Malaysia is in South East Asia and is located partly on an Asian mainland peninsula and party on the northern third of Borneo. The country shares borders with Thailand, it is connected to Singapore by a bridge and a causeway and has its coastlines touching the Malaccan straits and the South China Seas.
Climate and Geography of Malaysia
Malaysia's climate is categorized as tropical. Monsoons usually last from October to February in the east coast of the country while the south west of the country sees a comparatively lighter monsoon during the months of April to October. Being close to the equator, Malaysia is almost guaranteed to have warm weather all year round. Temperatures tend to range from 32�C at noon to 26�C at midnight. Given the generally warm and bright sunshine almost all year around, it is a good idea to come prepared with sun protection. Whether that be, creams for your skin or UV protection glasses.
Malaysia ranks 66th by land area. It shares its maritime borders with Philippines and Vietnam. The Sea of South China divides Malaysia into two parts, however they share a pretty similar landscape. Both halves are characterized by coastal plains gradually rising to form mountains and hills. Peninsular Malaysia contains approximately 40% of Malaysia's total land area. A number of islands surround both halves of the country.
People of Malaysia
Malaysia society is largely multicultural thanks to the number of foreign nationals living and working there. Malays consist of about 52% of the total population. The rest are made up of Chinese at 9%, Indians and other miscellaneous groups making up 13%. 12% of the population are the indigenous people of the island.
This also leads to a wide variety of faiths and religions being actively practiced on the island. Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Taoism, Sikhism all have followers among the island nations population.
What to Do and Places to See in Malaysia
Malaysia offers a host of activities from hiking in the outdoors and exploring the wildlife, to scuba diving in the pristine waters just off the shores. Malaysia also offers a fantastic shopping as well as eating experience for those so inclined.
a) Explore the Outdoors- The best places to observe the wildlife of Malaysia in their natural habitat is remote and not so easy to get to. Places like the Danum Valley has one of the oldest rainforests in the world and you can see pygmy elephants, orangutans, and leopards. There also a number of lakes and forest reserves as well as popular hiking tracks through well maintained parks which are more accessible.
b) Hit the Beach- Malaysia is particularly known for its clean beaches and pristine water that provides excellent diving opportunities. The natural beauty and relaxing seaside getaways in some of the remote beaches is particularly in demand.
c) Scuba Diving- Malaysia has wonderful scuba diving opportunities. Thee east coast of the island boasts some of the more popular areas for scuba diving. Depending on your chosen spot, you can view sharks, a variety of fish and turtles, etc.
d) Shopping- Kuala Lampur has fast established as the Mecca for shopping. Popular items include clothes, accessories, electronics, computer goods, etc. The prices of most of the goods are extremely competitive when compared to other markets.
e) Eating out- If you like exploring street food, Malaysia is an excellent place to visit. Its food style consists of a mix of Malay, Indian and Chinese cuisine. The regional specialties include Nyonya cuisine- a mix of Chinese and Malay styles of cooking. Most of the towns and villages that you may visit, would usually have their own special delicacies that you can sample. A word of caution here, Malaysian food is known for its generous use of spices, so if you're not used to spice in your food, it would be a good idea to sample a taste before ordering a meal.
What to Look Out For
1) The federal government of Malaysia has introduced a tax on foreign tourists which has been applicable since September 2017 and is a flat tax across all foreign visitors.
2) Its advisable to be careful of bus drivers who tend to be a bit reckless especially on rural routes, where speeding and overtaking near blind corners are often the norm.
3) Malaysia considers drug offences as serious crimes and you could be charged with unauthorized consumption if traces of drugs are found in your body.
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