Faces of
Malaysia
Johor Bahru

Johor Bahru is the state capital of the state of Johor and the second largest metropolitan area in Malaysia. Most tourists don't stop here and just pass through the city on their way to or out of Singapore. JB is a major local transportation hub however. Since it is just across the causeway from Singapore, some travellers use it as a hub to visit Singapore from here (lower accommodation prices) or to board the train, bus or airplane.

Melaka

Melaka (a.k.a. Malacca) is the capital of the Malaysian state of Malacca.
Traditionally, the spot where Melaka stands today was the center of Malaccan history. It was the capital of the Malaccan Sultanate and the center of the Malay world in the 15th and the 16th century before it fell to the Portuguese in 1511. Centuries of colonization by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British have shaped the architecture of the town.

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The Responsible Tourist and Traveller

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This is practical 8-step guide based on the "Global Code of Ethics" for Tourism of the World Tourism Organization. It promotes traveling with an open mind and respect for people, culture, animals and environment. ... more

Chinese New Year in Malaysia

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Chinese New Year, the spring festival, is the most important holiday for the Chinese community and a public holiday in Malaysia. ... more

Taman Negara - Perhentian Island

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How to get from Taman Negara to Perhentian Islands ... more

Taman Negara - Cameron Highlands

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How to get from Taman Negara to Cameron Highlands by bus ... more

Rainforest World Music Festival

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RWMF is a three-day music festival and takes places every July near Kuching (Sarawak, Borneo) with music workshops, cultural display and of course concerts of artists from all over the world. ... more

Beaches on Pulau Lang Tengah

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All beaches Pulau Lang Tengah are in the south and west part of the island (facing the mainland and Pulau Perhentian). ... more

Development Projects in Kuala Lumpur

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Since KL was founded in 1857 as a tin mine settlement it didn't stop growing and turned into the vast Metropolis it is today. Here some of the projects in the making that promise to make KL a more liveable and modern city. ... more

Accommodation on Pulau Lang Tengah

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The small island only has 3 operating resorts: Summer Bay, Sari Pacifica and D'Coconut. Another resorts currently abandoned. ... more

Pulau Tioman Beaches

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A quick overview of the beaches of Pulau Tioman, the biggest island along the eastcoast of Peninsular Malaysia. Except for Juara Bay at the east coast of the island, all beaches are located along the west coast. ... more

Book Review: The Rice Mother

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The excotic, fascinating and tragic tale of Tamil family in Malaya, the horrors of the Japanese occupation and the destiny of their children, grandchildren and grand-grandchildren.. Starting from the time when a 14-year old girl was married to an Tamil clerk and moved from Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) to Kuantan (Malaya) to start a family in the 1920s. ... more

Book Review: Sons of the Yellow Emperor

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This books tells in detail the story of the millions of Chinese who left their homeland since the 1600s because of population explosion, poverty and corruption in China and the prospect for a better life in Southeast Asia, England and America. A large part of the book is about the migration of Chinese emigrants to Malaysia and Singapore. ... more

Bogus Monks

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As a tourist (especially western tourist) it is likely that you will be approached by a fake monk in tourist hot spots in Malaysia's big cities (Penang, Melaka, KL). These "monks" will approach you actively to ask for donations. However, they are not real monks. ... more

How to get to Redang Island

Pulau Redang can be reached by plane from KL or Singapore or more budget-friendly by boat from Merang or Kuala Terengganu. Kuala Terengganu can easily be reached from any major town by bus or from Kuala Lumpur by plane and is worth a one or two night stopover on the way to or from the island. ... more

Malaysia’s 13th General Election

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There has never been a change of government in the history of Malaysia. After the hardest contested election so far, the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition will continue to stay in power despite losing the popular vote. ... more

Singapore Seight-seeing buses / tours

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Singapore offers a few options to do a sight-seeing tour with hop-on hop-off type of buses with the SIA Hop-on Bus, FunVee Open Top Bus and the sea & land trips of Duck & Hippo Tours. ... more

Lenggong Valley declared a UNESCO world heritage site

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The Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley in Perak (about 50km southeast of Penang) was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2012 for its archeological sites. One of which holds the oldest record of a human outside the African continent. ... more

