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  • Travel Features by Stuart Forster | Rough Guides
    Peru Uruguay Venezuela UK View by Theme Activity Architecture Beaches Belief Boats sailing Budget travel Coasts islands Crafts and markets Cycling Deserts Discovery Diving snorkeling Everyday Life Extreme Adventure sports Family friendly Festivals events Food drink Heritage ruins Indigenous culture Leisure Luxury Mountains Museums art Music National parks reserves Nature Nightlife Novelty Off the beaten track People Photography Railway journeys Relaxation Road trips Romance Shopping Structures Surfing Tourist Trail Tradition Transport Walking trekking Wildlife Winter sports Features Stuart Forster Sort by Date Popularity 7 reasons why Langkawi is Malaysia s ultimate island escape Looking to unwind on a tropical island somewhere in Southeast Asia Then head to the island of Langkawi Malaysia s ultimate escape from the country s frenetic cities From trekking into the rainforest to wildlife watching all between spells of relaxing on a wide sandy beach here are a few reasons why you should escape to Langkawi 1 Stuart Forster 09 02 2016 Lunenburg Canada s most colourful town Twenty years ago the facades of the wood built buildings in Lunenburg a UNESCO listed fishing town in Nova Scotia were white with black trimming The only exceptions were the red buildings down by the wharf But in 2007 the new owners of the Mariner King Inn kickstarted a trend They decided to repaint their multi building property Stuart Forster 29 10 2015 Rotterdam 8 reasons to visit the Netherlands second city Rotterdam has the confident vibe of a place on the up Amsterdam might still be the brightest beacon for travellers to the Netherlands but a host of exciting new attractions are putting this southern city on the map Last year Rotterdam Central railway station and the Markthal a market hall and apartment complex whose arched Stuart Forster 16 09 2015 Hamburg Germany s second city is

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/author/stuart-forster/ (2016-02-16)
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  • 7 reasons why Langkawi is Malaysia’s ultimate island escape | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    with a shisha pipe or a plate of chicken satay in addition to cocktails 2 Because it s teeming with weird and wonderful wildlife Board a boat at Kilim Jetty to tour the waterways of Kilim Karst Geoforest Park You ll have a good chance of spotting pythons between the twisted roots of mangroves and bonnet macaques feeding Keep your mouth closed when you pause to view the awesome sight of bat colonies hanging in caves within limestone formed 550 million years ago who knows what might drop from above The island also provides habitat for more than 200 bird species In the island s foliage you re likely to spot oriental pied hornbills easily identifiable thanks to their bulbous beaks Females have blue eyes and the males are red You ll need well attuned ears to identify the call of greater racket tailed drongos which have a quiff like crest and distinctive twin tail feathers Impressively the drongos are able to mimic as many as 26 calls by other birds and animals including the whooping and shrieking of monkeys 3 Because you can trek in an ancient rainforest Pack your boots and hike to the sounds of squealing cicadas and chirping birds in dense rainforest on the slopes of Gunung Raya and Gunung Machincang Langkawi s highest mountains Companies like Dev s Adventure Tours and Junglewalla offer guided tours providing insights into nature and wildlife Alternatively follow marked trails at your own pace Locals rate the trail to the Telaga Tujuh waterfalls whose seven pools are associated with legends featuring fairies 4 Because the sea waters are warm and ripe for swimming If you re a water baby then you ll love Langkawi Ocean temperatures fluctuate between 28 30 C 82 86 F making swimming in the sea inviting and pleasant Be warned though jellyfish can be a problem The creatures known locally as obor obor lay their eggs by the shore on evenings Several resorts protect guests with anti jellyfish nets Wearing a rashie or T shirt helps minimise your exposure to stings 5 Because you can ride a cable car in tropical temperatures Cable cars are usually associated with winter holidays but riding the Langkawi Skycab lifts you above the dense canopy of the virgin rainforest decking Gunung Machincang The peak of the steep sided mountain stands 708m above sea level where viewing platforms prove popular spots for enjoying panoramas of the island On clear days you can see the coastline of southern Thailand beyond the glimmering Andaman Sea If you have a head for heights ascend to the Top Station in one of the glass bottomed gondolas peering over the ancient jungle s treetops on the way The 15 minute ride carries you 2 2 kilometres At the top you can cross the 125 metre long Sky Bridge The world s longest free span curved bridge dangles above a chasm from a single metal pylon Blend in by snapping selfies on the vantage point that doubles

