Here’s an interesting fact for you, Malaysia is re-opening soon after a closure of 2 years. There will be waves of travellers rushing to get their Malaysia visa and book their Malaysia flight tickets to be the first ones to get access to the country as soon as it re-opens. Whatever is your reason to travel, be it for work or fun , Malaysia will not disappoint you.

With many tourists deciding on their Malaysia itinerary, here are some interesting facts about Malaysia, which may be fun for you to know before you experience it yourself.

1. Colonized By Few:

Malaysia was a colonized nation, not once or twice but thrice! First came the Portuguese, and then came the Dutch followed by the British at last, after which the country got its independence in 1957 and established its borders in 1965.

2. Multiculturalism:

Being in the path of old trade routes, Malaysia has an amalgamation of cultures as part of its rich history. With Chinese and Indian nationals settling down and the Malays mingling with them, Malaysia boasts of culturally diverse cuisine, population and traditions and festivals.

3. Jimmy Choo Has Malaysian Roots:

An interesting fact not many may be aware of is that  London based famous shoe designer Jimmy Choo, was born and brought up in Penang, Malaysia. He learned the skill from his father who was a shoemaker and was only 11 years old when he created his first shoe!

4. Ringgit:

Malaysian Ringgit
Malaysian Ringgit

In Malaysian “ringgit” means “jagged”, this is a reference to the Spanish silver dollars that had serrated edges and were commonly used during 16th and 17th century. Fun fact – Malaysians refer to their ringgit as “dollar” so if you ask the price of something and they reply with amount in dollars, it does not mean you have to pay in dollars, use the local ringgit.

5. Connection To Singapore:

Singaopre visa application process, visa fees, documents required, processing time etc
Singapore

Prior to Malaysia’s independence, Singapore was a part of it. Even though they separated in 1965, they are still connected by a causeway and a bridge. You can share this interesting fact with your friends and family on your next visit to Singapore or Malaysia and boast about your knowledge of the region. Many of our travellers even prefer to club both Singapore and Malaysia for their holiday since its very convenient to travel by road between the two Asian countries.

6. Expensive Alcohol:

This is very common fact known by all; alcohol consumption in Malaysia will surely burn a deep hole in your pocket. Compared to other Asian countries the cost of alcohol in Malaysia is very high.

7. Oldest Sultanate In The World:

Kedah Sultanates first sultan – Sultan Mudzafar Shah, started his rule in the year 1136 because of which it is considered the oldest sultanate in the world. Currently Sultan Abdul Mu’adzam is the 28th Sultan of Kedah. Not many people know of this fact.

8. Oldest English School:

Many people will find it interesting to know, Malaysia’s Penang is the home to oldest known English medium school in the South East Asian region. Founded by Reverend Sparke Hutchings, the Penang Free School has been operational since 21st October 1816. That’s 206 years running! Referred to as “Old Frees” the famous alumni include the first Prime Minister of Malaysia – Tunku Abdul Rahman and various other personalities.

9. Borneo:

View from Borneo
View from Borneo

Shared by Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, Borneo, a giant, rugged island in Southeast Asia’s Malay Archipelago is the 3rd largest island in the world, after Greenland and New Guinea. With habitats for Orangutans and Sun Bears, and also the home to various other flora and fauna, and Mount Kinabulu, Fun fact – it is the highest mountain in Malaysia at 13,435 feet; this island is definitely worth a visit. 

10. Rotating Monarch:

 Malaysia's King, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah with the queen and Malaysia's Prime Minister at the welcoming ceremony for the 16th King of Malaysia.
Malaysia’s King, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah with the Queen and Malaysia’s Prime Minister at the welcoming ceremony for the 16th King of Malaysia.
Image Credits: Lens Hitam

Here’s an interesting fact about Malaysian Monarchy – this is a one of a kind system in the world to elect the reigning Monarch. The 9 ethnic Malay rulers of different states of Malaysia elect the king who will reign for the tenure of 5 years. This is a rotational system where every 5 years the 9 royals elect the next “Yang di-Pertuan Agong” which literally means ‘He Who is Made Lord’.

11. Aurea Chersonesus:

One of the old names of Malaysia, “Aurea Chersonesus” was given by the famous geographer Ptolemy in around 150 AD. In his book Georaphia, he referred to Malaysia as “Aurea Chersonesus,” meaning “peninsula of gold.”

12. Petronas Towers:

Petronas Towers of Kuala Lumpur
Petronas Towers of Kuala Lumpur

Holding the record for the tallest building in the world till 2004, Petronas Towers boasts of the highest sky bridge between two buildings in the world, while also being the tallest twin towers in the world.

13. UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

A detail about Malaysia that is fairly overlooked – it is home to 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, namely: Gunung Mulu National Park, the Kinabalu Park, the cities of Melaka and George Town, and the Lenggong Valley. The Sarwak Cave Chamber in Gunung Mulu National Park is the largest cave chamber in the world, with the capacity to accommodate 40-50 Boeing 747s next to each other without touching or overlapping their wings! Now this sure does qualify as an interesting fact.

