Malaysia is often described as the ‘gateway to Asia’ and it’s no wonder; this country borders Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore and the Philippines and really does have it all – delicious local cuisine, stunning coastlines and quiet getaways.
Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur is a metropolis of more than 6.5 million people. It’s a beautiful city, where historic temples sit alongside modern skyscrapers. Kuala Lumpur is dotted with quiet green parks, and historic sights like the colonial centre at Merdeka Square. Chinatown is another place every traveller should visit. The Petronas Twin Towers is one of the best known landmarks, and reaches almost 500 metres above the ground. Take in the views from above, by taking the elevator to the top.
Pulau Redang is one of the largest islands off the coast of Malaysia. Take a boat from Merang or Kuala Terengganu and step ashore onto the stunning, white sandy beaches. Most people take the opportunity to go scuba-diving or snorkelling and take in the many coral reefs and sea turtles and fish that make the island so special. Onshore, take one of the many walking tracks that weave through the rainforest. Most walks can be done in an hour or so, and are a perfect to explore the flora and fauna.
Dubbed “The Historic State”, this seaside city has thousands of years of history. Melaka City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, split by the impressive Malacca River. Jonker Street is also worth a visit; turning into a buzzing stip of market stalls and restaurants most nights of the week. Try the Hai Nan coffee or laksa. Melaka’s Chinatown is full of temples and shops. You can also take a cruise on the river. These leave regularly from two city jetties.
The Cameron Highlands covers an area the size of Singapore. A sea of rolling green hills and tea plantations gives way to impressive forests. Small townships are scattered amongst the greenery. This is the perfect place to escape for a few days, and take in the charm offered by these quaint villages. If you’re a fan of tea, make sure you stop by one of the local tea houses. These local haunts offer the perfect location to enjoy afternoon tea with commanding views of the mountains and forests.
Taman Negara is Malaysia’s largest national park. If you’re lucky you might catch glimpses of the Asian Elephant or Sumatran Rhinoceros. For something special, take an overnight trek or a boat trip along one of the rivers. There are plenty of local guesthouses and resorts in Kampung Kuala Tahan. The best time to visit the park is in the dry season, between February – September each year.
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