Malaysia Travel Info

Travel information, points of interest and Tourism guide in Malaysia. Written by Halen, a girl who is Malaysian that love travelling around Malaysia and meet new friends from oversea.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Redang Island - The beautiful island in Malaysia

Where is Redang Island? (Pulau Redang)
Pulau Redang is located in the South China Sea off the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia within 5°44' - 5°50' North latitude and 102°59' - 103°5' East longitude. It lies about 45 km north-northeast of Kuala Terengganu, the state capital of Terengganu, and about 22 km off Tanjung Merang, the closest point on the mainland.


The Pulau Redang archipelago comprises Pulau Redang, Pulau Lima, Pulau Paku Besar, Pulau Paku Kecil, Pulau Kerengga Kecil, Pulau Kerengga Besar, Pulau Ekor Tebu, Pulau Ling and Pulau Pinang.

Pulau Redang is the biggest of all the islands in the Marine Park, measuring about 7 km long and 6 km wide. It's highest peak is Bukit Besar at 359 metres above sea level. The boundary of the Pulau Redang Marine Park is established by a line linking all points 2 nautical miles from the shores of Pulau Redang, Pulau Lima, Pulau Ekor Tebu and Pulau Pinang.


The other nearby islands of Pulau Perhentian Besar, Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Pulau Lang Tengah, Pulau Kapas and Pulau Susu Dara are also gazetted and protected as Marine Parks. Today, only the bigger islands like Redang, Lang Tengah, Perhentian and Kapas have resort facilities for visitors.


The management of Marine Parks primarily involves protection of the sensitive marine and terrestrial ecosystems by controlling the impact from human activities. These include waste & pollution management and conservation of coral reefs and terrestrial habitats


Sightseeing
Room has no TV, radio or phone? It's probably planned that way to get you outdoors. Forget your notebook computers, email, voicemail and mobiles. Here's your excuse to tell your boss you're 'unreachable' and indulge in a real holiday for the mind, body and soul!There's so much to do in Redang especially for nature lovers both on land and in the water. Watch the sunrise, stare at the canopy of stars in the clear night sky, explore the rich diversity of marine life as you snorkel, skin-dive or scuba dive, charter a boat round island or visit the neighbouring ones, go for treks in the island's interior and hopefully meet a mousedeer (kancil). Enjoy the white sandy beaches and soak up the sun. You really shouldn't stay in bed unless you're ill!


Myths and Folklore
Every island has its fables and folklore, and Redang boasts a few of its own, such as an inexhaustible pool of water at Pasir Gontang, and the lingering fragrance of a princess who long ago lived at Puteri Mayang Mas at Pasir Mak Kepit.Tales are told of stones and rocks which were once sea-elephants at Batu Gajah (Elephant Rock), fowls tied to a rock at Pasir Macam Ayam, people immortalized in prayer at Batu Tokong, and a turtle guardian at Batu Pepanji (Turtle Rock). With some imagination, these stones do have some resemblance to the characters in these tales.The magical residents of Pulau Redang, the Orang Bunian, are said to be behind a cluster of stones called Batu Surat (Letter Rock) near Pasir Chagar Hutang. These stones are supposed to contain some sort of message.


Marine Park Centre
Redang is the first of the Malaysian Marine Parks to have a Marine Park Centre. Established in 1990, the Centre is located at Pulau Pinang, just off the southern tip of Pulau Redang. It acts as a focal point of administration and management and also provides facilities for research and education purposes.


This is one of the most popular snorkelling destinations due to the large number of fishes and marine life that are resident here, including giant groupers and moray eels. Almost all resort snorkelling packages will include a trip to the Marine Park Centre. Admission is RM5 (USD 1.50) per adult per entry (children pay RM2.50 (USD 0.70)). Usually the resort operator will collect this fee from visitors.


Boats will drop visitors off at the jetty, which is used by many as the jump-off point for snorkelling. There is also a shipwreck to the east of the jetty, probably the only wreck shallow enough for snorkellers to explore.



Most visitors will just spend all their time in the water. For those who don't want to wet their feet, you can head for the beach and explore the island. Turn right and follow the broadwalk all the way to the end, then go left up the hill. There is a hiking trail on which will bring you to a viewing tower at the top of the hill near a lighthouse, where you can get a nice panorama of Redang island across the channel


Redang in the movie
The hit Chinese romantic comedy movie 'Summer Holiday' (not related to the famous 1963 Cliff Richard movie) starring Sammi Cheng (Hong Kong Artist) and Richie Jen (Taiwan Artist) was partly shot on Redang.

