Malaysia is one of the top tourist destinations in Asia. However, it is a big country and has, in my opinion, way too many attractions! So, I suggest tourists spend a few days mainly around Kuala Lumpur first to experience its diverse city life, nature, history and culture.
When we visited Kuala Lumpur, we booked a Malaysian Airlines flight from Dhaka. Usually there is a long queue after every flight that lands here from Dhaka, so be patient.
We took a taxi from the airport to the neighbourhood where our friend Rezwan Bhai lives because he was not only our host but also our tour guide. He proved himself to be one of the best tour planners in Malaysia, especially for those with a low budget.
He suggested visiting the world famous Petronas Twin Towers at night, specifically at 8pm. There is a light and water show that starts in front of the building exactly at that time.
We saw a huge crowd and it seemed we were not the only tourists who knew about this amazing and free show!
We also went inside the tower to visit one of the largest book shops in Kuala Lumpur, the Kinokuniya Chain Shop.
The next day, we went to visit the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, which is the largest museum of Islamic Arts in the whole South East Asia region.
It has over 7,000 artefacts from all over the world. The architecture was wonderful and we were overwhelmed to see a few letters and paintings from the Mughal dynasty.
Just next to the museum is the National Mosque of Malaysia, which can house 15,000 worshippers. This is a well built, beautiful structure and people from any religion are allowed to visit with a proper dress code.
If you do not have the dress, you can get it for free at the mosque's entrance.
After hanging around the modern city attractions, we went to the historical town of Malacca, which is only 150 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur.
This fantastic place is a Unesco World heritage site and carries 500 years of history. I mainly loved its colourful architecture, beautiful canals and very joyous and happening streets.
We tasted several street foods here and we had never seen watermelon and coconut water served in such an artistic way. I still regret not staying at Malacca for a few more days.
The next day we wanted to have a nature trip and feel the essence of greeneries, so we went to the scenic Cameron Highland, which is 200 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur and a three hour drive.
The road was picturesque and we were thrilled to spot a flying Great Hornbill (most of our group members were nature enthusiasts and bird watchers).
At the end of this trip, we discovered ourselves at a lush green tea garden. We heard in the nearby dense forest we would find Rafflesia - the largest flower of our planet - but unfortunately, we did not have enough time for a hike.
Instead, we visited a famous old nursery full of colourful cactuses and tried out a few local fishes like the Putu Bamboo - rice served inside bamboo.
Our next trip was to the mangrove forest of Kuala Selangor, which is mainly known for thousands of fireflies glowing in a synchronised manner near the Selangor River at night.
But it was equally beautiful during the day and we were happy to see a great mangrove forest outside Bangladesh. There are small cottages on the edge of the forest for nature lovers with facilities like boat riding.
For shopping lovers, Kuala Lumpur is heaven and there are endless malls with infinite products.
Other than Kuala Lumpur, tourists can also visit Putrajaya: the administrative capital and judicial capital of Malaysia. It is a nice place to spend an afternoon along the wide roads, shiny architectures and clean, artificial lakes.
Flight and ticket
Biman Bangladesh Airlines
US Bangla Airlines
Ticket price starts from Tk22,000 (approx.)
Dong Fang Motel
Hilton Garden Inn Kuala Lumpur
Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur
Room rate starts from as low as $6 and in case of high-end hotels, it can go up to $146.
Every tourist needs to taste Malaysia's national dish Nasi Lemak at least once, otherwise the experience of tasting street food in Kuala Lumpur will remain incomplete.
Simple versions of the dish consist of rice cooked in coconut milk and served with a spicy shrimp paste, peanuts, hard-boiled eggs, and fried anchovies. More sophisticated and fancier versions may include even fried chicken or chicken rendang on the side.
Char Kuey Teow
The chinese dish comes from the Teochew area and comprises flat rice noodles that are stir-fried with eggs, prawns, cockles, and sprouts.
Satay, originally known as sate, is a famous Malay dish made with just one ingredient: seasoned meat, though the magic lies in the way the meat is seasoned, and the ingredients used.
One of the quintessential Malaysian dishes, Rojak is a famous local salad made of pineapples, cucumbers, green mango, and jicama (a turnip like vegetable) and served with dough fritters covered in a sticky black sauce.
Nasi Kandar is one of the staple foods of Penang. It is basically plain or mildly flavoured steamed rice served with a variety of curries on the side.
It also comes with side dishes like curried spleen, fish roe, fried prawns and squids and deep-fried chicken.