Tourism Malaysia

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Wonderful Malaysia

Awan Mulan, Negeri Sembilan

Lately, most of the young working adults look for places to relax and take a complete break from their everyday life over the weekend.

Awan Mulan is a collection of small homes in the hills located in Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan which is an ideal getaway from the bustling Kuala Lumpur with only 2-3 hours’ drive away. The management over at Awan Mulan is really efficient and would inform much earlier on the necessary procedures before one heads over to Awan Mulan.

(a) Read the map given. According to the manager at Awan Mulan, these homes stand isolated on a hillside where GPS would fail to guide anyone there.

(b) Contact the manager when one reaches the contact point, which is a Chinese school. This is for the manager to guide people on the roads leading uphill as well as to head down to unlock the main gate. The roads leading uphill is quite narrow and one might have to give way to the car from the opposite direction.

Awan means ‘cloud’ in Bahasa Melayu. And it’s no wonder the place is known as Awan Mulan because the windows of the bedroom have already revealed a stunning view of forests and open skies. How nice would it be if one could wake up to this view every day? But, happiness is short-lived. Besides, the huge balcony by the kitchen could accommodate a hammock where one could lie on it at night staring into the sky blanketed with stars. However, be prepared for the area’s occupant; strange insects and mosquitoes. Rest assured, as the kitchen has mosquito coils where one can lit them up and beds with nets if one prefers not to sleep with insects. Quick to notice the intricate design of these homes where the regular glass panes on windows are replaced with painted cement boards making curtains no longer necessary and also more efficient in withstanding the rain. One house with 10 beds is equivalent to RM2000+, but it would be at a cheaper rate depending on the number of pax.



The main activities would be to relax by the pool which overlooks the jungle, known as the jungle pool where one can catch the sunrise at around 6 to 7am in the morning as well as the sunset pool for the sunset at 7pm. If that’s not enough, the pools do not contain chlorine but purely salt and the water is being pumped down from one of the waterfalls at the hilltops. Besides the pool, one can take a stroll around the place where most of the guests would have a go at the fruits that were planted there, such as mangosteens, rambutans, cikus and even durians.



When it comes to dinner, it is definitely a home away from home experience where everything from toiletries to kitchen utensils is made available. Steamboat pots, barbeque pits and even charcoal are all provided but with only one condition, remember to clean up the mess when you are done with enjoying all these privileges.

It is completely a unique experience where a group of 22 of us really enjoyed the trip. The organizer for this trip will be planning a trip to this place again sometime in November. Definitely worth going!

About the author: Onn May Ling lives in Petaling Jaya and is currently new to writing on places she has visited. Her interest is on reading, writing on Science subjects and eating.


Tourism Malaysia

Buffet Dinner at The Newly Open Harbour Cafe in Traders Hotel at Puteri Harbour, Johor.

The newly open Harbour Cafe in Traders Hotel (N1.41784 E103.65638) has offering a nice buffet dinner to their guests and public. It’s about a month or so, the Traders Hotel at Nusajaya had started operation and so do the restaurants, we were invited by the Communication Manager – Ms Aidah for the buffet dinner on one of the evening.
The Traders Hotel is located next to the popular Hello Kitty Theme Park and Puteri Harbour of Johor, the signages on the Highway will clearly navigate the visitor to the destination easily.

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The Cafe is offering the International and local delicacies, where you can taste full of varieties in one stop. During the Ramadan month, they prepared more local cuisine compare with normal serving to cater the guests for ‘Buka Puasa’.
Once we stepped into the cafe, we were greeted by the nicely display fruits and vegetables pickles on the decoration cabinets…it was so tempted to grab some of it…:)
The Executive Chef from the hotel – Mr Alan Wong introduced the foods to us systematically…our pleasure and thanks to Mr Alan.
The first session was the appetizers…

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There were many fruits and salads available, among all I like the baby tomotoes very much!

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The Harbour cafe provided 7 types of ‘Kerabu’ for appetizers…they were : Yurap Kacang Panjang, Kerabu Ayam, Kerabu Udang, Kerabu Daging, Acar Jelatah, Kerabu Perut and Tauhu Sumbat.
The ‘Rojak’ was loacted at the end of it, where you can mixed your own fruits ‘Rojak’ the way you like.

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On the next session – the Japanese and the local soup corner…honestly, this was my favorite corner. 🙂

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We were stepped in the perfect timing where one of the staff was pereparing the Sashimi…

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Next to the Japanese corner, nicely presented the local soup area. It provided mainly 3 types of soup : chicken, beef and mutton.

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Follow by the Roti Pratha (or canai) session…they do serve ‘Roti Naan’ in request…

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Before we jump to the seafood area, there were something caught my eyes…
The “Ayam Percik Utara, Nasi Hujan Panas, Rusa Rendang Johor and Puyuh Goreng Berlada.”

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The lamb chops were sitted beside…

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The seafoods from the same session…guests will have a choice to take the cooked or request the fresh uncook seafoods.

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Coming up next was the ‘Claypot’ session where most of the curry and assam soup were serve, this was the session I miss! Because of not enough space for me to fill in…

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Every buffet you visit during the Ramadan month, you will definitely see this ‘Whole Baby Lamb’, it might be the must during the Buka Puasa.

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The Chinese corner was situated next, where you can get most of the noodle soup within the session included a Nice Johor Laksa.

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When talk about Chinese corner, it won’t be complete with the ‘Dim Sum’. The tasty Dim Sum served without pork and lard, that means our Muslim friends also have a chance to enjoy the Chinese Dim Sum.

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The Local Delights of ‘Kambing Kari Pudina, nasi Goreng Ikan Masin, Bawal Semur Betawi, Udang Paprik and Pucuk Manis Masak Lemak’ were at the last food corner…

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The last session of the buffet was the interesting island…The Dessert Island.

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They were the first hotel in Johor to brought in the Fondue machine from England, where you can have dark and white chocolate in One machine.

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I believe the children and some of the adults will excited and love it very much!

It was our honor to had Chef Bing to prepared the ‘Apom Balik’ for us, Yummy!

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Now, let’s have a glance on the dining area of Harbour Cafe…

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All the dining area are designed next to the food session, you can easily enjoy your dinner with just a few steps.

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I can’t taste all the foods here because of my very limited stomach, I wish I have 2-3 tummy to fill all the foods here, am I greedy?! 🙂
I tasted the baby lamb, nice and succulent with the kuzi sauce. The fragrance Satay sauce was unique and special which I never try before! Nice! We were indulged in the Sashimi that evening…the Salmon and Tuna Sashimis were fresh with the perfect texture.

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The dessert time was the time we can’t stop enjoying it! Thanks for Chef Bing specially served us the unique dessert from him, that was my First time having the fried pineapple that dipped with dark chocolate! Delicious!

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We had a wonderful evening having the buffet dinner at Harbour Cafe! I’ll definitely back for more…

A common question from friends : “How’s the food?” Well, I cannot taste all the foods in the Cafe, and understand that everyone has a different taste bud. You have to try it yourself to find your own taste. What I can say is…some were average and most were Yummylicious! Especially dine at the nice environment, I would say…I love it!

The price for the buffet dinner at Harbour Cafe from 10th July until 9th August 2013 is RM108++ per pax, 6.30pm – 10.30pm. If you visiting the cafe in the big group, you may contact the Hotel for better price.

Last, I would like to thanks to Ms Aidah – Communicaton Manager, Mr Alan Wong – Executive Chef, Mr Bing – Chef and Mr Avraam – F B Manager for their warm hospitality and the Delicious foods.

*  No pork, no lard, no Halal cert.

Tourism Malaysia

A taste of Szechuan with Moola

January 29, 2013 at 5:00 pm

How many times have we walked past a shop or a restaurant without realising what is offered in there? I know I do. In our haste to reach our destination on time, these shops have been reduced to blurry images that recede into the background. One such restaurant was Zhi Wei Yuan, located along Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur.

Zhi Wei Yuan specialises in Szechuan cuisine, and as Chinese cuisines are a big mystery to me, I did not have any preconceived expectations prior to dining at this outlet. I was there with a couple of friends, including Emily Tang of Sunrise Emily blog and Evelyn Ang of, courtesy of Moola, the first ever homegrown Cash-Back Lifestyle programme by ICT Utopia. The girls had a lot to say about their experience here, so please remember to see how it went for both of them!

Read: Emily’s first encounter of the Szechuan kind
Read: Evelyn loves it SPICY… for food of course

It turns out that Szechuan food is famous for its spicy dishes and the generous use of its Szechuan peppercorns in cooking. These peppercorns are known to possess a unique aroma and flavour that is very much unlike its more well-known counterparts, the black and white pepper. Regulars patrons who know exactly what they want can have their dishes customised according to their requests. Freshness is their main emphasis when it comes to choosing their ingredients to ensure quality dishes. Most of their basic ingredients used in preparation of their meals are brought in from China.

Our dishes for the evening looked pretty common, but let me tell you, this lot packs a punch taste wise! The manager offered us a very useful tip to fight off the heat from the peppercorns – that is to drink Wong Lo Kat (a type of Chinese sweet herbal drink) instead of the usual cold water to complement our meal. Our dinner started off with prawns fried in spicy sauce. The prawns were fresh, and it the first of many great tasting dishes that made the dinner great.

Surprisingly, Wong Lo Kat really does help cool down the spiciness of the Szechuan pepper!

To me, food is like songs and movies; you may encounter a great many of them throughout your life, but only a few will actually leave a lasting impression. For me, the Sichuan Style Braised Fish Fillet with Beancurd was one such dish. I never knew that a combination of simple ingredients like fish fillet, soft beancurd and salted preserved vegetable could become something so delicious. The taste of the soup is strong enough that it gives the whole dish its flavour, but not so strong that it overpowers the beancurd and fish fillet.

Sichuan Style Fried Prawn with Spicy Sauce – delicious down to the very last bite!

Sichuan Style Braised Fish Fillet with Beancurd – Though it may look simple, one taste of this dish and you will fall in love with it

We were also treated to a serving of Fried Spareribs in Sweet Sour Sauce and Chongqing Stir Fried Chicken with Dried Chilli. Unlike some restaurants where the colour of the sauce LOOKS delicious but in fact lacks in taste, this dish is just perfect – not too sweet, just enough hint of sourness to make it tender and yummy with every bite! Definitely a must try for lovers of pork spare ribs. For frog lovers, look out for the Dry Braised Spicy Edible Frog. Though it was slightly salty to the taste, the frog meat was fresh and tender, making this dish a great accompaniment with rice.

Fried Spareribs in Sweet Sour Sauce – a must try for spareribs lovers

Chongqing Stir Fried Chicken with Dried Chilli – spicy to the last morsel!

Dry Braised Spicy Edible Frog

The chef also made us a few other non-spicy dishes like the Sauteed Hand Ripped Cabbage, Xinjiang Boiled Lamb Cutlets, Sauteed Shredded Potato with Salted Egg Yolk. Again, do not be fooled by these simple looking dishes. The cabbage tastes absolutely scrumptious! The vegetable is crisp and tasty with a slight sweetness and a hint of vinegar added to it, yet there isn’t any of the raw vegetable taste that is present as a result of undercooking. If you were to ask the manager as to how the lamb is prepared, you’d be surprised with the answer. There isn’t any gamey taste and it doesn’t feel like you are chewing rubber with every bite.

Sauteed Hand Ripped Cabbage – the cabbage tastes crisp with a slight sweetness to it. One of the many favourites for the night

Xinjiang Boiled Lamb Cutlets – who knew that lamb could taste this wonderful cooked this way

Sauteed Shredded Potato with Salted Egg Yolk – looks like noodles right? It’s actually shredded potato coated with salted egg yolk. Another favourite for the night

By now, anyone would already be so full that it would seem impossible to take another bite. Maybe it was the rainy weather, or it could be the company that we had, we were definitely up for one more dish – the famous Sichuan Hot Pot. We chose the Spicy Fish Hot Pot. This item comes with 3 side dishes of your choice, 6 condiments and lots of fish meat underneath that bubbling soup. The condiments, which are raw garlic, spring onions, sesame seed oil, peppercorn oil, chopped red and cilantro, play a part in enhancing your eating experience.

Sichuan Hot Pot – Spicy Fish

The side dishes and condiments that comes together with the order of hot pot

Glutinous Rice Balls in Sweet Rice Wine Soup – a nice dessert to round up the night

Unlike the conventional hot pot where you drink large quantities of the soup, the soup for this hot pot can be a tad too spicy and oily for anyone. That is why one of the condiments given with every dish is sesame seed oil. When mixed with the other condiments of your choice, it will prevent the person from suffering from heartburn. A very useful tip indeed!

It was close to 11pm by the time our dinner ended. Everyone went back with a big smile on their faces and a slightly bigger waistline! Though eating at Zhi Wei Yuan can be slightly expensive, it was worth every dollar. It may seem that we have managed to taste quite a number of dishes today, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. I will definitely make Zhi Wei Yuan a stop in my continuing journey of exploring Szechuan cuisine.

This Dining With Moola experience is courtesy of Moola, the first-ever Cash-Back Lifestyle Programme specially designed for shoppers to enjoy free shopping, great savings and best deals in town. Moola is a mobile application that utilises QR code technology for all interactions; from member registration, Moola accumulation and redemption, to the actual shopping.

Moola Frenz who dine at Zhi Wei Yuan are entitled to a 10% cash back everytime! What’s more, you can also grab FreeMakan vouchers for even MORE savings here!

Moola is completely hassle-free; no administrative effort; no joining fee; no cards; and comes with even greater flexibility for shoppers to enjoy the variety of rewards for redemption. Visit for more information and download the Moola app today! Apple, Android and Blackberry phones supported.

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Tourism Malaysia

24 hours in Chinatown

24 hours in Chinatown

I visit Kuala Lumpur so often each year I’ve started to feel like a local. That is a local of Chinatown where I invariably spend all my time.

It’s probably a little sad but if I’m only in KL overnight — frequently I am there longer also — I go directly to Chinatown to the same shops, hairdressers and hotel I always go to.

The night time action in Chinatown. Pic: Joanne Lane.

The night time action in Chinatown. Pic: Joanne Lane.

I’ve kind of developed a bit of a routine that doesn’t change much from visit to visit. This is because it’s really nice to wander a familiar neighbourhood when you’re so used to being out of your home territory and do the same things and not feel like a tourist, despite it being a touristy area of course.

I don’t promise these experiences are for everyone, but here’s my schedule and the things I like to do.


I more often than not arrive at LCCT airport where there are regular buses to KL Sentral for as little as RM 8 one way or RM 14 return. These pretty much run 24 hours a day so you never have to wait too long. They also have buses for other destinations including KLIA, Genting and other areas. If you arrive at KLIA there are similar bus services and trains.

Once I’m off my flight and have my luggage I head for the bus – leave the departures area and head outside and walk around to the right of the arrivals area where you’ll see lots of buses.

I’m usually pretty tired after a flight so I try to get a bit of shut-eye on the ride as it’s incredibly smooth and long enough to sleep (about one hour duration).

From LCCT I then take the LRT to Pasar Seni where it’s a short walk to my guesthouse.


I always stay at Matahari Lodge (Jalan Hang Kasturi, tel. +603 2070 5570). I’ve been going there for years – ever since they opened and they’ve even changed hands once. It’s a budget establishment but you get a private room which is incredibly clean. The bathrooms are shared but also impeccably managed—they provide shower shoes–and they have free WiFi and breakfast in the morning. There’s also a lounge, a TV, plenty of books to read and you can keep food in the fridge if you like.


By this stage if I’m tired it’s bed time, if not I’ll pop into the night market in Chinatown to get something to eat. There’s so much to choose from – chicken cooked in clay pots, banana and chocolate roti, satay chicken, grilled fish, buffet style free for alls (usually at lunch time and a great one under one of the overpasses on Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock) and more. You can eat from streetside stalls or sit down and watch life go by with a Tiger Beer or two. I love it. I also love to wander around and look at some of the odd things being brewed, cooked and eaten – durian unmentionables (not for me), cubes of rice, soya bean matter, prawn on sticks, coconuts and numerous unidentifiable objects.

Clay pot chicken. Pic: Joanne Lane.

Clay pot chicken. Pic: Joanne Lane.



I always schedule in a bit of pampering during my time in Chinatown. I know it’s touristy but there was excellent Chinese reflexology on the second floor of Central Market when I was there earlier in the year. The manager told me they have quite a high turnover of staff but the quality is much better than the options in Jalan Petaling – I’d concur with that. It was something like RM 60 for an hour.

I’ve also been to a hairdresser near the Reggae Bar (literally around the corner) a few times where they do fantastic hair cuts and massage. There was an Indonesian girl there last time I went who did the Indonesian style cream bath – ask for it!


As I’m usually heading home from KL I always pop into Central Market to do some souvenir shopping. My nieces love the little knicknacks I pick up there and I’ve got their Christmas presents there the last few years. There are little Malaysian dolls on pencils, cute Batik purses, little boxes to store things in, kitchenware, scarves you name it. It’s the perfect place to spend a few Ringgit and get the last things you need.

The other shopping item I’m guilty of is DVDs. These are sold throughout Chinatown and I always pick up a few movies to bring home – something to watch on my laptop on the next flight. It’s worth bargaining—I’ve paid various prices over the years—and you should always ALWAYS check the quality first – they have DVD players there and will give you a viewing.

A wander

If I still have time I’ll usually wander down Jalan Petaling to enjoy the activity. Because it’s a historic area with plenty of interesting Chinese shophouses and temples I’ll usually pop into one or two of the latter of these – most often than not the Guandi Temple that’s just around the corner in Jalan Tun H S Lee from the Matahari Lodge. This is a very local joint with people coming in and out and lighting incense, saying their prayers and making merit. I enjoy sitting in the corner and watching them passing in and out. It’s quite atmospheric.

Atmospheric sights at the Guandi Temple. Pic: Joanne Lane.

Atmospheric sights at the Guandi Temple. Pic: Joanne Lane.



As on arrival, getting back to LCCT or KLIA is a breeze. It’s worth checking the schedule for buses departing KL Sentral however just in case you find you have to wait there for a bit – not worth missing your flight.