3 luxurious Malaysian experiences

Malaysia has been in the tourism limelight for many years now, having stolen the stage somewhat from its Southeast Asian counterparts. With a tourist footfall of almost 24 million it’ll come as little wonder that there are a range of holiday experiences to be enjoyed. That said, however, it’s easy to forget amongst all the hustle and bustle that luxurious and relaxing stays are very much part of Malaysia’s holidaying fabric. Here we guide you through a few activities a bit different to the ever popular adventure trip!

1. Indulge yourself in Malaysia’s traditional cuisine. Distinctive Malaysian dishes are prized for their use of flavoursome herbs and spices including lemon grass and a range of different chillies. The nation’s food also benefits from strong Indian and Chinese influences, both of which are ever popular in the West. Arguably Malaysia’s signature dish is ‘Nasi lemak’, which marries the beautiful tastes of rice, curry and anchovies. Malaysia’s street food is safe and delicious, and I always especially recommend the seafood hawkers of Penang. If noodles are your thing then Laksa is sure to delight!

2. Relax on the beach. Malaysia’s beaches have a strong individual identity for many reasons. Not only are they secluded and idyllic but many are set against a backdrop of dense jungle merging into white sands and crystal waters. Throw in a pleasant climate and you have a truly wonderful beach holiday. A special mention has to go to Langkawi too whose beauty has been recognised by UNESCO. The islands off Terengganu’s shore are also divine and largely quiet. Whilst diving would normally be associated with an adventure trip, there are many relaxing beginner courses in and around Terengganu certain to please the luxury traveller.

3. Shopping for traditional goodies. Malaysia has been referred to as a shopper’s paradise for several reasons over the years. Not only are goods exempt from duty in areas like Langkawi and Labuan but Malaysia’s currency (the ringgit) trades at a very affordable price. There are many multi storey shopping malls to be enjoyed, but if this evokes the stresses of home then maybe traditional market shopping is for you. Keep an eye out for Batik – a beautiful Malay silk fabric used for clothing, accessories and homes. Malaysia has a strong history in wood carving so you’ll find many intricate and beautiful souvenirs to take home with you. Terengganu and Kuantan are especially recognised for their craftsmanship and wood work.

Malaysia is about so much more than high rise buildings and complexes; in fact to the discerning traveller it can represent a truly authentic experience. Transport links are good making the states of Peninsular Malaysia very accessible, particularly from Kuala Lumpur. Set up base in a location that takes your fancy then start to enjoy the friendly locals, delightful cuisine and gorgeous beaches!

Sandeesh Mahedvan is a local writer for the Malaysia Explorer.

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Comments (2)

  1. irene says:

    I stayed in Langkawi at the Westin which was fabulous – the hotel is in a spectacular setting with beautiful views a private beach and excellent service. Langkawi is certainly not high rises it was a very relaxing break, beautiful scenary, lots to do if you wanted to and some fabulous restaurants. definitely would recommend.

  2. Karen Scammell says:

    If you want to enjoy the shopping experience go to Berjaya Times Square – the biggest shopping mall I have ever seen – it even has a roller coaster inside!

    I would also like to recommend something you haven’t mentioned that isn’t quite luxury, but deifnitely something great that Malaysia has to offer, which is a trip into the rainforest. Taman Negara National Park has a lot to offer. The sights and sounds of the rainforest are amazing.

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