Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy located with Southeastern Asia. The country itself is separated into two separate regions by the South China Sea, creating Peninsula Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. Surrounded by countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, Malaysia has a very rich and diverse culture. The capitol city is Lumpur. The name, ‘Malaysia’ is said to be derived from a Sanskrit name that is translated “land of mountains.’ The history of the island dates back thousands of years, and the traditions of the locals still reflect these ancient roots.
One of the main draws of Malaysia for foreigners is its extreme biodiversity. Also known as a ‘megadiverse country,’ it features a high variety of animal species and a vast array of flora and fauna. It is also the only country with a border on the Malay Archipelago and the Asian Mainland. In the Peninsula Region of Malaysia has more than 620 species of birds alone. There are also over 8,000 different types of vascular plants within the same region. The Sulu Sea along the eastern side of Malaysia is a biodiversity hotspot as well, featuring over 600 coral species and 1,000 fish species.
One of the most famous aspects of Malaysia culture is its fine cuisine, ranging from spicy curry to their famous variations of chilli. Much of their food is influenced by Singapore and Thailand cuisine, but the Malaysians out their own twist onto traditional Asian dishes and make them their own. This fantastic cuisine is often associated with the many festivals celebrated within Malaysia. Hari Merdeka is the Malaysian holiday for ‘Independence Day,’ the King’s Birthday and Labour Day. All of these holidays are heralded in with festivities such as parades, fireworks, street vending and lots of food to choose from. There are also many sporting events held in Malaysia, ranging from badminton, field hockey, tennis, bowling, martial arts, skating, sailing and soccer.
At the capitol, visitors can find the Islamic Arts Center, which features both the artistic achievements and discoveries of the Islamic world. They may also visit the Petronas Twin Towers, which dominate the skyline of the capitol city. About 1,000 tickets are sold at the tower every day, so be sure to arrive there early. The Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is the ideal place to view the stunning birds of Malaysia. There are nearly 700 different species hidden with the trees, so be sure to bring your binoculars. Bukit Bintang is a popular urban centre with nightlife and traditional Malaysian cuisine around every corner. The Batu Caves are made of limestone are traditionally used for Hindu festivals and pilgrimages.
The best places to lodge can be found in Kuala Lumpur, the capitol region of Malaysia.
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