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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Beaches in Malaysia's Perak State

lumut jetty 4
lumut jetty 4 (Photo credit: faalifyazai)
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Mention beaches in Malaysia, and thought automatically goes to the East Coast of the peninsula. However, if you only have a short weekend for a break, the only snag to visiting the East Coast is the long travelling distance by road.
Despair not! The beaches in the southern coastline of Perak around Lumut, and the offshore island of Pangkor offers several unspoiled beaches that are more easily accessible. Furthermore, they can be visited all-year round, and accommodation caters to both the budget conscious and the well-heeled.
Lumut lies 78 km southwest of Ipoh; though it is a holiday destination by itself, it is also the jumping off point to Pangkor Island and its sister Pangkor Laut Island. Travelling to Lumut from Ipoh, the State capital, takes slightly more than two hours, with scenic view of road meandering through coconut plantations in the Pusing district, where many of the palms are tapped to make toddy -- an alcoholic beverage with a strong kick. As one approaches Lumut, which lies on the estuary of the Dindings River, mangrove swamps with long-tailed macaques whiz past on both sides of the road.
Upon entering Lumut, an archway greets you. During the 8th and 9th centuries A.D., when the Buddhist-Hindu kingdom of Gangga Negara was at its zenith, Lumut was an important fishing village. After the collapse of Gangga Negara, Lumut declined into a hideout for pirates. In the late 1970's, Lumut grew in importance again when the Royal Malaysian Navy established its base here. A must-visit is the Naval Museum which is filled with ancient weapons and maritime equipment.
A spin around Lumut takes only minutes, which is tucked between Ungku Busu Hill and the Manjung Straits. The hill was named after a local warrior who led a ferocious battle against Lumut's pirates in the 1800's. Along Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, banks, money-changers and a tourist information centre hums with life. At the northern end of Jalan Titi Panjang, yachts bob about in the marina of the Perak Yacht Club. A handful of budget hotels, two first-class resorts, stores selling coral and shell handicrafts, seafood restaurants and a seemingly incongruous eight-metre tall windmill complete the charming picture of the town. Why a windmill in Lumut? Well, in 1641, after the Dutch had conquered Malacca from the Portuguese, they made ineffectual attempts to control Perak's tin trade by establishing a fort in Pangkor Island. At the jetty, ferries depart to Pangkor Island and Pangkor Laut Island. There are also connections to Belawan, Medan's port, in Sumatra.
Seven kilometres from Lumut lies Teluk Batik Beach, a crescent-shaped sandy stretch. There are chalets, food stalls, public changing rooms, a children's playground and speed-boat operators. Situated six kilometres from the main road leading to Lumut, Teluk Rubiah Beach has great appeal for golfers. The Royal Teluk Rubiah Country Club offers an 18-hole course tucked between the emerald sea and verdant hills. Another interesting mainland beach is Pasir Panjang Beach which stretches 6 km from the northern banks of the Dindings River to Pantai Remis. From January to July, the Green Turtle and Olive Ridley Turtle make this beach their breeding ground. The Segari Turtle Hatchery (opens from 10am - 5pm) is one place to be guaranteed of seeing these creatures.
