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.“
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. “
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.
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.
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.