Malaysia, Perhentian Islands – Malaysian Maledives
Are you attracted by the clear sea, which with its crystal color resembles the Maldives, but it is not the Maldives? Who wouldn't want to see a real paradise with their own eyes. Perhentian Islands is an archipelago of two islands with white sandy beaches, coconut palms and turquoise sea on the east coast of Malaysia.
Kecil or Besar?
The Perhentians archipelago consists of two main islands, Kecil and Besar. Kecil is known as the Little Island. Although it is only a few kilometers long, it offers countless beautiful beaches, romantic coves, but also lush vegetation, which is typical for this place. And that's not all. Long Beach is a long beach on the east side of the island, full of hotels and with a pretty rich and noisy nightlife. This island is becoming more and more popular, especially among backpackers and young travelers on a low budget.
In contrast, Besar, known as the Big Island, is a bit more expensive, with more luxurious hotels, although you will also find relatively expensive rooms in Kecil. This island has a slightly more relaxed atmosphere, which is usually preferred by couples and families with children. Both islands can be reached by boat from the port of Kuala Besut. Transport between the mainland and the islands is provided from March to early November. For the rest of the year, there is a monsoon season and the islands are closed.
The Islands Have Become a Perfect Tropical Destination
The islands of the Perhentians are one of those places where time goes slowly. A place that will allow you to forget about the world around you. You can just relax on the beach, snorkel, dive, have a drink on the beach or lie in a hammock. It is an ideal escape from hectic life. You will find beautiful nature in the interior of the island. You can head to the windmill on the hill, from which you will have a beautiful view of the whole island. Another pleasant walk is a trip to a fishing village on the north side of the island. But never go alone! If you are looking for an island with beautiful sandy beaches without bungalows, without crowds and with a quiet atmosphere, all for five dollars a night, then I must tell you that the Perhentians islands are no longer such a place.
A Paradise for All Divers and Snorchling Enthusiasts
The location is famous not only for its clear sea, but also for ideal conditions for snorkeling and diving. Turtles and barracudas retreat to the coast and it is also possible to see the largest fish, a whale shark. Diving in Malaysia is generally known for its very reasonable prices and its availability, both for certified divers and for complete beginners. On the island you will find many excellent diving centers that offer both certified courses and dives.
There are no roads, shopping malls, huge resorts or an ATM on the island. For this reason, I recommend having enough cash with you for your stay.
GPS: ostrov Kecil 5°55'03.0"N 102°43'18.7"E
Text and photos: Andrea Meluzínová
When anyone mentions Malaysia, the vast majority of people think of the Petronas Twin Towers, the twins that dominate the capital Kuala Lumpur, some of the Cameron tea plantations, others of the cultural city of Melaka. However, Malaysia also offers great swimming, endless sandy beaches, turquoise blue sea and unspoilt surrounding nature. A perfect example is the island of Tioman, also known as Pulau Tioman.
Architecturally stunning cities, tea plantations, tropical rainforests, historical landmarks and white beaches. Welcome to Malaysia, a multicultural country with strong influences from China, India and the rest of Southeast Asia.
Our second day in the Cameron Highlands we again take a trip to the tea plantations. We take a taxi and go from Tanah Rata through the city of Brinchang to about 10 km distant Kea Farm, where roses are grown.
After hot days on the sunny island of Langkawi, we move to the coldest area of our journey - the Cameron Highlands. Located at a higher altitude, there are lower temperatures, which is a bit unusual for us in Malaysia. But it is nothing dramatic, the windbreaker and long pants are enough for morning and evening. Our destination for the next two nights is the city of Tanah Rata, which will also serve as a starting point for our two scheduled trips.
Be sure to visit Chinatown near Petaling Street once you are in Kuala Lumpur. The street is above Pasar Seni stop). Lined with red laterns, one half of street's population are Chinese.
The most impressive feature of Sri Maha Mariamman temple is it structure which copies that of a human body - there is a head directed to the west, and legs to the east. The legst are symbolized by a 75-meter tower adorned by the statues of 228 Hindu gods. They are made in south-Indian style.
Brickfields aka Little India used to be an ordinary residential district near Kuala Lumpur. However, as of late it transformed to a wide boulevar featuring Indian sotres, and Indian restaurants.
