In terms of tourism in South-East Asia, Malaysia is the name that stands out. In recent times, Malaysia has witnessed a vast growth in the tourism sector of the country. The beautiful, pristine beaches of Malaysia are enough to lure anyone to this picturesque country. Malaysia is situated in South-east Asia and it borders countries like Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Brunei and Indonesia. Malaysian culture portrays a blend of all the South- East Asian cultures like Indian, Malay, Chinese etc. and thus Malaysia is also known as truly Asia.
The beautiful landscape of Malaysia comprises of soaring peaks, dense tropical rainforests, pristine beaches etc. and you can't hope for something better than this. Adventure wise too, Malaysia has a lot to offer. It's clear blue waters are a perfect place for divers to explore the mysterious world that exists deep within. The time period between the months of October-February is the ideal time for visiting the place.
Official language Malay2
Currency Ringgit (RM) (MYR)
Chief destination Malaysian Borneo
Capital Kuala Lumpur
Attractions in Malaysia
Hill Stations Tour
Top Attracted Sights to see In Malaysia
Gunung Jerai (Mount Jerai)rises above the surrounding plains at 1380metres/4140 feet above sea level and is visible for miles around. 11kms of winding road lead up to this mountain resort which can be reached by car. The vegetation begins to change gradually as you ascend the mountain - through the lower and upper dipterocarp forests that we commonly encounter in parks and reserves down in valleys and low lying areas that give way to the low montane forest where conifers thrive. At the top of the mount the trees are much shorter in height, twisted and gnarled from the base to the branches. It certainly is a delight to step off the cemented trails and onto the soft forest floor - nature's best carpeting, thickly covered with layers of acid humus soil and peat. The forest is saturated with delicious scents. A wonderful mixture of balsamic fragrances from various types of coniferous and oak trees gives the forest a rather alien feel. It's like walking into a curio shop in a little seaside town - everything seems so strangely out of place. Just a short distance away from the resort, sits the forestry's museum. The displays give a fair bit of information on the Malaysian forests. However, a number of displays do not have English placards and can be frustrating for some. There is also a section dedicated to wildlife found within the Jerai Forest Reserve area. Guides can be arranged for trekking expeditions in the reserve park through the rangers at the forestry's museum. Dusky Leaf Monkeys are common around the area and can often be seen feeding on trees at the quieter end of the road leading to the old shrine at the peak. Its unfortunate that the old Hindu shrine, believed to date from the 7th century CE is off limits to the public. There is now a telecommunications tower located by the shrine. The nine square foundation blocks constituting the shrine is believed to be hearths which some archaeologists believe they might be connected with the nine sacred planets of Hinduism, or Navagrahas. The forest is saturated with delicious scents. A wonderful mixture of balsamic fragrances from various types of coniferous and oak trees gives the forest a rather alien feel. It's like walking into a curio shop in a little seaside town - everything seems so strangely out of place. Just a short distance away from the resort, sits the forestry's museum. The displays give a fair bit of information on the Malaysian forests. However, a number of displays do not have English placards and can be frustrating for some. There is also a section dedicated to wildlife found within the Jerai Forest Reserve area. Guides can be arranged for trekking expeditions in the reserve park through the rangers at the forestry's museum. Dusky Leaf Monkeys are common around the area and can often be seen feeding on trees at the quieter end of the road leading to the old shrine at the peak. Its unfortunate that the old Hindu shrine, believed to date from the 7th century CE is off limits to the public. There is now a telecommunications tower located by the shrine. The nine square foundation blocks constituting the shrine is believed to be hearths which some archaeologists believe they might be connected with the nine sacred planets of Hinduism, or Navagrahas. The forest is saturated with delicious scents. A wonderful mixture of balsamic fragrances from various types of coniferous and oak trees gives the forest a rather alien feel. It's like walking into a curio shop in a little seaside town - everything seems so strangely out of place. Just a short distance away from the resort, sits the forestry's museum. The displays give a fair bit of information on the Malaysian forests. However, a