Magical Moments in Malaysia

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Malaysia is well-known for its pristine beaches, turquoise waters, hills and valleys, magnificent mountains, rainforests, mangroves and caves. The country is surrounded by pure white sand beaches, crystal clear azure sea and amazing views. The natural beauty of Malaysia makes it the perfect place for romantic getaways.

The islands off the East Coast of peninsular Malaysia have excellent scuba diving from April to September. Sipadan offers both soft and hard coral, sea turtles, white tip reef sharks, barracudas, leopard sharks and large schools of jackfish and parrotfish. Sipadan is recognized as one of the best sites for scuba diving in the world and is located off the easternmost tip of Malaysian Borneo. Sipadan is a protected site. The resorts on Sipadan have been closed, but you can stay on Mabul Island, Kapalai Island or Semporna. The islands of Kapalai and Mabul are approximately fifteen kilometers from Sipadan.

Malaysia is like two countries in one, cleaved in half by the South China Sea. The country is located partly on the northern third of the island of Borneo and partly on a peninsula of the Asian mainland. Malaysia is close to the equator and the climate is tropical. Peninsular Malaysia is divided into the regions of the West Coast, East Coast and South. East Malaysia is situated approximately 800 kilometer to the east of Peninsular Malaysia and is divided into the regions of Sabah and Sarawak. The Strait of Malacca is situated between the Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra and is one of the most important thoroughfares and carries more than forty percent of the world’s trade.

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About two thirds of the country is covered in forest. The East Malaysia forests are home to an estimated 2.000 tree species and also host the largest flowers in the world. The Rafflesia keithii is found along the eastern slopes of the Kinabalu Mountain in the Lohan Valley of Sabah. It takes about six to nine months to emerge from bud to flowering and then start to decompose after only three days. The flower is typically around 100 centimeters in diameter and weighs up to ten kilograms.

Explore the Magic of the Cameron Highlands

The historic colonial and charming old town of Ipoh is the gateway to the Cameron Highlands which is famous for its rainforest adventures, a unique Big Red Strawberry Farm, Butterfly Farm, Honey Bee Farm, Cactus Valley and tea plantations. The highland is located in Pahang in West Malaysia approximately 200 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur (the capital of Malaysia) and about 85 kilometers from Ipoh. The Cameron Highlands can be reached via Ipoh or Tapah to the west and also Kuala Lipis or Gua Musang to the east. The main town of the area is Tanah Rata.

You can walk on a thick carpet of moss and enjoy the untouched views of the forest at the top of Gunung Brinchang Mountain. The boardwalk near the highest elevation point offers a spectacular view of the Cameron Highlands and allows you to explore the fascinating biotope of the fabled Mossy Forest. An overnight camping site is available at Gunung Irau, one of the highest peaks next to Gunung Brinchang. For camping at Gunung Irau you can contact +60 5 491 5828 and get directions to the site.

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About three kilometers northwards of Brinchang on the main road you will find the amazing Butterfly Garden and Farm with interesting tropical insects and beautiful butterflies.  Butterfly farm offers a wide variety of flowers and many colorful butterflies fluttering just about everywhere. The farm and garden are located next to each other and the friendly staff at both places will take photos of you while standing with butterflies or insects on your hand.  You can visit the Butterfly Farm at 43rd Miles, Kea Farm, 39100, Pahang or contact them at phone: +60 12 529 5568.

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The Time Tunnel Museum is situated on the same premises as the Kok Lim Strawberry Farm and is one of the top tourist attractions in the Highlands. You can enjoy a delicious meal at the Time Tunnel Café (phone: +60 16 3288 438). The pancakes and nasi lemak are an absolute must try. Kok Lim Self-Plucking Strawberry farm is the largest strawberry farm in the area and admission is free of charge. You can pick your own strawberries and tomatoes from the plants.

Rose Valley Village, Kea Farm in Brinchang

Rose Valley Village, Kea Farm in Brinchang

In order to experience an abundance of beautiful roses, you should visit the Rose Center at Rose Valley Village, Kea Farm in Brinchang. The Rose Center is open daily from eight in the morning until six in the afternoon. More than a hundred varieties of roses are grown here. The trail up the hillside offers stunning views of the vicinity.

Cactus Valley is within walking distance from Brinchang and is worth a visit. Some of the plants here are more than sixty years old. Cactus Point is about 500 meters from Kea Farm, situated on a hill slope. The farm sells almost every type of cactus imaginable. You can contact Cactus Point at +60 5 491 4180 for more information about the plants.

Bee farms are a novelty in the highlands. Ee Feng GU Honey Bee Farm, located about five kilometers from town, is one of the best places to buy fresh honey and is also one of the main attractions in the area. The bee keepers at the farm are always willing to provide information about bees and honey.  Ee Feng GU Honey Bee Farm is also known for products such as jelly, pollen, tea, crystals, Yi Xing Violet Sand Teapot sets and many other souvenirs.

Discover the Jewel of Kedah

The Jewel of Kedah is officially known as Langkawi, an archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea. Pulau Langkawi is the largest of the islands.

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Pantai Cenang Beach features white powdery sand and is the most popular beach in Langkawi. For a more peaceful alternative you can visit Pantai Tengah or Pantai Kok in the western part of the island. Tanjung Rhu is located on the northernmost tip of the island and is an absolute paradise. Here you can discover mangroves, sandy beaches and centuries-old limestone caves.

Langkawi Legend Park or Taman Legenda near the Kuah Jetty will learn you about the legends that made up the character of the mystical islands. The islands have always been surrounded with myths and tales. The seventeen monuments amidst beautiful gardens of colorful flowers each tell its own story. Legend has it that Kuah was formed when two warriors, Mat Cincang and Mat Raya, had a duel and overturned a bowl of gravy while fighting.

Ensure to explore the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls or Seven Wells where the fairies used to bathe. The waterfalls are located within walking distance from Oriental village and cable car. The cable car offers a spectacular view of Pantai Cenang. Gunung Raya is the tallest mountain on the island and is well-known for the snaked paved road through the jungle.

Stardust Sailing Yacht at +60 12 4050649 offers amazing tours. You will experience sting ray feeding, eagle watching and cruise to the Langun Island. The dolphin spotting is a lot of fun. The mangrove forest gives you an excellent opportunity to see herons, sea eagles and kingfishers.

Scuba Diving, Perhentian Islands

Scuba Diving, Perhentian Islands

The Perhentian Islands on the East Coast have no viewpoints, monuments or museums, but have stunning white beaches and clear waters surrounded by rolling hills. Kecil Island features lighthouse towers and some wildlife. The Perhentian Islands are popular for sea-kayaking, scuba diving, sun bathing and snorkeling. The coral reefs with its rich marine life are popular among divers.

To experience traditional music, snake charmers and elephant rides, you can visit the Oriental Village at the foothills of Mount Machincang. Oriental Village offers fun, adventure, shopping and great cuisine.

Langkawi Parade Megamall is one of the largest duty-free shopping centers on the island. The mall offers almost everything, including souvenirs, liquors, wines, beachwear, electronics and clothing.

Traditional Malaysian Dancers

Traditional Malaysian Dancers

Visa Requirements for Malaysia

Many visitors do not need a visa to visit Malaysia and are exempt when visiting for holidays or social purposes; however it is really important to check before travelling. Citizens from the Commonwealth countries, Ireland, Switzerland and the Netherlands do not need a visa to enter Malaysia. If you require a visa then you must apply before you travel. Malaysia does not offer Visas on arrival. You need to have a passport that is valid for six months after your departure date.

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