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Malaysia Information

 

Malaysia is a country in South-East Asia, located partly on a peninsula of the Asian mainland and partly on the northern third of the island of Borneo. West (peninsular) Malaysia shares a border with Thailand, is connected by a causeway and a bridge (the 'second link') to the island state of Singapore, and has coastlines on the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca. East Malaysia (Borneo) shares borders with Brunei and Indonesia.

Malaysia is a mix of the modern world and a developing nation. With its investment in the high technology industries and moderate oil wealth, it has become a rich nation in South-East Asia. Malaysia, for most visitors, presents a happy mix: there is high-tech infrastructure and things generally work well and more or less on schedule, but prices remain reasonable and daily life far more vibrant than, say, sanitized Singapore.

Cities


    * Kuala Lumpur - the capital
    * George Town - the cultural and cuisine capital of Penang
    * Ipoh - capital of Perak, famous for its Chinese food, tin mines and limestone mountains and caves
    * Johor Bahru - capital of Johor, and gateway to Singapore
    * Kota Kinabalu - capital of Sabah, and the largest city in East Malaysia
    * Kuching - capital of Sarawak
    * Malacca - the historical city of Malaysia
    * Miri - the resort city of Sarawak and gateway to UNESCO World Heritage Site Gunung Mulu National Park
    * Putrajaya - the administrative centre of Malaysia, known for its lavish buildings, bridges and man-made lakes

Islands


Some of the most stunningly beautiful things about Malaysia are its tropical islands. And there's more to them than sun, sand and surf: particularly on the East Coast and Borneo's Sipadan there are coral reefs and hence excellent diving .

    * Labuan - offshore finance centre off the coast of East Malaysia, Borneo
    * Langkawi - newly developed West Coast island home to some of Malaysia's most opulent resorts and the Pulau Paya Marine Park
    * Pangkor - fishing community and less well-known tourist destination off the west coast
    * Penang - former British colony known as the "Pearl of the Orient", and bustling island city with excellent cuisine
    * Perhentian Islands - glittering jewels off the East Coast still undiscovered by mass tourism
    * Redang Island - popular destination for scuba divers
    * Sipadan Island - remote scuba diving paradise at the easternmost tip of Malaysia
    * Tioman Island - once nominated one of the most beautiful islands in the world

National parks


There are various beautiful national parks in Malaysia. There are many different types of expeditions available, ranging from those where you hardly lose sight of the hotel to those were you are fully immersed in the jungle with only the guide and yourself if you are willing to pay the money! Tours vary from about 4 days to 2 weeks or more. It is very unlikely in most of the national parks for you to see a tiger or an elephant, this is only really likely if you are going to be staying for longer than a few days, i.e., for a couple of weeks at least. One of the most common forms of wildlife that you will encounter in the jungle however are definitely leeches. In the rainforest it is very very humid but actually it is not incredibly hot. This is because of the large amount of shade afforded by the canopy created by the interlocking trees. Shop around for deals of getting into the jungle and make your decision based on what type of person you are. If you are going to enjoy a lot of hiking without seeing any other people for days or even weeks then you can have that choice, alternatively you can have a much more 'packaged' tour in which you will probably stay in a very built up tourist town which has probably just grown out of the demand for people wanting to stay in the jungle.

    * Bako National Park, Sarawak - famed for its wildlife, especially bearded pigs and proboscis monkeys
    * Batang Ai National Park, Sarawak - the Iban heartland
    * Gunung Gading National Park, Sarawak - home of the parasitic flower Rafflesia
    * Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak - fantastic limestones caves and karst formations
    * Kinabalu National Park, Sabah - home of 4095 metre peak Gunung Kinabalu, the tallest mountain in Borneo.
    * Kubah National Park, Sarawak - home of the orang-utan and many other species of wildlife
    * Taman Negara National Park - the self-proclaimed World's Oldest Rainforest, spanning Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu

Holidays


One of the significant characteristics of Malaysian culture is its celebration of various festivals and events. The year is filled with colorful, exhilarating and exciting activities. Some are religious and solemn but others are vibrous, joyous events. One interesting feature of the main festivals here is the 'open house' custom. This is when Malaysians celebrating the festival invite friends and family to come by their homes for some traditional delicacies and fellowship.

Multicultural Malaysia celebrates a vast range of festivals, but the ones to look out for nationwide are Islamic
 

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