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Thean Hou Temple: Experience Chinese culture like a local

Thean Hou TempleA young women paying visit to Thean Hou Temple during the Chinese New Year

Thean Hou Temple seated along Jalan Klang Lama forms one of the largest and oldest Chinese temples in Southeast Asia. Termed as a notable religious landmark in Kuala Lumpur because of the large number of visitors it attracts every year.

About Thean Hou Temple

The Thean Hou Temple, locally known as the Temple of the Goddess of Heaven themes an elaborate six tired Pagoda. Dedicated to Tian Hou, the protector of the fishermen community the temple sits atop a hill. The Hainanese community of Kuala Lumpur established the temple in 1894. The mix of red and gold designs give a visual treat to the eyes.

Thean Hou Temple
Outside the Thean Hou Temple

The multi-arch gateway and red pillars at the main entrance symbolize prosperity and good luck. A modern Buddhist temple, it features images and art depicting Buddha all around the main hall.

Statues of Guan Di, the god of war and Wei Tuo, a divine protector are present in the temple. With elements of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, the grand structure showcases influences from all these schools of thought. 

Things to do

A walk around the temple complex leads you to a tortoise pond and a herb garden filled with Chinese medicinal plants. A sanctified Boddhi tree also graces the compound and creates an aura of mysticism!

The Thean Hou temple marks as one of the best places to visit in Kuala Lumpur. Create a customised itinerary with Locaguide so that you do not miss out on this beautiful temple. With the local travel expert, you can not only visit the temple but experience the prayer ceremonies like a local. He/ She can also help you get your fortune read at the temple if it makes you keen.

The Thean Hou temple makes up for more than just a place of worship. An architectural marvel in itself which brings the local Chinese community together. So, do pay a visit and experience it for yourself.

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Locale

Visit the unique Cat Museum in the Kuching

Cat MuseumKuching Cat Museum building

The Cat Museum makes up for a fun idea to spend an hour or two when in Kuching. Have an affinity towards feline creatures? Then make sure you visit this cat museum. As the name suggests, the museum contains artefacts, paintings and information on cats. Entertaining people since 1993, the museum houses over 4000 art pieces all related to cats. A cat lover or not, anyone who visits the museum certainly enjoys the museum tour.

What does the cat museum include?

The museum holds artefacts, news articles, information, stories, mummified and stuffed toys all belonging to the cats. So, to say the least, a trip to Malaysia remains incomplete without a stop at this museum. A fun excursion to discover more about cats if you never had one.

From mummified cats dating back to 3000 BC to containing the history and beliefs revolving around cats, the museum holds everything.

The legend of cats at the museum entertains almost everyone and appears comical for children too. The museum covers itself with photographic pieces and funny cat-shaped objects to entertain all age groups. Upon a walk through the museum, make sure to pick up souvenirs that remind you of the time spent at the museum. These quirky souvenirs make for some perfect gifts to take back home for family and friends.

Mummified cats on display
Mummified cats on display at the museum

The name of the city, Kuching, originated from the Malay word for cat, ‘kucing’. So, it naturally becomes imperative to visit the museum when in the city. Include it in your customised Kuching itinerary on Locaguide. The local travel expert will ensure a safe trip to this unique cat museum. While the entry to the museum is free of cost, you might need to pay a small fee to take photographs. The museum is definitely worth every penny.

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Locale

Strawberry Picking at Cameron Highlands’ Big Red Strawberry Farm

Strawberry potsStrawberry Pots

Want to spend time away from the bustling city during your trip to Malaysia? then Cameron Highlands makes up for a perfect getaway destination for a one day trip or two. While in Cameron Highlands, a visit to the local Big Red Strawberry Farm is a must. To reach the farm you can either trek or drive to follow the path uphill. A day at the Big Red Strawberry Farm remains ideal for a fun outing with the whole family.

Pick your own strawberries at the farm

Spend some time meandering along the trails of the strawberry farm and breath in some fresh air. Meanwhile, the idea of picking the juicy red strawberries is not frowned upon as a ticket for the same is available. Take a quick pause along the way to admire the gorgeous surroundings of the farm. Colourful potted plants and a little fish pond add to the extravaganza of the place. You can also pose to capture the memories of the day.

