|Malaysia is separated by the South China Sea into two regions: The Peninsular Malaysia and the Malaysian Borneo, located on the north coast if the Borneo Island. The two distinct parts of Malasyia share a largely similar landscape in that both West and East Malaysia feature coastal plains rising to often densely forested hills and mountains, the highest of which is Mount Kinabaly on the island of Borneo at 4,095 meters. The total population of Malaysia is around 27 million, and the capital is Kuala Lumpur with a population of about 6.6 million.
Kuala Lumpur probably has the worlds cheapest 5-star hotels, great shopping and even better food. Kuala Lumpur though is not one of those cities with many must see attractions. The main joy of Kuala Lumpur is to just wander around and see what is going on, do some shopping and eating. Among the few attractions are the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and other colonial era building surrounding the Dataran Merdeka square in the city center.
Within the city center is also the fascinating narrow streets of Chinatown, Kuala Lumpurs traditional commercial district, with its many Chinese shops and places to eat.
Another area of interest could be the Golden Triangle, although predominantly a shopping and night-life district, it is also home to the Petronas Twin Towers, once the world's tallest building.
On the northwest coast of the peninsula sits the holiday island of Langkawi, set on the Andaman Sea. Langkawi has international standard resort hotels as well as simple chalet accommodation. The island is famous for its palm-fringed golden sand beaches and its tropical rain forest with its variety of flora and fauna. There are watersports of all kinds, a fine golf course and duty-free shopping.
Further down the coast lies Penang Island, the first British trading post in the Far East. Penang is one of Malaysia's main tourist draws. The beaches are nice, although the can be found better elsewhere in Malaysia, but this is more than compensated for by the island's rich multicultural history which is full of Chinese, Malay, Indian and European influences. Penang is also known as the "food paradise" of Malaysia. Penang's historic architecture is centered mainly in George Town, Penang's largest city. Its rows of 100 year old shophouses and colonial villas give George Town its distinctive atmosphere. The Aceh Mosque is the oldest house of worship in the city, it sits among Burmese, Thai and Chinese temples.
Further south, in the Straits of Malacca, lies the island of Pangkor, a popular getaway for Malaysians with its many sandy bays and all kinds of accommodation. The city of Malacca at the west coast of the peninsular is rich in culture and heritage. A tourist will find an unique mix of the Malay culture with the Chinese culture in Malacca.
On the east coast, in an archipelago of 64 volcanic islands, sits Tioman Island. Blessed with miles of soft white sand and swaying palms, with forested, mountainous interior where cool waterfalls cascade down rocky slopes. Tioman offers a paradise for everything from walks to sea sports, or just plain lazing in the tropical sun. East Malaysia on the Borneo Island also boasts beach resorts such as at Damai, near Kuching, with its brilliant white sands and the Sarawak Cultural Village - a museum of Sarawak's ethnic cultures. The real highlight, however, comes from diving in the waters off Labuan Island, famous for underwater shipwrecks, and Sipadan Island, in the state of Sabah.