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Cool Holiday Getaway at Cameron Highlands
in Kota Kinabalu: An Idyllic Holiday
the Beauty of Pangkor Island in Malaysia
the Delightful City of Kuala Lumpur
to Malaysia Overview
Kinabalu City Tours
- Caribbean Of The East
Sultan Abu Bakar, Johor Bahru
- The Red City of Malaysia
- Famed tourist destination in Malaysia
Lagoon Theme Park - Unstoppable dose of Fun, Thrill and Exhilaration (Petaling
to Malaysia Overview by Alix Sunggin
Despite its recent economic
crisis, Malaysia continues to careen along the fast track of development.
For visitors, this means that Malaysia is a comfortable country to explore,
as the roads are smooth, public transportation is good, and familiar comforts
abound in all but the smallest of kampungs (villages).
|For centuries, Malaysia
has been a crossroads for trade in materials, traditions, and ideas. The
region was originally settled by the Orang Asli people and migrants from
southern China; Indian traders subsequently spread their cultural and religious
traditions throughout the area. Islam took root there during the 15th century,
when Prince Sri Paremeswara - who founded the empire of Melaka--became
a Muslim after marrying a Sumatran ruler's daughter. In 1511, the Portuguese
invaded Melaka, only to lose power to the Dutch in the late 1600s.
The Dutch maintained control
of the region for almost three centuries, until the Anglo-Dutch Treaty
of 1874 ceded the Malaysian kingdom states to the British. On August 31,
1957, the Peninsula was granted independence as the Federated States of
Malaya. Singapore, Sabah, and Sarawak joined the Federated States of Malaya,
which became Malaysia in 1963.
Then Singapore assumed independence
in 1965, leaving the peninsula, Sabah, and Sarawak as the Malaysia that
|Travelers seeking both relaxation
and the stimulation of a different culture will find that Malaysia offers
the perfect mix of serene coastline and spicy street life. Though Malaysia's
beaches are not the most spectacular in Southeast Asia, stretches of coastline
on the peninsula's east coast, as well as on islands such as Pangkor and
the Pehrentians, offer seaside seclusion that is difficult to find in other
parts of the world.
Away from the lapping tides,
the streets of Georgetown and Kuala Lumpur pulse with the energy of big-city
Open-air markets attract
throngs of people seeking fresh fruit and vegetables. Hawkers at sidewalk
stalls dish out tasty pan-fried food like nasi kandar (curry rice) and
ormee goreng (spicy noodles). There is also a spiritual flavor to the city
streets--Islamic mosques stand beside Hindu and Buddhist temples, bearing
testimony to the intertwined history of these Eastern religions.
Malaysia is a country on
the move. Its official mission is to become industrialized by the year
2020. But despite the rapid pace of its growth, Malaysia will likely keep
its welcoming atmosphere, as the warmth of the people is as unchanging
as the tropical weather. The population is a diverse mix of ethnic Malay
(58 percent), Chinese (26 percent), and southern Indian (eight percent).
Though tensions exist, fomented by blatantly pro-Malay policies enacted
by the majority government, interactions among ethnic groups remain remarkably
open and peaceful.
The Cameron Highlands is
a lush area of mountaintop jungle in a remote corner of Pahang State. It's
easy to see why the British chose this spot for retreat--the temperature
is ten degrees cooler than low-lying Kuala Lumpur, and the landscape is
an enchanting patchwork of rolling jungle and terraced plantations. There
are three towns in the Cameron Highlands: Ringlet, Tanah Rata, and Brinchang.
Tanah Rata is the main town, and it offers hostels and mid-scale hotels,
as well as many restaurants and shops. Trails snake for miles through the
jungle, leading to breathtaking mountaintop vistas and cascading waterfalls.
