Malaysia Travel Guide
- Official name: Malaysia
- Capital: Kuala_Lumpur
- Language: Malay
- Religion:Malaysia is a multi-religious society, and Islam is the country's official religion. The four main religions are Islam (60.4% of the population), Buddhism (19.2%), Christianity (9.1%, mostly in East Malaysia), and Hinduism (6.3%), according to government census figures in 2000. Until the 20th century, most practiced traditional beliefs, which arguably still linger on to a greater degree than Malaysian officialdom is prepared to acknowledge. The aforementioned figures may be skewed as they do not take into account the fact that all Malay persons are officially regarded and treated as Muslim, regardless of private belief.
- Currency : The ringgit (unofficially known as the Malaysian dollar), is the official monetary unit of Malaysia.
Malaysia Sights and Museums
WHAT TO SEE :
Sepilok Orang-utan Centre
Located on ten thousand hectares of tropical lowland rainforest, this is the best place you will ever get to see this fascinating primate in action. While you may well have seen Orang-utan in a zoo back home this is an opportunity to see the animal in its natural jungle environment. You get to see them build places in which to sleep in the unique fashion that only they use. If you get there between 10.00am and 2.30pm you also get to see the animals feed. The Centre is situated about twenty-five kilometres outside Sandakan and is served by public transport. The area is also home to the Asian two-horned rhinoceros which is an even rarer species than the aforementioned Orang-utans and is one of only four such animal refuges in the world.
Situated fifty-six kilometres from Kuala Terengganu on Malaysia’s east coast, Rantau Abang is one of only six beaches in the world where you can watch the fascinating giant leatherback turtles come ashore to lay eggs. The turtles which can measure up to two and half metres in length and weigh over three hundred and seventy five kilograms are an endangered species and the work being carried out at the beach is an attempt to protect the animals. So, if you’re in the country between May and September it really is a unique sight and one well worth visiting. For a guaranteed sighting, however, make your way there in August. And, if you’re thinking of taking an egg as a souvenir, think again.The Terengganu Government have made it an offence to do so.
Located just outside Kuala Lumpur, the caves are home to the festival of ‘Thaipusam’ which takes place every year. Consisting of three main caves and a number of smaller ones, the area is also home to the Temple Cave. Built in 1892, this cave is 400 metres long and 120 metres high with a flight of 272 steps leading up to the temple. Eight hundred thousand people make their way to the Batu Caves fro the festival every year making it the largest gathering of Hindu devotees in the country. But, if you can’t make it in late January or early February, the caves still serve as one of Malaysia’s top tourist attractions. And, as well as the temple, there is also a huge bazaar within the vicinity of the caves where you can pick up numerous bargains.
The Danum Valley Conversation Area is home to a sixty million year old rain forest where you will see thousands of plant and animal species in their natural habitat. Located just over eighty kilometres southeast of Lahad Datu, the valley offers a unique opportunity to step out of the present day and into the world as it was all those millions of years ago. Wild Orang-utans, bearded wild pigs, flying squirrels and frogs, Asian elephants and howling gibbons are among some of the more unusual species which you will encounter during your trip making it one which you’re not likely to forget in a while.
Kek Lok Si
One of the oldest Buddhist temples in Malaysia, Kek Lok Si is located in Penang in some of the most immaculate gardens you will ever visit. If you have never been to a Buddhist place of worship before prepare yourself. The number of Buddhas which adorn this particular temple is guaranteed to shock you. Sculptures of all shapes and sizes are positioned throughout the temple and the site is also home to the beautiful Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas. If you are in Penang during your Malaysian trip, a trip to the temple and the gardens offers the perfect opportunity to escape from city life even for just a few hours. After all, everyone needs to take time out to relax every now and again and this is the perfect place to do so.
There are really only two railway lines in the country but both are efficient, economical and comfortable. The first travels between Singapore and Butterworth, continuing into Thailand and the second branches off this line at Gemas and runs up to the northeastern Malaysia to Kota Bharu. When availing of either of the two services, there are three classes – express, limited express and local. Generally, it is recommended that you take the express services as they only cost about twenty per cent more, only stop at main stations and are much faster than either of the other two options. You will need to book well in advance, however, in order to guarantee a seat.
In order to get the best value for your money with regard to travelling by train in the country, you should avail of the KTM pass. This will give you first class travel at economy rates and allows unlimited travel on any train in Malaysia and Singapore for the duration of the pass (10/30days).
While, rail travel in Malaysia is common, the routes are quite limited and travel by bus is usually the preferred option of public transport. There are public buses which operate on the shorter routes as well as privately owned buses which cover the longer trips. Seats can usually be reserved for either service and buses are fast and reasonably priced. The good news is that there are also many air-conditioned services which operate on both types of route but they do cost a little bit more. Other than that, fares are generally charged according to the distance covered.
HOW TO GET THERE :
The country’s national carrier, Malaysia Airlines, currently operates flights to and from ninety-five worldwide destinations. As well as the aforementioned, however, numerous other international airlines fly into Malaysia including Aeroflot, Air France, Air India, Air Lanka, Air Mauritius, Air New Zealand, Air Vietnam, Alia/Royal Jordanian Airlines, Balkan-Bulgarian Airlines, Bangladesh Biman, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Eva Air, Garuda Indonesia, Iran Air, Japan Airlines, Kampuchea Airlines, Koran Airlines, Lufthansa, Pakistan Airlines, Phillipine Airlines, Qantas Airways, Royal Brunei Airlines, Royal Dutch Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Sempati Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai International, and Uzbekistan Airlines.The majority of flights from any destination fly into the new Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) which is located about forty kilometres outside the city centre. Once you arrive here you will get a flight to most major towns and cities in the country.
As well as air connections, Malayan Railways also travels between Kuala Lumpur and both Bangkok and Singapore. The journey to or from Singapore takes between seven and ten hours and Bangkok is about two days from Kuala Lumpur.
Your final option for travel to the country is by bus from Singapore or Thailand. Buses from the Ban San terminal in Singapore travel to numerous destinations within the country as do services from Bangkok and Haadyai in Thailand.