The perfect Malaysian Escape, Whatever You Desire
Our wonderful home Malaysia has something to offer every traveller, whether you are looking for the world’s top food destinations, the most luxurious spa retreats, or the most beautiful natural surroundings to unwind after a busy week.
From the natural beauty of the Sipadan Islands, steaming iron cooking pots of Penang Island, calming retreats in Langkawi, serene waters of Rawa Island, to the flashing neon lights of Kuala Lumpur City, Malaysia has it all.
Today we’ll list some of our favourite Malaysian island retreats – and all just a stone’s throw away from Kuala Lumpur. When you really need that break after a hectic business meeting, or if you really need an escape – this list is all you need. Bookmark it now.
Sipadan Islands – for colourful corals
The Sipadan Islands are an example of nature at its most picturesque. Expect amazing pictures from every angle. Visitors to these islands have all fallen in love with her deep emerald turquoise blue sea as they swam alongside Hawkbill turtles.
To keep the environment pristine the island restricts overnight stays, so visitors will have to set-up camp at neighbouring islands Samporna, Mabul or Kapalai.
The Sipadan Islands are a nature lover’s ideal retreat for peace of mind and absolute island beauty.
Penang Island – for fresh food and fantastic architecture features
Penang is rich in history and the island exudes it. Known formerly as the Pearl of the Orient, and founded during the British colonial period where it served as an incredibly important port, Penang has long been home to spice traders and the like.
Penang is considered a haven by international foodies, including Anthony Bourdain, was voted last year by CNN as its Perfect Food Destination 2014, making this island a must visit for foodies worth their salt.
We recommend you try these two if you haven’t already.
Malaysia’s famous Penang Assam Laksa; a tamarind-based noodle dish consisting of a mix of fresh fish, fresh fruit, herbs and vegetables in a light but flavourful broth.
Penang Fried Kuay Teow; originally known as a poor man’s dish but in recent times has been elevated to cult food status. This cultural dish consists of lightly caramelized rice noodles, Asian beansprouts, fresh cockles and prawns. A smoky tasting dish that’s almost always served on a banana leaf to alleviate the taste of the caramelized noodles.
Today, the city is listed as one of UNESCO’s global heritage sites; its town centre a vision of stunning white colonial buildings and traditional architecture everywhere you look. From the food, to the architecture and rich history, Penang has it all and though small, will require more than one visit.
Rawa Island – for serene waters and secluded surroundings
Rawa Island is a small island off the state of Johor, and is accessible via boat rides from Mersing. Rawa Island is loved by regulars for its soft white sandy beach, surrounded by lush jungle vegetation.
Personally owned by the Johor Sultanate, Rawa Island has been developed to only allow two resorts on the island – this ensures unharmed marine life and culture. For a great time on a private beach with little or no disturbance from the outside world, and for those desperate for peace and tranquillity, Rawa Island is the place to be.
Janda Baik – for hiking and jungle-trekking
Janda Baik is a stone throw away from Kuala Lumpur, located in the state of Pahang. Initially known as a simple Malay “kampong” (village), this gem of a location which has gone through branding gentrification is now being touted as the perfect weekend getaway by city elites and international travellers in the know.
Located on high hill slopes, many Janda Baik villas and resorts are open for rentals throughout the year. Perfect for hill-hiking and jungle-trekking expeditions and those seeking to reconnect with nature while they turn off all electronic devices – if only for the weekend.
Genting Highlands – for a treat within a retreat
Initially founded during colonial times by the British who missed the cooler climates of Great Britain, Genting Highlands was considered a reprieve from Malaysia’s sometimes sweltering heat – and today this still remains true to many locals and international travellers.
Located about an hours drive away from Kuala Lumpur City, in the state of Pahang, Genting Highlands has many unique activities for the visitor seeking a cooler temperatures and Vegas like entertainment for the entire family.
Expect casinos, live shows, international performances, and theme parks to be enjoyed by the whole family.
Langkawi Island – for the idyllic couple getaway
Known as the Jewel of Kedah, Langkawi is listed as one of the most popular destinations by tourists from around the world. This island is bathed with famous legends and myths making this scenic place ideal for those seeking adventure and intrigue. International travellers on holiday who come to Malaysia, are most likely drop by this little piece of paradise then not.
This slice of natural paradise has even been awarded World Geopark Status by UNESCO for its beauty and pristine habitat; specifically the three areas of the Machincang Cambrian Geoforest Park, the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, and Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest Park.
For the shopper in you, indulge in the island’s duty-free status on a variety of products ranging from alcohol, cigars, and luxury goods. For nature lovers there are famous beaches such as Pantai Cenang, renowned for its fine white sands, and many waterfalls to visit.
Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls (the Seven Wells) is named after the seven natural pools of water along its path. Folklore states that fairies bathe in these pools, and whoever wishes for luck, love, and longevity should frequent this place for blessings.
The mystical Pantai Pasir Hitam (Black Sand Beach) where the sands are coloured black and white due to tin and ore deposits, is just as unique and steeped in myth and folklore as is Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest Park, where many visit in hopes of being blessed with many children.
Many hotels and villas pepper the island, but the most luxurious have located themselves around stunning Datai Bay.
Kuala Lumpur – the city that never sleeps
Malaysia’s heart resides here: Kuala Lumpur City. A melting pot of various cultures, Kuala Lumpur has it all.
People of Malay, Chinese, Indian, multi-ethnic tribes, as well as foreign ex-pats add to the hustle and bustle that is Kuala Lumpur life, adding to the city’s rich tapestry of various cultures and influences.
Separated under the colonial rule of the British, Portuguese, and Dutch you’ll see signs all over Malaysia of previous influence that have survived generations; from 24 hour available food stalls, the beautiful architecture, down to the use of the English (UK) language.
Home to the Kuala Lumpur Tower and the iconic Petronas Twin Towers (the highest in the world), Kuala Lumpur boasts cosmopolitan and majestic views during the day, and especially during the night. The city almost never sleeps as the twin towers’ bamboo-shaped, silver-tinted presence dwarfs a city full of vigorous nightlife.
As the highest rooftop bar, cigar lounge, and fine dining restaurant in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Marini’s on 57 boasts incredulous views of the Petronas Twin Towers, KL Tower, and incredible 360° views of the entire city skyline, while serving up some of the best cuisine and cocktails, and service in the city -living up to our global reputation as one of the best venues in Asia. Not to be missed when visiting Kuala Lumpur City, come to Marini’s on 57 for our food and cocktails, but stay for the view.