Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country with landmarks as diverse and colourful as its inhabitants. Malaysia’s landmarks tell stories of Malaysian culture, history, and heritage from Sabah in the north to Johor in the south. Malaysia’s landmarks have a rich history dating back to prehistoric times when it was inhabited by indigenous people. Over the years, the country has been influenced by many different cultures, including Indian, Chinese, Malay, and British. This is reflected in Malaysia’s landmarks, which include a mix of religious temples, colonial structures, and modern skyscrapers.
1. Petronas Twin Towers
The Petronas Twin Towers, which stand 451.9 m above Kuala Lumpur’s skyline, is the city’s tallest landmark. It is also the world’s tallest twin tower. The towers were completed in 1998 and held the record for the tallest building in the world until 2004, when Taipei 101 surpassed it. The design of the towers was inspired by Islamic art, and because the facade is mostly made of steel and glass, the buildings always appear to shimmer no matter what time of day you visit.
2. Sri Mahamariamman Temple
Sri Mahamariamman Temple is Malaysia’s richest and oldest Hindu temple. The temple’s design is one-of-a-kind, incorporating Italian and Spanish tiles, precious stones, and gold. The temple’s most amazing feature is its shape, which is similar to the human body, with the head pointing west and the feet pointing east. A focal point is also the main prayer hall, which contains murals and frescoes.
3. Sultan Abdul Samad Building
The Sultan Abdul Samad Building, completed in 1897, is one of Kuala Lumpur’s most recognisable landmarks. It was originally a government office and courthouse, but it now houses the Ministry of Information, Communications, and Culture. The structure is named after Selangor’s fourth Sultan, who reigned from 1874 to 1895. The Sultan Abdul Samad Building is located on Jalan Raja in Kuala Lumpur’s colonial district. It is easily identified by its ornate Moorish architecture and 39-meter-high clock tower. Every weekday, the building is open to the public and offers guided tours.
4. Jamek Mosque
Jamek Mosque, also known as the Friday Mosque, was built in 1907 on the first Malay burial ground in Kuala Lumpur. It is the oldest mosque in Malaysia, offering a sense of peace and tranquillity and is located near the Klang and Gombak rivers. The mosque’s architecture is a mix of Moorish, Islamic, and Magul elements.
5. Thean Hou Temple
Thean Hou Temple, which sits atop Robinson Heights, was built in 1987. Although it is not the city’s oldest temple, it is arguably one of its most beautiful. The six-tiered temple combines Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. The temple complex has a massive area of 6,758m2, making it Malaysia’s largest Mazu temple. It has stunning architecture, including colourful frescoes, ornate rooftops, and massive dragon pillars.
6. Batu Caves
Another well-known landmark in Malaysia is Batu Caves. It is a limestone hill with numerous caves and caverns. A Hindu temple dedicated to the deity Murugan can be found within the caves. Thaipusam, an annual Hindu festival, is also held in Batu Caves. During this festival, Lord Murugan devotees carry kavadis as a form of penance. The ascent to the main temple cave is quite steep, but the views are well worth it. The main cave is approximately 100 metres tall and contains several Hindu shrines. Batu Caves is a popular tourist destination and one of Malaysia’s most important Hindu shrines.
7. Kek Lok Si Temple
Kek Lok Si Temple is one of Southeast Asia’s largest Buddhist temples, built on the flank of 830 m high Penang Hill. Between 1890 and 1930, the entire complex of buildings, including a five-story pagoda and a 36.7 m tall statue of Goddess Guanyin, was constructed. The place comes to life during the Chinese New Year when it’s lit up with thousands of lanterns for the whole month.
8. Penang Hill
Penang Hill is a mountain in Penang, Malaysia. It is the highest point on the island and provides breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding islands. During colonial times, the hill was used as a fortress by the British. It is now a popular tourist destination with a number of hotels, restaurants, and cafes. Penang Hill is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Penang. It is one of Malaysia’s most famous landmarks and provides breathtaking views that are simply unforgettable.
9. Fort Cornwallis
The fort is a star-shaped bastion built in beautiful architectural style to protect Penang from enemies on all sides. The fort’s basic design is similar to other British forts in India, and it contains a bronze statue of Captain Francis, as well as prison cells, a massive storage area, and barracks. The interior is unique, and numerous bronze cannons and mortars are also present and well-preserved.
10. Cheong Fat Tze Mansion
Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, also known as the Blue Mansion due to its bright blue facade, is a heritage building in the UNESCO World Heritage City of George Town. The mansion was built in the 1840s in the Straits Eclectic style for Chinese businessman Cheong Fatt Tze. The mansion is decorated with Art Nouveau stained glass and cast-iron balustrades, giving it a western feel. The mansion was sadly abandoned after Cheong Fatt Tze’s death in 1916, but it was restored to its former glory over a six-year period. The mansion is currently used as a hotel and restaurant, but tours of the public areas are available.
11. Kota Kinabalu City Mosque
The Kota Kinabalu City Mosque has its contemporary Islam architectural design similar to Nabaqi Mosque in Medina. The stunning white mosque is surrounded by a man-made lagoon. Non-Muslims can visit the mosque except during prayers.
12. Perak Cave Temple
Perak Cave Temple was founded in 1926 by a Chinese couple from Jiao Ling Province. After approximately 50 years of hard work, the Perak Cave Temple has become one of Malaysia’s most beautiful and famous cave temples. Visitors will notice the massive 15-meter tall Buddha statue as soon as they enter the temple. Beautiful paintings of Buddhist deities and mythical creatures such as dragons and phoenixes surround the figure.
13. Sky Bridge
The Langkawi Sky Bridge provides breathtaking 360-degree views of the Langkawi Archipelago and the mountains of the Mat Chinchang that surround the peak. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Southern Thailand from the Sky Bridge, which is 125 m long and 660 m above sea level. The bridge is an easy walk, and there are plenty of sections where you can stop for pictures. On the bridge, there are also clear sections where you can see directly below you.
14. Melaka Straits Mosque
Melaka Straits Mosque is a beautiful white structure located on an artificial island in the waters of the Melaka Straits, an important shipping channel. The mosque, which was finished in 2006, has a golden dome, colourful stained glass work on the archways, and a thirty-meter high minaret that also serves as a lighthouse. The mosque almost appears to float, and sunset is a great time for photographers to visit because the light reflects off the water and illuminates the structure as darkness falls.
15. Christ Church
This iconic red church is a well-known landmark in Melaka and Malaysia’s first Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built in the 18th century with distinctive red bricks literally shipped from overseas. Christ Church has a striking presence and is well-known not only for its vibrant architecture but also for its prominent location. This is where the Dutch colonised Melaka before independence, right in front of the Dutch Square. People and activities are always active in the square.