Malaysia is a country located in Southeast Asia in the southern part of the Malay Peninsula and the island of Borneo. It borders Thailand on the mainland and Indonesia on the island. It has an area of about 329.8 thousand sq km. The capital is Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia is a multicultural and diverse country where everyone can organize a perfect holiday for themselves. Malaysia combines stunning nature, paradise beaches and interesting history with the endless pulse of big cities.
Sunny Malaysia invites tourists to enjoy beach life and interesting culture. The journey in this country does not end there, whether it is shopping or diving. In Malaysia, an amazing vacation will appeal to everyone, regardless of age.
The population is 23 million and the average population density is 70 people/square kilometer. Malaysia is administratively divided into 13 states (including 9 sultanates) and 3 federal territories.
The official language is Malay. Currency is ringgit (Malay dollar).
The territory of Malaysia is divided into the Western Malaysia, which covers the land part of the country, and the Eastern Malaysia, which is an island fragment of the country. The surface shape of West Malaysia is mountainous. Only on the coasts are flat, extensive coastal lowlands. The eastern has a mountainous and mountainous surface and narrow coastal lowlands, marshy in many places. The highest peak in the country is Mount Kinabalu in the Crocker Mountains of Borneo, rising to 4,094 meters above sea level.
Exotic and Urban Life in Malaysia
Diverse Malaysia delights with its many opportunities. The famous beach resort of Langkawi invites sun worshippers, while travelers interested in culture explore historic cities and majestic mosques. Exotic Borneo is a great place for divers. It is a country where beach, city and outdoor activities meet.
A country with a friendly atmosphere and good service. In a multicultural country it is easy to travel and the price level is quite affordable from a European point of view.
On Langkawi Island you can also use the cable car to admire the surrounding scenery.
Malaysia is located in the equatorial monsoon climate zone, which is characterized by high temperatures and high humidity. The average temperature for the nation’s capital is the same in January and July, which is +28 degrees. Precipitation falls throughout the year, and its particular intensity is observed from September to March (monsoon season).
Malaysia’s climate is hot and humid all year round. On the Malaysian mainland, the greatest amount of rainfall is expected in winter from September to March, as the northeast monsoon brings rain to the mainland.
On the west coast, the rains brought by the southwest monsoon are amazing during the summer months of May through October. However, there is plenty of sunshine at all times of the year, and temperatures barely dip below 20 degrees.
Inexpensive and versatile
Diverse Malaysia is a great tourist destination for a wide variety of travelers. Travelers travel around the country on cheap buses, city travelers refresh themselves in the heartbeat of the capital Kuala Lumpur, and beach vacationers sunbathe on the sandy beaches of Langkawi. Borneo, for example, is suitable for honeymooners, and there are plenty of activities and various theme parks for families with children.
The country’s nature offers stunning scenery, including national parks. In the cities you can delve into history, go for cheap shopping or taste delicious local cuisine.
Malaysia is a safe tourist destination
In Malaysia, the traveler can relax and unwind without too much worry. It is a safe destination, though common sense is still required. There are pickpockets in the big cities and busy tourist spots, as everywhere else, but very little violence and disorderly conduct. However, the usual caution is necessary.
In tourist destinations, locals usually speak good English. You can carry a small dictionary with the most common words and questions in Malay along the way.
Religion in the country is Islam, but religious freedom prevails. However, the tourist should remember to respect local customs – especially when visiting a mosque, shoulders and knees should be covered. Homosexuality is a crime in Malaysia.
Read the Department of State’s Travel Bulletin before you travel and avoid traveling on the east coast of Sabah.
Accommodation in Malaysia
Malaysia has lodging options for every traveler’s budget. Budget hotels, beach bungalows, and luxury hotels are available at Malaysian resorts. There are international chain hotels in Kuala Lumpur and stylish resort townships in Langkawi. The prices are generally reasonable.
Outside of the busiest tourist areas, fewer accommodations are offered, but prices also drop as you move farther away from the most typical tourist destinations.
Moving around the country can be done by bus and train without any problems. The networks are good and tickets are cheap.
Cars and motorcycles can be rented almost everywhere. However, it is worth noting that, especially in large cities, the traffic is busy and very different from the Russian style of driving. Traffic is on the left side of the road.
Cabs are relatively inexpensive, but you have to negotiate the price in advance – drivers usually refuse to use meters.
In Malacca you can see the influence of the Portuguese, Dutch and British on the history of Malaysia.
Kuala Lumpur, Capital City
Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur, is a colorful mix of street food, bazaars and luxury shopping malls. In the modern city center, the most famous building in Kuala Lumpur, the Petronas Twin Towers, stands out among the skyscrapers.
