Malaysia A-Z: Everything You Need To Know

By | Mar 31, 2018 | Views: 297
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Photo credit: travelweekly-asia.com

Photo credit: travelweekly-asia.com

(By Tsem Rinpoche and Sharon Ong)

Right in the heart of Southeast Asia is Malaysia, a tropical paradise whose charms are not only limited to the many postcard perfect beaches, scenic kampungs*, historical sites, and diverse flora and fauna but also extend to the many multiethnic groups living in the country.

There is always something to see, experience or explore all year round in Malaysia. This is a haven for tourists, not just for its sunny weather but also for its many visitor attractions, both in and out of the city. With multiple races living harmoniously in Malaysia, this cultural melting pot also offers exciting gastronomic adventures catering to different dietary preferences, needs and budgets.

Malaysia is home to a unique blend of architectural styles that range from quaint pre-war Peranakan-style houses in the UNESCO World Heritage zones of Melaka and George Town, to the modern Islamic and Moorish architecture of Putrajaya. It is also not uncommon to see different places of worship along a single street due to the religious tolerance practised by Malaysians.

Click on image to enlarge.

Click on image to enlarge.

So, what makes Malaysia special? Sure, the weather is beautiful, the food is amazing and the places of interest are fascinating. But what makes Malaysia truly special is her people and the Malaysian spirit of muhibbah**.

*’Kampung’ is the Malay word for ‘village’.
**The spirit of muhibbah is essentially the spirit of togetherness and friendship that exists between the many different races, cultures and faiths.

 

History

 

Ancient Malaya

Malaya began to take shape in the form of a group of states between the 2nd and 3rd centuries, with the northern state of Kedah being the most powerful. Considered an advanced civilisation at the time, Malaya’s trade partner India heavily influenced the Malayan landscape, most significantly in the aspects of Malayan law, the assimilation of many Tamil words into the Malay lingua franca as well as the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism in the region.

This is the iconic photo of Tuanku Abdul Rahman declaring Malaya’s independence at Merdeka Stadium

The iconic photo of Tuanku Abdul Rahman declaring Malaya’s independence at Merdeka Stadium on 31 August 1957

Srivijaya, a flourishing kingdom in Sumatra dominated much of Malaya between the 7th and 8th centuries. Srivijaya’s prosperity depended very much on the Indian and Chinese traders who came to Malaya to trade tea, spices and silk, as Malaya was geographically strategic due to its location between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. By gaining control of this main passage between the two trading giants, the Srivijaya empire became wealthy and very powerful.

However, in the 11th century, the once powerful Srivijaya started to weaken due to a series of attacks by the Chola Empire based in South India. In the 13th century, the weakened and fragmented Srivijaya empire caught the attention of the Javanese king, Kertanegara, who then successfully captured Srivijaya, thus ending the glory days of the Srivijaya empire in Malaya.

 

Malacca Sultanate

Between the 14th and 15th centuries, the Malay Archipelago saw power struggles between various empires such as the Singhasari, Java, Palembang and Majapahit. This resulted in Malay princes fleeing their war-torn homeland in Indonesia.

In 1400, a Hindu prince from Sumatra named Parameswara landed on the Malay Peninsula. While resting under a tree, the prince witnessed how a mere mousedeer defended itself and kicked his hunting dog into the river. Taking it as an auspicious omen, Parameswara decided to start his new kingdom there and named the place, Malacca or Melaka, after the tree he was resting under.

Due to Malacca’s strategic location, it soon became a major trading port in the region. During this time, traders from the Middle East also frequented the port of Malacca, bringing not only spices but also their faith, Islam. With the influx of Muslim traders, Buddhism and Hinduism which once dominated the region gave way to Islam. With Parameswara’s conversion to Islam, assuming the name Iskandar Shah, the Malay Sultanate was established.

Replica of the Malacca Sultan Palace. Just like the original palace, this was built without the usage of any nails.

A replica of Malacca’s Sultan Palace. Just like the original building, this was built without the use of any nails.

Under Malay Sultanate rule, Malacca became an international hub for trade, commerce and also the spread of Islam. Malacca reached the height of its prosperity in the mid-15th century with strong trade and diplomatic ties with China. During the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah, his envoy to China impressed the Chinese Emperor Yong Le so much that the Emperor decreed that his princess, Hang Li Poh, should marry Sultan Mansur Shah. The princess together with her entourage of 500 ladies-in-waiting arrived in Malacca for the royal wedding. This eventually resulted in intermarriages between these ladies and the local men, giving birth to the sub-ethnic group, Peranakan Cina, also known as Baba and Nyonya.

 

The Fall of Malacca

Soon, this wealthy and powerful Malay empire caught the interest of European powers. In 1511, Portugal sent an expedition led by Alfonso d’Albuquerque to capture Malacca. The expedition was a success and Malacca fell to the Portuguese. The power struggle for this rich trading port continued and the Dutch captured Malacca in 1641. In 1824, the British conquered Malacca, Penang and Singapore, collectively known as the Straits Settlements.

 

British Colonization and Japanese Occupation

During British colonial rule, Malaya flourished with the introduction of proper government administration and systems, English medium schools, roads and railway. However during World War II, Japanese troops invaded Malaya and the Japanese Occupation gave rise to tremendous hardship. Many atrocities occurred between 1941 and 1945 which are remembered to this day, but the experience also gave rise to the spirit of nationalism. With the support of local nationalists, the British and Allied Forces recaptured Malaya.

 

Independence Day and Birth of Malaysia

Although the people of Malaya preferred British rule over the Japanese Occupation, their desire for independence grew. After a series of peaceful negotiations spearheaded by the late Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Malaya gained independence from British colonial rule on 31 August 1957. Tuanku Abdul Rahman later became Malaya’s first Prime Minister.

On 16 September 1963, the Federation of Malaya (comprised of 11 states and 2 British Straits Settlements – Penang and Malacca), Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo (now known as Sabah) banded to form Malaysia. This is why Malaysia Day is celebrated annually on 16 September, as it is the actual “birthday” of Malaysia.

Approximately two years later, Singapore sought independence from Malaysia and became an independent island republic on 9 August 1965.

 

Monarchy

Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy and the head of state is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. This office was established upon Malaya gaining independence from the British colony on 31 August 1957, and the first Malaysian monarch was Yamtuan Besar Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected by the Conference of Rulers, which comprises of all nine heads of state, and the election is usually based on the seniority of the Sultan or Head of State. The elected Yang di-Pertuan Agong occupies the position as Malaysia’s Head of State for a five-year term.

The Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong or Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected by the same process but he does not automatically assume the position of Yang di-Pertuan Agong should a vacancy arise due to death, illness or the reigning monarch’s inability to perform his duties. In the event of a vacancy, the Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong acts as Head of State until a new ruler is elected.

There are nine states ruled by monarchs — four are governed by Yang Dipertua Negeri or Governor, while the three Federal Territories are under the control of the Federal Government.

 

The 13 Malaysian States and Their Respective Head of State

  • Perlis: Raja
  • Kedah: Sultan
  • Penang: Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)
  • Perak: Sultan
  • Selangor: Sultan
  • Negeri Sembilan: Yam Tuan Besar
  • Melaka: Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)
  • Johor: Sultan
  • Pahang: Sultan
  • Terengganu: Sultan
  • Kelantan: Sultan
  • Sabah: Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)
  • Sarawak: Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor)

Click here for more details about the monarchy system in Malaysia.

 

Currency

Malaysia’s official currency is the Ringgit, abbreviated to RM or MYR. The Ringgit is divided into 100 sen (cents). The denominations for bank notes are RM1, RM5, RM10, RM20, RM50, RM100 and RM500, while coin denominations are 1 sen, 5 sen, 10 sen, 20 sen and 50 sen. These days, the 1 sen coin is not widely used anymore.

Major retail outlets and eateries accept credit cards, charge cards and debit cards. Mastercard, Visa and American Express are most commonly used.

 malaysiaaz008

Banks and ATMs are available for general banking needs such as cash withdrawals, foreign currency exchange, deposits, transfers, and so on. Foreign currency exchange services are also available at local moneychangers.

Here are some useful links to the top banks in Malaysia:

  • Maybank: maybank.com
  • CIMB: cimb.com
  • Public Bank Berhad: pbebank.com
  • RHB Bank: rhbgroup.com
  • Hong Leong Bank: hlb.com.my

 

Geography

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

Covering 329,847 square kilometres with 328,657 square kilometres of land and 1,190 square kilometres of water, Malaysia is the 67th largest nation in the world. Located on the continent of Asia, Malaysia’s nearest neighbours are Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam.

Malaysia consists of Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia, located on Borneo Island. There are 11 states and two Federal Territories in Peninsular Malaysia while East Malaysia is comprised of two states and one Federal Territory. Peninsula Malaysia is surrounded by the Straits of Melaka in the West and the South China Sea in the East. The Tebrau Straits separate Peninsula Malaysia from Singapore.

 

Perlis

Administrative capital: Kangar
Total area (km2): 821
Population (as of February 2015): 246,000

Perlis, Malaysia’s smallest state, has retained much of its old-world charm. The pace is generally slower here and it is the perfect place to experience rustic tranquil living amidst natural limestone hills and green paddy fields. Situated closest to Thailand in the north, heavy Thai influence can be seen in its cuisine and local Malay dialect. With Padang Besar and other border towns offering good bargains and with the duty-free shopping at Bukit Kayu Hitam at the Malaysia-Thai border, Perlis is a popular shopping destination for both locals and tourists.

Lush green paddy fields in Perlis

Lush green paddy fields in Perlis

 

Kedah

Administrative capital: Alor Setar
Total area (km2): 9,500
Population (as of February 2015): 2,071,900

Hailed as the “Rice Bowl of Malaysia” and producing more than 50% of Malaysia’s rice supply, Kedah is famous not only for its lush paddy fields that stretch as far as the eye can see but also for its rich history that can be experienced at the 50 archeological sites around Bujang Valley. Another great reason to visit Kedah is mythical Langkawi, an island getaway with clear blue waters, white sandy beaches, amazing dive spots and duty-free shopping.

Golden paddy fields in Kedah ready for harvest

Golden paddy fields in Kedah ready for harvest

 

Penang

Administrative capital: George Town
Total area (km2): 1,048
Population (as of February 2015): 1,663,000

One of the top tourist destinations in Malaysia, Penang has tonnes to offer from its picturesque beaches to its seemingly endless array of amazing street food. Also known as ‘The Pearl of the Orient’, Penang has an eclectic mix of cultural, natural and historical places of interest. One of the best places to explore is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town, with not-to-be-missed attractions such as Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion (also known as The Blue Mansion), Peranakan Museum, Kapitan Keling Mosque, Khoo Kongsi and various Clan Jetties.

UNESCO World Heritage Site, Georgetown is a must-visit

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Georgetown is a must-visit

 

Perak

Administrative capital: Ipoh
Total area (km2): 21,035
Population (as of February 2015): 2,477,700

Surrounded by gorgeous natural limestone hills, Perak is famous not only for its juicy pomelos but also for its white coffee, coffeeshop-style dining and more recently, cafés in refurbished pre-war houses in Ipoh. Thus, it is no surprise that this former tin mining state is a favourite food haven for Malaysians and foreigners alike. Off the coast of Lumut is one of Malaysia’s top island getaways — Pangkor Island — with white sandy beaches, warm turquoise waters and world-class resorts.

The many natural limestone hills all over Perak makes this state one of the most scenic in Malaysia

The many natural limestone hills all over Perak make this state one of the most scenic in Malaysia

 

Selangor

Administrative capital: Shah Alam
Total area (km2): 8,104
Population (as of February 2015): 5,874,100

As Malaysia’s most developed state, Selangor offers a wide variety of interesting tourist attractions. For the spiritually inclined, Batu Caves with the world’s tallest Lord Murugan statue is one of the best places to visit. There are also many other stunning places of worship such as Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque (also known as the Blue Mosque), the Thai Buddhist Cetawan Temple, Dong Zen Temple and Sri Shakti Temple.

Batu Caves has the largest Murugan statue in the world

Batu Caves has the largest Murugan statue in the world

Nature lovers can make a trip to the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM), Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park, Templers Park or Bagan Lalang. Sekinchan, with its lush green paddy fields and rustic fishing villages, is a must-visit for photography enthusiasts.

Those travelling with children may wish to visit Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, the Chocolate Museum, iCity or Kidzania while shopaholics and bargain hunters may prefer trawling one of the many shopping malls offering everything from designer goods to bargain basement items. Popular shopping destinations include 1Utama Shopping Mall, The Curve, Sunway Pyramid, Paradigm Mall, Tropicana City Mall and the Starling.

 

Negeri Sembilan

Administrative capital: Seremban
Total area (km2): 6,686
Population (as of February 2015): 1,098,400

Named after the nine original districts of this state, Negeri Sembilan is unique for its practice of “Adat Pepatih”, a matrilineal system of inheritance and administration introduced by the Minangkabau people. Minangkabau influences can also be seen in the distinctive traditional roofs, resembling a pair of bull’s horns, that are inspired by the women’s traditional headgear. Port Dickson, a peaceful coastal town about 80 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur, is the nearest and most easily accessible beach for some sun, sea and fun.

Negeri Sembilan’s distinct Minangkabau style roof

Negeri Sembilan’s distinct Minangkabau architecture

 

Melaka

Administrative capital: Malacca City
Total area (km2): 1,664
Population (as of February 2015): 872,900

A mere 1.5-hour drive to the south of Malaysia’s capital city, the former sleepy hollow of Melaka now bustles with a great many things to eat, see, buy and photograph. From the vibrant and colourful Jonker Street to historical sites such as the Portuguese fort ‘A Famosa’, the Dutch-built Christ Church and the oldest temple in South East Asia Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Melaka has so much to offer that it would take more than a weekend to really explore this small but culturally rich state. Famous for its street food and Nyonya cuisine, Melaka is also a food haven for both local and foreign foodies.

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Melaka is the oldest temple in South East Asia.

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, the oldest in South East Asia.

 

Johor

Administrative capital: Johor Bahru
Total area (km2): 19,210
Population (as of February 2015): 3,553,600

Located at the southernmost part of Peninsula Malaysia with Singapore just a causeway away, Johor is a hot weekend destination for Singaporeans as well as those who enjoy vacations at gorgeous beaches off the beaten track such as Desaru, Rawa Island, Sibu Island and Aur Island. Johor is also noted for the rich flora and fauna in its five national parks including Endau-Rompin National Park (the second largest in Malaysia after Taman Negara in Pahang), Tanjung Piai National Park and Pulau Kukup Johor National Park (one of the world’s largest uninhabited mangrove forests).

LEGOLAND Malaysia is another top tourist attraction in Johor, suitable for families with children, Lego fans and all who are young at heart.

Endau-Rompin National Park is perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers

Endau-Rompin National Park is perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers

 

Pahang

Administrative capital: Kuantan
Total area (km2): 36,137
Population (as of February 2015): 1,623,200

Pahang, the largest state in Peninsula Malaysia, is the ideal destination for nature lovers as it is the site of one of the oldest rainforests in the world. Taman Negara (National Park) is home to thousands of species of flora and fauna such as sun bears, long-tailed macaques, tapirs and the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia, measuring over 1 metre in diameter. Pahang also has some of the nicest beaches and island getaways in Malaysia, and is well-known for its turtle sanctuary at Cherating Beach.

With the Titiwangsa Mountain Range passing through Pahang state, cool highlands such as Frasers Hill, Bukit Tinggi, Genting Highlands and Cameron Highlands are a welcome escape from the usual hot and humid Malaysian weather.

The world’s largest flower, Rafllesia can be found in Taman Negara, Pahang

The world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia, can be found in Taman Negara, Pahang

 

Terengganu

Administrative capital: Kuala Terengganu
Total area (km2): 13,035
Population (as of February 2015): 1,153,500

This quiet east coast state has one of the most spectacular mosques in the region, the Crystal Mosque or Masjid Kristal, made of steel, glass and crystal. Another popular attraction in Terengganu is Redang Island, famed for its sunny beaches, marine park and crystal clear waters that are ideal for snorkelling and diving. The island is also an essential sea turtle conservation site.

When visiting Terengganu, don’t miss out on trying the Keropok Lekor, a local snack made of flour and mashed fish, dipped in sweet chilli sauce.

Day or night, Terengganu’s Crystal Mosque is simply breathtaking

Day or night, Terengganu’s Crystal Mosque is simply breathtaking

 

Kelantan

Administrative capital: Kota Bharu
Total area (km2): 15,099
Population (as of February 2015): 1,718,200

Situated in northeastern Peninsula Malaysia, Kelantan’s largely rural lifestyle and notable Thai influences (due to its proximity to the Malaysia-Thai border) make it an interesting place to visit. There are a fair number of stunning Siamese wats (temples) scattered all over this predominantly Islamic state. For instance, Wat Photovihan in Tumpat, Kelantan has the longest reclining Buddha in Southeast Asia. The closeness with Thailand is also reflected in the local cuisine through favourites such as the colourful and flavourful nasi dagang and nasi kerabu.

Kelantan is also well-known for traditional handicrafts such as batik, songket, silverware and wau bulan (traditional Malay kites). Traditional cultural performances such as Mak Yong, wayang kulit, menora and dikir barat are also still very much alive here. Visitors should definitely take the opportunity to witness these performances for themselves as many masters of these art forms are retiring and few of the younger generation are interested in preserving this cultural heritage.

When visiting Kelantan, Nasi Kerabu is not to be missed

When visiting Kelantan, Nasi Kerabu is not to be missed

 

Sabah

Administrative capital: Kota Kinabalu
Total area (km2): 73,631
Population (as of February 2015): 3,543,500

Located on Borneo Island and popularly known as The Land Below the Wind, this East Malaysian state is well-known for its world class dive sites at Sipadan and Mabul Islands, the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary in Sandakan, abundant marine and natural parks and also Malaysia’s highest mountain, Mount Kinabalu. It is truly a haven for thrill seekers and adventure buffs.

Visitors should immerse themselves in the local culture as Sabah is home to multiple indigenous tribes such as the Kadazan-Dusun, Bajau and Murut. A popular time to visit is in May, when the Pesta Kaamatan or Harvest Festival is celebrated by the Kadazan-Dusuns. Visitors can also enjoy the abundant fresh seafood available here all year round.

Sabah’s Sipadan Island is a world class dive site and is the perfect place for muck diving

Sabah’s Sipadan Island is a world class dive site while neighbouring Mabul is the destination for muck diving enthusiasts

 

Sarawak

Administrative capital: Kuching
Total area (km2): 124,450
Population (as of February 2015): 2,636,000

Also known as the Land of the Hornbill, Malaysia’s largest state is well-known for its diverse flora and fauna in its many forest reserves, national parks, marine parks and natural caves such as Niah National Park, Bako National Park and Mulu Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sarawak is home to indigenous tribes such as the Iban, Bidayuh, Kelabit, Lun Bawang and many others. Much of their culture is still intact which allows visitors to experience it first hand. One of the best times to visit is during Sarawak’s Harvest Festival, Hari Gawai, held in June every year. Not only will visitors witness age-old traditional rituals but they will also have the opportunity to enjoy cultural dances, traditional poems and special Hari Gawai cuisine.

