The centre and north of Malaysia are home to the island of Penang, the Cameron Highlands, and Taman Negara.
Penang is where you’ll find George Town, a UNESCO-designated heritage city with beautiful boutique hotels built in renovated and restored shophouses, terraces, carriage houses, hotels, and one bright blue mansion. The city is renowned for its history, street food, and its growing arts scene. Many of the most popular hawkers have moved into restaurants as demand exceeded capacity of street stalls and while you’ll find plenty of street art as you walk around, a number of galleries and performance spaces are also drawing attention.
In the Cameron Highlands, located between Kuala Lumpur and Penang, you’ll find tea plantations, an other-worldly mossy forest, walking trails, and if you’re lucky, giant rafflesia flowers in bloom. Once a favoured hill station, the region remains a cool respite from the tropical heat of cities to the north and south. Nearby Ipoh was once the nation’s tin mining capital and its old town has remained mostly unchanged for decades. Just outside you’ll find cave temples, walking trails, and ancient limestone hills.
Taman Negara’s pristine rainforest is home to the world’s longest canopy walkway and a network of walking trails that take you deep into this lush ancient land. With waterfalls, caves, monkeys, wild boars, deer, and nearly 400 species of birds in the park, there’s plenty to see.