Malaysia is a multicultural country covering the skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur and the jungle headhunters of Borneo. Malaysia spans a peninsular area bordered by Thailand in the north and two states (Sarawak and Sabah) on the island of Borneo, which it shares with Brunei and Indonesia. The large majority of the population (over 20 million) live on the Peninsula. Malaysia has its origins in the Malay Kingdoms present in the area which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire. The territories on Peninsular Malaysia were first unified as the Malayan Union in 1946. Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya in 1948, and achieved independence on 31 August 1957. Malaya united with Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore on 16 September 1963, with si being added to give the new country the name Malaysia. However, less than two years later in 1965, Singapore was expelled from the federation. Since independence, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with GDP growing an average 6.5% for almost 50 years.
By: Melissa Lin
The Northern region of Malaysia comprises of the states Perak, Kedah and Perlis. Perhaps the best known spots of the North are the oft visited islands of Langkawi and Penang. The other areas are often left unexplored. This is a pity, for Northern Malaysia has much to offer the traveler, in the way of natural wonders, cuisine and traditional Malay culture and tradition.
Northern Malaysia is abundant with natural beauty and is steeped in rich culture and tradition. Apart from the popular Langkawi and Penang, there are a multitude of other lesser known spots to visit, local culture and tradition to savor.