Fusing ancient tradition with contemporary culture, Malaysia is a country of green mountains and glistening sands. The capital of ‘KL’ is the peninsula’s powerhouse but the pace slows on the offshore islands, while adventure awaits in the lush interior. Multi-ethnic with mouthwatering cuisine, Malaysia is more efficient than Indonesia, cheaper than Singapore and one of Asia’s most manageable destinations.
A roaring Asian tiger who knows how to have fun, ‘KL’ is capital of the country in every sense. Shopping in the malls is a full time pursuit for wealthy locals but far more engaging are the rowdy wet markets, teahouses of Chinatown and backstreets of Little India. To avoid the grid-lock, ride the monorail around town and tick off Petronas Towers and the old colonial core before taking a breather in the bird park.
The cultural mix of Malays and Indians, Chinese traders and British expats is ingrained across the city and influences everything from their open attitudes to eclectic architecture. Safe and sociable, the city centre brims with bars and restaurants, serving everything from Malay curries and Singapore noodles, to Chinese dumplings and New York cheesecake.
Highlands and islands, jungles and cities, this lush finger of land has Thailand at its base and Singapore at its tip. From the capital of KL you could nip to the historic port city of Melaka or with more time, head north to the tea plantations and scarlet strawberries of the Cameron Highlands. For a more intrepid adventure, head north to the ancient forest of Taman Negara for canopy walking, kayaking and caving.
A short boat ride away, idyllic islands lie just off the coast and are home to compact towns and the peninsula’s best beaches. Just off the west coast, the white sands of Langkawi, street food of Penang and colonial houses of Georgetown top many people’s lists, while the quieter east coast islands of Perhentian and Redang are on the bucket list for scuba fans.