Welcome to Langkawi

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia, located in a key spot on trade routes between China, India, and Europe. It has been an important stop for traders in all of its history, particularly for spice and silk traders.

Malaysia has been inhabited for over 40,000 years. In the 1600s, explorers and traders from the British Empire arrived. Malaysia and its surrounding area were rich in rubber and tin, making this an important place to pick up materials for trading, as well as a stop-over between trading partners. In the 1800s, the British gained more control, offering Malay leaders protection from Thailand in exchange for more power in the country. In 1857, Malaysia officially became part of the British Empire, where it would stay until it gained independence one hundred years later.

Since Britain ruled Malaysia for so long, English is widely spoken here. The official language, though, is Bahasa Melayu, and over 140 other languages are also spoken here. The country has a wide variety of people and cultures from all over the world.

While the cities of Malaysia are impressive, the nature that surrounds Malaysia is also a draw for tourists. On my brief trip I paddled through mangrove trees in the Andaman Sea, floating through a string of over 100 small islands called Langkawi. Floating through the trees was beautiful and relaxing, of course, but I also learned a lot about how mangroves grow in these salty waters.