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KL & Sur­rounds

Brick­fields (Lit­tle In­dia)

Jalan Travers to Jalan Tun Sam­ban­than, Brick­fields, KL. A small town just out­side KL Sen­tral, Brick­fields is a melt­ing pot of Malaysian cul­ture. You’ll find art gal­leries, mar­kets as well as var­i­ous stalls serv­ing In­dian cui­sine. While the gov­ern­ment is quick to call it the ‘sec­ond Lit­tle In­dia’ af­ter Masjid In­dia, spend a lit­tle more time in the neigh­bour­hood and you’ll find there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Cruise Tasik Putrajaya

Jeti Pu­tra, Jam­batan Pu­tra, Jalan Masjid Pu­tra, Precinct 1, Putrajaya (03 8888 5539/­tasikpu­tra­ The scenic and leisurely cruises on Lake Putrajaya are a par­tic­u­lar hit with vis­i­tors from out­side Klang Val­ley. There are some stunning views of the ‘the Gar­den City’ and the boats and per­ahu (gon­dolas) dot­ted about give the lake an idyl­lic feel, es­pe­cially as the sun sets. You can also dine on-board at night and the food is sur­pris­ingly de­cent.

Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square)

KL City Cen­tre. One of Malaysia’s most his­toric land­marks, Merdeka Square has a spe­cial place in the coun­try’s heart and his­tory. You can’t miss the huge 100-me­tre flag pole fly­ing the Jalur Gemi­lang. And guess what? It’s the tallest free­stand­ing pole in the world.

KL Tower

2 Jalan Pun­chak off Jalan P Ram­lee, KL (03 2020 5444/ Take a tour up the 421-me­tre high telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and broad­cast­ing tower for a mag­nif­i­cent vista of KL from its view­ing deck. The au­dio tour is rea­son­ably in­for­ma­tive, if a lit­tle dry, and the restau­rant at the top is very popular with tourists de­spite its mixed re­views. (Ob­ser­va­tion deck) Daily, 9am-10pm. Adults, RM52, Chil­dren (4-11 years old), RM31; (MyKad/MyKid hold­ers) Adults, RM32, Chil­dren (4-11 years old), RM21.

Petronas Twin Tow­ers

Con­course level, Petronas Twin Tow­ers, Kuala Lumpur City Cen­tre, KL (03 2331 8080/www.petronast­win­tow­ Icons of Malaysia, the largest twin tow­ers in the world are bea­cons of cul­ture and her­itage. Check out the dis­plays and ex­hi­bi­tions at ground level be­fore as­cend­ing in the el­e­va­tor to the im­pres­sive sky­bridge. It’s free but be aware that the views are some­what limited due to the huge tow­ers on ei­ther side of the sky­bridge; it’s ac­tu­ally the view of them that is more im­pres­sive than the view from them. Still, it’s worth a morn­ing out of any­one’s hol­i­day. Just get up early to avoid hang­ing around for your times­lot on the bridge. Tue-Sun, 9am-9pm (closed from 1-2.30pm ev­ery Fri­day). Is­su­ing of tick­ets starts from 8.30am. Adults, RM84.80, Chil­dren, RM31.80; (MyKad hold­ers) Adults, RM26.50, Chil­dren, RM12.70.


NEW Old Rub­ber Smoke­house

Lunas Ar­chi­tect Lau­rence Loh, the man be­hind Pe­nang’s Blue Man­sion, re­ceived a DIGI Amaz­ing Malaysians award for his work on this old rub­ber smoke­house. The town of Lunas was built on the rub­ber trade and as the in­dus­try slowly died, this build­ing fell into dis­re­pair. Loh worked with lo­cal school­child­ren to cre­ate an ex­hi­bi­tion about Lunas’s cul­tural his­tory and this can be seen at the mu­seum to­day. Vis­i­tors can also see and try their hand at mak­ing smoked sheets of rub­ber. There is an on­site eatery as well.

Panorama Langkawi

Ca­ble Car Sta­tion, Ori­en­tal Vil­lage, Bu­rau Bay (04 959 4225/www.panora­ One of the top tourist at­trac­tions in Langkawi, Panorama Langkawi of­fers tourists an un­for­get­table air­borne ex­pe­ri­ence. Start off with the ca­ble car ride from the base of Mat Cin­cang Moun­tain. The Sky Cab trav­els 1,700 me­tres and sus­pends vis­i­tors 650 me­tres above sea level on its way to the mid­dle sta­tion where there are view­ing plat­forms. Ven­ture fur­ther on to the top sta­tion to send post­cards to fam­ily and friends 708 me­tres above sea level via the SkyPos fa­cil­ity. The Sky­Bridge, one of the world’s long­est curve sus­pen­sion bridges, of­fers a breath­tak­ing 360-de­gree view of the un­touched jun­gles be­low. Note that at the time of pub­li­ca­tion, the Sky­Bridge was only par­tially open and reach­able by a bit of a trek. There’s plenty here to thrill the kids be­sides – in­clud­ing a 6D ride, F1 Sim­u­la­tor and a 3D Art Mu­seum. From base to top sta­tion, Sky­cab op­er­a­tion hours, Mon-Tue & Thu, 10am-7pm; Wed, 12noon-7pm; Fri-Sun, 9.30am-7pm. Adults, RM35, Chil­dren (2-12 years old), RM25.


