Malaysia is one of the most vibrant destinations in modern Southeast Asia, offering experiences as contrasting as its multi-ethnic population is diverse. Pristine beaches, jungle-draped hills and mountains, cities holding a wealth of exotic architecture, craft traditions and wonderfully eclectic cuisines – all can be sampled in even a relatively short tour.

Created in 1963 from a patchwork of erstwhile colonial kingdoms, Malaysia is divided into two distinct regions separated by the South China Sea: the Malay Peninsula in the west; and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo to the east. Between the Peninsula and neighbouring Sumatra stretch one of the world’s busiest seaways, the Straits of Malacca.

From the early 15th century onwards, European powers jostled for control over the lucrative trade in spices and other valuables from the Far East which passed through the Straits. The Portuguese, Dutch and British all established colonies here at one time, adding their influence to the rich mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian which had already taken root.

Today, it’s precisely this same blend that makes this such a fascinating part of the world to explore. On a tailor-made holiday to Borneo, wander through the atmospheric back streets of Georgetown, with its wood-shuttered shop fronts, Chinese temples, evocative colonial-era buildings and stalls selling flavour-packed Tamil street food; or soak up the headlong modernity of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s great melting pot, whose skyscrapers and shopping malls remind you that you’re at the heart of a booming Asian-tiger economy.

At the other extreme lie the remote, interior jungles of Borneo, which you can experience on tailor-made holidays from the comfort of a luxury river cruise, or the great mountain of Kinabalu overlooking the coast of Sabah, whose pale-grey granite summit soars above a tract of rainforest where orangutans still roam free. 

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Suggested tours to Malaysia and Borneo

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Malaysia and Borneo Places and Experiences


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Whilst we stay at home, there is no better time to start thinking about your next holiday. Our Travel Specialists are ready to start planning your dream trip whether that is for some winter sun or a 2021 holiday. We don't need to confirm dates or lock-in deposits, let's just get the conversation going.

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