MALAYSIA

  • People
  • HANDICRAFT
  • TREDITIONAL ATTIRE
  • Attrection of malaysia
  • getting to malaysia

PEOPLE
Having had an interesting past and being a part of the international spice route many hundreds of years ago, Malaysia has turned into a mosaic of cultures. Everything from its people to its architecture reflect a colourful heritage and an amalgamated culture. To understand Malaysian culture, you must first get to know its people.

DISCOVER A LAND OF INTRIGUING DIVERSITY
Malays, Chinese, Indians and many other ethnic groups have lived together in Malaysia for generations. All these cultures have influenced each other, creating a truly Malaysian culture.

The largest ethnic groups in Malaysia are the Malays, Chinese and Indians. In Sabah and Sarawak, there are a myriad of indigenous ethnic groups with their own unique culture and heritage.


MALAY
Today, the Malays, Malaysia's largest ethnic group, make up more than 50% of the population. In Malaysia, the term Malay refers to a person who practices Islam and Malay traditions, speaks the Malay language and whose ancestors are Malays. Their conversion to Islam from Hinduism and Theravada Buddhism began in the 1400s, largely influenced by the decision of the royal court of Melaka. The Malays are known for their gentle mannerisms and rich arts heritage.

CHINESE
The second largest ethnic group, the Malaysian Chinese form about 25% of the population. Mostly descendants of Chinese immigrants during the 19th century, the Chinese are known for their diligence and keen business sense. The three sub-groups who speak a different dialect of the Chinese language are the Hokkien who live predominantly on the northern island of Penang; the Cantonese who live predominantly in the capital city Kuala Lumpur; and the Mandarin-speaking group who live predominantly in the southern state of Johor.

INDIAN
The smallest of three main ethnic groups, the Malaysian Indians form about 10% of the population. Most are descendants of Tamil-speaking South Indian immigrants who came to the country during the British colonial rule. Lured by the prospect of breaking out of the Indian caste system, they came to Malaysia to build a better life. Predominantly Hindus, they brought with them their colourful culture such as ornate temples, spicy cuisine and exquisite sarees.

Orang Asli
Orang Asli is a general term used for any indigenous groups that are found in Peninsular Malaysia. They are divided into three main tribal groups: Negrito, Senoi and Proto-Malay. The Negrito usually live in the north, the Senoi in the middle and the Proto-Malay in the south. Each group or sub-group has its own language and culture. Some are fishermen, some farmers and some are semi-nomadic.

SABAH
The largest indigenous ethnic groups of Sabah's population are the Kadazan Dusun, the Bajau and the Murut.

Kadazan Dusun
The largest ethnic group of Sabah, the Kadazan Dusuns form about 30% of the state's population. Actually consisting of two tribes; the Kadazan and the Dusun, they were grouped together as they both share the same language and culture. However, the Kadazan are mainly inhabitants of flat valley deltas, which are conducive to paddy field farming, while the Dusun traditionally lived in the hilly and mountainous regions of interior Sabah.

Bajau
The second largest ethnic group in Sabah, the Bajaus make up about 15% of the state's population. Historically a nomadic sea-faring people that worshipped the Omboh Dilaut or God of the Sea, they are sometimes referred to as the Sea Gypsies. Those who chose to leave their sea-faring ways became farmers and cattle-breeders. These land Bajaus are nicknamed 'Cowboys of the East' in tribute to their impressive equestrian skills, which are publicly displayed in the annual Tamu Besar festival at Kota Belud.

Murut
The third largest ethnic group in Sabah the Muruts make up about 3% of the state's population. Traditionally inhabiting the northern inland regions of Borneo, they were the last of Sabah's ethnic groups to renounce headhunting. Now, they are mostly shifting cultivators of hill paddy and tapioca, supplementing their diet with blowpipe hunting and fishing. Like most indigenous tribes in Sabah, their traditional clothing is decorated with distinctive beadwork.

HANDICRAFT

FASCINATING HANDICRAFTS GALORE
Malaysia boasts a delightful variety of traditional handicrafts. Choices range from priceless authentic antiques to exquisite modern hand-made crafts.

As most artisans are Muslims, Malaysian handicraft designs are heavily influenced by Islam. The religion prohibits the depiction of the human form in art. Hence, most designs are based on natural elements such as the interlacing of leaves or vines, flowers and animals.

EARTHENWARE
Popular items of traditional design include Perak's labu sayong, geluk, belanga, Chinese dragon kiln ceramics and Sarawakian tribal motif pottery. Contemporary items include vases, flower pots, decorative pottery, sculpture and kitchenware.

