AGODA Gears Up Malaysia as Asia’s Best Kept Secret in Southeast Asia
Geographically, Malaysia is almost as diverse as its culture. 11 states and 2 federal territories (Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya) form Peninsular Malaysia which is separated by the South China Sea from East Malaysia which includes the 2 states (Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo) and a third federal territory, the island of Labuan.
One of Malaysia's key attractions is its extreme contrasts which further add to this theme of ‘diversity’. Towering skyscrapers look down upon wooden houses built on stilts while five-star hotels sit just meters away from ancient reefs. Rugged mountains reach dramatically for the sky while their rainforest-clad slopes sweep down to floodplains teeming with forest life. Cool highland hideaways roll down to warm, sandy beaches and rich, humid mangroves.
Listed as the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site since 2008, George Town in Penang was undeniably the heritage city in Malaysia. This capital city of Penang pulsates with life and receives many visitors from all over the world who wish to experience its unique architectural and cultural townscape, which is without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia. It also offers everything for a successful meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition.
For a heady mix of culture, tourists may visit to George Town, the capital city of Penang, where the street and hawker food scene remains a dominant draw for locals and tourists alike. While there, check into the Seven Terraces Hotel, a row of houses converted from 19th Century Anglo-Chinese terraces and now decked out in opulent Peranakan Chinese furniture. Located only a stone’s throw away from Chulia Street, the hotel is within walking distance to a haven of local hawker fare, eateries and watering holes.
Head on to an adventure and travel to the quaint town of Raub, Pahang from June to August when the durian harvest is plentiful. While there, stay at the Casabrina Vacation Villas, a beautiful and serene villa surrounded by lush greenery. Apart from hunting down the best durians, there are plenty of in-house activities like white water rafting and jungle trekking and hunt down Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower.
Malaysia certainly punches its weight when it comes to churning out world renowned celebrities from the list of veterans TVB actress Mimi Chu and Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Michelle Yeoh, who played the infamously rich family matriarch in the recent Hollywood blockbuster Crazy Rich Asian; to Datuk Jimmy Choo, co-founder of iconic luxury fashion brand donned by the stars of Hollywood, each of these celebrities hold one thing in common, they hail from the bustling town of Ipoh. Known for its whimsical appeal, Ipoh has plenty of sights, sounds and smells to keep you occupied. Check in to HomestayIpoh – Octogon for a lovely weekend exploring all that the town has to offer.
Not to be missed and standing majestically at 4,095 meters in Sabah, Mount Kinabalu is one of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia and Malaysia’s pride and joy. The summit climb takes two days and one night to reach Mount Kinabalu’s prominent peak. A glimpse of the epic sunrise vistas from the summit will be worth the trek.
Those seeking a less heart-pumping getaway can check into the Spring Garden villa in Kundasang which provides unobstructed views of the mountain. The villa is also located a stone’s throw away from the UNESCO Kinabalu Park where the world’s largest collections of flora and fauna abound.