Top things to do in Malaysia


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There is something for everyone in Malaysia, from adrenaline pumping activities to historical city tours. A tour of the Gomantong Cave and Kinabatangan River is a must, and is something that many tourists that visit Sabah do. The intricate cave system sits in the lower part of the Kinabatangan River inside Gomantong Hill. This is the largest limestone hill in the area, with the cave being split into two parts; Simud Hitam (Black Cave) and Simud Putih (White Cave), with the latter being larger, though the former is more accessible. It only takes a few minutes to walk to the entrance of the 40-60 metres high Simud Hitam, which is open to the public. Simud Putih, however, is not, and can only be explored by those with caving equipment and caving experience. One of the main draws of the Gomantong Cave is not the caves themselves, but the swiftlet nests that are inside of them, which are collected for bird's nest soup. Kinabatangan River is the country’s second longest, and in addition to housing the Gomantong Cave is also known for its fantastic wildlife. Crested serpent eagles, proboscis monkeys, Asian fairy bluebirds and Bornean orang-utan can all be seen in the area, though today much of the orang-utan are living in the conservation centre in the village of Sukau.

No visitor should go without going on a ride on the North Borneo Railway. This historic steam train railway line travels from Tanjung Aru to the town of Tenom, passing through Kinarut along the way. Passengers riding the train will get to see some magnificent scenery, as well as traditional villages, paddy fields and buffaloes grazing around. The train can accommodate 180 passengers in its five colonial-style carriages, where a Tiffin-style lunch is enjoyed on the four hour journey. This train only runs twice a week, so it is highly advisable to book tickets at least one day in advance.

There are also numerous magnificent national parks throughout the country where visitors can enjoy the diverse flora and fauna of Malaysia. Kinabalu Park is the most famous, as it was Malaysia’s first ever UNESCO World Heritage site. The important biological park is home to over 4,500 species of flora and fauna, which includes over 200 bird species and around 100 mammal species. It is one of the country’s most popular destinations, with over 400,000 visitors coming to the park each year.

Gunung Mulu National Park is another UNESCO World Heritage site. This 520 square kilometre park is famous for its incredible caves, with over 20 expeditions being available through its cave system. The park is also home to a tropical rainforest and the towering Mount Mulu, in which it was named after. This sandstone mountain rises 2,376 metres above sea level and is accessible by going on a four day hike. There are three camps set up along the way where shelters, cooking facilities, toilets and water is available.

Those that prefer history to nature will not be bored in Malaysia, as there are two historic city centres that are listed as important cultural sites; Georgetown and Malacca City. Historical city tours of these cities are an extremely rewarding way to visit main attractions within their old centres, like the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion and Armenian Street in Georgetown, and Heeren Street and the Dutch Square in Malacca City.

48 Hours in Langkawi: #SSBD Cheat Sheet

Posted on 21 July 2016

You may know Langkawi as an island getaway and duty-free retail heaven. However, once you look beyond the ordinary, you’ll find the myth and magic of Langkawi fascinating. In the next episode of #TravelSSBD, our intrepid host Sonia Chew discovers there’s a lot more to Langkawi than beautiful beaches and snorkelling.

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