Malaysia now has four World Heritage Sites recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (Unesco) World Heritage List, the latest being the Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley (AHLV) in Perak.
Melaka (a.k.a. Malacca) is the capital of the Malaysian state of Malacca. Traditionally, the spot where Melaka stands today was the center of Malaccan history. It was the capital of the Malaccan Sultanate and the center of the Malay world in the 15th and the 16th century before it fell to the Portuguese in 1511. Centuries of colonization by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British have shaped the architecture of the town.
With its government buildings, churches, squares and fortifications, Melaka demonstrates the early stages of this history originating in the 15th-century Malay sultanate and the Portuguese and Dutch periods beginning in the early 16th century. Featuring residential and commercial buildings, George Town represents the British era from the end of the 18th century. The two towns constitute a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.
Founded in 1786 as a trading post for the British East Indian Company, and named after King George III (the mad one!), Georgetown became an important trading post. Today, the period colonial design remains and the old warehouses and wharves still evoke a sense of the boom-time when land was constantly reclaimed to accommodate the port’s rapid growth. Now a World Heritage Site due to its unique architectural and cultural landscape without parallel anywhere in East & South East Asia.
Penang is the name of an island in the Straits of Malacca, and also of one of the states of Malaysia, located on the north-west coast of peninsular Malaysia. Penang is the second smallest state in Malaysia after Perlis, and the eighth most populous. A resident of Penang is colloquially known as a Penangite. The city Georgetown is the 2nd biggest city in Malaysia and traveler′s hub.
GUNUNG MULU NATIONAL PARK
Gunung Mulu National Park in Borneo has the largest and most spectacular caves in the world system. Unique network of caverns beneath the Gunung Mulu National Park, in Sarawak, Borneo, holds the record for the largest room (enclosure Sarawak), the most voluminous system (Clearwater) and the widest passage (Cave deer) of all chains caves of the world. Many of the caves are illuminated, and visitors can see the waterfalls high up to 180 meters inside them. Every evening, more than a million bats is placed on the ceiling of the cave, forming a dark cloud impressive.
Important both for its high biodiversity and for its karst features, Gunung Mulu National Park, on the island of Borneo in the State of Sarawak, is the most studied tropical karst area in the world. The 52,864-ha park contains seventeen vegetation zones, exhibiting some 3,500 species of vascular plants. Its palm species are exceptionally rich, with 109 species in twenty genera noted. The park is dominated by Gunung Mulu, a 2,377 m-high sandstone pinnacle. At least 295 km of explored caves provide a spectacular sight and are home to millions of cave swiftlets and bats. The Sarawak Chamber, 600 m by 415 m and 80 m high, is the largest known cave chamber in the world. The concentration of caves in Mulu’s Melinau Formation with its geomorphic and structural characteristics is an outstanding feature which allows a greater understanding of Earth’s history. The caves of Mulu are important for their classic features of underground geomorphology, demonstrating an evolutionary history of more than 1.5 million years. One of the world’s finest examples of the collapse process in Karstic terrain can be also found. GMNP provides outstanding scientific opportunities to study theories on the origins of cave faunas. With its deeply-incised canyons, wild rivers, rainforest-covered mountains, spectacular limestone pinnacles, cave passages and decorations, Mulu has outstanding scenic values. GMNP also provides significant natural habitat for a wide range of plant and animal diversity both above and below ground. It is botanically-rich in species and high in endemic, including one of the richest sites in the world for palm species.
Kinabalu Park, in the State of Sabah on the northern end of the island of Borneo, is dominated by Mount Kinabalu (4,095 m), the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. It has a very wide range of habitats, from rich tropical lowland and hill rainforest to tropical mountain forest, sub-alpine forest and scrub on the higher elevations. It has been designated as a Center of Plant Diversity for Southeast Asia and is exceptionally rich in species with examples of flora from the Himalayas, China, Australia, Malaysia, as well as pan-tropical flora. The site has a diverse biota and high endemic. The attitudinal and climatic gradient from tropical forest to alpine conditions combine with precipitous topography, diverse geology and frequent climate oscillations to provide conditions ideal for the development of new species. The Park contains high biodiversity with representatives from more than half the families of all flowering plants. The majority of Borneo’s mammals, birds, amphibians and invertebrates (many threatened and vulnerable) occur in the Park.
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