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Tourism Melaka Short Visit To Kuching

Tourism Melaka Short Visit To Kuching

KUCHING, Tuesday – 27 officials from Tourism Melaka led by General Manager Norena Jaafar was in Kuching on January 13 for a three-day study visit.

The Melaka delegation including their dancers visited the Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) to learn traditional Sarawak dances which they will perform in Melaka.

Norena said the delegation were particularly impressed with the new Darul Hana Bridge over Sungai Sarawak and its lighting at night.

They were also eager to emulate some of the Kuching Waterfront product experiences and activities.

The Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) hosted dinner for the delegation on Saturday night.

“We are excited to have Tourism Melaka coming to Sarawak to learn and experience the destination and this is the beginning of our working relationship which we hope to continue to work in promoting the domestic tourism,” says STB Chairman, Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Aziz when welcoming the delegation.

According to Norena, they will plan another visit to Kuching during the Rainforest World Music Festival this coming July.

Melaka tourism

Second from left Norena Jaafar gives delegation t-shirt to STB Chairman, Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Aziz.

Issued by:  

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

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Taking a River Cruise At A Traditional Melanau Village in Sibu

Taking a River Cruise At A Traditional Melanau Village in Sibu

sibu-telian

Sibu is one of the main gateways for the central region of Sarawak, attracting locals from the surrounding areas. While he city serves as a massive trading ground for the surrounding interiors of Sarawak, I was actually quite amazed on how much culture Is found around here.

The city of Sibu is connected by flights and also using the traditional waterways using boats. In an experience I never thought I would do, I managed to catch a ferry from Kuching to Sibu, seeing how the coastal and river life still operates as if modernization ceased to exist.

sibu-telianCruising down the Telian River towards Mukah

From Kuching city, I boarded the ferry which takes almost five hours, stopping at various villages and towns along the way. This is also a common mode of transport for locals, and just to share with you that it also takes about the same time if you take a bus, only here you can relax and absorb the beautiful views.

Once in Sibu, I was introduced to a very laid back way of life in Sarawak, and visiting iconic places like the Sibu Heritage Center, Sibu Night Market and of course, the largest wet market in Malaysia, the Sibu Market. Soon after, I was on route to Lamin Dana, a traditional Melanau boutique guest house in the heartland of the Melanau people.

sibu-telian

A lone Melanau boatman going to work on his boat

Melanau People of the Telian River

It was here that I was exposed to the centuries old ways of the Melanau people. Lamin Dana is located by the Telian River or Tellian as some spell it, which is on the outskirts of Mukah, a coastal town in Sarawak.

The main Telian river runs from inland towards Mukah, and along the way, Melanau villages are built by the river here. Nearer to the coast, you will see more Melanau fishing villages and as you go upriver, you see a different type of Melanau village.

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Raw Sago trees cut into chunks floating in the Telian River

As I cruise down the river in a traditional Melanau wooden boat, complete with a small engine, I am captivated with how rich the river life is. Meaning that local Melanau people still use the river as a main source for everything. From cooking to washing and even Sago processing.

Sago is one of the main homegrown processes here, and along the Telian River, I saw two main Sago producers, and made a stop to see how the process was done. From the Sago tree, it is cut into chunks and processed by one family using old ways.

sibu-telianProcessing the raw Sago into little balls and baking them on a traditional fire stove

From there, the raw sago is sent to another home where it is then processed into little Sago balls and then baked with firewood. This process was done by skilled Melanau women who painstakingly do this on a daily basis. The younger generation is not seen anywhere, and asking, I was told that the parents have made sure that education was the priority and hence at school.

For me, this was truly an eye opener as I had always assumed that the the Melanau people were seafaring farmers. And little did I know that the Melanau were also found inland and by the main rivers. Asking my guide, I was told that the Telian Village is one of the few remaining traditional Melanau villages in Sarawak.

sibu-telian

The Melanau village by the Telian River known as Kampung Telian

Having experienced this, I would strongly recommend those wanting to see a different side of Sarawak to visit Sibu. Also, I would recommend taking the boat or ferry there from Kuching as it will show you a very unique and different side of Sarawak.

