Situated in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is the 44th most populated country in the world. There is evidence of humans having been in the region for over 40,000 years and in that time several different countries have governed it. It has borders with Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei. It is connected to Singapore by a narrow causeway and bridge. It has one of the strongest economies in Asia, and in 2014 their economic ranking in the world surpassed countries such as Australia and France.
It is a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multilingual society that is very friendly and welcoming to visitors. There is no end of attractions and things to do in Malaysia, and some of the sights you will not see anywhere else in the world.
Nightlife and Dining In Malaysia
Street food and fine dining are readily available when you travel in Malaysia and if you head for the large cities you will find a vibrant nightlife. Places such as Kuala Lumps cater for all ages and interests. You cannot visit Malaysia without trying the street food, which it is world famous for. It is tasty and cooked fresh and so much nicer than burgers and pizza, which you will also be able to buy, but they are dearer. You will also find delights that are unique to Malaysia such as Sea Grapes, which are a vegetarian option to caviar, 3-D Jelly cakes that are a real work of art and Pandan Leaf Extract, which adds a hint of vanilla to any dish.
There are hotels, B & B’s as well as guesthouses all over the country. They are all reasonably priced, but the cheapest way to stay in Malaysia is to rent an apartment, like this ipoh property, as your base. This will also give you the freedom to come and go as you please, without having to worry about things like being up in time for breakfast or anything else.
Flashing Fireflies of Kampung Kuantan
Imagine tens of thousands of fireflies all blinking at the same time. This is what happens in Kampung Kuantan and the amount of light and the display they produce is amazing. This phenomenon, known as synchronicity, is a mystery that has puzzled researchers for years, but that does not stop them enjoying the beauty of it.
It is thought that even though each firefly flashes according to its own rhythm, they also receive feedback from flashes nearby. This forms a loop, which eventually results in an enormous amount of fireflies blinking at the same time. This spectacular vision can last for just a few minutes but sometimes goes on for hours.
It was in these caves, in what is an amazing national park, that bones dating back for more than 40,000 years were found. They are a system of natural underground chambers that are huge, and it has been said they are large enough to fit Notre Dame Cathedral in twice and still have room to spare.
When they were first excavated in the 1950’s cave painting were found, but these have proved to be about 1200 years old so were not produced by the caves original inhabitants. Their size and natural beauty attracts tourists from all over the globe, and no one could visit these without experiencing a sense of awe.
The Pinnacles of Gunung Mulu
You will need a couple of days to get to the Pinnacles of Gunung Mulu as that is how long the trek takes. They are located in a national park that is so rugged and dangerous it is used by the Malaysian army for training. This is a trip you should not attempt alone, but follow the guides through the park to the viewing platforms that allow you to see this stone spike sticking out of the jungle that surrounds them.
Along the way, you will encounter toucans and pitcher plants. In recent years, ladders and railing have been added to the park to make the journey easier. The park is also home to a number of caves, which are also worth visiting while you are there.
Langkawi Sky Bridge
Anyone looking at this would think this suspension bridge is an impressive fete of engineering. However, it has been closed for years and there is no likelihood of it re-opening. It is fine for walkers and hikers but was considered too unstable for anything else.
You can reach the Seven Wells Waterfall or hike to the summit of Gunung Mat Chinchang from here, a walk that will take about 3 hours each way. It is well worth the effort though as the views are some of the most stunning you will ever see.
See The Orangutans in Sepilok
Orangutans are intelligent and fascinating animals. In Sepilok, you will find a rehabilitation centre, which was founded in the 1960’s, that rescues orphaned orangutans that have been left to fend for themselves by the illegal loggers and poachers. There are also some that were found in people homes being kept as pets, which is illegal in Malaysia.
They are given whatever healthcare they need and are trained to be able to look after themselves in the wild. Only when they can do this are they releases back into their natural habitat. Tours are usually timed to coincide with feeding times as them more of them are visible.
Climb Mount Kinabalu
This is the highest mountain in Malaysia and sits within the Crocker Mountain Range in Kinabalu Park. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has a huge diversity of flora, fauna and fungi. The trek to the top of the mountain can be strenuous and is not recommended for inexperienced hikers. But if you are used to hiking, a licensed guide will take you to the top. The walk can be done in one day, but there is accommodation along the route if you want to stay overnight.
BOH Tea Plantation and Factory
This is the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia and supplies the tea for all the surrounding countries. Over 8,000 acres of fresh tea leaves are processed in the plantations own factory to ensure its freshness. Founded by a British man in 1929, the site is open to the public and has a café where you can sample the teas, as well as a gift shop to buy some to take home.
It is said this is where there is a fine line between prayer and commerce. Malaysia’s Islamic Heritage Park is a tourist attraction that cost more than £60 million. It features one of the most spectacular places for Islamic worship anywhere in the world, the Crystal Mosque. It was built with steel and glass and its sleek modern look reflects in the water. It is often illuminated from inside which makes the glass domes shine. It also has wireless Internet and full IT facilities, something the architects are very proud of.
The Heritage Park also has replicas of some of the most famous mosques from around the world and has elements of architecture and design from China.
There Is So Much More
Malaysia has so much more to offer than just the few places mentioned above, but it really depends on what you are looking for as to which are the best for you to visit. With some of the friendliest people in the world to help you, never be afraid to ask the locals what their favourite attractions are, as they may well send you off to see something that is well off the beaten track that you may not otherwise been aware of.