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With movement restrictions gradually easing, Malaysians are looking forward to resuming travel in the coming months and these are their choice destinations

After an extended period MCO, CMCO, RMCO, and lots of social distancing, many are no doubt eager for a getaway with their loved ones.

Airbnb’s recent Meaningful Travel Trends Survey 2021 found that Malaysians want to travel with family and friends, enjoy slower-paced holidays, and explore off-the-beaten-path destinations closer to nature when travel resumes. Notably, Penang has emerged as the most popular go-to holiday destination within Malaysia among survey respondents, followed by Sabah, Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu and Johor.

Read more: CMCO & RMCO In Malaysia To Be Reinstated: Here’s What It Means

According to internal data, Airbnb guests globally are also looking for listings that allow them to live and work anywhere. Wireless internet is the fourth top-searched amenity when guests search for Airbnb Stays, while searches for gardens and backyards increased by 343 per cent after the Covid-19 pandemic began. Listings with basic cooking amenities are also now booked more frequently by guests.

“We believe that travel is resilient and will bounce back once restrictions have lifted. Travel will look different than before the pandemic, as Malaysians begin seeking more personal and meaningful vacations to reconnect with their loved ones. The Covid-19 pandemic and Movement Control Order (MCO) have meant that Malaysians have spent a significant amount of time apart from family and friends," said Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb's general manager for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

"Once travel reopens, we believe Malaysians’ desire to spend time together with those closest to them in familiar, calming destinations that are close to nature will serve as the driving force for domestic tourism recovery,” he added.

See also: Malaysia’s Covid-19 Vaccine Programme: Phase Two Kicks Off April 19

Whether you’re looking for a staycation within your state, or planning an upcoming holiday a little further from home as the easing of travel restrictions permit, here are unique Airbnb stays across Malaysia’s top five domestic travel destinations for your travel inspiration.

1 / 5

Penang

Do: Famous for its heritage buildings, street murals, cafes and bars, sandy beaches, and fondly regarded as the food capital of Malaysia, travellers would appreciate a holiday on the bustling port island city of Penang. Aside from embarking on a culinary marathon, you can also make pitstops at Penang's many attractions such as the Wat Chayamangkalaram Buddhist temple, the Upside Down Museum, The Habitat, and the Avatar Secret Garden.

Read more: Penang Assam Laksa Recognised As One Of The World's Best Foods

Stay: Traditional heritage decor blends effortlessly with modern comfort in these Airbnb stays in Georgetown, Penang. Check out this shophouse studio located within a 100-year-old townhouse, and this heritage home tastefully furnished with antique furniture.

2 / 5

Sabah

Do: Home to Malaysia's highest peak, lush jungles, beach retreats, and some of the world's best diving spots, Sabah is brimming with plenty of ecotourism activities. Visit Malaysia's first Unesco-recognised heritage site at Kinabalu Park, catch the most spectacular sunset by the beach, take a soak in the Poring Hot Springs, see orangutans in their natural habitat, and eat your weight in the freshest seafood.

See also: CMCO & RMCO: Private Retreats In Malaysia For A Post-Quarantine Staycation

Stay: Gift yourself a digital detox at this cosy chalet perched atop a small cliff, with unrivalled views of the South China Sea. Alternatively, this luxurious holiday villa nestled amidst lush greenery may just be your perfect nature retreat.

3 / 5

Kuala Lumpur

Do: Malaysia's 'heartbeat' is an exciting, melting pot of a city and there are many reasons why. From its gleaming city skyline rising above jungly greens to British colonial-era landmarks and stunning places of worship, to sprawling malls in every corner of the city as well as diverse cuisines and food quite literally around the clock, and not forgetting entertainment avenues aplenty, there's never a dull moment in Kuala Lumpur.

Read more: Covid-19: How Digital Health Passports Could Help Us Travel Again

Stay: Seeking some hygge (a mood of cosiness) vibes for the entire family? Check out this chic bohemian loft house, or spend a weekend at this modern superhero safe house that you and your kids will enjoy.

4 / 5

Terengganu

Do: For a spot of peace and quiet, there's no destination better than Terengganu, the state that lies along the coast of the South China Sea. Its location affords visitors strips of sandy beaches and idyllic islands, and some of the best coastal scenery in Malaysia. At the heart of Terengganu is its capital Kuala Terengganu, where you'll find stunning buildings such as Masjid Kristal (crystal mosque) and lots of delectable local food such as laksam (flat rice noodles in fish gravy) and nasi dagang.

See also: 6 Stunning Beaches In Malaysia To Visit In 2021

Stay: Relax and unwind at this seaside cabin where you can host a barbecue for family and friends, or escape from the crowds at this gorgeous beach villa with views of Redang and Bidong islands.

5 / 5

Johor

Do: Surprises abound when you get into exploring your own backyard and Johor is a good place to start. Aside from being a gateway to the island city-state of Singapore, Johor also boasts copious amount of things to see, eat, and do. Scope out its plethora of beautiful cafes along Jalan Dhoby, make time to hunt down a slurp-worthy bowl of laksa Johor (spaghetti served with a thick spicy fish gravy), shop till you drop at Johor Premium Outlets (JPO), and visit the highly Instagrammable Listerine-blue lagoon at Kangkar Pulai.

Read more: CMCO & RMCO: Kid-Friendly Resorts In Malaysia In 2021

Stay: Enjoy a rejuvenating getaway when you check into this nest home with a full seaview or this artistically-decorated villa that offers an array of fun activities for guests to enjoy.