Defined by its unique blend of Malay, Chinese and Indian influences, Malaysia is a country of two halves divided by the South China Sea. There are fewer greater cultural melting pots in the world than South Asia’s rising star, a nation bursting with jungles, rainforests, and tribal villages.
Revealing a colonial heart beneath its signature stainless steel and glass skyscrapers, Kuala Lumpur – dominated by the iconic 1,453-foot Petronas Towers - is a capital city where size does matter. Head here for achingly hip bars, glitzy shopping malls, fascinating museums and outdoor bazaars where bargaining is de rigueur.
For an idyllic beach retreat, head to Langkawi, an archipelago of around 99 islands off the west coast offering swathes of white sand back by crystalline waters. Diving fantasies are realised on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia where adventurous souls can seek out reefs, pinnacles, hard and soft coral, a few wrecks, and plenty of fish and shark action, especially between June to October when the visibility is good.
Malaysia is a trip for the senses and a cultural stronghold. Discover limestone caverns dripping with stalactites at the Batu Caves, tour the splendid tea plantations in the Cameron Islands, and savour some of the best fusion cuisine in foodie paradises Penang and Malacca - the nation’s oldest city.
For exceptional jungle experiences head to Malaysian Borneo. Kayak through rainforests on a meandering river, seek out primates such as orangutans and endemic proboscis monkeys, climb up spectacular canopy trails, and trek through vast expanses of dense tropical rainforests.