Malaysia is made up of 13 states. Which is Johor, Melacca, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Sabah, Sarawak, Terengganu, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Perlis and Selangor. Kuala Lumpur is the capital. It is the largest city and the heart of Malaysian business and culture.
Malaysia is one of the most pleasant, hassle-free countries to visit in southeast Asia. It's buoyant and wealthy, and has moved towards a pluralist culture based on a vibrant and interesting fusion of Malay, Chinese, Indian and indigenous cultures and customs. Parliament House, (see picture) is the symbol of democracy in Malaysia.
Strategically located between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, Malaysia has long been the meeting place for traders and travellers from west and east. Its history is one of continuous interaction with foreign powers and influences.
It Since the days of the 15th century Malacca Sultanate, founded by Parameswara, people from other parts of the world have made Malaysia their home. Located in the heart of the main trade route between the East and the West with abundant natural resources, Malaysia has been under the influence of the Chinese, the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British at various times. Now, Malaysia is a bubbling, bustling melting pot of races and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony. With such a unique heritage, be enchanted by the fascinating architecture, festivals, attire, handicrafts, music, dance, and customs.
In the heart of Asia lies a land of many cultures, wonders and attractions. It?s a bubbling, bustling melting pot of races and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony. It is also a land of fascinating extremes, where towering skyscrapers look down upon primitive longhouses. Blessed with natural wonders galore, it is perfect for a memorable eco-holiday. With some of the best beaches and diving spots in the world, it is ideal for island getaways. Experience Asia in Malaysia.
A fascinating fusion of tradition and modernity, Malaysia's architecture today is a reflection of Asia's many styles, cultures and religions. These influences include Hindu-Indian, Arab-Muslim, Chinese and European - Portuguese, Dutch and British. Now, the country embraces an independent modern Malaysian vision whilst staying true to its rich culture and heritage.
Traditional Malay architecture employs relatively sophisticated architectural processes ideally suited to tropical conditions such as wide roof overhangs and high-pitched roofs. Building on stilts allow cross-ventilating breezes beneath the dwelling to cool the house whilst mitigating the effects of the occasional flood.
In Malaysia, Chinese architecture is of two broad types: traditional and Baba-Nyonya. Examples of traditional architecture include Chinese temples found throughout the country such as the Cheng Hoon Teng that dates from 1646. Many old houses especially those in Malacca and Penang are of Baba-Nyonya heritage.
With most of Malaysian Hindus originally from southern India, local Hindu temples exhibit the colourful architecture of that region. The Sikhs, although a small minority, also have their temples of more staid design in many parts of the Country.
The most notable example of Portuguese architecture in Malaysia is the A'Famosa fort in Malacca, which was built by Alfonso d'Albuquerque in 1511. Nearly annihilated by the Dutch only a small part of the fortification on the hill overlooking the Malacca town, old port and the Straits remains.
Located in Malacca Town, the Stadhuys with its heavy wooden doors, thick red walls and wrought-iron hinges is the most
Malaysia is a country renown for its creative, complex, and lovingly prepared original cuisine. Food is taken very seriously here, from the five-star restaurants right down to the hawker's booths. Sauces tend to be highly developed, often incorporating local fruits and spices, and the seafood dishes are what you'd expect from a country almost entirely surrounded by ocean.
Malaysia boasts a delightful variety of traditional handicrafts. Choices range from priceless authentic antiques to exquisite modern hand-made crafts.
As most artisans are Muslims, Malaysian handicraft design is heavily influenced by Islam. The religion prohibits the depiction of the human form in art. Hence, most designs centre around natural elements such as the interlacing of leaves or vines, flowers and animals ? predominantly birds.
Colourful and captivating, Malaysia?s traditional textiles are much-sought-after worldwide. Varieties include batik, songket, pua kumbu and tekat. These textiles are made into sarongs, pareos, beachwear, headgears, shoes, beddings, cushions, table covers, bags, d?cor pieces and more.
