Social distancing-friendly ideas on how you can discover Malaysia’s best sights from home
The current CMCO means that interstate travel might be on pause for now, but you can still explore the richness that Malaysia has to offer from home. Whether that’s an online caving experience at Gunung Mulu National Park or an interactive 360-degree video tour of Langkawi Sky Bridge, here’s how you can squeeze in some (virtual) sightseeing of Malaysia’s best landmarks from your living room. To keep your spirits and your sense of wonder alive, we’ve listed out 10 different ways you can experience the best of Malaysia’s landscapes and culture from home.
1. Discover Islamic art and history at the IAMM
As Southeast Asia’s largest museum of Islamic art, the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia is a must-see for any culture vultures visiting KL. The sprawling 30,000 square metres building located in the heart of the city houses over 10,000 artefacts ranging from jewellery and ceramics to stone carvings and armour, as well as an incredible library. Designed such that its spaces and displays are bathed in natural light, the museum is certainly worth a visit in person, but in the meantime, you can tour its exhibits via a virtual tour on IAMM’s website.
2. Get up close with the Petronas Twin Towers
Towering over 450 metres over the city, the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers is no doubt an iconic fixture on KL’s skyline. The tallest towers in the world when it was first built (Taiwan’s Taipei 101 took the crown in 2004), it still remains the world’s tallest twin towers till today. Thousands of visitors flock to this popular tourist attraction daily to visit the 170m high Skybridge which connects the two towers; the Observation Deck; and its well-known gift shop. Unfortunately, a virtual experience of the skyscraper will have to suffice for now. Tour of the skyscrapers from your couch here – this interactive 360-degree video feature lets you pan around and explore its premises by day and night.
3. Adopt a sun bear
As one of Southeast Asia’s biggest ecotourism and wildlife conservation hubs, Sabah is home to incredible sanctuaries that are doing the work in protecting endangered rare species. These centers, which rely on visitors in part to fund its projects and day-to-day runnings, have unfortunately been affected during the MCO. The good news is that there are ways you can still support their work from home. The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center, for one, lets you adopt rescues on its website through a monetary sponsorship that goes towards their meals and rehabilitation process. Alternatively, you can also purchase souvenirs and merchandise from its online gift store.
4. Explore Sarawak’s incredible caves
Sarawak’s capital city of Kuching is famous for its jaw-dropping geological wonders like the UNESCO-listed Gunung Mulu National Park, intricate cave networks and chambers, and more. Thanks to the folks at adventure group tour Kuching Caving, you can now embark on a virtual caving experience in the famous and otherworldly Fairy Caves (located 40 kilometres out of Kuching) via Zoom.
5. Enjoy sweeping views atop Cape Rachado, Malaysia’s oldest lighthouse
Said to be the oldest lighthouse in Malaysia, sources trace the lighthouse’s history back to the 1500s during the Portuguese conquest of Malacca. Nestled atop a hill surrounded by stunning coastlines, it’s a haven for migratory birds which makes it a perfect for a spot of wildlife-watching. On this virtual 360-degree tour, you can enjoy a bird’s-eye view of its scenic surroundings that’s almost as good as the real thing.
6. Visit this sleepy town in Johor known for its pineapple farms
Simpang Renggam is a sleepy town in Johor that falls very much under the tourist radar. However, did you know that this agricultural town is home to endless stretches of pineapple fields? These farms have been largely family-owned for generations and only recently started getting the attention of local tourists. There are in-person guided tours you can opt for, but while that’s on hold during the CMCO, why not embark on this free virtual tour on LokaLocal?
7. Tour Terengganu’s sprawling state museum
Did you know that the Terengganu State Museum was the first ever museum in the country to offer virtual exhibitions back in 2016? The largest museum in Malaysia, the palatial building comprises four buildings and nine galleries housing various artefacts, textiles and artworks. Museum enthusiasts and culture lovers can explore eight of its exhibitions via a virtual tour on LokaLocal.
8. Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of Langkawi
At 2,300 feet above sea level, the Langkawi Sky Bridge is among the world’s tallest curve bridges – and a phenomenal spot to enjoy sweeping panoramic views of the island. Typically, island-goers can access the bridge after a ride on the cable car; but thanks to technology, you can skip the queues and make a (virtual) beeline straight for the 410 feet long bridge via this video gallery on Panorama Langkawi.
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