Pangkor Island has great historical significance in Perak's history as a treaty was signed in 1874 aboard a British gunboat on the waters of this island, which allowed the British to appoint a British Resident to rule the State. The island's terrain consists of rocky promontories that form placid bays fringed by glassy sands while its forest-carpeted summit offers a panoramic view of the Straits of Dindings. There is an airstrip north of the island which serves chartered flights.
Visitors usually stop at Pangkor Town, a settlement filled with budget inns, coffee shops and operators of van taxis. A round-the-island trip can be booked with these van taxis. South of the town stand the ruins of a Dutch fort, which was built in 1670 as a garrison for soldiers. Destroyed by in 1690 by Panglima Kulub, a local warrior, it was rebuilt in 1743, but 5 years later, it was abandoned after Dutch influence in the area declined. Nearby, there is a boulder with the year 1743 inscribed on it as well as a drawing of a tiger attacking a boy -- a sad memorial to the young Dutch victim who was the son of Dutch dignitary.
Most of Pangkor's beaches are at its western coastline. The crescent-shaped Pasir Bogak is extremely popular, and has a wide range of accommodation to suit all budgets. More isolated and less crowded beaches are found at Teluk Ketapang, Teluk Nipah, Coral Bay, Tortoise Bay, Pantai Puteri Dewi and Belanga Bay.
Fringed by palms, Teluk Ketapang offers a chance to see leatherback turtles during the months of May, June and July. Pantai Puteri Dewi is associated with the legend of a Sumatran princess who leapt to her death from a cliff as a result of a failed love affair. Formerly called Golden Sands Beach, it is now a private beach owned by a five-star hotel. Non-hotel guests can also use the beach but have to pay a charge. Coral Bay is excellent for snorkelling -- it is blessed with crystal clear waters and lots of marine life -- but one has clamber over rocks at the northern end of Teluk Nipah to reach it.
When one is satiated with the sun, sea and sand, there are other diversions such as enjoying seafood or taking in the sights of fishing villages on the east coast where boat-building thrives.
For exclusivity, hop over to Pangkor Laut Island, just two kilometres away. In 1999, Condo Naste, an international travel magazine, voted Pangkor Laut Island as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. World famous tenor Luciano Pavarotti who performed at the opening of the island's sole resort - and it's extremely up-market -- remarked: "It's so beautiful that I almost cried." - enough said about this island! There are three excellent beaches. Emerald Bay is ideal of swimming; Coral beach is a haven for snorkellers; Royal Bay is suitable for windsurfing.
About 10 nautical miles south of Pangkor Island, an archipelago of islands known as the Pulau Sembilan offers the thrill of deep-sea fishing. You can land a marlin, sting-ray or even a swordfish in the waters of these islands. Dive spots bursting with corals include the channel between Rumbia island and Lalang island; and that between Buluh Island and Saga island.
For more details about the author, please visit his website at http://ewepaikleong.blogspot.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Paik-Leong_Ewe

