Photo credit: iStock

If you want it all, then go to Malaysia. We’re talking a fast-paced exciting capital city, stunning beaches, diverse wildlife and street food to die for. The one thing to remember about Malaysia, however, is that you won’t get all of these things in the same place, which is when a multi-centre holiday comes in.

Spend some time exploring Kuala Lumpur – or KL as it’s known to its friends – and a few days relaxing on the beach in Langkawi. The street food in Georgetown, Penang, also shouldn’t be missed. Finally a visit to Borneo, for the chance to see orangutans in the wild is the highlight for many visitors and you will be no exception. It’s going to be a busy trip, but one you won’t forget in a hurry!

Kuala Lumpur

When it comes to Malaysia’s bustling capital city, the image that most people are familiar with is the Petronas Towers. While these twin skyscrapers are an icon of KL and offer fantastic views from the 86th floor, the city has many other sides too. Head to Merdeka Square, where independence was declared in 1957, and that is surrounded by historic buildings, such as the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Royal Selangor Club and the Masjid Jemek Mosque.


If you’re looking for a Southeast Asian island where you can truly relax then Langkawi is the perfect option. Think picturesque beaches, numerous places offering spa treatments and plenty of nice restaurants and bars to while away the evenings. If your capacity for lounging is limited then head to Gunung Machinchang, where you can take the cable car up the peak for stunning views of the surrounding area and a walk along the 125-metre curved structure known as the Langkawi Skybridge.

Photo credit: iStockPenang

There are lots of interesting things about the island of Penang and its capital, Georgetown, but the food really is the headline attraction. What makes cuisine in this part of the world so fantastic is the combination of cultures that have had an influence upon it. At any one of Georgetown’s street food hubs you can get everything from Thai to Taiwanese and Nyonya to Indian cooked up fresh at a tiny stall. Gorge yourself on laksa, mee goreng, nasi kandar and roti canai until your heart’s content.


Changing pace once again means heading to Malaysian Borneo and Sabah, which is one of the best places in the world to see orangutans in the wild. The Danum Valley Conservation Area boasts 438 square kilometres of protected forest, providing the perfect habitat for these auburn gentle giants. They are easier to spot than some creatures, such as big cats, and a bit of trekking through the jungle will likely lead to sightings of them going about their lives in the trees. Other animals, such as snakes, tapirs and myriad birds may also make an appearance.

Photo credit: iStockThe perfect mix

A trip that combines all of the elements above and more, depending on your tastes, allows you to really get under the skin of Malaysia. See KL on its own is not experiencing the whole country, just as lying on a beach in Langkawi wouldn’t be either. Mix and match your Malaysian destinations to create the perfect Malaysian multi-centre holiday – it’s too rich and diverse not to.

Private: James David Massey Travel Consultant