Best Sight Seeings:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Langkawi "Jewel Of Malaysia"

Langkawi, officially known as Langkawi, the Jewel of Kedah (Malay: Langkawi Permata Kedah) is an archipelago of 99 islands (an extra 5 temporary islands are revealed at low tide) in the Andaman Sea, some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The islands are a part of the state of Kedah, which is adjacent to the Thai border. On July 15, 2008, Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah had consented to the change of name to Langkawi Permata Kedah in conjunction with his Golden Jubilee Celebration. By far the largest of the islands is the eponymous Pulau Langkawi with a population of some 45,000, the only other inhabited island being nearby Pulau Tuba. Langkawi is also an administrative district with the town of Kuah as the capital and largest town. Langkawi is a duty-free island.

Cable Car

With stunning and magnificent vistas, Mount Mat Cincang and the Langkawi Cable Cars is a big attraction. From the very top of Mount Mat Cincang , you'll get a 360-degree view of the the whole island group, the Datai peninsula (left pic below), Andaman Sea and the southern Thai islands of Ko Tarutao and the southern Thai province Satun coastline.

The 15-minute journey up the mountain is definitely breathtaking and the scenery below that shows off the 4,167 ha of virgin jungle of the Mat Cincang Mountain Forest Reserve (right pic above) and Telaga Tujuh/Seven Wells is a feast for the eyes. There are viewing platforms, a restaurant and probably a suspension bridge over the valley.

The most interesting and rare feature of this cable car project is the angle station – this means from the middle station, the gondolas make a 45-degree turn to reach the top where there are more viewing platforms and walkways. Visitors are given the option of getting down at both stations to walk about and enjoy the scenery. All in, 35 gondolas used to ferry visitors to the mountain and in an hour some 700 people can be taken to the top.

Langkawi Sky Bridge

Suspended at 700 meters above sea level the unique curved pedestrian bridge spans 125 meters across a scary chasm. Views are spectacular offering a panorama over the landscape, the Andaman Sea, offshore islands and beyond...neighboring Thailand.

Unlike straight bridges where you can see from the starting point, Langkawi Sky Bridge has been curved to provide different perspectives over the land and sea. Convenient triangular platforms located along the curved bridge provide rest areas so you can sit and appreciate both the beauty of nature and an incredible feat of engineering.

Datai Bay Beach

Pantai Teluk Datai sits on a secluded area at the Northern tip of Langkawi. Characterised by boulders at both ends of the beach and dense forest in the background, Pantai Datai slopes gently into the clear turquiose waters.

Datai Bay

Facing the beach directly is the delightful little island of Pulau Anak Datai. The bay is home to some of the island's most exclusive resorts and the stunning Datai Golf Course.

Tengah Beach

Pantai Tengah is about 500 metres south of Cenang Beach. This lovely beach is a great place for you to relax and unwind.

Pantai Tengah

The water is clear blue most of the time except for the rainy season. It might get murky a little bit. Pantai Tengah is not really suitable for swimming unless you're immune to jellyfishes.

You can choose your type of place to stay - from low key chalets to luxury resorts as the beachfront is chock-full with hotels, resorts and a variety of restaurants. One particular place to go for some good Mediterranean and Malaysian food is The Lighthouse Restaurant & Beach Bar. A semi open-air concept restaurant, The Lighthouse is ideal for evening drinks and sunset dining. What's more interesting though is an old kampung house right next door which offers an experience to learn a few tips on how to cook Malaysian dishes with Chef Shuk.

Tanjung Rhu Beach

Tanjung Rhu is one of Langkawi best beaches. This beautiful beach fringed with tall casuarina trees is located 22 km away from Kuah - on the northernmost tip of Langkawi island. During low tide, you can actually walk across a sandy stretch to the rocky outcrop of Pulau Chabang. There are also a number of caves as well as mangrove swamp that you can explore nearby.

Tanjung Rhu is safely sheltered by the curve of the bay. The water is shallow and calmly blue. This beautiful secluded bay of white sand is constantly caressed by the gentle breeze blowing in from the vast Indian Ocean.

