Diving in Malaysia

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Malaysia is a diving haven just waiting to be explored. Among the renowned diving destinations are Pulau Tioman, Pulau Redang, Pulau Perhentian, Pulau Tenggol, Pulau Layang Layang and Pulau Sipadan. 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.

A Steamy Affair In Tambun

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It's not something you expect to see, but on the walls of one of the limestone caves deep in Tambun, Perak, are some markings that might be dismissed as careless graffiti at first. A closer examination reveals that they are actually Japanese characters that link to Tambun's past. Apparently, the messages, mostly names in Japanese and expressions of homesickness, are believed to have been written by the Japanese soldiers who were in Ipoh in the 1940s.

Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF)

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Each year, the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) never ceases to amaze, tantalise, surprise while showcase engaging talents from around the world. This year, in the 13th edition of RWMF there will be the Bisserov Sisters, a group performing from Bulgaria. Gifted with fine voices and musical memories, they have performed around the world from more than 30 years.

Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Penang

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Located in Penang’s ‘Little India’, in the capital city of Georgetown, the Sri Maha Mariamman temple reflects the city’s rich cultural heritage. This tropical island of Penang, lies in the Indian Ocean, just off the north-west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Penang’s rapid growth as a trading hub in the early 1800s, especially in commodities such as nutmegs, cloves and pepper attracted traders from Europe, America, Arabia, India as well as China.

The Royal Mulu Resort

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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.

Mesmerising Lambir Hills

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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 Kurki Snake.

Amplang crackers

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Amplang?! “What did you say the name was?” While trying to pronounce the strange sounding word correctly several times, I reached out for the amplang on the table.

Tanjung Piai National Park

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“Congratulations! You are now standing at the Southern Most Tip of Mainland Asia.” The signboard beamed widely at me as I peered towards the vast landscape. As winds blew gently over the confluence of the Strait of Malacca and Strait of Johore, the sun beat wildly upon the skin. Whew! Despite the intense heat, the view of huge tankers docking in international waters was a sight to behold. Row upon row of ships anchored symmetrically, and all I could hear was the silence of the howling winds. It is an astounding scene, to face one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Its shallow seaway is used by thousands of tankers daily. Is this really the tip of Southern Most Tip of Mainland Asia?

A short stroll: The Quaint Barber Shop

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The sharp, steel barber sheers lay unattended on the tabletop. Bottles of hair cream arranged neatly besides it. Several plastic combs bunched loosely in a container. On the walls, medium sized- posters of men sporting short hair cuts were pasted symmetrically, decorating the barber shop. There were even new ones of famous Bollywood heartthrobs. The red, stainless steel Takara barber chairs were first purchased in 1966. Purchased by its founder, the late P.A. Thangayah a highly respected figure and ex-chairman of the Indian Barber Association, the chairs are still in good condition and in use today. Situated along busy Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (previously known as Foch Avenue) in Kuala Lumpur, is a quaint barber shop that you will have to drop by. With its bright red signage, the Stylo Hair Dressing Saloon, was first established in 1940.
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