Kuala Lumpur is a simple and clean metropolis with plenty to do for adults and young travelers alike. Families with children will love the water parks and amusement parks that abound in the city and surrounding area.
Popular Langkawi – Paradise Beach in Malaysia
The Langkawi archipelago consists of 99 islands, of which Pulau Langkawi is the busiest. Langkawi is also a vacation destination for Malaysians.
Langkawi is a clean and popular vacation spot where tourism has brought a huge number of restaurants and stores. However, the beauty of the island is undeniable, and it is no wonder that landscape postcards of the beaches attract tourists year after year.
Langkawi is a tax-free island, but its price level is still quite high by Malaysian standards. The bustling tourism and expensive hotel complexes steadily raise prices.
Borneo is the third largest island in the world, divided not only between Malaysia but also between Indonesia and Brunei. Borneo is also home to the world’s oldest rainforest.
For many, Borneo is a dream destination, enchanted by lush nature and oranges. For divers, Borneo offers unique waterways. In addition to the wildlife on the island, there are also modern cities with stylish hotel complexes.
Mount Kinabalu, a mountain peak over 4,000 meters high that thousands of people climb each year, is located in Kinabalu National Park. On a clear day there is a spectacular view of Borneo from above.
British atmosphere at Cameron Highlands
Cameron Highlands, built in the British colonial style, is one of Malaysia’s most popular tourist destinations. Lush tea plantations and strawberry farms can be found amidst a landscape of wild jungle. Travelers’ activities usually include jungle walks as well as visits to tea plantations.
Cameron Highlands is about a four-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. The picturesque Cameron Highlands offers a diverse landscape after urban and beach destinations. During peak tourist season, lodging should be booked in advance.
The traveler looking for historic Malaysia should visit Malacca. Located just a couple of hours from Kuala Lumpur, this charming city charms visitors with its beauty and delicious food. Cafes, restaurants, and galleries fill the small lanes.
In Malacca, as elsewhere in Malaysia, one can see the influence of China and India. One of the most impressive sights in the city is the local Chinatown. The Town Square is home to several interesting museums.
Malaysia has a very dense river network. The country’s longest rivers include the Rajang, Kinabatangan, Baram, Pahang, and Perak.
Flora and Fauna
The plant life is very rich. It consists of evergreen moist equatorial forests. There are more than 8,000 species of flowering plants.
Animal life includes, among others: tigers, tapirs, elephants, leopards, rhinos (now very rare), Malay bears, gibbons and orangutans. In addition, there are many species of birds, including kingfishers, nectaries, jackdaws, woodpeckers, trogons and beards. There are more than 50 nature reserves and national parks in Malaysia.
Malaysia is a multinational state. The Malay people constitute 62% of the population; there are also Chinese and Indians, as well as numerous peoples of northern Borneo: the Dayaks, Semangs, Kalabits and Ibans.
Islam is the main religion. Other religions include Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Christianity, and animistic beliefs among the peoples of Borneo.
The official language is Malay, but English, Chinese and many others are also used.
The natural increase in Malaysia is very high (about 24%), which causes a rapid increase in the number of inhabitants of the country. The average life expectancy for men is 69 years and 73 years for women.
Malaysia belongs to the group of newly industrialized countries, characterized by a very rapid pace of economic development.
The backbone of the country’s economy is industry, especially: electronics, electrical engineering, machinery, and chemicals.
Tin is mined here. Its reserves in this country are among the largest in the world. Other mining resources include bauxite, copper and iron ore, oil, and natural gas.
The country’s main agricultural crops are export plants: rubber, oil palm, coconut, pineapples, pepper, coffee, and cocoa. Malaysia ranks first in the world in the production of palm oil and rubber. Among food plants, rice, sugar corn, sweet potatoes, and cassava are the most important.
Malaysia’s foreign trade is mainly based on exports: electronic devices, tin, palm oil and cocoa, and imports: food, vehicles, machinery and chemicals. The country’s trade balance is positive.
Malaysia’s main trading partners are Singapore, Japan, USA, UK, South Korea, Thailand, and Brunei.
Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchy with the head of state in the person of the king. The King is elected by the Assembly of Lords for a term of 5 years. Legislative power is exercised by a bicameral parliament, which is formed by the House of Deputies and the Senate. Executive power is in the hands of the government, with a prime minister appointed by the king.
I am the author of many articles on this site and a travel blogger. In 2011, I quit my corporate job and started traveling. I have been to 36 countries on 6 continents and don’t want to stop anytime soon!
