What better way to soak in local culture than by taking a walk on one of Malaysia’s heritage trails? Depending on which area you want to explore, there are prearranged tours, or you could amble about with a map at your own leisurely pace.

The Ipoh Heritage Walk takes you through the historic portion of the city. The fourth largest city in the country, the former tin mining city drew many Chinese immigrants into its fold in the early 20th century due to the ore. Highlights of the trail include the Railway Station (1917), the Town Hall and Post Office Building, built after the World War I, and the Birch Memorial (1909).

A UNESCO World Heritage site, historic Melaka is a great place to explore on foot. The Dutch Heritage Trail covers attractions from the Dutch Colonial period. Meanwhile, the 7km Melaka Heritage Trail covers most of the historic sights, including the Christ Church (1753), the Stadthuys (1650), the Statue of St. Francis Xavier, Hang Li Poh’s Well and the Melaka Sultanate Palace.

In Kuala Lumpur, there are many trails to choose from, covering areas like Merdeka Square, Chinatown, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Brickfields. Guidance can be obtained online or through the Malaysian Tourist Information Centre (MaTiC).

Key Tips

  • Check with the Malaysian Tourist Information Centre(MaTiC) on the availability of the walks you wish to sign up for.

  • As Malaysian weather is hot and humid, it’s advisable to start your walking tour early in the morning when temperatures are cooler. The morning light also provides more ideal lighting for your photos!

  • Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes to explore the city.

  • Some hill stations in Malaysia have pasts steeped in the Japanese occupation, so don’t neglect the walks in Fraser’s Hill and Cameron Highlands.