Straddling the border with Thailand where the Andaman Sea becomes the Malaccan Straits in the extreme north of the country, Langkawi is a laid-back, lazy place that offers a real dose of the tropics.
Riddled with iconic beaches, like the watersports haven of Pantai Cenang, or the secluded, boulder-dotted sands of Pantai Kok, it’s established itself as the place to come for sun, sea, sand, SCUBA, and some pampering.
For the last, you can head to the 5-star all-inclusive resorts that hide in the coconut groves of Datai Bay.
And for adventure, you can pull on the boots and trek to the gushing Seven Wells, or hit the panoramic SkyBridge atop the jungles.
Taman Negara is the sprawling green jewel that sits at the heart of the Malay Peninsula.
Covering a whopping 4,300 square kilometers, it ranges across primeval rainforest (some of the oldest established woodland in the world, some say) and winding rivers where elephants can be spotted basking on the muddy banks.
Today, Taman Negara is being raised to Malaysia’s ecotourism mecca, and travelers come from far and wide to walk the swinging rope bridges, hike the tree-shrouded trails and seek out the likes of the elusive Malayan tiger, cheeky wild macaques, elephants, galumphing guars – the list goes on!
Soaring at a height of over 1,000 meters above the lower reaches of the Malay Peninsula, the hill station known as the Cameron Highlands rarely fails to take the breath away.
It sweeps across the plateaus of the mighty Main Range, midway between Penang and KL, rolling out in verdant pockets of rainforest and emerald-green tea fields as it goes.
The unique microclimate and cool temperatures that dominate on the highlands make the region the perfect incubator for interesting plant and animal life, while oodles of worn hiking routes promise awesome vistas of Batu Brinchang and the ramshackle tea villages, and even cultural encounters with the local Orang Asli aborigines.
The Perhentian Islands have all the good looks and sun-kissed beauties you’d expect of an archipelago set at the entrance to the Thai Gulf.
Encompassed by sparkling dashes of coral reef, they are usually accessed by boat from Kuala Besut.
The location on the east coast of Malaya keeps them void of the same booming crowds that descend on Penang, which is great if you’re after long and lazy days. But that’s not it.
There’s SCUBA diving aplenty, with famous sites like Pinnacle and Sugar Wreck offering great visibility.
There’s jungle hiking paths, where you’ll keep the company of oversized lizards and snakes.
And there are some great fish fries in the evening to boot!