Tourist Attractions in Malaysia
Malaysia has a wide range of tourist attractions. The sheer diversity of tourism destinations is astounding. These include the high-tech city of Kuala Lumpur, tropical island of Langkawi, colonial hill stations of Genting and Cameron Highlands, numerous pristine beaches, National Parks, and the world's oldest tropical rainforests. Malaysia has the potential of catering to tourist of every hue and it truly lives up to its tag line of Malaysia Truly Asia.
To describe Kuala Lumpur is like opening a book that has various exciting chapters. Yes, this only global city of Malaysia appears blessed with colors of modernism along with rich heritage. Though formally KL spans over an area of 244 sq kms, its plush precincts virtually get bigger to embrace the entire world. Kuala Lumpur is situated at the confluence of Sungai Gombak and Sungai Klang, and probably, that's how it got its name, which literally means 'muddy confluence' in Malay language.
Kelantan-literally meaning "Land of Lightning"-is an agrarian state with lush paddy fields, rustic fishing villagesand casuarina-lined beaches. Located in the northeast corner of the peninsula, the charms of Kelantan are found in the vitality of its culture and its remote, unsullied beauty. Kelantan offers plenty of opportunities for tourists such as river cruises, river rafting, bird watching and jungle trekking.
Malacca is a quiet seaside city located on the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia facing the Straits of Malacca, about 147 km from Kuala Lumpur. Malacca is a wonderful repository of its cultural heritage. Its colonial past is evident in its Portuguese architecture, where as on the streets, Chinese influence is most visible. Most of the businessmen here are Chinese. Over the centuries, the Chinese and local Malay cultures in Malacca intertwined, eventually producing a completely unique society-a mosaic of different cultures.
Negeri Sembilian literally means "Nine States". It is so called because it comprises a federation of nine states. Located on the southwest corner of Peninsular Malaysia, Negeri Sembilan encompasses an area of 6,645 sq km and a 48 km long coastline.
Penang, literally meaning Island of Betel Nut, is famous for its natural scenic beauty. Also known as the 'Pearl of Orient', Penang entices visitors with its warm seas, golden beaches, lush greenery and delicious cuisine.
Perlis is the smallest state in Malaysia. The state is famous for its serene unspoilt beauty, rustic rural scenes and verdant paddy fields. The expanse of verdant paddy fields makes the landscape appear like a huge canvas of brilliant green or gold, depending on the season.
Sabah is a tropical paradise located at the northeast corner of Borneo. In ancient times it was known as the "Land Below the Wind" because it lies below the typhoon belt. Sabah attracts visitors with its scenic beauty, rugged landscap and cultural diversity.
Sarawak-the largest state of Malaysia-is better known as the land of fabled White Rajahs, the hornbill and the orangutan. Located on the northwestern shore of the island of Borneo, Sarawak is a preferred tourist destination for those seeking culture, nature and adventure tourism. The rainforests of Sarawak are home to the richest and most diverse ecosystem of the world.
Terengganu is one of the three east coast states on Peninsular Malaysia. Terengganu is the repository of Malaysia's cultural heritage and is home to the lilting Gamelan and the mesmerizing "Ulek Mayang" dance. It is a serene state, with numerous small villages, quiet roads, and secluded islands and beaches.
Major festivals of Malaysia include
Hari Raya Aidilfitri
After a month of fasting during the month of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate the first day of Syawal which is the tenth month of the Muslim calendar with joyous enthusiasm. This is a major festival for Muslims and they usher in the day with prayers in mosques and remembering their departed loved ones. It is also the time for family reunion when members of the family from different parts of the country get together. The festival mood is with joyous enthusiasm. Special festival dishes are served for festivals and friends during "open house". The festival mood is reflected is brightly decorated homes, government and commercial buildings. Homes are also lit with all lamps at the entrance in keeping with a long established tradition.
Nine Emperor Gods Festival
The Festival of the Nine Emperor Gods falls on the ninth day of the ninth moon in the Chinese lunar calendar. Devotees flock to the temples throughout the country for this religious festival. The Nine Emperor Gods are part of a spirit-medium cult known locally as ‘Jieu Hwang Yeh'. These Nine Deities are believed to dwell in the stars in heaven under the reign of ‘Thien Hou' - the Queen of Heaven.