Merdeka Day

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At August 31, Malaysia celebrates its annual National Day - also known as Merdeka Day. Merdeka means independence in Bahasa. On August 31 1957, power was handed over of the from British colonial administration to first prime minister of Malaysia - Tunku Abdul Rahman. ... more

Ramadan and Hari Raya in Malaysia

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Islam was brought to the part of the world that is now known as Malaysia in 12th century by Arab traders. About 60 percent (more than 50% of which Malays) of the multi-cultural population of Malaysia are now Muslims and Islam is the official religion recognised by the Malaysian government. Hence, the month of Ramadan and the festivities of Hari Raya are very important in Malaysia ... more

Ramadan Markets in Kuala Lumpur

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Once a year, during the fasting month of Ramadan, markets (Malay: Bazaar Ramadhan) are set up everywhere in Malaysia in the afternoon. These markets sell food for people to pack and bring home to break their fast later in the early evening. At these Ramadan markets you can find a variety of the best Malay food which is otherwise hard to find during the rest of the year. Here are 3 of the popular Bazaar Ramadhan in Kuala Lumpur: ... more

Train and bus times are now available on Google Maps

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The latest of version of Google Maps now shows arrival and departure times of train lines (LRT, Monorail, KTM Komuter, ERL - KLIA Express) in Kuala Lumpur. This works in the desktop version as well as in the mobile app. ... more

Mirrors - street art in Georgetown, Penang

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Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic is leaving his mark with beautiful wall painting of children all across historical Georgetown. ... more

2 1/2 weeks in Malaysia - a travel itinerary

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This is a travel itinerary for 2 and half week trip through Malaysia (Peninsula and Sabah/Borneo) from end of January to beginning of February 2012. At this time of the year it is still monsoon season at the eastcoast of the Peninsula so the itinerary only includes locations along the western part. ... more

How to get to and away from Langkawi

Langkawi is a large island in the northwest of Peninsular Malaysia just south of the Thai border and about 30km from the mainland. It has ferry connections to Satun and Koh Lipe in Thailand as well as to Kuala Kedah, Kuala Perlis and Penang in Malaysia. Read on for more details ... more

Buses from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore

There are plenty of options (flight, bus, train) to do the journey of 350km between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. We browsed through all bus companies serving this route and compiled the prices, times, departure and arrival points for you. ... more

A walk through Brickfields

Brickfields is one of the most colourful and interesting areas in Kuala Lumpur. It is one of the oldest areas in Kuala Lumpur and part of it is also one of the most modern with the KL Sentral development. The most interesting part, however, is the Little India area along Jalan Tun Sambathan. ... more

10 plus years of perpetual travelling

Konni and Matt retired some 10 plus years ago and are since then living everybody's dream - travelling around the world non-stop (their Blog: konniandmatt.blogspot.com). They sailed off with a boat in Europe, and after a few years cruising around the Middle East and the Indian Ocean, they eventually made it to South-East Asia. Since then, Konni and Matt continued their trip via land and air transport and travelled extensively through this part of the world with their favourite carrier Air Asia. Matt talks about his experiences in Malaysia, which became something like a home base to them. ... more

Long-Distance Bus Terminals in Kuala Lumpur

As in any Asian country, travelling by bus is the most popular and convenient option. They are many bus operators competing to take you anywhere within the peninsula and to Singapore and Hatyai, Thailand. KL's long-distance bus infrastructure has just recently been revamped with 3 main bus terminals for south-, north- and eastbound buses respectively. ... more

Hiking at Bukit Tabur

It is hardly noticeable from the city centre - especially on hazy days - but Kuala Lumpur is surrounded by lush hills, rock formations and water reservoirs. Escaping the the huzzle and buzzle of the city is a mere 30min drive away. One the most spectacular hikes is up on Bukit Tabur, part of a quarz ridge in the north-east of the city at Taman Melawati. ... more

Exploring Cameron Highlands

There are 13 different paths to discover the Highlands on your own. To fully experience the nature, culture and economy of the area it is recommended to join one of the various tours. ... more

Buses from and to Cameron Highlands

There are 2 bus companies bringing travellers to and from Cameron Highlands, Penang and Kuala Lumpur and 1 company for the Singapore route. You also have the option to travel to Taman Negara and Pulau Perhentian via mini bus. ... more

