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In a very broad sense, the country of Malaysia is located in Southeast Asia between India and China. To pinpoint its location geographically, the country is positioned at 7 degrees north of the equator. The equator is the invisible borderline that separates the Earth into Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Equatorial countries usually have hot, wet weather and Malaysia's proximity to the equator gives it a tropical climate. Neighboring Indonesia, both to the south and east, is situated right on the equatorial line.
The two main parts of Malaysia are separated by the waters of the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea. The peninsular or western section of the country is attached to Thailand, while the eastern portion is located in the northwest part of the island of Borneo. East Malaysia on Borneo is divided into two states: Sabah and Sarawak. Brunei is a neighboring country on the island of Borneo.
Cambodia and Vietnam are situated to the north of Malaysian lands, while the Philippines are northeast. Singapore is adjacent to the peninsular area on the south. The size of Malaysia is said to be comparable to the American state of New Mexico as well as the countries Vietnam and Norway.
Malaysia's location is commercially significant in that it's near the Strait of Malacca. This is one of the world's main shipping straits. The Strait of Malacca is an international trade route known for its easy navigation for large commercial ships. Malaysian exports include palm oil, rubber, cocoa and spices as well as industrial building products.
The Andaman Sea in West Malaysia is a popular tourist area, as it features sparkling blue waters and powdery white beaches. Rather than the commercial ships of the nearby Strait of Malacca, the Andaman Sea is mostly accessed by yachts and sailboats. The Straits of Johor are another West Malaysian tourist area. Although Port Klang in Johor is a major seaport, the Lido Beach section is a resort locale for tourists. Just beyond the Straits of Johor is the country of Singapore.
A bridge called The Second Link connects Singapore with the Malaysian state of Johor. The bridge was built in January 1998 to reduce border traffic jams. For the most part the strategy was successful. The main time of intense traffic congestion at the Malaysia–Singapore border is during holidays such as Lunar New Year.
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