Don’t miss these six attractions from all over Malaysia, known for their beauty and Islamic heritage.
In partnership with the Islamic Tourism Centre of Malaysia
With beautiful beaches, buzzing cities and intriguing multicultural landscapes, Malaysia has always been a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. But there’s one unique facet of life here that doesn’t always make it into the guidebooks – the breadth of incredible Islamic attractions and activities, as well as Muslim-friendly hotels, restaurants and destinations designed for the comfort of Muslim tourists. Malaysia’s Islamic Tourism Centre works to ensure that the country’s Islamic heritage is front and centre, and to create a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment for Muslim travellers.
1 | Tasik Cermin (Mirror Lake)
Nestled in lush greenery, Tasik Cermin is Perak’s finest recreational park. Escape to a tranquil retreat where calming boat rides weave through a water tunnel surrounded by limestones, and explore a historic mining tunnel over a decade old. For something even older, visit the United Nations World Heritage Site, Lenggong Valley. Spanning nearly 2 million years old, it’s a fascinating archaeological site offering visitors engaging hands-on activities like excavations, stone-tools making, and snail-finding, alongside modern adventures like water sports and cycling. Tasik Cermin Facebook Page
Dine here: Chang Jiang White Coffee (People’s Park)
No trip to Perak is complete without a cup of Ipoh’s specialty roasted white coffee, with a side of kaya and butter toast. Chang Jiang White Coffee is halal-certified. ipohchangjiangwhitecoffee.com.my/eng
2 | Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Samad
One of Malaysia’s most famous mosques, Masjid Jamek is a must-see if you’re stopping at the capital city. Masjid Jamek was the first major mosque to be built in Kuala Lumpur, officially opening in 1909. Its beautiful domes and minarets were designed by Arthur Bennison Hubback in a unique adaptation of the Moorish style, drawing inspiration from both the Middle East and India.
The mosque welcomes visitors, both Muslim and non-Muslim, and you can experience the architectural beauty for yourself with a guided tour. Masjid Jamek’s guides are fluent in multiple languages, and all visitors are welcome – though do be reminded to cover up with the robes provided when you enter the mosque. Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur
Dine here: Serai Restaurant, Pavilion KL
After your guided tour, step into Pavilion KL to cool down – and enjoy lunch at Serai, a halal-certified restaurant. One of the city’s most popular restaurants, Serai serves a wide array of authentic Malaysian dishes, alongside classic Western fare. We recommend the Serai Platter, which features a number of favourites like spicy, piquant oxtail asam pedas, crispy honey squid and their famous fried, spiced chicken. seraigroup.com.my
3 | International Islamic Arts Garden Complex
This expansive museum and gallery contains over 10,000 artefacts that illustrate Islamic and Malay heritage. Set across 14 hectares, the International Islamic Arts Garden Complex is home to Yayasan Restu, a non-profit organisation that aims to revive, preserve and promote Islamic arts and culture. Here you’ll find exhibitions on Islamic calligraphy, architecture, interior design, paintings and Quran manuscripts, including an original manuscript of the Quran, said to be worth millions of dollars. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a traditional Islamic performance at the garden complex. 2A, Persiaran Damai, Seksyen 13, 40100 Shah Alam, Selangor visitselangor.com
Stay here: Mardhiyyah Hotel & Suites, Selangor
This Muslim-friendly hotel boasts incredible views of the nearby Tasik Shah Alam lake and the famous ‘Blue Mosque’ Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah. Mardhiyyah Hotel & Suites is recognised under the Islamic Tourism Centre’s Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality Assurance and Recognition (MFAR) scheme. mardhiyyahhotel.com
4 | The Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum
Step back in time at the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum, an impeccably restored and preserved late 19th-century house. The Baba Nyonya people (also known as Peranakan) were a distinct multi-racial group unique to Malaysia, a blend of Malay and Chinese cultures that created its own heritage, traditions and cuisine. The Museum was previously home to Chan Cheng Siew’s family from 1865 to 1919, and treats visitors to a glimpse into a different world. 48-50, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 75200 Melaka babanyonyamuseum.com
5 | Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching
Immerse yourself in Sarawak’s distinctive culture at the Sarawak Cultural Village. The Village is spread across 17 acres of land, designed to introduce visitors to Sarawak’s unique history and people. Each building in the Village represents one of Sarawak’s main ethnic groups, including the Bidayuh, Iban, Orang Ulu, Penan, Melanau, Malay & Chinese groups. Witness traditional activities, costumes and performances – and stay for a meal, too. Pantai Damai Santubong, Kampung Budaya Sarawak, 93752 Kuching scv.com.my
Stay here: The Waterfront Hotel
This contemporary hotel in the centre of Kuching overlooks the Padang Merdeka and Sarawak River. The Waterfront Hotel is recognised under the Islamic Tourism Centre’s Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality Assurance and Recognition (MFAR) scheme. thewaterfrontkuching.com
6 | Danum Valley Conservation Area, Sabah
Ever witnessed a 130-million year-old rainforest with your own eyes? You will at Danum Valley. The protected conservation area is home to incredible primary tropical forest as well as wildlife native to Borneo, from orangutans to civet cats to flying squirrels. Danum Valley is also home to the largest field research centre of its kind in Southeast Asia. This same Field Centre also provides a range of guided experiences around the Valley, including jungle treks, night walks, night drives and the spectacular Bukit Atur sunset viewing. Lahad Datu, Sabah danumvalley.net
Stay here: Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
This five-star waterfront hotel is situated right in the heart of the action in Kota Kinabalu. The Hyatt Regency Kinabalu is recognised under the Islamic Tourism Centre’s Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality Assurance and Recognition (MFAR) scheme.
Muslim traveller’s tip
For the best holiday experience in Malaysia, look out for hotels bearing the Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality Assurance and Recognition (MFAR) logo and engage with licensed Muslim-Friendly Tourist Guides (MFTG) recognised by Islamic Tourism Centre.