Lingering at Lang Tengah Island

By Anis Rozalina Ramli

On the 45-minute boat journey from Merang, Terengganu, it was evident which of the many islands on the horizon belonged to Pulau Lang Tengah. It was the only one circled by a lone eagle, or lang, in flight.

The island’s geographical location, sandwiched between Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Redang, explains the other part of its name.

Like the middle child in a family, Pulau Lang Tengah does suffer somewhat from the middle child syndrome. It is often overlooked in favor of Pulau Redang’s famous marine park and Pulau Perhentian’s Long Beach – both having earned a following among tourists and backpackers from foreign countries.

When it comes to Pulau Lang Tengah, even the locals in Terengganu could only offer a blank stare as to its location.

Beautiful Rock formation on Pulau Lang Tengah

Well, perhaps, this disregard is not such a bad thing because, in the end, it puts Pulau Lang Tengah where it should be – left for the quiet enjoyment of those who truly appreciate the peaceful nature of this secluded gem in the South China Sea. Because unlike its siblings, Pulau Lang Tengah is best enjoyed unhurriedly, like that slow sip of fine champagne or the melting of a truly fine piece of chocolate on the tongue.

Without the crowd of lounging backpackers, swaggering divers, and tired-looking families, you get the sense that the island is all yours. There is no one around to block the sun while you sunbathe, no one to elbow at the buffet counter, no one to fight with over the last deck chair. With only a handful of resort operators spaced out on separate beaches on the island, there really is space for you to breathe and relax, whether on land or in the water.

Of course, when in the water, you might have to jostle about with the schools of fish, but again, that’s not a bad thing. Not when you have colorful parrot fish, silver needlefish, and sergeant fish coming up close to inspect their new swimming partner.

With just a mask, fins and, for safety, a life jacket, one can already enjoy what Pulau Lang Tengah serves up best – abundant marine life in its beautiful blue waters. Most resort operators here offer full-board package deals that already include a few snorkeling trips around the island.

Snorkeling off the beach easily offers encounters with colourful fish and corals. With a boat, snorkelers can explore the underwater world at other parts around the island like Batu Bulan, Karang Nibong and Blue Coral where the best snorkeling sites are Fry fish, silvery pompano, red-breasted Maori wrasse, snapper and masked rabbitfish are among the common underwater denizens. The various types of coral here include a table, boulder, brain, cabbage and staghorn corals.

There have been sightings of blacktip sharks around the rocky outcrops in the sea by snorkelers. Harmless, the guys at the dive shop say. Still, a close encounter with this shark may stir memories of another dorsal fin that struck fear in many. Besides spotting a shark or two, the other highlight would be to see turtles coming up to lay eggs on the beach at Turtle Bay. It happens but is a rare occasion. Guests can check with the resort operator for details.

For an even closer look at the underwater world, there is diving to be done. Most of the resorts on the island have their own dive shop with PADI-certified dive guides. The ten or so dive sites around the island are colourful feasts for the eyes.

So yes, despite being the hidden gem that it is, Pulau Lang Tengah has plenty to keep its guests occupied. But then, who cares about all that when you’ve come to escape from it all.





Article source:

A Pit Stop for Motorsports Fans

Motorsports fans can now make a pit stop for some rest and relaxation at Hype Motorsports Hotel Nilai, the first ever motorsports hotel concept in the world!

The hotel is located merely 15 minutes away from Malaysia’s heart of racing, the Sepang International Circuit and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), providing easy access for guests who are always on the go.

Legend Hollywood Twin

It has 75 motorsports-themed bedrooms for you to choose from, each complete with motorsports-inspired décor. Some rooms are themed around legends like Michael Schumacher and Valentino Rossi – so if you’re a die-hard fan of these racing celebrities, you can enjoy a good slumber with them in these rooms.

Unique interior decoration such as a mirror made of motorcycle tyres and a bucket seat chair — usually found in sport cars — at the desk in your hotel room are some of the thoughtful touches that pander to your love for racing!

