On this tour you will visit Taman Negara (which literally means National Park in Malay), generally regarded as the world’s oldest rainforest at 130 million years old. The Park was declared a National Park in 1938 and is the most extensive protected area of pristine lowland and evergreen rainforest in Malaysia. The Park authorities are dedicated to educating visitors in the importance of protecting this environmentally sensitive area by encouraging them not to stray from dedicated paths and avoid dropping litter and damaging flora and fauna. The Park Authorities spend time maintaining the paths to avoid erosion and ensuring visitors travel to sights in small groups to minimise impact. Taman Negara only employs local guides to accompany clients and all food in the Park is sourced locally, helping the local rural communities wherever possible. Local farmers benefit by selling their produce to the resort and the fact that it is produced locally reduces the impact of overland transport from the city.
The Frangipani Resort in Langkawi is the first eco-friendly hotel on the island. While the management understand it is impossible to build a resort which has no impact whatsoever on the region, they feel the small things they do can lead to big changes. The hotel has a truly impressive list of environmentally friendly practices which range from the major to small, individual touches. They have an on-site water treatment plant to recycle the Resort’s waste water, some of which is used to flush the toilets in communal areas and water the tropical gardens.
As well as recycling water the Resort understands the need for water conservation and they are aiming for a mains water usage of at most 10%. To try and achieve this they practice simple everyday things like watering the gardens early morning or late evening to reduce the evaporation rate, use large water tanks to harvest rain water and take advantage of water available from an underground well to water the organic garden. They are also planning on building a rainwater filtration system so they can make full use of this natural harvest.
The Resort has also set aside an area as a natural wetland which attracts such wildlife as water hens, cattle egrets, water monitor lizards, tortoise, terrapin and catfish. The wetland also acts as a natural water filter - after sewage water has been treated in the septic tanks, the gray water is channelled to the wetlands area where the aquatic plants such as water hyacinth and water spinach further treat the gray water by absorbing phosphate, ammonia and urea.
The Resort has an on-site organic garden and nursery where some of the fruit and vegetables are grown for use in the Resort - this includes things like mango, papaya, jackfruit, okra, corn, spinach and cucumber. They have a duck and chicken rearing facility on-site where the birds are reared for meat in the Resort, which of course reduces the need for transportation, plus some of their eggs are sold to a local salted egg producer to generate extra revenue.
Being generally a very sunny island, the use of solar energy is very important to the resort and is used to heat water which avoids the need for a boiler. The Resort has a comprehensive recycling scheme in place which includes the recycling of the usual items like paper and aluminium cans, but also extends to plastic, steel and batteries. Old but still useful furniture from guestrooms is used in staff quarters. The kitchen waste is composted and turned into organic fertiliser to use in the on-site organic garden. Not only does this save the Resort money but it actually makes them money in received revenue for thier recycled items.
The Frangipani Resort encourages the staff to get involved with the Resort’s environmental practices, again in small ways. Housekeeping staff are trained to turn off all room appliances at the wall if rooms are left unoccupied, and security staff turn off all compound lighting at dawn. All staff are instructed to turn off lights and conserve energy in staff quarters & offices. The management has a reward system in place for staff who come up with good environmental practices and they encourage guests to plant a tree to offset their carbon footprint.
The Resort is also very aware of their responsibility to the local community and as a result they have adopted 2 local schools which they organise environmental education activities for. The staff try and educate other hotels in their green principles and they have ‘adopted’ a local village to foster a good relationship and educate them in similar environmental practices, which not only helps Langkawi but the villagers themselves.
Our Malaysia ground agents only employ local, knowledgeable driver-guides to accompany our clients. This helps support local people and thus the local economy by keeping the business in the country.