MALAYSIA

GENERAL COUNTRY INFORMATION ABOUT MALAYSIA About malaysia: Malaysia is a beautiful and diverse country with many highlights. The many different regions, each with their own characteristic features, make this country the perfect destination for tourists. However, Malaysia does not entirely depend on tourism. This country's economy has been going strong for years. On the contrary to what some people (still) believe, Malaysia is not a third world country. The country has developed itself enormously in the past 50 years and this is clearly noticeable when visiting it. Especially in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, you will see many modern buildings, a modern light rail transit system, many luxurious shopping malls and countless expensive cars on the roads. Life outside of the capital is often less developed; but even there the times of people only being able to afford a motorcycle are long gone.

FACTS AND DETAILS ABOUT MALAYSIA Below a list with facts and other details about Malaysia.  The Federation of Malaysia comprises the Peninsular Malaysia and the states of Sabahand Sarawak on Borneo.  Malaysia is located between 2º and 7º north of the Equator; Peninsular Malaysia is separated from the states of Sabah and Sarawak by the South China Sea. To the north of Peninsular Malaysia is Thailand while its southern neighbor is Singapore. Sabah and Sarawak are north of Indonesia in Borneo while Sarawak also shares a border with Brunei.  Malaysia is 329,758 sq km in size.  The current population (2012) of Malaysia is roughly 28 million.  Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia.  Malays who make up about 50.4% of the population are the predominant group with Chinese (23.7%), Indians (7.1%) and other ethnic groups making up the rest.  Bahasa Melayu (Malay) is the national language but English is widely spoken, especially by the youth. The ethnic groups also speak various languages and dialects.  Islam is the official religion but all other religions are freely practiced.  Malaysia is governed by a parliamentary democracy with a bicameral legislative system. The Head of State is the King (Yang Di-Pertuan Agong), a position that is awarded to a different State Monarch every five years and the Head of Government is the Prime Minister.  Malaysia has a tropical climate with warm and humid weather all year round. Temperatures in the lowlands range from 21ºC (70ºF) to 32ºC (90ºF). The highlands are cooler, where temperatures range between 15°C (59° F) to 25°C (77°F).  Major public holidays in Malaysia are: New Year's Day, Federal Territory Day, Chinese New Year, Labour Day, King's Birthday, National Day, Deepavali, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, and Christmas.

In this period the Islamic way of thinking also set in when Arabic traders arrived. and established themselves on the island Penang (1786). the era of trade over sea had started andMalaysia would play a big part in it.000 years ago. Until 1405 the following superpowers reigned over the peninsula. who started focusing more on trade all around Indonesia. the Orang Asli (comparable to Malay Aboriginals) left from southwest China to the peninsula we now call West-Malaysia. the British increased their power over the rest of the peninsula. But when in the early 19th century tin supplies were discovered. Foreign currency can be converted at banks and money changers. between 1840 an 1882. The unit of currency is Malaysian Ringgit indicated as RM. the British also invited many Indian people to Malaysia.240 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. this lead to a communist insurrection (1948-1960). the trade shifted rapidly. Malaysia has a worldwide supported GSM network. US citizens should bring along a tri-band phone in order for it to work in Malaysia. the Funan (Cambodia). The . During the VOC-era (later the Dutch East Indies era) the Dutch seized power in Malacca in 1641. US and other Europeans should bring along an adaptor). it was primarily spices taken from the present Malaysia. In 1948 the Federation of Malaya was founded. From 1500 on the trade in Southeast Asia increased enormously.     Manufacturing constitutes the largest single component of Malaysia's economy. ATM's can be found throughout the whole country. Malaysia under British ruling The Portuguese were the first to occupyMalacca (partly due to its perfect location). After the Japanese occupation during World War II. also annexated east-Malaysia (Sabah andSarawak) into the British Crown Colony. In this period. to fill up the shortage of workers. HISTORY AND HISTORICAL FACTS OF MALAYSIA About 10. The British Crown Colony (also referred to as the Straits Settlements) was established in 1826 and slowly but certain. In a short period of time many people converted to this religion. Time difference: +8 GMT (+16 Pacific Standard Time). the strive for independence grew among Malay people. The British first colonized the peninsula and after that. Voltage is 220 . 'The Emergency'. When calling within Malaysia. It is said the Dutch traded 'Malaysia' for 'Indonesia'. You can check the currency (real-time) at xe. the British didn't put much effort into Malacca. which means you can use your phone without any problems. At first. Tourism and primary commodities such as petroleum. natural rubber and timber are other major contributors to the economy.com . use a prepaid SIM or Scratch card. From 1405 onwards the Chinese influence in this area grew. At first. When calling outside of Malaysia. Standard 3-pin square plugs and sockets (UK plugs. palm oil. Only until 1795 the British took over command of the Dutch in Malacca. the Srivijaya (Sumatra) and the Majapahit (Java). you'd best buy a prepaid card. The European superpowers of that time acquired interest in the local resources.

