Getting there: regular flights from major world cities to Kuala Lumpur International Airport
What to see: Kuala Lumpu, Petronas Twin Towwers, Batu Caves, Taman Negara National Park, Tioman Island
Currency: Malaysian ringgit
Official language(s): Malay, English
Malaysia, known as one of the most mellow, laid back countries in all of
Southeast Asia, is also one of the most fascinating for travelers.
Dynamic and wealthy, yet friendly and welcoming, it is an admirable melting pot of Malay, Chinese and Indian flavors and cultures - amid the stunning natural beauty of its island beaches, mountains and national parks.
Malaysia's contrast of modern and traditional more evident than
in its capital, Kuala Lumpur, where the skyline is dominated by the soaring Petronas Twin Towers (currently the second tallest skyscraper after Taipei). Perhaps more dramatically, these cosmopolitan towers overlook a bustling city that remains home to a colorful mix of ages-old architectural styles and thriving ethnic markets.
Kuala Lumpur, or "KL" as it is known by the locals, is also a good jumping-off point for exploring the rest of the country, made up of a string of islands in 11 states in the Malaysia peninsula and two states in northern Borneo.
For a taste of mystery and natural beauty, the nearby Batu Caves is a good day trip from the capital. Other must-sees include Penang Island and its capital city, Georgetown, offering an impressive mix of culinary delights and fabulous beaches.
At left, the Petronas Twin Towers dominate
the Kuala Lumpur skyline at dusk.
Among Malaysia's handful of protected preserves, Taman Negara National Park northeast of Kuala Lumpur offers a complete adventure including riverboat trips and jungle safaris for watching gibbons, peacocks and elephants frolicking in their natural habitat.
Heading south, also don't miss Tioman Island, (the fabled "Bali Hai" in the 1958 film version of South Pacific), which remains a beautiful mix of mountains, dense rain forest, and gorgeous tropical beaches.
DID YOU KNOW? Malaysia Travel Fun Facts
Warning: elephant crossing
• There are signs warning motorists to watch out for elephant herds that cross the scenic East-West Highway.
• Sunway Mall in Kuala Lumpur is distinguished by its Egyptian-inspired architecture and a 2-story high sphinx that guards its entrance.
• In Sabah on Borneo Island, the Gomantong Caves is where swiftlets make their famous nests, which are the main ingredient in Bird's Nest Soup.
More about Malaysia travel & tourism around the Web:
Elsewhere on the Web, find out more at top travel sites featuring how to's on getting around including plane and ferry schedules, packaged tours, hotel and restaurant recommendations plus related help
with tailoring your own tropical island-hopping adventure ....
Malaysia - Stunning, colorful and interactive guide with
focus on Malaysia's cultural diversity with restaurant information
& contact details, Malaysian recipes, top destinations by
state, city, or special interest, searchable database of hotels
& resorts, fast facts and travel tips, event calendar.
Travel Guide - Wikitravel entry with an extensive look
at major destinations, national parks, a guide to the islands
plus more on the country's history and culture, tips on getting
there and getting around by plane, train, ferry, bus or car, food
recommendations, health & safety tips, related resources.