Pulau Tioman is said to be a real treasure as it has colourful coral reefs and marine life such as anemones, starfish, limpets and thorny sea urchins. There are more than 20 diving spots around the island; among the best are Pulau Tulai and Pulau Renggis.
Here, in vast gardens of hard corals, cuttlefish, angelfish, barracuda and turtles await divers. Deep diving enthusiasts will love Pulau Chebeh, the site of several giant manta sightings.
An Orang Ulu dance enthrals guests as they arrive at the Royal Mulu Resort (RMR). The resort, a 30 minutes’ flight from Miri city in East Malaysia, is an ideal getaway. It is especially so, for those wishing to go on a trip to the famed UNESCO World Heritage site, Gunung Mulu National Park.
The snake slithered through the undergrowth. Pausing, flickering its tongue and rearing its head, slowly….
Startled, I took a step back. I peered closer at the small snake basking on the forest floor.
It had longitudinal reddish orange stripes, with bits of greenish lateral stripes on a black background.
Was it a Banded Malayan Coral Snake? Or was it the Striped Kukri Snake?
An overwhelming sense of peace came over me as I set foot on the black sandy beaches of Telok Assam. With waves lapping softly at my ankles, I stood rooted there, admiring God’s work. Huge sandstone cliffs rose up from the ground like a solemn cathedral, weather-beaten to reveal fluid lines on its flat iron and rock surface.
Heavy drops of water fell from the high cliff edge to carve pools of clear liquid in the ground on which clingy barnacles made their home. Years of wind and water erosion have hollowed out parts of these cliffs, leaving behind cool cavernous interiors.
Has Langkawi become an annual pilgrimage destination for me? It seems that way since the past few years, I have never failed to visit the isle of legends at least once a year!
But who can blame me. After all, I think it’s one of the destinations in Malaysia that is perfect for any occasion or anyone. I’ve been to Langkawi for work and for leisure; been there as a single woman and as a married couple (for my honeymoon, in fact), and have also enjoyed it as a mom with extended family in tow!
Before joining Tourism Malaysia, about the only “adventure” I ever had was climbing the corporate ladder in the concrete jungle that was Kuala Lumpur. Nowadays, though, climbing actual mountains has become part of the job in promoting Malaysia.
One of the first peaks I attempted to scale was Gunung Stong (Mount Stong) in Dabong, a small rural village in Kelantan. It is believed that the word stong is a Malaysianised – or specifically, Kelantan-ised (if there is such a term) – version of the English word, “stone.” If you have been to Kelantan, you will know that they will turn any word that ends with the “n” sound into a nasal “ng” sound. And so the story goes…
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White Water Rafting in Kampar River, Gopeng, Perak
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wn about 90 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur, has many pre-war shop houses. This quiet and unassuming place is the gateway to some of the most adventurous outdoor activities in Peninsular Malaysia. �
The most popular adrenaline pumping fun is white water rafting in the Kampar River. The scenic waterway is created by the merging of three rivers, Geruntum River, Geroh River and Pacat River in Perak. Rated as a Grade I to III river, it offers a great combination of water ranging from gentle flows to challenging and technical whitewater. It is also perfect for beginners.
Sarawakian’s rich cultures and customs, unique traditional rituals, dances, foods, and costumes are among the things that continue to intrigue and fascinate visitors and researchers from around the world. Their warm hospitality and simple ways of life are also some of the traits that many visitors find endearing.
I guess, the fascination for this exotic destination also stems from interesting stories about the headhunters of Borneo. Images from National Geographic or Discovery Channel showing small dark people with tattooed bodies donning fancy headdresses of exotic bird feathers must have also fuelled the curiosity of our foreign visitors.
If nature and multi-ethnic cultural experiences are your cup of tea, then Sarawak has plenty of them to fascinate you.
Our main destination this time was Batang Ai, to visit the Iban community at the Mengkak Longhouse located at the mouth of Sungai Engkari.
pix courtesy of Sarawak Forestry, M
“When you realise the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future." -- Dian Fossey
I have idolised Dian Fossey, the zoologist, ever since I watched Gorillas in the Mist on television. She was the champion of gorillas in Africa and had dedicated her life to preserve and protect the great apes from extinction. Without her painstaking research and groundbreaking studies, we might never have known or cared about the primates’ existence.
I may not have the single minded devotion that Dian Fossey had for the majestic mountain gorillas of Rwanda but I am passionate about the conservation of wildlife. Although I’ve made a practise of donating money to various wildlife organisations, I have never participated in any conservation programme.
Whenever the word “apple” springs out, among the first things that come to my mind are usually, “Washington”, “Pies” or “Snow White”. Well, that’s just me being random. But all that has definitely changed. Say apple to me now and it’ll take me straight to Ba’kelalan.
Some may go “say what?” in response (like I did the first time), and some may go, “oohh, where’s that?” and only a few would say, “been there done that”. It is so remote and you have to take 2 flights to get there. First to Miri, then to Ba’kelalan by taking the Twin-Otter 15 seater MASwing aircraft (www.maswings.com.my). It is located near the Indonesian Kalimantan border and you could see a hell of a view on your way there. Cameras flashed like no one’s business even though the journey was bumpy, with the pilots trying to maneuver our cute little plane from hitting any thick clouds. All of us just wanted to eternalize the bird’s view of the greenery, the Mount Murud, the neat structured palm oil farm and the incredible unpolluted blue sky that looked like a painting.