Enticing hand-crafted accessories abound in Malaysia. Choose from leather-crafted goods, Borneo beadwork necklaces, bangles, hats, beaded pouches and more. Finely made gold and silver jewellery adorned with gems such as rings, bracelets and earrings are also seductively mesmerising.
Popular items of traditional design include Perak labu sayong, geluk, belanga, Chinese dragon kiln ceramics and Sarawakian tribal motif pottery. Contemporary items include vases, flower pots, decorative pottery, sculpture and kitchenware.
Blessed with an abundance of timber in boundless tropical forests, Malaysia is renowned for an assortment of distinctive wood crafts. Traditionally, whole houses were built from elaborate hand-carved timber. Today, antique Malay-styled engraved panels, keris dagger handles, Chinese containers, unusual Orang Asli spirit sculptures, moulded walking sticks, kitchen utensils and carved scented woods are among the wide range of exotic decorative items for your home.
Popular since the early days traditional brass casting and bronze working are still used to make an array of utensils. More recently in the 19th century, with the discovery of tin in Malaysia, pewter has become increasingly popular. Metal craft products include decorative items, vases, small furniture pieces, kettles, cooking utensils, serving trays, bowls, tepak sireh sets, candelabras, incense burners, rose-water instruments, keris blades, wind chimes and lamps.
Marvel at the creative hand-woven crafts of Malaysia. Local plant fibres and parts from bamboo, rattan, pandan and mengkuang leaves are coiled, plaited, twined and woven to produce items such as bags, baskets, tikar or mats, hats, tudung saji and sepak raga balls.
Traditional pastime crafts include gasing or spinning tops, wayang kulit or shadow-play puppets and wau or kites. Intricately designed with much skill and patience, these fascinating items are perfect mementos.
The tropical waters off both Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo offer some of the world's best scuba diving. This is a place endowed with some of the sport's best possibilities: you can dive with whale sharks, hover around immense coral gardens and walls, or dive on ominous and hulking WWII shipwrecks.
Nature has been almost as generous to Malaysia regarding its caves as it has with the rain forest. Both the world's largest single cave chamber, and the longest cave passage in Southeast Asia can be found in Sarawak's extraordinary Gunung Mulu National Park.
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 neighbour is Singapore. Sabah and Sarawak are bounded by Indonesia while Sarawak also shares a border with Brunei.
Malaysia Airlines, the national carrier, currently flies to 95 destinations worldwide. Many other international airlines offer flights to Malaysia, most of which land at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) approximately 35 miles (55km) South of Kuala Lumpur. Air traffic to and from Malaysia is estimated to grow between almost seven per cent a year over the next decade. The new KL International Airport at Sepang has one of the most sophisticated passenger facilities in the region.
Malaysia has an equatorial climate with fairly uniform temperatures throughout the year. Temperatures range from 32?C during the day to 22?C at night. It can be slightly cooler in the hill country. (Rainfall is common throughout the year, averaging 200-250cm a year.)
Kuala Lumpur is situated midway along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, at the confluence of the Klang and Gombek rivers. It is approximately 35 km from the coast and sits at the centre of the Peninsula's extensive and modern transportation network. Kuala Lumpur is easily the largest city in the nation, possessing a population of over one and a half million people drawn from all of Malaysia's many ethnic group.
With a height of 1,453 feet, one of the world's tallest buildings rise above the skyline of Kuala Lumpur. They are called the Petronas Towers, and, inevitably, they have become the symbols for the astounding growth that has taken place in Malaysia over the last two decades.
Terengganu is the land of the lilting Gamelan and the mesmerising "Ulek Mayang" dance--living testimony to the state's centuries-old guardianship of Malaysia's cultural heritage. It is a quiet state, with many small villages, quiet roads, and secluded islands and beaches. The clear waters and teeming marine life of Terengganu have made it an increasingly popular destination for divers.
Kedah has the distinction of being the "Rice-bowl of Malaysia" - a term that takes on aesthetic significance when one sees the rice fields for themselves: the flat expanse of padis against a backdrop of rolling hills provides a picture of utter serenity that lulls the senses.
