Tourism Malaysia


One of the most popular attractions in Alor Setar, the capital of Kedah, is its Pekan Rabu, which literally means Wednesday Market, a business complex selling every traditional stuff that Kedah is famous for. What makes Pekan Rabu more special to the Kedahans is because Malaysia’s fourth and currently seventh Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, born in Alor Setar, was once a trader there.

Yes, you heard it right! During the Japanese Occupation, Tun Dr. Mahathir’s studies were interrupted so he decided to return to his birthplace and become a trader at the old Pekan Rabu, selling fruits, banana fritters, coffee and handicrafts until the World War II ended.

When Tun Dr. Mahathir became a politician, he made it his personal mission to turn the traditional market into a commercial one. He made sure that the weekly market operating from an attap shack, became a multi-storey arcade selling a wide range of stuff from traditional delicacies like “dodol durian” to mengkuang mats and apparel.

The brick-and-mortar shopping complex was built on Jalan Tunku Ibrahim in 1975 and was officially opened in 1978 by Tun Dr. Mahathir himself, the then-Deputy Prime Minister. It had 347 stalls with a variety of businesses and became one of the important landmarks of Alor Setar. The Phase 2 of the shopping complex was built in 1990 and later, in 1995, the original building was renovated.

Pekan Rabu has always been a compulsory stop in Tun Dr. Mahathir’s annual Ramadan pilgrimage to Alor Setar. On his recent visit to Pekan Rabu after he became the Prime Minister for the second time, Tun Dr. Mahathir visited the stall selling the ‘Songkok Style Tun’ which has become his favourite and one he frequents regularly.

The history of Pekan Rabu actually goes as far back as World War I. A prince from the royal household of Kedah, the late Tunku Yaacob Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid, wanted to encourage more Malays to take an active role in commercial activities. So, in the early 1920s, he initiated a weekly market, open only on Wednesdays, along Sungai Kedah near Tanjung Chali. It became a training ground for the Malays to do business and it later evolved into a daily market when the business became prosperous. In 1932, Pekan Rabu was shifted to its present location in Jalan Tunku Ibrahim.

In 2014, Pekan Rabu was given a total makeover in an effort to make it more attractive to tourists. Even though the upgrading of the complex involved building a four-storey complex with a modern architecture, the original concept of Pekan Rabu, which made it unique, was maintained, including its traditional Islamic architecture.
The former Pekan Rabu used to have two separate buildings but the new building has everything under one roof to make shopping more comfortable for its visitors. It currently has 355 business lots, as well as 48 kiosks and 24 food stalls. There is also an exhibition area on the ground floor. It is open daily from 9 am to 9 pm.

Pekan Rabu offers a wide range of goods and services, including crockery, jewellery, textiles, traditional medicines, wedding and bridal items, local delicacies and handicrafts. For the locals, it is a complete shopping mall that fulfils all needs, while for tourists, it is glimpse into the daily lives of both traders and the local customers.

Let us throw a challenge to the would-be visitor to Pekan Rabu. Whenever you have an opportunity to visit the place, take the time to trace our Prime Minister’s favourite haunts or shops at Pekan Rabu. If you are lucky, the original traders there might share a story or two about the world’s oldest country leader, our Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir. Good luck!

Getting There

By Car or Taxi
From the North-South Expressway (PLUS), take either the Alor Setar Selatan or Alor Setar Utara exit and follow the signboard heading to Alor Setar City Centre. From there you can see the signboard showing how to get to ‘Pekan Rabu’.

By Train (ETS)
From Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station to Alor Setar, Kedah will take approximately 5 1/2hours journey by KTM ETS

Who To Contact
Koperasi Pekan Rabu Alor Setar Berhad
Tel: +604-733 5929

Tourism Malaysia


White water rafting is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Since I survived to tell the tale, let me share with you the excitement of rafting in the Kampar River surrounded by the greenery of the Gopeng rainforest.

White Water Rafting in Kampar River, Gopeng, Perak

Gopeng, a small town about 90 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur, has many pre-war shop houses. This quiet and unassuming place is the gateway to some of the most adventurous outdoor activities in Peninsular Malaysia.

The most popular adrenaline pumping fun is white water rafting in the Kampar River. The scenic waterway is created by the merging of three rivers, Geruntum River, Geroh River and Pacat River in Perak. Rated as a Grade I to III river, it offers a great combination of water ranging from gentle flows to challenging and technical white water. It is also perfect for beginners.

From Gopeng town, it takes about 15 minutes to reach the starting point located at Kg. Ulu Geruntum. The journey itself is a memorable experience as visitors will pass by some of the most picturesque places in Gopeng with a whole spectrum of landscapes. During the fruit season, you will be looking with envy at the fruit orchards flanking both sides of the narrow, winding road. You can also enjoy the beauty and the tranquillity of the quaint traditional villages along the way. A 100-year-old water pipe stretches from the nearby mountains through the major settlements to the old mining area and the villagers are still using the water supply from it.

Upon reaching the white water rafting site, you will find many resorts there as well as several adventure specialists offering white water rafting and other outdoor activities. These are all a stone’s throw away from the starting point of the white water rafting. Whichever adventure company you go with, you will be given a liability form to sign before you can proceed further. Your river guide will brief you about paddling commands, safety measures and the do’s and don’t’s of white water rafting. Then, armed with a life jacket, helmet and paddle, you are all set to face the raging river.

The number of passengers per raft depends on river conditions and other factors but generally it ranges from two to six people.

It helps to have a skillful and friendly river guide as he will calm you down with his jokes and fascinate you with local anecdotes. Our guide, Max, who sat at the back of the raft, helped us to avoid rocks, kept us on the right path, cracked jokes and made sure we had a great time. Besides the guide, a safety kayaker cum photographer will follow rafters throughout the journey to ensure their safety and capture images of their ride.

Water Confidence Test
One of the most important things a rafter has to do before continuing his or her journey down the breathtaking twists, turns and drops of the white water course is the water confidence activity. Depending on the level of the water, there is a possibility of you being thrown out of the raft. The water confidence activity helps you prepare for the worst. It requires you to do body rafting along a short stretch. Your guide will steer you into the current and then he will let you go. If your water confidence is low, the three-minute body rafting will feel like ages and you will end up swallowing a lot of water. This is definitely not an activity for the self-conscious. However, the most important thing is to have faith in your guide and not panic.

After your water confidence has been tested, it is time for you to try your first rapid. White water rafting is an exhilarating activity that provides you with the ultimate adrenaline rush. Cascading down the rapids is only part of the fun. The whole journey is not one huge “liquid chaos” as it provides scenic and relaxing experiences. There are also flat sections in the river for you to take a breather after conquering tough rapids.

Up, Close and Personal with the Rapids of the Kampar River

Kampar River has been a popular spot for white water rafting since 2003. A trip on this river is a two-hour, adrenaline-fuelled journey along a seven or nine kilometres stretch depending on the water level. There are 10 prominent rapids along the stretch and every rapid has a tale to tell.

The first rapid was named Broken Ledge to reflect the concrete ruins of a dam at the river that was once built for the tin mining industry in the Gopeng area.

One of the toughest rapids in the river is called Easy Drop as rafters including the river guide have the tendency to be thrown overboard. Basically, the rapid has two drops of approximately three metres high. Upon reaching this rapid, the river guide will shout the word “Boom! Boom!” to indicate that everyone has to sit in the centre of the raft to avoid falling into the river. It is very exhilarating as your raft is thrown through the rapid and you are left to the mercy of the powerful water.

Rajah Corner is the longest rapid in Kampar River. It is aptly named after the big colony of Rajah Brooke butterflies swarming over the rocks along the area, especially in the morning.

Whenever a raft passes through the Hyside rapid, it has to be in a 30 degree angle so that it can get through the rapid without capsizing. Everyone must move to the “high” side of the raft so that the raft will be in a slightly tilted position.

Slide rapid is a little tricky and slightly technical as it requires the raft to go through most of the right side before sliding to the middle. A raft can easily get stuck in this rapid, especially when the water level is low. If it happens, rafters must shift to the front or the back of the raft depending on the situation and in the meantime, the guide will push the raft back into the main current. It requires skillful manoeuvering because of frequent obstructions.

One rapid called Paddle Breaker marks the site where a guide had his paddle broken in half while going down it. Snake rapid got its name simply because the curve of the river looks like a snake. Your raft will go through a zigzag pattern to clear out of this rapid.

