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FUN THINGS TO DO ON A RAINY DAY

Though Malaysia is hot and humid year round, there are days of tropical rain showers. So it is good to know some alternative activities or destinations to spend your free time during a rainy day, instead of just watching TV or playing games on mobile tablets at home.

We have six indoor playgrounds located in the Klang Valley which we think are great for rainy-day dates. Most of the theme parks require at least a half-day or full day to do them justice.  Let’s go!

The Rift, Mid Valley Megamall
Dubbed Malaysia’s first ever hybrid Virtual Reality (VR)/ Augmented Reality (AR) theme park, The Rift offers a taste of an out-of-this-world experience like no other! The cool theme park features up to 24 different reality-altering, physically-challenging experiences from virtual free-roaming shooters, to physical vertigo-inducing wall climbs and free-falls for thrill seekers.

Midvalley Megamall is known for its strategic location and it is totally hassle-free to pay a visit if you don’t want to go far for a holiday vacation.

Tip: Find out the details before paying a visit, as you will need to select the attractions you want to try.

Price: RM68 for any 6 attractions
Location: 3rd Floor, North Court, MidValley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Operating hours: 10 am – 10 pm daily (Last admission at 8.30 pm)
Contact number: +603 – 2202 1808
Website: http://www.therift.com.my/


District 21, IOI City, Putrajaya
Experience all the fun and without feeling bored at all at this amazing indoor adventure theme park! There are 10 attractions to keep you and your family occupied the whole day, and you can start off with something mild like the Tubby Ride or the Go Pedal. Some other attractions include roller gliding, rock climbing, a trampoline area, maze, and free fall.

For those of you with children, the Low Ropes attraction is specifically designed for children to climb, jump, ride, slide and fly all under one roof in a safe indoor environment.

Tip: Load up your energy so that you can ride through all these challenges with full stamina. 

Price: From RM58 (Weekday), RM68 (Weekend)
Location: AT 6, Level 1, IOI City Mall, Lebuh IRC, IOI Resort City.
Operating hours: 12 pm – 8 pm (Weekday), 10 am – 8 pm (Weekend)
Contact number: +603 – 8328 8888
Website: http://www.ioicitymall.com.my/district-21/


Jump Street Trampoline Park, Petaling Jaya
Looking for a fun way to exercise? Come to Jump Street Trampoline Park in Petaling Jaya. This is one of the biggest indoor trampoline parks where you could “jump” your stress away. There are 8 different attractions for both adults and kids where everyone could play on the foam pit, slam dunk, vertical running walls, dodge ball, giant air bag and other attractions as well. The park also has a Kids Only Court, so even a 13-month old child can enjoy the experience.

If you’re up for more than jumping around, gather a bunch of your friends and play a round or two of trampoline Dodgeball!

Tip: Parents can drop off their kids here and do their grocery shopping at JayaOne mall next door.

Price: RM27 per hour
Location: 8A, Jalan 13/6, Seksyen 13, 46200, Petaling Jaya.
Operating hours: 11 am – 9 pm (Weekday), 10 am – 9 pm (Weekend)
Contact number: +603 – 7969 1051
Website: https://jumpstreetasia.com/ 

Photo courtesy of JumpStreet Kuala Lumpur


KidZania, Curve NX, Mutiara Damansara
At this educational theme park for youngsters, all kids are able to find their dream jobs! They will be exposed to what a doctor, journalist or firefighter does in the real world. More than 60 establishments have been built to get them experiencing real-life occupations in a fun yet interactive learning environment.

While the kids are busy, adults can pay a visit to The Curve shopping mall or visit IKEA for home furniture and design ideas. Visitors from other states or cities can book their accommodation situated within walking distance to Kidzania, i.e. The Royale Bintang Hotel The Curve and The Royal Chulan Damansara Hotel.

Tip: This park gets very busy on weekends, so weekday visits are best.

Price: RM89 (Kids aged between 4 – 17)
Location: Curve NX, 18, Jalan PJU 7/5, Mutiara Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Operating hours: 10 am – 5 pm (Sunday – Friday), 10 am – 7 pm (Saturday)
Contact number: +603 – 2203 9666
Website: https://www.kidzania.com.my/



Sunway Pyramid Ice, Bandar Sunway

Sunway Pyramid Ice is the first world class ice sports entertainment in Malaysia. It hosts many prestigious tournaments for ice-skating. With its strategic location at the award-winning Sunway Pyramid mall, it has become a popular recreational destination in Malaysia which attracts approximately 15,000 skaters each month. Spanning a 39m x 22.5m rink size, the spectacular view of the rink’s sleek and modern design creates an open view for the shoppers on each of the five floors to watch the skaters in action.

Please don’t let your age stop you from enjoying this fun activity, it is something cool for everyone – whether you’re an ice skating enthusiast or lacing up your skates for the first time!

Tip: It is compulsory for skaters to put on socks and gloves while skating at all times. You can bring your own or rent it from the operator.

Price: From RM20
Location: Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall
Operating hours: 10 am – 8 pm (Weekday), 9 am – 9 pm (Saturday), 9am – 6pm (Sunday)
Contact number:  +603 – 7492 6800
Website: https://www.sunwaypyramidice.com/


Indoor Rock Climbing, Putrajaya Challenge Park

Putrajaya Challenge Park is a green site with the aim to promote extreme sports activities to the younger generation. Among the extreme sports facilities available here include rock climbing and sliding sport facilities as well as a thrilling outdoor bike route.

It’s a great place to learn or to practice rock climbing. There are various wall shapes and designs to challenge everyone from beginners to advanced climbers.

For the beginner, you are advised to hire an instructor who can give you proper guidance on how to climb and you need to make appointment with them earlier.

Tip: This park has a special indoor climbing wall just for kids – and it is free!

Price: Ticket price per entry is RM6 for adult. Equipment rental is approximately RM20++.
Location:  Jalan P5, Presint 5, Putrajaya, 62200, Putrajaya, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Operating hours: 10 am – 8 pm (Sunday – Thursday), 10 am – 10 pm (Wednesday, Friday Saturday)
Contact number:  +6013 – 466 4363 (En. Mizi)
Website: www.putrajayachallengepark.com

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CYCLING IN THE CITY

Question – what do Kuala Lumpur and Amsterdam now have in common? Answer – MikeBikes.

Yes, following in the tracks of the cycling city of Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur now has a new attraction – a cycling tour of Kuala Lumpur’s heritage areas utilising the original Dutch bicycle, no less, in the famous “oranje” colour! Nothing short of exciting and thrilling, the MikeBikes Tour offers a unique insight into some of the city’s oldest and historic quarters, and the best way to go off the beaten track in an otherwise modern and cosmopolitan city!

Before we ‘cycle’ any further, let me tell you that the local council of the capital has recently introduced a dedicated blue lane especially for cyclists. The 11-kilometer long cycling-track along selected major roads in Kuala Lumpur will ensure safety for all road-users and is a thumbs up towards reducing one’s carbon footprint in the city. Cycling in the city is still a new concept in Kuala Lumpur, but it looks like we’re headed in the right direction!

To register for a MikeBikes Tour, it’s best to call ahead and book (better than walking in) the tour package of your choice. At the meeting point, you will be given the Oranje Bicycle and a security vest. Two experienced guides will be at your service throughout the cycling tour.

The meeting point is well-placed certainly. MikeBikes is located at the Malaysia Tourism Centre (MATIC) in Jalan Ampang, a stone’s throw away from KLCC. It is centrally-located and easily accessible to many places of interest in the capital.

With a group of enthusiasts, I managed to join the tour recently. MikeBikes offers two basic, highly experiential tours namely The Best of KL Classic and The KL Sunset Night Tour.

According to MikeBikes, the first tour takes you along some striking and iconic spots in the city — the Petronas Twin Towers, the fruit and vegetable market in Chow Kit and the Sin Sze Ya temple. This one starts at 8 am and ends at 12 pm.

The latter tour is about discovering the city while it is getting ready for the evening. The guys at MikeBikes painted this picture for us: The locals gather on squares and they set up their food stalls. You will be amazed at the colors and aromas of the city after sunset. Of course, the original Nasi Lemak should not be missed. The beautiful architectural buildings look different at nightfall. The KLCC Tower, Kampung Baru and the Sultan Abdul Samad Building are just a small selection of the places you will visit.

We wisely chose the evening tour (to escape the scorching sun) that would allow us to see the best of of both modern and traditional Kuala Lumpur, a kind of 2-in1 adventure. Plus, I thought it would be interesting to see the changes as the city transitioned from a bustling business centre to whatever goes on at night.

We were all geared up by 5 pm, ready and waiting eagerly at MATIC for a four-hour journey that would cover more than 14 kilometres.

We first cycled to a very special area – the untouched yet famous kampung or village in the city, Kampung Baru. Against the backdrop of KLCC, the only-surviving Malay village of wooden houses looked strangely juxtaposed against its modern surroundings. As we pedalled through back alleys and age-old heritage houses, I realised then that the village wasn’t at all backward but was a symbol of cultural identity that stood proudly against the encroaching modernisation. What makes Kampung Baru near and dear to many is its charm as a street-food institution with more than 200 stalls selling a gobsmacking array of food at affordable prices.

We later passed the Loke Mansion building and then made a brief stop in front of Masjid India at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, an area famous for local shopping and a melting pot of cultures. From time to time we digested morsels of interesting information and facts about the city dished out by our experienced guides.

As the sun started to disappear beneath the skyline, we reached the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. It was quite something to admire the Moorish architecture of this iconic national building in the fading light. Special arrangements were made for us to have dinner at the historic Royal Selangor Club, once a British-only place of gathering where membership was reserved to only those in selected social circles…and here we were, quite tired, hungry and sticky, yet able to enjoy a once elitist view of the city. How ironic, yet delightful!

After dinner, we had a chance to view Masjid Jamek by night. As we were photographing this centennial place of worship sandwiched by colonial buildings, I briefly felt like I was stepping back in time to what was once the beginnings of a small riverine settlement that later turned into a modern city of wonder.

In no time, we were weaving our way through the heart of Petaling Street, where small-time vendors did thriving business. We cicyled past the Mahamariamman temple from which aromatic incense wafted and fragranced the air, and later passed by KL Forest Eco Park (formerly known as the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve), the last remaining tropical rainforest in the city.

When I glimpsed KLCC later, I knew that our journey was about to end. Towards the end, I thought that any tourist would enjoy and be happy with this authentic experience of getting up close and personal with Kuala Lumpur through the MikeBikes’ tour programme. Driving by these same places in a car would only leave a fleeting impression, if one were any observant. But cycling through the alleyways, weaving through foot traffic, passing by age-oild buildings within touching distance, really put a sense of perspective in me. Though my legs were tired, I felt a sense of pride to witness how my Kuala Lumpur had progressed well in its beauty and harmony. What a ride!

AddressMikeBikes’ at Malaysia Tourism Centre (MaTIC), 109 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur
Web: www.mikebikes.my
Operation     Open daily. Closes 10 pm
Phone:          +6017-673 7322

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ROUGHING IT OUT AT KENABOI FOREST RESERVE


Kenaboi Forest Reserve is located in the district of Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan, which is about 85 km from Kuala Lumpur. Standing at 1,462 meters, Gunung Besar Hantu, which is the highest peak in Negeri Sembilan, is situated in this forest reserve along with its highest waterfall, known as Lata Kijang (Deer Waterfall). In 2008, the state government declared an area of 9,420 hectares of the Kenaboi Forest Reserve as a State Wildlife Park but was later renamed Kenaboi State Park.

This is the kind of destination that is certainly a little more challenging than your usual eco-destination, but if I may say so, one that is totally worth the effort.


Kenaboi State Park
Our journey from Kuala Lumpur took about two hours to reach Kampung Chennah in Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan. Far from the hustle and bustle of the city, the change of scenery was very welcoming as we were surrounded by greenery. The journey would have been pleasant if we didn’t have to go through a narrow and long serpentine road, which was a bit challenging for those suffering from motion sickness.

We had to switch to a four-wheel-drive (4WD) at Kampung Chennah as we got ready to go off-road, which meant a rougher ride ahead. It turned out to be fun when we had to go through the Orang Asli (aborigines) villages, where friendly children welcomed us with their friendly smiles and enthusiastic waving. After that, the road kept getting narrower and narrower until we reached our base camp near a small stream.

The soothing sounds of the running stream and the sounds of birds chirping somewhere above, and the smell of clean moist air, as well as the cool temperature were a lethal combination as we could get addicted to it.

Every one of us couldn’t wait to take part in the various activities that the state park had to offer. First, we went tubing in the lazy river for 1.2 kilometers. The river was gentle enough for us to float lazily while day-dreaming about our life but in some parts of the river we had to manoeuvre through bubbling rapids and huge rocks, which made our tubing experience a little bit more exhilarating.

From the river, we moved up to the tree top for a flying fox activity, which was a short distance but nothing short of fun and thrilling. It was definitely an exhilarating and unique aerial journey.

Some of us opted for another adrenaline rush activity, which was abseiling down a small cliff. I was told that the cliff was quite slippery and it was quite challenging to manoeuvre through a huge fallen tree that was blocking their path. And at the end of the cliff, they could just let go and jump down to the cool stream below.

