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Archive for malaysia

Blooms in Malaysia

By Linda Tancs

As if Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands weren’t scenic enough with its tea plantations, forests and waterfalls, it now boasts a Flora Park. Boasting a sea of blooms bounded by winding trails, the park features a series of private picnic areas available in timed sessions. November is considered the best month to visit the region. The travel time from Kuala Lumpur is roughly four hours.

The Highlands in Malaysia

By Linda Tancs

Named after surveyor Sir William Cameron, Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands were developed during the British colonial period, serving as a hill station to escape the tropical heat. The region unfurls with emerald-green tea plantations, the largest tea-growing area in the country. Enjoy some morning tea after watching a spectacular sunrise over Gunung Brinchang, the highest peak of the highlands. A trek through the mossy, or cloud, forest of Brinchang brings views of wild orchids and carnivorous pitcher plants. You can get to the region from Kuala Lumpur by bus. Take a window seat for amazing views.

Legend of the Dragon Princess

By Linda Tancs

According to legend, a beautiful dragon princess was so enchanted by the South China Sea that she abandoned a trip to Singapore to visit her prince and took the form of an island—Tioman, one of the most popular islands on the southeastern side of Peninsular Malaysia. Prized for its diving and snorkeling opportunities, inland it comprises thick jungle and the promise of numerous jungle treks. The duty-free island is also a marine park, requiring an entrance fee payment on arrival. The best time to visit is between mid-March and mid-October to avoid the northeast monsoon. Direct flights are available from Subang Airport; a cheaper alternative is a bus/ferry combination from Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia’s First Garden

By Linda Tancs

Taiping is a small and quiet town in Perak, Malaysia. The unassuming little place might go largely unnoticed but for the popularity of its lake gardens. Taiping Lake Gardens is the first public garden, established during British rule in Malaysia (then Malaya). Built atop an abandoned tin mine (a prime natural resource in the 1800s), the park’s huge ancient rain trees drape the crystal clear waters of the lake. Spread over 158 acres, the area has 10 scenic lakes and ponds framing the gardens as well as charming bridges and tracks for jogging. Taiping is well connected to the rest of Peninsular Malaysia by express buses from the long-distance bus station at Kamunting and Simpang.

Malaysia’s Largest Cave

By Linda Tancs

Talk about a rock of ages. Peninsular Malaysia’s largest cave system, Gua Tempurung, has rock formations aged between 250 and 400 million years. The overall length of the cave is nearly three miles; the part accessible to the public is just over one mile. Its underground river is nearly one mile long, and when rain comes, the subterranean streams turn into a churning river of froth. You can admire the underground waterfalls and pendant stalactites via walkways. Four tours of escalating difficulty are also offered. The cave system is easily reached via the North-South Highway.

A Long Walk in Malaysia

By Linda Tancs

The world’s longest jungle canopy walkway is in Taman Negara National Park (one of the oldest rainforests in the world) in Peninsular Malaysia. The canopy walkway, 1739 feet long and 131 feet above ground level, was initially built for research purposes. So imagine their surprise when it morphed into a dazzling tourist attraction! Open year round, it can be reached via jungle trails or boat.

Surrender in the South China Sea

By Linda Tancs

Scuba divers understand what it means to surrender, placing deep trust in the world beneath their feet as they plunge to the depths of a watery abyss in search of aquatic bliss.   So where do experienced divers go to hit the sea life lottery?  The Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.  Layang Layang, controlled by Malaysia, is the only island within the Spratlys having an airport with regular flights and exquisite scuba diving resorts.  Kayaking, windsurfing and bird watching (at, where else, nearby Bird Island) are also available for those who prefer life above the sea.


Geotourism in Malaysia

By Linda Tancs

Malaysia’s first established UNESCO Geopark is located in Langkawi, a popular holiday destination summoning visitors to its 99 islands in the Andaman Sea.  Like other UNESCO designations, a Geopark is so named for its contributions to history and culture–in this case, add in its geological value.  Datai Bay boasts some of the oldest rock formations in the region, dating back over 500 million years.  The boat ride from Datai Bay to Telaga Habour presents scenic rocky cliff formations.  And that’s just one of several trails through the area highlighting sea arches, caves, mangrove forests and tropical jungles.

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