In Crystal Cruises®, Featured Posts, Gallivanting the Globe


Penang, Malaysia

Tropical Biodiversity, a World of Flavor, Dizzying Cosmopolitan Energy and Sacred Sites

The very notion of diversity pulses through every experience in store for visitors to Malaysia. It’s a kaleidoscope of cultures, religions, natural ecosystems and interests. Crystal’s luxury voyages to Malaysia showcase this multi-faceted country beautifully, with calls to some of the most striking and significant destinations in the region. Here’s a quick reference to what you can expect in Malaysia as you look ahead to future journeys.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang)

Bustling Port Klang is the principal port of entry for Malaysia and the gateway to Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia’s capital is many, many things. Multi-cultural, modern, sky-rising urban jungle. Tropical landscape of banyan trees and nature reserves. Haven of designer shopping, epicenter of traditional wares and night markets, or pasar malam. One thing it is not is static. Energy and movement are everywhere in the Malaysian capital and it is certain to sweep you up in its enticing charms. Enjoy it all – from sky-high views from the 451-meter Petronas Twin Towers to the Batu Caves and their sacred Hindu shrine. Wander the spacious, tree-lined avenues and explore the deep, multi-layered spiritual history, and of course, visit the local street vendors and taste to your heart’s content.


Located on the spice routes, the British East India Company established a colony on Penang Island in 1786. As the first Southeast Asian island to be colonized by the British, its citizens generally speak a fair blend of Malaysian and English, which will make your navigation of the city’s vibrant streets a bit easier. And definitely take to the streets here, as that is where life is happening. Penang is famous for its obsession with flavor and diverse cuisine, thanks mostly to influences of Chinese, Indian and Sumatran settlers mingling with local Malays. And it’s found in street markets, sidewalk food carts and hole-in-the-wall eateries that tempt you with aromas down the block. Some of the best art in the city is also found on the street, as Penang embraces the avant garde creativity of glorified graffiti. Head to George Town for some of the most striking displays (conveniently, often on building walls that also house more delicious food).

Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu is a busy city situated between the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park and Mount Kinabalu – an ideal place for snorkeling, hiking and all manner of outdoor pursuits, as the region is one of the most biologically diverse in the world. It’s the gateway for adventures in Borneo, including Kinabalu National Park (Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, where elephants and monkeys roam over 300 acres of lush, hilly terrain. Kota Kinabalu (known locally as Api Api) is its own wild habitat, ideal for people watching along the waterfront, where a variety of restaurants, pubs and cafes showcase the beautiful mix of local and visiting cultures.


This archipelago of 99 islands has stayed under the radar for some time, though it shines brightly with exotic wildlife and white-sand beaches conjuring the idyllic reality of a romantic tropical getaway. Langkawi Island is the only isle in the archipelago with any significant human population and settlement, welcoming visitors with forest-covered mountains, verdant rice paddies, hidden lagoons and limestone escarpments. Scuba divers will thrill here to the tropical underwater worlds, while sun-seekers will love the sprawling Tanjung Rhu beach and hikers will enjoy the trek to Seven Wells waterfall. The island’s natural wonders have earned Langkawi a UNESCO World Geopark designation.

Crystal invites travelers to plan luxury voyages to Malaysia with added flexibility as we look ahead to sailing together again.

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