Top 10 Best Places To Visit in Malaysia During Chinese New Year 2023

Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, is the most important among the traditional Chinese festivals. Chinese New Year 2023 will fall on Sunday, January 22nd, 2023, which also kickstarts the year of the Rabbit. 

The Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally last for sixteen days, from Chinese New Year’s Eve to the final day of Chinese New Year, which is the Chap Goh Mei or Lantern festival. Check out these 10 best things to do during Chinese New Year 2023. 

What is the origin of Chinese New Year?

The origin of the Chinese New Year Festival is traced back to about 3,500 years ago, even though its exact beginning is not recorded. Some believe that Chinese New Year originated from the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC) when people held sacrificial ceremonies in honour of gods and ancestors at the beginning or the end of each year.

Are there any legends or myths behind the celebration of Chinese New Year?

The most famous legend behind the celebration of Chinese New Year is about the mythical beast Nian, who ate the livestock and crops of villagers. Loud noises, bright lights, and the colour red were used to chase the beast away. These elements ultimately defined the Chinese New Year celebrations, including firecrackers, fireworks, red clothes, packets, and decorations.

Is there any meaning behind the red packet given during Chinese New Year?

The red packet is a monetary gift given during the Chinese New Year. It is a small red and gold packet containing money given to children, family members, friends and employees as a symbol of good luck. In Chinese culture, red is associated with energy, happiness and good luck. In the past, it was believed to ward off evil spirits and protect its receivers from sickness and death. 

10 Best Places To Visit in Malaysia During Chinese New Year 2023

Planning Your Chinese New Year Holidays For 2023: 

1. Light A Candle At Dhammikarama Burmese Temple, Penang

Dhammikarama Burmese Temple | Image Credit: Charan Shetty

Travel To Penang for a staycation and visit the Dhammikarama Burmese temple, a Burmese Temple in George Town. It is the sole and oldest Burmese temple in Penang and has become a focal point for Chinese festivals such as the Mid-Autumn festivals, Chinese New Year prayers, and candle lighting events. On the eve of Chinese New Year, devotees in this temple will light hundreds of candles for good fortune and luck for the new year.

Lighted Candles From Buddhist Devotees | Image Credit: Karunasara TEE

Operating Hours: 9am to 1pm daily

Address: 24, Jalan Burma, Pulau Tikus, 10250 George Town, Penang

Phone No: 04-226 9575

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2. Witness The Magical Lights At the Kek Lok Si Temple

Fairy Lights At Kek Lok Si Temple | Image Credit:

The iconic Kek Lok Si temple is lit up for Chinese New Year, and it will be transformed into a beautiful fairyland with thousands of LED neon lights and Chinese Lanterns to mark the Chinese New Year. It is a sight to behold and an experience you must not miss if you have yet to visit the Kek Lok Si temple during Chinese New Year. While in Penang, do not forget to sample the delicious local cuisine, such as Char Kuey Teow, Laksa, and Curry Noodles.

Lanterns On Display At Kek Lok Si Temple | Image Credit:

Operating Hours: 8.30am to 5.30pm daily

Address: Kek Lok Si Temple, Jln Balik Pulau, 11500 Air Itam, Penang

Phone No: 04-818 3317

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3. Take Instagramable Pictures With The Chinese New Year Mall Decorations

The Gardens Mall | Image Credit:

In celebrating the Chinese New Year, malls will spare no expense in decorating beautiful, elaborate set-ups. The Gardens Mall turned its space into a Chinese ancestral house in red in 2022, and Sunway Velocity Mall had colourful decorations in a combination of red, yellow and teal. It is always exciting to see what new ideas these malls will come up with for their decor, which is always picture-perfect for an Instagram shot. Visit these 10 best shopping malls in Klang Valley during Chinese New Year 2023 to check out their new decor.

Sunway Velocity Mall | Image Credit:

4. Watch The Giant 3D LED Screen &  Chinese New Year Performances At Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Giant 3D LED Screen, Pavilion KL | Video Credit: YouTube

Stay at one of these 10 best serviced apartments in Kuala Lumpur and enjoy the Chinese New Year performances, events, and 3D LED Screen display in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. Pavilion Lumpur is also a fantastic place for shopping. It is home to brands such as Kate Spade, Jimmy Choo, Dior, Chanel, Fendi, Guess, Moschino, and various restaurants and cafes. While in the Klang Valley, Check out these 8 best activities you can do in Selangor and treat your family to one of these 15 best Chinese restaurants in Kuala Lumpur