Enders Rapid refers to a skillful trick river kayakers love to do at this rapid. The play manoeuver involves nosing the boat’s bow down and deep and the stern up resulting in the kayak popping vertically upward.

Seeing a flock of chickens running around the area during their first recce, the guides decided to name one rapid Chicken Run. Another is called Eddy Point, the white water terminology for an area where two currents from the opposite direction met to create a circular or spiral motion in the water.

All these rapids offer different kinds of thrills to rafters. You can never run a river the same way twice as the changes of the water flow make each trip unique.

During the journey, you will find yourself resting between rapids, relaxing and listening to your guide talking about the river. There are several rest stops at some areas of interest.

End of the Journey

The journey ends at Kampung Jahang where you will be transported back to your resort for a quick shower and a change of clothes. Your guide will then take you to a nearby restaurant for a hearty meal after all the hard work and excitement.

No one ever walks away from white water rafting experience in Kampar River untouched. You will either get addicted to this extreme activity or fall in love with the sheer beauty of the river area or both. Either way, you will want to return to this unique place again and again.

If white water rafting is not challenging enough for you, there are other extreme activities that you can try such as water abseiling from the top of a three-storey high waterfall, advanced-level kayaking, mountain biking, jungle trekking and caving.

Getting There
From Kuala Lumpur, get off the North-South Plus Expressway at the Gopeng interchange. It is advisable to join organised groups as they will guide you to the starting point and make all the arrangements necessary.

Who to Contact

(A subsidiary of Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Perak)
Level 11, Perak Techno-Trade Centre, Bandar Meru Raya, Off Jalan Jelapang, 30020 Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
Tel:1800 22 8772



Tourism Malaysia


A Road Trip Back in Time

Malaysia is rich with history, not only from the Dutch or British era but also from the World War II events that took place on this land. My friend and I decided that we would make a trip to revive some forgotten times. Thus, we set off on a historical road-trip that we named “2 historical states in 2 days”!

For those attempting to follow in our footsteps, rest assure that driving on Malaysian roads and highways is totally safe and enjoyable with great infrastructure and amenities along the way. Your long-distance drive can be interspersed with stops along the clean RnRs (Rest and Relax lay-bys) where there are food stalls, restrooms, convenience stores, petrol stations and Muslim prayer rooms.

The Mammoth on the Lake
From Kuala Lumpur, our first historic stop was to visit a “machine” from the British colonial era. Driving up north on the North-South PLUS Highway, we headed to Tanjung Tualang in Batu Gajah, a forgotten town that used to be famous for tin-mining activities in its heyday.

Briefly, Malaysia used to be the world’s largest tin producer, but when tin prices fell in 1980s, tin mining as an industry slowly ceased to exist in the country.

The “machine” we were going to check out is one of the last remaining pieces of Perak’s tin mining history. The Tanjung Tualang Tin Dredge No. 5 – or TT5 as it was called – stood heftily on the lake. This mammoth of a machine is Kinta Valley’s latest attraction. It was newly refurbished as a public museum to provide a glimpse into Malaysia’s tin-mining era in the old days.

Built in 1938, this surviving (but no longer in operation) bucketline tin dredge is simply a magnificent piece of engineering invention. It was originally steam-operated, but later turned fully electric in 1963.

We spent the rest of the tour with our well-informed guide, listening to how the tin dredge was operated and how the mines had changed not only the lives of people in Perak in those days, but also how the entire industry transformed and developed Malaysia.

One can explore almost all the areas of the tin dredge, touch and feel the machinery and also participate in some activities. We actually learned how to do manual tin mining – just to feel the experience of the original-time consuming method. After a “hard day’s work,” we took a sip at the lovely The Can Tin Diner, a small outlet which offers beverages and snacks.

The Original Tin Miners’ Club
We then left Batu Gajah on a 30 minute drive headed straight for Ipoh, the capital city of Perak which had its fair share of history to tell as well.

To delve deeper into Malaysia’s tin mining history, we visited Han Chin Pet Soo museum. For those who are interested to learn more about Malaysia’s tin mining history, there is no better place to do so than at this museum housed in what was once known as a private club for tin mining towkays since the 1890s. We explored three floors’ worth of old Malaya history through a guided tour and viewing unique exhibits such as a tin mine diorama, archived films, opium smoking paraphernalia, rare photographs and more.

