I'm sort of curious what percent of the people who read this post will know where the title comes from. Prior to my heading to SE Asia, by far the thing I knew best about Malaysia, was their massive (At least European) ad campaign to promote tourism. Basically, the country has put it all on the line and makes some pretty bold claims. See two good examples of their ads here:
So at some point in the mid 2000s, these Malaysia commercials started to show up on CNN International and other such channels...constantly...clearly the country spent some series funds on this campaign, and I believe it was not only successful, but also won a number of awards internationally for advertising. They certainly have raised their awareness levels well above many of their neighbors, such as Vietnam or the Philippines. I don't know exactly what kind of increases have been attributed to the campaign, but needless to say I found it very effective in getting the name out across Europe.
So going into my visit with that in mind, I have to say, while I probably only scratched the surface of the country, mainly KL and then diving in Sipadan (which I'll cover separately), I found it to be a very pleasant place to spend time. Kuala Lumpur, or KL, was quite a bit more sophisticated than I expected, and really does seem to have a unique mix cultures as is claimed (Technically 54% Malay, 25% Chinese, and around 8% Indian). Interestingly, I found that KL feels a bit like a mid to large sized US city, in that cars seem to be the dominant form of transportation (they make their own btw, called Protons), and as a result the infrastructure build-out has yielded massive overpasses and highways scattered across town, just like in the US.
I found Malaysian foods spicy and really very tasty, and KL itself has a lot to offer from the world famous Petronas Towers, to significant malls and shopping, and numerous tourist sites of various types.Overall, it was an excellent visit, and I’d much enjoy the chance to go back again and see more of the less urban areas of the country.It sounded to me like the wildlife and nature tour opportunities available, could easily constitute an entire visit focused on them alone.
In any case, I think I came away with some interesting shots from my visit, here are a few, and if you want to see the rest, go ahead and click the link below for the main gallery…
Past galleries from SE Asia