Feline lovers in particular should not miss visiting the world’s only cat museum in Kuching.

Mulu Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts a wide variety of flora and fauna.

Mulu Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts a wide variety of flora and fauna.

 

Quick Facts

  • Largest state in Malaysia: Sarawak
  • Largest state in Peninsula Malaysia: Pahang
  • Smallest state in Malaysia: Perlis
  • Longest river: Rajang River in Sarawak (563 kilometres)
  • Highest mountain: Mount Kinabalu (4,095.2 metres above sea level)
  • Longest mountain range: Titiwangsa Range (480 kilometres from north to south)
  • Highest mountain range: Cocker Range, Sabah

 

Climate

Located near the equator, Malaysia is generally hot and humid all year round with regular showers and thunderstorms. Temperatures at sea level average between 21°C to 32°C while at higher altitudes like Genting Highlands and Cameron Highlands, temperatures range between 15°C to 25°C.

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The rainy season on the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia is between April and October and is comparatively milder than the East Coast, which experiences a heavier rainy season (also called the Northeast Monsoon season) between the months of November to February, which may cause flooding in lowland areas.

 

Population

Proud to be Malaysian. (Photo credit: The Malaysian Times)

Proud to be Malaysian. (Photo credit: The Malaysian Times)

Before Malacca became a trade hub for Indian and Chinese traders, the Malayan population consisted mainly of Malays and indigenous people such as the Negrito, Senoi and Proto-Malay. When Malacca became an entrepot, more traders arrived and many Indians and Chinese opted to stay on in this rich country. This marked the beginning of Malaysia’s multiracial and multicultural population.

At the time of writing, Malaysia’s population is approximately 32 million, comprising of:

  • Malay: 68.6%
  • Chinese: 23.4%
  • Indian: 7%
  • Others: 1%

‘Others’ includes ethnic groups indigenous to East Malaysia. In Sabah, the major indigenous groups are the Kadazan-dusun (which itself has 40 sub-ethnic groups), Bajau and Murut. On the other hand, Sarawak has 40 sub-ethnic groups, each with its own distinctive lifestyle, culture and language. The largest indigenous groups are the Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu and Melanau. The term ‘Dayak’ refers to the Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu along with the minor indigenous groups.

 

Religion

There are four major religions in Malaysia – Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity. These faiths were introduced to the people of this land over the course of history, beginning with the introduction of Buddhism between the 2nd and 3rd centuries. During this time, Hinduism was also a major religion and its legacy can be seen today in the Bujang Valley archeological sites.

The introduction of Islam began with the conversion of Malacca’s Hindu founder, Parameswara, to Islam. During the mid-1400s, Islam began to proliferate as Malacca became the most important international trade centre due to its strategic location and many Middle Eastern traders flocked to this region to trade with China. When the Portuguese conquered Malacca, they brought their Christian faith with them. Evidence of this is St. Paul’s Church, a popular tourist spot today.

While Sunni Islam is the official religion of the country, the Malaysian constitution allows Malaysian citizens to practise any faith of their choice. Approximately 60% of Malaysians are Muslims, 19% Buddhists, 9% Christians and 6% Hindus. Other religious practices include Taoism, Confucianism and Sikhism. Indigenous people like the Orang Asli were traditionally animists, believing in spirits in various objects. However, at the turn of the 21st century, many Orang Aslis embraced monotheistic religions such as Islam and Christianity.

Putra Mosque, Putrajaya

Putra Mosque, Putrajaya

Although there are four Sunni schools of Islam (Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafii and Maliki), the Shafii School is the official school in Malaysia. All Malay Malaysians must be Muslim, governed by Sharia law and forbidden to convert to other religions. Malaysian law also states that those who wish to marry Muslims must convert to Islam.

As an Islamic country, Muslims are strongly encouraged to perform their prayers (solat) according to the Islamic tenets. Thus, it is not unusual to experience traffic congestion on Friday afternoons as many Muslims take some time off work to congregate at various mosques for Sembahyang Jumaat or Friday prayers.

Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur

Thean Hou Temple, Kuala Lumpur

Buddhism, as it is practised in Malaysia, is mainly of the Theravada and Mahayana schools, with a small percentage of Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhism. It is not unusual to see many Malaysian Chinese practising a fusion of Taoism, Confucianism and ancestral worship along with Buddhism. Many Malaysian Chinese also worship worldly gods, local and land deities and this can be seen in the many Taoist temples all over Malaysia, each with its own patron deity.

Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple, Penang

Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani Temple, Penang

Although Hinduism was traditionally practised by the Indian community of Malaysia, these days there are Indians who are Christians. With the diversification of the Malaysian population, there are also some Malaysian Chinese who are of the Hindu faith and it is not unusual to see some Chinese carrying the kavadi at Batu Caves during Thaipusam.

St. Francis Xavier Church, Melaka

St. Francis Xavier Church, Melaka

Arab Christian traders introduced Christianity to the Malay Peninsula as early as the 7th century. However, it was the capture of Malacca by the Portuguese that heralded the wide spread of Christianity across the land. Under British rule, missionary schools such as the La Salle schools, Methodist schools and Convent schools not only further strengthened Christianity in Malaysia, but also helped shape the early Malaysian education system.

Presently, the major Christian denominations in Malaysia are the Anglicans, Baptists, Brethren, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Roman Catholics.

Other faiths and belief systems in Malaysia include Confucianism, Taoism, Sikhism, Jehovah Witness, Baha’i and animism, which is still practised by the Orang Asli.

 

Language

Although Malay is the official language of Malaysia, English is widely spoken and commonly used in business dealings as well as for certain official matters. Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien and other Chinese dialects such as Hakka and Teochew are also spoken. Other languages spoken in Malaysia include Tamil, Punjabi, Hindi and indigenous languages such as Kadazan and Iban that are used commonly in East Malaysia.

A distinctively Malaysian “language” is Manglish (or Malaysian English) which is a fusion of Malay, Chinese and Indian dialects with the Queen’s English. For more on Manglish creole, please read on.

 

Interesting Fact

According to The World FactBook by the Central Intelligence Agency, Malaysia has 134 living languages — 112 indigenous languages and 22 non-indigenous languages.

 

Manglish: English with Malaysian Flavour

Malaysians can recognise other Malaysians just by the way they speak English, or rather Manglish. With the liberal usage of “lah” that has many different meanings and nuances combined with other words unique to Malaysia, many native English speakers find the Malaysian brand of English fascinating and confusing at the same time.

We have put together some common Manglish phrases that might be helpful for first-time visitors to Malaysia.

 

Interesting Malaysian Slang

  • Handphone: Mobile phone
  • Gostan: Originates from ‘go astern’. Usually used for reversing vehicles.
  • Outstation: Out of town
  • Terror: To describe someone as being awesome
  • Yum cha: Hang out with friends (literally means “drink tea” and is probably the result of Malaysia’s “teh tarik culture”
  • Walao/Walao eh: Expression of disbelief or surprise
  • Ang moh/Gwai lo/Mat Salleh: Caucasian
  • Tapau: Takeaway
  • Leng zhai: Handsome boy
  • Leng lui: Pretty girl
  • Bojio: Did not invite (in relations to being invited to an event or gathering)
  • Belanja: Treat, usually used in relation to buying someone food or drink
  • Potong Stim: To cut short another’s enjoyment or fun, the equivalent of a wet blanket or killjoy.
  • Kantoi: Caught red handed
  • Mamak: Refers to Indian Muslims
  • Cincai: Whatever
  • Paiseh: Embarrassed or ashamed of something
  • Tackle: To court or woo a crush, to win the affection of the girl or boy
  • Action: To describe snobbery or arrogance

 

Useful Phrases

  • Good morning: Selamat pagi
  • Good afternoon: Selamat tengahari
  • Good evening: Selamat petang
  • Good night: Selamat malam
  • Welcome (greeting): Selamat datang
  • How are you?: Apa khabar?
  • I’m fine: Khabar baik
  • Thank you: Terima kasih
  • You’re welcome: Sama-sama
  • Good bye: Selamat jalan
  • Where is the toilet?: Di mana tandas?
  • Excuse me (to pass someone): Tumpang lalu.

 

20 Places of Interest to Visit in Malaysia

 

1. Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, is home to the world’s tallest twin towers, standing 451.9 metres above street level. The iconic twin towers feature an exterior of steel and glass and a traditionally inspired interior. Connecting the two towers is the world’s highest two-storey skybridge which also doubles up as a viewing deck for stunning views of Malaysia’s capital city. There is also a gift shop where you can buy keepsakes of your visit.

Stunning view of the world’s tallest twin towers

Stunning view of the world’s tallest twin towers

How to get there: petronastwintowers.com.my/gettinghere
Tickets and opening hours: petronastwintowers.com.my/tickets
Website: petronastwintowers.com.my

 

2. Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur

A shopper’s haven and a foodie’s paradise, Petaling Street or “Chee Cheong Kai” as it is also known, is situated right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. In the past, traders would set up their stalls just like in the local night market commonly known as “pasar malam”. After a facelift, there is now a large Oriental-style arch at Petaling Street’s main entrance leading in to a walkway with proper roofs to shield the traders and visitors from nature’s elements.

Petaling Street comes alive at night. (Photo credit: The Star)

Petaling Street comes alive at night. (Photo credit: The Star)

There is much to eat, explore and buy here. Foodies will be spoilt for choice with the huge variety of street food, cafes and other eateries while shopaholics can easily get lost in the maze of stalls selling everything from leather goods to footwear, clothes and souvenirs.

Website: kuala-lumpur.ws/klareas/chinatown_petaling.htm

 

3. Legoland Malaysia, Johor

Legoland Malaysia is the first Legoland in Asia and the first international park in Malaysia with over 70 hands-on rides, slides, shows and attractions for families with children aged between 2 to 12 years. Fun-filled adventure starts at The Beginning and continues through LEGO® Technic, LEGO® Kingdoms, Imagination, Land of Adventure, LEGO® City and MINILAND.

Entrance to LEGOLAND Waterpark, the perfect way to cool off on a hot day

The entrance to Legoland Waterpark, the perfect way to cool off on a hot day

The Legoland Water Park offers splash-tacular water rides, slides and other aquatic fun activities. End the day with a restful stay at Legoland Hotel with its LEGO-themed rooms. There are combo packages on offer when you book your tickets and accommodation online.

How to get there: legoland.com.my/planning-your-visit/how-to-get-here
Opening hours: legoland.com.my/planning-your-visit/park-hours
Tickets: legoland.com.my/book-visit/day-tickets
Website: legoland.com.my

 

4. Pinang Peranakan Museum, Penang

Dedicated to Penang’s Peranakan heritage, this mansion turned museum houses thousands of Peranakan artefacts and antiques. This well-preserved mansion previously belonged to 19th century Chinese tycoon, Chung Keng Quee, and showcases Peranakan architecture and traditional interior. Visitors can catch a glimpse of unique Peranakan customs and lifestyle from the displays.

Opening hours and tickets: pinangperanakanmansion.com.my/#Visiting_Hours
Website: pinangperanakanmansion.com.my

A mansion turned museum, it is well-preserved and has thousands of precious Peranakan artifacts and antiques.

A mansion turned museum, the Pinang Peranakan Museum is well-preserved and houses thousands of precious Peranakan artefacts and antiques.

 

5. Kabili-Sepilok Nature Reserve, Sandakan, Sabah

The Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre is where orphaned, displaced and injured Orang Utans are rehabilitated for until they are ready to be released back into the wild.

The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is where orphaned, displaced and injured orangutans are rehabilitated until they are ready to be released back into the wild.

Home to the last orangutans, this sanctuary is dedicated to these near-extinct primates. At this nature reserve is Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre where orphaned, displaced and injured orangutans are cared for until they are ready to be released back into the wild.

Visitors to the rehabilitation centre have the opportunity to get up close and personal with these loveable primates, especially during feeding time (10 a.m. and 3 p.m.).

Visitors can also learn more about Malaysia’s rainforests at the Rainforest Discovery Centre while those who love hiking can explore various nature trails such as the Water Hole Trail and Mangrove Forest Trail.

How to get there and tickets: wildlife.sabah.gov.my/?q=en/content/sepilok-orangutan-rehabilitation-centre
Website: sepilok.com

 

6. Sarawak Cultural Village, Sarawak

Located at the foot of mythical Mount Santubong, this award-winning living museum showcases Sarawak’s rich indigenous heritage and is where visitors get to experience Sarawak’s ethnic diversity all in one place. Here, you will be able to see traditional handicrafts such as Pua Kumbu (Iban textiles), Bidayuh Tambok (basket), Iban Parang (swords), Melanau Terendak (sunhat), Orang Ulu wood carvings and Chinese ceramics.

Traditional Iban warrior dance, ngajat is performed on a regular basis at Sarawak Cultural Village

Traditional Iban warrior dance, ngajat is performed on a regular basis at Sarawak Cultural Village.

Visitors can also visit Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu longhouses, Melanau tall houses, Chinese farmhouses, Malay houses and Penan huts to get a glimpse of Sarawak’s multiethnic lifestyles. There are also cultural performances such as the traditional warrior dance ngajat that should not be missed. This is also the venue for the World Harvest Festival and Rainforest World Music Festival.

Website: scv.com.my

 

7. Jonker Street, Melaka

Just two hours from Kuala Lumpur, Jonker Street is one of the most popular tourist spots in Malaysia for good reason. From its vibrant and colourful night market every Friday and Saturday where you can eat and shop till you drop to the many pre-war houses turned cafes, there is so much to see, eat, shop and explore.

On Friday and Saturday, Jonker Walk turns the whole street alive and buzzing with traders hawking their mouth watering street food and knick-knacks.

On Friday and Saturday, Jonker Walk turns the whole street alive and buzzing with traders hawking mouth-watering street food and knick-knacks.

Parallel to the main street is Harmony Street (Jalan Tukang Emas) aptly named as there is a Chinese temple, Hindu temple and Muslim mosque all within a stone’s throw from each other. The Cheng Hoon Teng Temple with its intricately carved woodwork is Malaysia’s oldest temple dating back to 1646. Also on the same street is Masjid Kampung Keling built by Indian Muslim traders in 1748, with influences from Sumatran, Chinese, Hindu, European and local Malay traditions. Beside this mosque is Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple, built in 1781 dedicated to Lord Ganesha.

How to get there: malacca.ws/jonker-street

 

8. Dutch Square, Melaka

Highly recognisable with its signature red colour, no visit to Malaysia is complete without taking photos at this picturesque historical icon. Formerly the residence of the Dutch governors, The Stadhuys is currently Melaka Museum. Built in 1753 to replace a Portuguese church in ruins, the Christ Church is still used to conduct prayer services and mass. It features the original hand-carved wooden pews which are approximately 200 years old and an altar with an intricate painting of the Last Supper.

Christ Church and The Stadhuys are the Dutch’s legacy

Christ Church and The Stadhuys are legacies of Dutch colonists

Also within the Dutch Square is the Tang Beng Swee Clock Tower which looks distinctively Dutch although it was built by a wealthy Straits Chinese family.

How to get there: malacca.ws/attractions/dutch-square-melaka.htm

 

9. Floating Street Food Market, Kelantan

The first of its kind in Malaysia, the Floating Street Food Market in Kelantan is similar to the ones in Thailand. Located at Pulau Suri in Tumpat, this floating food court offers a wide variety of Kelantanese street food and delicacies such as kerabu nipah (a local salad made with wild palm flowers) and nasi tumpang (rice wrapped in banana leaf with an assortment of dishes).

This unique floating street food market opens on Friday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., allowing visitors ample time to slowly explore and savour the offerings available and perhaps even have a picnic by the riverbank.

How to get there: malaysia.travel/en/my/places/states-of-malaysia/kelantan/floating-street-food-market

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/KelantanFloatingMarket.mp4

 

10. Phra Buddha Bharameedharm Chamruslok Temple (Wat Machimmaran), Kelantan

Located in Tumpat, Kelantan, Phra Buddha Bharameedharm Chamruslok Temple features Malaysia’s largest sitting Buddha at 30 metres high, similar in size to the one on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. The lips of this stunning Buddha are coated in gold.

Phra Buddha Bharameedharm Chamruslok Temple – Home to Malaysia’s largest sitting Buddha.

Phra Buddha Bharameedharm Chamruslok Temple is home to Malaysia’s largest sitting Buddha.

Thai and Chinese-style murals and frescoes decorate the interior of the temple. Situated amidst Mother Nature’s lush tranquil greenery, this temple is conducive for meditation. There is also a turtle sanctuary in the vicinity of this Chinese-Thai temple.

How to get there and opening hours: malaysia-traveller.com/wat-machimmaram.html

 

11. Sam Poh Tong, Perak

Carved out of a natural limestone hill, this Buddhist temple is a spectacular sight especially when it’s all lit up at night. The award-winning temple is a 2.5-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. The beautifully landscaped gardens and fish pond are a favourite amongst photographers. There is also a pond that serves as a tortoise sanctuary in the vicinity of the temple.

Sam Poh Tong is the largest Buddhist cave temple in Malaysia

Sam Poh Tong is the largest Buddhist cave temple in Malaysia

Considered the largest cave temple in Malaysia, Sam Poh Tong has various Buddha statues interspersed with natural stalagmites and stalactites, making this one of the most unique Buddhist temples in the country and region. Visitors should be prepared for the 246-step climb up to the open cave but the effort is worthwhile as you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Ipoh city.

How to get there: malaysia.travel/en/places/states-of-malaysia/perak/Sam-Poh-Tong-Temple

 

12. Merapoh Caves, Pahang

Situated outside Taman Negara and relatively unknown, Merapoh in Pahang has 85 world-class caves ranging from show caves and archeology caves to adventure caves. It is truly a caver’s paradise. Believed to be more than 1,300 million years old, some caves have large chambers, some are filled with unique formations and some have secret crystal clear pools.

Ancient drawings seen at Gua Seribu Cerita, Merapoh (Photo credit: lailibasir.blogspot.my)

Ancient drawings at Gua Seribu Cerita, Merapoh (Photo credit: lailibasir.blogspot.my)

Gua Hari Malaysia has a river that forms cascading waterfalls and pools, ideal for climbing, swimming, tubing and abseiling. Gua Seribu Cerita has many interesting and mysterious cave paintings to be explored. Another unique cave is Gua Tahi Bintang where there are paintings resembling shooting stars, believed to be between 100 to 200 years old.

Website: malaysia.travel/en/my/places/states-of-malaysia/pahang/merapoh-pahang-caving-paradise
How to get there: lailibasir.blogspot.my/2013/10/merapoh-caving_19.html

 

13. Kechara Forest Retreat, Pahang

Slightly over an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, situated near Bentong’s famous Chamang Waterfalls is Kechara Forest Retreat, home to the world’s largest statue of World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden. Built in the midst of Pahang’s lush green rainforest, this contemporary spiritual centre has a modern prayer hall, unique container accommodation, a tranquil fishpond for meditation and many large outdoor Buddha statues for visitors to say a quick prayer or make candle offerings.