Lata Kijang (Deer Waterfall)
We continued our journey with a visit to the highest waterfall in Negeri Sembilan, Lata Kijang. It took us about 30 minutes to reach this 93-meter waterfall by a four-wheel-drive. It was such a bumpy ride that some of us felt like throwing up.

On the way to the waterfall, we stopped at an ideal spot to check out the hornbill nest on top of a really tall tree. Unfortunately, the hornbill was not at its nest but the surrounding view was really fantastic.

We continued our journey to the waterfall but this time around, the journey was really smooth because the road was tarred. Once we arrived there, the view of the statuesque waterfall really took our breath away. The sounds and sights of the cascading waterfall brought peace to our mind after such a hectic journey and activities. Apart from enjoying the view, there’s nothing much to do at the waterfall except taking a selfie. After that, we returned to the base camp for a
much needed rest.

Jeram Berungut
Our second day mission was to find the “Malaysian Lord of the Rings”, which was the hidden gem at the Kenaboi State Park. Jeram Berungut is flanked by 40-meter high rocky cliffs covered in green moss, thus creating a river canyon that is so breathtaking. It was such a surreal experience. The fantasy-like surroundings that we needed to pass to get to the cool and clear water of Jeram Berungut really made us feel like we were in the “Lord of the Rings” movie.

People always said that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations and we can assure you that in the case of Jeram Berungut, it’s all true. The journey tested not just our fitness but also our patience. No wonder it was called Berungut, which means grumbling because you’d find yourself grumbling throughout the tough journey.

The journey started with a 15-minute jungle trekking, which was easy peasy but then the nightmare began. Well, you have to give us the benefit of the doubt because this was our first river trekking. The effort to find our footing on the slippery rocky river floor for 45 minutes made us feel like no river canyon was worth the torture, but it was all forgotten once we saw the stunning view and the cool and crystal clear waters that looked inviting. Some of us couldn’t wait to jump right in but some just let their eyes slowly take in the quiet beauty around them.

We may return to Kuala Lumpur black and blue from the many tumbles we took while crossing the river, but for that kind of wonderful nature, we wouldn’t mind returning to this river canyon again and again.

Contact Person

Juliana Yahya
District Forestry Office
Negeri Sembilan Utara
71600, Kuala Klawang Jelebu
Negeri Sembilan
Tel: 06-6136500
Mobile: 012-7056551

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TOP THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR DURING HARI RAYA

When the takbir is heard echoing from far, we can immediately see smiles on the faces of everybody. That marks the end of one month of fasting during Ramadan, and Syawal is knocking on the door, ready to be celebrated. Eid Day, or commonly known as Hari Raya comes once per year and is a day where families and friends get together and celebrate with various types of traditional delicacies after a full month of fasting in Ramadhan.

For first-timers to Malaysia, you might be wondering what to do on Eid Day. Well, read on to know how Malaysians celebrate the day and the iconic things not to miss during Hari Raya.

HARI RAYA OPEN HOUSE
It’s a common thing for fellow Malaysians to invite friends, neighbours, even strangers to their houses to celebrate together, especially on the first day – this is in the spirit of the Malaysian Open House. It’s a great way to try out the typical Hari Raya dishes and join in the fun. Keep an eye out for Open House invitations by some popular local personalities, Government agencies, and even the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

FOOD AND DELICACIES
Rendang, Ketupat and satay are the signature dishes of Hari Raya. It would not be Hari Raya without these dishes. Rendang is a spicy meat dish made from meat, coconut milk, chili, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, turmeric and onion (shallot). Each state will have a slightly different version of the recipe (and claim theirs to be the best!). For example, chicken Rendang from Negeri Sembilan would look and taste differently from chicken Rendang made in Kedah.

Ketupat is a type of dumpling made out of rice packed inside a diamond-shaped pouch of woven palm leaves eaten with a thick and spicy roasted peanut gravy. You can also eat ketupat with rendang.

Another type of ketupat is made with starchy glutinous rice wrapped in daun palas into a triangle shape. These are usually found in the northern region of Malaysia.

Satay is a seasoned, skewered and grilled meat, served with Kuah Kacang. It is eaten on sticks and served hot right after being grilled, garnished with ketupat, cucumbers and onions.