Both rallies were condemned by the government and were put down fierce by the police. Singapore and the east-Malaysian states Sabah and Sarawak on the north coast of Borneo. Federation of Malaysia In 1957 the British surrendered their sovereignty over Malaysia and the peninsula became independent that year with the name 'Federation of Malaysia'. the government made a treaty of peace with Malaysia and after that the Filipinos dropped their territory claims on Sabah too (though up to this day there is still an interest in the northern parts of Sabah). But after Soekarnos disposal in 1966. Yet against this terrible background. British and Malayan security forces fought a formidable guerilla army determined to create a Communist republic. Last couples of years have been dominated by political disturbances. an undeclared war on terror exploded in the jungles of Malaya. Malaysia jumps ahead as a economically and technologically well developed country. Indonesia started with the konfrontasi (confrontation). the Filipinos and Indonesia broke all their diplomatic relations. these rallies were the start of more political shifts. Malayans from all races and classes joined together to form a new nation – independent Malaya. In 1948.Federation consisted of 11 states. In 1965 Singapore separated from the federation and became an independent state. They failed – but by the time the war ended 12 years later. A new federation with the name Malaysia was established on September 16th 1963 by the unity of Malaysia. Directly after this. because they believed that some of these parts belonged to them. nine Malay states and the British settlements of Penang and Malacca. both combatants and civilians. fishing-boats in front of Sarawak's coast were brought to sink and above Sabah the roaring of airplanes could be heard. tens of thousands of people had been killed. Two unauthorized anti-government rallies shook Malaysia's fundaments in November 2007. With the 'Vision 2020' strategy carried out by former premier Mahathir. The Malayan Emergency was an education in fighting together – the crucible of independence. The first rally was organized to protest over corruption in the Malaysian electoral system. The sultan of the oil state Brunei (located between the federal states Sabah and Sarawak). . The second rally was organized by the Hindu Rights Action Force. The anti-government rallies of 2007 After the declaration of independence in 1957 Malaysia has developed itself quickly. However. to protest over discrimination against non-ethnic Malays (mainly Indian immigrants). already made clear in the past that they opposed to any kind of unity with Malaysia.

