31 Best Places To Visit In Malaysia - Updated 2024

Collins
Collins 
Contributing Writer
Updated
| 13 min read

Malaysia is an incredible vacation spot. This Southeast Asian country is blessed with some of the most spectacular landscapes and cultures in the world. One of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, Malaysia, offers diverse cultural and exciting activities to do and amazing places to see too. What makes for a perfect vacation? Stunning landscapes, secluded islands, beautiful underground caves, tranquil and serene small towns, lush vegetation and forests, or picturesque beaches–and this Asian country has it all! From the scenic UNESCO-listed Penang to the ever-bustling Kuala Lumpur, the fun-filled Legoland, and the Tioman Island beaches, there is something for everyone. Here is a list of the best places to visit in Malaysia.

1. Kuala Lumpur (from USD 30.0)

Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia. This region is also the most populous city in the country; hence, it is teeming with things to do. The town is home to several different places of entertainment and fun, as well as a couple of places where you can relax. You shouldn’t miss the Central Market. Feel the real vibrancy of the town in this bustling marketplace; there are art galleries to explore nearby also. The nightlife in KL is bubbling and fun. This half-day Kuala Lumpur city tour takes you through all the major sights in the city.

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Half-Day Kuala Lumpur City Tour

Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes

252 reviews

2. Langkawi (from USD 70.0)

Stunning beaches, plenty of amazing restaurants, and lush landscapes are what make up the city of Langkawi. One of the most popular destinations in the country, Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands and has many pristine beaches. Relax on pure white sands while gazing out into the clear blue waters lapping gently at the shore. See places like the lofty Langkawi Sky Bridge and the breathtaking Telara Tuju waterfalls, hike up Gunung Raya, or admire the arts in the town’s 3D museum. The private Langkawi tour takes you through all these places, and you get to ascend Mount Chin Chang in a cable car too.

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Langkawi Island Langkawi Island Langkawi Island

Photos of Langkawi shared by content creator from the United States, GG.

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Langkawi Cable Car and Sky Bridge Private Half-Day Tour

Duration: 4 hours

99 reviews

3. Malacca (from USD 127.0)

The oldest Malaysian city, Malacca, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This historic city is filled with a mixture of Malaysian culture and Dutch colonial architecture. It is a place bubbling with life, shopping centers, and several other top attractions. From ancient Portuguese forts lying in ruins to salmon-colored buildings lining the city’s center, there is so much to experience. You can go on a historical Malacca full-day sightseeing tour of the town and visit the city’s most famous sites, plus enjoy a traditional Malaysian lunch.

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Malacca Malacca Malacca
This charming historic town is just 2 hours outta Kuala Lumpur! Make sure you take a cruise tour and enjoy the lighting show and night market!! Cultures are insanely diverse here too, so you'll find plenty to appreciate.
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Malacca City Tour from Kuala Lumpur: St Pauls, A Famosa, Lunch

Duration: 8 hours

317 reviews

4. Perhentian Islands


The Perhentian Islands are a small archipelago consisting of just two islands off the coast of Terengganu. This place is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the country. With pristine white sands and crystal clear waters lapping at the shores of its beaches, it is nothing short of a paradise. Have fun on any of its two islands – Pulau Perhentian Kecil and Besar, that are serene and private; they don’t get too crowded and they also have luxury beachfront accommodations for you to stay. With beautiful colored coral reefs, the Perhentian Islands are perfect for scuba diving, snorkeling, and other fun-filled water sport activities.

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5. Penang

best places to visit in malaysia | penang
Source: www.klook.com

Home to a 130 million-year-old rainforest, Penang is amazingly beautiful. It is located in the western part of Malaysia and is one of the most popular places in the country. Penang’s capital city, George Town, is a UNESCO-listed center, and the town offers a lot of places to see and experience. Penang also boasts of beaches, water parks, nature parks and trails, and fantastic dining locations. You can explore the city on a hop-on, hop-off bus tour and see up to 20 different attractions.

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Penang Hop On Hop Off Double Decker Bus Tour in Penang, Malaysia - Klook

Duration: 3hrs30 Min Duration

6. Kuala Terengganu

Visit the Ho Ann Kiong Buddhist Temple Kuala Terengganu Malaysia Located in Kampung China, which is the Chinatown area...

