Wednesday, January 27, 2010



The tiny state of Perlis lies at the northeastern tip of Peninsula Malaysia, bounded by Thailand in the north and by Kedah in the east and south. Its western coastline borders the Straits of Malacca. Although it is the smallest state in Malaysia, it boasts of a wealth of natural, cultural, and historical splendors that rival the bigger states. Quaint villages, picturesque scenery, and centuries-old traditions will mesmerize visitors to the state. Perlis is the perfect destination if one prefers old-world charm instead of the hustle and bustle of the city, where life is unhurried and the environment naturally fresh and crisp.

Agriculture, fishing, and forestry pursuits dominate the economy of Perlis. Like Kedah, the state also shares the distinction of being the "rice bowl" of the country. Sugar cane and rubber are also extensively cultivated, along with mango and watermelon. As the state progresses toward industrialization, medium-scale industrial and manufacturing activities have also been developed.

Perlis was once a part of Kedah, which the Thais conquered in 1821. When Kedah was subsequently restored to the Sultan of Kedah, Perlis was separated from it. Perlis was then made into a separate vassal with its own raja. Similar with Kedah, power was transferred from the Thais to the British in 1909 under the Anglo-Siamese Treaty. During the Japanese Occupation in World War II, Perlis was returned to Thailand. When the Japanese surrendered, Perlis came under British protection until it gained independence under the Federation of Malaya in 1957.

Getting there

By Air : There are no direct flight services to Perlis, but visitors can fly into Alor Setar, Kedah. From there, taxis are available to Kangar, the capital city of Perlis, which takes about 45 minutes.

By Road : Perlis is accessible by car from major points in the Peninsula. Express bus services are also available.

By Ferry : Ferryboats provide scheduled crossings between Kuala Perlis and Langkawi, Kedah. The journey takes about an hour to reach.



Kuala Terengganu

These days, the capital is a hive of activity. Changes have been brought about and is showing marked changes in the skyline. New buildings are replacing the old ones; the general upliftment of the state's economy brought about by oil and gas has provided an acceleration into industrialization. Yet, the charm of the old world is neither lost nor forgotten. Fishmongers can still be seen haggling over prices of various seafood. It is as if nothing has changed. It was the way of the old days and is still the way of the present day. This can be seen daily on the waterfront.

Terengganu State Mosque

The mosque was built on the estuary of Terengganu river and its intricate design gives viewers the impression that the mosque is actually floating on water. This place of worship is beautifully lit at night and provides a holy landmark for the city.


A picturesque fishing village that is furnished with tall swaying coconut trees, cool fresh air, an incredible beautiful lagoon, and a fleet of fish trawlers. Any visitor to Marang will be easily captivated by its natural beauty and simple ambience.


About 6km south of Kuala Terengganu is "Sutera Semai Centre". It is Malaysia's pioneer silk weaving center where visitors can witness different stages of silk manufacturing. Here, visitors can witness the painting of batik designs onto the fabric, thus resulting in beautiful batik shirts, scarves, handkerchiefs, and more.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


The beach is basically located at the island's only jetty. Actually, seen from the air, Sipadan is circled by white sandy beach all around it, but the hive of activities are concentrated near the jetty. From Semporna, it takes about 1 1/2 hours on fast boat, while from Mabul, it takes about 30 minutes and slightly longer from Kapalai.

I have been to the beach twice, and I thought the second time I was there, it never looked prettier. Perhaps it was the weather.

The water is indeed crystal clear and good enough for swimming and some fun in the sun. Nonetheless, unlike most non-volcanic island beaches in Peninsular Malaysia, there isn't much space for you to venture out because just a few meters from the beach is the world-famous Drop-Off at which the water goes as deep as 600 metres. If lazing in the sun is not your cup of tea, by all means, take out your snorkeling gear and swim along the fringe of the drop-off. The underwater scene is fabulous.

There are quite a few resting areas on the beach, mostly made up of the remnants of the dive resorts that used to call Sipadan home.

