Malaysia is one of the most fascinating countries in the Southeast Asia. The vibrant Malay culture is an intriguing intermingling of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and indigenous cultures. Malaysia is one of the premier holiday destinations in the world, which is situated in the center of the South-East Asia and this beautiful country is geographically segmented by the South China Sea into Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Malaysia is a land rich in biodiversity. Interesting species of flora and fauna can be found in the rivers, highlands, mangroves, coastal areas, and swamps. The beauty of this country led to the filming of the Oscar-winner “Indochine”, the Hollywood blockbuster “Anna and the King”, etc.
Chinese New Year, Good Friday, Malaysia Water Festival, Wesak Day, Dragon Boat Festival, Independence Day, Hungry Ghost Festival, and Malaysia Day are some of the interesting festivals celebrated in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia and it is the perfect place to start your sightseeing trip in Malaysia. You can make a trip to Malaysia at all through the year, but it is best to avoid the rainy season in November to January. Malay is the official language of Malaysia. English is the second major language spoken in Malaysia. There are 137 other languages spoken in Malaysia, some of which are Iban, Dusunic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Fuzhou, Tamil, Thai, Malaccan Creole, Chavacano, etc.
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Malaysia is an enchanting tourist destination and here you will get ample scope for a memorable holidays. You can reach Malaysia by plane, train, bus, by boat, and even by walking.
You can easily reach Malaysia by air from all around the world. The Senai International, Penang, and Kuala Lumpur International are three prime airports in Malaysia. For traveling within the country, Malaysian airlines offer arguably the lowest fare. The Berjaya Air operates flights from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. It has its own airports on the resort islands of Pangkor, Redang, and Tioman.
You can reach cities in peninsular Malaysia by rail route from either Singapore or Thailand. Malaysian Rail offers daily train service crisscrossing the entire length of the country. The trains which connect Malaysia and Thailand are Direct sleeper train services, managed by the State Railway of Thailand, which links Bangkok and Butterworth near Penang. The Malaysian Railways run trains between Hat Yai and Kuala Lumpur. You can also avail train from Singapore, which is also the southern terminus of the Malayan Railway network. The route between Kuala Lumpur’s LRT and monorail systems, as well as the express ERL services between KLIA and Sentral Station are noted for their speedy journey. There is a government operated KTMB, which offers inexpensive and generally dependable services around Peninsular Malaysia. Tourists use the Jungle Railway services to reach Taman Negara National Park (Jerantut) or the Perhentian Islands.
Malaysia has a sound highway network and there is the North-South Expressway from Singapore reaching the Thai border. There are buses/coaches which ply between Malaysia and Brunei, Indonesian Borneo, Singapore, and Thailand. The bus service between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is very comfortable. In fact, the luxury of these buses is at par with the first class air flight. You can also cross borders by road as it is allowed from southern Thailand and Singapore into Peninsular Malaysia, as well as from Brunei and Kalimantan (the Indonesian side of Borneo) into Sarawak. You will require an International Drivers Permit (IDP).
The left driving is followed here and you need to be though extra careful while choosing the option for transportation in Malaysia by road, as in big cities like Kuala Lumpur you may face reckless motorcyclists, and immense traffic jams. Though outside the cities conditions are much better. You can also take a taxi for getting around.
The reliable bus companies such as Transnasional and NICE/Plusliner offer services getting around the country. It is advisable you should use 24-seater “luxury” buses for long-distance travel.
An amazing option but it’s true, you can also walk using the Causeway between Singapore and Johor Bahru at the southern edge of Malaysia. Distance can be covered by foot in/out of Thailand at Wang Kelian and Padang Besar, Bukit Kayu Hitam (Kedah), Pengkalan Hulu (Perak), and Rantau Panjang (Kelantan).
Ferries link various points in Peninsular Malaysia with Sumatra in Indonesia and southern Thailand, Sarawak with Brunei, and Sabah with East Kalimantan in Indonesia, and Mindanao in the Philippines. You can also avail luxury cruises, which ply from Singapore and sometimes Phuket (Thailand) to Malaysia.
[stab name=’Entertainment Options’]There are a host of options for entertainment in Malaysia, the fact is which one you want to choose, or you want to try all of them. Ranging from bustling nightlife to activities like golf, diving, whitewater rafting, river safaris and cruises, cave exploration or mountain climbing and angling, bird watching, and Paragliding.
