Saturday 15 March 2014

About Malaysia...

I am participating in the MalaysiaJao Blogathon Contest in association with

Here's first a prayer to the missing flight MH 370. There is nothing else that can be done in these unfortunate circumstances.

My connection with Malaysia is deeper than what one would anticipate. I have done my graduation in Bapuji Dental College and Hospital, Davangere and we have a sizable population of students from Malaysia there. The culture fascinated me ever since and Malaysia has been on my travel plans ever since. There is also something about the people. Most well-behaved and hard-working lot from my batch! There is also a sense of independence and free-spirit in their demeanour. Staying so far away from their homes, they did their best to excel in studies and present a good picture about their country. Yes, there were exceptions, but by and large, there has been a good impression about them in my and my friends' minds.

You might be wondering what must be the connection between that and my travel plan. Well, at least for me, it is important that the place I am going to, should make me feel welcome. With tourism industry at its backbone, Malaysia, truly Asia is unmistakably hospitable in the true sense of the word. Here are the destinations I intend to explore, if given the chance-

(The details are courtesy Tourism Malaysia website)

1. Pulau Redang, Terengganu

From the website : "Pulau Redang, located 45km off the coast of Kuala Terengganu, is the largest of a group of nine protected islands dotting the South China Sea off the Terengganu coast. The island offers crystal clear waters and numerous dive sites for enthusiasts. Sheltered within the Pulau edang Marine Park, the waters here are rich in marine life. At midday when sun rays penetrate the sea, brilliant hues of coral, anemones and fish can be seen. 

The waters around Pulau Redang also contain two historic shipwrecks: The H.M.S. Prince of Wales and H.M.S. Repulse, which sank here at the start of World War II, setting the stage for the Japanese occupation of Malaya. This paradise island is perfect for snorkelling, swimming, scuba- diving, jungle trekking, boating and canoeing. No fishing is allowed within a 3.2km radius of the island as Pulau Redang is gazetted as a marine park. The collection of corals and other aquatic life is also strictly prohibited. Berjaya Resort offers a golf course in an idyllic setting.

Now, the love that I have for marine life and the descriptions on the website perfectly coincide to excite the marine enthusiast in me. Also I cannot wait to be taken back in time with the historic ship wrecks. There is something about the majesty of such relics of the past that beckons the curious mind.

2. Genting Highlands, Pahang

From the website: "The fun never stops at Genting, City of Entertainment, perched on the top of cool, breezy Genting Highlands. One big attraction in Genting is the cool weather. Because of the 2,000m altitude, Malaysians like to visit just to enjoy the 'European' weather! 

In the evening, there is spectacular entertainment at the Genting International Showroom or Pavilion, be it a thrilling magic show or an ice-skating extravaganza. There are also opportunities to go shopping at First World Plaza, visit the indoor and outdoor theme parks and feast on a wide range of delicious food at the many restaurants

Genting seems like the romantic city one sees in his dreams. A city where you go down on your knees to propose to your girl and she is serenaded by the sheer beauty of the place so much so that she immediately says 'yes'. It's located on a hilltop and has all the modern facilities. Well, hello Europe! That too in truly Asia! And yes, the food! It has to feature in my top to-go destinations' list.

3. Dayang Bunting Lake, Langkawi

From the website: "The island, which is about 20 kilometres from Kuah town, is modestly populated on one side and virtually uninhabited on the other where the lake is situated. 

The legend of Tasik Dayang Bunting goes like this: The favourite bathing pool of a celestial princess named Mambang Sari was said to be Tasik Dayang Bunting (Lake of the Pregnant Maiden). A prince, Mat Teja, fell madly in love with her and tricked her into marrying him. 

Sadly, their child died from a mysterious illness at the age of seven days. Distraught, the grieving Mambang Sari left the child's body in the lake and returned to her heavenly abode. Today, some believe that barren women who bathe in this lake will be endowed with a child."

Just the pictures of lush greenery on one side and blue waters on the other are enough to lure the weary tired eyes of a traveler. The mysticism and folklore is something that an Indian can identify with. Being someone from a country of many faiths, I respect the story behind this majestic lake. 

4. Islamic Arts Museum, Kuala Lumpur
From the website: "Interest in the Islamic arts has grown tremendously in recent years. Reflecting this awareness, in December 1998 Malaysia became home to Southeast Asia’s largest museum of Islamic art. The building occupies 30,000 sq.m., situated amid the leafy surroundings of Kuala Lumpur’s Perdana Botanical Gardens. 

The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia houses more than seven thousand artefacts, as well as an exceptional library of Islamic art books. 

The art objects on display range from the tiniest pieces of jewellery to one of the world’s largest scale models of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. The aim is to create a collection that is truly representative of the Islamic world. 

Instead of concentrating on works from the heartlands of Persia and the Middle East, IAMM also puts the emphasis on Asia. China and Southeast Asia are especially well represented. The third component of the Malaysian melting pot is India, which is also given special status. "

For an art enthusiast as well as someone who is interested to learn more about Islam and its origins, this museum sounds like a treat. India is given special status here which is an honour for us all. That and the beautiful location of the museum make it a "must-see" travel list item.

5. Langkawi Cable Car, Kedah
From the website: "At 709 metres above sea level, the cable car ride up to Langkawi's second highest peak is truly an experience not to be missed. 

Throughout the 20-minute ride, you will pass over jungle waterfalls and a thick carpet of virgin rainforest. On a clear day, you can see parts of Thailand towards the north and Indonesia towards the south-west. 

Travelling at a steep incline of 42 degrees, over a distance of 2.2 kilometres from the base station to the two mountain-top stations, even the gentlest breeze is enough to send one’s stomach churning. But once you get used to the sensation of being airborne, the ride quickly turns into an amazing, exhilarating experience. 

At the top, a sky bridge offers a breathtaking view of Langkawi. Remember to wear comfortable shoes as it is quite a walk up to the hanging bridge. 

The cable car operates from 10am to 7pm, subject to weather conditions. The service may be halted during strong winds. The cost is MYR 15 for adults with a MyKad and MYR 5 for children (prices subject to change)."

I don't think there is any reason to exclude this experience from the whole Malaysia travelogue. I can only imagine the view from the top and I bet it will be breath-taking. I can feel the winds gushing through my hair as I stand up there feeling like the King of the World! :D

I did find many more such amazing things to do and see in Malaysia on the website but I picked the above 5 like my limited genie wishes. I am sure I can never get enough of this amazing country just like I can never get enough of India ;-) 

See ya then!

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