INFO on Malaysia
Malaysia is located in the heart of Southeast Asia. Consisting of 127,000 sq. miles (330,200 sq. km), Malaysia is divided into two main regions: Peninsular Malaysia, which lies just south of Thailand, and East Malaysia, which can be found north of Indonesia on the island of Borneo. These two regions are divided into thirteen states and federal territories. Although East Malaysia occupies the larger portion of Malaysia's total area, it is primarily comprised of undeveloped land and jungles.
Malaysia is a land of fascinating sights and attractions. Rich in colour and contrasts, her multi-faceted charm provides intriguing images that leave visitors to the country in awe. The natural warmth of Malaysians is legendary; wherever one goes, the friendliness and hospitality of the people would prove to be a very special experience. Malaysia is paradise. Its sun-drenched beaches, enchanting islands, diverse flora and fauna, forest retreats and magnificent mountains are among the best in this region. Many visitors have discovered Malaysia's other attractions: a shopping haven, a versatile conference venue, an incentive destination, an adventure land and much more.
Ethnic Groups: 59% Malay and other indigenous, 32% Chinese and 9% Indian.
Languages: Malay (official), English, Chinese dialects, Mandarin, Hakka dialects, Cantonese, Tamil and numerous tribal languages.
WHEN TO GO?
With temperature that fluctuates little throughout the year, travel in Malaysia is a pleasure. Average temperature is between 21 to 32 degree celcius. Humidity is high. Rain tends to occur between November to February on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, on western Sarawak, and north-eastern Sabah. On the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia the rainy seasons is April to May and October to November.
The financial Heart of Penang
GeorgeTown- PenangGeorge Town, the capital of the island of Penang was named by the British after King George III. It was established by Capt Francis Light in 1786. Penang is the oldest British settlement in Malaysia. The government centre and its financial heart, George Town is an interesting and bustling city with modern high rise buildings, cathedrals, mosques, government offices, temples, bazaars, shops and cafes.
One must visit the older part of the town that has narrow lanes and alleyways, which makes it a pleasure to walk.
The most interesting place to visit is Fort Cornwallis is situated at the spot where Captain Francis Light was supposed to have landed in 1786. Originally a wooden structure, the fort was rebuilt between 1808 and 1810 with convict labour.
A Tropical Paradise
Langkawi is situated in the state of Kedah, consists of 104 islands, stretching out over 362 sq km. The capital of Langkawi is at Kuah. Out of the 104 islands Langkawi is the largest, with a sizeable population, mainly of Malay origin. And only three of the other islands.
Unspoilt and rustic, it is a tropical paradise spectacularly endowed by nature, one where crystal clear emerald waters, azure skies, dense tropical rainforests, and fantastic limestone formations can be found. Langkawi has been called the 'Island of legends’ because a number of folklore, myth and legend can be heard about the place.
Nature's Private Island
Pangkor lies off the west coast of Perak in Peninsular Malaysia. For thousands of years, it was the refuge of seamen who sailed though the Straits of Malacca, thanks to its many idyllic bays. Pirates, adventurers, merchants and soldiers of fortune alike were mesmerized by her charming beauty. Today, despite Malaysia’s fast-paced progress, Pangkor remains a haven for visitors seeking a return to nature. Bask in glorious sunshine on her golden beaches. Catch sight of fishing boats rocking gently on her calm waters. Get close to nature when you trek through her virgin jungles. Or experience the warm, friendly hospitality of her people. Whichever you choose, Pangkor will thrill you.
PenangThe Pearl of the Orient
Penang is located on the north-western coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It comprises the Penang island and a strip on the mainland named Province Wellesley Seberang Perai) which are linked by the Penang Bridge, the third longest in the world. Penang island measures a modest 285sq.km and is inhabited by slightly over a million people who hail from a diverse mix of cultures and religions.
Penang is blessed with such a great variety of food that it is often said that Penangites don't eat to live, they live to eat. Hawker stalls offering a diverse selection of local fare are in abundance everywhere you go. Nasi Kandar, Satay (skewered marinated meat pieces), Laksa (noodles in spicy sour soup), Hainanese Chicken Rice, Popiah and Rojak are just some of Penang’s sumptuous treats you can't afford to miss. Penang possesses a unique charm of old and new perfectly blended. Take to its streets and you will see small time pedlars exhibiting their wares within view of larger, more modern business establishments. Vintage trishaws share the roads with modern automobiles. Quaint, old buildings stang proud next to taller, more sophisticated ones. It is an island in full bloom. And it beckons you to harvest your dream of a wonderful holiday.
Land of the Hornbills
Sarawak is the largest of the 13 states that make up Malaysia. It is located on Borneo (the third largest island in the world) and covers an area of about 124,000sq.km, flanked by Sabah, Brunei and Kalimatan, Sarawak is separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the South China Sea. The land is a premier tourist destination owing to its bountiful wealth of natural wonders. This oil-rich state is also a living museum of 23 ethnic tribes who still observe ancient rites and celebrations. They live in peaceful and harmonious co-existence with one another and with the rest of the population. Welcome to a land of endless enchantment.
