Top 5 Travel Resources for Your Trip Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia     Photo by Ash Edmonds

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This post may contain affiliate links, which means Tripscholars may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase. Thanks for helping us keep the lights on!

Your travels to Malaysia are coming up quickly and you’ll want to know what to expect. Here are some of the top travel resources to start with. Listen to and read these materials to learn the most you can about your destination and to understand its cultural aspects before landing.

With this article, you should have an understanding of what you can do to make the most of planning your trip to Malaysia beforehand.

1. Malaysia: Recipes From a Family Kitchen

Looking through the unique cookbook,  Malaysia: Recipes from a Family Kitchen, at my first guesthouse in Malaysia certainly gave me a sense of the cuisine, which is known as the foodie gem of Southeast Asia.

 If you are well-versed in the kitchen and want to get a knack for some of the recipes that make this culturally-diverse country special, this book is where to start

2. Billion Dollar Whale

Billion Dollar Whale is the well-documented story of Jho Low, dubbed Malaysia’s wolf on Wall Street. Corruption runs deep in all countries, but rarely does a criminal of this magnitude face their day in court— and in the international spotlight.

 If you are traveling to Malaysia in the near future, there is a good chance you will find yourself in a conversation about 1MDB. This book by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope is your chance to educate yourself before you go.

3. Crossroads: A Popular History of Malaysia and Singapore

Newly updated to its fourth edition in 2020, the information in Jim Baker’s Crossroads: A Popular History of Malaysia and Singapore, is some of the truest and most well-researched information on the two countries you will find. 

In this edition, he covers the 2018 elections of Malaysia and how the results may shake up future economy and politics in the country. In addition, you will learn about the two country’s not-so-long history and how they grew to be independent border-sharing partners.

4.Borneo: Paradise Under Siege by National Geographic

This National Geographic short introduced me to a tragedy I was unaware of before spending the better part of a year in Borneo. Decades ago, Borneo— the world’s third largest island—  used to be a Mecca for biologists. Life and diversity were vibrant. While it still is, deforestation and palm oil plantations have caused serious hurt to the tune of nearly 70% clearing.

 International pressure has forced Malaysia’s hand in taming this travesty, but the fight is still far from over.

5.World Wildlife Foundation Malaysian Documentaries

Malaysia’s Borneo and its diverse wildlife face serious threats. The country has one of the most precious ecosystems in the world, and you may find an interest in getting involved while you are there. 

In order to do that, you’ll want to know a little bit about each issue. Upon arriving in Borneo, there are several interactive exhibits detailing the destruction of the rainforest, like at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Or, you may be interested in the country’s efforts to protect this beautiful region. The WWF short documentaries are listed below and can be found on their website:

What I Learned

Malaysia
Photo by Adam Cheshire

There were several pressing and current issues going on in Malaysia that I was glad to educate myself on before leaving. This allowed me to participate in conversations with locals I otherwise wouldn’t have had. Those conversations led to invitations and other opportunities I never anticipated. It goes to show that a little bit of local knowledge before you leave can go a long way.

Malaysia is a culturally-diverse nation consisting of Malay, Chinese, and Indian peoples all existing in harmony. It opened my eyes to how the world could work and left me with a deep-rooted appreciation for Malaysian culture. By using these top travel resources for my trip to Malaysia, I was able to get a  feel for that culture— on the culinary side and in its fight for justice— before I ever touched down on the island. 

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