August and September are the two most patriotic months for the Malaysians. We celebrate our Independence Day on August 31 and Malaysia Day on September 16 each year. Therefore, in order to celebrate these patriotic months, we would like to pay tributes to our beloved motherland and learn a thing or two about this country of ours. Here are the 10 things you don’t know about Malaysia (and you really should!)
1. One of the World’s Largest Roundabout is in Putrajaya
Putrajaya does not only locate tons of awesome bridges and beautiful administrative buildings, but it is also home to one of the largest roundabout in the world. Such status is mentioned in a book written by Venkat Hari called “501 Amazing Facts about Malaysia”. The roundabout in Putrajaya has a diameter of 3.5km. The Putrajaya traffic roundabout shared the status of world’s largest roundabout with another roundabout located in Queen’s Park Savannah in Trinidad and Tobago.
2. Penang Free School is the Oldest English School in Southeast Asia
Penang Free School that is located in Georgetown Penang is the oldest school in this country, and also the oldest English school in Southeast Asia. It was established in 1816 and founded by Reverend Sparke Hutchings. The famous school in Malaysia has famous alumni (known as Old Frees) that include Tan Sri P. Ramlee, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, and Malaysia’s former badminton All-England champion, Dato’ Eddy Choong.
3. Tanjung Piai is the Southernmost Tip of Continental Asia
We bet the next item in this 10 things you don’t know about Malaysia is new to you; Tanjung Piai that is situated in Johor is Asia’s most southern tip. Many of us might think that Singapore or Indonesia would have the most southern tip, but for a location to be considered as the southernmost tip, it has to be physically connected to the whole Asia continent!
4. The Nehemiah Wall Used for Flyover Constructions Was Invented by A Malaysian
The hexagon-shaped flyover blocks are widely used in Malaysia. Not many of us know this but it has actually been invented by a Malaysian engineer, Dr. Nehemiah Lee. The blocks are more durable and faster to build compared to concrete blocks. Plus, it can also tolerate differential settlement of soil, which is something not tolerable by concrete walls. The invention is so successful that is being used in many countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Australia.
Now let us take a look at several things about people or weather of Malaysia that you might not know (especially if you are a foreigner)
5. Malaysians Love Their Local Foods
Malaysians are a bunch of lovely people who love and appreciate their local foods. They take pride in their delicious nasi lemak, teh tarik, roti canai, nasi ayam, cendol, laksa and many others. The rich set of food choices available in this blessed land is perhaps due to the race and cultural diversity that exists in Malaysia. We are connected and bonded by our foods. It is one of the reasons you can see all types of races sitting and eating in a single restaurant, usually at the Mamak restaurants.
6. The Food Service is Unpredictable
Even though Malaysian foods are cheap and delicious, try not to expect too much from the food service (unless you are to eat at a high-end restaurant). Each restaurant or stalls has different food preparation or delivery system. It takes several visits to get used to their methods of operations. Some waiters would come and ready to take your order even before you sit or open the menu book. Some other places require you to line up, make your order and bring your own plate to your table. When it comes to the waiting time, it is all based on your luck! =)
7. Malaysians Love to Go to the Malls
Malaysia is definitely a shopping heaven. There are numerous shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur and other big cities in Malaysia. During the weekends, these malls will be packed with people who come either to shop, window-shop, or just linger around. For foreign travelers, you can expect various goods in these malls, and the cost of the goods should be relatively low and cheaper compared to the neighboring country of Singapore.
8. Malaysia Do Not Have Tuk-Tuks
One of the things you don’t know about Malaysia, especially if you are a foreign traveler, is that there is no tuk-tuk in Malaysia. The famous three-wheel vehicles can only be found in Thailand or Indonesia, but not here in Malaysia. For public transportations, you can use the taxis (quite expensive), light rail transit (fast and relatively cheaper), or buses (cheap but the schedule is not that efficient).
9. Malaysia Has Unpredictable Weather
Another thing that you might not know about Malaysia is the unpredictable weather. Sure, there are only sunny or rainy days, but boy, those two weather can switch within just a few seconds. Before you go for a road trip in this country, make sure to check the weather forecast for the morning, noon, evening and night since the weather in these periods can change quite quickly and radically. You can have a bright sun in the morning and before you knew it, a heavy pouring rain with thunder can strike right after that.
10. Malaysians are Friendly
Sure, we tend to stare but that is just because we are friendly. Malaysians love to help tourists whenever they can. You simply need to ask for directions, and they will be ready to guide you the way. The fact that majority of Malaysians can speak English very well does help a lot in giving clear and correct directions, so you do not have to worry about getting lost here in Malaysia!
The country is very well-known for its skyscrapers, interesting tourists attractions, and breathtaking islands. With a little bit of extra information about the unknown achievements, food, weather, and the people themselves, we hope we have helped you to be prepared to come and visit Malaysia. Don’t forget to make your hotel reservation via Tripfez .