If you’re one of those who’ve fantasised about voyaging to distant worlds, such as Mars and the moon, you’re in for a treat! While many travel websites have featured truly awe-inspiring places to visit on planet Earth, you’ll be surprised to know that Malaysia also has places that will make you feel like you’ve just set foot on another planet.

The best part? You don’t need a spacecraft and millions of dollars to have a truly otherworldly experience. You don’t even need your passport to travel out of the country!

From caves to deserts, oceans to the forest, discover eight of the most surreal places you can visit right here in our country.

Mossy Forest, Cameron Highlands

If you’ve just watched the latest Avatar movie, you’ll be surprised that the Mossy Forest in Cameron Highlands looks straight out of a fantasy movie! This natural environment grows only at the highest elevations of the highlands, tucked in the highlands of Mount Brinchang.

Because of such heights, low-level clouds in the sky blanket the forests with constant mist and moisture – thus creating an ideal biotope for moss, ferns, lichen, and orchids. Making it look just like Pandora itself.

You can explore the mossy forest through a boardwalk 2km before the peak of Gunung Brinchang, accessible by road from the Boh Tea Sungai Palas intersection. Prepare to be mesmerised!

Address: Mossy Forest, Gunung Brinchang, 39000 Brinchang, Pahang
Contact: +6013 674 1406

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Pulau Sipadan, Sabah

Pulau Sipadan is a little island in Sabah that resembles the underwater world of the Atlantean Kingdom in the film, Aquaman. It is globally known as one of the best diving spots in the world, with over 3,000 fish species, turtles, and hundreds of coral species.

The island’s waters are so clean that it is akin to a new piece of art. While it’s a must-visit place, Sipadan is closed to visitors every December to give the coral and marine life a month-long recuperation period.

Address: Pulau Sipadan, Sabah

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Sasaran Sky Mirror, Kuala Selangor

Welcome to planet Crait! Star Wars: The Last Jedi was filmed in Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni salt flats – but no need to catch a long flight there. Your chance to see the sky meet the earth lies at the unique Sky Mirror in Kuala Selangor, one of the most impressive attractions in Malaysia.

The reason for its name is obvious — the area is basically a mirror image of the sky on an island that emerges during the low tide. Most of the time, the island is submerged underneath the sea, and only from mid to late morning, a sank bank emerges with a few inches of seawater.

Naturally, this is an amazing place to capture some Insta-worthy shots. Just remember to check with the tour operator what the best time to visit will be to maximise your chance of getting the best photos.

Address: Sky Mirror Jetty (Departure point), Kuala Selangor, Selangor Malaysia
Contact: +6010 509 1007

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Blue Tears, Kuala Selangor

Kuala Selangor also boasts another wonderful attraction at night known as the Blue Tears, where visitors catch luminous blue streaks on a speedboat ride along the river. The bioluminescent waters closely resemble the waters in the mythical Pandora in the Avatar films, and the bioluminescent skin of the Na’Vi people on the moon!

The Blue Tears is a natural nighttime phenomenon caused by Dinoflagellates, a marine plankton that emits blue-green light at night. If you plan to go there, remember to bring good photography equipment to capture these Blue Tears.

Visitors can take a 45- to 60-minute boat ride from the Jetty Sky Mirror Kuala Selangor, which is open every evening at 8pm, 9pm, and 10pm. The new moon is the best time to search for this natural phenomenon due to the high tide and darker sky.

Address: Sky Mirror Jetty (Departure point), Kuala Selangor, Selangor Malaysia
Contact: +6012 343 2971

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Niah Cave, Sarawak

If you want to ignite the Indiana Jones in you, take a trip to Niah Cave and look at 40,000 years of unwritten history. It is believed that the cave was inhabited by humans at least 40 millennia ago!

Today, the massive 31km2 Niah National Park limestone caverns offer cave explorations, jungle walks, and unique cultural experiences. Get your hiking boots and cameras ready, and explore this amazing otherworldly place full of history! 

Address: Niah National Park, 98200 Miri, Sarawak
Contact: +600 8573 7450

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Klebang Beach Sand Dunes, Melaka

And yet another one for the Star Wars fans! There’s a Tatooine lookalike in Malaysia just 15 minutes out of Melaka city. Klebang Beach has massive artificial sand dunes, allowing you to make like a jedi in your pictures. The beige-coloured, desolate place looks like a scene from the sci-fi movie itself, but not to worry, as there are no Hutt clan members lurking around.

The man-made sand dunes stretch out over a vast expanse of reclaimed land and result from many piles of sand left behind by abandoned beachfront projects from a decade ago. You can experience a snap-worthy panorama of the dune-like beach at sunset as the sky transitions from orange to red to purple.

Here’s a tip if you plan to visit and climb the sand dunes. Be prepared to walk 20 to 30 minutes to cover the 2km distance each way, and bring lots of water to endure the heat. Also, no trash cans are available, so do remember to bring your trash with you.

Address: Pantai Klebang, Melaka

Bako National Park, Sarawak

A visit to the Bako National Park will leave you feeling like you’ve visited the fictional island of Motunui from the popular Disney movie, Moana. The Bako National Park covers many landscapes — including swamps, mangrove forests, cliffs, and beaches.

A short boat ride to catch an island’s isolated rock formation leaves you wondering if the place is indeed on Earth. We highly recommend you spend the night at the park to embark on a night walk which will allow you the rare opportunity to glimpse a wild Proboscis Monkey.

Address: Bako National Park, Sarawak
Contact: +6011 6572 9229

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Desa Cattle Dairy Farm, Sabah

Experience the cooling breeze and beautiful scenery of Malaysia’s own Little New Zealand at Desa Cattle Dairy Farm. With mountain ranges and grassy lands, the place is so serene that it almost looks like Middle‑earth from the Lord of the Rings trilogy!

Here, the gentle grasslands stretch towards Mount Kinabalu‘s foothill, and many Friesian cows are grazing the grass. Visitors can experience various fun activities here too, including feeding calves and goats, eating milky ice cream, and seeing how milk is processed.

So grab your winter jackets and go!

Address: Jalan Cinta Mata Mesilou, 89308 Kundasang, Sabah
Contact: +608 8889 562

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