Before the rise of the European colonial powers, the Malay peninsula and the Malay archipelago were home to empires such as the Srivijaya, the Majapahit (both ruled from Indonesia, but also controlling parts of Malaysia) and the Melaka Sultanate.
The Srivijaya and Majapahit empires saw the spread of Hinduism to the region, and to this day, despite being nominally Muslim, many Hindu legends and traditions survive in traditional Malay culture.This was to change in the 16th century when the Portuguese established the first European colony in Southeast Asia by defeating the Melaka Sultanate.
Places To Visit
Less than 200 year ago, Kuala Lumpur was just a quiet tin-mining town in West Malaysia. Today, this same sleepy village has flourished into the country’s federal capital and largest metropolis. Commonly called KL by locals, this vibrant city is a cultural melting pot, noted for its impressive skyscrapers and buzzing scenes of shopping, dining and nightlife.
Located off Malaysia’s northwestern coast in the Andaman Sea, Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands boasting picturesque beaches, rainforest, mangroves and forest-clad mountains. In recent years, resorts, hotels, restaurants and other tourist facilities have developed in Langkawi, offering visitors the opportunity to experience the archipelago’s exceptional natural beauty.
Gunung Mulu National Park
Famous for its extraordinary limestone karst formations and phenomenal cave systems, the Gunung Mulu National Park is one of the most awe-inspiring natural attractions in all of Southeast Asia. Located in Malaysian Borneo in the Sarawak State, this national park features some of the largest and longest cave systems in the world.
Providing a cool escape from the heat of the lowlands, the Cameron Highlands in the Titiwangsa Mountains are one of Malaysia’s oldest tourist destinations. Developed with an English garden charm, this beautiful tableland offers lush scenery, colorful flower farms, tea plantations, forests, lakes, wildlife and outdoor recreation.