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Things to Do in Malaysia - page 5

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Kuching Cat Museum
1 Tour and Activity

A curious activity for a rainy day: if you have ever owned a cat or have been interested in the historical role cats have played in music, theater, advertising, mythology and ancient societies around the globe, then the Kuching Cat Museum might be of interest to you.

Located in the modern looking North City Hall building only ten minutes outside of the city center, you won’t find a museum quite like the Kuching Cat Museum anywhere else in the world, an appropriate reality seeing as “kucing” is actually the Malay word for cat. With over 2,000 exhibits on display, artifacts range from a mummified cat from Egypt that is believed to be over 5,000 years old, to the world’s only mounted specimen of the Bay Cat, a highly endangered wild cat that is endemic to the island of Borneo.

A separate exhibit is devoted to the five wild cats of Sarawak and Borneo, whereas other corners of the 1,035 square meter facility discuss various types of global cat food.

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North Borneo Railway
1 Tour and Activity

Recently reopened in 2011 after a nearly five year closure, the North Borneo Railway is a historic bit of Malaysian transportation as well as the only rail line currently operating in the state of Sabah. Originally constructed in 1896 as a means of transporting tobacco from the lush interior of the island to the distant coast, the North Borneo railway now serves as a semi-practical means of moving passengers and cargo in the same fashion it once employed for nearly a century.

Unless you’re a train buff, it’s difficult to discern whether or not the North Borneo Railway can be considered a tourist attraction. Running from the town of Tanjung Aru near Kota Kinabalu to the town of Tenom in the lush interior, the entire journey takes a little over two hours and passes through landscapes which range from the Sabah coastline to open fields cleared by deforestation.

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Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman

A crowning achievement of the Heritage of Malaysia Trust, Rumah Penghulu, or Malay House, is a traditional stilt house from Kampung Sungai Kechil, a small town in Kedah in the very north of the country.

It was the house of a local headman and is suitably impressive in design. There are three main areas; the living area, the bedroom and the kitchen and dining area. The house is solid wood and was built through the 1920s and 30s. It was bought by the trust and painstakingly moved to Kuala Lumpur where it was restored to its former glory and is a celebrated part of preserving the nation’s heritage.

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More Things to Do in Malaysia

Deerland Park

Deerland Park

Encompassing a 10-acre (4-hectare) plot of forest in the Krau Forest Reserve of Pahang, Deerland Park is home to some 30 Indonesian deer (Cervus timorences), as well as a couple other species of deer, sun bears, monkeys, snakes, peacocks and ostriches. Set up like a petting zoo, the deer enjoy a large enclosure where visitors can interact with them at close range, feeding them and pet them. A wooden walkway leads up to an observation platform where visitors can watch the deer from above. For those interested in the natural flora of the region, Deerland Park leads medicinal herb treks into the jungle, where about 40 species of herbs grow. Other activities include blowpipe lessons, bird-watching seminars, cooking classes, fishing and night walking.

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Kek Lok Si Temple

Kek Lok Si Temple

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Translated from Hokkien the Kek Lok Si Temple, or 'Temple of Serene Bliss', sits majestically on a hill, a focal point of the local Chinese community, generous donations mean this temple continues to grow.

The 7-story white & gold pagoda is the largest Buddhist temple in SE Asia, its design - Chinese Octagonal base, Thai middle tier and Burmese crown - reflects its respects to Mahayana and Theravana Buddhism.

On the hillside above is an impressive 100ft (30m) bronze statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy.

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Chayamangkalaram Buddhist Temple (Wat Chayamangkalaram)

Chayamangkalaram Buddhist Temple (Wat Chayamangkalaram)

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Characterized by glittering stupas and fearsome green dragons, the Thai Buddhist Chayamangkalaram Buddhist Temple (Wat Chayamangkalaram) is one of the most ornate in Penang. The temple’s extravagant exterior alludes to the giant reclining Buddha statue inside, whose position signifies peace and freedom from the material world. Opposite the Thai temple sits a Burmese temple of similar grandeur.
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Penang Hill Funicular Railway

Penang Hill Funicular Railway

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Batu Caves

Batu Caves

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The Batu Caves are dedicated to Lord Murugan and an imposing 47 meter high golden statue in his honour stands at the foot of the 272 stairs, which you must climb to view the Temple Cave. The Temple Cave’s ceiling is 100 meters high with holes in the rock illuminating the massive cave below. Beneath the Temple Cave is Dark Cave which is not open to the public without permission from the Malaysian Nature Society who organise daily spelunking tours to see wildlife native only to the caves. The Art Gallery and Museum caves are at the bottom of the staircase and are filled with paintings depicting scenes from Hindu tradition and statues of Hindu deities.
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Putrajaya

Putrajaya

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A fascinating exercise in building a city from scratch, Putrajaya is the administrative capital of Malaysia and located just south of Kuala Lumpur.

Planned as an "intelligent" and "garden" city the Putrajaya has wide boulevards and many lovely parks where the city’s population, mainly government workers, unwind and get back in touch with nature. The park offering the best views of the city is Taman Putra Perdana next to Perdana Putra. The city is home to many showcase buildings including the Putra Mosque which is a vision in pink with the highest dome in South East Asia, it can fit 15,000 worshipers. Perdana Putra is the Prime Minister’s office and the jewel in the crown of Putrajaya. The educational Millennium Monument gives an insight into the history of Malaysia.

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Melawati Hill (Bukit Melawati)

Melawati Hill (Bukit Melawati)

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Bukit Melawati (Melawati Hill) served as a stronghold for the Selangor Sultanate during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Remnants of the fort still dot the landscaped park now occupying the hill, including sections of wall, grave sites, a few cannons and a flat stone that was once used for beheadings. Today the park attracts not only history buffs, but nature lovers and other visitors who come to take in the panoramic views of the Selangor coastline from the top of the hill. On a clear day the Straits of Malacca are visible in the distance. A lighthouse, built in 1910 by the British, sits at the summit, through it’s not open to visitors. Silver-leafed monkeys and long-tailed macaques often hang around the park, hoping for a meal of peanuts or stolen snacks from unwary visitors.

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Putrajaya Bridge

Putrajaya Bridge

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Putrajaya Bridge, perhaps the most important bridge in Malaysia, spans Putrajaya Lake at a length of 1,427 feet (435 meters). Inspired by the Khaji Bridge in Iran, the Putrajaya Bridge combines cable backstays and steel tiebacks to create an elegant, sail-like appearance reminiscent of Santiago Calatrava’s sculptural bridges.

The lower level of the bridge accommodates motor traffic and a monorail across the lake, connecting the Government Precinct in the North to a Mixed Development Precinct in the South, while the upper level carries a pedestrian path for jogging, walking or cycling. It’s also a popular spot for watching the sun set over Putrajaya Lake in the evening. At night, changing colored lights illuminate the bridge.

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Kuala Selangor Fireflies (Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park)

Kuala Selangor Fireflies (Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park)

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Bask in the bioluminescence of the fireflies as they dance around the Berembang trees. After sunset head down to one of the silent electric boats and cross the dark river to watch the amazing light show provided by the lightning bugs, blinkies or glow worms. Each species of firefly has a different light pattern and together they create a symphony of light like a firefly Christmas tree.
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