Travel Guide: Malaysia
Malaysia Travel Guide: General Travel Guide Information about Malaysia.
This is a concise travel guide for Malaysia. We have written this travel guide on Malaysia to help you to develop an understanding for Malaysia and all of the beautiful points to travel. We also want you to understand the nuances of traveling to Malaysia such as how to be safe, what places to see, and much more. We assure you that our travel guide to Malaysia will be a very helpful tool when visiting this beautiful country. We also offer interpreters in Malaysia whenever you need. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need an interpreter in Malaysia or assistance in any way.
As a special service to our clients and readers, we at World Interpreting are working hard to offer you something different aside from our language translation and interpretation services. As we actively pursue excellence in our services, we also want you to experience what it will be like to travel to other countries by providing you with concise country and city profiles and other interesting tidbits of information about each country. Travel Guide Malaysia is just one of these innovations we are introducing. We will be coming up with more.
Travel Guide Malaysia will take you to different fantastic places in Malaysia as well as some of the famous landmarks and notable places, so you will already have a general idea about Malaysia if and when you decide to actually travel and explore this fascinating and exciting country in Asia.
Travel Guide Malaysia will assist you in getting a bird’s eye view of the country’s geography, language, the places of interest, landmarks and things you can do in Malaysia as well as give you travel safety tips. We do hope you will come back often to travel with us to other destinations around the world.
:: Introducing Malaysia ::
Malaysia is one of the most beautiful and frequentlyvisited countries in Southeast Asia. There are so many places to see and things to do, and with a thriving culture that is very much alive in its bustling cities, travelers find that Malaysia offers an exotic taste of Asia.
There are many things that a visitor can expect when traveling to Malaysia. Our Malaysia pocket travel guide begins with an overview of the country, followed by practical suggestions on what to see and things to do in Malaysia. As an added bonus, there are also safety travel tips that travelers will find of value when exploring the country. We also include a section on Malaysia’s climate to help you pack the right clothing and accessories. To help travelers get around and communicate with the Malaysians, we have also provided a list of a few common Bahasa Malaysia words and phrases. Our Travel Guide Malaysia is conveniently written and divided into easy-to-read sections, making it easier to look up for pertinent information, just when you need it.
Comprising 13 states and three different federal territories, the country’s landmass measures a total of 329,847 square kilometers or 127,350 square miles. This places the country’s size slightly larger than the state of New Mexico. The country is divided by the South China Sea into two regions. There is the Peninsular Malaysia and the Malaysian Borneo, which includes Sabah and Sarawak on the eastern side. Malaysia is surrounded by the neighboring countries of Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei. It shares maritime borders with the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.
The capital city of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur and this is also the largest city in the country. Many travel itineraries often start with a stop at Kuala Lumpur, since the city offers many interesting points of interest, the most impressive being the Petronas Towers. The city of Kuala Lumpur is also where the legislative branch of government is based.
However, the primary seat of the federal government is found in Putrajaya. It is in Putrajaya where the executive and judicial branches of the Malaysian government are based. The country is run as a federal constitutional monarchy. The current king of Malaysia is Abdul-Halim, while the elected prime minister is Najib Tun Razak.
The name Melayu comes from the Sanskrit word Malaiur or Malayadvipa. This means “land of mountains,” referring to the mountain range that runs along the length of the entire peninsula. Ancient Indians used the term to refer to the Malay Peninsula. Some say that Melayu comes from the Tamil word Malai, which means “mountain.” In ancient times, between the 7th and 14th centuries, the Melayu Kingdom existed on Sumatra.
The name Malaysia as we know it today is attributed to navigator Jules Dumont d’Urville of the Oceania expedition in 1826. The French navigator used the terms Malaisia, Micronesia and Melanesia to identify three different island groups in the Pacific region. Dumont d’Urville gave the name Malaysia to a group of islands often referred to as the East Indies.
Archeological finds have shown that Malaysia has been inhabited by humans for over 40,000 years. Negritos are said to be the first inhabitants of the area, sometime in 2500 and 1500 BC. In the 1st century AD, Chinese and Indian traders settled in region. These early immigrants brought with them their culture and religion, which is why Hinduism and Buddhism spread in the Malay Peninsula.
Beginning at the 2nd century, the Kingdom of Langkasuka gained prominence, which lasted 12 centuries. Islam spread sometime in the 14th century, due to the rise of the Srivijaya and Majapahit empires, as well as the rise of Parameswara as a Muslim city in the 15th century.
It was in the 15th century when the Malacca Sultanate was founded, making it the first independent state in the peninsula. Malacca became an important trading port, which is why Europeans conquered the region by the 16th century. In 1511, the Portuguese took control of Malacca. In 1641, the Dutch gained control of the region. In 1786, the British-led East India Company leased Penang from the Sultan of Kedah, establishing the presence of the British Crown in the peninsula. The British took control of the town of Singapore in 1819, followed by control of Malacca in 1824.
In the 20th century, the British had control of various states in Malaysia, including Pahang, Selangor, Perak and Negeri Sembilan. These states were collectively called the Federated Malay States and were protectorate states of the British Empire.
