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  • Alex Gillam

Where in the World: Malaysia

Home to 28 million people, Malaysia’s strategic position between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea has long made it a meeting place for travelers from both the West and the East. A melting pot of various races, Malaysia’s complex ethnic set-up has brought about a unique respect for each other’s religions, traditions and cultural beliefs – resulting in a peaceful, diverse social climate that showcases exactly what makes Malaysia so special.

Beyond its people, however, Malaysia is home to an array of record-shattering attractions that have helped cement its status as a must-see destination, such as:

The Sarawak Cave Chamber in Gunung Mulu National Park, notable for being the world’s largest enclosed chamber by area; as expansive as it is beautiful, it is said that you can fit several Boeing 747s within the cave, and still have room left over! An other-worldly realm of limestone pinnacles, this awe-inspiring space is home to some of the biggest voids and some of the widest tunnels found on Earth.

Above ground, however, Malaysia is also notable for serving as the host for the world’s largest single flower, the Rafflesia. Named after Sir Stamford Raffles and the companion who helped him discover it, Dr. James Arnold, the Rafflesia is one of the world’s oldest, and most distinctive, plants. Resembling a slab of meat, the plant’s record-breaking bloom can reach a diameter of 3 ½ feet, with the plant itself weighing in upwards of 20 pounds.

And finally, in a country with more than 40,000 miles of highway (enough to stretch around the circumference of the Earth), it comes as no surprise that Malaysia is also home to the world’s largest roundabout: the Putrajaya Roundabout (also known as the Persiaran Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, which is perhaps the longest name for a roundabout, as well). Smack dab in the center of Putrajaya, the mind-boggling roundabout is more than 2 miles in diameter, and serves as the perfect gateway to the country’s sea of highways.

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