Kuala Lumpur is one heck of a travel destination! It’s exciting, modern yet traditional, and above all, entertaining!
Although there is plenty to do in Kuala Lumpur, there are also many incredible places to explore on the outskirts. Kuala Lumpur is one of the best cities to travel in South East Asia – only Bangkok is comparable. Yet, Malaysia is so much more than Kuala Lumpur. The good news is that some of the best things to do in Malaysia are close enough to visit them on a Kuala Lumpur day trip!
Check also what is Malaysia famous for?
Let’s explore the best day trips from Kuala Lumpur!
11 Kuala Lumpur Day Drips
The Batu caves are on the edge of Kuala Lumpur and are very easily reachable. Actually, one could easily argue that they are in KL, but whether you consider them to be, it’s undoubtedly one of the mandatory things to do when in Kuala Lumpur.
The easiest way to reach the Batu Caves is by catching the KTM Komuter. It’s very uncomplicated as the Batu Caves is the last stop of the Komuter. The Komuter is a comfortable and cheap way to reach the caves, but if you prefer, you can take a tour of the caves.
The Batu Caves are a series of limestone caves that are sacred to the Hindus. The caves’ entrance is one of Malaysia’s famous sights, with a huge colored staircase and the giant golden statue of Murugan, a Hindu God. The caves are one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India and the focal point of the Thaipusam (Hindu Festival) in Malaysia.
The entrance to the main caves is free, but there are guided tours to the Dark Cave nearby.
Malacca is located about 150 km south of Kuala Lumpur, but you can reach it in under 2 hours by car. Or about 2 and a half hours by bus. Either way, it’s a long trip but worth it. However, the best way to make this day trip is through an organized tour!
Malacca, together with Georgetown, is a UNESCO heritage site due to its importance in the spice trades and colonial Malaysia. Malacca was colonized by the Portuguese, then by the Dutch, and finally by the English. This means that there is a multicultural heritage left by each ruler, plus the Chinese, Indian, and Malay ones! Some of the fascinating landmarks in Malacca include:
- Queen Victoria Memorial Fountain and St. Francis Xavier Church (British Ruling);
- The Christ Church Melaka, the Stadthuys, and the Dutch Square (Dutch ruling);
- The Famosa Fort, St. John’s Fort, and St. Paul’s Hill (Portuguese Ruling);
Book here a full day trip tour to Malacca
Taman Negara is a 130 Million-year-old virgin rainforest. It’s sometimes dubbed the oldest in the world. Although that’s also debatable. Either way, it’s ancient and a truly beautiful place to visit and one of the best day trips from Kuala Lumpur. In fact, if you have time, we suggest you overnight there!
Some of the most popular activities in Taman Negara national park include the Night Jungle walk (which you won’t be able to do), Trekking to Bukit Teresek, Canopy Walkway, Rapid Shooting, and visiting Kampung Orang Asli (aborigine settlement). However, simply walking through the forest is great fun. We always enjoy trekking in Malaysian parks and national parks. Both the fauna and flora and wonderful.
Taman Negara National park doesn’t look too far from Kuala Lumpur, but it takes quite a while to get there! We have never tried to do it through public transportation, so we can’t really suggest it. Plus, we find it difficult to believe that you would have a lot of time in the Forrest. So for this one, we recommend you book an organized tour!
Book here a full-day tour to Taman Negara
by Ivan of Mind the travel
The Genting Highlands is a hilltop resort, a theme park, and the only place with legal casinos in Malaysia. Resort World Genting is a great day trip from Kuala Lumpur. This place is accessible by Awana Skyway or Genting Skyway. If you are already in KL, the Go Genting Express Bus collects travelers from bus stations at Pudu Sentral, KL Sentral, Terminal Putra LRT Gombak, or One Utama Shopping Mall.
When traveling by bus, expect to be dropped off at the base of Genting, where you can hop on a cable car up to the resort. The cable car takes about 15 minutes and offers a 360-degree view all the way through. The whole trip should take around an hour and fifteen minutes in total.
Don’t miss out on visiting a Taoist Chin Swee Caves Temple on your way up. A must-see landmark in the temple is its nine-story Pagoda, which dominates the skyline, plays hide and seek with the clouds, and has images of Buddha and thousands of paper lanterns. If you travel with Awana, you will get an additional stop at the Chin Swee Caves Temple to explore the scenic surroundings.
