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Kinabatangan river cruise

Kinabatangan river cruise

One of the most popular destinations in Sabah is the Kinabatangan River. This river has a length of 560 kilometers and stretches through half of Eastern Sabah. Alongside the riverbanks there is an abundance of wildlife. During a river cruise you will have a chance to spot the rare orangutan, the pygmy elephant, proboscis monkeys and saltwater crocodiles. During night cruises you might spot the leopard cat, numerous sleeping birds, wild boars, snakes and many crocodiles.

Sepilok Orangutan sanctuary

Sepilok Orangutan sanctuary

Sepilok rehabilitation centre is one of the biggest and most well known orangutan sanctuaries in Malaysia. The sanctuary is located nearby Sandakan; the total site is over 43 square kilometer in size. Around 75 orangutans roam free within the forest reserve. During their rehabilitation the animals rely heavy on the help of the people that work at the centre; and also on the donations from tourists. Tourist can snap precious pictures during daily feeding time.

A 4095 meter tall mountain

A 4095 meter tall mountain

Mount Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in Malaysia and the 20th tallest in the World. Mainly because of the biological diversity the mountain is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Climbing the mountain is not an easy feat for the untrained; though it will absolutely be one of the best experiences ever. Watching the sun rise in the early morning will definitely make you forget all the hardships you had to endure during the hike up.

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

TAR Marine Park is the perfect place to enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling and light jungle treks. The marine park is made up of five small islands: Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Sulug and Mamutik. The best beaches and probably also the best corals can be found around Gaya island; the biggest of the five islands. The marine park is only a 20 minute boat trip away from the city of Kota Kinabalu.

Mulu National Park

Mulu National Park

Mulu National Park is the biggest national park in Sarawak. The park is best known for the amazing caves. The Sarawak Chamber is the world's biggest cave chamber. It is said that 40 Boeing 747 aircraft's fit in the cave. Clearwater cave is the world's longest cave with a length of over 110 kilometers. The caves aren't the only highlights at Mulu NP. The amazing pinnacles at Mount Api are absolutely stunning to witness. A visit to Mulu NP will bring your holiday in Malaysia to new heights!

Wesak Day in Malaysia

Wesak Day is a holiday observed traditionally by the devout worshipers of Lord Buddha, the Enlightened One. Wesak Day is celebrated by Buddhists throughout the world especially in Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, Bangladesh and South East Asian countries which include Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia. Wesak Day, or sometimes known as Wesakha, is informally referred to as ‘Buddha’s Birthday’, with the special day being commemorated in honoring the birth, enlightenment (nirvana) as well as passing away (Parinirvana) of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. The holiday is usually known by its Sanskrit name in Mahayana Buddhist traditions.

Wesak Day marks the three major events in Buddha’s life, namely his birth, his enlightenment and his achievement of Nirvana. The commemoration of these events on Wesak Day usually begins at dawn at Buddhist temples throughout the country. Devotees gather to meditate on the Eight Precepts. Monks in saffron colored robes chant the sutras in unison. A candle procession is the highlight of the celebration, and at the same time, offerings of prayers, joss sticks, and incense, giving food to the needy and donations are also made. Much to the delight of all devout Buddhists (and those non-celebrating as well) in Malaysia, Wesak Day is considered one of the national public holidays.

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There is a wide variety when it comes to determining the exact date of the Wesak Day celebration. Various lunar calendars are used in different traditions to determine the date. Those who celebrate Wesak Day in Korea, Japan and China usually mark the celebration on 8th of April each year. Regardless of the different dates for the celebration of the holy day, Wesak Day is observed by all sects of Buddhist and observances by the devotes on that day include ‘bathing’ the Buddha, giving to charity, abstaining from meat through the consumption of vegetarian food, meditation and observing the eight percepts.

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Every year in Malaysia, thousands of devotees from all walks of life gather in the spirit of Buddha. At the Malaysian Buddhist Association, ardent devotees queued patiently to take turns to bathe the Buddha statue, which is a special ritual that represents the purification and cleansing of one’s soul. Aside from that, devotees who go into the shrine hall are able to light the lotus-shaped candles and seek Buddha’s blessings. At the end of the prayers, well-wishers and devotees come together to dine on simple offerings of vegetarian food and drinks.

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Wesak Day 2012 takes place on the 5th of May. The Wesak Day Parade starts at 7pm at the Buddhist Temple Maha Vihara, in Brickfields, an area just outside of the city center. From there the parade slowly makes its way to the Bukit Bintang area. I am not 100% sure if the parade follows the same route each year, but it is certain that they will pass Jalan Raja Chulan, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Bukit Bintang at some point in the evening. From the city center the parade makes its way back to Brickfields again, where the last decorated floats arrives around 11pm.

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If you want to witness the actual start of the parade, make sure you are in the Brickfields area well before the parade departs; the streets will be jammed around that time. Tourists that are staying in the Bukit Bintang area should head over to the purple/brown HSBC building along Jalan Sultan Ismail for the best views. Those staying in Chinatown will be able to see the parade in front of the Central Market and later when it returns from KLCC, also along Jalan Pudu in front of Pudu Central.

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Route Wesak Day Parade

Last year JAF from Asian Peanuts made a nice map that depicts the route that is usually followed. The official Buddhist Maha Vihara Temple has published a Wesak Day 2012 schedule. Below JAF’s map of the Wesak Day Parade.

Suggestions?

Got any good tips to share with us? Do you know of any great things to do in Kuala Lumpur, or tips on the best places to eat? Let us know by leaving a reply below!

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