Malaysia’s Seven Wonders of Eco-Tourism.
Today is the World Environment Day. June 5 is a day marked with similar objective to annual Earth Day celebration or Earth Hour event; to create awareness on our need to protect the planet and its environment through all means. Due to this World Environment Day, there is an interesting article from The Star Online which features Malaysia’s own Seven Wonders of Eco-Tourism (or simply the country’s seven wonders of nature) that I would like to share it here. Original source of the article: http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/06/05/Environment-7-wonders-of-Malaysian-ecotourism/.
Mulu Caves National Park, Sarawak.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Miri that encompasses caves and limestone karst formations in a mountainous equatorial rainforest setting. The national park has world’s largest known natural chamber – Sarawak Chamber, found in Gua Nasib Bagus, which is 700m long, 396m wide and at least 70m high. It has been said that the chamber is so big that it could accomodate about 40 Boeing 747 planes without overlapping their wings. The nearby Deer Cave is one of the largest single cave passages in the world. Other notable caves in the region include Benarat Cavern, Cave of the Winds, and Clearwater Cave, the 8th longest cave in the world and also believed to be the largest cave in the world by volume. When evening falls, a sight to behold is the millions of bats – 12 species in all – departing the caves in great swarms, an event fondly known as the Bat Exodus.
Penang National Park, Teluk Bahang.
Despite only measuring about 29.6 sq km and is one of the world’s smallest national parks, Penang National Park stood out for boasting one of the most unique biodiversity in Malaysia. It features five different habitat types; Hill / Lowland Dipterocarp Forest, Mangrove Forest, sandy beach, unique seasonal meromictic lake, and the open coastal sea. Famous attractions include mangrove swamp in Teluk Tukun, Monkey Beach, and the meromictic lake in Pantai Kerachut. There in the lake, one of only three in Asia, salt water and fresh water do not mix, resulting in different coloured layers that host vastly different and interesting environments.
Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), Selangor.
Just 30 minutes away from the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur, this huge forest area at Kepong is declared a national natural heritage for its wealth of flora and fauna. It is a vast tropical rainforest that is protected and preserved by FRIM, an agency responsible in promoting sustainable management and optimal use of forest resources by generating knowledge and technology through research, development, and application in tropical forestry. It has a Canopy Walkway that offers amazing view of the forest as well of KL.
Royal Belum State Park, Perak.
This state park is located within the Belum-Temenggor Rainforest Reserve Area. Said to be over 130 million years old, this vast virgin jungle, relatively untouched by human exploration, is even older than the great Amazon and Congo rainforests. It hosts 10 hornbill species and over 3,000 species of flowering plants – even the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia – and serves as a natural habitat for 14 of the world’s most threatened mammals, including the Malayan Tiger, white-handed gibbon, Asiatic elephant, Malaysian sunbear, Malayan tapir and the Sumatran Rhinoceros. Within the park lies Temenggor Lake, a man-made lake used for water catchment and is Peninsular Malaysia’s second largest lake.
Taman Negara, Pahang & Kelantan & Terengganu.
Taman Negara has a total area of 4343 sq km, and is believed to be the world’s oldest tropical rainforest as it is estimated to be over 130 million years old. The national park is home to some very rare mammals like Malayan tiger, crab-eating macaque, Sumatran rhinoceros, Malayan Gaur as well as rare bird species like Great Argus, Red Junglefowl and Malayan peacock-pheasant. There are more than 300 species of fish in the park’s many rivers, including the famed Ikan Kelah or Malaysian Mahseer (a type of game fish). Also located in the park is Gunung Tahan, the highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia.
Cameron Highlands, Pahang.
Cameron Highlands is one of Malaysia’s most extensive hill stations. It has the size of Singapore. Developed in the 1930s, it is one of the oldest tourist spots in the country. Apart from its tea estates, the place is also noted for its cold weather, orchards, farmlands, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, wildlife, mossy forest, golf course, hotels, museums and Orang Asli (aborigines). Grab some strawberries, tomatoes and tea, and bought some cactus plants back home before you leave.
Pulau Perhentian, Terengganu.
Located on north west of Peninsular Malaysia, it comprises of two main islands; Perhentian Besar and Perhentian Kecil. Both islands are fringed by white sand beach, and the reefs and crystalline water are host to a wide variety of coral, sea-turtles, jellyfish, small sharks and reef-fish. The crystalline clear water and the beautiful coral reefs are enough to name this place as a tropical paradise. It is also home to Turtle Bay, a site dedicated on homing green and hawksbill sea turtles nesting population.
Out of the list above, I have visited FRIM and Cameron Highlands. These two places aren’t that unique or spectacular for me. The one that I wish to visit the most is the Mulu Caves National Park. And I find it surprising that Mount Kinabalu National Park, Redang Island, Sipadan Island (to name a few) are not mentioned in the list (pictures of these places in order below). Nevermind, I will include them as honorable mentions.
Couldn’t believe that my country do has a lot to offer not only from its built environment (Petronas Twin Towers, Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Genting Highlands Resort, Petaling Street, etc) but also from its beauty in nature as highlighted here. Wonderful. Looking for places with fascinating natural wonders? No need to go out of the country. You can simply save your time and money and just travel within the country to explore the majestic beauty of nature here in Malaysia. Sometimes it’s good enough to be just having ‘Cuti-cuti Malaysia’.
(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)