Malaysia, Singapore, & Thailand


Malaysia
The key word for this country must be diversity. About half of the population is Malay, and the other half a combination of Indians, Chinese, indigenous peoples, and others. Malaysia is an Islamic country with strong traditions of Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Taoism, as well as the animist beliefs of the indigenous Orag Asli ('original people'). This blend gives us a delicious blend of food traditions, and of architecture, festivals, arts and crafts. The Portuguese, Dutch, and British colonised Malaysia at different times, leaving churches, fortresses, and government buildings, but Muslims, Hindus, and Chinese really left their mark – just take a walk through a street-food district in any Malaysian city and you'll understand! The natural diversity is amazing too. Malaysia is one of the world's 17 'megadiverse countries', and it is estimated that 20 per cent of the world's animal species live there. From the aquatic life to the deep jungles, fascinating birds, primates, fish, and plants abound. Whether you like cities, shopping, and food, or jungles, islands, and animals, Malyasia has something to satisfy your every appetite.

Capital: Kuala Lumpur

Population: 31.5 million

Currency: Ringgit

Local Time: GMT+8

Telephone Code: +60

Electricity: 220-240V at 50Hz. Three rectangular prongs

Baggage Clearance: Baggage is cleared at the first airport of entry in Malaysia. Passengers connecting with domestic flights must clear their baggage and then recheck-in the baggage to the final destination.

Singapore
This history of Singapore is hard to separate from that of Malaysia. After centuries as a regional trading post, the island came under British control. Both countries gained independence from the British after WW2, but after less than two years as a federation, Singapore went its own way in 1965 and has never looked back. With Chinese not welcome in Singapore after Malaysian independence, many left Malaysia and took their entrepreneurial skills with them, making Singapore – the Lion City – a first-world country in just one generation. Now a regional centre for technological development, finance, and international trade, Singapore is a huge draw for shoppers, business people, and foodies, and is a true bridge between East and West.

Capital: Singapore

Population: 5.6 million

Currency: Singapore Dolar

Local Time: GMT+8

Telephone Code: +65

Electricity: 220-240V at 50Hz. Three rectangular prongs

Baggage Clearance: Baggage is cleared at the first port of entry.

Thailand

The only country in Southeast Asia never to have been colonised, Thailand – formerly known as Siam – is a proud Buddhist kingdom at a time when few remain in the modern world. Known to millions around the world for its fantastic food culture, Thailand is also renowned for white sand beaches and azure seas, glittering temples and saffron-robed monks, and idyllic scenes of buffaloes and elephants in the fields and jungles. Join us on a Thai tour and explore the diverse and energetic city of Bangkok, known in Thai as Krung Thep – Angel City. Visit Ayutthaya, the second historical capital of the nation, and soak up the grandeur of the temples and monasteries that remain to remind us the past glories. Acknowledge other aspects of history with a visit to 'the bridge over the river Kwai'. Then you can enjoy some time relaxing on a beach or island around the famed resort town of Pattaya, enjoying fresh seafood and exotic tropical fruit before wrapping up the journey with further discoveries and departing for home.

Capital: Bangkok

Population: 66 million

Currency: Thai Baht

Local Time: GMT+07:00.

Telephone Code: +66

Electricity: 220v AC. Round or flat, usually with two prongs, sometimes with three

Baggage Clearance: Baggage is cleared at the first airport of entry in Thailand. Passengers connecting with domestic flights must clear their baggage and then re-check the baggage to the final destination.