The Malay, Chinese, and Indian dishes all have plenty of vegetarian options. What makes them unique is the wide range of curry flavoring with fresh coconut milk and spices, specials sauces from peanut to savory to chili hot which are poured over noodles or tofu, and the pleasant combinations of vegetables over rice. Beyond the main meal, the wide variety of freshly cut tropical fruit makes it easy to eat as a snack, for breakfast, or as a desert.
Now with the growth in popularity of vegetarian food trends globally, many new restaurants are opening across the capital city of Kuala Lumpur and across the country. Even the airports have vegetarian restaurants, so you can start your trip with a quick snack while still in the terminal!
While the Environmental Protection Index (EPI) rates Malaysia at 25 which is considered 'strong', there is much to be worried about. Palm oil plantations continue to replace raw jungle. Palm oil is becoming an ingredient in many processed foods globally. In fact, burning of peat moss in Indonesia to clear land, especially in Borneo and Sumatra, has created such bad air pollution, it has caused international tensions among the countries in that region.
The good news is that there are many national parks created by the government to preserve bio-diversity and natural habitats. Malaysia is a mega-diverse nation when it comes to flora and fauna and has some of the most unique plants and animals on the planet, including the Sumatran tiger, Asian elephants, Malayan tapirs, orangutans, 300 species of stick insects, hornbill birds, and clouded leopards. With exotic wildlife smuggling on the rise, there is a need for greater protection of animals within the parks along with stronger penalties for those caught.