Malaysian national mosque is situated opposite the train station. Its capacity is 15 thousand people. Surrounded by lush vegetation the park covers an area of 13 hectars. The mosque replaced a church in 1965. Its main features are 73-meter minarets. The main construction of the roof drew inspiration of an open umbrella. Minarets should resemble folded umbrellas.
Before it became the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur had been founded as a humble mining city in the 1950s. Today, it is a fast-growing city beloved by tourists. The Tamils, Chinese, Malayan and indigenous people are the main ethnicities living there.
The capital of Malaysia is famous mainly thanks to the Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest double building in the world. But the most interesting thing about it is its diversity and both national and architectural diversity. The city is one of the important centers of international trade and you will know at a glance that it is a really rich city. And also one of the most visited cities in the world. Let's now look together at what awaits you as a traveler.
Enjoy this couple of skyscrapers. These must be on the list of any visitor to Kuala Lumpur. Their silhouette lures you already from afar. Crowds of tourists visit them every day and millions see the towers each year. On day or at night, Petronas Towers add to the city's atmosphere. In Kuala Lumpur you will see them all the time from any place. It is as if these gentle giants held their protective hand above you. They look gloriously but are the towers as beautiful from the inside as they are from the outside?.
The sobering-up station provides sanctuary for elephants who have fallen into poacher traps or other difficulties. They use their own elephants, who are very ethically trained here (do not really expect any circus, here it helps). Injured elephants are undergoing rehabilitation and, if possible, their return to nature. The station also takes care of moving elephants due to the ever-increasing agricultural area. The employees are doing a really beautiful job here, be sure to come to support them.
Our stay on the beautiful Malaysian island of Langkawi is nearing the end and the last trip is ahead. Today we set out on the most famous icon of the island, the Sky Bridge. The bridge is less than 20 kilometers by car from Pantai Cenang.
From Penang harbor we set off with a small ferry to the very popular and popular tourist resort - the island of Langkawi (Pulau Langkawi). It takes about three hours to get there, and it is definitely a good idea to take something warmer, because the ferry is extremely cold due to extreme air conditioning. Outside the closed part of the ship, unfortunately, there is not much room for comfortable long journey. The island can also be transported by air, such as from Penang and Kuala Lumpur.
We have an organized a trip to Kilim Karst Geoforest Park. In fact, there is no other option, because the tour of the Geopark takes place only on the water. It is not a physically demanding trip, no visitors will enjoy much walking, but it is still worth visiting the geopark. Stretching is possible at least while swimming on a nice beach.
A quiet island with white beaches, turquoise sea and an unspoiled underwater world is the dream of each of us. Have you ever heard of this little paradise? Thanks to the white beaches, the island was named Pulau Kapas or "Cotton Island". (Kapas means "cotton" in Malay, Pulau "island").
After visiting North Sumatra we return to Malaysia, but this time not back to Kuala Lumpur, but heading north. We fly to the northwest coast of Malaysia, to the state of Penang (also Pinang), which consists of the main island with the capital George Town, the mainland (Seberang Perai) and other smaller islands.
Our last day in Malaysia has come. We don't want to go too far from Kuala Lumpur and we also enjoyed the beaches a lot, so we will visit the city of Putrajaya. It has served as a federal territory since 2001 and is the planned capital and administrative center of Malaysia. The seat of government moved here as early as 1999 due to the congestion of the existing capital Kuala Lumpur. However, the king, parliament and embassies are still based here.
Mount Kinabalu, one of the highest summits in southeast Asia, is one of the main landmarks in the park. The mountain is 4 095,2 meters high. Next to traditional mountain climbing you may try to visit Torq mountain, the highest and also the very first ferrata in Asia which is situated at 3 200 to 3 800 meters. The greatest of adventurers may enjoy other activities such as alpine climbing, paragliding or undertake a mountain expedition.
Mt Kinabalu (4 095 m) is one of the most important mountains in the world. It is the highest mountain of the third largest island in the world. Also, it is the highest summit between the Himalayas and New Guinea. It is twice as high as neighboring Crocker Range. On its top, there are several granite towers. A vista worthy of gods.
Borneo island consists of two parts. The souther part belongs to Indonesia, the northern to Malaysia. We are headed to the north to Sabah state which is home to many exotic plant and animal species.
Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park (aka Tunku Abdul Rahman – TAR – Marine Park) is situated by the coastline of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. It consists of five islands – Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Sulug and Mamutik.
We bring you next part of our Borneo series. Let's see where we went next.
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