No action is being taken. A couple of weeks later the UMNO (part of Barisan Nasional) gathers to demand resignation of Abdullah Badawi. In May 2008 Mahathir leaves 'his' UMNO. Tun Abdul Razak). humility.0 made plans to organize a demonstration in Kuala Lumpur to protest for fair elections during the upcoming elections. integrity. after a 10 year ban of any political activities (due to acquisitions of corruptions and sodomy).Barisan Nasional (National Front) . which causes sparks of anger throughout the country. loyalty. Then we will see if Prime Minister Najib did enough to convince and please the 'Raykat' (the People). His actions are unfortunately for him . The eight values of 1Malaysia as articulated are perseverance. As a result he decides to resign as Prime Minister.Current political status In March 2008 the biggest political party .not met with his hopes to cause a rift in the UMNO. Soon after this it is clear that Najib Tun Razak will be the next Prime Minister of Malaysia (son of Malaysia's 2nd Prime Minister. This was a clear message addressed to Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi. He was the next Prime Minister in line after Mahathir. to leave yet again a clear message. acceptance. but due to his conviction Mahathir was succeeded by Abdullah Badawi. There will be new elections early 2013. Abdullah receives much criticism from out of his own party. They did not gave up and proceeded with the preparations. The government deemed the group illegal and bersih organizers did not get a permit which they needed to demonstrate. Not long after these events former vice Prime Minister Anwar is free to join politics. also appears in the spotlight. Malaysia's new Prime Minister is Najib Tun Razak. In April 2009 Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi resigns from politics. Anwar. In June 2008 the Malay government raised fuel prices by 41% (Diesel to 63%). He promises many changes. government agencies. although he does not mention further details around his resignation. but soon after the government again dissalowed . although he was under investigation for a short while. education. At some point even the King played a part in the developments. soon after Dr. and meritocracy.M (Mahathir) joins UMNO again. 1Malaysia is an on-going campaign announced by Najib calling for the cabinet. and civil servants to emphasize ethnic harmony. a culture of excellence. and efficient governance. He is again being accused of sodomy. the question is whether he is capable of really taking Malaysia to the next level. this time a 23 year old co-worker makes the allegation. advising government and bersih to come up with a peaceful solution. national unity.in Malaysia experienced the biggest electoral loss ever in the country's history. In July 2008 Najib Tun Razak is mentioned in connection with the death of a former top model. Main political rival. Abdullah remained confident he was still the one to lead BN to better times. In July 2011 a movement comprising of many organizations called Bersih 2. Both agreed. Former Prime Minister Mahathir is suspected to play a big role in this turn of events. He has the difficult task to make 'his' 1Malaysia happen.

0 to take place. while Malaysians of Indian descent comprises approximately 7. people were frisked and car trunks were checked. The government put Kuala Lumpur in lockdown at Friday 8th of July midnight. So Chinese born and living in Malaysia are not called Chinese. Malay or Malaysian Some people in Malaysia are referred to as Malay. can be traced to the Middle East.7% of the population is of Chinese descent. Around 1pm the rally towards Stadium Merdeka started. Burmese. Indian and some minor ethnics. while East Malaysia is relatively less populated. you are able to tell the difference between Malay and Malaysian. Things turned sour at 1. Around 4pm demonstrators declared Bersih2. Thailand and Indonesia.0 a succes and the city turned back to normal MALAYSIA POPULATION AND COUNTRY DEMOGRAPHICS The population of Malaysia stands at over 28 million in 2012 (details ). The census was made in the year of 2000.Bersih 2. When the British arrived in Malaya in the 18th century. Even numerous opposition leaders made it to the meeting points. but crowds moved slowly because of all the road blocks set up by police and special units. others as Malaysians. Malays are Muslims who practice Malay customs and culture. Other Malaysians also include those whose origin.000 demonstrators made it into the city center before 11am. Now if you understand the Malaysia's history. The population distribution is highly uneven.30pm when police starting to use water cannons and tear gas on the crowds. appropriately Malay. Around 23. ignoring the fact that they were put on a list with people that weren't allowed in the city that day. Addressing a Malaysian as Malay is incorrect. Chinese and Indian who were born and live in Malaysia are all Malaysian. Chinese.4% making up the majority and other indigenous groups in Sabah and Sarawak at 11% around of the population. This is what formed Malaysia. constituted by 3 major ethnics: Malay. By constitutional definition. neither are Indians born and raised in Malaysia called Indians. Indonesians. . Indians began migrating to Malaysia in the early 19th century. At 9 July 2011 most of the roads leading to KL were blocked. What is the difference? Since long time ago Malays were the only inhabitants in Malaya (the former name). Thai. Europeans and Eurasians mainly include British who settled in Malaysia since colonial times. Nonetheless well over 20. rubber and other industries. with some 20 million residents concentrated on the Malay Peninsula. All the ethnics living in Malaysia are called Malaysian. with the Malays at around 50. they brought Chinese and Indian workers to the area to supply labor needed for tin. Vietnamese and Cambodians) residing in Malaysia.1% of the population. It is easy to make mistakes calling someone in Malaysia Malay (though they are not from Chinese or Indian origin) as there are millions of foreign workers (Philippines. Malaysia's population comprises many ethnic groups.