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/reasons-why-langkawi-is-malaysias-ultimate-island-escape/?wpfpaction=add&postid=412904 (2016-02-16)
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  • Pulau Langkawi | The west coast Guide | Rough Guides
    Rough Guide to Malaysia Singapore Brunei View Guide The Rough Guide to Southeast Asia On A Budget View Guide Rough Guides Snapshot Malaysia Kuala Lumpur View Guide The Rough Guide to Korea View Guide Hokkaido Rough Guides Snapshot Japan View Guide The Rough Guide to Tokyo View Guide The Rough Guide to India View Guide Kyushu Rough Guides Snapshot Japan View Guide Kansai Rough Guides Snapshot Japan View Guide The Rough Guide to Taiwan View Guide Malaysia The west coast Pulau Langkawi Situated 30km off the coast just south of the Thai border Pulau Langkawi is at 500 square kilometres the largest of an archipelago of mostly uninhabited islands Its white sand beaches are easily the best along the entire west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and Langkawi s charms consist largely of lazing around on the sand perhaps taking time off for a mangrove cruise after sea eagles to snorkel or scuba dive south at Pulau Payar Marine Park or to ride the Langkawi Cable Car over the interior forests to the top of Gunung Mat Cincang Once a haven for pirates Langkawi has in recent years been converted into an upmarket resort destination aimed at Saudis and Europeans complete with its own airport and some of the country s priciest hotels That said there s relatively little high density development and a growing sprinkle of budget end accommodation means that the island is fairly affordable for a couple of days even if your funds are limited It s also popular with Western yachties as a cheaper place to hang out than Phuket in Thailand and Langkawi s special duty free status means a case of beer costs only RM25 There s no reason to stay longer in Langkawi s main port Kuah than it takes to arrange transport west

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/malaysia/west-coast/kedah-perlis/pulau-langkawi/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Jungle boogie in Sarawak, Malaysia | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    Most Of Your Time On Earth one Rough Guides writer experiences a memorable three day music festival Afternoon the first day of Sarawak s Rainforest Music festival People are mingling ahead of show time when the famous Malagasy band Tarika will perform For now though a local Melinau musician with a hat made of bark and bird feathers strums the lute like sape as we wander around the site comprising a dozen small longhouses which open daily for demonstrations of local culture The music mingles with the screech of tropical birdlife the scampering of chickens and the sing along refrains of local children As evening progresses crowds arrive from the nearby city Kuching primed for the evening s fun We first gorge ourselves on a Dyak feast of local delicacies baked fish in banana leaves spicy fried pork rice and a salad dressed in lime and chili Dusk swiftly becomes night as the festival hits its stride with sets from international folk jazz and world fusion artists I m reminded of WOMAD in the early days and expect to spot a beady eyed Peter Gabriel on the lookout for new talent hunting perhaps an upriver Iban rapper with a fleet of gongs and pipes for accompaniment By the time the opening night of the three day jamboree draws to a close and with the tropical heat cooled by a refreshing south westerly we are on our feet jiving crazily to Tarika lead singer Hanitra s robust sounds We have made or at least bumped into many new friends from all over the world Some have been coming to the festival for years know the bands and appreciate the attention this little outpost of Malaysian camaraderie gets over this hot hot weekend Others though confess to not knowing what has hit