How about security? Look around and you will notice there are probably army personnel than tourists at the beach (actually 90% of the actual visitors are underwater, scuba diving of course!). The beach is normally crowded when divers get ashore for their safety stop in-between dives.

Monday, January 4, 2010


The east coast state of Pahang is the largest in Peninsula Malaysia and is perhaps nature's gift to the country. It has so much to offer the visitor and is usually the most sought after holiday destination by both locals and foreigners. Exotic flora and fauna are an intrinsic part of the wild life and there is unspoiled beauty throughout the state. Rich varied scenery and landscape leave visitors thoroughly enchanted with the magnificent gifts nature has bestowed on this tropical paradise. From pristine waterfalls to invigorating mountains, palm-fringed beaches to refreshing jungles, Pahang is a rendezvous with diversity and contrast.

Apart from its attractions, Pahang is also rich in natural resources with two-thirds of the state covered by tropical forests. Palm oil, rubber, and cocoa are cultivated extensively in large land development schemes. Manufacturing has also provided additional income to the state.

Tioman Island

Tioman is the largest group among 64 volcanic islands. Visitors can choose between snorkeling and diving in crystal clear waters, lazing around on the white-sand beaches or exploring rugged trails of the interior.

Please visit Tioman Island under Islands.

Endau-Rompin National Park

One of the largest national parks in the Peninsula, Endau-Rompin National Park is an ancient tropical rainforest that has remained undisturbed through the years. It is Malaysia's last refuge for the Sumatran rhinoceros. The park's lowland forest is among the few remaining in Malaysia and has been identified as a haven for unique varieties of plant life.

Please visit Endau-Rompin National Park under National Parks.

Tasik Bera

Located in southwest Pahang, Tasik Bera is the largest natural freshwater lake in Peninsula Malaysia. It is situated in the saddle of the main and eastern mountain ranges of the Peninsula and is approximately 35km long and 20km wide. Tasik Bera has remained a unique and remote wetland wilderness, which is surrounded by a patchwork of dry lowland forests.

Please visit Tasik Bera under Lakes.

Tasik Chini

Chini is Malaysia's second largest natural lake and is made up of a series of 12 lakes. With its well-known myths, the lake has attracted many visitors from various destinations. Legend has it that a mythical dragon lives in the lake and is the guardian of a lost city of gold, which was once situated at the lake.

Please visit Tasik Chini under Lakes.


When Mansur Shah, a descendent of the Sultan of Melaka, founded the state of Pahang in 1458, Pekan was chosen as his residence. It has since remained the Royal town of the state. There are numerous well-built white marble mosques, as well as several palaces in the town. The state museum, Museum Sultan Abu Bakar, is housed in a building constructed by the British for the local resident. It has a wide variety of exhibits and much of the museum is dedicated to the Pahang royal family. Sungai Pahang is the longest river in Malaysia and was the last east coast river to be bridged. Pekan is also an ideal place to relax and to be away from the city.


Any visit to the state of Pahang must include the state capital Kuantan. Kuantan is not a big city and you will find it remarkably personable and down-to-earth. It has been the capital of Pahang since 1955. It is a well-organized, bustling city and a major stopover point when traveling north, south, or across the peninsula. The town reveals its charms through its street life and attractions around its town center. Some of the finest beaches in the state are located in Kuantan. It also offers a variety of local food fare and traditional sports. Visitors will be able to see a mix of old and new buildings along with colonial style buildings, which are reminders of colonial administration in the past.

