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Showing posts with label Carousel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Carousel. Show all posts

Langkawi Malaysia (By Melanie)

02 Mar

After our single day and night in Sitiawan with our dear friend Philip, we headed to Langkawi Island. Only it was a bad time to travel, especially from Sitiawan, a predominantly Chinese town. Chinese new year had just ended and everyone had gone home to be with their families for this holiday. So now everyone was now traveling out of Sitiawan back to where they came from – work, school, or whatever. So we were unable to get a bus directly to where we needed to go, Kuala Perlis. Long story short, a trip that should have taken about 4 hours, ended up taking us 12 hours.

We had to first get a bus from Sitiawan to Butterworth, then another bus to Alor Setar. From there the ferry terminal, Kuala Kedah, was not very far away, but of course it took us over an hour on two local buses to get there. Once there, we were told the next ferry would be arriving in 45 minutes. It didn’t show up. We waited almost 2 hours more before it showed up. The ferry was huge (500 person capacity) and the seats were recycled airplane seats. Pretty funny. Also they were BLASTING the a/c and it was so cold. Luckily I had the blanket I had ‘borrowed’ from my Delta flight to keep warm. Once we arrived to Langkawi Island we were able to find 4 other tourists to share a taxi van with to the beach where all the tourists go, which is pretty far from the ferry. So it only cost us $2 each instead of a lot more.

We went directly to Hotel Amani, where Heidi and I had stayed in the Summer of 2011 when we were there. Only this time the price was 45 MYR. $15. Double what we paid in 2011. Way too much. However I was exhausted so I said we’d just stay one night and find something cheaper in the morning. Next morning we went to every other guesthouse on the beach and none were cheaper so we just stayed at Amani, even though our room was really crappy and didn’t even have a sink!!! Prices seem to have risen a great deal since I was there last, so we only stayed 4 nights/3 days.

Our first day we just hung out on the beach all day, it was a hot day and the water was cool. We laid in the shade because the sun was so hot. Hussein met a Moroccan guy when he was hanging out in the water and we ended up hanging out with him and his Chinese friend, a girl named “Jingle”, that night. Hussein was happy to have met someone he could speak Arabic with.

laying on the beach in the shade

our beach, Cenang beach, as seen from the water

Our second day we didn’t do much of anything again, just went to the beach again and lazed around, and hung out with the Moroccan guy (I forgot his name already) and Jingle again in the evening.

The only cheap food options on this beach were Indian restaurants so we were eating a lot of Indian food, but I’m not complaining, it was really good.

Our third and last day, February 19th, we decided to go rent a motorbike and ride around the island to some other beaches and a waterfall. I drove the first 5 minutes but felt too uneasy with Hussein on the back so I let him drive the rest of the day. We rode out to a beach, Pantai Kok, on the northwest side of the island, but the sand on the bottom in the water was really squishy and slimey feeling, probably something to do with all the pine trees on the beach, so we didn’t go swimming there, Hussein was too grossed out by the feel of the sand. We just had lunch there and laid in the shade and took a nap for a while then walked around and took some photos. 
The beach with the icky squishy sand bottom

Next we rode over to the Cable Car, which unfortunately had the sky bridge closed, so there was no point to really go up as it was kind of expensive.We bought a map of the island there though since we kept getting lost, and rode over to a waterfall called Durian Perangin where we went swimming in nice cold refreshing water. However after we got out of the water we noticed a big ‘HEALTH RISK’ sign posted on a tree, warning that the water may have bacteria, parasites, etc. Luckily nothing happened to us.
Durian Perangin waterfall, where we went swimming

the sign we saw after swimming..oops

a very broken bridge near the waterfall leading nowhere

We headed back to our beach after that and rode down to the other end of the beach to eat at a different Indian restaurant and then returned the bike. The next morning we got up early to get a taxi back to Kuah to get the first ferry of the morning and head to Cameron Highlands

By Melanie 

Jungle Tracking (Pahang State)

1. Cameron Highland

This is Malaysia’s green bowl supplying vegetables to the major cities of the country and to Singapore. The cool climate makes it an excellent tea growing area and indeed the Cameron tea is highly priced in the world market. Places of interes are the Robinson Falls, the Rose Garden nurseries and the vegetable farms. There is also an 18-hole golf course. The small town of Tapah at the foot of

Cameron Highlands is the gateway to the resort and can be reached by bus, taxi or train from Kuala Lumpur. From Tapah, regular bus and taxi services are available to the highlands. Accommodation facilities include old English country inn-styled hotels, chalets and Government resthouses. Special mention must be made of the Ye Olde Smokehouse which has been preserved in the same state as it used to be during the colonial period, except for the addition of some modern coveniences. Hotels here are:

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 2. Fraser’s Hill

At Raub. Fraser’s Hill 104 km from Kuala Lumpur can be reached through the Karak Highway. Turn left at the Bentong junction and proceed to Teranum. At Teranum, take the left turn towards Gap before the short ascent up to Fraser’s Hill. Alternatively, one can also take the old trunk route heading towards Penang and turn off at Kuala Kubu Bharu for the drive to the Gap. The last 8 km from the Gap to the top of Fraser’s hill is along scenic, narrow winding road which carries one-way traffic from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm. At the Gap, there is a gate control system with scheduled times for ascending and descending traffic, at both ends to facilitate the flow of traffic.

Fraser’s Hill offers visitors cool mountain air, an abundance of luxuriant vegetation, peace and tranquility as well as other attractions such as pony rides, a nursery containing many exotic flowers, the Jeriau waterfalls and a pleasant 9-hole golf course. Other facilities include a children’s playground and a roller skating rink. For accommodation, Fraser’s Hill has a range of hotels, chalets and colonial-bungalows to suit ones’s preferences and budget. Hotels here are: Fraser’s Pine Resort, Quest Resort, Fraser’s Hill Development Corporation, Ye Olde Smokehouse, Silver Park Holiday Resort.

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3. Bukit tinggi

At Bentong. Bukit Tinggi is a hill retreat area with several resorts taking advantage of the cool, fresh country air that pervades the area. Among the resorts here are Selesa Hillhomes and Bukit Tinggi Resort. Visitors can jungle trek, take long invigorating walks or head for nearby Genting Highlands. Also in this area is Janda Baik, a resort-cum-residential vicinity that is popular with urban dwellers seeking to escape the bustle of the city for a brief respite. Hotels here are: Bukit Tinggi Resort Berhad, Selesa Hillhomes, Health Farm & Golf Resort

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4. Taman Negara (National Park)

At Kuala Tahan. Taman Negara, or the National Park, boasts of jungles that date back millions of year, making them older than those of the Congo or Amazon. With 4,343 sq km of luxuriant tropical rain forest, the park is a heaven for adventurers. Picturesque trails, giant trees, limestone caves, excellent fishing spots, exciting river trips and ample jungle trekking trails offer a multitude of such adventure opportunities. The park’s canopy walk which is 25 metres high and over 400 metres long is the world’s longest. As it lies on the top layer of vegetation in a forest, you will have an extraordinary view of the plant and animal species found there. Wildlife observation can be done from observation hides built around the many salt-licks. Mountain climbing buffs would enjoy scalling Gunung Tahan, which at 2,187 metres is the highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia. River trips are an enjoyable activity within the park, especially those involving shooting the rapids. 

For the less stalwart, there are meandering cruises that let you enjoy the surrounding scenery at a leisurely pace. Fishing is best done in February, march, July and August, and it takes two days to reach the best fishing areas located along Sungai Tahan near Lata Berkoh and Sungai Kenyam. Camping grounds in verdant surroundings are to be found in the park. Accommodation at the park is available in the Rest House, chalets and a hostel, all fitted with basic utilities. Hotels here are: Taman Negara Resort, Nusa Camp Holiday Village Sdn. Bhd, Teresek View Village, Ekoton Chalet.

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5. Kenong Rimba Park

At Lipis. Kenong Rimba Park is situated in natural surroundings with cascading waterfalls, clear mountain stream and a variety of flora and fauna. The merry chirping of birds will create an atnosphere which is really difficult to express in words. It offers great adventure, such as exploring limestone caves, swimming in the river and camping. Challenging hiking trails interspersed with protruding rocks and untouched natural surroundings is a haven for adventure lovers. Within the Kenong Rimba Park, these are several caves (gua) to explore. These are Gua Batu Telungkup, Gua Hijau and Gua Harimau. The caves, situated approximately 122-152 metres above sea level, are a natural habitat for a range of flora and nature’s other marvels. For nature lovers, a stop at Kenong Rimba Park is a must. It is a perfect hideout for bird watchers, campers, anglers, trekkers and swimmers. Hotels here are: Persona Rimba Resort,Lipis Centre Point Hotel, Lipis Inn Hotel.

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6. Tasik Bera (Bera Lake)

At Bera. Tasik Bera, covering an area of 24,000 hectares is one of two major natural bodies of freshwater in Malaysia. The Semelai aborigines inhabit the area surrounding Tasik Bera and a number of them continue to live and procure their food in traditional ways. Others have modified their way of life and have become permanent residents in Post Iskandar. The Tasik Bera watershed includes a wide variety of flora ranging from primitive algae species to higher plants and tress. It was recorded that 328 species of flora, 200 species of birds and more than 95 species of fishes are found in Tasik Bera. Tasik Bera is ideal for many recreational and adventure activities. Trekking through the jungle is both exciting and educational. River safaris can be exhilarating, or simply paddle around the lake and take in the tranquil surroundings. Hotels here are: Persona Lake Resort.

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7. Lake Chini

At Kuantan. Located in the wilds, Lake Chini is approximately 100 km from Kuantan, consists of a string of more than 12 connected lakes. Here, you can enjoy activities such as fishing, camping, jungle trekking, speed-boating, and visiting Kamoung Gumum, an Orang Asli village. The lake, with its fascinating myths, has attracted tourists from far and near. Legend has it that an ancient Khmer city once existed there and this has since resulted in several scientific expeditions being mounted by both local and foreign archaeologists. It is also popularly believed that a mythical monster lurks in its depths and guards the lake. Lake Chini has a number of wooden chalets and restaurants to cater for overnight visitors. There are also a number of camping spots if you plan to rough it out. Jungle gear and camping equipment are recommended. Acces to the lake is by road to Kampung Belimbing, about 100 km south west of Kuantan and then on by boat through the winding Chini river. Alternatively, one can go by road via Segamat Highway through the new town of Chini, and then continue travelling for 15 minutes through palm oil estates roads to the lake. Hotels here are Lake Chini Resort.

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8. Empang Jaleh

In Kuala Lipis, there is a recreational lake called Empang Jaleh where visitors can relax. Here too, one can trek along a mountainous jungle trail to Gunung Tahan, the highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia. It takes about two nights to reach the summit. For birdwatchers, Bukit Taching is an ideal bird sanctuary to while away the hours. And the Terenggun Forest Park is anothernature spot perfect for a leisurely holiday. Perhaps its most endearing feature is its profusion of fabulous nature scenes.

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9. Gunung Tapis Park

At Kuantan. About 16 km away from Sungai Lembing is Gunung Tapis (Tapis Mountain), a beautiful nature park. Excellent camping spots can be found in a number of areas. Although still in the early stages of development, Gunung Tapis offers a number of activities. You can shoot rapids on one of the several rivers, or fish for the delectable ‘Ikan Kelah’ (tortambroides duronesis). The park also abounds with hot springs and wildlife. If you plan to stay overnight, camping and survival equipment are recommended. Prior arrangements for a visit to the park can be made with the Persona Adventure Camp. Hotels here are: Persona Adventure Camp.

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10. Endau-Rompin State Park

At Rompin. Some of the most famous and visually spectacular tourist attractions are found in Pahang. Among them is the Endau-Rompin State Park, one of the world’s oldest tropical rainforests. This ancient tropical rainforest has remained undisturbed in its original state through the years. Endau-Rompin boasts of some of the most exotic species of tropical plant and animal life.

The Park is one of the last remaining lowland forests in Malaysia and it is spread over a generous 80,000 hectares of virgin jungle straddling the state of Pahang and Johor. Endau-Rompin derives its name from the Rompin and Endau Rivers, forming a watershed on which the park lies. This nature reserve offers a wide spectrum of activities for the adventurous visitors providing the opportunity to get back to nature and experience the hidden and mysterious secrets of its wilderness. Hotels here are: Lanjut Golden Beach Resort, Seri Malaysia Hotel Rompin

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11. Kota Gelanggi

Kota Gelanggi potentially the first capital of the ancient Empire of Srivijaya. It is one of the oldest Kingdoms on South East Asia’s Malay Peninsula. The city was raided in 1025 by South Indian Chola Dynasty conqueror Rajendra Chola 1. The meaning of Kota in Tamil is ‘Nagaram’ which stands for City. Kota Gelanggi was mainly a trading post and a centre of sacred learning. The Srivijaya maritime and commercial kingdom flourished between the 7th and the 13th centuries in the Malay Archipelago,” says local researcher Raimy Che-Ross. He added with that museum had earlier sent teams to locate the site but had failed each time.

Now the lost city is a forest reserve. And no one can enter without the permission of the authorities. Though museum authorities, on the other hand, have indicated interest in studying Kota Gelanggi but nothing much has transpired since then. Lack of funds, inaccessibility, and the possibility of different locations – have been cited till date to undertake a serious study. The Kota Gelanggi Caves of Jerantut and The Kota Kelanggi is different. But, do they have connections? The discovery of an ancient bronze vessel near a river which closes to Mentakab may have linked with Johor’s Kota Gelanggi.

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12. Gunung Senyum Caves (Senyum Mountain Cave)

Located in Temerloh. The Gunung Senyum Caves consists of at least 20 caves, which are fascinating to explore. While cave exploration and camping in the shade of tropical foliage are common activities, scientific research is also gaining in popularity among students and scientists. Cave explorers must be prepared for the smell of bats, limestone rocks and the sighting of strange creatures and insects. Hotels here are: Tekam Plantation Resort, Seri Malaysia Hotel Temerloh.

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13. Tekam Plantation Resort

Located in Jerantut. Nestled in tranquility in the green forests near Jerantut is the Tekam Plantation Resort, comprising chalets, dining facilities for travellers as well as conventions. Visitors can also arrange for special trips and adventure tours to various places of interest. One of the highlights of the stay at the Resort is the Plantation Tour, which take visitors on an educational visit to places such as the Kota Gelanggi Caves, Gunung Senyum Caves as well as surrounding rubber and oil palm plantations. The best time to visit the area is during the fruit season from July to September, when local fruits such as ‘durians’ and ‘rambutans’ are plentiful. The Resort provides facilities such as tennis and takraw, mini market, water sports and cafeteria. Hotels here are: Tekam Plantation Resort 

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14. Jeram Besut

Located in Raub. Apart from Fraser’s Hill, other recreational areas in Pahang include the Lata Jarum Waterfalls and the Jeram Besu Rapid. The former is just 30 km from Raub while the latter is only about 3 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. Jeram Besu is fast gaining popularity as one of the most challenging white water-rafting areas in the country. Raub is one of the oldest towns in the State of Pahang. It began as a gold mining town in the early 19th century. Remains scattered around the town. Hotels here: Countryview Recreation Park.

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