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Spooky travels this Halloween month

This October, why not experience the “darker” side of Malaysia in celebration of the Halloween month? Here’s a compilation of possible things to do and places to visit to get into the mood of the season. While some are fun and entertaining for the whole family, others are strictly for adults who can brave the thrills!

Fun runs: Those who want to get their feet moving can join several fun runs being organised this entire month all over the country. Most have a Halloween theme, so come dressed in your spookiest outfits and put on some fangs for a jolly good time.

  • Boo Night Run at Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) on 28 Oct. Enjoy a cool 5 km night run in this huge park with some ghostly (but friendly) characters to motivate you along the way. Website: http://bigshowasia.com/
  • Halloween Fun Run in Kota Kinabalu on 28 Oct. Run along the coastal highway of Likas Bay and don’t forget to put on some ghostly make-up to scare your competitors away! Website: https://www.facebook.com/halloweenrunkk/
  • Zombie Urban Run at Metropolitan Square, Kepong, on 28 Oct. This morning run over a distance of 4 km will take participants around the picturesque park and lake. Website: https://www.facebook.com/fanatic4event2u/

 

Theme parks: Malaysia’s theme parks are putting on some serious fangs to frighten the daylights out of visitors.

  • Over at Sunway Lagoon, the “Nights of Frights,” now in its 5th year of celebration, is only for the brave (seriously, only those 12 and above are allowed in). Get ready to feel the fear as you explore their eight haunted houses, five scare zones, 11 thrill rides and four stage shows. Website: sunwaylagoon.com/nof5.
  • For kid-friendly Halloween celebrations, head on over to Legoland where they’re putting together some new shows this October. Catch the Brick-Most-FearShow, where Mr. Lord Vampire, The Green Witch and Frankenstein will share how they brought Frankenstein back to life! Expect lots of friendly Halloween characters doing a dance routine throughout the park, too, and join in the Brick-Ka-Boo parade. Website: legoland.com.my.
  • Another family-friendly Halloween treat is in store over at Perak’s Lost World of Tambun. Dare you enter the Spooky Halloween House of Dolls with its nightly show of “Dolls Alive” where cute and cuddly toys come “alive”? If not, just stick to the usual trick or treating around the park and collect various candies and goodies. Website: https://sunwaylostworldoftambun.com

Night tours: After you’re done exploring Malaysia by day, why not experience Malaysia by night? Night tours of some of Malaysia’s popular tourist attractions will shed new light on your appreciation of what they offer.

  • The Penang War Museum has been listed as one of Asia’s top 10 haunted sites by the National Geographic Channel. If it gives you the creeps in the day time, imagine the goosebumps you’ll get in this two-hour guided tour. Explore this old British defence fortress built in the 1930s, which later served as a prisoner of war camp after the Japanese invasion in 1941, and learn the historical facts along the way. Website: facebook.com/PenangWarMuseum/
  • For many years Kellie’s Castle, located in Batu Gajah, Perak, was left in ruins before it was turned into a tourist attraction. Today, after some sprucing up, visitors can learn all about the gift that Scottish planter William Kellie Smith gave his wife in the early 1900s. Numerous tragedies and bad luck struck the family and delayed the construction of the mansion, but all these tales will be revealed as visitors explore the corridors, halls and dungeons of Kellie’s Castle after sunset. Website: https://www.facebook.com/kelliescastleofficial/

On a lighter note, get to know your ghosts and ghouls at the Penang Ghost Museum in a fun and interactive way. Horror enthusiasts will love comparing Western and Asian ghosts here such as the Dracula, mummy, Orang Minyak (literally means oily man in Malay), pontianak (female vampire), Tuyul (known as Toyol), Pocong (a living corpse in a burial shroud), Chinese vampires (jiangshi), and Onryo (a Japanese spirit). Website: https://www.facebook.com/ghostmuseumpenang57/

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A Multitude of Fun in One Amazing Destination

Step inside and you’ll discover a magical kingdom of pure fun and excitement. Experience the wonders of over 90 rides and attractions spread across Water Park, Amusement Park, Extreme Park, Wildlife Park, Scream Park and the first Nickelodeon-themed attraction in Asia, Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon.

True to its ‘Asia’s Best Attraction’ fame, Sunway Lagoon is also home to the Malaysia’s First Waterplexx 5D and also Malaysia’s Largest Water Ride – Vuvuzela. Other worthy attractions include the Malaysia’s Largest Surf Wave Pool, Malaysia’s First Interactive Zoo, Malaysia’s First Bungy Jump, Lynton V Harris’ Scream Park – a live interactive ‘scare’ attraction and one of the Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridges in Malaysia.

   

  

Being the region’s hottest concert and events venue, Sunway Lagoon has hosted some of the biggest international lifestyle, music, and sporting events including MTV World Stage (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 2015) Quiksilver Revolution Tour (2006 2008). The Amphitheatre @ Sunway Lagoon is also quickly gaining reputation for West End Productions with the staging of Peter Pan the Musical (2010), Magical Musicals (2011), Aladdin the Musical (2011), London the Summer Musical (2012), Beauty and the Beast (2012) and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs the Musical (2013). In 2014, Sunway Lagoon brought in an award-winning show with a “Cirque” concept entitled “LumiAir – A Cirque Sensation” and the most recent in 2015, a magical show entitled “Trickstars” that captivated many families’ hearts.

  

Not only is Sunway Lagoon your one-stop fun destination, it is also a multiple award-winning attraction. Having been named ‘Asia’s Best Attraction’ by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) from 2007-2010, Sunway Lagoon was also the winner of the inaugural ‘Asia ’s Best Waterpark 2011’ by IAAPA. In addition to that, Sunway Lagoon was the winner of ‘Best Man-Made Tourist Attraction 2005/2006’ awarded by Tourism Malaysia, 4th Best Water Theme Park in Asia by TripAdvisor’s Travelers Choice 2015, Silver Award for the Entertainment Category at the Putra Brand Award 2015 and ‘Best Theme Park’ for the Going Places Readers’ Choice Awards 2015.

  

Sunway Lagoon is truly one of a kind. It is a unique land of play and leisure that spans over 88 acres, giving it the capability to host events of any size. From 70 to a staggering crowd of 70,000 if need be. Visitors could stay at the 1,234 rooms at Sunway Resort Hotel Spa; or shop at the grand Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall, all within the Sunway Resort City (SRC).

  

All these excitements are just within 30 minutes reach from Kuala Lumpur city centre and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), easily accessed through a network of expressways – the Federal Highway, Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP), New Pantai Expressway (NPE) and the KESAS Highway.

Sunway Lagoon is open daily from 10am to 6pm. Admission is priced at RM150 for adults and RM120 for children for entry to the park.

For more information on Sunway Lagoon please visit https://sunwaylagoon.com/

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Exploring Taman Negara

Taman Negara is the crown jewel of tropical rainforests in Asia. Reputed as the oldest of its kind in the world (130 million years old), it has evolved amid natural disasters and been generally unmolested by human civilisation — creating an epicentre for the most diverse distribution of flora and fauna on the planet. There’s 150 mammal species ranging from tiny rodents to magnificent Indian elephants, 479 species of birds and a host of native animals unique to Malaysia.

 

Established in 1939 under British rule, Taman Negara is a whopping 4343 square kilometres spanning three states. The expanse is covered in a criss-cross of meandering rivers, rapids and waterfalls; a mountain range and lush valleys with 30 to 40 metre canopies that obscure the sunlight.

Banyan buttressed roots in Taman Negara

Banyan buttressed roots in Taman Negara

 

As the forest reserve is so big — it would literally take years or even decades to fully explore with scientists discovering new species all the time — we have condensed the itinerary to focus on the

must-see sights and must-do activities for first time visitors.

 Jungle Trekking

You can’t go to Taman Negara and not trek into the depths of the jungle. During the day you can see rare jungle flowers and take amazing photos at the base of 40m tall trees with gargantuan banyan buttressed roots. Also keep your eyes peeled for sightings of the gorgeous pitcher plant species. There are various trails to choose from, all for different levels of ability. For the more adventurous, check out the 53km long distance trail from Kuala Tahan to Gunung Tahan. It takes seven days and six nights and is one of the most challenging trails and seldom explored in the park.

Night Jungle Walk

The fun begins when the sun sets. Most fauna here are generally crepuscular (active between dusk and dawn) or nocturnal so the best time to catch a glimpse of native wild animals is after dark. Some trails run along rivers that are known to be feeding grounds for seladang (Malaysian gaurs), deers, monkeys and wild boars. If you are really lucky, you may spot a well-camouflaged black panther stalking in the trees or a herd of elephants dipping their trunks into the stream. If you fail to spot any wildlife, head to the salt licks and the animal observatories at Tahan Hide or Kumbang Hide, where there is ample deers, wild boars and Malayan tapir to see.

The Canopy Walkway at Taman Negara is a must!

The Canopy Walkway at Taman Negara is a must!

Canopy Walkway

Taman Negara’s canopy walkway is arguably one of the longest in the world at 530m and is 40m above the ground. The dense canopy is home to a myriad of bird species and arboreal animals that have formed complex ecosystems at such altitude. It is also common to see certain trees towering above the walkway and these giants are estimated to by thousands of years old. Interestingly, the walkway was initially built for research purposes, but is now the most common attraction at the park and can be reached by boat or trekking, just 1.2km from Park HQ.