Labu sayong
Labu Sayong is a black-coloured gourd-shaped clay jar typically used to store and cool water. The state of Perak is renowned for this type of pottery.

Belanga
Found in many rural Malaysian homes, The belanga is often characterised by a round base and wide rim. It is often used to cook curries, as it is believed that its round base allows heat to be distributed more evenly.

Terenang
This angular-shaped jar is popularly used for storing water in the states of Pahang and Terengganu. It has a concave neck and a convex body.

Wood Crafts
Blessed with an abundance of timber in boundless tropical forests, Malaysia is renowned for an assortment of distinctive wood crafts. Traditionally, whole houses were built from elaborate hand-carved timber. Today, antique Malay-styled engraved panels, keris dagger handles, Chinese containers, unique Orang Asli spirit sculptures, intricate walking sticks, kitchen utensils and carved scented woods are among the wide range of exotic decorative items found in Malaysia.

Metal Crafts
Popular since the early days, traditional brass casting and bronze working are still used to make an array of utensils. More recently in the 19th century, with the discovery of tin in Malaysia, pewter has become increasingly popular. Metal craft products include modern decorative items, kitchen ware and traditional artifacts like tepak sireh sets, rose-water instruments and keris blades.

Hand-woven Crafts
Marvel at the creative hand-woven crafts of Malaysia. Local plant fibres and parts from bamboo, rattan, pandan and mengkuangleaves are coiled, plaited, twined and woven to produce items such as bags, baskets, mats, hats, tudung saji and sepak raga balls.

TEXTILES
Colourful and captivating, Malaysia's traditional textiles are much sought after worldwide. Varieties include batik, songket, pua kumbuand tekat. These textiles are made into all sorts of decorative items, from haute couture clothes to shoes, colourful curtains and delicate bed linen.

Batik
Referring to the process of dyeing fabric by making use of a resistant technique; covering areas of cloth with wax to prevent it absorbing colours. The colours in batik are much more resistant to wear than those of painted or printed fabrics because the cloth is completely immersed in dye.

Songket
Utilising an intricate supplementary weft technique where gold threads are woven in between the longitudinal silk threads of the background cloth. In the past, this rich and luxurious fabric demonstrated the social status of the Malay elite.

Pua Kumbu
Made from individually dyed threads on a back strap loom. Its supernatural motifs are inspired by dreams and ancient animist beliefs. The patterns that emerge are a fusion of the real and surreal. And each weave is distinctive of its maker's hand.

Tekat
The art of embroidering golden thread onto a base material, generally velvet, was traditionally used to decorate traditional Malay weddings regalia.

JEWELLERY & COSTUME ACCESSORIES
Enticing hand-crafted accessories abound in Malaysia. Choose from leather-crafted goods, beadwork necklaces from Borneo or finely made gold and silver jewellery adorned with gems.

Kerongsang
A three-piece brooch set traditionally used to pin the lapels of thebaju kebaya together. Kerongsang usually comes in sets of three. The typical three-piece set comprises of a kerongsang ibu (mother piece) which is larger and heavier. The other two are called the kerongsang anak (child pieces) and are worn below the kerongsang ibu.

Cucuk Sanggul
A traditional hairpin used to secure hair in a bun at the back of women's heads. Typically made of gold or silver, these hairpins are normally worn in graduated sets of three, five or seven by brides and traditional dancers.

Pending
A large, intricately ornamented belt buckle worn around the sampin, a skirt-like cloth worn by men, to complement their baju melayu, the traditional attire for men. Traditionally, the pending is a sign of wealth and status for men.


TRADITIONAL ATTIRE
 

A DAZZLING TAPESTRY OF ASIAN TRADITIONS
From magnificent tribal head-feathers with bark body-covers to antique gold-woven royal songket fabric, the array of Malaysia's traditional costumes and textiles are stunningly diverse and colourful.

In the early days, the aboriginal tribes wore native bark costumes and beads. With the advent of the ancient kingdoms, hand-loomed fine textiles and intricate Malay batik were used by the Malay royalty. As foreign trade flourished, costumes and textiles such as Chinese silk, the Indian pulicat or plaid sarong and the Arabian jubbah a robe with wide sleeves were introduced to the country.

Today, traditional attire such as the Malay baju kebaya, Indian saree and Chinese cheongsam are still widely worn.

Malay
Before the 20th century, Malay women still wore kemban, just sarongs tied above the chest, in public. As Islam became more widely embraced, they started wearing the more modest yet elegantbaju kurung. The baju kurung is a knee-length loose-fitting blouse that is usually worn over a long skirt with pleats at the side. It can also be matched with traditional fabrics such as songket or batik. Typically, these traditional outfits are completed with a selendang or shawl or tudung or headscarf.

