By Jeremy Khalil on February 17, 2020
Are you restricting your travel simply because of COVID-19? Though the outbreak is a valid concern, it is still possible for you to travel, provided that you avoid places that are crowded and densely populated to minimise the risk of contagion.
So in times like this, where should you head to? Perhaps you should consider the following out-of-the-city destinations that are less busy and have nature in abundance as a way to allay your worries.
Wherever you are heading to, please maintain high level of hygiene, keep your hands clean, cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing, avoid contact with individuals who show fever symptoms, and wear mask when you are not feeling well. Be sure to buy travel and medical insurance from reliable companies too for peace of mind when travelling.
Destinations you can head to:
Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor
Kuala Kubu Bharu (KKB) is an 80-year old town that is 60 kilometres away from Kuala Lumpur. With vestiges from the pre-Merdeka era, quaint shoplots that have been renovated and re-painted, including local culinary offerings, KKB is the place for travellers to relive the nostalgic old Malaya lifestyle. KKB is worthy of world heritage listing because it was designed by Malaya’s first town planner Charles Reade, based on the influential ‘garden city movement’ in urban planning initiated by Sir Ebenezer Howard back in 1898. The town centre is well-maintained with proper parking lots, well-kept trees and clean surroundings. Some of the activities to do here include taking a dip at Chilling Waterfalls, paragliding, whitewater-rafting, rope-swinging, mountain-biking, hiking and more.
Possible place to stay: The Sticks
When in Kuala Kubu Bharu, why not try the thrilling rope-swing? Book here for an exciting experience at a discount.
Hidden within the Titiwangsa Range, Janda Baik is a pristine destination for those seeking solitude amidst wild greenery at the altitude between 400 to 600 metres above sea level. A stream flows through this village that was once, according to the locals, an aboriginal settlement, but now turned into a holiday destination for city dwellers deserving a quick break.
Possible place to stay: 101 Resort & Spa
When in Janda Baik, why not go for water tubing? Book here for a fun-filled experience at a discount.
Though it is only two hours’ drive away from Kuala Lumpur, Fraser’s Hill does feel like hundreds of kilometres away from the cacophony of the urban centres. It is named after a Scotsman, Louis James Fraser, who was excavating tin around the area in the early 1890s and mysteriously disappeared. Having celebrated its 100th year anniversary in 2019, this colonial hill station retains its charm, serving as one of Malaysia’s well-preserved getaway destinations, with only 10% of the area having been developed. The temperature here generally ranges from 17° to 25° Celsius all year long. When staying at Fraser’s Hill, travellers can play at the nine-hole golf course, hike along several trails while breathing in crisp air, play tennis, take up archery or ride on horse at The Paddock, including picnicking, boat-paddling or fish-feeding at Allan’s Water.
Possible place to stay: Puncak Inn
Kuala Lipis is a haven for people who are interested in colonial architecture. There are countless prominent structures scattered around town such as the Malay Hostel (1926), Kuala Lipis Railway Station (1926), Pahang Club (1907), Resident Guest House (1922) and Clifford High School (1913), which has the current ruler of Pahang Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah ibni Tengku Abu Bakar Shah and Malaysia’s celebrated singer and businesswoman Dato’ Sri Siti Nurhaliza binti Tarudin as part of its illustrious alumni. Another interesting spot is the former SUK (State Secretariat) house (1926), which used to be the home of Malaysia’s second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak bin Hussein when he was the state secretary. This is also the place where Malaysia’s sixth Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Muhammad Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, was born. Today, the house has been transformed into a gallery featuring information on Pahang culture and history. Travellers who wish to participate in the guided Kuala Lipis Heritage Trail may contact Mr. Abdul Ghani (Kuala Lipis Tourism Officer) at +6 019 949 4700.
Possible place to stay: U Design Hotel Kuala Lipis
Since you are already in Kuala Lipis, why not swing by Kenong Rimba Park? Book here for a memorable experience at a discount.
Royal Belum State Park in northern Perak is a 130-million-year-old rainforest. On 3 May 2007, this 117,500-hectare park was gazetted as State Park after being bestowed with royal status by the late Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, on 31 July 2003. It is important to note that Royal Belum State Park is part of the Belum-Temenggor Forest Complex which is four times the size of Singapore! When being in Royal Belum State Park, travellers can choose to overnight on a boathouse and indulge in angling, exploring waterfalls, taking a dip together with teeming mahseer and visiting a rustic Orang Asli (Peninsular Malaysia aboriginal tribe) village.
Possible place to stay: Belum Rainforest Resort
For a full day trip exploring Royal Belum, book an eye-opening tour around this reputable state park at a discount.
Nestled in the heart of Terengganu, and spanning over 209,199 hectares, Lake Kenyir is the largest man-made lake in South East Asia. This vast lake with 340 islands is surrounded by the world’s oldest rainforest with more than 14 cascading waterfalls, cooling waters, an idyllic fish sanctuary and habitat teeming with exotic wildlife. A treasure trove of flora and fauna thrive in this vast landscape where a wonder of discoveries and adventures await nature lovers. It is the place to be for freshwater anglers, jungle trekkers, mountaineers, campers, bird watchers, horticulturists, nature photographers, researches and even city dwellers. When being in Tasik Kenyir, travellers must visit attractions that are educational and eye-opening such as the Herbal Park, Orchid Garden, Lasir Waterfall, Kelah Sanctuary, Gua Bewah, and Kenyir Elephant Conservation Village.
Possible place to stay: Kenyir Eco Resort
In Kenyir, how about taking a dip with mahseer? Book here for an unforgettable experience at a discount.
The town of Bario, located on the northern part of Sarawak, is not only the home of Kelabit and Penan tribes (both belonging to the Orang Ulu ethnic group), it is also famous for rice and pineapple. The name Bario is a combination of the words ‘Ba’ (meaning ‘paddy field’), while ‘Rio’ (‘wind’). Located at the altitude of 3,280 metres above sea level, Bario is blessed with cool weather with temperatures that could go down as low as 11° Celsius. It has 14 villages with the population of 2,000 people. Surrounded by mountains, cultural sites, agricultural landscape and tropical rainforest, Bario is undeniably one of the most beautiful rural locations in Malaysia that deserves conservation and protection.
Possible place to stay: Bario Valley Homestay in Bario Asal Lembaa Village
This district is ideal for nature lovers because they can visit any of its camp sites or scenic villages close to the Ranau Bypass such as Melangkap and Tambatuon, including Tegudon, all having streams running through with fresh, clear water originating from Mount Kinabalu, which can be easily witnessed from the respective villages! One attraction you should not miss is the weekly market called Tamu Kota Belud, where local farmers, hawkers and fishermen meet up to exchange goods and gossip. Besides fresh vegetables and fish, don’t forget to shop for local delicacies, Bajau knife, ethnic textiles and apparels, among others.
Possible place to stay: Tambatuon Homestead