Caving and bungy and rafting – oh my!
Do you go on holidays for the love of adventure? Then look no further than Malaysia for your next trip. With so much on offer, from fascinating cultural villages to white water rafting, to diving and snorkelling, jungle hikes and hanging out with orang-utans, there’s so much to see and do throughout this diverse island nation!
Malaysia is comprised of different departments, each of which offers something unique to visitors. My Malaysia has packages in the capital of Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi and Penang, Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu are on the island of Borneo and offer wilder, more off-the-beaten-track experiences.
Bungy: Freefall 22m above the water on Malaysia’s first bungy jump. The wind will whip your hair, caress your face and dry the tears you may be crying as you step over the edge. The challenge is more psychological than physical, and it’s your opportunity to soar like a bird! A branch of the New Zealand Unlimited Group of Companies, safety is paramount for Bungy Malaysia check out: http://bungymalaysia.com/index.php.
BASE Jumping: Not for the faint of heart, this sport has created quite a fan base over the past few years. BASE is an acronym for Building, Antennae, Span and Earth (cliff) and is essentially free-jumping off an object that fits into one of the aforementioned categories. Significantly more dangerous than bungy or skydiving, experienced BASE jumpers will know that this is an activity they can partake in at Kuala Lumpur’s infamous Petronas Towers or the KL Tower. Always participate at your own risk, though and ensure you have excellent insurance coverage.
Race like Riccardo: Perhaps that’s stretching the truth a bit, however KL is home to Formula 1 Racing events and it’s possible to time your Malaysia holidays to coincide with the Formula 1 Petronas Gran Prix that takes place in the heart of the city each year. The driving action and side events are sure to get your heart pumping!
Cable It: See Langkawi in all its glory as you’re carried up the steepest cable car in the world! A true feat of engineering the top viewing platform is at 700m, where it’s possible to get out and walk along the steel sky bridge walkway suspended in mid-air between two mountain peaks. Stay as long as you’d like at the top, enjoy a cool drink or sandwich and bask in the beauty of your surrounds.
Canopy Adventures: Abseil, Tarzan swing, Spiderweb climb, Zipline and brace yourself on a shaky bridge at Langkawi Canopy Adventures. With different levels to suit various interests and fitness levels, this tour combines a bit of everything to leave your heart racing and sweat pouring! While kayaking and mangrove tours are also on offer here, spend half a day taking in the meatiest, most adventurous activities as you channel your inner Tom Cruise and rappel 30m down a rope and zip through the air along the lines above your head. Memories to cherish forever!
Penang National Park: Swim and hike in Penang National Park where, being Malaysia’s smallest park, you’ll realize that size doesn’t matter. With hidden beaches accessible by short hikes and myriad trails for trekking, outdoor junkies will get their fill of nature without fighting hordes of other tourists at the same time. Calm, peaceful…and in the heart of the jungle.
Catch the bus: It may not be the most glamourous adventure activity you undertake during your Malaysia holidays, but your adrenaline will be flowing as you ditch the comfort of the taxis and step into traffic. By travelling like a local you get to see what they see, and witness the sprawling concrete jungle turn into lush green rainforest. The ride from Pengkalan Weld station to Balik Pulau is recommended to see the old part of George Town.
Watersports: Situated on the beach in front of Shangri La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, East Wind Watersports offers an array of activities to visitors, including sailing, jet skiing, parasailing and surfing. There are lots of beaches and even more vendors, but for water sports it’s always recommended to go with trusted professionals with a history of safety. Have fun in the water and don’t forget to slip, slap, slop!
Whitewater Rafting: Go for the day and you’ll want to stay for a week! A day trip allows guests to paddle down the Padas River on grade III-IV rapids with knowledgeable guides and recent safety equipment. On your way to the river, the tour also includes a ride on Borneo’s oldest and longest-running train and during your paddle it’s possible to see monkeys watching your form! Ideal to cool off the family in the hot summer months, this activity can’t be missed.
Lose Your Head: A 20 minute drive to Monsopiad Cultural Village is a worthwhile visit during your adventures. Enjoy complimentary tea or coffee and take photos on the hanging bridge before being escorted to the main hall to witness three traditional dances. A guide shows guests around the village explaining the traditions, religion, beliefs and showing off the collection of 42 skulls that had been head-hunted by Monsopiad (the person who the village is now named after). Lucky for everyone, this practice has been discontinued!
Orang-utans: Stand in awe as you watch the human-like characteristics of these magnificent creatures at the Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary. Watch a video about the project and then witness feeding time, where rangers bring bananas to feed any orang-utans that have been released from the sanctuary but are still slightly dependent on them for food. Have your camera at the ready!
Channel your Inner Batman: The Gomantong Caves will bring you pure joy! Visit the “black cave” – the second largest limestone cave in the world – filled with “black nests” which are made by swiftlet saliva and feathers; bats; cockroaches; rats, venomous centipedes (some longer than your index finger) and guano. The smell is not so great in the 6-8 story-high cave, but light filters in from holes in the ceiling providing a captivating experience.
Climb a Mountain: No need for fancy mountain gear or months of training, compared to Everest or the Matterhorn, Mount Kinabalu is one of the easiest big mountains you can climb. The route to the top is almost straight uphill for roughly 8.7km and as the track is not a circuit you follow the same route down. With a moderate level of fitness and the perseverance to make it to the top and back, it can be done by pre-booking and allowing 2-3 days for the hike and leg recovery.