Exploring Malaysia

Malaysia is made up of two main regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia, which are separated by the magnificent South China Sea. Bandar Sunway is on Peninsular Malaysia, which takes in 11 states and two federal territories (Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya). East Malaysia consists of two states (Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo) and a third federal territory, the island of Labuan.

All in all, Malaysia adds up to endless sandy beaches, diverse tropical forests, stunning highland vistas and caves, historical trading centres and countless other reasons to explore what’s around you on a day trip or longer visit.

Langkawi Island, Kedah

Langkawi is a well-known cluster of 99 islands off the coast of Kedah, on the north west of Peninsular Malaysia. It boasts amazing beaches, five-star hotels, diverse mangroves and bargain, duty-free shopping.

Perhentian Island, Terrenganu

Pulau Perhentian (stopover islands) is a small, beautiful and relaxing group of islands, popular with backpackers and situated 21 kilometres off the coast of Terengganu on the north-east side of Peninsular Malaysia.

Tioman Island, Pahang

Thirty-two kilometres off Peninsular Malaysia’s east coast, you’ll find the perfect place for an idyllic beach stay. You can visit the many villages dotted along the coastline, including Salang, Tekek, Genting, Paya, Juara and Tioman Village, whose rich greenery and animal life have featured in National Geographic documentaries.

Taman Negara (national park)

Spreading across the three states of Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu, this ecosystem is one of the world's most rich, complex and old - estimated at at least 130 million years. It offers river cruises, jungle trekking, cave exploration, a canopy walk, observation hides and simple huts, built high above ground, where you can spend the night.

Matang Wildlife Centre, Sarawak

Located in Kubah National Park about 35 kilometres from Kuching in East Malaysia, this large enclosed area of rainforest is a sanctuary for endangered wildlife, including orangutans. You can observe the training program that teaches orphaned and rescued orangutans how to survive on their return to the wild. The centre is also home to sun bears, sambar deer, civet cats and three large aviaries, which house sea eagles, hornbills and other native birds.

Kinabalu Park, Sabah

The 754-square-kilometre Kinabalu Park in East Malaysia is a highland heaven that hosts an extraordinary diversity of orchids, ferns, butterflies, bats and other species. It also includes the magnificent Mount Kinabalu and Mount Tambayukon, which are among South-East Asia’s highest mountains and have a fascinating geological history.

Tree Top Walk, Kedah

Get where the action is and take a 50-metre-high stroll through the jungle along this 925-kilometre canopy walk (yes, the world’s longest). It’s located in the rapid-rich Sedim River Recreation Park in a quiet, all-natural corner of Kedah in north-west Malaysia.

Cameron Highlands, Perak

Visit sprawling tea plantations and butterfly, strawberry and honey-bee farms at Malaysia's largest highland resort. Take tea and scones at Tudor-styled country inns, a tradition dating back to the days when English colonial officers used this hill location in north-west Malaysia for a cool getaway. Bird-watching, trekking and walks through friendly villages are also popular activities.

Genting Highlands, Pahang

Just 50 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur, the Genting Highlands are literally a cool (and popular) place to escape the city heat. Perched at the top of the highlands at 2000 metres, Genting city offers visitors high-altitude magic shows, ice-skating, shopping, theme parks, eateries and a casino.

Siti Khadijah Market, Kelantan

Named after Prophet Muhammad's entrepreneurial wife, and run mostly by women, this market will give you a taste of life in Kota Bahru, the capital of Kelantan in northern Malaysia and not far from the Thai border.

St. Paul's Hill (A'Famosa), Melaka

Built during the 1511-1641 Portuguese colonization of Melaka on Peninsular Malaysia’s south-west coast, the A'Famosa fort was critical to Portugal’s maintenance of its colonial foothold in the Far East. The fortress was almost destroyed during a seven-month attack that left only the entrance façade and church structure at the top of the hill. Melaka City, which overlooks the Straits of Malacca, is full of British, Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic and other influences that reflect its trading-port history.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Penang

Built by master craftsmen from China in the 1880s in Georgetown, capital of the north-west island state of Penang, this famous indigo-blue courtyard house was the residence of Cheong Fatt Tze, a wealthy trader and prominent figure among the many Chinese, who made Penang their home. Georgetown is famous for the quality and diversity of its food and the many beautiful old buildings that reflect its rich, multicultural past.

Sarawak Cultural Village, Sarawak

Sarawak Cultural Village is located at Pantai Damai on the Santubong Peninsula in East Malaysia, where you’ll find some of Sarawak’s best beaches and the impressive Santubong mountain. The village was set up to preserve and showcase Sarawak's cultural heritage. It’s a ‘living museum' where you can attend nightly ceremonies and drink the potent tuak rice wine.