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Introduction to the mystical Mossy Forest of Cameron Highlands - March 8,2024

PERCHED near the zenith of Mount Brinchang in Pahang, the Mossy Forest is a marvel of nature, cloaked in a tapestry of green that whispers tales of ancient times. This majestic forest, sprawling across 914 hectares and regarded as the oldest in Malaysia, offers an escape into a world that time seems to have forgotten. At around 200 million years old, the journey through the Mossy Forest is a journey back to the very essence of nature.

A DRIVE THROUGH THE CLOUDS 

The adventure begins with a thrilling drive up Mount Brinchang, the highest point accessible by road in Southeast Asia, sitting at 2,031 metres above sea level. This route not only leads you to the enchanted realms of the Mossy Forest but also offers panoramic views of the stunning Sungai Palas tea plantation, a sight that rivals the beauty of the forest itself.

A REALM OF ENCHANTMENT

Upon entering the Mossy Forest, you're greeted by an ecosystem that seems plucked from a fairy tale. Thick moss embraces the trees, mist shrouds the air, and clouds weave through the branches, creating a setting so mystical it's as if it were conjured by magic. This moist, misty environment is a haven for moss, ferns, lichens, orchids, and a host of montane fauna unique to this highland sanctuary. The silence of the forest is profound, broken only by the soft whispers of nature as you navigate through the labyrinth of intertwining branches and stems. The elevated boardwalk, stretching 200 metres just before the peak, offers a safe pathway through the forest, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the serene beauty of this ancient woodland.

NAVIGATING THE MOSS-COVERED PATHS

Exploring the Mossy Forest is an adventure meant for those who respect and marvel at nature's wonders. With the forest's vast expanse and challenging trails, it's advisable to visit with an experienced local guide. The boardwalk ends with a trail leading to Mount Irau, presenting an option for the more adventurous to trek to Cameron Highlands' highest peak. Those preferring a less strenuous experience can simply retrace their steps back.

PLANNING YOUR VISIT

The Mossy Forest welcomes visitors with an entry fee of RM10 for adults and RM5 for children below 12 years old for a 200m walk. The forest's cool climate calls for appropriate attire and trekking gear, ensuring a comfortable exploration. The best time to visit is early in the morning when the forest is at its most mystical, enveloped in a soft, ethereal mist that enhances its otherworldly ambience.

Reasons to visit Teluk Cempedak in Pahang - March 8, 2024

TUCKED away on Malaysia's vibrant East Coast, Teluk Cempedak unfurls like a scroll of golden sand edged by the deep blue of the South China Sea. This beloved spot, merely a stone's throw from Kuantan, offers more than a picturesque seascape. It's a canvas where nature's elements blend seamlessly with human touch, creating a symphony of experiences for every wanderer.

WHISPERS OF WAVES AND WONDERS

At Teluk Cempedak, the sea doesn't just kiss the shore; it weaves tales of ancient voyages and modern-day adventures.  The beach's embrace is wide, welcoming families seeking sun-kissed memories, surfers chasing the perfect wave, and solitude seekers meditating to the rhythm of the tides. Here, the horizon is not just a boundary but a promise of endless possibilities.

THE GREEN GUARDIANS

Behind the beach, nature stands tall and proud. The rainforest, with its canopy of green, guards the coastline like an old, wise sentinel. Trails snake through this emerald enclave, inviting the curious to explore its hidden nooks. Each step unveils a layer of biodiversity, from the whispering leaves to the creatures that call it home. It's a reminder that in Teluk Cempedak, one doesn't just walk on the beach but walks through the heart of nature itself. 

A NIGHT UNDER THE STARS

As daylight fades, Teluk Cempedak doesn't sleep; it simply changes rhythm. The night brings its own magic, with the moonlight painting the waves silver and the stars playing peek-a-boo through the foliage. The beach becomes a stage for intimate concerts, where the soundtrack is the symphony of the sea and the laughter of friends. It's a time when the day's warmth lingers in the cool night air, inviting conversations, reflections, and dreams. 

THE CALL TO PRESERVE

Amidst its beauty, Teluk Cempedak carries a message of conservation. It stands as a testament to the delicate balance between nature and human enjoyment. Efforts to protect its pristine condition are woven into the fabric of the community, a collective pledge to ensure that this jewel of Pahang remains vibrant for future generations to discover.

Source - NST

Pahang holds talks with Malaysia Airlines on introducing new routes - Februari 29, 2024

KUANTAN: The Pahang government is holding talks with Malaysia Airlines on introducing new flights in and out of the state capital. Malaysia Airlines operates the Kuala Lumpur-Kuantan route with two daily flights. State Unity, Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Leong Yu Man said the talks explored the possibility of introducing new flights from Sultan Ahmad Shah Airport to other destinations. "We are hoping for flights from other towns too, including reviving flights to Penang.

