4. Johor Bahru
Johor Bahru is the fourth largest city in Malaysia with a population of 497,067 people. The city is the capital of the state of Johor. The city is the southernmost city in the peninsular Malaysia and sits along the Straits of Johor. The city of Iskandar Puteri was founded in 1855 by the Sultanate of Johor (1523-19th century) and was renamed Johor Bahru a few years later in 1862. During this time period, the area was developed into an agricultural center as Chinese and Javanese were invited to come to the area and then the city started to truly develop during the reign of Sultan Abu Bakar (1833-95).
Johor Bahru is one of the fastest growing cities in Malaysia and is a major economic source not only for Malaysia but the surrounding region and internationally. In recent years the city has been the first in the country to practice a low carbon economy to limit greenhouses gasses and has been host to international conferences like the World Islamic Economic Forum and the Eastern Regional Organisation for Planning and Housing. The Grand Palace (Istana Besar) is not only a major historical attraction, but it also houses the Royal Abu Bakar Museum. There is also the Foon Yew High School, which is the location of many historical items on the city's Chinese cultural heritage. The city is also home to the Johor Art Gallery, a zoo, shopping malls, cinemas, a football (soccer) and futsal stadium.
Ipoh is the third biggest city in Malaysia with a population of 737,861 in its metro area. The city is the capital of the state of Perak. The city is located in peninsular Malaysia in the center of the Kinta Valley and sits on the bank of the Kinta River. The city also has the Kledang mountain range that runs from the north part of the city to the west part.
The city was founded at some point around the year 1880 as a mining town that started to rapidly grow in the 1920's. The hills around the city are known for their unique cave temples, like the Sam Poh Tong and Kek Lok Tong Chinese Buddhist Temples. The city also is home to the Gua Tempurung cave, which is popular among spelunkers and the picturesque Gunung Lang lake. The city is known throughout Malaysia for its lively food scene of restaurants, well-known dishes, and fresh fruits. One of the city's most famous creations is its "Ipoh white coffee," which is coffee beans roasted with palm-oil margarine. Several golf courses are also housed in the city. The Muzium Darul Ridzuan historical museum and the Han China Pet Soo museum on Hakka tin mining are other tourist attractions in the city.
2. George Town of Penang
George Town of Penang is the second largest city in Malaysia, with a population of 2,412,616 people. The city is the capital of the state of Penang. The city is located in Peninsular Malaysia on the Penang Island. In 1786 the British East India Company wanted to establish a presence in Southeast Asia to regain trade routes from the Dutch and have a naval base. That year they sent Captain Francis Light (1740-94) to established trade relation in the Malaysian archipelago, and he arrived on Penang Island in July. After negotiating with the Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah, they came to an agreement that the British would protect the country from Siam. Light then went back and established Penang Island as a British possession in August of 1786 and shortly afterward built Fort Cornwallis and established the city of George Town as a free port to attract settlers.
In 1805 the island was elevated from a colonial to a residency status and finally in 1957 the town was awarded city status. In 1969, a few years after Malaysia became an independent country, the town's free port status was finally taken away. George Town is a UNESCO World Heritage City filled with cultural and historical attractions like the 1880s Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Fort Cornwallis, the Kong Hock Keong Temple built in 1800 and other buildings. The city is also home to the annual George Town Literary Festival and the Penang Botanic Gardens, which opened in 1884.
1. Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is the biggest city in Malaysia with a population of 7,200,000 people in the metro area. The city is the capital of Malaysia and is also one of the three Federal Territories of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is located in the Klang Valley at the point where the Gombak and Klang rivers converge. Historians do not know exactly when or who founded the city but it is usually agreed upon that the town was established in 1857 when the Chief of the city of Klang hired some Chinese miners to open tin mines in the area which is now Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur was the capital of the Federated Malay States (1895-46), the Malayan Union (1946-48), the Federation of Malaysia (1948-63) and is the current capital of modern day Malaysia. In 1972 Malaysia became the first settlement to be granted city status after independent and in 1974 it became a Federal Territory. Kuala Lumpur also houses the Parliament of Malaysia, and the official residence of the King of Malaysia. The city is the fastest growing in all of Malaysia and is a cultural, financial and economic force, as well as being one of the top tourist destinations in the world. The city hosts a variety of historical and modern buildings for tourists to visit, as well as religious sites and is also a major city when it comes to national, regional and international conferences. The city is also a major shopping hub, being home to 66 different malls. It also has a wide variety of musical theater, art galleries and a number of different venues for sports and recreation.