Touch down in Malaysia and you’re greeted by a unique and unorthodox skyline. Modern skyscrapers, sparkling minarets and hints of the city’s colonial past jostle for position, dwarfed by the towering Petronas Towers. Make your way to the dizzying sky bridge that connects the pair and see this hive of activity stretch out before you.
The Cameron Highlands, in the centre of the peninsula, is the nucleus of Malaysia’s tea industry and a great place to learn about its tea producing past. It’s a rural setting filled with hill stations and rolling tea gardens that tower 6,666 feet above sea level. We recommend a walk into the Mossy Forest of Gunung to spot rare and exotic flora like orchids, ferns and aromatic spices.
If you’re craving long sandy beaches, you might want to consider Langkawi. It’s one of only four inhabited islands in an archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea and home to Southeast Asia’s first UNESCO Geopark. There’s plenty to see and do here. Mangrove safaris will bring you up close with eagles, monitor lizards, monkeys, walking fish, fiddler crabs, bats, vipers and otters. There are fabulous golf courses plus opportunities for water fall hikes, village tours, deep sea fishing, snorkelling and diving.
Wherever you visit, Malaysia’s personality is a huge draw. A blend of Malay, Chinese and Indian, indigenous cultures and customs. Wander the vibrant streets of Malacca, a city that has changed hands many times in the past, its skyline a rich patchwork of juxtaposed buildings. One thing that has never changed is the sunset; turning the Malacca River gold before your eyes.
When to go
Malaysia stays hot and humid all year round, particularly in the capital and on the west coast. September and October bring more wet weather and you can expect intermittent showers in any season, though not enough to dampen your spirits. Between March and September you’ll find the drier and marginally less humid conditions.