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Golfing in Malaysia

Malaysia, two-time winner of World Golf Awards for Asia’s Best Golf Destination, has become a favourite getaway among golfers lately. With the appealing combination of great weather, delicious food, exotic culture, natural attractions, value-for-money shopping and modern fairways, it’s easy to see why more golfers are not just lugging their golf bags onto airplanes, but their families as well, for the trip.

But with almost 160 top golf courses in the country to choose from for international play – many of which are award-winning – how does one choose?

Here’s our top five picks of great golfing holidays for everyone in the family.

 

LANGKAWI

A holiday in Langkawi Island conjures images of a tropical sun, white, sandy beaches, swaying coconut trees and the beautiful blue Andaman sea stretched out as far as the eye can see. If beach-side lazing is not your thing, then glide down the island’s mangrove rivers to see the gorgeous limestone landscapes of this UNESCO geopark or trek deep into its mountainous jungles to experience nature at its best. (naturallylangkawi.my)

Best golfing: The award-winning Els Club Teluk Datai, nestled between the Andaman sea and the lush mountains of Langkawi island, features an amazing 18-hole challenge designed by South African legend Ernie Els.

 

GEORGE TOWN, PENANG

This UNESCO Heritage City is brimming with so much life and activity, no visitor will have time to get bored. From a walking tour of its street art to admiring the architectural beauty of its colonial past to sampling local food along with the locals, there’s simply so much to do. Families will especially love its variety of historic and contemporary museums, the ride up to the top of Penang Hill, a city ride on the three-wheeled trishaw and a leisurely stroll in its many gardens. (mypenang.gov.my)

Best golfing: Stay on the island for a round of golf at Penang Golf Club where you will tee off from as high as a hundred metres above the greens and fairways, or cross the iconic Penang Bridge to the mainland’s Bukit Jawi Golf Resort to experience a thrilling game by the lake.

 

KUALA LUMPUR

Voted as one of the world’s best shopping destinations and magnificent cities to visit, Kuala Lumpur is a must-stop on any itinerary to Malaysia. It’s a shopping paradise alright with designer goods going for less due to the currency exchange rate. The best IT gadgets, shoes, fashion and knick knacks are also here to bargain over at the many shopping malls, pop-up bazaars and night markets. (visitkl.gov.my)

Tip: Purchase a Hop On Hop Off pass for the entire family to explore over 50 major sights and attractions in the city so you don’t miss iconic stops such as the Petronas Twin Towers, the Lake Gardens, Independence Square and Bintang Walk. (myhoponhopoff.com)

Best golfing: Tournament Players Club (formerly known as KL Golf Country Club), designed by Australian architect Ted Parslow, is the site of numerous high-profile tournaments, serving up a challenge to golfers with its length, water hazards and sculptured bunkering.

 

KOTA KINABALU, SABAH

Adventure awaits in this Borneo paradise and visitors can take their pick from gentle explorations of the sea world – snorkeling and guided scuba walks at the easily accessible island marine park – to an exhilarating climb up Mount Kinabalu either by trekking through its jungle to the peak or clinging on to its granite surface on the via ferrata walk. (sabahtourism.com).

Best golfing: Play at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Borneo Golf Resort and you’ll have to battle with the ocean winds and the beauty of this seaside location to focus on your game. Alternatively, take your game to the wetlands and tee off at Dalit Bay Golf Country Club, bordered by the Tambalang and Mengkabong rivers.

 

KUCHING, SARAWAK

The word “Kuching” is Malaysian for cat, but it is the orangutan that has attracted many to this Borneo state, specifically to the rehabilitation centres of this beloved great ape. Other natural attractions easily accessible from Kuching city – Bako National Park, the wetlands of Sibu Laut and Salak rivers and the Bau limestone caves – will keep the family firmly occupied. (sarawaktourism.com)

Best golfing: Enjoy a round of golf in the shadows of the Santubong Mountain where Arnold Palmer has designed a fantastic course around rocky outcrops, ponds, mangrove forests and the South China Sea.

 

For more information on Malaysia’s golf courses, visit playmalaysiagolf.com or malaysia.travel.

 

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

Secret Beaches of Malaysia

Written by Aura Farrando

Perhentian Islands, Tioman Island, Langkawi and Penang are popular destinations for a reason. They offer everything a beach lover wants. But for those who are after a bit more adventure, something off the beaten track or just an escape from resort beach lifestyle, we’ve compiled a list of the best hidden treasures of Malaysia.

Pulau Mabul

Pulau Mabul or Mabul Island is a small island off the southeast coast of Sabah – just 15km away from Sipadan. There’s a fishing village, no cars, no roads and perhaps some of the best muck diving in the world. You can even circumnavigate it on foot! The beaches here are pristine and a perfect place to unwind after a long day snorkeling or diving. If you are lucky you will even catch some turtles laying their eggs on the beach.