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Malaysia's Top 10 Honeymoon Spots

Clear waters of Salang Beach at Tioman IslandClear waters of Salang Beach at Tioman Island (Photo credit: Wikipedia)http://www.WebDirectory2u.com - World Fastest Growing Web Directory Listing
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Honeymoon trends among jet setters have changed over the years. Stays in European castles and Caribbean tropical islands are a thing of the past. Today's couples are seeking new ways to celebrate their union as well as new destinations. You can't go wrong in seeking Malaysia as a honeymoon destination given the current strength of the US dollar against the ringgit and so many beautiful locations in the country to choose from. Whatever your taste, here are Malaysia's top ten honeymoon spots, as in the opinion of the writer.
No 1. Pangkor Laut Island, Perak
"I almost cried when I saw how beautiful God has made this paradise." So said world-famous tenor Luciano Pavarotti of Pangkor Laut Island, who performed at the opening of the island's exclusive resort in 1994. Then, in 1999, Conde Naste magazine voted this privately owned retreat as one of the top ten in the world. The island's Emerald Bay, with its superb sands and water, is a pure paradise for couples to swim and sunbathe. The beach is also where Spencer Chapman made his escape in a submarine from the Japanese during World War II, as recounted in his best-selling novel "The Jungle Is Neutral." The waters of Coral Beach are an underwater splendour with its magnificent coral reefs, while Royal Bay is perfect for windsurfing. Luxurious chalets on the island are a mix of Malay and Balinese architecture, and are romantically set out into the sea or on the hillside. Couples can expect only the best facilities to pamper them, such as jacuzzi, sauna, spa and posh restaurants. Pangkor Laut Island is a forty-minute boat ride from the coastal town of Lumut in Perak State. If money is no object, you can charter an airplane to land on neighbouring Pangkor Island and from there take a 15-minute boat ride across.
No. 2 Tioman Island, Pahang
In 1970, Time magazine ranked Tioman Island as one of the best ten "desert island escapes" in the world. A volcanic outcrop with several settlements, Tioman boasts of a landscape that is indeed spectacular. Lush jungles from its central mountain creep down to the white-coral, sandy beaches hugging the shores, while in the south, the twin peaks of Nenek Si Mukut and Batu Sirau rise to the clouds. Nearby, the Mukut Waterfall cascades down a granite peak. Lovers will be spoiled for choice in selecting a beach for themselves. For quiet strolls, there are trails leading from Tekek, the main settlement, northward to Salang and southward to Genting. For soft adventure, take the cross-island trail from Tekek to Juara on the east coast. Tioman is also a premier diving and snorkelling destination, and there are PADI dive centres in many hotels. For a romantic evening, enjoy a seafood dinner at one of the sea-front restaurants beneath casuarinas in the villages. A five-star hotel in Tekek allows couples to indulge in the pleasures of life.
No. 3 Langkawi Island, Kedah
On the fabled island of Langkawi, there are many areas where lovers can find ultimate peace and privacy. Two favourite enclaves for honeymooners are Datai Bay and Tanjung Rhu. The former is tucked in the northwest corner of Langkawi, and is home to two sophisticated resorts overflowing with luxury, such as spas and décor of volcanic rock. There are exclusive beaches for guests, and from the hotel balcony, newlyweds can admire the awe-inspiring view of the jewel-like sea towards Thailand. Twenty kilometres away, Tanjung Rhu (meaning "Casuarina Bay") is set in a white-sand cove sheltered by a promontory. It offers many romantic settings for couples to enjoy. Fantastic beaches look out to the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea. At low tide, couples can stroll to the islands of Pulau Pasir and Pulau Gasing. In the nearby mangrove swamp, eagles can be fed by hand. To shop like mad for your new home, pop over to Kuah, where there are lots of duty-free bargains.
No. 4 Batu Ferringhi, Penang
Batu Ferringhi, on the northern coastline of Penang Island is a honeymoon classic. The name means "Foreigner's Rock" and alludes to the visits by important personalities in historical times. Portuguese admiral Alfonso D'Albuquerque stopped at Batu Ferringhi in 1511 before sailing southward to conquer Malacca; St. Francis Xavier made a stopover in 1545; and Captain James Lancaster, founder of the East India Company, came ashore in 1600. Today, honeymooners can choose from sophisticated resorts, action-packed nightlife or exciting watersports along this stretch of beautiful and vibrant beach. On a clear day, take in the sight of a rock outcrop aptly named Lovers Isle. Or browse in the many art galleries and antique shops. When the sun has set, enjoy a delicious ikan bakar (grilled fish) dinner in the alfresco restaurants or snap up some trinkets from the bustling sidewalk bazaar. For sightseeing, take a memorable stroll through the labyrinth of alleys and stress in the old quarter of Georgetown, where history peeps from every nook and cranny.