Cherating lies off a quiet
stretch of highway about 12 miles (20km) north of Kuantan. Hiding behind
ramshackle restaurants is a beautiful half-moon beach, one of the most
dazzling beaches on the peninsula. This is one of the top 10 windsurfing
spots in the world, and every afternoon the ocean is dotted with colorful
sails flapping in the breeze. Inexpensive but comfortable cabanas cluster
in the shade of palm trees at the edge of the beach. Club Med owns a gorgeous
section of coast a little more than a mile (2km) away from Cherating's
The bustling capital of
Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is proof of the country's movement into the industrialized
world. KL (as it is commonly dubbed) received a citywide facelift for the
1998 Commonwealth Games, and since then the capital has boasted a buffed
atmosphere of almost Singaporean standards. Travelers should see the Petronas
Towers (the tallest buildings in the world), stroll in Merdeka Square,
visit the elegant marble Masjid Jamek (a lovely mosque in the center of
the city), and enjoy the booming nightlife in a city rivaling Singapore
as a hotspot for clubs and bars.
The big island of Langkawi
is one of 99 islands in the Langkawi group that cluster off the northwest
coast near the border with Thailand. More so than perhaps anywhere else
in Malaysia, Langkawi exhibits extremes in untouched landscapes and developed
coastline. The island is lovely to drive around.
There are many pristine beaches
and waterfalls to see, as well as fishing kampungs (villages) and magnificent
caves to explore. Because of its remote locale and relatively large size,
those who stay for at least two full days best enjoy Langkawi.
Whereas Kuala Lumpur is the
Malaysia of the present and the future, Melaka is the Malaysia of the past.
A virtual living museum, the old town makes for a pleasant stroll past
crimson buildings in the Dutch square, around vendors hawking local handicrafts,
and through the narrow alleyways of Chinatown. There are many fascinating
museums housed in the old Dutch government buildings. The ruins of a Portuguese-Catholic-cum-British-Protestant
church surrounded by Dutch tombstones is testimony to Malaysia's checkered
colonial past. This is a good place to try nyonya food, a spicy blend of
Chinese and Malay cooking.
Mount Kinabalu is located
in the northern region of Sabah, on the island of Borneo. Kinibalu is Southeast
Asia's tallest mountain, peaking at 13,451 feet (4,101m) above sea level
and rising every year. Untouched jungle-covered mountain slopes surround
Kinabalus' granite core; a breathtaking setting typifying many travelers'
ideals of tropical Southeast Asia. Climbing to the Kinabalu summit is no
small feat, and should be attempted by only those who are fit and prepared.
Though Penang's beaches are
arguably the least interesting of all of Malaysia's island beaches, the
island remains a highlight because of its combination of lovely coastline
and the bustling cultural center of Georgetown. Georgetown is a feast for
Open-air markets, congregations
of food hawkers, and throngs of pedestrians and motorbikes are sure to
excite young and old. The resorts at Batu Ferringhi offer an antidote to
the Georgetown racket. The luxury hotels that line the northeastern coast
of Penang are a perfect beachfront destination for those who like convenience
and creature comforts.
Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small
Island) and Pulau Perhentian Besar (Big Island) are located about 12 miles
(20km) off the northeast coast of the peninsula. These isles are the perfect
getaway destination for those who are willing to sacrifice resort-style
luxury for solitude and pristine stretches of sand. The Small Island is
famous for Long Beach, where the sand is wide and white and the water is
ideal for swimming. The Big Island is less popular (though the west coast
attracts young divers) and therefore offers more seclusion.
Pangkor is a small island
off the west coast that is located roughly equidistant from Penang and
Kuala Lumpur. In size and atmosphere, Pangkor is like Penang's and Langkawi's
little sibling. The island is small enough to drive around in half an hour.
Its compact nature lends the isle a charm conducive to relaxation. Pangkor's
smallness also precludes monotonous strips of resort development, allowing
for the simple enjoyment of sun, surf, and sand. The Pan Pacific Resort
offers luxury accommodations and water sports on Golden Sands Beach; there
are also mid-market hotels at Pantai Pasir Bogak and budget cabanas at
Taman Negara National Park,
located in the center of the peninsula, is one of the last remaining areas
of indigenous rain forest on the peninsula. Though the larger animals,
such as elephants, tigers, rhinos, and leopards, rarely venture near the
developed parts of the park, there are plenty of magnificent birds to be
The most convenient place
to stay is the Taman Negara Resort, which runs a ferry service from Kuala
Tahan. There are guided treks and a canopy walk that allows visitors to
see the forest from planks suspended above the treetops.
