Malaysia is rapidly becoming a popular tourist destination thanks to its large variety of activities and experiences for the discerning traveller.
From lush tropical islands like Langkawi and Borneo to huge metropolitan cities like Kuala Lumpur and Seberang Perai, Malaysia has it all. But what if you’re looking to take the road less travelled rather than going to the same well-visited places as everyone else? Well, Malaysia isn’t lacking in places overlooked by tourists!
Banting is a small town located in the heart of the Kuala Langat district in peninsular West Malaysia. This hidden gem is often overlooked by travellers, but you can discover its underappreciated beauty through our list of the 6 best things to do in Banting.
- 1. Step into the past at Istana Bandar and the Sultan Alaeddin Mosque
- 2. Get a glimpse of Taiwan through the Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple
- 3. Experience the thrill of adventure at Tadom Hill Resort
- 4. See the grandeur of the sea at Morib and Pantai Kelanang Beaches
- 5. Revel amidst nature at Bukit Jugra
- 6. Try out rare fare at Chelliah Toppu Banting
1. Step into the past at Istana Bandar and the Sultan Alaeddin Mosque
This historical palace and the nearby mosque were the home of the seventh Sultan of Malaysia, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah. Although their interiors are bare after years of being abandoned, the architecture and interiors give one a haunting look into the past splendour of the kingdom of Malaya.
These historical monuments are currently being conserved by the Selangor State Malay Custom and Heritage Corporation (PADAT). Staff here are always ready to give information and tell enthralling stories about the palace and mosque in their heyday. Entry is free and parking is available nearby.
2. Get a glimpse of Taiwan through the Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple
A monastery originating in Taiwan, Shan Dong Zen is the seat of the Fo Guang Shan (Humanistic) Buddhist movement. This majestic temple has an air of peace and tranquility; in contrast, during Chinese New Year, it hosts a lively, energetic lantern celebration.
Featuring beautiful architecture, landscaping, and a vegetarian eatery within the premises, this temple is also known for its Buddhist camps for children.
This location is of great significance to Malaysian Buddhists and is a wonderful way to see the multiculturalism of the nation firsthand.
3. Experience the thrill of adventure at Tadom Hill Resort
At this luxurious countryside resort, guests can choose to play hard or just unwind in the tropical weather.
The sporty and daring visitors can choose from a plethora of activities, including but not limited to diving, rafting, archery, abseiling, obstacle courses, beach volleyball, and even archery!
On the other hand, those who merely wish to relax can stay in the gorgeous bamboo chalets available for rent and dine leisurely at Tadom’s lakeside barbeque site. Even the socially conscious can find a place here, as the resort management is deeply involved with the education and empowerment of the local Orang Asli community.
Tadom Hill Resort is perfect for staying alone or in groups for social and corporate events alike.
4. See the grandeur of the sea at Morib and Pantai Kelanang Beaches
A little ways outside the town proper, these two beaches are not just ripe for swimming, watersports, and seaside sports like beach volleyball and frisbee but are also home to numerous eateries serving fresh seafood.
A clean beach nowadays seems to be as rare as actual gold nowadays, and these beaches have it all.
Parking and a children’s play area are situated conveniently nearby. These are must-visits for anyone who likes beaches or the ocean.
5. Revel amidst nature at Bukit Jugra
Bukit Jugra is a Malaysian heritage site, featuring several historical buildings including a towering lighthouse. However, it is not just known for its architecture but also the vast array of trekking trails and paths that take you through a dense jungle.
Since the site is located on a hill, hikers are treated to a breathtaking panoramic view of the Langkat River.
If your thirst for adventure is still not sated, there is even the opportunity to paraglide over the river from the dizzying height of the hill’s peak. Overall, this site offers not just natural beauty but the opportunity to engage with history as well.
6. Try out rare fare at Chelliah Toppu Banting
Foodies can feast to their heart’s content at Banting. Chelliah Toppu is one of only two licensed brewers of toddy, an alcoholic drink made from fermented coconut sap.
Savour this epicurean delight with a wide variety of rare meats prepared in the local style, like iguana and wild boar. For the more tame-hearted, more common meats like mutton and chicken are also available. This restaurant is perfect for those whose palate strays on the wild site.
There is so much to see and do in Banting that it would take a lifetime to explore it all. If you come as a tourist, make sure to visit not just the attractions you are sure you will like but also those which take you out of your comfort zone. Banting is truly a sublime experience.