No. 5 Cameron Highlands, Pahang
For the outdoorsy couple, Cameron Highlands is an excellent destination for a cool and quiet honeymoon. Malaysia's premier hill resort, Cameron Highlands is located between 4,900 to 5,900 metres above sea level on the rugged Titiwangsa Range. Romantic places are plentiful. Stroll through rose gardens or nurseries with brightly coloured flowers. Feed your loved one fresh strawberries! Enjoy scones and hot tea with a breathing taking view of the terraced slopes of tea estates. Easy-to-walk trails branch to the nearby hills from Tanah Rata, the main township, to permit bird-watching opportunities. At night, you can choose to curl up by a roaring fireside in a Tudor cottage or enjoy a piping hot steamboat dinner. Four-star hotels are available. Access to Cameron Highlands by a winding road from Tapah (in Perak State) takes slightly more than an hour.
No. 6 Santubong Peninsula, Sarawak
Located 35 km from Kuching, the capital of Sarawak State, Santubong Peninsula provides a unique blend of beautiful beaches and interesting cultural sights. Damai Beach, with Gunung Santubong rising 810 metres to provide a sentimental backdrop, is simply stunning. Five- and four-star hotels mollycoddle honeymooners, who can be as active or sedentary as they so desire. They can enjoy a memorable river cruise up the Salak River. Or watch a dramatic sunrise with the conical peak of Santubong to one side and fishing boats and islands on the other. For sightseeing, go on a tour of Sarawak Cultural Village at the foot of Santubung. This is a "living museum:" with live-in residents from the major ethnic groups who demonstrate handicraft making and living skills in their traditional houses.
No. 7 Tanjung Aru, Sabah
Tanjung Aru is a dazzling white beach of par excellence, which is only fifteen minutes' drive from Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah State. There are plenty of activities to keep newlyweds occupied. Go horse-back riding on the beach. Stroll hand-in-hand in the charming Prince Philip Park. Take a sunset cruise around the offshore islands aboard a Bugis schooner or go deep-sea fishing in the South China Sea. Enjoy a glass-bottom boat trip to Tuanku Abdul Rahman Park to see coral reefs that are beautiful beyond imagination. All five islands in the park also have excellent beaches and forests with walking trails. For accommodation, a five-star resort speaks of days and nights that honeymooners will cherish forever.
No. 8 Redang Island, Terengganu
A quintessential tropical paradise, Redang Island gives lovers a chance to do as little as possible or seek the thrills of its underwater Gardens of Eden. Winner of Tourism Malaysia's "Best Tourist Attraction Award 1994/5", Redang has both four- and three-star hotels as well as an 18-hole golf course. Diving is spectacular. The wrecks of World War II warships H.M.S. Prince of Wales and H.M.S. Repulse are found in the crystal clear waters around Redang. Couples can turn sun-worshippers on the lovely Pasir Panjang Beach. The nearby islets of Pulau Pinang and Pulau Ekor Tebu provide excellent snorkelling. Redang Island is located 45km off the coast of Kuala Terengganu, capital of Terengganu State.
No. 9 Cherating, Pahang
Once a back-packers' paradise, Cherating has its own unique personality. Its endless palm-shaded beach is dotted with quaint huts of fisherfolk. The rustic atmosphere soothes the senses and the villagers are extremely friendly. The cottage industry is active, and honeymooners can create their own batik or learn the art of weaving pandanus leaves into hats and baskets. A special attraction is to share a unique experience of watching green turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs at Pantai Chendor during the breeding season from July to September. The jewel in the crown of Cherating is Club Mediterranee but luxury four-star hotels are also available. Cherating is located 30km north of Kuantan, capital of Pahang State.
No. 10 Genting Highlands, Pahang
Perched atop the misty Ulu Kali Mountains at an altitude of more than 2,000 metres high, Genting Highlands offers Las-Vegas-cum-Disneyland style of entertainment. Drop by the Casino de Genting to test your luck as newly weds at the slot machines and games tables. Take hair-raising rides in the outdoor theme park or go on a shopping spree. In the evening, catch an international stage show or revel in the country's highest disco. For quieter moments, go horse riding at the Awana Horse Ranch. Luxury hotels enhance the pleasure of your honeymoon here. Genting Highlands is only a 45-minute drive from Kuala Lumpur.
For more details about the author, please visit his website at http://ewepaikleong.blogspot.com
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Monday, April 9, 2012

