Malaysia

Malaysia is a blend of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures. This cosmopolitan tradition traces its roots way back to the 13th century Malacca Kingdom, when the city of Malacca became an important centre for maritime trade. Islam is the official religion of West Malaysia and 61% of Malaysian population are Muslims.

With its iconic skyscrapers, multistory shopping malls and monorail tracks, Kuala Lumpur resembles a dashing sci-fi city that has grown miraculously in the forest. Possessing UNESCO's World Heritage status, the historical cities of Malacca, George Town and archaeological sites of Lenggong Valley are must-see for cultural travelers.

Tropical rainforests and mangroves of this megadiverse country are home to thousands of unique wild species. Langkawi, Tioman and the Perhentian Islands are legendary destinations for nature hikes, kayaking, cave exploration and yacht cruises.

Malaysia's diving sites are ranked amongst the best in the world. Redang Island in Terengganu is an important center for wreck-diving. Besides two World War II historic shipwreck, these pristine waters have a mesmerizing bed of live corals and even a black coral garden.

National parks and wildlife reserves are well looked after. If lucky, you might even be able to spot orangutans. In the states of Sabah and Sarawak, the lush rainforests are inhabited by isolated indigenous tribes with their traditional way of life.

Popular food includes Chicken rice balls, Satays, Cellups (desert) and Coconut shakes.