CapitalKuala Lumpur AirportKuala Lumpur, Pulau Penang and Johor Bahru all have international airports CurrencyMalaysian Ringgit (£1= 4.93 Ringgits) Size127,000 sq miles Population27 million Average temperaturesMalaysia has a humid, tropical climate, with rain falling fairly evenly throughout the year, though it is heavier on the east coast and on Borneo from November to March; average temperatures are in the high 20Cs.
Kuala Lumpur, with the 1,483ft Petronus Twin Towers, the tallest twin buildings in the world, dominating the skyline, and a veritable smorgas board of international cuisine; Pulau Langkawi, a quite stunning collection of beach-fringed islands with luxury resorts to match; the colonial delights of Penang’s Georgetown; the night market at Kota Bharu, with traditional kite and shadow puppet stalls and displays; Cameron Highlands, where you can step back in time wandering the tea plantations amid leafy, verdant, cool surrounds; the bone-white beaches of Pulau Perhentian; exploring the jungle and river systems of Taman Negara, Malaysia’s premier national park; Endau-Rompin National Park, Malaysia’s last remaining lowland jungle; the historic city of Melaka, famed for its Baba-Nonya cuisine and heritage architecture; Kuching, Sarawak’s most historic and attractive town; sail along the Rejang river in the heart of Borneo; walk to the summit of Mt Kinabalu, or go rafting and jungle walking from its base at Kota Kinabalu; explore the extraordinary cave systems of Gunung Mulu National Park, trekking the famous head-hunter’s trail; visit Sepilok orang-utan sanctuary; look for wildlife in the upland rainforest trails of the Kelabit Highlands; dive the world-class dive sites of Tun Sakaran Marine Park.
Roads on the peninsula are generally high quality; road rules are basically the same as in Britain, with right-hand drive vehicles, and cars driving on the right. This makes car-hire in Malaysia a breeze compared with most other Asian countries, although roads can be rough on Borneo, where 4x4 jeeps are essential. Buses are an excellent and cheap option, as are boats and ferries which sail between the peninsula and offshore islands. As for trains, Peninsular Malaysia has a modern, comfortable and economical railway service that has basically two lines. One runs from Singapore to KL, then to Butterworth and on into Thailand. The other line, known as the Jungle Railway, cuts through the interior of Malaysia linking Gemas, Taman Negara with Kota Bharu, a transit town for Pulau Perhentian.
There are direct flights from the UK with Malaysia Airlines from Heathrow and Air Asia X from Stansted. Flight time is about 13 hours. Airlines flying non-direct from the UK include Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, KLM.
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