Malaysia's top resorts: Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia’s top resorts: Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia is definitely a nation of contrasts. Its cosmopolitan cities are vast Asian melting pots, teeming with life, and bursting with culture and things to do. Its countryside varies from mountainous landscapes, azure coastlines and tranquil islands. For the many who are drawn to this Far Eastern location like a magnet, it is that very diversity that is the key attraction.

Naturally, prior to embarking on any river cruises, wildlife treks or city breaks, visitors will first want somewhere to pitch up and call ‘home base' for the duration of their visit. So here is a list of some of the country's most-recommended visitor resorts.

City attractions

As Malaysia's bustling capital, Kuala Lumpur is often any visitor's first port of call. A diverse location, it offers a variety of accommodation choices, from luxurious hotels to plainer accommodation. If you are looking to embark on some serious retail therapy, Kuala Lumpur has everything you could possibly ask for in terms of a shopping experience. At one end of the scale there are luxury brand stores, their shelves stocked with the latest tempting designer items. At the other end, there are thriving street markets, where you are not only faced with a bewildering range of products, you have the opportunity to try your hand at some serious haggling with the vendors.

After a long day jostling amongst the crowds, what better way to unwind than booking into any one of hundreds of luxury spa, where you can take refreshments and emerge fully re-invigorated. Your choice of eating places is almost boundless. Malaysia cuisine is famous the world over, and as well as local temptations, there are restaurants catering for every taste imaginable. Neighbouring examples of Far Eastern dining are well-represented, with Indonesian, Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese choices.

Other things to do in Kuala Lumpur include visiting the Lake Gardens and Bird Park. Here you can suck up the tranquil atmosphere while enjoying pleasant strolls by lakes, with exotically-plumaged birds fluttering amongst the tree canopies. If you feel like taking on-board some of Malaysia's cultural highlights, why not pop into the Islamic Art Museum and National Mosque?

Batu Caves

Just outside the capital city you can truly get away from it all by experiencing the Batu Caves. Those street markets with their chattering vendors loudly selling their colourful wares will seem a million miles away. In fact, the world itself will seem peculiarly distant as you immerse yourself in some cathedral-sized underground caverns. Some of the caves down here are over 100 metres tall. This can be an incredibly moving experience as you find yourself dwarfed by the vast geological structures, including twisting stalactites and stalagmites. Pockets of underground water, fed by droplets cascading down from far above.

All the creatures who are resident in this subterranean lair, the most numerous are the bats. If you happen to be visiting around sunset, you might be lucky enough to see the moment when thousands of these creatures swarm from their roosting spots to hunt for insects.

As if having such a firsthand experience of nature wasn't enough you may well be lucky enough brackets or (unlucky enough) to be greeted by some of the local monkey population. They are used to having peanuts given to them by other travellers, so be prepared for a spot of haggling with these boisterous cave guardians!