Malaysia is an exotic mix of cultures and offers a rich diversity of attractions, from the beach to the rainforest. It covers the two geographical areas of the Malaysian Peninsula and the northern section of the island of Borneo. You will find fantastic food representing the mix of Chinese, Indian and Malay cultures and you can decide whether to spend your days relaxing on a tropical island, or enjoying the sights, sounds and shopping of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital. As there is a good exchange rate between the United Kingdom and Malaysia, you will find that when you arrive, there are plenty of bargains to be had in the local market. Your Malaysian holiday may not cost as much as you think and it will certainly provide you with a holiday to remember.
Flights to Malaysia from the UK both depart and arrive in a number of destinations. Depending on where you are in the UK, you could be flying out from London Gatwick, Belfast City, Edinburgh, Manchester or Newcastle, to name just a few. Destinations in Malaysia include Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu and Penang. The main airlines that offer flights to Malaysia are Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Etihad and KLM, so make sure you research and compare available offers well in advance. You are also more likely to find cheap flights to Malaysia during the week, as there are flight supplements on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Flights to Kuala Lumpur arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which is about an hour's drive from the city centre. Visitors without a car could catch the KLIA Ekspres train, which takes 28 minutes to reach the city.
The only way to reach East Malaysia, located on the nearby island of Borneo, is by plane. There are no ferries between the peninsula and the island. Malaysia Airlines is the main provider of domestic flights, while budget airline Air Asia also offers domestic flights. The cheapest form of transport in Malaysia is the bus. Catch a local bus to get around when you're in towns, and opt for an air-conditioned private bus for long distance trips. To make things smoother, book your tickets and reserve your seats in advance. On the Malaysian peninsular, there is a well-serviced and reasonably priced rail system. KTM Berhad is the major rail provider, and you are able to purchase tickets online, as well as view timetables and seating availabilities. For a much more comfortable experience, especially if you are travelling long distance, choose a 1st or 2nd class sleeper, as these will be air-conditioned. 3rd class sleepers only have fans. Driving in Malaysia is not as problematic as it is in other Asian countries where the road rules seem to fly out the window. The roads are of good standard and the country has an extensive network of highways that link the major regions. This is a good option for those wanting to see more of the countryside and travel at their own pace.
If you are arriving in Kuala Lumpur, take the time to explore Malaysia's largest city. Kuala Lumpur has developed over the years to become a hub of international trade. Indeed, Malaysia's multi-cultural flavour can be prominently witnessed in Kuala Lumpur, with Malay, Chinese, Indian and British influences all apparent. Spend your day wandering through the shops and the markets and then enjoy the vibrant nightlife. For first-class views of the city, head to the observation deck at the 421 metre tall Kuala Lumpur Tower. Malaysia's natural beauty is also worth exploring. Kinabalu National Park, situated on the west coast of Sabah in East Malaysia, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the impressive Mt Kinabalu. Those wanting to climb the mountain must be accompanied by a guide, while for anyone wanting to hike through the park, a container of salt is a must: the park's rainforests are home to a large number of leeches! Off the west coast of the Malaysian peninsula is the Langkawi archipelago, made up of dozens of islands. Here you will find some truly stunning beaches. Tanjung Rhu, with its white sand and azure water, is the most popular, while you will not be disappointed if you stop by the more secluded Pantai Kok beach. For a more active outing, visit Pantai Cenang, which is near to a large number of hotels and shop and has many water sports to engage in.