The city itself was previously named Dayong (大庸), and has a recorded history dating back to 221 BC. In 1992, the national forest park in the Wulingyuan Scenic Area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the new name of Zhangjiajie City was adopted in 1994. The national forest park had been given the name of Zhangjiajie after the name of a small village located within its bounds, and is now a popular tourist attraction within the park.
Changsa, is the capital of Hunan Province. I was here 15 years ago, but it has now become a sprawling city of about 8 million and is unrecognisable to me. But, there are still pockets of the old city hidden in the side lanes where time seems to have stood still.
Pulau Ketam (Crab Island) is a small island located about an hour’s speed boat ride from Port Klang, in the State of Selangor, Malaysia. Ferry services are readily available from the Port Klang Jetty.
Pulau Ketam was inhabited around 1880 and the residents are predominantly of the chinese dialect group of Teochew and Hokkien descend.
Kusu Island, one of the southern islands of Singapore is located about 6 kilometres to the south of Singapore. The name means Tortoise Island or Turtle Island. From two tiny outcrops on a reef, the island was enlarged and transformed into an island holiday resort of about 85,000 square metres.
Story has it that a magical tortoise turned itself into an island to save two shipwrecked sailors – a Malay and a Chinese. On top of the hill on Kusu Island stands three karat (or holy shrines of Malay saints) to commemorate a pious man (Syed Abdul Rahman), his mother (Nenek Ghalib) and sister (Puteri Fatimah) who lived in the 19th century. Devotees will have to climb 152 steps to reach the top of the rugged hillock if they wish to offer prayer to the shrines.
Before the existence of the North South Highway, I used to pass by Kampar on my drive back to Ipoh (my hometown) from Kuala Lumpur, where I work and live now. But since the opening of the North South Highway ages ago, I have not been to Kampar.
One Sunday (recently) we set off from Klang at about 11am to visit Kampar. We exited the North South Highway at the Rawang exit to drive to Kampar via the old trunk road – a single lane carriageway. It was a big mistake to exit at Rawang as the traffic in Rawang, even on a Sunday morning, was horrendous. A better alternative would be to exit at Slim River.
For most of my temple visits, please visit my blog post under “Siem Reap Part 1”.
Tonle Sap – is the largest lake in South East Asia. The difference in the size of the lake between the dry and the wet seasons can be as much as 10 to 15 times. We were there in July so the water level of the river and the lake is quite high. It is not advisable to visit the lake during the dry season as the water level in the river can get too low for boats to access the lake or the floating villages.
Instead of our usual route driving to Hatyai through the Bukit Kayu Hitam immigration check point, we decided to drive to Hatyai through Betong and Yala. Our trip consists of 2 nights stay in Betong and 3 nights stay in Hatyai with a day trip to Songkhla.