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Malaysia Holiday - Malaysia Travel & Tourism

People and Culture of Malaysia

Endowed with one of the richest reserves of tropical flora and fauna, Malaysia is an idyllic tourist destination. Dense forested hills across Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo slope down to golden beaches and sparkling blue waters, supporting a wide spectrum of wild life and vegetation.

Welcome to the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, towering 1,483 ft above the ground. Rising up 88 floors, it accommodates the corporate headquarters of leading national and multinationals. 25 kms further south, drive into Putrajaya, Asia's first "intelligent garden city", sporting technology driven architecture amidst sylvan surroundings.

This is multifaceted Malaysia, zealously guarding its natural riches while feverishly moving towards being a first world power. For a tourist, Malaysia offers limitless opportunities for recreation and enjoyment.

Straddled across the South China Sea, Malaysia has two distinct parts, with a number of islands off its eastern and western coasts. No matter which of the 13 states you travel to, you'll find this harmonious amalgam of nature and technology.

Places to visit in Malaysia

As you start your trip in Kuala Lumpur, visit the botanical and bird parks located in the Lake Gardens - 92 hectares of rolling lawns enclose a thousand varieties of orchids, almost 6000 butterflies and as many birds, and a deer park. The city's Central Market is a veritable culture capsule of Malaysia, showcasing the country's pewter and batik crafts, dances, shadow puppet plays and the like. The National Museum styled along the lines of a Malay palace traces Malaysia's history and culture. If you're interested, you can even pick up the rudiments of batik painting from the locals if you happen to visit suburban homes in KL.

If you're a history buff, don't miss the trip to Malacca, about 150 kms from KL - Malaysia's colonial past is well encapsulated in this old trading port. Again, a short drive from the capital will take you to the Batu Caves dedicated to the Hindu God Lord Muruga which draw devotees in thousands during the Thaipusam festival.

KL by night is ablaze with lighted structures - get a panoramic view of the city while dining at the Seri Angkasa restaurant on the Petronas, or take a stroll down the nightmarket in Petaling Street.

While still on the Peninsula, you can choose to visit Penang, Langkawi, Johor, Terengganu or Perlis, each with an experience difficult to match.

To catch the magic of Johor, drive 220 kms down south to its capital Johor Bahru. If you want to be a part of the expansive plantations of pineapple, rubber and palm, and live the quiet "kampung" life for a day, opt for a homestay programme - it's an experience you will always cherish! The Endau-Rompin National Park will enthrall you with its raw beauty and rich reservoir of wild life, while the Tanjung Piai sanctuary, on the other hand, is a mangrove forest by the coast, and worth a visit.

As for beaches in Johor, head for Desaru, 25 kms to the south east where you can indulge in canoeing, catamaran sailing and water skiing, or the Danga Bay, a neo-age waterfront city which combines shopping and entertainment. Off Johor's eastern coast are a cluster of islands which are ideal for diving.

Terengganu lies on Peninsular Malaysia's east coast - its beaches and beautiful islands are enchanting - visit Kapas if you want to try your luck with squid fishing, or Lang Tengah, where you can revel in the stunning marine life. Or, take a cruise down the Marang River through the mangrove swamps to the Yak Yah Riverbanks, for an encounter with monitor lizards and firefly colonies! More into the heartland, watch out for those creepy-crawlies hiding furtively behind the sticks and leaves at the Taman Negara national park.

Penang on the western coast remains the most coveted destination for tourists. Its lovely beaches, quaint monuments and thriving flora and fauna are legendary. The Kek Lok Si Temple atop Air Itam is South-east Asia's most magnificent Buddhist temple complex, while the Snake Temple with its aura of myth and intrigue draws curious crowds. Fort Cornwallis, War Museum, Penang Museum, St George's Church and the Kaoitan Keiling Mosque are other much frequented venues in Penang. For nature enthusiasts, there is enough to explore at the National Park, Butterfly Farm and Bird Park.

Malaysia tour is incomplete without a trip to Langkawi, an archipelago of about 100 islands, renowned for their heavenly beaches and dense virgin rainforests. A cruise around the islands would be the best way to enjoy them. You can hop on to some of them to explore their treasures - the Telaga Tujuh has a waterfall that drops seven levels, forming a pool at every level before it cascades down. At Gua Cherita, seek out the ancient caves, or simply idle away at the languid beaches of Pantai Kok, Pantai Cenang, Pantai Tengah, Datai and Burau Bay.

Across the South China Sea from Johor is the other half of Malaysia, the island of Borneo. Nature again takes centre stage here where the culture of the indigenous people and the vibrant history of its ex-rulers have collectively contributed to all that makes Sarawak / Sabah a heady tourist destination in Malaysia. The abundance of nature parks sustain a staggering variety of wild life, including the lovable Orang Utan, who can be more closely observed at the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre.

The list can go on and on…there's so much to see, and do here - Selamat Datang! Experience Malaysia!


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