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New Year Resolutions the Malaysian Style

Right after midnight, people from northern to southern hemispheres will celebrate the first glimpse of the New Year with lively concerts, spectacular fireworks, as well as a public holiday. Of course everything new is exciting but the beginning of a new year seems to be a good time to reflect on how far we’ve come and where we hope to go next.

And every time a New Year rolls in, people around the world will have one thing in common, which is making a New Year’s resolution. It is actually a 4,000 year-old tradition and dates back to the Babylonians. So what are our goals for the New Year? Mostly, our New Year’s resolution involved topic such as health, love, career, finance and education, right?

So far, I think many people have failed to keep their resolutions but come to think of it, I believe that it will be much easier if we keep a resolution that is tied to the things that we love. For travel aficionados, creating a New Year’s travel resolution list is the perfect way to start dreaming about where and how they want to wander in the coming year. It can also be about starting a healthy travel lifestyle or trying more outdoor activities, searching for the best local food or learning new skills or volunteering.

So, whether you live here or are simply on holiday in Malaysia, here are some 2018 resolutions to consider. Here goes nothing!

GET FIT

I think numero uno in most people’s minds every time the New Year comes is to exercise more and have a healthy lifestyle. There are lots and lots of gymnasiums in Malaysia either in shopping malls or provided by hotels or resorts for you to exercise, but if your new resolution is to engage in more outdoor activities, you don’t have to worry because we have plenty of that too.

The easiest and cheapest way to get fit and enjoy the outdoor activities at the same time, as well as savouring the beauty of nature is by doing the running, hiking and climbing circuit. And Malaysia definitely has places and events for that in abundance and here is the list for some of the popular activities that you can do in 2018:

Broga Hill in Semenyih, Selangor

The best way to see the sun rise above both the rainforest and the city is by climbing the Broga Hill as early as 5 am. It will take at least 40 minutes to reach the peak but the view is so magnificent that you will forget about your sore muscles. There are four peaks on Broga Hill and additional jungle trail from the summit to the peak of Gunung Tok Wan, which will take another two hours to reach. You have to overcome a series of ascending and descending hilly terrains to reach the top, which is simply a perfect workout in nature.

Broga Hill in Semenyih takes about 45 minutes from Kuala Lumpur. It sits on the edge of the Titiwangsa Range and is frequented by casual hikers. It is approximately 400m in altitude and takes its name from the local river, Buragas.

Mt Kinabalu Via Ferrata

Via ferrata (or iron road in Italian), is a mountain path consisting of a series of rungs, rails and cables embracing the rock face. There are more than 300 via ferrata routes around the world and the world’s highest via ferrata can now be found on Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia, whereby the highest point starts at 3,400 m and ends at 3,800 m. This is the first time that the sport of via ferrata climbing is being introduced in Asia.

An activity for everyone, the via ferrata is devised to give people with little or no climbing experience access to rock faces normally reached by mountaineers and rock climbers. There are several requirements for one to take part in the via ferrata activity, including having an average fitness level, being able to hike up to 3,200 m in 6 hours, being at least 10 years of age, being at least 1.3 metres tall; and, especially, not fear heights (or willing to conquer their fear of heights).

This is a challenging adventure, and those interested to experience via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu should note that the beginner’s route will let the climber take their first experience along the granite walls of Mount Kinabalu (a journey of about 2–3 hours).

The intermediate route will let the climber experience a 4- to 5-hour journey, which will reward the climber with a breathtaking view of the heights and sights.

Marathon Fun Run

The easiest way to get fit is through running and there are lots of public parks and gardens equipped with jogging tracks all over the country. However, I believe that it will be much more meaningful if you can get fit but at the same time doing it for charity. Here in Malaysia, come rain or shine, there is not a month that goes by without a half or full marathon or fun run being organised by various organisations for myriad of reasons.