Chinese New Year Performance, Pavilion KL | Video Credit: YouTube

Operating Hours: 10am to 10pm daily

Address: 168, Bukit Bintang St, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

Phone No: 03-2118 8833

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5. Toss Yee Sang At The Brasserie, St Regis Kuala Lumpur 

The Brasserie, St Regis Kuala Lumpur | Image Credit:

You can choose to stay at the St Regis Kuala Lumpur and enjoy their Prosperity Yee Sang, served at the hotel’s restaurant, The Brasserie. Yee Sang is a famous Chinese New Year Dish that symbolizes good fortune. You can also enjoy other items on The Brasserie’s menu, reinvented with an innovative take on the Modern European style of cooking and exceptional techniques and quality ingredients. You and your family would be in for a treat with its robust flavours, which will reignite your tastebuds.

Prosperity Yee Sang | Image Credit: The St Regis Kuala Lumpur

Operating Hours: 6.30am to 10pm daily

Address: The Brasserie, Jalan Stesen Sentral 2, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

Phone No: 03-2727 6666

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6. Experience Hundreds Of Lanterns At Thean Hou Temple

Red Lanterns At Thean Hou Temple | Image Credit:

The Thean Hou Temple is a majestic 6-tiered temple of the Chinese sea goddess Mazu. During Chinese New Year, the temple will be lit up by thousands of red lanterns, leaving its visitors in awe. This temple was completed in 1987 at an estimated cost of RM7 million. The temple has elements of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Its colourful tiles set against its white-washed staircase pillars, combined with modern and traditional architectural design, are just a sight to behold.

Red Lanterns At Thean Hou Temple | Image Credit:

Operating Hours: 8am to 10pm daily

Address: 65, Persiaran Endah, Taman Persiaran Desa, 50460 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

Phone No: 03-2274 7088

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7. Watch The Lion Dance At 1 Utama Shopping Mall

Lion Dance At 1 Utama Shopping Mall | Video Credit: YouTube

The lion dance performance at 1 Utama Shopping Mall is a yearly performance. The lion dance is performed during Chinese New Year to bring prosperity and good luck and to drive away evil spirits. The lion dance is also usually accompanied by flute and drum musicians and is an exciting performance to watch with family and friends.

Acrobatic Lion Dance, 1 Utama Shopping Mall | Image Credit: YouTube

Operating Hours: 
10am to 10pm (Sunday – Thursday)
10am to 10.30pm (Weekends)

Address: 1, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Phone No: 03-7710 8118

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8. Enjoy Chinese New Year Treats At Jonker Street

Jonker Street, Melaka | Image Credit:

Stay at the Majestic Malacca Hotel and experience the Chinese New Year Spirit at Jonker Street. During Chinese New Year, Jonker Street would be decorated with pretty red lanterns, and its street vendors would sell delicious dim sum and other Chinese New Year Treats. As you walk towards the end of Jonker walk, you can also ride on the Malacca River Cruise. Check out these 9 best things to do in Melaka.

Dim Sum, Jonker Street, Melaka | Image Credit:

Operating Hours: 
6pm to 12am (Friday – Monday) 
Closed on Monday – Thursday

Address: Jonker Street Night Market, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Malacca

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9. Escape The Heat In Cameron Highlands

BOH Tea Centre | Image Credit:

The Chinese New Year weather is usually the hottest time of the year. As you will have a long weekend, you can go on a staycation and enjoy the cold weather in Cameron Highlands. Cameron Highlands is the largest hill station. Its cold weather is due to its elevation above sea level and its ideal geographical location, which is in the highlands of Pahang. Here, you can visit the BOH Tea Centre or enjoy a picnic with your loved ones at Cameron Flora Park. Check out these 10 best things to do in Cameron Highlands.

Cameron Flora Park | Image Credit: S S

10. Have Your Reunion With Your Family in Serendah

Sekeping Serendah Retreats | Image Credit:

If you are a nature lover, you may enjoy a weekend getaway to the lesser-known but unique town of Serendah during your Chinese New Year holidays. Serendah has many things to do and places to visit. The activities range from spending a night under the stars at the Sekepeng Serendah Retreats to admiring Jing Loong Shan Wan Fo Shih’s architecture, making it the perfect choice for a holiday destination. Check out these 10 best things to do in Serendah.

Jing Loong Shan Wan Fo Shih | Image Credit:

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Disclosure: This list was compiled by the team at My Weekend Plan after extensive research and shared opinions to suggest helpful recommendations for the public. The sequence of brands is in no particular order so if you have any other great suggestions too, please email us [email protected] For more information, kindly refer to our copyright, privacy & disclosure policy.

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