it comes to place in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is one of the
most wonderful destinations.
With a strong economy and tremendous wealth, you will
discover a unique infusion of cultures of Chinese, Indian,
and Malay. Because
of this, you see a colorful country with many wonderful
cultures regarding architecture, clothing, food, and dance.
Some 10,000 years ago, aboriginal Malays started
coming down the peninsula from southwest China.
At this time, the Cambodian Funan, Srivijava, and
Majapahit empires started ruling the peninsula.
in 1405, the Islam people came to Melaka with vast wealth
attracting powers from Europe
With this, the Portuguese took over control of the
peninsula in 1511, and then in 1641, the Dutch.
Next, the British arrived in 1786 and just nine years
later, took power over Melaka.
As a part of the takeover, the British colonized the
Soon, east Malaysia also fell into British hands, as
well as Sarawak and Sabah once World War II ended.
The problem was that the native labor was not strong
enough to support the quick growing tin and rubber
industries so to help, Indians were brought into the country
in large amounts. With
this, a new racial mix was established.
in 1948, Malaya was overrun by the Japanese.
This created a serious armed struggle between the
communist guerrillas and the British with Malaya reaching
independence in 1957. At
that time, Sarawak, Sabah, and even Singapore joined Malaya,
which was the establishment of Malaysia in 1963.
However, in 1965, both Indonesia and Philippines
as battles continued over border rights, things began to
settle down in the 1970s and in the late 1990s, the economy
this country is multinational where you have Chinese,
Indians, and Malays all living together in peace.
In addition to nationality, you also see a wide array
of religious beliefs to include Hindu, Taoists, Buddhist,
and Muslim. Language
is also diverse as you can imagine with Bahasa, Hokkein, and
while Bahasa is the primary language in Malaysia, when you
have different ethnic groups speaking, they will often
communicate in English.
there are several tribes in Malaysia, the main
natives are Iban of Sarawak. Approximately 395,000 people make up this tribe, which lives
along the Baram and Rejang Rivers.
Another tribe, although smaller at 107,000 people, is
the Bidayuh tribe that lives on the Skrang River, and then
the Orang Asli tribe of approximately 80,000, living in
small communities within the peninsula.
visiting Malaysia, you will discover so many wonderful
things such as the music, which is important to all cultures
and influenced by both Islamic and Chinese. Most often, the music will be based around a native drum
called the Gendang. However,
Malaysian music also includes percussions with some made
from seashells gathered off the beach.
Then, there are trumpets, flutes, and even gongs.
To go along with the music, dance, and dance drama is
also an important part of the culture.
Shadow puppetry known as Wayang Kuilt, martial arts,
batik weaving, brass work, and silver work are also very
popular with beautiful designs created.
trying to find authentic Malay food is difficult.
However, you will find food known as Nyonya, which is
a wonderful blend of Malay and Chinese food.
Typically, the dishes are made with many Chinese
ingredients and great local spices.
For instance, meat kebabs in a spicy peanut sauce
called Satays, is a great dish.
Other common dishes include fired soybean curd in
peanut sauce, fiery curry prawns, sour tamarind fish curry,
and a spicy, curried meat marinated in coconut.
as the food is unique and tropical, so are the beverages.
One that everyone should try is called Cendol, which
is coconut milk, sugar syrup, and green noodles.
However, the Ais Kacang is just as good but made with
beans and jellies that have been topped with syrups, shaved
ice, and condensed milk.
Although very different from what you would find in
westernized worlds, these concoctions are actually very
see the countryside of Malaysia, you can visit both East
Malaysia and the Peninsular Malaysia.
Although more than 400 miles apart, both offer a
beautiful environment and wonderful culture. Approximately 40% of the country’s landmass is located in
Peninsular Malaysia while there are a number of mountain
also features some fertile plains on the west coast, as well
as coastal plains to the east.
you love the mountains and enjoy outdoor activities, you
want to get up close to Mt. Kinabalu, which is located
13,450 above sea level, the highest peak in all of Southeast
Asia. Keep in
mind that 60% of this country remains tropical rainforest.
Because of this vast area, you will discover more
than 8,000 species of flowering plants, over 2,000 tree
species, 200 types of palm trees, and 800 beautiful species
of orchids. For
fauna, there are leopards, tigers, tapirs, elephants,
gibbons, sun bears, and orangutans.
in mind when visiting that Malaysia is hot and humid
regardless of the time of year.
Although temperatures will tip down to around 68
degrees, most often they land somewhere around 85 degrees
with humidity around 90%.
The rainy season varies depending on the area of the
country with September to December being the wettest on the
west coast and October to February on the east coast.
as there is the outdoor beauty of Malaysia to enjoy, you
will find many festivals and celebrations as well.
Two considered the best is the Hari Raya Haji, which
is a two-day feast of sweets and cakes, and the Chinese New
Year that includes parades, dancing, music, food, and more.
For sightseeing, there is Kuala Lumpur, which offers
a peek into the old colonial architecture, Melaka where you
will find a number of ethnic influences and a ton of history
and the home to the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, the oldest
Chinese temple in the country, or Georgetown on Penang
last destination is the oldest British settlement and a
magnificent place to explore and gain a better understanding
of the country.