this group consisted of two tribes.often referred to as Sea Gypsies . The Murut (3%) live in the northern parts of Sabah. This ethnic group was the last group to renounce headhunting. There are about 60. The largest ethnic groups in Sabah are the Kadazan Dusun. . they are from Cambodia. When you rent a car yourself. The majority of the Senoi live in the Cameron highlands. The Bajaus . Vietnam and Thailand. You will find a few of these villages just a few miles past the city of Ipoh. and cover the route Kuala Lumpur . Bidayuh and Orang Ulu.000 years ago. the Bajau and the Murut. it is nice to visit an 'authentic' Orang Asli village besides visiting the Cameron highlands. These three groups are collectively known as the Dayaks. almost every Malaysian citizen speaks English. Their ancestors were hunters and lived in caves. where the Dusun lived in the mountainous areas of Sabah.Islam is the official religion The official religion is the Islam. traditional community homes that can house 20 to 100 families. Most of the Senoi work as day-workers on tea plantations. but due to English influences. Originally the Kadazan inhabited the valleys. The Negritos live in the north and northeastern part of Malaysia and still mostly live in the jungle. The Dayaks typically live in longhouses. This is a result of the English period.make up about 15% of the population of Sabah.000 Orang Asli left. the Orang Asli. Years ago.Penang. The meaning of the name Orang Asli is: original inhabitants. Besides that Buddhism and Hinduism are also commonly practiced in Malaysia. of whom 60% live in the jungle and 40% in inhabited areas. Tribes on Borneo (Sarawak and Sabah) Sarawak has three ethnic groups. who think it is 'cool' to talk English with each other (this to great displeasure of the Malaysian government who strongly promotes the Malay language as primary language). It is suspected that this group immigrated into Malaysia about 10. Orang Asli (Original inhabitants) There is also another population that finds residence in Malaysia. the Iban. English is also the language of the youth. That was probably about 6000 to 8000 years ago. the Proto-Malay and the Negrito. but due to language and culture they intermingled. Originally. The Kadazan Dusuns form about 30% of the state's population. Bahasa Melayu (Malay) is the national language. which means upstream or inland. The Orang Asli can be subdivided in three groups: the Senoi. Among these subgroups are many differences.

As there is no telling up front if you will still be lucky when you head over to the islands at the east coast. During the monsoon period it can sometimes rain for days. To be specific. here you can enjoy cooler temperatures that never exceed 25 degrees. it is perhaps best to contact a few resort operators just a week or two weeks beforehand to ask if they think they will still be open for business. . 300 species of fresh water fishes and thousands of insects making their home in the rainforest. especially in the major cities. mainly due to the cool breezes. Sometimes it starts mild and ends ferocious.000 tree species. It is also less hot in the 'highlands' of Malaysia. it occurs only in the rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo. although it has a strong odor of decaying flesh. This doesn't mean that you should avoid Malaysia during these months. CLIMATE IN MALAYSIA Malaysia is a tropical holiday destination. This is the plant with the largest flower in the world. Resort owners obviously do not want to close down for the monsoon season.000 species of flowering plants which inclusive of 2.e. 800 types of orchid and 200 types of palm besides being home to more than 200 species of mammals. It is less hot on the many islands surrounding Malaysia. 600 different bird varieties. Monsoon season East coast monsoon Between mid-October and the end of March the climate at the eastern side of the peninsula is affected by the rainy season or monsoon season. One year you will notice it started already at the beginning of October. Often due to haze warm air is trapped inside the cities. This plant is the symbol of the province Sabah on the island Borneo. where temperatures fluctuate between 25 and 35 degrees during the year. also just contact resort owners and ask them if they are open for business (around the beginning of March). Langkawi and many other places on the western side of the peninsula are perfect for a visit.Perhentian. Same goes for Borneo. for this reason it is not the best time to visit these parts of Malaysia. Nobody can foresee the exact time the monsoon season will start or end. All other parts of Malaysia are not affected by this monsoon. which results in very warm temperatures. and can reach a weight of 10 kg. It is usually very hot and humid.FLORA AND FAUNA IN MALAYSIA The tropical circumstances and the extensive rainforests have led to a huge diversity of plant and animal species. the next year it is still sunny in early November. There are some tropical islands (i. Redang and Tioman) that 'close' during the monsoon period. 140 species of snakes. other times the first few months are the worst. 80 types of lizard. Same goes for the end of the monsoon season. so if they can stay open a bit longer they most definitely will. and ferries and boats do not bring tourists to the islands. for example Penang. Weather usually is very rough in these months. This means that resorts are closed. Surveys identified that there are 8. A well-known plant only found in Southeast Asia is the Rafflesia.

