Tired of Thailand? Seen the sights in Singapore? Then head to multi-cultural Malaysia and explore a very different side of Southeast Asia.
Laze on the beaches in Langkawi or feast like a king in the foodie paradise of Penang, there’s so much to see and do, so here are six unmissable places to go in Malaysia:
A tax-free haven, Langkawi is a firm favourite with honeymooners looking for luxury resorts and secluded sandy beaches. But if you’re working to a strict budget then there are still lots of alternatives. Take a cable car and walk along the sky bridge for grand views across the island and Machincang mountain, or spend the afternoon splashing around in the crystal clear pools at the top of Telaga Tujuh waterfalls.
Wander through the streets of Penang, past crumbling Chinese shop fronts and paraneken mansions in search of some of the world’s most famous graffiti. Cool down with an ice bowl of cendol, a popular Malaysian dessert made from coconut milk and green jelly noodles, just one of the many dishes that has helped to put Penang on the culinary map.
3. Cameron Highlands
Bored of the beach? Then head to the Cameron Highlands. Visit the butterfly farm, or walk through the jungle and discover over 700 species of Malaysia’s most unusual flora and fauna. Take a break from trekking and sip some of the finest tea in Southeast Asia at the Boh Tea Plantation, accompanied by scones and fresh strawberries which are grown in abundance here.
Ipoh, or the Bouganvillea City, is the perfect spot to experience life in British Colonial Malaysia. Walk along the banks of the Kinta River in the city’s old town and take in the Edwardian railway station and town hall. For bigger thrills, try your hand at white water rafting, jungle trekking and caving in and around Malaysia’s fourth-largest city.
5. Kuala Lumpur
Needing a city fix? Malaysia’s capital is packed with shopping malls and sophisticated skybars, perhaps the most famous being the one on the roof of the Traders Hotel which has a brilliant night-time view over the Pertronas Towers. Escape the chaos and spend the day at the Batu Caves, a popular Hindu shrine ad home to hoards of cheeky monkeys just outside the city.
On the opposite side of the Chinese Sea lies Malaysian Borneo and the capital city of Kuching. Stargaze at the Sultan Iskandar Planetarium, Malaysia’s first, or get some retail therapy and bag a bargain at the Main Bazaar. Head to Padungan, an inner city suburb, for five-star hotels and the best nightlife in Kuching.