As a tourist, there are few opportunities to encounter these majestic animals in the wild, one option being the Danum Valley Conservation Area in northern Borneo. Many great apes live on 400 km² and hikes with overnight stays in lodges are offered. A river cruise on the Kinabatangan River through the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary takes visitors past the home of orangutans. The animals perceive the tourists less as intruders and often appear on the river bank. In southern Borneo there is a sanctuary for orphaned monkeys in the Sepilok Forest Reserve. Around 80 animals live here and visitors can learn about the lives of the gentle great apes.
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Tioman Island off the southeast coast of Malaysia is considered one of the most beautiful islands in Southeast Asia. Due to a building restriction, there are only low-rise resorts and hotels that are easily accessible by plane or ferry. Palm-fringed beaches, sleepy villages and untouched nature make Tioman the ideal place for nature lovers. A seven kilometer long hiking trail leads across the island – and a few meters of altitude have to be mastered. Beautiful waterfalls, ancient trees and encounters with monkeys and lizards almost make you forget the hardships. The nearby islands of Tulai and Renggis are interesting for divers. Many colorful and tropical fish cavort between magnificent coral reefs.
To escape the warmth of the lowlands, the British colonialists retreated to the hills of northern Malaysia. Today, the mountains are among the most popular destinations for locals and tourists. Picturesque tea plantations nestle in lush green on the hills and tribes of the Malay natives are still at home in the rainforest. The main attractions are the Brinchang hill station, a tea tasting at one of the plantations, the Mardi Agro nature park and the butterfly farm.
Kuala Lumpur’s Batu Caves
One of the most popular places to visit from Kuala Lumpur is the Batu Caves, just 13 km outside of the city. The remarkable limestone caves with their innumerable stalactites consist of three larger caves with Hindu shrines. The cave entrance is guarded by a huge golden god statue. Every year in January or February, millions of devotees make a pilgrimage through the chambers celebrating the Tamil Thaipusam festival. If you like climbing, you can try different tours and levels of difficulty around the caves on the karst rocks.
Taman Negara National Park
If you want to swing over high hanging bridges or roam through the oldest jungle in the world, you can experience these and more adventures in Taman Negara National Park in Central Malaysia. The canopy trail is located in the middle of the jungle: suspension bridges high in the treetops are connected to each other by platforms. The paths are hundreds of meters long and you can see monkeys or monitor lizards along the way. Back on the ground, you can drive a bit upstream and take a look at the nature-loving life of the Orang Asli natives.
Sungai Klah hot springs
Located in a tranquil and lush stretch of forest near the city of Ipoh are the Sungai Klah Hot Springs. You are surrounded by hills and clear mountain streams. The nearby landscape lures with its oil palm plantations. Family baths, spring water pools and pampering massages are offered. In a hike through the park, along the river, you can be enchanted by the beauty of nature.
Gunung Mulu National Park
The Gunung Mulu National Park is located in northern Borneo and encloses the mountain of the same name. The national park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Daring visitors are attracted by what is probably the largest cave system on earth. It wasn’t until 2012 that researchers discovered new caves during an expedition. The region impresses with steep karst rocks that protrude like sharp arrows from the tree canopy. A Bornean tribe lives in the park. The Batu Bungan settlement offers visitors the opportunity to learn about Sarawak life and to purchase handmade souvenirs.
The capital of Malaysia was founded at the end of the 19th century and is one of the most diverse cities in Southeast Asia. Historic temples and mosques stand side by side with modern skyscrapers and shopping malls. The cityscape is dominated by the Petronas Towers. The twin towers are the symbol of the city and there is a beautiful view from the visitor platform on the 86th floor. The most diverse nationalities romp around in lively Chinatown and offer all kinds of culinary delicacies. There is the Hindu temple Sri Mahamariamman and the well-known shopping street Petaling Street. You can get to know colonial Kuala Lumpur in the Merdeka Square district. Worth seeing is the oriental building Sultan Abdul Samad, which is beautifully illuminated in the evening, the Historical Museum, and the old railway station.