Introduction

 Introduction

The cultural melting pot of Southeast Asia, Malaysia seamlessly blends the flavours of the Orient, India and Europe.

The country naturally focuses on its new millennium metropolis of a capital, Kuala Lumpur. With the iconic Petronas Towers lighting the way, KL, as it’s commonly known, has the polished panache of a Western capital combined with the frenetic nature of an Asian city, making it the ideal gateway to the rest of Malaysia and, indeed, to Southeast Asia.

It’s difficult to believe you’re in the same country when you travel from urban KL out into the countryside. With three-quarters of the land covered in dense and ancient rainforest, it is rich in natural attractions that will appeal to the spirit of adventure in us all. Explore Borneo and the states of Sabah and Sarawak, and you’ll find Malay tribes still inhabiting longhouse river settlements just as their forefathers did for centuries before – an amazing juxtaposition with the modern capital.

Although the inhabitants exhibit the customary frenetic nature of this part of the world, Malaysia manages to somehow exude an air of laid back casualness, an insouciance born of the fact that for centuries people have chosen to come here without Malaysia itself having to make much effort.

Visitors haven’t always been as welcome as today’s tourists, but that doesn’t stop the traditional Malay hospitality from being expressed. Prepare to slip into Southeast Asian life, with ease…

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