it can always rain in Malaysia. The thing with weather forecasts is that they actually are often not that reliable in tropic regions. during the night it often rains too.00 in the morning. These highlands lie higher than the rest of the country. and because of this temperatures usually are noticeable lower. but in most cases you will not notice that much of it at all. For example in Malaysia rain is a daily occurrence.rain for days. Coolest places in Malaysia You can find the coolest places in Malaysia in the so called 'Highlands'. Examples of popular highlands are Cameron Highlands. This means that almost every day it will rain very hard. probably the coolest place in the country.00 until 18. Besides that. . Without rain Malaysia would be a huge desert.West coast monsoon Between May and October there is officially a Southwest monsoon (affects the western part of the peninsula). Residents of Kuala Lumpurusually retreat to Genting Highlands and Fraser Hill. except for the air conditioned shopping malls. A daily rain shower is completely normal. Rain is what keeps the country so beautiful and green. Fraser Hill.Genting Highlands and the area near Gungung Ledang. the cooler it is. Interestingly enough the weather forecasts of Malaysia almost always show that it is 'currently' raining. usually at the end of the day around 16. in tropical areas like Malaysia rainfall is generally short and violent. Weather forecast Malaysia Many sites offer a weather forecast for Malaysia (see below for an example of the weather forecast of Kuala Lumpur). Another great place for some cooler weather is in the vicinity of Mount Kinabaluon Sabah grounds. Locals often retreat to these highlands to escape to hot and humid climate in the major cities. The higher you get. Don't be too alarmed if you see 'rain' and 'mostly cloudy' every single time you check the weather forecast as this is completely normal in the tropics. On the top of Mount Kinabalu it was 4 degrees at 8. In contrast to rainfall in Europe or the US where it can .00. However most of the times this is untrue. People from Georgetown (capital city of Penang) usually head off to the Cameron Highlands. Sometimes you can hear the thunder at night.in some cases . it is after all a tropical destination. Besides the monsoon period.

ice cream and local deserts. Every food court in the major cities are full with people that eat-out. It is common to pay directly when you receive your dinner. This is another hawker. The biggest part of the population seldom cooks at home.FOOD AND FAMOUS DISHES IN MALAYSIA Eating out is very common in Malaysia. you simply walk to a hawker and you order your meal. Every now and then someone walks to you asking whether you would like to order some drinks. When he's done preparing your meal. but never pork as Malay food needs to be halal. with many different hawkers. like McDonalds. The quality of the food is very high in Malaysia. you can easily experiment many different dishes. The food court atSuria KLCC is always crowded. he will bring it to your table. KFC. Apart from the restaurants there are also a lot of popular food-chains in Malaysia. there is no better place to get in touch with friends and relatives than during a delicious meal. Besides the food-chains the coffee shops (Kopitiams) like . Good chance you will be eating your best local dish ever. even for tourists. Nowadays a food court is often referred to as a floor in a shopping mall. one that only specializes in drinks. Eating at these food courts is very easy. mutton and fish). Besides the food courts many shopping malls also have multiple western places to eat a (light) meal. Indian dishes are often vegetarian. This means you can buy Malay food. combine popular dishes or order a complete rice table from 5 different hawkers. Especially Foodrepublic (basement of Pavilion KL) and Hutong (basement Lot10) are both very popular foodcourts in Kuala Lumpur. Great food at hawker centers and food courts Every night many designated streets in Malaysia transform into buzzing food courts. where all shoppers go to when it is dinner time. Most dishes will be served with some vegetables. mainly because food is prepared fresh before your eyes. Every hawker has his own specialty. and check out what they are ordering. In many cases you point out to the hawker at which table you are sitting. Chinese dishes often contains pork. chicken. Most dishes in Malaysia are either based on rice or mee. Chinese food. Just watch local Malay people. just by observing what others eat. either mixed through the dish or served as a side dish. and they never contain beef (though Indians do eat chicken. Malay dishes often contains beef. In small towns you will usually find these food courts outside. Indian food and sometimes even western dishes all in the same food court. Burger King and many local food chains. same goes for all food courts within the Bukit Bintang area. Since a typical dish usually doesn't cost more than a couple of ringgits. Another reason is that eating outside is part of the Malaysian (and other Asian) culture. The main reason is that eating out is generally cheaper than buying ingredients at the supermarket and cooking your own dishes. mutton or fish. In Malaysia you see hawkers of many different populations right next to each other.