Tanjung Rhu

You can hire a boat to cruise around the islands. There is also the Tanjung Rhu Riding Centre which offers equestrian sports. The exclusive Tanjung Rhu Resort, set on its edge is one of the resorts on this bay.

Tuba Island

Pulau Tuba is the only inhabited island besides the main island of Langkawi itself. This Langkawi island gets its name from the tuba roots. It is the only other island that offers accommodation and there are a few places to stay. If we're not mistaken, there is a resort there called Sunrise Beach Resort. We recommend you to try Tok Janggut's chalet on Pulau Tuba. The owner of the chalet charges RM30 per person and that includes 3 meals a day plus accommodation.
At Pulau Tuba, you can also experience traditional fishing village life with fishermen returning home in the evenings in their quaint fishing boats. Pulau Tuba offers a homestay program organized by fisheries development Authority of Malaysia as an innovative tourism products. You may want to try this out - it's an opportunity to personally experience the lifestyle of the islanders.

There are 30 houses registered under this program and all of the household head works as a fishermen. Apart from fishing they do some farming, raring animals like chicken/cows/water buffalo/goats and mend their orchard. Occasionally the islanders go into the jungle to collect forest product including herbs, medicinal roots, honey bees and wild fruits. The woman folks weave pandan mat and making other handicraft products to supplement their family income.

How to get there? You can hire a boat from the Kuah jetty which will costs RM30 per way.

Pulau Dayang Bunting

Pulau Dayang Bunting is another beautiful Langkawi islands. This island is located about 17.6km from Kuah. It's the second largest island within the archipelago. Pulau Dayang Bunting was named "The Island of the Pregnant Maiden" as inspired by the legends which surround the lake or by the physical appearance of the island itself which resembles the belly of a pregnant woman. The legend is that the lake bestows fertility, although not scientifically proven, only enhances the mystery that surrounds the island.

Pulau Dayang Bunting is also famous for it's mangrove swamps, lush rainforests and wildlifes. You can find over 90 species of birds including the hornbill, kingfisher, drongo, woodpecker and kite.

Gua Langsiar

Gua Langsiar is located on the western coast of Pulau Dayang Bunting, this "Cave of the Banshee" is recommended only to serious cavers with mountain climbing experience as the ascent to the cave demands great climbing skill and absolute physical fitness. Surprisingly, you'll not find any stalactites and stalagmites here. Instead, the huge gloomy chambers are permeated with lurking shadows, reinforcing the superstition that the cave is haunted by the spirit of a woman who, like Dracula, lives on the blood of humans.

Bats and Banshees?

Gua Langsiar is a cave so deep and dark that the previous generation of the locals would not dares to venture in. People today claim that thousands of bats live in it but the local people of yesteryear would not set foot there, not even for all the riches in the world. They are convinced the cave is home to a female vampire called the langsiar, which, after having lured men to its lair, would suck their bodies dry of blood. No one would go near Gua Langsiar, for they believe that the eerie sounds that come from the depths of the cave are the cries of the banshee and it is enough to make their blood run cold and their hair stand on end?.

Taman Burung Langkawi

Taman Burung Langkawi
is the Asia's first fully covered walkway bird park is home to over 2,500 birds with over 150 exotic species. Here, you'll have a close encounter with the world's most beautiful birds like Cockatoo, Myna, Toucan, Hornbill, and Rhea.

Telaga Tujuh

Telaga Tujuh
is located in the north-western corner of Pulau Langkawi. The waterfall is so named because its cascading water is broken by a series of seven natural pools. The lush green forest that surrounds the waterfall adds a mystical touch to the natural splendor. Legend has it that fairies used to come down to the waterfall to bathe and frolic.

