Faces of
Malaysia
Penang

Penang is the name of an island in the Straits of Malacca, and also of one of the states of Malaysia, located on the north-west coast of peninsular Malaysia. Penang is the second smallest state in Malaysia after Perlis, and the eighth most populous. A resident of Penang is colloquially known as a Penangite. The city Georgetown is the 2nd biggest city in Malaysia and traveller′s hub.

Cherating

Cherating is the only real backpacker hub at the east coast of the peninsula on the mainland. Offering plenty of affordable chalets and a relaxed atmosphere, it is good place to stop for a night or two on the way up or down the east coast. The beach itself is not that spectacular and misses the palm directly at the beach. But it has a good vibe and few things you can do like taking a tour or renting a kayak up the river into the mangroves. There is also an active surfer scene when the waves are right. Cherating is located about 30km or 1h by local bus north of Kuantan.

Sign at Buddhist Temple in Penang

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?