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Malaysia

Best Day Trips from Kuala Lumpur 

Kuala Lumpur. Aerial cityscape image of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during sunrise.

Home to a bustling Chinatown with a plethora of secret bars (have you heard of PS 150 that is hidden beyond a toy store?), many breathtaking natural attractions and a magnificent skyline dominated by the famous Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur is a tempting travel destination.

Tourists curious to see both traditional Muslim, colonial as well as modern urban architecture will be amazed by the Malaysian capital. Visit the many districts of Kuala Lumpur, each of them will have something unique to offer. And if you are eager to explore Malaysia beyond its bustling capital, we are right here for you with our guide of the most recommended day trips from Kuala Lumpur!

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Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Selangor Firefly Park

To get the full (and smooth!) experience of the twinkling magic of Malaysian fireflies, we recommend booking a Kuala Selangor day trip with an agency. The firefly tours usually start in the afternoon, and on your way to Kuala Selangor, your guide will stop at the Hindu Sri Shakti Temple. In Kuala Selangor, before visiting the firefly park, you will make a stop at the Bukit Malawati Hill, from where you will not only experience mesmerizing sights of the setting sun but also get a first-hand experience of the local fauna like the silver leaf monkeys, Malaysian macaques and various species of tropical birds.

Before heading to the Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park, your guides will take you to a nearby fishing village where an abundant, Malaysian-style dinner buffet will be waiting for you. After the meal, the tour will continue to the Kuala Selangor Firefly Park. You will explore the park by a sampan (a traditional wooden boat without an engine; it is important to go there by rowboat, as any noise from an engine would disturb the fireflies), sailing down the meandering Selangor River. Observe the flashing fireflies in a tranquil natural environment, discovering their mesmerizing synchronicity. 

When your sampan cruise is over, your guide will drive you back to Kuala Lumpur and drop you off at your hotel.

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Selangor Firefly Park

Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur Selangor, Malaysia. . A view of the colourful roof of the temple at the Batu caves in Malaysia

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary

Malaysia’s Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in the tranquil village of Lanchang serves as both a conservation centre and an orphanage sanctuary for elephants. 

Agricultural development is the main reason why the elephants’ natural foraging areas have become much smaller over time. Nowadays, the animals have difficulties finding food in the wilderness which makes the elephants come into food plantations and even villages seeking something to eat. Apart from providing a safe environment with food and shelter for the elephants, Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is also an educational initiative addressing both the international visitors and locals.

The Asian Elephant is an endangered species, and the elephant conservation centre aims to prevent a further decrease in the elephant population. With a large number of visitors that the Elephant Sanctuary attracts, it has also received criticism for being nothing more than a tourist attraction. Remember that the conservation work can only continue with help from visitors’ donations, so make sure to leave a contribution!

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is located around 200 kilometres (roughly a 2-hour drive) from Kuala Lumpur. You can look into organized day trips from Kuala Lumpur or rent a car and drive on your own if you are tempted by a one day road trip in Malaysia! The sanctuary is open daily between 10.30 AM and 4 PM.

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary

Kuala Gandah, Malaysia - : Young malaysians bath baby elephants in the Sungai Teris river located in Krau Wildlife Reserve.

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Taman Negara National Park

Are you into rainforest explorations and outdoor activities? Then, a getaway to Malaysia’s Taman Negara National Park is the right fit for you. Taman Negara National Park is a vast national reserve on the Malay peninsula. Part of the reserve is a tropical rainforest that is believed to be 130 million years old! 

On this day trip, you will spend your time hiking canopy walkways (Taman Negara National Park is home to the longest canopy walkway in the world; it stretches 530 meters through the treetops), enjoying the stunning sights of the Malaysian wild forest and re-energizing your body with the fresh, clean air. Taman Negara National Park is a natural home to tigers, macaques and various bird species as well as some of the world’s most amazing flora, like the rafflesia plant, known for its enormous, reddish flowers (the biggest flowers in the world) and the repulsive odour that it produces when in bloom.

Taman Negara National Park day trips from Kuala Lumpur can be booked online. We recommend taking a pre-booked tour, as they often include lunch and other activities like meeting members of the local aboriginal Orang Asli Tribe and an afternoon cruise on the Sungai Tembeling River that will make your day excursion to Taman Negara National Park even more memorable.