Home to the largest World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden, Kechara Forest Retreat is a good place to retreat away from the hustle bustle of the city to reconnect to Nature and one’s self.

Home to the world’s largest statue of World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden, Kechara Forest Retreat is ideal for retreating from the hustle and bustle of the city to reconnect to nature and oneself.

This retreat centre also offers short term non-religious meditation programmes and wellness workshops to promote physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing.

Website: retreat.kechara.com

 

14. KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur

Originally constructed as a means to improve the quality of telecommunication and broadcasting transmissions, KL Tower has become one of the most recognisable landmarks in Kuala Lumpur. At 421 metres tall, it is the tallest telecommunications tower in South East Asia. For adventure seekers and adrenaline junkies, KL Tower is known as World Basejump Centre and is home to the largest and longest-running urban BASE (Building, Antenna, Span, Earth).

There is an observation deck 276 metres above ground level where visitors can enjoy views of the whole city. There are also many other attractions such as Blue Coral Aquarium, upside down house, a mini zoo, XD theatre, F1 simulator and gift shops for souvenir shopping.

KL Tower by night

KL Tower by night

For those looking for a different dining experience, Atmosphere 360, a revolving restaurant 282 metres above ground is a good choice and offers a menu that is prepared using the freshest produce. Besides this revolving restaurant, there are four more eateries in KL Tower.

Tickets: menarakl.com.my/index.php/online-ticketing
How to get there: menarakl.com.my/index.php/visitor-info/location?id=93
Website: menarakl.com.my

 

15. Mount Kinabalu, Sabah

At 4,095 metres (13,435 ft) above sea level, Mount Kinabalu is the highest peak in Malaysia and Borneo Island. Considered sacred by the Kadazan-dusun, it is believed that the name of this mountain is derived from the Kadazan words “Aki Nabalu” which means “the revered place of the dead”. Kinabalu Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the natural habitat for 5,000 to 6,000 species of plants, 326 species of birds and more than 100 species of mammals. One can find the largest flower in the world, the Rafflesia, here as well as catch a glimpse of the adorable orangutan.

UNESCO World Heritage site Mount Kinabalu is considered a sacred place by Kadazan-dusun (Photo credit: G Adventures)

UNESCO World Heritage site Mount Kinabalu is considered a sacred place by the Kadazan-dusun (Photo credit: G Adventures)

Hailed as the world’s safest and most conquerable peak, Mount Kinabalu is generally an easy climb and the average climber of reasonable fitness takes about two days to climb up and down the mountain. As climbing permits are restricted to 130 per day, it is best to check with Sabah Parks on the availability of permits when planning for the climb. More adventurous climbers can scale the mountain through Mountain Torq Via Ferrata trail.

Website: mountkinabalu.com/mount-kinabalu

 

16. Sipadan Island, Sabah

Covered in lush rainforest, this tiny 12-hectare island has incredibly diverse marine life, making it one of the top 10 best dive sites in the world. This oceanic island is the only one in Malaysia and was formed by living corals growing over an extinct volcano over thousands of years.

The best time to dive at Sipadan is between April and December. As diving permits are limited to 120 per day, it is best to book your permit via your hotel or tour agency prior to flying in. Divers will be able to enjoy schools of barracuda swimming in a tornado-like formation, graceful manta rays, gentle giant greenback turtles and a host of other interesting sea creatures. As corals grow in abundance here, divers can also enjoy exploring live coral gardens.

How to get there: sipadan.com/Getting-here.php
Website: sipadan.com

Or view the video on the server at:
http://video.tsemtulku.com/videos/SipadanSabah.mp4

 

17. Crystal Mosque, Terengganu

Built on a man-made island called Pulau Wan Man, Masjid Kristal or Crystal Mosque is believed to be one of the most beautiful mosques in the world. This is also Malaysia’s first intelligent mosque with built-in IT infrastructure and wifi, providing easy access to the electronic Quran.

Crystal Mosque by night. Simply stunning!

The Crystal Mosque is simply stunning by night!

Made of steel, glass and crystal which gives the mosque its crystal-like appearance, the architecture features Moorish and Gothic elements. A large crystal chandelier in the main prayer hall is this mosque’s pièce de résistance. By night, the Crystal Mosque is bathed in light of various colours such as yellow, blue, pink and green, making it one of the most “photogenic” mosques in the world.

Mosque etiquette: itc.gov.my/article/etiquettes-of-visiting-a-mosque
How to get there: backpackingmalaysia.com/things-to-do/crystal-mosque-islamic-civilisation-park/kuala-terengganu
Website: itc.gov.my/mosque/masjid-kristal-crystal-mosque

 

18. Batu Caves, Selangor

Home to the world’s largest Lord Murugan statue standing at 140 feet tall, it is hard not to miss Batu Caves. Golden in colour, the majestic Lord Murugan statue guarding the main entrance has become an icon for not only the Hindus but for all Malaysians as well.

Inside Batu Cave

Inside Batu Caves

Visitors must climb 272 steps to reach the top where the largest cave, Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, is located 100 metres above sea level. This iconic limestone cave is the focal point for Hindus and one of the best times to visit Batu Caves is during Thaipusam, one of the most important dates for the Hindu Tamil community to commemorate the victory of Lord Murugan (also known as Lord Subramaniam) over darkness.

To read more on Thaipusam and how to get to Batu Caves, click here.

Website: malaysia.travel/en/nl/places/states-of-malaysia/selangor/batu-caves

 

19. Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Melaka

Built in 1645 by Kapitan Lee Wei King to serve as the main place of worship for the Hokkien clan, Cheng Hoon Teng is the oldest functioning temple in Malaysia. This Chinese temple practises the Three Doctrinal Systems of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism.

Malaysia’s oldest temple, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple was awarded a UNESCO for outstanding architectural restoration.

Malaysia’s oldest temple, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site for its outstanding architectural restoration.

Situated close to Harmony Street or Jalan Tukang Emas, Cheng Hoon Teng’s distinctive main entrance is ornately carved with Oriental motifs, flanked by a pair of antique Fu Dogs. The main shrine hall is dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin. Across the road is a traditional Chinese opera theatre that forms part of Cheng Hoon Teng’s complex. In 2003, this temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site for its outstanding architectural restoration.

 

20. Taman Negara, Pahang

Taman Negara is the largest national park in Malaysia covering the states of Pahang (2,477 km2), Kelantan (1,043 km2) and Terengganu (853 km2), with a total area of 4,343 km2. Known to be the oldest rainforest in the world, Taman Negara is approximately 130 million years old and this ecotourism destination has much to offer, not just in terms of its rich flora and fauna but also various interesting and thrilling outdoor activities.

One of the park’s main attractions is the 530-metre-long canopy walk that is 40 metres off the ground. Initially built for research purposes, the canopy walk eventually became a visitor favourite as it offers stunning panoramic views of the park below.

Visitors to Taman Negara may get the opportunity to see wildlife such as this Clouded Leopard

Visitors to Taman Negara may get the opportunity to see wildlife such as this Clouded Leopard

Taman Negara is one of the best places for jungle trekking and night jungle walks as it is home to 14,000 species of plants, 240 species of trees, 250 species of birds, 200 large animals, and also the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia. There are also many natural limestone caves to be explored such as Gua Kepayang Besar and Gua Kepayang Kecil. Another popular activity is rapid shooting along seven rapids at Sungai Tembeling.

How to get there and tips: wonderfulmalaysia.com/taman-negara-national-park-malaysia.htm
Website: tamannegara.asia/places

 

20 Things to Do in Malaysia

 

1. Go on a Jungle Adventure

Up to 70% of Malaysia is covered in tropical rainforest with 11.6% in pristine condition. Home to the world’s oldest rainforest estimated at 130 million years old, Malaysia is a top ecotourism destination that has much to offer nature lovers as well as adventure seekers. Rich in diverse flora and fauna, the Malaysian rainforest is home to endangered animals such as the Asian Elephant, Indochinese Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Malayan Tapir and Orangutan.

There are four national parks in Peninsula Malaysia with the largest and oldest being Taman Negara, covering the states of Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu. It is a haven for nature lovers and jungle trekkers as it boasts extensive tropical flora as well as wildlife that is largely untouched. The other national parks worth a visit are Endau Rompin, Gunung Ledang and Penang national parks.

Over in Sabah, there are 17 national and state parks. The most notable of these is Kinabalu National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. With Mount Kinabalu being the highest peak in Malaysia, this national park is not only a nature lover’s paradise for its rich biodiversity but is also a popular destination for those who love conquering mountain peaks.

The other national park that has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site is the Mulu Caves National Park in Sarawak with its world famous caverns formed from sandstone, limestone and shale. Some of the main attractions here are the Sarawak Chamber (the world’s largest natural chamber), Deer Cave (the largest cave passage in the world) and Clearwater Cave (the longest cave in South East Asia).

For Malaysia’s Top 10 Hill and Jungle Adventures, click here.

For more information:
malaysia-wildlife-and-nature.com/national-parks-in-malaysia.html

 

2. Go Island Hopping

Swaying palms trees. Deliciously warm sea breezes. Sparkling azure waters. Picturesque sandy beaches. Amazingly diverse marine life. These are some of the things that you can expect when you go island hopping in Malaysia.

Top on the list is Sipadan Island, hailed by famed marine life researcher, explorer and scientist Jacques Cousteau to be “an untouched piece of art”. This world class diving haven is a firm favourite with the diving community for its 3,000 species of sea creatures and live coral gardens and it is no wonder that Sipadan made it to Rodale’s Scuba Diving Magazine Gold List for “The Top Dive Destination in the World”.

Paradise on earth (Photo credit: Malaysia by hotel.com)

Paradise on earth (Photo credit: Malaysia by hotel.com)

For exclusivity and postcard perfect beaches, Rawa Island fits the bill while those seeking a more luxurious island holiday can go to Langkawi, famed for its stunning internationally-acclaimed spa resorts.

For Malaysia’s Top 10 Island Holidays, click here.

For more information:
edition.cnn.com/travel/article/malaysia-best-islands/index.html

 

3. Visit Malaysia’s Spiritual Power Places

Malaysia is truly a melting pot of diverse ethnic groups, cultures and religious beliefs. No other place on this planet has such diversity co-existing so harmoniously. Given this country’s colourful history and rich heritage, it is not unusual to see places of worship from different faiths or denominations located just a stone’s throw away from each other.

No other place in this world will you see such diversity co-existing so harmoniously

There is no other place in the world where you will see such diversity co-existing so harmoniously

One such street is in Penang. Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling or Harmony Street is where one can visit the Kuan Yin Goddess of Mercy Temple, Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple, Sri Mahamariamman Temple and Kapitan Keling Mosque just by walking down the street. The other Harmony Street is located in Melaka. Also known as Jalan Tukang Emas, one can take a stroll down the road to visit Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple, Kampung Kling Mosque and Xiang Lin Si Temple.

For Malaysia’s Top 10 Spiritual Power Places, click here.

 

4. Go on a Foodie Road Trip

Malaysia has an amazing array of food from the many different ethnic and sub-ethnic groups living here. One of the best ways to truly savour authentic Malaysian food is to explore roadside street food, the neighbourhood coffee shop or pasar malam (night market). The best places to start your foodie road trip are Melaka, Ipoh and Penang where you will be spoilt for choice.

Some of Malaysia’s favourite food, clockwise from top left, Roti Canai, Pai Tee, Satay and Nasi Lemak.

Some of Malaysia’s favourite foods, clockwise from top left: Roti Canai, Pai Tee, Satay and Nasi Lemak.

Must Try Foods

  • Melaka: Satay Celup, Chicken Rice Balls, Nyonya Cuisine, Assam Pedas
  • Ipoh: Beansprouts with Steamed Chicken, Salt Baked Chicken, Caramel Egg Pudding, Ipoh Hor Fun
  • Penang: Assam Laksa, Pasembur, Hokkien Mee (Prawn Mee), Rojak Buah

Need more ideas? Here are 25 of Malaysia’s most-loved foods.

 

5. Experience Malaysian Festivals

Malaysian are blessed to be able to enjoy the many different celebrations, each unique and rich in tradition and culture.

Malaysian are blessed to be able to enjoy many different celebrations, each unique and rich in tradition and culture.

The home of many cultures, one of the best things about Malaysia are the major festivals celebrated by each of the major ethnic groups. During these festivals, Malaysians of all races get together to celebrate and it is at times like these that one can truly experience diversity at its finest. For example, during Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Eid al-Fitr), it is usual for non-Muslims to visit their Muslim friends to celebrate Hari Raya.

Below are key dates when visitors can experience the rich culture and spirituality each of these festivals has to offer. As most festivals follow a unique calendar, it would be best to check the exact date of the festival each year as they may differ from year to year.

  • Thaipusam: Between mid-January to mid-February
  • Chinese New Year: Between late January to early February (New Year’s Day in the Chinese lunar calendar)
  • Wesak Day: May
  • Pesta Ka’amatan: 30th to 31st May
  • Gawai Dayak: 1st June
  • Hari Raya Aidilfitri: Between July to early September (ninth lunar month of the Islamic calendar)
  • Festa San Pedro: End of June
  • Hungry Ghost Festival: Between August to September (seventh month of the lunar calendar)
  • Deepavali: Between mid-October to early November
  • Christmas: 25th December

To read more about the major festivals in Malaysia, click here.

 

6. Shop Till You Drop

Malaysia is a shopaholic’s paradise as there are shopping opportunities right from the moment you arrive in Malaysia via Kuala Lumpur International Airport to the local night markets. In big cities like Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor, there are malls with a whole array of stores ranging from branded goods to cute little knick-knacks.

Malaysia is a shopper’s haven as there are many shopping outlets catering different market segments

Malaysia is a shopper’s haven

Shopping Malls

  • Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur: suriaklcc.com.my/shopping
  • Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur: midvalley.com.my
  • The Gardens, Kuala Lumpur: thegardensmall.com.my
  • Pavilion Kuala Lumpur: pavilion-kl.com
  • Sunway Pyramid, Selangor: sunwaypyramid.com
  • The Curve, Selangor: thecurve.com.my
  • Aman Central, Kedah: amancentral.com.my
  • Gurney Plaza, Penang: gurneyplaza.com.my
  • Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall, Melaka: dataranpahlawan.com
  • Imago KK Times Square, Sabah: imago.my
  • The Spring Shopping Mall, Sarawak: thespring.com.my

Premium Outlets

  • Johor Premium Outlets, Johor: premiumoutlets.com.my/johor-premium-outlets
  • Genting Highlands Premium Outlets, Pahang: premiumoutlets.com.my/genting-highlands-premium-outlets
  • Mitsui Outlet Park, KLIA, Sepang: mitsuioutletparkklia.com.my
  • Freeport A Famosa Outlet, Melaka: freeportafamosa.com

Duty-free

  • Padang Besar, Perlis
  • Bukit Kayu Hitam, Perlis
  • Langkawi, Kedah
  • Labuan, Sabah

For a full list of duty-free shopping: asiancorrespondent.com/2012/08/a-guide-to-tax-free-shopping-in-malaysia/#0PwvtfD5kB2HxSkA.97

For more information: globalblue.com/tax-free-shopping/malaysia/tax-free-shopping-in-malaysia

 

7. Feed the Homeless

Experience Malaysia in a different way by volunteering at a soup kitchen such as Kechara Soup Kitchen or Pertiwi. At Kechara Soup Kitchen, not only can you volunteer to distribute food to the homeless on the streets but those with a medical background can join the medical team in bringing relief to those who are sick or need medical attention. You can also help distribute groceries to the urban poor under Kechara’s Food Bank programme.

One of the best ways to spend time meaningfully is by feeding the homeless

One of the best ways to spend time meaningfully is by feeding the homeless

Like Kechara Soup Kitchen, PERTIWI also has a soup kitchen and medical services. You can also help out in Kasih PERTIWI, a home for HIV+ children.

Kechara Soup Kitchen:
kechara.com/soup-kitchen

PERTIWI:
pertiwi.org.my

 

8. Explore Meditation

Imagine stress melting away from your body as you reconnect with yourself and Mother Nature when you explore meditation in lush, tranquil and green surroundings, located just slightly over an hour from Kuala Lumpur. The monthly Inner Peace Retreat at Kechara Forest Retreat has a steady fan base and participants of this 3D2N programme return home feeling rejuvenated, refreshed and inspired. Participants are taught basic meditation techniques and the sunrise meditation on top of the misty hills comes highly recommended.

Sunrise meditation comes highly recommended at Kechara Forest Retreat. (Photo credit: Ph’ng Li Kheng)

Sunrise meditation comes highly recommended at Kechara Forest Retreat. (Photo credit: Phng Li Kheng)

Just over an hour away from Melaka is Alokarama, Tampin, an eco-holistic centre where meditation retreats are conducted based on Buddhist principles. During this retreat, participants are to observe the Five Precepts, maintain Noble Silence and practice mindfulness at all times.

Kechara Forest Retreat
retreat.kechara.com

Aloka Foundation
alokafoundation.staging.webb.my

 

9. Try Wreck Diving

Off the coast of Terengganu in the azure waters of Redang Island is one of the world’s best coral gardens with hundreds of live coral species co-existing harmoniously with the many sea creatures such as manta rays and sharks. There are also 31 stunning dive sites here, which include two World War II shipwrecks and a black coral garden.

For more information:

  • malaysia.travel/en/experiences/top-25-experiences/25
  • dmpm.nre.gov.my
Dive at Redang Island and explore shipwreck sites as well as the black coral garden

Dive at Redang Island and explore shipwrecks as well as the black coral garden

 

10. Try Batik Painting

Let your creative juices flow by going for a batik painting workshop. You can also try traditional block stamping, a process that is slightly slower than hand drawn batik but capable of yielding stunning results.

Have fun at batik painting class

Try your hand at batik painting

Batik Painting Workshop
mybatik.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=109_110

Batik Painting Class
jadibatek.com/index.php/en/batik-class

 

11. Watch Wayang Kulit

Catch this dying art form of shadow puppetry or wayang kulit and you will be regaled with Hindu epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata, albeit a localised version. With Javanese origins, wayang kulit is a form of storytelling involving leather puppets accompanied by traditional music.

Where to watch: eksentrika.com/wayang-kulit-at-kl

Wayang Kulit Ramayan by Persatuan Pengiat Seni Budaya Kelantan

Wayang Kulit Ramayan by Persatuan Pengiat Seni Budaya Kelantan

 

12. Learn More About Malaysia’s Rich History

Malaysia has a rich history given its strategic location that made it an important and wealthy port that eventually became much coveted amongst European colonists between the 16th to 20th centuries.

Dedicated to the rich history of the Malacca Sultanate, the building itself is a replica of Sultan Mansur Shah’s palace

Dedicated to the rich history of the Malacca Sultanate, the Melaka Sultanate Museum building is a replica of Sultan Mansur Shah’s palace.

History buffs can spend the day learning about Malaysian history at any of the following museums. Some museums charge entrance fees while others are free of charge.

