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Discovering family-friendly Malaysia

A while back my friend and I started on our travels to Asia. We undertook an incredible journey and visited China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos before I settled in Taiwan to teach English as a foreign language. My friend continued travelling and ended up taking her own teaching course and working in Vietnam and Morocco.

I’ve been back in England for the past five years and have managed to acquire a mortgage, husband and two kids! My friend, on the other hand, is now based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and, with family in tow, I’m planning to go out for a holiday with free accommodation included!

I’m really looking forward to experiencing the delights of family holidays abroad with children and have heard that Malaysia is flanked by white sand beaches and contains some wonderfully green areas, such as the Cameron Highlands.

Below is my guide to family-friendly Malaysia, I hope it gives you some ideas and maybe inspires your own Asian adventures trips.


There are over 100 islands located off the northwest coast of Malaysia and Langkawi is the largest and most popular with visiting tourists. Aside from a chilled-out atmosphere, duty-free status and white-sand beaches, the island also has UNESCO World Geopark standing which means it encourages sustainable research and protects its’ natural heritage. Visiting families will find plenty of things to see and do, including rainforest walks, wildlife-filled rivers and lots of limestone caves and hidden lagoons.


Mountains, orangutans and the South China Sea make Borneo an excellent choice for visiting families. The island lies just to the east of mainland Malaysia and the northern states of Sabah and Sarawak are considered to be Malaysian. A trip to the south of the island will take you into Indonesia territory and makes a great option if you have the time. A guaranteed winner is the Sepilok rehab centre which has a whole host of activities for young naturalists interested in finding out more about our long-haired, long-armed, relatives.

Cameron Highlands

Back on the mainland, the aforementioned Cameron Highlands are regarded as a lush green delight that provide plenty of adventures and outdoor activities as alternatives to the beach. There are loads of resorts and eco-lodges situated throughout the state of Phahang and towns and hill stations, such as the Cameron highlands and the Genting Highlands, provide some great options within easy reach of KL. Things to do include: touring the tea estates, jungle treks and relaxing in the cooler air away from the hustle and bustle of the city.


This is the second-largest state in Malaysia and can be found on the northwest side of the peninsula. Aside from the beaches, such as Muka Head and Monkey Beach, Penang is well-known for its cultural heritage and multiculturalism and, as such, visiting families will be treated to a range of colonial architecture, vibrant food markets and well-equipped museums and art galleries. Across the Penang Bridge you’ll find Penang Island and the state capital George Town which is considered to be one of Malaysia’s most desirable places to live.


This tiny little island, just off the northwest coast, is still regarded as a low-key tourist destination and sites fishing as one of its major industries. There are, however, plenty of beaches so whether it will stay ‘undiscovered’ for long is anyone’s guess. Aside from the beaches you’ll find lots of temples, forts and even some tombs which will provide more than a day’s worth of activities for wannabe adventurers and explorers. For those families who are interested in flotilla sailing holidays, Pangkor Airport has regular flights to Phuket in neighbouring Thailand.

Biog: Nicola is extremely happy that her friend continued with her travels as now she gets some free accommodation in lovely exotic places.

Categories: Curiosities.
Localities: Asia and Malaysia.

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