The most prominent sight in the capital is the State Mosque with its distinct dome and minarets. Or take a stroll along the riverbank and watch the various activities on the wide Sungai Kuantan. At the jetty, a ferry can take you across the river to a small village, Kampung Tanjung Lumpur. Placed among the many modern buildings around town, the colonial-style Courthouse & Handicraft Centre definitely adds some charm and difference to the area. Kuantan and its vicinity produces some really good handicrafts; there is even a batik factory on the outskirts of the town, and shops along Jalan Besar do sell local trinkets and handicraft. Do try their keropok (fish crackers), which is the state's famed


Strategically situated on the famous Straits of Malacca, about 147km south of Kuala Lumpur, Malacca (Melaka) is a place with a proud past. However, not much is known about the state until the 15th Century as there were no proper records prior to this period. According to the annals of history, it was founded by an exiled Hindu prince, Parameswara, from Palembang in Sumatra in 1402. Melaka then grew slowly but steadily to become a major trading center and port-of-call for ships from the four corners of the world. Among them were Indian-Muslim traders from India whose wealth attracted Parameswara. Not too long after, he too embraced Islam and came to be known as Megat Iskandar Shah. Hence began the Melaka Sultanate.

In 1409, Admiral Cheng Ho, "the Three-Jewel Eunuch", an envoy of the Ming Emperor, helped forged links between the state and the Middle Kingdom. Hence the beginning of a long relationship between Melaka and China. The descendants of Chinese settlers from this period came to be known as "Baba Nyonya" (Straits-born Chinese), products of a unique fusion of traditional Chinese origins and the Malay environment.

The Melaka Sultanate flourished to become the emporium of the East and its prosperity soon made it a target for the growing Portuguese empire. In 1509, a Portuguese galleon headed by De Sequeira landed at Melaka. Overwhelmed by the State's beauty and wealth, he tried to overthrow the Malay Kingdom but was thwarted by Sultan Mahmud, the leader then. However, the Sultanate eventually fell in 1511 after a Portuguese army attack lead by Alfonso De Albuquerque.

The Portuguese continued to rule Melaka against all odds until they were outclassed by the ambitious and more powerful Dutch in 1641. The Dutch spread their sovereignty and destroyed much of the Portuguese heritage in the state. But their reign was short lived as the British wrestled control in 1795. The London / Anglo Dutch Treaty of 1824 conceded the state to the British for good. Thus begun a period of British rule until the country's independence in 1957.

Despite the recent appearances of modern buildings and hotels on the periphery of the old town, Melaka still remains a historical goldmine. All cultural and architectural relics of the respective colonial eras can still be seen today.

Getting There

Melaka is easily accessible from major points of the country by road, rail, or sea. However, the most recommended means would be by road (private or public transport such as express bus services and taxis), in order to enjoy the scenic experience of traveling through tropical greens of rubber estates and palm oil plantations.

The Stadthuys

The Stadthuys (Town Hall) was completed in the 1650s and functioned as the official residence of Dutch Governors and their officers. The edifice is a fine example of Dutch architecture and is the oldest standing Dutch building in the orient. This building, perhaps the best preserved of the colonial structures, now houses the Malacca Historic and Ethnography Museum. Its exhibits trace the city's history from the time of the ancient Malay kingdoms through Portuguese, Dutch, and British occupation.

Christ Church

Built in 1753, this testimony to Dutch architectural ingenuity remains standing as it has always been. Take note of the church's handmade pews. The ceiling beams were shaped from a single tree and held together without a single nail! There is also a brass bible dating back to 1759 and believed to contain scriptures from the first verse of St. John. Furthermore, there is a tombstone written in Armenian and "Last Supper" in glazed titles.

Portuguese Square

Perhaps the right phrase to infer strong affinity to Portugal would be "Mini Lisbon". Located within the Portuguese Settlement, the square is the culmination of Portuguese culture in its full splendor and colors.

St. Francis Xavier Church

Known as the "Apostle of the East", this church was built by a Frenchman in 1849. It is dedicated to St. Francis Xavier who is well-remembered for his missionary work in spreading Catholicism to Southeast Asia in the 16th Century.

A Famosa

After the Portuguese captured the city, they built a fortress to defend their position and called it A' Famosa. All that remains of it now is the entrance. The fortress itself suffered severe damages during the Dutch invasion. The Dutch later went about destroying remains of the walls. Hence, the visitor today sees only the entrance to what was once an imposing structure that defended the city from attacks.