And keeping the motorsport theme in mind, the hotel gives you access to motorsports satellite channels on your television so you wouldn’t miss any racing action from around the world.

For a small hotel, it does well in providing some nice standard facilities usually found in bigger properties – you’ll find an outdoor garden bar and a wading pool on the rooftop, perfect for private parties or those of you who are looking to drink in the sights of the beautiful sky. They’ll even throw in a free bike or car wash for some lucky guests!

At the Paddock Club, guests can enjoy delicious food cooked up by the hotel’s excellent chef. And not to worry, the café can be converted into an entertainment outlet if you are looking to hang out with your friends and family.

Motorsports fans can browse through the Motorsports Showroom near the lobby lounge to get a look at a selection of superbikes from some of the most recognisable brands in the industry. There is even the Pit Stop, a merchandise outlet where guests can pick up some basic riding and driving gears along with other motorsports-related souvenirs.

Though Hype Motorsports Hotel Nilai is technically located in Negeri Sembilan, it’s still well-connected to the heart of Kuala Lumpur city via the well-paved highways. Those into shopping can drive down to Mitsui Outlet Park and Nilai 3 – where you can get branded goods at the former and wholesale items at the latter. The Kuala Lumpur International Airport and sister KLIA2 for low-cost carrier flights, are also nearby. In fact, Putrajaya the administrative capital of Malaysia is merely a 20-minute drive away, where you can admire the beautiful architecture of government buildings and bridges, take in the greenery of the various parks, enjoy a spot of birdwatching at its wetlands, or simply reflect by the lakeside.

For more information, please visit


Article source:

Luxury beach holidays in Malaysia

Imagine staring at the ocean, lying on a deck chair or sitting by the infinity pool while sipping on your fresh juice? If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place. Malaysia offers great options for a wonderful luxury holiday by the sea.



Pangkor Laut Resort, Pangkor Island 
Pangkor Laut presents the perfect weekend getaway, far from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur. This private island is next to the bigger and busier Pangkor Island, just three hours from the capital. The luxurious resort includes 140 villas and suites and has 300 acres of rainforest as a playground. If you feel like splurging, you can stay in the huge Pavarotti Suite. The tenor sang at the launch of the resort in 1994 and said the island was “paradise”. Other celebrities who have stayed here include Michael Schumacher, Eric Cantona and Michelle Yeoh.

More information: Website • Image source



Westin Langkawi Resort Spa
Tucked away from the duty-free shops and tourist areas of down town Langkawi, Westin is an oasis of high living. For a relaxed stay, take a stroll along the private beach or just lay on a chaise lounge by one of the swimming pools. The more adventurous can go on an excursion around the Langkawi geopark. The waterfalls and dense vegetation will delight nature lovers. At the water sport centre, you can try your hand at kayaking or windsurfing on the Andaman Sea. Families will also love the kids club, with daily activities for children.

More information: Website • Image source



Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort, Kota Kinabalu
From the morning coffee to the evening dinner, indulge yourself with striking views of the ocean. This sumptuous complex on the coast of Sabah in East Malaysia is a luxurious dreamy village. You can dive in the South China Sea or discover the National Park of Mount Kinabalu, before relaxing at the spa and wellness centre. Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort also has its own golf club, which has been moulded to match its beautiful surrounds.

More information: Website • Image source



Sea Home Boutique, Penang
Staying at Sea Home Boutique is like travelling back in time. The furniture and antiques are a blend of Victorian and Peranakan styles, a reminder of the rich history of this place. Sea Home is in Tanjung Bungah, a former fishing village on Penang Island. It is the base of the Penang Water Sports Centre and close to Batu Ferringhi, a popular beach destination with one of the most iconic night markets in Malaysia. The capital George Town is just 20 minutes away.

