Thursday, March 20, 2014

MALAYSIA, Truly AMAZING

Many moons ago, in 2008 i went on an all women's holiday to Singapore. The holiday had a two night Cruise stay and we touched Kaula Lumpur briefly. We had barely half a day to roam a round Kuala Lumpur and just about managed to visit the Petrona Towers and Menar Kuala Lumpur.

The catchy tag line of the Tourism department, 'Malaysia, Truly Asia ' was a blank for me. But then we  did not get to spend even one whole day in the capital city. As i wrapped up the holiday, the desire to explore Malaysia lingered  at the back of my mind.

And then i came across this contest of Malaysiajao  Blogathon by Blogadda and everything changed. As i decided to write a post and participate  in the contest, i surfed the net and was totally amazed by the diverse  richness of this country
.
"Malaysia Truly Asia" is more than just a slogan. It reflects precisely who Malaysians are.  Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-lingual nation where people of diverse races and religions live in harmony. You will meet a Malay, Chinese, Indian and a Eurasian dining on the same table in a restaurant

 Home to prehistoric rain forests and a melting pot of culture, Malaysia is an amazing country to discover.

One of Malaysia's key attractions is its extreme contrasts .Towering skyscrapers look down upon wooden houses built on stilts while five-star hotels sit just meters away from ancient reefs. 

Lofty  mountains rise  dramatically to the sky while their rain forest-clad slopes sweep down to floodplains teeming with forest life. 


Malaysia is one of th 12 mega bio-diversity countries in the world. it has an amzing 14500 flowering plnt species, 300 species of trees, 300 species of palms, 60 species of bamboo, 210 species of mammals, 600 species of bird an incredible large number of insects and marine life. Spectacular , to say the least.


 In Malaysia Cool highland hideaways roll down to warm, sandy beaches and rich, humid mangroves. 

Malaysia, truly Asia

Given an opportunity to explore Malaysia i would like to visit the following five places.

1. Visit Batu Caves and witness the Thaipusam festival

Batu Caves is a an iconic and popular tourist attraction in Selangor. 

Site of a Hindu temple and shrine, Batu Caves attracts thousands of worshipers and tourists, especially during the annual Hindu festival, Thaipusam.  



The Batu Caves are situated thirteen kilometers  north of the capital city Kuala Lumpur. They are the sacred place for the Hindu's in Malaysia. 

They consist of three main caves and a number of smaller ones. The caves are made of limestone.  
The limestone forming Batu Caves is said to be around 400 million years old.


At your arrival you will be greeted by lots of monkeys.



'Lord Murugan Statue'  is the tallest statue of Hindu deity in Malaysia and second tallest statue of Hindu deity in world. It also the tallest statue in Malaysia at 140 feet in height. It is  located  at the foot of Batu Caves. It took 3 years of construction and unveiled in January 2006 during Thaipusam festival.
Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in theTamil month of Thai (January/February). It is mainly   celebrated by the  Tamil community.



The word Thaipusam is a combination of the name of the month, Thai, and the name of a star, Pusam. This particular star is at its highest point during the festival. The festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Murugan a Vel "spear" so he could vanquish the evil demon Soorapadman.

Monkeys frolic around the caves, and it is a popular spot for rock climbing enthusiasts. Paintings and scenes of Hindu Gods can also be seen in the Ramayana Cave


It would be a challenging climb of 272 steps but i would love to visit the Hindu shris inthe ancine t caves.

Getting there:


Jalan Batu Caves, 68100 Jalan Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia
+60 3-6189 6284

2.  Discover unique Flora and Fauna at  Gunung Mulu National Park

Gunung Mulu National parrk is a UNESCO World Heritage site







Situated in the Malaysian State of Sarawak on the island of Borneo,it  is outstanding both for its high biodiversity and for its karst features. The park is dominated by Gunung Mulu, a 2,376 m-high sandstone pinnacle . The caves are  more than 1.5 million years old.
 The 52,865 ha park contains seventeen vegetation zones, exhibiting some 3,500 species of vascular plants. Its palm species are exceptionally rich,  making it one of the worlds richest sites for palm spec ies. The large cave passages and chambers provide a major wildlife spectacle in terms of millions of cave Swiftlets and bats.
Swiftlets are a breed of birds who live in caves and catch insects in flight.  The nests of some species are built entirely from threads of their saliva, and are collected for the famous Chinese delicacy bird's nest soup.

DEER CAVE


Deer cave is the  World’s largest cave passage.

That squeaking noise you’ll hear in the cave is the 3 million strong colony of Wrinkle Lipped bats stirring themselves as they sense that dusk is not far away and they begin to prepare to leave the cave to feed on flying insects.





 The birds aren seen swooping through the darkness are the swiftlets returning to roost in the cave. The path continues to wind deeper into the blackness of the cave and suddenly the Garden of Eden appears in the distance, a green oasis shining in the sunlight. 