It may take some time to explore the vast temple grounds as there are steps to climb and caves to explore. Don’t forget to check out the view from the observation deck – it’s just spectacular! While not ancient, the giant Buddha is very impressive! If you’re looking for a place to escape the heat, the temple and cable car make for a nice little outing. They also have a strawberry leisure farm and a little butterfly garden in the area.
The cable car is well worth the RM 30 ticket price for a round trip in a glass-floor Gondola. It’s almost 4 km long, so there is plenty of time to take in the greenery or clouds if you’re not lucky enough!
At the end of the line, the architectural masterpiece appears. Other than the indoor theme park named Skytropolis with kiddie rides, SkyAvenue, first world plaza with all sorts of entertainment, and a snow world, there is a food court and a plethora of cafes and restaurants spread across all the floors.
Book a tour to the Genting Highlands here
by James Davies of Where you’re between
Putrajaya is just 36 km from the south of Kuala Lumpur, almost halfway between the city and Kuala Lumpur International Airport. It takes just twenty minutes by train from Kuala Lumpur’s Central Station to reach Putrajaya, where it’s best to take a taxi to the city’s center.
Putrajaya has been the administrative capital of Malaysia since 1999. Designed to be an impressive seat of power, Putrajaya is a brand-new city made up of grand boulevards and palatial government buildings. Most of the city’s majestic buildings have been designed in an elaborate modern Islamic architectural style.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the staggering bright pink Putra Mosque. Sitting on the banks of Putrajaya Lake, Putra Mosque is a modern masterpiece. Topped by an enormous dome, Putra Mosque is even more spectacular on the inside. The walls of the huge main prayer hall are beautifully hand-painted and lit by flashes of sunlight that shine through the mosque’s stained glass windows.
A great way to see more of the city’s modern Islamic architecture is on a boat tour of Putrajaya Lake. Several boat tours a day of the lake offer the best views of the Putra Mosque and the rest of the city’s stunning buildings. As well as regular boat trips you can also sail on the lake in a traditional gondola.
Book here a private tour to Putrajaya
by Kenny of Knycx Journeying
Port Dickson is a coastal city in Negeri Sembilan State. It’s about 100 km from the capital city and takes about an hour to get there. Not many tourists know about it, but it’s a popular destination among the locals.
Port Dickson started off as a carbon mine and later a small port during the British colonial period. Today, the city has developed into a holiday destination that’s perfect for a short getaway from Kuala Lumpur with an 18-kilometer-long beach from Tanjung Gemuk to Tanjung Tuan. Many hotels, resorts, and condos opened along the coast.
Like Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson, all hotel suites are built on water with a private pool of one-third of the price of those in the Maldives. Suppose you visit there on a day trip from Kuala Lumpur.
In that case, you should try the local food, eat a durian, and visit the historic fort ruins and the small museum at Kota Lukut. And enjoy a panoramic view of the Cape Rachado Lighthouse.
by Sandrina Ferreira of The Wise Travellers
Cameron Highlands is located in the Pahang district. At almost 2000 meters, it is one of the most popular highland retreats in Malaysia.
You will need almost three and a half hours from Kuala Lumpur to get there. Regular buses operate from the capital, on the Bersepadu Selatan Terminal. Due to the altitude, the climate is moderate. Appropriate for growing continental plants, fruits, and vegetables.
But the Cameron Highlands postcard is the tea plantations. A legacy brought by British colonialism. There are many tea plantation farms to choose from, but the Boh Tea Company is the most notable. The views of the plantations are stunning.
Nature lovers can adventure on a jungle trekking, explore Mossy Forest, go bird watching, climb mount Brinchang and wander around the lavender gardens.
Any time of the year is good to visit. However, if you want to witness the greenery of tea plantations in full bloom, you need to go between November and February. This is also when the monsoon season occurs. Cameron Highlands should be on your list when visiting Malaysia.
You can also book a day tour to the Cameron Highlands!
By Pashmina from The Gone Goat
Situated in Pahang and once a colonial hill station by the former British colonial forces, Fraser Hill remains a highland resort for many Malaysians who want a taste of scones and British tea surrounded by greenery. It was discovered in the 1890s by the British, who loved these lowlands and how they provided a welcome respite from the heat.
It is not as popular as Cameron Highlands, but what’s great about it is that it is not too far away from Kuala Lumpur, about 100km and 2 hours by car. If you’re short on time, this is a great day trip to escape the crazy city heat with hiking trails such as the Pine Tree Hills, a 1,500m mountain in Fraser Hill.