A’Famosa Fort

Jalan Parameswara, Alor Ga­jah, Malacca. There’s barely any­thing left of this 16th cen­tury Por­tuguese fort, which the English de­cided to de­stroy when they gained con­trol of it in the 19th cen­tury. All that re­mains is the main gate Porta de San­ti­ago and this only through the for­tu­itous visit of Sir Stam­ford Raf­fles who, with his pas­sion for his­tory, asked for it to be spared. It’s be­come one of the city’s most prom­i­nent land­marks since and a popular spot for touristy shots.

Duck Tours

Me­laka Duck Tours, Me­nara Tam­ing Sari, Jalan Merdeka, Ban­dar Hilir (06 292 2595/ www.melaka­duck­ Go on a sight-see­ing tour of Malacca in an am­phibi­ous truck. The tour lasts ap­prox­i­mately an hour, with the wa­ter leg tak­ing up to 20 min­utes, mak­ing it the per­fect way to see the city for tired lit­tle feet. It’s a unique per­spec­tive from which to see the city and all its sights. Daily, 9am-6pm. Adults, RM45, Chil­dren (1-12 years old), RM27; (MyKad hold­ers) Adults, RM38, Chil­dren (1-12 years old), RM22.

The Light & Sound Show

Dataran Pahlawan, Jalan Merdeka, Ban­dar Hilir (06 286 6070).

The best way to learn about the his­tory of Malacca is to watch the Light and Sound Show at Dataran Pahlawan in Ban­dar Hilir. Sig­nif­i­cant events in Malacca’s his­tory are re-en­acted by means of lights, nar­ra­tion, dia­logue, mu­sic and sound ef­fects to project real life drama.


Jalan Gereja. This brick-red build­ing, built in 1650 by the Dutch dur­ing their rule in Malacca to serve as their ad­min­is­tra­tive quar­ters, now houses the town hall and sev­eral mu­se­ums. Also known as Red Square, it’s right smack in the cen­tre of town and is usu­ally very fes­tive. Touristy but fun tr­ishaws con­gre­gate around this area, of­fer­ing rides around the vicin­ity – it’s a great way to take in the sights if you have lit­tle ones.


The Blue Man­sion

14 Leith Street, Ge­orge Town (04 262 0006/ www.the­blue­man­ The be­guil­ing Blue Man­sion was ap­par­ently the favourite home of the glo­be­trot­ting Cheong Fatt Tze, whose res­i­dences were scat­tered through­out Asia. Af­ter years of ne­glect, its Unesco award-win­ning restora­tion man­aged to re­cap­ture the beauty and luxury of this 19th cen­tury home. You can stay overnight at the man­sion or sim­ply book a guided tour. Guided tours con­ducted at 11am, 2pm and 3.30pm only. Adults, RM16; Chil­dren, RM8.50. Fort Corn­wal­lis

Padang Kota, Jalan Tun Syed Shah Barak­bah, off Le­buh Light, Ge­orge Town. Fort Corn­wal­lis was once the strong­hold of Pe­nang against at­tack­ers from the north. It was com­pleted in 1810 and is now a popular tourist at­trac­tion. In truth, there’s lit­tle to see other than the large Seri Ram­bai can­non and the old chapel, so com­bine it with a visit to the Queen Vic­to­ria Me­mo­rial Clock Tower be­yond the fort’s southeast perime­ter or just take it in as part of a leisurely stroll. Daily, 9am-7pm. Adults, RM2; Chil­dren, RM1. Khoo Kongsi

18 Can­non Square (04 261 4609/www. Khoo Kongsi’s piv­otal build­ing, Leong San Tong, is hid­den amid a crowded net­work of ter­race houses and shop­houses, tucked in the South­west­ern area of Ge­orge Town. To make it to Leong San Tong, likely the grand­est of clan houses in South East Asia, you will need to wade through an al­ley be­tween two rows of 19th cen­tury ter­race houses and by­pass the opera stage be­fore you see it in the ma­jes­tic gran­ite square. In their lit­tle mu­seum, you’ll see the Khoo ge­neal­ogy charted through the gen­er­a­tions and the ar­chi­tec­ture of the main build­ing is awe-inspiring. Daily, 9am-5pm. Adults, RM10; Chil­dren (un­der 12 years), RM1. Suffolk House

Jalan Air Itam, Ge­orge Town (04 228 3930/ www.suf­folk­ Pe­nang’s first ‘Great House’, Suffolk House is an ex­quis­ite spec­i­men of An­glo-In­dian ar­chi­tec­ture and one of Pe­nang’s colo­nial gems. Like the Cheong Fatt Tze or Blue Man­sion, the 200-year-old build­ing was in a ter­ri­ble state be­fore a group of ar­chi­tects (led by the for­mi­da­ble Lau­rence Loh) took it un­der their wing and re­stored it to such mag­nif­i­cence that it won the Award of Distinc­tion in the 2008 Unesco Asia-Pa­cific Her­itage Awards for Cul­ture Her­itage Con­ser­va­tion. Tour the build­ing and its gar­den with a per­sonal guided tour and com­plete the colo­nial ex­pe­ri­ence with a quin­tes­sen­tial English af­ter­noon tea in its restau­rant. Daily, 10am-6pm. RM20 per per­son (chil­dren un­der 12 free) and re­deemable for re­fresh­ments.


