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Malaysia Packages – A tropical holiday treat

Malaysia Packages – A tropical holiday treat

Article by Sruti Jairam

Forget your woes and worries and bask in the glory of the tropical Sun in Malaysia and enjoy your hard earned holidays. Malaysia is truly a top class tourist destination known for its natural beauty and rich culture. Whether it’s the ultra modern yet traditional metropolis of Kuala Lumpur or the entertainment paradise of Malaysia called the Genting Highlands which is even compared to Las Vegas, the natural beauty and wildlife of the states of Sabah and Sarawak in the island of Borneo or the beach destinations of Langkawi, Malaysia is a tourists’ paradise. The city of Kuala Lumpur is well connected by all the major airlines across the world. Malaysia package tours provide you with the best of accommodation facilities that is of the highest standard.

Get enrolled in any of the Malaysia tour packages and get for yourself the chance for visiting some of the best tourist attractions that range from modern cities, entertainment parks, heritage destinations, wildlife destinations, beaches and hill stations. These Malaysia packages are a complete entertainment package which ensures that there is something for all ages and interests.

Malaysia Beaches

Think of Malaysia and images of beautiful beaches cross your mind. The romantic beaches here make it ideal for Malaysia honeymoon packages . There is a great abundance of beaches. The beaches of Peninsular Malaysia, the Langkawi islands and those in the regions of Sabah and Sarawak are some of the most fantastic beaches that you could think of. Even though it’s quite abundant, the Malaysia beaches are different from the beaches around the world for its golden sands and emerald green waters and the fact that it’s usually very close to the lush green forests on the shores. Some of the popular beaches of Malaysia which you explore during the Malaysia package tours include the Datai Beach in the Langkawi Islands, which is just one of the many beautiful beaches in Langkawi, Long Beach at the Perhentian Islands, the virgin beaches of Pantai Teluk Belanga, the beaches of Redang and Tioman islands and the turtle beach and golden beaches located in the island of Borneo. Most of these beaches have excellent snorkeling and scuba diving facilities.

Malaysia Heritage Destinations

Malaysia has a whole lot of heritage destinations to its credit. The popular ones include the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, in Penang, St Paul’s Hill in Melaka, the ornate Hindu cave temples at Batu Caves in Selangor, the National Theatre called the Istana Budaya, the traditional village of Kampung Pelengong in Negeri Sembilan, the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque in Johor, and a host of other destinations. Visits to the heritage destinations here should be an important part of the itinerary of the Malaysia package tours.

Malaysia Other Attractions

Malaysia is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty. You could experience wildlife parks, marine parks, waterfalls, rainforests, jungles and a whole lot of adventure tourism sites. Some of the must see sites for the nature lover includes places like Taman Negara National Park, the jungles and natural havens of Langkawi, the wildlife destinations of Malaysia in the states of Sabah and Sarawak in the Borneo island where you could meet species like the Orangutans and the Pygmy Elephants, the nature destinations of Kota Kinabalu and so on. You could indulge in a whole lot of adventure tourism here.

Malaysia truly is a treat for the tourists as you have some of the best resorts and hotels for stay. The artistically done up beach resorts and hotels with the provision of spa and massage treatments ensure that you have the most relaxing time in Malaysia.

Sruti Jairam highlights the The Malaysia Packages as one of the best ways to explore this tropical country with beautiful beaches. The Malaysia Tour Packages showcases the best of beaches and other natural and heritage destinations of Malaysia.

Sibu Island blue sky

Sibu – Johor’s fantasy island

Mention the word `Aloha’ and a thousand dreamy vacation images of Hawaii spring to mind. It is also Hawaians’ traditional custom of welcoming visitors to its many islands of paradise. But you don’t have to go that far for a Hawaii-type of vacation.

Sibu Island blue sky

Sibu Island blue sky.

Come to Johor’s Sibu Island Resort and you will get that Aloha welcome. Next, picture yourself on Fantasy Island. Yes, imagine Mr Roarke, the mysterious owner of the fantasy island, where for a price, people could come to realise their lifelong fantasies.

On this island, `Mr Roarke’ is without his able sidekick, Tattoo. Meet Encik Roslan Abdul Rahman, Sibu Island Resort General Manager, who together with his staff, greet all guests to his resort ala Hawaii and with a touch of Mr Roarke’s style.

Guests to the resort do not arrive by plane as on Fantasy Island. Only half-an-hour’s boat ride from Tanjung Leman jetty will take you to this `FantaSibu’, located in Pulau Sibu Tengah, off the east coast of Mersing, Johor. The jetty is a two-hour drive from Johor Bahru.

