Petronas Twin Towers, Chinatown, Batu Caves, Langkawi Island, Malacca and Penang. Some of you may have already known some (or all) of these places. But if you’re looking for places that are less explored by tourists, here are 7 less-known places to add to your list of must-visit travel places.
1. Batang Ai, Sarawak
Batang Ai is a less talked about destination as it is in a remote location in Sarawak. Sarawak itself is not a very touristy travel destination to begin with. If you’re a nature lover, you’ll definitely love Batang Ai.
Experience Borneo Rainforest while you’re there. Don’t forget to visit the Orang Iban longhouses too. They’re one of the last of their kinds. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Iban community, this is your chance to get to know them and their surviving culture.
Batang Ai also has an abundance of flora and fauna that will fascinate you. The clean rivers and lush jungles are also its main highlights. In fact, the Batang Ai National Park is home to Borneo’s critically-endangered Orangutans.
2. Broga Hill, Selangor
Broga Hill may not be popularly commercialized by foreign visitors, but it’s already a commonly talked about destination among Malaysians. I’ve been there three times and I loved it. The experience was great, and although it wasn’t tough to hike, it was still a hill worth the visit.
To get there, you’ll need your own vehicle. There’s no entrance fee for the attraction. But if you need to use the toilet, there is a small fee for its public toilet that is right at the the attraction’s main entrance.
From there, you’ll need to walk about 1 mile before you reach the hilltop. That’s roughly a 30 – 40-minute walk. Most people go there to get a view of its beautiful sunrise and sunset.
Hiking there during rainy season is not recommended as most of the unpaved grounds tend to be very slippery. One thing I can assure you is the view at the top of the hill is amazing. There’s also a nearby mountain for you to visit, called Gunung Tok Wan.
3. Crab Island, Selangor
There is a small village located off the coast of Klang, Malaysia, where some of the best seafood can be found. The village I am referring to is Crab Island (Pulau Ketam).
So why visit the Island? If you’re tired of noise, pollution and the hectic lifestyle of big cities, that’s where you should go. It’s one of the best ways to explore the unique lifestyle of the country’s local fishermen.
Life is simple yet peaceful in Crab Island. There, you’ll find local sellers selling their most popular snacks and seafood dishes. You’ll also meet tourists like yourself, although there aren’t that many. Indeed, Crab Island is an underrated and less-touristy travel destination in Malaysia, just waiting for you to explore.
4. Chini Lake, Pahang
About 62 miles from Kuantan is where you’ll find Lake Chini, a lake formed by several connected lakes, with an interesting legend:
It is believed that there was once a sea serpent inhabiting one of the lakes. The creature was known as ‘Laut Gumun’.
Other than Laut Gumun, the locals also believe that there is a sunken Khmer City there. Whether it’s true or not, the story was intriguing enough to make archaeologists go there for an investigation (to see if the legend is indeed true).
After reading this, are you curious to visit the place too? Even if you have no intention in finding the mysterious creature, you can go there for other activities such as fishing, jungle trekking, and camping. You can also pay the Orang Asli (indigenous people) village a visit.
5. Madai Waterfall, Sabah
One of the best waterfalls in Malaysia is located in one of the less explored places in the country. The Madai Waterfall in Kunak (a small town in Lahad Datu), Sabah, is a 40-meter waterfall that can be found at the Madai Baturong Nature Center which is managed by the Sabah Forestry Department. Since its opening in 1999, the site has received many international visits.
That being said, you might think that the Madai Waterfall is a popular destination after all. Yes, that’s right. It’s a highly recommended place of visit in Sabah. Sadly, it is not popularly rated or considered as one of the top destinations in Malaysia.
If you have the opportunity to visit the waterfall, take a swim and enjoy the lush jungles around you. If you’re planning on camping there, it’ll be good to bring a mosquito repellent with you.
6. Bau, Sarawak
If Bau was still a great mining town as it used to be, maybe more people would have already heard about the wonderful, quiet place. You won’t really see tourists wandering around there.
Getting to the town is not difficult as there are public buses available. But I’ll have to warn you that they’re not always reliable. Most of the locals get around by their own vehicle. If you don’t want to travel by bus, you can get a private van or rent a car from Kuching.
There are several interesting sites to visit there, including the Wind Cave and the Fairy Cave. Don’t miss the Blue Lake near Bau Town too. It’s beautiful!
Most of the people living in Bau are the Bidayuh (Land Dayak) people. You can learn more about their culture and traditions at Bung Bratak, a Bidayuh early settlement which is considered as a historical site to the Bidayuh community in Bau.
If you’ll be around during the weekends, go to the Serikin Market where you can buy all kinds of cheap household items, souvenirs, and local handicrafts.
7. Kapas Island, Terengganu
You may have heard of Redang Island and Perhentian Island. What about Kapas Island? The island is actually not very far from the two islands mentioned. It is a smaller island, and for that reason, it receives fewer visits. That also means that the island is quieter than its neighboring islands.
I personally prefer islands that are not too crowded. Kapas Island is definitely something I’ll be eyeing for — for my next vacation.
It may be a small island, but it offers you what any others islands can give you: relaxation, swimming and snorkeling time, and a good sunbath. What makes it a little more special is its low-key profile.
Are you keen to visit 7 of these underrated destinations? Be different and take the road less traveled! =)