No matter if you’re jetting off with the family, or taking private flights for business meetings, one of the must-visit destinations on your list has to be Malaysia. As a vacation spot, Malaysia often gets overlooked due to the economic prestige owned by its neighbor in Singapore. Not as renowned for its tourism as the surrounding countries are, the reason for which we do not know. Here are five amazing reasons you should check out Malaysia and some of its fascinating history, people, and food.
The Native Orangutans
Borneo is home to orangutans and for that reason, these beautiful creatures had no chance of missing our list. Orangutans have been called the people of the forests because of their natural habitat, the rainforest. Due to the massive demands of the palm oil industry, orangutans have become endangered due to the severe deforestation and logging of Borneo’s rainforest.
The most famous of these is Semenggoh Wildlife Center, which exists across Borneo Malaysia. It is highly recommended for those interested in learning about orangutans, as well as supporting the conservation efforts of this center, which is devoted to providing a sanctuary for orphaned and injured orangutans.
Multicultural Like No Other Place
One thing that many people say when they go to Malaysia is how much it reminds them of some of the biggest cities in the world like New York or London, and that is especially apparent in how many different cultures can be found here. This is a strong reason why a lot of people feel comfortable walking around the cities compared to some other places in Southeast Asia.
Malaysia is in fact famous for its multicultural society comprising of 3 main races; Malays, Indians, and Chinese while the main religions comprise Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism. The Muslim faith holds the majority of the country with around 67% of the population practicing.
From the moment you arrive, you can sense the strong feeling of its diversity. For example, upon entering, you could be stamped into the country at immigration by a smiley sweet lady wearing a burkha, welcomed and checked into an Airbnb condo in Kuala Lumpur by a friendly Chinese Malay guy, and then served dinner in Little India with strong Indian accents. Malaysia brings a world of cultures into one place adding unique aspects and extreme excitement.
The Largest Flower in the World
The Rafflesia is a flower that can grow up to one meter (3 feet 3 inches) in diameter and is found mainly on Borneo island in the Kinabalu National Park, making it the world’s largest flower. Technically, it is a parasite, since it takes nutrients and water from a host plant. In spite of this, the plant produces such massive blooms that you won’t even see it until it flowers.
In spite of being pretty in pictures, these flowers emit a powerful smell of rotting meat, which causes insects to flock to the plant to pollinate it. In spite of the fact that it looks a bit like a tooth, the plant actually does not eat animals!
Aside from the smell, the Rafflesia is an attractive plant that is sometimes used in tourism ads for Borneo’s rainforests. It’s definitely a bloom that belongs on your bucket list if you’re a plant geek.
Street Food Culture
One of the best things to do when traveling to any place across the globe is to try the local food, and Malaysia is great for this. All across the country, you will find hawker stalls selling fresh produce like Indian-inspired roti canai, nasi lemak, laksa, and much more. The influx and merging of cultures make Malaysia the perfect place for foodies.
The street food in Penang is renowned and for good reason. Most of the vendors are second and third-generation holding recipes and cooking techniques passed down to the family members through generations. George Town is the perfect place for street food, unlike the big city of Kuala Lumpur. The culture of street food is really strong here and has some of the best flavors you’ll ever experience.
The Worlds Tallest Twin Buildings
Located in Kuala Lumpur, Petronas Towers is the second tallest twin building in the world at 452 meters (1683 feet). Petronas Towers, which opened in 1998 and continue to be the tallest buildings in the world, used to be the world’s tallest buildings.
The United Arab Emirates, China, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Taiwan, and Hong Kong all built taller buildings during this period, knocking the Petronas Towers to the 19th position. Between the 41st and 42nd floors is the sky bridge, which stands 170 meters high (558 ft) and is the headquarters of Malaysia’s national oil company, Petronas, which joins the two iconic towers.
Kuala Lumpur’s skyline is dominated by the skyscrapers of the Petronas Towers and the Menara communications tower. No matter where you’re seated, the views are always amazing. Also, remember to watch the 1999 Hollywood drama “Entrapment,” which is set near or around the Petronas Towers and stars Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery.