Malaysia travel guide
Malaysia is a two sectioned country in Southeast Asia with one half at the end of the Peninsula south of Thailand and the other half on the northern third of the island of Borneo. It is a country of mixed heritage with Islam, Buddhism and Christianity practiced. Currently one third of the population is Chinese. As it is a country divided by the South China Sea, the difference in the sections are quite noticeable.
Kuala Lumpur, the capital is on the peninsula and its name means muddy river. It is quite modern with tall high rises and international business a way of life. As you look at the architecture you will find skyscrapers attractively interspersed with traditional Islamic architecture. With over 5 million people, there is an enormous amount to do here. The old town center with its early buildings is now in an area called Chinatown which has Chinese shops and restaurants as well as the older Malay buildings. The Golden Triangle is what they call the central business district and you can’t miss the tall Petronas Towers, with their connecting Sky Bridge.
Malacca and George Town, the capital of Penang, are older cities with more history than Kuala Lumpur and are currently named UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Chinese Temple and the Dutch Church go back to the 1600’s and 1700’s respectively in Malacca. You will find quaint buildings from the Dutch rule and whole sections from when the Sultans ruled. There is a village of wooden houses from when the Portuguese ruled as well. It is all very interesting and eclectic. In George Town you will hear the muezzin call to prayer intermingled with the Chinese and their group exercises. The restoration of the colonial buildings is going well and there is some outstanding architecture.
The country is made up of gorgeous tropical beaches as well as jungles with tigers and elephants and mountains for growing rubber and over 1000 types of orchids. You are able to see all this by taking tours of different durations, depending on how deeply you want to get ensconced in trekking through the countryside. They are known for their scuba diving so you might prefer the sea to the jungles. There are many national parks with a lot of white water rafting. Make sure you know your skills level as the rivers range from easy floating to treacherous.
The highest and coolest point is Mt. Kinabalu at over 13,000 feet in the Sabah area in the eastern territories so if you are a good climber this will show you some beautiful views.
Malaysia is such a fantastic mix of many cultures with lots of history intermingled with well preserved nature. There is so much to do and see you will have to go and find out for yourself.