Bursting with life and colour, Malaysia is an exotic land waiting to be explored.
malaysia is a traveller’s dream. Be it a back-packing globetrotter or a travel connoisseur, Malaysia has surprises tucked away for all. From pristine beaches to breathtaking mountains, lush rainforests to meandering rivers, coral-fringed islands to majestic valleys, Malaysia is a treasure trove of natural beauty. A fascinating holiday destination, it offers a rich, cultural and traditional potpourri, infusing the very best of Indian, Malay and Chinese civilisations.
The already thriving Malaysian tourism industry is gradually branching out into innovative and new areas resulting in the emergence of agro- tourism, educational tourism and medical tourism. The technological advancements,politicalstability,diverse cultural landscape and competitive costs of Malaysia make the environment conducive to learning. The country’s rich natural resources and agro-related activities account for the emergence of the new concept of agro-tourism and tourists are gradually warming up to the idea, including visits to orchards, animal centres, research centres and homestay programmes in their itinerary. The world-class medical facilities and absolute value for money make it a much sought-after medical destination in Asia and globally.
Vibrant towns and cities dotted with towering buildings make up the urban landscape of Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur (KL), its capital, is a city pulsating with life and activity. With a population of nearly 1.6 million, KL represents a mélange of cultures and races. The iconic high-rise buildings and structures such as the Petronas Twin Towers and Kuala Lumpur Tower are juxtaposed against the colonial buildings, creating a delightful contrast.
The main attractions in KL include the National Musuem, Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Merdeka Square, National Palace, National Art Gallery, Masjid Negara and the Aquaria KLCC, to name a few. KL is a shopper’s paradise with something that fits every taste and budget. From high-end shopping arcades to open-air bazaars, KL has it all. It is also the gastronomic capital of Malaysia with an array of options such as gourmet restaurants, coffee houses, delicatessens and alfresco cafés, which will leave you spoilt for choice.
Another popular tourist destination in Malaysia is Langkawi. With delightful beaches such as Pantai Cenang, Burau Bay, Pantai Kok and Pantai Datai and unmatched world- class resorts, Langkawi offers a range of accommodation options to choose from. Among the various 5-star accommodations available, The Westin Hotel Resort & Spa, strategically located 1km from the main harbour of Langkawi, is the perfect place to unwind amidst the idyllic natural setting. Most tourists agree that Langkawi’s biggest attraction is its natural, undisturbed state. The lush rainforests with limestone outcrops, the refreshingly green paddy fields, sea caves and freshwater lakes provide a host of nature-based adventures. Other important tourist attractions here include the Eagle Square, Pulau Payar Marine Park, and Taman Ladenda Scenic Park.
Founded in 1786, Penang is UNESCO’s World Heritage City and the oldest British Strait Settlement. The fascinating city of Georgetown, which once served as the hub of spice, tea and cotton trade from China and India, with its eclectic blend of colonial, Indian and Moorish cultures, is a treat for the senses. Prominent attractions here include Kapitan Keling Mosque, and the Goddess of Mercy Temple. Wat Chayamangkalaram, the temple with the reclining Buddha, is reputed to the world’s best Thai temple.
The states of Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo offer visitors a unique experience with their warm hospitality and green landscapes. Sabah is a global wildlife sanctuary with Kinabalu Park being Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site. Other eco-treasures include Poring Hot Springs, Turtle Island Park, Sepilok, Tabin and the Kinabatangan
River. Kota Kinabalu, a bustling city on the west coast of Sabah, is a gateway to eco-adventures like mountain climbing, white-water rafting, caving, diving and river cruising. Sarawak is the country’s largest state forming part of East Malaysia in Borneo. Characterised by diverse ethnic communities, the major tourist attractions here include the Tua Pek Kong Temple, Sarawak Museum, Fort Margherita, Damai Beach and Sarawak Heritage Village.
A Journey to Remember
To facilitate the easy entry of tourists into the country the Malaysian government has undertaken initiatives such as the Malaysia My Second Home Programme, which allow foreigners who fulfill certain criteria to stay in Malaysia for as long as possible on a multiple-entry Social Visit Pass, which is initially for 10 years, and is renewable. From shopping to trekking, indulging in a delectable choice of gourmet food to just lounging by the bay, Malaysia assures that every minute of your trip is filled to the brim with excitement and you have memories to last you a lifetime.