Malaysia sits in a unique position. The closest nations surrounding the country are Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. However, none of these nations seem to have a massive impact on the culture of Malaysia. It’s somewhat taken on board the style of Singapore which is the island city-state that is connected underneath it. It’s pro-business and has a lot of Western influence in terms of the way it does business, trades with the rest of the world and even right down to the fashion and architecture.
Yet we have to admit as travelers we don’t often think of Malaysia as one of the nations to visit when it comes to East Asia. Maybe the cultural impact on our shores isn’t that great or it could just be that not easy to access. The main way for getting into Malaysia via Thailand is to hop on a plane. Very few people are willing to drive down hundreds of miles. However, when you catch a flight it’s a long ordeal along with the hassle of checking in and airports etc. But if you make the trip down whichever way, here are some experiences that might make you stay.
Millions of years old
This part of the world has so many old things that are yet to be explored. Chief among them is the 130 million-year-old rainforest that sits on the smaller portion of the country. It’s smack in the middle, with hundreds and hundreds of miles of pure green forests. It’s been known to be so vast that explorers are given forewarning of the dangers of getting lost. However, some of the rainforest has been made hospitable. Taman Negara is a colossal national park, which is on the Malay peninsula and closer to eastern side of the nation. The best way to enter the rainforest if you want to make progress quickly is to enter via Kuala Tahan. The river is incredibly long and comes up from the south and veers off towards the east. How you do this is to get on a canoe which many locals will happily give you a ride on as it’s one of the main ways they earn a living. However, once you’re in the park there are many canopy walkways, some that just cross large divots in the landscape and others that cross overflowing rivers. The treks up through the jungle at night are not something you will forget in a hurry. There’s quite literally no light pollution, so you can sit and watch the stars in all their glory.
The modern capital
Kuala lumpur is a great example of how East Asian countries have adapted so well to the modern world. The architecture, sights, skyline, businesses and many other things are on par with many Western nations. Here you can find some of the best Malaysia cuisine in the world. Slightly more subtle than Chinese food, you can expect to taste some broad spices that have a more flat flavor. Of course, there are restaurants that provide incredible fried rice dishes, but there is a notable appetite for more Western food as well. The Petronas Towers are truly an incredible sight to witness. They were once the tallest buildings in all of Asia and topped third in the overall world rankings. If you are an entrepreneur and want to start a small business, this city will happily accommodate you and your ambitions. The fashion is Western with the usual brands such as Nike, SuperDry, Gucci and many others being the most popular. You don’t have to live in the city if that’s not your thing because around the outskirts are quieter areas. Take a look at the various damansara damai house for sale. Some of the more cheaper ones are 699,000 RM which will get your four bedrooms and three bathrooms. All of these homes have modern decor and almost all of them are well over 1,000 square feet. This specific area is between the capital and Petaling Jaya the smaller city on the Western side of Kuala Lumpur. So you can have a choice of working in both and easily commuting to either side as well.
The various paradise islands
Quite clearly Malaysia is in the hotter climate. Although it does have very humid and misty rainforests, it also has mesmerizing beaches. In fact, many of these beaches show the small islands that are just off the coast. A couple of them are the Perhentian Islands. These are used for resorts and those that want to go somewhere that looks and feels like paradise but still be looked after in their hotel. There are plenty of resorts that are side by side each other on the map, but they are all spaced out to give the guests room. As you can imagine, the best thing about these resorts is the access to the turquoise blue waters.
At the Coral View Resort also have an expert masseuse that will gently crush all your stress and tension away. You can also expect to eat marvelous cuisine made by expert chefs. The small homes themselves have beach decor but others can have a completely modern decor. Lounge around on your own veranda or you can head down to the small harbor where you can book yourself a boat ride all around the islands for a day. Great steps are taken to make sure your privacy is not compromised and you’re welcome to use your time how you please. The two islands are on the eastern side of the Malay peninsula making them far from major cities. Therefore no loud commercial jetliners will be disturbing your peace and quiet either.
Malaysia is a bit of a grey area for many. It’s not quite the mainland experience of Asia but it’s also not a truly tropical journey either. It’s a bit in between but as you land you can see that it’s a very modern place to do business. The skyline of the capital city will keep you looking up, but the rainforest will surprise you even more.
Book your trip now
Are you ready to book your trip? To help you get the best deals and service here are the companies that I personally use to book all of my travel online. I always shop around before booking anything, but these are my tried and tested starting places.
- Skyscanner – I’m a bit fan of Skyscanner, it is who I use to book all of my flights. I often will check other like Google Flights or Momodo, but I always go here first and it is who I book 99% of my flights with.
- Booking.com – I LOVE booking.com especially when I can book and cancel free up until a certain point, mostly because my plans are forever changing. It’s easy to use and has one of the widest selections.
- Airbnb – I’m not a huge user of Airbnb, but sometimes I do like to use it, and I ALWAYS check it before I book anything else. You can get some really cool places to stay here, and it is especially good in places like Cuba. If you don’t have an account and you click on this link then you will get $36 off your first booking.
- Hostelworld – If you are looking for hostels then this is a great place to check first. They often have additional places that you won’t find on Bookin.com.
- Agoda – Although I don’t use it as much as booking.com, Agonda is especially good if you are traveling in Asia as they really do dominate there.
- Worldpackers – If you want to travel on the cheap and save money on accommodation then you need Worldpackers in your life. You can read more about it here. If you click this link to sign up and use the code CLAIRESITCHYFEET then you can get a 40% discount on your membership!
- Book a Way – If you are traveling in Asia and want to pre-book your transportation then bookaway.com is a fantastic site to do so. They have buses, trains, and cars.
- RentalCars – Looking to rent a. car while you are away? I always book through Rental Cars as they do a search of all of the big sites and find the best deals.
- Welcome Pickups – Very occasionally getting from the airport to my accommodation is a total pain in the butt, or I’m traveling in a group and it makes sense to arrange a pickup. When I do I use Welcome pickups.
- World Nomads – If you are looking for flexible travel insurance then it’s World Nomads all the way. I wrote all about insurance here if you want a more thorough review.
- SafetyWing – AsI’m a Digital Nomad and not moving around quite so much anymore I personally use SafetyWing now for my health insurance. I wrote a full review here.
- Viatour – Sometimes it can be a little expensive, but I like Viatour for somethings, especially if you can get a discount code! It’s also great for inspiration.
- Klook – If you are traveling in Asia, then Klook is great! You can book all kinds of tours, activities, and train tickets, plus they even have sim cards and WiFi.