Among the interesting marathons that you can participate in Malaysia this year include:

  • The iHero Charity Run 2018 involves a 7 km and 12 km marathon, a 3 km fun run and a 1 km wheelathon for participants with mobility issues. This run is a nationwide call for action to help make a meaningful change in the lives of people with disabilities. (21 January 2018, Menara DBKL).
  • KL World Urban Run 2018, an event by PERSADA and Urbanice Malaysia in conjunction with the Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum. This session in Kuala Lumpur will be the second session hosted in Asia after 10 years. The categories comprise 5 km, 10 km and 15 km run (11 February 2018, Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur).
  • International Orangutan Run 2018 is held to create awareness on the plight of the critically endangered orangutan in Borneo and Sumatran Islands, as well as commemorate and celebrate the “World Wildlife Day 2018”. It will be a 30 km run for the heavyweights while the beginners can run for 8 km. (24 March 2018, Sandakan, Sabah).
  • Route 68 Challenge is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Now into its fourth year, the race will see participants run for 168 km (two loops) and 84 km through the beautiful and scenic landscape of remote Gombak. The route will start and end at an orang asli settlement, winding through hilly roads surrounded by lush green forests. It will give participants some of the most unique ultramarathon race experience. (28-29 April 2018, Orang Asli Community Multi Purpose Hall at Km. 24 Gombak, Selangor).
  • Penang Eco 100 was the first ever ultra trail event in West Malaysia with a 50 km and 100 km category before an additional category of 160 km and 30 km were added. Held in Bukit Mertajam (Penang, Malaysia), the 30 km, 50 km and 100 km categories start from the eco village of Sungai Lembu, taking runners through oil palm plantations, rubber plantations, pineapple plantations, several Malay kampungs, Chinese new villages, and Indian temples, paddy fields, the challenging hills of Seraya, Mengkuang, and the by now iconic Tokun Hills. This race showcases the typical Malaysian geographical, social and cultural heritage where the runners will meet and see ordinary Malaysian people and wildlife, flora and fauna in the rural settings with a distinct small town feel. During the race, the runners will be sampling the local cuisines in the food and drinks provided at the aid stations along the course of the race. (12-13 May 2018, Bukit Mertajam, Penang).

For more info on other marathons and fun run, please visit www.runsociety.com.

WATCH YOUR DIET

Come New Year, you may plan to drop 10 kg, lower your cholesterol or simply to create a clean eating habit. Is it possible to watch your diet when you are travelling to a country that is well-known as food paradise? Wouldn’t you want to try the delicious food that the locals consume day in and day out?
I might as well recommend a list of the best local food for you to try and you can worry about your diet later, much, much later. Here are some of the local dishes that any sane human should try when they are in Malaysia:

Nasi Lemak

No visitors will leave Malaysia without tasting our very own Nasi Lemak. Hot cooked rice with pandan aroma steamed with coconut cream goes heavenly well with sizzling spicy sauce or “sambal”. Generous sprinklings of roasted peanuts and salty dried anchovies with a hard boiled egg perfect this dish. A platter of everything good all wrapped up in banana leaves to further enhance its unique taste. Nasi Lemak is truly a national heritage of Malaysia. (Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa in Kg. Baru, Kuala Lumpur).

‘Char Kway Teow’

‘Char Kway Teow’ or ‘stir-fried ricecake strips’ is arguably one of the most popular dishes among Malaysians of all races. The name is derived from the Hokkien term for ‘fried’ which is ‘char, while ‘kway teow’ refers to the ‘flat rice noodles’, which is the main ingredient. The latter is stir-fried over very high heat with light or dark soy sauce, chili, prawns, de-shelled cockles, bean sprouts, chinese chives and eggs.

‘Char kway teow’ was said to have its origins in Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei) but the common consensus is that the Penang version tops the list when it comes to taste and originality. (Sisters Fried Kway Teow, Penang).

Laksa

Laksa is a famous noodle soup from Peranakan culture with coconut soup as a base to which are added tofu puffs, fish sticks, shrimps, cockles and others. It is served with a spoonful of chilli paste or “sambal” and traditionally garnished with Vietnamese coriander, or laksa leaf. There are many varieties of delicious Laksa in Malaysia such as Sarawak Laksa, Johor Laksa, Kelantan Laksa, Penang Laksa and many others. Try out as many as you can. (Restaurant Puteri, Kuala Lumpur).

