Galeria Perdana Langkawi -A Museum unlike any other

Galeria Perdana in Langkawi is one of the most attractive, yet underrated, museums. It is one of a kind, though, as all artefacts of the museum pertain not to any theme, but are gifts, mementoes, and awards received by Dr Mahathir Mohamed, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia during his tenure.

Located just over 30km from The Datai Langkawi, Galeria Perdana has an architecture that is unparalleled by even the 5 Star Hotels in Langkawi. If you are to observe the outside of the structure alone, you would think that it is built according to Malay style. While the traditional elements of Malay architecture are present in the outer buildings, the inside is a completely different story. There are two ceilings each decorated lavishly with coloured glass. Delicate designs from plaster adorn the ceilings, which gives it the feel of a royal palace from a fairy tale. Adding to this ambience is the gardens, calm, serene, and peaceful.

You might not see the architecture as soon as you enter, though, because the artefacts are of such alluring nature that it demands all your attention. You have silk paintings from Japan, wood carvings from Thailand, oriental rugs that remind you of Arabian Nights, model ships made of wood, model motor cars in their own case, and model trains that look so realistic you would expect them to “choo-choo” any second. There is a large collection of household ware as well made of crystal, porcelain, silver, and lacquer. There are unique musical instruments, kokeshi dolls, art, and of course photographs. The photographs are less of what Dr Mohamed received and more of illustrations of his career. There are pictures of him with the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher as well as with beloved Nelson Mandela.

The museum is open to the public at a nominal price every day between 8.30 in the morning and 5.30 in the evening. There are special opening hours on public holidays, so make sure to check it before you go.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

Batu Caves -The temple caves of God Murugan

Known as one of the most popular Hindu shrines located outside the borders of India, Batu Caves is a Hindu religious site dedicated to God Murugan. The name of the place is derived from the river of the same name that flows past the hill where the caves are located. It is also known by the name “Hill for Lord Muruga”. While the Hindus flock here due to its religious significance, it is an attraction to the non-religious visitor due to its structure. Batu caves are located on a hill made of limestone where the caves and temples are carved into the stone.

Approximated to be about 400 million years old, the limestone caves were dedicated to God Murugan by an Indian traveller in 1873. The cave complex comprises of three main caves and several smaller ones. The largest and most famous cave out of the lot is the Temple Cave, so dubbed due to housing of several Hindu deities. This cave has a high ceiling, and can be reached only by climbing 272 steps. The other two main caves are located at the base of the hill and are named Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave. Both these caves depict stories from the life of God Murugan and other Hindu statues and paintings. In addition to these, a cave that is often visited by the masses is the Ramayana Cave. Depicting the story of Ramayana on its walls, there exists a 50ft tall statue of Hanuman – the aide to Lord Rama – on the way to the cave.

Batu caves are open to the public and can be reached by private or public transport. While there are monorails and buses available a plenty, there is no single public transport to take to the premises. An alternative would be to drive, or a rent a car, once again, easily done. There are plenty of rent-a-car services in the area, and some hotel chains, such as Berjaya Hotels and Resorts, offer car renting for their guests. As many of the places that are renowned for being the “Best Hotels & Resorts in Malaysia” are located in the vicinity, finding a mode of transport should not be difficult, and would not prevent you from witnessing this nature’s craft that is revered by man.

Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+

Visit the Royal Palace of Malaysia – The Istana Negara of Kuala Lumpur

If the media frenzy surrounding the royal family of the United Kingdom is any indication, the world continues to be deeply fascinated by royalty. While the English royal family seems to be the most popular in global media, there are in fact over twenty other royal families in existence across the world today, and the Malaysian royal family is one of them.

The previous official residence of His Majesty The Yang di-Pertuan Agong or the head of state, was built in 1928 and is located a mere thirty minutes from the Citadines D’Pulze Cyberjaya. It is called the Istana Negara, which translates to the National Palace in Malay, this building is off-limits to the public for obvious reasons. To reach the Istana Negara, tourists need to make their way to Syed Putra Road. Most staff at hotels and at other tourist lodging providers such as the Serviced Apartments Cyberjaya would be happy to provide directions or arrange transportation to the palace for guests.

The National Palace was formerly owned by a Chinese Millionaire, which was later occupied by the Japanese. Subsequently, the property was converted into the Istana Negara for the King of Malaysia, The Yang di Pertuan Agong. While the Istana Negara is not open to the public, it still continues to be a beloved tourist attraction for visitors. Guests to the Palace make use of the armed guard outside the Palace Gates for photo opportunities. The best time for tourists to visit the Istana Negara is at noon as there is a change of Guards at that time daily.

Since 2011, members of the family no longer live there, and have shifted instead to the New Istana Negara. The New Istana Negara is located in northern Kuala Lumpur and is now considered the Official Palace of His Majesty The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and has three primary sections: the Royal Component, the Administration Component and the Formal Component.

Roland Lefevre is a travel writer who specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe. Google+