- Capital: Kuala Lumpur
- International Airport: Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
- Currency: Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
- Current Exchange Rate: AUD$1.00 = MYR$3
- Must Buy: Batik
- Popular Resort Areas: Langkawi, Kota Kinabalu
Malaysia, a beautiful country growing in popularity amongst tourists, is split across two main islands, with smaller islets for day visits dotting the waters around. Known as “Peninsular Malaysia”, home to the country’s capital of Kuala Lumpur, and “Borneo Malaysia” where visitors find the jungles of Sabah and many wildlife encounters, Malaysia is a unique and exciting combination of the old and the new; the east and the west. White sandy beaches, swaying coconut trees, dense jungle, high mountains, pristine waters and a range of things to do and see will appeal to the most discerning traveller.
Geography and History
Covering a total of almost 330,000 square kilometres and boasting over 4,600 kilometres of coastline, Malaysia is a tropical destination situated south of Thailand, north of Singapore and east of Sumatra, Indonesia. The land mass where Borneo Malaysia is also holds the small nation of Brunei and Indonesian territory on the southern half. A direct flight from Australia’s east coast reaches Malaysia in roughly 9 hours.
Malaysia has existed in some form or another since around the 10th century, with Islam firmly established throughout the country in the 14th century. The Portuguese, British, Dutch, Chinese, Indian and indigenous Malay populations have all fought for control of the country over the centuries, and the Japanese invaded the country during the Second World War. In 1963 the British territories of North Borneo combined with Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) and Singapore to become independent Malaysia.
Stroll along glimmering white beaches, snorkel, dive or white-water raft the clear and clean waterways, trek through jungles, climb mountains, visit the orang-utans and watch their impressive agility, visit welcoming villages of the highlands and experience sustainable living or immerse yourself in Malaysia’s unique culture and history through museum visits. There’s something in this vast country to appeal to any type of traveller.
No matter where you travel in Malaysia, you will be greeted with a friendly smile, a list of optional activities, fresh produce, inexpensive food and plenty of opportunities to lose yourself in the beauty of this diverse country.