Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Top 10 Things to do in Malaysia

1. Climb up the Petronas Twin Towers
Climb up the Petronas Twin Towers Completed in 1998, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur were the world's tallest buildings, before Taipei 101 (509.2m) took over the title. Standing 452m (1483ft) tall, the 88-storey towers are still the tallest twin buildings and office building in the world. The development includes a 50 acre multi-purpose park, corporate offices, KLCC shopping complex and a state-of-the-art Petronas Philharmonic Hall.

2. Take a stroll along the vibrant Petaling Street in KL
Take a stroll along the vibrant Petaling Street in KL Petaling Street or Jalan Petaling in Malay, is a vibrant Chinatown of Kuala Lumpur. It is often crowded with locals and tourists from afternoon till late night haggling for for cheap clothes, watches, shoes, sunglasses, other accessories, souvenirs and DVDs/CDs. A walk along the street is a real cultural experience for adventurous visitors. Like other Chinatowns, Petaling Street is also known for the Chinese pharmacies that stock ginseng, herbs and all sort of traditional remedies. Remember that negotiation skills are crucial when you shop on Petaling Street. Westerners will always get steep prices, so Bargain Hard!

3. Explore the famous Batu Caves
Explore the famous Batu Caves Batu Caves is a limestone hill located 13 kilometer North of Kuala Lumpur. Known as a religious site of worship for the Hindus, the cave is one of the most visited Hindu shrines outside India. Every year, over 1.5 million devotees congregate for the colourful 3-day Thaipusam festival, making it one of the biggest gatherings in history.

Standing almost 100 meter above the ground, Batu Caves feature three main caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest is the Temple Cave boasting 100 meter-high ceiling and ornate Hindu shrines. The only way to reach its entrance is to climb a steep flight of 272 steps. Walking pass a few altars and statues will lead you to an opening in the roof of the hill, where sunlight shines through into the cave. The Dark Cave is found below the Temple Cave, renowned for its incredible rock formations. The cave does have restricted access as it is a home to a diverse range of fauna, such as spiders, bats and snakes. However, there are regular educational and adventure tours for visitors to explore the 2-kilometer Dark Cave organised by the Malaysian Nature Society.

4. Try your luck at the Genting Highland's casino 
Try your luck at the Genting Highland's casino Dubbed the city of entertainment, Genting Highlands, 6,000 feet above the sea level, is Malaysia's version of low-budget and family-friendly Las Vegas. The main draw is that Genting is the destination where gamblers from around the world can enjoy one and only legal casino in Malaysia. The lush scenery with cooler climate attracts visitors of all ages to come and spend a wonderful holiday up in this picturesque mountain resort.

If you aren't into gambling, Genting Highlands offers various entertainment options to keep you occupied. Get ready to experience the Genting Theater Restaurant, a delightful dining venue for you to enjoy marvelous shows from all over the globe. Furthermore, do check out the heart-stopping rides at Genting Theme Park. For avid shoppers, don't miss a chance to shop at the First World Plaza with excellent range of products as well as cuisines. Other fantastic leisure activities include a Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, a wind-turbine sky diving simulator and world-class golf course.

5. Visit the Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum in Malacca
Visit the Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum in Malacca The Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum is popular museum in Malacca. The museum showcases the best of distinctive cultural values and lifestyle inherited by the Baba Nyonya community of Chinese - Malay ethnics. Baba refers to the Male descendent, while Nyonya refers to the female. The interesting intermarriage between the two different races of early Chinese male settlers and local Malay women resulted in this unique culture which is uncommonly seen in today’s urban city.

6. Reach the top of the Majestic Mount Kinabalu
Reach the top of the Majestic Mount Kinabalu The prominent Mount Kinabalu is part of the Kinabalu National Park, a World Heritage Site, situated in Sabah state on the tropical island of Borneo. Not only Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in Malaysia, it is also the 20th highest peak in the world in terms of prominence. Mount Kinabalu is a marvelous place to watch a spectacular sunrise from above the clouds at 13,435 feet (4095 meters) above sea level. The mountain and its national park surroundings boast a vast variety of flora and fauna and is deemed one of the world’s most important biological sites.

The summit trial begins by getting a climbing permit and name tag at Kinabalu park headquarters. Then proceed to the Timpohon gate at 1800 m (5900 ft), either by minibus or by walking, and walk to the Laban Rata hut at 3300 m (10,800 ft). Along the way there will be 7 shelters providing toilets and untreated mountain water source. Most people manage this part of the climb in 4-5 hours. Hot food and beverages, showers, blankets and heated rooms are available at the hut. The last 2 km (2600 ft), from the Laban Rata hut at 3300 m to Low's Peak (summit) at 4100 m, takes between 2 and 4 hours. Climbers will accomplish this final part of the trail on naked granite rock.

