Merdeka! We have got the right plan just for you and your family to celebrate this Merdeka! What better way to fall in love with our country than discovering its beautiful states filled with hidden gems? Here are 5 locations to help you to kick start.
1. Visit the empowering Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah at Kota Bahru, Kelantan
Journey east to the four-storey Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah in Kota Bahru. In honour of its traders, who are mostly female, the name of the market was changed to that of the Prophet Muhammad’s wife, who was a successful businesswoman.
The market is open daily from 7 am to 6 pm. You can get everything here from fish, vegetables, and poultry to authentic Kelantanese dishes and non-food items; this market is the pulse of Kota Bharu’s business scene.
2. Release tiny cute baby turtles at Cherating, Pahang
This beach town on the eastern coast offers all the benefits of sea and sand without the hassle of journeying out to an island by boat.
One of the main highlights of Cherating is that it is home to a turtle sanctuary. Baby turtles inhabit little pools here until they are old enough to be released to the sea. At night between June and September, you can book ahead to participate in releasing the baby turtles to the sea.
3. Be the true adventurer when you are in Endau-Rompin National Park, Johor
It’s a challenging ride but definitely worth it. The Endau-Rompin National Park is a true jewel for anyone who wants to experience the flora, fauna, and waterfalls of the jungle in natural form.
Spend a few nights nights here during the merdeka weekend to make the most of your visit – you can stay in the chalets run by the park or pitch your own tent at the dedicated campsites.
4. Feel the sands between your toes at Pantai Klebang, Melaka
This is not your average beach; Pantai Klebang is a terrain of sand dunes that form a desert-like landscape unlike any other place in Malaysia. Coupled with the sun setting on the horizon, you’re guaranteed a perfect background for your new profile picture.
You can also take this opportunity to venture to some of the nearby restaurants to try out the regional Nyonya and Peranakan cuisine before spending your last night of the road trip in the quaint, historical city of Melaka.
5. Discovering Kellie’s Castle at Batu Gajah, Perak
The next time you head to Ipoh for some steaming dim sum, signature bean sprout or succulent chicken, travel off the beaten path by taking a short detour off the highway to Kellie’s Castle.
It is an unfinished mansion built by a Scottish planter named William Kellie-Smith in the early 20th century. With British, Moorish, and Indian elements of Gothic architecture, it is a must-visit for history and architecture buffs, as well as Instagrammers on the hunt for that perfect romance-tinted shot.