You’ll discover Malaysia has many different sides to explore, from the most modern of cities to wildlife-packed rainforests and idyllic islands. The first thing you need to know is that Malaysia is separated into two halves, divided by the South China Sea. Peninsula Malaysia extends out from the mainland of Southeast Asia, between Thailand to the north and Singapore to the south. You can discover dozens of unspoiled Malaysian islands dotted between the two halves of this beautiful country.
Head to the west of the peninsula for the buzzing capital Kuala Lumpur, with its impressive skyscrapers including the world’s tallest twin towers. If it’s nature you’re after, head into the rainforest for sightings of orangutans, tigers and elephants.
Things to do
While you’re visiting Malaysia, it would be a shame not to explore some of its 4,675km of coastline and endless tropical beaches. You’ll discover some of the best on the islands of Redang, Perhentian and Tioman off the east coast and Langkawi and Pangkor off the west coast of the peninsula.
On Borneo, head for Turtle Beach, Golden Beach and Sipadan. Famous for their white sands and crystal clear waters, Malaysian beaches are perfect for diving and snorkelling around the coral reefs within easy reach of the shore. You’re likely to see colourful fish, turtles, barracuda, manta rays, dolphins and sharks.
You’ll also find Malaysia to be culturally diverse, and nowhere is this more evident than in George Town, a World Heritage site and one of Malaysia’s most fascinating cities. As the colourful capital of the island of Penang, you’ll find British colonial buildings, Indian shrines, mosques and Chinese shophouses. Make sure you visit the Blue Mansion. Built in the 1880s and rescued from ruin in the 1990s, its mixed design is what makes it unique from its Chinese tiles to its British stained glass.
With its rich marine life and its wildlife-filled rainforest, Malaysia isn’t short of adventures. Jungle trekking is a popular activity here, giving visitors the chance to feel like David Attenborough while trekking through the jungle in search of tigers, elephants, flying lemurs, proboscis monkeys, the endangered Sumatran rhinoceros and the curious pangolin.The undisputed king of the Jungle is the Bornean orangutan. Its name in Sabah and Sarawak translates as 'people of the jungle' and many visitors come to Malaysia just to meet these
Head to the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Sabah, where you’ll catch glimpses of these unique creatures from boat tours along the river, Danum Valley or the Tabin Wildlife Reserve as well as the the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, where you can watch orphaned babies being fed.