Banana Leaf Rice

It’s a traditional method of serving rice dishes on banana leaves instead of plates that was brought over to Malaysia during the migration of South Indians. A unique dining experience, it will tickle your taste buds with all kinds of flavours, while filling your tummy with contentment. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to banana leaf rice. No two restaurants are alike, with each having their own specialties. Indian restaurants are aplenty at Brickfields, home of Little India in Kuala Lumpur and it’s easily accessible by public transport.

Satay

Satay is a Malay food made up of meats that are marinated, skewered and grilled on sticks and served with delicious peanut sauce. In Malaysia, the more popular type of skewered meat would be the chicken and beef served with a sauce dip, and slivers of cucumbers and onions. (Sate Kajang Hj Samuri, all over the Klang Valley).

LEARN NEW SKILLS

Experts say you’re never too old to learn to play the guitar, dance the waltz or cook a delicious dinner. Mastering new skills offers many benefits for the mind, body and soul. So, let’s make 2018 our year to learn new skills and here are some new skills that we can acquire here in Malaysia:

Hands-On Pewtersmithing Workshops

Founded in 1885, Royal Selangor is the world’s foremost name in quality pewter, a brand synonymous with design and craftsmanship. In the hands of its skilled craftspeople, this versatile alloy of tin, copper and antimony is transformed into an endless variety of homeware and gifts, sold today in more than 20 countries around the world.

Its Visitor Centre is located in Setapak Jaya, just 20 minutes from the Kuala Lumpur city centre. A modern glass-clad foyer set within a scenic lush landscape, greets visitors upon arrival at the Visitor Centre. You certainly won’t miss it as there is a giant-sized Royal Selangor tankard fronting the entrance.

Visitors with a little more time on their hands may not want to miss out on making their own pewter products. For a nominal fee, visitors may participate in Royal Selangor’s School of Hard Knocks pewtersmithing workshop where the participants create their very own pewter dish, or The Foundry where they get to make pewter accessories from scratch.

Royal Selangor

General Line: +603 4145 6000

Art of Shoemaking

What better way to channel your “inner Jimmy Choo” than learning the art of shoemaking at the place where the world renowned shoe designer Jimmy Choo learned his craft. Hong Kong shoe store, located in George Town, Penang, was where 15-year-old Choo started his apprenticeship under Master Wong, a famous shoe maker in Penang.

Today, Master Wong Jr has created a 4-hour Introduction to Shoemaking course for anyone who wants learn the art of shoemaking using traditional methods.

Hong Kong Shoe Store
Address: 20 Kimberley Street, 10100, George Town, Penang
Telephone / Fax: +604 261 4695
Hotline: 019-409 4663

A Chef In the Making

Malaysia is a melting pot of culinary delights. Being at the crossroads of so many cultural influences has made Malaysia a gastronomic heaven which promises a potpourri of wonderful food to please and enchant every palate from all four corners of the world.

So, grab the opportunity to learn how to cook an authentic taste of the Malaysian cuisines by joining the LaZat Malaysian Cooking Class. Each day of the week, the instructor will teach a different ethnic menu and provide detailed explanations of ingredients and cooking methods. Students will individually prepare their own 4-course lunch, usually consisting of an appetizer, main course, side dish and dessert.

For more details on LaZat Malaysian Cooking Class, please visit http://malaysia-klcookingclass.com.

VOLUNTEER MORE

Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but at the same time we as volunteers get the benefits too. This is because volunteering and helping others can help us reduce stress, combat depression, keep us mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose.

In tourism, we called it voluntourism, which is a combination of volunteering and tourism. It is a popular form of international travel that allows you to contribute to sustainable development while exploring a new country and culture. Among the voluntourism activities that we can participate in include:

Heart2Heart with Orangutan

The Heart2Heart with Orangutan programme is a unique conservation initiative run by Sarawak Forestry in collaboration with the Sarawak Convention Bureau. It is a one-day programme, which allows participants to actively participate in orangutan rehabilitation at the Matang Wildlife Centre and Semenggoh Wildlife Centre. It aims to showcase the orangutan conservation efforts in Sarawak to the global community and to raise awareness on the importance of saving the orangutan from the brink of extinction.

