MALAYSIA
   
TRAVEL TIPS



Petrona twin towers in Kuala Lumpur Walk through any market or village in Malaysia and you will hear a mixture of tongues as traders and customers converse in Chinese, Malay, Tamil, Bahasa and, yes English as well.
The people of Malaysia are a mix of races and cultures all live together. I saw a Christian church build next to a Mosque. At the Eastern states of Sarawak and Sabah, Different tribal peoples can be visited, as are the Orang Asli. With some 25 different ethnic groups in Sarawak and Sabah, the Ócture is far more complex. In Sarawak, the largest group are the Iban, who number around half a million. Alltough they live inland, Europeans named them sea dyaks because of their frequent forays downriver to raid coastal areas. Other tribes include the Melanau and the Orang Ulu (up-river dwellers), which includes the Penan, Kayan, Kenyah, Kelabit and Lun Bawan peoples. In Sabah the population comprises approximately 30 different ethnic groups and races, with the major indigenous peoples consisting of the Kadazan/Dusuns, theBajau and the Murut.

Malaysia is an endless adventure. Each State has something special to offer.Perlis, the northern-most state in Malaysia, is well known for its quant villages. It is famed for its mangoes. Of special interest is the Snake Farm which houses a large collection of poisonous as well as non-poisonous snakes.
Gua kelam, Kaki Bukit in Perlis is a 370-metre long limestone cave at the small town of Kaki Bukit.

In Kedah; there is the Bujang Valley. it is believed that the valley was an important trade centre between the 5th and 8th centuries AD. So far, more than 40 temple sites have been discovered. An archaeological museum at Bukit Batu Pahang houses artifacts, books and documents of the valley.
Then there is Pulau Langkawi which is actually a group of 104 islands. The islands are steeped in history and offer facilities for swimming, scuba-diving and boating. This island paradise is perfect for nature lovers or anybody who just wants to get away. Duty-free shopping is also available at Langkawi which is a free port.

Next we have Penang. With its wonderful beaches, temples, shops and resorts, there is much to see and do. Little wonder then that they call penang the 'Pearl of the orient'. But Penang is not just surf and sun. There is Penang Hill with its cosy bungalows and hotels. The refreshing air up here is a nice change from the humid temparatures down below. If you have had enough of beaches, there is Perak. Visit Ipoh, the town that tin built, and savour some of the best of Malaysian cuisine. But if you are hankering for a beach holiday, go to Pangkor Island which is just 88 km south-west of Ipoh. Beautiful beaches, quiet fishing villages and evergreen forests...what more could you ask for. When you are in Selangor, visit the Bukit Cahaya Seri Alam Agriculture Park in Shah Alam - the world's first and only agro-forestry park.
Nature lovers in search of the unusual will love the fireflies in Kuala Selangor. Ride down the river as fireflies light up the vegetation on both sides of the river. Simply Magical !

And then there is Taman Tasik perdana (Lake Gardens) in Kuala Lumpur which is popular with joggers. Visit the bird and deer parks and orchid, butterfly and hibiscus farms to learn more about the flora and fauna of the country. But if history you are after, there are the states of Negeri Sembilan and Malacca. The Istana Lama Seri Menanti in Negeri Sembilan was the official residence of the Yang Di-Pertuan Besar, the state ruler, until 1931. This elegant Minangkabau-style building, just 32 km east of Seremban, is a popular tourist stop. Made entirely of wood, the palace has beautiful intricate carvings bearing various local motifs.

In Johor, there is the Grand palace. This imposing palace in Johor Bahru, known to many as the Father of Modern Johor. The Sultan personally directed the laying out of the Palace botanical gardens. They cover 133 acres and are a favourite of joggers and picnickers.
The East Coast State of Terangganu is famous for its unspoiled beaches. it is also known for its copper workls, batik, songket and mat weaving. And every year, giant Leather-back Turtles swim thousands of miles to lay their eggs on the beaches of Rantau Abang. For those who want a sligthly less strenuous holiday, there are idyllic beach getaways here as well.

In Pahang, visit Taman Negara (The National Park), a 130-million-year-old wonder. More than 100 species of plants can be found in one acre of rainforest.
What's more, wild animals can be observed from hides overlooking salt licks. Thes include tapirs, barking deer, wild boars and sambars. And for the more adventurous, the meandering rivers offer excellent sport. Pahang also has the best hill resorts; Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands and Fraser's Hill. They are immensely popular on weekends and public holidays.

When it comes to culture, there's no place like Kelantan. To many, it is the cradle of Malay culture. Traditional art, theatrical performances and even their way of life have remained relatively unchanged.

Or perhaps you'd prefer to journey to Sabah on the island of Borneo, where mount Kinabalu, Malaysia's highest peak, awaits. Some 800 types of orchids can be found in Kinabalu Park.
one of the best diving sites in South East Asia can be found here. Pulau Sipadan boasts unparalleled undersea scenery and marine life, spectacular reefs, caverns, cliffs and overhangs.

Then hop over to Sarawak and explore Mulu Caves. The world's largest cavity can be seen here; it is large enough to hold seven Boeing 747's. All in all, Malaysia has something for everyone...


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