We realise you almost certainly didn't come to Sabah for the urban scene, but you have to book permits somewhere, you gotta sleep after climbing Mt Kinabalu/diving in Sipadan/exploring the jungle etc, and you need some place to connect to onward travel, and KK, as everyone calls it, is a good place (sometimes the only place) to do all of the above. The centre is walkable.
Langkawi is synonymous with ‘tropical paradise’ – and with good reason. Since 2008 the archipelago’s official title has been Langkawi Permata Kedah (Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah), no doubt inspired by the island’s clear waters, relatively pristine beaches and intact jungle. The district’s been duty free since 1986 and roping in tourists well before that.
East Coast Islands, Kelantan & Terengganu
Merdeka Square & Chinatown
Multicultural city-state with a rich heritage and distinctive local cooking.
The dynamic oil town of Miri is busy and modern – not much about it is Borneo – but there’s plenty of money sloshing around so the eating is good, the broad avenues are brightly lit and there’s plenty to do when it’s raining. The city’s friendly guesthouses are a good place to meet other travellers. The population is about 40% Dayak (mainly Iban), 30% Chinese and 18% Malay.
From Tanjung Datu National Park at Sarawak’s far western tip to Bako National Park northeast of Kuching, and inland to Annah Rais Longhouse and the Batang Ai Region, western Sarawak offers a dazzling array of natural sights and indigenous cultures.
Little India, Kampung Baru & Northern Kuala Lumpur
Ipoh is one of Malaysia’s more pleasant midsized cities, chock full of colonial architecture, faded tropical mansions, friendly folks and some of the country’s best food. The elegant layout and design of the city’s ‘Old Town’ speaks to the wealth once generated here from Kinta Valley tin mines; in its day, Ipoh was one of the wealthiest citiesmin Southeast Asia.
With so many amazing islands to chose from, Terengganu’s coast is seen by many travellers as a mere pass-through to paradise. Traveller’s who take the time to explore between paradise-hops will fine the region rich in culture, cuisine and scenery that, on the islands, is simply unavailable.