Exploring Malaysia From Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s spectacular capital city with a fantastic array of sights from urban splendour to natural wonders – and that’s just the beginning. Kuala Lumpur is also a great base camp for day trips. From treks on the beach to wildlife encounters, Malaysia offers unforgettable day trips easily reached from Kuala Lumpur.

Wildlife and Walking Trails

There is no shortage of breathtaking scenery or wildlife to behold in Malaysia. The following day trips will take you by the ocean and through the forests for an up close view of local flora and fauna.


  • Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM). This highly regarded conservation facility is only 16 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur and offers a unique nature experience. Highlights include: six different arboreta, the 150-metre Canopy Walkway suspended 30 metres above ground level, an ethno-botanic garden where plants traditionally used by local communities can be seen, Kepong Botanical Gardens, Malay traditional houses built without a single nail and entirely from Chengal wood, a wetland area, displays of silicified wood, picnic and camping areas, nature trails and a research gallery. Visitors can also enjoy bird watching and wildlife observation, cycling and mountain biking, as well as jogging. There is a modest entry fee, but is well worth it.
  • Kuala Selangor Nature Park. Located a little over an hour northwest of Kuala Lumpur, the Kuala Selangor Nature Park is situated at the mouth of the Selangor River. Now consisting mainly of secondary forest, there are still 234 acres of mangrove forests with 13 different species of mangrove within the 497-acre nature park. The area is also home to no fewer than 156 species of migratory and resident bird species, making it an incredible opportunity for bird watching. Four marked trails ranging from 550 metres to 1100 metres (about 30 to 80 minutes long) run through the park. Walking the trails with a guide is suggested as the guides can provide detailed information about the plants and animals within the park.

Historic and Cultural Sites

From tea plantations to colonial hill stations, there is a wealth of historic and cultural sites to explore outside Kuala Lumpur.


  • Melaka. This award-winning UNESCO world heritage site is located about two hours southeast of Kuala Lumpur. Melaka has a wealth of historic and religious sites including a replica of the Melaka Sultanate palace, the Kampung Keling Mosque and the Cheng Hoon Teng temple. There are also many museums including the Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum, the Maritime Museum and the Jasin museum. Additionally, there are many other interesting things to see and do in the city including a butterfly farm, hot springs, zoo and jungle preserve.
  • Cameron Highlands. Cameron Highlands is located about 300 kilometres north of Kuala Lumpur. However, it is well worth the three-hour drive. The area is both the largest hill resort of Malaysia and is also the leading producer of tea and flowers in the country. If you only see one thing at Cameron Highlands, make sure it’s one of the famous tea plantations: Boh Tea Plantation, Sungai Palas Tea Plantation or Cameron Valley Tea Plantation. There are also: strawberry farms, vegetable farms, flower nurseries, honeybee farms, butterfly centres and markets, as well as a museum and gallery.
  • Bukit Fraser. Located a little over 100 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur is Bukit Fraser, also known as Fraser’s Hill. This colonial hill station has a rich history starting as a tin mine in the 1890s before becoming a hill station in 1922. Fraser’s Hill is now a colonial mountain hideaway where visitors go to escape the heat and seemingly travel back in time. There are plenty of things to do including golf, nature trails, hiking, bird watching and visiting the Bird Interpretive Centre.
  • Port Dickson. For seafood lovers, Port Dickson is a destination that cannot be missed. About 90 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur, this popular holiday spot is known not only for outstanding seafood but also for luxurious resorts and gorgeous beaches. If you want to get away from it all, this is certainly the right place to unwind.


There are plenty of great hotels in Kuala Lumpur that offer luxury accommodations whether you’re on a budget or looking to splurge. It helps knowing you’ve got a quality room to come back to after a long day of sightseeing – and there’s plenty of sightseeing to be done on daytrips around Kuala Lumpur.


Image provided by Khairul Aris from Flickr’s Creative Commons


Diane A. Dugan is a contributing blogger with a passion for exotic travel. When she’s not globetrotting, Dugan enjoys painting watercolour landscapes. Currently she is working on a painting of the beaches around Port Dickson.