Affectionately known as ‘Asia in miniature’, the beautiful kingdom of Malaysia encapsulates a little bit of everything that the vast and diverse continent has to offer. A rich culture, striking scenery – including lush forests that are a haven for wildlife, beautiful beaches and non-stop city action – are all here for the taking. Efficient transport links make Malaysia easy to get around, too, which is another reason why you should make your trip here a multi-centre stay. You may find yourself never wanting to leave.
Malaysia’s slogan, ‘Truly Asia’, is particularly apt when it comes to the cultures that make up its society. Sitting at the point where the Indian Ocean meets the South China Sea, it brings together influences from across almost all of Asia: the diverse Chinese cultures, both Muslim and Hindu Indian, an influx from Arabic nations as far back as the Persian Empire, colonial European intrusions – plus a bedrock of the fiercely proud and protected Malay culture. Visitors to East Malaysia will also have the opportunity to explore the tribal societies that still occupy the Bornean rainforest, where contemporary globalisation has only recently begun to intrude on traditions and ways of life that have gone unchanged for millennia. The result is a rich multitude of traditions, festivals and cuisines.
This variety can be equally applied to Malaysia’s geography. Those seeking fantastic views and soaring peaks will find them at Kinabalu National Park, whereas you’ll find gorgeous beaches all along the country’s coasts and islands, most notably on luxurious Langkawi and the chilled-out Perhentians.
This geographical diversity has produced a biodiversity to match. The rainforest of Borneo – the oldest in the world – is home to some of the rarest animals in Asia, including Asian elephants, Sumatran rhinoceroses and, of course, the utterly charming orangutan. Just off the north-east coast is the coral island Sipadan, where the sea around this speck of land is one of the richest and most bountiful in the world and among the greatest places on the planet to go diving. If you just want city life, then the country’s splendid capital, Kuala Lumpur, is one of the great modern metropolises, with its fantastic architecture, which can be easily explored due to an infrastructure that puts other cities in Southeast Asia to shame.
Tempted by what you’ve read? Need a few more ideas about where to go, what to see and how to go about it? Contact us – we’re always happy to help you choose your dream stay.