Proclamation of Independence Memorial

What was once the Melaka Club now stands preserved as the Proclamation of Independence Memorial where the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, read the historic document in February 1956. The building was constructed in 1912 and now houses exhibits of the country's struggle for independence in the form of relics, manuscripts, videotapes, films, and slides.

Maritime Museum

The museum was constructed after " Flor De La Mar", the Portuguese ship that sank off the coast of Melaka on its way to Portugal. With its hull laden with invaluable treasures seized from Melaka, the ship was doomed from existence had it not been for the efforts to revive its symbolic significance to Melaka's heritage. At the museum, visitors can get a closer look at Melaka from the famed Melaka Sultanate of the 14th Century to the periods of colonization by the Portuguese, Dutch, and British. There are exhibits of foreign ships that had once called at the Port of Melaka during the height of its maritime hegemony.

Pulau Besar

Pulau Besar (Big Island) is an exotic tropical island off historic Melaka. Long associated with fascinating legends and myths, it now has an added dimension of a throbbing holiday destination with the opening of the Pandanusa Island Resort. This island is one of the unspoiled corners of the globe and with its vast span of white sandy beaches and emerald green waters, it is ideal for swimming, fishing, snorkeling, and even jungle walks.

Bullock Cart Ride

Once a major means of transportation for the rich, the features that separate the bullock cart of Melaka from that of the other states are the pointed roofs in the shape of bull horns, the trappings, and colors.


Negeri Sembilan (NS) lies in the central region of Peninsular Malaysia, just south of the state of Selangor. Seremban, the state capital, is a mere 40km from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Hence, it is well connected to major towns and cities in the western coast of the Peninsula. There is also an excellent network of roads linking it to the east coast. Besides this, the Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) commuter trains also services this area making it highly accessible to Kuala Lumpur. While Seremban is the state capital and administrative center, the royal capital is that of Seri Menanti.

During the height of the Malacca Sultanate in the 15th Century, the Minangkabau of West Sumatra migrated and settled in the verdant valleys of Negeri Sembilan. These settlements gradually developed into a group of 9 fiefdoms - Sungai Ujong, Rembau, Johol, Jelebu, Naning, Segamat, Ulu Pahang, Jelai, and Kelang. Hence its name Negeri Sembilan or 'Nine States'. Today, however, there are only 7 districts.

Measuring a mere 6,645 sq. km, NS comprises of picturesque valleys and plains amidst undulating hills and mountains. As the Titiwangsa range of the Peninsula tapers down towards the lowlands of Johor, the mountainous and forested terrain of the eastern part of the state gradually gives way to the gentler, undulating rubber and oil palm plantations of the western region.

Mainly an agricultural state with an emphasis on rubber and oil plantations, NS's manufacturing sector has, of late, contributed greatly towards the state's economy. The main industrial areas are Senawang, Tuanku Jaafar Industrial Park, Nilai, and Tanah Merah.

NS is the only state, which practices the tradition of "Adat Perpatih". A Sumatran tradition, Adat Perpatih is a unique custom that emphasizes on the matrilineal system where the woman is regarded as the head of the home. This code of ethic still filters through the social-culture of the people here, including the system of government.

NS is rich in culture and traditions. Colorful music, dance, and games like the Cak Limpong, Tumbuk Kalang, Dikir Rebana, Tarian Randai, and Bongai have been passed down through generations. Today, they form an integral part of NS's social lifestyle especially in the rural areas.

One should experience the unique Minangkabau style of cooking, which sees generous portions of 'chili padi' (small & extremely hot chilies) being used. Try the "Masak Lemak Chili Padi - fish, meat, or vegetables cooked in coconut milk blended with turmeric and ground chili padi. Another NS specialty is "Lemang", glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk in a bamboo stem over an open fire. This is normally served with Rendang, a deliciously thick, dry meat curry.