Dangers and Scams in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a safe place for travellers in general. However, there a few scams and dangers but if you are aware of them you should be having a pleasant stay in this vibrant city. ... more

Thaipusam Festival

The Hindu Thaipusam Festival festival is a public holiday in Malaysia and takes place every year end of January / beginning of February. ... more

Malacca: the city that best gives a sense of Malaysia’s past

Article from the Telegraph newspaper: Along with its sultry climate, atmospheric Malacca boasts an intriguing history, unusual food and a lively nightlife, says Rhymer Rigby. ... more

Famous Jalan Alor

The well-known food street Jalan Alor is currently the talk of the town. Every local and tourist will eventually end up here having feast of good food in one of the many many restaurants and stalls. But since this week you might have a hard time finding this short but remarkable street in Bukit Bintang because the city council decided to change the name to Jalan Kejora - much to the dislike of about everybody. ... more

Keropok Lekor

The easiest way to describe Keropok Lekor is to call it fish sausage. It is the specialty from Terengganu, a state at the east coast and omnipresent in the streets and villages and very much a part of the live of the people there. Here are some pictures from one of the most popular Keropok Lekor stalls or shall I say factory, in Kuala Terengganu. ... more

Nasi Campur (Malay Mixed Rice)

Besides the Indian and Chinese food, there is also the flavorful and diverse Malay cuisine. The best way to experience this is to have your lunch at a Nasi Campur counter. Nasi Campur means Mixed Rice in Malay and refers to a plate of white rice that you will get from the kakak, (short: Ka, means sister in Malay and waitresses often been addressed that way), before filling your plate whatever that suits your taste from the counter. ... more

A guide for drivers in Malaysia

Malaysians are the most friendly people but put behind the wheel they become MFMs (Me-First-Malaysians). As a traveller just keep in mind, people drive on the left side here and look to the right and the left before crossing the road (lots of one-way-streets) The following is from a funny email I received recently. A humorous way look at how people drive in Malaysia. Enjoy. ... more

Georgetown and Melaka just became Unesco world heritage sites

On Monday, July 7, 2008, the historic city centre of Melaka and Georgetown, Penang with their mostly Chinese shophouses and colonial buildings were just been added into the list of Unesco World Heritage sites. Therefore, Malaysia now has four sites on the list, the other two being Gunung Mulu National Park (Sarawak, tropical karst area) and Kinabalu Park (Sabah, highest peak in South-east Asia). ... more

Rainforest World Music Festival 2008

It's time again for the anual Rainforest World Music Festival at the Sarawak Cultural Village near Kuching (Sarawak, East Malaysia - Borneo). This unique music event will take place July 11 until July 13. Besides music performances visitors can attend workshops, ethno-musical lectures, jamming sessions and mini concerts in the afternoon. ... more

Jackfruit (Nangka)

Jackfruit or Nangka, as it is locally known in Malay, is the largest tree borne fruit in the world. The jackfruit trees native to India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Phillipines and Sri Lanka but but also common in Malaysia, probably introduced by humans some time ago.The fruits can reach 36 kg in weight and up to 90 cm long and 50 cm in diameter. ... more

I got it from my Mamak

Mamak stalls are restaurants in Malaysia mostly run by muslim Indians. Traditionally they started out as road side stalls but due their importance to Malaysian social life, hence their number of customer, there are big mamak restaurants and even chains now too. Mamak stalls are a true multi-racial melting pot, whether they be Malay, Indian, Chinese or others, this is place where everybody meets for a snack or a drink with friends, business clients, breakfast or just watching football at night. Many mamak stalls operate 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. You want your Roti Canai and Teh Tarik at 4am in the morning? No problem. Welcome to Malaysia! Found out what "mamaking" is all about. ... more

Traveler IQ Challenge

This is a really cool flash quiz from the Travelpod website. In this game you can test your knowledge about the locations of cities, sights, flags and so on (also some places in Malaysia). There are different versions available: World, North America, Europe, World Capitals, Canada, Asia, UNESCO Sites, Africa, Latin America, Oceania/Australasia, Flags of the World, Photos of the World, USA Challenge, Amazing Race. Let's see how well you know our planet. Check your knowlege here. ... more