Getting there: Take a boat from Semporna to Pulau Mabul. Speedboats are around 30 minutes, while ferries take about one and a half hours.

Locals enjoying the pristine sand of Pulau Mabul. Image: http://www.projectaware.org/blog/scuba-junkie/oct-07-11/mabul-marine-week-2011a-job-well-done

Locals enjoying the pristine sand of Pulau Mabul. Image: http://www.projectaware.org/blog/scuba-junkie/oct-07-11/mabul-marine-week-2011a-job-well-done

Pulau Tiga

Pulau Tiga is so wild that it was once used as the setting for reality show Survivor. It is a relatively young island; in 1897, an earthquake in the Philippines caused a volcanic eruption in Borneo to form new land. It’s no surprise then that Pulau Tiga is famous for its volcanic mud baths. On top of that, there’s kilometres of white sandy beach to enjoy. A hike around the island is a great way to see its native flora and fauna.

Getting there: Catch a 30-minute boat from Kuala Penyu, Kota Kinabalu or Labuan.

The mud baths in Pulau Tiga are great for your skin. Image: http://aroundtheworldwithjustin.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/IMG_2380_new.jpg

The mud baths in Pulau Tiga are great for your skin. Image: http://aroundtheworldwithjustin.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/IMG_2380_new.jpg

Bukit Keluang

Can’t decide between the mountain and the beach? Get a taste of both at this tiny cove off Terengganu, close to the Kuala Besut jetty where you’ll see droves of people lining up to head to the Perhentian Islands. Bukit Keluang is a perfect match of pristine white sand, beautiful sea breeze and breathtaking mountains where you can explore beach caves, go windsurfing, kayaking or simply relax with your family at the resort. Be sure to head up the escarpment each morning to catch the amazing sunrise. What a view!

Getting there: Accessible by car from Kota Bharu, Kuala Besut, Kuala Terengganu and Kampung Teras.

The picturesque coastline of Bukit Keluang. Image: https://anotherguywithcamera.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/the-shoreline.jpg

The picturesque coastline of Bukit Keluang. Image: https://anotherguywithcamera.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/the-shoreline.jpg

Pulau Kapas

Known as Cotton Island due its white, soft sand and crystal, clear blue water, Pulau Kapas is like a scene out of a movie — but 100 times better. With a designated marine park protecting its waters, Pulau Kapas is the perfect place for snorkeling or dive deep to enjoy the coral reef that surrounds the island. If that’s not for you, then just sit back and relax in style under a palm tree.

Getting there: Take a ferry from Marang, located 45 minutes from Terengganu.

They don’t call it Cotton Island for no reason. Image: https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5522/9262235120_7f68dcf2d6_b.jpg

They don’t call it Cotton Island for no reason. Image: https://c1.staticflickr.com/6/5522/9262235120_7f68dcf2d6_b.jpg

Pulau Tinggi

If Pulau Tioman seems too mainstream for you, visit Pulau Tinggi off the Johor coast. It only has 500 inhabitants and is quite laid back. It is ideal for relaxing holidays and family vacations or can double up an adventure haven, perfect for snorkeling, trekking and canoeing. The beaches are less manicured, but more natural and idyllic.

Getting there: Just a 45-minute boat from Mersing in the state of Johor.

Allow yourself to escape into another world. Image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TLkxUzOtKTU/U5mYX1y2owI/AAAAAAAAAsQ/pJD_Agv5s74/s1600/IMG_6881.jpg

Allow yourself to escape into another world. Image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TLkxUzOtKTU/U5mYX1y2owI/AAAAAAAAAsQ/pJD_Agv5s74/s1600/IMG_6881.jpg

Pulau Sibu

Here you’ll find not one, but four charming islands: Pulau Sibu Besar, Pulau Sibu Tengah, Pulau Kukus and Pulau Sibu Hujung. The main isle is just 6km long and 1km wide, with thick vegetation and secluded beaches dominating the landscape. It’s not the easiest to access, but that’s the price you pay for heaven on earth. You’ll also most likely have the whole place to yourself.

Getting there: Arrange a boat transfer from the small town of Tanjung Leman, 130km from Johor Bahru. There’s no direct bus from Johor to Tanjung Leman, so we highly recommend you to get the hotel in Johor Bahru or Singapore to arrange a shuttle bus or minivan for you.