 

Orang Asli Villages

Although Taman Negara is relatively pristine and untouched, the tribal people have coexisted here for thousands of years. The Batek and Semokberi aborigines have beautiful rustic settlements where they use blowpipes and spears to hunt game. They are very approachable and friendly people but are extremely superstitious as well so visitors are advised to respect their traditions and cultures. If you want to take a photo of them, make sure you ask for permission first.

Batek people have been living in Taman Negara for centuries — nationalgeographic.com

Batek people have been living in Taman Negara for centuries — nationalgeographic.com

Adventure Exploration

If you are an adrenaline junkie, jump on a wooden boat that will rip through the seven river rapids of Sungai Tembeling. The rapids are highly rated and you will definitely be drenched by the end of the journey. Alternatively, you can cruise upstream to Late Berkoh, one of the most photographed areas of Taman Negara. There’s also finishing adventures for the serious angler, with popular spots including Kuala Perkai, Rincing, Rawa and Lata Said. The best fishing months are during drier months in February to September of the year.

A journey to Late Berkoh will be one to remember — www.tamannegara.asia

A journey to Late Berkoh will be one to remember — www.tamannegara.asia

Gunung Tahan

Gunung Tahan is the tallest peak in Peninsula Malaysia at 2,187m and takes four days to reach the top with camping needed each night. Depending on your fitness levels, you can traverse the old trail which usually take six to seven days of trekking through valleys.hilly areas and rivers and is 32km longer. You will need to register and pay a small fee for access and be sure to have water proof flash lights with back up batteries as well as a custom built first aid kit. To learn more about Gunung Tahan hiking, click here: http://www.tamannegara.asia/packages/other-packages/gunung-tahan-expedition/

For more information about your ultimate Taman Negara experience go to: http://www.tamannegara.asia/

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Rainforest World Music Festival A Shining Example On World Stage

Rainforest World Music Festival A Shining Example On World Stage

RAINFOREST WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL A SHINING EXAMPLE ON WORLD STAGE

Kuching, Tuesday – Sarawak Tourism Board’s Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) took centre stage at the Asian MICE Forum (AMF) in Taipei earlier this September, where the event was presented in the forum as a leading international music event in Asia.

The RWMF was presented by Ms. Mary Wan Mering, acting Chief Executive Officer of the Board, in a panel discussion entitled “Gamification in Destination Marketing”.

The panel discussed the pertinence of using game dynamics in events and shared insights on how their events became ‘world-famous’.

‘Gamification’ has become the keyword in event planning as of late, as traditional one-way events are being abandoned by event-goers who consider two-way or interactive events such as the RWMF far superior.

“In a sense, we were years before our time, as we’ve been placing interactivity and inclusion as the core of the RWMF since 1998”. Mary Wan highlighted during her presentation to the crowd of 700 industry members.

The gamification of events has become the new tactic of event organisers to create a deeper connection and a fonder memory in participants, instilling in them a sense of ownership over the event.

“By involving the crowds in workshops and tutorials, they are not just attending an event, they are becoming a part of that event, and in doing so that event becomes a part of their identity. They will always return.” Mary Wan explained.

The impact of an interactive event goes further than just customer satisfaction, as it has also aided the RWMF in its main objective, which is cultural art and music appreciation, conservation and revival.

The RWMF has been voted as one of the top 25 World Music Festivals by Songlines Magazine for six years in a row and has achieved various international events and public relations awards over the past 19 years.

Other events which shared the panel were Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival in Tainan, Taiwan, listed as the third largest folk celebration in the world; the regionally famous Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan; and the attractive Chartres Festival of Light in France.

“Our home-grown event sat on par with events in Taiwan, Japan and France. We came come a long way from humble beginnings. We are overjoyed to see the RWMF getting the recognition it deserves.” Mary Wan stressed.

The AMF is an established international platform for Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Exhibitions (MICE) experts to discuss their industry challenges and solutions, with over 6000 attendees to date over the past 10 years.

Organised by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and commissioned by the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Photo shows Mary Wan Mering with other presenters at Asian MICE Forum.

Photo shows Mary Wan Mering with other presenters at Asian MICE Forum.

Issued by:

Communications Unit
SARAWAK TOURISM BOARD
T: +6 082-423600  F: +6 082-416700
E: [email protected]
Date: 20 September 2016

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10 Malaysian Sweets & Desserts You Should Try

Sugar, spice and everything nice!

The sweetmeats and desserts of Malaysia, also known as kuih-muih or manisan locally, cater to the craziest taste buds in Asia, hence they are absolutely unique. Malaysians are extremely thrifty, yet have high expectations of their desserts. Through this almost impossible-to-meet criteria, we have seen a unique craftsmanship that has resulted in affordable and tasty treats. Here’s an eclectic list of kuih-muih and manisan from the melting pot of ethnicities that is Malaysia.

