As diverse as Gary Oldman’s acting career, Malaysia is a vast, unique, and immensely beautiful country. Split into 13 states and three federal territories, a trip across the country can bring you to several destinations which look entirely different to one another. And therein lies its charm.
An incredible 878 islands make up the country’s identity, as well as a whole host of cities and resorts to suit everyone’s holidaying tastes. Whether you’re a city-breaker, beach-dweller, or an all-round greedy so-and-so who wants to do all of the above – a holiday to Malaysia gives you more than enough choice to do exactly that. This blog is designed to introduce you to the best destinations across the country, so strap in and get scrolling.
Starting with the capital city, Kuala Lumpur is a hub of all things, well, it’s quite simply a hub of all things. Similar to Hong Kong, the city has a magnificent skyline full of impressive skyscrapers and steel behemoth buildings, but there are also numerous amazing patches of green with parks aplenty, and some gorgeous hikes available. In terms of skyscrapers, a visit to Kuala Lumpur isn’t complete without visiting the Petronas Twin Towers. The tallest twin skyscrapers in the world, getting a selfie in front of them is an absolute must, while the views from atop their considerable height isn’t too shabby either.
Moving onto more natural landmarks, KLCC Park is a popular spot right in the heart of the city. Offering views of the Petronas Twin Towers as well as a gorgeous fountain, lush scenery, and walking tracks – it’s a nice spot of serenity in an otherwise bustling city. Another popular park is Central Park at Desa Park City. Found a little further afield in the centre of a residential area, it’s a popular place for natives to walk dogs and have picnics – away from the hustle of the city.
Like most great capital cities, Kuala Lumpur’s culture scene is thriving. There are lots of amazing museums and galleries, with the Islamic Arts Museum, Royal Malaysian Police Museum, and the Orang Asli Craft Museum joining the National Museum as must-sees for all culture vultures.
What city visit is complete without sampling some local cuisine? The Malaysian capital is rife with tasty treats and there are countless options which won’t even come close to breaking the bank! Beef noodles at Soong Kee are a great entry point to food in the city, proving both cheap and recognisable, as they’re similar in looks to more well-known Japanese and Chinese fare. Our other favourite dishes include roast duck rice at Loong Foong Seafood, egg apam at Love Mom Restaurant, and for afters? Try one of the many desserts at Foo Foo. And if you’re craving some Indian food, take a trip to Little India.
One for beach bums everywhere, Langkawi is the place to visit in Malaysia should you be looking for some much-deserved relaxation. An archipelago made up of 99 distinct islands found on the country’s west coast, it’s surrounded by a gorgeous turquoise sea and offers surroundings made up of paddy fields, jungles, and stunning hills. The beautiful beaches are made up of fine sand and gently swaying coconut trees – making them an ideal locale for a spot of sunbathing.
Known the world over as an exotic holiday destination, the paradise of Penang has been a UNESCO-listed site since 2008 – with numerous cultural landmarks more than matching the gorgeous scenery. Known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, Penang has numerous sandy beaches and offers some of the best cuisine found in the country. Those with a sweet tooth will find several Malaysian desserts to their liking; with the iced dessert of cendol, made up of rice flour jelly and coconut milk, the peanut pancakes of apam balik, and a unique shaved ice offering called ais kacang deserving of your attention. When you need to work off all that amazing food, a walk around the stunning Tropical Spice Garden is certainly recommended.
Another incredible destination, Borneo is a fascinating island for the wide array of natural beauty it offers throughout. Different areas of the island belong to three various countries, with separate parts belonging to Brunei, Indonesia, and of course, Malaysia.
A visit here should always include an attempt to see the gorgeous orangutans in their natural habitat. Critically endangered, there are several great conservation centres doing their bit to help their cause – with either the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, or Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre proving great choices. Other popular pastimes on the island are diving, exploring the spectacular rainforests, and trekking up the tallest mountain in Malaysia – Mount Kinabalu.
While there are obviously so many more great destinations available across Malaysia, we thought this would be a great starter. If we’ve suitably tempted your palate enough, you can find your own main course and dessert through a bit of extra research. We need to sit down and stop thinking about food for a second, before our food analogies start to come off as a bit stale (sorry).