Freshly picked strawberries at the Big Red Strawberry Farm
Freshly picked strawberries

Savour at some delectable strawberry dishes

The hydroponic cultivation of leafy vegetables and lettuces alongside the strawberries is worth getting the first-hand view of. While a tour of the cultivation technology goes to show the advances and the positive impact science holds in the farming industry. Upon spending the day along the shady trails stop at the cafe to try some mouth-watering strawberry dishes. The variety of strawberry based dishes at the cafe offers something or the other to all the age groups. Especially, do not forget to try the melted chocolate with fresh strawberry.

While planning an itinerary to Cameron Highlands, make sure to add this vibrant farm for a firsthand experience of how your favourite fruits are grown. A local tour guide from Locaguide can help you plan a trip here and also help you make the most of this experience!

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FoodLocale

Explore Local Food at Gurney Drive Hawker Center

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No trip to Penang is complete without a walk through Gurney Drive Hawker Center. The place is overflowing with smells and flavours that is essentially the soul of Penang – its food! It is said to have the largest variety of local cuisine in one area. The Gurney Drive Hawker Center continues to remain the perfect place to mingle with the locals and try their dishes.

What is the Gurney Drive Hawker Center

Gurney Drive Hawker street
Gurney Drive Hawker street

The Gurney Drive hawker center serves like an open-air food mall. You pay as you order and the food is delivered to your table. Start at the juice stall and sip on the fresh juice as you pick and order from the various stalls. You’ll notice that the popular stalls usually have a wait in the queue policy while ordering. The stalls here sell everything — ranging from stir-fried noodles to assorted dumpling to desserts. Ais Kachang, a dessert made of shaved ice, red beans and a variety of toppings serves the perfect end. Perhaps a food court that leaves you sinfully full but positively satisfied without making a big hole in your wallet. 

A food lovers paradise

Delectable dishes at the stalls
Delectable local dishes

A foodie’s paradise, the hawker centre attracts even locals, not just tourists. A popular area especially during dinner time. Hence, better reach for an early dinner or you may end up hunting a seat for a long time. With at least hundreds of food stalls and numerous food options, it’s hard to run out of food options here. The clever serving size ensures you to try more than a couple of dishes. Thus, experiment with whatever catches your eye or tingles your nose, as you walk around. 

The best way to get a tour of this maze-like food market is with the help of a local travel guide. And that’s exactly where Locaguide will come to your rescue. Create an itinerary and book a guided tour of Penang with Locaguide, and get to explore places like Gurney Drive!

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Visit the mighty Seven Wells Waterfall of Langkawi

Seven Wells Waterfall 1

Telaga Tujuh, locally known as the Seven Wells Waterfall, signifies the occurrence of seven wells that overflow into each other. Almost like seven natural infinity pools, they combine to give birth to one big waterfall. Located a short trip from Langkawi town centre, this collection of pools will take you back to your childhood days. 

The way uphill to Seven Wells Waterfall
The way uphill

How to get to the Seven Wells Waterfall

Like all things good, to truly enjoy the brilliance of the Seven Wells Waterfalls you have to go that extra mile. Rest assured, your walk uphill is worth it once you reach the top and slide into the higher pools. The exploration through the rainforest lets you experience the beauty of the place and get up close with nature.

The rocks polished and smoothened due to the flowing stream of water constitute to form a slide into the pools. After all the climbing and trekking, you can’t resist but slide into one of the shallow pools. Take a refreshing swim and soak into the beauty of nature. While the surrounding flora makes up for most of the view, you can also spot the blue waters of Buara Bay!

The water pools

The view atop and the adrenaline rush from the trek makes you realise why Telaga Tujuh occurs on every tourist’s list. But here’s a word of caution when you visit this waterfalls. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt, so make sure you take care while getting in and out of the pool. Also, look out for rocks near the cliffs as they can be very slippery. Hire a local travel guide to pay a visit to this natural wonder who can guide you at every step. With Locaguide you can hire a guide to explore the Seven Wells Waterfall. A perfect person to take care of all the needs and to ensure your safety throughout the trip. Also, keep the pesky monkeys, at a distance because they cause inconvenience to the climbers.

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Locale

Detox at the natural springs in Ayer Hangat Village

Ayer Hangat Village 3

A short drive away from Langkawi’s Kuah town lies a scenic little village called Ayer Hangat. Ayer Hangat means Hot Water. Known for its naturally found saltwater hot spring, a dip in these waters results into multiple health benefits. The village denotes a complex built around the hot spring wells. It includes a hot water Jacuzzi, pond and spa and beautifully landscaped gardens.


