Head to Kuala Lumpur and the island of Langkawi
KL, as the locals call it, is an enchanting city with a different cuisine on every corner. It is also a shopping mecca.
Stay at the Parkroyal Kuala Lumpur:
The hotel is walking distance from shops and the monorail for easy access to the rest of the city, and has a range of rooms from deluxe all the way through to a suite for families. You can also start the day with one of the best buffet breakfasts in Kuala Lumpur.
In the Golden Triangle area there are more than 10 shopping centres, with shops to suit every budget. Take in a few of the sights including the KL Tower, Batu Caves and the National Mosque.
For dinner, Chinatown is the place to be with food options from street stalls to traditional Peranakan cuisine restaurants. If Chinese-style food is not your thing, Little India is just across the road.
Malaysian food is influenced by multiple ethnicities, which makes it all the more exciting with many flavours and spices. Malaysians take food very seriously and you will be able to taste all they have to offer.
Kuala Lumpur also has a vibrant nightlife with countless options from hip urban bars in the Changkat Bukit Bintang area to cocktail bars in Bangsar.
After the hustle and bustle of KL:
Head tothe island of Langkawi for a few nights to relax. Spend your days by the pool at the amazing Westin Langkawi resort, or splurge on the Danna Langkawi for a treat.
If relaxing by the pool isn’t your thing, head out on a kayaking day tour and experience close up the mangrove jungle ... home to monkeys, eagles, otters and monitor lizards.
The waters around Langkawi are filled with marine life, so make the most of it by jumping on to a snorkelling trip to Pulau Payar.
Kia Ireland – Senior Travel Consultant, Flight Centre Castletown, Queensland
Explore Kuala Lumpur and the neighbouring island of Borneo
A short flight from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur lies the neighbouring island of Borneo, an adventurous getaway to complement a week of sightseeing in KL.
Stay at the Traders Hotel in the heart of KL:
This contemporary four-star hotel has an awesome rooftop bar with views of the Petronas Towers. Grab a cocktail before hitting the street markets for a delicious and cheap dinner.
Start your adventure with a few days in Malaysia’s buzzing capital. Check out the Islamic Arts Museum and the Pasar Seni (Central Market). Have dinner on Jalan Alor before heading around the corner to Changkat Bukit Bintang to hang with the expat crowd at the Green Man or Havana.
About one-and-a-half hours out of KL is the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary where you can learn about elephant conservation.
Next, go to Penang and explore the World Heritage-listed Georgetown. Take a tour of the Blue Mansion, visit the snake temple, wander Chinatown and finish your day at the New Lane Hawker Centre to try some of Penang’s specialties, including lor bak, deep-fried marinated pork wrapped in crispy tofu skins.
Stay at the Lime Tree Hotel in Kuching:
This is a nice, budget-friendly boutique option. Activities: After you’ve had your fill of Penang, hop on a quick flight to Kuching, capital of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, which occupies a huge swathe of north-west Borneo.
In a downpour, head to the free Sarawak Museum, which has a collection of wildlife and tribal relics. When the sun is shining, there are countless day trips including the Fairy Caves, Kubah National Park, Sarawak Cultural Village and Kuching Wetlands National Park.
In Kuching make sure to set aside some time to shop for handicrafts made by the local Dayak and Iban people. There is no shortage of good food and watering holes here – treat yourself to Bla Bla Bla for a sophisticated dinner and then head to The Junk for drinks with the locals.
To get off the beaten path, go to the village of Buntal and enjoy fresh seafood at any of the restaurants lining Buntal’s single street. The black pepper crab and butter prawns are hard to beat.
After you’ve exhausted Kuching, go to Bako National Park, 37 kilometres from Kuching. Bako is accessible only by boat. For serious hiking you’re best to stay overnight (you must book well in advance) but day trips are possible.
Marissa Parkin – Travel Consultant, Flight Centre Artarmon, NSW