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Post Taming Borneo Syndrome

WHAT WE’VE LEARNED 

Throughout our Taming Borneo blog and video series, we’ve shown you some of the best places to experience the adventures and cultures Borneo has to offer. But on our adventure trail, we’ve hit a few bumps on the road, sometimes literally. In these situations, it’s important to come well prepared and well equipped. Unfortunately, us being city folks and all, taken straight out of our concrete jungle, we unfortunately weren’t sometimes. So we’d thought we’d give you a comprehensive guide on the things you need to survive the Bornean jungle.

TOP 10 PACKING ESSENTIALS

ONE BACKPACK DAYPACK

This is a no brainer, but it’s still worth mentioning that you should bring one backpack and one daypack on your trip. This is to store every other essential thing we’re gonna list below, and then some. It’s also important to find a good bag that will support you well as you’d be wearing it all day long during your trekking trips and forest endeavors. Trust us, a good backpack will save you weeks’ worth of back aches.

STURDY SHOES OR HIKING BOOTS FOR WALKING SANDALS OR SHOES YOU DON’T MIND GETTING WET

Again, this is a no brainer, but you never know. It’s really important that you bring good sturdy shoes, or even better, a pair of hiking boots for your trail adventures. You’re going to be in the wild jungle, so expect slippery slopes and rocky terrain. But for casual walking around town, a comfortable pair of sneakers will do just fine, or a pair of casual sandals as is the usual for the Malaysian people. Don’t forget to also bring along a pair of shoes that you don’t mind getting wet and dirty, as is the case for us when we went to RWMF and got our shoes covered in mud.

MONEY BELT OR POUCH

A money belt is probably one of the best things you can invest in while travelling. We don’t recommend walking around with a heavy bulging wallet in your pocket. With a money belt, you can easily carry all your essential documents, passport and money around while being hidden under your clothes. So as not to draw any attention from thieves and pickpockets. Also, you won’t find yourself accidentally dropping your wallet in the middle of the jungle.

PERSONAL MEDICATIONS (ALLERGY MEDICATIONS)

This is important, if you have any medical conditions, this should be the first thing you pack in your backpack. Also, allergy medications, as you’ll be in a foreign land, sometimes miscommunication can happen and you’d accidentally be eating something you’re allergic to, so make sure to always have your allergy medications on stand-by.

SUNBLOCK

2 bottles, just to be safe if your skin is extra sensitive to the sun. No joke, the sun in Borneo is blazing hot as the local weather is tropical. You might need to reapply your sunscreen every now and then.

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FLASHLIGHT/ HEAD LAMP

If you plan to go on a hiking trail, or even to a resort in the middle of the jungle, a flashlight or a headlamp is definitely a must bring. Also, extra batteries.

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SUNGLASSES

Tropical weather means hot and sunny most of the time, and with the weather conditions nowadays, the uv rays would be extra harsh on your eyes. A good pair of sunglasses would solve the problem and make you look good in those selfies on the beach.

ZIPLOCK BAGS

This would be your impromptu waterproof bags for when it rains or when you go to the beach. Overlooked by many, ziplock bags are true life savers on island adventures.

BAGGAGE PADLOCKS

We’ve heard and seen many stories where people would slip illegal stuff in your baggages while you aren’t looking, so we really urge you to buy some small padlocks to lock your bags after you’ve packed them. Believe the stories or not, it’s better for anyone to be safe than sorry.

 

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BASIC FIRST AID KIT

Lastly, we can’t even begin to tell you how many times we’ve reached for the first aid kit on our trip. You’re in the jungle, expect to have cuts and bruises and even trip over a rock sometimes. It can happen to even the best of us. So the first aid kit is truly an essential thing to pack.

Catch the final episodes below:

thumbnail-ep-19-150x150  thumbnail-ep-20-150x150thumbnail-ep-21-150x150

 

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50 Shades of green

BACK TO BASICS

We’ve had a pretty busy schedule exploring Sarawak, attending the highly anticipated annual #RWMF and hunting on a kitty trail in Kuching. Next, we wanted to do what we initially came to Borneo for, immerse ourselves in the beauty of the Bornean Jungle. What better way to do that than to actually get in bed with the wild?

