Overview


As evidenced by its large population of expatriate workers, Malaysia is an extremely popular Southeast Asian travel destination. A foreigner-friendly, culturally interesting place, Malaysia also boasts great weather, white-sand beaches, snorkelling and diving opportunities, top-class shopping and dining options, and a wealth of unmissable sights and attractions.

The west coast of Malaysia is home to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's glittering, cosmopolitan capital city. The city abounds with excellent sights and activities for tourists, from the lofty Petronas Towers, to the nearby Batu Caves. Kuala Lumpur is also a world-famous shopping destination and a gastronomic delight, as various national cuisines combine to offer a wealth of options for the adventurous palate.

 

Penang Jetty

 

The east coast is predominately Muslim, and boasts several easy-to-reach tropical islands (such as Sibu and the Perhentian Islands), offering snorkelling and diving off white-sand beaches. In the north of Peninsula Malaysia several hill resorts offer a welcome respite from the heat and humidity of the coast. Hill resort holidays in Malaysia are becoming increasingly popular, and visitors have a good selection to choose from: The Cameron Highlands is the most refined, Fraser's Hill the most tranquil, and the Genting Highlands the most developed of Malaysia's hill resorts.

Nature-lovers will not want to miss East Malaysia, a rich and varied tropical island teeming with outdoor and watersport opportunities in the twin states of Sabah and Sarawak. Visit Kinabalu National Park, an area so full of biodiversity that it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or else head to Sipadan Island and experience what are widely considered to be the best diving and snorkelling sites in the world.

 

Best time to visit Malaysia
Malaysia has a humid tropical climate, characterised by high temperatures all year round. The monsoon season (November to February) brings heavy rain to the peninsular region. The best time to visit Malaysia is between April and October. Bear in mind that if you're suffering in the heat down at the coast, the highland region in northern Malaysia is significantly cooler.

What to see in Malaysia

  • The Petronas Towers, the world's tallest twin skyscrapers, are an inspiring sight, and the view of Kuala Lumpur from the Skybridge is not to be missed.
  • The Batu Caves are decorated with Hindu shrines and wall paintings, and remain an important pilgrimage site to this day.
  • Taman Negara National Park is home to one of the world's oldest natural rainforests.
  • The duty-free resort island of Langkawi offers splendid beaches and an array of excellent entertainment options.

What to do in Malaysia

  • Practice your haggling skills at Petaling Street, Malaysia's vibrant Chinatown area.
  • Head to world-famous Pulau Sipadan, a gorgeous island that offers unbeatable snorkelling and diving opportunities.
  • Hike up Mount Kinabalu, and be astounded by the rich diversity of the surrounding National Park.
  • Sample Malaysia's diverse and delicious national cuisine in Penang, a gourmand's dream holiday destination.
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