number of displays do not have English placards and can be frustrating for some. There is also a section dedicated to wildlife found within the Jerai Forest Reserve area. Guides can be arranged for trekking expeditions in the reserve park through the rangers at the forestry's museum. Dusky Leaf Monkeys are common around the area and can often be seen feeding on trees at the quieter end of the road leading to the old shrine at the peak. Its unfortunate that the old Hindu shrine, believed to date from the 7th century CE is off limits to the public. There is now a telecommunications tower located by the shrine. The nine square foundation blocks constituting the shrine is believed to be hearths which some archaeologists believe they might be connected with the nine sacred planets of Hinduism, or Navagrahas. Gunung Jerai plays a most important part in the history of Kedah. Years before Melaka became a central trading hub, the Indian and Arab merchants preferred Kedah as it is geographically positioned on the same latitude as Southern India. In those days, the ships got to their destinations by hugging close to the coastlines so that they didn't float away into the vast, open sea. This means that the ships could sail due east or west through the Bay of Bengal without getting lost. Gunung Jerai must have been a welcomed sight, being the only visible landmark identifiable from miles away. It commands a magnificent view of the coastal plain, the Merbok estuary to the south and the sea. Many centuries later, Gunung Jerai was again used for strategic means. During World War 11, the British army built trenches close to the peak where the lay in wait for the enemy coming in from the sea. The trenches are still there, snaking its way along the slopes of Jerai. Unfortunately, some of the historical sites and a number of sites associated with local myths are left in poor condition. Disposables such as plastic containers, bags etc are strewn all over. It's best to stick to the outer areas of the reserve, where fewer visitors roam and therefore you can appreciate the true beauty of the place minus the unsightly human contributions. There was once a time when it was suggested that a 10,000 step walkway be constructed from the base to the peak. (Horrors!). All that has stopped now thankfully and the jungle is once more as it should be – natural
Another interesting trek would be the Bukit Chini trail. Bukit Chini lies in the 'reserve' and is protected from loggers and plantation owners. There is an area deep in the jungle where the ancient sacred burial grounds of the Orang Jakuns are kept safe and away from prying eyes. According to the locals, it may take a 1-2 days trek to the burial grounds; passing through some of the most unspoilt land in the region . The trek can be arranged through the park rangers who manage the area and together with the 'penghulu' of the village, they will take you up to the peak. But arrangements take time. Besides, the cost is high. Just climbing Bukit Chini (Mount Chini) costs RM80 per person with a minimum of 10persons going. It requires a one-night stay in the jungle so allow
Not too far from the sweltering heat of the city, lies an ethereal land high above the sea - peaceful and calming. Morning dew settles on the fronds, reflecting rainbows of the sun like windows on soap bubbles floating on a breeze. Low, lingering clouds envelop the rolling hills sweeping in chilly air and thin frail mist in the wee hours of the morning. About 103km from Kuala Lumpur is an area of seven hills originally named Ulu Tras just coming down the Titiwangsa Range. This range is the backbone of Peninsular Malaysia which runs from the Thai border all the way down south, ending in Negri Sembilan rarely dropping below a height of 1000m. Louis James Fraser's Hill Some hundred years ago, when the hills and mountains on the Titiwangsa Range looked too daunting to even contemplate climbing even by the British army, Scotsman Fraser was already recruiting a handful of guides and coolies to take him on his expedition to explore the upper ridges for gold and other precious metals.After hacking his way up the last 300m (height) to the top, he came upon an enchanting forest in the clouds. The moist environment creates a sublime forest of moss-draped trees and filmy ferns. The forest looks prehistoric, feels prehistoric and even smells prehistoric. After years of providing mule transport service between Kuala Kubu Bahru and Raub, Fraser finally found a home, 1524m up a hill and away from the gossipy colonial community down below. The reclusive Scotsman travelled to Australia in search of gold at the peak of the gold rush and yet some change of destiny brought him to Malaya. Perhaps the same dream of striking gold in these hills was the reason for his coming. Gold he didn't find but instead he found rich tin