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Holidays in Malaysia are a potpourri of rich Asian culture, thriving cities and over 800 postcard-worthy islands. Recent visitors to this charming country have fondly described it as “truly Asia” and you’ll soon see why. It’s bursting with a richly diverse culture - Muslim Malays, Hindu and Muslim Indians and Chinese, as well as Aboriginal groups live together peacefully and all call this beautiful country home. 

With each city, town and island you visit owning its own rich history and eclectic charm, there are a thousand ways to explore and appreciate this melting pot of old and new. Destination holidays in Malaysia show you a world of ethnic cultures and customs in the daily life of the locals. You’ll find exciting cultural events happening almost every evening, where people of all faiths and cultures come together to enjoy vibrant and emotive performances and celebrations. 

Old and sacred customs are given high importance in Malaysia. There’s a truly impressive architectural talent here, too. The country is filled with larger than life inspirations - you’ll find Mughal, Tudor, Chinese, Portugese, Grecian, Gothic and Victorian designs in this cultural hotspot. The better known typical Malaysian architecture, also known as ‘Peranakan’ or ‘Baba Nyonya’, with the traditional Melaka shophouses, and are often dressed in vibrant pink, blue and yellow splashes of paint.

Holidays in Malaysia: a fusion of old and new

West Malaysia is home to the booming capital metropolis of Kuala Lumpur, where glistening, glass-filled skyscrapers line the busy streets, including the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest twin towers in the world. It’s home to more shopping districts than you can count on both hands. Enjoy the hustle and bustle and find the traditional Malaysian boutiques selling the finest batik accessories (a fabric made from silk), as well as the baju kebaya, a typical dress for ladies made of exceptionally high-quality fabrics and silks. 

If you love exploring then you will have plenty of fascinating sites to discover during your holiday in Malaysia. Dive deep into the historical heritage of the country with a visit to Malacca in the southwest. It’s the country’s historical state, where colonials first made contact with Malaysia. This small state is known for its interesting architecture, and you can tour the many forts, towers, churches and museums to observe the marks of British, Portuguese and Dutch forces left behind.

Malaysia is home to a fascinating geological makeup. Explore the 130 million year old rainforest of Taman Negara National Park in Pahang, making it one of the most ancient rainforests in the world. Not for the faint-hearted, here’s where adventurers can brave the longest rope walkway in the world. Even experienced trekkers will be in awe at the impressive 62 mile round trip trekking possibilities, although there are lots of softer treks for beginners and families too. Nature lovers will be impressed with the unusual wildlife here, with sun bear, barking deer, long-tail marque monkey and Malayan peacock roaming around the jungle-like rainforests.

While in Malaysia, a trip to colonial George Town is a must. Indigenous architecture, old cultures and some mouth-watering culinary delights await you at this UNESCO World Heritage site. Find pretty shophouses adorned in old Malay design, narrow streets bustling with locals and strings of paper lantern shrines among deliciously fragrant shops selling Indian spices. Browse the street art scene that bursts to life here, and then stop for a coffee or a cocktail in one of the many swanky bars.

 

Destination Highlights

  • Observe the tallest twin tower in the world, the Petronas Twin Tower
  • Explore historic buildings beside ultra-modern shopping centres in Malacca
  • Taste some of Southeast Asia’s best dishes in the UNESCO World Heritage site of George Town
  • Brave the world’s longest rope walkway at 130 million year old Taman Negara

Great sample itineraries


Get inspired by our selection of popular itineraries for Malaysia holidays, including our multi-centre holiday itineraries.

a large body of water

Kuala Lumpur, Pangkor Laut and Penang Multi Centre

  • 15 Days
  • Guide Price £2,099 PP
Kuala Lumpur is an ever-changing city, from the soaring skyscrapers to the colonial buildings, exotic temples and ornate Mosques, this...
View Multi Centre
Cultural holidays
a sandy beach next to a body of water

Kuala Lumpur And Borneo Holiday

  • 15 Days
  • Guide Price £1,999 PP
For a diverse and exciting multi centre holiday in Malaysia, we’ve created a trip which includes city sights, wildlife adventure...
View Multi Centre
City holidays
a large mountain in the background

Kuala Lumpur To Penang To Langkawi

  • 15 Days
  • Guide Price £2,399 PP
With stops in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Langkawi, this diverse Malaysia multi centre holiday is a wonderful introduction to the...
View Multi Centre
Cultural holidays

Our favorite hotels


Browse some of our favourite hotels in Malaysia. From vibrant luxury resorts to pretty little boutiques nestled in the countryside, we are here to help you find your perfect accommodation in Malaysia.

