Top Destinations for 2015: Malaysia
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Malaysia: a haven for everyone from scuba-divers, jungle explorers, rock-climbers and all-round adventure junkies to those who want to spend their days wandering through local markets, soaking up thousands of years of history in temples, and relaxing on isolated white-sand beaches. The country, which includes part of orang-utan spotting heartland Borneo, is home to three of Asia’s oldest civilisations (Chinese, Indian and Malay), is over-run with UNESCO World Heritage sites, boasts 500 million-year-old tropical islands, and even has the world’s longest canopy walkway – if your head for heights can handle it. Split across two landmasses that are separated by the mystery-shrouded South China Sea, Malaysia is sandwiched between the many islands of neighbouring Indonesia – a location that puts it right in the tropical heart of South East Asia. If you think Malaysia sounds like a paradise, you’re probably right – and with 2015 being the Malaysian Year of Festivals, we thought it’d be a good time to include it as one of our Top Destinations. Come and join us to find out why... Where to go Kuala Lumpa It’s almost certain that you’ll fly into Malaysia’s capital city, and the bright lights of KL will serve as an exciting introduction to the country. Visit the Viewing Deck of the Petronas Twin Towers (the world’s highest twin structure) for a panoramic view of the city, before crossing the skybridge – similarly, the highest two-storey bridge on the planet. Later, immerse yourself in local culture in Chinatown and Little India. Make sure you check out the Art Deco Central Market for a world of Malaysian food, art and local souvenirs. Sabah/Sarawak Across the South China Sea from KL, Malaysia’s eastern landmass (which it shares with Indonesia, taking the northern coast) is home to the states of Sabah (in the north) and Sarawak (in the south). Both boast national parks, treetop canopies and scuba-diving opportunities galore. The island as a whole is one that you might have heard of - Borneo, anyone? Islands There are almost 900 islands in Malaysia, as well as over 500 offshore “geographical features” – including rocks, ridges and sandbanks – which can make choosing where to visit a mammoth task. For rough guidance, though, we’d recommend heading to the largest and most tourist-friendly, especially if you’re on your first visit to Malaysia. Borneo (which is shared with Brunei and Indonesia), is the third largest island in the world, whilst Penang and Langkawi are also firm favourites with those sampling their first taste of Malaysia. What to do Embrace the Year of Festivals
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