Malaysia is a country that’s well known for being culturally diverse and beautiful in nature. The jungles are well-preserved and with Sarawak and Sabah (East Malaysia) being part of the Federation of Malaysia, the nature and multicultural people adds an extra essence to the country. However, let’s face it. Some truths are just are to swallow.
1. Each Malaysian is equal, but some are more equal than others.
Malaysia is an ethnically diverse country and it confers benefits and drawbacks to be a member of a given ethnic community. For example-everyone has religious freedom except the ethnic Malays who must be Muslim. About a third of Malaysia’s land is known as Malay-Reserve and can only be owned by Malaysians. Other ethnic groups wishing to live in these areas will rent, since they are not legally entitled to own their homes unfortunately.
2. Malaysia is the paradise of a nature-lover.
Malaysia boasts some of the most diverse habitats on the planet, particularly its rainforests and coral reefs, and the country is home to many rare species including tapirs, pangolins, orangutans, tigers and rhinos, all of which are sadly endangered, either as a result of palm-oil deforestation or as a result of illegal trafficking in wildlife.
3. There Are Different Versions of Food
Okay okay. This is not a surprise since every state or city has its own way of preparing certain dishes. But foreigners might not have a clue on this. In Malaysia alone, there are 7 types of Laksa. We have the Curry Laksa, Nyonya Laksa, Penang Asam Laksa, Kedah Laksa, Johor Laksa, Laksam and finally the Sarawak Laksa. Malaysians are very proud of their culinary heritage. Each ethnicity and state has its own specialties, but their recipes are more or less influenced by their heritage to an extent.
Image credit: EyeEm
4. Don’t Directly Drink Tap Water
Tap water is not safe to drink in Malaysia unless it is filtered out. Water can be purchased for approximately $0.50 per 1.5L in any street corner. Moreover, the majority of hostels, guesthouses and hotels have filtered water options at present. You can fill in your bottle of water here, which is cheaper and more environmentally friendly. So make sure you carry a reusable water bottle in your suitcase!
5. Use Grab Instead of Taxis
Although public transportation is common, public transportation cannot always be feasible, or it takes too long. Often taking a taxi is much more convenient (especially if you’re bringing 20 kg of luggage around), but they can get very expensive. (Especially if you came all the way from the airport). So the perfect way is to get the Grab app downloaded! Grab is like Southeast Asia’s Uber, and is available in countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia. As long as you have access to the internet you can easily order a Grab taxi to take you to your destination, when you arrive you can simply pay the driver in cash. Taking a grab is also much more economical than taking a taxi, because you’re never going to have to negotiate the price, you’re going to be able to see it up front.
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