a small house in a garden
Malaysia

Gaya Island Resort

Just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, Gaya Island Resort is located on the beautiful island of Pulau Gaya and...
H&J Rating
Guide Price £1,999
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Sea Suite
Malaysia

Pangkor Laut Resort

The only resort to be situated on the paradise island of Pangkor Laut. Pangkor Laut Resort offers a truly private...
H&J Rating
Guide Price £1,999
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Swimming pool
Malaysia

Tanjong Jara Resort

Set on the golden sands of Malaysia’s east coast and surrounded by lush rainforests and sprawling gardens, Tanjong Jara is...
H&J Rating
Guide Price £1,699
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an island in the middle of a body of water
Malaysia

The Datai Langkawi

Re-opened on the 1st December 2018 after a multi million dollar refurbishment. Nestling in the heart of a 10-million-year-old rainforest, The...
H&J Rating
Guide Price £3,099
View Hotel

Explore Malaysia

Time Zone

GMT+8

Flight Time

Direct flights are available with British Airways and Malaysia Airlines who both offer a direct daily services from London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur.

Currency

MYR - Malaysian Ringgit

Visa Information

British Passport holders are not required to apply for a visa to enter Malaysia for tourist stays up to 30 days only.

Language

Malay but English is widely spoken.

Health Info

Hepatitis A, Polio, Typhoid immunisation and malaria tablets are recommended.

a view of a city at night

Kuala Lumpur Night Tour

Kuala Lumpur comes alive after sunset. In the evening, the city lights up while skyscrapers enhance the night scene living...
  • PRICE: From £45 per person
  • APPROX. 4 HRS
Jonker Street

Malacca City Tour From Kuala Lumpur

Located two hours away from Kuala Lumpur is Malacca, the place where the nation was born, where the past and present...
  • PRICE: From £42 per person
  • APPROX. 4 HRS
Fireflies

Kuala Selangor Fireflies Tour

Away from the hustle and bustle of the city is Kuala Selangor, a small village known for its natural heritage...
  • APPROX. 4 HRS

You’d be wrong to compare Malaysia to anywhere else in the world. With Chinese, Indian, Arabic, British and Persian influences, it really is unique. Kuala Lumpur is a mesmerising capital city where you can experience incredible views from the Menara and The Petronas Towers. The country has 28 national parks where you’ll encounter some weird and wonderful animal and plant life.

Orang-utan

Wild Orangutans

Discover how conservation efforts are preserving the wild orangutans in Borneo. Sightings are all but guaranteed if you take a tour round the Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, where orangutans are permitted to roam within the forest.

Langkawi Sky Bridge

Langkawi Cable Car

We highly recommend you take the SkyCab cable car up to Machinchang Mountain if you want to get a bird’s eye view over the bucolic hills of Langkawi. If you’ve never seen a flying fox or macaque monkey, consider hiking the spectacular Gunung Raya.

Petronas Twin Towers

City Life

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, provides the perfect contrast to the more relaxed highlands and beaches. Appreciate the views from Kuala Lumpur Tower, discover the Batu limestone caves, and stroll around the city’s food markets.

Fireflies

Enchanting Fireflies

Away from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur is Kuala Selangor, a small village known for its natural heritage of Mangrove forest. Here you can witness thousands of fireflies sparkling in the thick mangrove along both sides of the river banks. A wonderful phenomena resembling rows of brightly lit Christmas trees!

Beach

Relaxing Beaches

White, pure sands, sifting between your toes, are common on many of Malaysia’s finest beaches. Islands including Langkawi and Redang offer excellent diving and snorkelling opportunities alongside the chance to relax and sunbathe.

Langkawi

Malaysian Island Hopping

Your perfect break in Malaysia can include visits to Langkawi and Penang islands, before heading to the mainland to discover its capital, Kuala Lumpur. Feel your toes sink into the warm sands of Malaysia’s best beaches. Visit Hindu temples, spot turtles on the beach, or explore caves and visit ancient rainforests.

a large green field with trees in the background

Tea Plantations

Cameron Highlands is home to many of Malaysia’s finest tea plantations. Lush crops cover the landscape, providing a visual spectacle over the hilly terrain. Sample the finest teas and discover how they are grown as you learn about the history of tea growing in this beautiful area.

