“Karoshi” is a Japanese word which is used to refer to people dying from being too committed to work. It has been used in the country since the late 1970s and can literally be translated to “death by overwork”.
While cases of Karoshi are not common in this country, it is wise for employees to take a break from work every once in a while. Sure, the long annual vacation is a common practice but having regular quick getaways during weekends can also work wonders.
These short periods of escape from the city can prevent burnouts, rejuvenate both your mind and body, and widen your perspective. Furthermore, this is your chance to strengthen your bond with family and friends.
Here are 7 destinations that you can visit during the weekends for a quick but enjoyable getaway from Kuala Lumpur.
1. Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Sabah is widely known for being an outdoorsman’s paradise. Last year alone, a total of 3.7 million tourists visited Sabah, generating around RM7.764 billion in income for the state.
Although the capital city Kota Kinabalu has lately seen a lot of development, it still manages to maintain its rustic old-world charm. Not sure how to spend your time there? Read our travel blog 8 Fun and Budget-Friendly Things to Experience in Kota Kinabalu for some helpful insights.
2. Kuching, Sarawak
Next on the list is Sarawak. The state’s capital, Kuching, is definitely a location worth visiting. It is a place which will entice you with its wonderful mixture of rich history and culture, flora and fauna, and exquisite meals.
With Kuching known as “the cat city” because the word means “cat” in Malay, why not visit the world’s first museum devoted to all things feline — the Kuching Cat Museum? Other places you can visit include Main Bazaar, Carpenter Street, Bako National Park, and the Sarawak River.
If you prefer to spend your time at a modern city but with a totally different vibe than Kuala Lumpur, then just head on south to Singapore. Yes, this is a melting pot of cosmopolitan living which is located nearby. Perfect for that quick escape during the weekend!
Many people are already familiar with locations such as Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay. But as lovely as they look in photos, they are even more dazzling when experienced in real life! The beaches of Sentosa are also must-visit places for couples as they provide amazing views. Other attractions include Bukit Batok Town Park, Singapore River, Mount Faber Park, and the National Orchid Garden.
4. Bandar Malacca, Malacca
Thanks to its historic beauty and how well preserved the colonial buildings are, Malacca managed to be listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. With 500 years of cultural and trading exchanges between the East and the West, it was officially declared as a Historical City earlier this year.
Not only does it take just a couple of hours to reach the city, you don’t need to break the bank to have a fun time there. There are plenty of cheap things to do such as visit historical spots, get on a Portuguese ship, play traditional games, experience a village with a Dutch colonial era-style, enjoy some amazing food, and many more!
If you are interested to read about these inexpensive activities in more detail, check out our blog post 10 Fun and Cheap(ish) Things to Do in Malacca.
5. Genting Highlands, Pahang
With Malaysia’s blazing heat and traffic congestion in our capital city, many look forward to a getaway at a cooler location. Thankfully, Genting Highlands is just an hour’s drive away from Kuala Lumpur.
Long-known as our City of Entertainment, it offers hotels, shopping malls, theme parks, and casinos all in one place. One of its attractions, the Arena of Stars, often plays host to a range of international acts such as Boyz II Men, Leona Lewis, as well as some gripping magic shows.
6. The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Ipoh, Perak
For those of you looking for a local getaway to relax both the mind and body, be sure to visit The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, located in Ipoh, Perak. Endowed with the best of nature, they are a luxury natural hot springs wellness retreat offering bespoke holistic experiences. It is specifically designed for recouping peace and relaxation.
Part of the retreat area is a mesmerizing wine bar and restaurant called Jeff’s Cellar. Set within a natural limestone cave, it provides a beautiful and romantic setting. Prepare for a whole new level of indulgence as you dine in an environment with ethereal lighting, intimate cave interiors, and breathtaking natural water features.
Hop on a plane or drive up north to the place known for the best food in the land – Penang. However, the “the Pearl of the Orient” has plenty more to offer besides great food.
Despite being a popular location to visit, there are still a few lesser-known tourist attractions on the island. What’s better is you can visit these spots for free or less than RM5! Be sure to read our blog 10 Tourist Attractions to Visit for Free or Under RM5 in Penang for some useful travel tips.
Before you set out…
It would be worthwhile to point out here that a credit card comes in handy to help you save more on your travel costs. While a petrol credit card gives cashback on fuel purchases (if you drive around a lot), you can earn air miles with your travel credit card which can then be converted for discounts on flight tickets, deals on hotel bookings, lounge accesses, etc.
And comparing different options always helps in finding out a credit card that best suits your spending patterns based on your lifestyle requirements. Do check out our picks for top petrol and travel credit cards in Malaysia before selecting a particular option.
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