Faces of
Malaysia
Sandakan

Sandakan is a starting point for ecotourism destinations such as the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary,Turtle Islands Park, Kinabatangan River and Gomantong Caves.

Langkawi

Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The islands are a part of Malaysia’s Kedah state, but are adjacent to the Thai border. By far the largest of the islands is the eponymous Pulau Langkawi with a population of about 45,000. The island is a declared duty-free zone.

The peak season is from December to March when moonson at the eastcoast shuts down most of the Islands there (Perhentian etc.). This makes Langkawi a good island alternative during that time period. Generally though, Langkawi can be visited all year around.

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Hawker Stalls in Penang

Bogus Monks

As a tourist (especially western tourist) it is likely that you will be approached by a fake monk in tourist hot spots in Malaysia's big cities (Penang, Melaka, KL). These "monks" will approach you actively to ask for donations. However, they are not real monks.

poster
photo: John Udovic

The above poster (photo taken in Melaka) warns of bogus monks:

Don't Be Conned
Eliminate the bogus monk

1) No Selling items, including Buddha images, prayer beads & relics
2) Alms bowls are not for collecting money
3) Mahayana monks do not go for alms round
4) No alms round after 12pm for Theravada monks

Theravada monks will only receive alms and take food before noon.
A monk will only use his alms bowl to receive food and medicine.