Faces of
Malaysia
Kota Bharu

Kota Bharu is the state capital of Kelantan.The name means ‘new city’ or ‘new castle/fort’ in Bahasa Malaysia. Kota Bharu is situated in the northeastern part of Peninsular Malaysia. In 2005, it had an estimated population of 425,294, making it the largest town on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.It’s known for its colourful markets and the muslim culture.

Pulau Kapas

Pulau Kapas is a small island located only about 6km off Marang in the east coast state of Terengganu (about 1h north of Kuala Terengganu). It has quite and relaxed atmosphere because it is bypassed by the majority of the backpacker circuit looking for a more remote place like the Perhentian Islands. Pulau Kapas only get fairly busy on the weekends when locals come to island. There are a few good snorkeling spots around the island. All accommodations and beach are on the west coast facing the mainland. The west coast is the weather side has no sand beach, only rocks - it can be reached after a short walk through the jungle. Pulau Kapas shuts down during the monsoon season between November and February.

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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?