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Hanoi is Vietnam's capital and the country's second largest city. The city is a...
Malaysia is one of Southeast Asia’s top travel destinations, possessing an endless range of attractions and activities that cater for the cosmopolitan shopper, cultural enthusiast, historical buff and nature-lover. Divided into Peninsular Malaysia in the West and East Malaysia, part of the Borneo archipelago, the country will allure you with the shopping experience of its modern cities, the splendor of its cultural arts and natural heritage of rich flora and fauna.
In the heart of Asia lie some of the world's most beautiful beaches, with sparkling sand and crystal waters. It would be an impossible task to describe every one of Malaysia's thousands of beautiful beaches. Ranging from the powdery stretches of sand that characterize the eastern coastline of Peninsular Malaysia to the black sand beach of Pantai Pasir Hitam and the smooth pebble beach of Pantai Batu Kerikil, Malaysia's shores offer more idyllic locales than one could explore in many lifetimes.
Multiculturalism has not only made Malaysia a gastronomical paradise, it has also made Malaysia home to hundreds of colourful festivals. As a people, Malaysians are very laid back, warm and friendly. Geographically, Malaysia is as diverse as its culture. There are two parts to the country, 11 states in the peninsula of Malaysia and two states on the northern part of Borneo. Cool hideaways are found in the highlands that roll down to warm, sandy beaches and rich, humid mangroves.
One of Malaysia's key attractions is its extreme contrasts. Ultra modern skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur stand in close proximity to quaint heritage structures that reflect the country’s history, and five-star hotels sit several meters away from ancient reefs.
Facts all about Malaysia
Malaysia is the 67th largest country by total land area, with a land area of 329,847 square kilometres (127,355 sq mi). The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government.
Malaysia is a relatively open state-oriented and newly industrialised market economy. In 2011 the GDP (PPP) was about $450 billion, the 3rd largest economy in ASEAN and 29th largest in the world.
Malaysia has a multi-ethnic, multicultural, and multilingual society. Substantial influence exists from Chinese and Indian culture, dating back to when foreign trade began. Other cultural influences include the Persian, Arabic, and British cultures.
When you should to visit Malaysia?
Malaysia weather benefits from a tropical climate with high temperatures and high humidty throughout the year. Daytime temperatures rise above 30°C year-round and night-time temperatures rarely drop below 20°C.
The best time for beach holidays or scuba-diving will depend on which part of Malaysia you intend to visit. The country is affected by the south-west monsoon from May to September and the north-east monsoon from November to March, and different parts of the country have their dry and wet seasons at different times of year.
On the west coast, the wettest months are May to October, while on the east coast, the wettest months are September to December. Kuala Lumpur is wettest from March to April and September to November, while Malaysian Borneo sees its heaviest rainfall between November and February.
Getting around Malaysia and popular cities
The other alternative is to use domestic services available from the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah international Airport at Subang, Selangor. Aside from Malaysia Airlines, other domestic airlines such as Pelangi Air, Berjaya Air, Transmile, Air Asia and Sabah Air also serve popular tourist destinations within the country. There are domestic air services linking KL International Airport with major cities within the Peninsula and with Sabah and Sarawak. Points linked to Kuala Lumpur include lpoh, Penang, Alor Setar, Langkawi, Kota Bharu, Kuala Terengganu, Kuantan,Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Lahad Datu, Tawau, Labuan, Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri.
Most points in Peninsular Malaysia are accessible via the North-South Expressway which links up to coastal roads and the rest of the road arteries in the country. The Expressway is an excellent road network which allows you to drive through Peninsular Malaysia. There are also other modern highways which connect towns and villages throughout the length and breadth of the country.
Buses and Coaches
Interstate air-conditioned buses pay between most cities and towns in Malaysia. They offer a comfortable ride at a reasonable rate. These are to be found in all major cities and offer air conditioned comfort at metered rates. There are set charges for outstation travel. Bus services are available within the cities cosmopolitan. Coach services are available for inter-city travelling. Travelling through coaches is interesting as you get to watch the scenery along the way while enjoying the comfort inside the coach.
Taxis services are operated within the cities cosmopolitan. If required, taxis can be negotiated and contracted to travel to certain part of Malaysia which is not too far. There are several companies offered taxis and limousine services in Malaysia.
The older way of moving around within the streets in the city. It is a three-wheels vehicle modified from a bicycle. Some can be very beautifully decorated. It is slowly being phased out as most cities are becoming more and more modernised. However, in certain parts of Malaysia, the service is still available for tourists. Fare is to be negotiated.
For self drivers, car rentals are available. Minimum age is 18 years with a valid provincial driver's license. An international driver's license is required. Cars are right-hand drive; driven on the left-hand side of the road.
The railway network extends from neighbouring Singapore through the major cities and towns within Peninsular Malaysia up to Thailand on both the West and East Coasts. You can travel in air-conditioned comfort in daytime first class coaches with single or double berths. Second class coaches also have sleeping berths. In Malaysia, the railway network system has always been a key component in the development of the country's growth. The first railway track was built in 1885 from Taiping to Port Weld. From a mere 12.8 kilometres of track, the network grew as Malaysia developed and prospered. With its service covering the length and breadth of the country, KTM Berhad runs its train on a metre gauge of 1000mm, over a track length of 2 226.90 kilometres.
Ferry services are offered to major islands. In Peninsular Malaysia, the ferry service between Butterworth and Penang island is still popular despite the Penang Bridge link. A modern ferry service is offered from Kuala Perlis on the mainland to Pulau Langkawi, a popular tourist destination. Regular boat services are available on the Lumut-Pangkor Island and the Mersing-Tioman island routes. A longboat service is available from Labuan to Menumbak in Sabah. in the riverine areas of Sarawak, the major means of transportation are air-conditioned express boats.
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