The New Tourism King: Malaysia Overtakes Thailand as the Most Visited Country in Southeast Asia

The New Tourism King: Malaysia Overtakes Thailand as the Most Visited Country in Southeast Asia

With the captivating beauty of its islands, the wonders of its national parks, and its enchanting cultural diversity, it is no surprise that this country has become the most sought-after destination in Southeast Asia.

With nearly 29 million foreign visitors last year, Malaysia has achieved the status of the most popular destination in Southeast Asia, replacing the previous ranking held by Thailand before the advent of Covid. According to a report by Focus Malaysia, Singaporeans contributed the highest number of tourist visits to Malaysia with 8.3 million, followed by Indonesians, Thais, Chinese and Bruneians.

Thailand ranks second in the region with 28 million foreign tourist visits, followed by Singapore with 13.6 million visits. Vietnam ranks fourth with 12.6 million visits, while Indonesia recorded 11.7 million arrivals. Meanwhile, the Philippines and Cambodia will each attract around 5.4 million international tourists in 2023.

Countries in the region have been vying for the attention of foreign tourists since late last year with more flexible immigration policies, and Malaysia is one of them. The country granted visa-free entry to mainland Chinese and Indian nationals for 30 days from December 1 last year, following a similar move by Thailand. Vietnam has also adopted a similar policy, granting three-month tourist visas to citizens of all countries and territories, and extending the stay to 45 days for citizens of 13 visa-free countries.

If you are considering exciting travel options in this region, consider visiting Malaysia. Travel to Malaysia has become more convenient and economical, especially in Kuala Lumpur. With six international airports for flights to Malaysia, you have a variety of transportation options such as taxis, buses or trains from wherever you land.

Public transportation in the country includes trains, buses and the extensive LRT (Light Rail Transit) system. RapidKL LRT is a popular choice for getting around Kuala Lumpur, along with buses, taxis, and online transportation services such as Grab.

Before completing your adventure in Malaysia, always remember to pre-schedule fares or use meters to avoid overpaying. For those who enjoy freedom and complete control while exploring Malaysia, renting a car or motorcycle can also be an exciting option for further exploration. This way, you can finish your experience with a positive impression and without worrying about transportation. Happy exploring!

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