Posted by Beautiful Life & Nature on Thursday, 21 February 2019

Situated on the Terengganu River, this town is a different and quiet place in the city. It is a predominantly Muslim community, and it is reserved and tranquil. The region features landmarks like Chinatown, the central market for all your shopping needs, an exciting state museum, stunning parks, and so much more. Kuala Terengganu has also been hosting a prestigious sailing cup every year since 2005. The main occupation here is fishing and handcraft; seafood delicacy is a famous specialty, and you shouldn’t miss its rich taste. Don’t forget to visit and admire the iconic Ho Ann Kiong Buddhist Temple.

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7. Kota Kinabalu (from USD 32.95)

Kota Kinabalu is a small city that is ideal for outdoor adventures. This quaint town near Mount Kinabalu is rich in culture and traditional heritage. Aside from its appealing cultural scene, the city is known for its numerous options for outdoor fun. With its exciting markets, vibrant culinary scene, and stunning landscape, it offers a vibrant city experience mixed with an old-world charm. It is a great place to go hiking, diving, wildlife watching, and so much more outdoor activities. Go on morning or afternoon guided half-day tours of the city and get spectacular views of the city.

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Kota Kinabalu City Half Day Tour in Sabah, Malaysia

Duration: 4hrDuration

88 reviews

8. Redang Island

Marine Park Centre Redang Island

Posted by Nik Mohd Faiz on Monday, 31 July 2017

A perfect location for diving and snorkeling, Redang Island is an exciting place to explore. With smaller islands surrounding it, the town offers crystal clear waters and luxurious beachfront resorts for the best vacation experience. The location is scenic and has a soothing ambiance, giving you an ideal place to unwind. Its vibrant coral reefs, clear waters, and high tropical fish population make it a favorite spot for scuba divers and people that love snorkeling. And with diving schools around its waterfronts and beautiful parks, your visit is bound to be memorable. Don’t forget to explore Marine Park Center to complement your vacation.

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9. Kuching

kuching
Source: www.klook.com

Kuching is Sarawak state’s capital city. Although this part of Malaysia doesn’t get a lot of tourist attention, it is a charming place to visit. The town is home to several relaxing spots, historic locations, and landmarks, cultural attractions, remarkable places to eat. Although it is a quiet and serene place to take some time off, Kuching’s streets are buzzing with vendors, stalls, cafés, and local ware outlets. You can go on a Kuching city and Sarawak River tour to see all the charming and vibrant places the region has to offer.

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Kuching City and Sarawak River Half Day Tour, Malaysia - Klook

Duration: 4hrDuration

10. Cherating


If you are thinking of visiting a place filled with gorgeous beaches, remarkable landscapes, and a chilled atmosphere, Cherating is your place. This fantastic beach location is arguably the best beach area on the Malaysian East Coast. The resort town has the impressive Cherating Turtle Sanctuary you can explore and vast white-sand beaches lined with coconut palms, guesthouses, bars, and restaurants. It is a famous spot to enjoy surfing, beachfront skating, and windsurfing. It is usually very quiet and tranquil, the perfect beach location in the country.

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11. Mersing


Mersing is a beautiful place to visit, which sits on the mouth of the Mersing River. The waterfront town offers a lot of exciting things to do and see. From strolling along the stunning beaches to walking through its bubbling streets, this fishing region doesn’t allow you to get bored. The waters here are colorful and clean and great for diving; its restaurants and food stalls serve excellent meals, and its sunsets are incredibly amazing to see. Don’t forget to check out the jetty, explore Sri Subramaniam Temple, and also enjoy yummy barbecues in front of the sea.

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12. Ipoh (from USD 53.1)

ipoh
Source: www.klook.com

The capital city of Perak state, Ipoh, is located not very far from Kuala Lumpur. It is an excellent choice destination for a family vacation with a lot of places to explore and things to experience. Its beautiful downtown area is an exciting place to see, with its decorative dotted street arts. Tourists also revere the location for its fantastic cave temples, its fascinating theme park, and lush landscape. This tour from Kuala Lumpur takes you through this colorful city and its incredible temples, buildings, and sites.