Things To Do Whilst In Zermatt Switzerland

Matterhorn (4478m) from Klein MatterhornMatterhorn (4478m) from Klein Matterhorn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Ben Pate


When it comes to unique climbing experiences in Europe one of the most enchanting is that of the Matterhorn Peak located in Zermatt, Switzerland. This is one of the most famous mountain peaks in the world; they soar over the border between Italy and Switzerland. The bottom of this peak features a very unique layout that resembles the four points of a compass. This climb is for series climbers only. So grab your U.S. passport and head to the great peaks of Zermatt, you may want to look into add pages to passport services in case you'd like to venture to Italy as well. Be sure to bring your hiking gear and enjoy the Matterhorn.

Passport Needs

Anyone who has ever traveled overseas before knows the importance of keeping a passport safe. If you lose your passport while abroad, you will have to obtain a replacement passport before you will be allowed to reenter America. Passports allow their holders to travel anywhere in the world. Every single American citizen is eligible to get a United States passport. All you have to do is fill out the add pages to pass port forms, submit a picture, and prove to authorities you are a citizen. You can show a birth certificate or social security card as proof of citizenship.

The Town Of Zermatt

Zermatt is a gorgeous town to visit and offers a lot in the areas of skiing, hiking, and mountain climbing. Zermatt is located at the foot of the highest peak in the Alps. It has a primarily German speaking population of 5,800. It is about 6 miles from the Theodul Pass which borders Italy. This village is known as a mountaineering and ski resort for the Swiss Alps. Zermatt was founded as a tourist industry around 1865 following the first ascent of Matterhorn. Now it is primarily a tourist village that features many hotels and resorts and over half of the apartments are vacation apartments.

Matterhorn

The Alos have a summit of 4,478. The four steep faces that rise above the nearby glaciers actually face the four points of a compass. The first ascent of this peak marked the end of the 'golden age of alpinism'. Its first ascent was successful yet tragic. A party led by Edward Whymper a professor made it to the top before a rivalling Italian crew. However, upon descent four members of the party fell to their deaths. Although beautiful and enticing, the Matterhorn is one of the deadliest peaks within the Alps. From 1865, its' first ascent, to 1995 upwards of 500 alpinists perished while attempting a climb or descent. This is why only experienced climbers should attempt this peak.

Visiting Zermatt

In addition to the Matterhorn Museum, there are some petroglyphs and an ancient prehistoric grinding stone that are located nearby that are listed as one of the Swiss heritage sites of national significance. In addition to climbing the famous peak, or maybe only climbing some of it, there are many other activities when visiting Zermatt. Many of the resorts offer mountaineering activities as well as skiing, and there are great lifts available that let you see the entire village. In addition, there is also the Matterhorn Museum.




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Monday, April 2, 2012

Plan Beforehand To Make Your Family's Ski Vacation Wonderful

Krvavec ski resort, SloveniaKrvavec ski resort, Slovenia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Zachary Justice


When choosing the locations for your family ski vacation, you want to be certain that it would appeal to every member of the family. A happy medium is definitely what you need when you're planning a family ski vacation.

Ski vacations tend to be quite expensive, but there are ways to save money if you have the time to plan ahead. For example, "ski and stay" vacation packages may offer free lift tickets for kids along with lessons and discounts on equipment and lodging. Some ski resorts offer specific areas for beginning skiers including a simple method of getting to the top of the hill.

You'll save lots by getting a ski-in, ski-out deal on a condo. You save big time by preparing your meals at the condo, plus you get to ski from the front door of your condominium. Condominiums located in ski resorts usually offer the nice touch of a fireplace for cosy evenings of playing family games or toasting marshmallows.

Of course, you won't be skiing every minute, so it would be nice if you go to a ski resort with amenities like indoor pools, ice skating, hiking, and biking.

If getting away from the kids for a nice dinner out is an important goal for the parents on a ski vacation, be sure the resort offers child care - and make the reservations before you arrive. Small kids won't have to be left alone while the rest of the family is skiing because some resorts offer child care providers.

You'll want to be sure that everyone in the family has a blast on family ski vacations, so plan ahead as much as you can before you decide on a place and a plan. If you get to the resort and find that things are not to your liking, you should inform the authorized person and let them know what you wish.

Ski resorts usually aim to please - and they need and want your business. If websites or advertisements don't mention some amenities, you should call them and ask just to make sure. Before booking, you should be sure that you have the best deal possible.

Remember, you're the customer - and they want you to return to their ski resort. Family ski vacations are expensive, and it's important that you all have a great time. Ski resorts know that unsatisfied customers won't be coming back in the future.




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