Some are outfitted with large flat screen televisions. mainly due to the cheap food and beverages being served 24/7. Italian or Greek dishes. tell the hawker up front you want your dish spicy. Hokkien Mee and Prawn Mee. or even projectors. Many restaurants in Malaysia have been reviewed by Malaysian people and by tourists. Pao. European restaurants with French. Mamak rojak and Roti canai. Wan Tan Mee. Famous Chinese dishes are: Wantan Mee. If you find it difficult to pick a good restaurant. Social get-togethers at the Mamak Mamak refers to Tamil Muslims. Generally. Perhaps a nice tip is to check out the restaurant from the inside before ordering anything. they often take the level of spiciness into consideration. Carrotcake. check out the internet up front. Arabic restaurants with their typical dishes. Nasi Lemak. religions and ages frequent Mamak stalls to get-together while enjoying a cup of hot teh tarik. Nasi Goreng. compared to other countries in Southeast Asia. Starbucks or the Coffee Bean are also perfect places for a light meal (not the best places for a complete meal though). Famous Mamak dishes are: Nasi Kandar. Of course you have Malay restaurants. so make sure you have enough water within reach. Marmite Chicken. who generally own and operate these Mamak stalls. Although traditionally operated from roadside stalls. these hotels offer great exclusive dishes. being well lit and furnished with stainless steel tables. If you are looking for real spicy dishes. Chinese restaurants and Indian Restaurants. Delifrance. Mamak stalls tend to be popular among Malaysian youth as spots to chill. let them know up front you want it spiced up a bit. Another nice tip is to check out the restaurants of the 5-star hotels in the city you are residing in. you can best conclude that it is perhaps not the most popular restaurant in town. Sateh. local and . Typical Malaysian dishes Typical Malay dishes are often not that spicy.Dome. Also a tip for tourists that head over to Malaysia: Try and adjust in a mildly manner to the food. Newer mamak stalls have more of a cafe aspect. Spanish. otherwise you risk getting sick on the first day of your trip. some dishes can be extremely spicy. so that patrons can catch the latest programs or live (soccer) matches as they dine. You also have many other restaurants. Some famous Malaysian dishes are: Ikan Bakar. If a restaurant is completely deserted around dinner time. Same goes for non-Malay dishes (like Indian or Chinese food). modern mamak stall operators have expanded their businesses into restaurant or cafe-type establishments. People of all races. Dimsum and Beef Rendang. Malaysia has great restaurants Beside hawkers and food courts you also have many restaurants in Malaysia. When hawkers prepare their dishes for tourists. But beware. and last but not least an enormous amount of Japanese restaurants.

