Souvenirs from Malaysia
Malaysian souvenirs are an ideal way to share the colors, scents and flavors of your holiday with everyone unfortunate enough to be unable to join you. Favorite pieces of memorabilia are lovely postcards, T-shirts, key chains, and refrigerator magnets, but you can always find handcrafted treats in the local markets. Clothing made from songket, a hand-woven, embroidered cloth made from silk or cotton, can be a nice way to shop appreciation for a special person, or a batik sarong to be used as clothing or a scarf. Tin mining was a major industry in centuries past, and you can find many pewter pieces, such as mugs, frames and clocks. If you are looking for something slightly more precious, silver bowls, jewelry boxes and betelnut sets are also popular. Basket weaving, using bamboo, pandanus, ribu-ribu, bemban, and mengkuang fibers, is used to create baskets, bowls, mats and bags, perfect as souvenirs from Malaysia.
The diverse ecosystem is just one of the tourist draws of Malaysia. It is believed that 20% of the animal species in the world live here, with over 620 types of birds, 210 mammal types, 250 reptile species, 150 frog types, and thousands of different insect species. The diversity doesn't end at the coastline, as there are 1800 coral and fish species in the Sulu Sea, on the border of East Malaysia. Over 2/3 of the country is forested, with some of them dating back 130 million years. There are an estimated 40,000 different types of plants spread through the country, including the Rafflesia genus, which produces flowers around a meter in diameter. The natural wealth of the country is in danger, as deforestation is devastating the forests. It is believed, that unless checked, the forests will be completely gone by 2020. In response, the government is trying to cut logging by 10% every year.