National Water Festival
Water resource plays an important role in the socio-cultural and economic development of the Malaysian society. Apart from functioning as a communication system, an economic, resource and determinant of early settlement pattern of the Malaysian society, it had also been a place where families carried out their recreational activities in the past. Therefore, water resource in whatever form should be protected, valued and utilized to the maximum.
Penang International Dragon Boat Festival
The Penang's first Dragon Boat Race was held in 1956 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Municipality of George Town. 10 years later the race was revived as part of the Pesta Pulau Pinang. The Pesta races were originally confined to participation from the local teams such as teams from Government Department, associations and commercial establishments. However, in 1979, the boat festival became an international tourism carnival with 2 participation from overseas, Singapore and Hong Kong.
The Penang International Dragon Boat Festival has participating teams all over the world include Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Macau, Thailand, Japan, Britain, West Germany, USA and others.
Some Fun Activities in Malaysia
White water Rafting in Malaysia
Rivers have long been the life blood of the indigenous people of Malaysia. They have served as a means of transport, a source of food and now, a resource for eco-tourism. The native groups of Sabah have been using rafts for centuries but white water rafting has only been a recreational activity since the 1980s.
The two main rivers for rafting in Sabah are the Padas and Kiulu rivers which are certified as Grade 3 and Grade 2 respectively in the international white water rafting grading system.
River Safaris and Cruises in Malaysia
River safaris and cruises are becoming increasingly popular among visitors to Malaysia. Well organised and with expert guides, they provide an interesting, exciting way to explore the country's interior. River safaris and cruises are available in Melaka, Kuala Berang in Terengganu and Taman Negara and Lake Chini in Pahang and Sarawak, also offer scenic river safaris and cruises
Cave Exploring in Malaysia
There is a great network of caves in Malaysia for carving enthusiasts. it has been found that most caves date back to the Stone Age and some caves in Sarawak are 60 million years old. The majority of caves are limestone and are above ground level. These include Gua Kolam in Perlis, Gua Tempurung and Kundu in Perak, Batu Caves in Selangor and Gua ikan in Kuala Krai, Kelantan. The appearances of caves can change within months as the humid Malaysian weather affects stalagmite and stalactite formation.
Adventure caves like Drunken Forest Cave and Loagan's Cave remain close to their natural state. Show caves such as Deer Lang and Clear Water Caves in Mulu National Park, Sarawak, are those which have been opened up for public viewing with guides, lights and walkways.
Bird Watching in Malaysia
For an adventure that is a little more refined and certainly less strenuous, try bird watching. Malaysia's vast expanses of rainforests are home to more than 700 species of exotic bird-life, including some extremely rare ones. Due to its location on the cross-migratory path of certain bird species, Malaysia has emerged as a bird watching haven. This avian extravaganza is one to behold. Scan the treetops, listen for the tell-tale calls. Look hard. If you manage to see a Mountain Peacock Pheasant or a Malayan Whistling Thrush, you are one of the privileged few, as they are the rarest of birds to be found.
Dos and Don'ts in Malaysia
1. Never offend, scold or reprimand a Malaysian, neither in public nor privately.
2. This causes major loss of face and damages the relationship beyond repair
3. Make sure you are introduced by respected people to the business contacts that are important to you. The right introduction gives you a considerable advantage
4. When accompanied by a group make sure to introduce the most important person in your party first; also make sure to acknowledge the highest ranked person in the Malaysian group you're meeting with
5. Many Malaysians have different dietary requirements connected with their religion; make sure you are aware of them when you are hosting a luncheon or dinner party
6. Malaysians tend to require after your marital status, your family and your religion.
7. Some Malaysians may be uncomfortable with shaking hands with members of the opposite sex. Just observe and follow their lead.
8. Business cards should clearly indicate your position in your company. They are considered to be an expression of your accomplishments rather than an indication of your actual responsibilities.
9. it's customary for leaders to sit directly opposite each other at a negotiation table. When receiving gifts it's considered impolite to open them. They are only opened after the guests have left
10. Don't offer a alcoholic beverage to a Muslim; yet when they ask for one, present it without further comment
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