Malaysia, unlike its northern neighbours Thailand and Singapore, is a muslim country, with a majority of muslims consisting the population. However, due to its geographical location and the vast number of different ethnicities, Malaysia is a not a Muslim country as one would imagine it to be, while it is much more flexible and liberal than many of its Islamic counterparts.
Malaysia uses Malay as its official language, with uses Latin alphabet, not Arabic. However, like in Turkey, you can hear the prayers from the Mosques in Arabic, five times a day. Most of the Malaysians speak good English as well, since English is commonly used in education and commerce. As a former trade route between China and India, Malaysia had a lot of merchants back in time.
Malaysia does not only contains Malays, but also Chinese and Indians. Every culture officially celebrates their own religious festivals, while there is complete respect for other religions in Malaysia. Even though the government is from the Muslim ethnicitiy, they are liberal with people’s freedoms to exercise their own religion.
I have been to two cities, Kuala Lumpur and Melacca. The latter one is a bit more historical and small than the capital, however I found it more interesting. With the temples, parks and ancient buildings, Melacca is a spectacle for the eyes. However, I was a bit dissapointed with Kuala Lumpur, which took me one day to see the main things in the city. Kuala Lumpur, even though a clean and a safe city, has not so much to offer to tourists, apart from its famous cave with a giant buddha statue next to it, and of course the Petronas towers.
However, after singapore, Malaysia was a huge relief with its reasonable prices. As an example, while I had to pay around 20 dollars for a hostel room in Singapore, I only paid 6 dollars in Malaysia. Even though the countries are neighbours, the income of people and the prices differ wildly.
All in all, Malaysia is a unique country in that region, with a lot of cities to visit and places to see.
I would also like to thank my friend Amro for his hospitality and friendship in my visit to Melacca.