Malaysia

Malaysia, like many countries in Asia and around the globe, has been focused on making tourism a mainstay industry that kicks significant contributions into its economy. "Malaysia, Truly Asia" is the slogan the country uses to beckon visitors, with more than 24.6 million foreigners answering the call in 2010 alone. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, that number is expected to reach 35.5 million by 2022 as the country recently recognized tourism as a "powerful driver of economic growth" and one of the areas at the centre of its efforts to transform itself into a "high-income nation". The country certainly has plenty going for it, so drawing increasing numbers of visitors shouldn't be a problem. Sharing borders with Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei and sitting pretty in a sweet spot across the pond from Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines, Malaysia is a great get away destination both for the people living in these surrounding countries and for visitors to those countries who are in the mood for a detour or extended stay in the region. Highlights here include any one of about a zillion amazing beaches, Kuala Lampur with its Petronas Towers - the world's tallest towers and once tallest buildings, the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Georgetown and Malacca, a number of nature parks including Taman Negara, which lays claims to having the world's oldest rainforest, and the National Zoo, which is home to more than 5,000 different animals. With all this and so much more, not to mention a very rich culture that blends the ancient and modern, Malaysia Truly Asia is truly an Asian experience that will leave every visitor with something amazing to remember. ~ Samantha McDonald-Amara


The Highs and Lows of Sabah

Semporna Harbour, BorneoAlthough we love Malaysia and have travelled to peninsular Malaysia many times, we found ourselves short on time when planning a trip to Sabah, Borneo. After seeking some advice on how best to use our time and consulting those we knew who had spent more time there, we soon found ourselves spending five days diving around Sipidan Island and then climbing to the highest peak, Mt Kinabalu. It was a ten day trip in all, but each day was action-packed as any trip to Borneo - long or short - can easily be.

Melaka: A day away from the hustle

Pimped out trishaws of MelakaSit back and relax along the river while sipping on a cup of tea. Enjoy the breath taking scenery and visit the old Dutch buildings within the city center. And at night time, take a walk and go shopping along Jonker Walk. That and many other interesting things are in store for you when you visit the UNESCO Heritage city of Melaka (Melacca) in Southern Malaysia. The site of the colonial trading era and shipping center, this place is a historian’s dream come true, while its beauty could make a miserable person happy.

During my many months of sightseeing throughout Malaysia, I had the pleasure of spending a weekend in Melaka. I checked in at the Roof Top Guesthouse, where I felt extremely welcomed by the staff and was given some valuable information on places to visit in the city. Since Melaka City is easy to see via two feet or two wheels, I decided to rent a bike to take in the sights around town.

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 Full name: Malaysia

 Population: 29.2 million (CIA, 2012)

 Capital: Kuala Lumpur

 Largest city: Kuala Lumpur (by population)

 Area: 329,847 sq.km. (127,354 sq. mi.)

 Major languages: Bahasa Malaysia, English,  Chinese, Tamil, Several Others

 Major religions: Islam, Buddhist, Christian,  Hindu, Several Others

 Monetary unit: Ringgit

 GDP per capita: US $15,600

 Internet domain: .my

 International dialling code: +60

 Source: CIA World Factbook