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South China Sea

Best motorbike routes in Malaysia

By Vishnu Krishnan

Throttle heads, gun your engines because we’re taking you across the best and most scenic bike routes in Malaysia.

Malaysia, despite being a small country, has thousands of kilometers of paved roads that meander and criss-cross through small towns, cities, rural areas, coastal roads and majestic mountainous and forested regions.

Let’s Go!

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A useful map for plotting the first leg!

(Source: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/6040239)

 Starting in Kuala Lumpur, head north on the Gombak MRR2 highway and cut off at the Genting Highlands exit. You will know you are on the right path if you bypass the large golden statue of Murugan on your left at Batu Caves. If you’d like to make a pit stop here and check out the marvellous Batu Caves Hindu temple, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

As you ride up the Kuala Lumpur – Karak Expressway towards the foothills of the highlands, this is where the fun really begins. Once you pass the Genting Sempah checkpoint (they have lovely local food to sample and is the last major gas station for the stretch) the gradient will get serious and the temperature drops.

Near the summit of Genting, make sure you check out the Chin Swee Caves Temple filled with pagodas and Taoist motifs that is best seen at night when the red lanterns are lit.

At the peak you will reach the Hotel-Casino complexes. From here you, cruise back down to the Bentong exit. Beware of the winding roads, slippery gravel and mist. The Bentong trail is a beautiful mountain road surrounded by lush forests and wildlife. One major attraction here is the Sungai Chilling waterfall.

Follow the gorgeous mountain road all the way up to Fraser’s Hill which is known for its scenic, rolling green hills and chilly weather. If you aren’t done with the climbing yet, jump on the Ringlet — Sungai Koyan Highway or Route 102 for another 186km to the even more beautiful

Cameron Highlands. Strawberries and tea anyone?

Next, move further north to one of the most scenic routes in the country, the Gerik or East-West Highway. Starting at exit A171 or the town of Gerik, this 128km pilgrimage is a must for all avid bikers. Along the way to the small town of Jeli, you will go through a mountain trail with soft gradients and smooth curves. If you are lucky, you may spot wild elephants.

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Our pachyderm friends can sometimes be seen on the Gerik Highway!

(Source: http://chongtaofatt.blogspot.my/2006_05_01_archive.html)

From Jeli, travel on Route 4 via the East West Highway to Kota Bharu to commence the longest stretch of the journey, the Kota Bharu to Rompin coastal road.

While you are in Kota Bharu be sure to sample some of the scrumptious local delights such as Nasi Kerabu.

From Kota Bharu, ride 490km south along the E8 via the East Coast Expressway to Rompin. Along this path, you’ll see dozens of fishing villages, small coastal Kampongs, paddy fields and of course the South China Sea. Be mindful of rainy season as the East coast can be treacherous between October and March.

The ride itself is generally tame and relaxing, but there’s much to see and check out along the way, especially through the Terengganu coast which is full of seafood stops.

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The scenery along the coast is amazing on E8!

(Source: http://bikingmalaysia.blogspot.my/)

Once you reach the forested region of Rompin and stay the night on the beach, we’ll end the journey with a 292km cruise back to KL via Route 11. These roads are well maintained and provide a smooth journey returning home.

Do you know of other scenic roads and beautiful stretches of highway? Let us know on Facebook @malaysia.travel.my

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

Lets go, Borneo!

THE CURIOUS CASE OF WANDERLUST FEVER

Looking back now, waiting to board our plane back home, we still can’t believe that we actually did it!

The journey has been unbelievable to us, after months of planning and restless anticipation, we finally got to pack our travel gear, cameras a really really good powerbank (we’re millennials after all) and headed off for an adventure of a lifetime in Borneo!

For a month, we travelled across the South China Sea, to the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah; to experience the best they have to offer. We sought out the best experiences, to learn new interesting cultures eat tantalizing local cuisines. But, our main purpose was to really immerse ourselves in the adventure that awaited us.

