This Southeast Asian country is located on the bottom part of the Malay Peninsula and the top part of the island of Borneo. Peninsular Malaysia, aka West Malaysia, is home to the nation’s capital, Kuala Lumpur. This sprawling city is also the country’s cultural, financial and urban center, and possesses a forest of towering buildings.
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East Malaysia, or Malaysian Borneo, on the other hand is teeming with tropical rainforests and wildlife. That’s not to say, however, that Peninsular Malaysia is without nature. In fact, it is where you will find Taman Negara, one of the planet’s oldest tropical rainforests and one of Malaysia’s most visited destinations. Multi-ethnic Malaysia, often referred to as the region’s “melting pot,” is one of Southeast Asia’s most diverse countries, which is reflected in its culture, cuisine and more.
What To Do
Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia’s capital city can seem like an urban jungle of skyscrapers, and the structures that tower over them all are the Petronas Twin Towers. At 1,483 feet, they are the tallest twin towers on Earth. But Kuala Lumpur isn’t all about modern buildings. Here you will also find 50-acre KLCC Park, located at the feet of the twin towers, which is home to Lake Symphony and a plethora of fountains; and Merdeka Square, which is lined with historical colonial buildings.
Penang – The Malaysian state of Penang is comprised of not only Penang Island, but mainland Seberang Perai. The island is home to the state capital, George Town, as well as a plethora of colonial-era buildings and breathtaking beaches.
Langkawi – This archipelago and island escape is overflowing with pristine beaches, tropical rainforests and natural beauty, making it one of Malaysia’s most-visited destinations. Langkawi is home to Kilim Geoforest Park, where visitors will find an expansive mangrove forest and large limestone rocks formed 500 million years ago.
Borneo – Malaysian Borneo includes the states of Sarawak and Sabah. It is a paradise of plants, waterfalls, secluded beaches, rainforests and wildlife. One of its most beautiful attractions is Bako National Park in Sarawak, which has an abundance of wildlife and a coastline teeming with coves, beaches and small bays.
When to Go
The best time to visit Malaysia depends on where you are going. If visiting Kuala Lumpur, aim for May to July when it is relatively dry. If your travels take you to Langkawi or Penang, visit sometime from January through March for the best weather. The best time to visit Malaysian Borneo is between March and October when the island’s its driest.