  • National Museum (Muzium Negara): muziumnegara.gov.my
  • Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, Melaka: babanyonyamuseum.com
  • Melaka Sultanate Museum, Melaka: perzim.gov.my/ms/portfolio/melaka-sultanate-palace-museum
  • More museums: perzim.gov.my/ms/visit-the-museum/museums-network

 

13. Explore Unique Museums

Not everyone is into Malaysian history. Fortunately, Malaysia has a few museums that are interesting and educational. Below is a list of unique museums:

  • Pineapple Museum, Johor: johor.attractionsinmalaysia.com/Pineapple-Museum.php
  • Paddy Museum, Kedah: kedah.attractionsinmalaysia.com/Kedah-Paddy-Museum.php
  • Islamic Museum, Kelantan: kelantan.attractionsinmalaysia.com/MuseumIslamic.php
  • National Textile Museum, Kuala Lumpur: muziumtekstilnegara.gov.my
  • Chimney Museum, Labuan: jmm.gov.my/en/museum/chimney-museum
  • Penang Toy Museum, Penang: penang.ws/penang-attractions/toy-museum.htm
  • Camera Museum, Penang: penang-discovery.com/attraction/the_camera_museum
  • Kuching Cat Museum, Sarawak: sarawaktourism.com/attraction/cat-museum
Kuching Cat Museum in Kuching, Sarawak is a must-go for feline lovers.

The Kuching Cat Museum in Sarawak is a must-visit for feline lovers.

 

14. Go on a Heritage Trail Trishaw Tour

Hop on a trishaw and let the local guide take you on an unforgettable tour of Penang’s heritage points of interest. Highlights of the tour include Fort Cornwallis, Little India, Harmony Street and The Blue Mansion.

Trishaw rides are a novelty these days (Photo credit: travelbuddee.com)

Trishaw rides are a novelty these days (Photo credit: travelbuddee.com)

There are also similar excursions in Melaka covering places of interest such as Dutch Square, Jonker Street, Harmony Street (Jalan Tukang Emas) and A Formosa.

For more information:

  • Penang: marimari.com/tour/malaysia/penang/daytour/heritage-trishaw-trail.html
  • Melaka: visit-malaysia.yinteing.com/2011/07/trishaw-or-beca-rides-in-malacca-town

 

15. Conquer Malaysia’s Highest Peak

Malaysia’s highest peak, Mount Kinabalu, is known to be safe and relatively easy to climb. At lower levels, climbers are able to enjoy the rich flora and fauna of Kinabalu National Park en route to the peak.

For more information:
mountkinabalu.com/mount-kinabalu

Stunning view awaits those who make it right to the top

Stunning views await those who make it to the top

 

16. Get Acquainted with Malaysian Handicraft

Spend the day browsing through many different types of Malaysian handicraft at Central Market (Pasar Seni). From batik sarongs, songket and pewter to exquisite silver jewellery, there is so much to see and buy here.

Central Market also has handicraft demonstrations and workshops such as DIY batik classes, henna painting and Chinese calligraphy. There are also many eateries to tantalise even the most fussy tastebuds. Every Saturday at 8 p.m., there is a cultural performance at the Outdoor Stage.

From batik sarongs, songket and pewter to exquisite silver jewellery, there is so much to see and shop at Central market, Kuala Lumpur.

From batik sarongs, songket and pewter to exquisite silver jewellery, there is so much to see and buy at Central market, Kuala Lumpur.

Below is a list of useful links for those interested to learn more about Malaysian handicrafts.

  • Central Market, Kuala Lumpur: centralmarket.com.my
  • Perbadanan Kemajuan Kraftangan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur: kraftangan.gov.my
  • Komplek Kraf Kuala Lumpur: kraftangan.gov.my/kompleks-kraf/kompleks-kraf-kuala-lumpur
  • Komplek Kraf Langkawi: kraftangan.gov.my/kompleks-kraf/kompleks-kraf-langkawi
  • Komplek Kraf Johor: kraftangan.gov.my/kompleks-kraf/kompleks-kraf-johor

 

17. Experience Night and Flea Markets

Hit the local pasar malam or night market and have your fill of local street food, snacks and desserts. From local Malay fare like satay, keropok lekor and nasi lemak berlauk to assam laksa, char kway teow and the foreign flavours of Korean rice cakes and Nutella crepes, you can savour all these and much more at the many vibrant night markets all over the country. The pasar malam is also a good place to find novelty items for the kitchen and home, souvenirs, fashion accessories, mobile phone accessories, footwear and clothes at reasonable prices. Do practise your bargaining skills as some traders allow reasonable discounts.

Every Saturday night, Malaysia’s longest pasar malam in Setia Alam, Selangor comes to live, turning the whole street into a carnival-like atmosphere.

Every Saturday night, Malaysia’s longest pasar malam in Setia Alam, Selangor comes to life, imbuing the whole street with a carnival-like atmosphere.

Setia Alam Night Market in Selangor is the longest night market in the country at the time of writing. Every Saturday night, Setia Alam Night Market comes to life, imbuing the whole street with a carnival-like atmosphere. At 2.4 kilometres long, you can spend the whole night eating, shopping and just taking in the sights and sounds of a typical Malaysian night market. As parking spaces are rather limited, do expect to park a fair distance away and walk there.

Jonker Walk, Melaka

  • Website: malacca.ws/jonker-street

Batu Ferringhi Night Market, Penang

  • Website: gopenang.my/batu-ferringhi-night-market
  • How to get there: goo.gl/Aexs78

Taman Connaught Night Market, Kuala Lumpur

  • Website: tallypress.com/places-to-go/7-night-markets-in-kuala-lumpur-selangor-you-must-not-miss
  • How to get there: goo.gl/jPuJNi

Setia Alam Night Market, Selangor

  • Website: pasanglang.com/Setia-Alam-Pasar-Malam–the-longest-pasar-malam-in-Malaysia–food-78
  • How to get there: goo.gl/aGkZgs

Ipoh Walk Night Bazaar, Perak

  • Website: ipohwalk.com
  • How to get there: goo.gl/qL2tAA

Gaya Sunday Market, Sabah:

  • Website: sabahguide.com/gaya-street
  • How to get there: goo.gl/Q4HmtD

 

18. Picnic by a Waterfall

There are over 180 waterfalls all over Malaysia and one of the most beautiful is Chamang Waterfalls. Located just 15 minutes drive from Bentong town, this near-pristine waterfall is surrounded by gigantic rainforest trees. The shady forest canopy makes it ideal for picnics with family and friends. There are also many large wading pools suitable for non-swimmers and children.

Nestled in the midst of Pahang’s rainforest is Chamang Waterfall

Nestled in the midst of Pahang’s rainforest is Chamang Waterfalls

If jungle trekking isn’t your cup of tea, this stunning natural waterfall is perfect for you. There are BBQ areas, food stalls, public toilets and bathrooms available here.

For more information:

  • waterfallsofmalaysia.com/d.php
  • gobentong.com/en/attraction/attraction/chamang-waterfall

 

19. Enjoy a Healing Dip in the Hot Springs

Hot springs are known for their healing and rejuvenation properties. One of Malaysia’s best kept secrets is the Felda Residence Hot Spring in Sungkai, Perak. Nestled amidst tranquil tropical forests and mountains, Felda Residence Hot Spring has a specially designed free flowing Hot Spring Swimming Pool and Therapeutic Park. The mineral-rich water flowing from the hot spring here is believed to help with ailments such as stiff joints, spinal problems and skin problems.

For more information:
feldatravel.com.my/felda-residence-hot-springs-perak

Felda Residence Hot Spring

Felda Residence Hot Spring

 

20. Volunteer at an Animal Sanctuary

There are many animal sanctuaries all over Malaysia that require volunteers on a regular basis. One of them is the Redang Island Marine Turtle Volunteer Program, the oldest and longest-running marine turtle volunteer program in Malaysia established by the Sea Turtle Research Unit of Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (SEATRU in short).

As sea turtles face threats of extinction, there are several research and conservation initiatives in Malaysia that require volunteers to boost the sea turtle population.

Malaysia has several sea turtle research and conservation initiatives that require volunteers.

SEATRU began as a research initiative on leatherback turtles at Rantau Panjang. However, this has since developed into a multidisciplinary programme to study the sea turtles to enable better conservation efforts to be implemented to help restore the various turtle species to a stable population level.

For more information:

  • turtleconservationsociety.org.my/volunteer-programmes
  • seatru.umt.edu.my

 

Food

Malaysia is a food haven with diverse cuisines that reflect its multiethnic population. One of the best things about Malaysia is how food is available at all hours of the day. In fact, the sheer variety of food on offer has become somewhat of a joke that ‘makan‘ (eating) is Malaysia’s national favourite past time!

Street food is generally economical and flavourful, and each dish is a reflection of that particular ethnic group and location. A simple meal in the city from the street food stalls or coffee shops ranges from RM4 to RM15, depending on the type of food and location. Fast food chains offer burgers from RM5 onwards. Eating out at a restaurant starts from RM20 or RM30 per person, again depending on the location and type of food. Generally, Western food costs more than the local food fare. Food and drinks are also generally cheaper in smaller towns.

There are also many fine dining restaurants in the larger cities like Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Eateries such as these cost significantly more, starting from RM50 per person per meal without any alcoholic beverages. There are also many café-style dining options where a main course averages RM15 to RM20.

These are some of the must-try Malaysian favourites whenever you are in the country.

 

Nasi Lemak

This is a one-plate dish of fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and screwpine leaves (daun pandan) served with spicy sambal, crunchy anchovies, roasted peanuts, boiled egg and raw cucumber. The sambal is usually the star of this beloved national dish. For a more substantial meal, nasi lemak can also be served with side dishes such as beef rendang, fried chicken, fried fish, sambal petai and acar (spicy pickles).

malaysiaaz013

 

Chicken Rice

This is another aromatic dish of rice cooked with ginger, garlic and shallots accompanied with either steamed or roasted chicken. A sweet garlicky chilli sauce is a must for dipping. Ipoh Chicken Rice is served with a side of blanched beansprouts drenched in soy sauce and sesame oil.

Melaka has its own variation of this popular dish where the rice is shaped into balls. The ‘Chicken Rice Ball’ is said to have been invented during the 15th Century when Chinese traders landed in Melaka, the main port for the Spice Route. To make it easier for the workers to eat, chicken rice was shaped into balls so that they would not need a spoon.

Chicken rice with steamed chicken

Chicken rice with steamed chicken

Chicken Rice Ball a must-try when visiting Melaka

Chicken Rice Balls

 

Roti Canai

This well-loved Indian flat bread is one of the most versatile foods in Malaysia. There are at least 10 different variants of roti canai, usually served with curry (chicken, fish or dhal) or sambal.

Plain Roti Canai with sambal, dhall curry and fish curry.

Plain Roti Canai with sambal, dhal and fish curry.

The most popular rotis are:

  • Roti Kosong: Plain roti canai
  • Roti Telur: Roti canai with an egg cooked into the roti
  • Roti Bawang: Roti canai with large onions
  • Roti Pisang: Roti canai with sliced bananas and sugar
  • Roti Telur Bawang: Roti canai with egg and large onions
  • Roti Cheese: Roti canai with cheddar or mozzarella cheese
  • Roti Tisu: Paper-thin crisp roti canai sprinkled with sugar
  • Roti Planta: Roti canai cooked with margarine and sprinkled with sugar
  • Roti Sardin: Roti canai with a sardine and onion filling
  • Roti Banjir: Roti canai smothered in curry. It is sometimes served with sambal.
Crispy paper-thin Roti Tisu

Crispy paper-thin Roti Tisu

 

Satay

Similar to Japanese Yakitori, satay is skewered pieces of meat marinated in spices such as coriander, chilli, shallots, lemongrass and turmeric. These BBQ skewers are eaten with a mildly spicy peanut dip complemented with raw cucumber and onion. Ketupat (rice cake) is also served with satay.

malaysiaaz017

 

Char Kuay Teow

This is a popular dish of ribbon-like rice noodles fried with garlic, eggs and beansprouts, seasoned with dark and light soy sauce and chilli. Traditionally stir-fried over charcoal, versions of this favourite vary slightly from state to state. Penang Char Kuay Teow is the most famous and is served with large fresh prawns, Chinese sausages, chives, cockles and pork lard.

Traditionally fried over charcoal stove, this is a hot favourite that is available in spicy and non-spicy versions.

Traditionally fried over a charcoal stove, this is a favourite street food that is available in spicy and non-spicy versions.

 

Laksa

Laksa is essentially noodles served in a mildly spicy coconut gravy with condiments that vary from state to state but may include fish, chicken, prawns, omelette strips, onion, cucumber, pickled white radish, beansprouts, mint and coriander leaves. Penang Assam Laksa is the exception to this rule with its sour fish and tamarind-based soup. The type of noodles used also varies, from thin rice vermicelli to fatter rolls of rice noodles.

Nyonya Laksa garnished with Vietnamese Coriander (Daun Kesum or Laksa Leaf)

A must try is the Nyonya Laksa of Melaka garnished with Vietnamese Coriander (Daun Kesum or Laksa Leaf)

 

Ramly Burger

This iconic local burger is best known for its distinctive flavour and generous toppings of mayonnaise, chilli sauce, Maggi seasoning, cucumber, onion slices and shredded cabbage. Ramly Burger stalls are usually open at night to cater to the supper crowd.

Malaysia’s iconic Ramly Burger

Malaysia’s iconic Ramly Burger

 

Sambal Petai

Ranging from mild to super spicy, Sambal Petai is made from chillies, shallots, shrimp paste, tamarind juice and the star of the dish — petai or stink bean. Recognisable by its distinctive smell, petai can also be eaten raw while Sambal Petai is usually cooked with prawns or squid.

One of the most peculiar food in Asia. You either love it or hate petai.

Petai (stink bean) is one of the most peculiar Malaysian foods

 

Teh Tarik

Literally translated as “pulled tea”, this milky sweet tea is a favourite beverage amongst Malaysians. What makes it different from other teas is the froth that is produced by the technique used to cool the piping hot tea. The tea maker usually uses two large mugs to “pull the tea” by transferring the hot tea from one mug to the other.

A good Teh Tarik should be creamy, sweet with a nice frothy head.

A good Teh Tarik should be creamy and sweet with a nice frothy head

 The Teh Tarik’s froth is produced by this special “cooling” technique that involves pouring the tea from a height into another mug.

Teh Tarik’s froth is produced by this special “cooling” technique that involves pouring the tea from a height into another mug.

 

Cendol

This dessert is traditionally made from shaved ice, cendol (a green worm-like jelly made from rice flour and flavoured with the juice of pandan/screwpine leaves), coconut milk and topped with gula melaka (palm sugar) syrup. Modern versions may include other less-traditional toppings such as creamed corn, grass jelly, red beans or even vanilla ice cream.

Perfect for Malaysia’s hot weather.

Perfect for Malaysia’s hot weather.

 

Durian

Dubbed the “King of Fruits”, the durian is highly recognisable by its distinctive strong aroma that people either love or hate. With over 30 different species, this thorny fruit has a soft creamy texture and a taste that ranges from savoury-sweet to bitterish, depending on the species. Top of the range is the prized Musang King.

The durian’s strong aroma has always been a thorny issue for those who are not fans of this fruit.

The durian’s strong aroma has always been a thorny issue for those who are not fans of this fruit.

 

Jackfruit

Another Malaysian fruit with a distinctive aroma and flavour, the jackfruit’s flesh is firm and sweet. Called ‘nangka’ in Malay, ripe jackfruit can be eaten on its own or used in desserts. Unripe or ‘green’ jackfruit has a texture very similar to shredded chicken, which makes it an excellent ‘vegan meat’ for savoury dishes.

The jackfruit’s nut-like seed can also be used for preparing Malaysian dishes such as Lemak Biji Nangka, a mildly spicy dish cooked in coconut milk and local spices like lemongrass, turmeric, chilli and shallots.

For more mouthwatering Malaysian foods, click here.

Like the durian, jackfruit also has a distinctive aroma and is prohibited in many places like hotels, hospitals and airports.

Like the durian, the jackfruit also has a distinctive aroma and is prohibited in many places like hotels, hospitals and airports.

 

Attire

Located near the equator, Malaysia is generally hot and humid all year round. Thus it is advisable to dress in comfortable clothes that are not overly revealing as Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country. Appropriate attire is especially essential when visiting places of worship such as mosques, temples or churches. For ladies, this means no mini skirts, short shorts or skimpy tank tops while singlets are discouraged for men. When visiting places of worship, it would be a good idea for ladies to cover up with a sarong if one is wearing shorts or mini skirts.

 

Traditional Malay Attire

A Malay girl in Baju Kurung complete with tudung (head gear)

A Malay girl in Baju Kurung complete with tudung (head gear)

Baju kurung is the traditional attire for Malay ladies. It is a loose, long-sleeved tunic blouse worn over a long ankle-length skirt. Two popular styles are baju kurung cekak musang that has a standing collar and baju kurung teluk belanga with a round neckline.

Baju Kebarung, a spin-off of the baju kurung but with a more form-fitting top is also popular amongst Malay ladies. These days, many non-Malays also wear the baju kurung especially for official and government functions.

As stipulated in the Quran, adult females are to cover their hair. So it is common to see Muslim ladies wearing various head coverings such as the hijab, tudung, burqa or headscarf. These different styles of head covering are symbols of modesty and privacy in the presence of adult males who are not their immediate family.

Baju Kurung on the left and Baju Kebarung on the right

Baju Kurung on the left and Baju Kebarung on the right

The traditional Malay attire for men is the baju melayu, which is a loose shirt with long sleeves over matching pants complete with sampin (a sarong wrapped around the hips) and songkok (traditional headgear). The sampin can either be a matching songket (hand-woven silk or cotton fabric intricately pattern with gold or silver threads) or sarong. Like the baju kurung, there are two types of collar for the baju melayu i.e. cekak musang and teluk belanga.

Baju Melayu is worn usually with a songkok (head gear) and sampan. In this photo the model is wearing a traditional songket sampin. (Photo credit: 11 Street)

Baju melayu is usually worn with a songkok and sampin. The sampin in this photo is a traditional songket sampin. (Photo credit: 11 Street)

 

Traditional Chinese Attire

Traditional attire for Chinese women in Malaysia is the Cheongsam or Qipao

The cheongsam or qipao is the traditional attire for Chinese women in Malaysia

The traditional attire for Chinese women in Malaysia is the form-fitting cheongsam or qipao. It is traditionally made from rich silk or brocade but modern versions are also made from cotton, lace and satin. It is easily recognisable from its signature Mandarin collar and Chinese buttons.

In Malaysia, there are other variations of the cheongsam such as the length of the hem and sleeves, as well as the height and shape of the collar. Many come with slits to make walking easier and more comfortable. Cheongsam is a popular choice for Chinese brides as well as formal functions.

Another traditional attire for Chinese ladies is the samfu. The top is similar to the cheongsam with a Mandarin collar and Chinese buttons but is worn over matching loose pants instead. The samfu is popular amongst young Chinese girls especially during Chinese New Year.