Like you probably are now, we were tired and bored of our 9-5 working lives. Day in and day out of the office, which one of us hasn’t felt like living zombies before? We needed a break from the rat-race, away from the overbearing ambiance of the city. Living in metropolis had exhausted our senses.  A short respite from the never ending sights of cold glass skyscrapers and the screeching sounds of the passing traffic was all that we needed.

Crashing waves, chirping birds, cool sea breezes and warm sandy beaches; what do they all have in common?

Answer: They are all constant in our lunchbreak fantasies. If you won’t admit it, we will!

Bitten by the travel bug, we were your definite stereotypical Wanderlusters.

At first, we were skeptical of curing our wanderlust fever in Sabah and Sarawak. Even as local Malaysians, the two states were still a mystery to us as everything we’ve ever known about them were from school textbooks or local papers. But after reading great reviews online and hearing personal experiences from family members alike, we decided not to skip this one out.

Now that we’ve experienced it, we can say they are truly the hidden gems of Malaysian tourism.

INTO THE WILDS OF BORNEO

IMAGINE THIS.

You are now standing in the middle a 130-million-year old tropical rainforest, while your cityscape fades to the recesses of your mind, let it stay there. It is truly a breathtaking sight; you are surrounded by towering ancient trees while rays of sunlight warm your face through the rustling greens of the canopies. Said to not only have one of the most biodiverse rainforests, it is also one of the most culturally diverse places on the planet. There is so much to be discovered here in Borneo!

Sunset straight out of a dream! Miri, Sarawak

Sunset straight out of a dream! Miri, Sarawak

On our journey, we’ve passed through the enchanting forests of Bako National Park, had a little dance battle in the center of a drum circle at the Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak, swam in the clear waters of Semporna and trekked the Mountain View in Kinabalu Park, Sabah. Being the beach bums we are, we also hung out at some of the most pristine secluded beaches in Malaysia. That’s just us touching the surface of the water.

All things fresh and rare at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

All things fresh and rare at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

No picture in the world can do justice to Mount Kinabalu, Sabah

No picture in the world can do justice to Mount Kinabalu, Sabah

We saw rare Proboscis Monkeys in the lush greeneries of Danum Valley, and not to mention majestic Hornbills taking flight right in front of our eyes! We even saw the legendary Orangutan at the Matang Wildlife Centre and visited endangered Sunbears at The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. It’s literally the wildest we’ve ever been!

One thing we’ve learned from the trip is that the world has so much more to offer; if you show your interest in it. If there is anything we hope to accomplish with our Taming Borneo series, it is to encourage others to follow in our footsteps, and explore the world beyond the comfort of your front door.

Take action. Plan your trip, and cure that wanderlust fever!

If you have more questions regarding our Taming Borneo adventure, please do leave a comment in the comment section below, or start a discussion; tell us your personal Taming Borneo experience!

Also do follow along our adventure on our social media platforms:

Instagram: @MyTourismChannel or #tamingborneo         

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

A festival like no other

SINGING IN THE RAIN..FOREST WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL

Let’s just say that there was absolutely no way we were going into our Taming Borneo adventure and miss the highly anticipated Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF). If you’re a music enthusiast there’s no doubt you’ve heard about it. But if you haven’t, trust us, you’re going to want to read the rest of this entry, seriously.

Truth be told, we really didn’t know what to expect. Okay, we kinda did, but only from second hand experiences; reading travel blogs or hearing stories from our friends.

The only 3 things we were sure of were;

  • It’s an annual 3-day music festival, hosted by the Sarawak Tourism Board, at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching.
  • It brings international acts together with local indigenous acts to celebrate the diversity of music in the heart of the Bornean jungle.
  • It’s a totally awesome festival you have to go to #YOLO

To sum it up in a nutshell, RWMF, gives you a perfect blend of cultural and contemporary musical performances, chilled festival vibes, good local food, an all-around great crowd and ambiance to party away the weekend. But we’ll delve further into the details below.

