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Malaysia is the 66th largest country by total land area, with a land area of 329,613 km2 . It has land borders with Thailand in West Malaysia, and Indonesia and Brunei in East Malaysia. It is linked to Singapore by a narrow causeway and a bridge. The country also has maritime boundaries with Vietnam and the Philippines. The land borders are defined in large part by geological features such as the Perlis River, the Golok River and the Pagalayan Canal.

Malaysia is the only country with territory on both the Asian mainland and the Malay archipelago. Tanjung Piai,  located in the southern state of Johor, is the southernmost tip of continental Asia. The Strait of Malacca  lying between Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia, is one of the most important thoroughfares in global commerce, carrying 40 per cent of the world's trade.

We first visited Malaysia in January, 2008, when we toured through the country with a local tour guide, seeing some of the off-the-beaten-track places with a special interest in the history and geography.

My latest visit was to Penang, where I wandered around the city on foot, familiarising myself with the colour, culture, and food of this dynamic city.