The traditional attire for Malay men is the baju melayu. The baju melayu is a loose tunic worn over trousers. It is usually complemented with a sampin - a short sarong wrapped around the hips.

Chinese
Comfortable and elegant, the traditional cheongsam or 'long dress' is also a popular contemporary fashion choice for ladies. Usually, it has a high collar, buttons or frog closures near the shoulder, a snug fit at the waist and slits on either one or both sides. It is often made of shimmering silk, embroidered satin or other sensual fabrics.

Indian
The saree is the world-renowned traditional Indian garment. A length of cloth usually 5-6 yards in width, the saree is worn with a petticoat of similar shade and a matching or contrasting choli or blouse. Typically, it is wrapped around the body such that the pallau - its extensively embroidered or printed end - is draped over the left shoulder. The petticoat is worn just above or below the bellybutton and functions as a support garment to hold the saree. Made from a myriad of materials, textures and designs, the saree is truly exquisite.

Popular with northern Indian ladies is the salwar kameez or Punjabi suit; a long tunic worn over trousers with a matching shawl.

The kurta is the traditional attire for men on formal occasions. It is a long knee-length shirt that is typically made from cotton or linen cloth.

Baba Nyonya
Chinese immigrants who married Malay partners wore the elegantkebaya that can be described as traditional haute couture.

Hand-made with great skill using sheer material, its intricate embroidery is equivalent to the best Venetian lacework. The pièce de résistance is a delicate needlework technique called tebuk lubang - literally to punch holes. This involves sewing the outlines of a floral motif on the fabric and cutting away the insides. When done correctly, the end result is fine lace-like embroidery on the collar, lapels, cuffs, hem and the two triangular front panels, which drape over the hips, known as the lapik.

Portuguese-Eurasian
Descended from Portuguese settlers of the 16th century, Melakan Portuguese-Eurasian's traditional attire reflect their heritage. Dominated by the colours black and red, men wear jackets and trousers with waist sashes whilst ladies wear broad front-layered skirts.

Sarawak
With its diverse ethnic groups, Malaysia's largest state, Sarawak, has a plethora of unique tribal costumes. Using a variety of designs and native motifs, common materials for the Orang Ulu or upriver tribes are hand-loomed cloths, tree bark fabrics, feathers and beads. Sarawak is known for the woven pua kumbu of the Iban tribe,songket of the Sarawak Malay, colourful beaded accessories, traditional jewellery and head adornments.

Sabah
Like Sarawak, Sabah is also blessed with a rich mix of ethnic groups. Each group adorns attire, headgears and personal ornaments with distinctive forms, motifs and colour schemes characteristic of their respective tribe and district. However, culturally different groups who live in close proximity may have similarities in their traditional attire. Notable hats and headdresses include the Kadazan Dusun ladies' straw hats, the Bajau woven dastar and the headdress of the Lotud man, which indicate the number of wives he has by the number of fold points.

Orang Asli
Traditionally living in the deep jungles of Malaysia, the Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia wore clothing made from natural materials such as tree barks like the terap, and grass skirts. Ornaments include skillfully woven headbands with intricate patterns that are made from leaf frond

TOURIST ATTRACTION

Petronas Towers
Petronas Towers construction work began in 1995 and by the time it was completed in 1998, it held the world record as the tallest building in the world until year 2004 when Taipei 101 takes over the record. It has a height of 451.9 m and each tower has a total of 88 floors serviced by 78 high speed elevators. You will be able to observe that the structure is made from steel and glass and is a stark constrast to many other high tower buildings in the city.

The towers are linked to one another through a skybridge on 41st and 42nd floors. The bridge has a height of 170m and a length of 58m. Visitors can visit the sky bridge level 41 for RM10/adult and RM3/child or level 86 for RM40/adult and RM20/child by buying the tickets at the counter everyday from 8:30am onwards except on Monday. Level 86 has an observation deck. (1 RM = 18 Rs)

The visit to level 41 will last 15 minutes and 1 hour for level 86. Only 1,000 and 200 tickets respectively are available each day.

Once up the towers, you will be able to see the beautiful scenery of Kuala Lumpur. Equipped yourself with a binocular to see the spectacular view of the city and its surrounding. Surrounding the towers is Kuala Lumpur City Centre where the state of the art Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre is located.Suria shopping mall and a five star Mandarin Oriental Hotel are located here. There is also KLCC park which is equipped with good children playground and pools for the young at heart to play. If you are into orchestra, try watching the high quality orchestra that is performed at the Petronas Philharmonic Hall at ground floor of Tower 2.