deposits . He stayed on and opened a mine in the 1890's and employed Chinese miners to work the area. The tin ore was then transported down a perilous route on mules, winding down the side of the range to the nearest town, Raub. To lift the spirits of his Chinese workers, Fraser operated an opium and gambling den at the camp. This shrewd method of retaining his wealth certainly worked well.The wages paid out to the coolies would more often than not find their way back into the Fraser's ledgers through these dens. Despite his newfound wealth and status Fraser mysteriously disappeared without a trace some 25 years later. He left behind everything he had worked hard for over the years. A search party was sent by the C.J Ferguson-Davie, Bishop of Singapore to look for him. The camp and mine were found deserted. They never found Fraser. Instead they discovered the perfect place for a hill station- a retreat from the heat of the lowlands. The British authorities had always been fond of hill stations where they could build little villages reminiscent of those in their beloved homeland. Besides, the ongoing war in Europe had made it difficult for these expatriates to go home on leave. Upon his return to Singapore, the Bishop wrote a report to the government indicating that Fraser's Hill was ideal as a hill station for it could cheaply and quickly be developed. In 1919, work started on the access road to the hillstation from the Gap and by 1922, the hillstation named Fraser's Hill was opened to visitors.The hill station covered 140 hectares of land and had over 50km of jungle paths. In a 1927 'Handbook to British Malaya', it mentioned that there were 9 government bungalows for the use of government officials, 4 houses built with the help of Red Cross for ex-servicemen and women, 3 private homes, a 'country club' , a golf course, and water supply was complete and of course a post office. Fraser's Hill still retains its old colonial charm and should not to be missed. It is almost as if time has stood still for the 1,000 or so residents. They go about their same old ways throughout most of the week, waiting for the weekend to bring in a trickle of guests and visitors. Most of the old stone cottages previously owned by colonial traders have withstood the weather well. In the years of the British Empire, the British families retreated to the cool hill stations during the hot seasons. The cottages here resemble those found in their English villages, equipped with a cosy fireplace and meticulously cared for garden plots. An afternoon of croquet with friends was followed by afternoon tea and evening cocktails. Hainanese people were employed to run their kitchens and to maintain the cottages when not in use. The Hainanese are a group of Chinese people who originate from Hainan Island in Southern China. They were taught to cook English cuisine and serve it the English way. Fiercely loyal servants, the Hainanese remained in their employment until the British finally departed. Out of employment, these people later opened the now famous coffee shops found in KL and other cities. They continued to practise their culinary skills passing on their expertise to their next of kin. A few families remain in Fraser's Hill maintaining the traditions of providing exquisite service and excellent English fare. This hill station was also built for another reason. The British army believed that there be a place for their injured soldiers to convalesce. The Red Cross set up a little rehabilitation centre there. It has been converted into a hotel called Ye Olde Smokehouse. Instead of hospital bunks, the interior is now decorated with eclectic furniture and collectibles, some of which seems to be leaning a little toward bric-a-brac items. With open wooden beams, log fires and lithographs of the old Fraser's Hill, the place exudes fading elegance. English Tea and scones are served at the patio or in the restaurant. The rooms each with its own with individual characteristics are worth a stay in, if only to experience a little of the past. Below are just a few of the many private bungalows on Frasers. A few of them are owned by companies that do rent out to the public. The Glen bungalow is available for rental and is owned by KTMB, our national rail corporation. So, if you know someone who knows someone who can make arrangements for you to rent, its worth the experience
Penang – Malaysia
Penang is a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by Kedah in the north and east, and Perak in the south. A fascinating fusion of the East and West, Penang embraces modernity while retaining its traditions and old world charm. These are reflected in its harmonious multiracial populace and well-preserved heritage buildings which led to George Town being accorded a listing as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site recently.
