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Imagine visiting a destination where you can experience lush tropical rainforests, idyllic islands and vibrant cities in just one holiday. Malaysia is that paradise. With the best beaches in South East Asia and flavourful food at each turn, Luxtripper Content Writer Emma embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to explore the hidden treasures of Malaysia…
BY Emma Hookway
Luxtripper Travel Editor

Malaysia was truly magnificent and I cannot wait to share my unforgettable adventures with you!

Welcome to Tropical Paradise

Just above the equator underneath Thailand, Malaysia is in the heart of the tropics, with steaming rainforests and turquoise water. An all-year-round paradise, I have always dreamed of visiting Malaysia. As a passionate animal-lover, I couldn’t wait to see Borneo, ‘the land of the orangutans’, scuba dive with multi-coloured fish in the many vivid reefs that Malaysia has to offer and make friends with wild monkeys at the Batu Caves. I dreamily anticipated wandering among the bright street markets of Kuala Lumpur and trying the authentic Malaysian Laksa, a noodle soup with fresh spices. Known for its generous hospitality and eco-conscious hotels, I was impatient to jet off on my Malaysian holiday! 

Kuala Lumpur Living

Kuala Lumpur is the beating heart of Malaysia, an eclectic fusion of traditional and modern architecture. Keen to see the whole city at once, I took a trip to the top of the iconic Kuala Lumpur Tower. The views were incredible; it was the perfect place to begin my Malaysian holiday. Back on the ground, I was soon exploring the vibrant streets of Kuala Lumpur’s historic district. It didn’t take me long to find the much sought-after laksa in the Petaling Street Market and I was not disappointed! I was recommended to try the laksa with prawns, and the combination of spice, seafood and coconut milk was dreamy.

For a day-trip away from the city, I visited the Batu Caves, only a 17-minute drive outside of Kuala Lumpur. I was completely blown away; the colourful stairs leading to the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple, painted for the Hindu Kumbhabhishekham ritual, were absolutely mesmerising. The sublime limestone caves were astounding, and, as a Batu Cave Monkey tried to steal my bag (the cheek!), I couldn’t wait for the rest of my Malaysian holiday to begin…

Luxury at The Hotel Stripes

The Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur was the perfect place for me to relax after my long-haul flight from London! Set in amongst the hustle and bustle of the city, the hotel’s location was so convenient. Just a short walk away from quirky bars and restaurants in the modernised old district, it was a great place to experience the authentic feel of the city. The Hotel Stripes soon became my own peaceful sanctuary; I found the outdoor pool a superb way to cool off from the tropical humidity after a day exploring the city. As the evenings drew in, I would watch the sun set behind Kuala Lumpur’s glittering skyscrapers from the hotel’s glamorous Man Tao Rooftop Bar, before sinking into the smooth, crisp sheets of my hotel bed…

Welcome to the Jungle

Borneo was such a breath of fresh air after my time spent in Kuala Lumpur. I was ecstatic to have finally arrived in the rainforest and hear the soothing sound of insects chirping in the background. As soon as I stepped off the plane in Sandakanfor my first-ever Borneo holiday, I was immediately on my way to the 10am feeding session at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. It was a totally unforgettable experience. I was deeply saddened to learn of some of the horrors the orangutans had suffered due to deforestation, but it was inspiring to see the difference that the centre made to these amazing creatures. I also had the opportunity to see the world’s smallest bear, the Borneo Sun Bear, at the BorneoSun Bear Conservation Centre – they were so cute!

The next day I embarked on the Sukau Rainforest Lodge River Cruise, one of the Borneo ecotour trips offered by the Sukau Rainforest Lodge. Despite the 5:30am start (I survived!), it was the most heavenly experience of my entire Malaysian holiday. The rainforest was alive; tranquil mists ascended from the trees and formed into dense clouds as we set out on the river. On our return, we were greeted with a well-needed breakfast, full of scrumptious Malaysian dishes. Make sure you try nasi lemak, the Malaysian national dish, for a truly authentic breakfast. As I listened to the soothing sound of the river whilst eating my scrumptious food, I felt like I had finally reached paradise...

Eco-Adventures at the Sukau Rainforest Lodge

Tucked in amongst the trees, Sukau Rainforest Lodge is a luxurious house in the trees, a perfect eco-escape for anyone who wants to experience an immersive nature-filled Borneo holiday. One of National Geographic’s unique lodges of the world, I was amazed by how sustainable the villas were (the shower was solar heated – very impressive!). When I arrived at my villa, I immediately rushed to my private balcony and inhaled the strong aroma of the rainforest. It was blissful having breakfast on the veranda each morning overlooking the misty trees, and I took great pleasure in sampling local tropical fruits! The hotel was the best place to connect with Borneo’s unique wildlife, and I couldn’t wait to see what Malaysia had in store for me next… 

Beach Paradise at the Gaya Island Resort

With palm trees, white-sand beaches and coral reefs teeming with an array of fish, Gaya Island is a picture-perfect beach paradise, making it the best final destination for my Malaysian holiday. I arrived on the island by speedboat, and it didn’t take long before I assembled my diving gear and jumped into the water. I made sure to visit the resort’s Marine Centre, and though extremely emotional, it was heart-warming to see the injured green sea turtles be prepared for their return to the wild. After my marine adventures, a relax at the beach was essential. The beach at the resort was an absolute dream – perfect for a Malaysian honeymoon. I never wanted to leave!

The Gaya Island Resort is the definition of an eco-luxury experience, built carefully amongst an ancient rainforest with glittering turquoise water as a picturesque backdrop. I stayed in a Canopy Villa and was walking distance to the beach. I spent my time feeling like royalty as I soaked up the sun on my villa’s outdoor veranda and relaxed in the oversized bath tub. After my action-packed adventures, I decided to treat myself to a spa afternoon. The spa village was out of this world, surrounded by iconic island flora and lush rainforest. The Gaya Island Resort was definitely the perfect way to end my Malaysian holiday and I couldn’t wait to book my next stay there!

My Next Malaysian Adventure

My time in Malaysia flew by so quickly, but the memories I made there will stay with me forever. There is still so much of the country left for me to see; next time I will definitely make sure to visit Langkawi, an archipelago of 99 picturesque islands, The Kek Lok Si Buddhist Temple in Air Atam, and the coastal city of Malacca. I cannot recommend Malaysia enough; it is the perfect luxury escape!

Fancy continuing my Malaysian adventure? Get in touch with one of our luxury travel experts today so you can experience your dream honeymoon or vibrant Malaysian holiday! With tailor-made itineraries and unique hotel choices, Luxtripper provides the exclusivity and luxury that everyone should experience on their holiday. Take a look at the some of the incredible Malaysia itineraries we have already curated: Malaysia to the Maldives and Beautiful Borneo

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Gaya Island Resort
Asia, Malaysia
Malaysia holidays are nothing if not astounding, and this fabulous resort proves this. Nestled within a gorgeous marine park amidst protected mangroves and on top of pristine white sands, the Gaya Island Resort is truly breath-taking to behold. The 4.5-star
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5
Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur, Autograph Collection
Asia, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur is the gateway to Malaysia, the perfect place to experience the fusion of Malay, French and Chinese culture that make up this unique country. Situated in the central Chow Kit district of Kuala Lumpur, The Hotel Stripes is
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4
Sukau Rainforest Lodge
Asia, Malaysia
Immerse yourself in Borneo’s world-famous rainforest at the Sukau Rainforest Lodge. Sustainability is at the heart of the resort, making for an eco-conscious and luxury stay. Choose between an exotic Borneo Villa or an indulgent Superior Room, both with solar-heated
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