Photo by Peter D. Kennett

Photo by Peter D. Kennett

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

Sarawak Regatta 2016

Sarawak Regatta 2016

The Kuching Waterfront has been thronged with so many people for two weeks by having the International Dragon Boat 2016 and Sarawak Regatta 2016, from 11 – 13th, 18 – 20th November!  This event is only open for countries in the Borneo islands, which has such a long history of 145 years, started from 1872 under the rule of the James Brooke. What is the difference between Dragon Boat and Regatta? Dragon Boat is a race of 800m, and Regatta is either 1000 or 1500m. Also, Dragon Boat consists of 12 members including 1 drummer per team, and Regatta, 7, 10, 15, 20, 30 paddlers with no dreamer.  Although we were caught in a heavy rain halfway, the paddlers still performed greatly together with no flinching, and that exactly embodied “The Race for Harmony”, the theme of the event. This year’s Raja Sungai (The King of the River) is Cahaya Zen!

At first, we were only thinking of taking pictures and videos of the race from the bank of Sarawak River but actually, the staff were kind enough to let us do it on the motor boat which was very close to the race! Lucky for us! It was much more exciting than watching from the river bank. The performance of paddlers rowing a boat was really powerful with good team spirit. Moreover, they invited us to join one of the boats which then formed a line at the starting point. It was just a few minutes before the race begun, it demonstrated the broad-mindedness of the paddlers. We would love to come again to watch another great race next year!  Thanks to all teams, event organizers, and everyone who came to watch Sarawak Regatta 2016 and see you in 2017!

【Sarawak Regatta 2016】

クチンのウォーターフロントでは、11月11~13日のサラワク・インターナショナル・ドラゴンボートレースに引き続き、18~20日はサラワク・レガッタが開催されました!こちらの大会は、ボルネオ島内の国のチームのみの参加となっており、なんとホワイトラジャの支配下にあった1872年から145年も続いている歴史ある大会です。ドラゴンボートとの違いは何なのでしょう?ドラゴンボートは距離が800メートルなのに対し、レガッタは1キロまたは1.5キロの距離を競争します。また、ドラゴンボートは1人のドラマーを含めた12人構成で、レガッタはドラマー抜きの、7,10,15,20,30人と様々な構成があります。途中豪雨に見舞われることもありましたが、それにも負けずに息の合ったパフォーマンスを見せる選手たちの姿は、まさにテーマである”レース・フォー・ハーモニー”を体現化してくれました!今年のラジャ・スンガイ(キング・オブ・ザ・リバー)はチームCahaya Zen!

最初は川の岸辺からレースの様子を写真・動画撮影するつもりでしたが…なんとラッキーなことに、運営スタッフのみなさんのご厚意でモーターボートに同乗させていただき、間近で観戦・撮影することができました!あれほど至近距離でレースを見られるとは思ってもいなかったので、とても興奮しました。ボートを漕ぐ選手たちの動きはチームワーク抜群で息ぴったり!!近くから見るボートレースは、川の岸辺から見るよりも迫力満点で圧倒されました。更に、スタートラインで待機している選手が乗っているボートにまで乗せてもらいました。試合直前にも関わらず、選手たちの心の余裕と優しさを感じました。来年もまた見に来たいと思います!選手の皆さん、スタッフの皆さん、そしてお越しいただいたすべての皆さんに感謝しています。本当にありがとうございました!

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Written by

Kazumi Matsuo
Kanon Ushio
Japanese Intern in Sarawak Tourism Board

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Article source: http://sarawaktourism.com/blog/feed/

4 Amazing Bars To Check Out In Kuching

4 Amazing Bars To Check Out In Kuching

Imagine the following scenario:   You booked your city-escape weekend to Kuching.  During the day, you will probably relax at the pool or seaside and have delicious mouth-watering food.  At around seven in the evening, you plan to get dinner.  You’re already done with a satisfying dinner and the clock is ticking towards 8:30pm. What now?  All you’ve prepared in advance was just the list of hotels and restaurants. Worry not, friend! Here’s a list of 4 amazing bars you can visit in Kuching, either to savour some beers in a nice atmosphere or for a good night out.

  1. Monkeebar

Monkeebar KuchingHaving an evening out in this bar will not only brighten up your mood with its very cheap beer but you can also help in conserving the welfare of Borneo’s protected wildlife.  That is because Monkeebar promises one third of its profit to be donated to the Orangutan Project.  Not convinced yet?  Maybe Tripadvisor’s ‘Certificate of Excellence’ and number 1 spot on ‘Nightlife in Kuching’ is more reason for you to visit.  Pretty neat!

