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Malaysia’s rapid growth, multi-lane highways, spectacular theme parks, sprawling malls and glitzy cities might take you away from many of its real charms, but head over to the countryside or simply visit one of those colorful markets in its big cities and you realize that this is a country that is full of culture and traditions. British, Chinese, Indian, Malay, Dutch and Portuguese cultures intertwine to form the basis of Malaysia, and each culture has left its mark on the local customs, traditions, cuisines and architecture.
A trip to Malaysia always feels like you’re visiting two different countries. One that has beautiful colonial-era architecture, enchanting tea plantations and world-class cities and the other that has vast ancient jungles, remote tribes and beautiful granite peaks.
- See the capital city from the sky bridge of the Petronas Towers
- Climb your way into the Batu Caves
- Explore the stalls of Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown
- Visit some of the world’s last wild orangutans at Semenggoh Nature Reserve
- Indulge in the bright colours of Kek Lok Si temple
- Hang out with pit vipers at the Snake Temple in Penang
- Walk across the Langkawi Sky Bridge
- Malaysia is made up of two regions: West or Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. When travelling between them, be mindful of the fact that West and East Malaysia have different cultures, including different dialects and different religions.
- Eating with your hands is encouraged in Malaysia, and it’s rare that you’ll be given a knife with your food.
- Don’t show the soles of your feet or the bottom of your shoes, such as by crossing your legs. It’s considered disrespectful.
- It can be difficult to get reliable, fast internet outside the city of Kuala Lumpur (KL).
- Public transportation in KL is easy to use but frequently runs late, so give yourself plenty of time when travelling.
- Don’t be afraid to try the street food when in Malaysia. Vendors are held to a high standard, particularly when compared to other Asian countries. Keep an eye out for durian (though you’ll probably smell it before you see it!).
Malaysia has seasonal weather so please do check up on the best time to visit Malaysia before planning your tour.