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Visitors to the Malaysian heartland cannot help but feel overwhelmed by the beauty of its natural landscape and the spectacular topographical formations. From the scenic coastline to the mangrove swamps and deeper inland into the sprawling rainforests right up its rugged mountains, the terrain changes systematically offering richness in resources and biological diversity.
This landmark on Tioman islands was known to ancient mariners plying the South China Sea trade routes a millenium ago.
The backbone of Peninsular Malaysia is known as Banjaran Titiwangsa or the Main Range. Running from the Malaysia-Thai border in the north to the southern state of Negeri Sembilan, this central spine effectively separates the eastern and western part of the Peninsula. The highest peak in the range is Gunung Tahan (2,187m.) situated in the central Malaysian state of Pahang. Other high peaks include Gunung Jerai in Kedah, Bukit Larut in Perak and the legendary Gunung Ledang (Mount Ophir) which straddles the Melaka-Johor border.
In Sabah, the most prominent highlands are the Crocker Range with average heights ranging from 457 to 914 metres. Also situated in the range are the three highest mountains in Malaysia: Mount Kinabalu (4,101m), Gunung Trus Madi (2,597m) and Gunung Tambuyukon (2,579m)
The southern peak of Mount Kinabalu.
Mount Kinabalu with the Donkey's Ears in clear view.
In Sarawak, home to one of the world's largest natural cave systems, the two highest peaks are Gunung Murud (2,425m.) and Gunung Mulu (2,371m.)
The heavy rainfall combined with the natural configuration of the land has given birth to many rivers which barely a century ago served as the main arteries for trade and travel. Almost all the states in Malaysia have adopted the names of the principal rivers flowing through their respective territories. In the Peninsula, the longest river is Sungai Pahang (475km) followed closely by Sungai Perak (400km).
Malaysia's longest river, Sungai Rejang (563km), is in Sarawak. It is navigable by small coastal steamers as far as Kapit, 100km upstream.
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