There’s nothing like coming face-to-face with a giant orangutan. You’ll do just that at Semenggoh Rehabilitation Centre, a place where the animals come twice a day to get a free meal. The feedings bring the animals into view for tourists, but the meals are part of a conservation effort – a way for the center’s experts to keep an eye on the troop and any ailing members.

Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on Borneo, the large island that the country shares with Indonesia, and the seaside city of Kuching is the jumping-off place for the orangutan encounter and other exotic experiences. If you take a ride into the bush at Semenggoh, perhaps to the Borneo Highlands Resort on the Indonesian border, you’ll see some of the most beautiful and dramatic vistas on the island.

A single-lane road winds its way up to the resort, passing through endless greenery. One of Asia’s finest golf courses is located here, and you can also hike into the world’s largest rainforest or relax with a vegetarian meal and a massage.

Other fun things to do in Sarawak include taking a boat ride through the mangrove swamps. A fun way to learn about Malaysian culture is with a visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village where you can see a traditional dwelling called a longhouse.

All of these places are within a day’s drive of Kuching, which is in itself an interesting place to explore. Translated from Chinese, “kuching” means “Cat City,” and there are many monuments to the feline around town. But there’s still the “other” side of Malaysia to see – a short plane ride from Kuching will bring you there to bustling Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur is a thriving metropolis. Rich in Chinese, Indian and Malay culture, K.L. is one of Asia’s most modern cities. Here you can eat a Malaysian pancake as you walk through busy Chinatown only minutes away from dozens of fine dining establishments.

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