Long regarded as the food capital of Malaysia, Penang also entices visitors with its beautiful coasts and scrumptious cuisines.
Penang, MICE Destination
Penang’s alluring charms and unique attributes together with its many-faceted cultures make it a favourite of many as a Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Exhibitions (MICE) destination.
The easy going lifestyle on Penang is a result of the melting pot of cultures, religions and food. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town in particular, is a total fusion of Chinese, Malay, Indian and other races, evidence of which is apparent everywhere, from cuisine to architecture.
The fascinating culture is complemented by golden beaches and tranquil seas. One would have to search far and wide to find an island blessed with so many natural attractions. It is truly a tropical paradise that offers something for everyone, from historical buffs and nature park enthusiasts to those just wanting to relax on a sun-drenched beach.
Meetings can be held in practically any hotel or resort. Whether it is at a 5-star beach resort or a city hotel, facilities are second to none with personalized service and meticulous attention to details.
Meeting planners can be assured of first-rate facilities that include state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and spacious venues. Technical expertise, meal arrangements, entertainment and recreational activities can be bundled in the meeting packages.
Penang, with its diversity in both culture and character, has all the right mix to offer an unforgettable incentive trip. In the city or on the beach, our world renowned beaches and resorts have been tried and tested as excellent incentive venues.
The hotels offer popular theme dinner events that include Pirates, Chinatown, Malay Fishing Village, Jungle, Beach Party, Colonial and Street Hawkers. Incentive planners are only limited by imagination as experienced events managers are more than willing to custom-design any other theme to suit their clients’ fancies.
With successful conventions under their collective belts, Penang’s hotels and resorts can proudly claim to be of equal standing with other MICE destinations worldwide.
Whether it’s a product launch, a workshop, a public debate or an internation forum, the key to it is always their professional attitude and excellent organizing skills. Also critical during conventions is the kind of collateral assistance provided, which may range from public relations to the organizing of less serious pursuits like post-convention tours.
MICE facilities such as purpose-built centres and indoor stadium are available to accommodate a substantial number of people. One such venue is the Penang International Sports Arena (PISA), situated on 25.74 acre site in Bayan Baru. PISA’s multi-purpose buildings comprises the Arena, Aquatic Centre, food court and car park complex. It is a multi-purpose venue designed with sophisticated equipment and facilities to cater for events that include sports, entertainment, exhibitions, banquets, conventions and meetings. Major trade shows and exhibitions have been held successfully in the past, many of which are held annually.
To organize your MICE event in Penang, please contact the Sales & Marketing department at the respective hotels and resorts.
Langkawi – Malaysia
Langkawi, officially known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia
Surrounded by turquoise sea, the interior of the main island is a mixture of picturesque paddy fields and jungle-clad hills. If you’re intent on carting off duty-free alcohol, cigarettes and chocolate, then this is the place to be. Still, Nature-lovers will find the island just as agreeable as the shoreline is fringed by powder-fine sand and swaying coconut trees.
The island is especially recognized for its excellent diving opportunities and this tropical gem hides a treasure trove of other exciting holiday opportunities. From the expansive Underwater World Langkawi along Pantai Cenang to the soaring Cable Car in Pantai Kok, Langkawi is an electrifying locale that keeps visitors coming back for more.
beautiful beaches, world- class infrastructure, mangroves rich in flora and fauna, ultra- cheap duty-free shopping and fascinating legends.
Langkawi has a lingering legend woven into its history. Ask anyone on the island about the tragic story of a beautiful young lady named Mahsuri, and you'll hear a tale of love, jealousy and a curse that was placed upon the island by her for seven generations.
Today, the seventh generation of Langkawi's inhabitants has long come and gone, but people here still believe that the prosperity and blessings the islands enjoy today and the passing of the curse is no mere coincidence. The mysticism of this legend can be felt in many parts of this island, especially at Makam Mahsuri (Mahsuri's Mausoleum), where Mahsuri is said to be buried.
