Langkawi and Penang
The west coast offers a perfect example of Malaysia’s multiculturalism including intriguing delights with the islands of Penang and Langkawi.
Malaysia’s diverse cultural history has led to an open-minded approach to tourism, with a melting pot of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures together with the indigenous tribes.
This diversity means that when you visit Malaysia you’re treated to varied architecture, culture and of course delicious cuisines. From the skyscrapers and modernity of Kuala Lumpur to the dense rainforests of both Borneo and the mainland, a Malaysia holiday encapsulates South-East Asia in its entirety.
Malaysia offers the visitor endless beaches, colonial hill stations, dense primary rainforest, tea plantations, UNESCO cities and incredibly diverse wildlife. Borneo is the third largest island in the world and the northern part of it belongs to Malaysia. It is here that you can find the iconic orangutan.
Our experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something to spark ideas for a unique adventure.
A selection of experiences and activities available to include in your holiday to Malaysia.
Come face to face with orangutan in the rainforests of Malaysian Borneo and learn about conservation efforts to save the species. Spend time observing them at Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah or Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Sarawak.
Explore ‘the butterfly capital of the world’ with over 1,600 species – the UK has 65.
For the fit, but novice mountaineer, climb Mount Kinabalu, which stands at 4,093 metres, and watch the sunrise from the summit.
Soak up the atmosphere at the night market in Penang and set your taste buds alight with the delights of Malaysian cuisine.
Step back in time at Terrapuri on Peninsular Malaysia’s east coast, and stay in a restored villa with stunning views towards the Perhentian Islands and Redang.
Spot proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants and orangutans on a boat safari along the Kinabatangan River in Malaysian Borneo.
Stay at Tanjong Jara where every year between April and September turtle come to lay their eggs.
Board the iconic E&O train to journey between Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Head below water to a host of excellent dive sites along the east coast of Malaysia as well as the waters off Malaysian Borneo.
Trek to waterfalls and villages of the Orang Asli tribes, indigenous people of Peninsular Malaysia.
Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.
Situated within the tropical lowland rainforest of the Danum Valley Conservation Area, Borneo Rainforest Lodge offers 31 timber chalets and a true jungle experience. Deluxe chalets have a balcony with river or jungle views plus some have their own outdoor hot tub or even a private plunge pool. The communal dining area and bar offer a great spot to relax with a drink at the end of the day, immersed in the sounds of the night.
Nestled in ancient rainforest metres away from the tranquil shores of Datai Bay. The 121 rooms, villas and suites all make the most of the surrounding scenery, with some located literally in the tree tops, others on stilts deep in the tropical rainforest or just a stone’s throw from the beach. All have some form of outdoor space and some have private pools and butler service. Superb service is complimented by facilities including a choice of pools, a spa and a selection of restaurants.
Pangkor Laut is a private, rainforest-covered island of just under 300 acres. Choose to stay over the water, on the beach or in one of the hillside villas. All 140 rooms and suites are spacious and elegant with either a balcony or terrace and created to blend with the natural environment. Thick lush jungle covers the interior with trails opening onto white sandy beaches; minibuses are also available to transport guests around the island. Two swimming pools, a spa, tennis courts and a choice of restaurants complete this idyllic retreat, once a regular haunt of Luciano Pavarotti.
Located a short boat ride off the coast of Malaysian Borneo, Bunga Raya Island Resort and Spa is an island hideaway fringed by a white sandy beach on one side and tropical rainforest on the other. The 48 stilted villas are nestled into the hillside and have all been hand-crafted by local tradesmen. Each has a private balcony offering beautiful views of the beach and the South China Sea beyond and eight of the villas have a private plunge pool. A hilltop spa and infinity pool are the cherries on top.
A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.
It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list.
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