Official Name: Malaysia
Established: 31 August 1957
Population: 32,730,000 (2020 estimate)
Religion: 61.3% Islam, 19.8% Buddhism, 9.2% Christianity, 6.3% Hinduism, 1.3% Chinese folk religion
Capital: Kuala Lumpur
Order of Visit: Thirty-Eighth
First Visit: 30 September 2012
Last Visit: 6 October 2012
Duration: 7 Days
– Melaka: Colourful trishaw tour of China Town, trying Melaka Tree fruit, exploring 485 year old Taoism Temple
– Kuala Lumpur: The stunning Petronas Towers, the shopping experience, the Istana Negara (National Palace), the grand National Mosque, historic Freedom Square, the magnificent Batu Caves (and monkeys around it), fireflies at Kuala Selangor.
– Cameron Heights: The amazing mountain and valley landscapes, hiking through Mossy Forest, trying to shoot a native pipe weapon, a mesmerising butterfly farm.
– Penang: Funicular ride (a type of train), exploring Penang Hill, strong cocktails
Places Visited: Cameron Highlands, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Penang
Malaysia Journal Entries
History and Geography
Covering 330,803 square kms Malaysia is located in Southeast Asia sharing a land and maritime border with Thailand, Brunei, and Singapore and maritime borders with Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.
Evidence of modern human habitation in Malaysia dates back 40,000 years. In the Malay Peninsula, the first inhabitants are thought to be Negritos. Traders and settlers from India and China arrived as early as the first century AD as a result the Malay Peninsula adopted the religions of Hinduism and Buddhism.
The Kingdom of Langkasuka arose around the second century in the northern area of the Malay Peninsula, lasting until about the 15th century. In the early 15th century, Parameswara, a runaway king of the former Kingdom of Singapura linked to the old Srivijayan court, founded the Malacca Sultanate.
In 1511, Malacca was conquered by Portugal, after which it was taken by the Dutch in 1641. In 1786, the British Empire established a presence in Malaya, when the Sultan of Kedah leased Penang Island to the British East India Company. The British obtained the town of Singapore in 1819, and in 1824 took control of Malacca following the Anglo-Dutch Treaty. By 1826, the British directly controlled Penang, Malacca, and Singapore.
By the 20th century, the states of Pahang, Selangor, Perak, and Negeri Sembilan, known together as the Federated Malay States, had British residents appointed to advise the Malay rulers, to whom the rulers were bound to defer by treaty. In the Second World War, the Japanese Army invaded and occupied Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore for over three years. During this time, ethnic tensions were raised and nationalism grew. Popular support for independence increased after Malaya was reconquered by Allied forces.
Chinese rebels under the leadership of the Malayan Communist Party launched guerrilla operations designed to force the British out of Malaya. The Malayan Emergency lasted from 1948 to 1960, and involved a long anti-insurgency campaign by Commonwealth troops in Malaya. On 31 August 1957, Malaya became an independent member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Under Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad there was a period of rapid economic growth and urbanisation beginning in the 1980s. The economy shifted from being agriculturally based to one based on manufacturing and industry. Numerous mega-projects were completed, such as the Petronas Towers, the North–South Expressway, and the Multimedia Super Corridor.
What I experienced
Colourful and energetic is how I remember Malaysia the most. The landscapes were impressive as was the engineering architecture of Petronas Towers. There was also a few Temples and mosques worth exploring if you get a chance.
I did also enjoy some strong and tasty cocktails in Malaysia which might colour my memory in a favourable way. When not at altitude you do get hit by the humidity and if you aren’t careful you can get hit by cars, rickshaws or motorcycles.
I really enjoyed my time in Malaysia in particular the experiences with nature.