Despite what looks like a slant towards tourism, many of the islanders are actually farmers, fishermen and entrepreneurs. Experience the beautiful countryside and peaceful landscape of paddy fields by renting a car and taking a leisurely drive around the island. Some of Langkawi's most rustic and memorable views are along the road that circles the island.
You'll pass small villages with wooden houses framed by palm trees, and children pedalling their old bicycles on errands. Aside from experiencing the local lifestyle, there is no shortage of things to do in Langkawi. Head up the thrilling new cable car to the summit of Mount Mat Cincang - Langkawi's second highest mountain - for an unrivalled view of the entire main island and beyond.
Other popular destinations are the Field of Burnt Rice, Hot Springs, Telaga Tujuh (The Seven Wells) and the Beach of Black Sand. Boat tours are organised to Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden), Gua Cerita (Cave of Stories) and Gua Langsir (Curtain Cave).
For a more intimate time with nature, go trekking through the pristine rainforest that covers most of Langkawi, or go on a boat tour of the mangroves. There are also opportunities to go for a dive, or play a round of golf at some of the 5-star resorts. Langkawi also has an underwater world, with an underground tunnel that runs through a giant aquarium, that has received rave reviews.
Nearby Langkawi Attractions
Datai Bay, Langkawi
Datai Bay is situated at the north-west corner of Langkawi island and has boasting rights to the most exclusive golf resort on the island - the Datai Bay Golf Resort. Another exclusive establishment here is the Datai Langkawi Resort: luxurious, elite and indulgent.
There are several jungle trails that take you down to the peaceful Datai Bay beach. There is also a crocodile farm on the way to Datai Bay where you can watch the crocodiles as part of entertaining shows in the morning and afternoon.
Getting Here By Road
Teluk Datai is about 30km or 30 minutes' drive north of the Langkawi International Airport.
Dayang Bunting Lake or 'Tasik Dayang Bunting', Langkawi
The island, which is about 20 kilometres from Kuah town, is modestly populated on one side and virtually uninhabited on the other where the lake is situated.
The legend of Tasik Dayang Bunting goes like this: The favourite bathing pool of a celestial princess named Mambang Sari was said to be Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden). A prince, Mat Teja, fell madly in love with her and tricked her into marrying him.
Sadly, their child died from a mysterious illness at the age of seven days. Distraught, the grieving Mambang Sari left the child's body in the lake and returned to her heavenly abode. Today, some believe that barren women who bathe in this lake will be endowed with a child.
Kilim River Cruise, Langkawi
Spread over an area of 100sq. km, Kilim Nature Park features a beautiful mix of well protected green mangrove forests, isolated white beaches and blue lagoons. Along the trail, passing through calm winding rivers, you will be exposed to the wonders of the park's marine ecosystem, flora and fauna and its natural habitats.
Some tour operators will stop at a special spot along the river where they feed the eagles, found in great numbers here. These include the white- bellied fish eagle, brahminy kite and gigantic sea eagles. Kilim River is also a great place for some birdwatching during the migratory seasons in September and March.
After feeding the eagles, the boats will move downstream and soon, the Andaman Sea, located in the northern coast, comes into view as they exit the Kilim River through The Hole in the Wall. This is a famous passage so named after a narrow opening between formidable walls of limestone cliffs that connect the river to the open sea.
This narrow gap provides a sheltered area for a thriving fish farm and mooring for yachts. The farm adopts a very hands-on approach, encouraging visitors to hand-feed the multitude of marine life such as groupers, bat fish, blue spotted stingrays, lobsters, mantis prawns and snappers. Visitors can choose their own lunch or dinner directly from the 50-odd cages and have it cooked to order at the floating restaurant.
Langkawi Cable Car
At 709 metres above sea level, the cable car ride up to Langkawi's second highest peak is truly an experience not to be missed.