There are also no direct buses, the closest being Kuala Kubu Bharu town (32km from the Gap). You can rent a driver or go on a little adventure and try cycling in Kuala Lumpur right up to Fraser Hill. The theory of slow travel is best applied here, where you don’t mind the unhurried pace and take time to notice Malaysia’s expansive rainforests.
by Ming Lee of Flyerism
Formerly known as the “town that tin built,” Ipoh is a brilliant day trip from Kuala Lumpur. The charming little town is 125 miles or 201 km away from Kuala Lumpur, and it’s not as touristy as compared to its neighbors like Penang and Kuala Lumpur. Here you will find beautiful old houses and heritage sites.
In fact, Ipoh has been featured in “Lust Caution,” a movie by the award-winning academy director Ang Lee as the old buildings resembled Shang Hai and Hong Kong in the early 40s.
Besides, the food in Ipoh is excellent. You will be hard-pressed to decide what to eat as the options seem endless! According to the locals, these are the dishes you should not miss: bean sprout chicken, Ipoh white coffee, Dim Sum, Tau Fu Fah (a Chinese dessert made with very soft Tofu), Curry Noodles, and Kaya puff.
To escape into nature, you want to explore Gua Tempurung (the largest limestone cave in Peninsular Malaysia) and Tong Cave Temple. If you are an active family, you may consider visiting the Lost World of Tambun. Surrounded by the picturesque landscape, the park has a water park, tiger valley, amusement park, hot spring, and Petting Zoo.
You can easily travel from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh by train or long-distance bus.
By Jub Bryant of Tikitouringkiwi
Pangkor Island is a short distance off the west coast of Mainland Malaysia, a three-hour trip (each way) from Kuala Lumpur to Lumut and a short ferry over to Pangkor (14 RM for a return ticket). It’s a long day trip, but spending more than a night on a small island that gets lots of domestic tourists but not many international ones are unnecessary.
The best way to explore the island is by using the local pink taxi vans, which you’ll notice soon after arriving. On the island, activity-wise, you’ve got the beaches around the island, with Pasir Bogak, the main beach where activities and small restaurants are located.
There are numerous walks you can find on the island, with new tracks opening each year, simply ask a pink taxi driver to drop you off at one, and he’ll do so. After a day of exploring, stop off at the Foo Lin Kong Temple before heading back to Pasir Bogak, where the hornbills come to hang out at the end of each day for sunset.
You’ll need to keep an eye on the time, though, as the last ferry leaves the island at 8:30 pm. If you spend 6-8 hours on the island, you’ll be able to do all of the activities mentioned comfortably.
by Karolina Klesta of KarolinaPatryk
A small town less than an hour away from Malaysia’s largest city – Kuala Lumpur, Seremban is the perfect place for a day trip to get away from the city. A truly local place that barely has any tourists, it is in Seremban that you will find authentic Malaysia.
Brimming with colonial buildings, temples, parks, and gardens, it can be challenging to squeeze in all this city offers in one day. Start early and take the train from the Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station to the first attraction, the Seremban Railway Station. Constructed in 1924, the old railway station’s terracotta tiled roof still has old-fashioned baggage trolleys reminiscent of bygone days.
Another must-see is the elegant Kolonials Kraf Negeri Sembilan, which was built in 1912 for a British officer and has now been transformed into a handicraft center where one can find handwoven ratan and pandan products as well as beautiful batiks.
Within the historic center are rows of shophouses, where one can get some Malaysian and Chinese cuisine and traditional Chinese medicine. Make sure to have the Seremban specialties like Pak Cham Kai (steamed chicken) or Siew Pau (baked dumplings).
In the afternoon, round up the trip by touring some of Seremban’s prominent temples, like Sri Bala Thndayuthapani Hindu Temple or the State Museum and Cultural Complex, where you will find traditional houses and ancient artifacts. You can also have a picnic at Seremban Lake Gardens for a bit of tranquility before taking the train ride home.
Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur?
Kuala Lumpur is an excellent base for visiting the region! Not only it’s considerably connected and has some nice places to visit within a day, but it also provides a great array of places to stay.
If you are a backpacker, I suggest you stay in Chinatown. It’s easy to find lodging for 20 USD, and sometimes less. If you want something a little better, it’s also very inexpensive. There are plenty of 4 and 5-star hotels costing less than 100 USD. Some of them even have infinity pools… Just have a look below!
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