By Mohd Shahril Fawzy on September 20, 2016
Blessed with an abundance of breathtaking natural wonders, Malaysia entices visitors to its uniqueness in varied gastronomic and cultural offerings. The country’s diversity also extends to its natural landscapes and lush rainforests that lend to its success as one of the world’s favourite eco-tourism destinations. Gaya Travel explored selected enthralling eco-tourism attractions in Putrajaya and Pahang during the recent Malaysian Mega Familiarisation Programme organised by Tourism Malaysia, held jointly with the Pahang Eco-Familiarisation Trip, to promote the Peninsular Malaysia’s outstanding ecological assets.
Presented exclusively at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) – located approximately 40 minutes’ drive away from Kuala Lumpur – Fantasy Rainforest is a musical theatre that showcases a captivating magical rainforest journey via unique cultural performances by over 60 world-class performers. Besides flora and fauna, this musical theatre features an indigenous tribe living together peacefully at the beginning and later on the harmony was perturbed by a hunter who harms endangered animals. This one-hour show drives home the message that it is imperative for the public to protect the rainforests and all of the flora and fauna found within.
Ticket price: RM200 (VIP), RM120 (Standard) and RM60 (Child)
Show time: 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. (Daily)
Contact: +6 03 8887 6000 (ext. 6189)
GPS: 2.895148, 101.680223
Complete your trip in Putrajaya by visiting one of the must-see attractions in this city: Putrajaya Botanical Garden. With over 700 species of plants, this magnificent garden serves not only as a centre of education and research but also as a trove of the nation’s priceless botanical heritage. Take the Canna Walk, Floral Steps, Hibiscus Walk, Bougainvillea Tunnel or Heliconia Trail to enjoy the wide array of flora. Besides that, the stunning yet exquisite Moroccan Pavilion is tucked away in one corner of the garden. Travellers can feast their eyes on this mesmerising 18,000 square feet pavilion, designed to showcase the unique tradition of arts and architecture of Morocco from its four imperial cities: Fez, Meknes, Rabat and Marrakech. Admission to the Moroccan Pavilion is RM3 per adult and RM1 per student.
Opening hours: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Closed on Tuesdays)
Contact: +6 03 8887 7770
GPS: 2.944596, 101.695762
Looking for a fabulous nature getaway from hustle and bustle of the city? Then head to Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya, an eco-tourism resort surrounded by pristine tropical rainforest in Raub, Pahang. Only an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, this resort offers well-furnished villas and dormitory-style rooms with well-appointed amenities to provide unforgettable relaxation and comfort. Travellers are bound to enjoy the view of the oldest tropical rainforest jungle by trying out some of the adrenaline-pumping activities, including jungle-trekking that leads travellers to take the ‘Leap of Faith’ from a 15 feet high wooden platform down into the green emerald lagoon. Besides jungle trekking, Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya also offers morning and night walks, flying fox, adventure race, paintball and organic farming, among others. It is indeed one of the best places in Peninsular Malaysia to be immersed in nature.
Tip: Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya is only accessible via off-road 4×4 vehicles that will be provided by the resort. Travellers are recommended to use backpacks instead of suitcases to ease the journey to the resort.
Contact: +603 5512 1006 / email@example.com
GPS: 3.670692, 101.837445
Established in 1989 by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is a home for orphaned elephants that are raised and given shelter.
It has been the most popular elephant sanctuary in the country that provides a remarkable opportunity to learn and get up close with the endangered Asian elephants. Travellers are encouraged to participate in the planned activities, starting with elephant observation along the interpretive trail to a documentary video presentation on the translocation of wild elephants to their new habitat. You can even get closer to the baby elephants by giving them a bath in the nearby Teris River. Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is ideal in educating and creating awareness among the public regarding the importance of this majestic creature.
Tip: If you are planning to visit in a big group, kindly contact the sanctuary to facilitate arrangements.
Contact: +609 279 0391 / +6013 908 8207
GPS: 3.592440, 102.145744
Taman Negara simply means ‘national park’ in Malay. At 130 million years of age, Taman Negara is one of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world. It is a must-see park among nature enthusiasts who embrace South-east Asian ecological wonders ever since it was established in 1938. Besides, it is also home to several species of endangered and rare creatures such as the Asian tapir, Malayan peacock-pheasant, Malayan tiger and Samba deer.
If you are a fan of outdoor (or adventurous) activities, do not miss the chance to walk along the world’s longest canopy walkaway. Visitors are required to register and pay an entrance fee before continuing the adventure. This 510-meter bridge suspended 40 metres above ground allows visitors to admire the wealth and diversity of the rainforest’s flora and fauna at the summit.
Taking a boat cruise along Sungai Tahan is another way to savour the beauty of this ancient rainforest, which travellers can book from the tour companies located at the Kuala Tahan village nearby. The cruise grants visitors to discover and embrace splendid views and fresh air along the way.
Further your journey to an aborigine settlement for a taste of local culture. There are two aboriginal groups that reside in Taman Negara: the Batek and Semokberi. Travellers are recommended to take a trip to an aboriginal village and learn how to start a fire by using rudimentary and natural materials, including the ways to use a bamboo blow pipe as hunting weapon. The village is indeed an ideal place to indulge in their nomadic and tremendously basic lifestyle. If travellers wish to take their photos, kindly ask for permission.
On the way back to Kuala Tahan, travellers can opt for rapid shooting, which is an exhilarating ride through the seven rapids along Sungai Tembeling and be ready to get splashed by the refreshing river water.
Entrance fee for canopy walk: RM5 (Adult) and RM3 (Child)
Contact: +6 09 266 1122 / +6 09 266 4152
GPS: 4.403371, 102.400275
Gaya Travel extends its heartfelt gratitude to Tourism Malaysia for making this experience possible.
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