Malaysia is our home, and that is probably the only thing special to us. It is also very hot and when we complain too much about it, it rains. Then, we direct our complaint to raining pulak.
While Malaysia remains mundane and the complain cycle goes forever on, the rest of the world loves us so much they put us into the top of the tourism industry in the whole wide world!
Last Tuesday, Euromonitor ranked Kuala Lumpur as the tenth most visited cities in the world, while United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) ranked Malaysia as the eleventh most visited countries in July.
Yes, we are at the top of the world!
You may think: aiya, people like to come here to work only mah (or pump petrol for the Singaporeans). You are wrong.
According to Mastercard Global Destinations Index, we have the highest percentage of leisure travellers compared to business travellers at 92.2% in the whole world.
Come to Malaysia mestilah enjoy, kan?
As a result, tourism is currently the third largest foreign income earner in Malaysia, contributing more than 7% of our entire economy.
For a quick comparison, here are the full lists according to the reports:
Top 15 most visited cities by Euromonitor, November 2017:
1. Hong Kong: 26.6 million visitors
2. Bangkok: 21.2 million visitors
3. London: 19.2 million visitors
4. Singapore: 16.6 million visitors
5. Macau: 15.4 million visitors
6. Dubai: 14.9 million visitors
7. Paris: 14.4 million visitors
8. New York: 12.7 million visitors
9. Shenzhen: 12.6 million visitors
10. Kuala Lumpur: 12.3 million visitors
11. Phuket: 10.6 million visitors
12. Rome: 9.39 million visitors
13. Tokyo: 9.27 million visitors
14. Taipei: 9.22 million visitors
15. Istanbul: 9.17 million visitors
Top 15 most visited counties by UNWTO, July 2017:
1. France: 82.6 million visitors
2. United State: 75.6 million visitors
3. Spain: 75.6 million visitors
4. Italy: 52.4 million visitors
5. China: 59.3 million visitors
6. United Kingdom: 35.8 million visitors
7. Germany: 35.6 million visitors
8. Maxico: 35 million visitors
9. Thailand: 32.6 million visitors
10. Australia: 28.1 million visitors
11. Malaysia: 26.8 million visitors
12.Hong Kong: 26.6 million visitors
13.Greece: 24.8 million visitors
14.Russian Federation: 24.6 million visitors
15.Japan: 24 million visitors
Top 15 Countries that visited Malaysia by Tourism Malaysia in 2016
1. Singapore: 13.3 million visitors
2. Indonesia: 3 million visitors
3. China: 2.1 million visitors
4. Thailand: 1.8 million visitors
5. Brunei: 1.4 million visitors
6. India: 639 thousand visitors
7. South Korea: 444 thousand visitors
8. Philippines: 417 thousand visitors
9. Japan: 414 thousand visitors
10. United Kingdom: 400 thousand visitors
11. Australia: 378 thousand visitors
12. Taiwan: 301 thousand visitors
13. United States: 217.0 thousand visitors
14. Vietnam: 216.9 thousand visitors
15. France: 134 thousand visitors
It is difficult to understand why travellers of the world love us so much, even Americans and Frenchs are among Malaysia’s top 15 most visitors, because we are our worst critics.
Media/culturally dominant Asian countries, such as Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, don’t even appear close to us in the global top 15 list yet we are always obsessed with them. This really proves to show that grass is not always greener on the other side.
So here are 5 reasons from an outsider’s perspective why Malaysia is awesome and we take them for granted (except for food ❤️🇲🇾):
1. 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared 1,073 World Heritage sites in the whole world and we have four of them on our soil.
Source: Travel Chameleon
Lenggong Valley, Perak, is listed because of its archeologic reasons. It holds histories of human being dating all the way back to 2 million years ago. That goes without saying that the museum there is a global treasure.
Gunung Mulu National Park. Source: Flickr
Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, is the most studied tropical karst area in the world and Sarawak Chamber located in the park is the largest known cave chamber in the world. The more you know about Malaysia, eh?
