Top 10 Best Things To Do During Hari Merdeka 2023

When you take some time away from the stresses of daily life, it can significantly improve your physical and mental well-being. Studies have shown that these positive effects will also affect your work and relationships. Therefore, block your annual leaves and plan ahead to ensure there are no scheduling conflicts with your office work and responsibilities at home.

Hari Merdeka falls on 31st August 2023, Thursday. If you take Friday off, you will have four days for a vacation. If you are planning your vacation ahead of time to take advantage of better hotel and flight rates, read on and learn more about the 10 best things to do during Hari Merdeka 2023 to help you arrange your holiday itinerary.

How do Malaysians celebrate Merdeka Day? 

Merdeka Day is a national holiday. Malaysians celebrate the historic event with parades, fireworks, singing, dance performances, army marches, band marches, float processions, and flag-waving cheer. It would be a delight to see the many groups in processions dressed in traditional outfits to represent their ethnic backgrounds.

How many times did the father of independence chant “Merdeka”? 

Seven times: The Queen’s representative, the Duke of Gloucester, presented Tunku Abdul Rahman, the father of Malaysia’s independence, with the instrument of independence. Tunku then proceeded to read the declaration, which culminated in “Merdeka!” chanting seven times, with the crowd joining in.

Is Hari Malaysia and Hari Merdeka the same?

No, it is not. This is because Merdeka Day is celebrated to commemorate the independence of the Federation of Malaya from the British colony. In contrast, Malaysia Day or Hari Malaysia, is celebrated to commemorate the joining of the Federation of Malaya, North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore to become a new country called Malaysia.

10 Best Things To Do During Hari Merdeka 2023

Planning Your Hari Merdeka Holidays For 2023: 

1. Display The Malaysian Flag To Inspire Patriotism

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A Man Decorating His Home With Malaysian Flags For Merdeka Day | Image Credit: thestar.com.my

Inspire patriotism by displaying the Malaysian flag to spread the Merdeka spirit. Merdeka Day commemorates the Malayan Declaration of Independence of 31st August 1957, and one of the easiest ways to show love for our country is by displaying the National flag. You can decorate your home, car, and office. Alternatively, you can be a little creative and go a step further and create a Kuih Lapis Merdeka.

How To Make Kuih Lapis Merdeka

2. Join The Merdeka Day Countdown At The Musical Fountain, KLCC

Merdeka Countdown | Video Credit: Malaysia Tour

Join in the cheers and shouts of “Merdeka” and sing along to the National anthem during the Merdeka Day countdown at the Musical Fountain, KLCC. While you are there, you will be able to watch the colourful display of the musical fountain and various artists’ performances. You would also see the beautifully lighted-up Petronas Twin Towers in the background. Check out these 8 best Instagrammable Places in Kuala Lumpur.

Merdeka Countdown | Video Credit: In

Operating Hours: 8am to 10pm daily

Address: Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

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3. Watch The Hari Merdeka Parade At Dataran Merdeka

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The Merdeka Day Celebration At Dataran Merdeka | Image Credit: thestar.com.my

After a two-year lapse due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Day main celebration is again at its annual venue at the historic Dataran Merdeka. Book a stay in one of the 10 best serviced apartments in Kuala Lumpur and watch the elaborate Hari Merdeka celebrations unfold. There will usually be floats, performances, dances, marching bands, parades, and more to commemorate Malaysia’s National Day. While in Kuala Lumpur, don’t forget to check out these 9 best things to do in Kuala Lumpur too.

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Float Procession At Dataran Merdeka | Image Credit: malaymail.com

Operating Hours: All-day

Address: Merdeka Square, Jln Raja, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

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4. Enjoy Authentic Hainanese Food At Sun Sun Nam Cheong

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Sun Sun Nam Cheong | Image Credit: Chu Wan Chek

If you have a four-day holiday, you can go to Kuala Kubu Bharu and enjoy the delicious and authentic Hainanese food at Sun Sun Nam Cheong. This eatery is a 100-year-old coffee shop that serves the best authentic chicken chop drenched in light gravy and caramelized onions with a side of fries, vegetables, and a sunny side-up egg. They also serve other delicious Hainanese food, such as Hainanese noodles and butter toast. Check out these 8 best things to do in Kuala Kubu Bharu.