"There used to be flights connecting Kuantan and Penang." On the possibility of increasing Singapore's Scoot Air's flight frequency between Changi Airport and Kuantan, Leong said there had been talks but nothing was official. "Scoot operates the Singapore-Kuantan-Singapore route on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. "Passenger arrivals from Singapore have been encouraging, so we hope more flights will serve the route to boost tourist arrivals." Scoot resumed flights to Kuantan in May after suspending operations for about a month for aircraft maintenance. On the move by SKS Airways to suspend commercial flight operations between Subang and Tioman, Leong said the runway expansion work on the island was important to attract bigger aircraft to operate the route. Since SKS Airways ceased operations between Subang and Tioman in October, the airport in Kampung Tekek is used by chartered and private aircraft. Source - NST

 

#JOM: Tulips turn Cameron Highlands into nature's kaleidoscope - March 5, 2024

In the picturesque landscapes of Cameron Highlands in Pahang, the national flower of Turkey and the Netherlands, tulips, have burst into a riot of colours, capturing the hearts of beholders. With over 2,500 tulips thriving in Malaysian soil, their full bloom is not just a spectacle but a vibrant display attributed to the country's prevailing higher temperatures.

An unexpected home

Lokmanulhakim Basiron, the general manager of the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (Mardi) station in Cameron Highlands, proudly shared that this marks their third consecutive year of cultivating tulips at the Agro Technology Park Mardi.  The tulips have found an unexpected home in the tropical Malaysian climate and become an annual attraction, drawing unexpected visitors who flock to witness the blooming beauties. Originating from Iran and Turkey, these tulips undergo seed-breeding technology led by the Netherlands (Holland), and these bulbs are imported from there. "The Cameron Highlands Agro Technology Park Mardi planted 300 tulips in February 2022 at the Cameron Mini Flower Garden in conjunction with the school holidays. "In February last year, we planted 1,500 bulbs, and last month — 2,500 bulbs," he said at the park recently.

Ideal condition for Tulips

Lokmanulhakim explained that tulip flowers bloom gradually, displaying colours within five to 10 days after being transplanted into warm soil. However, they continue to bloom for two to three weeks, depending on the weather conditions.  He elaborated that the ideal temperature for growing them is below 12° C and the flower has a temperature tolerance limit of up to 29° C. "Tulips need more direct sunlight either in the morning or evening. They do not do well in high heat. The soil must have good drainage, a neutral to slightly acidic pH between 6 and 7, and be fertile and dry or sandy. So mulch, such as sphagnum moss, is used to control soil temperature and sustain moisture," he added. Lokmanulhakim said after the end of the flowering period, the stems and leaves must wilt naturally and turn yellow or brown before they are removed from the soil.

If the leaves are removed while still green, there will be insufficient food in the bulbs to bloom the following year, he said. "Cleaned tulip bulbs are stored in mesh bags at below 5° C in a cold room for 12 weeks to six months during their dormancy/inactive phase. "Then they are transferred to Leca (lightweight expanded clay aggregate) balls, a type of medium for rooting, at room temperature for a fortnight. After that the bulbs are placed in a planting medium such as peatgrow for three to four weeks to encourage growth before being transferred to the display site," he said.

Flower varieties

He listed this year's varieties as Rood (red), Yellow Baby (yellow), Flair (orange mix), Roze (light purple), Paars (dark purple), and Flaming Baby.  Apart from the tulip festival, there are a variety of Mediterranean fruits such as apples, pears, grapes and strawberries as well as popular flowers such as impatiens, camellias, dahlias, petunias, lilies and roses. The park serves as a stopover for highland tourism in Cameron Highlands, strategically located near the town of Tanah Rata. Positioned at an elevation of 1,400 metres above sea level, the area maintains a comfortable temperature throughout the year. Cameron Highlands is also home to the oldest tea plantation and the first tea factory in Malaysia, as well as a research centre for green agriculture. Entrance fees are reasonably priced at RM5 for children and senior citizens, RM10 for adults, and free for the disabled. Source - NST

Pahang lists 41 tourism events, eyes 13.5 million tourists - February 27, 2024

KUANTAN: The Pahang government is strategizing initiatives to attract domestic and international tourists, eyeing 13.5 million arrivals this year. Pahang's tourist arrivals totaled 13.2 million up to Dec 31 last year, up from 10.18 million in 2022 and two million in 2021, when the country's borders were closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. State Unity, Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Leong Yu Man said the state's tourism strategy included holding familiarisation trips for international and domestic travel agents to popular attractions in all 11 districts in Pahang. She said Tourism Pahang would participate in roadshows around the country and hold the inaugural Malaysia International Tourism (MIT) Expo Pahang this year.  "The MIT will be held in Kuantan between Oct 8 and 10. The tourism fair will feature booths that allow people to obtain firsthand information on unique destinations and products in Pahang.

"Tourism Pahang has listed 41 events on the Pahang tourism calendar this year, including Southeast Asia's longest-running international bird race event, the Fraser's Hill International Bird Race, as well as the Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge. "Plans are underway to introduce several international tourism events this year," she said at a press conference here today. Leong said besides focusing on tourist arrivals and promotion campaigns, the state government would also hold specially tailored programs for stakeholders.

"Tour guides will be allowed to join training and refresher courses to update their knowledge and skills. "Short courses on digital marketing and customer service will be provided to tourism industry players. "Besides promoting Pahang as a favorite holiday destination, we want to ensure all stakeholders are equipped with skills, competencies, and digital knowledge to offer top-class services," Leong said last year, tourists spent about RM11.89 billion in Pahang, up from RM9.1 billion in 2022 and RM1.9 billion in 2021. She said Genting Highlands remained the most visited destination in Pahang, recording 8.1 million visitors last year, with state capital Kuantan in second place at 2.18 million visitors and Cameron Highlands in the third spot at 1.36 million visitors. Source - NST

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