2020 has been a crazy ride and we’ve only been through half of it! Starting from 1 July, businesses like water parks, wellness spas and barbershops have reopened, and although we have #newnorm implementations for local travelling that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun going on road trips. Our Prime Minister even encouraged us to “cuti-cuti Malaysia” as a way to lower our stress and help the local tourism industry that has been hit hard by the pandemic.
While there are many places to visit in Malaysia, why not head down to some of the happiest cities in the country? Mana tahu, you can relax and up your serotonin while exploring these new places?
In early June, the Urban and Rural Planning Department revealed the 10 happiest cities in Malaysia in conjunction with the International Day of Happiness. According to the department, the happiness index study ran from 2013 to 2019 involving 60,000 respondents.
A city’s happiness is judged based on several factors including happiness with family and relatives and at work, relationship with neighbours, community activities and environmental quality.
Here are the Top 10 Happiest Cities in Malaysia:
1. Jasin, Malacca
This underrated city is often overshadowed by other amazing attractions in Malacca like Jonker Walk, The Melaka River cruise and many more – but don’t be fooled.
Go ahead and bring the whole fam to Air Panas Jasin Inflatable Waterpark or if you’re feeling daring – Chinchin Extreme Park. Have some delicious ikan bakar at Medan Ikan Bakar Umbai, Serkam and Anjung Batu. You can even kick back and check out the architecture at The Demang Abdul Ghani Gallery!
2. Kuala Terengganu
Kuala Terengganu is basically a beautiful city with an amazing culture. You can go treasure hunting and find unique trinkets like metal décor, batik and songket that’s specially tied to the city.
They even have their own ‘Pasar Seni’ called Pasar Besar Kedai Payang that you can check out! If you’re a coffee-lover, there are tonnes of cool cafes you can try out too.
Okay, first of all, you have to try out their Minang delicacies when you’re in the area! Besides that though, you can bask in nature and do outdoor activities at Taman Negeri Kenaboi which is where the Lata Kijang waterfall is located.
If you walk around Seremban town, you’ll get a strong sense of culture especially at the Lorong Seni which is filled with epic street art.
4. Kulai, Johor
Yes, this is where Johor Premium Outlet is located if you’re a shopaholic! But if you’re looking for a place with a lil’ bit of history, greenery and old architecture, you can drive down to Kampung Putuo.
It’s the perfect place to take some OOTD’s and socialise with friendly locals! There is even an aquarium centre in Kulai called Nanyan Aquarium if you’re in need of aquatic serenity.
5. Taiping, Perak
From old train stations, historical prisons, museums to even lake parks and zoos, Taiping is a holiday destination filled with nostalgia.
If you’re hungry, Kuala Sepetang aka Port Weld is perfect to find delicious food to eat! Seriously, if you love history or anything vintage, this is the place to go.
6. Kuantan, Pahang
Kuantan is perfect for city dwellers who don’t want to leave the comforts of a city but want beaches five minutes away. It’s basically the California of Malaysia, lmao. We love the city so much, we have a separate article all about it (where we don’t even talk about Cherating)! Click here, to check it out.
7. Bentong, Pahang
Well, we bet y’all know what to do in Genting Highlands but there is more to this area. You can visit Bukit Tinggi that has a Bunny Park, Japanese Village, or have a staycation at Colmar Tropicale Berjaya Hills where orang cakap feeling-feeling Perancis (people say it feels like France).
Or, have a quick drive to Janda Baik and surround yourself in nature by camping or having a swim in their stunning rivers.
8. Bandaraya Melaka
Remember when we said that Malacca has amazing attractions like Jonker Walk, The Melaka River cruise and many more?
Yeap, all of that is smacked in Bandaraya Melaka. We don’t have to say much about this part of town that’s known for its antique shops, night market and riverside cafes and bars. Oh yeah, the river might look clearer now since MCO gave it a much needed break from the daily bustle of tourists and locals alike.
9. Yan, Kedah
Wait, where is this again? The Yan district is along the coast of the Straits of Malacca and it’s the smallest municipality in Kedah. If you love mountain climbing, you can hike up Mount Jerai that has the highest peak in Kedah which is 1242 metres high.
You can even go for a swim at beaches in Pulau Bunting which you can reach by driving across the Bunting bridge that connects Yan with the island.
10. Jeli, Kelantan
Usually, the first place we think about when it comes to Kelantan is Kota Bahru but this small town is where it’s at! Mount Reng is a colossal limestone outcrop and a public park that you can drop by. It’s somewhat similar to Gua Batu Kapur except it’s easier for first-time cave explorers.
You can go shopping for quirky goods at Pasar Tani Ayer Lanas or Bukit Bunga. If you want an Instagram-able place to take some photos, we recommend Padang Rumput Kashmir where the surrounding is magical.
There you go! Be sure to comply with SOPs while travelling and most importantly – have fun exploring Malaysia!
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