The Heart2Heart with Orangutan and Adoption programmes will definitely give its participants a renewed sense of purpose and fulfilment. No matter how small your contributions are for the rehabilitation and preservation of the orangutans, I’d like to believe that your tiny efforts will bring in big benefits in the larger scheme of things.

SARAWAK FORESTRY Corporation Sdn. Bhd.
Tel: +6082 610088   Fax: +6082 610099
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.sarawakforestry.com

Juara Turtle Project

TAT (Tengku Arif Temenggong) Turtle Sanctuary is a turtle hatchery facility located in Kampung Juara, on the eastern coast of Tioman Island, Malaysia. It is operated and maintained by a small group of dedicated individuals with the help of local and international volunteers. The Juara hatchery was established in 2006 when Juara’s Riverview Resort adopted a local government-run turtle hatchery at the end of its five year contract. Over the last few years the project has grown steadily as a “minimal interference, strictly conservation-aimed” hatchery.

The facility looks forward to and will appreciate working with anyone who supports similar perspectives on conservation efforts, through funding, environmental education, or physical participation.

Juara Turtle Project
Email:  [email protected]
Phone:  +6 09 419 3244
Mobile: +6 017 438 3038
Website:http://www.juaraturtleproject.com

 

Teach Refugee Children in Malaysia

While most refugee children would like to go to school, there is only one problem – their education expenses and needs are not met. According to UNHCR, the foremost refugee agency in Malaysia, there are over 11,000 displaced children of school going age yet less than 40% of them have access to any formal education. To fill this need, many communities and NGOs have set up their own education centers.

Come “voluntour” at the local refugee school which has about 60 students mostly from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Voluntourists help teach English, History, Geography, Mathematics and Physical Education. The school is open year round but closed on Malaysian school holidays.

For more details, please visit http://volunteeringinmalaysia.org.

MANAGE STRESS

Come New Year, do the thing you need the most to take care of yourself so that you can start the year stress-free. The most pleasant way to do that is by visiting spas, which can be found all over Malaysia. A good dose of pampering can truly revive the mind, body and spirit, I promise!

In Malaysia, influences from various ancient therapies have been infused with modern spa therapies in a designer ambience, offering you a delightful experience. Here, one can find age-old Javanese beauty and wellness regimens, ancient Ayurvedic treatments from India, and reflexology, acupressure and Shiatsu practices founded in China, among others. Masseurs are well-trained and have a deep understanding of the human body, dispensing herbal recipes for baths, massage oils and scrubs.

Set against lush tropical backdrops, and presented with nutritious and detoxifying fresh fruits and herbal drinks, most of these luxury spas are also equipped with Jacuzzis, steam rooms, saunas, swimming pools and double baths. While there has recently been an influx of designer spas in the capital of Kuala Lumpur, most spas are tucked away in resorts, nestled in lush rainforests or overlooking the lapping seashore.

Spa Village

The award-winning Spa Village brand is the epitome of a luxury spa retreat. Located in all YTL properties in Kuala Lumpur, Pangkor Laut, Tanjong Jara, Cameron Highlands, Gaya Island and Melaka, it uses unique Asian healing rituals and natural resources to give you the most amazing rejuvenating experience.

For more information on Spa Village, please visit http://www.spavillage.com.

Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Tambun, Perak

The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is nestled in a 22.7-acre valley, cradled by 260 million-year old towering Paleozoic limestone hills, verdant rainforest, rejuvenating geothermal hot springs, natural caves and cascading waterfalls. Your getaway to regain balance and rediscover your sense of true self, this unique hideaway is designed to luxuriate in, with therapeutic value in mind.

Restore what life takes from your body and soul as you dip into the Geothermal Hot Springs Dipping Pools, or stare and be overwhelmed by the near-vertical rock formations around the retreat. Perhaps take a relaxing stroll through the jungle to breathe in the sights of rarity. Otherwise, simply immerse in a state of enlightenment and inner peace in the Meditation Cave.

This sanctuary of bespoke holistic wellness in the northern state of Perak is only 15 minutes drive from Ipoh city and 2 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur.

For more information on Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, please visit

https://www.thebanjaran.com.

