As evidenced by its large population of expatriate workers, Malaysia is an extremely popular Southeast Asian travel destination. A foreigner-friendly, culturally interesting place, Malaysia also boasts great weather, white-sand beaches, snorkelling and diving opportunities, top-class shopping and dining options, and a wealth of unmissable sights and attractions.
The west coast of Malaysia is home to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's glittering, cosmopolitan capital city. The city abounds with excellent sights and activities for tourists, from the lofty Petronas Towers, to the nearby Batu Caves. Kuala Lumpur is also a world-famous shopping destination and a gastronomic delight, as various national cuisines combine to offer a wealth of options for the adventurous palate.
The east coast is predominately Muslim, and boasts several easy-to-reach tropical islands (such as Sibu and the Perhentian Islands), offering snorkelling and diving off white-sand beaches. In the north of Peninsula Malaysia several hill resorts offer a welcome respite from the heat and humidity of the coast. Hill resort holidays in Malaysia are becoming increasingly popular, and visitors have a good selection to choose from: The Cameron Highlands is the most refined, Fraser's Hill the most tranquil, and the Genting Highlands the most developed of Malaysia's hill resorts.
Nature-lovers will not want to miss East Malaysia, a rich and varied tropical island teeming with outdoor and watersport opportunities in the twin states of Sabah and Sarawak. Visit Kinabalu National Park, an area so full of biodiversity that it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or else head to Sipadan Island and experience what are widely considered to be the best diving and snorkelling sites in the world.
Best time to visit Malaysia
Malaysia has a humid tropical climate, characterised by high temperatures all year round. The monsoon season (November to February) brings heavy rain to the peninsular region. The best time to visit Malaysia is between April and October. Bear in mind that if you're suffering in the heat down at the coast, the highland region in northern Malaysia is significantly cooler.
What to see in Malaysia
What to do in Malaysia