Malaysia has fervently embraced modern technology—it boasts two of the world’s tallest skyscrapers and a super multimedia/cyber corridor.
But Malaysia still has some of the world’s most remote jungle (in Sabah and Sarawak); one of Southeast Asia’s most vibrant old ports (George Town); and an atmospheric, colonial hill station (the Cameron Highlands). Even in Kuala Lumpur, the capital, which bristles with ambitious new building projects, you can still find exotic markets and plenty of local color. As a result, travelers to Malaysia can easily ratchet up or down the levels of adventure and comfort they want to experience.
Although Malaysia is an Islamic country, most Muslims there practice a more moderate form of Islam. Muslim women who choose to wear headscarves and modest clothing usually do so with bright and cheerful flair. More conservative followers prevail in the northern states, particularly in Kelantan and Terengganu, where alcohol is strictly controlled and women find increased restrictions on their clothing and activity choices. These things will have little impact on visitors; however, practicing a bit of modesty in clothing and attitude will go a long way in winning favor there.
Like many of its neighbors, Malaysia suffered damage and loss of life from the tsunamis that struck Southeast Asia in December 2004, but because much of the nation was shielded from the impact of the waves by Sumatra, only the northern regions, especially the island of Penang, suffered extensive damage.
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