Throughout the 20-minute ride, you will pass over jungle waterfalls and a thick carpet of virgin rainforest. On a clear day, you can see parts of Thailand towards the north and Indonesia towards the south-west.
Travelling at a steep incline of 42 degrees, over a distance of 2.2 kilometres from the base station to the two mountain-top stations, even the gentlest breeze is enough to send one’s stomach churning. But once you get used to the sensation of being airborne, the ride quickly turns into an amazing, exhilarating experience.
At the top, a sky bridge offers a breathtaking view of Langkawi. Remember to wear comfortable shoes as it is quite a walk up to the hanging bridge.
The cable car operates from 10am to 7pm, subject to weather conditions. The service may be halted during strong winds. The cost is MYR 15 for adults with a MyKad and MYR 5 for children (prices subject to change).
By Car or Taxi
Langkawi Cable Car is located on the southwest coast of the main island, just a 30-minute drive from Kuah Town and only 15 minutes from Langkawi International Airport. Your best bet is to either hire a car or a taxi for the day and explore the island at your own pace.
Set in a craggy, almost magical setting of limestone outcroppings rising sharply out of the calm Andaman Sea, the mangrove forest in Langkawi is really an intricate network of streams and hidden coves that are home to hundreds of endemic jungle species of wildlife.
Among the most exciting of these are the brahminy kites and huge sea eagles that nest in the crags overhead. One of the best ways to discover this usually inaccessible mangrove world is to join the regular small boat tours available.
The highlight of any tour to the mangroves is the feeding of the eagles. Your boatman will throw food into the water near your boat and wait for these huge birds to circle overhead and swoop in for their 'lunch'.
Mangrove tours can include jungle trekking, cave exploration, village visits, high tide swims and guided explorations of mangrove flora and fauna. Decide on what itinerary best suits you before you book.
By Taxi and Boat
The jetty for this tour lies just 15 minutes north of Kuah Town. But chances are you won't need directions as you will be part of a tour that does pick-ups and drop-offs at your hotel.
Pulau Beras Basah, Langkawi
Located at the western tip of Langkawi, Pulau Beras Basah offers a relaxing getaway with its pristine beaches and lush green forest.
Visitors to this island usually come as part of a 4- hour island hopping tour, which includes Pulau Singa Besar and Pulau Dayang Bunting. Almost every travel agency in Langkawi would be able to assist you in arranging the island hopping tour.
As the island isn’t very commercialised, don’t expect the place to be abuzz with activity. Rather, take some time out for yourself and relax with a book, sunbathe, or go for a refreshing swim in the clear blue waters.
By Car and Boat
Just make your own way to Pantai Cenang and there are boats ready to take you there. Boats also operate from other locations, including the Awana Porto Malai Resort.
Pulau Payar Marine Park, Langkawi
The sprinkling of jade green islands that make up Pulau Payar lie just 30km south- east of Langkawi. From here, it is a 1-hour boat ride out to the best marine park on Malaysia's West Coast, making it an ideal choice for a day outing.
This well-preserved, uninhabited marine park extends over a number of islands, with Pulau Payar being the largest. Your base out here is the floating platform moored off Pulau Payar. But the real attraction of this platform lies below sea level.
Step into the underwater observation chamber to view the marine life surrounding a reef. Want to get even closer to the swirl of fishes that make these corals their home? Grab a mask, a snorkel and fins and join the spectacle!
If you’re into scuba diving, the best diving is along the reef system that skirts the south, east and west of Pulau Payar. Please check with your dive operator what the visibility is while you’re there, as conditions vary.
There is no accommodation in Pulau Payar as it is a marine park, but Langkawi, with all its fine resorts and restaurants, is just a speedy boat-ride away.
By Boat & Catamaran
Pulau Payar is just 30km south-east of Langkawi Island. You can get there from Kuah Jetty in Langkawi by speed boat or catamaran. The journey takes about 1 hour.
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