Malaysia is often over-looked at the holiday planning stage, but here at Original Diving we believe it to be one of the most alluring destinations in Asia. Kuala Lumpur is no Bangkok, admittedly, but in Borneo and Langkawi, Malaysia boasts two of the continents very finest destinations. Add to that a vibrant blend of Malay, Indian and Chinese cultures (and the resulting excellent cuisine) and this is a place well worth visiting.
Malaysian Borneo is a unique and diverse destination where over 50 new species have been found by scientists since 2005. With beautiful beaches, rainforest lodges and incredible wildlife (including the endangered orangutan) it is a nature lovers dream. Not to mention that it is host to some of Asia's finest reefs, pinnacles and coral gardens as well as wall diving and some of the best macro sites in the world. Mt Kinabalu is a trekkers' paradise, and Borneo also has some of South-East Asia's finest family hotels. Off the west coast of mainland Malaysia, Langkawi is a lush island just south of the Thai border and Phuket, and the luxurious hotels here - including long-term favourite the Datai and a new Four Seasons - are every bit as good as their Thai rivals.
For marine wildlife, the island of Lankayan has some of the best dive sites in the region, and Selingan Island is a favourite nesting place for giant turtles that travel hundreds of miles to lay their eggs on the same beach they were hatched on years before. And then there is the island of Sipadan, which offers some of the very best diving on the planet. This oceanic island rises as a pristine coral mount from the floor of the Sulawesi Sea to give awesome 2000 foot wall dives, just 50 feet from the shore. Lying five degrees north of the equator off the mainland of Borneo; Sipadan Island is covered with a luxuriant, untouched rain forest surrounded by pristine sandy beaches.
Altogether, it would be difficult to overstate the attraction of Borneo for anyone with a passion for the natural world.