April 26, 2019

Jobs fill your pockets, but adventures fill your soul.

Adventure travel is one of the most exciting types of travels you can go on. With adventure travel, you don't only become a sight-seer, soaking in the new sights, sounds and tastes around you, you also become an active participant.

While most people might think of adventure travel as something you can mostly do outside of Malaysia in a country like Australia, Brazil, or Iceland, in reality, Malaysia is a treasure trove of natural outdoor locations that make them perfect for adventure travel.

In fact, with thirteen uniquely landscaped states to choose from, you are almost spoiled for choice when it comes to variety and intensity level.

With so many local adventures to pick from, you don't have to take a long-haul flight to another country or break your bank for your next adventure. It's right there in your own backyard.

If you're keen to explore what Malaysia has to offer, look no further - we've compiled six of the adventure travel types Malaysia is best known for and the specific locations you can find them in.

Who knows? You might discover a new favorite adventure spot.

Let's explore!


Thanks to our lush tropical forests, hiking has become one of Malaysian's most loved outdoor activities. If you love going into nature, getting fresh air and getting a good workout, check out these three unique hiking spots in Malaysia:

Mount Kinabalu (Kota Kinabalu, Sabah)

Mount Kinabalu is probably Malaysia's most famous mountain. Standing at 4,095m tall, it is the tallest mountain in Malaysia.

While tallest, Mount Kinabalu is not the hardest mountain to climb in Malaysia. Most people with some level of physical fitness are likely to be able to conquer the mountain.

If you are feeling extra adventurous, you can opt to climb via ferrata instead for an added challenge. Regardless of how you plan to get to the top though, climbing Mount Kinabalu is worth it if only for the beautiful sunrise over Sabah from the tallest lookout point in Malaysia.

Get more information about the costs and mountain-climbing prep for Mount Kinabalu from Mount Kinabalu's official website.

Mulu Caves and The Pinnacles (Miri, Sarawak)

Sarawak's Mulu Caves and The Pinnacles is one of Malaysia's hidden gems. While it isn't as well-known as Mount Kinabalu, Mulu Caves, and The Pinnacles offer a unique combination of adventure: Mulu Caves is the largest cave chamber in the world and a UNESCO heritage site while The Pinnacles is an awe-inspiring spectacle of sharp limestone formations.

Some hikers have even commented that The Pinnacles is a harder climb than Mount Kinabalu. So if you've conquered Mount Kinabalu already and are looking for a new and more challenging conquest, we recommend The Pinnacles!

Find out more about Mulu Caves, and The Pinnacles through their official website. Here's a useful review of the experience we thought you should read also.

Broga Hills, Semenyih

Although Broga Hills doesn't hold claim as the tallest mountain in Malaysia or is it one that promises great adventure, I've decided to include it for one reason: it's just 1 - 2 hours from KL city.

For KL city dwellers, Broga Hills can offer a quick weekend escape from the bustling city to nature.

Broga Hills is a small mountain that can be completed in less than 4 hours, but if you want to catch the sunrise, we recommend taking off from KL around 3.00am.

Here's a quick review of the climb and what you need to prepare for.

Scuba Diving

Not only is Malaysia best known for its beautiful forests our oceans also boast a diverse ecosystem of sea fauna and flora. For those who enjoy dipping themselves deep in water and going for an undersea adventure, scuba diving in Malaysia can be a thrill!

Here are diving spots in Malaysia which have the best variety of coral and sea creatures we recommend:

Mabul Island (Kota Kinabalu, Sabah) 

Located close by to the world-famous Sipadan, Mabul is an oval island which offers an added diving experience for those divers thinking of going for diving in Sipadan. With a wide variety of colorful sea creatures and corals native to Mabul's waters, you won't be disappointed.

Check out what you need to go diving in Mabul here.

Miri-Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park

Image from Sarawak Tourism website

Miri-Sibuti's diving spot is much less known compared to Sipadan, Redang or Tioman, but has just as much, if not more to offer. Having been largely left alone, you'll be able to find large fishes and other unique sea creatures at this dive spot.