Malaysia is one of Asia’s most developed countries and is divided into an island and a continental part. Like its territory, the country can be divided into two dramatically different worlds: futuristic skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur here neighbors with the pristine nature of Kalimantan, modern shopping centers – with traditional markets, fashionable resorts – with original villages. Whatever the aims of a trip to Malaysia, it will in any case be rich and fascinating.
Geographical position of Malaysia
The state is located in Southeast Asia. Many residents of Western countries are still unable to say exactly where Malaysia is located. This is due to the fact that in different years under its flag were different countries. A look at the world map today shows that Malaysia is located on the border with Thailand, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia.
The South China Sea divides the state into two parts: the eastern part, which is located in the north of Kalimantan, and the peninsular part, located on the Malacca Peninsula. The eastern part accounts for 60.3% of Malaysia and the peninsular part for 39.7%.
Climate of Malaysia
The territory of the state extends in close proximity to the equator. That is why the climate of Malaysia can be described as equatorial. Throughout the year, it is quite humid and hot. The annual rainfall is almost 2500 mm and the average temperature is +27°C.
The climate of the eastern and peninsular regions of Malaysia can vary greatly. The eastern part is more influenced by humid sea masses, while the peninsular part is influenced by continental air masses. The coldest region of Malaysia is the Kinabalu Mountains. Here the temperature can drop to as low as +10°C.
From about late spring to early fall, the southwestern monsoon dominates the country, and from November to March, the northeastern monsoon dominates. Different parts of Malaysia have different rainy seasons at different times of the year. In the west, it lasts from April to May; in the northeast, it lasts from mid-autumn to the end of winter.
Nature of Malaysia
This Asian country is characterized by a rich flora and fauna. This is primarily due to the fact that Malaysia has access to the South China Sea, and there are many full-flowing rivers flowing throughout its territory. High humidity and constant heat caused the lush vegetation growth.
Malaysia is home to a large number of animals, among them:
- 210 species of mammals;
- 620 species of birds;
- 150 species of snakes;
- 80 species of lizards;
- 150 species of amphibians and many other animals.
Favorable conditions are created here for Indochinese tigers, Kalimantan orangutans, elephants, smoky leopards, Müller’s gibbons, Sumatran rhinos, Malay bears, and other rare and endangered species. The largest number of endemic animals is found in the mountains and forests of Malaysia, which occupy 58.2% of its territory.
State system and symbols of Malaysia
The country is a federal constitutional monarchy, consisting of 13 states. This is well demonstrated on the national flag of Malaysia – Jalur Gemilang. It shows horizontal stripes (states), a crescent moon (Islam), and a 14-pointed star (13 states and the federal government).
According to the 2010 census, Malaysia’s population is nearly 28.5 million. The majority are Austronesian (Malay, Orang Asli, Ibana, Bidayuh), ethnic Indian, and Chinese. Despite such a diverse national composition, the official language of Malaysia is Malay. English is used in education and is considered the country’s second official language.
The Constitution of this country proclaims freedom of religion, but the state religion of Malaysia is Islam. Besides it, the following religious confessions are registered here:
- Christianity (Catholicism, Protestantism);
- Taoism and others.
Since 1967, the official currency of Malaysia is the Malaysian ringgit. The banknotes have a portrait of Tuanku Abdul Rahman, the country’s first supreme ruler.
Major cities of Malaysia
There are more than 10 settlements on the territory of the country with the population of 0.5-1.5 million people. The city of Kuala Lumpur has been the capital of Malaysia since 1963. It is located in the south-west of the Malacca Peninsula, where the Klang and Gombak rivers meet.
Malaysia’s largest cities also include:
- Ampang Jaya;
- Subang Jaya; ; ; ; .
Almost all of these megalopolises can boast a developed infrastructure and an abundance of attractions. Of particular interest to tourists is the city of Kuching in Malaysia, which is also called the cat city.
The best resorts in Malaysia
These days, tourism is one of the three main sources of income of this state. This is largely due to the fact that Malaysia is ideal for holidays with children, friends and large companies. This is one of the prosperous countries in Asia, where every tourist will find something to their liking. But still most of them go to Malaysia for beach holidays. Here along the coastline is concentrated a huge number of comfortable resorts. Most of them are located on the shores of the Andaman Sea, others – along the coast of the South China Sea.
The best resorts in the country are located on the islands:
- Penang in Malaysia. To combine cultural and beach holidays, you should go to the west of Malaysia. There is a large number of temples, parks and other attractions.
