Four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malaysia

As a wannabe traveller, I have one bucket list after another to pursue. You might have read about my 7 Wonders of the Modern World list, which I have to date only ticked off three out of seven.

Well, the other day, I read an article on heritage tourism on Expedia, which states that there are four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malaysia.

So, in this article, I want to share the four sites, to remind myself of this goal that I have set personally. As a proud Perakian, first on the list is of course, the Archaeological Heritage of Lenggong Valley, which was granted UNESCO status only in 2012, the newest of these four attractions.

Lenggong Archaeological Gallery
Lenggong Archaeological Gallery

The pride of Lenggong is the Perak Man. Believed to be the oldest complete set of human skeleton found at the grand old age of 11,000 years, he is the main highlight of the valley. His remains are displayed at the Lenggong Archaeological Museum in Kota Tampan, Lenggong.

Obviously, the heritage site is beyond the museum, although it should be the first stop to acquire as much on-site information as possible on the Neolithic and Palaeolithic era. There are four archaeological sites in two clusters; the burial of Perak Man was discovered in Gua Gunung Runtuh. The other three sites are: Kota Tampan, Bukit Jawa and Bukit Sapi.

Next on my list is Melaka and George Town – Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca (Year of inscription: 2008). Colonial architecture, historical landmarks and unique multi-cultural heritage are the clout of both Melaka and George Town.

Kampung Morten, Melaka
Kampung Morten, Melaka

On one hand, Melaka demonstrates history from the 15th-century Malay sultanate, followed by the Portuguese and Dutch periods from the early 16th century.

Chng Eng Joo Penang
Chng Eng Joo (Sun Yat Sen Museum Penang) in George Town

On the other hand, George Town represents the British era from the late 18th century. Both combined, Melaka and George Town offer a rich diversity that is unparalleled anywhere else in the region.

Third on my list is Kinabalu Park (Year of inscription: 2000), Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Star attraction of the park is none other than Mount Kinabalu, one of the highest peaks in Southeast Asia, standing majestically at 4,095.2 metres. The number of mountain climbers is limited to 135 daily, and reservation, even up to two years, is required.

Mount Kinabalu (copyright: Yuji Nukui) @ Sabah Tourism
Mount Kinabalu (copyright: Yuji Nukui) @ Sabah Tourism

While Mount Kinabalu and other adventures have taken the limelight of the national park, the rich biodiversity of the 750-sq. metre grounds is not to be discounted. Among them are the world’s largest pitcher plant (Nepenthes x sukaibiensis) and one of the rarest orchids, Paphiopedilum rothschildianum (Rothschild slipper orchid).

Last but not least is Sarawak’s Gunung Mulu National Park (Year of inscription: 2000). Known as the East Malaysian state’s largest national park at 544 sq. km., its attractions include unspoilt rainforest, deep gorges and rugged tropical karsts.

 Gunung Mulu National Park @ Sarawak Tourism
Gunung Mulu National Park @ Sarawak Tourism

Similar to its counterpart in Sabah, this national park is also dominated by a mountain, i.e, Gunung Mulu. Home to the longest cave passage, as well as largest cave chamber, Gunung Mulu is a destination that’s best suited for adventure tourists.

Fulfilling this Malaysia UNESCO Heritage Site Bucket List seems to be more viable than the 7 Wonders of the Modern World. I am two down already, currently. Woohoo! What about you?

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With love

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