Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia. Also known as KL in short, is a cultural melting pot of Chinese, Malay, Indian, East Malaysian ethnic groups, expatriates and other cultures.The traditional practice of each community offers a unique blend when it comes to festivals, food, music and fashion. The architecture showcases century old mansions to inspiring sky scrapers of the Petronas Twin Towers and the new KLCC Pavillion Pedestrian Walkway Bridge.Places must visits include the Merdeka Square, Indian Street, China Town, Central Market, the National Mosque, National Monument, National Museum, Bird Park, Berjaya Indoor Theme Park and night outings to Jalan Alor for local delights. One can also access these main attractions using the monorail, light rail transit (LRT) or buses.
The state capital is Shah Alam, the first city in Selangor. Other major urban centre within Selangor are Petaling Jaya and Klang. Attractions includes Batu Caves, a Hindu shrine located in a cave, 15km north of Kuala Lumpur, where up to a million flock to the shrine for the annual Thaipusam celebration.The Shah Alam mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque for its blue aluminium dome, is Malaysia’s largest mosque and can accommodate 24,000 worshippers. Notable attractions ranges from the Sunway Lagoon Resort, Forest Reserve Institute Malaysia (FRIM) and fire fly and eagle feeding at the Kuala Selangor nature tour. At the Royal Selangor Museum, you will be treated to private collections ranging from tobacco boxes, oil lamps, Chinese lanterns to century-old pewter making tools. The museum also features daily demonstrations of traditional pewter processes. One can also have a go at the School of Hard Knocks!
Located at the most southern part of Peninsular Malaysia, Johor is characterized by plantations of pineapple, rubber, coconut, palm oil and boasts of spectacular national parks, quaint fishing villages, and five star sea side resorts.Some recent attractions include the Johor Premier Outlet (JPO), Lego Land and the Royal Abu Bakar Museum. Compared to the busy and hectic city of Singapore, Johor Bahru is just a stone throw’s away, where visitors can appreciate a slower and more relaxed pace of life.
Most of the remnants of Melaka’s glorious past lies within the Town Square and around St Paul’s Hill. The highlights are the Bell Tower and Christ Church, characterized by the deep red exterior.Visit the popular Jonker Street and you will find merchants peddling clothing and craft, intermingled with restaurants and pubs. Savour the delicious Hainanese chicken rice balls and the authentic Nyonya cuisine. Take a trishaw ride around the city, to take in the sights and the sound of this historical city, which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Perak is steeped in natural beauty and history. Its capital, Ipoh is a quiet town with quaint old bungalows, and famed for its delicious hawker food and local coffee shop fares.It is not uncommon for foodies to drive three hours to dig into a bowl of Ipoh Sar Hor Fun, caramel pudding or good old butter toast with kaya and soft boiled eggs. Other attractions include caving at Gua Tempurung, a day out at Lost World of Tambun Theme Park or a dip into the FELDA Residences Hot Springs.
Also known as the Pearl of the Orient, Penang is a blast from the past, with the city preserving its narrow side streets, colonial British buildings, temples and famed kongsi. Immerse yourself in its culture with a visit to the Kek Lok Si temple, Snake Temple and the Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram Temple, where the 108ft-long reclining Buddha image resides.The influence of the British can be visibly seen at Fort Cornwallis and Penang Hill while a stroll along Gurney Drive and the up and coming Straits Quay, shows the metropolitan element of the island. Don’t miss out on the local cuisine ranging from nasi kandar, char kway teow, penang laksa and the “Tau Sa Piah” (mung bean pastry) amongst others.
Primarily an agriculture focused state, Kedah offers a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, with its pleasant rural landscape. It’s main crop is the paddy (rice), where the countryside is greenest when the newly planted paddy is sprouting, turning golden yellow at harvest time.Visit the Paddy Field Museum and the Mahathir Museum while you’re up North. Langkawi, the most well known cluster of island, just off Kedah, has a huge tourist draw, with its duty free shopping and excellent beach resorts.
Pahang is the largest state in Peninsular Malaysia, with two thirds of the state enveloped in rain forest. The country’s premier national park, Taman Negara, as well as the Endau Rompin State Park, is located in the heart of Pahang, offering a vast collection of rare flora and fauna.Pay a visit to the famed Elephant Sanctuary at Kuala Gandah or Club Med, at Kuantan. Kuantan, the state capital, offers an interesting mix of modern buildings intertwined with charming old-world cottages.
Two things define Terengganu, the white, sandy beaches and the crystal clear waters that stretch along the coastline from Besut in the north to Kemamam in the south. Her islands are one of the most beautiful and romantic in the country. Attractions include The Floating White Mosque.
Bordering Thailand in the north, Kelantan state has a strong Thai influence in the local cuisine, architecture, and the local community. The capital, Kota Bahru is a good place to sample the cuisine and culture.While you’re at hit, pay a visit to the Batik Factory. Ornate handicrafts, wood carvings, silver, baskets, cloth, kites, tops and drums known as Rebana Ubi are locally crafted, and renowned for being one of the best in Peninsular Malaysia.
