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Singapore's tireless drive for growth is contrasted by Malaysia's laid-back atmosphere, where in some places it can seem as if time stands still. In fact, many Singaporeans look to their northern neighbor for the perfect vacation, exploring its rich national forests and marine parks, unwinding on picture-perfect beaches at sophisticated resorts, taking in the down-to-earth culture of its small towns, shopping for inexpensive handicrafts, and eating some of the most delicious food in Southeast Asia. But despite its exotic and world-class holiday offerings, Malaysia lacks the hoards of tourists that beat feet for Singapore and Thailand. Because Malaysia remains comparatively quiet, it's easy to enjoy a holiday without the tacky trappings of the tourist trade.

My favorite part of Malaysia, however, is the warmth of its people. I have yet to travel in this country without collecting remarkable tales of hospitality, openness, and generosity. I've found the Malaysian people to be genuine in their approach to foreign visitors, another fine byproduct of the underdeveloped tourism industry. For those who want to find a nice little corner of paradise, Malaysia could be your answer.

I've crept down alleys, wandered the streets of cities and towns, combed beaches, and trekked jungles to seek out the most exciting things that Singapore and Malaysia have to offer. In this book, I've presented the sights and attractions of these countries with insight into historical, cultural, and modern significance to bring you a complete appreciation of all you are about to experience.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.