SWEET TREATS
Every household celebrating Hari Raya will definitely have some Kuih Raya to serve the guests. There are a variety of Kuih Raya and snacks, but all are bite-sized sweet delights. Our favourites are the pineapple tarts and London almonds!

Cakes are also served on this day to sweeten the celebration. There are a few signature Hari Raya cakes that are so special, they only make an appearance on the day of celebration.

Kek Lapis or Layered Cake is also typically served during Hari Raya. It is especially popular in Sarawak where a whole table is often dedicated to displaying all the different and colourful varieties.

Also famous in Sarawak is the black-as-soot steamed Hati Parek cake made of black raisins, caramelised brown sugar and lots of eggs.

FIREWORKS – AN ENTERTAINMENT FOR ALL
It’s habitual for Malaysians to celebrate Hari Raya with one of the most compulsory things: fireworks. Don’t be surprised to hear fireworks going off or see them in the sky, it’s a sign that Hari Raya will be tomorrow. As for kids, you will see them lighting up sparklers, ground spinners, rocket-style Thunderclaps and others to welcome the celebration.

FASHION
What is celebrating Hari Raya without wearing new clothes? For Malays, we have our own traditional clothing worn during Hari Raya, which is Baju Melayu (for men) and Baju Kurung (for women). You can find these two traditional clothings in many different colours and designs. Visit shopping malls during the month before Hari Raya and you will see all the trendy designs. If you wait right till the last day of Ramadan to shop for your clothes, you may even get them at deep discounts.

HARI RAYA MALL DECORATIONS
Hari Raya is a great time to head down to the nearest shopping centre and witness the most amazing mall decorations. Shining lights, decorative walls and attractive scenery will get you in the festive mood! In fact, the malls in Malaysia will often try to out-do each other with their mall decorations and festive activities so shopping in Malaysia is definitely not dull!

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BAZAAR RAMADAN

Ramadan is a fasting month for Muslims all over the world. During this month, Muslims perform their obligatory abstinence from food and drink from dawn to dusk. But Ramadan is not just about fasting. It is also a time for spiritual reflection and devoting themselves to worship and pray to Allah.

For Malaysians, be it Muslims and non-Muslims, there’s another reason why Ramadan is one of the eagerly awaited months of the Islamic calendar. Perhaps the most special and distinguishing aspect of Ramadan in Malaysia is the Ramadan bazaars that can be found at almost every corner all over the country, offering a huge array of mouth-watering delicacies for you to break your fast with. A visit to these bazaars are a feast for the senses, especially olfactory, as you would be assaulted with all kinds of wonderful smells wafting in the air as you walk from one end to the other.

There is no better time for locals and tourists to titillate their taste buds than by touring the various buka puasa (breaking of fast) spots and trying out the various delicacies each site offers during the month-long Bazaar Ramadan held throughout the country. This year, the Bazaar Ramadan will be held during the fasting month from 17 May to 14 June.

As in previous years, there will be a variety of delicacies and freshly baked treats to tempt the eye from basketfuls of assorted kuih (sweet and savoury snacks) to rows of side dishes to complement a family dinner.

Usually, stalls open as early as 4.00 pm, when sellers start bringing in their wares. There are stalls selling fruits, drinks, foods and it will be a hive of activity with sellers arranging their foods, some grilling fish, with the smoke blowing gently in your eyes.

Try the specialty porridge, bubur lambuk (mix porridge), kueh jala emas (a form of sweet cake) found mainly in Kelantan, pulut panggang (grilled sticky rice with prawns in coconut mixture), ikan terubuk bakar (grilled fish), oh, and so much more!

The thirst-quenching ABC (air batu campur or syrupy ice shavings, with nuts, corn etc.), cincau (jellied drink), tasty soya bean drink, cooling sugar cane, are some of the selections of drinks sold at the bazaar.

Sometimes, especially on a hungry stomach, it is difficult to make choices of what to eat and drink for buka puasa. One would want to buy everything. It is such a great temptation with so much wonderful food!


The prices are affordable, and everyone can visit the bazaar. Just get ready for the thronging crowd, long queues, occasional shouting frenzy from the sellers vying for your attention and a truly local atmosphere. It is worth visiting a different bazaar every day as each bazaar offers a different experience and menu. It is advisable to plan what you want to buy beforehand and bring just enough cash as it is easy to get carried away at a Ramadan bazaar – resulting in you buying more than what you can stomach, which defeats the purpose of the holy month.

Food aside, the bazaar also enhances racial harmony, religious tolerance and boosts Malaysia’s image as a peaceful Islamic country.

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