What is unique about Malaysia?
Malaysia is unique among countries in the world due to a diversity of races, religions, and cultures. An ethnic mix of Malay, Chinese, and Indian people make for colorful experiences and a wildly diverse food scene. Adding to this, the country is made up of two main land masses, the peninsula and Malaysian Borneo. The latter is the indigenous home to its very own unique species—the proboscis monkey.
Batu Caves is one of the holiest sites for Hindus in Malaysia. People take pilgrimages here during the annual Thaipusam festival, walking barefoot, and climbing 272 steps to the shrine at the top with their offerings for Lord Murugan.
The festival culminates with an evening procession that’s spectacle, where body mutilation and trance are common. Some people pull heavy sleds attached to their bodies with hooks. Heads are shaven, the colors yellow and orange are predominantly worn, and peacock feathers are common decoration. All of this is honored and people are respected at the event for their deep commitment.
Borneo’s jungles are home to the adorable proboscis monkey. Males confidently attract females and warn the tribe about danger using their elongated nose. Some of their features and mannerisms seem remarkably human-like.
The iconic Kuala Lumpur Tower, aka KL Tower, is the 7th tallest tower in the world. From the top you can see a patch of green among the city’s urban landscape. That’s KL Forest Eco Park. It’s one of the oldest forest reserves in Malaysia—a rainforest right in the middle of a concrete jungle with a canopy walkway and a bamboo forest high above its nature trails. Pretty cool.
About the food… typical Malay food always includes rice or noodles, some sort of meat, and sweet desserts and drinks. Lemongrass, chili paste, curry leaves, fish curry, tamarind, and more create amazing flavors.
Visit Jalan Petaling and experience Chinatown’s fresh congee for breakfast. Make it your own with an assortment of add-ins, from raw fish to century eggs, chicken, bok choy, frogs’s legs, and more. Yum.
Chettinad cuisine is a type of Indian food served on a banana leaf. Rice, vegetables, and meat are prepared with delicious spices like star anise, red chilies, fennel seed, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, peppercorn, cumin seeds and fenugreek. Everything is eaten by hand. To signal that you’re finished, fold your banana leaf in half, and then end your meal with a fragrant chai tea to go.
Top row: Jamek Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Kuala Lumpur, built in 1909. Bottom row: Buddhist Maha Vihara is the oldest Sri Lankan temple in Kuala Lumpur, dating to 1895.
From the blog: The Asian Iceman is from Malaysia and he's helping people achieve their dreams through ice baths and other techniques.