Welcome to Langkawi
Malaysia is a strategically located country in Southeast Asia, and its position on important sea thoroughfares is what led to its prominence as a trading port throughout its long history. It was a particularly important stop for spice and silk traders, thanks to its abundance of resources.
Humans have been living on the Malay Peninsula for over 40,000 years, and people from other countries first began migrating to Malaysia from places like China, Cambodia, and India. The British Empire also makes an appearance in the history of Malaysia. The British were already the most powerful colonizers in India by the mid-19th century, and with trade in China was also increasing, they turned to Southeast Asia to continue acquiring precious commercial resources. English traders had been frequenting the waters around Malaysia since the 17th century because the area was rich in gold, pepper, and tin, but it wasn’t until the 1800s that the British gained more control. In 1857, the British officially took over. Malayan sultans actually welcomed the British because they hoped to thwart Thai expansion into their peninsula.
Due to British influence, English is widely spoken in Malaysia, even though it isn’t the country’s official language. Bahasa Melayu is the language that claims that spot, but over 140 languages are spoken throughout Malaysia. It is a diverse country with a unique blend of cultures making it an interesting and exciting place to visit.
Many people also visit Malaysia for it’s impressive natural resources. During this visit, I skipped the large cities in favor of Langkawi – an archipelago of nearly 100 islands off of the coast of mainland Malaysia in the Andaman Sea. Pure, clear waters surround the islands, and I’m off to paddle alongside patches of ancient mangrove trees without a care in the world.