Malaysia holiday, rainforests and beaches
Description of Malaysia holiday, rainforests and beaches
Mainland Malaysia is great, but its islands are even better. On this relaxed two week trip you’ll start in Kuching on Borneo, then head back to the mainland Malaysia for a flying visit to Kuala Lumpur, before seeking well-deserved R&R on Tioman Island, 20 miles off the east coast.
Start your adventure in the city of Kuching, Borneo. Malaysian Borneo, part of the wonderful jungle-bound island, is famous for orang-utans, and you can meet them at Semenggok Orangutan Sancturary, just out Kuching. Explore some of the world’s most untouched rainforest, and stay with Iban tribes people who’ll teach you how to hunt with a blowpipe. Next try and spot the animal with the strangest nose at Bako National Park: hornbills and proboscis monkeys vie for the title.
Head over to mainland Malaysia and stay a night in Kuala Lumpur, the busy capital, where you’ll want to dive straight into the street markets. Transfer on to the east coast, where a boat trip gets you to Tioman Island. This South China Sea ‘pulau’ (island) is set in national park. All across its protected marine reserves, sea fans wave and busy reef fish flourish.
There are great beaches here, and the one you’ll stay on at JapMala is no different. This boutique resort offers boat trips and kayaks for adventurous visitors from its sandy shores. Jungle walkways connect its rustic chalets and villas through the canopy to its restaurants and highly-recommended spa. Or you could just lay out your bamboo mat at the beach and chill out.
PlanetBelum-Temengor Rainforest is still relatively off the main tourist track in Peninsula Malaysia. It is over 130 million years old and covers a massive 3,000 square kilometres that spills over into southern Thailand. The rainforest provides habitat to a vast number of species, many of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Belum Rainforest is divided into two main sections. The northern Royal Belum is more densely forested and home too many of the larger mammals such as elephants, but to enter the area you need to apply for a permit. Most of the touring is done by boat and on foot in Lower Belum with experienced guides that lead a number of nature and educational activities.
The resort was designed to have minimum impact on the local environment, was built around many of the existing trees and uses locally sourced materials, therefore reducing transport costs and carbon footprint.
PeopleBoth the Majestic Malacca and the Tanjong Jara are part of the YTL hotel group. YTL is committed to developing sustainable practices at all of its hotels. Using the tagline ‘Make a good future happen’ the hotel group aims to achieve sustainability in the marketplace, environment and with its people and the surrounding communities. YTL has also won a number of awards recognising its large number of initiatives, which are helping to communicate sustainable tourism practices to the local communities around them.
The Tanjong Jara runs a whole host of excellent activities and excursions, and work very closely with the local communities, ensuring that the customs and culture of the area thrive. We recommend the cooking class with Chef Ann and the guided bicycle tour of the local area. The resort also sources its fresh food from the local markets, the menu changes daily depending on what is purchased from the market that morning.
The Belum Rainforest Resort runs a toy exchange initiative for the nearby Orang Asli villages.
Blue Mansion in Penang has been faithfully restored to its former glory. It has a responsible attitude towards the environment and has limited facilities as a result. You are encouraged to sample the fabulous local food at nearby restaurants as the hotel is only equipped to provide guests with breakfast.