The temperature in Malaysia stays fairly steady all year round, rarely leaving the high 20s. It’s a wet country so you will probably get some rain, but May to September is the driest time of year. This is also the best time for diving and water sports as the water is clear.
Direct flights to Kuala Lumpur are available from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Flight times range from five and a half hours from Perth to more than eight hours from the east coast. Return economy fares start from A$900 and business class fares from A$3,500.
The Datai Langkawi
Best for Couples
Langkawi is Malaysia’s original holiday island and The Datai was one of the first five-star resorts to be built there. The resort sits high up in the rainforest overlooking a private beach. The property is family friendly, but it’s really designed to be a peaceful retreat – there’s an adults only pool and a secluded spa set in the rainforest. Stay in one of the brand new beach villas for a romantic escape – all have private pools and sundecks, outdoor rain showers and a breezy, open plan design with views from every room.
Rates: Rooms from MYR1,888 (about A$593) per night, suites from MYR3,263 (about A$1,024) per night and beach villas from MYR9,585 (abut A$3,008) per night.
Tanjong Jara Resort
Best for Active travellers and families
Sitting on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, facing the South China Sea, Tanjong Jara offers a host of activities on land and on the water. Tenggol Island, arguably Peninsular Malaysia’s best diving spot, is less than an hour away from the resort with more than 20 different dive sites and sightings of large manta rays and whale sharks. Hike through the rainforest with the resident naturalist, take a guided bike ride through the local fishing villages, cruise along the Marang River or learn a new skill with batik painting and cooking classes.
Rates: Entry level rooms from MYR700 (about A$220 per night and suites from MYR1,460 (about A$458) per night plus taxes.
Gayana Eco Resort
Best for Conservationists
Gayana is one of only three resorts on Gaya Island in the Tunkul Abdul Rahman National Park in Malaysian Borneo. Along with sister property Bunga Raya, a short distance away, Gayana operates an on-site Marine Ecology Centre dedicated to restoring coral reefs and propagating giant clams (the centre is home to seven of the eight giant clams of the world). Guests can participate in a reef regeneration program, planting replenished corals back into the reef, or spend a full day working with one of the resident marine biologists. Rates: Villas from MYR1,077 (about A$338) per night plus taxes.