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Malaysia Travel Guide - with Wired Destinations
Discount Hotels in Malaysia : Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi, Cameron Highlands, Sarawak, Melaka, Kuantan, Kota Bahru, Johor, Perak, Terengganu, Genting Highlands, Sabah
Malaysia Sports and Leisure – with Wired Destinations
The country's national sport is football (soccer) but favorites include badminton, basketball, hockey, netball, table-tennis, tennis, squash, sepak takraw (a local game), fishing, bowling, volleyball, martial arts and golf. In regional and international competitions, Malaysia has tended to shine in badminton and bowling, with squash being a rising star. Sports development fails under voluntary organizations, many affiliated to the Olympic Council of Malaysia.
Malaysia offers good fishing but the sport is not regulated or organized. Boats range from bare basics to converted trawlers, and unless you go with a tour, you have to bring your own equipment. Shops stock the range, but do not rent. Malaysia is a manufacturer of rods and reels and is, in fact, a good and relatively cheap place to buy fishing equipment. Fishing tackle shops are plentiful in all major towns.
Malaysia Freshwater Fishing
Malaysia's fast-flowing rivers offer good fishing upstream, with smaller fish but a more pristine rainforest environment, usually accessible via four-wheel drive and some walking. Good spots include upper Sungai Endau in Johor, and the higher reaches of rivers that flow into Kenyir (Terengganu) and Temenggor (Perak). Here, you get the kelah (Malaysia Mahseer), a good fighter with which locals usually practice catch-and-release, and tengas, which also make fun fishing. Bigger-sized kelah are found in the middle river, as are kaloi (giant gourarney), belida (giant featherback) and the powerful toman (giant snakehead), the so-called shark of Malaysian freshwater fish.
Rivers in Sarawak and Sabah are excellent Malaysia fishing grounds, particularly near the Kalimantan border, but the distances are great, and they are difficult to get to.
Besides artificial lures, live and dead bait are used for toman while fruits such as oil palm and rubber seeds are used as kelah bait.
Lakes and reservoirs are where the other big freshwater fishing opportunities are. Since Malaysia has few natural ponds, anglers head for dammed lakes such as Kenyir and Temenggor. However, these are relatively "young", in that the ecosystem is still not developed. The best fishing is where the rivers flow into the lakes bringing toman and seberau. The natural lakes of Cini and Bera in Pahang are shallow, but good for toman.
Malaysia Saltwater Fishing
There are plenty of boats for hire on the coast. Most are basic but a handful offer reasonable facilities. Nonetheless, some anglers find this simplicity an attraction. Minimum numbers are needed before a boat will set off.
Deep-sea bottom fishing is expensive but compared to other countries in the region, relatively affordable. This involves going out with a rod and line with one or two hooks, using bait such as small fish and prawns, and fishing at depths of 50-100 meters (150-300 ft). Some locations could be up to 4 hours away. A 2-day/1-night trip can be arranged, including boat, ice and bait. Meals can also be arranged.
Anywhere along the peninsula's west coast is good for fishing all year round, including Bagan Datoh and Pangkor (Perak), and Langkawi (Kedah). Table fish are the norm, including kerapu (grouper) and ikan merah (red snapper). Sarawakian locations include Miri and Tanjung Datu near Kuching.
The peninsula's east coast is good for blue-water game fishing. A popular center is Mersing, the jumping-off point to the islands of Aur, Dayang and Pemanggil. Here you get black marlin, mackerel, sailfish, barracuda, and giant trevally. Redang is another good location. In Sarawak, Miri is a center; in Sabah, Labuan is good for bill fish, and Semporna and Sipadan are the spots for yellow fin tuna, great fighters that go up to 100 kg (220 Ibs). The best times for this sport are March - September.
Malaysia Martial Arts
Silat is the Malay equivalent of kung fu. Its origin is accredited to the famous Hang Tuah of old Melaka, who did not hesitate to draw his sword, and even to strike to kill, for the sake of justice. Although mystical and requiring fasting and meditation, the youth today regards it as an artistic exercise form. Demonstrations at weddings and other feasts are given to the rhythmic beat of gongs and drums. It is also part of the school curriculum for boys.
Tai chi is widely practiced among older Chinese as a form of exercise and dawn sees entire fields of people doing various forms of the art. Young Chinese, and indeed, urban Malaysians, favor tae-kwon-do and karate, and competitions are held regularly. The Indian traditional martial art form is silamban, which sees the use of long sticks.
The golf boom in the late 1980s has made Malaysia a golfer's paradise, especially on the peninsula's west and south coasts. The courses are designed to exploit the natural landscape and offer something for all levels of golfers, amateur or professional.
Generally, clubs are private. However, the so-called "resort clubs" are open to anyone, especially in Malaysia holiday destinations, where the playing traffic is low. Courses are generally of international standard and are well-maintained; equal care is taken in the design and facilities of club houses. Equipment of every brand can be hired, and bought at affordable prices. Updated lists of golf clubs and resorts plus descriptions can be found at www.geocities.com/Augusta/4411/
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