CONTRASTS & DIVERSITY
Roam through the mystical country of Malaysia, and discover the beautiful wildlife
Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country occupying parts of the Malay Peninsula and the island of Borneo. It’s known for its beaches, rain-forests and mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cultural influences. The capital, Kuala Lumpur, is home to colonial buildings, busy shopping districts such as Bukit Bintang and skyscrapers such as the iconic, 451m-tall Petronas Twin Towers.
Malaysia is a unique travel experience that is much different from its neighbors. From the dense urban jungle of Kuala Lumpur to the pristine beaches of the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia is a beautiful and often underrated country. Spend the day with a traditional tribe or in a tea plantation in the Cameron Highlands or trek through the huge national parks of Gunung Mulu and Taman Negara, encountering incredible wildlife including tigers and orangutans. Make sure to head to Borneo and explore the jungle, and dive at Spidan, one of the best dive locations in the world. Malaysia has a ton of stuff to offer travelers and is often quickly visited by travelers who breathe through on their way to or from Thailand. Take this country slowly, enjoy all the great Indian food and curries, and get off the beaten path to get the country to yourself.
From cultural diversity, ancient rain forests, urban adventures, wildlife Malaysia as the catchy tourism slogan ‘Malaysia, Truly Asia’ continues to ring true as this country really is a potpourri of Asian cultures.
When: The rainy season for the west is April to October, while the east receives stormy monsoon weather during November and December. The best time to visit Borneo is March to October, with the wettest months being November to February.
Where to go ?
Malacca City, capital of Malacca State, oozes with history and culture. Featuring as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, the colonial city along the Straits of Malacca attracts visitors for its architecture, food and famous Jonker Street Night Market.
Penang always features as one of the top places to visit in Malaysia. The state, named after the pinang tree that looks like a palm tree, divides between Butterworth on the mainland and George Town on Penang Island. George Town is an open museum. The colonial district boasts a wide selection of British buildings, churches and Fort Cornwallis.
The small archipelago called the Perhentians, located in the South China Sea off the coast of Terengganu, features as one of the most beautiful places to visit in Malaysia. The main coral-surrounded islands consist of the aptly named Besar and Kecil, or Big and Small. Picture white sand stretching around sparsely populated areas with crystal clear shallow water lapping against the shore.
Danum Valley is by far the best place to visit in Malaysia for ecotourism and to experience untouched jungle. Located deep inside the 130 million-year-old lowland dipterocarp forest, the conservation area boasts incredible biodiversity. Inside the 438 square kilometres, are hundreds, if not thousands, of species of fauna, and an even greater variety of flora, that call this area home. Lucky tourists might spot orangutans, pygmy elephants and the clouded leopard.
Sabah’s capital, Kota Kinabalu, might not appear beautiful at first. But behind the malls and buildings lie stretches of gorgeous orange-sand coastline, islands reachable within 10 minutes and the iconic floating mosque. Head to Tanjung Aru Beach for one of Borneo’s most spectacular sunsets or stroll along Likas Bay and marvel at the coast and islands.
Ipoh, the capital of Perak, has recently enjoyed a tourist boom, thanks to Perak 2017. Referred to as ‘The City of Bougainvillea,’ after the colourful flower and surrounded by rugged limestone hills, once unknown Ipoh is fast becoming a top place to visit in Malaysia.
The Cameron Highlands has been among the favourite places to visit in Malaysia since the end of the 19th century. British surveyor, William Cameron, ‘discovered’ the region in 1885 and it has since then grown as a tourist hotspot. The highlands range in altitude from approximately 1100 metres (3609 feet) to 1800 metres (5906 feet), producing a cooler and fresher climate. It’s not surprising that the Cameron Highlands became British Malaya’s largest hill station.
Perak’s Pangkor Island, derived from ‘Pang Ko’ in Thai and translating to ‘Beautiful Island’, consists of a small archipelago in the Strait of Malacca. Once a haven for fishers, sailors and pirates, and remaining unchanged for decades, Pangkor Island gives tourists a chance to experience a relatively undeveloped tropical paradise.
Time Magazine mentioned Pulau Tioman as one of the world’s most beautiful islands in the 1970s. Little has changed since the publication and Tioman Island, located off the east coast in the South China Sea, makes a top place to visit in Malaysia. With rich coral, untouched beaches and an interior filled with dense rainforest, the island offers a more secluded feel to the likes of Langkawi.
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