Feeling an uncontrollable urge of wanderlust but don’t feel like travelling far or burning a hole in your wallet? Hey, no problem! There’s plenty of stunning destinations in Malaysia that’s perfect for a weekend getaway. The best part? They aren’t as famous so you don’t have to worry about tourist hordes!
So before they become overly crowded, why not check them out for some fun time with your loved ones?
1. Sasaran, Kuala Selangor
Image credit：Wywy Chong
Image credit：Steven Teh
If you’re active on social media, you’ve probably already heard about this place! Pictures like these are all the rage and they’re the reason Malaysia’s “Sky Mirror” became such a hot topic. That’s right, you don’t have to go all the way to Bolivia’s salt flats (Salar de Uyuni) for a magical experience, just head to Kuala Selangor! Ah, what a blessing it is to be Malaysian!
Truth be told, if it weren’t for coverage by the local media, the Sasaran Sky Mirror would still be a hidden treasure only known by the local fishermen and their families. Understandably, after word got out, this beautiful location became increasingly popular. If you want to head there to get that memorable #potd, just contact one of the local fisherman and they’ll rent you a boat and take you there.
2. Gemia Island, Terengganu
Image credit：Gem Island Resort and Spa
Image credit：Gem Island Resort and Spa
As a Malaysian, we’ve all heard of (and probably have been to) places like Pulau Redang, Pulau Lang Tengah, Pulau Tioman and more. However, have you ever heard of Pulau Gemia? No, right?
Located on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Gemia Island is truly one of Malaysia’s best kept secrets. It is perfect for that secret island getaway we all fantasize about. Here, everything from the radiant sunshine to the pristine beaches are picture perfect. In fact, it’s so beautiful that the entire island may well be its own holiday villa! And since not many people know of this place, you don’t have to worry about having to muscle your way around huge crowds either!
3. Balik Pulau, Penang
Image credit：Countryside Stables Penang Facebook
Balik Pulau is akin to Penang’s secret backyard garden. Of course, durian lovers will probably have heard of the place before, but apart from its seasonal fame, Balik Pulau is also an underrated travel gem. There, you can find a quaint sheep farm, a cardamom factory, and even a rustic horse farm, all set against a backdrop of verdant hills! There aren’t that many places in Malaysia where you can ride a horse, so you’ll definitely want to check this out!
What’s more, in recent years, Balik Pulau saw the addition of a Hakka cottage, where visitors can enjoy some traditional Hakka delicacies. This is a must try for foodies! Speaking of food, you can even head to the shore during the evening to feast on Penang Laksa and enjoy the lovely scenery along the shoreline. Ah what bliss it is to enjoy the sea breeze and admire such dazzling scenery in the evening!
4. Teluk Senangin, Perak
Image credit：MEMANG RIZALIS ENT.
You might have never heard of Teluk Senangin, but it’s definitely an all-time favourite among locals. In fact, it’s probably one of their top spots for family recreation! Here, parents will be able to enjoy the lovely scenery from the beach while their children have a fun, educational day at the nearby turtle conservation centre (entrance is free!). You can even observe as the fishermen here head out to see for their daily catch. It’s a soothing and relaxing ambiance unlike any other.
In the evening, families will be able to enjoy an exquisite seafood feast at the nearby Pantai Remis. It’s only 10 minutes away from the beach. The seafood here is freshly caught daily, and the price is pretty reasonable. The best part about a trip to Teluk Senangin is that you don’t need any detailed planning to enjoy it. So, it’s the perfect destination for parents who have to slog through work during the week but want a way to relax over the weekend.
5. Sungai Lima (Pulau Ketam), Selangor
Image credit：Southern Home Facebook
Image credit：Southern Home Facebook
Ask any of my friends and they will definitely tell you that I’ve mentioned Sungai Lima so many times that they’ve gotten tired from hearing about it! There are many reasons why I keep mentioning this ambient fishing village. For one, not many people know about it despite it being breathtakingly beautiful. Secondly, I’ve always wanted to visit Sungai Lima and I was hoping someone would be able to take me there if I mention it enough. 😛
So, what’s there to do at Sungai Lima? Well, to be honest, you don’t have to do anything! That’s right, the main point here is to be still and enjoy life without doing anything in particular. You could sit by the pier, cup of tea in hand and just watch the day go by. Or sample some of the local snacks and street food before ending your day by gazing at the setting sun. That’s my kind of vacation! I’m tingling just thinking about it!