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Sam Poh Tong Temple
Ipoh is mostly known as being a foodie spot and the gateway to Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands. However, it is also where you can find Sam Poh Tong Temple, a beautiful piece of historic architecture built within the limestone caves. 
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Ipoh Private Day Tour from Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Malaysia - Klook

Duration: 11hr - 12hrDuration

13. Johor Bahru (from USD 17.05)

Johor Bahru, the capital city of Johor, is gradually becoming a tourist hub of the country. Currently undergoing major re-branding, refurbishing, and renovations, this city is blessed with a lot of natural sites to experience. There are also a few temples, mosques, and museums worth your vacation time. One major landmark in the city is the famous Legoland. With shopping areas and party spots, Johor Bahru is an exciting place to visit. After the ongoing re-branding project, this place is projected to become one of the leading financial and commercial centers in the country.

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Legoland Ticket Johor Bahru, Malaysia Malaysia

Duration: 1day(s)Duration

7798 reviews

14. Putrajaya (from USD 69.0)

A beautiful province, Putrajaya, is the federal administrative center of Malaysia. This unique place is filled with majestic government complexes and residences as well as other areas of interest like the Agriculture Heritage Park, the “pink” Putra Mosque, and many more. See the intricately designed architectural structures; enjoy exciting boat rides and water activities at Marina Putrajaya. The botanical gardens in the city are somewhere you should not miss. This city day tour covers all these parts of the town and comes with guides (in English) to give the best educational and fun experience.

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Putrajaya City Tour from Kuala Lumpur with Batu Caves Stopover

Duration: 4 to 5 hours

2 reviews

15. Kota Bharu

Kota Bharu : Istana Jahar . Muzium Adat Istiadat Diraja Kelantan atau lebih dikenali sebagai Istana Jahar terletak di...

Posted by Hang Jangan Dok Buat Lecey P I C T U R E on Sunday, 14 September 2014

If you’d like to experience the Malaysian Mecca, then you should check out the tranquil Kota Bharu. This place is an authentic Islamic region with mostly void of Western influences. You will scarcely find modern shopping malls here. However, the city is blessed with a rich culture, bubbling and active local markets, and beautiful mosques. The city is also blessed with museums and ancient royal palaces and buildings in the city’s center. Explore the artifacts at Istana Jahar, the royal Istana Balai Besar, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, and more. Even though it’s a Muslim town, there is a Buddhist temple here that you can also explore. Water activities are famous in the city.

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16. Petaling Jaya

Bandar Sunway, 47500 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia - panoramio
Source: Photo by user andre oortgijs used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Sitting a few minutes away from the nation’s capital city, Petaling Jaya is a dynamic place to explore. This unique destination is teeming with top shopping spots and malls, mixed with exquisite local restaurants and traditional temples. The varieties of shopping malls here make it a fantastic place to visit for those who love to shop. There are cinemas, serene historical sites, and remarkable places to eat. As a result of its proximity to the capital city, the nightlife here is always bubbling. Shop and explore at Chocolate Museum Kuala Lumpur, see the fantastic Selayang Hot Spring Pool, and Wat Chetawan – the beautiful Thai Temple.

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17. Sandakan (from USD 51.0)

Sandakan is a lovely location in Sabah, on the opposite side of Borneo. This small city is home to one of the most popular attractions in the country - Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. The fantastic center is dedicated to helping orphaned orangutans find themselves and survive in the wild. You can visit this center, watch the attendants feed the orangutans, and enjoy jungle adventures in the city. This Sandakan private tour takes you through all the signature sights in the city – including museums, the Buddhist temple, and the central market.

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Private Tour: Half Day Sandakan City Tour Including Local Lunch

Duration: 4 hours

4 reviews

18. Tioman Island

Come learn to dive with us and get a great package deal with accommodation at @panubainn_malaysia Where you don't have...

Posted by Tioman Dive Centre on Friday, 18 March 2016

Once rated the most beautiful island in the world, Tioman Island remains an extraordinary spot for fun-seekers. This island is located off the East Coast in the South China Sea and is filled with amazing things to do. Its beaches are purely natural and unmarred by human activities; its waters have rich, vibrant coral reefs and the in-lands are filled with lush, dense forests. The isle is a famous tourist destination in the country. The most popular activities here include scuba diving, jungle trekking and hiking, snorkeling, bicycle and motorbike tours, etc. Scuba dive at Tioman Dive Centre, unwind at Pantai Kampung Juara, hike Gunung Kajang, and have a great time.

