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Malaysia-Kota-Kinabalu-Sabah-Masjid-Bandaraya-Likas - history of Malaysia

History of Malaysia

Discover the fascinating history of Malaysia on your private, tailor-made tours with travel tips from our experts.

Imagine a fascinating confluence of ancient Chinese, Indian and South Asian Muslim cultures, liberally sprinkled with colonial influence! Our destination experts have traveled high and low in search of unique experiences to bring a slice of authentic history and incredible heritage to your Enchanting Travels tour.

Strategically located in the heart of the ancient spice route, it is no wonder that the archipelago has played host to thousands of sailors, adventurers, conquerors and immigrants over the centuries, and you could be next!

The story of Malaysia began nearly a million years ago when hunter gatherers roamed the rainforests of Borneo and settled near elaborate cave systems. Take a day tour in the heart of this tropical jungle where the famous skull of the ‘adolescent girl’ – the oldest, modern human skull, was discovered.

Bronze and Iron age people who settled near the coast are considered the forefathers of Malaysian Malays. In the following centuries, trade flourished and the Srivijaya empire controlled most of the coast. Hinduism and Buddhism greatly influenced the daily life and culture. An Enchanting Travels tour of Kedah and Langkawi offers unique insights into the traditional way of life, through visits to historical monument, museums and religious shrines.

In the 14th century, the Sultanate of Malacca became the most prominent Islamic empire. Since then, Islam has had a profound effect on the country. Some years later, the Portuguese annexed wealthy Malacca which was later lost to the Dutch. Our heritage Malacca tours include visits to medieval monuments and historical tourist attractions, Baroque architectural wonders, bustling night markets and the colorful Chinatown, offering incredible insights into this UNESCO World Heritage site.

In 1824, the country was officially declared British colonial territory, bringing in thousands of Indians and Chinese driven by the demands of the ever-increasing Empire.

Embark on a private heritage tour of Penang, to see the UNESCO Heritage site of George Town, where Fort Cornwallis – the largest standing fort built by the British East India Company, tells tales of British colonialism and military influence. Or set out to discover a hegemony of cultural influences with a Heritage Walk in Kuching, another British trading port where White Rajah era buildings vie for attention alongside with gold-domed mosques and Chinese temples. Visit rubber plantations in Malaysia, which were introduced during the colonial era and today, produce nearly 46% of the rubber in the world!

After World War II and the popular nationalist movement, the Federation of Malaysia was established in 1948. Today, Kuala Lumpur, is an ideal example of harmonious existence between the past and the present. On your Kuala Lumpur city tour, our local experts will take you past busy streets where various ethnic communities rub friendly shoulders, and colonial buildings exist alongside ancient mosques and gigantic skyscrapers.

Excellent / 4.9 out of 5
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