Malaysia comprises ‘Peninsula’ (mainland) and ‘East’ (Borneo) and is a mix of a modern nation with developing country. This presents a very appealing travel destination: one that functions superbly on great infrastructure and technology but doesn’t cost the same as somewhere like Singapore.
Peninsular Malaysia is home to the majority of the country’s population and houses the capital – Kuala Lumpur. A mountain range runs the length of the country dividing the relatively urbanised, rich west coast with the less developed east. Across a narrow country, the landscape changes dramatically from low level coastal resorts to hills and mountains. East Malaysia is made up of the northern third of the island of Borneo – Indonesia occupies much of the south and Brunei a small pocket on the north coast – and is less populated but very rich in natural resources. The climate is tropical but, being close to the Equator, temperatures do not vary significantly throughout the year.
Jungle occupies much of East Malaysia and, although incredibly humid, isn’t actually that hot. Taking time to explore some of the pristine national parks on Borneo is something we really encourage, as is a climb of Mount Kinabalu. For eager trekkers, it is a wonderful 2 day expedition.
Beaches with warm ocean waters provide ample diving and snorkelling opportunity and we recommend everyone visits the Orang Utan rehabilitation centre in Sabah to view these gentle primates at close quarters.Back on the mainland, Kuala Lumpur is a vibrant, modern, safe city with much to offer but don’t stay more than a couple of days for other cities like the slower paced Ipoh or Penang.
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