Unlocking NCER’s Tourism Wonders

In addition to its rich culture and history, NCER is endowed with beautiful natural landscapes, archaeological treasures and authentic cuisine. With two destinations certified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites (George Town and Lenggong Valley) and a UNESCO Global Geopark (Langkawi), NCER is well-positioned to attract tourists seeking a diverse tourism experience.

NCER also has many other unique tourist attractions such as Lembah Bujang and Sungai Batu, as well as Lenggong Valley, which are known for their archaeological discoveries. Also located in NCER is the Belum-Temengor Tropical Rainforest (BTTR) in Perak, which dates back over 130 million years, and is one of the world’s oldest rain forests that holds many natural wonders.

Conveniently accessible from international airports within and surrounding the region, as well as complemented by an extensive network of highways, roads and sea transportation system, these attractions make NCER an ideal region for unique and thematic tourism business opportunities. With all its diverse offerings, the region is set to be a leading global tourism destination.

The Tourism sector in NCER focuses on the following clusters:




Heritage tourism

Other niche tourism

NCER’s Key Tourism Destinations

Langkawi Island,Tranquil yet Fascinating

Officially known as “The Jewel of Kedah”, Langkawi has been a popular tourist destination in Malaysia for many years now, this cluster of 99 islands (or 104 at low tide) is a haven for some of the world’s most beautiful rainforests, waterfalls, marine and coral reef life and ranked as the top ten hottest travel destination of 2017 by Vogue Magazine, a global lifestyle publication.

The main island of Pulau Langkawi is easily accessed by air or sea through its airport at Padang Matsirat and jetty at Kuah town. The island itself possesses an excellent road system and is one of the few duty-free zones in the country.

In June 2007, Langkawi Island was given World Geopark status by UNESCO. The three main conservation areas, popular with tourists, are Machincang Cambrian Geoforest Park, Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, and Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest park (Island of the Pregnant Maiden Lake).

Langkawi also hosts some major events throughout the year including the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition, the Langkawi Arts and Crafts Festival (LACRAF), the Langkawi International Water Festival, and the biennial Langkawi International Festival of Arts (LIFA).

Pulau Pinang,UNESCO World Cultural Destination

A world-renowned exotic holiday destination – was known, once upon a time, as Pulau Pinang or the “Isle of the Betel Nut”. Penang consistently ranked in the top ten for its destination and food by various global media companies such as CNN and Forbes. Listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 2008, this virgin paradise has no shortage of cultural sights and natural scenery.

Penang is a vibrant island where cultural heritage and cosmopolitan structures go hand-in-hand, and discovering its many sights and sounds within 24 hours can be a challenging yet fulfilling experience. Also known for its gastronomy experience, Penang was also listed as the top culinary spot by travel guide publisher Lonely Planet in 2014.

Malaysia’s ‘Pearl of the Orient’ carries a natural beauty and cultural splendour like no other place. Penang is famous for its soft sandy beaches and is fondly regarded as the food capital of Malaysia. Some of the most interesting sites of Penang include the sandy beaches of Tanjung Bungah, the landscape from the summit of Penang Hill and the vipers in the Snake Temple.

The quaint nooks and crannies of Georgetown and the Tropical Spice Garden – the only spice garden in South East Asia – as well as Penang’s many flea markets, ‘pasar malam’, KOMTAR and modern shopping malls also merit a visit.

Lembah Bujang, ASEAN Oldest Archeological Site

The Bujang Valley or Lembah Bujang is a sprawling historical complex and has an area of approximately 224 km. Situated near Merbok, Kedah, between Gunung Jerai in the north and Muda River in the south, it is the most precious archaeological area in Malaysia. These archaeological remains signify the Hindu-Buddhist civilisation in the area. In Sanskrit the term bhujanga refers to the serpent; thus the name itself is roughly translated into “Serpent Valley”.

The area consists of ruins that may date more than 2,535 years old whereby more than fifty ancient tomb temples, called candi (pronounced as “chandi”), have also been unearthed. The most impressive and well-preserved of these is located in Pengkalan Bujang, Merbok of which is the location of The Bujang Valley Archaeological Museum.

In the area of Bujang Valley known as Sungai Batu, excavations have revealed jetty remains, iron-smelting sites, and a clay brick monument dating back to AD 110, making it the oldest man-made structure to be recorded in Southeast Asia. Relics found in the Bujang Valley are now on display at the archaeological museum. Items include inscribed stone caskets and tablets, metal tools and ornaments, ceramics, pottery, and Hindu icons.

The Bujang Valley is currently in the process of being nominated by Malaysia into the UNESCO World Heritage List. More research and conservation efforts in the valley had been made to preserve its outstanding universal value.

Pulau Pangkor,Duty-free Island

The tourism potential of Pulau Pangkor will be further developed with the island being declared as a duty-free island. Currently, quick-win projects and programmes being implemented by Perak state government and its agencies as preparation towards the duty-free island.

NCIA is currently conducting a strategic implementation plan that will identify short, medium and long-term projects and programmes to transform Pulau Pangkor as a preferred tourism destination.

Belum Temengor Tropical Rainforest (BTTR),Soul of Flora & Fauna

Belum Temengor Tropical Rainforest (BTTR), a state park gazetted in 2007, is the oldest tropical rainforest in the world located in NCER. It is estimated to be over 130 million years old, which makes it the oldest tropical rainforest in the world. The BTTR reserve forms the last and largest contiguous block of natural forest in Peninsular Malaysia.

BTTR has the largest concentration of tigers, elephants and rhinos in Malaysia; in addition to 3,000 species of flowering plants, including three species of the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia. Belum is also the home of the local aborigines, also known as ‘Orang Asli’, a native community with their very own distinct lifestyle, heritage and culture.

Taiping,The Heritage Town

As one of the main tin production hubs in the country during the 19th century, Taiping enjoyed tremendous economic growth during that period. As a result of that, the town received many of the country’s first facilities and infrastructure: hospital, railway line and station as well museum.

The city was also recognised as among the top three sustainable cities in the world during the 2019 Sustainable Top 100 Destination Awards at the International Tourismus-Börse (ITB) travel trade show in Berlin, Germany.

Ipoh,City of Diversity

Ranked sixth in Lonely Planet’s Best Asian destinations to visit in 2016, the capital of Perak state offers a mixture of natural beauties, majestic architectural icons and street food that will leave long-lasting memories to the visitors. Like Taiping, the city laid its foundations’ thanks to the thriving tin mining industry in the early 20th century before being transformed into one of the biggest cities in the country.

Invest now

Investors in NCER are invited to explore the following tax incentives and facilitation available in this region offered by NCIA:

At NCIA, we believe that investments into NCER are crucial towards accelerating more economic growth and generating more opportunities to the rakyat. Therefore, it is our duty to handhold and be with the investors right from the beginning of their investment journey in NCER.

Contact us

Get in touch with us to get to know more about investment opportunities in NCER and how NCIA can help you grow your business in the region.

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