Now a top choice for luxurious holidays, Southeast Asia in recent years has not only been a backpacker favourite but also has resorts that can rival that of the Maldives. Known for its eclectic mixture of different ancient cultures and modern Western influences, it’s a charming corner of the world that has something for everyone. With the first round of school holidays in 2017 coming up, it’s the perfect time to plan your holidays for the year and book your flights early. Here’s why Malaysia should be on your list this year:
1. SEA Games
Occurring bi-annually, the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games is happening in Kuala Lumpur this year. It’s been 16 years since Malaysia lasted hosted the games, and this year it will be held in conjunction the 60th celebration of Malaysian Independence on August 31st!
From a recent surge of nationwide enthusiasm about sports from a successful Olympics game last summer, you can bet that KL2017 will be an event you don’t want to miss.
2. Food to die for
While Malaysian food has been heralded as life-changing by world-renowned chefs like
Anthony Bourdain for years, recently Malaysia has seen Melbourne-inspired cafes, vegan restaurants, and Scandinavian-style bakeries pop up across its cities. Now Malaysia can truly be called a food heaven as it keeps up global food trends and further diversifies its international food scene.
Don’t skip out on the nasi lemak or char kuey teow, but if you feel a little homesick, you can be sure to find some comfort food from home during your visit.
3. Blossoming Art Scene
Malaysia has exporting world-renown artists such as Jimmy Choo and H. H. Lim for many decades. However, Malaysia has been witnessing a sudden influx of international artists that are attracted to Malaysia’s interesting mix of traditional and modern cultures.
The street art of Georgetown, Penang is no stranger to the global audience, but Malaysians themselves are becoming more interested in creating art too. Craft workshops, from batik painting to brush lettering, are becoming increasingly popular. You can sign up for a batik workshop where you can make your own batik scarf or even learn how to use the ancient Japanese dyeing technique of shibori here.
4. Breathtaking nature
After you’ve experienced the culture, don’t forget about the nature. Other than spicy food and the art of batik, Malaysia is well known for its beaches, highlands, and rainforests too. Now more than ever, Malaysia is dedicated to rainforest conservation and raising environmental awareness.
Challenge yourself with a 2-day hike to Malaysia’s tallest mountain Mount Kinabalu. Or take a trip to The Habitat on Penang Hill via cable car and see the Malaysian rainforest without breaking a sweat. Stop by their shop and buy some batik fashion products too to make it a truly Malaysian experience.
5. Affordable Flight Options
Any seasoned global traveller will tell you that Southeast Asia has the cheapest domestic and international flights you can find anywhere. With many budget airlines to choose from, you could fly from Peninsular Malaysia to Borneo for US$50 or from Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok for less than US$100.
If you’re looking for a more comfortable trip, Malaysian Airlines offers unbeatable prices for world-class service. With the ease of inflight shopping, leaving something at home is no longer a worry. Check out the inflight magazine Temptations, where you can read more about the story of the Batik Boutique and bring a piece of Malaysia with you to wherever you choose to explore next.
Don't forget to check out our Summer Travel Collection. Happy travels!