Underwater World Langkawi

The Underwater World Langkawi is a marine showcase featuring both fresh and salt water fish and other forms of marine life. It's located at Pantai Cenang, a popular beach on the island. The aquarium features more than 5,000 types of marine life, exhibited in more than 100 tanks of different sizes. The highlight is a giant tank housing large marine species such as sharks, stingrays, groupers and green turtles, with a 15-metre tunnel for visitors to walk through and enjoy a spectacular view of the exhibits. Underwater gardens of weeds and sea plants together with exotic fishes and exhibits of fossils and shells add to the range of interesting sights.

The latest residents are 20 Rockhopper penguins from Nightingale Island, some 2,000km west of South Africa. The birds are part of the newest attractions under our RM30mil expansion project which includes the sub-Antarctic, temperate and tropical rainforest ecosystems. The temperate section will house the Blackfoot penguins and seals.

The Ancient Tomb

The Ancient Tomb is located in the village town of Ulu Melaka. It's actually the tomb of an unknown person that measures about seven feet in length. The age of the tomb is yet to be determined. Legend said that this grave appeared suddenly and none of the locals could verify of any death that occurred in the village at that time. It is said as well that this grave might be that of one Tun Jana Khatib. He was a man of Arab descent who hailed from Pasai, Sumatra. In Singapore he was unjustly executed and his body had traveled mysteriously to Langakawi for eternal rest, as the local resident of Langkawi claims that the island is a land of fairness and will not tolerate this injustice.

Summer Palace Langkawi

The Summer Palace Langkawi is situated amidst lush tropical greenery at Pantai Kok. In 1999, 20th Century Fox commissioned the construction of this magnificent and expensive movie set for the making of the film "Anna and the King". Built almost entirely of local timbers by Malaysian and foreign artisans, the Summer Palace resembles a traditional Thai Palace. The palace encompasses an area of 675 sq meters and stands 16.6 meter high. A part from the original movie set, a restaurant, souvenir shops and pavilion have been added.

Hot Spring Village

Air Hangat Village is sited on four acres of land about 14 kilometers northwest of Kuah. This modern complex includes a 3-tier hot spring fountain, an 18-meter long hand-carved river stone mural depicting the legends that enshroud this location and souvenir shops. You can witness the making of local handicrafts and cultural performances.

The legend said that the hot springs in Air Hangat Village was caused by the fight between two giants, Mat Raya and Mat Cincang. Pots, crockery and the engagement ring which were hurled during the fight fell on various parts of the island. The spot where the cauldron of hot water was broken became the hot springs. Today the locals believe that the springs have curative and restoratives properties. Inside the complex, you can soak in the hot springs and enjoy relaxing traditional massage.

Mahsuri's Tomb

Makam Mahsuri is about 12 kilometers from Kuah. The tomb was erected to honor Mahsuri, a beautiful lady who was unjustly accused of adultery. According to legend, she bled white blood at her execution as a sign of her innocence. In her dying breath, she laid a curse on the island that it would remain barren for seven generations. Fact or fiction, seven generations have since passed and today, Langkawi is a flourishing tourist destination.

Taman Lagenda(Lagenda Park)

Taman Lagenda is a very scenic park with beautiful gardens of vivid local blooms, plants and fruit trees - providing a picturesque and fitting backdrop for buildings showing Malaysia's rich cultural heritage. Within the park, there are some fine examples of traditional Malaysian handicraft and cultural objects.

Situated in Kuah, it gives you an introduction to Langkawi's legends. At the entrance, a giant-sized sirih junjung and bunga telur warmly welcome you in. The exhibits inside tell story about Langkawi's legendary history starting with its prehistoric, geological past, mystical battles of giant and mighty bird which led to the creation of various part of the island and of course, the legend of Mahsuri's curse and the awakening of modern Langkawi.

Dataran Lang

Dataran Lang is Langkawi's most prominent landmark for visitors arriving by sea. It's situated near the Kuah jetty and the main attraction of the square is the magnificent statue of the reddish brown eagle majestically poised for flight. According to local folklore, Langkawi derived its name from the eagle or "helang". In old Malay, "kawi" denotes reddish brown, hence, Langkawi means reddish brown eagle! Dataran Lang is beautifully landscaped and features scenic ponds, bridges, covered terraces, restaurants and barrel vaults made of bricks. Its close proximity to the sea and the soft breezes make it an ideal spot for leisurely walks and a tranquil setting for dining in the cool evenings. At night, the square is beautifully lit.


Kuah is the main town located on the south-eastern tip of Pulau Langkawi. This is the main entry point for visitors arriving by sea to Langkawi. The name "Kuah" is a Malay word meaning "gravy" and is associated with an ancient legend of two battling giants who overturned a gigantic pot of curry at the spot where the town now stands. Once was a rustic town with a few streets, present day,
Kuah is a thriving center of modern hotels and shopping-cum-business complexes, but without the overcrowding and bustle of modern cities. Kuah is a duty free shopping haven with a wide variety of goods sold at attractive prices and its restaurants offer excellent local delights, especially fresh seafood.

The Langkawi international Airport at Padang Matsirat is about 20km from Kuah and 8km from the beach resorts
The Langkawi international Airport at Padang Matsirat is about 20km from Kuah and 8km from the beach resorts in Pantai Cenang. Direct air services from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi are provided by Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia on a daily basis, take minimum 55 minutes. Silk Air also flies regularly from Singapore to Langkawi. There are also direct international flights to Langkawi from London, Osaka and Taipei. Other lternative airlines plying this route weekly are Eva Air, LTU and China Airlines.

Malaysia Airlines (http// and Air Asia (http// ticket can be purchase online. For reservations and further information, please contact:

Malaysia Airlines-Kuala Lumpur: Tel: 03-746 3000, Langkawi: 04 – 9666622 / 1300883000

Malayan Railway provides comfortable and economical rail services. Senandung Langkawi Express runs daily from KL Central Butterworth Padang Besar/Haadyai. Alor Setar (Kedah) and/or Arau (Perlis) are the nearest station to go to Langkawi Island. This train offers the Air conditioned Day/Night First Class (ADNF) and also the Second Class (ADNS), as well as the Air conditioned Second Class (ASC) and the Economic Class (AEC). The ADNF has 8 private cabins in each coach. Each cabin is equipped with two sleeping berths, wall fan, private air-conditioning control vent and wash basin with basic toiletries. The ADNS offers 40 berths in each coach i.e. 20 upper berths and 20 lower berths. The ASC and AEC are seated coaches with 52 seats and 74 seats respectively. From Alor Setar or Arau, buses and taxis are available to Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis respectively, and then proceed by Express Ferry Services to take you to Langkawi island. For further information about schedule and rate please visit:

Air Asia-Kuala Lumpur: Tel: 03-202 7777, Langkawi: 04 - 9667750

Silk Air Kuala Lumpur: Tel: 03-292 3122 Currently Silk Air has no office in Langkawi, booking can be made at MAS

Driving has been much facilitated by the North-South Expressway. The journey by road from Kuala Lumpur takes approximately six hours to Kuala Kedah and approximately seven hours to Kuala Perlis, then proceed by Express Ferry Services to take you to Langkawi Island. Car parks service allow to leave cars safely behind for a minimum charge of RM15.00 a day. Car transit to Langkawi can be arrange one day before. Frequent express buses offer comfortable rides from Kuala Lumpur to terminal Shahab perdana in Alor Setar. Taxi to Jetty Kuala Kedah from Shahab Perdana RM.20 or take bus at RM. 2.00.

All other modes of entry from the mainland like Rail and Road, etc. must rely on the Ferry Services once reach Kuala Kedah,Kuala Perlis or Penang From mainland Malaysia, Express Ferries Services provide daily regular services to Langkawi Island, operate from three locations; Ferry Service also Available from Satun (Thailand) to Langkawi.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Split "Largest Coastal city of Croatia and a tourist destination"

Split (see names in other languages) is the largest Dalmatian city, the second-largest urban centre in Croatia, and the seat of Split-Dalmatia County. The city is situated on the shores of the Mediterranean, more specifically the eastern Adriatic Sea, spreading over a central peninsula and its surroundings, with its metropolitan area including the many surrounding littoral towns as well. An important regional transit center, the city is a vital link to the numerous surrounding Adriatic islands and the Italian peninsula, as well as a popular tourist destination.

Split is also one of the oldest cities in the area, and is traditionally considered just over 1,700 years old. However, recent archaeological research relating to the ancient Greek colony of Aspálathos (6th century BC) establishes the city as being several hundred years older.

Palace of Diocletian

Commissioned by Emperor Diolcetian and built in Split by the architects Filotas and Zotikos, the Palace of Diocletian is a well preserved Roman structure built in typical Roman military camp style. Emperor Diocletian lived in the Palace of Diocletian for only eight years until his death in 313. Following his death the Palace of Diocletian was used as an administrative center and the governor's residence. Three centuries, later in 615, the Palace of Diocletian was used as a refuge for the residents of Salona when their city was sacked by the Avars.

Originally the Palace of Diocletian was 215m / 705ft long, 180m / 590ft wide, and enclosed with thick walls up to 28m / 92ft high. On each corner was a tower and the Palace of Diocletian
had four entrances, three of them of note: The Golden Gate, The Silver Gate, and the Iron Gate. Leading in from the gates on each side, two roads are laid out according to the Roman Cardo and Decumanus tradition.

Several notable attractions within the Palace of Diocletian are the Temple of Jupiter, Cathedral of St. Dominius, and the Peristyle.

The Palace of the Diocletian is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the top attractions in Croatia.


(Local Name: Solin) Once the most prosperous city in the mid Adriatic, Salona (Solin) is a now a target for history buffs. Over the years Salona has had many inhabitants starting with the Illyrians, followed by the Greeks and finally the Romans. It was under the Romans that Salona truly thrived.

The good times did not last forever. The Salona was sacked by the Avars and Croats in 614. The once proud city, named for its proximity to the salt works, was stripped of its finery, its inhabitants driven out to nearby Split, and its intricate stone work dismantled and used for new buildings.

Located only five 5km / 3mi from Split, Salona is easily accessible off the Motorway E65. Salona has numerous major
attractions within its ancient city walls and there is much to entertain and engage the visitor. Salona's most notable attractions are the Salona Amphitheatre, the Salona Aqueduct, the Bishop's Complex, and the Forum.


The beautiful old walled town of Trogir is a world heritage site enclosing a maze of cobblestone streets; Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque architecture; and one of the finest cathedrals in the country. The old town is situated on a tiny island between the mainland and the island of Ciovo and is interconnected by bridges. The narrow streets hide countless restaurants and cafes, shops and shuttered residences and outside the city walls is a waterfront promenade lined with yachts and dominated by a medieval fortress that was once connected to the city walls. A popular excursion from Trogir is a boat trip to the nearby islands, Drvenik Mali and Drvenik Veli, whose beaches and secluded coves provide an idyllic getaway.
Transport: Bus 37 leaves from Split's local bus station every 20 minutes

Brac Island

Brac's main claim to fame is the strip of beach near the resort of Bol that stretches out like a finger into the sea, which is featured on almost all Croatian tourist brochures, but the island is also known for its white stone which is exported; Brac's white stone was used to build Washington DC's White House as well as the Diocletian's Palace in Split. Bol is also the windsurfing capital of Croatia. Bol and Supetar are the two main resorts on the island with attractive old towns and a laid-back charm. The rest of the island boasts numerous villages and dramatic coastal scenery.
Transport: The Jadrolinija car ferry has regular services to Supetar on Brac Island from Split


Sibenik is home to the crowning glory of the Dalmatian coast, the Cathedral of St Jacob, which was the masterpiece of sculptor Juraj Dalmatinac. It is reputedly the largest church in the world to be built entirely from stone and is unusual for its 71 stone heads on the exterior walls, a beautiful baptistery, the domed roof complex and various works of art in the interior of the building. The city also makes a good base from which to visit the nearby Krka National Park.
Transport: There are regular trains and buses between Split and Sibenik, taking about two hours

Hvar Island

Off of the coast of Split, just 15 nautical miles (24km) from Baska Voda and accessible by ferry, is the island of Hvar, which abounds with Romanesque and Renaissance buildings and a true Mediterranean atmosphere. The island is noted for its fertile soil and was the site of the world's first parcelling out of arable land by the ancient Greeks, who farmed there. It is now mainly a wine-growing area. The island's main towns are Vrboska and Jelsa, famed for their Dalmatian wines, and it is dotted with picturesque villag


About 30 miles (47km) south of Split is the popular holiday town of Makarska, with its stone cobbled streets and natural harbor fringed with the two green peninsulas of Osejava and St Peter. Standing sentinel over the town is Mount Biokovo. This scenically beautiful spot offers secluded beaches washed by an azure sea, lying at the heart of the Makarska Riviera characterized by pine forests and a string of white pebble beaches. The town was an important trading port during its colorful history, which spans occupation by the Venetians, Turks, French and Austrians, all of whom left a taste of their culture and tradition behind. The town boasts a world-renowned collection of sea shells, and a Franciscan monastery dating from the 16th century, a Venetian fountain, several churches and Baroque palaces, but its main attraction is its scenic setting.

Mestrovic Gallery

The Mestrovic Gallery contains many of the works of Ivan Mestrovic. A friend of Rodin, Ivan Mestrovic was widely considered one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century.

Designed by the artist himself, the Mestrovic Gallery, was originally Ivan Mestrovic's residence where he lived in the 1930's. The Mestrovic Gallery was started in 1950 after a substantial donation of art from the artist himself. The Mestrovic Gallery collection includes 86 statues in marble, stone, bronze, wood and gypsum, 17 drawings, and also eight bronze statues in the open garden, 28 reliefs's in wood in the katelet and one stone crucifix.

The gardens are a pleasant place for a stroll and visitors are rewarded with the sights of
some of Mestrovic's most famous sculptures in a beautiful setting.


Split is an important transport center for Dalmatia and the wider region. In addition to the Zagreb-Split freeway, all the road traffic along the Adriatic coast on the route Zadar–Dubrovnik flows through the city. The city also has a series of expressways and avenues, enabling efficient, fast transit by car around the city and its suburbs.

City public transport is conducted by bus, the city being inadequate for trams due to its hilly geography. The local public transport company Promet Split has recently renovated its fleet with the latest models. Split is also the southernmost integrated point of the Croatian Railway network. Within Split's city centre, railway traffic passes two tunnels before reaching the Central Station. The line to Split is unremarkable; a journey from Split to Zagreb or Rijeka takes around 5 hours, as the line is unelectrified and consists of only one track. Currently, there are no definite plans to upgrade the line, but with the start of work on the new Zagreb-Rijeka railway line in October 2007. The Split Suburban Railway network opened in early December 2006. It currently has one line, running from the Split city harbour to Kaštel Stari. The line is expected to get a second track and be fully electrified by 2010. New, low-floor trains are expected to be implemented as well. This line will also be lengthened, to encompass the aforementioned Split International Airport, and continue on to the towns of Trogir and Seget Donji. Split also plans to construct a mini-metro that is to be operational by 2012.

The Split Airport in Kaštela is the second largest in Croatia in terms of passenger numbers (1,190,551 in 2007), with year-round services to Zagreb, London, Frankfurt and the Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany, as well as heavy tourist traffic in the summer. The expansion of the terminal is scheduled to commence in 2009. The passenger seaport in Split is the third busiest port in the Mediterranean, with daily coastal routes to Rijeka, Dubrovnik and Ancona in Italy. During the summer season Split is connected with other Italian cities as well, such as Pescara. Most of the central Dalmatian islands are only reachable via the Split harbor (with Jadrolinija and Split Tours ferries). This includes the islands of Brač, Hvar and Šolta, as well as the more distant Vis, Korčula and Lastovo.

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