Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none, travel alone.
— The Dhammapada




During the late 18th and 19th centuries, Great Britain established colonies and protectorates in the area of current Malaysia; these were occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945. In 1948, the British-ruled territories on the Malay Peninsula formed the Federation of Malaya, which became independent in 1957. Malaysia was formed in 1963 when the former British colonies of Singapore and the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak on the northern coast of Borneo joined the Federation. The first several years of the country's history were marred by a Communist insurgency, Indonesian confrontation with Malaysia, Philippine claims to Sabah, and Singapore's secession from the Federation in 1965. During the 22-year term of Prime Minister MAHATHIR bin Mohamad (1981-2003), Malaysia was successful in diversifying its economy from dependence on exports of raw materials to expansion in manufacturing, services, and tourism.


Malaysia is a country in South-East Asia, located partly on a peninsula of the Asian mainland and partly on the northern third of the island of Borneo. West (peninsular) Malaysia shares a border with Thailand, is connected by a causeway and a bridge (the 'second link') to the island state of Singapore, and has coastlines on the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca. East Malaysia (Borneo) shares borders with Brunei and Indonesia.

Read more about Malaysia in our Malaysia travel guide »

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MalaysiaTanjung Sanctuary 

P.O Box 199, Jalan Pantai Kok
Langkawi 07100

Price (US$): $262 - $326 / night

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Location. Tanjung Sanctuary is located on the beach in Langkawi, close to Telaga Harbor, Langkawi Cable Car, and Pantai Kok Beach. Other points of interest near this luxury resort include Langkawi Beach and Oriental Village. Resort Features. Tanjung Sanctuary's restaurant serves lunch and dinner. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool. Complimentary high speed (wired) Internet access is available in public areas. Guest parking is complimentary. Additional property amenities include a… more »

MalaysiaThistle Port Dickson 

KM16 Jalan Pantai
Teluk Kemang, Si Rusa
Port Dickson 71050

Price (US$): $95 - $214 / night

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Location. Thistle Port Dickson is located on the beach in Port Dickson, close to Port Dickson Mini Zoo, Port Dickson Ostrich Farm, and Cape Rachado Lighthouse. Other points of interest are Admiral Cove Marina and Sri Anjeneayar. Hotel Features. Dining options at Thistle Port Dickson include 3 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning in the restaurant (surcharges apply).… more »

MalaysiaPutrajaya Shangri La 

Taman Putra Perdana
Presint 1
Putrajaya 62000

Price (US$): $119 - $126 / night

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Location. Putrajaya Shangri La is a business friendly Putrajaya hotel in a state/national park and close to Putrajaya Landmark, Melawati National Palace, and Putrajaya Independence Square. Additional points of interest include Putra Mosque and Taman Botani Tropical Botanical Gardens. Hotel Features. Dining options at Putrajaya Shangri La include a restaurant and a coffee shop/cafĂ©. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational… more »

MalaysiaHotel Equatorial Penang 

1 Jalan Bukit Jambul
Bayan Lepas
Penang 11900

Price (US$): $124 - $176 / night

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Location. Near the airport, Hotel Equatorial Penang is located in Penang's Bukit Jambul neighborhood and close to Penang International Sports Arena, Queensbay Mall, and Snake Temple. Nearby points of interest also include University of Science Malaysia and Penang Bridge West End. Hotel Features. Dining options at Hotel Equatorial Penang include 5 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves full breakfasts each morning in the coffee… more »

MalaysiaHotel Maya Kuala Lumpur 

138, Jalan Ampang
Kuala Lumpur 50450

Price (US$): $203 - $223 / night

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Location. Located in central Kuala Lumpur, Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur is within walking distance of Petronas Philharmonic Hall, Petronas Twin Towers, and Suria KLCC Shopping Centre. Nearby points of interest also include Kuala Lumpur Tower and Merdeka Square. Hotel Features. Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a health club, and a sauna.… more »

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Kuala Lumpur

Southeastern Asia, peninsula bordering Thailand and northern one-third of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia, Brunei, and the South China Sea, south of Vietnam

Geographic coordinates

2 30 N, 112 30 E

Area comparative

slightly larger than New Mexico

Border countries

Brunei 381 km, Indonesia 1,782 km, Thailand 506 km


4,675 km (Peninsular Malaysia 2,068 km, East Malaysia 2,607 km)


tropical; annual southwest (April to October) and northeast (October to February) monsoons


coastal plains rising to hills and mountains

Lowest point

Indian Ocean 0 m

Highest point

Gunung Kinabalu 4,100 m

Natural resources

tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron ore, natural gas, bauxite


28,274,729 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Malay 50.4%, Chinese 23.7%, indigenous 11%, Indian 7.1%, others 7.8% (2004 est.)


Muslim 60.4%, Buddhist 19.2%, Christian 9.1%, Hindu 6.3%, Confucianism, Taoism, other traditional Chinese religions 2.6%, other or unknown 1.5%, none 0.8% (2000 census)


Bahasa Malaysia (official), English, Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai

Government type

constitutional monarchy


31 August 1957 (from the UK)

National holiday

Independence Day/Malaysia Day, 31 August (1957)

Chief of state

King - Sultan MIZAN Zainal Abidin (since 13 December 2006); (the position of the king is primarily ceremonial)

Head of government

Prime Minister Mohamed NAJIB bin Abdul Razak (since 3 April 2009); Deputy Prime Minister MUHYIDDIN bin Mohamed Yassin (since 9 April 2009)

Internet country code


Internet users

15.355 million (2009)


118 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Bintulu, Johor Bahru, George Town (Penang), Port Kelang (Port Klang), Tanjung Pelepas

Other countries in the region