Introduction to Malaysia (Part 2) – History, Geography and Beauty

Before Malaysia – A Short History Lesson

Long before the European colonial powers occupied Southeast Asia, Malaysia saw the spread of Hindu influences. Islam was introduced by Arab traders during the height of the Melaka Sultanate, in the 1400s. From then, came the colonization of the Portuguese, Dutch and British.

Malaysia history has greatly contributed to it’s rich culture. When people came from China, India and the Arab world to trade, spread their religion, and explore opportunities since the 3rd century, along with them came architecture, practices and religious beliefs that live on till today. The colonization of the western world, brought infrastructure development, immigration from India and China, and further utilized the Straits of Malacca as the main trade route of the region.

City Hall, Penang [Source: Zainah Abdullah/Blog]
Malaya gained independence from the British in 1957, joined together with North Borneo in 1963, and has never looked back since.

Tunku Abdul Rahman – Malaysia’s Founding Father (August 31, 1957)

Where is Malaysia?

For some reason, no one outside of South East Asia can really point out where Malaysia is on a map.

Is it near China? Is Bali in Malaysia? It’s near Thailand, right? Somewhere in the Middle East, maybe?

Uneducated savages.

Anyway, we’re really close to the equator. We’re made up of 2 main parts, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. Buy a freaking map.

Or here’s one, for free.

Where is Malaysia?

Weather is Forecasted to be Hot, Humid, and Wet

It’s really easy to forecast the weather in Malaysia because you have a 50% chance of getting it right. If it isn’t scorching cannot-wear-anything-but-cotton hot, it’s raining like cats and dogs.

It’s so hot that our durian sellers look like this. [Source: Jordan Yeoh]
When the temperature dips to 22 degrees Celcius, everyone goes crazy and we start coming up with theories that the world is coming to an end.

Winter is coming [Source: MYNEWSHUB]

Malaysia is Freaking Beautiful

This 61 year old country is home to about 30 million people, bursts with life and culture, and is almost too much to take in in one sitting. Made up of 2 geographical regions (Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo separated by the South China Sea), Malaysia’s beauty is in it’s diversity, or as Tourism Malaysia has beautifully put it,

Towering skyscrapers look down upon wooden houses built on stilts while five-star hotels sit just metres away from ancient reefs.

Rugged mountains reach dramatically for the sky while their rainforest-clad slopes sweep down to floodplains teeming with forest life. Cool highland hideaways roll down to warm, sandy beaches and rich, humid mangroves.

I might be overselling it, but take a look at these anyway:

My heart soars – Mount Kinabalu

Sipadan – Scuba Diving Paradise [Source: 1malaysiahotelstravelguide]
Sipadan – among the top 10 diving sites of the world [Source: waandfaraway]
Mulu Caves [source: borneoadventure]
Danum Valley: a naturalists’ paradise – [Source: borneoecotours]
Lata Berembun Waterfall [source: @safiuddin.shaifuddin]
Putrajaya Skyline [Source: Sawsengee]
Colonial street, Georgetown Penang [Source: Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion]
Redang Island [Source: Shutterstock]
Yeah, I know. I oversold it, just a tad.

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