Malaysia Travel Guide


KUCHING: For the first time ever, Spirit of the Hornbills will bring their vibrant, unique cultural dance to this year Rainforest World Music Festival.

It is a dance academy that teaches Dayak traditional dance, through their unique passion and enthusiasm in dancing, headed by Chief Siti Habibah and Apriyadi as Vice Chief.

The main purpose Spirit of The Hornbill is to conserve Central Kalimantan art and culture to the next future generation.

Siti Habibah and Apriyadi started to teach Dayak traditional dance at an elementary school in Palangka Raya.  This has grown into an intensive training academy where they now teach the younger generation this cultural art form, as their main activities is dance class and music class.

Spirit Of The Hornbill is founded on 19th January 2013 at Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan Province, Indonesia and supported by David Metcalf, a professional photographer from New Zealand, their dream is to conserve Central Kalimantan art and culture for future generations.

The Rainforest in the city (RITC) takes place from July 2 – 11 at Kuching Amphitheatre from 8.00pm till 11.00pm daily, hosted by Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Sarawak, in collaboration with Sarawak Tourism Board. It is Free and open for public.

The Rainforest World Music Festival takes place from July 12-14 at the Sarawak Cultural Village and is organised by the Sarawak Tourism Board, endorsed by Tourism Malaysia and is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth Sports Sarawak.


For further information on tickets, festival activities and logistics, please log on to

Malaysia Travel Guide

Polynesian Rhythm at RWMF

RWMF 2019 is proud to present two very similar cultures but very different acts from the most South-eastern point of Oceania, the Chilean island of Rapa Nui and the South-western Pacific nation of Aotearoa (the Maori name for New Zealand).

There is always a ripple of excitement going through the crowds when Polynesian bands from Oceania perform at any music festival around the world. Whether it is the exotic, beautifully sensual nature of the dancing, their folk music often integrated with poetry and dance or the mystery of the Polynesian people and cultures, their performances are surely meant to enthral and entice.

The independent artistic company, Ballet Folcloric de Chile, Bafoci was established in 1987 by its creator Professor Pedro Gajardo Escobar who was inspired to showcase the origins of different cultures that make up the Chilean people.

At RWMF 2019, the band will highlight the dance and music of the Rapa Nui of Easter Island. The mix of Polynesian origins with ancestral legends is dedicated to the gods, nature or warriors. The Rapa Nui has great musical abilities and the dances are vibrant and heart-stopping with undulating hips and expressive hand movements. Their spectacular costumes made from feathers, shells, tree bark and native elements of nature all contribute to the mystique and the harmony of the dancers and their artistry.

Similarly, WAI from New Zealand are inspired by their ancestors and the mythological Kupe, a legendary figure that features prominently in the oral history of the Maori. They create a minimalist but powerful acoustic performance. Singer/songwriter Mina and producer/musician Maaka Phat, the founders of the group intend to communicate and connect through their symbols and spiritual depths that are universal to humankind and create intense, personal and intimate relationships with their audience.

Their performance at RWMF will feature amazing vocal harmonies and an impressive stage presence filled with energy and soulful expression effortlessly linking the past and future of Maori heritage.





For further information on tickets, festival activities and logistics, please log on to

The Rainforest World Music Festival takes place on July 12-14 at the Sarawak Cultural Village and is organised by the Sarawak Tourism Board, endorsed by Tourism Malaysia and is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth Sports Sarawak.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Gustino Basuan,
Sarawak Tourism Board
Communications Manager
[email protected]

Tourism Malaysia

Food Haven Ipoh: Simply The Best

By Vishnu Krishnan

The homely town of Ipoh is on the verge of major development and expansion, but the fragments of its rustic charm still remain, namely within the old school buildings and authentic local cuisines which many argue are simply the best.

The dish most synonymous with Ipoh is their nga choy kai or beansprout chicken. This mouthwatering dish consists of chicken meat and innards, blanched crunchy beansprouts drenched in soy sauce and sesame oil. The blend of textures is divine. Follow the throngs of locals for the best serving at Onn Kee Restaurant.

Onn Kee Tauge Ayam Kue Tiaun is bliss.


It is sinful to skip assam laksa in Ipoh. The best version of it is served with yong tau foo (fried or boiled processed fishcakes and vegetables) stewing in a steamy bowl of the famous sweet and spicy sardine broth. Head to Dai Shu Geok Assam Laksa restaurant for this scrumptious delight.


Dai Shu Geok Assam Laksa is the flavor of the heaven!


Ipoh Hor Fun is a signature kuey teow (flat noodle) soup with shredded chicken and prawns that burst with flavours. The Tricycle Chicken Prawn kuey teow at Thean Chun Coffee Shop is one of the best places to sample this little piece of heaven.


