Saturday, February 11, 2012

Malaysia: Top 10 Places

1. Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque, Teluk Ibai, Terengganu

Miraculously seen as floating on the water and hence the nickname The Floating Mosque of the East. The distinctive design of the mosque on a floating platform and its beautiful location on a lagoon by the mouth of Sungai Ibai creates the enchantingly floating impression to viewers.

2. Khoo Kongsi, Georgetown, Penang

Khoo Kongsi, reputedly known as ‘The Heritage Jewel of Penang’. The grand architecture is said to resemble that of the Emperor’s palace in China. Myth explained that this was the reason that the clan house was burnt down only 29 nights after its completion as a wrath from the Gods. 

3.  Petronas Twin Towers, KL

Visiting Malaysia is never complete, if one never visits this twin towers…. and that include Malaysians, be it from KL or any other parts of the country. The 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers is one of the world’s tallest buildings in the world, soaring to a height of 452 metres above the city skyline. Designed by Cesar Pelli in 1997 and mostly constructed with steel and glass, the towers were the world’s tallest when completed.

4. Batu Caves, Selangor

The Batu Caves is believed as a 400 million years old limestone hill over the length of 400 meters and a height of 120 meters, which has a series of caves and cave temples. In the pristine state before 1860, some of the cave mouths were used by the indigenous Besisi people as transit shelters. Today, this is the most popular destination during annual Thaipusam festival in Malaysia when more than 1.5 million pilgrims escorted the statue of Lord Muruga to Batu Caves.

5. Cherating Beach, Pahang

Cherating Beach is a stretch of almost 10 kilometers of beach from the south of Kuantan in Pahang right up to the town of Chukai in Terengganu. With its sloping white sandy beaches and soothing sea breeze, it is an internationally acclaimed spot for surfers particularly in November and December.

6. Sipadan Island, Sabah

Surrounded by crystal clear waters, Sipadan Island is voted as one of the best diving sites with its large numbers of greenback and hawksbill turtles which gather here to mate and nest. Another focus of the divers are to look out for the tornado-like formations of barracudas, big-eye trevallies, mantas, eagle rays, scalloped hammerhead sharks and whale sharks. Even better, various dive sties are assured with garden eels, leaf scorpion fishes, mantis shrimps, fire graces and various pipe fishes. Sipadan is now one of the nominees for the New 7 Wonders Of Nature.

7. Gunung Mulu National Park, Miri, Sarawak

The Gunung Mulu National Park has been inscribed as a World Heritage Site in the year 2000. It is famous for its incredible caves and chambers and karsts formations. Researchers often come to the park to study the best example of tropical limestone weathering (karsts) in the world including enormous razor-sharp pinnacles, deep-cut canyons, and grand caverns that are home to millions of bats and cave swiftlets.

8. Kota Kinabalu National Park & Mount Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu National Park is Malaysia’s first World Heritage. Designated by UNESCO in December 2000 for its ‘outstanding universal values’, the park covers an area of 754 square kilometers and surrounds the majestic Mount Kota Kinabalu, the tallest mountain in Malaysia (and fourth tallest in Southeast Asia). The hiking of Mount Kota Kinabalu up to the Low’s Peak ‘summit’ at 4100 meters is the goal of many trekkers. If climbers wish to go further up, the climb is on bare granite rock. The Rafflesia plant, which has the largest single flower in the world, is also found in the Kota Kinabalu National Park.

9. Sarawak Cultural Village, Santubong, Sarawak

The Sarawak Cultural Village is the award winning living museum that showcases the heritage of the major racial groups in Sarawak. The concept is to build up a condensation of Sarawak’s ethnic diversity in the 17 acres village. Visitors get the chance to personally experience the different lifestyles of seven tribes at the distinct longhouses models. Its multi-ethnic cultural performance at the mini theatre is another fun event not to be missed that portrays the distinct cultures of the many ethnic groups.

10. Heeren Street & Jonker Street, Malacca

Heeren Street which is also known as the ‘First Class Gentlemen Street’ or the ‘Millionaires Row’, is a road with double storey houses similar to that of the modern terrace houses, but much longer. The houses portray a rich and detailed mix of Chinese, European and Peranakan architecture. Till today, the Peranakans (Baba Nyonyas) do live in them, making this a living heritage, though there are also some being turned into galleries, cafes, hotels and eateries.

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