The Must-Do’s Of Malaysia

There is nothing better than planning a vacation. Sitting and trawling through the travel websites for the most far-flung places that offer the biggest adventures and cultural experiences is all part of the fun. If there is one place that should be on your list to visit, it’s Malaysia. It’s a beautiful place to visit and one that welcomes everyone with open arms, regardless of background and culture. If you’re going to travel to Malaysia, there are some must-do’s that absolutely have to be on your bucket list of places to visit, and we’re going to walk you through each of them in turn.

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[Photo courtesy of peternguyen11/pixabay.com]

Kuala Lumpur

Starting in the cultural melting pot capital, Kuala Lumpur, you’ll be wide-eyed and amazed with what you can find. You will be able to visit shopping malls that have so much more than just the standard shops and boutiques, but rollercoasters winding their way through them. You’ll walk down the street and see monkeys hanging around in the trees above you. Kuala Lumpur is a place you’ll find the Petronas Twin Towers, which has an amazing skybridge running right between the two giants. You can head to the top and go onto the bridge at certain times during the day, and you can read more about it here. The fact that all the shops and museums for the capital are all in the one area makes your days out so much simpler to plan. With everything so close it makes it so much easier to rent a house nearby for your whole stay. Hotels are wonderful, but seeing as Malaysia is food paradise, it can be easier to self-cater!

[Photo courtesy of Chmouel Boudjnah /flickr.com]

Food Culture

One of the biggest reasons to visit the far corners of the world is the food. Most people expect restaurants abroad to be better when they’re pricier, but the thing about Malaysia is that the street food is just as glorious as the food you find in the best restaurants. Whether you’re hungry for traditional Malaysian cuisine, Chinese, Indian or Thai food, there are food courts that hold so much flavour you won’t be able to choose just the one dish. Head over to Penang; the south-east peninsula has the best food in the area. The amalgamation of different cultures means you have so much for your taste buds to discover.

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History & Culture

We mentioned earlier that Malaysia is a place that welcomes everyone, and it’s absolutely correct. The acceptance is immense, and you’ll find temples built beside mosques with churches on either side. You can head to Malaysia to experience Ramadan, the Indian Holi festival and even Christmas. The art scenes are vibrant, and Penang has so much to offer those who are seeking out a little culture and excitement.

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[Photo courtesy of epSos.de/wikimedia.org]

Beaches

It’s not all about the capital in Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur has so much going for it. Malaysia may not be known for the beaches it has to offer, but that’s what makes it so great. These little secret spots of tranquillity are simply breathtaking. Langkawi Island is in the Northern Malaysia region. It’s talked about as ‘the Jewel of Kedah’ and is something to be awed by. It is made up of nine different islands and it is covered in wildlife, so not only are you able to sit by the tranquil and clear oceans, you can enjoy animals in their natural habitat. If you want white sands, Perhentian Island is the place to visit for a truly awesome snorkelling experience. Get under the water and into the quiet and watch a whole world unfold before you, with ancient sea turtles and marine life of all colours.

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[Photo courtesy of Chmouel Boudjnah /wikimedia.org]

Cup Of Tea

Malaysia is one of the many places in the world that has famous tea plantations, and The Cameron Highlands is the place to go to enjoy some. The flora and fauna here are eye-wateringly beautiful, and you get the chance to try authentic tea right from the plant. It’s not an experience one should miss out on, and it can show you the sheer diversity of the landscape in Malaysia.

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[Photo courtesy of Dcubillas/wikimedia.org]

Mountains

Kinabulu National Park is somewhere for the adventurers among you to sink your teeth into. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site, which means it’s a popular destination for visitors every year. You can climb the heady heights of Kinabulu, which has its peak at 4,095 meters high. There are over 6000 species of plants and almost 400 species of birds, so you bird-lovers out there should ensure you bring your binoculars with you!

[Photo courtesy of Chmouel Boudjnah /flickr.com]

Caving

Malaysia is a place thriving with UNESCO sites, and you can see them all listed here. One of the places you should absolutely try to get to, is Gunung Mulu National Park. It’s in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo and it’s got the largest cave chamber known to the world. It’s said you could fit over forty 747 aircraft in there. The natural beauty that are caves gives you the chance to view the world from a different angle, and the only way to get there is a short flight. Take yourself out of the malls and the built-up areas and get stuck into nature. Bring the right equipment and experience a once in a lifetime opportunity.

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[Photo courtesy of Morio/wikimedia.org]

Sports

The sports enthusiasts among you will already be well-versed in the motorsport names that visit Malaysia every year, but for those of you who don’t you need to get your research done! F1 Grand Prix season sees Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso arrive in style. The weather may be unpredictable to track, but you can get yourself tickets to beside the track in March and watch some of the driving greats make a name for themselves up close and personal.

There’s nothing so beautiful as visiting a country as diverse as Malaysia. The sheer variety of things to do and places to see means that you could spend weeks there and never get bored. Get yourself online and start planning!

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Explore The Hidden Side of Miami

Miami has a luxurious haven for holidaymakers from all around the country and across the globe since the late 19th century. Originally known for its picturesque beaches and ubiquitous sunshine, it’s now best known for flaunting its glitz, glamour and celebrity aficionados for all the world to see. While we all know about the opulent excess of Miami beach and the star-studded artificial island known as star island, these popular tourist traps are really just the tip of the iceberg. To get to know the ‘real’ Miami, it doesn’t take a great deal of effort or knowhow, just take a slight detour away from the sun drenched coastline and you’ll find a series of vibrant and culturally rich neighborhoods that are alive with the Latin influence that permeates much of Florida.

