Malaysia is a country sliced into two by the South China Sea. The island of Borneo is home to natural delights such as orangutans and dramatic mountains while peninsular Malaysia is home to the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, a melting pot of Chinese, Indian and Malay culture. Malaysia is one of the safest and easiest countries to visit in Southeast Asia, according to Lonely Planet.
Sun and Sand
For those looking for a beach getaway, visit Pulau Langkawi, the largest of a group of 99 islands known for its beautiful natural attractions. Home to long, sandy beaches and hills covered with tropical jungles, Pulau Langkawi is one of Malaysia's top tourist attractions. While many tourists visit and shop at the island's main town, Kuah, or stay at a resort, take a trip off the beaten track and visit traditional Malay villages there with their rice paddies and water buffaloes.
A visit to Malaysia's Cameron Highlands will take you to a fertile region known for its tea plantations. Named for William Cameron, the surveyor who mapped out the region in the 19th century, the area is home to rolling green hills and forests. Tourists can hike on trails through the jungle, visit rose gardens, see ancient temples and marvel at waterfalls. The Cameron Highlands does receive steady rainfall year round, so prepare for wet weather if you plan on visiting.
The island of Penang was the first permanent settlement for the East India Company on the Malay peninsula. Today it's main city, Georgetown, is a melting pot of Malay, Chinese and British culture where you can enjoy delicious Malay curries and take a ride on a bicycle rickshaw while enjoying colonial architecture. While in the city, take time to visit some of the Chinese and Indian temples.
Kinabalu National Park
When visiting Borneo, stop at Kinabalu National Park. This 754-sq-km is a reminder of the lush rain forests that used to cover the northern end of Borneo. It is also home to the towering Mt. Kinabalu, the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. Go in the morning as the peak is often shrouded by clouds by the afternoon. Take one of many trails in the park and after stop for a dip at the Poring Hot Springs.
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