Bygone times and trappings of modernity meet laidback coastal vibes and natural treasures in Malaysia.
Malaysia doesn’t need to try too hard to lure travellers. Its heady blend of immense beauty, intoxicating old-world ambience and multicultural melange essentially sells itself. An authentic Malaysian experience is one flush with flavour and history amid beautiful surrounds. From the remote beaches of Langkawi and high rises of Kuala Lumpur to a rich platter of tradition in Penang, Malaysia is a cultural cocktail to be savoured.
Renowned for its historic highlights, rich customs and forward-thinking innovations, Kuala Lumpur is often the first stop on a Malaysia itinerary. One of the main drawcards of the capital is, of course, its excellent cuisine. The food-obsessed city may be renowned for hawker halls and frenzied food markets, but there’s a world of 5-star flavour high above street level too. Take your pick from modern fusion menus at Troika Sky Dining; indulge in authentic Italian at Marini’s On 57, the city’s highest rooftop bar; and sink back a few beverages in a sunken alcove overlooking the Twin Towers at the ever-popular SkyBar. Get high on city views as you escape the crowds and head to the clouds, a cocktail in hand and the sunset on the horizon.
Just as Kuala Lumpur is a contrast of humble street fare and the high life, Penang is a captivating blend of East and West. Known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, this is where mosques sit beside Chinese temples, Little India is home to both curry stalls and Italian coffee houses, and seaside treats include lively marketplaces and serene stretches of sand. The highlight of this vibrant island is George Town, the capital and historic hub. George Town is a hive of activity, and those who set off with a curious eye will be rewarded with architectural highlights as well as chic cafes and unassuming street food stalls. Don’t miss the island views from the 60th-floor of the Komtar Tower after a day of retail therapy below.
Adding to Malaysia’s already long list of places to explore is the family fun park, Legoland Malaysia Resort in Johor, the first of its kind in the country. An ideal destination for families and adrenaline junkies alike, Legoland is home to more than 70 rides, slides, shows and attractions. From the heart-racing to the highly imaginative, water park rides to theatre productions, there’s something here for kids both big and small.
When the adrenaline of Legoland wears off, enter a haze of beach days in Langkawi. An archipelago of islands north of Penang, this paradise is known as the ‘Jewel of Kedah’ for its pristine white beaches and tropical rainforest landscape. Walk the Langkawi Sky Bridge, suspended above the jungle canopy, cruise above the treetops on the cable car to Mount Mat Cincang, or simply spend some time relaxing and reclining by the seaside at one of the many beachfront resorts.
Whatever your style of exploring and wherever the travel bug takes you, Malaysia’s patchwork of rich experiences and beautiful destinations is sure to satisfy.