There is a patch of real rainforest inside the Kuala Lumpur airport.
Malaysia begins to amaze you as soon as you take your first step into this country: you can walk through a real rainforest at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. During the airport’s construction, it was decided to preserve a patch of nature in its original form, and now passengers can take a walk in the jungle while waiting for their flights, and even be caught in the rain without leaving the airport.
Bikers wear their jackets backward.
When it comes to Malaysia’s weather, there is an average of 210 days of thunderstorms in a year. A sunny day can become rainy in a matter of minutes. Besides, the air in the cities is pretty polluted, and people say that clothes get dirty on the roads very quickly.
This partly explains why Malaysian bikers love to wear their jackets backward. Even if it’s a clear and hot day, they always wear their jackets because a jacket protects them from the wind and dust while an open back provides the necessary ventilation. Many tourists say that seeing bikers wearing their jackets backward is a unique Malaysian feature.
The world’s largest roundabout is located in Malaysia.
The roundabout is located in Putrajaya, and it’s about 2.2 miles in diameter.
More than 450,000 people cross the Malaysia—Singapore border every day.
Some Malaysians travel to their neighboring country for work, which is why the border between Singapore and Malaysia is one of the most crowded in the world. You just have to cross the bridge. Almost half a million people use this 4 lane road every day.
The former king of Malaysia, Muhammad V, married a Russian beauty queen and stepped down from the throne.
Oksana Voevodina won the Miss Moscow title in 2015, and a couple of years later, she met Muhammad who was the Sultan of Kelantan at the time. Soon he was elected to become the king. In 2018, Oksana converted to Islam and became the king’s wife. However, the couple divorced in a scandal the following year. Currently, Oksana is raising their son.
Malaysians love horror movies.
The highest-grossing movies in the history of the Malaysian movie industry are 2 horror movies about zombies and ghosts. The country produces a record number of horror movies.
They have bright lighting during shows in a movie theater.
And it’s not because movie-goers are afraid to watch horror movies in the dark. The point is that Malaysia is a Muslim country, and the rules of morality are pretty strict in a few states. They leave the lights on during shows and it’s not unheard of for Muslim men and women to not be allowed to sit next to each other if they are not married.
They are banned from showing armpits on TV.
It is forbidden to show intimate parts of a female body on any media. In Malaysia, these parts include armpits. So what do the manufacturers of women’s deodorants and epilators do? It turns out there is a way out: a lot of brands advertise deodorant from a side view, without actually revealing the whole armpit.
Besides, it is prohibited to advertise the services of lawyers and doctors, as well as means of contraception, on Malaysian TV and outdoors.
You can be fined for singing along to Despacito.
The point is that the song has lyrics that are thought to be too defiant, which contain very clear hints of the relationship between the sexes, and this is unacceptable in a Muslim country.
This censorship also extends to songs by Madonna, Lady Gaga, and many other singers. Movies and cartoons containing scenes of violence and adult content are also prohibited.
They have tea making competitions.
The favorite drink of Malaysians is called Teh Tarik. It’s tea with milk that is skillfully poured from one jug to another to create a magical froth on the top (Teh Tarik translates literally to “Pulled Tea”). The performance is so spectacular that sometimes tea making becomes a competition.
Sometimes, they pour Teh Tarik into plastic bags and drink it with a straw.
The smallest bear in the world lives here.
The sun bear only weighs between 55-143 pounds and is no more than 4.6 feet tall. Its fur is short, firm, and smooth. It feeds on bugs and fruits and sometimes preys on birds and reptiles.
Malaysia is home to the binturong, also known as a bearcat. However, it’s related to neither of these animals. Binturongs often enter people’s homes searching for food and don’t show aggression in general, which is why it’s easy to tame them. However, binturongs have turned out to not be really good pets, because they can’t control their urination.
A name for a newborn child is chosen by a rooster.
There is a tradition in Malaysia to name children after deceased family members. The parents choose several suitable names and prepare a few rice balls — each corresponding to a specific name. The ball the fighting rooster (manok tawai) chooses first, will be the child’s name.
In the Sarawak state, there is a tradition to call all children whose name hasn’t been chosen yet, “ulat,” which mean “worm.” They think this is a very sweet temporary name for a child. At the same time, post-2006 babies will no longer be named after fruit, vegetables, colors, insects, animals, demons, numbers, or Japanese cars. They are prohibited at the government level.
Important messages and signs are written in 2+ languages.
The main population of Malaysia consists of Malays, Chinese, and Indians. Sometimes, they only speak their native language, so the government has to translate all important messages into Mandarin and Tamil. English is a semi-official language, used for tourists and other smaller ethnic groups, as well as many universities and schools.
Newlyweds can’t use the bathroom for 3 days after the wedding.
In the Tidong community of Malaysia, the bride and groom are not allowed to use the bathroom for 3 whole days after the wedding. The couple is watched over and is allowed minimal amounts of food and drink. If the custom is not followed, they believe it will bring bad luck to the couple.
A woman has to stay at home for more than a month after giving birth.
Traditionally, Malay women can’t leave home for 30 to 45 days after giving birth. Only family members can see the mother and the baby during this time. Also, a woman is forbidden to wash her hair, although some women are allowed an herbal bath.
There is a cave where they harvest bird’s nests.
The Gomantong Caves in the Sabah state are one of the most well-known places where edible bird’s nests are harvested. They are used in soups pretty often. Swiftlets make nests from their saliva. During the cooking process, the nests dissolve and create a gelatinous texture for the soup. Nests can be black (with impurities) and white (clean).
In the 1990s, the production of bird’s nests became an industry, so they began to build special structures like multi-story buildings for swiftlets. But in the Gomantong Caves, this delicacy is still harvested in the traditional way. 2 times a year, only after the young abandon the nest, licensed collectors with rattan ladders and bamboo poles come to the caves to carry out the harvest.