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Hainanese Food At Sun Sun Nam Cheong | Image Credit: lokallocal.com

Operating Hours: 7am to 3pm (Tuesday – Sunday) Closed on Monday

Address: 8, Jalan Mat Kilau, Pekan Kuala Kubu Bharu, 44000 Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor

Phone No: 03-6064 1168

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5. Go On An Island Adventure At Redang Island

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Snorkelling At Pulau Kerenga Besar | Image Credit: cavinteo.blogspot.com

As Merdeka Day falls in August, it is the perfect time to stay in one of the 8 best staycations in Redang island due to the great weather and diving conditions. With a four-day holiday, you have sufficient time to go on an island adventure. While at Redang island, you can snorkel at Pulau Kerenga Besar, take a diving class at the Laguna Redang Dive Centre, or hike up the Laguna Redang Hiking Trail. Check out these 10 best things to do in Redang Island.

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Hiking Up Laguna Redang Hiking Trail | Image Credit: Laguna Redang Hiking Trail

6. Take A Malacca River Cruise

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Melaka River Cruise | Image Credit: Chlotus LY

Stay in one of the 8 best colonial hotels in Melaka and add the Melaka River Cruise to your holiday itinerary as it promises an enjoyable ride. The trip will go through the heart of the UNESCO heritage site. The cruises are accompanied by pre-recorded commentary to give visitors some insights into specific buildings or historical sites while enjoying the view of Melaka in a comfortable boat. The cruise lasts about 45 minutes and covers about 9km, so you can take as many pictures as you like throughout the ride. Check out these 9 best things to do in Melaka.

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Melaka River Cruise | Image Credit: Azrulz Anuar

Operating Hours: 9am to 11pm daily

Address: Melaka River Cruise, Jalan Persisiran Bunga Raya, 75100 Malacca

Phone No: 06-281 4322

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/melakarivercruise

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7. Enjoy A Penang Food Tour

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Siam Road Char Kuey Teow | Image Credit: ibox_bowie

Penang is a food haven as it is a humble town with some of the best-tasting dishes in Malaysia. What better way to spend your holiday than to go on a Penang food tour? You can start with their famous hawker food such as char kuey teow, curry noodles, and laksa. Penang Kopitiams serve the best breakfast meals, and their fine dining restaurants serve exquisite creations. While in Penang, you can also try Penang’s Nyonya, Western, Thai, and French cuisine. If you have extra time and stomach space left, you can also check out these high tea spots in Penang. 

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Nyonya Breeze, Straits Quay, Penang| Image Credit: Nonya Breeze

8. Go On An Adventure To The Gomantong Caves Sandakan

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Gomantong Caves Sandakan | Image Credit: sabahtourism.com

Stay at one of the 8 best staycations in Sandakan, take up a challenge, and go on an adventure to the Gomantong Caves Sandakan. The Gomantong Caves are an intricate cave system inside Gomantong Hill in Sandakan. The hill is the most prominent limestone outcrop in the Lower Kinabatangan area. Situated in the Gomantong Forest Reserve, the caves and the surrounding area are protected areas for wildlife, especially orangutans. Check out these 8 best things to do in Sandakan.

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Gomantong Caves Sandakan | Image Credit: wildlife.sabah.gov.my

Operating Hours: 
8am to 1pm, 2pm to 5pm (Saturday – Thursday)
8am to 11.30am, 2pm to 5pm (Friday)  

Address: Gomantong Caves, 90000 Kinabatangan, Sabah

Phone No: 089-561 527

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9. Relax At A Lakeside Retreat

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Flamingo Hotel by The Lake, Selangor | Image Credit: klook.com

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and go on a lakeside retreat. Imagine waking up to the smell of fresh air, then looking out your private balcony and enjoying the calm waters glistening in the sun’s rays. Your worries and daily stresses will melt away, making you calmer and more peaceful. Choose from one of these 8 best lakefront staycations in Malaysia and start planning your Hari Merdeka 2023 holidays.

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Lakeview Terrace Resort Pengerang, Johor | Image Credit: klook.com

10. Catch Up On The Latest Shows On Netflix

The Big Bang Theory | Video Credit: YouTube

If you decide not to take leave on Friday, you can use your day to catch up on the ever-increasing Netflix movies. There are American sitcoms, anime shows, Netflix Original movies, reality series, K-Dramas, psychological thrillers, and horror movies. You can sit back, relax, and snack on one of the 10 best Eureka popcorns in Malaysia as you enjoy your movie or series.

The Roommate | Image Credit: YouTube

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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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