6. Pantai Cahaya Bulan, Kelantan
Image credit：Chalet and Resort Pantai Cahaya Bulan Kelantan
Image credit： Malaysia Travel Guides
My friends on the east coast always recommend me Pantai Cahaya Bulan and even though I’ve not been there yet, it’s always been on my travel bucket list. The alluring beach of Pantai Cahaya Bulan is the top spot for locals to have a picnic and go camping during the weekends. In recent years, they’ve even started opening homestays there. So, if you’re not one who likes packed itineraries, you can book a stay there and take your time enjoying the experience. I hear the sunrise is heavenly!
And, much like a typical Malaysian destination, there’s plenty to eat in the area too! Some of Kelantan’s specialty foods like keropok lekor, satar, nasi kerabu, celup tepung and more can be found there. Awesome!
7. Cameron Highlands, Pahang
Image credit：World of Wanderlust
Image credit：Bjørn Christian Tørrissen
Okay, you got me. I’ll admit, Cameron Highlands hardly qualifies as a “hidden gem”. After all, surely most Malaysians have been to the lovely tea fields and strawberry farms there right? However, I think most people might not be aware that you can now enjoy a luxurious private tea time picnic in Cameron Highlands! Just look at it! Comfy pillows and blankets, exquisite English tea sets, and a mesmerising scenery and chilly air to boot! It’s such a wonderful experience, surely you’re itching to try it out too?!
Well, just in case you don’t already feel like embarking on a trip to the hills, here’s something else to tempt you: a strawberry spa treatment! It’s much like a normal spa day, but instead of regular oils and baths, everything is scented and infused with strawberries! Now that’s an unforgettable and relaxing experience! So, the next time you’re in Cameron Highlands, let’s try something different!
8. Tasik Kenyir, Terengganu
Image credit：Fadhlur Rahman
Image credit：Mohd Fahmi Mahd Azmi
Boathouses! ’nuff said! When visiting Tasik Kenyir, it is a must-do to visit the unique, traditional boat houses. Heck, even the slightly modernised floating houses are must-try experiences. Besides touring some houses on water, you can also follow the fishermen out to cast their nets or sip on some tea aboard the boat houses. These are probably the best experiences in Tasik Kenyir. If you plan on staying more than a day, you can even rent an entire floating house to spend a memorable night in.
9. Kanching Recreational Forest, Rawang, Selangor
Image credit：Frahman Photography
Hey guys, let’s now spend this weekend staring at our phones and computers. We do that enough during every other day! Instead, let’s get moving and dive back into the embrace of Mother Nature! Get a couple of good friends and head to Kanching Recreational Forest in Rawang. There, you can go hiking and even enjoy the thunderous music of a cascading waterfall. It’s not a bad idea, is it?
And that waterfall I mentioned? It’s not just any waterfall, it’s the legendary seven-level waterfall! If you wanna reach the top, you’ll have to through all the layers. And your reward? A stunning scenery that will stay with you for a lifetime!
Besides having a picnic and frolicking in the water, you can also host a barbecue on the 5th and 6th layers of the waterfall. Just make sure to tidy up once you’re done. Psst, here’s a tip for you, don’t bring ice to the barbecue, just dip your canned drinks into the icy cool water and it’ll end up at the perfect temperature!
10. Semenyih, Selangor
The perfect day in Semenyih goes a little something like this: after an arduous hike up Broga Hill, you sit back and dig into fresh grilled fish! This is most likely the favourite kind of getaway for young people, especially those in high school or college. Though to be fair, I’d say many prefer the grilled fish more than the hiking!
However, in all honesty, you have to see the sunrise at Broga Hill at least once in a lifetime. When you gaze at the beauty surrounding you at the summit, it’s as if your aching body heals itself immediately. I recommend starting out around 5-ish in the morning at the latest if you want to catch the break of dawn.
You should be back down at the foothills by 8, at which point you can take a short drive to the nearby temple to spend some time there. There’s a small garden, a suspension bridge and plenty of photogenic spots for the avid photographer.
By about 10, the grilled fish store next to the temple will be open for business. Yasss! Even though I don’t quite like fish myself, I found the grilled fish to be extremely delicious. That should give you a clue about just how fresh and fragrant the fish is. After the nice meal, you can head to the nearby rabbit farm to hang out and bring this memorable day in Semenyih to a close!
Going on a vacation doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you’re travelling domestically. It’s definitely one of those spur of the moment opportunities. So, hold onto any doubts, Malaysia actually has a lot more places for you to experience. So, this weekend, why not go on a great adventure with your friends and family? Cuti-cuti Malaysia yo! 🙂
Article translated from: 本地旅游也好好玩！大马10个不为人知的美丽秘境