Unesco sites in Malaysia
Time Out Malaysia uncovers the country’s natural and cultural sites recognised by Unesco
‘To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria,’ as prescribed by Unesco – six for cultural significance and four natural criteria. These include conveying ‘exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or civilisation which is living or has disappeared’, to be an example of traditional land- or sea-use representative of a culture, to portray noteworthy stages of earth’s history, and to consist of ‘superlative natural phenomena’. These sites cover heritage cities, incredible natural surrounds and pre-historic archaeology sites; all are well worth a visit. Here are the Unesco-certified sites around Malaysia. in the north of Sabah.
Little is known about Kinabalu’s etymology, but most discussions on the topic allude to two folktales: Some say that ‘Kinabalu’ is brief for the Kadazan Dusun term ‘Aki Nabalu’ or ‘revered place of the dead’ – it’s thought that Mount Kinabalu’s peak pierce the heavens. Others claim that ‘Kinabalu’ is derived from ‘Cina Balu’, and refers to ‘a Chinese widow’ who scaled the mountain daily, keeping an eye out for her lost spouse... until her demise. Highly sacred and shrouded with mystery, Mount Kinabalu and its surrounding park attract close to half a million visitors annually. About 93 percent of the park is covered with plant life – between 5,000 and 6,000 vascular species – in six vegetation zones ranging from tropical lowlands to alpine meadows. This green haven provides cover to half of Borneo’s birds, mammals, amphibians and two-thirds of the region’s reptiles.