Langkawi - A Tropical Paradise
Langkawi is situated in the state of Kedah, consists of 104 islands, stretching out over 362 sq km. The capital of Langkawi is at Kuah. Out of the 104 islands Langkawi is the largest, with a sizeable population, mainly of Malay origin. And only three of the other islands.

Unspoilt and rustic, it is a tropical paradise spectacularly endowed by nature, one where crystal clear emerald waters, azure skies, dense tropical rainforests, and fantastic limestone formations can be found. Langkawi has been called the 'Island of legends’ because a number of folklore, myth and legend can be heard about the place

Pangkor - Nature's Private Island
Pangkor lies off the west coast of Perak in Peninsular Malaysia. For thousands of years, it was the refuge of seamen who sailed though the Straits of Malacca, thanks to its many idyllic bays. Pirates, adventurers, merchants and soldiers of fortune alike were mesmerized by her charming beauty. Today, despite Malaysia’s fast-paced progress, Pangkor remains a haven for visitors seeking a return to nature. Bask in glorious sunshine on her golden beaches. Catch sight of fishing boats rocking gently on her calm waters. Get close to nature when you trek through her virgin jungles. Or experience the warm, friendly hospitality of her people. Whichever you choose, Pangkor will thrill you.

Penang - The Pearl of the Orient
Penang is located on the north-western coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It comprises the Penang island and a strip on the mainland named Province Wellesley Seberang Perai) which are linked by the Penang Bridge, the third longest in the world. Penang island measures a modest 285sq.km and is inhabited by slightly over a million people who hail from a diverse mix of cultures and religions.

Penang is blessed with such a great variety of food that it is often said that Penangites don't eat to live, they live to eat. Hawker stalls offering a diverse selection of local fare are in abundance everywhere you go. Nasi Kandar, Satay (skewered marinated meat pieces), Laksa (noodles in spicy sour soup), Hainanese Chicken Rice, Popiah and Rojak are just some of Penang’s sumptuous treats you can't afford to miss. Penang possesses a unique charm of old and new perfectly blended. Take to its streets and you will see small time pedlars exhibiting their wares within view of larger, more modern business establishments. Vintage trishaws share the roads with modern automobiles. Quaint, old buildings stang proud next to taller, more sophisticated ones. It is an island in full bloom. And it beckons you to harvest your dream of a wonderful holiday.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building
The Sultan Abdul Samad building was constructed at the end of the last century and the site was chosen because of its central position. A.C. Norman, a British architect who worked for the Public Works Department in Kuala Lumpur, in designing the existing building took into consideration some of the features of buildings in several Islamic countries. The predominantly Moorish appearance of the building suitably reflects the cultural background of Malaysia .

Chinatown - Kuala Lumpur
As a cosmopolitan city, Chinatown Kuala Lumpur is a must for any visitor who is here in Malaysia for the very first time. This is an exciting place where one will experience what the early Chinese business community in the heart of Kuala Lumpur do to make a living. It is also known as Petaling Street as the majority of the stalls are located on this street. This place is a popular destination for both the locals and tourists as it is ideally located in the centre of the city. The early city of Kuala Lumpur evolved here and this is the place where business started to flourish.

As it is an open air bazaar, many prefer to go at night when the sun has set to avoid the heat of the day. The stalls andshops are stocked up with many kinds of goods and souvenirs. The place was recently renovated where a big awning had been erected along the street to shelter the people from rain and the heat of the day.Unlike the shopping malls where the prices of the goods are fixed, one must make it a point to bargain and negotiate the bestdeal for the goods. The varieties of goods sold here include medicinal herbs, plenty of hawker drinks and food, CDs, VCDs,belts, shirts, shoes, toys, clothes, souvenirs, paintings, jewelery, watches, clocks, handbags, wallets etc. Unlike the bigcosy and spacious shopping complexes, the place is narrow and congested. One will experience the bustling atmosphere of customers bargaining for the best price with the shopkeepers. In some stalls, one can see promoters busy promoting their goods and the music that echos throughout the night make it a memorable night to remember.Chinese food is abundant in this place and many restaurants offer a varieties of good and delicious food at an affordableprice. Many of these shops have been operated by the same family for generations. If you see people queing up forfood, you can be assured that the food served is good and reasonably priced.This is the place to go at night when all the modern shopping complexes have closed for the day, usually by 10pm. This isone attraction in Kuala Lumpur where many will not want to miss...