Roslan is not here to grant all sorts of wishes to people who want to see what their lives would have been as Roarke had done. Neither does the resort promise glamour and excitement for ordinary people whose lives normally had none. In other words, Roslan is not here to realise your fantasies.

But what the 20-acre island resort, owned by listed Johor Corporation Bhd, can offer is a retreat that’s exclusively private for both business and leisure. For those who want to take their mind off things, this idyllic resort is just perfect and a peaceful getaway.

“There are already many popular islands in Malaysia such as Penang, Langkawi and Tioman, all with their own attractions. But I believe Sibu Island itself has its own unique features … nature, crystal clear ocean, white sandy beaches and beautiful coral reefs,” says Roslan.

Neatly tucked among lush tropical vegetation of Pulau Sibu Tengah, the resort has a setting that is awesomely natural, tranquil and pleasantly invigorating amidst a world uniquely its own.

There are no villages on Pulau Sibu Tengah. Guests who have come for a `real’ retreat can expect some privacy at this four-star resort, which exudes its own brand of charm and comfort.

There are 121 units of chalets, air-conditioned and tastefully furnished – all majestically overlooking the vast emerald ocean and guests will get to enjoy the cool and rejuvenating breeze during their getaway holiday at the resort.

So, how do tourists come to know about the resort, or, Sibu Island?

“Initially we had difficulties in promoting our resort to the domestic market, but thanks to joint promotion by Johor Corp, the state government, Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines and our travel agents, we have been able to promote Sibu Island as a tourist destination in Johor,” he says.

Sibu Island itself has been commonly mistaken for Sibu in Sarawak and Cebu Islands in the Philippines. Even among Malaysians, says Roslan, many still do not know the existence of this island in Johor.

Besides Pulau Sibu Tengah, there are also other nearby islands which have their own unique features such as Pulau Sibu Besar, Pulau Sibu Kukus, Pulau Sibu Hujung and Pulau Lima.

Sibu Island beach, sky and the other islands.

Sibu Island beach, sky and the other islands.

This Pulau Sibu area, which has been gazetted as a marine park by the state government, is endowed with hard coral reefs, all known among snorkelling and scuba diving enthusiasts, mainly from neighbouring Singapore and Europe.

It is not surprising that Sibu Island has been the choice location for filming of the Robinson Survivor Series, which cater to the Scandinavian market such as Sweden, Norway, Belgium and Denmark.

“It is not just the island that has attracted the group to come here. They have surveyed several places, but this has been found to be the most suitable as they do not face any red tape,” says Roslan.

Although filming took place in Pulau Sibu Kukus and Pulau Sibu Besar, majority of the crew, participants, as well as the media covering the series, stayed at the Sibu Island Resort in Pulau Sibu Tengah. The fifth Survivor Series are expected to be filmed in Pulau Sibu Besar soon.

The popularity of the Survivor Series, has been a boon to the island resort, which has seen an encouraging number of tourists from Scandinavian countries, adds Roslan.

Aggressive overseas promotion by selling Sibu Island as a tourist destination has also worked to the resort’s advantage. Roslan has participated in the Internationale Tourismus Bourse in Berlin, Germany, World Travel Mart in London, ASEAN Tourism Forum in Indonesia and Natas Fair in Singapore.

Since its official opening in 2001, Sibu Island Resort has seen a steady rise in the number of guests. In 2001, it attracted 18,725 tourists from domestic and overseas markets, but the figure however declined to 15,109 last year, and dropped further to 3,910 up till April this year.

Singaporeans have so far formed the bulk of foreign tourists to the resort, accounting for about 40 percent of the total number of visitors. No thanks to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak, economic downturn and rising unemployment, visitor arrivals from Singapore nose-dived 48 percent up till April this year.

One encouraging note is that the number of Malaysian visitors to the resort saw a dramatic rise of 61.5 percent up to the four months of this year, a 23 percent increase over last year. In 2002, Malaysians made up 51.3 percent of the visitors to the resort from 43.3 percent in 2001.

Within Asia, visitors to the resort rose to 7.4 percent as of April this year, as against 4.0 percent last year and 3.4 percent in 2001. Figures from Europe dropped to 6.3 percent up till April this year, from 8.9 percent last year and 6.8 percent in 2001.

Within Malaysia, promotions on the resort are also done through the MATTA Fair, Cuti-Cuti Malaysia and Visit Johor Year 2003 organised by Tourism Malaysia and Johor Tourism in Johor and Kuala Lumpur.

Developed as early as 1997, the resort which owns 65 acres of land in Pulau Sibu Tengah, has enjoyed a steady stream of visitors especially from Singapore since it was officially opened to the public in 2001.

“Since September 11 and more recently SARS, we have received travel cancellations and postponements from not only Singapore but also other tourists abroad. However, despite stiff competition from other resorts and hotels in Malaysia, we have seen a 15 percent improvement in our tourist arrivals,” says Roslan.

German tourists are also lured to the island resort. Based on a promotion conducted jointl
y with Tourism Malaysia, Roslan says, his yearly participation at the Berlin exhibition in March, now in its third year, has yielded results. This year, he has been able to bring 250 Germans to the resort.

One such case is a German couple, who stayed at the resort for 21 days.

Pohl Wolfgang, 63 and his 61-year-old wife, Pohl Hildegard, have just ended their 21-day stay at the resort on May 25.

What attracted them to Sibu Island Resort?

Wolfgang says: “We love the island, the resort, and friendly people. You have such beautiful nature, and this is our third time in Malaysia.” The couple, who enjoy snorkelling, have been to Sarawak and Terengganu. They have also visited Taman Negara twice.

At the resort, time was spent snorkelling, brisk walking, jungle trekking, and strangely, Wolfgang’s wife, Hildegard, loves to catch spiders.

Despite the SARS scare, the couple said they were unfazed. Although at the KLIA, airport staff were seen donned with face masks, the situation was normal upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur.

“As we can see, things are normal in Malaysia despite concerns over SARS.

“We have such fond memories of Malaysia during our stay here. People are friendly, you have such beautiful nature, and we enjoy your food, too. We will come again to Malaysia, probably in autumn, next year,” says Wolgang.

His wife, Hildegard nodded in agreement. Her parting words were: “Jumpa lagi.”

- Bernama

Sentral Station, Kuala Lumpur

All of the rail systems of Kuala Lumpur are joined to Sentral Station, a state of the art railway center which is astounding for both its simple thinking, beautifully designed marble floors and walls, the road ways that lead up to the station and the fact that right next to it are the Hilton and Le Meridian hotels which are simply magnificent twin towers.

Simplicity is the order of the day when it comes to Sentral Station. The KLIA Express, the raised railway (LRT) and the KTM which is a long distance commuter train run from here in separate sections of the building. The mono rail is situated just outside of the building. In between all of this there are shops, cafes and restaurants.

If you are traveling from Sentral Station to KLIA and are flying with Malaysian airlines you can check your baggage here and get your ticket before getting on the train. The KLIA Express leaves from the basement and costs RM35 one way. The journey takes 28 minutes and leaves on schedule to the second. If you do happen to miss it, don’t worry as in 20 mutes another one will arrive. This is a non stop service to KLIA.

The raised railway runs from upstairs and in places the train actually runs through the building on its way. This system is charged on a per stop basis and one of its most important stops is the Twin Towers otherwise known as KLCC or Kuala Lumpur City Center.

The mono rail runs from Brickfields – a mainly Indian area of Kuala Lumpur. Within minutes you can be in Times Square, Sultan Ismal or Butit Bingtang, some of the major shopping areas in Kuala Lumpur.

The railway systems in Kuala Lumpur are clean, cheap, fast and safe, although you should never let your guard down.

Ronan Menton is the webmaster for a number of travel related websites and has been for some time in Ireland, associated with search engine optimisation in the Irish travel industry. He spends two months a year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and now sees it as his second home. Among the many sites he is currently working on are the following: hotels in Singapore and hotels in Kuala Lumpur.

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Ronan Menton - EzineArticles Expert Author

Tips for Travelling to Malaysia

For those looking for a different cultural experience, or even just a great holiday destination, then adding Malaysia to your travel list will not disappoint. A Malaysian holiday can be a relaxed resort style getaway on one of the islands such as Sabah or Langkawi, bargain shopping and sight-seeing in the capital Kuala Lumpur, or perhaps a combination of both to let you experience the diversity of this amazing country.

For first time travelers to Malaysia there are several tips that will make your holiday less stressful and infinitely more enjoyable, such as:

Check Health Warnings Before leaving for Malaysia visit your family doctor to check health warnings for the area you intend to visit. If you intend to do any hiking or rainforest walks then you will need to start taking malaria tablets around a week before your departure. Your family doctor will be able to advise of any other precautions or medications that you need.

Airport Transfers By far the easiest and cheapest way to get from the airport into the capital is via the KLIA Express (airport express train). The train is very modern with video screens showing points of interest and things to do in Malaysia while you enjoy a comfortable ride into Kuala Lumpur in around 35 minutes. Using a bus or taxi transfer will normally take around one hour by comparison and cost a little more. An added convenience when using the KLIA Express to connect with a departing flight is the facility to book your luggage onto your flight from the central train station in Kuala Lumpur (providing you do this at least 2.5 hours before your flight).

Taxi Fares Always ask how much the fare will be to get to your destination before getting into the taxi. Taxi fares in Malaysia are for the most part quite reasonable however at times a naive traveler can be easy pickings, especially on a return trip from an outlying area so be sure to ask for the cost of the fare beforehand and if it seems too high then you can usually find another taxi to get a better deal. The exception to this however is during peak hours in Kuala Lumpur when you will pay more because of traffic delays. Your hotel concierge can advise you on what the busiest traffic times are likely to be. Planning your movements around the capital outside of these times will save you money if you’re on a tight budget.

Don’t drink the tap water To reduce your chances of having your holiday ruined by tummy upsets it is wise not to consume the local tap water. During your stay keep these points in mind: 1) Clean your teeth and toothbrush with bottled water. 2) Remember to specify "No Ice" when ordering cocktails or mixer drinks. (Many of the more up-market resorts and hotels have ice that has been made using filtered or bottled water which is perfectly safe, however if you wish to be extra cautious then it is safer to forgo the ice).

Buy personal items from a supermarket Make purchases of personal care items such as sunscreen, toothpaste or bottled water from a local supermarket instead of the resort or hotel where you are staying. Although the pric
es of these items may not s
eem too expensive you will normally find a supermarket or small convenience store somewhere close to the resort where these items are up to a third of the price that you will pay at the resort. Any money you save on these purchases can be used for souvenir shopping instead.

Restaurants When you’re staying in regional areas and choosing somewhere to eat keep in mind that you are no longer in a western country. Malaysia is a relatively poor country which is more evident in outlying areas than it is in the capital. While in your home country a restaurant in a run down looking building could indicate a possible health risk this is not the case in regional areas of Malaysia as many of the buildings are old because of the general poverty of the population. The best guide for choosing a restaurant is if the local people are happy eating there it is a good indication that the food is safe.

Keep valuables concealed Always keep wallets, purses, mobile phones etc in your pockets or backpack to avoid the attention of pickpockets, especially in larger cities. Although not a major problem any large population has its share of thieving so it is best to keep your valuables secure. It is also wise to carry your backpack on the front of your body in certain areas such as the china town markets in Kuala Lumpur where it can be quite crowded giving pickpockets a chance to access valuables within the outer compartments of a backpack.

Malaysia is a great holiday destination with excellent shopping, friendly people, wonderful scenery, and delicious food and by following these simple tips you’ll have such a memorable time you’ll want to return again and again

About the Author

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Malaysia Airlines Travel Fair 2006

Malaysia Airlines System Bhd will offer five million seats during its third annual Malaysia Airlines Travel Fair, to be held from Feb 17 to Feb 26, for travel between March 1 and June 30, 2006.

This year’s event would be expanded to reach the carrier’s customers in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia through its call centres, ticketing offices and participating travel agents.

Through the availability of these special deals and with a much wider distribution network this year, MAS customers will have a greater choice of sales outlets to snap up our offers and we hope to exceed the performance of our previous travel fair.

500 travel agents of Malaysia Airlines that offer competitive prices for air travel and Golden Holiday packages to various international destinations would participate in this year’s travel fair.

The annual travel fair would offer the best prices and valued deals for air travel and vacations to new and longtime customers. An average of 41,000 seats would be on offer per day during the four-month travel period.

Looking for places to stay

Malaysia has a wide range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets through out its cities and towns. Many hotels cater to total living requirements with restaurants, entertainment outlets and fitness centres.

Tune Hotel Kulim
Some resort hotels also have adjoining golf courses and theme parks with special privileges accorded to hotel guests. Family outings in these hotels can be a practical with a lot of fun activities.

There are also serviced apartments in major cities for those who plan to stay on a long time.

Honeymooners seeking an ideal tropical retreat with modern amenities will find

Malaysia as an excellent destination for romantic getaways, especially for the various island resorts which are paradises waiting to be discovered.

Tourists will also have no problem locating small hotels and motels surrounding tourist attraction spots. Most of them will serve breakfast. These low-cost accomodation includes hostels, bed and breakfast establishments, inns, boarding houses, rest houses and lodging houses. Look out for the Orchid rating which is awarded by Tourism Malaysia for those offering basic facilities as well as safe and clean premises.

Those who like adventure can try out value-for-money kampung-style chalets located along popular beaches.

Information Portal on Malaysia as a Truly Asian travel and business destinations.