Completed traveller and blogger Mark Peterson tells us his alternative of lovely locations within the multicultural South East Asian peninsula…
You title it, Malaysia’s in all probability bought it – seashores to lounge on, rain forests to trek and sweat by, unique wildlife to hunt out, unbeatable delicacies, deep-seated traditions and a wealthy cultural historical past. It’s additionally a quickly altering nation, capitalising on the pure sources the land has supplied with little consideration for the implications. Environmentalists typically level to Malaysia as much-denounced instance of deforestation and the impacts that include it. Governmental steps have been taken to diversify the nation’s financial system, however most coach journeys of any vital distance will reveal acre upon acre of oil palm plantations that are there to satisfy an enormous world demand for palm oil. It’s a rustic that may bedazzle and ask you to confront awkward truths about globalisation on the similar time, and it that respect, Malaysia actually is actually Asia. Sufficient of the detrimental vibes although, under right here’s my alternative for a few of the most lovely and engaging locations to go to in Malaysia….
This duty-free haven is Malaysia’s northernmost archipelago 30km off the mainland and simply accessible by ferry and air from Thailand or Malaysia. Honeymooners and backpackers alike are all catered for as swathes of magazine-perfect seashores invite lazy cocktail-sipping afternoons. For the extra adventurous, you may take a look at your vertigo at one in every of Langkawi’s primary points of interest – the 1,700 metre cable automobile, or SkyCab – which ascends Machincang Mountain. You might have the choice to go to the primary station and again once more or proceed as much as the loftier second station. From there you may take a stroll throughout the SkyBridge, head as much as elevated viewing platforms or just watch the clouds roll in and over the slopes at wonderful pace. The SkyBridge was closed on the time of visiting (November 2013) so it’s finest to verify entry beforehand. If you happen to’re feeling peckish, ask the locals to search out out the subsequent location of the roaming evening market.
Thought-about the meals capital of Malaysia by many, this charming and well-developed island is a part of the broader state of Penang and has change into a multiracial melting pot of various cultures, religions and ethnicities, thanks largely to it’s outstanding place inside historic buying and selling routes. The primary neighbourhood of Georgetown is a pleasant UNESCO World Heritage Web site and boasts quite a few murals which make up an enchanting road artwork scene fronted by Lithuanian artist, Ernest Zacharevic. It gained’t be lengthy earlier than you’re drifting misplaced amongst the slender pastel streets, having your nostrils tugged and tempted by fried Nasi Kandar and your eyes popped on the vibrant sight of Ais Kacang. The culinary theme continues on the Tropical Spice Backyard on the island’s northern edge, a lush and refreshing retreat the place you may dine within the treetops alongside Silver Leaf monkeys swinging amongst the branches. A brief bus trip additional down the street is the extremely pleasing Butterfly Farm with a sequence of masterful must-see brief animated instructional movies.
The Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur
Amongst the hustle and bustle of Malaysia’s chaotic capital, magnificence presents itself in sudden kind. If you happen to cling across the base of the Petronas Towers between sundown and moonrise, the world’s tallest twin buildings bear a magical transformation as day turns to nighttime and the workplace lights, raise shafts and plane warning lights illuminate the 88 tales in a halogen-fuelled twilight haze.
For a whole bunch of years Malacca was one of the vital strategically vital cities on the Malay Peninsular, switching fingers between the Portuguese, Dutch and British amongst others throughout that point as they fought for management of this key buying and selling submit. Quick ahead to modern-day Malacca and also you get the impression the place hasn’t modified a lot. Lots of the streets are a technique, winding and cramped, whereas the rickety buildings are poky and ooze historic character. Like Penang, Malacca is one in every of Malaysia’s smallest states and proudly possesses UNESCO World Heritage Web site standing.
That is simply one of the vital lovely locations to go to in Malaysia. Guests are drawn to this enchanting area of Pehang to expertise the novelty, and the respite, of a cooler tropical highland local weather the place temperatures are sometimes within the low 20s. The rolling hills are populated by tea plantations and flower nurseries, making the realm the main producer of tea and flowers in Malaysia. It’s sensible to verify climate within the monsoon season (November – February) and name forward or ask your transport operator earlier than travelling because the heavy rainfall can result in landslides which has an inconvenient tendency of blocking lots of the roads.
A tiny island simply off the Malay Peninsular with huge, sweeping seashores that match Langkawi is just accessible by ferry from the connecting city of Lumut. Lumut is roughly three hours north of Kuala Lumpur by street and for these wishing to stay to the tracks then Ipoh (85km away) will sate your practice station wants.
A really idyllic cluster of islands protruding from the South China Sea on Malaysia’s east coast. The truth that Redang sits inside protected waters, referred to as the Terengganu Marine Park, preserves the crystal clear waters and the reef programs, ergo making a flourishing scuba-tourism trade. As with some central places equivalent to Cameron Highlands and far of the east coast, the monsoons dictate when to go, and when to not go. Between November and February the waters are sometimes too tough for boats to move keen sun-seekers to the island and lots of resorts take a vacation for themselves, so it’s all the time finest to cellphone forward for availability or plan your travels away from the off-season.
The Jungle Railway
The Jungle Railway runs for greater than 500km between Gemas on the Butterworth – Singapore line and Tumpat within the northeastern a part of Peninsular Malaysia which gives a gateway by to Thailand. The road passes by the three states of Pahang, Negeri Sembilan and Kelantan and majestic mountainous rainforest within the course of. It’s price scheduling your journey in the course of the day so that you get to soak up the fascinating surroundings and provides your self an opportunity of recognizing a monkey or two.
Malaysia appears to be a unending supply of reverential snorkel and scuba websites, and Sabah doesn’t buck any developments. If you happen to’re focused on latitudes, Sabah ranks as Malaysia’s northernmost state and whereas folks do flock to Sabah to benefit from the seas, you’d do properly to keep in mind that Sabah is house to a myriad of unique on and offshore species, together with civet cats, snakes, clouded leopards and pigmy elephants that are among the many 222 mammals (44 endemic), 420 birds (37 endemic), 100 amphibians and 394 fish (19 endemic) discovered, in accordance with the WWF.
Gunung Mulu, Borneo
What appears like a stones throw away from Brunei on the map, Gunung Mulu represents one more of Malaysia’s UNESCO World Heritage Websites. It’s a properly documented, visited and filmed world, as performed by the BBC’s Planet Earth workforce, however with eye-catching, different worldly options such because the Pinnacles at Mount Api it’s straightforward to see why. Gunung Mulu Nationwide Park is the most important of Sarawak’s parks and writing all that is making me need to return to Malaysia, tomorrow!
Written by Mark Peterson. Mark is a contract journey author intent on inspiring others to see as a lot of our perplexing world as potential. His favorite locations embrace Vietnam (all of it!), Penang for its unbelievable meals and the Fiordlands of New Zealand’s South Island. Discover him on his WordPress and Faceboook web page.