If you have the fascination for a rocking nightlife, then come to Kuala Lumpur at Bangsar, or at Phileo Promenade. You will find here pubs, karaokes, and night clubs jam-packed even on weekdays. You can also try out Hard Rock Café KL, which is located at the Ground Floor of Concorde Hotel, if you love hard rock.
You may also visit the Sunway Lagoon. This is the focal point for fun and revelry and it also has the record of being the country’s first international standard water theme park. This combination of Water Park and the Adventure Park has some thrilling rides. The Toboggan, Double Twister, and surf pool can be enjoyed in the water park, while in the adventure park,there is Sky Flyer, Runaway Train, and the Flying Carpet.
Mines Wonderland is a dream come true as here you can experience snow in the tropical weather of Malaysia. It is spread over 150 acres and offers snow, sun, and beach – all in one location. This is definitely not to be missed while on tours of Malaysia.
Some other options for fun in Malaysia are:
- Golfing holidays are a rage with the tourists, as there are several world class golf courses here
- Malaysia’s marine parks are ideal for diving and offer marine sights to the world.
- Whitewater rafting in the Padas and Kiulu rivers.
- River safaris and cruises are another mode of entertainment in Malaysia and you can enjoy enchanting rides at Melaka, Kuala Berang in Terengganu and Taman Negara, and Lake Chini in Pahang and Sarawak.
- Cave exploration is an added attraction and here you can discover caves dating back to the Stone Age. They are Gua Kolam in Perlis, Gua Tempurung and Kundu in Perak, Batu Caves in Selangor, and Gua ikan in Kuala Krai, Kelantan
- Mountain climbing at Gunung Jerai in Kedah, Gunung Korbu’in Perak, and Gunung Tangsi in Negeri Sembilan for beginners, or mountains of Sabah and Sarawak for challenging climbs.
- Or indulge in bird watching and find Mountain Peacock Pheasant, or a Malayan Whistling Thrush
- Bag some prize catches like Giant Snakehead, the fast running Malaysian Jungle Perch, the GiantFeather back, and the elusive but powerful Malaysian Mahseer, or the Black Marlin. Yellowfin Tuna, Bigeye Tuna, and Dogtooth Tuna on angling tours.
- Enjoy interesting rides at Legoland Malaysia or the Lost World of Tambun amusement parks.
- Watch interesting marine exhibits at the Aquaria KLCC.
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The most interesting places to try out in Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur are:
- Cameron Highlands: Malaysia’s most expansive hill station where the temperature hardly goes below 10 degrees or above 21 degrees celsius.
- Penang, Langkawi: A tropical paradise kissed by the bright sun rays and gently touched by the waves of the Andaman Sea.
- Kuching: Visit Mount Santubong, Kuching Cat Museum, Bako National Park, and Fort Margherita in Kuching.
- Kuantan: Teluk Cempedak, Chini Lake, Darul Makmur Stadium, Berkelah Falls, Batu Hitam beach, and Sultan Ahmad Shah State Mosque are the major tourist places in Kuantan.
- Kota Bharu: Explore Istana Jahar, Temenggor Lake, Jalan Pantai Cahaya Bulan, Muzium Diraja Istana Batu, and Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah, on your tour to Malaysia.
Peninsular Malaysia is the most renowned among visitors and the peninsula is further divided into the East Coast and West Coast by the famous Titiwangsa mountain range. The West Coast is comparatively more developed and cosmopolitan and holds more attractions, while the East Coast takes pride in its simple rustic charm.
Follow these tips for a nice experience:
- Pack light clothes as the weather is warm and humid year round.
- Not all taxi services are good. Check online reviews before you land in Malaysia. The taxis of Kuala Lumpur rank on the list of the world’s worst taxi service providers.
- Instead of bacon, most of the restaurants serve thin slices of pork. You must reconsider your option of munching bacon.
- The Langkawi, Tioman, and Labuan are duty-free islands. Taxes are waived off on hotels and selected goods.
- The UK travel advisory has mentioned about the mosquito-borne diseases as the latest threat to health in Malaysia.
- There is a threat of terrorist activities, including kidnapping and criminal acts on the eastern coast of Sabah. Specifically, the islands near the Sulu Archipelago in the southern Philippines are the terrorism-prone areas.