During World War II, the Japanese took control of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore for three years. By the end of the war, the Malays were seeking independence.
It was in 1957 when the Federation of Malaya was recognized as an independent federation, different from the Malay states found on the Malay Peninsula. It was six years later, in 1963, that Malaysia became the official name of the Federation of Malaya, which included Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak. Under British protection, the immigration of the Chinese and Indians was further encouraged to provide ample labor force to the region.
In 1963, the country of Malaysia was formed. By 1965, the island of Singapore was recognized as a separate country. The succeeding years brought about massive changes to the country, including racial discord, economic prosperity and many infrastructure projects. Today, Malaysia is one of the largest economies in the ASEAN.
There are over 28 million Malaysians according to the 2010 census, placing it as the 43rd most populous country in the world. The bulk of the population resides on the Peninsular side of the country. The country’s population density stands at 86 people per square kilometer or 216 persons per square mile, placing it 114th in the world.
According to the constitution, Malays are defined as those of the Muslim faith that practice Malay customs and culture. There are also recognized indigenous groups in Malaysia, called Bumiputra, which comprise 11% of the total population. Most of the residents of Sabah and Sarawak are Bumiputra.
Malaysia is one of the most culturally diverse nations in the world. It enjoys a multi-culture and multi-ethnic history. Islam is the official religion in Malaysia, although other religious beliefs and practices are respected. Malaysians stem from various ethnic groups. The most predominant are Malays, although there are also those of Chinese and Indian heritage. The Chinese comprise a third of the population of Malaysia and they reside mostly in Penang. However, they are said to control and generate about 70% of the market capitalization of the country. The Indians are mostly of Tamil origin and comprise about 70% of the Indian Malaysian in the country. Sabah and Serawak have 60 sub-ethnic groups.
The official language in Malaysia is Bahasa Malaysia, although there are a number of dialects spoken in the country. It is said that there are over 137 languages and dialects being used in the country today. The other name of Bahasa Malaysia is Bahasa Melayu. However, the use of English is on the rise, especially with the thrust on tourism. English is also the medium of instruction used in public schools to teach math and science. Travelers will find it useful to know a few basic words and phrases in Bahasa Malaysia. Our Travel Guide Malaysia is an excellent pocket guidebook that lists some of the words and phrases you are likely to encounter in Malaysia.
Malaysia has a thriving economy and is one of the fastest growing regions in Southeast Asia. The economic zone of Malaysia is larger than the actual land area of the country. The average annual growth rate of the country is placed as 6.5%. In 2011, the GDP (PPP) of the country is estimated at around $442 billion USD. That gives it a per capita PPP GDP of $15,385, which is the 47th highest per capita in the world. In 2010, the country’s GDP hit over $414,400 billion, making it the third largest economy in the ASEAN and placing it as the 29th largest economy in the world.
The official currency used in Malaysia is the Ringgit (RM). The country’s economic momentum is driven by industry and trade. Malaysia’s most valuable export is petroleum and is one of the largest producers of palm oil in the world. It also exports semiconductors, electrical goods and information technology equipment and products. The third largest income generator for Malaysia is tourism, which is why many travelers have made the country part of their travel itineraries.
While Malaysia has a thriving and growing economy, it is still blessed with many natural resources that the government has taken strides to preserve. After all, two thirds of the country is covered in forest. One reason why Malaysia beckons many travelers is because it is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Malaysia’s land and seas are deemed as some of the most biodiverse hotspots in the world. The oldest rainforests in the world are found in Malaysia, dating as far back as 130 million years. The country is also blessed with 1,425 square kilometers of mangroves. At the same time, about 20% of the world’s animal species are found in Malaysia.
Nature lovers will enjoy the 620 species of birds, 250 reptile species, 150 species of snakes, 80 different types of lizards, 150 frog species and numerous insect species found in Peninsular Malaysia. The country is home to over 14,500 different species of flora, including the largest flowers in the world, the Titan Arum and Rafflesia.
The country of Malaysia is located close to the equator, providing the country with a tropical climate all year round. The average temperatures are between 68 °F to 86 °F or 20 °C to 30 °C. Humidity levels are high at about 90%. It rains often in Malaysia, although these are short lived. Travelers going to Malaysia should be prepared for hot humid weather, yet still dress conservatively in deference to the sensitive and conservative sensibilities of the people.
Whether you’re looking for some amazing super structures, want to hike under a canopy of a lush rainforest, or want a glimpse of the historical colonial past of the country, Malaysia has something for everyone. The food is flavorful, the colors are rich, the beaches are calm and the people are welcoming. These are just some of the reasons why Malaysia has become as world-class destination.
Take advantage of our Travel Guide Malaysia and use it as the perfect travel companion as you explore this beautiful and exciting Southeast Asian nation. Take the time to read our Travel Guide Malaysia as you make your way through the bustling capital city of Kuala Lumpur, get a taste of the different flavors of the cuisine in Penang, trek through the many jungles in Sarawak or explore the biodiverse regions in Malaysian Borneo. You’ll find that a trip to Malaysia is one of the best vacations you can have.
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