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Malaysia is a country that certainly reflects Asian culture, despite the mix of cultures that you find here. Chinese, Hindu and Muslim influences can be clearly seen here, along with the influence of the west. This country is a former British colony and that is also evident.
You get to visit two very different countries here. Peninsular Malaysia links to Thailand and East Malaysia is the northern part of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia and Brunei. This makes Malaysia a great point to start from if you want to tour south east Asia.
The capital city of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur. You can still see remnants of rainforest in the city, even though huge skyscrapers can also been seen everywhere. The city is filled with modern development including shopping centres. Visitors here make the most of the city’s features including the vast arrange of street food on offer.
If you want to get away from the cities consider hiring a car. There are plenty of national parks and wildlife reserves that you can visit. The orang-utan is a native species here and you may be lucky enough to see a few in their own habitat. Alternatively take a trip out to one of the islands. There are resort islands like Tioman and Langkawi where you can enjoy the clear waters, the sandy beaches and the shade offered by the palm trees. You can take advantage of the facilities to go scuba diving, widely considered to be some of the best in the world.
The island of Borneo has the states of Sarawak and Sabah where you can enjoy exploring the rainforests, home still to the indigenous tribes. They are holding on to their traditional way of life but the modern world is fast approaching.
Exploring Malaysia is so easy when you consider the road network. The cities have good quality roads but you do need to be a little more careful when you are exploring deeper into the country. The roads are not great quality in rural areas and the rules of the road seem to disappear too! It is often recommended that you do not drive at night. You can hire a car in Malaysia through either a local provider or an international car hire firm. Most travellers will need to have an international driving permit in place although British travellers can use their UK driving licence here for a period of three months.