Explorer Robin Hanbury-Tenison recalls in his new book how he discovered a network of caves in Borneo’s Gunung Mulu National Park – a magnificent place where humans had never before set foot.
I once found a Garden of Eden. The world is full of little Edens, if you just take the trouble to look for them, but many have been destroyed through man’s greed and ignorance. Sometimes it feels as though the whole planet has been so polluted and ravaged that there are no Edens left, but they are there to be found by those who step off the beaten track, and some are protected in national parks and by their inaccessibility.
So it was with mine. The scientific expedition I was in charge of was to the newly gazetted and almost completely unexplored Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak, Borneo.
Both are equal contenders for food. There is a good choice of cheap local food around in both but in Penang you get a wonderful eclectic mix of Malaysia, Thai, South East Asian, Chinese and Indian. All are very, very tasty.
There was a time when Penang was the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, for some western travellers the only ‘orient’ they would know outside of Singapore and maybe Hong Kong.
It was the 1950s and 60s when jet travel had just started making the world smaller and the western middle class were in search of new and exotic locations.
But there’s a time when Penang’s popularity just fell off the map.
This Malaysian state offers everything from classical architecture to a viper sanctuary.
Located on the north-west coast of peninsular Malaysia, Penang was one of the very first possessions of the British in South-East Asia. Today, it’s an economic powerhouse, rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage.
Travellers come here for the calm waters around Batu Ferringhi, a suburb in the south of Penang, surrounded by a stunning view of emerald hills. It’s filled with luxury resorts, and adventure sports are as popular as swimming, lounging by the pool, or walking on the shore, feet sinking into soft white sand. It was here that I had my first parasailing experience. I felt I was flying, gliding over an exquisite coastline studded with ships and schooners.
From its tasty street food scenes to George Town’s architecture and umbrella-topped cycle rickshaws, the legacy left by China’s migrants is still abundantly clear.
Penang is the rare tropical island where hitting the town beats lazing on the beach.
Fortune-seekers from China, Europe and India have been drawn to this Malaysian island for more than two centuries, creating along with local Malays an eclectic mix that can feel both seductively familiar and exotic at the same time.
The colonial capital they’ve left behind oozes a hauntingly rustic charm, with colourful street art as much a draw as the historical architecture and one of southeast Asia’s tastiest street food scenes.
Wander the old town
There are plenty of tourist-friendly stretches of sand if that is what you’re looking for.
With more than half of its 329,758 square kilometre surface covered in tropical rainforest, Malaysia is a top nature and ecotourism destination for outdoor lovers and adventure seekers. It boasts the oldest rainforest in the world estimated at 130 million years old, the third highest peak in all of Southeast Asia (and the country’s highest at over 4,000 metres above sea level) and massive caverns believed to be among the largest in the world.
Taman Negara / Gunung Tahan
Malaysia’s Taman Negara (National Park) is located in the centre of the peninsula spread over three states, more than 4,000 square kilometres in size. It is also home to the peninsula’s tallest mountain, Gunung Tahan, with its peak at 2,187 metres.
The park’s rainforest is the world’s oldest primary forest at 130 million years old, and it is where one can find the best trails for all levels of trekking.
Penang is famous throughout Malaysia for its gastronomical delights, a UNESCO World Cultural City- Georgetown, cultural immersion and street art. Nowhere else competes. When you are in Penang there are so many wonderful and interesting places to visit! No wonder we’ve put this place as one of the best places to visit.
About the Place
George Town in Penang is an architectural gem in South East Asia. The bustling colourful town named after the British King George III is renowned for its beautiful colonial architecture listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.We witnessed that the place offers a fantastic mix of Chinese, Indian and Malay people, their cultures, architecture, religions and food. Penang boasts many absolutely amazing and unique places of worship which you won’t find elsewhere in South East Asia.
KUCHING: Sarawak Tourism Ministry is looking into the feasibility of improving accessibility to Mulu where Mulu National Park, a Unesco World Heritage, site is nestled.
Its Assistant Minister Datuk Lee Khim Shim said in this regard, the state government had in mind the existing logging road from Long Bedian-Long Terawan-Long Iman and two-hour boat ride to Mulu National Park headquarters.
He said promotion of the park, being a prime state tourism product, was being carried out constantly.
“Other short, medium and long term strategies to promote Mulu National Park include a tactical campaign to put Miri as one of the preferred destinations to visit.
“The component of the tactical campaign is by positioning Miri and Mulu National Park as a twin destination,” he said when answering a question from Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew (BN-Piasau) at the State Legislative Assembly here today.
If you didn’t already think of Malaysia as one of the most beautiful countries in the world, you will now.
Split by the South China Sea, Malaysia is like two countries in one—Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo—with islands thrown in as an added bonus. Throughout the Southeast Asian nation you’ll find towering mountains, pristine beaches, limestone caves, and some of the most beautiful tea plantations in the world. This level of natural beauty, in addition to cutting-edge cities and culture, makes Malaysia one of the world’s best places to visit (and one of the best places to live). Don’t believe us? Here are 15 photos we think may change your mind.
With its seven-tier pagoda and thousands of bronze statues, George Town’s Kek Lok Si Temple is one of the most beautiful Buddhist temples in Malaysia—if not the entire world.
Thinking of a vacation in Malaysia? Here’s a list of things to do (see wildlife, go to an island) and what to eat (milo, claypot chicken rice).
For years, Malaysia cruised under the tourist radar, overshadowed by its more popular Southeast Asia neighbors such as Thailand and Singapore.
Yet, steady economic growth and a particularly catchy “Malaysia Truly Asia” tourism campaign have helped lift the country to prominence.
Malaysia is a tapestry of diverse cultural influences, drawing from its local indigenous, Malay, Indian and Chinese communities as well as its colonial heritage.
It’s also a story of contrasts — a place where smooth highways lead to both modern cities and lush rainforests, where street vendors set up shop in the shadows of skyscrapers and hipster cafes operate next to traditional kopitiams (coffee houses).
LENGGONG: The Tourism and Culture Ministry has initiated a move to obtain Unesco World Heritage Site status for three more places in Malaysia.
Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz listed the three areas, namely the Royal Belum State Park in Gerik, Perak; the Quartz Ridge of Gombak, Selangor and the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, a green lung.
The text of his speech was read out by ministry secretary-general Datuk Ab Ghaffar A Tambi at the launch of the Lenggong Carnival 2017 at Dataran Lenggong here last Saturday night, held in conjunction with the fifth anniversary of the recognition of the Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley as a World Heritage Site.
In his speech, Nazri informed that the ministry had sent a tentative list of documents to Unesco prior to furnishing a complete dossier on the three sites.