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When was the last time you camped? Lambir Hills, Sarawak

We decided to pitch our tent in another enchanting forest of Sarawak, Lambir Hills National Park. Like the other national parks here, Lambir has one of the most complex ecosystems in the world, providing a cozy home for more than 237 species of tropical birds, flying squirrels, gibbons, monkey and other exotic Bornean creatures.

Spending a night or two there means we got to trek some 12 trekking trails in the park; which lead us to some amazing sights, magnificent waterfalls and bathing pools scattered throughout the Bornean rainforest. But we’ve got to say, the sound of the jungle comes to life at night as we slept under the stars!

If it sounds tiring to you, it really isn’t. It was a very relaxing trip and really sets different chilled pace from the rat-race city life. Remember when we told you about our Wanderlust Fever? This experience probably helped cure 30% of it on its own.

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Just what the doctor ordered! Lambir Hills, Sarawak

But really, you have to watch our video series to try to catch a feel of our nights at Lambir.

BASIC CAMPING GEAR FOR DUMMIES

Let’s be real, assuming most of you reading this was born in the 90s, camping is probably a rare activity we do every now and then. Truth be told, we were a bit out of touch with the gear we were supposed to bring. Us urbanites could’ve been more prepared for our camping trip.

We’ve compiled a list, of 10 things you need to have in your camping bag when you go camping in the Rainforest, just so you don’t repeat the same mistakes we did.

A torch light/ A head torch

These are useful especially if you wish to go caving in the area. But in general, you’re in the jungle, it’s mostly going to be almost pitch-black at night under the stars, so these are also handy when you want to do late night toilet runs. don’t forget to bring extra bulbs and batteries.

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Blacker than black! Niah Caves

A small backpack

For your hiking trips, you’re not going to be needing to carry all your camping gear on the trail, so a small backpack that would fit all your important personal items, trekking essentials and snacks of course, is recommended.

A water bottle

You’d be surprise how many people (including us) forgets to bring a water bottle when going camping. Especially useful when you go on long hiking trails. We’d recommend a size for a bottle, but that really depends on how much weight you’re willing to carry.

Zip Lock bags

You’re in the tropical rainforest, so expect it to rain unexpectedly at times. Ziplock bags are your technology’s best friend in the jungle, especially on boat trips.

Solar charger/Powerbank
It’s important to have at least one fully charged spare phone on standby for your camping trip. In the jungle, accidents happen and you wouldn’t want your phone to run out of battery. Also, we know most us rely on our smartphone to catch pictures, enough said.

*Sidenote: When in the jungle, we recommend to forget all your social media and live off the grid for a few days.

Drybag

To keep your clothes dry (most importantly, your socks and underwear)

Salves, creams and powder

We have to admit, we were foolish not to bring adequate insect repellent on our trip and had to franticly search for one there. Trust us, you’re going to need them a lot, there’s a gajillion mosquitoes there. We also recommend taking along some prickly heat powder. This cooling powder can help with the sweat and heat rashes.

Sunscreen

The tropical sun isn’t too forgiving on the skin. Returning home with a bad sunburn is the last thing we’d want to happen, so we’d recommend applying sunscreen at all times.

Essentials kit

Pack a basic first aid kit, some matches or a lighter, and perhaps heat packs if it’s going to get cold at night.

Small knife/Army knife

This last essential always comes in handy wherever you are, let alone in the middle of the Bornean Jungle.

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!

Follow our adventure on our social media platforms: 

Instagram: @MyTourismChannel or #tamingborneo

Catch up with the latest episodes over on My Tourism Channel or by clicking on the thumbnails below:

Sarawak: EP10

Sarawak: EP10

Sarawak: EP11

Sarawak: EP11

Sarawak: EP12

Sarawak: EP12

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

Rainforest World Music Festival Presented At World Music Festival @ Taiwan

Rainforest World Music Festival Presented At World Music Festival @ Taiwan

KUCHING, Wednesday – Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) was featured at the recent 2016 World Music [email protected] which was held for three days from October 21-23, 2016 at Dajia Riverside Park, Taipei.

