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16 Incredible Malaysian Destinations That Aren't Kuala Lumpur

Seen the Petronas Towers? Now go see the rest.

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This quaint town on Penang Island is truly an escape from the intensity of Malaysia's capital city. Once a major hub of the Far East trade route, George Town is now known for its amazing street art, colonial architecture, and locals who can do no wrong.

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This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for the razor-sharp limestone formation and the Sarawak cave chamber, which is the largest in the world and can fit 40 Boeing 747 planes.

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Founded in 1964, the rehabilitation forest takes in orphaned or injured orangutans and prepares them for a life in the wild. Travellers can visit the centre and see these creatures swinging on trees and enjoying feeding time.

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This heritage-listed town which played a vital role in the eastern spice trade now showcases a mix of eastern and western cultures. Food is a big part of the Malaccan experience, but its main draw is for people who want to immerse themselves in the town's history.

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This coastal town on the island of Borneo is home to Southeast Asia's highest peak, Mount Kinabalu. It's the ultimate destination for adventure seekers wanting to watch the sunrise above the clouds.

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Detached from the modernity of Kota Kinabalu, this cultural village showcases Borneo's ethnic tradition. There are five different tribes represented in this area and visitors get the opportunity to learn more about the region's origins.

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As Malaysia's only oceanic island, it's no surprise that Sipadan is a hotspot for divers. Underwater, you can expect to see some amazing tornado-like formations of fish and several sea turtles.

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Penang's food scene is more than just its curry. Almost every street has a local hawker market where you can sample the true flavours of the island. Be sure to try some char kway teow, a popular noodle dish, while you're there!

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It's a 4.5-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur but the Cameron Highlands is worth the trip if you want to escape the city's hustle ...and humidity. The mountains are covered by tea plantations as far as the eyes can see. You can also do some strawberry picking or enjoy a warm steamboat dinner in the comforts of the highlands' cool weather.

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This one's another gem of Langkawi - the curved bridge allows visitors a panoramic view of the Machinchang mountain's virgin forest. You need to take a cable car to the top station, but be prepared to climb some stairs to access the actual bridge.

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Some members of the Bajau Laut or Sama Laut people of eastern Sabah still have homes on stilts over the clear waters of Semporna. During April, they host the Regatta Lepa Festival where they decorate their boats with colourful flags.

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There's a bridge spanning a total of 300 metres that allows visitors to walk from one tree to another amidst the rainforest of eastern Sabah. Each tree has a viewing deck and at a certain point opens up to a valley with a stream below.

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Thanks to the abundance of cat statues, cat cafés, souvenirs, and attractions dotting the city, the capital of Sarawak has attracted tourists with a soft spot for our feline friends.

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The waterfalls in Imbak Canyon is a popular swimming spot in Sabah. Very rarely, you may stumble across an elephant herd traversing the stream. Visitors to this conservation also have the option to go off-road on a 4-wheel drive.

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Visiting the national park doesn't just allow you to witness the natural wonders of the life of turtles. Your visit also means contributing to the conservation programs for the endangered species.

Disclaimer: Hotel, airfare, and associated tour costs were provided free of charge by Contiki. BuzzFeed writers did not guarantee coverage.

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