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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

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

My Malaysia

By Lloyd Green

I sit here on the plane leaving Malaysia after eight months. An experience quite unlike any I have ever encountered. Malaysia is a country where the more you invest, the more you get out of it. You could be forgiven for thinking Malaysia is embodied by KL’s global reputation — its bright lights, shopping malls, bustling nightlife and iconic Petronas Twin Towers showcasing an opulence craved by many tourists — as well as pristine island getaways such as Langkawi and the Perhentian Islands.

But if you have ever had the chance to peer beyond its veneer, you will find a land of great beauty and a population eager to share it with you. This is where the real Malaysia lies and a world in which I’ve had the privilege to step into. You’ll enter one world and exit another taking with you snippets of many cultures that will not only shape your memories but also your relationships.

My Msia 1

The view from one of the more secluded areas at Genting Highlands

Much of my adventure here is owed to the great local friends I have made. They have afforded me an authentic experience not often chronicled in your local tour guides: Guest at an Indian wedding in Klang; life as a local at Orang Asli kampungs in the jungle near Gua Musang and Raub; a road trip to Pangkor; KL’s burgeoning comedy scene; a guided tour of the famed Kacang Putih industry in Ipoh; hiking around the intriguing Genting Highlands; celebrating Deepavali with Indian families in Klang; KL’s underground punk rock scene; teaching English in remote and rural communities; celebrating Christmas in the Portuguese Settlement in Malacca; adventures to Peninsular Malaysia’s most stunning waterfalls and hikes including Chilling Falls and Gunang Tahan; picking rambutans and bananas at plantations in the jungle; witnessing Iban tribal ceremonies in Sarawak; staying on a boat house in the Royal Belum National Park as well as tasting local delicacies such as the best fish noodle soup in Petaling Jaya and homemade Indian curries in Brickfields and Klang.

My Msia 2

You can hire a boat house and enjoy the tranquil Royal Belum National Park
(Pic http://belum.com.my/tour/2d-1n-houseboat-lake-temenggor/)

That’s not to say Malaysia’s main attractions are unworthy of your presence — the tourist trail in Malaysia is reliable and growing stronger all the time. In the economic hub of Kuala Lumpur, flavours and colour of India, China and Malay locals float inconspicuously, adding great contrast and history to this modern megacity with landmarks such as Batu Caves, Bukit Bintang and KLCC ensuring thousands continue to flock there.

Venture north to George Town in Penang and Ipoh for a romantic cocktail of art, architecture and colonial influences with night markets, Chinese hawker stalls in Batu Ferringhi, the original Old Town White Coffee in Ipoh and the emergence of urban street art in both places giving reason for tourism to thrive.

The chance to live and look after Orangutans as well as the quest of climbing Malaysia’s highest peak — Mount Kinabalu — will always ensure people go to Sabah and the magic of the Rainforest World Music Festival is a beacon for Sarawak tourism each year. And of course if island hopping and diving is your thing, then you’ll fall in love with places such as Sipadan, Mabul, Kapalai, Layang Layang and Lankayan.

Malaysia has no doubt won a special place in my heart and I urge other travellers, tourists and expatriates to immerse yourself in the culture and let Malaysia sweep you off your feet. You will never regret it.

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

Better Shopping with a Visit Malaysia Visa Prepaid Card

If we adore selling though don’t like carrying around a lot of cash, a new Visit Malaysia Visa Prepaid Card is a viable secure remuneration solution.

The universe agrees: Malaysia is a good place to shop. From bonus sport in a internal markets, to lush selling in some of a world’s biggest malls, it’s a breakwater for shopaholics. Coupled with a 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnivals that widen for several months, it’s small consternation that Malaysia is crowned fourth best selling city in a world by CNN. Now, we too can emporium compartment we dump with a new Visit Malaysia Visa Prepaid Card, a cashless and secure remuneration resolution for tourists.

A cashless resolution for your convenience

Carrying income competence be a good approach to extent your spending while travelling, though when you’re out and about, a prepaid label might be better. The Visit Malaysia Visa Prepaid Card gives we entrance to your supports but a risk of incidentally losing your selling income — one reduction thing to worry about while you’re on holiday.

The Visa-enabled prepaid label is easy to use, and it’s welcomed during over 29 million Visa usurpation merchants worldwide. Just safeguard there is sufficient funds, and appropriate away. Funds can be installed during any CIMB Bank income deposition appurtenance or during any designated reload agent.

Other features:
• No credit check or bank comment necessary

• Lock in a sell rate during squeeze or reload
• 2-month transport personal collision cover
• PIN insurance for income withdrawal

• Online transaction confidence and change checking facilities
• Enjoy discounts and privileges during participating dining, sell and lifestyle merchants

The starter container can be purchased during RM40 from designated sales channels, and comes with RM500 value of bonus and remission vouchers.

Mega sale, mega bargains

The Visit Malaysia Visa Prepaid Card can be used during a ongoing 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival. Catch some mega bargains during a megamalls such as 1Utama, Mid Valley, Sunway Pyramid, and a shopper’s bliss of Bukit Bintang and KLCC.

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Orange Pekoe

orange-pekoe-guesthouse-kuala-lumpur-1

Orange Pekoe is a renouned guesthouse within a Bukit Bintang area in a core of Kuala Lumpur. The guesthouse was creatively named The Nest, though motionless on a name change after other guesthouses (of reduction quality) motionless to use a same name. The guesthouse is located during a really good mark in a core of KL, during walking stretch of several sights. The Bukit Bintang area is generally renouned due to a vast volume of selling malls. The really renouned selling core Pavilion KL is during no some-more than a 5 notation travel from a guesthouse.

The guesthouse is flattering basic, though they have suspicion entirely about what a bill traveler wants. You have giveaway Wi-Fi, a common fridge, coffee- and tea comforts and a vast offer of brochures and information flyers on all a attractions and sightings within a city.

The bedrooms are really nice. They all come with air-conditioning, and many a bedrooms have their possess showering and toilet. A few bedrooms share these facilities, though a cost for a night’s stay is also many lower. When we leave we can simply leave a room pivotal during a accepting desk, so we won’t remove it.

Breakfast during Orange Pekoe is flattering basic. Actually it isn’t that special, we are improved off going to one of a many selling centers after 10am, given there are many improved spots to have breakfast at. If we wish a elementary sandwich, or usually a snack, go revisit The Loaf during a front opening Pavilion KL. If we suffer a good crater of coffee, Espressament Illy is a good coffee place during a left side of a Pavilion KL categorical entrance. In many selling malls we will find dozens of good restaurants, where they mostly have a lunch menu as well.

Orange Pekoe is located nearby a renouned nightlife area famous as Changkat Bukit Bintang. When we cranky a travel from a guesthouse, we will find several good western restaurants and bars along a categorical road, Jalan Changkat Bukit Bintang. Several meters divided from a guesthouse we will find a few good Mamak restaurants. Our favorite Mamak grill is Bahdushah. It is located during Jalan Nagasari, that is right opposite from a Parkroyal Serviced Suites and a Istana Hotel.

From a guesthouse we will get to a monorail hire Raja Chulan within a 5 minutes’ walk. You can simply take a monorail to KL Sentral from here, that will also lead we to a sight going to a airport, or a metro that will lead we to other attractions (such as Chinatown, KLCC and even a Batu Caves). From a guesthouse we can travel to a behind opening of Pavilion KL within 5 minutes, where a walking hovel (elevated and covered) between Bukit Bintang and KLCC begins. This approach it is usually a 10-15 notation travel to a Petronas Twin Towers, and to a renouned selling mall Suria KLCC. Near a prior mentioned Changkat Bukit Bintang lies Jalan Alor, a renouned foodstreet with many internal hawkers. In this area we will also find several selling centers (like a renouned IT/gadget mall Plaza Low Yat, Sungei Wang and Berjaya Times Square).

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Beautiful Kuala Lumpur time lapse

Rob Whitworth contacted us to let us know that he only expelled a smashing time relapse of Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur: Super-modern buildings juxtaposed with several informative enclaves and with a small of Asia’s disharmony thrown in. My time relapse explores how a city changes from day to night highlighting how spaces dramatically change during a march of a few hours.

It took him 5 months and over 400 hours of plain work with 4 cameras (40 shoots. 640 gigabytes of data. 19,997 photographs). Many shots were taken from a Menara Maybank building in a core of Kuala Lumpur. Watch a video below, or watch a bigger chronicle of a KL time lapse during Vimeo.

Kuala Lumpur DAY-NIGHT from Rob Whitworth on Vimeo.

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