Malaysia – Tioman Island
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.
Why come here? The tropical island of Tioman attracts tourists from all over the world thanks to its crystal clear sea, rich underwater life, cascading waterfalls and lush vegetation. The island is located 30 kilometers from the city of Mersing on the east coast of Malaysia. You can only get there by boat three times a day, only once during the rainy season. Here you will find both simple guesthouses and luxury accommodation options.
There Are 4 Traditional Villages on the Island
The largest settlement Tekek, the main village, is strategically located in the middle of the island on the west coast. Here you will find all shops, restaurants and also a single bank with ATM. The ATM sometimes runs out of money, don't forget to take enough cash from the mainland. Another village is Air Batang, known as ABC Village, located on the west coast of the island. Air Batang is a traditional village with a relaxed atmosphere, popular with backpackers looking for cheap accommodation. It is probably the cheapest place you can find on Tioman. The village is lined with a long beach, unfortunately with a rocky seabed, which does not make this area exactly attractive for swimming. The northernmost village of the island is Salang, also a popular place for backpackers. It offers nice places for snorkeling and diving. Nearby is the island of Coral (Pulau Tulai), from which you can continue to Monkey Bay. Salang has a nice atmosphere and you will find reasonably priced bungalows, several bars and restaurants. If you are planning a holiday on the beach by the sea, then Salang is an ideal place. The last of the settlements is Juara.
Discover True Beauty of This Tropical Paradise
Common activities on the island include beach and water sports, complemented by a jungle trek. Kayaking is a great way to explore the coast and surrounding beaches. Adventure lovers can go on a challenging day trip to the top of the extinct Gunung Kajang volcano. For safety reasons, it is better to hire a guide who will, among other things, provide you with a lot of interesting information about the jungle, plants and wildlife on the island. If you don't want to spend the whole day walking, try one of the shorter trips. A popular route is the seven-kilometer jungle trek from the village of Tekek to Juara. The walk is not too strenuous, but some parts are steep and hiking in the tropical heat can be exhausting. You can cool off in the waters of Ali’s Waterfall. Don't forget to take plenty of drinking water.
Colorful corals and a wide range of seabed attract divers from all over the world. Sharks, turtles, coral reefs, shipwrecks and great visibility create perfect conditions for diving. You will find several diving centers here, both complete beginners and certified divers will enjoy themselves. The best time to visit the island for diving is between March and May and September and October. However, the conditions are suitable throughout the year, except during the monsoon season. From Tekek you can head to the small island of Pulau Renggis, a popular snorkeling spot just a few hundred meters from the coast. Kayaks can be rented both for an hour and for the whole day.
GPS: 2°49'26.3"N 104°09'43.7"E
Text and photos: Andrea Meluzínová
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.
The most interesting, most visited and beautiful place in Malaysia. Today we visit a city, which should not be on the list of any traveler. Just two hours southwest of Kuala Lumpur, we meet the city of Melaka, the capital of the Malaysian state of the same name. This historic city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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").
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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