Batu Caves Tour: It's a 5-hour excursion that includes a trip to the 'Aboriginal Museum', a museum that displays all lives and traditions of the original Malaysian tribes. And later to Batu Caves, which is a limestone outcrop with three main caves featuring temples and Hindu shrines. It's a steep 272-step climb that brings you to the best viewpoint to observe the skyline of Kuala Lumpur.
Destination 3 – Perhentian Islands (Apr 19-21)On the morning of 19 April we landed at the Kuala Besut bus station. Upon reaching the bus station, this guy was selling us ferry tickets to Perhentian (pronounced as per-hen-tian and not per-hen-shian). Price: Two way return ticket for RM 35 per person, with no fixed return date, you can return on any day you want.The Perhentian Islands are a collection of majorly two islands – small and big. The small island is where you need to be. That’s because the small island is where all the fun is. Further, on the small island there are three beaches. Interestingly two of them are opposite to each other (located on both sides of the neck of the small island). Out of these two, Long Beach is where you need to be. We accidentally landed up at the Long Beach and upon visiting the other one, realized that luck was on our side. It is a white sand beach with clear untouched waters, a pretty view of the big island in front and good beach shacks with great food and enjoyment in the evening.Place to stay:Upon reaching at the small island at 8am, I began house hunting on the beach, saw all major places to stay with a comparison of their prices. One key thing about the chalets at this island is, at most of the places there is no electricity till about 7pm. The electricity is available only from 7pm to morning 8am or so. There is no or little grid connectivity to these remote islands, hence no electricity in the day.At a few places where there is electricity for 24 hours, I chose D’Rock. The place is a little pricey but has beautiful sea facing huts with balcony for you to enjoy the sea view during the day.Budget: RM 150 per night (prices change as per season)Things to do: a. Snorkeling Trip: Out of everything else at Perhentian, this is the one I would recommend a 100 per cent. The islands are famous for their clear waters and snorkeling in these clear waters give you a scintillating view of the marine life and the corals living underneath. You will end up seeing beautiful fish, strange fish, sea cucumbers, nemos, turtles and even sharks. Even if you have never done snorkeling, do give it a shot. With RM 50 per person as the price, this trip is totally worth it.b. Fire Show at Night: At the long beach there is one specific shack where there goes a fire show every night. Hard to miss if you are taking a walk on the beach under the stars.c. Scuba: If you are the adventurous kinds, you can try out scuba as well. Price we paid: RM 200 per person.d. Walk to the other beach: Do take a walk to the other beach. It’s rare to come across a place where you can see sunrise on one beach and sunset on another!Word of caution: The sun at the long beach is sharp, very sharp. In fact the sharpest I have ever come across in my beach experience across India and now Malaysia. So much so that by the time we came back from Perhentian Islands, we had become four shades darker. Do keep your strongest SPFs if you are going out during the day, and hope that they work!Perhentian Islands are the most beautiful islands of Malaysia and there is a reason these islands are full of foreign travelers on weekdays and local people on the weekends. As per me, a trip to Malaysia is complete only when you visit the serene beauty of the Perhentian islands.After spending two nights at Perhentian, on 21 we resumed our journey back to Kuala Besut towards the western part of Malaysia – the island of Penang.We took the night bus from Kuala Besut bus station to Penang bus station. Bus price: RM 50 per person.
Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Our group arrives at the viewing platform and immediately we see two sun bears in their large forest enclosures. Before they retreat, we are quick to snap pictures of these adorable bears, the smallest sub-species. This is purely an educational visit for members of the media, and Wong is already talking passionately about the centre and his work. His excitement is contagious, and I can’t imagine these creatures could have a better spokesperson. Watch Wong Te Siew's TedxKL talk on the sun bears here. The sun bears at the centre are kept in varying enclosures based on their rehabilitation level. On his website, Wong writes, “Conservationists are nursing [the centre’s 27 bears] back to health and where necessary, educating in how to be a wild bear. The intention is then to release them into the forest.”