Ever wondered what makes Malaysia Truly Asia?
Here's my take on it --
Malaysia is truly Asia because like the Philippines, Malaysia offers an eclectic mix of people, culture, religion, architecture and arts that are undeniably Asian. Population in Malaysia is composed mainly of Malay, Chinese, Indigenous and Indian people and yet, diverse as they are, the one thing that binds them together is that they can call Asia their home land. The same thing can be said about many religions that we can find in Malaysia, including Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confusianism and Taoism, which all originated from Asia. As for Malaysian culture, architecture and the arts, influences from neighboring nations like China, India and Thailand are very evident.
Another reason why I think Malaysia is truly Asia is that it's home to some of the most amazing natural and man-made wonders that all Asians can be proud of;
Mount Kinabalu, which can be found in Sabah, Malaysia, is the 20th tallest mountain the world with a height of 13,435 feet. It is home to more than 300 species of birds, 4,500 species of flora (which include the Rafflesia - the world's largest flower) and 100 species of mammals. This great mountain is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and it continues to be one of the dream destinations of mountaineers the world over.
If you're a nature lover who loves to explore rainforests, Malaysia should definitely be in your list of countries to visit. This archipelago actually has some of the world's oldest rainforests, some having ancient trees measuring over 100 meters high! So if you want to get a glimpse of how rainforests and pristine eco-systems looked like in the past, check out Malaysia.
Sarawak, Malaysia, on the other hand, is where you can find the Niah Caves. A kilometer long and half a kilometer wide, the Great Niah Cave had become home to some of the earliest human settlers in South East Asia. Human remains dating as far back at 40,000 years ago have been found inside the Niah, highlighting the cave's historical significance. I'm sure aspiring historians, sociologists, geologies and archeologists will truly appreciate the wonder that is Niah.
If you're into diving and snorkeling, rest assured that Malaysia also has something in store for you. Layang Layang and Sipadan Island are two of the most popular diving destinations in the country. There you can experience the thrill of swimming with turtles and diving into underwater caves that house a great variety of corals and fish.
As for man-made wonders, of course -- there's the Petronas Towers;
With an unbelievable height of 1,483 feet, Petronas Towers are the tallest twin buildings in the world. Tower One is home to Petronas and its associates while Tower Two is occupied by giant multi-national companies that have chosen to invest in Asia like IBM, Boeing and Microsoft, among so many others.
Both having 88 storeys, the two towers are linked by a skybridge between their 41st and the 42nd floors; This skybridge is considered the highest 2-storey bridge in the world.
Even Petronas Towers' design is undeniably Asian. The very facade of each tower, made of glass, steel and concreate, resemble motifs found in Islamic Art -- something that is highly reflective of Malaysia's muslim religion.
For me, the Petronas Towers scraping the clouds represents Asians' drive for excellence and symbolizes the truth that together, we can achieve great things.
Personally, I see the skybridge as a symbol of Asians' unity despite our diversity.
I haven't actually been to Malaysia and I'm totally excited at the prospects of visiting this wonderful country, one of the Philippines' dearest neighbors, to discover its wonders and feel the legendary hospitality of the Malaysian people.