George Town - The financial Heart of Penang
George Town, the capital of the island of Penang was named by the British after King George III. It was established by Capt Francis Light in 1786. Penang is the oldest British settlement in Malaysia. The government centre and its financial heart, George Town is an interesting and bustling city with modern high rise buildings, cathedrals, mosques, government offices, temples, bazaars, shops and cafes.

The most interesting place to visit is Fort Cornwallis is situated at the spot where Captain Francis Light was supposed to have landed in 1786. Originally a wooden structure, the fort was rebuilt between 1808 and 1810 with convict labour.

Taman Negara - National Park
Taman Negara is the perfect place for travelers who love wild life viewing, jungle trekking, hiking, rock climbing, fishing, camping and many more. It is well established as one of the most popular ecotourism in Malaysia. Every year Taman Negara attracts thousands of local and international travelers. It has a tropical, humid climate with temperatures averaging 86°F (30°C). It is opened throughout the year.

Taman Negara covers 4,343 km2 of three states of Malaysia – Pahang at 2,477 km², Kelantan at 1,043 km² and Terangganu at 853 km². Geographically, it is located in the middle of Peninsular Malaysia. It is about 250km from Kuala Lumpur and 580km from Singapore.

There are abundant of geological and biological attractions in Taman Negara with more than 30 spectacular sites you can explore. Gunung Tahan is the highest point of the Peninsular Malaysia with 2187M height. It is about 55km from Kuala Tahan.

There are a few must visit places in Taman Negara. They are not too far from your accommodation in Kuala Tahan. Check out the distance! You can be there either by fully jungle trekking or partially by boat.

Canopy walk – 1.2km
Bukit Teresek – 1.7km,
Gua Telinga (Ear cave) – 2.6km
Lata Berkoh – 8.5km

Start your activities in the morning and return to your accommodation for your lunch and continue your activities in the afternoon.
Taman Negara also known as a home for some rare mammals. Among those are Indochinese Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Malayan Gaur and Asian Elephant. If you are lucky, you might see them in the vicinity.

The best bird habitats also can be found. Hear melodious song of white-rumped shama, babbler, drangoes, malkohas, hornbills, woodpecker and others.

For an angler, Taman Negara is a fishing paradise. There are more than 300 fish species available in 6 rivers; Sungai Tahan, Sungai Tenor, Sungai Tembeling, Sungai Terenggan, Sungai Keniam and Sungai Perkai. You can ask local people or the boat driver to show the best fishing spots. Ikan Kelah or Malaysia Mahseer is a famous species which is preserved and protected at Kelah Sanctuary in Sungai Tahan.

Get your permits from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks. And start your most exciting explorations.

Under Water World - Langkawi
Set on 6.2 acres of land on the superbly landscaped beachfront of Pantai Cenang, UWL is one of the largest marine and freshwater aquaria in Asia. It features over 4,000 varieties of fish and other exhibits from 500 species displayed in over 100 tanks.

Highlights include the gigantic hexagonal tank and walk-through tunnel tanks containing 850,000 litres of sea water. Here you can observe sharks, stingrays, huge turtles and other sea creatures swim by, separated from you only by the laminated clear glass walls of the tunnel.

Underwater World Langkawi is located at Pantai Cenang, a popular beach to the south of Langkawi Island off the north western coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

Visitors arriving by car will have to leave their car on the mainland and take the ferry from the Kuala Perlis Jetty, Kuala Kedah or the Penang Swettenham Pier, Penang. They can then proceed to UWL by car or taxi. Visitors can also fly direct from Kuala Lumpur International Airport or Penang International Airport to Langkawi and then on to UWL by car or taxi.

GETTING THERE
National carrier Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has extensive worldwide network coverage and regularly ranks high in airline quality assessments, while no-frills low-cost carrier AirAsia and her sister company, AirAsia X.

Tour
Tour CodeNights/DaysPickup - DropPlaces
MAL 0012 N/3 D Kuala Lumpur
MAL 0022 N/3 D Langkawi Island - Under Water World - Mahsuri Mausoleum
MAL 0032 N/3 DPangkor Island - Lumut Jetty
MAL 0042 N/3 DKuala Lumpur - Taman Negara
MAL 0052 N/3 DKuala Lumpur - Taman Negara
MAL 0062 N/3 DKuching
MAL 0072 N/3 DKota Kinabalu
MAL 0083 N/4 NLaguna Redang Island
MAL 0092 N/3 DPenang Island
MAL 0102 N/3 DPangkor Island


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