7. Arrange a diving trip in Pulau Sipadan
Arrange a diving trip in Pulau Sipadan Pulau Sipadan is the only deep water oceanic island in Malaysia, standing 2,000 feet (600m) above the seabed. The coral island lies off the east coast of Malaysia on the island of Borneo, renowned for being one of the best scuba diving sites in the world. Sipadan boasts the richest marine habitat with more than 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species. Its geographic location puts the island within the Indo-Pacific basin where some experts believe that the Indo-Pacific basin was earth's marine incubator.

To protect the environment and ecosystem from tourism, all resorts in Sipadan were closed since 2002. Sipadan island is only accessible during the day where divers must stay overnight on the nearby islands, such as Mabul or Semporna, and board a boat onto the island for diving. Sipadan is surrounded by both hard and soft coral as well as various reef fish. Encountering sea turtles and white tip reef sharks is common and hammerhead and leopard sharks can also be seen on occasions.

8. Sample Malaysian's culinary delights in Penang 
Sample Malaysian's culinary delights in Penang Penang is reputed as a food paradise. The Hawker food tradition here is famous and fabulous. For visitors, part of the reasons for holidaying in Penang is to experience the laid back street-side food stalls where the cuisine variations are apparently endless.

The hawker style food are categorised in several varieties, resulting from Penang's multi-cultural character featuring Nyonya, Chinese, vegetarian, Malay, Indian, Hakka-styled Western, seafood and desserts. Considered fishing as the island's main economy, Penang is a true haven for seafood lovers. A handful of gourmet and low-key restaurants offer the best menus in town attracting numerous repeated customers. Great eateries are often hidden away in quiet corners, so hunt around for those sumptuous goodies with reasonable prices. For a change of ambiance, gastronomic dinners can also treat themselves for a sit down 5-10 courses Chinese meal at any Penang's upscale hotels or restaurants.What's more, Banana leaf rice and Nasi Kandar are two major Indian delicacies. Both are served as hot food with rice being the main staple. Nasi kandar is extremely popular with the locals and many visitors stop by Penang just for a meal of Nasi Kandar before proceeding on their journey elsewhere.

9. Trek in the world's oldest Taman Negara National Park
Trek in the world's oldest Taman Negara National Park Taman Negara National Park is one of the world's oldest rainforests stretching over an area of 4,343 square kilometers. The National Park covers three important Malaysian states of Pahang (2,477 km²), Kelantan (1,043 km²) and Terengganu (853 km²) and located in the center of Peninsula Malaysia. This is by far the Best-kept Tropical Rainforest and the Great Natural Wonders of the world.

Taman Negara boasts a famous ecotourism destination in the country with exciting geological and biological attractions include jungle trekking, climbing, night safari, bird watching, boating, fishing, swimming, photography and camping. This primeval rainforest is also a home to numerous rare species such as the Indochinese Tiger, Malayan Gaur, Sumatran Rhinoceros and Elephant.

With so much to see and do, other attractions found near Kuala Tahan, Park headquarters for Pahang state, feature the longest canopy walkway, Gua Telinga (cave system) and Lata Berkoh (rapid). Before entering, all visitors to Taman Negara must obtain permits from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks. Various choices of accommodation are available for different level of comfort ranging from a budget hostel, lovely chalet to a luxury resort.

Taman Negara is located in Kuala Tahan, a National Park Headquater. The Park is 260 kilometers northeast of Kuala Lumpur and 280 kilometers west of Kelantan. Visitors can access the rainforest by road and by boat.

10. Prepare a premier getaway in Legendary Langkawi Island 
Prepare a premier getaway in a legendary Langkawi Island Once was Malaysia’s best kept secret, today Langkawi Island has become a world class escape for elite travellers. Langkawi is getting close to being a Malaysia's largest tourist draw as seen from throngs of 5-star resorts and hotels lining the beaches. During high seasons, there are flights available directly from Europe and Japan to Langkawi. Western monsoon affecting the months of May-September means poor water clarity but diving is still do-able at nearby Pulau Payar.

A relaxing tour around Langkawi island may begin with a morning swim in a pristine Andaman ocean, sun bathe lazily at your own beachfront villa. Later, join an afternoon Mangrove tour, explore an amazing Seven Wells fall or opt for a more active choice by renting a boat to the Pulau Payar Marine Park. Before-dinner Langkawian massage is praised to loosen up your tired soul from your afternoon outing. Finally, indulge in a world of Malaysian seafood delights where eateries all over the island will satisfy your palette.

Last but not least, no visit to Langkawi is complete without a Duty Free shopping. Arrays of retail shops and malls cater every possible need with the lowest price tags, ranging from alcohol bottles, perfumes, hottest cameras, Malaysian batik to car auto parts.  

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