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Holidays in Malaysia

Understanding Malaysia

History

Established in 1891, the British protectorate of Nyasaland became the independent nation of Malawi on 6th July, 1964 After three decades of one-party rule, the country held multiparty elections in 1994 under a provisional constitution, which took full effect the following year National multiparty elections were held again in 1999 and 2004 electing present president Bingu wa Mutharika

Geography

Climate

Much of Malawi is plateau, often reaching to 3,000 feet, and the temperature in these highlands is moderate, with the hottest period occurring during the autumn rainy season and the coolest and chilliest in winter The hottest region in the country is the lower Shire River Valley well south of Blantyre Temperatures along scenic Lake Malawi are generally warm, but with a cooling breeze, especially in the evenings Winters May till July are dry The rainy season begins in mid-October to early November and generally runs until March

Culture

Malawi’s people are its greatest asset - friendly, welcoming, colourful and vibrant It is impossible to visit and not to become engaged with the people, but there are now opportunities to spend time in real villages including staying overnight for a first-hand experience of the cultures, traditions and daily life This is an option pretty much everywhere in Malawi, and one well worth taking

There’s also much to see of Malawi’s history, beginning with the pre-history remains of the Karonga district and the Stone Age rock paintings near Dedza The Cultural & Museum Centre at Karonga is well worth a visit Elsewhere, the colonial period is preserved in buildings dating from the David Livingstone era and the defeat of the Arab slave trade is well documented in the museums of Blantyre Among other museums around the country are a Lake Museum at Mangochi, a mission museum at Livingstonia and a postal services museum near Zomba

Talking in Malaysia

The official languages of Malawi are English and Chichewa English is widely spoken in urban areas and by the well-educated upper class, though outside of that, a few words in Chichewa will go a long way Chichewa is the first language of the majority of the population, and knowing Chichewa will get you by in most of Malawi though in some very remote areas, learning the local tongue might be essential Nevertheless, even in those areas, it is not uncommon to find younger people who are bilingual in their local language and Chichewa Tumbuka is the first language for many people in the north of the country Chiyao is spoken by the Yao people who live mostly in the Southern District of the country A multi-cultural country, Malawi has over a dozen indigenous ethnic groups, each with its own distinct language However, even in those areas, many younger people will be bilingual in the local language and Chichewa

What to see in Malaysia

There are various beautiful national parks in Malaysia There are many different types of expeditions available, ranging from those where you hardly lose sight of the hotel to those were you are fully immersed in the jungle with only the guide and yourself if you are willing to pay the money! Tours vary from about 4 days to 2 weeks or more It is very unlikely in most of the national parks for you to see a tiger or an elephant as it is really likely only if you are going to be staying for longer than a few days, ie, for a couple of weeks at least One of the most common forms of wildlife that you will encounter in the jungle however are definitely leeches! In the rainforest it is very very humid but actually it is not incredibly hot This is because of the large amount of shade afforded by the canopy created by the interlocking trees Shop around for deals of getting into the jungle and make your decision based on what type of person you are If you are going to enjoy a lot of hiking without seeing any other people for days or even weeks then you can have that choice, alternatively you can have a much more 'packaged' tour in which you will probably stay in a very built up tourist town which has probably just grown out of the demand for people wanting to stay in the jungle

To escape from the muggy tropics, do as the English did and head up to the cooler highlands of West Malaysia

There is a zoo at Taiping

What to do in Malaysia

For a small country, Malawi has a quite remarkable array of activities to offer its visitors The magnificent Lake Malawi is a haven for boat activities and watersports, as well as having some of the best freshwater diving sites in the world Eight land-based national parks and wildlife reserves offer all type of safaris in a wide variety of natural wilderness environments The mixed terrain and varied landscapes also provide for excellent outdoor activities, including trekking and mountain biking, particularly in the highland areas Those seeking cultural experiences are also well served by sites of historical interest and simple village visits to meet the ever-smiling Malawians in their daily life

Specialist tours/activities include yoga holidays, tea factory tours and art safaris Pottery classes are available at two centres In October the Lake of Stars Music festival takes place with local and international artists

Buying stuff in Malaysia

The local currency is the Malawi kwacha, abbreviated K or MK The currency is freely convertible if difficult to get rid of outside the country and, as of January 2010, trades at around 145 kwacha to the US dollar US dollars will also be accepted by almost everybody, particularly for larger purchases For the current exchange rate visit ie Zikomonet 6 In Blantyre and Llilongwe try Victoria Forex Bureau 7 Watch out for kwacha from neighboring Zambia, worth less than 1/20th of the Malawi version! Malawi Kwacha are exchangeable in the Zambian capital Lusaka, and at banks close to the border

Credit card acceptance is spotty Visa and MasterCard are accepted by larger hotels, including some ATMs, but you can leave AmEx or anything else at home ATMs are becoming much more common and can be used at many banks in major cities, though most notably, VISA is the card of choice and many times the only option

Travellers cheques can be changed in banks, forex bureaus and in some high-end hotels The number of hotels accepting payment by travellers cheque seems to be shrinking Don't rely on them unless you have spoken to the hotel US dollars cash, is your best bet, and it gives a better exchange rate

Food and eating in Malaysia

Traditional Malawian food revolves around one staple, maize, served in one form, nsima n'SEE-ma Nsima is basically a type of thick porridge, rolled into balls with your right hand and dipped into a variety of stews known as relishes Those who can afford them eat relishes of beef, chicken or fish, but the many who can't make do with beans, tiny dried fish kapenta, pumpkin leaves chibwabwa and other vegetables At breakfast, nsima can be served watered down into a soup, maybe with a little sugar Local restaurants will serve nsima and relish for less than 100K US$1

