Visit Malaysia 2020: Hidden Gems You Must Add To Your Bucket List Immediately
By now, we’re all probably at least slightly familiar with the phrase ‘Visit Malaysia 2020’. Who can forget the whole logo debacle that happened more than a year ago? An amateurish design that got rightfully roasted by the masses on social media. Even the far sleeker, much more professional looking second design was ridden with controversy. Then there’s the lyrically uninspiring but wonderfully sung (by Idayu) theme song and the weirdly worded catchphrase — “Visit Truly Asia Malaysia” — etc. As the saying goes, all publicity is good publicity. But what exactly is Visit Malaysia 2020? And is it more than just a catchphrase?
The campaign was launched in line with one of the primary goals of the Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan, which is to welcome a whopping 30 million tourists to Malaysia and registering at least RM 100 billion in tourist receipts. Derived from the Vision 2020 objectives, the campaign focuses on the sustainability of the tourism, arts and culture industries in Malaysia. Sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo? Basically, the campaign aims to highlight to the world that Malaysia is an awesome country to go on vacation.
“Our hospitality must not be merely a slogan but translated into the nature and culture of our people. The beauty of a place will attract but the hospitality will make people stay and return.” – Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
And considering Malaysia is, to use an age-old term, a cultural melting pot, the campaign will focus on the arts, culture (and ecotourism) by highlighting the various races and cultures and festivities of the people.
How was/is the campaign promoted?
A few monumental moments come to mind such as Malaysia’s participation in the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2019 and Malaysia taking on the title of Official Partner Country at this year’s ITB Berlin. These events garnered buzz and once again, at least in theory, put Malaysia on the global map as a must-visit country. In 2020, our country will also host a number of international meetings such as APEC and WCIT. But more than that, the Prime Minister has stressed the importance of promoting our country as a top holiday/business destination through more modern means such as digital marketing.
So, in conjunction with ‘Visit Malaysia 2020’ we’ve decided to put together a short list of Hidden Gems in Malaysia that you must add to your bucket list immediately.
What do we usually think of when we hear the phrase “hidden gem”? We think of something beautiful, something magical, something unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Well, the Rainbow Waterfall at Sungai Lembing, Pahang represents exactly that. The waterfall is appropriately named after the remarkable phenomenon that transpires there every morning. At roughly around 9 am, yellow rays of sunlight crash against the base of the waterfalls at exactly the right angle resulting in a stunning rainbow. Make sure you get there much earlier though, as you will first have to trek through the forest for about 45 minutes or longer before actually reaching the waterfall, and the rainbow usually disappears at around 10 am.
Templer Park Rainforest Retreat
Selangor/KL may be a concrete jungle known for its stunning skyscrapers but there are also a number of hidden gems that even locals aren’t too familiar with. One of which is the Templer Park Rainforest Retreat, located merely 30 minutes away from the centre of Kuala Lumpur. Templer Park Rainforest Retreat is a hilltop utopia surrounded by 360-degree views of the Kanching Rainforest Reserve.
Another cool place within the Selangor/Kuala Lumpur region is Sekinchan, a countryside fishing village about an hour’s drive away from the city centre. The place is perfect for those who love photography. Head over there as early as 5.45 am to experience the gorgeous sunrise, as the rays of sun slowly start to bathe the vast paddy fields. Curious to learn more about a staple Asian food? Stop by the Paddy Processing Gallery to see how rice is produced. Visit the Bagan Fishing Village to have a look at what fishermen do on a day to day basis. And don’t forget to stop by one of the many seafood restaurants in Sekinchan and fill your bellies with a scrumptious meal before heading back to the city.
There are many more hidden gems in Malaysia such as the Tiga Island in Sabah, Kenyir Lake in Terengganu, Pantai Klebang in Malacca, Astaka Morocco in Putrajaya among many others. If you’re looking to find out more information about these places or any other tourist destinations, do check out the FlyKLIA website, https://www.flyklia.com/ to see what might pique your interest.
Your Gateways to Getaways,