A country that is split by an ocean but still offers an experience unlike any other. Malaysia offers sunshine, seashores, food and everything a traveler would look for; on top of that, it is known for its history and pride that has shaped the Malaysia we know and love today.
Formed in 1957, 63 years have seen a multitude of changes to what a small country was as we’ve experienced the growth first hand. There are still much to learn about this growing country as it is always advancing and we might find it hard to keep up with all that is happening these days.
In conjunction with Merdeka day, here are 10 little known facts about Malaysia, that might surprise you.
1) Ringgit means “jagged”
The national currency “Ringgit means ‘jagged’ in the Malay language in reference to the serrated edges of the Spanish silver dollars that were used in the 16th and 17th centuries.
2) Peninsula of Gold
One of the old names of Malaysia is Aurea Chersonesus, which means ‘peninsula of gold’. The name was given by Greco-Roman geographer Ptolemy in his book Geographia back in 150 AD.
3) Largest cave chamber in the world
Large enough to accommodate 40 Boeing 747s, the cave chamber in Gunung Mulu National Park, which is also the largest yet discovered on Earth is twice the size of Britain’s Wembley Stadium and homes thousands of small birds called swiftlets.
4) 65,877 kilometres of highway roads
Yes, you read that right. To put it into perspective, the circumference of the Earth is 40,075 kilometres.
It is believed that the English word ketchup is believed to have been sourced from the Hokkien word “ke-tsiap” which refers to a dish of fermented sauce.
6) Sunken treasure
The richest uncovered treasure from a sunken ship lies on the floor in the Strait of Malacca in Malaysia.
7) UNESCO designated World Heritage Sites
Malaysia is home to four UNESCO heritage, including Gunung Mulu National Park, the Kinabalu Park, the significant cities of Melaka and George Town, and the Lenggong Valley
8) Ramadan in Space
Malaysia’s first astronaut, Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, observed the Ramadan in space, becoming the first Muslim ever to achieve the feat.
The flower is the world’s largest flower and thrives abundantly in Sabah. The giant jungle parasite blooms without a leaf, stem or roots.
10) Penang as an international icon
The street food capital of the world attracts not only locals but also visitors from all over the world! Take a stroll through the famous George Town and hundreds of hawker stalls can be seen offering a variety of cuisines found across the country.