In many ways, Madagascar is where South-East Asian culture ends. The main ethnic group there originated from the Malay world. But where Mother Nature is concerned, the giant island is like no other. Animals and plants found there are often not found anywhere else.
About a nine-hour flight away from Bangkok on an island 400km east of the African continent, lies a country largely populated and ruled by a French-speaking, non-Muslim Malay ethnic group, also known as the Merina. While the question of when, how or why they got there is still being debated, the commonly accepted theory is that in 1 BC, seafarers from Borneo and the Malay peninsula travelled to the island of Madagascar, settled there and built a successful kingdom that covered the country by the late 18th century.
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