I first traveled to Malaysia in 2006, visiting Kuantan on the east coast of Malaysia. Kuantan is a magical place where time moves slowly and the traditions of ancient times are honored and practiced daily. My trip included a Malay Cultural Performance, a traditional wedding ceremony, demonstrations of kite flying, top spinning, and the Art of Batik (a unique way of designing and dying clothing). I also visited a traditional fishing village outside Kuantan.  I returned to Malaysia in the Spring of 2015, this time visiting the beautiful capital city of Kuala Lumpur, a vibrant modern city.

The region now known as Malaysia was first mentioned in Chinese and Sanskrit records of the seventh and eighth centuries. Early Malaysia was dominated by the Buddhist Malay kingdom of Srivijaya, based on the island of Sumatra from the 9th to the 13th century. The powerful Hindu kingdom of Majapahit, based on the island of Java eventually gained control of the Malay Peninsula in the 14th century. Many Malays were converted to Islam at this time. This conversation was accelerated with the rise of the state of Malacca under the rule of a Muslim prince in the 15th century. Malacca was eventually conquered by Portugal in 1511. The Dutch ousted the Portuguese from Malacca in 1641 and in 1795 were replaced by the British. In 1826 the British settlements of Malacca, Penang and Singapore were combined to form the Colony of the Straits Settlements and the British established protectorates over the Malay sultanates on the peninsula. In 1896 some of the sultanates merged to form the Federated Malay States (Malaya). Malay was conquered by Japan between 1942 and 1945. In 1946 the Federation of Malaya was expanded to include more of the Malay Peninsula. In 1957 Malaya become independent of British control and in 1963 two states in North Borneo joined the union to from the Federation of Malaysia. Singapore withdrew from the federation in 1965.

To see the picture album of Malaysia click here

Kuala Lumpur, 2015

Beautiful Kuala Lumpur

Mr. Stanton "cuts-a-rug" at a Malaysian cultural performance

A monkey shows how he retrieves coconuts from a palm tree

Fish are dried in a fishing village outside Kuantan

A beautiful Masque in central Kuantan