The Chateau Spa Organic Wellness Resort, Bukit Tinggi, Pahang

Rising majestically amidst a lush rainforest in Malaysia, The Chateau is an organic spa and wellness resort, modeled after a 12th-century ‘Haut Koenigsbourg’ castle in Alsace, France. La Sante, the jewel in The Chateau’s crown, is the first destination spa in Asia that ingeniously blends European spa expertise with renowned Asian hospitality.

The Chateau offers a complete organic experience and advocates a lifestyle approach to personal wellness in a non-regimented way. The Chateau is not only a retreat that embraces holistic ideas and relaxing principles but one that defines the eminent journey towards wellness.

For more information on The Chateau Spa Organic Wellness Resort, please visit http://www.thechateau.com.my.

The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur Iridium Spa, Kuala Lumpur

The spa suites are a standout at this St. Regis relaxation haven: each comes equipped with a private Jacuzzi and sauna room. The spa uses ESPA products and technology from Endermologie to achieve lasting results.

Consult with your therapist for a massage that’s tailored to you, with a de-stresser, jet-lag reviver, immune booster, Balinese and hot stone massage as options. In addition to scrubs and wraps, the spa offers signature rituals like the 210-minute Heritage Tea Aficionado inspired by the classic St. Regis Afternoon tea. Begin with a rice and green tea exfoliation, followed by a red chai tea bathing ritual designed to improve circulation.

For more details on The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur Iridium Spa, please visit http://www.stregiskualalumpur.com/spa.

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

Visiting Merarap Hot Spring Lodge in Lawas

Visiting Merarap Hot Spring Lodge in Lawas

Merarap HotspringFor the adventurer, there is a hot spring lodge located deep in the Lawas district in northern Sarawak. Operated by a local Sarawakian, this very rustic and basic lodge can only be accessed via 4WD. From the town of Lawas, it is around 70 kilometers drive through old logging roads and thick secondary rainforest.

Once here, the warm Lun Bawang hospitality is seen as the owner is very passionate about his place. The natural hot spring water is pumped into his man made pools from a source about 100 meters away.

Merarap Hotspring

The owner poses in front of the Merarap Hot Springs

Lodging is as basic as can get, a homestay style accommodation with traditional local food served. Visitors can also request for trekking or hiking around the hilly area here.

A class four or five rapid runs along the Merarap hot spring lodge, but there are no water activities allowed as it is quite dangerous on the Trusan River. However, the natural landscape Is just beautiful, especially in the mornings.

Merarap Hotspring

Entrance to Merarap Hot Springs

Merarap Hotspring

Basic accommodations at the lodge

Merarap Hotspring

Merarap Hot Springs in Lawas

For travelers heading to Bakelalan in the highlands using the original way by road, this hot spring is one of the recommended places to make a stop and spend the night. Your experience here would surely be something out of the ordinary.

This place is also popular among the 4WD and biker clubs from around the region, especially those traveling in convoys. Bruneians also love to visit here for the weekends.

For inquiries or bookings, head over to the Merarap Hot Springs Facebook Page (link: https://www.facebook.com/meraraphotspring/)

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Photos by David Hogan Jr

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

Reasons why you should move to Malacca

Buying Property Malacca


Real estate has become among the top investments in the world today. Among the places to look out for are in Southeast Asia, where you can buy a house in Malaysia. Malacca is a quick fix to all those who love traveling since it has been described as a tourist destination. It provides an experience travelers cannot get anywhere else.

==Rich History==

The Malacca museums have been a tourist attraction site for the longest time. They vary from Peranakan heritage to colonial and unique museums. A close look at the archives gives visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the Malacca history as well as enjoy the sites the museums have to offer. Apart from the history and the sites, one can also look at the extensive collections of artifacts lined up at the Aborigines, Maritime, Kite, Baba Nyonya, Straits Chinese Jewellery, Malaysia Prison, Heritage, People’s, Toy and the Submarine Museum, all in Malacca.

Other than enjoying the beautiful sites, Malacca is about sharing the Malaysia history. Malacca, described as the home of historical heritage, has played a vital role in the Malaysia history in that it was the first entry point for colonialists during the old war and has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Among the primary historical sites are the Peranakan and the colonial heritage sites.


A variety of places worth exploring is the Christ Church Melaka, Famosa Fort, and St Peter’s Church, built in 1710 by Portuguese Catholics, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, the Dutch Square, Queen Victoria Memorial Fountain, The Stadthuys and St Paul’s Hills.

St Peter’s Church is the oldest in the country and was completed during the Dutch administration. Old as it may be, services are still conducted in the church halls. A bell at St Peter’s is evidence it was built in the 17th century as well as a Christ alabaster statue.

Other historical buildings in Malacca include the Syed Al Attas Mansion, which reminds one of the Malacca Muslim rules. It is reflective of the Muslim lifestyle as practiced during that era.

==Chinatown Street in Malacca==

There are other places worth visiting in Malacca, such as the Jonker Street. It may be equated to the Chinatown Street, also called by locals ‘Jalan Jang Hebat’. What stands out at Jonker is the Malacca River, which makes the scene even more vibrant. The Heeren Street near Jonker Street has been listed among the top must-see destinations in Malacca.

Visitors are mostly attracted by the buildings that have today been transformed into old joints and famous restaurants. These are places that were once occupied by rich Malacca families and was therefore referred to as the Millionaires’ Row. The street that was once only covered by the rich is now open for everyone, rich or not.

The street is full of shop houses on either side, which gives travelers a feel of the 17th Century. The shop houses are sometimes used as textile shops, food courts, souvenir outlets and antique kiosks. During the weekends, visitors are encouraged to taste the local food and join the bargain battle with the vendors out to make profits against the visitors’ wishes to fetch the lowest prices.

==Affordable Hotel with Quality Service==

Your visit will not be memorable (for all the right reasons) if your stay is almost uncomfortable. Ensure you book the best Malacca hotel that exhibits the classic themes of the region. Such hotels are readily available, and the cost varies from low-budget to high-profile expenses. They include Casa del Rio Melaka and The Majestic Malacca in the high-end category.

The budget options are such as Layang-Layang Guest House, Gingerflower Boutique Hotel, Hotel Da Som Inn and Imperial Heritage Melaka. The hotels are keen on keeping a good reputation seeing as the business depends on word on the street from the travelers.

What is more attractive about Malacca is the people and their rich ethnicity. The communities have blended into one rich culture full of diversity. Visitors are welcome to be part of the diversification and live in peaceful co-existence with the Malacca people. The river cuts through Malacca to the Malacca Straits. There are motorboats in the river that give an opportunity for sightseeing.

The Malacca River Cruise, for instance, lasts about 45 minutes, giving riders the chance to take in all the fantastic views Malacca has to offer, at a fee of RM10 for adults and RM5 for children, especially holders of Mycard. For foreigners, the charges will attract an additional RM5. Visitors need not worry about missing the cruise as it is open from 9am-12am. The night cruise is far more enjoyable because of the riverside punctuated by the lights.

==Preferred Destination For Foodies==

Malacca is not only about the history and the buildings, but it is also about quality food served in top-notch restaurants. Located on Jonker Street, Nancy’s Kitchen offers the delicious Nyonya cuisine. The interior design has a feel of a home or the familiar neighborhood that reminds you of your kitchen. It is mostly preferred because it serves hot dishes. The only problem is that the food is not Halal, which means Muslims are locked out.

The other restaurant worth exploring is the Capitol, which is not only affordable but also ranked among the best in Malacca. This explains why it is always flooded with customers. There is a variety of almost 80 vegetables and seafood dishes, which explains the long queues that are a constant feature of Capitol.

Meanwhile, The Baboon House keeps visitors enjoying their food while sitting in an open courtyard. This arrangement takes advantage of the vast space that is brought to life by the modern furniture. What makes it feel more at home is the presence of the owner’s cat and dog. Baboon House serves American dishes.

==The Malacca Nightlife==

Malacca’s GoGo KTV Lounge is famous because of its jetty shape. It is located between Mahkota Melaka and the Holiday Inn Melaka. Although it is small, it has a variety of punch flavors that are bound to keep guests entertained, if not the punch, then the number of TV on the walls will.

Related Article: Top 20 things to do in Malacca

Article source: http://feeds.feedburner.com/melakatravel

Best motorbike routes in Malaysia

By Vishnu Krishnan

Throttle heads, gun your engines because we’re taking you across the best and most scenic bike routes in Malaysia.

Malaysia, despite being a small country, has thousands of kilometers of paved roads that meander and criss-cross through small towns, cities, rural areas, coastal roads and majestic mountainous and forested regions.

Let’s Go!

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A useful map for plotting the first leg!

(Source: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/6040239)

 Starting in Kuala Lumpur, head north on the Gombak MRR2 highway and cut off at the Genting Highlands exit. You will know you are on the right path if you bypass the large golden statue of Murugan on your left at Batu Caves. If you’d like to make a pit stop here and check out the marvellous Batu Caves Hindu temple, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

As you ride up the Kuala Lumpur – Karak Expressway towards the foothills of the highlands, this is where the fun really begins. Once you pass the Genting Sempah checkpoint (they have lovely local food to sample and is the last major gas station for the stretch) the gradient will get serious and the temperature drops.

Near the summit of Genting, make sure you check out the Chin Swee Caves Temple filled with pagodas and Taoist motifs that is best seen at night when the red lanterns are lit.

At the peak you will reach the Hotel-Casino complexes. From here you, cruise back down to the Bentong exit. Beware of the winding roads, slippery gravel and mist. The Bentong trail is a beautiful mountain road surrounded by lush forests and wildlife. One major attraction here is the Sungai Chilling waterfall.

Follow the gorgeous mountain road all the way up to Fraser’s Hill which is known for its scenic, rolling green hills and chilly weather. If you aren’t done with the climbing yet, jump on the Ringlet — Sungai Koyan Highway or Route 102 for another 186km to the even more beautiful

Cameron Highlands. Strawberries and tea anyone?

Next, move further north to one of the most scenic routes in the country, the Gerik or East-West Highway. Starting at exit A171 or the town of Gerik, this 128km pilgrimage is a must for all avid bikers. Along the way to the small town of Jeli, you will go through a mountain trail with soft gradients and smooth curves. If you are lucky, you may spot wild elephants.

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Our pachyderm friends can sometimes be seen on the Gerik Highway!

(Source: http://chongtaofatt.blogspot.my/2006_05_01_archive.html)

From Jeli, travel on Route 4 via the East West Highway to Kota Bharu to commence the longest stretch of the journey, the Kota Bharu to Rompin coastal road.

While you are in Kota Bharu be sure to sample some of the scrumptious local delights such as Nasi Kerabu.

From Kota Bharu, ride 490km south along the E8 via the East Coast Expressway to Rompin. Along this path, you’ll see dozens of fishing villages, small coastal Kampongs, paddy fields and of course the South China Sea. Be mindful of rainy season as the East coast can be treacherous between October and March.

The ride itself is generally tame and relaxing, but there’s much to see and check out along the way, especially through the Terengganu coast which is full of seafood stops.

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The scenery along the coast is amazing on E8!

(Source: http://bikingmalaysia.blogspot.my/)

Once you reach the forested region of Rompin and stay the night on the beach, we’ll end the journey with a 292km cruise back to KL via Route 11. These roads are well maintained and provide a smooth journey returning home.

Do you know of other scenic roads and beautiful stretches of highway? Let us know on Facebook @malaysia.travel.my

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

A festival like no other

SINGING IN THE RAIN..FOREST WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL

Let’s just say that there was absolutely no way we were going into our Taming Borneo adventure and miss the highly anticipated Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF). If you’re a music enthusiast there’s no doubt you’ve heard about it. But if you haven’t, trust us, you’re going to want to read the rest of this entry, seriously.

Truth be told, we really didn’t know what to expect. Okay, we kinda did, but only from second hand experiences; reading travel blogs or hearing stories from our friends.

The only 3 things we were sure of were;

  • It’s an annual 3-day music festival, hosted by the Sarawak Tourism Board, at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching.
  • It brings international acts together with local indigenous acts to celebrate the diversity of music in the heart of the Bornean jungle.
  • It’s a totally awesome festival you have to go to #YOLO

To sum it up in a nutshell, RWMF, gives you a perfect blend of cultural and contemporary musical performances, chilled festival vibes, good local food, an all-around great crowd and ambiance to party away the weekend. But we’ll delve further into the details below.

Putting the full extent of our experience into words is just not possible, you’ll have to watch our video series to find out how lit this festival really is!

THE DEETS OF THE BEATS

The RWMF is usually held annually in the mid months of June, July or August (this year August) in the Sarawak Cultural Village, at the base of Mount Santubong, Kuching, Sarawak.

At its’ inception, RWMF was established in 1998 and drew a crowd of only 300 people. But now, it draws an annual crowd of about 20,000 a year, making RWMF a front runner in local and international music calendars!

The festival usually features approximately 20 local and international bands over the course of the weekend. The performances range from traditional, world fusion and contemporary music. Invited performers are specially curated by organizers to give audiences the musical ambiance in accordance to the creative direction of the festival.

RWMF has a format of afternoon workshops; promoting engagement between performers and attendees, while the main concerts are held at night, under the star speckled sky of the Bornean Rainforest.

Go crazy, no one will judge you!

Go crazy, no one will judge you!

Lastly, fun fact, if you’re an environmentalist, the RWMF also has a record for raising environmental awareness with its recycling initiatives, tree planting campaigns, and providing shuttle buses for festival goers to reduce carbon emission in the air. #winning

TRACES OF THE TRANCE

The festival runs on a world class level of operation, operating on tight scheduling and strict regulations, it still manages to hold energetic performances and engaging afternoon workshops. It was really easy for us to warm up to the energy of the music and the crowd.

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The afternoon workshops have got to be the highlight of our experience. We participated in a drum circle and enjoyed a workshop called “The Breath of Life” showcasing delicate sounds of wind instruments in music. When the festival promises a “smashing weekend in the Bornean rainforest”, they deliver.

Besides the eargasmic performances, we had the pleasure to explore the village with vendors scattered around selling local dishes, art and traditional handicrafts. Of course, being the foodies we are, we treated ourselves to a variety of food and beverages sold at the festival grounds.

You won’t believe who we met at the Sapeh booth!

You won’t believe who we met at the Sapeh booth!

Overall, the festival definitely lives up to the hype and definitely sets the bar high for other festivals around!

A night to remember

A night to remember

THE OTHER FESTIVALS AROUND

If your schedule prohibits you from attending RWMF, don’t worry there are plenty of other great events that travellers look out for throughout the year in Sarawak. Here’s a few we find interesting:

The Borneo International Kite Festival

Borneo International Kite Festival is held in the town of Bintulu.  The huge windy open space of the Old Bintulu Airport that faces the South China Sea provides ideal conditions for consistent flight of a vast selection of colourful kites. The sky would be colourfully lit as thousands of colourful kites are flown at the festival, with the latest number being 2,500 diamond kites. The festival also holds a record in the Malaysia Book of Records for forming the longest arch kite tunnel of 500 metres.

You can expect 400 kiters from 25 countries participating in this festival with cultural and artiste performances being held in the evening.

Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta

This event is participated by nearly 70 countries around the world with over 50 million participants in Asia alone, particularly from China and Southeast Asia.  It was also adopted as part of the ASEAN Games 2010 in Guangzhou, China.

The Dragon Boat Race continues to be an important event in the tourism calendar of countries involved in dragon boat races around the world.  The event in Sarawak attracts global participation and promotes local tourism, thereby increasing tourist arrivals.

Borneo Jazz

Another highly anticipated music festival, the Borneo Jazz Festival is one of the longest running Jazz festivals in the region. There will be two nights of four performances each by regionally and internationally recognised jazz musicians.


If you have more questions regarding our Taming Borneo adventure, please do leave a comment in the comment section below, or start a discussion; tell us your personal Taming Borneo experience!

Also do follow along our adventure on our social media platforms:

Instagram: @MyTourismChannel or #tamingborneo  

Catch up on the latest episodes by clicking on the thumbnails below:

Sarawak : EP1

Sarawak : EP1

Episode

Sarawak : EP2

Episode 3

Sarawak : EP3

Sarawak : EP4

Sarawak : EP4

Sarawak : EP5

Sarawak : EP5

Sarawak : EP6

Sarawak : EP6

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