My Guide to Malaysia

My Guide to Malaysia

Malaysia is often overshadowed in the Southeast Asia tourist trail. Backpackers will instead opt for places like Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. You won’t do that though. Not after reading our mini-guide to Southeast Asia’s hidden gem: Malaysia.

As one of the more developed countries in this region of the world, Malaysia is a perfect mix of East and West. The low cost of living, night markets, beaches, and excitement that bring flocks of tourists to Southeast Asia every year still exist here, but there’s also a much higher standard of living. The things you have grown accustomed to back home are more readily found here. Traffic is safer, there are parks, sidewalks, crosswalks, and street lights — small things you would never think about that make daily live much more easy.

Malaysia is also not lacking for wildlife, beaches, and all things exotic. The northern half of Borneo, the third-largest island in the world, is Malaysian territory. Here you will find exotic animals like wild orangutans, monitor lizards, proboscis monkeys, and hundreds of rare and exotic sea life species. You can’t forget about the rainforest either. At 140 million years old, the Bornean rain forest is the oldest in the world, older than even the Amazon. As such, it has served as a long-standing center of ecological evolution.

Culturally, Malaysia is a primarily Muslim country, so you will find that alcohol is heavily taxed and there are stricter standards of dress in public. Ethnically, Malaysia, and especially Kuala Lumpur, is a relatively diverse place. As such, you can also find a wide variety of cuisine from Indian, Chinese, Malay, and Western. Most Malaysians speak English very well, however, so communication will never be an issue.

Especially not in Malaysia’s bustling capital city, Kuala Lumpur. Known simply as KL to its friends, Kuala Lumpur is a bustling metropolis. It is a shopping mecca for clothes, electronics, watches, computer goods, and much more. The Petronas Twin Towers will stick out instantly as they have become the symbol for this fast-developing city. You can even go to the viewing deck on the 42nd floor. Make sure to get there early though as tickets sell out fast.

Between hiking in the many national parks, scuba diving in the gorgeous waters of Spidan, or getting lost in bustling cities, Malaysia has something to offer everyone. Take a trip out the Perhentian Islands, go shopping at Suria KLCC, get up close and personal with orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Whatever you’re looking for, Malaysia is sure to not disappoint.

Photo Credit: Pingouino Batu Batu, Pulau Babi Tengah, Malaysia via photopin (license)

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