Cotton Sam Foo such as these was one of the traditional attire for Malaysian Chinese ladies back in the 1950s. (Photo credit: Peggy Loh)

Cotton samfu were the traditional attire for Malaysian Chinese ladies back in the 1950s. (Photo credit: Peggy Loh)

The traditional attire for Chinese men in Malaysia is also called the samfu, with “sam” meaning shirt and “fu” meaning pants. Similar to the female samfu, it has a Mandarin collar and a front opening with Chinese buttons, worn over slacks or loose pants.

Traditional attire for Chinese men in Malaysia is also called Sam Foo

The traditional attire for Chinese men in Malaysia is also called samfu

 

Traditional Indian Attire

The colourful and elegant Indian saree (or sari) is the traditional clothing of choice for Indian ladies. The skirt, usually between 4.5 to 8 metres long, is worn over an inner skirt or petticoat. The entire length of the skirt is wound around the waist with the last portion draped over the shoulder. A form-fitting midriff-bearing blouse is worn with the saree. Colourful sarees are usually worn for formal functions such as weddings as well as for pujas at temples.

Interesting fact: It has been recorded that there are 80 ways to wear the saree!

Saree is usually worn for formal functions such as weddings as well as for pujas (prayers) at temples

The saree is usually worn for formal functions such as weddings as well as for pujas (prayers) at temples.

Another traditional Indian outfit is the salwar kameez which is a long tunic top worn over loose pants, with a long matching scarf to complete the outfit. Also known as the “Punjabi suit”, it is not uncommon to see Chinese and Malay ladies wearing the salwar kameez as it is comfortable and presentable.

It is not unusual to see Malay or Chinese ladies donning the Salwar Kameez in Malaysia

It is not unusual to see Malay or Chinese ladies donning the salwar kameez in Malaysia

Malaysian Indian men traditionally wear a long shirt that reaches the mid-thigh or knee called the kurta. It is normally worn during formal occasions such as weddings or Deepavali. A kurta typically has a Nehru collar, similar to the Mandarin collar.

The kurta is usually worn during formal occasions such as weddings or Diwali

The kurta is usually worn during formal occasions such as weddings or Deepavali

 

Traditional Baba Nyonya Attire

The Baba Nyonya or Straits Chinese have a unique culture that is a fusion of the Chinese and Malay traditions. The Nyonya (females) traditionally wear the baju kebaya which is made from voile-like cloth called kasa rubia, embroidered with pretty flowers, scalloped edges and animals such as goldfish, peacocks, butterflies or even dragons. This figure-hugging top is paired with a sarong, which is traditionally held up by a metal belt called tali pinggang. A set of three kerosang (brooches) is used to fasten and secure the outer sheer blouse.

The Baju Kebaya complete with kasot manek (beaded slippers). (Photo credit: Celestia Faith Chong)

Baju kebaya complete with kasot manek or beaded slippers. (Photo credit: Celestia Faith Chong)

The baju panjang is a long loose top worn over a sarong and is favoured by older ladies. An ornamented sanggol (tight bun/chignon), kerosang (brooches) and bimpo (handkerchief) complete the outfit. Footwear is usually a pair of handmade embroidered slippers.

Baju Panjang complete with handkerchief

Baju panjang complete with handkerchief

The Baba’s traditional costume is the same as the Chinese men’s samfu with a Mandarin collar and a front opening with Chinese buttons, worn with slacks or loose pants.

 

Traditional Kadazan-dusun Attire

Kadazan-dusun women traditionally wear the sinuangga, which is a form-fitting short blouse and the tapi, a long wrap skirt. Made from black velvet with gold trimmings, this costume is completed with a belt made of coins called himpogot and other gold jewellery such as earrings, bangles, brooches and necklaces. A traditional sinuangga has a double row of gold buttons down the front of the blouse.

Kadazan-dusun men are traditionally attired in the gaung, a long sleeved shirt made from black velvet with gold trimmings and the souva, a matching pair of trousers also made from black velvet. A siga or headgear completes the outfit.

Traditional Kadazan-dusun costume

Traditional Kadazan-dusun attire

 

Traditional Iban Attire

The traditional Iban outfit for ladies is the ngepan which consists of marik empang, a decorative outer garment stitched with beads and worn around the shoulders, and paired with a knee-length skirt called kain kebat, which is a traditional woven skirt or pua kumbu.

An Iban lady in traditional ngepan

An Iban lady dressed in the traditional ngepan

There are a few variations of the traditional Iban ngepan depending on geography but it is generally accessorised with silver headgear called sugu tinggi and silver jewellery such as

  • Lampit (silver belt)
  • Rawai (silver corset)
  • Tumpa pirak/bentuk (silver bangles)
  • Gelang kaki/gerunchung (silver anklets)
  • Buah pauh (silver purse)
  • Selampai (sash)
  • Tali ujan/mulung (silver necklace)
  • Sementing buchai/sengkiling (coin corset with dangling coins)

The Iban menfolk are traditionally attired in a loincloth originally made from barkcloth, called sirat. The sirat is 10 inches wide and about 10 to 12 feet long with embroidery or weaving at both ends of the cloth. The front of the loincloth hangs down to the knees, very much like an apron. The accompanying top is called kelambi, with or without sleeves. Accessories for Iban men include silver bangles, armbands, anklets and headgear decorated with hornbill feathers.

For more in-depth information on the traditional clothes of Malaysia, click here.

Traditional attire for the male Iban consists of kelambi (vest) and sirat (loincloth). This photo shows an Iban man performing the traditional dance called ngajat

The traditional attire for Iban men consists of the kelambi (vest) and sirat (loincloth). This photo shows an Iban man performing the traditional dance called ngajat

 

Art in Malaysia

There are many traditional art forms in Malaysia that are still being practised to this day. However, the number of performers has dwindled tremendously in recent years due to a lack of interest from the younger generation. With the influx of foreign cultures via cyberspace, it is no wonder that many Malaysian art forms are in danger of extinction.

 

Performing Arts

 

Wayang Kulit

A traditional Javanese art form, wayang kulit is still practised in Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis. This art of storytelling involves hand held puppets intricately crafted from animal skin. These two-dimensional puppets are held between a light source (traditionally an oil lamp) and a white semi-transparent cloth to produce shadows.

Seen here is the Tok Dalang behind the scenes

Seen here is the Tok Dalang behind the scenes

The puppet master or Tok Dalang narrates while skilfully manipulating the puppets to tell a story, usually a localised version of the Hindu epics Ramayana or Mahabharata. A traditional Gamelan ensemble provides music for the wayang kulit performance that can last several hours.

 

Dikir Barat

Originally from Java, dikir barat is a traditional musical art form that entails group singing accompanied by hand clapping and other rhythmic body movements, very much like Western choral singing. During the performance, Tok Juara, the person in charge of the group’s training will lead the group in the first segment that has more complex musical arrangements and may involve awok-awok or chorus singing.

Lively Dikir Barat is a traditional performing arts where percussion instrumental accompaniment is optional as hand clapping and rhythmic body movements provide the tempo and energy to the performance

Hand clapping and rhythmic body movements provide the tempo and energy for a lively Dikir Barat performance

The creative person or tukang karat usually includes current issues into the routine as well as pantun (Malay poetry), usually clever verses that are humorous or even sarcastic.

Musical accompaniment is optional as the hand clapping and rhythmic body movements provide the tempo and energy for a lively performance. During dikir barat competitions, two competing groups will be on stage at the same time.

 

Kuda Kepang

Popular in Johor, this traditional dance of Javanese origins depicts a group of horsemen. Dancers mount mock horses made of bamboo, cloth, colourful paint, sequins and beads. Prior to the performance, a bomoh or traditional medicine doctor performs rituals to appease spirits, as the mock horses are believed to harbour spirits.

Spellbinding Kuda Kepang performed during George Town Festival

The Kuda Kepang is performed during the George Town Festival

Traditional instruments such as gongs, angklung and drums form part of the musical ensemble that provides the music accompaniment. The lead dancer, Danyang, uses a whip to direct the other dancers. Commonly performed during special events such as a boy’s rite of passage ceremony (berkhatan or circumcision), kuda kepang dancers, usually between two to eight in number, re-enact historical battles during the performance.

During kuda kepang performances, spirit possession is said to take place. The possessed dancer displays out of the ordinary abilities such as eating glass and when this happens, the performance ends. It is believed that the dancer is possessed for the purpose of delivering prophecies.

 

Mak Yong

Another art form popular in Kelantan is mak yong, containing elements of opera, dance, drama and comedy. Considered to be the most authentic representation of the Malay performing arts, a typical mak yong cast has 16 performers – a pak yong as lead dancer (who dresses as a king), a queen as second lead, followed by palace girls and jesters. A mak yong orchestra’s main instruments are the spiked lute, drum (gendang) and a pair of gongs. It may also include the flute (serunai), keduk drums, and small cymbals (kesi).

Mak Yong Dewa Muda

Mak Yong Dewa Muda

This drama-dance pays respects to the spirits as a show of gratitude for a bountiful harvest or to cure villagers of their ailments. Prior to each performance, semah kampong is carried out to pay respects to the spirits with an offering.

Mak yong presents stories dating back to the Srivijaya Empire in the 7th century, and the times of Kelantan’s legendary queen, Che Siti Wan Kembang whose reign was believed to be between the 14th and 16th centuries. Stories are presented in a series of three-hour-long segments, spanning over several nights. This age-old cultural performance also has rituals connected to propitiation and healing.

 

Textiles

 

Batik

One of the most recognisable fabrics in the world, batik is the Malay word for drops or dots. It is made using a resist technique where an area of cloth is covered with molten wax, a dye-resistant substance, to prevent colour absorption. The result is a colourful, contrasting design. Commonly used motifs include flowers, leaves and butterflies as Islam forbids the use of motifs with animals and humans. Modern Malaysian batik includes geometric designs as well.

Creation of batik

Creation of batik

Besides drawing by hand, batik can also be produced by block printing. This utilises a prefabricated metal block dipped into molten wax and stamped repetitively onto silk or cotton cloth. Highly versatile, batik can be used as formal attire, casual beachwear or as a decorative item.

  • Hand drawn batik: penangbatik.com.my/batik_handdrawn.html
  • Block printed batik: penangbatik.com.my/batik_blockprint.html

 

Songket

Songket, a rich and luxurious brocade, has a long-standing and close relationship with the royal Malay court to this day. Traditionally worn by Malay royalty and warriors to denote nobility, songket weaving originated from the Cambodia-Siam region and arrived in Kelantan and Terengganu as early as the 16th century. Songket weaving still continues to this day as a cottage industry in Kelantan and Terengganu.

Art of Songket weaving

The art of Songket weaving

Weavers employ traditional methods to produce this exquisite textile such as the supplementary weft-weaving technique where gold or metallic threads are inserted between silk or cotton weft (latitudinal) threads. The shimmering metallic gold and silver thread makes the floral and geometric motifs stand out against the dark background.

Commonly worn for special occasions such as weddings, Hari Raya and official functions, this “King of Malaysian Textile” is also used as works of art decorating hotels, offices and homes.

 

Pua Kumbu

Weaving Pua Kumbu takes between six months to a year

Pua Kumbu weaving takes between six months to a year

This handwoven ceremonial cloth is regarded as a sacred object by the Ibans of Sarawak and is used during important events such as births, marriages, funerals and healing rituals. Made from homespun cotton, there are taboos to be observed during the weaving process.

Pua kumbu is coloured with natural dyes made from plants harvested from the rainforest. The motifs are inspired by nature, dreams and the weaver’s own beliefs. Iban womenfolk undertake pua kumbu weaving and the techniques and designs are passed from mother to daughter orally and through hands-on practice.

 

Tekat

Tekat is the traditional art of embroidery. Also known as bersuji, this art form is closely related to the Malacca Sultanate as tekat was used to decorate not only their royal attire and ceremonial items but also royal furnishings such as cushion covers, bedspreads and fans.

The art of tekat

The art of tekat

Tekat involves a special embroidery technique using gold or silver threads on a base of velvet. As a result, the embroidered motif has a shimmering three-dimensional effect. Common motifs for tekat are plants, leaves and flowers due to religious restrictions according to the Quran.

 

Other Art Forms

 

Silat

There are over 1000 types of silat in Malaysia

There are over 1000 types of silat in Malaysia

Based on the art of war, silat is one of the deadliest martial arts in the world as it focuses solely on violence, with over 1000 types of silat in Malaysia alone. Silat was traditionally a sport of the royalty as it was a symbol of their superiority. Weapons such as the keris (Malay dagger), axe, spear and sword are commonly used in this Malay martial art.

The standard attire for silat practitioners, both male and female, are:

  1. Baju Melayu – A loose round collared shirt worn over long pants.
  2. Tengkolok and tanjak – Malay head gear traditionally made from songket.
  3. Sampin – Traditionally made from batik and worn around the waist.
  4. Bengkung – A cloth belt to secure the sampin.

Silat is also employed in performing arts such as kuda kepang and mak yong, which is evident from the graceful dance moves.

 

Wau Bulan

Wau bulan is one of Malaysia’s most recognisable national symbols. “Wau” is the Malay word for kite and “bulan” means moon, denoting the shape of the lower half of the kite. The wau bulan is bigger than any other Malaysian kite. A typical wau bulan is 2.5 metres wide and 3.5 metres long. The frame is made from bamboo and the body is decorated with intricate patterns, usually with floral and leaf motifs.

The making of Wau Bulan, touted to be the world’s most beautiful kite.

The Wau Bulan is touted to be the world’s most beautiful kite.

 

When to Visit

As the West and East Coasts of Malaysia experience their rainy seasons at alternate times of the year, visitors to this tropical paradise can enjoy year-round visits to beautiful beaches, outdoor parks, forest reserves, marine parks and other eco-tourism attractions.

With generally good weather all year round, visitors would be able to visit national parks such as Taman Negara, home to the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia.

With generally good weather all year round, visitors can to visit national parks such as Taman Negara, home to the largest flower in the world, Rafflesia.

Other good times to visit are during major Malaysian festivals, where tourists can experience the sights, sounds and essence of Malaysian culture, tradition and sample delicacies that are unique to each event. Some festivals may be religious or cultural in nature, thus event dates may vary from year to year if they are based on the lunar or Islamic calendar. Please visit the section on major festivals for more information.

malaysiaaz011

 

Visas

The Malaysian Government issues three (3) types of visas to foreign nationals:


1. Single Entry Visa
This is issued to foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Malaysia mainly for a social visit. It is normally valid for a single entry and for a period of three (3) months from the date of issue.


2. Multiple Entry Visa
This is issued to foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Malaysia mainly for business or government-to-government matters. It is normally valid for a period of between three (3) months to twelve (12) months from the date of issue.

Citizens of India and the People’s Republic of China who wish to enter Malaysia for the purpose of a Social Visit are eligible to apply for the Multiple Entry Visa. The validity of the Multiple Entry Visa is one (1) year. Each entry is for 30 days only and the extension of stay is not allowed. Conditions for the Multiple Entry Visa are:

  • The applicant must show proof of sufficient funds for staying in Malaysia
  • The applicant must possess a valid and confirmed return ticket
  • Tour groups are not eligible to apply for the Multiple Entry Visa.
  • The Multiple Entry Visa costs RM100.00 for Indian Citizens and RM30.00 for citizens of the People’s Republic of China.


3. Transit Visa
This is issued to foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Malaysia on transit to other countries. Foreign nationals on transit without leaving the airport premises and who continue their journey to the next destination with the same flight do not require a transit visa.

For the latest visa information and application forms, visit imi.gov.my.

 

Getting To Malaysia

Depending on the originating country, there are four modes of transportation to get to Malaysia – by air, sea, rail and road.

 

By Air

Forest in the airport, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, KLIA 1.

The garden in Kuala Lumpur International Airport, KLIA 1.

There are eight international airports in Malaysia with Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) being the largest and busiest. These airports act as transit hubs for both international and domestic air travel.

  1. Kuala Lumpur International Airport (Kuala Lumpur)
  2. Penang International Airport (Penang)
  3. Langkawi International Airport (Kedah)
  4. Melaka International Airport (Melaka)
  5. Senai International Airport (Johor)
  6. Subang International Airport (Selangor)
  7. Kota Kinabalu International Airport (Sabah)
  8. Kuching International Airport (Sarawak)

Malaysia’s national carrier Malaysia Airlines and no-frills airline Air Asia provide both domestic and international air travel. Other international airlines that fly to Malaysia include Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Qantas, Air India, Qatar Airways and many others.

Useful websites

  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport: klia.com.my
  • Malaysia Airlines: malaysiaairlines.com
  • Air Asia: airasia.com
  • Singapore Airlines: singaporeair.com

 

By Sea

Malaysia is accessible by sea via these ports:

  • Port Klang
  • Pangkor Island
  • Penang Island
  • Langkawi Island
  • Melaka
  • Kota Kinabalu
  • Sandakan

The largest port in Malaysia is Port Klang, which has an international cruise terminal, a regional passenger ferry terminal and a public passenger ferry terminal.

An international cruise ship docking at Boustead Cruise Centre (BCC)

An international cruise ship docking at Boustead Cruise Centre (BCC)

Boustead Cruise Centre (BCC) is the international cruise terminal in Port Klang frequently used by international cruise lines including Cunard Lines, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines and Star Cruises amongst others. The regional passenger ferry terminal at Port Klang, Asa Niaga Harbour City (ANHC) Terminal has high speed passenger ferries plying between Port Klang and the ports of Dumai and Tanjung Balai in Sumatra, Indonesia.

More information on Port Klang: pka.gov.my

 

By Train

KTM Intercity train service that links all the major towns and cities in West Malaysia from Thailand right to Singapore

The KTM Intercity train service links all major towns and cities in West Malaysia from Thailand right to Singapore

Trains run between major towns and cities in Peninsula Malaysia, provided by KTM Intercity with most services operating from Kuala Lumpur Sentral. The train service also connects to Thailand and Singapore.

More information on KTM Intercity: ktmb.com.my

 

By Road

Visitors from Thailand can enter Malaysia via these entry points:

  • Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah – By road
  • Padang Besar, Perlis – By train and road
  • Pengkalan Hulu, Perak – By road
  • Bukit Bunga, Kelantan – By road
  • Rantau Panjang, Kelantan – By train and road
Singapore-Johor Causeway that links Malaysia to Singapore

The Singapore-Johor Causeway that links Malaysia and Singapore

Visitors from Singapore travelling by road can opt for the Johor-Singapore Causeway or the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link (Tuas Second Link). Visitors from Kalimantan in Borneo can travel via road to East Malaysia.

 

Getting Around Malaysia

 

By Car

The North-South Expressway connects major cities and town in the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia. Click on image to enlarge.

The North-South Expressway connects major cities and towns on the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia. Click on image to enlarge.