NS is a scenic state, which maintains a strong Minangkabau identity in its characteristic architecture that features buffalo horn shaped roofs! Besides, NS houses are perhaps the only authentic villages with wooden houses that feature double story construction. In the past, unmarried girls were normally housed on the 2nd floor while parents took up the 1st floor as a security measure. A perfect example of such architecture is the Istana Lama Seri Menanti with its elaborate hallways, multistoried structure, and spectacular carvings.

Elsewhere, the rustic villages and lush forests coupled with splendid waterfalls, cool, crystal clear streams, and rivers make NS ideal for agricultural and eco-tourism. To experience true NS hospitality, home-stay vacations can be arranged at any of the villages.

Seri Menanti - The Royal Town

Seri Menanti, the royal town of Negeri Sembilan, lies snugly between two hills named Bukit Tempurung. Fed by the Seri Menanti River, which flows through the two hills, Seri Menanti derived its name from an incident that happened during an expedition for a new settlement led by a chieftain named Datuk Putih. While following a legendary dragon trail, which was reputed to lead to good fortune, he came across three unusual looking bunches of padi (rice), which seemed to be 'waiting'. As such, he named the place Padi Menanti (literally 'Waiting Padi'). Datuk Putih's successor later changed the settlement's name by adding his wife's name 'Seri'. Thus the name, Seri Menanti. History has it that in 1773, Raja Melawar, a Minangkabau Prince from Pagar Ruyung in Sumatra, was proclaimed as the first ruler of NS. Fascinated by the undulating land and hills, he declared Seri Menanti as the Royal Town. Today, some sixty traditional villages of various sizes are scattered around the area supporting a population of approximately 5,474.

Sri Menanti Palace / Royal Museum

The Old Palace of Seri Menanti was built in 1902 to replace the original palace, which was razed in 1875 by British soldiers during the Sungai Ujong war. This was the official residence of the royal family until 1931 when it was found to be inadequate for the growing functions of the state. It now houses the Royal Museum. Designed and built by two local craftsmen and carpenters, "Tukang Kahar" and "Tukang Taib", the wooden palace or "Istana Lama" (old palace) was built without the use of a single nail or screw, and was completed in 1908. The palace, which features 99 magnificent pillars to denote the 99 warriors of various clans, is often the subject of study and research among students of the architectural field.

Ulu Bendol Recreational Park

What strikes a traveler in the hinterland of NS is the lush greenery and verdant forests set amidst spectacular valleys and mountains. For the hardened eco-tourist, the fascinating forestlands of NS offer spectacular scenarios and bubbly waterfalls with pristine, crystal clear waters. There are altogether six recreational parks in the state promoting eco-tourism; the most prominent of which is the Ulu Bendol Recreational Park. Located about 16km from Seremban on the Kuala Pilah-Seri Menanti route, Ulu Bendol is also the site for Mount Angsi, the highest peak in the state. The refreshing stream that meanders through the park is ideal for a dip. Picnic lovers should find this place inviting because of its shady and leafy surroundings. For the more adventurous, there are jungle trekking trails. This is also designated as the site for the Orienteering and Mount Angsi Expedition, which will take place in August 1999.

Off Road Driving

There are numerous off-road 4WD trails, especially in the forested Jelebu district. An outstanding off-road trail is located at Talang Dam in Kuala Pilah. The Talang Negeri Sembilan 4WD Adventure will be held in May 1999. More on Off Road Driving



Located on the west coast of Malaysia, Selangor Darul Ehsan covers an area of 125,000 sq. km. Dubbed the "Industrial Hub of the Nation", Selangor is the country's premier state with its huge resources, well developed communications network, industrial estates, and skilled manpower. Here lies Klang Valley - the heart of the nation, which stretches from Port Klang to the foothills of Ampang, Bangi, and Gombak.

A pleasing potpourri, Selangor has a fascinating diversity of creeds, cultures, and races in its population. Malay, Chinese, and Indians mingle freely with other minorities such as the Eurasians. Home to more than 2.74 million, Selangor is also the most populated state in the country.

