Lush forests in the east of Malaysia are home to around 2000 species of trees, with approximately 240 different species per hectare. Spectacularly, these forests are the habitat of the Rafflesia genus – the largest flowers in the world, with a record diameter of one metre. While the east is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, Malaysia in its entirety was estimated in 2007 to be two-thirds covered in forest. Around 14,500 species of flowering plants and trees create dense forests that are believed to be 130 million years old, and contain an estimated 20 per cent of the world’s animal species – making Malaysia home to some of the most diverse wildlife on earth.
As well as variety in plants and nature, Malaysia also has a wide variety of foods on offer. Walk through Jalan Alor and breathe in the alluring smells of traditional foods that have been influenced by cuisines from around the world. The traditional cuisine has many external influences but the Malaysian dishes have developed their own unique flavour and style.
Chili and other spices are liberally used, largely thanks to Malaysia’s history as part of the ancient spice route. While local dishes vary in different areas, Jalan Alor exhibits the widest variety of foods due to the capital’s high immigrant population.
The many cultures that have contributed to Malaysia’s exotic cuisine all have their own history and traditions. Visitors can learn about local cultures and lifestyles at the living museum, Sarawak Cultural Village. With a replica building representing every major ethnic group, you can truly immerse yourself in Malaysian culture.