Gopeng Her­itage House

6 Jalan Sun­gai Itek, Gopeng (05 359 1923/012 598 7857/www.face­ GopengHer­itageHouse). This re­stored shop­house takes you into the world of a Ny­onya fam­ily living in the Kinta Val­ley at the height of the tin min­ing in­dus­try. The beau­ti­ful living room, bed­rooms and kitchen are dec­o­rated with an­tiques from the Bri­tish Ad­min­is­tra­tion era and there are also ar­eas that repli­cate the in­side of a bar, a bar­ber­shop and a ko­pi­tiam.

Sat-Sun, 9am-3pm. Free en­try. Kel­lie’s Cas­tle

KM 5.5, Jalan Gopeng, Batu Ga­jah (05 255 2772). Un­der new man­age­ment, the man­sion be­hind the tragic tale of Wil­liam Kel­lie Smith stands on a hill, 20 min­utes’ drive from Ipoh. The half-com­pleted man­sion was meant as a gift for Kel­lie’s wife, or his son, depend­ing on which story you’ve heard. In­fluenza wiped out Kel­lie’s hired work­ers af­ter World War I and later on Kel­lie him­self died of pneu­mo­nia. The house en­dured years of van­dal­ism but has been re­fur­bished and is now a haunt­ingly (some say haunted) ro­man­tic tourist spot. Climb the tower for sweep­ing views of the sur­round­ing val­ley but be care­ful if you have small chil­dren as there are no safety rail­ings up there. Re­searchers are cur­rently in the process of try­ing to find a fourth tun­nel be­neath the cas­tle. It’s ru­moured to hold Kel­lie Smith’s car. Daily, 9am-6pm. Adults, RM7, Chil­dren, RM5; (MyKad hold­ers) Adults, RM5, Chil­dren, RM3.


Mari Mari Cul­tural Vil­lage

Kion­som, Inanam (08 826 0501/ mari­mar­i­cul­tur­alvil­ At Mari Mari you can tour the tra­di­tional houses of the Ba­jau, Lun­dayeh, Mu­rut, Run­gus and Kadazan peo­ples, eth­nic groups of Sabah. Ex­pe­ri­ence rit­ual cer­e­monies and learn about each tribe’s way of life. You must book a tour through your ho­tel or a tour op­er­a­tor. Aside from the guided tours of the mu­seum, you can also ex­pe­ri­ence a tra­di­tional meal – check with your tour op­er­a­tor for de­tails. (Price in­cludes re­turn trans­fer), Adults, RM165, Chil­dren, (5-11 years old) RM145; (MyKad hold­ers) Adults, RM145, Chil­dren, (5-11 years old) RM 125. Mon­sopiad Cul­tural Vil­lage

Kam­pung Kuai Kan­da­zon, Pe­nam­pang (www.mon­ The Mon­sopiad Cul­tural Vil­lage re­lies solely on the sup­port of vis­i­tors. It show­cases Kadazan­dusun cul­ture through mu­sic, cui­sine, dance and other tra­di­tional cus­toms. If you’re a his­tory buff, this visit will in­trigue you with tales from the past of head hunt­ing and spirit wor­ship. Con­tact the vil­lage for ad­mis­sion fees and open­ing hours. North Bor­neo Rail­way

Level 2, The Mag­el­lan Sutera Re­sort, 1 Sutera Har­bour Boule­vard, Sutera Har­bour, Kota Kin­a­balu (08 830 8500/www. suter­a­har­ This nos­tal­gic jour­ney through paddy fields, vil­lages and rain­forests will make for an in­ter­est­ing morn­ing out. The re­turn jour­neys last for four hours: break­fast is served at the be­gin­ning of the jour­ney while a de­li­cious tif­fin lunch is served on the way back. Train boards at 9.30am on Wed­nes­days and Satur­days through­out the year. Adults, RM318; Chil­dren (3-12 years old), RM159.


Sarawak Cul­tural Vil­lage

Pan­tai Da­mai, San­tubong (08 284 6411/ The Sarawak Cul­tural Vil­lage gives vis­i­tors a taste of tra­di­tional Sarawakian life­style, which is in­cred­i­bly di­verse. It’s 40 min­utes from down­town Kuching, so plan to spend a day ex­plor­ing the tra­di­tional houses and tak­ing part in the fas­ci­nat­ing cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties of­fered. And if you dis­cover a day isn’t enough, then stay over in one of the long­houses. Check the web­site for packages and deals. Daily, 9am-5pm. Cul­tural shows: 11.30am-12.15pm & 4-4.45pm. Adults, RM60, Chil­dren (6-12 years old), RM30.

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