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Taman Negara National Park

River in Jungle rainforest. Taman Negara national park, Malaysia

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Batu Caves

A Malaysian national treasure that you must not miss while visiting Kuala Lumpur is the Batu Caves. Guarded by a proud (over 42 meters tall) monument of Lord Murugan, a Hindu deity, is a complex of three main grottos: the Ramayana cave, the Temple Cave and the Dark Cave.

The Temple Cave is regarded to be the centrepiece of the entire complex. No less than 272 colourful steps lead to the cave which is mainly inhabited by… macaque monkeys! (Be careful with your belongings – the monkeys can snatch things quickly; do not take out any food in the cave and do not feed the animals.)

On your way up to the Temple Cave, branching out to the left, you will find the path towards the Dark Cave. It consists of several chambers and offers amazing views of dramatic stalactites. Watch out for the bats who live in the nooks and crannies!

From Kuala Lumpur, you can get to Batu Caves easily and inexpensively. From KL Sentral (the main railway station in Kuala Lumpur) you can book a direct train to the Caves. The trains depart approximately every 30 minutes, and the fare is 2 RM (around 0,5 USD) each way. You can also book a day trip to Batu Caves with a tour agency; a guided day trip will include an introduction to local arts and crafts in the end!

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Batu Caves

Very beautiful Batu Cave in Malaysia, a temple of Hinduism in South Asia.

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands

Tea plantations, wild jungle trails and… strawberry farms! Sounds intriguing? Then head to Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands, a mountain plateau in the Malaysian state of Pahang. The area got its name from William Cameron who, on his mapping expedition as a British government surveyor, ‘discovered’ the plateau in 1885. 

Start your trip with a visit to the Cameron Highlands Butterfly Farm or the Butterfly Garden to learn more about and see with your own eyes a colourful collection of various tropical butterfly species. 

We also recommend you visit the Boh Sungai Palas Tea Estate, located in the hills north of Brinchang town. Apart from the tea plantation, the estate also consists of a tea factory, a tea shop selling various tea-products as well as themed souvenirs and an information centre where you can learn about the history of the estate. 

On your day trip to Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands, make sure not to miss the Sam Poh Wan Futt Chi Temple. Situated on a hill overlooking Brinchang Town, it is the fourth-largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. Visit it for the beautiful sights and the impressive ornaments inside!

You can reach Cameron Highlands by bus from Kuala Lumpur (travel time is approx. 3 hours 30 minutes each way, and a single one-way ticket is 35 MYR, around 8,5 USD) or book a private tour!

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands Malaysia. Tea plantations in the cameron highlands in Malaysia

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Lata Iskandar Waterfall

Often added to Cameron Highlands day trips from Kuala Lumpur is a visit to the Lata Iskandar Waterfalls. Situated alongside route no. 59, Lata Iskandar Waterfalls are not only easy to get to, but they are spectacular too! Popular with both local and foreign visitors, the waterfalls can get crowded quite easily; plan your trip on a weekday to at least avoid the local crowds on their weekend escape from Kuala Lumpur.

Lata Iskandar Waterfalls are multi-tiered with wide, wild pools at the base of each tier (you can bathe there safely). The active visitors can climb the concrete staircase that leads to the top of the main cascade. Technically it is possible to climb even higher, but we do not recommend it, as there is no proper trail. At the foot of the waterfall, there are a few bridges and picnic spots from where you still get an amazing view of the waterfalls and can enjoy the cooling fresh air coming from the cascades. You will also find quite a few stalls and vendors selling local, handcrafted products, tribal arts as well as snacks and drinks.

Whether you are in the mood for a slow-paced picnic getaway from Kuala Lumpur or are hungry for even more breathtaking sights on your way to the Cameron Highlands, visiting the Lata Iskandar Waterfalls is highly recommended!

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Lata Iskandar Waterfall

Lata Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia. A lady taking a rest at a Lata Iskandar waterfall, located along a trunk road from Tapah to Cameron Highland.

