Malaysia is becoming the go-to destination for Chinese travelers. With its pristine beaches, tropical rainforest, colonial architecture, and cosmopolitan capital, there is so much to do and see.
The Malaysian government’s Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign coincides with the 45th anniversary of economic and cultural cooperation with China. The Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) is using this celebration to strengthen ties between the 2 countries with a number of initiatives aimed at giving Chinese visitors a fantastic experience in Malaysia.
The Visit Malaysia 2020 Campaign
According to the Malaysian government, 2020 is the Malaysia-China Culture and Tourism Year. As such, the MTPB is taking a number of steps to promote Malaysia as a desirable destination for Chinese tourists.
At the China International Travel Mart (CITM) in Kunming, the MTPB announced it would be working with travel companies to offer unique experiences to Chinese visitors, such as staying on a durian farm. Guests can hear the heavy fruit fall from the trees during the night and go out with a guide in the morning to sample the fresh durians.
Experiences such as these are designed to appeal to the growing number of FITs (free independent travelers) from China. These are usually younger people who plan their own trips and avoid group tours.
The MTPB has also been making Malaysia more accessible to modern travelers by pressuring hotels and retailers to accept mobile payments like WeChat Pay and AliPay.
What to See and Do in Malaysia for Chinese Travelers
Malaysia is a large country divided in 2 areas: West Malaysia, located on the Malay Peninsula of mainland Asia and East Malaysia on the northern side of the island of Borneo. Between these 2 regions, there are many options for travelers from China.
Shopping and Sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur
The Malaysian capital is a thriving metropolis with a proud history, impressive buildings, and great food, not to mention the fact that it is a shopper’s paradise.
According to statistics published by Nielsen, 47% of Chinese tourists say that shopping is an important factor in their vacations. When it comes to shopping, Kuala Lumpur (or KL) is second to none. The district of Bukit Bintang is full of malls and upmarket retailers, while Central Market and the night markets of KL are the perfect places to find bargains.
Kuala Lumpur landmarks include:
- The Petronas Towers — the tallest twin towers in the world
- The Batu Caves — the most important Hindu temple outside of India is an enormous cave system just outside of KL adorned with shrines and watched over by giant statues of Hindu deities.
- National Mosque Masjid Negara — a beautiful building with a unique design, including a blue roof and a 74-meter tall minaret.
- Merdeka Square — a historic location with several impressive buildings, most prominently the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, where Malaysia declared independence in 1957.
- KL Tower — at 421 meters tall, this modern tower offers panoramic views of Kuala Lumpur from its observation deck.
Discover Durians: Malaysia’s Famous Fruit
The durian is a fruit native to Malaysia, famous for its spiny skin and strong scent, which some people love and others can’t stand. In Malaysia and neighboring countries, the durian is nicknamed “the king of fruit”.
Despite the fact that many people are repulsed by the odor, durians are an integral part of Malaysian culture and tourists are equally obsessed with the spiky fruit. Durian-flavored snacks and pastries and durian-themed souvenirs are sold all over Malaysia and there are even durian eating contests.
Getting caught up in durian fever isn’t necessarily a bad thing either — the durian is a superfruit full of iron, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.
The Architecture of George Town, Penang
George Town is the capital of the state of Penang. It is known for its food and its eclectic mix of architecture. It is the perfect destination for Chinese travelers who enjoy history and beautiful buildings.
George Town was under British control for over 170 years and signs of this colonial past can be seen all over the city in its impressive architecture.
Impressive colonial-style buildings include:
- City Hall
- The Town Hall
- Suffolk House
- Fort Cornwallis
- The Eastern and Oriental Hotel
Waves of immigration from China and India brought other styles of architecture. George Town is home to many ornate Chinese temples and clan houses, including:
- Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (the Blue Mansion)
- The Kuan Yin Temple
- The Khoo Kongsi (clan house of the Khoo clan)
Where to Go for a Malaysia Beach Getaway
Malaysia has a hot climate and 4,675 kilometres (2,905 mi) of coastline. The states of Sarawak and Sabah on the island of Borneo are well-known for their pristine beaches, as are Malaysia’s many islands.
The clear blue waters of the Perhentian Islands make for an idyllic getaway for Chinese visitors who prefer a quieter vacation. For those who want shopping and nightlife as well, the city of Kota Kinabalu on Borneo combines the best of beach life and urban holidaymaking.
What is the most beautiful beach in Malaysia?
There are many beautiful beaches in Malaysia to choose from. Rawa Island Beach in Johor is renowned for its white sand and crystal-clear waters, with panoramic views of the Johor coastline.
Long Beach on Perhentian Kecil Island is regarded as one of the most beautiful and best beaches for travelers on a budget. It is also a nesting ground for turtles in the summer months.
Teluk Belanga Beach, Pangkor Island also has a claim to being Malaysia’s most beautiful beach. Nestled in a cove with clear green waters, it is also known as “Emerald Bay”.
What Do Chinese Visitors Need to Go To Malaysia?
It is now simple and easy for Chinese citizens to obtain a visa to enter Malaysia. There are three types of Malaysia visas that travelers from China can apply for, including the Malaysia e-Visa introduced in recent years to facilitate travel.