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/jungle-boogie-in-sarawak-malaysia/ (2016-02-16)
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  • A night in the rainforest, Malaysia | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    art Music National parks reserves Nature Nightlife Novelty Off the beaten track People Photography Railway journeys Relaxation Road trips Romance Shopping Structures Surfing Tourist Trail Tradition Transport Walking trekking Wildlife Winter sports A night in the rainforest Malaysia By Site Editor October 23rd 2013 View Comments You probably won t get much sleep on your first night in Taman Negara National Park not because there s an elephant on your chalet doorstep or the rain s dripping through your tent but because the rainforest is unexpectedly noisy after dark High volume insects whirr and beep at an ear splitting pitch branches creak and swish menacingly and every so often something nearby shrieks or thumps Taman Negara is a deceptively busy place home to scores of creatures including macaques gibbons leaf monkeys and tapirs as well as more elusive tigers elephants and sun bears Not to mention some three hundred species of birds and a huge insect population Many rainforest residents are best observed after dark either on a ranger led night walk or from one of the twelve bed tree house hides strategically positioned above popular salt licks But a longer guided trek also offers a good chance of spotting something interesting and will get you immersed in the phenomenally diverse flora of Taman Negara which supports a staggering 14 000 plant species including 75m high tualang trees carnivorous pitcher plants and fungi that glow like lightbulbs The rewarding six hour Keniam Trenggan trail takes you through dense jungle and into several impressive caves while the arduous week long expedition to the cloudforests atop 2187m high Gunung Tahan involves frequent river crossings and steep climbs With minimal effort on the other hand you can ascend to the treetops near park headquarters via a canopy walkway Slung some 30m above the

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/a-night-in-the-rainforest-malaysia/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Luxury Malaysia | Rough Guides
    to reflect the elegance of seventeenth century Istanas grand wooden palaces of Malay sultans The tastefully decorated rooms featuring local timber are set around seventeen hectares of tropical grounds shaded by palm trees The exclusive Anjung Suite measures 176 square metres and features an outdoor bath set in its own private garden The resort s award winning Spa Village offers therapies based on traditional Malay treatments that have been handed down from generation to generation Doubles from US 400 www tanjongjararesort com Tiger Rock Pangkor Island Set on twelve acres of lush jungle on Pangkor Island off the west coast of Malaysia Tiger Rock features eight tastefully decorated rooms dotted around verdant grounds overlooking the sea and the mainland The buildings are fashioned after traditional Malay kampung village houses and each is individually designed and furnished with the owners very own collections of furniture artefacts books and paintings as well as intricate textiles and handmade ceramics Rates include three daily meals all lovingly prepared by the outstanding chef Bavanni using the island s freshest ingredients US 205 per person per night full board www tigerrock info P hoto courtesy of Tiger Rock Bon Ton Resort Langkawi This unique resort is home to eight antique kampung houses set amid a lush coconut plantation with an inviting swimming pool A spectacular lagoon dotted with lotus flowers borders the resort and provides the perfect backdrop to the explosion of colours at sunset The houses dating back 60 to 120 years were brought in from around the country and were painstakingly reassembled by local carpenters skilled in kampung construction Each house is rich in its own history and individually furnished with wonderful antiques and ornate fabrics from Malaysia Indonesia and Thailand Doubles from RM650 www bontonresort com Straits Collection George Town Penang Located in the UNESCO World Heritage Centre of George Town the Straits Collection comprises four wonderful apartments located in pastel coloured colonial buildings that were formerly shophouses All have been fully renovated to reflect the town s historical past and are fully equipped with living area and modern amenities Some apartments can sleep up to five Apartments from US 140 www straitscollection com my P hoto courtesy of the Straits Collection Villa World Café Long Beach Perhentian Islands The smart villas here are nestled along a stretch of powdery white sand with crystal clear waters The welcoming rooms decorated with attractive wooden furnishings have high ceilings large windows and plenty of natural light while secluded outdoor bathrooms offer airy showers set amid sprouting bamboo shoots Doubles from US 265 www theworldcafe com my Bagus Place Pulau Tioman This remarkable development of seven unique chalets is located on a beautiful stretch of beach fronted by turquoise waters Each chalet is individually designed and blends in with the surrounding environment quirky choices include the Tree House with an open air living area built around a sturdy tree trunk and the Boat House offering accommodation in a mock wooden vessel with its own sundeck There

