Faces of
Malaysia
Ipoh

Ipoh is the apital of the state of Perak and the fourth largest city of peninsular Malaysia with a population of 760,000 (Metro area: 1.4 Mil). It is scenically located amoung karst limestone hills in the Kinta Valley, about 2 1/2 hours north of Kuala Lumpur. The city is somehow forgotten by most travellers in Malaysia, however it has a lot to offer with many colonial buildings and shophouses (it used to be a very rich city around the turn of the 19th century due to tin mining) and the nature (hills, caves) around. Among Malaysians it is known for good food like the popular Ipoh Chicken Rice.

Kuantan

Kuantan is the largest city of the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia with a population of about half a million. It is also the capital of the state of Pahang.

Kuantan is located about halfway between Singapore (to the south) and Kota Bahru (to the north). The city is situated at the coast of the South China Sea near the mouth of the Kuantan River. The city is not a major tourist destination, rather a stopover point for island destinations (Tioman, Redang, Perhentians, etc.) along the East Coast. From Kuantan you can also also reach the popular beach in Cherating in less than an hour with the local Bus.

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Man in Kampung

Merdeka Day

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.

On September 16, the country celebrates Malaysia Day - in memory of September 16 1963 when North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore joined Malaysia. Singapore left the federation 2 years later again.

Merdeka day and Malaysia day are both public holidays.

The formation of Malaysia and its independence followed centuries of foreign influence on former Malaya. It was under Portuguese influence in the 16th century, under Dutch influence in the 17th century and eventuelly become a British colony, interrupted by the Japanese occupation from 1941 to 1945. Read more about the complex and interesting history of Malaysia / Malaya on Wikipedia: History of Malaysia

End the end of every August, the country is decorated with an overdose of Malaysian flags to celebrate Merdeka Day. Here are some images from August 2012 in Kuala Lumpur:


Sultan Abdul Samad Building
Sultan Abdul Samad Building on Merdeka Square

 

Merdeka Square
Merdeka Square awaiting the festivities and the parade that happens here on the August 31


flag pole, Merdeka Square
the allegedly world's highest flag pole at Dataran Merdeka


flags at Chinatown
Malaysian flags at Petaling Street in Chinatown


flag at constuction site
giant Malaysian flag at the constuction of a highrise building


big flags on buildings
Who has the biggest flag?

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