Hot springs at Ayer Hangat

The various offerings at Ayer Hangat

The Ayer Hangat Village does not find a place on people’s must-visit list because it remains highly underrated. The hot springs offer the perfect setting for unwinding and letting go of any physical or mental stress. So, spending a whole day here almost equals to a spa getaway. Start off by soaking your feet in the hot spring wells and then take a dip in the Jacuzzi. Rich in mineral content, the spring water is known to heal skin irritations and joint aches naturally.

Gazebos to relax at Ayer Hnagat
Gazebos at Ayer Hangat

If you prefer foot reflexology instead of the Jacuzzi, then Ayer Hangat offers a variety of foot massage services — you also get to select one as per your liking. The gorgeous landscaped gardens also possess a reflexology pathway. Here you can take a walk and enjoy the relaxation that a foot massage would provide. Made of river stones of multiple sizes, the pathway contains a dry and wet section which seems quite relaxing to walk on.

Plan a trip to this unique attraction in Langkawi with Locaguide‘s customised itinerary planning feature. Discuss with your designated local travel guide on how to make the most of this visit. Opt to visit Ayer Hangat Village instead of a typical day at the spa and let nature spill its beans for you.

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CultureLocale

Get acquainted with local culture at Mari Mari Cultural Village

Mari Mari Cultural Village 4

A short trip from Kota Kinabalu, Mari Mari constitutes a village where the ethnic culture of the Borneo tribes is kept alive. The village houses five of the indigenous Borneo tribes, who continue to live in their old ways. Every tribe’s lifestyle, culture and history tell a different yet fascinating story.

The tribes of Borneo in their traditional costumes
The tribes of Borneo

You get a first-hand view of their way of life, work, customs, traditions and their clothing. Also, know what sets them apart from each other. Everyone who visits the village learns about the tribe’s rich past and ancient customs of the tribes. You can partake in each of the custom and activity to experience them personally. Every tribe showcases their hunting and survival skills to the tourists. Thus, altogether making it a fun excursion.

Things to do at Mari Mari Cultural Village

You can taste their traditional food, see how the dish is prepared and perhaps even try your hand at it. Moreover, while dining, each tribe will share with you how their tribe name came about and what it stands for. The experience of eating in an antiquated village will stay with you forever.

A traditional Rungus house
Traditional Rungus house

Spending half a day at the cultural village lets you explore activities each belonging to one of the five tribes. You can also sit back and enjoy the cultural performances or take part in them alongside the locals. The village surrounding remains a natural habitat of rainforest trees thus keeping you away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

A group of tourists observing traditional cooking
Group of tourists observing traditional cooking

Gain hands-on experience in traditional bamboo cooking, fire starting or play a game of Congkak(Malay game).

Furthermore, the experience of visiting the Mari Mari Cultural Village gets even better with a local travel guide accompanying you. Someone who can help you translate and understand the stories of the tribes and help you grasp the true essence. Find yourself a suitable local guide from Locaguide and plan a personalized itinerary with their help. Visit this cultural village with your guide and get a glimpse of tribal life in the Borneo islands.

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Locale

Take a ride on the North Borneo Railway

North Borneo Railway 1

The Experience on North Borneo Railway

The North Borneo Railway takes you back into the history of Malaysia! Previously employed to transport tobacco from the centre of Malaysia to the coastal places. However, now, the railway serves as a means of transportation to the locals and tourists. But tourists who wish to spend time watching the countryside and enjoy a good bit of souvenir shopping take the train ride.

The North Borneo Railway
The North Borneo Railway

Departing at 9:30 am from Kota Kinabalu to Kinarut town, the train offers you a choice of local breakfast options. With breakfast, you can watch the train pass through the open fields, across the coastline and the city. At Kinarut, disembark the train and get ready to explore the town. A popular place for shopping, the town owns a selection of souvenirs shops and many options you can select from.

Things to do and see 

From Kinarut, the train further goes to Papar, where you can interact with the locals before heading back to Kota Kinabalu. On your way back, the North Borneo Railway tour offers you a meal for lunch. Furthermore, you can even get an opportunity to chat with the railway engineer. So, learn about the old wood fire engine restoration and know how the railway works. 