brownies and muffins) apart from the occasional sandwich. bakeries. Lavender and of course The Loaf. from waffle shops to pancake houses. In Malaysia people love sweet stuff There are just as many dessert shops. Malaysians love their sweet stuff. candy shops as there are local restaurants and mamaks in Malaysia. There are numerous well known fast food chains in Malaysia. Often the cafés & coffee shops in Malaysia offer free WIFI (internet) and complimentary magazines to read. Burger King. The Coffee Bean also has a complete lunch menu. from custard puffs to cheesecake. we enjoyed a fantastic dinner. Pizza Hut and A&W. Starbucks only sells snacks (cakes. Besides the drinks you can also order numerous snacks. Of course the most popular is Starbucks Coffee. KFC. cookies. Check out more on restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. Outside Kuala Lumpur city center two bakeries are definitely worth a visit: Levain Boulangerie & Patisserie (IMBI area) and The Bread Shop (Bukit Damansara). ranging from Japanese desserts to Hong Kong desserts. Popular coffee places Those who can afford it will spend their money on a cup of coffee from one of the popular coffee chains that are operating in Malaysia. The Dome and the more local oriented Old Town White Coffee. Every Starbucks and every Coffee Bean in Malaysia offers WIFI. Besides bread you can also buy many versions of sweet bread snacks. Both offer many types of hot or cold coffee and tea. Popular bakeries in the city center are The Breadshop. Often the locals meet up with their friends or family for a Sunday morning early lunch (or breakfast) at those bakeries.foreign for very affordable prices (compared to what you would pay for a similar dinner experience in your own country). Wendy's. Especially in the bigger cities there are too many to count. as most have a small dining area. offering sandwiches. You can usually find many dessert places within the popular shopping malls and out on the streets in Malaysia. We once went to one of the most exclusive restaurants in Kuala Lumpur called Lafite (this 5-star restaurant can be found within Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur ). McDonalds. Always ask if they can help you with your own member card. Other popular coffee places in Malaysia are San Francisco Coffee. There . followed by The Coffee Bean. Long lines at fast food restaurants Malaysians love fast food. At both places you can also enjoy a very nice lunch as they also prepare great sandwiches. ranging from cupcakes to muffins. Often the coffee shops offer a special member’s card where you can save for a free drink after you bought at their stores a couple of times. pastas and soups. but also hot or cold chocolate and numerous varieties of ice blended shakes. cake shops. especially in Kuala Lumpur (and of course other bigger cities). There also are many bakeries in Malaysia.

don't be surprised to see long lines forming in front of the restaurant as people don't mind queuing for over an hour to buy that set menu for RM2 instead of RM10. Also during Ramadan you will notice it is always way more crowded at fast food restaurants. .are even Japanese fast food chains in the form of sushi restaurants. Sometimes fast food restaurants like McDonalds or Burger King have a special deal. most popular are Sushi King and Sakae Sushi. We noticed people sitting on their tables with their complete order getting cold as it was yet time to eat.

The island is especially renowned for the many great attractions. or you can rent a motorcycle (moped) to explore the island (RM40 for 24h). Read more about Langkawi. The island is easy accessible from Kuala Lumpur or the neighboring island of Penang. You can stay in a resort for a mere $30 a night. The island is not (yet) spoiled by tourists. many people describe the island as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. .MALAYSIA TOP 10 HIGHLIGHTS AND ATTRACTIONS 1) Visiting the island of Langkawi Langkawi is a beautiful island in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia. but also for $3000 for a single night. Accommodation is affordable on the island. which makes it a perfect holiday destination for travelers. Besides that you can shop at some of the shopping malls. you can have splendid dinners at one of the many hawkers.

Perhentian would probably score a 9/10. Shopping in this great metropolis is very popular. Especially great are the affordable prices of accommodation.has much to offer for tourists. Shopping in Malaysia is an awesome experience for most tourists. . 2) Shop till you drop in Kuala Lumpur The capital city of Malaysia . Malaysians usually go to the shopping malls during weekend as past time. Where else can you find ultra luxurious malls with affordable products? It is not that common to try to bargain for lower prices in shopping malls. Add the crisp marine water to that. Because of these great prices. Perhentian is a very popular island among tourists. If I would rate all Malaysian islands.Kuala Lumpur . you can stay at the island for a mere $15.2) Perhentian Island Perhentian is a great island for scuba diving and snorkeling. You could always try your luck. but on regular clothing . Read more about Perhentian. and you will be having the time of your life at this island.a night.