Interstate travelling in Peninsula Malaysia is convenient with many highways connecting the major towns and cities. Starting from Bukit Kayu Hitam on the Thai border in the north right to Johor Bahru at the southern tip of Malaysia, the North-South Expressway passes through Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor. Those travelling to the East Coast can use the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway. In East Malaysia, the Pan-Borneo Highway connects Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan, Indonesia, making travel possible by car, taxi or bus. The Kalimantan portion of this highway is called the Trans-Kalimantan Highway.

Adventurous travellers who prefer to experience Malaysia by self-driving can choose from many car rental options. Getting around the cities is also convenient as there are metered taxis and private cars for hire such as Uber and Grab.

Useful Tips:

  • Malaysians drive on the left and seat belts are mandatory.
  • Malaysian road signs can be somewhat confusing as many road names are in Malay.
  • The speed limit is 110 km/hour on the expressway and 90 km/hour on trunk roads.
  • Have sufficient cash at hand or preload your Touch n’ Go card (value-stored card issued by toll concessionaires) to ensure you can pay the toll fare.

Useful Links:

  • Touch n’ Go: touchngo.com.my
  • Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia (Malaysian Highway Authority): llm.gov.my
  • Car Rental: easyrentcars.com
  • Car Rental: airportrentals.com
  • Car Rental: drive.my
  • Taxi Malaysia Sdn Bhd: ajtaxi.my
  • Sunlight Taxi: sunlighttaxi.com
  • Airport Limo: airportlimo.my
  • Uber: uber.com/en-MY
  • Grab: grab.com/my

 

By Bus

Ticketing counter at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS)

Ticketing counter at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS)

One of the most affordable methods of interstate travel in Peninsula Malaysia is by express bus. It is also a relaxing way to travel as the major highways and trunk roads pass through many scenic towns and rustic villages.

Those heading south to Melaka, Johor and Singapore should catch their bus from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) located at Bandar Tasik Selatan. With the closure of Pudu Sentral, northbound buses to places like Cameron Highlands and Penang also depart from TBS at the time of writing.

The biggest public bus transportation operator in Malaysia is Konsortium Transnasional Berhad. Its leading brands, Nice, Plus Liner, Transnational, City Liner and KL City Airport, provide the most extensive coverage throughout Peninsula Malaysia as well as Singapore.

In Sabah, long distance or express buses are an economical way to get around especially to towns such as Sandakan, Tawau, Lahad Datu, Semporna and Keningau. The most important long distance bus terminal is Inanam Bus Terminal. Padang Merdeka Bus Terminal has bus services that go to the west coast and interior of Sabah such as Kundasang, Ranau, Tuaran, Kota Belud, Kudat, Tenom and Tambunan. Those who would like to take a bus to Sipitang, Sarawak (Lawas and Miri) and Brunei can catch a bus from City Park Bus Terminal.

Bus Asia offers daily express bus services to major cities and towns in Brunei and Sarawak such as Kuching, Serian, Sibu, Sarikei, Mukah, Limbang, Bintulu, Miri, Lawas and Pontianak. The Jalan Masjid bus terminal in Kuching provides local bus services within the city. Kuching Sentral Bus Terminal provides intercity bus services to places like Limbang, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri among others.

Useful Links:

  • eticketing.my
  • catchthatbus.com
  • expressbusmalaysia.com
  • mysabah.com/wordpress/sabah-buses
  • busonlineticket.com/bus/bus-asia-and-biaramas-express

 

By Train

ERL – KLIA Express is the fastest way to get to KLIA

The ERL – KLIA Express is the fastest way to get to KLIA

Trains run on various routes within Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur, the surrounding suburban areas as well as interstate services. Available train services include:

  • KTM Komuter that caters to commuters in Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding suburban areas.
  • Rapid KL, a network of buses and trains which is the main public transportation service provider in the Klang Valley. Feeder buses serve the areas surrounding the stations.
  • The ERL – KLIA Express is the train service to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). This direct train from Stesen Sentral in the city centre takes a mere 28 minutes and is the fastest way to get to KLIA.
  • The ERL – KLIA Transit is a transit train to KLIA with two stops in between – Putrajaya and Salak Tinggi.

Useful Links:

  • KTM Komuter: ktmb.com.my
  • Rapid KL: myrapid.com.my
  • ERL – KLIA Express: kliaekspres.com
  • ERL – KLIA Transit: kliaekspres.com
  • Stesen Sentral: klsentral.com.my

 

By Air

Many Malaysian cities and towns are accessible via domestic air travel with Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia, FireFly and Malindo Air.

Useful Links:

  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport: klia.com.my
  • Malaysia Airlines: malaysiaairlines.com
  • Air Asia: airasia.com
  • Malindo Air: malindoair.com
  • Fireflyz: fireflyz.com.my

 

By Sea

There are no boat or ferry services connecting Peninsula Malaysia with Sabah and Sarawak. However, boats and ferries connect the mainland to offshore islands such as Penang, Langkawi, Pangkor, Redang, Sipadan and Sibu.

 

Accommodation

Malaysia offers many accommodation choices catering to different budgets and needs. There are many international hotel chains to choose from in the bigger cities including Hilton, Sheraton, Intercontinental and JW Marriot. Prices for budget accommodation and homestays start as low as RM35 per night in smaller towns and RM100 in cities while resort-style hotels cost more, starting from RM1,500 per night.

Below is a list of hotels by category, shortlisted based on travellers’ reviews and popularity. We recommend that you do further research to find one that fits your budget and requirements.

Boutique Hotels

  • Chulia Mansion, Penang (chuliamansion.com)
  • Gingerflower Boutique Hotel, Melaka (gingerflowerboutiquehotel.com)
  • The Ranee Boutique Suites, Sarawak (theranee.com)
  • The Danna Langkawi, Kedah (thedanna.com)
Pre-war houses in Melaka turned unique accommodation like the Gingerflower Boutique Hotel.

Pre-war houses in Melaka have been transformed into unique hotels like the Gingerflower Boutique Hotel

Budget Hotels

  • Hotel Sixty3, Sabah (hotelsixty3.com)
  • Citin Seacare Hotel Pudu, Kuala Lumpur (citinpudu.com)
  • Bayview Beach Resort, Penang (bbr.bayviewhotels.com)
  • Geo Hotel, Kuala Lumpur (geohotelkl.com)

Business Hotels

  • Seri Pacific Hotel, Kuala Lumpur (seripacifichotel.com)
  • Nexus Business Suite Hotel, Selangor (nexusbusinesssuite.com)
  • G Hotel Kelawai, Penang (ghotelkelawai.com.my)
  • Hatten Hotel, Melaka (hattenhotel.com)

Theme Park Hotels

  • Resorts World Genting, Pahang (rwgenting.com)
  • Legoland Malaysia Resort, Johor (legoland.com.my)
  • Sunway Pyramid Hotel, Selangor (sunwayhotels.com/sunwayresorthotelspa/sunway-pyramid-hotel)
  • A Famosa Resort, Melaka (afamosa.com)

Beach Resorts

  • Golden Sands Resort, Penang (shangri-la.com/penang/goldensandsresort)
  • Casa Del Mar Langkawi, Kedah (casadelmar-langkawi.com)
  • Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Sabah (shangri-la.com/kotakinabalu/tanjungaruresort)
  • Tanjong Jara Resort, Terengganu (tanjongjararesort.com)

Eco Resorts

  • Sepilok Jungle Resort, Sabah (sepilokjungleresort.com)
  • Dusuntara Jungle Retreat, Selangor (dusuntarajungleretreat.com)
  • Sekeping Serendah, Selangor (sekeping.com/serendah)
  • Belum Eco Resort, Perak (belumecoresort.com.my)

Hill Resorts

  • Colmar Tropicale, Pahang (colmartropicale.com.my)
  • Cherengin Hills Convention and Spa Resort, Pahang (cherenginhills.com)
  • Cameron Highlands Resort, Pahang (cameronhighlandsresort.com)
  • The Sticks, Selangor (thesticks.my)

Spa Resorts

  • The Chateau Spa & Organic Wellness Resort, Pahang (thechateau.com.my)
  • Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa, Selangor (sunwayhotels.com/sunwayresorthotelspa)
  • Philea Resort and Spa, Melaka (phileahotel.com.my)
  • The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Perak (thebanjaran.com)
The ideal spa resort (Photo credit: Tanjong Jara Resort)

The ideal spa resort (Photo credit: Tanjong Jara Resort)

Golf Resorts

  • Selesa Hillhomes and Golf Resort, Pahang (selesa.com.my)
  • The Saujana, Selangor (shr.my)
  • Berjaya Tioman Resort, Pahang (berjayahotel.com/tioman)
  • The Datai Golf Hotel, Kedah (elsclubmalaysia.com)

Island Resorts

  • The Andaman, Kedah (theandaman.com)
  • Pangkor Laut Resort, Perak (pangkorlautresort.com)
  • Rawa Island Resort, Johor (rawaislandresort.com)
  • Gaya Island Resort, Sabah (gayaislandresort.com)

Serviced Apartments

  • Parkroyal Serviced Suites, Kuala Lumpur (parkroyalhotels.com/en/serviced-suites/malaysia/kuala-lumpur.html)
  • Fraser Residence, Kuala Lumpur (klcc-kualalumpur.frasershospitality.com)
  • Jetty Suites, Melaka (jettysuites.com)
  • Citidine DPulze Cyberjaya, Selangor (citadines.com)
A serviced apartment in Kuala Lumpur (Photo courtesy of Fraser Residence)

A serviced apartment in Kuala Lumpur (Photo credit: Fraser Residence)

Homestays

  • Home Away (homeaway.com.my)
  • Homestay (homestay.com/malaysia)
  • Homestay In Penang (homestayinpenang.com)
  • Oriental Heritage House, Kuala Lumpur (airbnb.com/rooms/10762239)

More hotels in Malaysia: malaysia.travel/en/fr/resources/where-to-stay

A typical homestay at a house that comes with kitchen facilities

A typical homestay includes kitchen facilities

 

Etiquette

As Malaysia is a fairly conservative country, it is recommended that visitors observe basic etiquette and niceties, and learn the local customs as much as possible.

 

DOs

  • Do remove your shoes before entering a Malaysian home or place of worship like a mosque or temple.
  • Do use your right hand when receiving a gift or item from someone.
  • Do shake hands as a gesture of greeting but men should avoid doing so with a Muslim woman. Likewise, women should avoid shaking hands with Muslim men.
  • Do dress decently when visiting places of worship and also government departments. This means no hot pants, mini skirts or skimpy tops.
  • Do call prior to visiting a Malaysian home.
  • Do seek permission before taking photographs at places of worship.
  • Do bring a gift when one is invited to a Malaysian home for a meal. See below for tips on gifting.

 

DON’Ts

  • Don’t kiss or hug excessively in public as public displays of affection are generally frowned upon.
  • Don’t sunbathe topless.
  • Don’t offer alcohol to Muslims.
  • Don’t get involved in drugs as drug trafficking carries the death penalty.

 

Gifting Tips

Flowers in happy colours are generally a good gift. Photo credit: Kechara Blooms

Flowers in happy colours are generally a good gift. Photo credit: Kechara Blooms

 

Gift Giving to Malays

  • If invited to someone’s home for dinner, bring the hostess pastries or good quality chocolates.
  • Never give alcohol.
  • Never give toy dogs or pigs to children.
  • Never give anything made of pigskin.
  • Avoid white gift wrap as it symbolises death and mourning.
  • Avoid yellow gift wrap as it is the colour of royalty.
  • If you give food, it must be “halal” (meaning permissible for Muslims).
  • Offer gifts with the right hand only or with both hands if the item is large.
  • Gifts are generally not opened when received.

 

Gift Giving to Chinese

  • If invited to someone’s home, bring a small gift of sweets, fruit or cakes, saying that it is for the children.
  • A gift is traditionally refused before it is accepted to demonstrate that the recipient is not anticipating it or greedy.
  • Never give scissors, knives or other cutting utensils as they indicate a desire to sever the relationship.
  • Never give clocks or watches as they represent death or the end of something.
  • By tradition, flowers are not good gifts as they are generally given to the sick and are used at funerals. However, there has been a shift in attitudes due to western influence; flowers are now widely used at events, ceremonies, dinners and may be a suitable gift for a female recipient on a formal occasion.
  • Do not wrap gifts in mourning colours – white, blue or black.
  • Wrap gifts in happy colours – red, pink or yellow.
  • Elaborate gift-wrapping is imperative.
  • Never wrap a gift for a baby or decorate the gift in any way with a stork, as these birds are believed to be harbingers of death.
  • It is best to give gifts in even numbers since odd numbers are unlucky. Try to avoid the number 4 which is phonetically similar to the word for death.
  • Gifts are generally not opened when received.

 

Gift Giving to Indians

  • When giving flowers, avoid frangipanis as they are used in funeral wreaths.
  • Money should be given in odd numbers.
  • Offer gifts with the right hand only or with both hands if the item is large.
  • Do not wrap gifts in white or black colours.
  • Do wrap gifts in red, yellow or green paper (or other bright colours) as these are believed to bring good fortune.
  • Do not gift leather products to a Hindu. Hindus consider cows to be sacred and do not consume beef for religious reasons. Some Chinese also follow this tradition.
  • Do not give alcohol unless you are certain the recipient drinks.
  • Gifts are generally not opened when received.

 

References:

  • http://www.mountkinabalu.com/
  • http://thingsasian.com/story/six-regions-malaysia
  • https://www.thestar.com.my/travel/malaysia/2012/11/12/festivals-and-celebrations-in-malaysia/
  • https://www.dosm.gov.my/v1/index.phpr=column/ctheme&menu_id=L0pheU43NWJwRWVSZklWdzQ4TlhUUT09&bul_id=OWlxdEVoYlJCS0hUZzJyRUcvZEYxZz09
  • https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/my.html
  • http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/10/22/malaysia.country.profile/index.html
  • https://www.hw.ac.uk/documents/HWU_Malaysia_Cultural_awareness_document_190315(1).pdf
  • http://www.mountkinabalu.com/
  • http://thingsasian.com/story/six-regions-malaysia
  • https://www.thestar.com.my/travel/malaysia/2012/11/12/festivals-and-celebrations-in-malaysia/
  • https://www.dosm.gov.my/v1/index.php?r=column/ctheme&menu_id=L0pheU43NWJwRWVSZklWdzQ4TlhUUT09&bul_id=OWlxdEVoYlJCS0hUZzJyRUcvZEYxZz09
  • https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/my.html
  • http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/10/22/malaysia.country.profile/index.html
  • http://www.sabrizain.org/malaya/early.htm
  • http://www.klsentral.com.my/

 

For more interesting information:

 

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This former Wesak Day Buddhist’s idea of spirituality came in the form of Yoda in Star Wars. Fortunately, she met an awesome spiritual teacher, H.E. the 25th Rinpoche, who is the catalyst and steady guide in her current spiritual path.
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  1. Liang Jing on Apr 15, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    I feel very lucky to live in Malaysia, a country with multiple races living harmoniously. Malaysia have many tourist hotspot, delicious foods, festival and also cultures. Other than that, Malaysia have also the world largest Dorje Shugden statue in Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong, Pahang.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.>-<

  2. cc on Apr 8, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    Hi Sharon,

    Thank you for sharing.
    Malaysia is a great place with multiracial, culture, full of fusion food that you couldn’t find anywhere else.

    Not to forget the world largest Dorje Shudgen . We are indeed fortunate!

  3. Lin Mun on Apr 7, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    Thank you Rinpoche and Sharon for sharing this article. When reading the history portion , it just reminds me of what I learned in school which I have almost forgotten. This articles give us a very good understanding about Malaysia. I for sure have not explored every state in Malaysia which is so rich in history and culture. Malaysia is so unique with the great mix of races which brings in so many different types of belief, arts, cultures, language and foods. I just hope that people in the country will continue to live happily, peacefully and harmoniously together.

  4. Samfoonheei on Apr 4, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Malaysia is truly a beautiful country, consisting of two regions separated by the South China Sea. Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious federation of 13 states and three federal territories. It’s known for its beaches, rainforests and multi nationality of Malay, Chinese, Indian and European cultural influences. Malaysia has a colourful history and rich heritage. Malaysia has comes a long way since the 11 centuries, with Dutch, British colonization and Japanese occupation s till today.
    The country is benefiting from a growth in manufacturing, and is a major tourist destination, with many paradise awaits for locals and foreigner to explore. Enchanting islands which is an ideal life getaway where one could swim, snorkel, dive in clear crystal waters. One could even explore the incredible diversity of marine life in some of the natural wonders of Malaysia. Each of the 13 states has plenty to offer. An example in Penang the Peranakan heritage,with thousands of Peranakan artefacts ,antiques and the 19th century showcases of Peranakan architecture and traditional interior. While in Melaka the famous Jonker Street and Dutch Square In Pahang the Genting Highland Resort and Kechara Forest Retreat home to the world’s largest statue of World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden. Other than places of interests ,Malaysia food is one of the most unique cuisines in the world with many cultural influences.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Sharon Ong for this interesting details sharing.

  5. Pastor Shin Tan on Apr 4, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Last Saturday, at an event marking 60 years of Tibetans being recipients of Indian kindness, Lobsang Sangay mentioned that the exiled Tibetans should strengthen their efforts to make the Dalai Lama’s return to his Potala Palace a reality.

    Representing the Indian government, Ram Madhav, a leader in the governing Bharatiya Janata party, echoed Sangay’s statement with hope that the Dalai Lama will be able to “return to your homeland” through peaceful and democratic means.

    This event was originally planned to be held in Delhi but it was cancelled and relocated to Dharamsala. At the same time, Indian officials were directed by their Foreign Secretary to avoid events hosted by the Tibetan leadership, since they coincided with a “sensitive time” for Delhi’s relations with Beijing. India’s volte-face approach in shunning the Tibetans, with the unprecedented cancellation of many key Tibetan events, is now being viewed as a clear sign that India is no longer willing to be collateral damage in the Tibetan quest to agitate China over the so-called Tibetan cause.

    With mounting pressure from India to not hurt their relations with China, the tone of the message this time around seems to be that of a plea with only one goal in mind: for the Dalai Lama to return to Tibet and reunite with Tibetans inside Tibet. Could it be that after 60 years, the Tibetan leadership has finally realised their fight against China is a futile one, and they should start looking at more achievable goals? May the aspirations of millions of Tibetans to see the Dalai Lama’s return to Tibet be fulfilled and in the words of Madhav, that ” it will not take that long for you (Tibetans) to be back home.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/01/pm-in-exile-urges-tibetans-to-make-dalai-lamas-return-a-reality

  6. Datuk May on Apr 3, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    The tag line advertising Malaysia to foreigners was ‘MALAYSIA! TRULY ASIA”. I had always thought it to be a lame definition. Reading all the diversity in Malaysia and the many interesting things one can do in Malaysia, seem to make sense that Malaysia is truly Asia.

    Personally I have not explored much of my country except the days when I was actively working from state to state, but then when you are working you never really enjoy the beauty of a place.

    One thing that most of us Malaysians would have experienced is the variety of food. That is absolutely beyond what any other countries can offer. The tastes are so diverse and different. Many Chinese delicacies are home grown.