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/luxury-malaysia/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Baba Nyonya | Peranakan | Rough Guides
    The Chinese settlers who were largely male intermarried with Malay women and so the Baba Nyonya community was born The Baba Nyonyas adopted Malay customs and social practices while retaining Chinese traditions and religious beliefs and over time developed their own unique dialect Baba Malay But it s their blend of Chinese and Malay cooking that remains the most significant legacy Their cuisine marries Chinese wok cooking styles with Malay ingredients and condiments such as candlenut Vietnamese coriander and fermented shrimp paste relying on sour sauces and coconut milk Added in the mix are Indian and Middle Eastern spices Javan vegetables such as buah keluak black mangrove tree nuts and ulam a plant native to Asian wetlands resulting in a truly distinctive cuisine that bursts with flavours Nyonya cooking simultaneously tastes sweet sour salty and spicy Here are six Baba Nyonya dishes you have to try Laksa Nyonya curry noodles with coconut milk A mouthwatering coconut curry soup laksa nyonya is a mainstay of Baba Nyonya cuisine There are a number of laksa variations and ingredients change from region to region It is traditionally made with a fish based gravy of prawns often combined with chicken and served with thick rice noodles or thin vermicelli The final dish is garnished with a plethora of ingredients including Vietnamese coriander sliced cucumber omelette clams fish ball and foo chok fried bean curd with a dollop of chilli sambal paste it s a must try Ayam Pongteh Nyonya stewed chicken Ayam pongteh is a succulent meat dish of stewed chicken and potatoes in a heavy gravy sauce commonly served with steamed rice Shallots and garlic are pounded into a thick paste and sautéed until fragrant along with dark soy sauce and palm sugar which lend the dish its dark hue Chicken is added in along with water potatoes and mushrooms then left to simmer until the gravy has thickened and the chicken is tender Ingredients are often left to steep overnight in order to enhance flavour Udang Masak Lemak Nenas curry prawns with pineapple Simultaneously fruity sour and spicy udang masak lemak nenas a rich creamy dish made with prawns and pineapple is traditionally prepared for Chinese New Year feasts and at family reunions The sweet and tangy flavour of pineapple marries nicely with fragrant spices such as tamarind and lime leaves A spicy chilli paste is wok sautéed and transferred to a cooking pot with water and pineapple chunks where it simmers with coconut milk and prawns resulting in an exquisite dish packed with flavour and aroma Ayam buah keluak chicken with black nuts This exotic dish is made using the seeds known as black nuts of the kepayang a tall tree native to the mangrove swamps of Malaysia and Indonesia The nuts are poisonous and can be deadly if not cooked so they re soaked in cold water for at least two days after which the flesh is scooped out and pounded into a paste with salt and sugar before being

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/baba-nyonya-peranakan/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The world’s highest and longest glass bridge is being built in China | Travel Feature | Rough Guides
    sailing Budget travel Coasts islands Crafts and markets Cycling Deserts Discovery Diving snorkeling Everyday Life Extreme Adventure sports Family friendly Festivals events Food drink Heritage ruins Indigenous culture Leisure Luxury Mountains Museums art Music National parks reserves Nature Nightlife Novelty Off the beaten track People Photography Railway journeys Relaxation Road trips Romance Shopping Structures Surfing Tourist Trail Tradition Transport Walking trekking Wildlife Winter sports The world s highest and longest glass bridge is being built in China By Lottie Gross February 2nd 2016 View Comments If you re prone to vertigo then don t scroll down Not one for those without a head for heights China s new record breaking bridge is taking shape and this week astonishing photographs emerged of the colossal structure Spanning the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon in Hunan province it will be the world s longest glass bottom bridge at 430m long and the highest of its kind sitting 300m above the floor of the canyon The Chinese are trumping themselves on this one as their last glass bottom construction was also a record breaker Here courageous construction workers are pictured from above as they insert the 5cm thick glass panes into the support beams The bridge designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotam is expected to open in May 2016 and will be able to hold up to 800 people at one time There are big plans afoot for its future too it will act as a catwalk for fashion shows and is set to become the home of the world s highest bungee jump The views are bound to be spectacular but after a glass walkway on Yuntai Mountain cracked while tourists were on it in October last year it may take a little nerve to tackle this one Explore more of China with the Rough

    Original URL path: http://www.roughguides.com/article/worlds-highest-and-longest-glass-bottomed-bridge-china/?wpfpaction=add&postid=411928 (2016-02-16)
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