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Miami is a place so distinctive, a master perfumer tried to bottle its scent in the early 2000s. Its streets are rich with a musky scent made up of orange blossoms, sea salt and tobacco, that can’t help but carry with it feelings of adventure and discovery.

As much fun as you can have with beachfront cocktails and boat rentals Miami is a city of contrasts. Scratch the glitzy surface and you’ll find a real sense of community and celebrated diversity in Miami. The ancestry of each neighborhood resonates richly in its architecture, its art and its culinary prowess, with each neighborhood wearing its influence very much on its sleeve. For example, Little Havana is home to the city’s Cuban population whereas West Indians made their home in Little Haiti, while the district of Wynwood has always been a haven for the artistically inclined. In this post we’ll look at some of the ways in which you can avoid the expensive tourist traps and enjoy the food, architecture and culture of Miami like a local.

The Food

Whatever your taste, you’ll find food to fall in love with in Miami. Though, understandably Miami is associated with some of the best seafood in the world, you can still eat like royalty even if you’re vegetarian, vegan… or just plain don’t like fish.

The southern states are synonymous with soul food, and you’ll find some of the best in the world in Miami. In historic Overtown you’ll find a taste of southern tradition with a host of barbecue joints and soul food restaurants serving up fried catfish, barbecued ribs and split sausages grilled to crispy perfection.

If you’re one of a growing proportion of people who choose not to eat meat, seafood or dairy for health or ethical reasons, you’ll still be able to sample Miami’s multicultural delights through your palette with a range of vegan and vegetarian restaurants to suit all tastes. Indeed, the iron rich soil makes Florida home to some of the most delicious tropical fruits anywhere in the world, which is used in many cakes and desserts throughout Miami. Full Bloom near the beach is a great place to find Latin and Mexican inspired vegan cuisine and a range of delicious tropical fruit based desserts while if your taste buds favor the French inspired, Eden in Eden is a cafe that offers a range of French influenced foods such as dairy free crepes and gluten free quiches as well as nutritious juices and smoothies.

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The Feel

Like many magical spots, Miami has a certain feel to it that’s partly the smell of the sea air combined with the food smells wafting on the breeze and  partly the myriad design elements and architecture that reflect the city’s diverse cultural lineage.

There’s a striking interplay between the man made and the natural throughout Miami with the city’s designs complementing and in some cases incorporating the flourishes of the surrounding plant life from palms to the fetching sea grape trees with leaves so huge and distinctive that locals refer to them as ‘postcard leaves’.

Check out the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden which is not only a masterpiece of modern design but home to some of the areas most naturally beautiful flora. If art deco is right up your street then check out the Art Deco District near south beach where you’ll find some striking examples of the 20th century style resplendent in sweeping balconies and nautical affectations including the odd port hole here and there.

Culture vultures owe it to themselves to spend some time in The Miami Design District, a hub not only of creative endeavor but high end retail where you can sample the myriad artistic triumphs of the district’s two free- access contemporary art museums before some retail therapy in some of the area’s swanky boutique stores.

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Keeping The Summer Spirit Alive

When the summer waves it’s last goodbye, and colder weather draws in, it can feel sad to let the long days and summer breezes go. However the days will become shorter, nights will be much colder and crisp leaves will fill the forest floor. But don’t fret; you don’t have to let the last ounces of warm weather go without a last hoorah. There are some great ways you can still keep that summer spirit alive and make the most of every ray of sunshine.

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[Photo courtesy of Skitterphoto/pexels.com]

Fresh Fruit For Breakfast

The one thing which we all love to do in the summertime is start the day with a smoothie bowl or a bowl of fruit and yoghurt. It’s refreshing, light and makes you feel invigorated for the day ahead. Just because the season has changed doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy fresh produce which is available in stores. Make yourself a big bowl of fruit and enjoy the morning sun.

Woodland Walks in The Sunshine

Being outdoors is a surefire way to feel like you are making the most of your day. Why not plan an impromptu hike at the weekend, take in the sights beside a lake and relish the sunshine on your skin. It might not be the right weather for wearing shorts or a dress, but just wrap up in a few extra layers, and you’ll feel toasty and happy.

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Jet Off Elsewhere

It might be the end of summer for us, but in the southern hemisphere, it is just beginning. If you really want to keep that summer spirit alive, book some cheap flights and jet off to a tropical beach somewhere. You’ll get to have one last wear of that bikini and make the most of cocktails by the pool.

Keep You Decor Light and Bright

At the first sign of foggy weather and a chill in the air, many of us switch out the bright cushions and pastel decor in aid of a room filled with tartan and scented candles. Keep summer alive in your home by ditching the thick blankets and furry pillows and sticking with that summer colour scheme. Light some fresh seaside and fruity scented candles and leave the spices for later in the year.

Brave The Beach

It might be a bit, okay very, windy outside, but that’s no reason not to take a trip to the coast. No matter the season, the beach clears the lungs and makes you forget about the world. It’s the ultimate relaxing sensation…Even if you have to keep pulling your hat back on.

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The Great Outdoors

There’s nothing more indicative of summer than making s’mores over an open fire and sleeping under the stars. Camping is the ultimate way to relive those adventurous summer days and keep the spirit of the warmer months alive. Grab a tent, PLENTY of blankets and some simple supplies to make a weekend away which is reminiscent of that summer haze.

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