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Malaysia is one of the so-called Asian Dragons, of rapidly-growing economies. Located in the heart of South-East Asia, it comprises two parts: Peninsular Malaysia, bordering with Thailand in the North and Singapore in the South; and East Malaysia, with with the states of Sarawak and Sabah sharing the island of Borneo, with Indonesia.
Malaysia is one of the most pleasant, hassle-free countries to visit in South-East Asia. Malaysian society is based on a vibrant and interesting fusion of Malay, Chinese, Indian and indigenous cultures and customs. The Chinese are mostly active in trade and Malays mostly in government. Government policies initiated in the 1970s have somewhat blurred that distinction and one can find representatives of all races in one field or the other.
Peninsular Malaysia is the most popular among visitors. Even the peninsula itself is divided into the East Coast and West Coast, by the Titiwangsa mountain range. The West Coast is more developed and holds more attractions while the East Coast boasts a rustic charm. The leatherback turtles make annual visits here to lay their eggs on parts of the East Coast shores..
The country's capital city of Kuala Lumpur is located on the West Coast and is the ideal starting point to the rest of Malaysia. The city, best known by its acronym "KL", is bustling with activity and holds many pleasant surprises for visitors, be it shopping, sightseeing or relaxation.
When you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of KL, you can head for the hills, or more precisely, Cameron Highlands or Fraser's Hill. Both were developed by the British as retreats during the colonial era, and have maintained their charm as a cool and relaxing getaway. Alternatively, you can take a break to Langkawi Island, visit historic Melaka (once called "Malacca") or Penang (also dubbed the Pearl of the Orient). Both Melaka and Penang are rich in culture and history, being the sites where the Portuguese and British first set a foothold on ancient Malaya. All the major towns and cities are easily accessible by expressways and roads.
If you are the adventurous type, your destination should be Sarawak or Sabah (in East Malaysia), with their spectacular wildlife, native longhouses, the awe-inspiring Mulu caves and Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in Malaysia. The mountain offers a spectacular view of the sunrise to visitors who are game enough to make the trek. Pulau Sipadan offers some of the best scuba diving in the world.