Stunning Malaysia dazzles and delights with its handsome landscapes and rich melting pot of cultures.
The nation is split into two main sections – Eastern Malaysia on Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia on the mainland, which attaches to the southernmost tip of Thailand. Both sectors share similar landscapes featuring coastal plains which rise to inland hills and mountains.
Although Islam is the main religion, religious freedom is encouraged, often resulting in a colourful juxtaposition of mosques, temples and churches. The amalgamation of vivid Chinese temples, Indian festivals, laidback village life and indigenous Borneo tribe culture creates a gloriously diverse tapestry that’s hard not to admire. Visually Malaysia has much to offer; the palm-fringed, ivory beaches of the east and west coasts rival those found in southern Thailand, but with the added bonus of being less frequented. Inland is a different story – the rolling green hills and cool climate of the Cameron Highlands provides picture perfect scenery and a welcome break from the Malaysian heat.
The cities are wonderfully vibrant too; on the south coast lies the sultry capital of Kuala Lumpur with her sheer skyscrapers, giant shopping malls and designer bars. The city is ever-evolving, yet it retains its traditional roots, and its modern skyline is punctured by minarets. Away from the capital, European-style colonial architecture can be found in the cities of Malacca and George Town.
The wide range of cultural influences left its mark on the food, and the country is nothing less than a gastronomical paradise. From Indian curries, Chinese-Malay dishes and street food through to fine Western dining, Malaysia’s food landscape is almost as impressive at its geography.
Malaysia’s not just a pretty face either – since its independence it has become a thriving economic power, and the Strait of Malacca which runs between Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra is one of the most important thoroughfares in the world, carrying about 40% of global trade.
12 hours 35 minutes
Best Time To Go
December to April