Though Tioman's land is becoming
overcrowded, its waters are still a diver's paradise. The azure-blue waters
are clear to a depth of more than 10 yards (or meters). Diving and snorkeling
excursions depart from Kumpung Tekek and Kampung Salang. Those who simply
want a peaceful retreat will find lovely chalets on stilts at Kumpung Air
Batang (Bamboo Hill Chalets) and more isolated accommodations at the Juara
Bay Resort, cut into the hills at Kampung Juara.
|Top Cities in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur - Penang - Langkawi
- Kota Kinabalu - Georgetown - Kuantan - Malacca - Johor Bahru - Kuching
- Petaling Jaya - Cameron Highlands - Kuala Terengganu - Kota Bharu - Subang
Jaya - Fraser's Hill
Top Hotels in Malaysia
Tanjong Jara Resort - Batu
8 Off Dungun A Famosa Resort - Jalan Kemus Simpang Empat Imperial Hotel
- 76-80 Cangkat Bukit Bintang Cititel Hotel - 66 Jalan Penang Mandarin
Hotel - 2-8 Jalan Sultan
|About the Author: Alix Sunggin
to Malaysia by TJ Tierney
Reasons to visit Malaysia
Malaysia is a country of
striking natural beauty situated in Southeast Asia, with some of the most
superb beaches, mountains and national parks in the world. It consists
of thirteen states that are divided into two geographical regions that
are separated by the South China Sea.
|Malaysia has a multi-ethnic
and multi-cultural society and is one of the most pleasant, hassle-free
countries to visit in Southeast Asia. Contemporary Malaysian society is
mainly dominated by the Malay (local) people, but there is a substantial
Chinese, Indian and European minority. The official religion is Islam.
Its year round sunshine ensures
Malaysia's growing tourism and it is fast becoming one of the most popular
travel destinations in the world. While it does get torrential seasonal
rain, this should not turn you off this paradise. Its rainfall is very
seasonal and typical of any equatorial climate.
Travelling by air to Malaysia
can be very inexpensive with one of the world's leading low cost carrier,
Air Asia, based there. Once you arrive in Malaysia your luxury holiday
immediately begins. The high-speed express will get you into Kuala Lumpur
in less than thirty minutes.
Kuala Lumpur, the capital
of Malaysia, or also known as KL, is an expansive beautiful city with soaring
skyscrapers. One hundred years ago Kuala Lumpur was a small mining town
attracting workers from China and India. Now it's fast becoming one of
the most sought after holiday destinations in the world.
Kuala Lumpur is now well
known as a great shopping destination as well as a great night time spot
and entertainment hub. Food in Malaysia varies from the different ethnic
regions, rice is the most common food source in Malaysia and is often eaten
|The landscape of Malaysia
ranges from lush rainforests to towering rocky hills. Its rainforests are
full of all types of flora and fauna with over 450 species of birds that
are native to the islands of Malaysia. There are also over 160 different
species of snake. Other wildlife of Malaysia includes bears, crocodiles,
elephants, leopards, monkeys, panthers and rhinoceroses. The Orang-utan,
which is one of the world's most endangered animals is also unique to this
part of the world.
Malaysia has over 200 tropical
islands making it a refuge for all sorts of water sports. Its tropical
resorts are full of white sandy beaches and provide a vast paradise, while
beneath the warm tropical waters, a unique world awaits to be explored.
Well worth a visit, and
located just outside of the capital city are the Batu Caves. These are
huge cathedral-like caves accessible by steps. The caves have a one hundred
meter tall chamber and have been used as a Hindu temple for more than a
There are many reasons for
travelling to Malaysia but a few things that you can always count on are:
the excellent climate that you get all year round, the peaceful surroundings
that you get all year round, and the great value that Malaysia has to offer.
One of the greatest aspects
of life in Malaysia, and especially Kuala Lumpur, is that so many people
with different ethnic backgrounds live together in perfect harmony with
no racial problems.
Lumpur Featured Hotels
|About the Author: TJ Tierney
is an award winning photographer and a freelance writer. To find out more
information on Malaysia visit www.trovoo.com
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