Average Weather in January

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
Borneo
29° C
15 mm
Kuala Lumpur
32° C
165 mm
Langkawi
32° C
40 mm
Penang
32° C
82 mm

Average Weather in February

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
Borneo
29° C
14 mm
Kuala Lumpur
32° C
157 mm
Langkawi
33° C
38 mm
Penang
33° C
87 mm

Average Weather in March

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
Borneo
30° C
13 mm
Kuala Lumpur
33° C
236 mm
Langkawi
34° C
91 mm
Penang
33° C
136 mm

Average Weather in April

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
Borneo
30° C
15 mm
Kuala Lumpur
33° C
276 mm
Langkawi
33° C
187 mm
Penang
33° C
189 mm

Average Weather in May

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
Borneo
31° C
13 mm
Kuala Lumpur
32° C
222 mm
Langkawi
32° C
291 mm
Penang
32° C
245 mm

Average Weather in June

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
Borneo
31° C
13 mm
Kuala Lumpur
32° C
136 mm
Langkawi
31° C
279 mm
Penang
32° C
189 mm

Average Weather in July

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
Borneo
30° C
12 mm
Kuala Lumpur
32° C
129 mm
Langkawi
31° C
280 mm
Penang
32° C
205 mm

Average Weather in August

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
Borneo
31° C
11 mm
Kuala Lumpur
32° C
162 mm
Langkawi
31° C
305 mm
Penang
32° C
238 mm

Average Weather in September

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
Borneo
31° C
11 mm
Kuala Lumpur
32° C
202 mm
Langkawi
31° C
380 mm
Penang
31° C
335 mm

Average Weather in October

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
Borneo
30° C
9 mm
Kuala Lumpur
32° C
280 mm
Langkawi
31° C
370 mm
Penang
32° C
398 mm

Average Weather in November

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
Borneo
30° C
9 mm
Kuala Lumpur
31° C
290 mm
Langkawi
31° C
222 mm
Penang
31° C
260 mm

Average Weather in December

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
Borneo
29° C
12 mm
Kuala Lumpur
31° C
243 mm
Langkawi
31° C
70 mm
Penang
32° C
136 mm
a woman in a red shirt

“Definitely try the local hawker stalls. You can eat like a king for next to nothing. They’re filled with locals too - fit in and try a traditional Malaysian breakfast of Roti Canai.”

 

Karen
Destination Executive
Isla, Destination Executive

“Try the fruit – there are lots of roadside stalls everywhere you go and they all sell fruit that you won’t ever have seen before. For example, rambutan (a prickly fruit that tastes amazing), snake fruit (a bit like a lychee) and mangosteen (a sweet and tangy fruit with purple skin). Watch out for the large prickly fruit called durian – it’s an acquired taste and most hotels have banned it as it's very smelly.”

Isla
Destination Executive

Events & Festivals

Festivals and events are wonderful to include during your Malaysia holiday, offering a glimpse into the country’s authentic culture and traditions.

 

Thaipusam

After Diwali, Thaipusam is the biggest festival for Hindus and usually takes place in January or February. It’s celebrated as a day of thanksgiving for the deity Lord Murugan, when locals take to the streets with large decorated statues of deities and in some cases, body piercing. It’s a huge and fun celebration with thousands of locals taking part each year.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is a spectacle worth seeing in Malaysia. Locals, families, young and old all pour out onto the streets to take part in the vibrant and colourful festivities. There are lion and dragon dances, bright costumes, and endless food.

Eid Al Fitr

The Muslim celebration of Eid Al Fitr is one of the liveliest community-based events in Malaysia. It celebrates the end of the month of Ramadan where those who take part fast from sunrise and sunset every day for a month. The streets are filled with open houses, where strangers and families eat and celebrate together. It’s well worth a visit and a great way to mingle with the locals and join in the festivities.

 

Diwali

Diwali, the Festival of Light, is celebrated the day before the new moon and is a national holiday in Malaysia. Beautiful light displays are put on all day as the streets are illuminated in colourful candles and lanterns. Many locals also open their houses to guests, friends and neighbours to share in their religious offerings, including rice puddings, sweet treats and other delicious Indian foods.

 

Local Cuisine

Get a flavour of the local culture through your palate during your Malaysia holiday. Here are a few of our favourite dishes.

 

Teh tarik

Malaysian cuisine is a blend of Malay, Chinese and Indian flavours. You’ll find lots of delicious and fresh dishes using lemongrass and coconut. For breakfast, try the local favourite of teh tarik, a Malaysian specialty hot milk tea.

Nasi lemak

Nasi lemak is a fragrant rice dish that is cooked in coconut milk and served at all mealtimes. It can be eaten as a filling breakfast or paired with vegetables or curry dishes at lunch or dinner.

Our Malaysia destinations

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