The Other Seven Wonders Of Malaysia

The Other Seven Wonders Of Malaysia
They say, to know Malaysia is to love Malaysia!

Compared to many other nations around the world, Malaysia is a small country by landmass. But there is more to discover and be overwhelmed by Malaysia than meets the eye. By true measure when one thinks of Malaysia, surely the world's tallest twin towers first comes to mind. Or the rainbow coloured 272 steps of the limestone Batu Caves that draw thousands of Hindu worshippers and tourists during the annual Thaipusam festival. And don't forget, Malaysia is blessed with five UNESCO World Heritage sites: the two natural heritage sites of the Lenggong Valley and the Mulu Caves, Kinabalu Park and two cultural heritage sites of Melaka and Penang.

Let's take an insider's peek at some lesser known wonders, and wonderful insights, about Malaysia that even locals may not realise exist.
No. 1 : Ar-Rahman Mosque, Kampung Pulau Gajah, Kota Baru, Kelantan
From above, this newest tourist attraction in Kelantan looks like a triple-tier pyramid surrounded by waterways. In fact, it is a unique mosque built on reclaimed mangrove swamps over an area of 5,000sq ft (465 metres) on a small mangrove island of Pulau Gajah that is home to just 2,300 residents. Construction started in 2016 when a local philanthropist envisioned this idea and gave his piece of land as a solution to space limitations at the village's decades old mosque. Unlike other mosques, this one has no golden dome nor four minarets at its corners. Instead, it has just one minaret where the azans (Muslim call to prayer) are delivered five times a day. Most interesting of all, the philanthropist builder incorporated Javanese influence into Malay architecture and brought together items from five Muslim countries; the highly intricate main door, from Yemen; the chandeliers, from India; the water faucets for ablution, from Turkey; the drum set, from Indonesia; the two green pillars made from dates tree trunks and pulpit, from Morocco. Amazingly, 90% of the mosque is made of local wood. And the intricate Islamic calligraphic wood carvings were done by six craftsmen from Indonesia.

No. 2 : Fort Margherita, Kuching, Sarawak
A British castle on the island of Borneo? History has it that between 1841 and 1946 the White Rajahs were a dynastic monarchy of the British Brooke family that the Sultanate of Brunei rewarded towards the Raj of Sarawak for their efforts against maritime insurgency. In 1879, Charles Brooke built Fort Margherita overlooking the Sarawak river in Kuching as a defence against pirates and named it after his wife. Today, this living legacy of the glory days of Sarawak's colonial heritage houses the Brooke Gallery exhibition. The fort's striking three-storey white tower and high walls are a distinctive landmark that is hard to miss in the heart of Kuching.

No. 3 : Taiping - The 3rd Most Sustainable City In The World
This quaint, tree-lined town in Perak caught the attention of non-profit organisation Green Destinations and ranked it as their 2019 3rd Most Sustainable Cities In The World in the Best Of Cities category by International Tourismus-Börse (ITB), Germany. This prestigious international award focusses on efforts to create sustainable tourism and aims to recognise efforts by authorities in the tourism industry that contribute to a sustainable environment. Taiping is well-known for its century old rain trees, crowned as the wettest town in country, besides being home to the first, and oldest museum and the first railway station in Malaysia. Taiping even has the country's first tulip farm. Only the cities of Ljubljana, Solvenia and Vancouver, Canada topped Taiping in this global ranking.

No. 4 : Malaysia - Ranked 1st Best Healthcare In The World
Wonder why Malaysians seem to be healthier? Malaysia was ranked 1st in the 2019 International Living Global Retirement Index in the Best Healthcare In The World category by based on English-proficiency, first-rate care, top-class service, sophisticated infrastructure and affordability.

No. 5 : Penang - World's Top 10 Great Value Beach Destination
US-based International Living ranked Penang as one of the top ten great value beach destinations in the world with great places to visit or live which are pocket-friendly by global standards. It also added that Penang has everything from beaches and shopping to great food and a vibrant culture.

No. 6 : KL - UNESCO 2020 World Book Capital City
Beyond Heritage Sites, UNESCO designated Kuala Lumpur as the World Book Capital City for 2020. According to UNESCO, KL was given this honour based on the city's strong focus on inclusive education, the development of a knowledge-based society and accessible reading for all parts of the city's population. Since 2001, UNESCO has been awarding cities with this honour and the year of celebration for KL begins on 23 April 2020 in conjunction with the World Book & Copyright Day.

No. 7 : KL - 2nd Friendliest City In The World
Can you imagine 15 million travel-obsessed audience of the travel portal Big 7 Travel voted KL as the 2019 world's 2nd friendliest city? Indeed, KL beat big names such as Chiang Mai, Rome, New York, Tokyo and came only second to Vancouver as the city that ‘makes strangers feel most welcome'. It added that 'Malaysia is naturally friendly and nice to strangers and Kuala Lumpur is the best example of this'.
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