Nature-lovers in Malaysia have many options to choose from, whether it’s forest adventures at the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, spelunking in the Batu Cave Complex, or diving off the coast of one of the country’s beautiful beaches. For travelers with little ones or physically limited individuals, the following three destinations offer low-impact, intimate interactions with local flora and fauna.
1) Cat Museum
Located on the ground floor of the Kuching North City Hall Headquarters building, the aptly-named Cat Museum features more than 2,000 exhibits, artifacts, and statues about cats from all over the world. Owing to the Malay belief that cats are regal and incredibly lucky, the museum is dedicated to raising awareness of the cultural significance of the animals.
The grounds at Deerland in Pahang are crawling with monkeys, deer, snakes, and sun bears. Visitors are encouraged to get up close and personal (safely) with creatures large and small. There are also guided walks through dense jungle where you can learn the names of medicinal plants.
Among the many attractions at the Sungai Lebam Wetland Preservation area in Johor, the firefly-watching area at the edge of a vast mangrove swamp is one of the most sublime. A hushed silence falls over the crowds each evening as swarms of the luminescent creatures emerge twinkling amid the Berembang trees. Also nearby, the Johor Ostrich Farm and the Johor Zoo are well worth a visit.