An impressive six-tiered Chinese temple, Thean Hou Temple was opened in 1987 and is dedicated to Thean Hou, the heavenly mother.
It is the largest Chinese temple in Kuala Lumpur and sits atop Robson’s Hill 6 mi (8 km) from the city center offering excellent views back over the city. The prayer rooms are filled with bright golden statues and dedicated also to the Goddess of the Waterfront and the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. Below the main prayer rooms are hawker stalls and souvenir stalls while outside there is a Chinese medicinal herbs garden and a tortoise pond. The celebrations at Chinese New Year are a riot of color and noise as revellers, wearing predominantly red (a lucky color), bang drums and clash symbols while watching the lions dance to ward off evil spirits.
Situata in un antico edificio coloniale accanto a Piazza Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur City Gallery è il luogo ideale per conoscere la storia della capitale della Malesia, grazie ad una collezione di dipinti e fotografie del passato, oltre ad una serie di modelli in miniatura dei suoi monumenti più importanti. Un’enorme cronologia ripercorre la storia della città, dalle sue origini, dal 1850 fino ai giorni nostri.
Le principali attrazioni della Galleria comprendono il modello in scala ridotta della storica Piazza Merdeka e lo spettacolare City Model Show che rappresenta la moderna Kuala Lumpur. Potrete assistere anche a video di eventi importanti per la città, come ad esempio i XVI Giochi del Commonwealth e fotografie dei progressi delle singolari torri gemelle Petronas. Al Museo visiterete mostre sulla popolazione multiculturale del Paese, con abiti tradizionali nazionali come i baju kurungs e sarees.
In Malaysian, “Istana Negara” translates to “National Palace,” and Kuala Lumpur’s Royal King’s Palace (Istana Negara) serves as the official residence of the supreme King of Malaysia. The king relocated to a newly built Istana Negara in 2011, and while you can’t enter, it’s possible to see the beautiful architecture of the palace from afar and watch the hourly changing of the guards.
Before 2011, the Royal King’s Palace occupied another mansion. The structure was originally built in 1928 by a wealthy Chinese immigrant on a plot overlooking the Klang River. During the Japanese Occupation during World War II, the mansion became the home of the Japanese Governor before becoming a British military office after the Japanese surrendered in 1945. In 1950, the Sultan of Selangor moved into the residence and lived there until Malaysian independence in 1957.
Kuala Lumpur’s Central Market was established in 1888 as an open wet market for the local communities and ended up being so popular and conveniently located that it underwent several expansions and eventually moved into the Art-Deco structure it lives in today. The wet market moved out in the 1980s, but the Malaysian Heritage Society managed to save the original structure from demolition, instead renovating it into an arts center and heritage site.
Today, the beautifully restored building houses vendors selling handicrafts, souvenirs and artwork, as well as a batik emporium. The Annexe, located behind the main building, has gallery space for art exhibitions and film screenings, and a recently added covered pedestrian lane called Kasturi Walk lines the building’s exterior with even more kiosks and stalls to browse through. The Kasturi Walk is also a great place to sample some typical Malaysian street food as you shop.
The colorful enclave of Little India is filled with the sounds and scents of India. Bright bangles and trinkets glitter from stalls and the scents of sandalwood and cumin fill the air. Fantastic Indian dishes are on offer at roadside stalls, Indian breads like chappati and prata and snacks like vadai and stringhoppers.
The sari shops are very popular with people looking to buy vibrant beautiful material and use the skilled tailors who work in this area. The Saturday night market is when this area is at its bustling best as vendors trade late into the night.
Il fiume Malacca attraversa l’omonima città malesiana nel suo cammino verso lo stretto di Malacca. Solo fino a pochi decenni fa era un anonimo corso d'acqua scura, fiancheggiato da fatiscenti palafitte; ora invece il fiume si è trasformato in una vera e propria attrazione turistica, in cui sia i malesi che i visitatori internazionali vengono ad immergersi nella sua storia e ammirarne l'architettura.
Le acque chiare, ripulite, e il tentativo riuscito di preservare gli edifici storici e i ponti lungo il fiume hanno contribuito a far di Malacca un'importante destinazione turistica. Persino gli edifici più recenti sono decorati con murales colorati, raffiguranti la ricca cultura e la storia della città come ex colonia portoghese, poi olandese e britannica. Facendo una gita in barca lungo il fiume si passa tra antiche chiese e templi, ponti e villaggi, facendosi in questo modo un’idea di come la zona sia cambiata nel corso degli anni.
The Langkawi Cable Car will take you high above the Langkawi rainforest on Mount Mat Chinchang for the most spectacular views of the surrounding islands and sea. It’s an absolute must-do when you visit Langkawi and a great way to orientate yourself when you first arrive.
The cable car was built without constructing any roads through the forest and has the longest suspension between two stations in the world. The view changes throughout the day with some spectacular sights at sunset. From the pinnacle of Mount Mat Chinchang you will see 360-degree panoramic views of the Langkawi islands, mainland Malaysia and Southern Thailand.
There is plenty to explore on the mountain and it is possible to take jungle treks and birdwatching tours.
The second largest of the islands that make up the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Manukan Island is just a short boat-ride from Kota Kinabalu, attracting a large number of locals and international visitors alike.
Manukan Island boasts a beautiful coastline, some stunning coral reefs, and areas of lush vegetation. The main beach on the southern side of the island is a huge stretch of white sand facing a bay of crystal-clear ocean. The water is calm and safe, making snorkeling and swimming the most popular pastimes for visitors to the island. Meanwhile, a network of walking trails leading inland allow keen walkers to explore the island’s natural environment without getting wet. The island caters well to tourism, with various facilities and services on offer, from accommodation and restaurants to gift shops and a diving center.
An overload of tropical fish awaits you at Palau Payer Marine Park. The park is a coral reef teeming with fish including feather starfish, rainbow runners, barracuda and ghost fish. It is one of the west coast’s most popular dive sites, there is the wreck of an old fishing boat and the wreck of a small boat carrying roof tiles to explore. It was the first marine park created in western Malaysia and is also used as a research center.
Snorkeling in the very warm waters is fantastic; get ready for the hungry little fish to nip at your toes as you explore their home. Aside from the colorful fish there are sea turtles, anemones, and friendly octopi. In the afternoon there are shark feeding exhibitions put on by the tour groups. The sharks are reef sharks which are exciting but won’t hurt humans.
The best time to visit is October to March, although any time of year is fine if the weather is good.
Situated 62 miles (100 kilometers) south of Kuching, Annah Rais is a Bidayuh longhouse settlement in the foothills of the Borneo Highlands. While the 500 or so residents of Annah Rais make a living from tourism and the settlement has long been on the tourist map, they’ve done well to preserve the traditional longhouse architecture, and visitors get a sense of what life in such communal settlements is like.
Annah Rais comprises three separate longhouses, Kupo Terekan, Kupo Saba and Kupo Sijo, which travelers can visit solo or with a guide. Each longhouse has a covered bamboo verandah, called an awah, used for communal activities. Doorways spaced along the longhouse lead to each family’s private quarters. While some visit Annah Rais just for the day, some of the residents open their homes to visitors as part of a cultural homestay program. Visitors are paired with a local family who provide a traditional dinner and breakfast in addition to the enriching cultural exchange.
Recently reopened in 2011 after a nearly five year closure, the North Borneo Railway is a historic bit of Malaysian transportation as well as the only rail line currently operating in the state of Sabah. Originally constructed in 1896 as a means of transporting tobacco from the lush interior of the island to the distant coast, the North Borneo railway now serves as a semi-practical means of moving passengers and cargo in the same fashion it once employed for nearly a century.
Unless you’re a train buff, it’s difficult to discern whether or not the North Borneo Railway can be considered a tourist attraction. Running from the town of Tanjung Aru near Kota Kinabalu to the town of Tenom in the lush interior, the entire journey takes a little over two hours and passes through landscapes which range from the Sabah coastline to open fields cleared by deforestation.
While Cherating is best known for its beaches, the ocean isn’t the only body of water worth exploring. The Cherating River meanders through mangrove forests of the region, and cruising the river has become one of the area’s most popular activities.
By day, river cruisers might spot monkeys, monitor lizards, snakes, otters, terrapins and a variety of tropical birds. By night the river looks completely different. On a nighttime river cruise, thousands of fireflies glow in the mangrove trees — a magical experience. It’s also possible to experience the river by kayak or canoe, or by learning to crab fish in its clear waters.
Bukit Melawati (Melawati Hill) served as a stronghold for the Selangor Sultanate during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Remnants of the fort still dot the landscaped park now occupying the hill, including sections of wall, grave sites, a few cannons and a flat stone that was once used for beheadings. Today the park attracts not only history buffs, but nature lovers and other visitors who come to take in the panoramic views of the Selangor coastline from the top of the hill. On a clear day the Straits of Malacca are visible in the distance. A lighthouse, built in 1910 by the British, sits at the summit, through it’s not open to visitors. Silver-leafed monkeys and long-tailed macaques often hang around the park, hoping for a meal of peanuts or stolen snacks from unwary visitors.
Get up close and personal with rare Asian elephants—only 1,200 remain in the wild—at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary outside of Kuala Lumpur. Established in 1989 within the Krau Wildlife Reserve, the sanctuary is managed by the Malaysian Wildlife Society and has a goal of taking in elephants orphaned by poaching or logging and raising them until they can be reintroduced to the wild.
The sanctuary is also home to a group of resident elephants. Visitors can come face to face with these gentle giants and get the unique opportunity to join baby elephants for a bath in the river, as long as the water level isn’t too high. If you prefer to just watch and learn about the elephants, the sanctuary has observation points, and a short National Geographic-produced video is often screened, telling about the organization’s elephant translocation project.
Kinabalu National Park hugs the base of Mount Kinabalu like a lush, thick blanket. Sharing the same incredible biodiversity and UNESCO World Heritage status as the mountain that towers above it, Kinabalu National Park is recognised as one of the most important biological sites in the world.
For those who can’t conceive climbing Mount Kinabalu’s challenging slopes. Kinabalu National Parks presents an excellent alternative. Home to an estimated 5,500 plant species, including several hundred varieties of orchids and pitcher plants, 326 bird species and over 100 mammals, a walk in the park has never been this diverse.
There are 11km (7mi) of marked and graded trails across the Park, many of which cut across the mountain forest vegetation, which ranges from from rich dipterocarp and coniferous forests to montain oak and alpine meadow plants.