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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Malaysia 2009-UNESCO World Heritage Sites


Hello, Today, Here is my first post for WHS, This nice FDC was sent by Caroline Chia, Sabah, Malaysia.

Post Malaysia released 4th stamp issue for year 2009 on April 9, 2009 on topic of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Four stamps (all with denomination 50 sen) and one miniature sheet (containing four stamps and also all with denomination 50 sen) were issued. These stamps and miniature sheet portray the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Malaysia namely Mulu Park (listed in 2000), Kinabalu Park (listed in 2000) and Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca (listed in 2008).


MHS of World Heritage Sites, Malaysia (Issue Date : 09.04.2009)


Malaysia 2009-UNESCO World Heritage Sites :
From top to bottom: Bandar Hilir, Melaka; Kinabalu Park; George Town Penang; Mulu Park


1. Malacca Town
Malacca Town (Malay: Bandar Melaka) is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Malacca. The Seri Negeri, the State Administrative and Development Centre which houses the Chief Minister's Office, the State Secretary's Office and the Legislative Assembly Hall are located in Malacca Town. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with George Town of Penang on 7 July 2008.
The city of Malacca is located on both sides of the Malacca River near its fall into the Strait of Malacca. The historic central area of the city is located near the old coastline, includes St Paul's Hill with the ruins of the Portuguese fortress, A Famosa and the Dutch Square on the right (eastern) bank of the river, and the old Chinatown on the left (western) bank. The modern city has grown in all direction from this historic core, including to the south (because the present coastline of the Strait of Malacca is somewhat further down to the south than its original location, due to land reclamation). The "Chinese Hill" (Bukit Cina), where a large old Chinese cemetery is located, was formerly located to the northeast of the town, but now is surrounded by the city from all sides.
The site where the city of Malacca stands today was the center of Malaccan history. It was the capital of the Malaccan Sultanate and was the centre of the Malay world in the 15th and the 16th century after the Malays moved over from Sumatra and it was the most developed part of the Malay Peninsula before it fell to the Portuguese in 1511. Centuries of colonization by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British as well as development of Straits Chinese (Peranakan) culture have influenced the architecture of the town.
Since the founding of Singapore in 1819, Malacca has been in decline as its port was silting up and Singapore and Kuala Lumpur have grown. Over the years, many Malaccans have moved to Kuala Lumpur the Malaysian capital and to Singapore.
After World War II, anti-colonial sentiment developed amongst Malay nationalists, led to negotiations with the British and eventually the announcement of Independence by Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's first Prime Minister, at the Padang Pahlawan (Warrior's Field) at Bandar Hilir, in Melaka on 20 February 1956.


2. Kinabalu National ParkKinabalu National Park or Taman Negara Kinabalu in Malay, established as one of the first national parks of Malaysia in 1964, is Malaysia's first World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO in December 2000 for its "outstanding universal values" and the role as one of the most important biological sites in the world.
Located on the west coast of Sabah, east Malaysia on the island of Borneo; it covers an area of 754 square kilometers surrounding Mount Kinabalu, which at 4,095.2 metres, is the highest mountain on the island of Borneo.
The park is one of the most popular tourist spot in Sabah as well as in Malaysia. In 2004, more than 415,360 visitors and 43,430 climbers visited the Park.
Kinabalu Park is situated on the Crocker Range on the eastern coast of Sabah. It is located within the district of Ranau, within the West Coast Division. The park is not to be confused with Crocker Range National Park which is a separate park in the south.
The park headquarters is 88 kilometers away from the city of Kota Kinabalu. There are highways and sealed roads leading towards the park headquarters from other parts of Sabah. It is situated on the southern boundary of Kinabalu Park, at an elevation of 1,563m (5,128 feet).

3. George TownGeorge Town or Georgetown, is the capital of the state of Penang in Malaysia. Named after Britain's King George III, George Town is located on the north-east corner of Penang Island and has about 220,000 inhabitants, or about 400,000 including the suburbs.
The inner city of George Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
George Town was founded in 1786 by Captain Francis Light, a trader for the British East India Company, as base for the company in the Malay States. He obtained the island of Penang from the Sultan of Kedah and built Fort Cornwallis on the north-eastern corner of the island. The fort became the nexus of a growing trading post and the island's population reached 12,000 by 1804.
The town was built on swampy land that had to be cleared of vegetation, levelled and filled. The original commercial town was laid out between Light Street, Beach Street (then running close to the seashore), Malabar Street (subsequently called Chulia Street) and Pitt Street (now called Masjid Kapitan Keling Street).
The warehouses and godowns extended from Beach Street to the sea. By the 1880s, there were ghauts leading from Beach Street to the wharf and jetties as Beach Street receded inland due to land reclamation. A new waterfront was created at Weld Quay, where commercial buildings sprang up.
The historic commercial center was segmented into the banking and trading areas related to port activities which included shipping companies, the import and export trade, and the wholesalers who dominate the southern section of Beach Street until now. It has been listed as a World Heritage site since July 2008


4. Gunung Mulu National Park
Gunung Mulu National Park near Miri, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that encompasses incredible caves and karst formations in a mountainous equatorial rainforest setting. The park is famous for its caves and the expeditions that have been mounted to explore them and their surrounding rainforest, most notably the Royal Geographical Society Expedition of 1977 - 1978, which saw over 100 scientists in the field for 15 months.
Gunung Mulu National Park has the largest known natural chamber or room - Sarawak chamber, found in Gua Nasib Bagus. It is 2,300 feet (700 m) long, 1,300 feet (396 m) wide and at least 230 feet (70 m) high; according to the guides it is big enough to fit St. Peter's Basilica or several jumbojets inside. Other notable caves are Benarat Cavern, Deer Cave, Wind Cave, and Clearwater Cave, which exposes parts of a long underground river going through the park.
In April 2009, a new cave in Vietnam overtook Deer Cave as the largest cave passage. The Son Doong Cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Province, Vietnam was found by British cave scientists of the British Cave Research Association, it is now regarded as the largest cave passage in the world. The biggest passage of Son Doong is over five kilometers in length, 200 meters high and 150 meters wide.
Today Mulu continues to retain the sense of adventure associated with its original exploration through the provision of adventure caving and other adventure activities. The primary focus however has shifted to the promotion of an awareness of the significance of the park and its environment through the provision of ecotourism activities that foster understanding and appreciation of the parks values. Accommodation is available at the five star luxury resort Royal Mulu Resort, the tropical-style boutique hotel Matumau Lodge, or there are cheaper lodgings across the river. The park HQ also has limited accommodation.
Mulu is a very inaccessible area; the only practical way of getting to and from it is by air, mainly from Miri airport. It is possible to travel to the area by riverboat, but it requires a chartered long boat for the last part - and the whole trip by river would take around 12 hours to complete from Miri, while the flight takes only 30 minutes. Prior to the opening of the airport, and the opening of a helipad in 1991, this was the only way to reach the national park.
The national park is named after Mount Mulu, the second highest mountain in Sarawak.

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