Wanderlust can lead you to many places around the world. But sometimes, there’s just no place like home. With so many wonderful places rich in heritage and character in Malaysia, you don’t even need to venture out of the country to satisfy your thirst for adventure — and good food.

Keeping that in mind, we asked avid traveller Ferhat Nazri-Aziz about his favourite places to visit in Malaysia. Ferhat is the former head of PR and marketing of luxury retailer Melium Group, and runs Instagram account @wanderhat, where he chronicles his envy-inducing journeys around the world.

favourite places to visit in Malaysia
Avid traveller Ferhat Nazri-Aziz is seen here at the iconic grounds of Musée Rodin, Paris. (Image credit: @ferhatnazri)

But wait, there’s more. We also asked Ferhat to share his recommendations on accommodation and dining options. These include modern and traditional residences steeped in luxury and heritage, as well as eateries that serve up mouthwatering repertoires of local fare. You can count your next vacation sorted, as Ferhat also offered tips on which rooms to pick for the best views, and what dishes to order at his favourite eateries. With the long Merdeka weekend coming up at the end of August, perhaps this can serve as a guide for a cuti-cuti Malaysia road trip for you.

1
Penang

Where to stay: Seven Terraces on Stewart Lane.

“This gorgeous hotel was built around 19th-century Anglo-Chinese terrace houses with a beautiful courtyard. I also love the interior, which pays homage to the Peranakan Chinese culture.”

Where to eat: Kebaya Dining Room at the Seven Terraces. Ferhat recommends the wing bean kerabu, otak-otak, and grilled chicken kapitan.

“The food [here] is superb and I was introduced to it by my friend, author Shireen Zainudin. The interior is stunning; I feel like I’m dining in my very own dining hall”

(Image credit: @ferhatnazri)

2
Langkawi

Where to stay: The Datai Langkawi.

“Till this very day, the service is impeccable and the resort is simply stunning. How amazing is it to be in the heart of a 10-million-year-old rainforest? A tour of the mangrove swamp is a must.”

Where to eat: Bon Ton and Gulai House at The Datai.

“I love Bon Ton for delicious comfort food. Gulai House is another favourite. Its location in the rainforest of Langkawi is stunning, and its local Malay food is delicious.”

(Image credit: The Datai Langkawi)

3
Malacca

Where to stay: The Majestic Malacca.

“The spa experience is a must, and so is the afternoon tea. Book the Majestic Suite for a stunning view of the river.”

Where to eat: Pak Putra Tandoori & Naan RestaurantWild Coriander, and Nancy’s Kitchen.

“Wild Coriander and Nancy’s Kitchen are a must as I’m a huge fan of Peranakan cuisine.”

(Image credit: The Majestic Malacca)

4
Johor Bahru

Where to stay: Thistle.

“There’s something about the pool and view of the Straits that makes me love Thistle.”

Where to eat: Restoran Hua Mui, Flowers in the Window, Zainal’s Place, and Haji Wahid.

“I love the Hokkien noodles and Hainanese chicken chop at Restoran Hua Mui. For a more modern spot, Flowers in the Window on Jalan Dhoby is a good option. [It offers] friendly service and good food. For mee rebus, I love Zainal’s Place and Haji Wahid.”

(Image credit: Malaysia-Hotels.net)

5
Kuala Lumpur

Where to stay: Grand Hyatt and St. Regis Kuala Lumpur.

“I absolutely love the pool at Grand Hyatt and the amazing spa. The view from the rooms and the lobby at the top is breathtaking — we’re talking about a 360-degree bird’s eye view of KL here. The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur is another favourite with rooms you’ll never want to leave. I love the rooms facing the Lake Gardens.”

Where to eat: Restoran Muar at Tengkat Tong Shin, The Ganga Cafe on Lorong Kurau, and Cozy Corner at Ampang Park.

“Order the butter kailan and crispy fried egg, which are to die for. A close second would be The Ganga Cafe on Lorong Kurau. I’m there most Saturday mornings having a leisurely breakfast while reading my favourite books. The thosai is a must and don’t forget to try the panipuri — it’s life-changing. I head to Cozy Corner at Ampang Park for its chicken chop.”

(Image credit: St. Regis Kuala Lumpur)

PohNee Chin
Editor, Kuala Lumpur
Poh Nee is the editor and writes about travel and drinks. When she's not living out her holiday dreams via Google Earth and sipping on an Old Fashioned down at the local bars, you can find her snug at home bingeing on Netflix and mystery fiction. Reach out to Poh Nee via email at pohnee@lifestyleasia.com.