Selangor's history dates back to the 15th Century when the discovery of tin deposits opened the floodgates for miners and other immigrants who rushed in looking for instant wealth from the soils. By the middle of the 18th Century, the Bugis had begun to dominate the state, both politically and economically, in large numbers. Their skills as navigators, traders, and warriors allowed them to extend their sphere of influence, ultimately establishing the present Sultanate of Selangor. However, fighting between the Bugis, Chinese, and Malay nobility paved the way for British rule, which lasted until the country gained independence in 1957.

As tin and rubber became prime commodities in the world market, Selangor's wealth grew, thus laying the foundation for activities, which thrusted the state into industrialization. Many of the country's largest industrial operations are found in the various industrial zones. They range from commercial activities to manufacturing, tourism, and industrial.

Once a prolific producer of tin-ore, Selangor today is renown for the world famous Royal Selangor Pewter. Pewter items are made from refined tin, antimony, and copper. Royal Selangor pewter is considered original and the best of its kind. Its factory, located in Setapak, is opened to public.

Shopping in Selangor is an experience in itself. There are bustling "pasar malam" (night markets), bazaars, quaint little shops, department stores, and modern multifaceted shopping malls, each providing its own unique shopping experience.

Eating out will be no problem in Selangor. The state has evolved into a gourmet's paradise with its varied offerings of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and international cuisine. Selangor abounds with high classed restaurants of every imaginable cuisine. However, the cheapest and therefore most popular places are the roadside hawkers who offer a full range of local delicacies. The visitor may also find that coconut and sugarcane juices are great thirst quenchers, as well as easily available!

Home to the new Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at Sepang, which opened on June 27th, 98, Selangor is set to lead the nation's development into the next millennium.

Getting Around

Moving around the state is hardly a problem as Selangor has an extensive highway and road system linking it to other parts of the country. Selangor also has effective bus and taxi services, most of which are air-conditioned. Or you may prefer to proceed via train networks such as the electric KTM Komuter Train and the Light Rail Transit (LRT).


A former capital of Selangor, Klang was once the old royal capital where the British had placed their first Resident in Selangor in 1874.

Gedung Raja Abdullah : One of the oldest Malay buildings in the country, it was once used by the Sultan to store tin from the mines in the area. It is currently a museum with displays of local history and tin that was once important to Malaysia.

Sultan Sulaiman Mosque : A classic Islamic architecture that blends colonial with Asian features, it is a unique and memorable image in Klang. The mosque was presented to Sultan Sulaiman by the British colonial administration in the 19th Century.

Shah Alam

Shah Alam, Selangor's state capital, is a modern township surrounded at its periphery by Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, and five other major townships including Klang, Bangi, and Kajang. It enjoys a vantage location being ideally located halfway between the national capital, KL, and the viable Port Klang.

• Note: Please visit Shah Alam under Cities.

Kuala Selangor

A riverine coastal town situated 64km northwest of KL, Kuala Selangor is an intriguing blend of history, local flavor, nature, and wildlife. Once a thriving port, Kuala Selangor was the first state capital of Selangor.

Bukit Melawati : Atop Melawati Hill, the highest point in the area, is the site of the 200-year-old Fort Altingsburg. Here, one can enjoy the panoramic view of the Straits of Malacca and the surrounding areas. It was from this spot that the Dutch surveyed the surrounding countryside before capturing it in 1794. In the past, the hill lured only the hardy and determined visitor as it meant a stiff climb. Today, there is a tram car service that takes you to the top. In the vicinity is a royal mausoleum where past Selangor sultans were buried.

Kuala Selangor Nature Park : The Kuala Selangor Nature Park is approximately 2km from town below Bukit Melawati. The park consists of more than 250 hectares of coastal land and has well-marked trails for jungle trekking. With over 150 species identified, bird watching is a popular activity. Both local and migratory birds frequent the mangrove swamps along the coast. The rare spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmanns's Greenshank can also be seem in this nature park. Two watchtowers and hides have been constructed to aid in birdwatching. Visitors may be fortunate enough to spot leaf monkeys, otters, and nocturnal leopards, among many other animals.

Fireflies : Ever watched the scintillating display of fireflies? Fireflies are found mostly in groups of dozens to thousands in estuarine mangrove swamps. This unique nature's wonder can be seen at the lower reaches of the Selangor River banks, at Kampung Kuantan. As the sun sets, these fireflies begin flashing something akin to what glowworms do but at a rate of three flashes per second. In doing so, a fascinating spectacle similar to Christmas tree lights is created. Fireflies' shows can be seen at Kuala Kuantan, about 10km east of Kuala Selangor.

Batu Caves

First discovered over 100 years ago, Batu Caves have never ceased to attract visitors. Only 13km from Kuala Lumpur's central business district and just outside the city limits, these famous caverns are easily accessible. Formed within the framework of an imposing limestone outcrop about 400 million years ago, Batu Caves actually consists of three main caves and several smaller ones. The best known of these is Temple or Cathedral Cave.

Temple Cave has a ceiling looming over 100 meters overhead and features ornate Hindu shrines. To reach it, one has to climb 272 steps, a feat performed by many Hindu worshippers on the way to the caves to offer prayers to their revered deities.

During the annual Thaipusam (Hindu festival in honor of Lord Murugan) between January and February, as many as 800,000 devotees and other visitors throng the caves and make this climb. Chanting devotees carry a statue of the deity, Lord Murugan, up the 272 steps that lead to the shrine. As a form of penance or sacrifice, entranced worshippers carry a Kavadi, which is a large, elaborately decorated wooden frame. The Kavadi is attached to their flesh (e.g. skin, cheeks & tongue) with a variety of sharp skewers and metal hooks, to no apparent discomfort or pain! Accompanied by the incessant beat of Indian drums and shouts of encouragement, the procession is testimony to the power of religious conviction.

A little below the Temple Cave is the Dark Cave. It is a 2km long network of relatively untouched caverns containing a large number of cave animals, including several found nowhere else in the world. However, access to this cave is restricted. Permission must be obtained from the Malaysian Nature Society and guidelines must be strictly followed.

At the foot of the steps is the Art Gallery, in which statues and wall paintings depicting Hindu mythology are displayed. Access to this cave is via a concrete walkway spanning a small lake.
National Zoo

The National Zoo, or Zoo Negara as the locals call it, is a very popular attraction. It has very large grounds with facilities suitable for picnics. It also houses roughly 2,000 species of animals from all over the world, as well as an impressive aquarium and aviary. A large number of educational displays along with camel and elephant rides, and even a trolley train ride makes this an ideal place for a family outing.


Some 26km south of Kuala Lumpur, Kajang is a town that is always remembered for its Satay, a favorite dish among Malaysians and foreigners alike. Satay is actually marinated pieces of beef, chicken, or mutton that is barbecued on skewers over a charcoal fore and served with peanut sauce. Those who have tried the Kajang satay will tell you that the difference is in the peanut sauce.

Carey Island

Located just off the mainland, this island is well known for its aboriginal community, the Mah Meri. Though the Mah Meri have assimilated into the modern life with jobs in nearby farms and plantations, they still retain their unique culture and way of life. Apart from exhibitions of their traditional dances and music, the Mah Meri people are particularly renown for their votive sculptures fashioned from Nyireh Batu (a kind of swamp hardwood).

Templer's Park

Set in a backdrop of lush green forest and limestone hills, Templer's Park is just 20km north of Kuala Lumpur. This park consists of 500 hectares of forest, rich in flora and fauna. There is also a cave in Anak Bukit Takun, a 100m high limestone hill near the edge of the park. Towards the north side of the park lies the many cascades of the Kancing Waterfalls, commonly known as Templer's Park Falls. Altogether rising a couple of hundred meters, the Park's falls offer endless spaces and opportunity for picnicking.