0 The Malaysia Manual – Part 3: Islands, Natural Wonders, Mountains

ISLANDS





PulauTioman, Pahang

Tioman is a tear shaped island and is said to be the final resting place of a fabled dragon princess who had turned herself into an island. It’s located 36 nautical milesoff Malaysia’s east coast and is home to 64 volcanic islandsincluding Sri Buat Island, Sembilang Island, Tulai Island, Chebh Island, Labas Island and Renggis Island.

PulauPerhentian, Trengganu

Perhentian is a group of Islands and means “stopping point” in Malay, referring to their longstanding role as a waypoint for traders between Bangkok and Malaysia. The Islands were also used as a refuge in the late 1900s. The two main islands are PerhentianBesar and Perhentian Kecil. There are several other beautiful uninhabited islands too.

The Perhentian Islands are home to a significant turtle nesting population.

PulauLangkawi, Kedah

Officially known as the “Jewel of Kedah” Langkawi is a cluster of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea. It has been given a World Geopark status by UNESCO.  There are beautiful sandy beaches; Langwaki has a dark history which is also one of the many attractions.

The tomb of MakamMahsuri tells of folklore about a woman who was accused of adultery 200 years ago. She was tied to a tree and stabbed to death despite her pleas of innocence. The story goes on to say that she bled white blood, and proceeded to curse the island for seven generations. Back then, the people of Langkawi held on to this account of Mahsuri as the reason for Langkawi’s lack of growth. But the “curse’ is now broken since it has become one of the most visited tourist destination bringing with it growth and prosperity for the inhabitants.



PulauRedang, Terengganu

Redang Island is famous for its crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, and the tropical fish that inhabit the numerous reefs, many within 50 feet of the shore.

There isn’t any sightseeing in Redang and most visitors come to the island to enjoy the beach. It is a perfect setting for those who want to sit back n relax.

PulauSipadan, Sabah

Sipaden is rated as one of the best dive sites in the world. Its location puts it in the center of the richest marine habitat in the world. More than 3000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species have been classified in this richest of ecosystems. One more must – experience attraction is the turtle bomb, an underwater limestone cave with a maze of tunnels and chambers that contain many skeletal remains of turtles.

There a total of 12 dive sites in Sipadan Island

PulauPangkor, Perak

Pangkor Island is a small island with total surface area of about 8km2 and is in Perak. The island economy depends on the fishing industry. The famous satay fish originated here. The Island has some of the prettiest and most tranquil beaches in Malaysia. It is not popular amongst your average tourist but is recommended by many who have been to the island.

MOUNTAINS/HILL STATIONS



Genting Highlands

Genting Highlands is located in the state of Pahang and termed as Malaysia’s ‘City of Entertainment.’ Genting Highlands is a popular holiday destination in Pahang, perched high up on the peak of GunungUlu Kali at approximately 1,800 meters. Only an hour's drive away from Kuala Lumpur, its close distance makes it a convenient getaway from the hot and humid weather of Malaysia. Genting Highland's main attractions for visitors are its Las Vegas-styled entertainment, including glitzy shopping malls, colourful theme parks and a cable car ride to complement its central tourist activity and casinos. There are no real streets in Genting, all the buildings in this resort city are connected through linkways, underground tunnels and escalators. The cable car ride is a worthwhile experience for the panoramic view of the rainforests and lush valleys.



Cameroon Highlands

The Cameron Highlands are at an altitude of 1300m to 1829m. It is a vast area of rolling green hills, tea plantations and forests stretching along the road from the town of Ringlet, then through the main towns of Tanah Rata, Brinchang and beyond. The Cameron Highlands takes its name from William Cameron, the surveyor who mapped the area in 1885. He was soon followed by tea planters, Chinese vegetable farmers and wealthy colonialists seeking a cool escape from the heat of the lowlands. The temperature in the Highlands rarely drops below 10°C or climbs above 21°C, and in this fertile area vegetables grow in profusion, flowers are cultivated for sale nationwide and wild flowers bloom everywhere. It’s also the center of Malaysian tea production. There’s a network of jungle trails, waterfalls and mountains, and less-taxing points of interest, including colorful temples, Rose gardens and tea plantations where visitors are welcome to try the local brew. You can also pick your own strawberries at Kok Lim Strawberry Farm

Fraser’s Hill

Fraser’s Hill is a great weekend retreat, about two hours away from Kuala Lumpur. It’s locally known as Bukit Fraser. It derives its name from Louis James Fraser, a solitary Scottish pioneer who set up a tin-ore trading post in the 1880s. Fraser vanished without a trace 25 years later. The hill was rediscovered by Bishop of Singapore who reported that the place was perfect for a hill station. Work started on the access road to the hill station and it opened to visitors in 1922. The hill station covered 140 hectares of land and had over 50 km of jungle paths.

Mount Kinabalu

Towering at a height of 4095m Mount Kinabalu – located in the state of Sabah - is the highest mountain in South East Asia. Known as GunungKinabalu in Bahasa Malaysia, the mountain is quite unlike any other on earth, rising almost twice as high as its Crocker Range neighbors and culminating in a crown of wild granite spires.

"Kinabalu" actually means "CinaBalu" (Chinese Widow) and is named after a woman who waited for her husband to return from China for many years until she died.

To the locals the mountain is a symbol of the everlasting love and loyalty that should be taken as a good example by women.



Mount Ledang

GunungLedang is a mountain situated in the GunungLedang National Park located in Ledang District Malaysia. It is also called Mount Ophir which is the 64th highest mountain in the country

There is a popular Malaysian folklore which told of a princess with magical powers who resided on the mountain. She was wooed to be the wife of the then Sultan of Malacca, Sultan Mahmud Shah.

However, she set seven impossible conditions for him as a means to reject his proposal. Some legend say the Sultan completed all but one last condition which required him to kill his only son.

Natural Wonders



Mulu Caves:


Mulu Cave is taken in reference to the Gunung Mulu National Park. This park is located near Miri Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo. Mulu cave is a UNESCO world heritage site which features magnificent karst and cave formations set against a back drop of equatorial rain forest. The Park has become renowned worldwide for it expeditions which were mounted in 1977-78 by over 100 scientists drawn from all over the world. The caves are named after Mount Mulu which is Sarawak’s second highest peak.

Taman Negara:

As the oldest protected area in Malaysia Taman Negara is a 130 million years old rainforest

Endau Rompin:

Endau Rompin, straddling the Johor/Pahang border, is the second oldest National Park, after Taman Negara. It covers an area of approximately 80,000 hectares of rich and exotic flora and fauna, encompassing the watershed of the rivers Endau and Rompin, from which it derives its name.



Orang Utan Sanctuary in Sepilok, Sabah:

The Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre was set up in 1964 to rehabilitate orphaned or injured Orang Utan. Over 250 individuals have been successfully rehabilitated and returned to the forest, some even breeding with established wild Orang Utans. Set in the lush 5,666-hectare Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, the Centre under the administration of the Wildlife Department of Sabah attracts tourists and researchers alike, giving them the opportunity to watch the orang utan up close in their natural habitat.

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