Like Malaysia's other states, Kedah has its share of rich cultural traditions, songs and dances. Due to its close proximity to Thailand, some of these traditions are Thai in influence and origin, and faces of Kehah's people often bear signs of Thai or Achinese ancestry.
Perak is a state that is defined by the course of its namesake river. Perak's population is about two million. Until the nineteenth century, Perak's people were concentrated along the Perak River, and the chief city was riverside Kuala Kangsar. However, the discovery of wondrously rich tin deposits in surrounding valleys lead to the establishment of and transfer of the capital to Taiping and, later, Ipoh. The tin mines around Ipoh are reputedly the richest in the world, and it is no surprise that the city has expanded steadily from the time the mines were discovered in the nineteenth century.
For many visitors, the primary attractions of Sabah are its outstanding national parks, which include Kinabalu National Park, the Crocker Range Park, and the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary. Others come to enjoy the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park and the diver's paradise of Pulau Sipadan. However, Sabah possesses a number of other attractions as well, all of which are worth exploring.
All roads away from Kuala Lumpur lead to the state of Selangor, Malaysia's most populated and prosperous state. Selangor surrounds the burgeoning capital with green suburban arms and industrial tracks, but as the city is left behind, a different, older and more natural order quickly unfolds.
Any direction one takes in Selangor eventually leads to some sight that is deeply connected to Malaysia's development; a tin mine, an oil-palm or rubber plantation
Johor possesses a wide range of attractions, from the exciting metropolitan atmosphere of Johor Bahru to the forests of Endau-Rompin Park. The village of Desaru and the remote and beautiful islands in the South China Sea are favored by vacationers seeking a relaxed and natural holiday environment, while the state's commercial centres attract businessmen from all over the world.
Penang needs little introduction to many visitors to Malaysia, having long been known as one of Southeast Asia's finest destinations. Penang's outstanding beaches and exotic sights have made it one of the most popular destinations in the region.
Kelantan are found in the vitality of its culture and its remote, unsullied beauty. The traditional sports of giant kite-flying, top-spinning, silat, wayang kulit, bird-singing competitions and the making of exquisite handicrafts such as songket, batik, silverware and mengkuang products still remain fixtures here, offering a glimpse of tradtional Malay culture in truly spectacular setting.
Sarawak is known to international visitors primarily because of the extraordinary natural wonders of its national parks, including Gunung Mulu, the Niah Caves, and Bako. Sarawak's cultural treasures are also fascinating, reflecting the influence not only of the state's many ethnic peoples, but also the odd western influence of Sarawak's "White Rajahs."
Negeri Sembilan translated literally means "Nine States," so named because it comprises a federation of nine states. It is located on the south-west corner of Peninsular Malaysia and encompasses an area of 6,645 sq km including a 48-km gentle coastline. Seremban, the capital of Negeri Sembilan, is 64 km south of Kuala Lumpur.
Although small in size, Perlis is not without its attractions, foremost among which is its serene unspoilt beauty, rustic rural scenes and vast padi fields. Even the state capital is bordered by an expanse of verdant padi fields, making the landscape appear like a huge color-field of brilliant green or gold, depending on the season.
Mention Pahang to a Malaysian, and he will probably conjure up visions of lush tropical forests, cool mountain air, beaches, lakes and waterfalls nestling in the arms of mountain crevices. The largest state in peninsular Malaysia is, in many ways, one of its most wild and Edenic. Two thirds of it is covered by unspoiled rain forest.
If the ultra-modern architecture and forward-looking citizens of Kuala Lumpur symbolize Malaysia's hopes for the future, then the quiet, seaside city of Malacca, about 150 kilometers to the south, is the guardian charged with the reflective task of preserving its past. Five hundred years ago, an extraordinary empire rose and fell here, its power and dreams suddenly caught off-gaurd by the dawn of the Colonial Era.