The original 'Mo Mo Cha Inn' (More More Tea Inn) featured in the movie was located between Redang Reef and Redang Beach resorts, where Laguna Redang now stands. The actors stayed at Redang Holiday while filming on location.

The original inn was in quite a dilapidated state and in danger of collapsing, so the owners of Laguna tore it down and rebuilt a replica which now serves as Laguna's gift shop. The coconut tree on which the 'More More Tea Inn' sign was hung on the movie set is still standing in front of the Laguna Resort main building.

This movie, released in 2000, probably contributed much to the recent popularity of Redang.



Sunrise, Sunset
Sunrise is something not to be missed, even if the thought of waking up at 6am in the morning is not your idea of a holiday! Those living at Pasir Panjang or Teluk Kalong have front row seats to a breathtaking view, provided the weather is good and there are few clouds in the sky. The best sunrise occurs when there are no clouds in the sky, but such situations are rare.

On a clear night, gaze at the heavens and be amazed at the myriads of stars in the night sky. Look long enough and your eyes will adjust to the darkness, revealing even more stars. If you're lucky, you might even see a few shooting stars. If you're into stargazing, bring your star maps and spot all your favourite constellations and nearby planets. And if you're a really serious stargazer, bring a telescope - we even managed to spot one of Mar's moons!


Bring your torchlights and go beachcombing at night, especially if the tide is out. Among the rocks and tide pools you'll spot crabs, hermit crabs, mudskippers, tiny crustaceans and other small active norturnal creatures.


Turtle watching
3 species of turtles visit Redang to nest. The most common is the Green turtle followed by the Hawksbill turtle. The Olive Ridley turtle is becoming increasingly rare in Malaysian waters.

Nesting period for Green turtles is between March to December with a peak in August, and January to September for Hawksbills and Olive ridleys with a peak in May. Favourite nesting spots in Redang include Pasir Chagar Hutang, Pasir Mak Simpan, Pasir Mak Kepit, Pasir Bujang and Teluk Dalam.


Although turtles prefer quiet, isolated beaches, there have been rare occasions when they have nested on quieter parts of Pasir Panjang beach. If you're fortunate enough to see a turtle coming up the beach to nest at night, try to observe it quietly without disturbing it.


SEATRU (Sea Turtle Research Unit) conducts conservation research on nesting populations of green and hawksbill turtles along this 300m stretch of beach. Since 1993, Seatru has rescued over 250,000 eggs from being sold as food, by raising funds to buy turtle eggs from collectors and allowing them to incubate and hatch naturally on the beaches where they were laid. As turtle nests have many predators, they are guarded 24 hours a day until the hatchlings emerge. Among their more interesting research is tracking turtles that come to Redang using shell-mounted tags linked to a satellite-receiver. Green turtles have been tracked to countries like Philippines and Indonesia.


Visitors can also sign up as a volunteer with SEATRU, where they will get to stay at their basic campsite in Chagar Hutang and help out in their research work. Check their website for more details.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Mulu National Park and Caves in Sarawak, Malaysia

Gunung Mulu National Park is one of Nature's most spectacular achievements and the 'jewel in the crown' of Sarawak's expanding network of national parks. It is also the largest national park, covering 52,865 hectares of primary rainforest, which is criss-crossed by fast flowing rivers and clear jungle streams. Mulu is dominated by three mountains - Gunung Mulu (2,376 m), Gunung Api (1,750 m) and Gunung Benarat (1,585 m). Yet many of Mulu's greatest attractions lie deep below the surface. Hidden underneath the forested slopes of these mountains is one of the largest limestone cave systems in the world. This system, a breath-taking natural wonder, contains a number of record breaking caves. With the world's largest cave passage (Deer Cave), the world's largest natural chamber (Sarawak Chamber), and the longest cave in Southeast Asia (Clearwater Cave), it is not surprising that Mulu is now world-famous. Over 200 km of cave passages have been surveyed but this is thought to represent just 30-40% of the actual total.


The oldest of Mulu's caves started to form about 5 million years ago when sideways earth movements resulted in the formation of both limestone and sandstone mountains, lying side by side. Millions of years of heavy rain and the action of rivers and running water carved out the vast subterranean system that exists today. The weathering process still continues; dripping water creates new rock features, limestone is slowly worn away, and underground rivers carve and sculpt the caves, transporting limestone debris to the cave mouth or redistributing it within the system.


Although Mulu is synonymous with caves, the 'Mulu experience' is not limited to underground attractions; above ground there is plenty to see and do. The park is covered in rich primary rainforest and offers a whole range of nature-based activities. There are some excellent jungle treks and mountain hikes, including the challenging trek to view the Pinnacles - 45 metre high, razor sharp limestone spikes that sit majestically on the slopes of Gunung Api.