That night, as we lulled ourselves to sleep at the Kinta Riverfront hotel in the city area, our dreams were of tin prospectors in old Malaya finding riches in the Kinta River.

Bridge to the Battlefields
The next day, we continued our journey to Penang and used the new Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah bridge to the island. This newly-built second link to the island was nearer to our ultimate destination, the Penang War Museum in Batu Maung.

It connects Bandar Cassia (Batu Kawan) in Seberang Perai on mainland Peninsular Malaysia with Batu Maung on Penang Island, and is the ideal bridge to take if you want to explore the southern parts of Penang Island.

It is the second bridge to link the island to the mainland after the first Penang Bridge. The total length of the bridge is 24 km (15 mi) with length over water at 16.9 km (10.5 mi), making it the longest bridge in Malaysia and the longest in Southeast Asia.

To abide by the Road Safety Audit, the bridge has numerous “S” shaped curves along its length. It took us about 20 minutes to cross the bridge.

Once in Batu Maung and as our car inched up the hill on which the museum stood, there was no mistaking that we were in “army territory” from the signages and war relics around.

The war bunker and fort at Batu Maung was erected by the British in the 1930s, but later came into the possession of the Japanese in 1941 when they turned it into a prisoners’ camp.

Exploring the various areas of the fort revealed many interesting relics such as pillboxes, underground shelters and bunkers dug deep into the ground. We entered a bunker that was once used as an ammunition storage area.  A bit further down, we saw a tunnel used to safely detonate bombs, big machine guns or launchers. We also saw the area where executions were carried out. A look into the barracks, now camouflaged by jungle, was a glimpse into the tormented lives and routines endured by the soldiers.

This definitely wasn’t a place for the faint-hearted, but for those who have a genuine love for history, they will find many fascinating stories and artefacts here to add depth to their knowledge of Malaysian history.

The Home of Heritage

We left the museum drenched in sweat, and the only thing to perk us up again was a comfortable warm bath in the lovely and eccentric Penaga Boutique Hotel. This cosy Baba-Nyonya inspired hotel is a cluster of 15 pre-war heritage shop houses converted into a an elegant five-star boutique accommodation full of character, right in the middle of George Town’s UNESCO heritage zone. Stepping into this Peranakan styled hotel transported us back to the origins of the Chinese and Malay cultures that fused all those years ago in Penang.

Staying the night here was a fitting way to end our history-tracing road trip as we immersed ourselves in the rich and colourful past of George Town City, whose amalgam of culture, heritage and traditions earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Site listing.

And the best thing was the location – it was just a stone’s throw away from a legendary culinary establishment for the masses – Nasi Kandar Line Clear! Although the restaurant has its franchises, nothing beats the original flavours where it first became famous.

We left Penang the very next morning pleased that we had managed to go back several decades in time to relive Malaysia’s glorious past and enjoy the fruits of its present and future.


Tanjung Tualang Tin Dredge No. 5 or TT5 Museum 

Address9th KM, Jalan Tanjung Tualang, 31000 Batu Gajah, Perak
Time:      9.00 am to 6.00 pm (Monday closed)
Phone:   +6014-904 3255
Fee:         From RM5 to RM20 and free for kids under 6 (Limited to 20 pax per session)

Han Chin Pet Soo Museum

Address: No. 3, Jalan Bijeh Timah (Treacher Street), 30100 Ipoh, Perak
Time: 9:30 am to 4:45 pm (Monday closed) Entry is by appointment only
Phone: +605 241 4541
Fee: No entrance fee, though donations of RM10 per adult and RM5 per child is welcomed

Penang War Museum

Address:  Batu Maung street, 11960 Batu Maung, Penang
Time: 9.00 am to 6.00 pm (Daily)
Plus 8.00 pm – 10.00 pm (Saturday Sunday)
Phone: +604-626 5142
Fee: From RM20 to RM35
*The museum is best reached by private transport.

Tourism Malaysia


If you think visiting an agriculture farm is boring, then you just haven’t been to MAEPS, which is the largest agro park in Malaysia and Asia. I may even dare say that it’s the Disneyland of Agroparks!