- The island of Langkawi in Malaysia. It is created exclusively for beach holidays. Here you can stay in a secluded bungalow and become the owner of his own beach, albeit temporarily. If you look at the photos of this part of Malaysia, you can see that it is literally surrounded by lush greenery and crystal clear turquoise water. The island has a duty-free trade.
- On the island of Tioman in Malaysia prefer to rest lovers of diving and ecotourism. The infrastructure here is not very well developed, but the nature is almost untouched.
- Redang. To explore the wildlife should go to another island of Malaysia – Redang. During the period from late summer to early autumn, you can watch the migration of giant sea turtles.
- Borneo. No less picturesque island of Malaysia is Borneo, also known as Kalimantan. It is located in the South China Sea. Here are the best beaches of Malaysia, covered with white sand and surrounded by coral reefs.
Attractions of Malaysia
In addition to well-appointed resorts, this country has many other interesting sites. Tourists who do not know what to see in Malaysia, must see:
- Kinabalu Mountains; ; ;
- Istana Alam Shah Palace;
- Bangunan-Sultan Abdul-Samad Palace; .
Two large skyscrapers are the most often depicted on postcards of this country. These are the Petronas Towers, located in the capital of Malaysia. Since 1998, they are the tallest twin towers in the world. But all the attractions in Malaysia are concentrated not only in Kuala Lumpur and its suburbs. Many interesting sites are located far outside the capital. For example, the Batu Caves, the most revered Hindu shrine in Malaysia, are located in Selangor.
To get acquainted with these sights, you need to plan a trip itinerary in advance. You can also sign up for tours in Malaysia. They are usually organized by travel agencies. If you come to Malaysia during the holidays, you can see a lot of colorful festivals and performances.
Hotels in Malaysia
This country is attractive to tourists because you can find accommodation for every taste – from a luxury five-star hotel to a budget hostel. As a rule, the most respectable hotels are located in major cities of Malaysia. Camping in protected areas and Chinese hostels are also popular here. Unpleasant fact about Malaysia is that in addition to the basic amount you have to pay a tax of 5-10% of the total cost of living here.
Restaurants and Cuisine of Malaysia
The multinational composition of the country has also reflected on its culinary traditions. The cuisine of Malaysia is based on the dishes of the aborigines as well as of China, India, Thailand, and the islands of Java and Sumatra. The same dishes may be prepared differently in different states.
Most dishes in Malaysia consist of rice, especially the Nasi Lemak variety. It is served with nuts, cucumber, fried anchovies, eggs, and chili peppers. Other popular foods include noodles, fish, seafood, beef (for Muslims) and pork (for other religions). When visiting restaurants in Malaysia usually leave a tip of 5-10% of the order amount.
Safety in Malaysia
The country is among the safest states in Southeast Asia. But to avoid trouble, every tourist in Malaysia must strictly follow the following rules:
- drink only bottled or boiled water;
- keep track of your belongings and documents;
- do not sunbathe topless;
- take off your shoes when entering a temple or a Malaysian home;
- not to stroke children’s heads.
Before visiting a mosque or a Malay village, one should wear closed clothes. In Malaysia, it is forbidden to take food with the left hand and then pass it to a local. It can be considered as an insult, because the left hand is used only for hygienic procedures.
Shopping in Malaysia
For shopping in this country, it is better to go to major shopping centers or traditional markets. Tourism in Malaysia is an important industry, so the most comfortable conditions are created for travelers here. In every city there are souvenir stores, where every tourist will find a memorable gift. Those who do not know what to bring from Malaysia, you should pay attention to the work of local craftsmen. They are usually made of silver, batik and wood. In addition, the country is famous for its giant spinning spinning wheels, kites and high-quality gold.
The country is notable for its well-developed transport infrastructure. The length of roads in Malaysia is about 98.8 thousand km and railroads – 1,849 km. It is by means of rail transport that the country is connected with Thailand and Singapore.
There are 58 airports all over Malaysia, the busiest of which are located in Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu. The national air carrier is Malaysia Airlines. Malaysia also has seaports, the largest of which is located in the city of Klang.
How to get to Malaysia?
Currently, there are no direct flights to Kuala Lumpur from Russia. But tourists who dream to celebrate the New Year or the May holidays there can not worry about how to get to Malaysia. During these holidays you can take advantage of charter flights from Moscow, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg. At other times, you can fly to Malaysia on your own through Doha, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Beijing or Tashkent. In addition, planes to this Asian country regularly take off from every European capital. They land at airports in the following cities in Malaysia:
It is better to take out a health insurance policy before the trip. Many tourists are also concerned about whether tourists need a visa to Malaysia for Russians. Tourists, who plan to stay in the country for less than 30 days, don’t need a document.