Asteamy, languid tropical paradise, the islands of Malaysia are a fave amongst loved-up honeymooners looking for a taste of the exotic on their romantic escape. However, with budget-busting shopping, luxury spas and awesome wildlife, there’s plenty on offer to entice single ladies too.
Start your trip in the vibrant capital Kuala Lumpur. A shopping hot spot, come prepared to flex some serious plastic in the city’s many malls. Stacked full of designer labels, there’s enough retail action to keep even the most fervent fashionista happy! Don’t miss home-grown label Lewre for shoes – the celeb foot candy du jour, it’s created by Jimmy Choo’s bestie Lewre Lew.
For a retail fix that won’t blow the holiday budget, head to the night markets (‘pasar malam’) for cute trinkets, local handicrafts and authentic Malaysian foods.
Once you’ve shopped up an appetite, stop by the quaint street café Wong Ah Wah, on the bustling Jalan Alor. Famed for its chicken wings, even the Malaysian Prime Minister’s been spotted here. Alternatively, head to local Malaysian fave Bijan for spicy beef, spring rolls and huge meaty prawns – and don’t miss the chocolate sponge served with coconut ice-cream for dessert.
After a couple of days shopping, escape the buzz of the city and experience the true beauty of Malaysia on the stunning islands.
Head to Kota Kinabalu for the most awesome sunsets, or jump on a boat to one of the deserted islands nearby for unrivalled snorkelling.
If you’re looking for some serious pampering, check out Rasa Ria Resort, where the heavenly spa boasts its own orang-utan sanctuary!
Love birds should migrate to Langkawi – so scenic, the Malaysian government have recently used it in their ‘Second Honeymoon’ programme, offering troubled couples a free two-night island escape to mend their marriage. And, with powdery sand beaches dotted with swaying coconut trees and casuarinas, the island’s sure to work its magic on you and your man.
If it’s adventure you’re after, Borneo is an absolute must. The best way to take in the truly amazing wildlife – including the bizarre Proboscis monkey – is with a west-to-east coast safari. Take in the natural wonders like the Poring Hot Springs, Kinabatagan River (a monkey haven) and Danum ‘The Lost World’ Valley – one of the most exotic and remote places on earth. Bliss.
While you're there...
A tiny, private island off the west coast, the crescent-shaped beach at Emerald Bay – with calm, green waters – is regarded as the cleanest beach in the country. Enjoy some peace and quiet on the uber-exclusive island, or head inland for a mini jungle trek.
Endau-Rompin National Park is home to a huge variety of wildlife, including rare Sumatran rhinoceros, tigers and dragonfish. Don’t miss out on a hike through the park’s stunning rainforests and waterfalls
Take the high road
The winding roads up to the Cameron Highlands may induce a little motion-dizziness, but the steep and weaving climb is well worth the views. Highlights along the way include scones and jam at strawberry farms, tea plantations and Tudor-inspired architecture.