The catchy tourism slogan ‘Malaysia, Truly Asia’ continues to ring true as this country really is a crossroads for so many Asian cultures. Muslim Malays, religiously diverse Chinese, and Hindu and Muslim Indians live here, along with the indigenous people of Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo. Each culture has its own language and practices, which you can appreciate through a packed calendar of festivals and a delicious variety of cuisines.
The icing on Malaysia’s verdant cake is the chance to encounter wildlife in its natural habitat. The most common sightings will be a host of insects or colorful birdlife, but you could get lucky and spot a foraging tapir, a silvered leaf monkey, or an orangutan swinging through the canopy. The oceans are just as bountiful: snorkel or dive among shoals of tropical fish, paint-box dipped corals, turtles, sharks and dolphins. Even if you don’t venture outside the urban centers, there are excellent opportunities for wildlife watching at places such as the KL Bird Park or Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center.