Top 4 travel experiences you need to try in Malaysia in 2019

The Siti Khadijah Market in Kota Baru, Kelantan is a great place to learn about local produce.

Although mainstream tourist attractions are still important to our country’s tourism industry, experiential travel is becoming more popular.

Tourists to Malaysia are seeking to make unforgettable travel memories through experiences, rather than just visiting places of interest.

Even major travel players like TripAdvisor and Airbnb are delving into experiential travel, offering unique localised experiences to customers. There is also an increase in the number of travel websites and apps that offer experiences tours and packages.

Surveys by global travel agencies and organisations find that more tourists these days want to experience new things and interact with locals, as well as understand local culture and history when travelling to destinations. Here are some of Malaysia’s top experiences.

Kampung Life

The best way to experience what life is like in a local village is to check in at a kampung homestay. Accommodation would range from a traditional attap house to a slightly more modern structure. When you stay at the kampung, you’ll get to take part in the host family’s daily activities like planting padi, tapping rubber, harvesting fruits or vegetables and feeding livestock.

Try your hand at rubber tapping at Kampung Temenin Baru Homestay in Johor. Photos: Tourism Malaysia

You also get to play traditional games like sepaktakraw, gasing, congkak, and batu seremban. Depending on the time of your visit, you might also have the opportunity to take part in local festivals and celebrations.

Cultural Experiences

Malaysia offers a host of cultural experiences, some of which are quite unique. You can try your hand at playing traditional musical instruments or dancing, or watch a wayang kulit performance.

Learn more about batik painting from a local craftsman.

To take things up a notch, you can also learn how to make wayang kulit puppets and local handicraft like batik, wau and labu sayong (gourd-shaped water vessels). There are many local craftsmen around who hold basic workshops or classes for tourists.

You can even take your masterpieces home as souvenirs at the end of the lesson.

Culinary Tourism

More than just visiting restaurants and trying out the food in a new city or country, culinary tourism also involves learning how to cook local dishes. Malaysia is really a great place for culinary tourism, thanks to our multicultural backgrounds.

Culinary tourism involves not just trying out the local food but also learning how to cook it.

Cooking classes are readily available for tourists these days. If you’re planning to book one, look for classes that begin early in the morning. Typically, the host will bring guests to the market not just to buy the ingredients needed, but also to learn about local produce.

You will get a hands-on demonstration of how to prepare all the dishes, plus, you get to eat them when everything is done!

Go On An Adventure

Take the off-the-beaten-track way and go on an adventure when you visit Malaysia. The country offers a scenic natural terrain of tropical rainforests, mountains and hills, waterfalls and rivers, caves and islands. Go jungle trekking and camp in the great outdoors serenaded by the sounds of insects and lit only by the stars at night.

Adrenaline junkies might want to try white water rafting at Kiulu River, Sabah.

Climb a mountain or a hill if you prefer. There are also waterfalls and rivers in which you can take a refreshing dip, and caves where you can go spelunking.

Malaysia’s surrounding islands and oceans also offer many popular spots for snorkelling and scuba diving. For adrenaline junkies, there are more hardcore activities such as white-water rafting, zip-lining, rockclimbing and paragliding.

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