Specifically which city's and places should I visit? I have heard that they have the oldest rain forest, where is this and how do I get there? Also what are the forms of traveling like within the country? Which mode of transport do you recommended?
I have been to Malaysia a few times and I was a little surprised on my last trip. KL has moved much closer to Singapore in terms of development, sophistication and also cost. (A beer costs au$5 at a 7/11.)
But, it is still one of my favourite Asian places.
From KL I recommend going to the Genting Highland for a cooler experience and the casino theme park has a skydiving tunnel. 200km/h winds in the vertical tunnel and you're flying. Its cheap enough to have lots of goes.
If you are a diver then Perhentian Islands are pretty nice. They are on the east cost near the Thai borber. You fly to Kota Bharu (Yes, by Air Asia) which is the most traditional muslim part of Malaysia. You can only buy alcohol at Chinese owned resteraunts! You taxi to Tok Bali and then long boat 30 or so Kms out to the islands. Its a tropical paradise and very undeveloped. Breakfast on the beach, diving courses and many diving sites. Its just beautiful.
I could take or leave the Malaysian resorts of Peneng or Langkawi after that but if you like luxury......... There is a national marine park between these islands which have good tours for diving and snorkelling.
Internal travel is really cheap on busses but its only for the brave. We have a 12hr, overnight bus trip from north to south Malaysia and it didn't slow down for the whole trip. I like to mix the bussing with some more instant flying with AirAsia where for about au$30 you can go to many places in Malaysia.
As well as the Malaysian food, the Indian food in Malaysia is fantasic.... Try the street stall and food courts, Its still relatively cheap and so good. Roti Chanai is the best roti anywhere. about 10 years ago
+1 for Perhentian Island. Much nicer than Penang and Langkawi on the other coast. But not the place if you want 5* luxury.
If you are traveling for a while in warmer places I can recommend Cameron Highlands. 2000m so it's a bitter cooler than steamy KL.
Mmmm..food in Malaysia. Cheap and great diversity as you can get Indian, Chinese, Malay as well as some Thai inspired food. about 10 years ago
If you are willing to leave the mainland Borneo is fantastic. Most of the tourism is focussed on Sabah, but we preferred Sarawak, especially Kuching.
Yes alcohol is expensive, it is a muslim country, but everything else is very cheap and travelling around is fairly easy. The people are very helpful and friendly. about 10 years ago
There is lots of info about malaysia. Traveling in Malaysia is easy - many long distance buses.
Definitely Perhentian or one of the smaller islands on the east coast. Malaysia is not a Muslim country as such but the east coast states are Islamic but not those on west coast.
You can go tracking into Taman Negara - the rainforest reserve - its well organised these days.
it all depends on what you want to do. Just be prepared for the humidity.
If its hstory you want, try Malacca.
Food that you can only find in Malaysia is nyonya food - fusion Malay and Chinese. about 10 years ago
There's already some excellent points here including recommendations on places I haven't yet been like Taman Negara, Genting and Malacca, all of which you should visit.
The places you should visit/see really depends upon what really interests you. If you like to climb mountains, Mt Kinabalu in Sabah is a must, albeit an expensive one (especially by Tasmanian standards, which I'm most familiar with). I haven't been to Sarawak but really want to someday.
If you want rainforest, Sarawak and Sabah are still probably your best bet. In Sabah, though, 60% of the *reserves* have been illegally converted into palm oil plantations over the past few decades so don't delay for too long.
For the best and cheapest seafood, KL is not your destination as it tends to be imported from other areas and isn't as fresh. The seafood in Sabah is fantastic and Sarawak is probably similar. Penang is a must in terms of food, though.
Yes, buses are for the brave, but don't let that put you off. Just be prepared to be proactive and ask companies what number plate the bus will have on the front and to ask individual bus drivers where they are actually going. Don't expect the bus to be on the correct platform or to even be the bus company written on your ticket. Alternatively, try a train.
I was in Sabah during Chinese New Year and got to see lots of illegal fireworks and even handled an illicit sparkler. That was fun, especially when they blew in front of people's houses (oops). The police don't care so much over there, but you wouldn't get away with it in places like KL or Penang. about 10 years ago