While Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s major transportation hub, you’ll find most of the country’s best attractions outside of the city. Luckily you can enjoy the conveniences of Kuala Lumpur as a home base for your travels while taking day trips to nearby areas. Here are a few of the best.
Batu Caves — 9 miles (15 km) away
The Batu Caves, a series of limestone caves and caverns containing a collection of Hindu shrines and temples, rank among the most important Hindu sites outside of India. After climbing the 272 steps to the base of Cathedral Cave, the massive main cavern, you’ll find a giant golden statue of Muruga—the tallest statue in Malaysia. You’ll have troops of friendly monkeys keeping you company the entire way.
Genting Highlands — 34 miles (55 km) away
The Genting Highlands serve as Malaysia’s primary hill station resort, billing itself as the “City of Entertainment.” The name doesn’t lie: Genting is home to a world-class casino, indoor and outdoor theme parks, a 4-D movie theater, a skydiving simulator, and the Genting Skyway, the fastest and longest cable car ride in Southeast Asia.
Kuala Selangor — 42 miles (68 km) away
This aptly named traditional village—the word “Kuala” means “river mouth”—sits at the mouth of the Selangor River. The area is famous for a spectacular natural phenomenon, when hundreds of thousands of fireflies illuminate the night while mating among the berembang trees. Boat rides take visitors into the middle of the spectacle.
Malacca — 91 miles (147 km) away
The historic trading port of Malacca (sometimes spelled Melaka) is probably the most popular day trip from Kuala Lumpur. The town center is dotted with beautiful Portuguese colonial structures, like the Christ Church in Dutch Square, and the local cuisine is considered to be some of the best in Malaysia. Make sure to tour the ruins of St. Paul’s Church on St. Paul’s Hill and do some shopping on Jonker Street’s antique row.
Cameron Highlands — 128 miles (206 km) away
Malaysia’s largest hill station is a popular place to escape the heat for a day. Drive through rolling plantations and strawberry fields; take in the cool, crisp air as you tour a tea plantation or strawberry farm, where you can pick your own berries; admire the stunning views from Sam Poh Temple; or trek along one of the many trails in the area.