Faces of
Malaysia
Taman Negara

Taman Negara National Park was established in Malaysia in 1938/1939 as the King George V National Park. It was renamed to Taman Negara after Independence, which literally means “national park” in Malay. The total area of Taman Negara is 4,343 km².

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the largest city of Malaysia. Being a young city (founded only in 1857) it developed fast into a bustling metropolis of 1.5 million people (6 million including the satellite cities in the Klang Valley). Kuala Lumpur, or simply KL (as it is it called by Malaysians), literally means “muddy estuary” in Bahasa Malaysia. With good and cheap accommodation, great shopping and even better food in this multi-cultural melting pot, increasing numbers of travellers are discovering this little gem of a city.
Having been in the shadow of other big cities in the region like Bangkok and Singapore, KL was put back on the map for good with the opening the Petronas Twin Towers in 1997, until 2004 the highest and still one of the most impressive buildings in the world. Though, the sights are not what makes this city unique, it’s KL itself and it’s mixture of people and visitors.

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Hawker Stalls in Penang

Thaipusam Festival

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

The spectacular Thaipusam Festival draws more than one million devotees and visitors to the Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur but there are also large precessions in Georgetown/Penang and Singapore. Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community. Especially images of devotees piercing their cheeks, tongue, face or other suitable body parts with sharp objects make this event memorable.

Body Piercing Thaipusam

Thaipusam Malaysia


Devotees at the Thaipusum procession at Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur
photos: Matt & Konni

Thaipusam is a celebration of the birthday to the Hindu deity Subramaniam.
The highlight of this celebration is the kavadi procession. More than one million people are expected to throng Batu Caves (just north of Kuala Lumpur) for this celebration. There is also a big parade in Georgetown, Penang and Singapore (procession is a 4km walk from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road to Sri Thendayuthapani Temple on Tank Road).


Thaipusam 2019
Thaipusum Festival 2019
photo: John Udovic

Next / Recent Occurances:
2019: 21 January
2020: 
The date of Thaipusam fluctuates and always takes places either end of january or beginning of february.


list of Public Holidays in Malaysia



more information
Wikipedia Thaipusam

portrait photo Thaipusam in Penang
photo taken in 2018 in Penang by Matt Hannewald

more portrait photos taken at the Thaipusam Festival in Malaysia:
Recelebrating Ecstatic Thaipusam (2018)
Celebrating Ecstatic Thaipusam  (2009)