More information: Website • Image source



Batu Batu – Johor Bahru
This luxury resort is on the private island of Tengah on the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia. Nestled within the rainforest and surrounded by pristine waters, the resort is the only development on the island. They have a turtle conservation camp plus a dive centre. They also programme activities for kids. After diving, you can enjoy a meal with your family and watch the sunset by the ocean or spoil yourself at the spa. Batu Batu is great for a family getaway. It’s also ideal for those across the border in Singapore.

More information: Website • Image source


Article source:

Riverside country Italian

Truth or myth: Don’t flip a Simply Roasted 7-star Seabass over when one side has been eaten; usually mislay a bone.Truth or myth: Don’t flip a Simply Roasted 7-star Seabass over when one side has been eaten; usually mislay a bone.

Satisfying, New York-style dining – in Shanghai.

NO consternation a expats here demeanour so self-satisfied.� The Lord Restrain leaned behind in his low chair in a “farm chic� loft during Mercato, located on Shanghai’s Bund.

“I would be, too, if we could come here to eat any day,� he declared, while scanning a large, open dining space. Here, reclaimed timber and comfortable leather tones element unprotected steel, iron and glass, and smashing cuisine.

On a cold Saturday dusk in January, it was positively an mouth-watering venue and was stuffing adult quick by 7pm.

Hardly surprising, then, that though reservations we couldn’t get a Mercato list during luminary cook Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s recently non-stop restaurant. The famed three-Michelin-star cook already had a participation in a building with his glorious dining namesake restaurant, Jean-Georges. So we took a window list offering nearby a bar, and with a not-too-restricted perspective of a world-famous waterway.

“The many glorious starters in decades,â€? admitted a Lord, not withdrawal a singular particle on his plate. we had to agree. The Housemade Ricotta with Cranberry Compote, Olive Oil and Grilled Bread (78 renminbi/RM38.20) was not what we expected; it looked elementary and, good … rustic. But a light and tawny ring of smoothly flavoured ricotta surfaced with a tasty cranberry baked solemnly with sugarine brought a palatable multiple of tastes and textures with any uninterrupted mouthful.

The Wood-oven Roasted Asparagus Fontina and Prosciutto (88 renminbi/RM43) that followed a cranberry fair was no reduction impressive. The simply grilled greens wrapped in soothing slices of prosciutto were crunchy, nonetheless moist. Slathered in olive oil, all it indispensable for a pointy spice was a extract of a lemon, and a crowd was already waiting.

The Lord is a large fan of Italian food and so, with a wood-fire oven adding regard to an already acceptable dining room, we could not assistance though collect a Spicy Pork Sausage, Kale and Pecorino Pizza (118 renminbi/RM57.70). And a country pizza did not disappoint.

This residence speciality was simply surfaced with sausage slices and kale, while a thin-crust pizza was surprisingly chewy and charmingly charred in spots. The mix of parmesan, mozzarella and pecorina cheeses artfully married their flavours, ensuing in a comfortingly artistic taste.

Aided by eyeglasses of Italian white, inexhaustible and cold usually right, a dusk was usually beginning. The wealthy mélange of Shanghai, both internal and expatriate, were in justification as they came for an dusk of bonhomie with partners, friends and families. Noted a Lord Restrain, “Elitist, magnificent fine-dining restaurants should be transposed by places like this.â€? “Like what?â€? we asked. He pondered and proclaimed: “Casual … stylish … unequivocally good food.â€?

By this time, a Simply Roasted 7-star Seabass (38 renminbi/RM18.60 per 100g) had arrived. Before we could even set my booze potion down, a tip half of a roasted fish was gone.

“Should we spin over a fish?� we asked, with some-more than a spirit of sarcasm.

“No!â€? He confided in me: “I was told by many Chinese friends over cooking that we should take a bone out, and not spin a fish over, generally if we are nearby a port. So that a fishermen’s boats will not spin over.â€? He paused and looked during me: “A myth, maybe?â€? Err …

The Spicy Pork Sausage, Kale and Pecorino Pizza is a residence speciality atMercato.The Spicy Pork Sausage, Kale and Pecorino Pizza is a residence speciality at

Roasted with sage, rosemary, tomato and lemon, a drum stewing in a prohibited salsa was basic and light. The transparent sauce, with sour hints of lemon, offering a uninformed savour to element a uninformed fish.

Chef Vongerichten’s signature aptitude for balancing flavours and textures was during work here. The flesh, really simply smashed in a crispy shell, slipped simply off a bone and shortly a fish had slipped simply off a plate, too. “The tomatoes are a small burnt …â€? a Lord announced as he popped another crowd into his mouth,â€?… though really juicy.â€?

Since a menu consists of Coastal Italian Cuisine, we motionless to finish a dish with a reliable Tiramisu (58 renminbi/RM28.40). This valid a correct choice, as a portion was some-more than adequate for two, even dual with such a conspicuous honeyed tooth. After such a good introduction to ambience and texture, unfortunately, a tiramisu didn’t live adult to a expectations. Not usually was it sheer and understated, a bottom was somewhat dry and it was formidable to finish.

Nevertheless, a unsatisfactory dessert did not detract us from a entirely beguiling evening. Great grill ambience, overwhelming views of night mountainous skyscrapers unaware and reflected in a shimmering river. Moreover, we was rather gratified as we had usually taken one punch of a dessert and left a rest to a Lord, who was eating it with most restraint.

“This is really relaxing,� pronounced a Lord, slumping behind in his chair, his mustard sweater resisting agreeably with a chair’s orange immature upholstery. “You won’t feel that approach when a check arrives,� we replied. With dual eyeglasses of wine, fish weighed by a gram and dual glorious coffees, a dusk set us behind roughly RM500.

But Lord Restrain now looked flattering cocksure to me. As if to confirm, he leaned behind in his low chair in Mercato’s loft, and muttered: “Ve-e-ery satisfying.�

Article source:

Stalking sea mammals in Langkawi

Biologists are collecting information on cetaceans in Langkawi in a bid to know how best to strengthen them.

WHENEVER Langkawi is mentioned, it customarily conjures adult images of sandy beaches, rainforests, waterfalls, mangroves and duty-free shopping. Few visitors realize that a waters around Langkawi’s 104 islands are home to dolphins, porpoises and even whales.

As a sea biologist, Dr Louisa Ponnampalam hopes to lift recognition about sea mammals that live around Pulau Langkawi, Kedah

Marine biologist Dr Louisa Ponnampalam, co-founder of a MareCet Research Organisation that is concerned in sea reptile research, hopes that this will change and is operative tough to boost recognition and collect information about sea mammals in a island off Kedah.

“If we can do good investigate here in Langkawi, afterwards we can start to consider about starting identical investigate projects in places like Penang and Perak,” she says.

Last month, she conducted a week-long consult of sea mammals with volunteers and members of Langkawi Dolphin Research, a plan of MareCet. The organization derives a name from a Latin mare – definition sea – and a contraction of a word cetacean, that is a common noun for whales, dolphins and porpoises. As a name suggests, these are a animals that are a intent of Ponnampalam’s study.

“We’ve been doing this given 2010. The some-more information we collect, a some-more we will know about a habits of these mammals in their healthy environment. We can use this believe to know how best to strengthen them.”

Some of a information collected during a margin outing includes new information on a placement of sea mammals around Langkawi, including estimates of organization distance and a transformation and contentment of these groups. By comparing photos from prior margin trips, Ponnampalam has shown that some particular humpback dolphins seem to cite certain sites around Langkawi, while others tend to pierce around a archipelago a bit more.

When asked because a organization chose to concentration on Langkawi, she replies: “We had already listened of utterly a few sightings in Langkawi, so we knew there were sea mammals here, though there was no arguable information to contend accurately how many and of what species. Since Langkawi is one of Malaysia’s tip tourism destinations, we felt it critical to know a dynamics of how land-based and water-based tellurian activities might be inspiring a animals and their sea environment. The fact that Langkawi is simply permitted compared to a islands on a easterly seashore of a peninsula creates a difference, too.”

