Malaysia interesting facts
What do you know about Malaysia? Before we came to this country more than a year ago, we knew nothing about it. From that time, we have visited many places in Malaysia and got to know it a little better. It is a country full of contrasts and surprises. What are the Malaysia interesting facts? What is special and unique about this place? Keep on reading and you will find all the important, funny and weird information below!
Malaysia interesting facts #1
Malaysia is a colonial country
Almost all countries in South East Asia have been colonised. Malaysia wasn’t an exception. Through the years, it has been under Portuguese, Dutch and British influences. It became independent in 1957 but the borders of the newly created country weren’t finally established until 1965.
You can see the huge colonial influence everywhere in Malaysia, especially when it comes to building and architecture. One of the most famous colonial towns in Malacca– we absolutely loved this place! It looks like a little Dutch town, with a beautiful river and bridges.
Malaysia interesting facts #2
Malaysia is a multicultural country
The standard of living in Malaysia is quite high, comparing to other countries in Asia. That’s why it has many immigrants, especially from China and India.
Streets of Malaysia are very colourful and you can see almost every nationality there. You can also hear different languages and that’s what makes this country beautiful. We love the diversity of people, cultures and food in Malaysia.
Even though everybody is so different, they have somehow found a way to coexist in the same place and accept each other.
Malaysia interesting facts #3
Alcohol in Malaysia is very expensive
Prices in Malaysia are quite low. Everything is cheap, including food, clothes and accommodation. The only thing that is really expensive (comparing to other countries in South East Asia) is alcohol.
For one small can of beer you need to pay at least 8MYR ($2). The cheapest wine would cost 32MYR ($8). It’s still less than in countries like Australia or US, but comparing to the cost of living in Malaysia, alcohol is very expensive.
Malaysia interesting facts #4
Traditional Malaysian dish is Nasi Lemak
We just love this dish! It is great for breakfast, lunch and even supper. Nasi Lemak is a coconut rice, served with egg, spicy sambal chilli paste, dried salty anchovies, fried peanuts and fresh cucumber.
It all tastes delicious and is really cheap! Only RM3- RM10 per portion ($1-$3).
Malaysia interesting facts #5
Everybody speak English in Malaysia even though it is not an official language of this country
That is the thing we just couldn’t understand. Almost EVERYBODY speaks English in Malaysia, no matter if it is a taxi driver, a salesman or a random person on the street, whom you ask for help. Almost every TV and radio station is in English. More than 50% of newspapers are written in this language too. Despite all these facts, English is not an official language in Malaysia.
We were asking many people for the reason why. The most common answer that we have heard is that Malaysia still don’t like Great Britain because of the colonial past. They don’t want to official accept British as their national language. They are still using it though, because of the multiculturality of Malaysia. The only way Malay can communicate with Indian or Chinese immigrant is in English language.
Malaysia interesting facts #6
Street art is very popular in Malaysia
From all the countries we have visited all over the world, Malaysia has the most beautiful street art that we’ve ever seen. Paintings on the wall there don’t look like the act of vandalism, but like an art. Every graffiti has a different story to tell and it usually represents the history of the place and of its citizens.
Malaysia interesting facts #7
Malaysian ringgit (MYR) is often called ‘dollar’ by locals
It made us confused so many times! When we were asking for the price in local restaurant or shop, we often heard a reply: ‘2 dollars only’. Then we asked about the price in ringgit. And they replied: but it is a price in ringgit!
At the beginning we thought that it’s a scam and they will double charge us for everything. But it turns out, Malaysian people call their currency dollar without any particular reason. Maybe they want it to sound the same as in the Singapore?
Paying in REAL dollars (US$) is forbidden in Malaysia, so prices are shown everywhere in ringgits. 1 MYR= US$0.25
Malaysia interesting facts #8
Singapore belonged to Malaysia in the past
It is funny but when we talk to the people we meet on the road, some of them still think that Singapore is the city in Malaysia. It is not! It’s a separate country for more than 50 years now.
It became independent in 1965. Malaysia and Singapore are still connected to each other, especially when it comes to tourism. The government and the law are completely different and independent of each other though.
If you want to read more interesting facts about Singapore, click here.
Malaysia interesting facts #9
Jimmy Choo in a native Malay
Have you heard of Jimmy Choo? It is the most famous shoes designer in the world. Almost every woman dream about having at least one pair of his amazing heels.
Only few people know that he was born and raised in Penang, Malaysia. His father was a shoemaker and he taught him everything. Jimmy made his first pair of shoes when he was 11 years old.
When he was older, he moved to London and built his business worth millions of dollars.
Malaysia interesting facts #10
Caning is a popular punishment in Malaysia
We were really surprised that caning is an official punishment in Malaysia! It may be a court sentence only for men. Women, men older than 50 years old (except those convicted of rape) and people sentenced to death cannot be caned.
Caning is also a common punishment in school, for male students who have committed minor offences.
Beating can be also ordered by Sharia court, only for Muslims, both men and women.