4) The three major cities on the eastern side of Peninsular Malaysia .and other low priced products. When you are planning to buy more expensive products (like jewelry or electronic devices). 3) Penang Island Penang is a beautiful island in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia. always bargain for a better price. While Langkawi is well known for the pristine jungles and beaches. many would probably tell you the great food is the main reason why tourists should visit Penang. Read more about shopping in Kuala Lumpur. Penang is more renowned for the authentic (Chinese influenced) Asian atmosphere and the great food at the numerous hawkers. Read more about Penang. you will probably have zero chance of getting lower prices. Should you ask Penangites to describe the island.

There is no snow at the summit. If you are planning to climb the mountain. Both cities are the starting point of your trip to some of the most beautiful tropical islands of Malaysia. Read more about Kuantan.I could have named one of the famous cities in the eastern part of Peninsular Malaysia. in Borneo Malaysia. Kota Bharu and Kuala Terengganu are both known for their great authentic markets. but that would do no justice to the two other comparable cities. Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bharu. The trip to the summit is really great. but the atmosphere is great and the beaches (especially Cherating) are superb. Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bharu. Pulau Redang and Pulau Lang Tengah. because the weather is usually very bad. The mountain lies in the northern part of the State of Sabah. These cities lose their attractiveness when it rains 24 hours a day. but it is quite cold compared to temperatures on sea level. Kuantan is a great city to explore. it is not a contestant for being the tallest mountain in the world. These two cities also reflect the traditional Malaysia best. 5) Mount Kinabalu on Borneo Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Malaysia. You will probably get back very exhausted. . Avoid these cities during monsoon season (October through March). Pulau Perhentian. Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bharu lie within the two Islamic states of Malaysia (Terengganu and Kelantan). but with many awesome memories. you should head over to Kota Kinabalu. The three cities are Kuantan. which is the closest city near the mountain. I can say for myself this is one of the most spectacular attractions I have done in Malaysia so far.Read more about the Mount Kinabalu Summit Trail. With 4092 meters. It is not as big as many other cities in Malaysia.

Alongside the river. 8) Diving at Sipadan Island Sipadan is probably one of the best diving spots in the world. Every diving enthusiast knows that the underwater world 'beneath' the island is simply . River cruise Borneo The river Kinabatangan runs through the state of Sabah in Borneo. Read more about Kinabatangan river cruises in Sabah. insects and many plant species in all of Southeast Asia. birds. many different exotic animal species can be spotted from out of a small boat. This region in Sabah is probably one of the best places to spot animals.7) Kinabatangan. A Kinabatangan river cruise is a great way to explore the inlands of Sabah. We have had such a great time there that we recommend it to everybody else as one of the best attractions Malaysia has to offer.

Because the Cameron Highlands are higher than many other places in Malaysia. though it is best to be an advanced diver due to strong currents (and depth of diving). Read more about diving at Pulau Sipadan. this is the main reason why many tourists head over to the Cameron Highlands. but visitors stay overnight at the neighboring islands of Mabul or Kapalai. diving is still possible. It is again a different Malaysia. so you'll pay pretty high prices for a diving trip to the island. but after the government concluded that the island and its surroundings were quickly deteriorating the island became a protected marine park. . The surroundings are perfect for strolls and hikes. Sipadan Island used to be open to public. Read more about the Cameron Highlands. 9) Cameron Highlands The Cameron Highlands are located in close to the city of Ipoh.stunning. For this reason many local Malaysians often go to the Cameron Highlands to escape the warm and humid climate of the big cities of Malaysia. Fortunately. Diving conditions are usually excellent. Sipadan is a very exclusive diving spot. it is usually a noticeable cooler there. in the western part of Peninsular Malaysia.

it can sometimes be wiser to stay on the peninsula.10) Taman Negara If you are visiting Malaysia you can either stay on the Peninsular Malaysia. and an absolute must-visit when you're staying on Peninsular Malaysia. Many other tourists describe the National Park 'Taman Negara' as an (lesser) alternative to the jungles of Borneo. This is untrue in my opinion. . sometimes this is difficult due to time restrictions. all almost equally beautiful and very much worth a visit. or head off to Borneo. Read more about Taman Negara. However. If you only have three weeks to explore Malaysia. Taman Negara is the oldest primary rainforest in the world. Borneo has many wildlife parks.