Malaysia likes it sweet - Cakes and Kuih

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I think I mentioned it before somewhere that one of the highlights (of not the highlight) of Malaysia is the food. Besides the flavourful and sometimes spicy main dishes there is huge variety of cakes and desserts, commonly refered to as Kuih (or Kueh). Many of them are based on coconut and pandan. ... more

Malls, Malls, Malls - Shopping in Kuala Lumpur

KL has an incredible density of big shopping centres. It seems like every other year a new mall is opening trying to outdo the others in size or design. Here's a list of the favourites among locals and tourists with more information and pictures of each shopping centre. ... more

Dikir Barat

Dikir Barat is the most popular traditional music from Kelatan. It is also still actively performed in Terengganu and Singapore. It is very unique and entertaining to watch. The basic elements of a Dikir Barat group are the two frontmen, the Juara and the Tukang Karut, and the big vocal "rhythm group". Have a look! ... more

Interview with long-term hostel guest John Mansfield

Automotive consultant John Mansfield from England has been a guest of Red Palm Hostel in Kuala Lumpur since August 2006, on and off. I sat down with him to talk about his vision to set up a Motorsports University at the Sepang F1 Circuit, what he likes about Malaysia, travelling the country and his outlook to the upcoming Grand Prix. ... more

How to get from KLIA1 / KLIA2 airport to Kuala Lumpur

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Find all the different means (Bus, Train, Taxi) to get from the 2 KLIA airports in downtown Kuala Lumpur. ... more

From Kuala Lumpur to Taman Negara using public transport

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How did get from Kuala Lumpur to Taman Negara (National Park) on your own without going on a package. ... more

how to get from KL to KLIA / KLIA2 Airport

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The Kuala Lumpur Airport (KLIA - Kuala Lumpur International Airport) is about 45km south of KL. KLIA2 is the aiport for budget airlines like Air Asia. Both are located within the same complex. It takes about 1h by taxi or bus (plus or minus depending on traffic) and 28min by KLIA Express (KLIA - KL Sentral) to get to the Airport from KL. ... more

Day trip to Chiling Waterfall (north of Kuala Lumpur)

A recommended day trip to the Chiling Waterfall north of Kuala Lumpur with the nature guide Happy Yen. Including visit of Buddhist Temple, Lunch, jungle trek to waterfall, hot spring and dinner ... more

In Melaka on bicycle

Katja and Waldemar were on the road in Malaysia, Thailand, New Zealand and Sri Lanka on bicycle with their 2 children. They stayed in Melaka for 6 Weeks and live at the Sama Sama Guesthouse. This a long story about life in Chinatown, buddhist and Hindu processions and a smoke attack after 2 cases of Dengue Fever. For more Stories and Information visit their website 39Grad (german) ... more

Kuala Lumpur - chaos and harmony

A story by german traveller Chris about the crazy KL traffic and the day where all cars disappeared miraculously. And a story where they escaped from the heavy in a chinese tea shop. Read the original german story here. ... more

Kuala Lumpur - everything fake or what?

a story by Andreas (Germany) written down at Red Palm Hostel in November 2004 about fake DVDs and watches and the art of negotiation. The original story and many more stories and picture on the german website MoveTivation.net Internetseite ... more

On The Jungle Train

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From the north-eastern corner of Malaysia runs a train line right through the rain forest until it reaches Malaysia's other train line that connect Singapore-Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok. The train is also called the jungle train. Here is a story of 2 days on the train from Kota Bharu until Gemas with a stopover in Kuala Lipis. ... more

Cameron Highlands

For someone who loves the nature, and just has 5 or 6 days or even less to spend in West Malaysia, I would highly recommend you to my favourite destination - Cameron Highland.

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The Science of ordering drinks in Malaysia

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Ordering drinks is easy once you understand the system. But don't worry, in the big cities you will get by at most places speaking english, but you want to try anyway, right? After a bit of practicing you can mingle with the locals and shout "Boss. Teh Tarik. Satu Lagi." ... more

Breakfast in Malaysia

I know it is very convenient when the hostel of your choice offers breakfast included and after having rice for so long you just enjoy the cornflakes or bread as if it was most exclusive delicacy. Oh, you just had it this morning? Well, then there is no excuse. Tomorrow, you'll do it malaysian style. Outside. On a plastic chair. For around 2 Ringgit including a drink. Deal? ... more