Gunung Raya – Breathtaking Views

Located on the archipelago of Langkawi off Malaysia’s northwestern coast, lies Gunung Raya, Langkawi’s tallest mountain. It reaches close to a staggering nine hundred metres high, and if you believe the local myth, is actually the dormant form of Mat Raya the giant, who once dwelled on Langkawi and was cursed to live out his days as a mountain. Gunung Raya is home to a range of wildlife that inhabits the dense rainforests that cover its base. Some of the animals species you’ll come across here are: flying foxes, mountain hawk eagles, great hornbills and a multitude of varieties of monkeys.

From the peak of Gunung Raya mountain you can get a good bird’s eye view of the surrounding region. You’ll be able to see the other adjacent little islands that pepper the Andaman Sea, as well as all the lush vegetation that blankets the island. It takes only around half an hour to ascend the mountain from its base by vehicle, and this journey is quite a scenic one as well, offering up breathtaking views of the natural abundance of fauna and verdant flora that can be found here. Interested in making the ascent during your holiday on the island? Most Langkawi resorts such as the Berjaya Langkawi Resort and similar others, will likely be happy to help arrange a trip to Gunung Raya mountain for you, if they don’t already operate regular tours here. So make sure to ask the front desk.

If you do end up making this trip, do make sure to take your best camera along with you, for there are great views to behold from the top. A lot of the excursions here include jungle treks or hikes. Veteran hikers and trekkers often prefer to go on solo adventures here, however if you’re new to the game, it is more advisable to go on a group tour instead.

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.

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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+