    Like the “YEE SANG” during Chinese Lunar New Year Season originated in Malaysia as I have tried to order it in Hongkong and China and it does not exist.

    Thank you Rinpoche and Sharon for this beautiful insight to our country.

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  • Alice Tay
    Saturday, Apr 21. 2018 11:05 AM
    Already over 60 years and until today most of the Tibetan people still under the dilemma whether want to leave or go. This implied that the convictions of Tibetan people has been deserted and all of their welfare is never improved due to the incapability of the Tibetan leadership. Furthermore, the oracle, Nechung, predicted that Tibetans will be back in Tibet within 5 years, but this prophecy is never realized. Dear Tibetan leadership, how much longer will the people to wait? The people are suffered enough in their daily life.

    Thank you Rinpoche for this meaningful and insightful review on this issue.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/why-tibetans-are-leaving-india.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Apr 21. 2018 10:44 AM
    After 60 years living as refugee in India, there is no development for the Tibetan living in exile. CTA has not done much for his people but instead instill hope that they are going back to Tibet. But the fact is that even the new generation of Tibetan in India have already adapted to the life in India and can’t speak Tibetan. Where would there see a need to go back to Tibet? And if the living condition in India is so bad and status remained as refugee for sure they would have find ways to have a better future elsewhere and that is logical.

    I hope very soon CTA would quickly change their mind to think and act for the best for his people. Stop creating more issues to disunite the people for example Dorje Shugden ban.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/why-tibetans-are-leaving-india.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Apr 21. 2018 10:31 AM
    It’s a heartfelt watching the video of how pigs are slaughtered . Sad can imagine the pig suffering, so much of agony and pain before the hour of death. No living beings will choose to die with so much suffering. Hopefully more people are aware of these slaughtering and stop consuming meat go on vegetarian to cut down the killings.
    Be kind to them .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article to create more awareness.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/pig-slaughter-in-taiwan.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Apr 21. 2018 10:31 AM
    With so many hundreds of baby southern right whales dead washed ashore around Patagonia. Researchers are launching an investigation into the unexplained deaths of hundreds of young southern right whales. The southern right whales is the biggest sea mammal in the world and one of the planet’s most vulnerable marine species. Its has a feature of a dark, gray and blackish body, heavy and with no dorsal fin. Conservationists, scientists and researchers are determined by all means to find out the cause of the death as the populations could go extinct in no time.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/sad-news-at-sea.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Apr 21. 2018 10:30 AM
    A powerful quote of wisdom by HH the 14th Dalai Lama. Buddhism is unique among the world’s major world religions. Many people consider themselves spiritual but not religious and having religion without being spiritual is emptiness. Wisdom and compassion in Buddhism, inspires us to make our life much better spiritually.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/wisdom.html
  • Alice Tay
    Saturday, Apr 21. 2018 02:26 AM
    Personally, I think it is about 30% from the above mentioned list of animals are very rare as I never heard before. To protect all these endangers wildlife and having considered that hunting has contributed to the extinction of animal species, I hope that Malaysian Government will consider to tighten the regulations on the killing of wildlife.

    Thank you for this wonderful sharing about Malaysia’s beautiful wildlife.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/20-awesome-malaysian-animals.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Friday, Apr 20. 2018 09:57 PM
    During the papacy of Pope Leo X, a widely practiced way of fundraising was to offer salvation to people who could afford it; meaning the rich people could done all evil and gone sin-free. Much fund was needed in order to sustain the Pope’s lavish patronage in culture and arts. He practiced nepotism, which was no difference from abuse of power. It seemed that Pope Leo X was a corrupted leader, abused his authority and manipulated religious issues for his personal gain. One would wondered how a religious leader could have no discipline in his controlling his own desire and only cared about himself and his crony. It certainly cast much bad light on the religion he represented. Unfortunately, all the above traits are familiar to us because they are extremely similar to how the CTA rules today from Dharamsala. The CTA is corrupted, abuses their power and manipulates religious affairs to suit their personal gain; i.e. cover their failure and to raise fund in fake pretext. May more people see the truth behind the CTA ugly intention and step forward or step up to challenge them. Thank you for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/the-controversial-pope-leo-x.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 20. 2018 01:12 PM
    Interesting……..discovery by scientist that extra terrestrials have visited Earth for millions of years ago.. From the age of the dinosaurs to ancient Egypt, from early cave drawings to continued mass sightings in the US. They are convinced and reveals that the truth about mankind’s contact with extra terrestrial aliens long ago including historical text and photos. Hundreds of strange disks are discovered in a cave in China that appear to tell the story of an ancient extra terrestrial crash on Earth. Having discovered ancient gold mine has proven to be of hundreds thousand years old pointing to the theory and facts of an extinct civilisation of aliens on earth. Multiple cultures from different part of the world has shared experiences of alien visitation as well ,proving that ancient aliens definitely exists even before mankind.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this interesting video and glad to know more of the discoveries .

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/ancient-aliens-season-1-episode-4-the-mission.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 20. 2018 01:11 PM
    So touching watching this amazing video of the leopard showing love and compassion to a different species ,a small tiny baboon. The leopard even to the extend helping the tiny baboon on to the tree. Its very rare leopard not kill other beings. Animals experience the same range of emotions as humans, and researchers have proven that some animals do feel a full range of emotions, including fear, joy, happiness, shame, embarrassment, resentment, jealousy, rage, anger, and love. Hence do not hurt and kill animals , give them a chance to live like humans. Go on vegetarian is the best choice.
    Thank you for sharing Rinpoche.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/leopard-saves-baby-baboon-must-watch.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Apr 20. 2018 01:11 PM
    Life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer. To strive for a more impressive meaningful , purposeful in life which involves recognising and accepting our higher potential will be more rewarding. With the powerful Dharma Protector …Dorje Shugden guiding us is indeed a define success in our heart of hearts. The powerful Protector will helps us nor matter when and what race and faith when we trusted fully in it. We will become inspired, have peace of mind and be able to achieve much more in life beyond. It will change our life , doing the activities that we love and spending time with the people that we love. By cultivating the ability to help people be happy, and to relieve them of the suffering they experienced.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Stella for this beautiful article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/finding-deeper-meaning-in-life-with-dorje-shugden.html
  • Alice Tay
    Friday, Apr 20. 2018 06:10 AM
    Thank you Rinpoche and the support team for all of these inspirational quotes that really make us think deeply about various aspects of life.

    A question comes to mind: ”What are we waiting for?” Do the dharma work before it is too late as death can happen at any time.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/people-for-peace.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 19. 2018 11:42 AM
    Interesting article……as I used to think that angel are associated with the Christian faith. As I see pictures of angels always adorned in white and in the light. There also appeared in the holy scriptures and graphics on walls of ancient buildings. After reading this article I concluded that I believe aliens and angels do exist as be extra-terrestrials who may be beings from different realms. In Buddhism, there are some other forms of life existing in other parts of the universe.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these interesting video and article

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/are-angels-ancient-aliens-2.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 19. 2018 11:42 AM
    Beautiful poems , it’s a reminder for us all to appreciate our life as life is short and unpredictable. We could liberate our sufferings by learning , practicing dharma and doing dharma work to live our life meaningful. Free ourselves from suffering and live a life of compassion, fearlessness and joy.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this beautiful poem.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/suffering-is-my-protector.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Wednesday, Apr 18. 2018 09:36 PM
    This article is beautifully presented to capture the contribution of our forefathers who brought with them development and prosperity to Bentong and also other parts of Malaysia. During those days, many immigrants from China came to Malaysia and invested their wealth and effort in this land that was rich in natural resources but otherwise raw and untouched. They made this land their home. Because of them, Bentong is now prosperous and thriving with businesses and industries that can compete in the world arena. Thank you for this sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/chinese-influx-to-bentong-in-the-early-days.html#comments
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 18. 2018 02:56 PM
    Wow…..amazing watching such a very rare video. We are so fortunate able to see this with a better knowledge of oracles that have existed over thousands years ago in Tibet. This is a very valuable information which provide a great insight into the world of oracles in exiled Tibet. Watching Namsel Donma the only woman oracle was fantastic, she is so strong, powerful and so as the rest of the man oracle in the video. It show us that there are other forms of spiritual beings do exist as depicted in statues and thangkas. HH Dalai Lama gave a good explanation of the incredible phenomena of oracles. I do enjoyed watching, thank you Rinpoche for sharing this rare video.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/videos/fantastic-oracle-film.html

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The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
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Sculpture demigoddesses Singhini (lioness goddess) on the upper terrace in front of Nyatapola temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal.
4 days ago
Sculpture demigoddesses Singhini (lioness goddess) on the upper terrace in front of Nyatapola temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal.
How fortunate I am to be sitting in my room, with a rosary in my hand reciting the mantra given to me by my compassionate guru and to meditate in developing a compassionate heart and purifying my karmas. How fortunate I am to be able to spend my time in such a meaningful manner. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
How fortunate I am to be sitting in my room, with a rosary in my hand reciting the mantra given to me by my compassionate guru and to meditate in developing a compassionate heart and purifying my karmas. How fortunate I am to be able to spend my time in such a meaningful manner. Tsem Rinpoche
Comic drawn by Tendor, a prominent Free Tibet activist-Every Tibetan knows that although His Holiness the Dalai Lama says he is retired from politics, he is in full control of the Tibetan government in exile. No member of the government will dare carry out any decisions without His Holiness\' approval. He is retired for the sake of the west so he does not look like a dictator.~Tenzin Damchoe
2 months ago
Comic drawn by Tendor, a prominent Free Tibet activist-Every Tibetan knows that although His Holiness the Dalai Lama says he is retired from politics, he is in full control of the Tibetan government in exile. No member of the government will dare carry out any decisions without His Holiness' approval. He is retired for the sake of the west so he does not look like a dictator.~Tenzin Damchoe
It would be wonderful if everyone can recite these two mantras 100k each focusing on Shakyamuni Buddha and His powerful healing energies. Not collectively but each person 100k each of each mantra. Praise to Shakyamuni the Sage who showed us a permanent way to bliss.
2 months ago
It would be wonderful if everyone can recite these two mantras 100k each focusing on Shakyamuni Buddha and His powerful healing energies. Not collectively but each person 100k each of each mantra. Praise to Shakyamuni the Sage who showed us a permanent way to bliss.
In Tibet Shannan area Riwoche Ling Monastery, devotees are putting Tsem Rinpoche\'s photo inside the cabinet together with the Buddha he loves - Dorje Shugden
在西藏山南日乌曲林寺,信徒们把詹杜固仁波切的法照和他最敬爱的多杰雄登护法像摆在一起
2 months ago
In Tibet Shannan area Riwoche Ling Monastery, devotees are putting Tsem Rinpoche's photo inside the cabinet together with the Buddha he loves - Dorje Shugden 在西藏山南日乌曲林寺,信徒们把詹杜固仁波切的法照和他最敬爱的多杰雄登护法像摆在一起
Please read this..thank you.
2 months ago
Please read this..thank you.
A beautiful Dorje Shugden depicted in Druid and newage style. There are many more here and free downloads in high file: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144924
2 months ago
A beautiful Dorje Shugden depicted in Druid and newage style. There are many more here and free downloads in high file: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144924
Here, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (left), one of the tutors of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, confers one of the many countless tantric initiations on the Dalai Lama (right). You can see a young Dalai Lama bowing in this picture with Trijang Rinpoche blessing him. Trijang Rinpoche is therefore undoubtedly the Dalai Lama’s tantric master. A great master at that. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Here, His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche (left), one of the tutors of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, confers one of the many countless tantric initiations on the Dalai Lama (right). You can see a young Dalai Lama bowing in this picture with Trijang Rinpoche blessing him. Trijang Rinpoche is therefore undoubtedly the Dalai Lama’s tantric master. A great master at that. Tsem Rinpoche
This is a very sacred statue of Buddha Chenresig (Avalokitesvara/Kuan Yin) that manifested many miracles in North India. Read and see more pictures and understand the background here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=153802
3 months ago
This is a very sacred statue of Buddha Chenresig (Avalokitesvara/Kuan Yin) that manifested many miracles in North India. Read and see more pictures and understand the background here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=153802
Wonderful updated version of The Promise book is out! Please get your copy. Much more new information included.
3 months ago
Wonderful updated version of The Promise book is out! Please get your copy. Much more new information included.
\"Bhagavani, source of all wonders, Vasudhara, Goddess of splendour and fortune, bestower of auspicious mental desires; homage to the Goddess Wish-fulfilling Wheel.\" (Sakya liturgical verse).
3 months ago
"Bhagavani, source of all wonders, Vasudhara, Goddess of splendour and fortune, bestower of auspicious mental desires; homage to the Goddess Wish-fulfilling Wheel." (Sakya liturgical verse).
Beautiful and sacred Vajra Yogini in Pharping, Nepal. The caretaker said it was owned by the Great Marpa the translator who was the guru of Milarepa. Wow.
3 months ago
Beautiful and sacred Vajra Yogini in Pharping, Nepal. The caretaker said it was owned by the Great Marpa the translator who was the guru of Milarepa. Wow.
In the Lankavatara Sutra, Lord Buddha says: \"For innumerable reasons, the Bodhisattva, whose nature is compassion, is not to  any meat. Thus Mahamati, whenever there is the evolution of living beings, let people cherish the thought of kinship with them, and thinking that all beings are [to be loved as if they were] and only child, let them refrain from eating meat.  Mahamati, meat is not eaten by anybody for any reason, there will be no destroyer of life. Thus, Mahamati, meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit.\"
3 months ago
In the Lankavatara Sutra, Lord Buddha says: "For innumerable reasons, the Bodhisattva, whose nature is compassion, is not to any meat. Thus Mahamati, whenever there is the evolution of living beings, let people cherish the thought of kinship with them, and thinking that all beings are [to be loved as if they were] and only child, let them refrain from eating meat. Mahamati, meat is not eaten by anybody for any reason, there will be no destroyer of life. Thus, Mahamati, meat-eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit."
At times I have to be a trendsetter in spirituality as opposed to just being a follower and that is why I take chances and try. I may not be liked always for it, but I have to do it. In this way I have been introducing Dorje Shugden to the world. I know Shugden is good and will help so many and that is why I do it.
3 months ago
At times I have to be a trendsetter in spirituality as opposed to just being a follower and that is why I take chances and try. I may not be liked always for it, but I have to do it. In this way I have been introducing Dorje Shugden to the world. I know Shugden is good and will help so many and that is why I do it.
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it\'s right and will benefit people at the cost of your own reputation. That\'s how I feel when I share Dorje Shugden\'s practice with the world.
3 months ago
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it's right and will benefit people at the cost of your own reputation. That's how I feel when I share Dorje Shugden's practice with the world.
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it\'s right and you are true to yourself.
3 months ago
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it's right and you are true to yourself.
At times I have to be a trendsetter in spirituality as opposed to just being a follower and that is why I take chances and try. I may not be liked always for it, but I have to do it. In this way I have been introducing Dorje Shugden to the world. I know Shugden is good and will help so many and that is why I do it.
3 months ago
At times I have to be a trendsetter in spirituality as opposed to just being a follower and that is why I take chances and try. I may not be liked always for it, but I have to do it. In this way I have been introducing Dorje Shugden to the world. I know Shugden is good and will help so many and that is why I do it.
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it\'s right and you are true to yourself.
3 months ago
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it's right and you are true to yourself.
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it\'s right and will benefit people at the cost of your own reputation. That\'s how I feel when I share Dorje Shugden\'s practice with the world.
3 months ago
Courage is doing something you know the majority will not agree with and perhaps even some will scorn you for it, but you do it anyway because you know it's right and will benefit people at the cost of your own reputation. That's how I feel when I share Dorje Shugden's practice with the world.
Beautiful Buddha built in Sarnath, India. Sarnath was the place where Lord Buddha first starting teaching the sacred Dharma. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Beautiful Buddha built in Sarnath, India. Sarnath was the place where Lord Buddha first starting teaching the sacred Dharma. Tsem Rinpoche
 This is so good. I need to remember this and not allow people to do this to me anymore. Being kind is one thing, but when they are doing it and it harms, it is not a matter of kindness anymore but taking advantage.
4 months ago
This is so good. I need to remember this and not allow people to do this to me anymore. Being kind is one thing, but when they are doing it and it harms, it is not a matter of kindness anymore but taking advantage.
Incredible Lama Thubten Phurbu and His Activities - http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=150927
5 months ago
Incredible Lama Thubten Phurbu and His Activities - http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=150927
Huffington Post has just released their SECOND EXPOSÉ of the Dorje Shugden issue. You can read about it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=151328
5 months ago
Huffington Post has just released their SECOND EXPOSÉ of the Dorje Shugden issue. You can read about it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=151328
Please read what Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche says about people\'s religion.
5 months ago
Please read what Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche says about people's religion.
A gorgeous Dorje Shugden painted in traditional art style of China. Chinese art has flourished for over 5,000 years and highly sought after. This form of Dorje Shugden is sitting on a seat as you see painted in his chapel (Trode Khangsar) in Lhasa, Tibet. Dorje Shugden can be on a seat or Lion.  More downloads here.  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
5 months ago
A gorgeous Dorje Shugden painted in traditional art style of China. Chinese art has flourished for over 5,000 years and highly sought after. This form of Dorje Shugden is sitting on a seat as you see painted in his chapel (Trode Khangsar) in Lhasa, Tibet. Dorje Shugden can be on a seat or Lion. More downloads here. http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
Dear friends, The Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Shartse Monastery was authorized and blessed by both Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He was a favorite among high lamas for his smooth trances and clear prophecies. This video is a one-of-a-kind where you see the Choyang Dulzin Kuten oracle take trance of the peaceful form of Dorje Shugden wearing the robes of a high lama giving teachings, blessings and transmissions. Very sacred and rare video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pawS1TMOe8k
5 months ago
Dear friends, The Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Shartse Monastery was authorized and blessed by both Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He was a favorite among high lamas for his smooth trances and clear prophecies. This video is a one-of-a-kind where you see the Choyang Dulzin Kuten oracle take trance of the peaceful form of Dorje Shugden wearing the robes of a high lama giving teachings, blessings and transmissions. Very sacred and rare video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pawS1TMOe8k
Beautiful contemporary art piece of Dorje Shugden for free high res download here:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
5 months ago
Beautiful contemporary art piece of Dorje Shugden for free high res download here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
The Huffington Post extensively covers the Dorje Shugden issue. I had no idea that this article was being written. I was not contacted, not asked for an interview or asked for any comments, and then it was published and my students alerted me to it. So it was a very, very pleasant and encouraging surprise to read such balanced coverage from such a reputable news website. You can read it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=149806
5 months ago
The Huffington Post extensively covers the Dorje Shugden issue. I had no idea that this article was being written. I was not contacted, not asked for an interview or asked for any comments, and then it was published and my students alerted me to it. So it was a very, very pleasant and encouraging surprise to read such balanced coverage from such a reputable news website. You can read it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=149806
དེ་རིང་ང་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་མིའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ནང་གི་བློ་མགུ་ནུས་པའི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཞིག་ཞུའི་ཡིན། གང་དག་བོད་པའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཁྱད་པར། དབྱེ་འབྱེད། ཕྱོགས་རིས་ཐོག་ལ་གང་འདྲ་སྟངས་འཛིན་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ངེས་གཏན་སྣུན་ཤུགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-mp-tenpa-yarphel-speaks-up-against-nechung-tibetan.html
5 months ago
དེ་རིང་ང་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་མིའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ནང་གི་བློ་མགུ་ནུས་པའི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཞིག་ཞུའི་ཡིན། གང་དག་བོད་པའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཁྱད་པར། དབྱེ་འབྱེད། ཕྱོགས་རིས་ཐོག་ལ་གང་འདྲ་སྟངས་འཛིན་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ངེས་གཏན་སྣུན་ཤུགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-mp-tenpa-yarphel-speaks-up-against-nechung-tibetan.html
བོད་པའི་དབུ་ཁྲིད་ཚོའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན་བསྟེན་མཁན་ཚོར་མ་ཉེས་ཁ་ཡོག་གི་བརྙན་ཕྲིན་གསར་པ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video-tibetan.html
5 months ago
བོད་པའི་དབུ་ཁྲིད་ཚོའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན་བསྟེན་མཁན་ཚོར་མ་ཉེས་ཁ་ཡོག་གི་བརྙན་ཕྲིན་གསར་པ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video-tibetan.html
(Drepung) Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we\'ve come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
5 months ago
(Drepung) Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we've come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we\'ve come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
5 months ago
Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we've come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
I had this painting commissioned. Please read more here on this great master-
 http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146195
6 months ago
I had this painting commissioned. Please read more here on this great master- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146195
How can all the high lamas of Tibet and all the protectors not be able to defeat Dorje Shugden? This is food for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bj0254UG-Y
6 months ago
How can all the high lamas of Tibet and all the protectors not be able to defeat Dorje Shugden? This is food for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bj0254UG-Y
致全世界的华人:这是我一份小小的心意:一幅富有古中国传统艺术的作品。希望你们会喜欢! http://bit.ly/2zLOjnK
6 months ago
致全世界的华人:这是我一份小小的心意:一幅富有古中国传统艺术的作品。希望你们会喜欢! http://bit.ly/2zLOjnK
“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
6 months ago
“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
6 months ago
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
Whatever we can do to spread the teachings of our Guru, we should do so.
6 months ago
Whatever we can do to spread the teachings of our Guru, we should do so.
 These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
6 months ago
These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
6 months ago
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
6 months ago
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
Beautiful old thangka of Buddha Nageshvaraja
6 months ago
Beautiful old thangka of Buddha Nageshvaraja
Dear friends, This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become. Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
Dear friends, This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become. Tsem Rinpoche
October 2017, His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal graciously reading our Kechara album and updates as presented by Beng Kooi and Martin. He was very pleased with our progress and offers his blessings. Tsem Rinpoche
6 months ago
October 2017, His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal graciously reading our Kechara album and updates as presented by Beng Kooi and Martin. He was very pleased with our progress and offers his blessings. Tsem Rinpoche
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche grants audience to Beng Kooi and Martin in France.  Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
6 months ago
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche grants audience to Beng Kooi and Martin in France. Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
Recently Beng Kooi and Martin on behalf of myself and Kechara was lucky to have audience with His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He lives in around Paris, France. His Holiness is 91 years old and very healthy and alert. He was the 101st throne holder for Tsongkapa and was the head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism and was very successful during his tenure. He is a strong practitioner of both Sutra and Tantra of Je Tsongkapa\'s tradition and a master of all Buddhist knowledge. He holds steadfast to his protector Dorje Shugden very strongly. So we can see even the highest throneholders who are masters of Sutra and Tantra also practices Dorje Shugden knowing the benefits.

