Malaysia’s bustling capital in Kuala Lumpur may be known all over the world, but beyond this metropolis image lies a nation rich in biodiversity teeming with the wonders of nature.
Entrepreneur Ken Lau, 38, wanted to introduce friends from abroad to the beauty of Malaysia’s natural attractions but found it difficult to do so with limited resources on the web.
Fed up with the lack of choices, he set up his own website to help travellers from Malaysia and across the world find the best adventure-based tours and attractions in the country.
Officially launched in November last year, Adventoro now has 500 listings across various categories.
Some of the most popular packages on the site so far include white water rafting and national park excursions, he tells Business Insider.
We recently asked Lau to recommend the site’s top picks for adventure-seekers in Malaysia. Here is what topped his list:
For bucket-list adventure seekers
If you’re looking to have the time of your life, try climbing up Mount Kinabalu in Sabah.
- The New Paper
Described as the 20th most prominent mountain in the world, and the tallest mountain in Malaysia, Kinabalu is an awe-inspiring sight.
“The mountain and its surroundings are among the most important biological sites in the world, with between 5,000 and 6,000 species of plants, 326 species of birds, and more than 100 mammalian species identified,” Lau says.
Some of its most well-known inhabitants include gigantic Rafflesia plants and orangutans.
For scuba divers and island enthusiasts
The entrepreneur’s recommendation for divers is none other than the gorgeous Sipadan island.
- Tourism Malaysia
Located off the east coast of Sabah, Sipadan is one of the best scuba diving sites in the world, he says.
Since 2013, Sipadan has been a protected site, and only 120 divers are allowed daily.
For flora and wildlife lovers
Don’t be fooled by Bako National Park’s small size.
The Kuching park is home to a myriad of wildlife and plant types. One of its most famous residents is the endangered proboscis monkey, which has a long reddish brown nose and is endemic to Borneo.
- Sabah Tourism
The park is also home to over 25 distinct types of vegetation, including a variety of carnivorous plants, Lau says.
If you are lucky, you might also spot the long-tailed macaque, silvered langur, plantain squirrel, Bornean bearded pig, monitor lizards, and otters at the park.
Another gem for wildlife lovers is the cloud forest in Cameron Highlands.
Officially known as the Mossy Forest, this high-elevation area is covered in trees coated by thick moss.
While there, you can also try to spot the largest flower in the world. Nicknamed the “corpse flower”, the rafflesia can span over 100cm in diameter and has a pungent smell many liken to – you guessed it – rotting flesh.
If you think its large size makes it a dead giveaway, you’re wrong. The flower takes up to nine months to bloom, and its bloom is unpredictable, lasting less than a week.
If you love spotting rare and beautiful birds, head to Langkawi, where more than 230 species can be seen.
In the months between October and April, a third of these birds will be migratory birds from China and Siberia.
Some of them are very rare, including the mountain hawk eagle, Jerdon’s baza, brown winged kingfishers, European oriole and the plain backed sparrow.