Malaysia is a nation characterised by intriguing contrasts. It is a complex combination of various cultures, diverse landscapes and architectural styles. Chinese joss houses, Hindu temples and gold-domed mosques exist alongside state-of-the-art skyscrapers and contemporary business complexes. The land itself is divided into two parts by the South China Sea. Peninsula Malaysia (West Malaysia) boasts vast bustling cities, stately colonial architecture, misty tea plantations and tranquil islands. Malaysian Borneo (East Malaysia) features lush jungles brimming with exotic animal and plant life, towering granite peaks and even some remote indigenous tribes. Outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in a range of adventurous activities including hiking through some of the world’s oldest tropical rainforests, scuba diving in some of the world’s most renowned dive sites, or white water rafting in one of the nation’s numerous exquisite national parks. Alternatively spend your days exploring the supercharged capital, Kuala Lumpur, with its pockets of rainforest interspersed between towering high rise buildings or simply relax under palm tree-lined beached.
Dagen 1 - 2
Sleek and affluent, Miri is a bustling city steeped in the fiscal honey of its priceless oil reserves. A combination of great cuisine, diverse cultural influences and a cosmopolitan atmosphere make it a pleasure to pass through – which is fortunate since it is a major transit hub, providing onward connections to Brunei, Sabah and Gunung Mulu and Lambir national parks. There are several pleasant beaches in close proximity to the town, and scuba diving courses are offered by several operators in town. For some local flavour – literally and figuratively – pay a visit to Tamu Muhibah, a vibrant market peddling an array of exotic fresh produce and local culinary specialties.
Gunung Mulu National Park
Dagen 2 - 4
A lush wilderness of equatorial rainforest and striking karst formations, Gunung Mulu National Park is a go-to destination for travellers who like to step off the beaten path. This world heritage site is situated on the northern tip of Malaysian Borneo and is renowned for its karst landscape, characterised by sinkholes, caves, and underground drainage systems. The Sarawak Chamber is the largest known cave chamber in the world. Travellers can dedicate their time to exploring the ancient inner caverns of Gunung Mulu’s caves, trekking to the park’s famous 45 metre-high limestone pinnacles or waiting for the bats to emerge in their hordes daily as dusk falls.
Dagen 4 - 7
Kota Kinabalu serves as the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state and has long been the gateway to the island of Malaysian Borneo. Situated on the coast, this small resort town is a lovely place to refuel, get permits, book onward travel and indulge in some well-deserved R&R. If you’re interested in sampling local fare, head to the night market for some fresh fish off the barbecue. Visitors can also look forward to exploring bustling markets, strolling along pristine beaches, and view the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque set along the waterfront. Day trips from Kota Kinabalu include a scenic ride on the North Borneo Railway, an excursion to the neighbouring islands of Gaya and Manukan and an adventure to the Kinabalu National Park, home of the soaring peak of Mount Kinabalu.
Dagen 7 - 8
An impressive landmark on the map of Malaysian Borneo, Kinabatanagan River meanders for 560 kilometres from its source in southwestern Sabah in the soaring Crocker Range to its vast river mouth at the Sulu Sea. It is the longest river in the incredibly scenic state of Sabah and provides a rich ecosystem for a host of wildlife. A boat cruise down the river is the best way to explore the region’s lush rainforests, sparkling lakes, and abundant wildlife, with both day trips and overnight water-based safaris offered to visitors. Regularly sighted wildlife includes proboscis monkeys, orangutans, crocodiles, macaques hornbills, Irrawaddy dolphins, owls, civets and if you’re lucky – the endangered Borneo pygmy elephant.