Additionally, you'll be able to witness sea creatures and coral living with and making homes out of abandoned oil rigs, remnants of Miri's heritage as an oil town.

Get to know how you can dive at the Miri-Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park from Sarawak Tourism's website

Cave Exploring

Niah National Park (Miri, Sarawak)

Niah National Park is another cave in Miri, Sarawak. Although not the largest in Sarawak as in the case of Mulu Cave, it is one with a rich history and a vast variety of wildlife. Most notably are the thousands of wild bats which make Niah National Park their home. It's hard to take a walk inside Niah National Park without encountering the bats at least once.

For cave enthusiasts, there are even homestay arrangements so you can fully immerse yourself in the cave experience. To get to know more about Niah National Park, check out the info page on Sarawak Tourism's website.

Gua Tempurung (Ipoh, Perak)

Image from Ipoh-city.com website

While not the largest or longest cave in West Malaysia, Gua Tempurung offers the casual explorer a glimpse into the natural limestone formations common to caves in Southeast Asia. 

If Gua Tempurung doesn't satisfy your curiosity though, you can explore the various other caves available nearby too!

Details of Gua Tempurung and its costs are available on the Ipoh City website.

Tandem Paragliding

Nothing brings you closer to the birds in the skies than flying right next to them. There are few activities that can give you the same adrenaline rush as "flying" in the sky, thousands of feet above the ground.

Although not as extreme as bungee jumping, tandem paragliding can still be pretty challenging due to the risks of being in the air and supported only by a parachute.

Nonetheless, with the proper precautions, tandem paragliding can be a safe experience. 

In Malaysia, Ranau and Bukit Kokol in Sabah are probably the best spots for tandem paragliding for nature enthusiasts who prefer to take in Malaysia's natural greenery from above over urban views. The air here is pretty fresh too!

Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater rafting can be one of the most thrilling adventures. Although you can opt for less intensive rafting experience, whitewater rafting is still considered an extreme sport so be prepared to get wet and wild during the ride!

Malaysia's extensive river networks make rafting available nationwide. Here are some notable whitewater rafting locations along with more information about the experience:

Kuala Kulu Bharu, Selangor

Gopeng, Perak

Kiulu, Sabah

Rock Climbing

If you've only rock climbed on man-made surfaces, climbing on natural rocks can feel refreshing.

While there are many rock surfaces suitable for climbing in Malaysia, unfortunately, few have been well-developed enough to make them safe climbing spots.

Nonetheless, we do have one interesting recommendation for rock-climbing enthusiasts:

Fairy Caves (Bau, Sarawak)

Image from Sarawak Tourism website

Like most outdoor rock climbing spots in Malaysia, Fairy Caves are made up of many solid limestone walls. What makes Fairy Caves different is that the Fairy Caves climbing landscape is more challenging thanks to its rock structures and formations. Other than that, there are more varieties of climbs thanks to a number of developed climbing spots.

Be warned though: Fairy Caves isn't for the novice climber. You need to have some level of climbing experience before attempting Fairy Caves.

You can get more details about climbing Fairy Caves from Sarawak Tourism's website.

Pro Tip: Prepare Yourself Before Your Next Travel Adventure

It's never a good idea to go on any adventure unprepared. Here are our top recommendations for travel accessories you should bring with you on any trip so you stay safe and organised:





Malaysia is a treasure trove of activities if you’re willing to give it a chance. For Malaysians, having local adventure spots only means you'll be able to go on adventure after adventure without going broke.

Thanks to our rich natural landscape, there are plenty of adventure types you can go on. For the avid hiker, we have mountains like Mount Kinabalu and Gunung Api. For the water lovers, diving and whitewater rafting will keep your adventure cravings satisfied. For rock climbers, you have Fairy Caves and all its climbing spots to conquer.

No matter your appetite for adventure, it's likely you'll find something you like right here in Malaysia.

Which of these adventures have you taken and which did you like best?

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