Split between two totally separate parts, Asia’s Malaysia is made up of land on the Malay Peninsula as well as two large states on the island of Borneo. Although many people forget about Sabah and Sarawak when they think about Malaysia, they each add to the wonderful diversity that is Malaysia.
There are loads of reasons to visit Malaysia; to whet your appetite here are 7 reasons why Malaysia is absolutely amazing!
1. Gorgeous Beaches and Islands
Malaysia boasts some truly outstanding beaches and small islands off its coastlines. Because many people head to the more famous islands of nearby Thailand, this means that Malaysia’s gems are often a lot quieter too! With powder-soft white sands and the warm ocean waters caressing the shores, if you’re a beach bum you’ll definitely love Malaysia!
One of the most popular is lively Langkawi Island. To the north of peninsular Malaysia it has lots of facilities for guests, heaps of places to eat and drink, a handful of local attractions, and it’s a completely tax-free island!
Other great spots about the peninsula include the peaceful and laid-back Perhentian Islands, located of the eastern part of the peninsula, the upmarket Redang archipelago, Batu Ferringhi on the large and diverse northern island of Penang, and glamorous Tioman Island.
Once you head across to Borneo there are even more jewels – in and around Sabah the beaches of Kota Kinabalu, Sipadan, with its world-renowned diving, Sapi Island, and the achingly picturesque Mabul Island are sure you keep you happy. Sarawak boasts the large and beautiful Bruit Island, wildlife-rich spots like Salang and Talang Talang Island, and the pristine Santubong Island.
2. Fascinating Nature and Wildlife
The island of Borneo is the only place in the world where orang-utans live in the wild – head to either Sarawak or Sabah for a chance to see the enormous orange distant cousins of man. The lush rainforests are also home to an abundance of other creatures, such as the curious looking proboscis monkeys, macaques, colourful birds, Borneo pygmy elephants … and more! You may even spot the largest flower on earth – the striking rafflesia – as well as being able to admire fascinating rock formations and explore stunning caves. The island’s tallest mountain is in Sabah – the majestic Mount Kinabalu.
On peninsular Malaysia there are many more spectacular national parks, including Kuala Selangor, Teman Negara, Endau Rompin, and Penang National Park.
3. Delicious Cuisine
With influences from many different cultures, the food in Malaysia is wonderfully tasty. The main influences are from Malay, Chinese, and Indian groups, although you will also see flashes from Indonesia, Thailand, Portugal, Britain, Holland, and the traditional fare from the different tribal groups on Borneo.
The staple food is rise, although noodles and different types of bread are also widely eaten. Some dominant flavours include shrimp sauce, chilli, and coconut.
Various meats, vegetables, herbs, and spices are used to create mouth-watering meals, and tofu is also commonly used to bulk out meals.
Some top meals to try include the dumpling like ketupat, nasi ulam, a tasty rice salad, oyster omelette, murtabak, which is a stuffed roti, and the sweet and spict puttu. Of course, there are numerous curries, soups, and rice and noodle dishes to tempt your taste buds too – it really is difficult to go hungry in Malaysia!
4. A Vibrant Capital
Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur may not seem to offer much as first glance, but dig a little deeper and you’ll discover an exciting city that blends old and new. The gleaming Petronas Twin Towers are a must-see for first time visitors and you can travel up to the connecting bridge for amazing city views. Other interesting sights include the colourful Sri Mariamman Temple, the modern National Mosque, the historic Masjid Jamek, Merdaka Square, and the bustling Chinatown. There are theme parks within easy reach of the city centre, and shopaholics will be in their element with a rich combination of thriving markets and gleaming malls. An excellent public transport system makes getting around the city easy.
5. Culture Galore
It would be impossible to try and list all the fascinating places to enjoy a wonderful cultural experience in Malaysia! For starters though, head to the Sarawak Cultural Village set in the rainforest where you can learn more about the notorious headhunters and see traditional long houses. A stroll around historic Georgetown in Penang is another fab experience, and the colonial buildings of Malacca are a sight for sore eyes.
6. Fun Aplenty
There are modern theme parks, exciting water parks, world-class golf courses, modern zoos and aquariums, pumping night spots, and many more ways to have fun outside of your sightseeing trips and typical vacation activities. Cut loose and unwind and allow yourself some time to recharge with some good old laughter and giggles.
7. Cool Spots
Although there are heaps of cool spots in Malaysia, here cool is referring to the temperature. If you’re feeling a bit hot and bothered head to the stunning Cameron Highlands, where not only can you enjoy some incredible views and outdoor activities, but the elevation also means that the temperatures are lower than in other parts of the country. You’ll probably need to pack a sweater! Hike through the rolling tea plantations, visit strawberry farms, admire cascading waterfalls, see a glimpse of olde-worldy England in the heart of Malaysia, and escape from the sticky relentless heat for a few days!
Let these 7 reasons why Malaysia is absolutely amazing tempt you to this wonderful and spectacular Asian country!