Subject: Malaysia
Hello Ann,

I live in Malaysia and have been following the travelzine to plan a trip to Austria/Italy in November.

Malaysia is a cosmopolitan country comprising Malays (50%), Chinese(35%) and Indian (10%). Unlike other countries, where the minority groups are really in the minority with a dominant majority, it is not the case in Malaysia. The three races coexist in all aspects of life and you get to see all three cultures in the country.

Kuala Lumpur is the capital city and you can use it as a base. There are numerous 5 star international hotels comparable to the best in the world and at very reasonable prices, below US$100 per night. Other range of hotels are available. Try and stay in the city centre if shopping is one of your interest eg Regent, Marriotts, Hotel Istana (more local flavour). I can promise that you can find the best value shopping in the world in Malaysia (other than cars, they cost 3 times more than US prices). I know as I travel a lot on business throughout the world.

If you like nature, visit the jungle/rainforest for a few days, but may have to rough it out. In Sarawak,East Malaysia, Borneo about 3 hr flighttime, we have the Mulu caves, known to be the largest in the world. (I have not been there yet!)

If you like the beach/sea/diving, excellent island resorts available within 1 hr flight from KL. Pulau Tioman, Pulau Redang, Pulau Langkawi etc.

For food. Wide range of local flavour from the three races. Too many to describe. In between, restaurants serving everything from aroound the world is available. The city is active 24 hours unlike a lot of places I have been to. You can find food stalls open into the early morning hours at nearly every corner and you can never go hungry in Malaysia.

The weather is summer all year round. No significant wet season. If it rains, usually only for a few minutes or an hour at most. However on the West coast, there are monsoons during Nov-Jan and not a good idea to visit islands on this side.

Let me know if you need more specific infor. I will try and get some local home sites later on. Cheers KS CHAN