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Malaysia is located in Southeast Asia, just north of the equator, and is bordered by Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei, and shares maritime boundaries with Vietnam and the Philippines. Malaysia is almost as diverse as its culture. 11 states and 2 federal territories (Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya) form Peninsular Malaysia which is separated by the South China Sea from East Malaysia which includes the 2 states (Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo) and a third federal territory, the island of Labuan.

The independent state of Malaysia was created on 16 September 1963 as a federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak. However, in 1965 Singapore withdrew from the federation to become a separate nation. The 11 states of former Malaya are known as West Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak, and East Malaysia.

The first settlers migrated to the area between 2500 and 1500 BC. Islam replaced Hinduism around the fifteenth century. During the 1800s, British and Dutch influence in the region grew as a consequence of trade and colonialism. During World War Two, Japan occupied Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore. After the War, the Allied Forces tried to unite the administration of Malaya in the Malayan Union, which was met by opposition so it quickly dissolved, and was replaced in 1946 by the Federation of Malaya under British protection.

Malaysia has a tropical climate. Temperatures range between 21 and 32 degrees centigrade, but it is colder in the mountains. The monsoon season is from April to October in the southwest, and from October to February in the northeast. Humidity is usually high. Earthquakes and tsunamis are also known to occur in the region.

As a people, Malaysians are very relaxed, warm and friendly. The population of Malaysia was estimated to be 30 644 293 people. The official language of Malaysia is Bahasa Malay (?????????) an Austronesian language spoken in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand. The total number of speakers of Standard Malay is about 18 million.

Malaysia is a country of contrasts and surprises. It's home to such a diversity of regions, activities and indulgences. To know Malaysia is to love Malaysia - a bubbling, bustling melting pot of races and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony. Our multiculturalism has made Malaysia a gastronomical paradise and home to hundreds of colourful festivals.

Fancy a lazy beach holiday mixed with fun activities for the kids? Or an action-packed hiking, kayaking, climbing, diving and camping adventure? Maybe a wildlife discovery tour is more your style, or a shopping blitz and spa retreat? How about all of the above? Here are must-visit/must-do things in Malaysia: Petronas Towers, Batu Caves, Mount Kinabalu, Tanman Negara, Bukit Bintang, Sunway Lagoon, Aquaria KLCC, KekLok SI, Pangkor Island, Gurney Drive, KL Bird Park, Deer Cave, THeanHou Temple, KL Tower, Bako National Park, Penang Hill, Putra Mosque, Ubudiah Mosque, Lost World of Tambun, Sepang International Circuit, Payar Island, ZahirMosque, Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Crytal Mosque, Snake Temple, BerJaya Times Square Theme Park, Istana Budaya, Manuka Island, and Danga Bay.

The Malaysian Ringgit is the currency of Malaysia. The currency code for Ringgits is MYR (MY< MYS), and the currency symbol is RM. Ringgit (RM) = 100 sen. Notes are printed in denominations of RM1,000, 500, 100, 50, 10, 5, 2 and 1. The RM1,000 and RM500 notes are being phased out. Coins are in denominations of RM1, and 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 sen. There are also a number of commemorative coins in different denominations, which are legal tender. The Ringgit is also referred to as the Malaysian Dollar.

The most popular Malaysian Ringgit currency exchanges in Malaysia are Australian Dollar (AUD), European Euro (EUR), US Dollar (USD), UK Pound Sterling (GBP), Indian Rupee (INR), Singapore Dollar (SGD), Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY) and Japanese Yen (JPY).
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