Malaysia is a country located in Southeast Asia. It is separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized areas – Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. The history of Malaysia begins back in the time of local kingdoms, some of them formed after separating from China and some others from India. In the 18th century, these territories became subjects of the British Empire. The Second World War divided some and united other parts of the local territories. Malaysia as an independent modern nation was born in 1963.
Due to the variety of territories and influences, Malaysia is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural monarchy. Its official religion is Islam, but other religions are warmly welcomed. The county has one of the best economic records in Asia. The tourist industry is one of the most prominent in Malaysia. Malaysia is an Asian dream-come-true for tourists with its numerous attractions — both man-made and natural. But from where should a visitor start, especially of you are not familiar with the country?
Probably the best point to start from when exploring a country is its capital. Malaysia’s capital and largest city is Kuala Lumpur — a magnificent mixture of sci-fi skyscrapers and ancient temples. This capital can be your only destination for your first trip to Malaysia, but if you have more time, try to visit George Town. There you will see the mark the British Empire has left upon this region. With its stunning colonial architecture, it is no wonder why this town is included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. Kuching, probably one of the most multi-cultural cities in the whole country, is on Borneo Island. Miri, Ipon, Melaka City, Johor Bahru, … every city has its own identity and its own story linking back to the historical past of the area. Transport between the cities is easy and comfortable, and most importantly, on schedule. So no matter which region you decide to visit, you will have an enchanting story to tell your friends when you get back home.
If you want to leave the cities behind and enjoy the tranquil nature, there are several places to go and adventures to face. Cameron Highlands is Malaysia’s largest hill resort and the perfect place to learn and see how tea is cultivated. A cup of tea is a must when you visit this place! Langkawi Island is another breathtaking view for the nature lovers – it is part of an archipelago of 99 islands. Kinabalu Park is the perfect destination for the mountain and trekking tourists, with its highest peak a shade over 4,000 m. High above or deep under? Sipadan Island is rated as one of world’s top breathtaking underwater experiences. And of course if you have reached the water, a day spent on the beach is a well deserved break. Spend a day on Tioman Island or Pulau Redang Island – volcanic scenery, golden sands and crystal clear water will welcome you to these places. If all this is not enough and you want to literally touch the Malaysian nature and wild life, take a walk through prehistoric rainforests of Taman Negara. Meet the famed orangutans in the Kabili-Sepilok Nature Reserve or dive in a river safari along the Kinabatangan River.
Food, Culture, and Arts
The food in Malaysia is one of the county’s biggest attractions and adventures. The cuisine definitely represents the culture of this country, albeit with a hint of spice and coconut. The wide variety and mixture of flavors, techniques and ethnicities makes this cuisine unique. Here Chinese food is not Chinese, Indian food is not Indian, European food is not European – all have their own Malaysian twist! Take a risk and try everything! The national drink is called Tarik (a hot milk tea) and the national dish is Nasi Lemak (rice with coconut milk and pandan leaves). But best of all are the different types of street cooks offering various kinds of hard-to-pronounce dishes and delights. And the aroma in the air will make your stomach ask for more.
Arts, like most island nations, are mainly focused in applied arts — carving, silversmithing, and weaving. Beautiful floral elements and motifs are a specialty of this region. These make for perfect gifts and souvenirs for tourists. Music of Malaysia is mostly rhythm based and uses many varieties of drums. Songs are usually a mode of story telling — very similar to the music of Indonesia.
Malaysia’s climate is equatorial – this means that the best time of the year to visit the country is December to February, because of the rains and humidity.
Buses and trains are the main transport in the Peninsula area, while boats and planes are preferred on the islands.
Check for visas and passports and passports before you jump on the plane and be ready with some cash, which you can exchange when you get there.
Originally posted 2017-05-08 07:28:36.