A bridge through which the Railway passes
A bridge through which the Railway passes

Do not miss the enthralling experience the North Borneo Railway ride offers. Get a glimpse and soak into the rich history of Malaysia or simply just chose to relax. You can also take a long ride to watch the gorgeous landscapes of the surrounding. No trip to Kota Kinabalu is complete without spending a morning aboard the North Borneo Railway. Thus, when in Kota Kinabalu, look forward to experiencing the city from a different perspective.

Not sure how to go about booking a trip on this historic train? Let Locaguide’s local travel experts help you out. Build a personalised Kota Kinabalu itinerary of your choice and consult with your guide on including this attraction.

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Locale

Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve – Kuala Lumpur’s Urban Sanctuary

Bukit NanasWalking through the suspension bridge in Bukit Nanas

Home to over 200 tree species, 25 types of birds and 12 species of animals, the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, now called KL Forest Eco-Park, is the only tropical forest that remains in the midst of a bustling city. Bukit Nanas literally translates to “Pineapple Hill” and gets its name from the 1860s when Raja Asal planted pineapples on the hill. Often referred to as the “green lung” of Kuala Lumpur, it offers multiple jungle trails to explore. However, no city walk of Kuala Lumpur is complete without a walk through this reserve and its multiple trails.

Exploring the trails of Bukit Nanas

The Jelutong Trail in this tropical forest loops the side of the reserve and takes you past some of the large rainforest trees. You will come across a tiled pavement with massive bamboo clumps growing on either side, known as the Bamboo Walk. Walking straight through the Bamboo Walk you reach an old banana grove which leads you to Suboh Trails. The Suboh Trail is a gorgeous walk passing through the banana plantations to the edge of the forest reserve.

View of the KL Tower from Bukit Nanas
View of the KL Tower from Bukit Nanas

Skipping these trails takes you directly to the small park built for activities. Walking straight through this takes you to two other trails. The Merawan Trail which takes you past a few large trees. While the short plank walkway built over the forest gives you an awe-inspiring understorey view of a typical Malavan rainforest. At the end of the Merawan Trail is the Penarahan Trail, known for its unique, twisting lianas.

However, the Canopy Walk is a trail you should not miss. It trails above the forest with a view of the looming KL Towers and a gorgeous skyline in the backdrop.

With over 1000 meters of walking trails in the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, it is advised you take the help of a local guide to ensure you get to see the best of the reserve. Meanwhile, one from Locaguide can help you. Ask you guide from for recommendations and tips to see this urban sanctuary in the best way possible because this is a rare opportunity you don’t want to miss!

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Locale

A Slice of China in Kuala Lumpur’s Petaling Street

Petaling streetPetaling street Kuala Lumpur entrance

Have you ever wanted to be in two places at once? Head to Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur and you will find yourself teleported to China! Popularly known as the Chinatown of Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Street lies between Jalan Pudu and Jalan Sultan. It is one of the most popular shopping districts in the city. Petaling Street maintains its traditional atmosphere — more so at night when vendors display their wares along the street bringing the entire area alive.

Petaling Street

At first glance, Petaling street is an explosion of colour and noise, a street thronged by locals and tourists. The stalls that cover the main street remain filled with merchandise and you can buy everything, ranging from clothes to women’s accessories or even decorative pieces and souvenirs. If you are a seasoned shopper and know how to spot the hidden gems among the huge volume of merchandise, you should make your way to the walkways on this street. You never know where you get the best deals and bargains!

Petaling street
Petaling street

Bargaining and haggling have almost become a norm here. Thus Petaling Street is the best place to put your skills to a test and get the best rates possible for your purchase. Meanwhile, if you aren’t a skilful bargainer or feel that you may get cheated, opt for a local guide. A local travel expert from Locaguide may help you get a good deal. Perhaps, bargaining is best left to the locals, don’t you think?

The food lovers pit stop

Once done with shopping, it’s time to enjoy some delicious local street food on Petaling street. With dozens of stalls and restaurants selling a variety of food, its definite to be spoilt for choices. The hawkers here offer many of the local favourite foods as well as traditional Chinese food; one of the many reasons why this street features in every list of places to explore in Kuala Lumpur.

A street vendor selling colourful Dim sums
A street vendor selling colourful Dim sums

The energy on the street feels infectious! Upon shopping and eating to your heart’s content, take a moment to just observe the chaos of the street as it unfolds itself for miles ahead in front of you.

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