Malaysia is a beautiful country with incredible natural beauty.
There are 15 best national parks in Malaysia which you can visit to see some of the best nature scenery that the world has to offer.
Whether you want to be surrounded by lush jungle, enjoy the best waterfalls, or go on hikes through ancient rainforest – these parks have it all!
We’ve also made a list of the 10 best national parks to visit with family for you to check out here.
1. Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
This national park is best known for its crystal-clear water, and it’s also a great place to spot wildlife in their natural habitat.
The best way to explore this park would be by boat.
On the tour, you’ll go snorkeling or take a glass-bottomed boat ride (depending on your preference) through caves with stunning rock formations and views of marine life that live along the coral reef below – such as giant clams, turtles and rays!
There are many beautiful beaches within Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park too, so after exploring the ocean you can enjoy an afternoon at one of them before heading back home.
2. Danum Valley Conservation Area
Adventure and wildlife lovers will find that the best place in Malaysia is Danum Valley Conservation Area.
This national park has a large variety of plants and animals, many of which are endangered species found nowhere else on Earth!
You’ll be able to spot orangutans swinging from trees as you explore the rainforest by hiking through its jungle paths.
There are also several different caves to explore along with waterfalls that make for an incredible sight – we recommend going during monsoon season when there is thunder and lightning all around.
Heading down to the river below will give you the chance see some rare freshwater fish like the climbing perch while searching for crocodiles sunning themselves on rocks near shore.
You will also get to see large elephants, tapirs, and other animals as you explore the landscape of this national park.
3. Turtle Islands National Park
These islands are home to the best beaches in Malaysia and are a favorite spot for locals.
The best time to visit is during turtle nesting season when there will be turtles coming ashore to nest on the beach!
You’ll also see plenty of sea birds, monkeys, snakes, and other wildlife as you explore this nature reserve that covers three islands off Langkawi’s coast.
This park has two main hikes – one mostly along trails with palm trees while the other goes up steep inclines through jungle terrain which offers an incredible view at the top where you can watch ships entering or leaving from Langkawi Harbor.
If you’re looking for some more solitude then head down below tree line to walk over limestone rocks covered with bright green lichens; it is unlike anything you’ll see anywhere else in the world.
4. Kinabalu National Park
Home to Malaysia’s highest peak, Kinabalu National Park is best known for the natural beauty of its mountain ranges and valleys.
The park covers an area of 146,500 acres, which makes it one of the largest in Malaysia.
Kinabalu National Park is also home to many different types of wildlife including 139 species of mammal and 248 bird species – so you’ll never be bored when exploring this world-famous national treasure!
If hiking is what you are looking for, then Kinabalu National Park is the best place for you.
There are over 1000 km of trails so it’s not hard to find your way and there are plenty more amazing sights along the way!
5. Maliau Basin National Park
This area is large and mostly unexplored, but you can find some amazing waterfalls and rare aquatic plants at the Maliau Basin.
With plenty of jungle wildlife and forest trails to explore, this is a great place for anyone looking for something different.
It’s best to explore Maliau Basin with someone who has been there before so that you know what you are getting into – but we promise it will be worth the effort!
Along with the amazing wildlife, you will see plant species unlike any other, including flesh eating Pitcher plants!
This area is perfect if an untouched wilderness experience sounds like what you are looking for.
6. Bako National Park
This park includes a variety of habitats including mangrove forests, sandstone cliffs and savannahs – making this one of Malaysia’s best national parks for spotting wildlife!
The best time to visit is during the dry season (November-April) because you never know what might be lurking just around the corner waiting to spring out at you!
If your thing is watching animals from afar while you enjoy amazing views over waterfalls or through rugged mountainsides, then this should be on your list.
Bako National Park has some great birdwatching as well with 400 species that call Bako home.
Monkeys also live right near the park entrance and you might just see one or two in the trees though out the park as well.
7. Gunung Mulu National Park
Gunung Mulu National Park is Malaysia’s second largest national park and also one of the best.
It has over 800 different flowering plant species and many endangered mammals which makes it a great destination for botanists or anyone interested in biodiversity.
There are two main areas to explore at Gunung Mulu which include Gunung Api where you can find limestone caves, waterfalls, and beautiful forests (the best time to visit here is during the rainy season), and Gomantong Caves which are a great option if you want to see bats galore!
In fact, there are so many that they even hang from some of the stalactites creating an otherworldly sight as well as a fascinating soundscape.
8. Niah National Park
Known for its amazing caves, Niah National Park is a can’t miss!
The best time to visit is during the dry season when it’s easier to climb up more of the 700-metre high limestone hills.
Niah National Park is also a great place to see wildlife. Niah Park has a range of different wildlife and plant life, so be sure to explore!
There are many different endangered mammals that call the park their home including the Pygmy Elephant which can be best seen in Semengoh Forest Reserve.
Niah National Park has so much natural beauty like an amazing bat cave where you’ll find beautiful limestone formations, waterfalls and wide open spaces for explorers of all ages!
