MALAYSIA > PLACES TO VISIT
KL looks like a modern Asian city, it is dotted with skyscrapers and the world's
tallest building, the 88-storey, 452-metre, twin Petronas Towers dominate the
skyline, and provides a panoramic view of the city from the top. But KL still
retains a wealth of character and local color with plenty of colonial buildings
in its center, a vibrant Chinatown with street vendors and night markets, and
a bustling Little India. The other places of interest are Merdeka Square (the
site of the original settlement), Sultan Abdul Samed Building which is a major
landmark and houses the Supreme Court, Masjid Jamek Railway Station, the National
Zoo, the Central Market, Petronas Art Gallery, the National Museum, the National
Mosque, the National Art Gallery, the popular Lake Gardens, and the Deer Park
and Butterfly Park. Kuala Lumpur is currently the site of large-scale development,
with work now taking place on a new US$8 billion city on the southern fringe
of the capital, together with an adjoining 'ultra-high-tech multimedia super
The ancient trading city of Melaka is situated on the southwestern coast of
peninsular Malaysia and is considered to be the country’s most historic
city. It was founded in 1400 by a Sumatran prince called Parameswara, and gradually
became a trading center for the Chinese, Indians, Arabs and the Europeans and
still retains a fascinating blend of all these influences. Ancient-looking junks
still sail up the river, and the city remains full of intriguing Chinese streets,
antique shops and temples. The historical sites of the city are the fort of
Famosa, built by the Portuguese in 1511; Stadthuys, built in 1641 and the oldest
Dutch building in Asia, displaying all the characteristic features of Dutch
colonial architecture. The ruins of St Paul's Church, built by the Portuguese
over 400 years ago, is to be found in a beautiful setting on top of St Paul's
Hill, the church was regularly visited by St Francis Xavier, who was buried
there for a short period before being transferred to Goa in India. Other places
of interest include the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, which is in the old part of
the city and is the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia; St John's Fort and the
Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat mausoleums, Pedang Pahlawan, Jonk Street, and the island
retreats of Pulau Besar and Pulau Upeh. A popular delicacy in Melaka is a Portuguese
spicy chicken dish called Devil's Curry.
GEORGETOWN - PENANG ISLAND
The island of Penang, is the oldest British settlement in Malaysia.
The island is 285 sq km in area and is known as the Pearl of the Orient. It
is a tourist destination that is famous both for its beaches and for the vibrant
and fascinating city of Georgetown on the island’s northeast coast. Georgetown
has a very old Chinese feel to it, full of beautiful old Chinese houses, vegetable
markets, temple ceremonies, trishaws, mahjong games and all the other aspects
of Asian street life. The places of interest in Georgetown are Khoo Kongsi,
a clan house of intricate carvings built by Chinese craftsmen, Kapitan Keling
Mosque, Sri Mariamman temple, Fort Cornwallis and Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram, a
Buddhist temple with one of the world's longest reclining statues of Buddha.
At the top of Penang Hill that rises 830meters above Georgetown, you will find
pleasant gardens, a Hindu temple and a mosque. The view is particularly good
at dusk when Georgetown, far below, begins to light up.
Langkawi boasts of beautiful beaches and interesting legends such as the Mahsuri's
Tomb that has a tragic tale behind it, the Beach of Black Sand, and the Lake
of the Pregnant Maiden.
The Cameron Highlands are a series of hill stations over 1500 meters above sea
level in the center of Peninsular Malaysia. Visitors come here for a taste of
colonial nostalgia and to escape from the heat of the plains. Attractions include
jungle walks, waterfalls, beautiful gardens, wildflowers, fruit and vegetable
farms, and tours of tea plantations because this fertile area is actually the
center of Malaysia’s tea industry.
Sabah is a mountainous area situated in the northeast of Borneo with lush tropical
rainforests. Visit Mount Kinabalu, at 4,101 meters it is located in the Kinabalu
National Park, it is often described as the pride of Sabah, the world's largest
flower, Rafflesia, can be sighted at the top and it is popular with climbers,
orchid lovers, bird and butterfly watchers. Near the National Park headquarters
is Poring Hot Spring, a refreshing haven where visitors can bathe and relax.
Near the border is Batu Punggul, where there is an adventure camp offering jungle
walks, canoeing and cave visits. Just a short boat ride away from Kota Kinabalu
is Tunku Abdul Rehman National Park, a haven for sea sports. Kota Kinabalu was
destroyed in the Second World War, but is now a commercial center and holiday
destination. Sipadan Island on the east coast boasts marvelous snorkeling, and
at Sepilok near Sandakan visitors can see orang utans in their natural environment.
This beautiful island lies off the eastern coast of Peninsula Malaysia in the
South China Sea and offers sun soaked beaches, crystal clear water and amazing
snorkeling and diving with a diverse and colorful marine life. The jungle highlands
are almost unpopulated with fresh water streams and the towering mountains of
Batu Sirau and Nenek Semukut. Tioman was the setting for the mythical Bali Hai
in the film South Pacific and has exotic place names like 'Palm-Frond Hill'
and 'Village of Doubt'. June and August are the peak tourist months, but the
island is almost deserted during the time of the heavy November to January monsoon.
You can get to Tioman by boat from Mersing and Singapore. The island's largest
village, Kampung Tekek, has an airstrip.
Sarawak is the largest of the Malaysian states and is located on the southwestern
side of Borneo. The places of interest are: Sarawak Museum, Fort Margheria,
the Sunday Market, Sarawak Cultural Village, caves, rain forests, mountains,
rivers, Dayak tribes and their longhouses where the whole community live under
one long roof. Human remains dating back to 40,000 years are said to have been
found in Niah caves in Niah National Park. A cave known as the Sarawak chamber
is said to be the largest cave in the world, and the Clear Water Cave and the
Deer Cave are also intriguing places to visit. Pottery making is a popular industry
in Sarawak and the state also produces high quality black and white pepper.
Kuching is the capital of Sarawak; it is a riverside town with beautifully landscaped
parks and gardens, historic buildings, colorful markets and an interesting waterfront.
At Terengganu, between May and September of each year, naturalists and visitors
come to watch the giant leatherback turtles lay their eggs at Rantau Abang.
Taman Negara in Pahang is one of the world’s oldest rainforests and is
a fine example of nature’s conservation.