As good as spending time during sea looking for cetaceans, members of MareCet are also actively concerned in substantiating a discourse with internal fishermen who are also an critical source of first-hand information about a participation and poise of sea mammals. MareCet provides discipline to them on protected fishing practices, utterly a forms of nets and hooks to be used to equivocate injuring or murdering sea mammals. Their website also provides recommendation for tourism operators, that embody not permitting anyone to feed, hold or float with a animals.

Living her dream

Ponnampalam is a energetic immature lady who clearly has a loyalty and expostulate required for her selected career.

“This is what I’ve always wanted to do,” she says. “I am vital my dream. When we was 13, we told everybody that we would go to Hawaii and investigate to turn a sea biologist and that we would set adult my possess investigate trickery behind in Malaysia. we haven’t utterly achieved a second partial yet, though MareCet is a starting point.”

Dr Louisa Ponnampalam estimate a dugong skull

Although she complicated in Hawaii and Scotland and did investigate for her PhD in Oman, she always designed on returning to Malaysia. “I adore to travel, though Malaysia is my home. And a sea mammals here are vagrant to be studied. Marine biology is still unequivocally immature in Malaysia. Compared to other countries, there is still a lot to do here. That creates it sparkling to be a sea biologist in Malaysia. In a way, we are pioneers.”

During final month’s survey, a organization sighted Indo-Pacific finless porpoises, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and Bryde’s whales around Langkawi as good as Irrawaddy dolphins tighten to Kuala Perlis. Group sizes for a dolphins and porpoises ranged from one to 150 people though for whales, usually one or dual were seen during a time.

I was propitious adequate to be invited to join a consult organisation on dual of their margin trips. Both days, we set off before 7am and did not get behind until 10pm. Most of that time was spent out on a water.

“It’s a existence check for some of a immature students who are deliberation a career in sea biology,” says Ponnampalam. “My friends say, ‘Oh, you’re so propitious to go out on a boat’ though they don’t see a prolonged hours we put in. Not everybody is willing, or able, to spend time in such simple conditions, or eat peanut butter sandwiches any day,” she says with a laugh.

Most of her days on house are spent in a high chair that reminds me of a tennis umpire’s chair. From that vantage point, there is a larger margin of vision, though it is burdensome to keep examination a waves for any pointer of transformation in a water. Every call and shade creates we consternation if something is there.

The initial morning, after hardly half an hour out of Kuah harbour, we mark something. The vessel idles to a halt. The overpower toll in my ears after a engine cuts out is shortly transposed by a dash of waves opposite a fibreglass carcass of a boat.

“Indo-Pacific finless porpoise – three, presumably five,” calls out Ponnampalam from her perch, looking by a span of binoculars. This information is remarkable down, along with a GPS coordinates. Visibility and call bloat tallness according to a Beaufort scale are jotted down as good and we take measurements of depth, H2O temperature, salinity, turn of dissolved oxygen and a participation of any other boats in a vicinity. All this tender information will be fed into a mechanism during a finish of a day and will yield Ponnampalam with copiousness of work during her post in a Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences in Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.

“We’ve seen vast groups of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins during this outing and they seem to include especially of mother-calf pairs, maybe a plan of ‘safety in numbers’. We also celebrated unequivocally high-energy amicable and passionate activity in a groups of humpback dolphins that we encountered.”

Helpful technology

This year, another vessel has assimilated in a survey. Dr Satoko Kimura of Nagoya University in Japan is an acoustics dilettante conducting investigate on freshwater ?nless porpoises found in a Yangtze River in China and has come to Langkawi to serve her research.

“We are unequivocally propitious that she can join us on this margin trip,” says Ponnampalam. “It’s a initial time that we are regulating acoustic methods to investigate dolphins in Malaysia.”

I join Kimura’s vessel in a afternoon. The skipper is a exhausted fisherman who spends his nights fishing for squid. we assistance Kimura keep him awake, though spasmodic he falls defunct and a vessel steers extravagantly off course. Her vessel travels some-more solemnly than a lead vessel and trails a prolonged wire with specifically designed microphones attached.

