Geography of Malaysia

The Geography of Malaysia unravels a diverse tropical sanctuary, a unique creation of mother nature


Malaysia is located in Southeast Asia. The land geography of Malaysia consists of West Peninsula Malaysia and East Malaysia (North Borneo). Separating East and West Malaysia is the South China Sea. The sea channel between Indonesian island Sumatera and West Peninsula is known as Straits of Melaka.

Malaysia has a total land size is 329,847 km². Approximately 60% of its land is made up of tropical rainforests. To protect the ecosystem, a number of forest reserves and national parks were gazetted. Gunung Mulu and Kinabalu National Parks are ‘natural’ World Heritage Sites, recognized by UNESCO. Taman Negara in Pahang is regarded as the main national park in Peninsula.

Peninsula is divided in the middle by Titiwangsa mountain range (Banjaran Titiwangsa in Malay). It extends from Phuket, Thailand and ends in Negeri Sembilan, southwest of Peninsula. You might have noticed several top highland tourist attractions are located along the Titiwangsa belt, such as Belum Forest Reserve, Cameron Highlands, Fraser’s Hill and Genting Highlands. Mount Tahan of Tahan range is the highest mountain in Peninsula.

The highest mountain and range in Malaysia, however, is located in Sabah, East Malaysia. At 4,095 metres (13,435 feet), Mount Kinabalu on Crocker range is among the tallest mountains in Southeast Asia.

Rivers and Lakes

About 1,200 km² of Malaysia is filled by rivers and lakes. Rajang River in Sarawak is the longest river in the country, covering 760 km. The longest river in Peninsula is the 435 km Pahang River.

Bera and Chini Lakes in Pahang are the only two natural lakes found in Malaysia. Kenyir Lake, in Terengganu, is reputed to be the largest artificial lake in Southeast Asia. The 260 km² lake also serves as a gateway to Taman Negara.

Islands and Beaches

Ahh… we all love exotic tropical islands, don’t we? More on that later… shall we get on with geography of Malaysia?

Malaysia’s total coastline length is 4,675 km, putting it at 29th position in the world. The outermost land frontiers of Malaysia geography are the ‘islands’. Perhaps the most famous island in Malaysia is Penang. Undisturbed coral islands are mostly located off the Peninsula East Coast. However, the best coral islands are found in East Malaysia, mostly in Sabah waters.

Malaysia Climate and Human Geography

You will get a healthy dose of sun here. Malaysia weather is warm and humid throughout the year. Is it estimated that more than 70% of Malaysians live in West Peninsula. Malaysia Population tend to concentrate in urban areas.

Related Topics

Malaysia History | Malaysia Facts | Malaysia Culture | Malaysia Population & People


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