundasang, Sabah

source: Kundasang from Traveloka

Ah, listen to the gentle mooing of the ranch cows as you breath in the cold air, wait, not New Zealand but rather Kundasang, Sabah! It certainly looks like New Zealand's green pastures but the imposing figure of Akinabalu aka Mount Kinabalu is a quick reminder that we're in fact still in Malaysia. East Malaysia to be exact. Only a two hours drive from Kota Kinabalu, Kundasang perfectly replicates New Zealand from cows gazing in its green fields, towering mountain backdrops and cooling climate.

source: New Zealand by Falco from Pixabay

6. Sekinchan, Selangor

source: Sekinchan from Lifestyle Asia

We've all seen the impossibly beautiful photos of paddy fields of Ubud, Indonesia or Guizhou, China. But located just 2 hours from the city is our own little rice bowl called Sekinchan. With a part of the West Coast Expressway now opened, getting there is now faster and soon you will have those beautiful shots of endless paddy fields to wow your friends. Of course, do also stop for an affordable seafood meal while you're there.

source: Ubud by Joel Vodell on Unsplash

7. Kwai Chai Hong, Kuala Lumpur

source: Kwai Chai Hong Facebook

It will be a while before we can explore China's street lanes like Tianzifung once more but until then why not journey through time in our own Kwai Chai Hong near Petaling Street. Just a year old, it's easy to see how and why a once abandoned alleyway is now Kuala Lumpur's hot tourist spot. Part of the Project Kwai Chai Hong, the restoration of pre-war buildings involves 10 shophouses — six fronting Jalan Petaling and another four units along Lorong Panggung, as well as a delightful laneway tucked between the two roads of Jalan Petaling and Lorong Panggung. Best of all, it's within walking distance from several train lines and Chinatown.

source: Tianzifang from China Tourism

8. Pulau Kapas, Terengganu

source: Pulau Kapas Facebook

Malaysia is blessed with many picturesque islands to rival Maldives and Bora Bora and one such a destination is Kapas Island. Its name comes from its sandy beaches that look like cotton. Expect a great place to unwind, relax and enjoy your getaway at a number of resorts scattered throughout the island. The water is pristine and invitingly beautiful for swimming and snorkeling amongst the fishes. Just like you would do in Maldives.

source: Maldives by karl muscat on Unsplash

9. Siniawan, Sarawak

source: Siniawan from Sarawak Tourism

The vibrant bustling streets of Taipei is known for their myriad of delicious food but did you know that Sarawak has its own little Taipei located just 30 minutes from its capital? In recent year, the quiet town of Siniawan has drawn the attention of many visitors for its colourful night market. Over the weekends, an entire street is filled with tables and chairs for people to mingle and enjoy the different types of street food available from seafood to finger licking good chicken wings. But if you're planning to head out there to take part in the fun, best to rent a car as public transportation to that area is infrequent.

source: Shilin, Taiwan by Vernon Raineil Cenzon on Unsplash

10. Kokol Hill, Sabah

No longer do you need to travel all the way to Bali for the swing photo for your instagram because swinging (pun intended) into action is the Le' One Kokol Elf, Sabah. This hidden spot is a 45 minutes drive away from the city of Kota Kinabalu and is known for its Insta-worthy attractions and amazing sunset views of the city.


And there you have it. Just a few of Malaysia's own little exotic places that will make it look as though you have left the country. After all, we still need a break from time to time. Of course, we also hope these gems will inspire your travel more and further so that you can see what else the world has to offer.

At the meantime, feel free to browse through for more travel tour ideas and destinations.

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