Angelina Bateman, Director of Events Corporate Relations and the Project Director of RWMF was invited to present a paper on ‘The Practical Details of Presenting a Music Festival’ that gave an insight on the organization and running of Rainforest World Music Festival.

Two other international speakers presenting the similar   paper were Eunha Kim of Asia Culture Centre (Korea) and Franki Raden, prominent Indonesian composer, ethnomusicologist, cultural critic and festival organizer.

The presentations was aimed to exchange and share the knowledge of highly-experienced international curators and musicians in the management and organization of festivals.

Besides lectures, there were showcase by musicians from Taiwan, USA, Portugal, Japan and China.

There was also a Global Bazaar featuring music, arts/crafts and food.

“Arising from this event, there will be a Committee of Asian World Music Forum to be set-up to share ideas and bands exchange for the various similar festival within the region,” said Angelina.

This was Taiwan’s inaugural festival and it was a great opportunity for us to share our experience in organizing the Rainforest World Music Festival, she continued.

The Festival was a supported by the Ministry of Culture’s Bureau of Audiovisual and Music Industry Development, Taiwan

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Photo shows Angelina Bateman doing her presentation at 2016 World Music Festival @ Taiwan.

Issued by:

Communications Unit
SARAWAK TOURISM BOARD
T: +6 082-423600  F: +6 082-416700 M: +6019-8188946
E: [email protected]

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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/

Rainforest World Music Festival A Shining Example On World Stage

Rainforest World Music Festival A Shining Example On World Stage

RAINFOREST WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL A SHINING EXAMPLE ON WORLD STAGE

Kuching, Tuesday – Sarawak Tourism Board’s Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) took centre stage at the Asian MICE Forum (AMF) in Taipei earlier this September, where the event was presented in the forum as a leading international music event in Asia.

The RWMF was presented by Ms. Mary Wan Mering, acting Chief Executive Officer of the Board, in a panel discussion entitled “Gamification in Destination Marketing”.

The panel discussed the pertinence of using game dynamics in events and shared insights on how their events became ‘world-famous’.

‘Gamification’ has become the keyword in event planning as of late, as traditional one-way events are being abandoned by event-goers who consider two-way or interactive events such as the RWMF far superior.

“In a sense, we were years before our time, as we’ve been placing interactivity and inclusion as the core of the RWMF since 1998”. Mary Wan highlighted during her presentation to the crowd of 700 industry members.

The gamification of events has become the new tactic of event organisers to create a deeper connection and a fonder memory in participants, instilling in them a sense of ownership over the event.

“By involving the crowds in workshops and tutorials, they are not just attending an event, they are becoming a part of that event, and in doing so that event becomes a part of their identity. They will always return.” Mary Wan explained.

The impact of an interactive event goes further than just customer satisfaction, as it has also aided the RWMF in its main objective, which is cultural art and music appreciation, conservation and revival.

The RWMF has been voted as one of the top 25 World Music Festivals by Songlines Magazine for six years in a row and has achieved various international events and public relations awards over the past 19 years.

Other events which shared the panel were Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival in Tainan, Taiwan, listed as the third largest folk celebration in the world; the regionally famous Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan; and the attractive Chartres Festival of Light in France.

“Our home-grown event sat on par with events in Taiwan, Japan and France. We came come a long way from humble beginnings. We are overjoyed to see the RWMF getting the recognition it deserves.” Mary Wan stressed.

The AMF is an established international platform for Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Exhibitions (MICE) experts to discuss their industry challenges and solutions, with over 6000 attendees to date over the past 10 years.

Organised by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and commissioned by the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Photo shows Mary Wan Mering with other presenters at Asian MICE Forum.

Photo shows Mary Wan Mering with other presenters at Asian MICE Forum.

Issued by:

Communications Unit
SARAWAK TOURISM BOARD
T: +6 082-423600  F: +6 082-416700
E: [email protected]
Date: 20 September 2016

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