Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Tours & Excursions
Tour companies and some hotels are offering tours and excursions to the popular attractions situated at the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. Plenty of tours are available to cater everyone's expectations and everyone's budget. Most of these tours are heading to the Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands, Ipoh, and Malacca. Pick-up services and leisure transfers are already inclusive on the tour depending on the tour company. Tourists can choose if whether they would like a half-day tour or a full-day tour, or a small-group tour or a private tour. There are also hiking, biking, and rafting tours to some destinations with plenty of natural attractions.
Malacca, Melaka in Malay, is a state in the Southern Region of Peninsular Malaysia. Dubbed as "The Historic State", it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The capital city is the Malacca City, a city with a blend of old and new, and historical and modern architectures. Beyond the city are cultural places and natural attractions. Probably the best known sightseeing spot is the A'Famosa. Originally constructed by Alfonso de Albuquerque, the fort is set beside the Istana ke Sultanan on Jalan Kota. It is one of the oldest remains of European architecture in Asia.
A skyscraper in district of Bandar Hilir on Jalan Merdeka is the Malacca Menara Taming Sari that measures 110 meters in height. It is a revolving structure that offers a 360 degree panoramic view of the whole Malacca City and the rest of the state.
Churches are also known attractions in Malacca. The Christ Church was built by the Dutch who took over Malacca from the Portuguese. A brick-red building with a huge white cross at the top is one of the most defining structures in Malacca. It was built in 1753 and the interior has 200 years old handmade pews and plaques that honors Dutch soldiers and locals.
The beautiful Melaka River is the "Venice of the East" that is now popular to tourists. A 45-minute River Cruise shows the tranquil views of the colonial buildings and the antique shops. There are several bridges along the river including Tan Boon Seng Bridge, Ghost Bridge of Malacca, Old Market Bridge, and the historical Chan Boon Cheng Bridge. The cruise leads to the Kampung Morten, an old Malay settlement that is now a heritage site. It is also housing the Church of Rosary, a Portuguese cathedral. Along the river is a colored street art in Jalan Kampung Hulu. Known as the Melaka River Street Art Project, It is a colorful paintings on the shophouses and guesthouses by the local painters and graffiti artists.
One of the most unique attraction is the Upside Down House Melaka. It is an inverted version of a modern Malay House that is divided into sections: living room, kitchen, playroom, master bedroom, and bathroom. The interior decor and the life-sized furniture are firmly screwed to the ceiling.
Cameron Highlands is one of the most extensive hill stations of Malaysia situated at the northwestern tip of Pahang along with the Taman Negara. Named after William Cameron, a British government surveyor who had discovered the area in 1885, Cameron Highlands became a famous destination during the British colonial era up to date. It is a paradise of green forests and culture with a cool temperature between 22° to 25° Celsius during the day and between 15° to 22° Celsius at night.
Cameron Highlands is best known for its farms, gardens, and plantations that are mostly located in Brinchang. Set at the hills north of Brinchang is the Boh Sungai Palas Tea Estate. This tea plantation that has areas including a tea factory, a teashop, and a visitors' center is open from 9 am to 4:30 pm. There are educational videos played portraying the history of the estate and some souvenir stores to purchase tea products. A scenic view of the plantation can be viewed from the tearoom. The Kok Lim Strawberry Farm along the Jalan Sg. Menson has the freshest strawberries and delicacies such as strawberry jam and ice cream. For honey and honey-based products, the Ee Feng Gu Honey Bee Farm is the best known honey bee farm in Cameron Highlands. The highlands is a home to two butterfly farms. These are housing a collection of tropical butterflies including the Raja Brooke. Along the way to Mount Brinchang is Mrs. Robertson’s Rose Garden. Several rose species such as Scarlet, Pink Queen Victoria, and Maid of my Hearts housed in the garden are relatively larger than the ones at the downhill. Another garden in Brinchang is the Cactus Valley along Pekan Lama with a wide array of cacti, flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
Cameron Highlands is also popular for its jungle trails. The mountainside is a popular spot for jungle treks. Hiking is a main drag to tourists to visit the highlands with its interesting jungle trails. Hiking tours can be provided by the tour companies.
Genting Highlands is a cool hill station surrounded by a 100 year old rainforest in a 45 minutes distance away from Kuala Lumpur. It is the home of the largest strawberry farm in Malaysia, the Genting Strawberry Leisure Farm. Also the first strawberry farm, it offers the freshest strawberries and strawberry-based products. The farm has a strawberry field, a flower park, and a strawberry-themed cafe.
On the most scenic site of the highlands is the Chin Swee Caves Temple, a Taoist temple that was built in honor of Reverend Master Chin Swee. He is a religious figure who was believed to have an ability to summon rain and drive away evil spirits. A black statue of Master Chin Swee in the entrance hall is the main attraction of the temple.
Genting Highlands is also known for adventurous activities including indoor rock climbing and flying fox activities. A ride on a Skyway Cable Car is the fastest and easiest way to get to the apex of the highlands offering breathtaking views of the surrounding hills perfect for a photo opportunity.
Ipoh is the capital city of the state of Perak in the Northern Region of Malaysia. The city is also known to be the gateway to Cameron Highlands. Tours and excursions to Ipoh are sometimes merged with tours to Cameron Highlands. Ipoh is one of the last remaining urban centers that retained its colonial architectures attracting most of the tourists because of its cultural and historical heritage. The Ipoh Old Town is filled with historical building and some ancient religious sites that were all well-preserved through times.
The Kellie Castle was built in 1915 and was never completed. It was built William Kellie Smith, a Scottish rubber planter. It is known as the Taj Mahal of Malaysia because Smith constructed the castle for Agnes, his wife.
The Birch Memorial Clock Tower was built to commemorate James William Woodford Birch, the first British Resident of Perak that was assassinated in 1875 by local Malay Chief Datuk Maharaja Lela. The clock tower has one mother bell, which is 6 feet and 6 inches in diameter, and four smaller bells.
The Ipoh Railway Station is one of the three grand stations built by the British on the former Malayan network. The station was initially built as a hospital before the early 1900s before it was turned into a railway station. It was designed by Arthur Benison Hubback, the same man who designed the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station.
The temples in Ipoh are not just a reflection of the religious heritage of the city, but these also mirror a rich historical heritage of Ipoh. Most of these are cave temples. The Kek Lok Cave Temple is located cat the southern part of Ipoh. The cave was a part of an iron mining site in 1960, but as early as 1920, the cave temple has been used as a place of worship until today. The temple has a central altar and a number of Buddhist figures and Chinese deities. It also boasts its great garden views inside the cave with two surrounding lakes. The cave temple has no entry fee
The Sam Poh Tong Temple is a Buddhist temple discovered in 1912 within a natural limestone. It was developed by the Buddhist community turning it to an international tourist destination. Its garden was awarded as the best landscaped garden back in 1993. Other attractions in the temple are the 246 steps staircase that leads to an open area with views of the city and a pond where tourists can feed tortoise that is believed to be a symbol of longevity.
A unique art attractions are the wall murals by the Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic. The OLDTOWN White Coffee collaborated with Zacharevic to create the "Art of OLDTOWN" to celebrate the Old Town of Ipoh as the birthplace of white coffee.
Natural attractions can also be found in the city from the historical caves to the stunning West Coast. The Gua Tempurung is one of the longest caves in the Peninsular Malaysia that has the length of 3 kilometers. It features a river passage that runs for about 1.6 kilometers and a cave tunnel that runs for about 2 kilometers. There are also different tours in the cave that could cost 6 RM to 25 RM. These are the Golden Flowstone, the Top of the World, the Top of the World and Short River Adventure, and the Grand Tour.