Must see Malaysia – 12 places to visit

Must see Malaysia – 12 places to visit

In such a diverse a country as Malaysia, the top places to visit cover everything from striking cities to tropical islands. 

The country also has four UNESCO sites, all of which are covered below, and some of the biggest and tallest natural attractions in the world. Here’s an insight into the best of Malaysia’s caves, mountains, theme parks, wildlife hotspots, historical sights and more.

Cameron Highlands


Malaysia’s largest hill resort and biggest tea growing region, the Cameron Highlands lie around 20 kilometres east of Ipoh. The altitude here provides a cooler climate in which to explore attractions like the rose gardens, a Chinese temple and cactus valley. You can combine a visit to the BOH tea plantation with the Mossy Forest, otherwise known as the Cloud Forest due to its surreal, misty nature.

Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary


This well-respected sanctuary has been working hard for over 60 years to rehabilitate orangutans back into the wild. Around 75 orangutans live in the reserve and you can take pictures of them at feeding time – 1am and 3pm daily – and learn about the good work they do here.

Mount Kinabalu


For those of you who like a challenge there are few greater than Malaysia’s tallest mountain, Mount Kinabalu, at 4095 metres high. It sits in Kinabalu Park, which was the first place in Malaysia to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its biodiversity. It’s best to consult a guide before you undertake the two-day hike, but the views are certainly worth it.

Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR) Marine Park


From high up a mountain to deep below the seas, one of the finest spots for diving and snorkelling in all of Malaysia is TAR Marine Park. It’s a cluster of five islands surrounded by beautiful corals, particularly near the largest, Gaya Island. One of the best parts is that this underwater world is only 20 minutes’ boat ride from Kota Kinabalu on the mainland.

Mulu National Park


A vast park in Sarawak, Mulu National Park is best known for its caves, one of which has the accolade of being the largest chamber in the world, and another the longest at a staggering 100 kilometres. If you don’t want to go inside, visit at between 5-6.30pm to see flocks of bats swarm out of the caves, and the occasional hawk catching one for its dinner. The park also has interesting limestone shard-like features at Mount Api.

Kuala Lumpur


Malaysia’s capital has so much going on – for a start there are nine shopping malls, as well as the National Zoo, with big cats, giraffes, pandas, elephants and more. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to Jalan Alor for street food and take it to eat in the blissful lake gardens.

Kuala Lumpur - Must see Malaysia – 12 places to visit

Langkawi Island


This 500-million-year-old island off the coast of Kedah is a UNESCO Global Geopark, which shows off its amazing geology at sights like Temurun and Seven Wells Waterfalls. You can have a go at pretty much any kind of watersport you fancy here, or visit Underwater World to see marine life without diving in the ocean. Another popular pastimes in Langkawi is taking the cable car up to Gunung Mat Chincang.

Malacca


The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Malacca is rich in colonial history with a maritime heritage that sings out. Its history is displayed in numerous museums throughout the town and eastern influences can be seen at places like Cheng Hoon Teng, Malaysia’s oldest Chinese temple. In contrast, Porta de Santiago gives a flavour of Portuguese influences.

Penang


Penang Island houses another of Malaysia’s UNESCO World Heritage Site – its Georgetown historic quarter, which contains important historic buildings such as Fort Cornwallis and City Hall. From here you can hop on a trishaw and travel to the Clan Jetties Floating Village. As the foodie capital of Malaysia, you won’t go short of something to eat either.

Penang - Must see Malaysia – 12 places to visit

Batu Caves


Close to Kuala Lumpur, Batu caves might not be as big as those in Sarawak, however the splendid Hindi temple and shrine at the cave entrance are what visitors come for. In fact throngs of Hindus descend here for the Thaipusam festival. The golden Hindu God statue at the entrance and resident monkeys make for good photos.

Genting Highlands


Looming on Ulu Kali Mountain above Kuala Lumpur, Genting Highlands has always been a playground of fair rides and casinos, but as of late 2018 it’s set to reopen as Twentieth Century Fox Theme Park. The much anticipated movie-themed attraction will include 25 rides across different film genres.

Sunway Lagoon Theme Park


If you can’t wait for Twentieth Century Fox Theme Park to open, Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, in Bandar Sunway, is Malaysia’s shining star of rollercoasters and waterparks all in one. It has zones from Wild West to African Waters so you can don your swimming gear or stay dry on thrilling rides.

These are my top places to visit in Malaysia; where do you want to go? Let me know if you’ve been to any of these Malaysian highlights yourself.

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To Work From Home, Your Home Must Work For You

To Work From Home, Your Home Must Work For You
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It is of little surprise that so many people are making the move to working from home today. However, while there are many benefits associated with working from home, there are also a number of unique challenges too. Motivation can be a real problem for a lot of people, and finding a good work/home balance becomes a challenge too, as your place of work and your home are now the same. So, how do you making working from home a success? It is all about making your home work for you, and here’s how…

Make sure you have a separate place to work – A lot of people think that the main benefit of working from home is that they can work from their bed or the sofa. While this may be the case, it is not advised. If you work from bed, you are more likely to fall asleep than complete your tasks. If you work from the sofa, you will end up watching television. Although your home is now your place of work, you need to do everything in your power to make sure the lines between home life and work life do not get blurred. This is why having a separate work area, i.e. an office, is a necessity. If you don’t have a spare room in your house, why not look into a garden office?

Get rid of clutter – Clutter is bad news because it stops you from thinking clearly, and it causes irritation and stress. If you have too many things in your home that you do not want to get rid of, look online to find storage near me. Keeping your house in good condition is important because it enables you to focus on your work, rather than worrying about when you are going to be able to clean and organise your home.

Consider colours with care – Another thing you will soon learn when working from home is how your environment affects your ability to think and be productive. This does not only relate to clutter, but it relates to the way in which your office is decorated. The colours you choose will have a big impact on how you feel. It is a good idea to go for something neutral that allows your mind to be free and clear. Blue has always been a good choice for a professional environment. Nevertheless, if you have a creative job, a colour like yellow can be helpful.

Invest in ergonomic furniture – Last but not least, ergonomic furniture is a necessity. This is furniture that has been especially designed to ensure that you maintain the correct posture throughout the day. These desks and chairs have been designed while considering the interaction with you – the user. This ensures you can work productively and that your health and well being are cared for.

So there you have it: some useful tips on making your home work for you. If you follow the advice that has been provided, you can create an environment that helps you to work effectively. You can ensure that your mind is clear, your motivation levels are high, and that you can distinguish your work life from your home life effectively.
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The March Run Down

I write about running on a regular basis. I talk about it on Facebook A LOT and I even have a podcast which is all about running. I have gone through every emotion you can think of before, during and after a run but I still find it hard to believe that I now actually run distance for pleasure and fitness rather than to win races as I used to when I was a sprinter in my teens. And whilst I have some blog posts specifically dedicated to certain points in my running journey, I also like to do an occasional round-up style piece dedicated to general musings and running or fitness links I find on my travels around the interwebs. So here is one of those... this is The March Run Down!




First and foremost... just in case you didn't know... I ran a half marathon. There's a whole long story behind it but the premise is that I was pissed off after being snowed in on the day of the 10 mile race that I'd be training for so, on a whim, I booked one of the final 19 places in the Darwen Heritage Half Marathon (official promo video above) - probably the toughest in the local area. You can read all about it here.

Leading on from this, a huge boost for me at the end of March was being named as Runner of the Month by members our running club. All club members are invited to email their nominations in and then these are shared publicly at the end of each month. I was totally overwhelmed reading what people had to say about my recent improvements and gave me a bit of a kick up the arse with regards to just Getting On With It. Oh, and I got a trophy to add to my collection of bling!



Next, I want to address something that I see talked about on a number of occasions; runners who are all shapes and sizes and different paces. There are a whole load of reasons that I'm passionate about this but mainly because I've been lots of shapes and sizes and because I've seen people progress from our local 'couch to 5k' group running plan to achieve amazing things.

Because here's the thing: There are no pace requirements for toeing a start line—or crossing a finish line. You are not too slow to chug water from a tiny paper cup and press on. Or to stop your RunKeeper or Strava or Garmin or whatever tracking toy you prefer and look at your effort and say, "I'm proud of what I did today."

This extract is from an open letter to any runner who thinks she's too slowwritten by Kara Cutruzzula.  I struggled for a long time with my pace and feeling that I wasn't good enough to be a runner even though I was volunteering and mentoring people to run up to, and beyond, 10k.  But changing my own focus and joining a running club made a massive difference. I always tell my newbie runners to take each run as it comes and every step is an achievement - this article helped me to take my own advice.

People often said they were surprised I could run so well for being "bigger." Or they'd note that I was "strong," a notoriously condescending word in running culture.

After getting my own head around my pace, I started to think about my weight and I'm now working on controlling that too.  I've not been talking about it too much as I'm doing it for personal reasons but I have noticed that my running is improving now that my weight is coming down.  I'll never have the same physique that I did when I was a sprinter - I mean, I'm 30 years older and have had three children - but it would be nice to shed a fair few pounds, tone up and generally be healthier.  This second quote is from an article by Allie Kieffer where she says that her weight has nothing to do with how good a runner she is and she talks about the criticism she received from peers and coaches which lead to what could be considered a possible eating disorder and some directly related injuries.

Off the track, I didn’t feel "big." Actually, I felt beautiful. I filled out the curves in a dress and cups in a bra. I knew, intellectually, that to people outside of the running community I was on the smaller side—and that in all other areas of life I benefited from the privileges that society bestows upon people who fit into straight-size clothing. But on the track, I felt different—uncomfortable and inadequate.

And this is the important take-away from the article.  A runner's body is completely different to a non-runner's body and it's all about how see ourselves.  We need to see the strong, confident person we are when we are smashing those miles and celebrate our achievements. In fact, Mirna says it best in this video that I found on Facebook...



Phew... something a bit more lighthearted now.  Do you parkrun? I love joining in when I can and we have a few great local courses. I've recently knocked 10 minutes off my course record at Hyndburn (my favourite course round here) but I only ever treat it as a personal challenge.  If I ever do a bit of parkrun tourism, I like to know how 'lumpy' it's going to be in advance so this parkrun Elevation website is a huge help. Just type in the name of the parkrun you're looking for and the elevation (according to data from GPS devices operating with barometric altimeters) is laid out for you. 

And finally... the main Marathon season is creeping up on us.  I have many runner friends across the country participating in various marathons this year - some for charity, some for personal achievement - all way more committed to the cause than I am.  Putting the extra hours in to train for a 10 miler and a half marathon alongside my volunteering commitments almost broke me so I can't even begin to understand how time is allocated to train for a marathon - it completely takes over your life!  But if you ever wondered what it was like to run the London Marathon then spend the next five minutes watching this video which take you round the course from start to finish.



Please do let me know what your running achievements have been recently. I'd love to hear about them! 



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I Invited Friends To Buy Me A Drink Via The Wetherspoon App And Here's What Happened

Pub chain Wetherspoon have an app where you can order food and drink without leaving your table.  It's really easy to use and you can pay using your debit card or Paypal and it would be a godsend in a busy bar.  But there's an extra layer of fun to be had because ANY person with the app can order ANY food or drink item to be presented at ANY pub.  I've seen it in action a couple of times and thought it was time to give it a try myself.  

What could possibly go wrong?


Picture the scene... it's Easter Sunday, I'm already a little bit tipsy and I find myself in the Postal Order pub in Blackburn. I share my table number and a fun picture to my friends on Facebook and Twitter and ask them to buy me a drink.  I honestly don't expect many people to respond but HOLY HELL they did me proud.


After I shared our table number we waited.  Friends were commenting on the Facebook post advising me to "sit tight" and letting me know what they'd ordered. About half an hour passed but no drinks or random bowls of peas arrived.

I nipped to the bar and explained that there had been some orders placed via the app for Table 55 but nothing had arrived. A member of staff explained that they'd received a huge amount of orders so they'd checked with the people sat at "table 55" and they'd denied all knowledge of ordering anything.  It was at this point that the staff realised that they'd visited the wrong table and jumped into action to rectify the situation.

This is what arrived.


I Invited Friends To Buy Me A Drink Via The Wetherspoon App And Here's What Happened

There were a couple of items that couldn't be delivered - I'm not sure what they were - and the staff were very wary that, even though it was their fault, closing time was fast approaching.  They promised that the undelivered items would be refunded and we promised that we would try and drink up quickly. 

The gins were gorgeous and everything else got us extremely pissed, extremely quickly. It was a novel idea and kept us highly amused.  It also proves that my friends are up for a laugh but I owe so many drinks out now!! 

I might try this again sometime!

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