Islands & Beaches
According to local legend, the first syllable Lang in Langkawi originates from the Helang in Malay, meaning the eagle, while Kawi describes it as reddish brown. The most apt descriptor of Langkawi should be ``an eagle flying high``, it definitely exceeded your holiday expectations. This is a great place to relax and admire the beauty of nature. It has 104 islands, visitors can travel around the island, diving and fishing. Visitors can also visit Langkawi Corals at Payar Island Marine Park, Malaysia's first and only marine park with a coral platform. Friends who like history will be drawn to the folklore story of this legendary island, from the mausoleum of Princess Mahsuri to the story behind the burnt rice field.
Just forty minutes by ferry from Lumut, the popular island resort of Pangkor Island welcomes visitors with its beautiful golden beaches, crystal clear waters, and cool breezes. A wide range of sun and sea activities are available such as scuba diving, wind surfing, fishing and snorkeling.Resorts range from Pangkor Island Beach Resort to the luxurious and award winning Pangkor Laut Resort which is one of the world’s premier resorts set on a private island. Pangkor Laut Resort, an one island, one resort concept, is exclusive and accessible only to resort guests.
Also known as PD, in short, Port Dickson is all about the sun and the sea. It’s main attraction is its 18km stretch of white sandy beaches from Tanjung Gemuk in the north, to Tanjung Tuan in the south. Blue Lagoon is a famous picnic spot, and is ideal for water sports. There are also numerous resorts offering team building and go-carting activities.
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy activities such as swimming, fishing, snorkeling, canoeing, horse riding, jungle trekking, go-carting, golfing and windsurfing. There is also an 18 hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr, which makes Desaru, a must “play”, for golfers.
Popularly known as a surfer’s paradise, Cherating is a blend of both modern and traditional, with a 1km road running parallel to the beach, dotted with charming chalets, many which face the beach front. One of the main attractions of Cherating is the French vacation resort, Club Med, an all inclusive resort concept, suitable for individuals of all ages.
Legend has it that the island derived its dragon like shape from a Chinese dragon princess. Lush tropical jungles cover 12,000 hectares of the island where many protected species of mammals and birds reside. The island attracts holiday makers consisting of families, honeymooners, scuba divers and backpackers who appreciate the sun and the sea
The island is made up of two main islands, Perhentian Besar Island and Perhentian Kecil Island and several large rocky outcrops such as Tokong Kemudi Barat Island, Dara Kecil Island, Tokong Kemudi Island, Rawa Island, Burung Island and Serenggeh Island. Simple chalets to moderately luxurious resorts line the beaches along with restaurants, dive centres, and boat operators advertising their services.
Redang Island is amongst the biggest islands in the East Coast of Malaysia. It is part of nine islands which shape a marine park and offers snorkeling and diving activities. Redang Island and its encompassing waters have been gazetted as a national Marine Park, rich with sea creatures such as black tipped shark, giant garoupa, local eel, Hawksbill turtle, Green Turtle and others.
Located 30km off Semporna on the East Coast of Sabah, the island is rated as one of the world’s top dive sites. Rising 600m above the seabed, the dive site is rich with marine habitats, spectacular wall dives and underwater garden. More than 3,000 species of fish, hundreds of coral species, as well as a rich population of green and hawksbill turtles, venture to the island to mate and nest.
Located 50 minutes from Kuala Lumpur, Genting Highlands offers luxurious resort stay and entertainment. The Genting casino is the only licensed casino in Malaysia, which is a Muslim country. Head out to the casinos, where visitors can place a bet to test their luck.The cooling weather of the highlands and it’s surrounding natural forest makes it an ideal spot to play a round of golf at the Awana Genting Highlands Golf & Country Resort. It’s a shopping fest for the whole family at the First World Plaza, with plenty to do for the kids such as rides at the Amusement Parks. Visitors will also be amazed with the entertaining performances by internationally renowned performers at the Arena of Stars.
Cameron Highlands is a premier hilltop holiday destination, in the heart of Pahang where the cold weather is great for a game of golf or a leisurely cycle. Visit Malaysia’s finest tea estates, The Boh Cameron Tea Estate and other popular attractions such as the Butterfly Garden, Bharat Tea Estate, Bertam Valley, Ye Olde Smoke House, Kea Farm and Youland Flower Nursery.
Just over an hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, lies Colmar Tropicale, a French inspired village, in the highlands. Opened in July 2000, the pictureristic resort has a theme hotel, water fountains, quaint shops, and a draw bridge reminiscent of ancient castles. Attractions include the Rabbit Park, a Japanese Village complete with a Tea House, Botanical Garden and Tatami Suites.
Frasers Hill is a hillside retreat surrounded by lush forest, with its colonial styled buildings influenced by the British. Renowned for nature based pursuits such as trekking, bird watching, horse riding, fishing and camping, visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor activities. One can also play a game of golf at the Fraser’s Hill Golf Club.
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