Taman Negara National Park
Explore hidden tributaries and hike through dense rainforest.
Journey from the eclectic skyline of Kuala Lumpur to the jungles of Taman Negara and onto the island of Penang, where east meets west. End your Malaysian adventure with a stay on the beach either on the tropical island of Langkawi or the east coast beaches on the South China Sea.
Explore hidden tributaries and hike through dense rainforest.
Sample some of the best street food in Asia whilst on the island of Penang.
Enjoy a cocktail in one of the city’s sky bars, with views towards the iconic Petronas Towers.
Stay on Langkawi Island, amidst ancient rainforest, or steps from the beach on Malaysia’s east coast.
This holiday to Malaysia combines the bustling cityscape of Kuala Lumpur, with wildlife and trekking in the rainforest, culture and culinary treats on the island of Penang and some fabulous diving and relaxing on the beach. Although we have included the island of Langkawi there are two options to end this holiday, depending on time of travel. Malaysia’s east coast offers lovely weather and excellent diving conditions between April and October so a great end to a summer holiday. Alternatively, Langkawi if perfect for most of the year although an escape from winter in the UK works exceptionally well.
Spend three nights at a jungle lodge exploring the rainforest by day and night, following forest trails and canopy walkways. Head onto the river in search of primates and hidden waterfalls to cool off. Wildlife you might see includes elephant, tapir, wild pig, many colourful bird species plus a huge diversity of fauna and insect life.
Taman Negara is one of the country’s largest national parks and the deciduous rainforest there is estimated to be over 130 million years old. Access to the park is via the Tembeling River which cuts through dense rainforest landscape. The journey into the park is an experience in itself, a three hour voyage by wooden long boat allowing time to soak up the scenery as water buffalo cool in the shallows, monkeys leap between canopies and hornbill screech overhead.
Head off the normal tourist trail in the UNESCO city of Georgetown and rub shoulders with the locals, exploring hidden alleys where modern street art sits alongside colonial buildings and religious sites. Artwork ranges from sculptures to murals and graffiti, all inspired by daily life and created by a growing group of local artists. Visit a traditional wet market where residents and restaurant chefs barter with vendors for the freshest seafood. The market you will visit has been operating since the early 1800’s so is awash with history.
During your wanderings there will be plenty of time to sample local delicacies including fresh dim sum.
Langkawi is located in the far north of Malaysia, off the peninsula’s west coast. It offers a lovely climate year round, with the exception of September and October when rainfall is higher. Board a ferry from Penang and cruise along the Straits of Malacca to this lush, tropical island. Fringed with white sandy beaches it is perfect for a self-drive adventure allowing freedom and flexibility. Base yourselves at the gorgeous Datai Hotel and spend your days on the beach, exploring the rainforest around the hotel or venturing out to circumnavigate the island.
Peppered with off shore islands such as the Perhentian and Redang which make up a protected marine park, this coastline has a very different feel to the west coast. The strong Muslim influence is shown through Malay traditions and local artistry, often found on show at the road sides of sleepy fishing villages. Stay at Tanjong Jara, a favourite of Steppes Travel, where guest accommodation is just metres from the beach, and diving and snorkelling is world class.
The little known island of Pulau Tenggol is located about 30 kilometres from the hotel and offers great diving where turtle sightings are common. The sweeping sandy beach at the hotel also welcomes turtles every year who return to nest between April and September. Alternatively, if on more of a budget and preferring an island experience, stay on one of the islands offering a relaxed vibe at a lower cost.
Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.
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.
Tanjong Jara is a beautiful resort styled on a typical 17th century Malay palace. Located on a one and a half kilometre stretch of sandy beach, fringed by palm trees. The 100 rooms are decorated in rich timbers and local fabrics and face either the South China Sea or the landscaped gardens. All are just stepping away from the beach and ocean and all have access to the choice of restaurants, pools and spa.
Steppes helped me recover my lost camera from Kuala Lumpur airport. Fantastic service involving lots of extra work on my behalf, not only collecting it but returning it to my home address.
Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.
Dry and warm weather prevails across most of the country, with the only exception being the east coast and its islands. A great time to head to the beaches of Langkawi, or explore the capital Kuala Lumpur.
Steer clear of the east coast, but elsewhere the weather is perfect for exploring. It’s a quieter time of year, so you can be spontaneous.
Great weather across almost all of the country, as the weather picks up on the east coast. An exciting time to explore, with Chinese New Year too.
A popular time to travel as the majority of the country basks in sunshine. There is a chance of showers on the west coast, but no significant rainfall.
The start of the snorkelling and diving season on the east coast, as the seas calm on the white sandy beaches of the tropical islands. The chances of thunderstorms on the west coast increase but there is still plenty of sunshine.
Snorkelling and diving become more popular, with many areas on the east coast enjoying hot, dry weather now. The rainy season begins on the west coast, but generally, showers are short and won’t impact your holiday too much.
With the start of European school holidays and beautiful weather on the east coast, it is peak season. The west coast is windy, seas are rough, with some heavy showers.
Prime time on the east coast continues, and it can be hard to book your favourite accommodation. It is hot and humid on the west coast, with some downpours.
The weather on the east coast starts off well, but deteriorates as the month goes on. Seas become choppier, and hence visitor numbers drop. Conversely, on the west coast, the weather starts to improve, as the rain abates and sunshine becomes the norm again.
The east coast is preparing for high winds and heavy rain now. Langkawi and Penang on the west coast start to bathe in the sunshine as the month progresses. This can be a good time to visit as it is quieter.
The east coast is virtually closed now, but the west coast is kicking into life. At the start of the month, you can easily find accommodation and pick your favourite place.
The east coast accommodation is now closed until March. Similar to November, but the west coast gets busier on the build-up to Christmas.
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