In the country of Malaysia, archaeological evidence indicates that human beings began inhabiting the general area well-over 40,000 years ago.
The Europeans arrived on the Malay Peninsula in the 17th century, as the Dutch established trading posts along the coastlines.
It was the British that recognized the strategic position of the Malay states and their abundance of natural resources, subsequently colonizing and controlling the region for over 150 years.
During World War II, the Japanese invaded, and occupied the area for over three years, until that bloody war finally ended in 1945.
In 1948, the British-ruled territories on the Malay Peninsula (southern parts of Burma (Myanmar), Thailand and the Peninsular Malaysia) formed the Federation of Malaya, and in 1957, after a decade of intense negotiations, it gained independence from Britain.
Malaysia itself was formed in 1963 when Singapore and the states of Sabah and Sarawak joined the Peninsular Malaysia Federation; Singapore left in 1965 to become a separate nation.
Located In Southeast Asia, just north of the Equator, the exotic, tropical islands and lands of Malaysia contain some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet and a collection of unrivaled rainforests and national parks.