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Genting Highlands 

One of the most popular vacation spots in Malaysia, for locals and tourists alike, is the Genting Highlands. Take a deep inhale, sense the crisp mountain air and… start exploring! 

First of all, the highlands have some of the prettiest scenery in Malaysia. No better way to experience it than going for a hike! Enjoy views of the mountains and untouched rainforests! Part of a 28-acres Malaysian woodland in the Genting Highlands are ground belonging to the Chin Swee Caves Temple. The temple was built for the Taoist community and is one of the main religious sites in the area, visit it for stunning views. We guarantee, you will enjoy this tranquil break.

Looking for something more fast-pace? Party-enthusiasts are also drawn to the Genting Highlands, as it offers amazing nightlife; much different, and more exciting than in the more conservative parts of the country (Malaysia is a Muslim country, and many places will eg. not serve alcohol). One of the most famous night clubs is “Cloud 9”, easy to recognize for its noticeable neon pillars.

Around 55 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur, you can reach Genting Highlands by public transportation (eg. by bus departing from Terminal Pekeliling in Kuala Lumpur to Awana Bus Terminal from where you take the cable car) or book a private day tour with an agency online.

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Genting Highlands 

GENTING HIGHLANDS, MALAYSIA. Awana SkyWay at Genting Highlands, Malaysia. The Awana Skyway is one of the most convenient ways to reach the peak of Genting Highlands

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Penang

Even if you are only visiting Malaysia for a short period of time, you must add a trip to Penang to your itinerary. Known to be Malaysia’s melting pot of cultures, architectures and cuisines, Penang can be visited on a one day trip from Kuala Lumpur.

In order to make this excursion in one day, we recommend booking a private transfer to Penang. The drive will take around 4 hours each way, covering the distance of almost 400 kilometres. It is a small one day road trip in Malaysia where you cross through the north-western part of the country. Your guide will make sure you do not miss any of Penang’s highlights like the many fishing villages or the Old Georgetown Streets that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage. On this tour, you will also visit the world-famous Snake Temple (also known as “Temple of the Azure Cloud”). It was built in the mid-19th century to memorize a Chinese monk who sheltered jungle snakes. Afterwards, you will visit one of the vastest Chinese Buddhist temple complexes in Southeast Asia, the Kek Lok Si Temple with many pagodas and bell towers built in different architectural styles, ranging from Chinese to Burmese and Thai.

Your trip will end with the first-hand experience of some of the traditional arts like pewter crafts (metal carving) or batik colouring!

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Penang

GEORGE TOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA - Kek Lok Si Buddhist temple in Georgetown on Penang island, Malaysia. It's the biggest buddhist temple in Malaysia.

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Malacca City

One of our most recommended day trips from Kuala Lumpur is a getaway to Malacca City. With its unique multicultural heritage (a mixture of Asian and European influences), the historical city of Malacca is listed as a part of UNESCO World Heritage. Some of the oldest buildings in Malacca, dating back to the 15th century, were raised in times of the old Malay sultanate, whereas buildings from the early 16th century show the colonial Portuguese and Dutch influences.

One of the most well-known sites in the city is the old Portuguese church of St. Paul. The chapel was originally built in 1521, which makes it the oldest church building in Malaysia and the whole of Southeast Asia! The church is located atop St. Paul’s Hill and is now regarded as a part of the Malacca Museum Complex which also includes the ruins of A Famosa (former Portuguese fortress, remains of which are among the oldest surviving pieces of European architecture in Southeast Asia) and Stasthuys (known for its red exterior and the adjacent red clocktower).

To take a break from walking around (Malacca is very walkable and you can easily explore it on foot), stop for a traditional Malaysian lunch and head to Junket Street at the centre of Chinatown where you will find many stalls selling souvenirs and local sweet and savoury snacks. 

Day trip from Kuala Lumpur to Malacca City

MALACCA, MALAYSIA - : A view of Christ Church & Dutch Square in Malacca Malaysia. It was built in 1753 by Dutch & is the oldest 18th century Protestant church in Malaysia.

Recommended Day Trips from Kuala Lumpur

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Best Day Trips from Kuala Lumpur

Best Day Trips from Kuala Lumpur

Best Day Trips from Kuala Lumpur

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!