Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia, which is famous for its white sandy pristine beaches, rain-forests, and a fusion of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and other European cultural influences. No matter which season you arrive in Malaysia, you will find numerous activities to indulge in.
A wonderful fusion of a modern world and a developing nation. Malaysia has invested a lot in technology and with its moderate oil wealth; it is termed as one of the richest countries in the Southeast Asian region. Malaysia occupies the entire Malay Peninsula and the Island or Borneo. It shares it borders with Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore. The currency active in Malaysia is Malaysian ringgit.
1.People and religions
Malaysia has a very diverse population. The majority of the population is Malay, which is followed by the Chinese population, Indian, and other miscellaneous groups of people. The major religions followed here are Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Sikhism. Overall Malaysia is termed as a Muslim country. People in Malaysia speak Malay and English in most of the regions. Arabic and other Chinese languages such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Hok-chew are spoken vividly in some regions.
2.Regions in Malaysia
Malaysia can be divided into two parts: Malaysia Peninsular and the East Malaysia.
Peninsular Malaysia is further sub-divided into three parts:
- West Coast: This is home to the most developed side of Peninsular Malaysia. It has states like Negeri, Malacca, Sembilan, Penang, Kedah, Perlis, Perak, and Selangor, along with two Federal territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. Due to the developed region. A majority of the Chinese population resides in this region.
- South Coast: This is home to most of the oil plantations in Malaysia, along with two coastlines and the state of Johor
- East Coast: A traditional Muslim area, which resembles glittering tropical jewels. Comprises of the states Pahang, Kelantan, and Terengganu.
East Malaysia: Covers the Island of Borneo, which shares its international borders with Brunei and Indonesia. You will mostly find virgin jungles and abundant in natural resources that are key to Malaysia’s industry and tourism. The Sabah region is an excellent region for scuba diving, muck diving, and is full of natural reserves such as Mount Kinabalu, etc. The Sarawak area comprises of national parks, thick virgin jungles, and traditional longhouses.
3. Tourist attractions
Malaysia has endless tourist attractions and tourists and guests surely have a great time visiting this beautiful country. The Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia has always been a major tourist attraction in Malaysia. Some of the popular cities in Malaysia are Kuala Lumpur, George Town, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Miri, Ipoh, Kuantan, Kuching, and Malacca. Other popular destinations or places to visit in Malaysia are Cameron Highlands, Kinabalu National Park, Taman Negara National Park, Penang, Redang, Fraser’s Hill, Langkawi, Tioman and Perhentian Islands. Tea plantains are quite famous in the Cameron Highlands. Most of the Islands of Malaysia offer excellent opportunities for scuba diving apart from having mind-blowing natural beauty and scenery. Apart from scuba diving, other activities to indulge in are whitewater rafting, cycling, paintball, and golf.
4.Weather and climate
Malaysian weather is mostly tropical through the year. Being closer to the equator, you can be sure to experience a warm weather. You are most likely to experience temperatures in the range of 89.6°F during the day and 78.8°F during the night. On rainy days, the night temperatures can hit a low of 73.4°F. You can expect a much cooler temperature in the highlands with temperatures ranging 77°F during the day and 62.6°F during the night. The northeast monsoon in the months of October to February causes flooding in Borneo and the east coast, and the west coast remains unharmed. The southwest monsoons in the month of April to October reverse the pattern. Showers in Malaysia are generally short but intense.
5.Traveling to and in Malaysia
Nationalities who do not need a visa to enter Malaysia would be issued a visa with a validity of 14, 30 or 90 days. Of late, the immigration authorities have started collecting fingerprints at arrivals and departure counters, which are verified by the respective country’s authorities. From international borders, Malaysia is accessible by plane, by neighboring countries; it is accessible by Train, Bus, Road, or Boat. While Malaysia has an excellent connected network through metros, buses, and taxis. You should negotiate with the taxi driver before booking one as they usually charge higher rates, especially from tourists. You can also catch a budget taxi, which is usually red and white or yellow in color. The blue taxis are luxurious taxis.
Malaysian food is greatly influenced by three major ethnic groups residing in Malaysia: Malay, Chinese, and Indian. There are some light influences from the Thai, Dutch, British, and Portuguese cuisines, mostly due to the colonization post independence. All this has resulted in a mix of several flavors, making the Malaysian cuisine is highly diverse in nature. You will find a lot of similarity between the food served in Singapore and in Malaysia. Dishes such, as chicken rice, satay, laksa, rending, and sambal are quite popular in both countries. Some of the common ingredients used in Malaysian food is chili peppers, belacan, common herbs such as lemongrass, coconut, soy sauce, tofu products, and dried seafood products. Malaysia is quite famous for its street food.
7.Shopping in Malaysia
Shopping in Malaysia can be fun and exciting and at the same time it could turn out to be an expensive affair for a lot of people. Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia was named as the fourth best shopping city in the world by CNN Travel a couple of years back. Here is a list of places where you can purchase the following items at amazing prices and discounts:
- Fashion and accessories: You will never find discounts and deals for branded stuff, but if you wish to indulge in budget shopping, then try the Berjaya Times Square Shopping Mall.
- Electronics: The Low Yat Plaza in Bukit Bintang can get you amazing deals on electronics and is often referred as the premier IT shopping mall of Malaysia.
- Books: This can be a really expensive on your pocket, but shops such as BookXcess in the Amcorp Mall sells books at bargaining rates.
- Handicrafts and Souvenirs: Central Market, which is opposite to the Pasar Seni LRT station, is the best place to purchase handicrafts and souvenirs. With endless variety and options to choose from, you will definitely be spoilt for choices.
- Antiques and Knick Knacks: A flea market to purchase antiques takes places every weekend at the Amcorp Mall.
[Also Read : Shopping in Malaysia]
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