MAEPS is Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang, a 130-hectare piece of land with low rolling hills, lakes, wide open pastures, and tracts of land filled with local crops, developed to engage the public with Malaysia’s agriculture industry through fun education, recreation and lifestyle experiences associated with all things agriculture.

It has several show-grounds with specific crops on showcase, including the Paddy Farm, Vegetable Farm and livestock ranch to educate the public in a fun and entertaining way. Besides these live, outdoor exhibits, MAEPS also offers unique accommodation choices in either containers or culverts that have been restored and furnished with great taste.

Need a reason to visit MAEPS? We’ll give you 6 awesome reasons!

Mother of all Agriculture Shows

Every two years, MAEPS opens its doors to some 3 million visitors during the Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture and Agrotourism (MAHA) expo. It is the largest agricultural show of its kind that lasts over a period of 11 days. Due to the sheer number of exhibitors and activities organised, MAHA is something that everyone anticipates, from corporations to families. There are agro bazaars for a chance to purchase fresh produce direct from farmers, new product launches, livestock and animal displays, and more. It is a time to learn about aquaculture, organic products, forestry products, seeds and fertilisers, etc. This year’s MAHA will take place some time in December.

Herb Heaven

Take a stroll in the Herbs Park, and you’ll get to know over 150 herbs and spices cultivated here, many of which have been traditionally used as medicine, cooking ingredients and healthy herbal concoctions. Among them are Kacip Fatimah, Tongkat Ali, Cekur, and Pegaga. Did you know, Tongkat Ali is hard to pull out because the length of its roots depends on the height of the herb itself? Visit this place and you’ll realise that long before allopathic medicine, plants were the original medicine!

A Taste of the Sweet Life

Have you ever thought of trying honey straight from a live hive? Well, at MAEPS, this is certainly a must-do experience and don’t worry about getting stung. These bees are the kelulut species, known also as stingless bees. There are about 550 species of stingless bees in the world and 38 of them are found in Malaysia. At MAEPS, you can learn about the nine different species they care for here. Grab a straw and slurp up the natural and fresh honey straight from the hive!

Pineapple Farm

Moving on to the next attraction is the Pineapple Farm, a place where you can get your hands on all the knowledge about pineapples. Here, you will be introduced to different species of pineapples being planted such as Josapine, Mas Merah, Bromeliad and N36 (bet you didn’t know there were so many types!). What’s more, you get to taste both the fruit and juice of the pineapples! If you’re lucky, you would get the opportunity to harvest pineapples during its fruiting season. The information centre will provide lots of information about this humble, yet versatile fruit…did you know that its pulp is used in the textile and cosmetics industry?

Animal Therapy

At the G2G Animal Garden, visitors can cuddle up with a variety of animals such as rabbits, goats, reptiles, birds and cats. The place is suitable for your whole family, especially for children. The Animal Garden is a petting zoo, which means visitors can feed the animals for free. Watch out for parrots climbing you, mischievous racoons pulling at your clothes, ostriches screaming at you or lazy cats sleeping all day long! Besides animals, visitors can purchase souvenirs such as badges and t-shirts at the souvenir shop as memories.

For Meat-Lovers

The House of Kambing (HOK) is an on-site restaurant that serves up some of the best lamb dishes around. Its well-guarded house recipes uses local herbs and spices to deeply marinate the meat for a full and delicious flavour resulting in a tender piece of meat. This chophouse serves different types of lamb dishes, but our favourite is the “Kambing Kunyit” in which lamb is grilled to perfection with turmeric.  Not a fan of meat? No matter, for HOK has a variety of local rice and noodle dishes. While enjoying your lunch, enjoy the beautiful scenery of goats, camels and deers playing around in the nearby pasture.

There you go folks! MAEPS provide endless recreational activities for family and friends. Discover the many wonderful experiences at MAEPS, Malaysia’s biggest agro-based park. Take your time and enjoy the experience!

Travel to Melaka


This blogspot is being created to compliment our main Tourism Melaka website at

We hope to write our comments and views on the development of the tourism sector in Melaka so that old cultural jewels can be retained and new ones generated to attract more visitors to our Melakan shores.

For us to continue our journey, we like to invite visitors to pen their comments and views so that we can create a sustainable and vibrant tourism sector in Melaka.


TW Kang