Malaysia is a country caught between modernity and its traditional roots. This is great for travellers as you can have the best of both worlds - developed infrastructure and fine accommodation combined with cheap prices and some untouched, rugged areas.
On the peninsula part of Malaysia you’ll find fantastic shopping, stunning cities and tea plantations, while on the Borneo side you’ll be surrounded by dense jungles, beautiful beaches and some of the world’s best diving.
Malaysia is an intriguing mix of cultures, including Malays, Chinese, Indian, Portugese and the indigenous people Orang Asli. This has led to an eclectic mix of food, architecture and religion that you can see all around the country.
Sights to See
If shopping is your thing, Malaysia is the place. Kuala Lumpur is a shopper’s dream for clothing, electronic goods, jewellery, watches and so much more. There are dozens of markets, such as Bukit Bintang, that sell very affordable goods, as well as flashy department stores.
Malaysia has some of the best scuba diving in the world on the tiny island of Sipadan. The coastline of Malaysia is much quieter than the cities and offers picture perfect beaches to relax on. The wild jungles and stunning tea plantations are also very photo worthy in areas like the Cameron Highlands.
What’s For Lunch
Nearly every Malaysian village will have its own specialty and it’s recommended to go where the locals go. However, if there’s one thing you must try before you leave it has to be Malaysia’s iconic Nasi lemak – the definitive Malay breakfast consisting of coconut rice, anchovies, peanuts, cucumber slices and a touch of chilli paste.
If You Only See One Thing
Nothing says Kuala Lumpur quite like the Petronas Twin Towers. These skyscrapers reach up 88 storeys and are the tallest twin towers in the world. They are said to symbolise the country’s high-tech ambitions.
Malaysians can be very inquisitive about foreigners so listen out for ‘Asal dari mana?’ Which is a casual way of asking where you’re from.
Most Malaysian markets offer souvenirs galore, and a particularly popular item is the brightly patterned, traditional fabric known as batik.