Malaysia

Malaysia, for visitors, is a laid back country with beautiful beaches, low prices and fantastic street food.  It is a melting pot of cultures and that form one nation, yet each retaining their cultural traditions. The endless white-sand beaches, plus cosmopolitan cities that somehow remain relatively cheap, and tolerance for outsiders makes it an easy choice.


Attractions

Malaysia is made up of the mainland (the penisula), the island of Sarawak (which is shared with Indonesia and Brunei), plus other small islands where you can find exclusive luxury resorts.  The capital of the country is Kuala Lumpur where you find a mix of the ultra-urban and traditional.  It is the site of the tallest building in the world ? the Petronas Twin Towers. You will also see mosques with a Moorish design, elaborate Chinese temples and Hindu temples. Some of the buildings you might like to visit when you are in Kuala Lumpur include the Sultan Abdul Samad Building for an example of Moorish architecture. The National Mosque is a new building, but its roof is in the shape of an 18-point star.

Visit Lake Gardens, 170 acres of green within this bustling city. Here you will also find the National Monument, dedicated to those who died in the struggle against communism and two colonial mansions ? the Lake Club and the Carcosa Seri Negara.

Malaysia is divided into 5 main regions and each of these has its own attractions for tourists. For example, in the Northern Region has a distinctly rural flavor where you can enjoy idyllic beaches, plantations, rainforests and historic sites. Pulau Pinang, the site of the first British outpost in Southeast Asia, is known as the Pearl of the Continent, with picturesque villages.



Travel to Malaysia

The best way to travel to Malaysia is normally by air, although you may want to try ferry if you are close enough. There are six international airports in the country, with Kuala Lumpur being the main gateway to the country. There are also 15 domestic airports so you can travel by air when you are inside Malaysia, giving you plenty of opportunity to see as much of the country as possible.

You can take many different types of tours in Malaysia, such as eco-tours, city tours, island and beach tours and shopping tours.


Food and Drinks

The cuisine is varied in Malaysia due to the ethnic diversity of the population. Each state has its own traditional food, but in general the food is very spicy. The authentic Malaysian food is not as widely available in the hotels and restaurants as is Chinese, Japanese, American and French cuisine.

Alcohol is really expensive, largely due to the fact that Muslims are forbidden to drink alcoholic beverages. Wine is available, but it doesn?t have the same taste because of the heat and beer is served warm.


Language

Although Malay is the official language, English is widely spoken.


Visas

In order to enter Malaysia, you need to have a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date you enter the country. All visitors must have proof that they have adequate funds for their stay and an ongoing or return ticket. Depending on your country of origin, you may be exempt from needing a visa for a 7, 14 ?day or three month stay. You need to get a pass designating whether you are visiting the country as a tourist, or for social or business reasons at the point of entry.


Safety

This is one of the safest and hassle ?free countries you could ever choose to visit. As with all countries, you do need to keep your wits about you and try to avoid being alone on the streets at night. You will find that the people are very friendly and eager to help.


Shopping

Shopping is a delightful experience when you come to Malaysia. Here you can hunt for rare treasures of the Orient to bring home with you. Kuala Lumpur has three major shopping districts as well as small boutiques. You will find shopping centers in the major cities of each state in the country. Some of the things that tourists like to buy include the unique handicrafts, pottery, rattan and woodwork, as well as traditional clothing of Malaysia.


Entertainment

There is a very active nightlife in the larger cities of Malaysia. All the hotels have pubs and there are many bars and clubs with live entertainment. The pubs close at 11 p.m., but this is the time the discos open and they close at 2 a.m.
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