14. Highways All Around:

Malaysia has roughly 66,000 kms of highway roads all over the country. To get an idea – Earth’s circumference is 40,000 kms long. Malaysia also has paved the biggest roundabout in the world with a diameter of 3.5 kms in Putrajaya.

15. Corpse Flower:

Rafflesia arnoldii flower
Rafflesia arnoldii flower

This interesting flower is so called because of its peculiar corpse like stench. Otherwise known as Rafflesia arnoldii, this is a parasitic flower which embeds itself onto the host flower and the only part that is visible is the 3 feet wide head of it. The largest flower in the world, it can weigh upto 7 kgs.

16. Bintangor Trees:

Native to Sarawak in Malaysia, a compound found in Bintangor trees – Calanolide A is being used for clinical trials for anti HIV drugs.

17. Tualang:

Tualang tree
Tualang tree

The tallest tropical tree in the world – Tualang, has its roots in Malaysia. Standing upto 262 feet tall and going as wide as 10 feet they are truly a majestic sight to behold.

18. Pirates And Treasure:

If stories of sea, pirates and treasures interest you, then you will find this interesting fact quite upto your liking. Malaysia’s Strait of Malacca houses the world’s richest undiscovered treasure somewhere on its sea floor. The Portuguese ship, Flora de la mar (Flower of the sea), manned by the Portuguese Navy, was sunken in December 1511, when it was returning after collecting the largest treasure. The Strait of Malacca is filled with modern day pirates, who patrol the waters in search of treasure even to this day.

19. King Of Fruits:

Durian
Durian

Durian is called the “king of fruits” in Malaysia. It is not a hidden fact that the fruit stinks. So much that many places have banned it and forbid bringing Durian on their premises. With its pungent smell and strong taste it is not a favorite amongst many tourists but the locals enjoy it in many forms such as ice cream, cheesecake and in its true natural form.

20. Queen Of Fruits:

Mangosteen
Mangosteen

It is an interesting fact universally acknowledged every king needs a queen. This also stands true for fruits; in this case the Malaysian Durian has a queen in the form of Mangosteen. Soft, juicy and flavorful this queen of fruits is truly opposite to the king in every regard.

21. Fasting Astronaut:

In 2007, Malaysian astronaut – Datuk Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, became the first person in space to fast during the holy month of Ramadan. He was sent on a mission to space and despite the hardships of a space mission he followed the mandatory fasting obligations of Ramadan, making him the first Muslim to achieve this feat.

22. Oldest Tropical Rainforest:

Taman Negara National Park
Taman Negara National Park

Estimated to be 130 million years old, Taman Negara – which is the Malay word for “national park”, is the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. If you wish to visit this park, you will need a special permission from the governing authorities. House to Malayan Tiger, Sumatran Rhinos and various other rare animals Taman Negara offers an unmatched experience of wild life.

23. King Cobra:

King Cobra
King Cobra

The highest number of King Cobras found in the world is in Malaysia. This species is not only the world’s longest venomous snake but also the deadliest. King Cobra interesting fact – the longest King Cobra found in Malaysia was 5m and 71cm long!

24. Pomelo:

Pomelo
Pomelo

The most abundant citrus fruit in the world is indigenous to Malaysia. This citrus fruit has pink flesh, sweet citrusy aroma and juicy pulp; it can grow up to the size of a football and can weigh upto 1-3 kgs.

25. Ketchup:

Ke-tsiap – a fermented sauce brought to Malaysia by the Chinese traders was introduced to the Europeans when they came to Malaysia. That’s how Ketchup was invented!

26. Passport:

The states of Sabah and Sarawak have different immigration policies; hence even the locals need their passport when travelling to and from East Malaysia and the Malaysian Peninsula.

27. Perak Man:

In 1991, the skeletal remains of a man who lived 11,000 years ago were found in Lenggong Valley. Called the “Perak Man”, this is the oldest remains ever found in Malaysia.

28. Rainy Days:

Being a tropical country, Malaysia is no stranger to rainy days; in fact Kuching in Sarawak region has a record of most rainy days in a year – 253 followed by Kuala Lumpur – 200.

29. Rubber:

World’s largest supplier of rubber gloves, Malaysia is the third largest producer of natural rubber in the world.

30. No Number 4:

As the number 4 is pronounced very similar to the Chinese word for “death”, you will find many buildings without the 4th floor. The number 4 is often replaced with number 3A or 3B, etc.

A cultural hot spot with medleys of cultures pouring about from left, right and center, Malaysia is not only filled with touristy destinations, but also has a host of offbeat places which are undiscovered by the masses and truly a delight if you are visiting to refresh and recharge yourself away from the crowds.

Are there any interesting facts about Malaysia, you’d like to add? If yes, feel free to share in the comments below.

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