“Dolphins and porpoises make sounds all a time,” says Kimura. “If there is bad visibility, they use sounds to let any other know where they are. They promulgate in unequivocally high-frequency sounds that humans can't hear. We can hear 16-20 hertz though Yangtze finless porpoises can hear adult to 125 hertz.”

There are dual NBHF (Narrow-Band High-Frequency) units on a cable, any with dual microphones. Analysing a sounds by triangulation can give a accurate plcae of a reptile and, in a tiny group, give an thought of a series of people present. This information will after be compared to Ponnampalam’s visible sightings.

“Maybe she can see dual or 3 dolphins though a acoustic readings can infrequently uncover that there were some-more people next a surface. This gives us some-more accurate data,” says Kimura.

Other than a few porpoises in a morning, we don’t see anything else for a rest of a day. The solid tranquil sound of a vessel engine and a rocking of a waves collaborate to peace me to sleep. we arise to find that a breeze has picked up. White crests are zipping opposite a peaks of a waves as a continue hovers between 3 and 4 on a Beaufort scale.

GPS coordinates have been pre-set and we follow invisible transect lines along a sea, trimming from roughly all a approach south to Pulau Payar, where fishing trawlers float only over a limit of a designated sea park, tighten to Kuala Perlis in a north, only a integrate of nautical miles bashful of a limit with Thailand. It is dim by a time we lapse to Kuah harbour.

Biggest fish

The following evening, Ponnampalam tells me that a organisation sighted 152 Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. This was something we unequivocally wanted to see, so we assimilated a organisation again a following day in a hopes of sighting something similar. This time, a transect lines were shorter and ranged some-more to a south of Langkawi, trimming Pulau Tuba, Pulau Dayang Bunting and dozens of smaller islands with removed dull beaches and engaging stone formations. we detected tools of Langkawi that we had never seen before, good off a paths of a customary island-hopping tours that are so renouned with a island’s visitors.

I was travelling in Kimura’s boat. Ponnampalam and her organisation had reached a finish of a line and were watchful for us to arrive. Suddenly everybody was station adult and indicating during something in a water. we saw see a few ripples, though couldn’t tell what it was.

“A whale shark,” shouts Ponnampalam excitedly. we took from her feeling that this was something utterly exceptional.

Our boatman took us in a bit closer to a ripples, though we still couldn’t see anything solely a reflected glisten off a aspect of a water. Then unexpected it was there right beside a boat, hardly a metre underneath a surface. we was dumbfounded by a distance of it – roughly as prolonged as a vessel and some-more than large adequate to overturn us if it should so wish, though a whale shark seemed calm to let us admire a rows of star-like patterns on a behind and give us a time to snap a few photos. The whale shark is a world’s biggest fish and can magnitude adult to 14m. The quadruped we speckled is roughly half that size.

After a few minutes, it dived deeper and afterwards a aspect ripples seemed serve out. The boatmen incited their boats and we headed behind towards a categorical island.

“According to internal fishermen, they are found nearby Langkawi from Sep to February,” says Ponnampalam .

The following day, a MareCet organisation done dual some-more whale shark sightings in further to all a other information collected over a week.

Malaysia is a nautical republic and a fish-eating nation. It depends on a health of a waters to feed a race and say a fisheries. In sequence to strengthen a nautical assets, some-more has to be accepted about these formidable ecosystems and that requires dedicated researchers like Ponnampalam and her organisation and a comforts required to do their work.

“I wish that we can lift recognition of a significance of sea charge in Malaysia and that a work we are doing will someday materialize into a permanent investigate trickery here in Langkawi,” says Ponnampalam. – Marc de Faoite

Much of MareCet’s appropriation is now contingent on investigate grants from Australia and Universiti Malaya. To continue a research, it welcomes contributions, both financial and in kind, from people and corporations. Learn some-more about MareCet during

Map: Pulau Langkawi, Kedah

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Article source: