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Ecotourism in Malaysia
Written by Vengatesh on June 18, 2020 Share on

11 Best Ecotourism Experiences in Malaysia For A Feel Good Vacation

Malaysia has ancient rainforests, critically endangered primates and a multitude of endemic species. Over 15,000 types of plants, flowers and trees grow in 130 million-year-old rainforests. Almost extinct Sumatran rhinos and critically endangered orangutans live within the protected jungles. Endless coral fields thrive in marine parks where millions of tropical fish call home. Malaysia has a lot to offer for the ecotourists around the world, and this is a handpicked list of best ecotourism experiences in Malaysia.

Rainforest in Malaysia

Green and Hawksbill turtles nest thousands of kilometres of coastline along with parts of Malaysia. Ecosystems thrive in environments ranging from primary rainforests to mangrove swamps to mountaintop habitats. Without further due, let’s dive right into the list of best ecotourism experiences in Malaysia The Crazy Tourist unveils the 25 best ecotourism experiences in Malaysia for wildlife, trekking and diving.

1. Get hot and sweaty looking for wildlife on the jungle trails (Malaysia)


Primary rainforest covers vast areas of both Malaysia Peninsula and Borneo Malaysia.

Marked trails lead through the jungle. This gives hikers the chance to face-to-face this biodiversity melting pot.

Some parts of the forest can be reached within minutes from the city centre. Examples are Kuala Lumpur ‘s Eco-Forest Park, Penang National Park and Kuching’s Bako National Park.

2. Spend a day off-grid in Malaysia’s National Parks (Malaysia)

One of Malaysia National Park

Malaysia has more than 25 national parks, forests and nature reserves.

Protected areas are home to millions of species of plants, animals and marine life.

Escape civilization and embrace a couple of hours without Wi-Fi and phone signals. Look for rare species such as orangutans and pygmy elephants in their natural habitat.

If you’re in the Peninsular of Malaysia, head to Taman Negara, Matang and Royal Belum State Park.

Take a look at Kinabalu Park and Gunung Gading National Park in Borneo.

3. Experience the jungle here.


Jungle covers large areas of western Malaysia and vast regions of Borneo, Malaysia. Getting out into the rainforest is a rewarding and enlightening experience. Visitors can choose between multi-day excursions on short trails in national parks. And it’s possible to get to Kuala Lumpur in the middle of the steamy forests in less than an hour.

4. National Parks of Malaysia

National Parks of Malaysia

Most of Malaysia’s dozens of national parks and protected areas are surprisingly accessible. Tourists can have a lifetime experience without spending long hours travelling to get to them. Malaysian national parks include parts of the protected jungle, caves in Sarawak and Mount Kinabalu in Sabah. Nature is never too far away and making the most of this is one of our favourite ecotourism experiences in Malaysia.

5. Explore the mangroves of Langkawi

Kilim Karst Geoforest

The 100-square-kilometre Kilim Karst Geoforest Park in the northeast corner of Langkawi offers some of the best ecotourism experiences in Malaysia. The network of mangrove swamps around the branching and meandering river is an ecological haven. Visitors can enjoy nature, views and wildlife, including swimming macaque monkeys and circling eagles from the comfort of a boat.

6. Wildlife and Ecotourism Experiences in Malaysia 

Wildlife Experience

In Malaysia, tourists can expect to see a plethora of wildlife. Drive to the hills a short distance from Kuala Lumpur and you’ll find monkeys hanging from the trees. Or watch as dozens of eagles circle in pairs high up in the skies of Langkawi and Sabah. Head to Borneo to see several types of endemic species, including the iconic orangutan and proboscis monkeys.

7. Some of the best diving sites in the world


Besides offering a full ecotourism experience on land, divers and snorkelers will witness an explosion of life under the waves. From PADI or SSI courses in either Langkawi, Penang or the Perhentian Islands to trips to world-class diving spots off the coast of Borneo, Malaysia promises an unparalleled diving experience. We recommend the islands of Sipadan and Lanka in Sabah.

8. Hundreds of tropical islands

With almost 900 islands littering thousands of kilometres of coastline along with both Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysia’s Borneo, beach lovers are in for a treat. Expect to find everything from tiny deserted islands like the Pulau Tiga of Sabah to the tropical wonderland of the Perhentian Islands. Most of them have soft sand, clear waters, and a thick jungle covering much of the island.

9. Experience the diversity of landscapes and ecosystems

There are 12 places in the world that are classified as megadiverse. Malaysia is just one of them. Large portions of the nation’s rich flora and fauna live in either tropical rainforest, freshwater or marine habitats. Nature-loving tourists can take tours to many of them for the ultimate eco-tourism experience. Other landscapes include the Cameron Highlands, thousands of kilometres of rivers and caves.

The endless opportunities for hiking


What could be better than to experience the very best of nature and the environment than to do some jungle treks in Malaysia? Some follow short trails along boardwalks passing through the edge of the forest, while others offer multi-day expeditions to climb remote mountains. Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo offer long walks, canopy walks in the rainforest and a chance to visit the relatively unexplored Maliau Basin. Otherwise, head to the more temperate climates of the Cameron Highlands in western Malaysia for a completely different experience.

10. See the stenchy Rafflesia and the insect-eating pitcher plants

insect-eating pitcher plants

Few ecotourism experiences in Malaysia meet the wow factor of seeing the world’s largest (and most fragrant) flower. Rafflesia holds many titles and attracts a lot of attention for its bizarreness and smell that smells like rotting flesh. While the flowers bloom for only a few days each year, it is still possible to join a tour to see the rare flowers in both Borneo and West Malaysia. The bell-shaped pitcher plants, which attract insects inside before dissolving and absorbing them as food, are equally fascinating.

11. Meet the orangutan


Orangutans that are critically endangered live in Borneo and Sumatra. Unfortunately, however, the number of these remarkably intelligent primates is in sharp decline due to habitat loss. Sabah’s Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary and Sarawak’s Semenggoh Wildlife Center adopt and rehabilitate the young and orphaned in a semi-wild sanctuary. Seeing these orange-haired, almost human orangutans is always one of Malaysia’s top ecotourism experiences.

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