Holidays to vibrant Malaysia

Untamed beauty abounds in the tropical rainforests of Borneo, while mainland Malaysia dazzles in a different way…

Malaysia offers up some of the world’s most spectacular scenery, plus one of the few remaining orangutan populations. It’s a country split into two regions – East Malaysia and West Malaysia (or Peninsular Malaysia) – separated by 400 miles. The two largest states, Sabah and Sarawak, make up East Malaysia. They occupy a portion of the rugged, tropical isle of Borneo – a paradise for wildlife lovers.

With so much variety packed into such a relatively small area, you’ll feel like you’ve had several trips in one during holidays in Malaysia. On the mainland the ultra-modern capital Kuala Lumpur keeps pace with the biggest and the best of them, while sleepy colonial towns and cool tea plantations ease on the brakes. Borneo, jungle clad and garlanded by coral reefs and tropical beaches, is home to a veritable kaleidoscope of creatures great and small.

West Malaysia is south of Thailand and north of Singapore, and it’s where you’ll find the country’s renowned capital, Kuala Lumpur. There’s something for everyone here. In the centre, there’s a mix of futuristic skyscrapers, slick hotels, and shopping malls, while the surrounding suburbs celebrate the country’s many different communities, and pack in street food markets, mosques, and temples.

Sun worshippers flock to lovely Langkawi, a series of 99 isles in the north of West Malaysia, or Penang Island, in the west. Both are blessed with white, powdery sands and forested hills, plus a diverse marine life – the waters in these parts are teeming with rainbow-hued fish, finless porpoises, and humpback dolphins.

East Malaysia is located on the northern part of the island of Borneo. Here you’ll find sprawling rainforests packed with wildlife, as well as beautiful beaches, towering mountains and vast caves. One of the few remaining places to see orangutans in the wild, you can also spot proboscis monkeys, pygmy elephants, sun bears and plenty more besides.

Malaysia is a country in Southeastern Asia, south of Thailand and north of Singapore and Sumatra. Half the country sits partly on the Malay Peninsula south of Thailand and the other half is located on the island of Borneo.

Malaysia’s currency is the Malaysian ringgit

British nationals do not need a visa to visit Malaysia, and will normally be given permission to stay for 90 days on arrival. Your passport will need to be valid for six months from the date you arrive.

It’s wise to stay up to date with the vaccinations you need as usual at home (flu, for example) but there are no compulsery vaccinations for travel to Malaysia.

Tipping in Malaysia is not expected as a surcharge to cover the service is usually applied to a restaurant bill, but if you would like to leave extra it is appreciated.

Malaysia is seven hours ahead of the UK.

Malaysia’s official language is Malay, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas.

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