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19. Miri (from USD 25.0)

Contrary to what most people feel, Miri isn’t just a gateway city. This exciting city has a life of its own and is a great place to have a recreational adventure. The region is located in Sarawak and boasts of a couple of impressive natural parks, thriving markets filled with all kinds of items, and amazing restaurants and cafés. This oil and petroleum town also has a Petroleum Museum that is dedicated to the booming oil industry.

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Half-Day Sightseeing Tour of Miri City

Duration: 3 hours

1 review

20. Kuantan

Sungai Pandan Waterfall@ Kuantan Air terjun Hutan Lipur Sungai Pandan located 25KM from Kuantan town. This waterfall is...

Posted by mysutra on Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Kuantan is a port town and the capital of Pahang; it’s a frequently visited location, although mostly for short stopovers. The region has some interesting places to explore, too. You can check out the captivating displays in the city museum, dine in any one of the fine restaurants, visit the nature reserve, and admire the stunning architecture. Some spots you don’t want to miss include Sungai Pandan Waterfall, Taman Gelora – a waterfront park, and the stunning Sultan Ahmad Shah State Mosque. Anything you choose to do in this city, you’d find it thoroughly rewarding.

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21. Taiping

Lotus pond, Lake Garden, Taiping. 60cmx84cm

Posted by Liau Sin Fah on Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Taiping is home to some of the pioneer places in the country. This historic city is where the first railway station, as well as the oldest museum in the country – Perak Museum – is situated. As a historical destination, you’d find some of the most fantastic pre-colonial architecture here too. The town features exciting and beautiful places to visit – including Taiping Lake Gardens and Maxwell Hill. With its green and lush landscape, Taiping is an adventurer’s paradise.

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22. Port Dickson (from USD 88.0)

If you want to spend some quality time on vacation with your family in Malaysia, then Port Dickson should be at the top of your itinerary. This fabulous town is a stretch of coastal land close to the nation’s capital city and many cities on this country’s coastline. Port Dickson boasts of stunning beaches, museums, and an indoor theme park. Check out the heartwarming Cape Rachado Lighthouse, rare items at Kota Lukut, the murals and interactive paintings at Alive 3D Art Gallery, and many more. This region also boasts loads of luxurious, waterfront accommodations.

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Port Dickson Day Tour with Sunset Cruise

Duration: 8 to 10 hours

3 reviews

23. Shah Alam

Sultan Alam Shah Museum The State Museum is known as Sultan Alam Shah Museum was established in 1887, in the heart of...

Posted by Klang Valley 4 Locals on Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Shah Alam is a modern city found in Selangor. The state’s capital, Shah Alam, offers you a wide range of natural, cultural, and family attractions, high-quality shopping, superb dining options, and bright sunshine all year. This location is home to several majestic Islamic monuments and mosques, including the iconic Blue Mosque. You can also check out the lovely Lake Gardens, Sultan Shah Alam Museum, the beautiful works at Shah Alam art galleries. If you are with kids, give them a treat with a trip to the fun-filled Wet Worlds.

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24. Klang

ISTANA ALAM SHAH is the official palace of the Sultan of Selangor, located in southern Klang, the royal town of the...

Posted by Nithyanand A Narayan on Sunday, 27 April 2014

The next stop is the Royal Town of Klang! The former capital of Selangor state, Klang Township is a historic destination. This region is filled with several historical landmarks that, everywhere you turn, you’d be faced with past treasures. A place that offers a mix of culture, heritage, and history, the quaint town will take you down memory lane with its unique sightseeing options. You can go on any of its historical trails, check out Istana Alam Shah, where the state’s sultan still resides, and experience a fantastic part of Malaysian history.

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25. Seremban

Posted by Palm Mall Seremban on Sunday, 11 February 2018

Featuring regal buildings, colonial structures, and Chinese shophouses, Seremban is a charming place. This historic city came into prominence when tin was discovered on its grounds and since then has grown into a famous city. It is incredible and has things to make your trip enjoyable. The town boasts world-class shopping centers - including Palm Mall, Eco-Shop @ Bandar Seremban, Terminal One Mall, and much more. Outdoor lovers will find the lush vegetation here pleasurable while foodies must not miss the city’s famous noodles dish.

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26. Tawau

One kg prawn RM78, cheap?? ?