Contact
Monkeebar
12 Padungan Road
Japan Song Thian Cheok,
Kuching 93100, Malaysia
+60 17 896 069

  1. Jambu Restaurant Lounge

If you’re not satisfied with your dinner that was fancy, expensive and not filling, there’s no worries because Jambu’s Restaurant Lounge is ready to serve you Sarawak’s best tapas along with your favourite choice of drink. People on Tripadvisor go crazy about this bar’s tapas and choice of drinks and cocktails. Definitely your destination for a combination of good food and drinks.

Contact:
Jambu Restaurant Lounge
No. 32 Jalan Crookshank,
Kuching 93100, Malaysia
+60 82 235 292

  1. The Library

The LibraryBeing in Sarawak can be very exhausting as you are inundated with many day activities. A great way and time to relax after such hectic schedule would be to relish in one of the comfy seats of The Library. Indulge yourself with their extensive menu of alcoholic beverages and foods that you won’t find easily at other bars in Sarawak. Blackened fish fillet and lamb shanks are just some of their specialties. Hop into The Library and enjoy the flair this bar has to offer!

Contact:
The Library
Parcel G1 – G7, Ground Floor, ST3 Shopping Mall,
Kuching 93350, Malaysia
+60 19 633 8866

  1. Drunk Monkey Old Street

As Monkeebar’s follow up on Tripadvisor’s list of ‘Nightlife in Kuching’ and also crowned with the ‘Certificate of Excellence’, the Drunk Money Old Street definitely deserves its spot in this listing. The very old school styled bar boasts a wide variety of international beers and ciders. Visit the Drunk Monkey Old Street and let the evening atmosphere charm you as it did with many reviews on Tripadvisor and Foursquare.

Contact
Drunk Money Old Street
68 Carpenter Street,
Kuching 93000, Malaysia
+60 12 842 8188

Written by:

Jade Huang from Consider Digital

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Taiwan Charter Flights To Reconnect Business Friendship

Taiwan Charter Flights To Reconnect Business Friendship

Taipei, Taiwan, Saturday: –  The charter flight initiatives  between Taiwan and Sarawak  was hoped to open up more opportunities for tourists and businessmen to be reconnected  giving them mutual benefits, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Tourism, Datuk Amar Abang Haji Johari Tun Openg said last night.

Speaking at an appreciation dinner for Taiwanese partners at a hotel here, he said the charter flight will be a bridge to facilitate more business, tourists’ arrivals and bonding among the people that have been separated for a long period of time.

“The people of Taiwan and Borneo shared their ancient ancestry but the large-scale Austronesian expansion that began around 5000–2500 BC where they migrated out from Taiwan and headed southeast to the rest of the Philippines and into the islands of the Celebes Sea, Borneo and Indonesia had separated us,” he added.

“It is time now to rekindle this ancestral lineage and I am pleased that our direction in the charter flight initiative  is in the right direction  to bring back and foster better relationship between Taiwanese and Sarawakians.” he enthused.

Expressing the hope for better connectivity between Taiwan and Sarawak, he assured that the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) will continue its strategic direction and focus on building accessibility to facilitate exchange of the flow of tourists, visitors and the business community.

“I am pleased  that with this  direction and I hope  that the charter initiatives will continue to  move a step further  to be upgraded into schedule charter and eventually schedule flight in the near future,” he hoped.

“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage our partners in Taiwan to explore these potentials and to be mutually benefit from the initiatives,” he pointed out.

He thanked particularly the office of the Malaysian Friendship and Trade Centre under the leadership of Datuk Adeline Leong, who was also present and Tourism Malaysia office in Taipei for their continuous support in assisting the STB in the promotion of Sarawak in Taiwan.

He said that his Ministry and STB were committed in further expanding its tourism promotion in the region and particularly in Taiwan and he equally hoped that the local industry partners will be able to share the enthusiasm and to profit from the business ventures.

Datuk Amar Abang Johari later presented mementoes of appreciation to partners including to the General Manager of See Mark Travel Services, Mark Chen and the Managing Director of China Dragon Travel Services, Hsiao Kuo Kang.

Also present at the dinner were Datuk Amar Abang Johari’s wife, Datuk Amar Hajah Juma’ani Tuanku Haji Bujang, the Assistant Minister for Tourism, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, STB Chairman, Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Aziz, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datu Ik Pahon Joyik and also the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Sarawak Tourism Board, Mary Wan Mering.

The Minister and his entourage left Taiwan for home later this afternoon after a successful four-day official visit.

taiwan-dinner-2016

Picture shows Datuk Amar Abang Johari (right) presenting an appreciation memento to Hsiao of China Dragon Travel Services. Also seen are Datuk Abdul Wahab (centre) and Datuk Lee.

Issued by:

Communications Unit
SARAWAK TOURISM BOARD
T: +6 082-423600  F: +6 082-416700 M: +6 019 858 9084
Email: [email protected]

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