Beng Kooi and Martin brought photo albums of Kechara Forest Retreat/Kechara and updates on Kechara and our works. His Holiness was very pleased to listen and offered some gifts back. 

This is a beautiful picture and the great blessings bestowed on us from His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.

Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche 
Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
6 months ago
Recently Beng Kooi and Martin on behalf of myself and Kechara was lucky to have audience with His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He lives in around Paris, France. His Holiness is 91 years old and very healthy and alert. He was the 101st throne holder for Tsongkapa and was the head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism and was very successful during his tenure. He is a strong practitioner of both Sutra and Tantra of Je Tsongkapa's tradition and a master of all Buddhist knowledge. He holds steadfast to his protector Dorje Shugden very strongly. So we can see even the highest throneholders who are masters of Sutra and Tantra also practices Dorje Shugden knowing the benefits. Beng Kooi and Martin brought photo albums of Kechara Forest Retreat/Kechara and updates on Kechara and our works. His Holiness was very pleased to listen and offered some gifts back. This is a beautiful picture and the great blessings bestowed on us from His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp
*****and****
My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li

Fantastic Reads!!
6 months ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li Fantastic Reads!!
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp
*****and****
My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
6 months ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
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Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his student Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
    3 weeks ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche with his student Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information, please go to http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/category/kyabje-zong-rinpoche
  • Super neat footage of Patty the Bigfoot!
    1 month ago
    Super neat footage of Patty the Bigfoot!
    In 1967, Bob Gimlin and Roger Patterson stumbled across an incredible sight whilst out in Bluff Creek, in the California wilderness. At a creek which had been freshly washed-out by recent floods, they witnessed a female Bigfoot swiftly traverse the rugged landscape. Since their filmed encounter with the Bigfoot, who has since been nicknamed Patty, many have disputed the authenticity of their recording but no one has been able to successfully prove that it is a fake. Credits for this video goes to entirely to windvale for the original footage.
  • Adorable Tibetan kids wishing Happy New Year 2018
    2 months ago
    Adorable Tibetan kids wishing Happy New Year 2018
    The children and their little well-wishing voices are adorable!! It is a must listen. They recite prayers to Dorje Shugden to invoke blessings for everyone for the New Year 2018! At one point, they sprinkle some of the drink into the air as per tradition as an offering to Dorje Shugden. Shugden's practice in Tibet has been strong for four hundred years and is continuing to grow. Happy New Year (Losar) to everyone. May everyone have peace. Sarva Mangalam!
  • Dogs are super intelligent. This dog was trained as a service dog to help his owner who suffers from seizures. It even goes to the extent whereby he will lie under her head when she has a seizure, to protect her head from banging on the floor.
    2 months ago
    Dogs are super intelligent. This dog was trained as a service dog to help his owner who suffers from seizures. It even goes to the extent whereby he will lie under her head when she has a seizure, to protect her head from banging on the floor.
  • Beautiful Tibetan children wishing Happy New Year!
    2 months ago
    Beautiful Tibetan children wishing Happy New Year!
  • Ven Lobsang Jigme of Tsem Monastery in Yara, Tibet is passing out pictures of Tsem Rinpoche to the locals.
    2 months ago
    Ven Lobsang Jigme of Tsem Monastery in Yara, Tibet is passing out pictures of Tsem Rinpoche to the locals.
  • (3) Khenpo Lobdroe blessing the public at Magon Monastery in Drayab.
    2 months ago
    (3) Khenpo Lobdroe blessing the public at Magon Monastery in Drayab.
  • (2) The trance took place in Drayab Magon Monastery.
    2 months ago
    (2) The trance took place in Drayab Magon Monastery.
  • (1) Young monk taking trance of Dorje Shugden in Drayab, Chamdo Tibet.
    2 months ago
    (1) Young monk taking trance of Dorje Shugden in Drayab, Chamdo Tibet.
  • A new megastar in Bollywood! Must see!!
    2 months ago
    A new megastar in Bollywood! Must see!!
  • This is very inspirational
    4 months ago
    This is very inspirational
  • A Mother’s Love
    5 months ago
    A Mother’s Love
    A mother's love is made up of a deep sense of care, of sacrifice and pain as a mother's heart is always with her children. Watch this touching video.
  • Dorje Shugden & Ministers
    5 months ago
    Dorje Shugden & Ministers
    Dorje Shugden and his two ministers, Kache Marpo and Namka Barzin. Vajrasecrets.com
  • Cham Dance
    5 months ago
    Cham Dance
    Cham is sacred dance. A dance that enacts the life story of a holy being. By participating in Cham, one is blessed to see the sacred life story of a being celebrated. This is a cham on Dorje Shugden. It\\\'s a short clip but interesting none-the-less. Tsem Rinpoche
  • The great Gautama Siddhartha meditating intensely is protected by the King of Nagas during heavy rains
    5 months ago
    The great Gautama Siddhartha meditating intensely is protected by the King of Nagas during heavy rains
    The King of Nagas knows this great being Siddhartha will soon become the Buddha. By offering his own body as shelter to the Buddha to be, he honours the state of enlightenment which will be won and gains merit for himself for his future lives although he is a naga now. The pre-eminent Buddha is an object of perfect offering gaining great merits for all beings. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    6 months ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
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    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
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    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
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    6 months ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
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    6 months ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    6 months ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    6 months ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
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    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
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    6 months ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    6 months ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    6 months ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    6 months ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    7 months ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.
  • Beautiful Buddha being sculpted from clay.
    7 months ago
    Beautiful Buddha being sculpted from clay.
  • After a while, you are are numb and you just keep doing it. You don’t know what you are doing and you don’t see it for what it really is. Tsem Rinpoche
    7 months ago
    After a while, you are are numb and you just keep doing it. You don’t know what you are doing and you don’t see it for what it really is. Tsem Rinpoche
    Please share this as much as possible. Please care. Please help: http://www.patreon.com/weanimals
  • OSER GIRL IS SO SMART AND CUTE AND EVERYONE LOVES HER
    7 months ago
    OSER GIRL IS SO SMART AND CUTE AND EVERYONE LOVES HER
  • It is a very painful process before the animals are finally dead.
    7 months ago
    It is a very painful process before the animals are finally dead.
  • If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
    7 months ago
    If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.
  • Take a look at what singer Nicki Minaj did.
    7 months ago
    Take a look at what singer Nicki Minaj did.
  • Animals are enslaved to do a human’s job, this must stop.
    7 months ago
    Animals are enslaved to do a human’s job, this must stop.
  • This is how the chickens are killed in the farm, they die a very horrible death.
    7 months ago
    This is how the chickens are killed in the farm, they die a very horrible death.
  • America likes to police the world but their own record of civil rights is not on track. Watch this video from people of color in the US.
    7 months ago
    America likes to police the world but their own record of civil rights is not on track. Watch this video from people of color in the US.
  • Important video to watch and learn.
    7 months ago
    Important video to watch and learn.
  • Bigfoot’s voice captured on tape.
    7 months ago
    Bigfoot’s voice captured on tape.
  • Amazing video that you will not regret watching.
    7 months ago
    Amazing video that you will not regret watching.
  • Norma Jean
    8 months ago
    Norma Jean
    These are the heartbreaking scenes we see over and over again, that we share in the hopes of telling the stories of those who otherwise would have suffered and vanished from this earth without a trace. This is Norma Jean. Free for a little over five months, she knew more happiness than millions of her sisters ever will. But she couldn’t escape the fate genetically programmed into her as an egg producing machine. She seemed more lethargic than usual this morning, so we brought her inside to administer fluids and antibiotics in the hopes of pulling her through until we could get her in to see our vet. She couldn’t hang on. She died this evening shortly after this video was taken, severely infected from the rotting egg yolk adhered to various organs throughout her abdominal cavity. Like virtually every single one of her sisters, caged or free range, rescued or not, she paid the ultimate price for eggs (from FB)
  • If you want to change the world, start of by making your bed
    8 months ago
    If you want to change the world, start of by making your bed
    If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart
  • Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visits a Hindu mandir (temple)
    8 months ago
    Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visits a Hindu mandir (temple)
    While on a visit to a Hindu mandir (temple), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks on diversity as Canada's strength.

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CHAT PICTURES

Thank you guys for the donation! #SegiUniversity boys! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
yesterday
Thank you guys for the donation! #SegiUniversity boys! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Families receiving their much needed surplus fresh surplus provisions right in front of their door step thanks to all the dedicated #volunteers! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
Families receiving their much needed surplus fresh surplus provisions right in front of their door step thanks to all the dedicated #volunteers! Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Free haircut service for Kechara Soup Kitchen clients from Silkcut Hair Studio and Glam Hair Studio.
3 days ago
Free haircut service for Kechara Soup Kitchen clients from Silkcut Hair Studio and Glam Hair Studio.
Explore the universe within.
3 days ago
Explore the universe within.
Our distribution to the Orang Asli villages in Bentong yesterday evening. Thank you to all not forgetting the local volunteers as well. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 days ago
Our distribution to the Orang Asli villages in Bentong yesterday evening. Thank you to all not forgetting the local volunteers as well. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Uncle Ng with his "No Look" pose today in the kitchen. Thanks to Wei Di, Jian King, Henry Poong who helped in the kitchen today. Justin @ KSK
3 days ago
Uncle Ng with his "No Look" pose today in the kitchen. Thanks to Wei Di, Jian King, Henry Poong who helped in the kitchen today. Justin @ KSK
Dorje Shugden Chapel in the heart of Bentong! Visit this beautiful chapel at the entrance to Kechara Paradise, 84, Jalan Ah Peng, 28700 Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia. Picture courtesy by Pastor Albert, shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 days ago
Dorje Shugden Chapel in the heart of Bentong! Visit this beautiful chapel at the entrance to Kechara Paradise, 84, Jalan Ah Peng, 28700 Bentong, Pahang, Malaysia. Picture courtesy by Pastor Albert, shared by Pastor Antoinette
当我去Zambala Room 的时候Kai Te 很开心的说“老师!!!你看我画的美丽人生”我问“哇哈!!好棒噢!你画的好好噢!这个就是你的美丽人生?”Kai Te 回我说“是的!!!这里还有美丽的屋子” 看他满足的笑容,满满的正能量,多疗愈啊!By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
当我去Zambala Room 的时候Kai Te 很开心的说“老师!!!你看我画的美丽人生”我问“哇哈!!好棒噢!你画的好好噢!这个就是你的美丽人生?”Kai Te 回我说“是的!!!这里还有美丽的屋子” 看他满足的笑容,满满的正能量,多疗愈啊!By Asyley Chia KSDS
Throw back last Sunday topic 8 freedom and 10 endowment leading by Teacher Kien and Teacher Lin Mun. Everybody paying full attention while teacher sharing.Well done children. By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
Throw back last Sunday topic 8 freedom and 10 endowment leading by Teacher Kien and Teacher Lin Mun. Everybody paying full attention while teacher sharing.Well done children. By Asyley Chia KSDS
Ready!!! Get set Throw!!!2 to 4 year old games Time.By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
Ready!!! Get set Throw!!!2 to 4 year old games Time.By Asyley Chia KSDS
Teacher Alice demonstrate full lotus sit to the Class 2 to 4 year old children.By Asyley Chia KSDS
4 days ago
Teacher Alice demonstrate full lotus sit to the Class 2 to 4 year old children.By Asyley Chia KSDS
Thank you to Calvin Chan and students from Chung Ling Butterworth High School who helped carry the heavy groceries to needy families. Great to see the younger generation spending their time serving the community. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
Thank you to Calvin Chan and students from Chung Ling Butterworth High School who helped carry the heavy groceries to needy families. Great to see the younger generation spending their time serving the community. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Team Cambridge University Press Malaysia also helped to evaluate applicants applying for our food bank assistance programme. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
5 days ago
Team Cambridge University Press Malaysia also helped to evaluate applicants applying for our food bank assistance programme. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
466kg of #surplusfood were redistributed to 76 needy families in PPR Beringin on Thursday with the help of these dedicated #volunteers. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 days ago
466kg of #surplusfood were redistributed to 76 needy families in PPR Beringin on Thursday with the help of these dedicated #volunteers. Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
KISG has carried out prayer recitations to Mother Tara in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
6 days ago
KISG has carried out prayer recitations to Mother Tara in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
More wisdom please log on to www.tsemrinpoche.com
6 days ago
More wisdom please log on to http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
Powerful Dukkar or White Umbrella Puja  “To cut asunder completely all malignant demons, to cut asunder all the spells of others…to turn aside all enemies and dangers and hatred...”  Dukkar manifested from the crown of Buddha Shakyamuni as a personification of Buddha’s victory umbrella, and is commonly regarded as the female counterpart to Avalokiteshvara (Kuan Yin), the Buddha of Compassion. https://www.vajrasecrets.com/dukkar-puja-fund-for-legal-affairs, shared by Pastor Antoinette
6 days ago
Powerful Dukkar or White Umbrella Puja “To cut asunder completely all malignant demons, to cut asunder all the spells of others…to turn aside all enemies and dangers and hatred...” Dukkar manifested from the crown of Buddha Shakyamuni as a personification of Buddha’s victory umbrella, and is commonly regarded as the female counterpart to Avalokiteshvara (Kuan Yin), the Buddha of Compassion. https://www.vajrasecrets.com/dukkar-puja-fund-for-legal-affairs, shared by Pastor Antoinette
Teacher Kien led the students to recite Migtsema & Manjushri mantras before the class start. Alice Tay, KSDS
7 days ago
Teacher Kien led the students to recite Migtsema & Manjushri mantras before the class start. Alice Tay, KSDS
Doing prostrations to the Buddhas is another way of collecting extensive merit. Alice Tay, KSDS
7 days ago
Doing prostrations to the Buddhas is another way of collecting extensive merit. Alice Tay, KSDS
KSDS students paid respect and do prostrations to Lama Tsongkhapa. Alice Tay, KSDS
7 days ago
KSDS students paid respect and do prostrations to Lama Tsongkhapa. Alice Tay, KSDS
Welcome the new joining volunteer teacher, Yvonne, helped the class age between 2 years old and 6 years old. Alice Tay, KSDS
7 days ago
Welcome the new joining volunteer teacher, Yvonne, helped the class age between 2 years old and 6 years old. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teacher Laura is the youngest KSDS volunteer teacher, to take care for the children mainly age between age 7 and 8. Alice Tay, KSDS
7 days ago
Teacher Laura is the youngest KSDS volunteer teacher, to take care for the children mainly age between age 7 and 8. Alice Tay, KSDS
20 birds were released this afternoon. Bird Liberation @ Kechara Penang Study Group ~ Jacinta Goh
1 week ago
20 birds were released this afternoon. Bird Liberation @ Kechara Penang Study Group ~ Jacinta Goh
Kids watched in awe. May they realise the ultimate Bodhicitta ~Jacinta Goh, Kechara Penang Study Group
1 week ago
Kids watched in awe. May they realise the ultimate Bodhicitta ~Jacinta Goh, Kechara Penang Study Group
Led by Pastor Patsy, 108 mantra seeds of Medicine Buddha were being planted and hopefully the birds will have a good rebirth in their next lives and may they meet and practice Dharma strongly ~Jacinta Goh
1 week ago
Led by Pastor Patsy, 108 mantra seeds of Medicine Buddha were being planted and hopefully the birds will have a good rebirth in their next lives and may they meet and practice Dharma strongly ~Jacinta Goh
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Dorje Shugden
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