Land Below the Wind
Kina BaluThe Kinabalu region is on the west coast of Sabah, 'The Land Below the Wind'. Here sits South-East Asia's highest peak, the mystical Mount Kinabalu, rising a 4,101 meters above sea level. Kinabalu holds the promise of many exhilarating moments for its visitors. Tour Kota Kinabalu, the bustling capital city of Sabah, or retreat to Kinabalu Park, a paradise for naturalists, botanists, bird watchers, mountaineers or just about anyone who wants to be close to nature. The park is home to an incredibly diverse range of flora and fauna including the Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower. Scale the ‘home of a dragon’, Mount Kinabalu or indulge in some thrilling white-water rafting action down fast-flowing turbulent rivers. Whatever you choose, excitement awaits you right here in Kinabalu.
Mother Nature's Treasure Trove
Spread across 4,343sq.km, of the formidable Titiwangsa Mountain Range is Tanam Negara- the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. A sanctuary to hundreds of species of birds, butterflies, insects, fish and plants. Home to Malaysia’s friendly aborigines, the Orang Asli. Come discover the living treasures Mother Nature has to offer. Whether it’s shooting thrilling rapids, exploring specula caves, tackling a 20-pound fish, scaling Peninsular Malaysia’s highest mountain, trekking through dense, tricky forest pathways or swimming in crystal clear pools, Malaysia’s National Park is a natural paradise you must experience. An adventure of a lifetime awaits you here.
MalaccaLocated on the west coast of Penisular Malaysia, about 147 kilometers south of Kuala Lumpur, Malacca is a state hailed by history. Malacca spans 1,658sq.km, and is divided into three main districts, Central Malacca, Alor Gajah and Jasin. Malacca boasts a legacy of history and charm only a rare few places on Earth are bestowed with. Aptly, it was officially declared a Historic City in 1989 by its Ruler, the Yang Di-Pertua Negeri of Malacca The Governor of Malacca). Visiting Malacca is a must for any tourist. Here, remnants of the past sit unperturbed by a city that races towards the future. A juxtaposition that is Malacca’s alone, one that is bound to mesmerize you.
Other than our popular destinations, Malaysia comprises Penisular Malaysia and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Boneo which made up of 13 states. Each state has unique characteristics and each promises visitors totally different experiences. One can look forward to interesting flora and fauna, sunny.
Food in Malaysia
Staple Diet - Rice
Rice is the staple diet in any Malay meal. It is often served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and supper too. Most meals are eaten by using your fingers, and eating utensils are kept to a minimum. All dishes are served at the same time, accompanied by a refreshing drink. Fish is popular in Malay cooking, as with other seafood such as shrimps and cuttlefish. Beef and mutton are very popular choices but never pork as it is against their religious beliefs to eat pork. The other popular white meat is chicken.
Dishes and Desserts
One of the most unique Malay dishes is the "roti jala" (lacy pancakes), which sometimes replaces the staple rice. Roti jala is an ideal accompaniment to any dish with lots of rich gravy and is often served during special occasions. It is made from a mixture of plain flour and eggs, with a pinch of turmeric powder and butter. Desserts are a must for any Malay meal. Easily available at most local restaurants and roadside stalls, Malay desserts are invariably very sweet and include ingredients such as coconut milk, palm sugar, and flour.
Popular Malay dishes include : -
¤ Nasi Dagang
Foods in Malaysia - Nasi DagangThe dish is made by cooking rice and glutinous rice together, to which coconut cream is added once it is cooked. Nasi Dagang is eaten with its own specially made side dishes of tuna fish curry and a light vegetable pickle.
¤ Keropok Lekor / Keping
A popular and the most visible fried snack in Terengganu, the keropok is made of fish meat, ground to a paste, and mixed with sago. Coming in two main different forms, the long chewy ones are called 'lekor', while the thin, crispy ones are called 'keping'. Keropok is best eaten hot with its special chili dip.
¤ Ayam Goreng
This is a popular chicken dish. Simply meaning fried chicken, this dish is prepared by first marinating the chicken with various spices like turmeric and curry powder. It is then deep fried in hot oil and served.
A delightful yet simple dish, the laksam is akin to the western pasta dish. Like the latter, it has both the flour dough and the gravy that goes with it. However, unlike the pasta, laksam is made using both wheat and rice flours, and the dough is steamed instead of boiled. Laksam's gravy is made of fish meat, which is boiled, pureed, and later mixed with coconut milk
¤ Indian Food
Indian influence in Malaysian cuisine started in the 19th century when large arrivals of Indian migrants were brought into the country as contract laborers to work in rubber estates and on the railways. Some did take the opportunity to set up trade in the textile and food industry. Indian cuisine can be divided into two mainstreams, Northern and Southern Indian cuisine.
INFO on Malaysia