Food options in the major cities of Lilongwe and Blantyre are good Fast food — to include burgers, pizza, and fried chicken — is very popular in Malawi For sit-down meals, ethnic eateries thanks to a significant ex-pat population are popular Do note that, in many restaurants, pork products are not served to accommodate the Muslim population

Outside the larger cities, however, you might be a little underwhelmed with food options Along the major roadways, you will find "tuck shops" featuring packaged cookies or Take Away Meals — meat pies or sausage rolls, for instance — which may or may not satisfy you

Finally, in terms of hygiene outside the major cities, you are unlikely to find a proper washroom with running water You will probably be given a bowl of water, a piece of soap, and a damp towel Therefore, some travelers bring small bottles of anti-bacterial hand soap with them

Drinking in Malaysia

Tap water in major cities like Lilongwe, Blantyre, Zomba and Mzuzu is generally potable, although travelers are advised to drink bottled water

Soft drinks

A traditional local drink worth trying is mahewu also maheu, a somewhat gritty and vaguely yogurty but refreshing beverage made from maize meal Factory-produced maheu is sweet, comes in plastic bottles and is available in a variety of flavors including banana, chocolate and orange, while homemade versions are usually unflavored and less sweet

Less traditional, but arguably more tasty, are the fizzy drinks by Southern Bottlers Sobo Sobo is also the licensed manufacturer of Coca Cola in Malawi

Alcohol

Malawi has a significant Muslim population, including former President Bakili Muluzi, but alcohol is widely available even in Muslim dominated regions The only beers you will generally find are brewed in Blantyre by Carlsberg, and its products are available in restaurants and stores throughout the country Malawi Distilleries produces stronger stuff including Smirnoff Vodka licensed, but also its own products like Mulanje Gold Coffee Liqueur Perhaps one of the most popular drinks in the country is the MGT Malawi Gin and Tonic made with Malawi Gin, an aromatic version of this popular alcohol

Accommodation in Malaysia

Western-standard hotels can be found in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Zomba and Mzuzu, as well as along the shores of Lake Malawi The Lake Malawi resort hotels cater primarily to international tourists

There are high-level five-star resort hotels in some rural areas charging western prices

Cities in Malaysia

alor gajah  alor setar  ayer itam  ayer keroh  ayer molek  ayer tawar  bandar maharani  bandar penggaram  banting  batang berjuntai  batu arang  batu berendam  batu gajah  beaufort  bedong  bemban  bentong  beranang  bidor  bintulu  bukit bakri  bukit baru  bukit mertajam  bukit rambai  buloh kasap  butterworth  chaah  cukai  donggongon  gua musang  gurun  ipoh  jenjarom  jerantut  jertih  jitra  johor bahru  juru  kampar  kangar  kapit  kelapa sawit  keningau  kepala batas  kerteh  kinarut  klang  kluang  kota bahru  kota belud  kota kinabalu  kota tinggi  kuah  kuala kangsar  kuala kedah  kuala lipis  kuala lumpur  kuala perlis  kuala pilah  kuala selangor  kuala sungai baru  kuala terengganu  kuang  kuantan  kuching  kudat  kulai  kulim  labis  labuan  lahad datu  limbang  lumut  marang  masjid tanah  melaka  mentakab  mersing  miri  nibong tebal  nilai  paka  pantai remis  papar  parit buntar  parit raja  pasir gudang  pasir mas  pekan nenas  pekan  pengkalan kundang  perai  peringat  permatang kuching  petaling jaya  pontian kecil  port dickson  pulau sebang  putatan  ranau  raub  rawang  sabak  sandakan  segamat  sekudai  semenyih  semporna  senai  seremban  serendah  shah alam  sibu  simpang empat  simpang rengam  sri aman  sungai besar  sungai pelek  sungai petani  sungai udang  taiping  tampin  tanah merah  tangkak  tanjong karang  tanjong sepat  tanjong tokong  tapah  tawau  teluk intan  temerloh  tumpat  ulu tiram  yong peng  

What do you think about Malaysia?

How expensive is Malaysia?
(1 MYR = 0.23 USD)
Meal in inexpensive restaurant6.51 MYR
3-course meal in restaurant (for 2)49.5 MYR
McDonalds meal11.88 MYR
Local beer (0.5 draft)9.3 MYR
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 11.76 MYR
Cappuccino9.68 MYR
Pepsi/Coke (0.33 bottle)2.01 MYR
Water (0.33 bottle)1.3 MYR
Milk (1l)5.67 MYR
Fresh bread (500g)2.99 MYR
White Rice (1kg)3.5 MYR
Eggs (12) 5.05 MYR
Local Cheese (1kg) 30.75 MYR
Chicken Breast (1kg) 9.1 MYR
Apples (1kg) 7.65 MYR
Oranges (1kg) 6.83 MYR
Tomato (1kg) 4.68 MYR
Potato (1kg) 3.32 MYR
Lettuce (1 head) 2.94 MYR
Water (1.5l)1.87 MYR
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 46.5 MYR
Domestic Beer (0.5 bottle)8.31 MYR
Foreign beer (0.33 bottle) 12.07 MYR
Cigarettes11.52 MYR
One way local bus ticket1.94 MYR
Monthly pass for bus91 MYR
Taxi start2.76 MYR
Taxi 1km1.4 MYR
Taxi 1hour waiting20 MYR
Gasoline (1 liter) 2.41 MYR
Utilities for a "normal" apartment186.22 MYR
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 19.1 MYR
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 600.7 MYR
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