Putting the full extent of our experience into words is just not possible, you’ll have to watch our video series to find out how lit this festival really is!

THE DEETS OF THE BEATS

The RWMF is usually held annually in the mid months of June, July or August (this year August) in the Sarawak Cultural Village, at the base of Mount Santubong, Kuching, Sarawak.

At its’ inception, RWMF was established in 1998 and drew a crowd of only 300 people. But now, it draws an annual crowd of about 20,000 a year, making RWMF a front runner in local and international music calendars!

The festival usually features approximately 20 local and international bands over the course of the weekend. The performances range from traditional, world fusion and contemporary music. Invited performers are specially curated by organizers to give audiences the musical ambiance in accordance to the creative direction of the festival.

RWMF has a format of afternoon workshops; promoting engagement between performers and attendees, while the main concerts are held at night, under the star speckled sky of the Bornean Rainforest.

Go crazy, no one will judge you!

Go crazy, no one will judge you!

Lastly, fun fact, if you’re an environmentalist, the RWMF also has a record for raising environmental awareness with its recycling initiatives, tree planting campaigns, and providing shuttle buses for festival goers to reduce carbon emission in the air. #winning

TRACES OF THE TRANCE

The festival runs on a world class level of operation, operating on tight scheduling and strict regulations, it still manages to hold energetic performances and engaging afternoon workshops. It was really easy for us to warm up to the energy of the music and the crowd.

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The afternoon workshops have got to be the highlight of our experience. We participated in a drum circle and enjoyed a workshop called “The Breath of Life” showcasing delicate sounds of wind instruments in music. When the festival promises a “smashing weekend in the Bornean rainforest”, they deliver.

Besides the eargasmic performances, we had the pleasure to explore the village with vendors scattered around selling local dishes, art and traditional handicrafts. Of course, being the foodies we are, we treated ourselves to a variety of food and beverages sold at the festival grounds.

You won’t believe who we met at the Sapeh booth!

You won’t believe who we met at the Sapeh booth!

Overall, the festival definitely lives up to the hype and definitely sets the bar high for other festivals around!

A night to remember

A night to remember

THE OTHER FESTIVALS AROUND

If your schedule prohibits you from attending RWMF, don’t worry there are plenty of other great events that travellers look out for throughout the year in Sarawak. Here’s a few we find interesting:

The Borneo International Kite Festival

Borneo International Kite Festival is held in the town of Bintulu.  The huge windy open space of the Old Bintulu Airport that faces the South China Sea provides ideal conditions for consistent flight of a vast selection of colourful kites. The sky would be colourfully lit as thousands of colourful kites are flown at the festival, with the latest number being 2,500 diamond kites. The festival also holds a record in the Malaysia Book of Records for forming the longest arch kite tunnel of 500 metres.

You can expect 400 kiters from 25 countries participating in this festival with cultural and artiste performances being held in the evening.

Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta

This event is participated by nearly 70 countries around the world with over 50 million participants in Asia alone, particularly from China and Southeast Asia.  It was also adopted as part of the ASEAN Games 2010 in Guangzhou, China.

The Dragon Boat Race continues to be an important event in the tourism calendar of countries involved in dragon boat races around the world.  The event in Sarawak attracts global participation and promotes local tourism, thereby increasing tourist arrivals.

Borneo Jazz

Another highly anticipated music festival, the Borneo Jazz Festival is one of the longest running Jazz festivals in the region. There will be two nights of four performances each by regionally and internationally recognised jazz musicians.


If you have more questions regarding our Taming Borneo adventure, please do leave a comment in the comment section below, or start a discussion; tell us your personal Taming Borneo experience!