Deer Cave is awesome, large and bold but only 100 metres away is Langs Cave.Small and intimate, with walls beautifully decorated with spectacular stalagmites and stalactites.
 





The BAT EXODUS


There is a  Bat Observatory for the nightly flight of bats .to begin . Each evening the bats gather at the cave entrance in large ring-shaped formations, circling higher and higher up the cliff face before moving out across the rainforest in spiraling ribbons.

It has been estimated that nightly each bat consumes between five and ten grams of flying insects. This means that 3 million bats will return in the morning to deposit a huge amount of guano in the cave and provide a unique ecosystem, home to millions of insects and their predators.

The bats leave the cave on most evenings between 5.30 pm and 6.30 pm but on rare occasions do not leave at all.

The return trip to Park HQ is a wonderful time to move through the forest, listening to the calls of the frogs and insects, often seeing fireflies and stick insects.


Besides exploring the flora in h Park i want to witness the Bat exodus in the evening. It would be worth going all the way to the Mulu parkk

Getting there



Visiting Mulu World Heritage Area is a journey into the interior of Borneo
.
There are no buses, no highways and certainly no taxis to Mulu. So it's the easy way by air
 or the scenic and slow, winding cruise by river.

    Address: Nansha Islands, Hainan, Malaysia

    Phone:+60 82-246 575

3.  Go Sunbathing and explore the  Langkawi Islands

Langkawi, officially known as Langkawi the Jewel of Kedah is an archipelago of 104 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia.







The Plantation









Langkawi  offers the best of many worlds: beautiful beaches, world-class infrastructure, mangroves rich in flora and fauna, ultra-cheap duty-free shopping and fascinating legends.





Head up the thrilling  cable car





 to the summit of Mount Mat Cincang - Langkawi's second highest mountain for an unrivalled view of the entire main island.
For a more intimate time with nature, go trekking through the pristine rainforest that covers most of Langkawi, hop on a boat tour of the mangroves. Go for a dive, or play a round of golf










 at one of the many 5-star resorts. Langkawi's Underwater World is also a must-visit


Lounging around on the beaches i would also want to explore its marine life, both in the Underater world and in the ocean.

4.   Visit  Petaling Street, a.k.a. China town for foodie delights

Ask anyone who’s been to Malaysia about Petaling Street and they will cite it as a shopper’s haven, albeit in a different league compared to its counterpart  at KLCC. A well-known shopping district, the whole area transforms into a lively and vibrant night market after dark, with hundreds of stalls selling all kinds of stuff at dirt-cheap prices, making it the most happening night market in the city.














I feel in order to truly discover a city o a country, one must go on an gastronomical journey. To begin with one must sample the street food. what better place to do this than at Petaling Street.

I am a  vegetarian and it is very difficult to find vegetarian food in Asia besides India. However i discovered a few hugely popular Malaysian dishes which i would love to try at an elite restaurant serving both vegetarian and Non vegetarian. The dishes are:

Nasi goreng



Nasi Goreng ia sn Indoneesian dish which means 'fried rice' and is hugely popular in malaysia.




Nasi lemak



Nasi lemak is a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf widely found in Malaysia.

Roti Canai



Roti Canai is an Indian influenced flatbread found in Malaysia eaten with veg or non veg curries.


Rojak



Rojak is a traditional fruit and vegetable salad dish. 'Rojak' in Malay means 'mixture'


5.  Get Up close and personal with birds at K L Bird Park

 The KL Bird Park  is only 10 minutes away from the Kuala Lumpur city centre. There are over 3000 birds in the park.






A wonder world of birds and a tropical paradise not to be missed by all. It is one of the many family - oriented attractions.

it is a  serene and scenic  park   also well known as "World's Largest Free-flight Walk-in Aviary", offering a 20.9 acres of verdant valley terrain to be explored.









Pelicans










The main feature that distinguishes KL Bird Park from any other bird parks is the concept of free-flight. Entering the door of KL Bird Park is as if you are stepping into an enormous bird cage, where visitors will have a chance to witness at close proximity various bird species living together.

The park aims to create awareness on the importance of conserving birds and wildlife species and maintaining a clean and safe environment.


children can chase peacocks and hornbills, pose with owls and parrots on one's shoulder, feed parakeets, watch ostriches lay eggs and be awed by soaring storks and flamingos in surroundings that hardly feel caged-in.



It would  be an extremely close encounter with the exotic birds. an experience to remember and capture through pictures of the immense  variety of colorful birds.


AddressKL Bird Park, 920 Jalan Cenderawasih, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Phone+60 3-2272 1010


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Lastly, a prayer for MH370................







I am participating in the MalaysiaJao Blogathon Contest in association with BlogAdda.com.