We Malaysians have taken pride in our culture (and food!), but it is always great to know that we are recognised as one of the best places to visit.
In a recent list compiled by travel site TripAdvisor, Malaysia has three destinations in the Top 10, the only country with such a high number – with Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and George Town all making the list!
The awards recognise 43 destinations around the world selected by an algorithm primarily measured by a year-over-year increase in positive TripAdvisor traveller review ratings for accommodations, restaurants and attractions, and increase in booking interest.
1. Baku, Azerbaijan
Baku, the capital and commercial hub of Azerbaijan, is a low-lying city with coastline along the Caspian Sea. It’s famed for its medieval walled old city, which contains the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, a vast royal complex, and the iconic stone Maiden Tower.
2. El Nido, Philippines
El Nido is a Philippine municipality on Palawan island. It’s known for its white-sand beaches, coral reefs and as the gateway to the Bacuit archipelago, a group of islands with steep karst cliffs.
3. Jodhpur, India
Jodhpur is a city in the Thar Desert of the north-west Indian state of Rajasthan. Its 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort is a former palace that’s now a museum, displaying weapons, paintings and elaborate royal palanquins (sedan chairs).
4. Da Lat, Vietnam
Đà Lạt, the capital of Lâm Đồng Province in southern Vietnam’s Central Highlands, is centred around a lake and golf course, and surrounded by hills, pine forests, lakes and waterfalls. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its distinctive temperate climate, Đà Lạt was developed as a resort by the French in the early 1900s, and many reminders of its colonial heritage remain.
5. Jeju, South Korea
Jeju province encompasses the South Korean island of Jeju in the Korea Strait. It’s known for its beach resorts and volcanic landscape of craters and cavelike lava tubes. Hallasan Mountain, a dormant volcano, features hiking trails, a crater lake at the 1,950m summit and nearby Gwaneumsa Temple.
6. Sapa, Vietnam
Sa Pa is a town in the Hoàng Liên Son Mountains of northwestern Vietnam. A popular trekking base, it overlooks the terraced rice fields of the Muong Hoa Valley and is near the 3,143m-tall Phang Xi Pang peak, which is climbable via a steep, multi-day guided walk.
7. Hualien, Taiwan
Hualien City is a county-controlled city and the county seat of Hualien County, Taiwan. It is located on the east coast of Taiwan on the Pacific Ocean.
8. Kuching, Malaysia
Kuching, the capital of the Malaysian state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo, is a bustling, diverse city of old colonial buildings and modern towers. Along with its Sarawak River waterfront are food vendors, shophouses selling handicrafts and an esplanade with views of 19th-century landmarks: The Astana, former palace of the White Rajahs, and Fort Margherita, built to thwart pirates.
9. Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state in the northern part of the island of Borneo. Often referred to as KK, it’s a coastal city partly surrounded by rainforest. It’s known for its bustling markets, modern boardwalk, beaches and waterfront Kota Kinabalu City Mosque. It is also a gateway to Kinabalu National Park, the home of 4,095m-high Mount Kinabalu.
10. George Town, Malaysia
George Town is the colourful, multicultural capital of the Malaysian island of Penang. Once an important Straits of Malacca trading hub, the city is known for its British colonial buildings, Chinese shop houses and mosques.