Posted by Hui Chin on Sunday, 12 May 2019

Tawau is renowned for being one of the leading producers of tobacco, cocoa, and palm oil in the country. Located along the Celebes Sea, the city is also known for its delicious seafood restaurants – including Sri Titingan Seafood Restaurant, Good View Seafood Restaurant, and much more. Its port is significant for shipping timber within and outside the country. But that is not all – check out the Teck Guan Cocoa Museum, Tawau Hot Spring, and Tawau Hill Park and make your holiday fabulous. As with most eastern cities, it doesn’t get much tourist attention but it has a memorable time in store for you.

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27. Semporna

Tanjung Parapat , Semporna

Posted by Fakhrul Haziq Mohammad Isa on Friday, 16 August 2019

Also in the state of Sabah lies the quaint green town of Semporna. The city serves as a gateway to the nearby group of eight islands that ultimately make up the town. The place has fantastic dive sites – including Pababag Island, Tanjung Parapat, and more for scuba diving enthusiasts. It is also home to exotic animals and birds to see all around. From this town, you can enjoy the majestic views of the surrounding areas, watch hawksbill and green turtles hatch their eggs on one of the islands, or relax and kick back in front of the sea.

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28. Kuala Kangsar

kuala kangsar
Source: instagram

With some old and new palaces to explore, Kuala Kangsar is an exciting place to spend some exciting touring moments. This region is full of history, architectural wonders, cultural heritage, and a lot of traditional crafts like keris-making and pottery-making. As the royal seat of Perak, this town has plenty of iconic regal colonial structures with amazing architectural designs. Also, check out Perak Royal Museum, Istana Iskandariah, and the awe-inspiring Ubudiah Mosque. It was the birthplace of Malaysia’s rubber industry and site of the first durbar (conference of Malay sultans) in 1897. The location of Kuala Kangsar is absolutely a worthy day trip.

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29. Kuala Perlis

Kuala Perlis
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user https://www.flick... used under CC BY 2.0

Savor the very best local seafood dishes when you visit the fishing town of Kuala Perlis. Located on the Perlis River, this town is a major connecting point between Malaysia and Thailand. Stopover by this town and see some of its old buildings and mosques and try out the famous laksa (noodle in milk curry) at the crowd favorite Kak Su Laksa. The town also offers places where you can enjoy bird watching, explore amazing caves, and go kayaking. Even with several locations to shop and buy souvenirs, this town is a beautiful place to visit.

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30. George Town (from USD 33.0)

George Town is the ancient capital city of Penang. This colonial city is purely an open museum. Everywhere you turn, there is something for you to see, explore, and experience. It is filled with historic colonial architecture, a series of British buildings, churches, and Fort Cornwallis. Georgetown is the second-largest city in Malaysia. The town boasts of famous ancient temples, excellent restaurants, and the country’s longest coffee shop. Take a picturesque drive with a guide through the city and see all the places that make the region a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Georgetown Sightseeing Private Half-Day Tour

Duration: 4 hours

7 reviews

31. Malaysia's UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Contributed by Tour Guide, Shazriza Rais

Kinabalu Park

Malaysia boasts several UNESCO World Heritage Sites that showcase its unique history and breathtaking landscapes.

  • The historic city of Melaka, where traces of foreign influences can be found in its architecture and traditions. The city’s vibrant streets, lined with charming shophouses and worship places, tell stories of its past glory as a bustling trading port.

  • Mulu National Park in Sarawak is a rainforest with limestone karsts, deep caves, and a plethora of flora and fauna.

  • Taman Negara, one of the oldest rainforests in the world, offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in nature, with its dense jungles, gushing rivers, and diverse wildlife.

  • Lenggong Valley, an ancient settlement that dates back over 2 million years, sheds light on Malaysia’s prehistoric past. Its well-preserved artifacts provide valuable insights into human evolution.

  • Finally, Kinabalu Park in Sabah is home to Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in Malaysia. The park’s incredible biodiversity makes it a haven for nature lovers.

Enjoy the best vacation in paradise

A holiday in Malaysia is nothing short of time off in paradise. This country boasts of scenic landscapes, beautiful rivers, stunning waterfalls, modern urban cities, magical temples, gorgeous beaches with white sand, clear turquoise waters, lofty hills, monumental buildings, we could go on and on. It is an ideal location, whether for a romantic getaway, solo vacation, or family time off. Check out these best places to visit in Malaysia and enjoy your best getaway yet.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Colins is a quiet individual who always tries to find the meaning and beauty of things around his environment. This passion has led him to begin his journey in photography and hiking nature...Read more

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