Tricycle Chicken Prawn Kuey Teow is the way to the heart


Wat tan hor, also known as hor fun, is an amazing dish of flat noodles smothered in a thick egg gravy littered with chicken pieces and prawns. The slimy texture is surprisingly smooth and delectable. The best serving can be found at the Tuck Kee Restaurant which is known for slipping-in an egg at the very last minute to further enhance the smoothness of the gravy!


Tuck Kee Wat Tan Hor redefines your concept of texture!

Ipoh is not just limited to full meals and entrées. Their desserts and snacks are pretty good as well. Muah chee is a glutinous rice ball coated in a lovely sweet chopped peanut powder. To experience the best, try the stall right outside the Nam Heong Coffee Shop.

Ipoh white coffee is a blessing to coffee lovers across Malaysia. This beverage is traditionally made from butter roasted coffee beans that is known for an intense, unrivalled aroma.

This particular blend was created by the Wong brothers who set up the famous Sin Yoon Long Coffee Shop in 1937. The white coffee is best served with their famous Hainanese toast bread with kaya, a sweet coconut and egg spread.










Sin Yoon Long Coffee Shop’s white coffee and toast with eggs may not look like much, but trust us, this is the real deal!


And a trip to Ipoh is not complete without a visit to Buntong for Ipoh’s famed kacang putih (Indian snacks). This area is famous for the manufacturing and retail of kacang putih and makes millions each year selling these savoury treats to England, New Zealand and Australia.


Now this is what you call snacks!


For a full list of things to do while you’re enjoying best food in town go to

Tourism Malaysia

Tracing history

The Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque is the country’s largest mosqueand the second largest in South-East Asia after Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta,Indonesia. — ROUWEN LIN/The StarThe Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque is the country’s largest mosque
and the second largest in South-East Asia after Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta,
Indonesia. — ROUWEN LIN/The Star

THE day started bright and early; perhaps a little too early for the United Federation of Travel Agents’ Association (UFTAA) congress delegates.

The four-day congress was organised by Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta). More than half of those who ended up joining the Tourism Selangor-hosted familiarisation tour were senior citizens from abroad, who gamely participated in bumpy tractor rides, padi harvesting and boating activities.

It was past midnight by the time they returned to their hotel.

The morning kicked off with a quick photo session, with the Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah serving as backdrop as the visitors headed for the Sultan Abdul Aziz Royal Gallery (Galeri Diraja Sultan Abdul Aziz) in Klang, Selangor.

The state mosque of Selangor, the largest in the country, stands by the Raja Lumu Lake in Shah Alam. It boasts four minarets and its blue and silver dome is the largest religious dome in the world.

As the bus drew to a stop outside the Royal Gallery, the classic colonial building loomed over us. The Sultan Suleiman Building is one building that has many tales to tell.

Built in 1909 by British architect A.B. Hubback, it served as the Brits’ land and administration office during the colonial era. During World War II, the Japanese utilised it as their war headquarters, and after that several local authorities occupied the building until its restoration and transformation into the Royal Gallery.

Bruce Chittock from New Zealand was blown away by what the gallery had to offer.

“I’ve been to Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding areas many times in recent years, (but) why has no one told me about this gallery before? It is absolutely brilliant,” he asked.

Chittock said that the charting of the royal family lineage, its heritage and culture was “tremendously interesting” and added that he particularly liked the rank insignia on display.

First commissioned in 2002, the gallery was officially launched in October 2007 by the present Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

The gallery is dedicated to his late father, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, who ruled from 1960 for four decades.

Most of the exhibits at the gallery revolve around the late Sultan’s childhood, his early years as a crown prince, and his career in military and public offices. Numerous items from his personal collection of artefacts and gifts have been put in the care of the gallery, including replicas of Selangor’s crown jewels.

“Having the gallery in such a historical building is significant and meaningful. What is astonishing to me is that the Sultan is still serving but he is giving up his family’s valuables so that tourists and locals alike can see and learn. I think that is really great,” said Sonam Dorji from Bhutan, who applauded the decision to set up this gallery.

Tourism Malaysia

High on adrenaline

Wet thrills : The jet boat atTaupo’s Huka Falls in New Zealandskips and lurches across theWaikato river with a series ofsharp 360° spins, before dartingclose to the Falls themselves.Wet thrills : The jet boat at
Taupo’s Huka Falls in New Zealand
skips and lurches across the
Waikato river with a series of
sharp 360° spins, before darting
close to the Falls themselves.

New Zealand is perfect for thrill-seeking backpackers who can choose between flying, falling, jumping, spinning and floating … all in the name of fun.

It was beginning to feel as if New Zealand’s national emblem wasn’t the silver fern, but the disclaimer form. The frequent signing away of liability for life and limb began shortly after I disembarked from a flight to Auckland.

Someone suggested that the best way to get rid of any long-haul cobwebs might be to take a lift to the top of the city’s 328m Sky Tower (, then base-jump off it (on a wire). I did, and two weeks of starting the day with “Read this and sign here� had begun.

I’m not an adrenaline junkie by nature and I’ve never got a kick out of danger, so it was fitting that I should start a fortnight dedicated to exploring new backpacking experiences by doing something terrifying, simply because I was too exhausted to feel afraid.

In the end, I landed at the foot of the Sky Tower, giddy with survival, went straight back up in the lift and jumped off it again. It turns out this adrenaline stuff is addictive. So much so, in fact, that entire towns and cities are given over to the business of thrill-seeking.

I have heard plenty of stories about doing something reckless in search of a rush, and New Zealand caters to such whims in all sorts of ways, from skydiving to bungee jumping to that strange practice of mimicking a giant gerbil in a plastic ball, called “zorbing�.

I spent some days travelling with the Stray Travel tour (, a hop-on, hop-off mini-coach service, which meanders up and down the country collecting and losing backpackers along the way.

It’s relatively cheap, so perfect for those on a budget, and the sheer variety of its travellers was staggering: from European to American to Asian, from student to professional, from 21 to 40, an amiable jumble indeed. The only thing we all had in common, in fact, was a shared desire to wriggle out of our comfort zones.

Three hours south of Auckland, near the centre of the North Island, are the towns of Taupo and Rotorua. They’re about 80km apart and both littered with companies offering adventures.

It’s worth stopping by Taupo’s Huka Falls for the jet boat (, which skips and lurches across the Waikato river with a series of sharp 360° spins, before darting close to the Falls themselves. It’s like being a stone skimmed across water, and it’s soggy, exhilarating fun.

Next door we found the Huka Prawn Park(, “the world’s only geothermal prawn farmâ€?, which also has a theme park element, helmed by a man-sized prawn called Shawn The Prawn … one for kitsch enthusiasts.

But the newest experience to hit Rotorua is a forward-thinking combination of eco-tourism and old-fashioned thrills. Rotorua Canopy Tours ( are billed as a native forest canopy zipline tour, which is a wordy way of saying that you fly through the trees like a tui, though with panicked screaming taking the place of beautiful birdsong.

The full circuit lasts for around three hours, and kicks off with a short walk through the Mamaku plateau forest, during which time the guides explain what they’re all about, which is mostly conservation of native bird species, which are perpetually under threat from non-native mammals such as rats, stoats and possums.

If it sounds dry or dull, it isn’t: this is a strikingly pretty piece of woodland, its plantlife and avian inhabitants are spectacular, and the guides are so clearly full of passion for the project that it’s hard not to get swept up in their enthusiasm.

After the short walk-and-talk, it’s time to jump off something, as, it seems, is often the way in this country. In this instance the “flying fox� experience involves zipwiring between a series of wooden platforms at increasing heights, and across increasing widths, though this is a relatively gentle experience, at least until the final jump.

“We’ve got a surprise for you,� our guide (and Canopy Tours founder) James Fitzgerald grinned, before hoisting me into the unknown. About halfway across that final ride, the floor of the forest suddenly drops away, and it feels as if you’re hundreds of feet in the air, dangling from a cable, soaring through the tops of the trees.

I had a funny urge to flap my arms, which, I suppose, could be a sneaky conservation tactic: avian empathy. Everyone in our group felt invigorated by the semi-flying and liked cute little possums that little bit less.

By this point, I was confident that I could conquer my fears on a near-professional level. I’m not scared of heights (hence all the jumping) but for a long time I was terrified of planes, and it took a fear-of-flying course and a lot of determination to get me anywhere near one.

Though I’m almost cured, I still get the occasional flash of nerves, so naturally I decided a skydive (Able Tasman Skydive, might be the thing to knock it on the head once and for all.

As we flew to 5,000m above the Abel Tasman national park, I was not so sure about this self-prescribed therapeutic experience, but, as they say, there’s only one way down. So, I got strapped to my jump partner Chris and we tumbled out of the door and fell through the air for 70 of the longest seconds of my life.

“You can relax now – the parachute’s opened so that’s good,â€? he said, with typical Kiwi understatement. It wasn’t just the biggest buzz of the fortnight – it was the most thrilling experience of my life.

I was high on it for the rest of the trip. Even now, when something feels insurmountable, I remember how it felt to sit near the exit of a tiny plane and see the North and South Islands thousands of feet below. – Guardian News Media

Related Story:
Scuba show