Melaka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the Malaysian tourism industry's trump cards, thanks to its Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial history, rich Peranakan (Straits Chinese) cultural heritage, excellent Nyonya restaurants and picturesque hinterland of rural Malay kampongs. The route south from Melaka is a pleasant but unremarkable drive through plantation country to Johor Bahru (JB), on the southernmost tip of the Peninsula.
It's a short hop across the causeway from JB to Singapore, and Malaysia's east coast islands and resorts are within easy reach. One of the most famous of these is Pulau Tioman, a large volcanic outcrop off the east coast, with perfect strips of sandy beaches, good diving and snorkelling, forest trails, mountain hikes and, for the most part, a laid-back atmosphere.
Inland lies Peninsular Malaysia's second-largest national park - Endau Rompin, which covers 800 sq km of lowland forest. Although facilities are limited and the access is trickier than in Taman Negara, the park offers more possibilities of catching a glimpse of rare rhinos, tigers and boars because of the paucity of tourists.
This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF