My last “real” holiday was a long-deserved trip to Taiwan with my better half, in December last year. So, when I was informed by Samsung Malaysia that I won a 4D/3N all-expenses paid holiday to Club Med Cherating Beach, I was chuffed. My beach bum ambitions were one step closer to reality, I thought.554 0
September 13, 2012 – The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – Prince William and Catherine Middleton have arrived in Malaysia, as part of a nine-day South East Asian and Pacific tour in commemoration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. After a tightly-scheduled tour of Kuala Lumpur, the royal couple will visit the “Land Below the Wind” Sabah tomorrow.
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TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, reveals some things to do in those destinations, as rated by travellers around the world.
Below are some of the best things to do by category.
Want to go where the royal couple has trekked? Ranked #4 in Sabah on TripAdvisor, Danum Valley is a vast tropical forest, covering close to 44,000 hectares of lush flora and fauna. Often recognised as one of the most complex ecosystems in the world, it is a wonderful retreat for those looking to be at one with nature.
As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “The Danum Valley without a fraction of a doubt is one of the best places I have ever visited. Its unspoilt beauty and rich flora and fauna coupled with its diverse animal life make it a treasure to visit time and time again.”
Islamic Arts Museum
The Islamic Arts Museum is ranked #2 in Kuala Lumpur on TripAdvisor. With over 7,000 artifacts ranging from the smallest piece of jewellery to one of the world’s largest scale models of the Masjid al-Haramin in Mecca, the Islamic Arts Museum is Southeast Asia’s largest museum of Islamic Art.
As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “This museum contained one of the best collections of Islamic art I have ever seen.”
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Turtle Island Park
Another wildlife park not to be missed is Turtle Island ranked #2 in Sandakan. Turtle Island provides an opportunity for animal-lovers to watch endangered green and hawksbill turtle landings. It consists of Selingan which is home to a turtle hatchery, as well as Bakumgan Kecil and Gulisan islands which have conservation activities. Plan an overnight stay to watch the turtles come ashore after dusk to lay their eggs.
As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Saw turtles in their natural environment and the island was good to stay on. The food was good and the rangers informative.”
Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures
Learn scuba diving with Downbelow Marine and Wildlife Adventures ranked #2 for tours in Kota Kinabalu on TripAdvisor.
As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures are fantastic to dive with. Their instructors are friendly and great fun to be around.”
One of the tallest mountains in Southeast Asia, Mount Kinabalu which ranks #2 in Kota Kinabalu, stands at 4,095 metres and is situated at the Kinabalu National park, Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You can have hikes lasting for a day or more than two days with certified guides.
As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “The fantastic view of the surrounding valleys, the flora and fauna and being rewarded with the sight of Mount Kinabalu as you reach the top of the route is enough to take your breath away.”
Mari Mari Cultural Village
Ranked #5 in Kota Kinabalu, Mari Mari Cultural Village transports you to ancient Borneo with its indigenous architecture and rituals. From blow pipe making demonstrations to sampling traditional delicacies, travellers will be able to experience Sabah’s culture then and now.
As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Very entertaining – well worth a visit. The staff were excellent – they took much pride in their job and willingly explain anything to us inquisitive tourists.”
Petronas Twin Towers
Ranked #4, the Petronas Twin Towers are impressive icons in Kuala Lumpur’s city skyline. The infamous Skybridge which connects the 2 towers was featured in the film ‘Entrapment’ starring Hollywood actors, Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Go on the Skybridge and admire Kuala Lumpur at 170 metres above ground.
As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “A must see if you’re into buildings and structures, this place at night is a photographer’s dream come true.”
Ranked #7, Aquaria KLCC is a world-class oceanarium showcasing over 5,000 aquatic and land-bound creatures from Malaysia and around the world in the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, taking up 60,000 square feet.
As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “This is fantastic for all ages – myself and my son had a wonderful couple of hours here, so much to see.”
Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
Ranked #8, the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is the world’s largest free-flight, walk-in aviary. Set in a sprawling valley, this renowned eco-tourism park is home to more than 3,000 birds of approximately 200 species of local and foreign birds.
As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “This is a must for visitors to KL. It’s amazing to have storks and pelicans flying over your head and to be up close and personal with so many birds not in cages.”
Royal Selangor Pewter Factory and Visitor Centre
Ranked #10, the Royal Selangor has grown from a small family-run business to one of the best known pewter brands. Its factory and visitor centre allows you to see, hear and touch pewter through interactive exhibits. You can make your own pewter bowl using traditional tools or craft your own pewter accessory.
As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Our group of six visited the Royal Selangor pewter factory, and we absolutely loved it, especially the wonderful School of Hard Knocks class in making a pewter bowl.”
More information on these attractions can be found at www.tripadvisor.com.my.
Note: The ranking of attractions is according to the Popularity Index and was taken from the TripAdvisor site on 10 September 2012.521 0
Asiarooms has recently announced their “The Right Room For You” campaign, aiming to provide localised deals catered to the different needs of Malaysian travelers. Through surveys and research done by Blackbox Research throughout the region and within Malaysia, Asiarooms has found that 50% of Malaysians booked their travels online. The survey was conducted late last year among 150 internet-savvy participants. Malaysia was surveyed along with other countries such as Australia, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan.
Guess what? I’m off to Miri in a couple of hours! I’m so excited! I haven’t breathe Miri air since the year 2000! I’m curious to see how much it has changed (or not) and to meet all my old friends, including my bro and cousin who are living there. Thanks to Air Asia (Now Anyone Can Fly!), I got the flight booked way back in January when flights were ‘free’.
Off to the Oil Town, I am! Hope I can blog when I get there. Will be crashing at Park City Hotel (formerly Holiday Inn). Whooppeee!485 0
I hardly caught any sleep before I had to get up at 5.30am, on a day which usually involves recuperative sleep at the start of the weekend. It was a mad, mad rush the night before to get everything settled – stocking up on supplies, collecting my digicam from Stan, dropping of J’s car at my parents’, packing everything into my spanking new Vertikal backpack. Phew. Exhausting!
We congregated at Peanut’s apartment in USJ at 6.30am, where a cab was already waiting, where we also met Cat, another friend on the trip. Four of us, strangely enough, are designers by profession. The cab took us to the recently launched Low Cost Carrier Terminal or LCCT, at KLIA.
The moment we alighted from the Air Asia Boeing 737, our skin welcomed the cool air. The heat and humidity that we’ve encountered over the past 7 days in Cambodia and Vietnam became mere memories. Almost instantly, we stopped perspiring. Although reluctant to come home and face the dread of the office come Monday, I think we were thankful for the less harsh weather.
The Cambodia-Vietnam trip was awesome. Will write a detailed account ala journal in my next post, with plenty of pics to boot. Hopefully it will be somewhat an informal, unofficial guide for those planning to visit our northern neighbours.