Malaysia holidays offer an exciting blend of city, rainforest and beach, with the lively mixture of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures bringing a fascinating array of cultural attractions – and wonderful food!
Holidays to Malaysia are packed with places to see and things to do from exploring the jungles and long houses to chilling out on the beautiful white sand beach resorts of Penang and Langkawi.
Holidays in Malaysia are not complete without a visit to the capital city Kuala Lumpur home to the world’s tallest buildings, the Petronas Towers. In KL (as it’s commonly dubbed) you can also explore the colonial buildings, street markets including the famous Chow Kit market, where modernity rubs shoulders with tradition, and you can shop till you drop before exploring the vibrant restaurant scene.
After you’ve sampled the fast-moving thrills of Kuala Lumpur, you can head for the white sand beaches of Malaysia’s beautiful island resorts, off the peninsula’s west coast. Known as lauts, the country’s tropical islands have a laid-back vibe. They range from the tranquil, such as Pangkor and Langkawi, to the slightly more lively, such as Penang. There are lovely beaches to be found in Borneo, too.
All those diverse cultures make for a fantastic array of cuisines. Food is inexpensive, with succulent seafood and fresh tropical fruits being some of the greatest pleasures. The chillies and curries of India and Thailand form the basis of spicy preparations, often suffused with fresh coconut milk. The famous satays are great, and you can dine well everywhere, from roadside stalls to upmarket restaurants.
Our pounds go a long way in Malaysia, so you may want to bring along an extra suitcase for all the bargains you buy. Exploring the outdoor markets is an adventure in itself, so practice your haggling skills and dive in. You’ll find everything from quality electronics to traditional blowguns to indigenous arts and crafts. There are plenty of air-conditioned shopping complexes in Kuala Lumpur.
The best-known animals you’ll come across in Malaysia are the orang-utans of Borneo. At the Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah, you can meet these lovely creatures – you’ll get gooey-eyed when you see the cute babies. In the country’s nature reserves, such as Sabah’s rainforests, you’ll also see cheeky proboscis monkeys, chattering gibbons and wonderfully exotic birds such as hornbills.
The national park of Bako in Sarawak has jungle trekking and is home to the rare proboscis monkeys. In Sabah you can snorkel, dive and maybe get the chance to see green turtles in the marine park. An excursion from Kota Kinabalu in Borneo will take you to Poring Hot Springs where you can stroll the canopy walkway and then trek through Mount Kinabalu National Park.
Part of Malaysia’s attraction is its diverse and thriving mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and indigenous cultures. Wander around historic British colonial buildings in Georgetown, Penang; gawp at the soaring skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur. Meet tribal people who still live in wooden longhouses in Borneo – up to half a mile in length and accommodating up to 100 families.