With it's rich bio-diversity, and world-famous caves, Mulu offers the adventurous traveller an exhilarating cave and rainforest experience, possibly unmatched anywhere else on Earth.


Mulu's four Show Caves were selected for their uniqueness or sheer beauty. They can all be visited as day trips from the park HQ and are accessible by plankwalks and well-lit concrete paths. Strategically positioned spotlights highlight the unique features of the individual caves. A plankwalk leads through the forest to Deer and Lang's Cave whilst Clearwater Cave and Wind Cave are reached by taking a longboat up the Melinau River, or by following a 4 km nature trail. The more adventurous can do Adventure Caving.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Tourism points of interest in Malaysia



Petronas Twin Towers - Towering at a height of 452 metres (1483 feet), the Petronas Twin Towers is the highest twin towers in the world. Built to 88 storeys and 32000 windows, the towers are connected via a skybridge. You must book your time to access the skybridge for an excellent birds-eye view of the Kuala Lumpur city. The towers were featured in the movie Entrapment starring Sean Connery and Caterine Zeta Jones. When visiting the towers, take a stroll at the KLCC park (20 hectares or 50 acres) located adjacent to the towers and indulge yourself in shopping at the Suria KLCC located inside the towers.









Pulau Pinang (Penang Island) - Affectionately known as Pearl of the Orient, Penang is famous for its natural beauty and exotic heritage. Located at the northern part of Malaysia, Penang, a bustling island, has a large variety of culture, people and food within the 285 square kilometres enclave. So diversed, you will be able to find churches, Chinese temples, Indian temples and Muslim mosques all within a five minutes walk. Colonial buildings still exist and are constantly being restored to its former glory. When you are at the Pearl of the Orient, you must sample the hawker food found at abundance, take a ferry ride (especially at night) and stroll along the beaches of Batu Ferringi.


Sipadan Island - Located on the north-eastern part of Borneo Island, Sipadan is one of the world's best dive spots. White sandy beaches borders this 12ha island. The island was formed from a undersea volcano and is raised 650meters from the sea floor. Sipadan is famous for its reef wall, rare reef creatures and the regular appearance of sea turtles. If you are a diver, this is one place that you would not want to miss.


East Coast Islands - On the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, an abundance of idyllic white sandy beaches. To escape the hustle and bustle of the city, hop over to the east coast, put on a sarong, grab yourself a coconut, relax and enjoy the pounding of the waves. Out in the sea, islands such as Perhentian, Tioman and Redang are famous for their dive spots and family getaway.

Cameron Highlands - This 1800 meters above sea level region is a popular getaway from the tropical heat for Malaysians and tourist alike. Cameron Highlands was discovered by a British surveyor named William Cameron in 1885. This highlands resembles England as old English inns, chalets and bungalows still exists today. Attraction in Cameron Highlands includes mountain and jungle hikings, tea plantations, fruits and vegetable farms, flower nurseries and its people. Cameron Highlands has two golf courses if you are game.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Logo of Visit Malaysia Year 2007


The word 'Malaysia' is written in strong freehand both to permit conformity with the overall design proposal as well as the 'Malaysia, Truly Asia' tagline whiel providing the suggestion of a liberal nation and accommodating population. It is intended to portray a level of 'casualness' and a lack of formality for visitors.

The five dots of the stamen represents fifty years of independence and reinforces Tourism Malaysia's existing logo. The imagery also denotes Malaysia's rising prominence in the region as a modern nation as well as being indicative of hope and happiness.

The text 'Visit' & numerals '2007' in similar bold freehand is used to reinforce and complement the word 'Malaysia'. The use of red offsets and reinforces the blue of 'Malaysia'.

'Celebrating 50 Years of Nationhood' carries with it the idea of self governance and freedom.
Centred within the logo is a heart-shaped petal which signifies Malaysia's warmth in welcoming the world with open arms and heart. It also forms the primary and most prominent petal of the design.

( the source of the above logo rationale is from : http://www.tourism.gov.my/vmy07/rationale.htm , please follow the link for more details )

Visit Malaysia Year 2007 !

The Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2007, the third such event to be held after more than a decade, aims to aggressively market and promote the country as a major international tourist destination.

With various events held throughout the year, tourists are encouraged to stay longer, thus increasing their expenditures as well.

It will also stimulate the growth of domestic tourism in Malaysia. Many programs and activities are planned, among them is "Malaysia Welcomes the World".

VMY 2007 will be more special as it will coincide with Malaysia's 50th years of independence.
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