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Family Holidays in Malaysia And Borneo

For an exotic family holiday filled with unique experiences or a relaxing beach break in tropical paradise, Malaysia ticks all the boxes.

Malaysia for families

For family holidays full of wild encounters and jungle adventures, tropical beaches or cultural experiences, Malaysia has got it covered. Its unspoilt offshore islands and coastal towns have hidden depths – thriving coral reefs and wildlife-rich rainforests – perfect for a beach break with a healthy dose of outdoor adventure.

Its rainforested national parks of awe-inspiring caves, waterfalls and rivers are well set up to welcome travellers of all ages with treetop walkways and eco-lodges. Families can also find comfortable resorts in Malaysian Borneo where they can venture out to spot incredible animals such as orangutans in their natural habitat.

Family fun in Malaysia

The museums, temples and squares of Malaysia's modern cities such as Kuala Lumpur and heritage towns such as Penang and Malacca are ideal for families to explore on a rickshaw tour, while stopping to browse colourful local markets is always a memorable experience in Malaysia.

For some light relief from the tropical heat, people have been heading up to the hill stations of the Cameron Highlands for centuries. A handful of colonial manors have been transformed into excellent hotels from which families can explore bushy green hillsides of tea, strawberry farms, butterfly gardens and cloud forests. You can visit Orang Asli villages with thatched stilted huts and meet the villagers who have held on to their tribal identity and traditional hunting techniques.

Using the smart international hotels of modern cities such as capital Kuala Lumpur and Kuching as a base, families can explore cave temples, wildlife sanctuaries and tribal villages to create amazing and unique memories together. The Batu Caves, for instance, are not-to-be-missed for families staying in Kuala Lumpur. Situated just beyond the metropolis, the weird and wonderful cave temples are a major Malaysian attraction that are intriguing to visitors of all ages.

Borneo is a mysterious and exotic island of natural wonders and ancient traditions divided up between Indonesia, Malaysia and the Kingdom of Brunei. Here you'll find some of the world's rarest and most majestic creatures. Families can get up close and personal with orangutans in sanctuaries and go on wildlife-spotting tours to seek out quirky animals like proboscis monkeys. A highlight of visiting Malaysian Borneo, families can meet the native orangutans in a safe and natural environment at Semonggoh wildlife sanctuary. The lush forested reserve just outside Kuching is home to wild and orphaned orang-utans.

In the northern Borneo state of Sabah, you can also visit the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park to see rare sunbears, proboscis monkeys and orangutans in large comfortable enclosures, as well as troops of gibbons, a herd of elephants, and Malaysian tigers and large otters. To see the orang-utans in the wild, consider a trip to the Danum Valley, which boasts the largest concentration of the great apes in the world, and stay overnight at a gorgeous rainforest lodge. From hotels in Kota Kinabalu, families can take a thrilling day trip to Malaysia's highest peak – the mighty Mount Kinabalu – surrounded by dense jungles that can be explored on canopy walkways and nature trails, and featuring natural hot springs where all the family can take a dip.

Families staying on Malaysia's idyllic islands will find no shortage of natural attractions. The unspoilt island of Langkawi, in particular, has a cable car and sky-walk between precipitous peaks and Asia's first UNESCO-listed geopark, which encompasses limestone karst caves, forested mountains, waterfalls and exotic wildlife that can be explored on guided tours. Owing to the vibrancy of Malaysia's island reef systems, snorkelling is another popular activity for families, and many resorts have dive and watersports centres offering instruction and equipment.

Aside from stirring views and natural wonders, families can find theme parks in Malaysia too. Asia's Legoland in Johor is the epitome of manufactured fun for all the family with theme park rides, a water park and a lego-style hotel for overnight stays. On the Malaysian Peninsula mainland opposite Singapore, it's the perfect stop for families twinning a stay in Singapore with a break in Malaysia.

Family-friendly resorts

Between green-humped peaks and white sand gently shelving into glowing emerald waters, the Four Seasons Resort Langkawi has a heavenly location, and is ideal for families. Its two bedroom villas with private plunge pools overlook the ocean, and the hotel has a fantastic range of facilities and activity options to keep everyone happy.

On Tioman island on Peninsula Malaysia's eastern seaboard, the peaceful and family-orientated Berjaya Tioman Resort has a similarly stunning situation between verdant peaks and emerald-tinted waters, with turtle watching and top-notch snorkelling a stone's throw away. Also on the east coast, the Taaras Beach Resort on the island of Redang has an array of family-friendly activities such as group snorkelling, nature walks and feeding the local wildlife.

Families travelling to see the natural wonders of Borneo will find a fine second home at the Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa in Kota Kinabalu. It caters well to families with a range of activities and facilities, plus Mount Kinabalu national park, rainforests and wildlife sanctuaries are within easy reach by road.

Families will find high-quality hotels in Malaysia's cultural hotspots too from Malacca and Penang to the Cameron Highlands and Kuching. In Penang, the Hard Rock hotel is a fun place for families to stay with luxury facilities and lots of activities to delight young and old. Beautifully chic yet child-friendly, the colonial heritage Cameron Highlands Resort is the perfect base for families to explore the undulating terraces of the surrounding green tea plantations and make forays to fruit farms and forests.

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