With that said, it is no doubt that tourists, researchers, and adventure extremists would die to pay this place a visit.
Sarawak Chamber. Source: Scurion
Doesn’t it look like a place where Hollywood movies discover the biggest threat in the universe that could end human civilazation?
Mount Kinabalu. Source: Touropia
Kinabalu Park, Sabah, is no stranger to all of us. Having the tallest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea and home to wide range of floras, it is Malaysia Northern’s pride.
Rafflesia. Source: gotourister
Not forgetting Rafflesia, the most iconic tropical flowers, the largest and smelliest flower, are found primarily in the park as well. Can’t handle my trypophobia… Move on.
Melacca River. Source: Malaysia Travel
Lastly, the most well-known Melaka and George Town (Straits of Malacca). Sejarah in high school didn’t talk big about Selat Melaka for nothing. Developed over 500 years ago for trading and cultural exchanges between East and West, this stretch of coast was once the center of the world and now it’s rich in multicultural heritages with government buildings, churches, squares and fortifications.
2. Value for Money
Source: The Fifth Person
Quoted from Srune’s article 100 Reasons to Visit Malaysia:
It may not be the cheapest South East Asian country, but Malaysia offers great value for money. Prices are more than reasonable in comparison to Western standards, and the quality of accommodation and transport is excellent.
Malaysian Ringgit is at record low
With the Malaysia Ringgit (RM) dipping to a record low, it is a good time to get a good exchange rate for your currency.
Advises from Nnomadic Matt also stated that our food, transport, and activities are cheap, with a suggested daily budget of RM 130-180 is more than enough to travel in Malaysia.
We also made it into Telegraph’s world’s 20 cheapest countries to visit at number 17 with 6.06 price competitive rating (the price comparison to the UK, which is the 135th out of 136 countries that has a rating of 2.83).
3. Multicultural & Festivals for every season
Chinese temple during festive season. Source: Flickr
Malaysia is ranked at number 5 of country having the most holidays, therefore smartly planned tourists may be able to see us celebrating multiple festivals in one visit. Here is what The Crowded Planet travel blog has to say:
Few countries are as culturally diverse as Malaysia, and that becomes instantly clear walking around cities; mosques give way to Taoist pagodas, while South Indian temples appear just around the corner. Malaysia today is the product of three different cultures, Malay, Indian and Chinese. Truly Asia, indeed.
Did you head sing Malaysia Truly Asia when you read the last part? Hehe.
4. Beach and Island Paradise
A beach in Langkawi. Source: Touropia
The ang mo love this the most I guess. Whether tourists want it to be a public or private beach, diving, snorkeling, island hopping, yachting, parasailing… we have it all here.
Besides, we have one of the best diving sites in the world, too!
Barracuda Point, Sabah. Source: Top 100 Dive Sites
Located in the Southern of Sabah, Barracuda Point not far away from Sipadan Island is where National-Geographic-alike-footage is found.
Nasi Lemak. Source: easyuni
This we know this the best. We don’t take this for granted. But let’s hear what tourists have to say:
“The food in Malaysia is amazing. Not only is there Malay, Chin.ese, and Indian food, but some foods, like Nyonya’s blending of Malay and Chinese, are an amalgamation of different cultures. It is a food lover’s paradise really. KL and Penang are the top spots for food lovers visiting Malaysia.”—Talon Skywalker, United States, at Gotravelyourway.
There is no place in the world where we can change cuisine preference as easy as walking to the next door. Nasi Lemak breakfast, Chinese chicken rice for lunch, Bah Kut Teh (non-halal) or stay for dinner, and Roti Canai for supper—all of them can be found within the same block.
Malaysian preparing stay. Source: Flickr
We have yet to talk about Pasar Malam, Raya bazaar, mooncake, murukku, nyonya kuih, durian and many more seasonal food available throughout the year.
Syukulah. Change your Korea itinerary next year to Malaysia and understand why Malaysia is among the top 10s hottest (pun intended) place on earth!
Before you go, listen to the iconic Malaysia Truly Asia tune below: