Malaysia is fortunate enough to be a country blessed with an abundance of natural resources, boasting pristine, azure-blue seas up to housing one of the world’s oldest tropical rainforests. As such, for a long time, eco-tourism in the country has garnered wide attention and love from avid nature-lovers from all over the world. Realizing Malaysia’s unrivaled potential in becoming a popular eco-tourism destination, the government has been carrying out a myriad of promotion and conservation activities to ensure the sustainability of this tourism field. From exploring the depths of mysterious caves to witnessing breathtaking views of the underwater world, there is definitely one spot that will tickle your fancy if you visit Malaysia.
A destination that cannot be left out when discussing ecotourism in Malaysia is the Mulu Cave National Park located in Sarawak. Chosen as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the world’s largest underground chamber (the Sarawak Chamber) and also the biggest cave passage (the Deer Cave), the sheer sight of the cave, combined with its natural phenomena such as the Bat Exodus and rich flora and fauna will guarantee the trip of a lifetime for nature-loving tourists. In addition to the park’s scenic value, the park has also provided invaluable opportunities to study the history of earth for research purposes due to its cave structures.
For those who prefer water over land, Malaysia has a lot of promising islands and seashores. Both the peninsula and the Borneo Islands boast crystal-clear waters that is guaranteed to wash away the stress of those who need a break from the hustle of city life. In the peninsula, the Pulau Redang Marine Park is hailed as a scuba diving and snorkeling paradise due to its diverse and impressive marine fauna and reefs. The island is also a prominent conservation site for sea turtles. In Sabah state of the Borneo Islands, we have Sipadan Island which is highly regarded among scuba-diving aficionados. In order to protect the fragile marine ecosystem, considerable efforts have been carried out by the government to ensure the balance between commercial and ecological interest of these natural wonders are well preserved.
Additionally, there might not be anything more mesmerizing than immersing yourself in the vastness and majesty of mother nature by spending time at the 130 million year-old tropical rainforests of Taman Negara national park, a destination so huge that it spans across 3 states (Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu) of Malaysia. The park is home to a huge variety of wildlife, as well as the enormous flowers of the Rafflesia plant, otherwise known as the corpse flower due to its foul odor that reminds one of rotting flesh. Visitors can indulge in outdoor activities such as hiking, river rapid shooting and rafting, staying overnight at a wildlife observation hideout, or taking the infamous 530m canopy walk.
By LIEW Jeen Vern, ASEAN Correspondent from Malaysia