Travellers considering taking cheap flights to Malaysia have a number of destinations to choose between. One of the 11 states on the Malay Peninsula or Sabah or Sarawak (the two states on the island of Borneo)?
Malaysia’s influences include Portuguese, Dutch and British, and the country is a melting pot of religions and cultures. Malays, Chinese, Indians and many other groups call it home. Nowhere is this more evident than in its cuisine, a spicy smorgasbord that features satay, nasi lemak, rendang and roti canai (a pancake eaten with meat or chicken curry, a roadside stall staple) among many others.
Malaysia’s west coast is the most developed, the east is more Malay. The west-coast cities include Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Malacca, Putrajaya (the seat of government) and, of course, Kuala Lumpur, the capital.
On the eastern side of Malaysia, the more traditional part of the country, are the states of Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu.
On Borneo, Sabah has six national parks, superb scuba diving and Southeast Asia’s second-highest mountain, Mount Kinabalu, while Sarawak is a jungly place with mountains and 11 national parks. It’s the least touristy state and a wonderful destination for adventure travellers.
The climate is tropical – warm weather year-round, temperatures between 21 and 32 degrees Celsius. Humidity levels are high. There are two seasons, wet and dry. The wet season extends from November to March, the dry season May to September.
There’s not really a bad time to visit Malaysia. There are two peak seasons. December to January takes in Christmas, New Year’s Day and Chinese New Year. Mid-May to the end of June is school holidays in Singapore and families come to the beach resorts. Travellers looking for quiet holidays should also think twice about taking cheap flights to Malaysia during March, June and August. This is when Malaysian schools are on holiday. June-August is the second peak season.
September to December is low season.
Apart from Malaysia Airlines, domestic airlines serving the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak include Sabah Air, Berjaya Air and Air Asia.
Malaysia has a good public transport system with buses and trains offering a fast and comfortable service. Trishaws – a three-wheel vehicle – are to be found in the cities. Tourists can hop around the major islands by ferry.
Kuala Lumpur has a light rail system as well as buses, taxis and rental-car companies.