Also do follow along our adventure on our social media platforms:

Instagram: @MyTourismChannel or #tamingborneo  

Catch up on the latest episodes by clicking on the thumbnails below:

Sarawak : EP1

Sarawak : EP1

Episode

Sarawak : EP2

Episode 3

Sarawak : EP3

Sarawak : EP4

Sarawak : EP4

Sarawak : EP5

Sarawak : EP5

Sarawak : EP6

Sarawak : EP6

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

LETS GO, BORNEO!

 

THE CURIOUS CASE OF WANDERLUST FEVER

Looking back now, waiting to board our plane back home, we still can’t believe that we actually did it!

The journey has been unbelievable to us, after months of planning and restless anticipation, we finally got to pack our travel gear, cameras a really really good powerbank (we’re millennials after all) and headed off for an adventure of a lifetime in Borneo!

For a month, we travelled across the South China Sea, to the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah; to experience the best they have to offer. We sought out the best experiences, to learn new interesting cultures eat tantalizing local cuisines. But, our main purpose was to really immerse ourselves in the adventure that awaited us.

Like you probably are now, we were tired and bored of our 9-5 working lives. Day in and day out of the office, which one of us hasn’t felt like living zombies before? We needed a break from the rat-race, away from the overbearing ambiance of the city. Living in metropolis had exhausted our senses.  A short respite from the never ending sights of cold glass skyscrapers and the screeching sounds of the passing traffic was all that we needed.

Crashing waves, chirping birds, cool sea breezes and warm sandy beaches; what do they all have in common?

Answer: They are all constants in our lunchbreak fantasies. If you won’t admit it, we will!

Bitten by the travel bug, we were your definite stereotypical Wanderlusters.

At first, we were skeptical of curing our wanderlust fever in Sabah and Sarawak. Even as local Malaysians, the two states were still a mystery to us as everything we’ve ever known about them were from school textbooks or local papers. But after reading great reviews online and hearing personal experiences from family members alike, we decided not to skip this one out.

Now that we’ve experienced it, we can say they are truly the hidden gems of Malaysian tourism.

INTO THE WILDS OF BORNEO

IMAGINE THIS.

You are now standing in the middle a 130-million-year old tropical rainforest, while your cityscape fades to the recesses of your mind, let it stay there. It is truly a breathtaking sight; you are surrounded by towering ancient trees while rays of sunlight warm your face through the rustling greens of the canopies. Said to not only have one of the most biodiverse rainforests, it is also one of the most culturally diverse places on the planet. There is so much to be discovered here in Borneo!

Sunset straight out of a dream! Miri, Sarawak

Sunset straight out of a dream! Miri, Sarawak

On our journey, we’ve passed through the enchanting forests of Bako National Park, had a little dance battle in the center of a drum circle at the Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak, swam in the clear waters of Semporna and trekked the Mountain View in Kinabalu Park, Sabah. Being the beach bums we are, we also hung out at some of the most pristine secluded beaches in Malaysia. That’s just us touching the surface of the water.

All things fresh and rare at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

All things fresh and rare at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

 

No picture in the world can do justice to Mount Kinabalu, Sabah

No picture in the world can do justice to Mount Kinabalu, Sabah

We saw rare Proboscis Monkeys in the lush greeneries of Danum Valley, and not to mention majestic Hornbills taking flight right in front of our eyes! We even saw the legendary Orangutan at the Matang Wildlife Centre and visited endangered Sunbears at The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. It’s literally the wildest we’ve ever been!

One thing we’ve learned from the trip is that the world has so much more to offer; if you show your interest in it. If there is anything we hope to accomplish with our Taming Borneo series, it is to encourage others to follow in our footsteps, and explore the world beyond the comfort of your front door.

Take action. Plan your trip, and cure that wanderlust fever!

If you have more questions regarding our Taming Borneo adventure, please do leave a comment in the comment section below, or start a discussion; tell us your personal Taming Borneo experience!

Also do follow along our adventure on our social media platforms:

Instagram: @MyTourismChannel or #tamingborneo         

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

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

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

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-rasa-ria-kk

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

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

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: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/