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Kedah State

Pulau Langkawi (Langkawi Island)
Click to enlarge
Pulau Langkawi, a group of 99 tropical islands lying off the north-western coast of Peninsular Malaysia, about 30 km from Kuala Perlis and 51 km from uala Kedah on the mainland, offers natural attractions unsurpassed by any other in the region. Visitors looking for a tropical island holiday and a place far away from the maddening crowd can find their haven in Pulau Langkawi. Besides its lush vegetation filled with exotic flora and fauna, its white sandy beaches and limestone hills would attract the adventurous. Langkawi is steeped in history, its past is full of legends of wronged maidens and loverlorn princes, all of whom have left their mark for
posterity. As a natural paradise, the islanda are perhaps unmatched anywhere else in Southeast Asia. With a geological history dating back 500 milion odd years, the islands contain unique rock information that stir the imagination and baffle the mind. Numerous caves, with their stunning stalacties and stalagmites, taunt the adventurous to unravel their ancient secrets. Fine beaches offer sun-filled days of complete relaxation. The clear emerald waters around the islands provide numerous oppurtunities for a host of water sports and recreational activities. The enchanting marine life beneath the waters of Langkawi’s islands also beckon diving enthusiasts.

Its pure white beaches are believed to have originated from the seepage of white blood that flowed from the body of a beautiful princess named Mahsuri. Mahsuri was sentenced to death for having, allegedly, committed adultery but none of the soldiers could kill her with their weapons until she was stabbed with her own ‘knife’. The blood that flowed, which was supposedly white-depicting her innocence, seeped into the ground. Upon dying she threw a curse on the island that it would not proper for seven generations. On the spot where she died, a tomb called Makam Mahsuri was erected where people come from all walks of life to live the legend.

Attractions in Langkawi

Padang Mat Sirat
Burn rice at Padang Mat Sirat
In Padang Mat Sirat is the legend of burnt rice. Here purportedly the villagers burnt their padi when they were invaded rather than leave their rice fields on the invaders. Today, traces of burnt rice still surface after a heavy downpour.

Air Hangat Village
Air hangat Village
This place is about 14 km from northwest of Kuah town in Langkawi. Air Hangat Village is a new tourism concept that sees the redevelopment of the former tourist spot known as Telaga Air Hangat (Hot Springs). The entertainment complex covers some four acres. Attractions include a 3-tier hot-spring fountain, 18 meters hand-carved riverstone mural depicting the legends of Air Hangat, day-long outdoor entertainment programme featuring Malaysian/ ASEAN cultural dances and traditional sports and games, live displays of Malaysian/ ASEAN customs, traditional crafts, and participation in village activities such as padi planting. Food and beverage facilities include a café, a lounge and a theatre restaurant. Duty free shopping is available at the pavilions.

Tel:04-9591357
Open hours: 9 am- 6 pm (daily)
Entrance fee: RM4.00 (adult), RM2.00 (child).

Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden)
Tasik Dayang Bunting
Nestled amidst lush forested hills on an island south of Pulau Langkawi is Tasik Dayang Bunting, the largest lake in Langkawi. It is a freshwater lake. The outline of hills and rocky outcrops on one side of the lake resembles the shape of a pregnant maiden lying on her back. However, the name of both the islan and the lake is attributed to the legend of a lovely fairy princess who married an earthly prince. Her first child died shortly after birth. She was so sad and depressed that she buried the child in the crystal clear waters of the lake. Before she returned to her celectial abode, she blessed the waters so that any childless maiden who bathed in the lake would conceive thereafter. Thereafter this place has been frequented by many a childless couple.

Telaga Tujuh (Seven Wells)
Telaga tujuh
Located in northwestern corner of Pulau Langkawi, Seven Wells is a geological marvel. The lush green forest that surrounds the waterfall adds a mystical touch to the natural splendour. It’s a spot where a freshwater stream cascades 91 metres down through a series of seven natural pools. Picnickers can swim in the bottom most pool of the waterfall that is easily accessible by concrete steps a short distance from the tarmac road.
Taman Buaya

Taman Buaya Langkawi (Langkawi Crocodile Farm)Located at Teluk Datai, about 30 km from Kuah Town of Langkawi. The farm covers 20 acres that houses more than 1000 crocodiles. Here, one can witness and photograph crocodiles and alligators playing and photograph crocodiles and alligators playing and feeding in a controlled environment that closely resembles their natural habitat. Registered with The Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species (CITIES), the farm has many attractions for the tourist. Amongst them are:

Feeding Pond
TamanBuaya
Species Pond. You would be able to see crocodiles and alligator species from all over the world.
Breeding Pond. Crocodiles mate and nest here.
Show Pond. Watchman and crocodile ‘wrestle’ with each other.
Bridge-Over-Pond. Enables you to get a closer look at crocodiles.
At the exhibition centre you would also be able to watch an audio-visual presentation on the life cycle of crocodiles. There are also specimens and photographs of crocodile eggs, crocodile skeletons, etc. on display. The farm is equipped with a fast food shop, toilets and a car park.
Tel: 04-9552529
Open hours: 9am-5pm (daily)
Entrance fee: Adult : RM5.00
Child : RM3.00

Kampung Tanamas
It is located 14 km from Kuah Town. The village provides an insight into the cultural activities of the people. You would be able to see handicrafts being done and pick a souvenier to take home.
Tel: 04-9553262
Open hours : 8.30 am- 6 pm (daily)
Entrance fee: RM1.00 per person
(You can enter free of charge if you have the receipt of entering Mahsuri’s Tomb)

Underwater World Langkawi
Under water view
Located at Pantai Cenang (Cenang Beach). To get there, just return to the main coastal road from Makam Mahsuri and travel a further eight kilometers. It’s a marine showcase featuring both fresh and saltwater fish and other forms of marine life, is a must-see attraction. Located at Pantai Cenang, a popular beach on the island, this aquarium features more than 5,000 types of marine life, exhibited in more than 100 tanks of different sizes. The highlight is a giant tank housing large marine species such as shark, stingrays, groupers and green turtles, with a 15-metre tunnel for visitors to walk through and enjoy a spectacular view of the exhibits. Underwater gardens of weeds and sea plants together with exotic fishes and exhibits of fossils and shells add to the range of interesting sights. Open: 10am-6pm (daily). Entrance fee: RM15.00 (adult), RM10.00 (child). Tel: 04-9556100

Langkawi Book Village
Langkawi Book Village
A side-trip from Padang Mat Sirat can be to the Langkawi Book Village the 12th of its kind in the world. The village situated in a beatifully landscaped in Lubuk Semilang, 8 km from the airport. It is located just 10 minutes from the Langkawi International Airport and 15 minutes from the Ferry Terminal. Situated amidst a lush green forest at the foot of Raya Mount, the highest peak on the island, the book village provides book lovers a tranquil setting to undulge in their hobby. It’s the first and only book village in Sout-east Asia. It is part of the International Book Villages and Book Towns Movement. A collection more than 50,000 books here would surely keeps its visitors fully occupied. The various houses in the village are stocked with a great variety of new books on numerous topics and languages as well as second-hand, rare and antiquarian books. Open: 9 am – 6 pm (daily). Admission Free. Tel: 04-555568

Taman Legenda (Legend Park)
Taman Legenda
This scenic park with its beautiful gardens of vivid local blooms, plants and fruit trees provide a picturesque and fitting backdrop for building showcasing Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage. Within the park, there are some fine examples of traditional Malaysian handicraft and cultural objects. Open: 8 am- 11 pm (daily). Admission: RM5.00 (adult), RM2.5 (child). Tel: 04-966 4223

Dataran Lang (Eagle Square)
Dataran Lang
It is Langkawi’s most prominent landmark for visitors arriving by sea. Situated near the Kuah Jetty, the main attraction of the square is the magnificient statue of the reddish brown eagle majestically poised for flight. According to local folklore, Langkawi derived its name from the eagle or ‘Helang’. In old Malay, ‘kawi’ denotes reddish brown-hence, Langkawi means reddish brown eagle. The square is beautifully landscaped and features scenic ponds, bridges, covered terraces, restaurants and barrel vaults made of bricks. Its close proximity to the sea and the soft breezes make it an ideal spot for leisurely walks and a tranquil setting for dining in the cool evenings. The square is beautifully illiminated at night and presents a dramatic scene as you approach the island by sea. Indeed, the majestic eagle is strategically positioned to welcome visitors to Langkawi.

Laman Padi Langkawi
Padi showcase
It is Langkawi latest attraction and one that should not be missed for agro-tourism lovers. Located at Cenang Beach, in the vicinity of the island’s popular beach resorts and just 10 minutes from the airport, Laman Padi Langkawi showcase the history, heritage and development of the nation’s rice growing industry. Among the attractions here is a rice museum displaying artifacts, charts and photographs showing the significance of padi cultivation to the country. Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the fields from a roof-top garden. It is uninitiated. Try your hand at paddy planting using both traditional as well as modern methods of cultivation. There is also a restaurant offering popular traditional Malay recipes and local delicacies, which are prepared using rice as the main ingredient. Open: 10am-6 pm (daily). Admission: RM2 (adult), Free (below 12 year old). Tel: 04-955 4312

Craft Cultural Complex
Handicraft at complex
Its located on the northern coastline of Langkawi Island in the vicinity of Teluk Yu, about 30 minutes drive from the airport or 45 minutes from Kuah town. Nestled on a hillside overlooking the sea, this magnificent complex offers a wide range of Malaysian handicraft such as delicate hand drawn batik and intricately carved silverware. Open: 9am-6 pm (daily). Admission: Free. Tel: 04-959 1913

Langkawi Crystal
House of crystal
It is located along Kisap Road, 5 km north of Kuah town and 20 km from the airport, Langkawi crystal offer an attractive and exquisite range of glass products. Visitors will find a wide choice of skilfully crafted crystal items to suit every occasion. There are also special collections for those who demand exclusiveness. Here, you will be mesmerised by the extraordinary glass blowing skills of craftsmen dedicated to producing glassware of the highest standards and quality. Take the opportunity to test your glass blowing skills here. Open: 9am-5 pm. Admission: Free. Tel: 04-966 1555

Langkawi Yacht Club
Langkawi Yacht Club
Situated within walking distance from the Kuah Jetty Point, the Langkawi Yacht Club is an exclusive establishment with a beautiful clubhouse and a fully equipped marina, comprising 51 berths that can accommodate a variety of vessels including sailing keels, deep hull boats and even 60-metre mega-yachts. This club offers impressive facilities such as a waterfront swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna, deep-sea fishing, sailing, scuba diving, jet skiing and speedboats, and yacht chartering service. You can hire the club’s luxury motor yacht, ‘Puteri Maimunah’, for a discovery or sunset tour of the beautiful Langkawi Islands. For diners, this club is the perfect place to enjoy a long cool drink and a delightful meal in relaxing surroundings. Breath taking views of Langkawi’s beautiful islands and sunset can be enjoyed from its beachfront restaurant called ‘Charlie’s Place’ or from the ‘Captain’s Deck’. It’s fine dining restaurant. The above facilities are open to public. Tel: 04-966 4078

Night Activities
Like to try out your skills or swing the night way? Dallas Karaoke, Jalan Penarak Kuah, Karaoke 99, Jalan Padang Mat Sirat, Top Ten Karaoke 99, Jalan Padang Mat Sirat offer a cosy places where you can belt out your favourite number. Discotheque at D-Five, Delima Resort, Lagenda Disco, Langkawi Island Resort, Sunset Disco. Langkawi Holiday Villa Resort are many of the discos you may like to head for after dusk.

Island Cruises
Breath-taking scenary
Going on island cruises is a great way to relax and take in the breath-taking scenery of Langkawi as your boat weaves through the water passageways between the islands. A round trip, which takes about four hours, includes Pulau Dayang Bunting, Pulau Beras Basah and Pulau Singa Besar and costs between RM220 to RM360 per boat (seats 8-12 persons). Boats can be taken from Marble Beach and Pantai Cenang. Special itineraries with a barbecue meal, snorkelling or trips to other islands can also be arranged.

Shopping
Duty free shops
Pulau Langkawi has acquired duty-free status and is thus popular with visitors. Take a walk along the main street in Kuah Town and you will see many duty free shops such as Langkawi Mall, Langkawi Fair Shopping Complex, Jetty point Duty Free, Saga Shopping Centre, Langkawi Duty Free (M) Sdn. Bhd., Zone shopping Paradise, Kamdar Shopping Centre and Idaman Suri. Batik products are available at Atma Alam Batik Art Village in Padang Amt Sirat. Electrical goods are available at duty-free shops in Kuah and some other hotels. Perfume, spritis and casual wear are best buy. Locally made handicrafts as well as the famous Langkawi marble items make good souvenirs to take home.

Recreation
Recreations such cycling, jungle trekking offered either by hotels organised group or commercial operators along the beaches.

Sea-sports
Mangrove Kayak
Pantai Cenang is ideal for swimming, sun bathing, sailing and windsurfing. Most hotels/ motels can arrange such facilities as well as trips to nearby islands snorkeling and scuba diving.

Makam Mahsuri
Makam Mahsuri
With its fable and historical past, Langkawi is a treasure trove for visitors.
Among the significant sites on the island that have been preserved for posterity is Makam Mahsuri (Mahsuri’s Mausoleum) about 12 km from Kuah. This shrine was erected in honour of Mahsuri, a fair maiden who was unjustly accused of adultery. According to legend, she bled white blood at her execution as a sign of her innocence. In her dying breath, she laid a curse on the island that it would remain barren for seven generations have since passed and today, Langkawi is a flourishing tourist destination.
Open: 7.30 am- 6 pm (daily)
Admission: RM 2.00 (adult), RM1.00 (child)

Moving Around
Geeting around in Langkawi is easy and convenient. Whether you are travelling from the airport to Kuah, the biggest town on Langkawi or moving about in town itself, you should have no problem catching a cab or hoping on a bus. Besides, there are local and international car hire companies that provide self-drive service. The bus and taxi terminal are located near Kuah Jetty and you can either take a 5-minute taxi drive or a 20-minute walk to get to town.

Customs
Visitors who have stayed in Pulau Langkawi for a minimum of 72 hours are entitled to purchase duty free items. Visitors need to produce their pasport or other travel document. Among the duty free goods offered are cameras, liquor, cosmetics, footwear and sports goods.


Pulau Singa Besar
Pulau Singa Besar Beach
Pulau Singa Besar (Singa Besar Island) is one the 104 Langkawi Islands.Located south of the main island of Langkawi. It is about 16 km from Kuah. By Boat it takes 35-45 minutes. Pulau Singa comprises 640 hectare of tropical forest, mangrove swamp, sandy and rock coasline. In view of its interesting geology, fauna and flora, the island was designated a permanent bird and animal sanctuary. For the visitors there is a forest park, and a bird and animal sanctuary. A day-trip is ideal whether it is basking on a sandy beach, fishing, swimming, jungle trekking, bird watching, photography or even research. There are no hotels. Facilities are minimal on the island.

Activities
Eagle feeding
Depending upon the length of stay, visitors to the island can enjoy the sheer beauty of nature i.e. the clean fresh air, the beautiful beach and sea, the tropical forest with its varied fauna and flora. If you have limited time, it suggested you go to the information centre and lookout points, and take a walk on the paved paths to the parrot ring, flamingo pond, deer park and hanging bridge.
There are two-jungle track, one takes 3-4 hours and other 8 hours. Both are tough but enjoyed.
An alternative to jungle trekking is to go around the island in a boat and stop at the Fisheries Centre, which is located on a beautiful beach on the nort-eastern side.

For birdwatchers, the tree house after the hanging bridge is ideal especially early in the morning and late in the evening. Look out for a fruit or berry-bearing tree and wait some distance from it. Many types of birds will come to feed.

For snorkelers, the waters on Long Beach, Pulau Singa Beach and Ketapang Beach have fair to good coral flora and fauna. The southern parts, off the rocky areas have better corals in slightly deeper water.

For fishing, select areas on the fringers of corals or artifical reefs. Fishing can also be done from the jetty at high tide.

Whilst every effort has been made to enable visitors to enjoys this gift of nature, the Fisheries Act of 1985 prohibits the following:

Anchoring of boats over coral areas
Water skiing
Speed boat racing
Spear fishing
Fishing
Carrying and using weapons that endanger aquatic life
Littering
Lighting fires on the beach.

Payar Marine Park Island
Snorkling at Payar Island
Its situated in the northern part of the Straits of Melaka, 19 nautical miles south of Langkawi and encompasses the islands of Pulau Payar, Pulau Lembu, Pulau Segantang and Pulau Kaca which are surrounded by coral reefs. The marine park teems with a fascinating diversity of marine life and vegetation. Many endangered species of fishes and marine organisms live within the sanctuary. Measuring 2 km long and ¼ km wide, Pulau Payar is the most popular of the islands as its sheltered waters are ideal are for snorkelling, diving and swimming. Among the enchanting dive sports is the ‘Coral Garden’, an area covered with bright, multi-hued soft corals. There are several sandy beaches on Pulau Payar an island for picnics as well as hiking trails for those who wish to explore the island. Just off the beach, one can indulge in the thrilling experience of feeding baby sharks. Facilities include gazebos, picnic tables, barbeque pits and restrooms at selected areas. There is also a Visitors Centre that provides information about the marine park. Visitors can get to Pulau Payar from the Kuah jetty point by catamaran or speedboat. The catamaran services operated by Langkawi Coral, takes about 45 minutes to get to Pulau Payar while the speedboat takes an hour. It is advisable to book the catamaran service a day before the trip. Enquiries can be made with any travel agent in Kuah or at the jetty point for those intending to travel by speedboat. Langkawi Coral Booking counter: (Tel: 04-9667318)

Johor State
Johor islands is located a few nautical miles off the Mersing Coast, like a handful of jewels flog into the South China Sea.

Pulau Tioman (Tioman Island)
Tioman Beach
Located off Mersing, is the perfect island for those seeking tranquillity and retreat. Its beaches are refreshingly unspoilt, being devoid of the usual commercial trappings. It is the perfect island in the sun, with reefs for diving and clear water for swimming and snorkelling. The island has an international class hotel besides its many beach chalets.

Pulau Rawa (Rawa Island)
Rawa Island
This is a beautiful coral island covered with white coral sand and tall palm trees. Rawa has many caves foe exploration and offshore coral reefs rich with marine life. It is a haven for fishing, skin-diving, scuba diving, shells collecting, lobster-hunting and underwater photography. Chalet accommodations are available.

Pulau Besar (Besar Island)
Besar Island sea view
Lying close to Pulau rawa, Pulau Besar has been developed into an island resort, with chalets and restaurants. The glistening beaches, crystal blue waters and spectacular coral reefs are enchanting attractions.

Pulau Sibu (Sibu Island)
Sibu Island beach
It is the nearest island with accommodation, just two and a half hours by boat from Mersing is two hours from Tanjung Leman (Leman Bay), 20 km south of Mersing. This tropical paradise has clean white beaches, clear blue waters and rich in marine life. One can enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, windsurfing and boating.

Pulau sibu Tengah (Sibu Tengah Island)
Sibu Tengah Island
Covering about eight hectares. The coral-rich waters of the island is a haven for snorkellers and scuba divers. The many beaches of soft powdey sands permit utmost privacy. Its lush vegetation supports small amphibians. Chalets facilities are also being offered from superior chalets to two-rooms executive chalets. You can also fill your time with activities such as water skiing, parasailing, windsurfing and fishing. Restaurant provides you with menu that fulfils your desire. This island also offers visitors a 20 acres resort retreat that’s exclusively private for both business and leisure. This island was gazetted as a Marine Park due to the abundant marine life and rare species of fish and coral. Giant leatherback turtles come ashore to lay eggs yearly. Spacious and comfortable cottages are available for booking.

Pulau Tinggi (Tinggi Island)
Tinggi Island jetty
Pulau tinggi is a large uninhabited island. It has a long coastline and white sandybeaches dotted with caves. The seas around it are teeming with coral, fish and reef making it a photographic haven.


Pulau Pemanggil (Pemanggil Island)
Pemanggil Island beautiful view
This magical island of sandy white beaches, hilly terrain and rich marine life is irresistable. There are chalets and long houses for visitors wishing to stay on the island.


Pulau Aur (Aur Island)
Aur Island jetty
This is another beautiful island with secluded lagoons and offshore pool perfect for bathing and a host of water sport activities. A long house on the island provides basic accommodation


Other Islands
Pulau Hujung and Pulau Tengah have no accommodation available. In addition to the aforementioned usland, there are 50 other uninhabited islets waiting to be explored. Month of May and October usually suitable when underwater visibility is at its best.

Melaka/ Malacca State

Pulau Besar (Besar Island)
Besar Island Melaka
A haven for holiday makers seeking exclusive right to sandy beaches, clear blue waters, the sun and sea-front chalets on stilts. The island is an excellent resort for swimming, fishing, picnicking and snorkeling. Tapa Nyai Island Resort is located on the leeward side of Pulau Besar, approximately 22 km off mainland Malacca. Covering approximately 11 hectares, it offers a combination of village ambience comprising 141 international class hotel rooms and chalet. The resort also provides a host of fun-filled activities from aqua-sports like snorkelling, windsurfing, and yachting to fishing. To get to the Tapa Nyai Island Resort, transport from the mainland and the island is very convenient and fast 920 minutes) through a modern, fully air-conditioned catamaran service.

Perak State

Pangkor Island
Pangkor Island Beach Resort
The most popular island resort in Perak, Pangkor welcomes visitors with its serene, golden beaches, crystalline blue water and cool, refreshing breezes. Located about 90 km southwest of Ipoh, it is largely inhabited by fisherfolk. They live in scattered fishing settlements along the coast especially on the eastern side, facing the town of Lumut and Teluk Batik, and their catch comprises mainly cuttle-fish and anchovy. It takes 40 minutes by ferry from Lumut to Pangkor Island. The fares are RM4.00. The modern facilities make it an ideal gateway. Wide ranges of sun and sea activities are available: scuba diving, windsurfing, fishing, and snorkelling. The following are the main attractions on the island.

Pantai Puteri Dewi (Golden Sands)
Golden Sands
This beautiful beach paradise was named Pantai Puteri Dewi (literally, Beach of the Lovely Princess). Pan Pacific Resort Pangkor (05-6851399) along this stretch of beach offers elegant accommodation with 161 rooms, a sports hall, a golf course, convention rooms, and facilities for snorkeling and windsurfing.

Pasir Bogak
Bogak Sands
Here, the shallow crystal-clear water enables you to frolic in the water along the vast coral reef. Accommodation ranges from hotels, government resthouse to budget-wise attap huts.


Kota Belanda (Dutch Fort)
Dutch Fort
At Teluk Gedung lies the 300-year-old stone foundation of a Dutch Fort Built in 1670, it was one of the Dutch strongholds against pirates and local Malays. The fort was abandoned after a local warrior, Panglima Kulub, and his followers attacked it. Museum Negara undertook its reconstruction in 1973.

Pangkor Laut
Pangkor Laut Resort
Affectionately known as Fantasy Island, Pangkor Laur Resort is every tourist’s dream come true, from the moment pretty maidens’ welcomes him with garlands and warm genius smiles. The resort offers international standard chalet-type accommodation with facilities for recreation, sea-sports, complete with gym and disco. For reservations, call 03-2423697 (Kuala Lumpur), 05-6835495 (Lumut), 05-6991100 (Pulau Pangkor).

Labuan 
(Wilayah Persekutuan State)

Island Hopping
Labuan Island and its outlying islands of Papan, Kuraman, Daat, Rusukan Besar, Rusukan Kecil and Pulau Burung (Bird Island) offer clean beaches and you can enjoy a variety of watersports like jet skiing, wind surfing, scuba diving, fishing or wreck diving. Commercialism has not enroached into Labuan’s beaches and you can find lots of privacy there.

Wreck Diving

Labuan Wreck Diving
Labuan offers ideal living conditions all year round for both profesional and amateur divers. Sunken relics of World War II and post-war shipwrecks have made Labuan’s waters the region’s centre for wreck diving. Diving expeditions can be arranged by your hotel to four major wrecks. American Wreck is located southwest of Pulau Rusukan (Rusukan Island) and about 24 km from Labuan. Australian Wreck lies in 21 metres of water about 23 km from Labuan and southeast of Pulau Rusukan Besar (Rusukan Besar Island). Sunk in 30 metres of water, Cement Wreck is 21 km from Labuan and east of Pulau Kuraman (Kuraman Island). Blue Water Wreck is 34 km offshore from Labuan and northwest of Kuraman Island.

Sport Fishing
Labuan Fishing Game
Labuan is paradise for sports fishermen. The water around the island of Labuan is extremely rich in marine life. Commercial exploitation of the marine environment is well controlled resulting in the existence of the vast varieties and quantities of marine life in this area. The warm ocean currents coming in from the surroundings seas bring in a lot of food to sustain the rich marine environment in the area. For the less adventurous anglers, the numerous coral reefs and bottom structures within close proximity of Labuan Island will yield good catches of excellent table fishes such as Black Marlin, Coral Trout, Sweet Lips, Grouper and Red Snapper. For the estuary-fishing enthusiast, there are also a number of mangrove swamps on the island, which yield good quantities of Barramundi, Mangrove Jacks, Threadfin Salmon and many other estuarine species. There are sport-fishing packages to suit everyone, from day trips to weeklong trips. Equipments for novices to experts are also available and all types of fishing from trolling for marlin to cubing (chunking) for tuna can be arranged.

Pahang State

Tioman Island
Tioman Island Resort
Tioman is the largest of a group of 64 volcanic islands, the smallest of which is a mere rock jutting up from the sea. Measuring 38 km long and 19 km wide, Tioman Island is a magnificent island in the sun, with good reefs for scuba diving and crystal-clear waters for swimming. Legend has it that Tioman Island is the resting ground of a beautiful dragon princess who, while flying from China to her beloved in Singapore, sought solace in the crystal-clear waters of the South China Sea. Pleased with the island’s charms, she discontinued her journey, forsaking her happines to give pleasure and comfort to passing travellers by turning herself into an island. Tioman Island is accessible by boat from Mersing town or Tanjung Gemok, Rompin, a journey that takes about 1 to 2 hours. Or one can also take a plane from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Kuantan. Accommodation comes in the form of delightful wooden chalets on the beach or in luxurious hotel rooms. Whichever are the choice, comfort and hospitality is assured. Hotels here are:

Persona Island Resort (Tel: 609-4191213/ Fax: 609-4191213)
Berjaya Tioman Beach Resort (Tel: 609-4191000/ Fax: 609-4191718)
Nazri Place (Tel: 609-4191329)
Salang Indah (Tel: 609-4195015/ Fax: 609-4195024)

Sabah State

Turtle Island Park
Turtle Island
The Turtle Island Park lies 40 km north of Sandakan in the Sulu sea off Sabah’s east coast. It encompasses 1,740 hectares, which includes the three island of Selingan Island, Bakkungan Kecil Island and Gulisan Island; the sea surrounding coral reefs. The islands are built over shallow rocky surrounding reef on the fringes. They are covered with a variety of plant life which includes mangrove, lantana, the yellow-flowered sophora and the furry silver-leaved Tournefortia.The main attractions here, however are the turtles which comes to nest on their shores. Pulau Selingan (Selingan Island) is the main nesting area for the green turtles chelonia mydas, while the hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys seem particularly attracted to the shores of Pulau Gulisan (gulisan Island). Both species lay their eggs on these shores throughout the year, although the best months are between July to October. The islands were gazetted as Marine Parks in 1977 primarily for the protection of these two species in order to save them from extinction. A visit to these islands is a must on your itinerary, if you are interested in the conservation of these turtles.

The turtles really take their time laying their eggs. The whole ritual of emerging from the sea, then choosing a suitable site and clearing the area before laying its eggs (about 40 to 90 eggs per batch); concealing the eggs with sand and finally taking their leave takes one whole hour! So be prepared for a longwait if you wish to observe the nesting.

Hatcheries
Turtle egg hatcheries
Park staff collects the eggs and transfer them to hatcheries where every effort is made to ensure successful hatching. After an incubation period of about 50 to 60 days, the hatchlings dig their way up to the surface and they are later released to the sea from different points around the islands. They are then on their own, to survive the dangers at sea and perhaps return one day to lay their eggs on the very same shores as their mother once did.

How to get there
There are boat services from Sandakan Harbour to the islands. The journey may take
anything between 45 minutes to 3 hours depending on your destination and the boat’s speed.


Pulau Selingan (Selingan Island)
Selingan Island

Almost 8 hectares in size is the second largest island in the group. The turtles come ashore on the east and southwestern parts of the island to lay their eggs before returning to the sea. They normally come ashore after 7.30 pm but have also been seen nesting in the early hours of the morning between 5 to 6 am.

Accommodation is available on the island for those who wish to stay overnight to witness the nesting. A restaurant is also available for visitors to enjoy hot meals.

Chalets – 3 units (fully furnished) for 20 persons per night.

Pulau Bakungan Kecil (Bakungan Kecil Island)
Bakungan Island jetty

This is the largest island and it lies close to the Philipines border. Active mud volcanoes are also present here. These are not true volcanoes but originate as mineral-rich mud, expelled from deep below the surface. The favourite nesting places of the green turtles are the beaches on the northern and western shores of the island. There are no accommodation facilities on Pulau Bakungan Kecil.

Pulau Gulisan (Gulisan Island)
Gulisan Island
The island is a mere 1.6 hectare in size but remains one of the favourite haunts of the hawksbill turtles which lay their eggs on the northern, eastern and southwestern beaches. All sea turtles eat marine animals such as sponges, marine worms and molluscs and the hawksbills are no exception. Being carnivorous, they feed on the invertebrate animals of the coral reefs. The adult green turtles however, are strict vegetarians, limiting their diet to the underwater grass and seaweed.

Guidelines for visitors
The park was created to protect the natural environment especially the sea turtles, the coral reefs and other marine life. There are therefore stringent rules which visitors are advised to observe.

Visitors are forbidden from engaging in any of the following:
Wander along the beach after dark (the Park Ranger will inform them when there is a turtle laying eggs. Build campfires, shine bright torches on the beach, sing, dance or play music on the beach at night. Disturb the turtle during the nesting process by coming too close or crowding around her. Instead, visitors are advised to watch the nesting from a distance. Under ant circumstances, ride on the turtle, pull her flippers, turn her over, jump on her or injure her physically. Such acts of abuse may have adverse effects on future nesting returns.
Night photography is strictly forbidden on Pulau Selingan but allowed on the other two islands with permission from the Park Rangers. Collecting any plant, animal or other living or non-living things is strictly forbidden without prior written permission from the Director of Sabah Parks. Fishing, however, is permitted with hook and line only.

Pulau Sipadan (Sipadan Island)
Sipadan island
The jewel in the crown of Sabah’s dive sites is Sipadan Island, 30km south of Semporna in the Celebes Sea. Sipadan is actually the crown of a volcanic spire formed millions of years ago, and has been described by Jacques Cousteau as ‘ an untouched piece of art.’ Underwater caves such as Turtle Cavern, Whitetip Avenue and Barracuda Point-all replete with magnificent corals and exotic fishes-are famous among international divers. Most dive operators to Sipadan are based in Kota Kinabalu.

Pulau layang-Layang (Layang-Layang Island)
Layang-layang Island
A restricted area, it is an island of 13 coral reefs linked together, located approx 120 miles from Labuan in the South China Sea. It is the ultimate of island splendours. The water is very clear; one can see down to 200 metres. Pulau Layang-layang offers the best for sailing, fishing, snorkeling and diving. Or just admire the beauty of the majestic surroundings, see the clouds touching the sea, the waves and the birds. This island has a small hotel and an airstrip. Visitors from Labuan can arrange a day trip to the island.

Pulau Tiga Park (Three Park Islands) 
Three Park Island
The Pulau Tiga Park comprises three islands-Pulau Tiga, Pulau Kalampunian Besar and Pulau Kalampunian Damit situated in the Kimanis bay, off the west coast of Sabah. Gazetted as a National Park in 1978, It covers approximately 15,257 hectares of sea and underwater habitat including the three islands. Lush forests serve as a soothing green backdrop for white sandy beaches and the clear unpolluted waters of the coral fringed seas.

Flora and fauna
Three Park Island nature
The undisturbed shoreline abounds with a colourful variety of plant life such as the Barringtonia Asiatica easily distinguished by its delicate white flowers with pink stamenlike filaments. There are also Callophylum, Termanilia catappa, and Casuarina not forgetting the Ardisia, a small bushy tree with cluster of tiny pink flowers. The Ranggu and Keruing are also abundant here. One particularly important tree among tropical islanders is the Hibiscus tiliaceus, a tree with bright yellow flowers whose fibrous bark is used for ropes and boat caulking. It is also a souce of timber, firewood and medicine.

The many varieties of birds include the fish eating frigate birds that roost on Pulau Kalampunian Damit and the unusual looking megapode. Hornbills, night jars, magpies, bulbuls, the brilliantly coloured and fast moving sunbirds and black-naped bridled terns also inhabit the islands. Long-tailed macaques are easily discernible between the foliage while bats sleep hanging ‘upside-down’ from the trees waiting for evening before embarking on their nocturnal food hunting expeditions. Reptiles include the grey-tailed racer snake, the beautiful yellow-ringed cat snake found on Pulau Tiga and a large population of sea snake on Pulau Kalampunian Besar earning it the name, ‘Snake Island’. There are also numerous water monitor lizards preying on the megapode eggs. The ‘homeless’ hermit crab can also be seen moving into shells abandoned by the sea snails or other mollusc like a fugitive avoiding detection!

A 7-km coral reef around the islands is home to some 35 general species and 98 species of hard corals and their accompanying ‘guests’-the brightly coloured fish and other marine life to whom the reef is home.

Planning an itinerary

Pulau Tiga
Volcano mud
The island consists of three low hills that were formed when ‘volcanoes’ of mineral-rich mud were spewed out from underground. Since the last explosion in 1941, the ‘volcanoes’ have remained passive, leaving the island relatively serene. Coral fragments from the encircling reef, make up the fine sand of its clean white beaches, while the lush green forest is reflected in the emerald depths of the crystal clear sea.

The island is a sanctuary for the megapode Megapode freycinet, a curious chicken-like creature that produces a cat-like meow sound. Trails winding through the undisturbed forest are worthwhile exploring if you wish to glean something of its flora and fauna. With a rest house and hostel facilities catering to a maximum of 20 persons at any one time, the island is ideal for overnight stays.

Accommodation:

Rest house- 2 bedroom (for a total of 4 person)
Hostel- 4 bedroom (for a total of 16 person)
Camping- maximum campers is 60 person at one time)


Pulau Kalampunian Damit
Kalampunian Damit Island jetty
The island owes its fame to the sea snakes Laticauda colubrina which breed here in
large numbers. These black-ringed snakes prey on eels and can usually be seen coiling in cosy clusters amongst the rocks where they lay their eggs.

Tuanku Abdul Rahman Park
Tuanku Abdul Rahman Island Park
The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park comprises a group of 5 islands located 3 to 8 km from Kota Kinabalu. The park is spread over 4,929 hectares, two thirds of which cover the sea. Before the Ice Age, it formed part of the Crocker Range mass of sandstone and sedimentary rock on the mainland. However, towards the end of the Ice Age about one million years ago, the melting ice brought about changes in the sea level and parts of the mainland were cut off by the sea to form the islands of Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. Evidence of this can be seen from the exposed sandstone of the coastline forming the cliffs, caves, honeycombs and deep crevices. The beauty of its natural environment combined with its close proximity to the mainland makes the islands group a favourite among picnickers, divers and nature lovers. In a bid to protect the natural environment with its coral reefs, marine life, and its flora and fauna, the islands were gazetted as a National Park, beginning with Pulau Sapi and part of Pulau Gaya in 1974 and then embracing the three nearby islands in 1979.

Flora and fauna
The plant life feature a mix of typical shoreline vegetation such as Pandanus Dubius and Podocarpus Polystachyus with those of the dipterocarp forests. Representative of the latter group are the Keruing with their narrow crowns of large dark green leaves and unique ridged two-winged fruits. The Seraya, Kapur and Selagan Batu are also to be found in abundance. The only undisturbed coastal dipterocarp forests are on Pulau Gaya, where the Hopea Philipineansis and Quassia Borneensis are abundant. The fish Tail and Nibong Palam flourish in the shady gulleys. The park is home to the bearded pig, scaly pangolin, rats, squirrels and monkeys. Snakes and monitor lizards make up the reptile population. Large birds such as the white-breasted sea eagle, pied hornbill and green heron are found in large number. Smaller varieties such as the sandpiper, the pink-necked green pigeon, bulbul, flycatcher, sunbird and swift lets also flourish within the tranquil park environment. One of the most Megapode or Burung Tambun, a "chicken look-alike", with large feet and which meows like a cat! It lays its eggs in huge mounds of sand and leaves at the edge of the beach. The fermentation of the leaves produces the heat necessary to incubate the eggs for successful hatching.
Tuanku Abdul Rahman luxurious underwater living

The best coral reefs are those between Pulau Sapi and Pulau Gaya. The colourful and delicately beautiful corals are living organisms, which feed on the plankton floating in the sea. The reefs is home to many different kinds of fish, in all shapes and colours of the rainbow the butterfly fish, parrot fish, clown fish in stripes of bright yellow and white, and dragon fish, and those of the bigger variety such as the red grouper, barracuda and catfish. Other marine life includes molluscs, giant clams, sea cucumbers, the beautiful feather starfish, and sea urchins in brilliant hues, cowrie’s shells and scorpion shells.

Pulau Manukan
Manukan Island
Pulau Manukan shaped like a boomerang, Manukan covers 51 acres and is the second largest island in the group. The southern and eastern coastlines have a number of beautiful beaches-the best stretch being on the eastern tip. The surrounding crystal clear water is ideal for snorkelling, diving and swimming. Trails around the island provide endless hours of exciting trekking in the cool, shady forest. Facilities such as chalets, a clubhouse, restaurants, souvenir centre, diving centre, a swimming pool, tennis and squash courts are provided to make your stay an enjoyable and fun-filled experience. There are 20 units of wooden chalets, situated on the lush green slope overlooking the sea. Set within a garden of swaying palms and vivid tropical blooms, they provide the perfect hide-away for overnight stays or leisurely weekends.

Reservations for accommodation:

Sabah Parks, Lot 3, Block K, Sinsuran Complex,
P.O Box 10626, 88806 Kota Kinabalu0,
Tel: (6088) 212719 / 211881
Fax: (6088) 211585 / 221001

Pulau Mamutik
Mamutik Island
It’s the smallest of the group, this island covers only 15 acres. Nevertheless, it is endowed with rich coral life, which surrounds the islands with a colourful underwater treasure trove. The rare white distichopora and reddendrophyllia are to be found in the reef at the northeastern tip. This is the place for diving enthusiasts and snorkellers!

Facilities such as changing rooms and toilets; picnic shelters and tables are provided for day-trippers. There are no accommodation facilities but overnight camping on the island is allowed with prior permission from the Park Warden.

Pulau Sulug
Sulug Island
This 20-acre island, being the least developed and the farthest away, has an almost untouched quality making it ideal for those seeking a more tranquil and deserted atmosphere. The shoreline is mostly rocky with beautiful patches of reef at the southern end. Corals such as the Acropora, Echnipora, Montipora and seriapora are a visual delight with their variety, delicate shape and brilliant colours. Facilities such as changing rooms and toilets, picnic shelters and tables are provided for day trippers. There are no accommodation facilities but overnight camping on the island is allowed with prior permission from the Park Warden.

Pulau Sapi
Sapi Island
A small island of 25 acres has the distinct advantage of having some of the nicest beaches of clean white sand and sparkling crystal clear water and a coastline fringed with beautiful coral reefs. It is the ideal place for snorkelling, diving and swimming. If you can do neither of this but do not want to be left out in the discovery of the rich underwater treasures, take heart a glass boat rental service will allow you to see it all just as closely. Hiking trails through the interior provide an excellent opportunity for nature appreciation. There are are no accommodation facilities but picnic shelters, barbecues pits, tables, changing rooms and toilets are provided for day use. Camping is allowed with the permission of the Park Warden.

Pulau Gaya
Gaya Island Resort
The largest island is located about 15 miles from Kota Kinabalu. The 3,665 acres island has 16 miles of shoreline, certain stretches consisting of fine white sand. Popular beaches include Bulijong Bay and Police beach, a quarter mile of beautiful sand sloping gently into the crystal clear bay, perfect for swimming, snorkeling and diving. The untouched coastal dipterocarp forest makes it ideal for trekking and graded nature trails through the inland forest provides opportunities for a study of the various species of plant and animal life within. Day use facilities include public shelters, changing rooms and public toilets.

How to get there

Daily boat services are available from the Kota Kinabalu jetty to transport visitors to the park and back.
Departure times ( from Kota Kinabalu) 9 am/ 10 am/ 11 am
Pick up times from the Park 1.30 pm/ 2.30 pm/ 3.30 pm

General guidelines for visitors
The park was created for the protection of the natural environment, including the coral reefs, marine life and the flora and fauna. Certain guidelines have therefore been created to ensure the conservation of these natural treasures and visitors are advised to observe the regulations, which are prominently displayed on all the islands. Visitors are strictly prohibited to engage in any of the following activities:

Hunt or carry firearms, poison, spear guns and dangerous weapons within the park.
Harm or disturb any plant, animal or other living things.
Pick, cut or collect plants, insects, coral, shells and any other materials, dead or alive.
Write names on rocks, trees or shelters.
Bring pets into the park.
Collecting of any plant, animal or other living or non-living things is strictly forbidden without prior written permission from the Director of Sabah Parks.
Fishing, however, is permitted with hook and line only.

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