Ais Kacang, literally meaning “ice beans”, also commonly known as ABC (Air Batu Campur, meaning “mixed ice”), incorporates a variety of ingredients over shaved ice and drenched in copious amounts of evaporated milk and a traditional sweetener called Gula Melaka or coconut sugar. Traditionally the dish is served with roasted peanuts, other local legumes, buttered or creamed corn and grass jelly (cincau).

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-18-59-pmAis Batu Campur

However, some local vendors have upped the ante by throwing in nata de coco cubes, adzuki beans, fresh fruit bites, pickled mango slices and even a dollop of ice cream. ABC is a godsend to those who can’t bear the boiling Malaysian weather. If you fancy this mouth-watering dish, check out Uncle Weng Kee’s 55-year-old beverage stall in Petaling Jaya for one of the best servings in Malaysia.

Malaysia is truly a sweet tooth’s paradise. We have some of the most sinfully sweet and colourful desserts. Kuih Lapis is probably one of the most iconic desserts in Malaysia as is impossible to dislike. This rice flour pudding comes in so many tantalising colours, shapes and sizes. The pudding comprises of stacks of sweet multi-coloured layers that have a gooey texture that melts in the mouth. This dessert is so popular that almost any vendor will give you high quality servings across Malaysia.

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-20-36-pmKuih Lapis

Pisang Goreng is a traditional banana fritter that is to die for. Best served piping hot, the fried banana dessert is deceptively unappealing in appearance but is bursting with flavour. Made from fresh bananas coated in flour batter, it is fried for a couple of minutes and ready to serve. The sweet and savoury taste with a crunchy exterior and soft mushy interior can bring on unstoppable cases of the munchies. You can’t stop at just one, so be sure to order a couple on the go. Pisang Goreng is really popular all over Malaysia and can be found in any of the night markets and bazaars in any local township.

pisang-gorengPisang Goreng

Ondeh Ondeh is a quintessential local Malay delight that takes the cake (no pun intended) for being the funkiest looking pastry around. Made from either glutinous rice flour or sweet potatoes, the balls are coated with coconut kernel (santan) and hide a sugary brown Gula Melaka surprise right in the middle. Take a bite into one of these and expect the delightful juices inside to squirt out all over the place. Wearing fancy clothes while eating this is not recommended.

ondeh-ondehOndeh Ondeh

The hearts of Malaysians are not easy to win over when it comes to food. But mention Cendol and everyone will melt instantaneously. Cendol is made out of a frenzied mix of shaved ice, palm sugar, Gula Melaka, coconut milk and kidney beans that is sweet and blends mushy and crunchy textures in a heavenly balance. This sweet dessert is a close cousin of Air Batu Campur and can sometimes be found at vendors who sell desserts under the Ais Kacang (shaved ice) family. The best Cendol (highly contested among all vendors) is probably at Penang Road Teochew Chendul, which has been in operation since 1936.

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-22-46-pmCendol

Apam Balik is a folded pancake with creamed corn and chopped peanuts. In between is anything thin and crunchy or thick and fluffy. These snacks are the perfect dessert if you need something filling and tasty. Imagine a crisper version of a crumpet with a crunchy interior.

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-24-28-pmApam Balik

Putu Mayam is a rice flour dessert served with palm sugar and coconut milk. The best vendors usually cycle around residential areas in makeshift mobile food stalls. This is one traditional South Indian dessert that has been “Malaysianised” and is best had with a spot of chai.

putu-mayamPutu Mayam

Leng Chee Kang will melt away your worries. This traditional dish is served with longan fruits, lotus seeds, dried persimmons, malva nuts and sometimes quail eggs submerged in a beautiful boiled rock sugar broth. The dish can be served hot or chilled with ice cubes and is especially refreshing on a scorching hot day.

leng-chee-kangLeng Chee Kang

Bubur Cha Cha is like Cha Cha Mambo in your mouth … explosive! It is a Malaccan Nyonya sago porridge served with sweet potato chunks and coconut milk. The clever mix of local ingredients transports you to the simple lifestyles of the local Nyonya people in their traditional kampung abodes.

babur-cha-chaBubur Cha Cha

Last, but not least on our list is Ang Ku Kueh. It is the gooiest of gooey desserts that melts in your mouth to reveal a beautifully compacted sweet mung bean and peanut. The glutinous rice flour casing usually comes with intricate traditional Chinese designs that are amazingly detailed.

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-27-18-pmAng Ku Kueh

 

For more cultural lessons head to http://www.tourism.gov.my/

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