9. Lambir Hills National Park
Lambir Hills National Park is one of the smaller and least popular national parks in the country, making it a great option for those looking for solitude.
With a size of only 395 square kilometers, Lambir Hills is best known for being home to over 2500 species of flora and fauna including hornbills, flying squirrels and gibbons!
This park has an amazing limestone landscape with plenty of different wildlife so be sure to explore it during the dry season when plant life isn’t as dense.
Lambir Hills National Park best time to visit is from November until January where you’ll see trees lit up like Christmas lights due to seasonal flowering plants!
Most people come here for hiking or bird watching but don’t forget about camping too– there are limited spots available close by if you want some more privacy.
10. Batang Ai National Park
Batang Ai National Park is best known for the rich diversity of plant and animal life.
The park houses a lot of endangered species such as various types of monkeys, hornbills, black bears, otters and tapirs!
It’s also home to some rare plants that you might not find anywhere else in Malaysia like Pandanus Densiflorus or Rafflesia Arnoldii.
If you’re feeling creative then try your hand at painting with nature- Batang Ai is filled with different colors, textures and patterns which make it perfect for artists looking to get inspired by their surroundings!
This national park is only accessible by boat so make sure to plan ahead!
11. Gunung Gading National Park
Gunung Gading National Park is best known for its rich diversity of flora and fauna.
The Rafflesia flower is found in this park and it is best known for its size, and incredibly stinky smell used to attract insects. The flower is best observed in the months of April and May.
In Gunung Gading National Park, you will find a variety of plants- from medicinal to edible to beautiful. There are also plenty of trees for climbing and birdwatching!
This area is best known as one with an abundant forest that’s perfect for those looking for some solitude.
If you don’t have your own tent then please borrow one from the park ranger office before heading out on your journey. This national park has more than just great scenery; there’s tons of history here too!
12. Kuala Lumpur National Park
This large park covers more than 200 acres and features a wide variety of plants, trees, animals, and pathways through different ecosystems. There are also many paths for cycling or walking as well as playgrounds scattered here and there.
Kuala Lumpur is the perfect park to visit if you want to experience the jungle without going too far from the city.
The boardwalks throughout the park are best for walking in the morning when it’s cool, and best to avoid during midday hours.
If you’re looking for a place to relax then Kuala Lumpur is one of your best bets! With plenty of benches scattered throughout the park, there will always be somewhere comfortable to sit down and enjoy the beautiful scenery all around you.
13. Taman Negara National Park
Taman Negara is the oldest National Park in Malaysia.
It’s located on the border of Pahang and Kelantan with a large number of different ecosystems including mangrove forests, peat swamps, heath forest and freshwater swamp.
The best way to explore this park is by foot or bicycle as there are many paths for walking and cycling, other vehicles can make it difficult to see wildlife with all the loud distractions.
This area was named after an Arabic word meaning ‘gathering place’ so visitors will often find themselves exploring caves that have been occupied by humans at one point or another. You’ll also find bat colonies hiding inside these dark spaces!
14. Matang National Park
If you’re looking for a river cruise on a river that’s cut through rainforest, this is the best place for it!
You can find wildlife in abundance here and spot monkeys or monitor lizards as well as finding plenty of birdlife.
This national park covers an area of just over 12,000 hectares which includes Malaysian mangrove forest, and freshwater swamps.
The best way to explore these waters are by boat – during your exploration you may have spotted hawksbill turtles nesting on the beach or even large flocks of egrets feeding up before their long flight south for winter.
The best time to visit Matang National Park is from November until February when it rains less often than other times throughout the year.
15. Pulau Payar Marine Park
Pulau Payar Marine Park is perfect for those who love diving. The best time to go is from the months of April until October as the water is calm and clear during this period.
However, if you are not a diver there are plenty of other activities available for visitors such as reef walking or kayaking on crystal-clear waters.
There are many different species of fish of marine life in this park, including turtles, grouper fish, eels, black-tipped reef sharks, and dolphins.
You can find Pulau Payar Marine Park on the east coast of Malaysia about a 40-minute drive from Kuala Terengganu City Center.
The best way to get there is by ferry, but if you are coming from another country it may be best for you to fly into Kota Bharu airport which is only 30 minutes away.
There are plenty of accommodations available at different prices depending on your preferences so make sure that you do some research before arriving here to know what will work best for your needs!
Looking for more family vacation ideas? Be sure to check out Destination Travel Guide for all your vacation needs!
- Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
- Danum Valley Conservation Area
- Turtle Islands National Park
- Kinabalu National Park
- Maliau Basin National Park
- Bako National Park
- Gunung Muli National Park
- Niah national Park
- Lambir Hills national Park
- Batang Ai National Park
- Gunung Gading National Park
- Kuala Lumpur National Park
- Taman Negara National Park
- Matang National Park
- Pulau Payar Marine Park