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Malaysia and Borneo Holidays

Where multi-coloured landscapes meet multi-cultural backdrops and thriving biodiversity. From futuristic skyscrapers to wild rainforests and pristine beaches, Malaysia is all that and more.

Malaysia and Borneo

Malaysia offers an immersive experience for all the senses. With one half of it boasting bustling cities; home to futuristic buildings and cutting-edge technology while the other preserves untouched forests with a thriving population of orangutans and clouded leopards; there's certainly plenty in Malaysia. Oh, and the picture-perfect offshore island and beaches, are simply to die for. Dive head first into Malaysia and see all that our fabulous holidays have to offer!

Think verdant tea plantations versus futuristic urban landscapes, sleepy traditional villages against bustling cities, dreamy islands for the ultimate escapism and captivating colonial architecture. All this and much more is Malaysia, with a generous dollop of multi-cultural experiences and wild jungle encounters. In Malaysia you can choose between getting close to orangutans freely roaming in the wild, diving down to colourful underwater world or meeting ancient tribes that time forgot.

Whether you dig deep beneath the surface or choose to do little but lie back on a secluded island flanked by the purest white sands and the most photogenic turquoise waters; Malaysia offers a plethora of enticing options and unforgettable experiences.

Introducing Malaysia

In many ways venturing to wildly beautiful Malaysia is like getting a 2-in-1 holiday experience, not only because this country is, in effect, made up of two different pieces of land separated by the South China Sea; but also because of its multi-cultural, multi-ethnic backdrop, with half the population of Malay origin and large minorities of Malaysian Indians, Malaysian Chinese and Oran Asli (indigenous peoples and the oldest inhabitants of Penisular Malaysia).

The country is divided into Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (often referred to as Borneo) and both chunks of land are as equally mesmerising, albeit in quite different ways. While Peninsular Malaysia is home to bustling cityscapes (including its capital, Kuala Lumpur) and verdant tea plantations.

Deeply interesting and inspiring, the ancient kingdom of Malaysia (now a federal constitutional monarchy) has much to lure the curious traveller and adventurer with, as well as plenty of inviting downtime options for those seeking a beachside respite from the modern world. So, let's take a look at a few of the many options on offer – how to best experience Malaysia? Let's count the ways.

Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi

The perfect culture & beach holiday combination

The buzzing capital of Kuala Lumpur is one of Malaysia's most popular destinations, and with such a striking skyline, such an array of futuristic sights (towering skyscrapers, cutting-edge technology) and such fantastically varied (and super tasty) street food to match, it's little wonder why many make an obligatory stop here.

When you tire of the mind-boggling contrast between futuristic buildings and traditional Mogul-style domes, the fantastic shopping, the exquisite blend of cuisine and the intoxicating, frenetic pace of Kuala Lumpur, you can head to a quiet beach town haven like Langkawi and sink into a world of beachside bliss.

An archipelago of 99 islands off Malaysia's northwest coast, Langkawi is the epitome of barefoot island perfection, fringed by lush hills and offering some truly spectacular scuba diving for those wishing to immerse in the depths of its rich waters. This duty-free island is also the liveliest and most visited in all of Malaysia with a wide variety of resorts, shops and restaurants.

Borneo

Wild rainforests, indigenous tribes and traditional island life at its purest

The world's third-largest island (and Asia's largest) certainly packs a powerful punch in terms of attractions. Despite being the slightly less visited side of Malaysia's two halves, there's much to entice visitors here; for completely different reasons. Precisely because Borneo has been left alone by mass tourism, the island's rich biodiversity continues to flourish and its rainforests are still home to thriving populations of orangutans and clouded leopards. It's here you can get in touch with true wildness and also meet the charming local population at traditional villages like Sarawak and Sabah.

If you want to get in touch with Malaysia's indigenous peoples though you must head further inland, where you'll get to mingle with the population of Orang Asli as they show you their way of life (most of which has remained unchanged for centuries) and you learn about their ancient customs, traditions and ceremonies.

Beyond the dense rainforest jungle and the aboriginal villages, Borneo's also home to idyllic beaches, including the famous diving spot at Sipadan Island, an offshore paradise for nature lovers and true adventurers.

Cameron Highlands

A green blanket of tea plantations and strawberry farms

There's more natural beauty to Malaysia than its wild rainforests and protected wildlife. It comes in the form of vast blankets of lush nature, rolling down steep hillsides and slopes in a sea of green that will simply take your breath away.

We're talking about the famous tea plantations and strawberry farms in Cameron Highlands, from where you can, not only appreciate the stunning beauty of Malaysia's biggest, most amazing tea plantations (namely the Boh Tea plantation at the Boh Tea Estate) and strawberry farms, but also enjoy a scenic hike, interact with local growers and immerse in a whole other world of misty wonder and discovery.

After you finished your hiking journey you can enjoy a freshly brewed cup of tea while sampling some of the locally grown strawberries. Now, that's we call a sweet ending.

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Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has appointed a new Resort Manager at the Four Seasons Resort Langkawi in Malaysia. Melissa Tang has taken over the role at the luxury resort, after spending the last four years at Four Seasons Hotel Guangzhou in two management roles. Tang brings more than 20 years of hospitality experience and knowledge to the new role.

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A new tourism tax has been enforced in Malaysia that will see foreign tourists pay a flat rate per room per night at hotels across the country. The RM10 ($2.30) flat rate will apply to all hotels in the country, from budget to luxury, but it will not be applied to properties with five rooms of less, homestays and village stays. Domestic tourists will be exempt from the tax.

The Guardian recommend budget hotels in Malaysia

Malaysia is fortunate in having a long coastline with numerous beautiful beaches. The Guardian recently picked ten of the best of the country’s beach resorts for budget travellers. Among the picks are basic wooden chalets with shared baths and comfortable resorts with modern amenities. Whatever your pick, you’re sure to be charmed by the natural beauty of Malaysia.