There is a strong commitment to diversity here (Malaysia’s tourism slogan is ‘Malaysia Truly Asia’) that is lacking in other countries in the region. As well as Malays there is also a sizeable Chinese and Indian population in Malaysia which is reflected in the architecture, culture, and most importantly the food, which is a true mash-up of all these different influences that many say make this one of the great foodie destinations in the world.
Top picks in Malaysia
The capital city of Kuala Lumpur is not to be missed, as unlike many other big cities, it is not just a soulless hub, but has distinct areas like Little India that are well worth exploring, if only to sample the delicious food. If you also want to get your fill of swish shopping malls, stunning skyscrapers like the Petronas Twin Towers, and a huge range of cafes and bars before you head off further afield, then this is the place to do it.
If you are looking for the cultural heart of Malaysia then many would say that you need to head to Malacca which is only a two hour drive away. The area saw colonial periods that involved the Dutch, the Portuguese, and the British, and many of the buildings from these times still stand.
For a completely different vibe again move on to Penang Island on the west coast where you can wander around historic Georgetown or head down to Batu Ferringhi if you want some time on the beach.
Langkawi and the Perhentian Islands
You will find diving and snorkeling options on Langkawi and the Perhentian islands, so if you want some time away from the city then both of these offer azure waters and warm sands.