MALAYSIA: TRULY ASIA

Malaysia, which has a dazzling diversity, offers a ‘Truly Asia’ experience just like the commercial slogan suggests. Malaysia, where Malay, Chinese, Indians and indigenous tribes meet in a melting pot, is one of the most striking, rich and safest countries of Southeastern Asia. The country’s means of transportation is qualified; its people are lighthearted; accommodation standards are high; its kitchen is rich and surprising. Malaysia has a unique character and rhythm that continuously offers excitement. While you can stroll through the Kuala Lumpur Tower one day, you can go trekking in the Borneo Rainforest the next day. The largest shopping centers of Asia are located in here as well as the most unique local handicrafts.

From a rural town to a 21st century city
Kuala Lumpur, KL in short, had been transformed from a rural town into a modern and busy 21st century city that is crowded by the gorgeous skyscrapers, in 150 years. KL’s story begins in the late 1860s, with a group in pursuit of the tin metal, who had achieved their goal, where the Klang and Gombak rivers met. They had named this mining town ‘Kuala Lumpur’ that means ‘Muddy Intersection.’ The historical landmark Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) is where the independence of Malaysia was proclaimed from the British colonialism in 1957. In KL, especially Sultan Abdul Samad Building that is used as High Court today gets the most attention with its structure, which synthesizes Victorian and Arab architectural styles. Temples built by the Indian immigrants are very impressive in China Town. The Skybridge, located on the 41st floor of the Petronas Twin Towers that stands 452 meters tall and entitled as the world’s tallest building, is a place not to skip. The National Museum, the Bird Park, the Butterfly Park and the Orchid Park at the Lake Gardens, the Indian bazaar set on the weekends on the Tunku Abdul Rahman Street are among the KL’s delights.

Side by side with sea eagles
The most popular touristic region of State of Kedah, located in the northwest of Malaysian Peninsula, is the dazzling Langkawi Island with its long beaches and jungle-covered hills. Situated in the Indian Ocean and the largest of the 99 islands, where transportation by sea and air available Langkawi is the only island with a true sense of inhabitance with its population of 72 thousand. The island was declared as ‘customs free zone’ in 1986. Kuah is the only vicinity of the island that has a bank. It might seem like a place, which is only comprised by ‘duty free’ shops and souvenir shops at the beginning but it is actually possible to spent pleasant time by mingling with the islanders. The bazaar, the beautiful mosque Masjid Al-Hana, Chogm Park, where the first-ever international coconut tree climbing championship took place in 1987, the Gunung Raya Golf Resort situated around the skirts of the highest mountain of the island, glass workshop Langkawi Crystaal and right next to it, the marble quarry Kedah Marble do not escape from the curious eyes of the beach and sun lover tourists. The Langkawi Bird Paradise, which is the home of 150 exotic bird species, is among the places to see. While hotels stand along the long Pantai Cenang Beach, which is 25 kilometers away from Kuah, shops, restaurants and pubs line on the street parallel to the beach. At one end of the beach, there is an aquarium called Underwater World spread over a large area. There is a museum and a restaurant, which serves countless dishes made with rice that you would enjoy tasting at the other end in Laman Padi. The island’s highest mountain, Gunung Raya is 881 meters tall and can be reached only by a twisty road passing through the untouched forests. During the boat tours starting from one of the largest and most beautiful beaches of Langkawi, Tanjung Rhue you are able to see mangrove forests and the sea eagles, which are accustomed to the tourists feeding them by throwing food.

A wonder of the nature with its ethnic colors
Sarawak, which is the largest state of Malaysia located in Borneo Island that has the world’s biggest biodiversity, has the most beautiful cities and national parks of the Asia as well as its incomparable cultural diversity. More than 2 million people coming from exceeding 30 ethnic groups, who speak in 45 different dialects, inhabit the island. Offered in ranging durations from half day to 2 weeks jungle trekking, climbing, speleological tours, mountain bicycling, river safaris are among the activities that can be participated in the region. Having strong characteristics with its national parks, natural habitat, rainforests, sandy beaches, rivers and caves, the capitol of Sarawak, Kuching well deserves a few days to be spent there. The harbor of the city, which is on the banks of Sarawak River becomes to life especially at nights. Have a ride on one of the boats that crosses to the other side and mingle with the Malays. Lined by antique and souvenir shops the Main Bazaar is the oldest street of the city. Chinese families still live in slop houses and continue to work conventionally as carpenters or tinsmiths. The magnificent palace situated in the north side of the river was a wedding gift from the city’s founding father Charles Brooke to his wife Margaret: The Astana Palace; today the palace is the residence of the state president. The river is the heart of the city; it is very enjoyable to go to sightseeing by a rental boat. The Museum of Sarawak as one of the best of the Asia is worth visiting. The most popular vacation area of Kuching is Damai that is within 40 kilometers of distance to Sarawak. In here, water sports are enabled at the beaches and trekking is enabled in the jungles. In order to get a quick and fun education on the cultural identities, traditions and daily routines of the Iban, Bidayuh, Penan, Orang Ulu, Melanau, Malay and Chinese tribes and communities Sarawak Cultural Village, which brings the Malaysian cultures together as a living museum, is not to be missed.

DO NOT MISS
15 kilometers away from the city center of KL, Batu Caves are consisted of caverns naturally formed on limestone hills that are almost 122 meters tall and are worth to climb up 272 steps.

PHOTO BREAK
In Langkawi, watch the views of Langkawi and Andaman Sea from Gunung Machinchang at 708 meters of altitude, which can be reached by cable cars and walk on the interesting bridge in here.

LEISURE
Enjoy a special massage at Nava Sari Spa in Langkawi.

ACTIVITY
You can swim in the sweet water lake Tasik Dayang Bunting, which is surrounded by steep limestone cliffs and jungles, ride on a paddle boat or have your toes bitten by catfish while sitting on the pier during a boat trip from Langkawi.

SHOPPING
You can try the jungle fruits and vegetables, observe the islanders who come for the sales at the Sunday bazaar of Kuching, which is set on Saturdays and continues throughout the next day.