This fabulous country’s tourist chiefs were no doubt delighted when they coined the phrase: Malaysia Simply Asia. But for us, it doesn’t begin to capture the allure of holidays in Malaysia. It is one of our favourite holiday destinations. When we think of Malaysia, we prefer: Simply irresistible.
Our travels bring us back here time and time again. Why? Because this rainbow nation – Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in harmony – never fails to amaze us with its kaleidoscopic diversity and laid-back philosophy.
On a Malaysia holiday, the food, the service and the efficiency are so addictive – and the stress-busting relaxation so complete – that we keep finding ourselves going back for just a few more days in Malaysia holiday destinations: the sheer buzz of Kuala Lumpur, the culture and cuisine in funky Penang, followed by blissful indulgence on the to-die-for beaches of the Langkawi archipelago.
If Carlsberg did holidays, they would look like this…
Holidays in Malaysia assault the senses with such a heady cocktail of unique sounds, evocative smells and dizzying sights, it will leave even the most jaded traveller astounded. The combination of old colonial decadence in Penang with unadulterated pleasure-seeking on the superlative beaches of Langkawi make a Malaysia holiday an essential stop on the road less travelled.
Diversity is the buzzword in Malaysia. Towering skyscrapers look down upon wooden houses on stilts, while five-star hotels sit just metres from ancient reefs. Rugged mountains assault the sky, while their slopes sweep down to floodplains teeming with forest life. In the cool highland hideaways, you eagerly anticipate pristine beaches and rich, humid mangroves below.
If you only do three things in Malaysia…
- Breathe in the adrenalin buzz of Kuala Lumpur, a riot of sensual diversity, from the non-stop shopping to the many-faceted cuisine, to the soaring landmarks.
- Seek out street art and countless culinary joys amid echoes of the Raj in George Town, Penang’s cool capital.
- Join the lotus eaters (no, that’s not a reference to the street food!) on the white powder beaches of the unspeakably beautiful Langkawi archipelago.
As always, Yonder applied its strict selection criteria to hotels in our Malaysia holiday destinations. And as a result, our list is short but sweet, with truly memorable options in both Penang and Langkawi.
Better still, for the ultimate indulgence, we can combine our core Malaysia holiday destinations with sumptuous Singapore. The world’s only island city state is renowned for its myriad attractions, from richly varied shopping opportunities to some of the world’s most celebrated hotels.
Thoughts on a postcard
We were astounded by the sophistication of Malaysia. Everywhere we went – whether shiny KL, decadent old Penang or the blissful archipelago islands of Langkawi –was perfectly organised, our every whim catered for.
Malaysia Holidays : The map
Our Escapologists only recommend hand-picked, delectable properties we have sampled and savoured ourselves. We judge all our hotels by their excellence, the sheer hedonistic pleasures they have to offer. And we reject a lot that don’t meet our exacting standards.
Some of our selections are classics, with reputations recognised the world over. Others are discoveries: boutique havens where hospitality, relaxation and fine cuisine have been distilled into a rare art form. You’ll find a few options for the budget conscious too, where Yonder’s principles are still to the fore. And for those who just need an airport stopover on their way to paradise, there’s one or two convenience choices, too.
We provide in-depth descriptions of every property, based upon our own experiences there, along with our unique Yonder rating and icons that will give you further insights into what’s on offer. We even tell you the types of clientele you might soon be rubbing shoulders with!
Now that’s choosing a hotel Yonder style!
In each of Yonder’s main destinations, we have selected a range of highlights you might like to include in your personalised Yonder trip.
Whether they are fabled regions, resorts or cities, single destinations or entire itineraries, these are the Yonder ingredients we know will help you begin to piece together the ideal trip…
KL, as those of us who know it affectionately call it, is the throbbing heart of Malaysia. It is home to the Petronas Towers, the world’s tallest twin tower building. KL’s hotels are superb and the street culture is unique, with a tantalising blend of Malay, Chinese and Western influences. To us, It's like a perfectly blended whisky: rich, sensual and rapidly intoxicating.
- Reach for the sky in the Petronas Towers, the world’s tallest twin towers building.
- Wander around colourful Chinatown, a bargain hunter’s paradise that seemingly never sleeps. Deeply immersed in Oriental culture, heritage and history.
- Snaffle a bargain in Central Market, a KL landmark. In similar vein to New York’s SoHo flea market – the traditional merchandise here is cheap and includes batik, embroidery, carvings, souvenirs, and sculptures.
In British colonial times, Penang Island, on the north-west coast of the Malaysian Peninsular, achieved legendary status and was known as ‘the pearl of the Orient’. We think this status was not only richly deserved but that it still applies today.
- Soak up the colonial heritage of capital George Town, a UNESCO world heritage site.
- Give your taste buds a riotous treat by exploring the remarkable food scene, an exciting meeting of diverse gastronomic influences.
- Roam the streets in a rewarding quest for magical artworks.
Gaze out of the aeroplane window as you come into land for your Langkawi holiday, and you’ll at once grasp the delights that await you. Archipelago islands – 99 of them, no less – stretch as far as the eye can see, separated by a turquoise sea. Take a moment to imagine that word: turquoise. Now Intensify it a hundred times – and you’re still not even close.
- Choose your little piece of paradise at your luxury Langkawi hotel, turn off your iPhone… and breathe!
- Walk to the beach through ancient rainforest, with monkeys playing overhead.
- Watch a dazzling sunset as the Andaman Sea laps your toes and promise yourself: I’ll be back!
Here at Yonder we have devised some exciting itineraries that will illustrate just what amazing journeys you could enjoy through Yonder’s exciting far-away destinations.
Of course every one of Yonder’s clients is a unique individual and we only create personalised itineraries that reflect those personal desires and wishes. So your Yonder journey will be as individual as you are. But to help you envisage just what amazing adventures might be possible, we have devised sample itineraries that we are confident will inspire you. You only have to pick up the phone to explore how any one of these ideas might be adapted to create your own perfect journey Yonder.
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Notes In Our Journal
Out with the old and in with the new. A Yonder Escapologist recasts a familiar phrase.