When you are here, do ask them about the walking tours around Kampung Telian as you will see how close the homes are, and how life is at here. My journey here was truly a fascinating and enchanting experience, and I believe it should be explored by other travelers.

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Photos by David Hogan Jr

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China Agents Responded On Sarawak Tourism Opportunities

China Agents Responded On Sarawak Tourism Opportunities

Kuching, Monday – 20 selected travel agents from Guangzhou and Shenzhen, China will be in the City to do tourism product inspection from December 28 to January 1 as part of the promotion initiative for Air Asia’s Direct Kuching-Shenzhen flight.

These top China agents are selected from the list of more than 70 agents that turned up at the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and Air Asia’s business sessions that were held in Guangzhou and Shenzhen on December 13 and 14 respectively.

The five-day familiarisation trip will enable the China agents to see and check for themselves the various Sarawak tourism product experiences and also the various hotel properties while at the same time they will be given opportunities to do networking sessions with local travel partners.

The Business sessions were being conducted by STB with five Sarawak hoteliers and eight travel agents attending to propose their tour packages to their China travel operators.

Meanwhile, Sarawak trade partners who participated at the two business sessions in Guangzhou and Shenzhen have expressed satisfaction on the outcome of the Roadshow trip.

The opportunity to meet up with quality big time China travel agents was intended to share business opportunities available in packaging the Sarawak tourism products and also a networking platform to discuss business potentials.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Minister for Tourism, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who also led the roadshow delegation together with the Chairman of STB, Datuk Abdul Wahab Aziz, expressed satisfaction on the outcome of the trip.

“The Business sessions allow us to meet more than 70 China’s agents and they are very enthusiastic about Sarawak as it is seen as a new destination”, he said.

The proposed direct flight has given new window of opportunities for the industry and with the strong business support from these China based agents, we hope that it will turn a new chapter on China potential tourism market for Sarawak, he added.

He was optimistic that China’s huge tourism market will open up the travel and hospitality business in the State and bringing in tourism related investment opportunities to spur up development in the State.

“STB will continue to collaborate with Air Asia to tap the travel potential in South China especially now that we will have the direct flight and the need to sustain it,” he reiterated.

The Assistant Minister called on industry partners to prepare for the influx of China tourists with the availability of the direct flight and he equally hoped that more direct flight will be planned in the future connecting Miri to China as well.

Meanwhile, tourism promotion for the proposed direct flight was extended to Kalimantan Barat where Indonesians are expected to transit in Kuching to catch the flight to South China.

STB had earlier organised the Sarawak Travel Fair in Pontianak on November 17 to 18 and the proposed direct flight to Shenzhen which had received favourable acceptance to the Indonesians, said the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mary Wan Mering.

Adding that it will be a double bonus to the state, the arrivals of Indonesian on transit to South China augurs well for the tourism arrival into the State, she said.

While admitting that air connectivity is crucial in getting the tourists into the state, she said   without it, a double hurdle challenge is in for us to promote the destination in the market place.

We are truly thankful to Air Asia for being able to look into our needs, she enthused.

China Agents

Picture show, the Sarawak delegation with Datuk Lee (front row fourth from left) with Datuk Wahab on his right with their China guests posing a thumb up photo opportunity   after finishing the Shenzhen business session.

 

Issued by:

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

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PIBAKIS Christmas Getaway Treat By STB And Tourism Industry Partners

PIBAKIS Christmas Getaway Treat By STB And Tourism Industry Partners

Miri, Sunday – Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) together with tourism industry partners Mega Hotel, Miri Crocodile Farm and Brighton Travel Tours, hosted a Christmas getaway treat on Saturday with 25 children accompanied by their parents and the staff of Persatuan Ibu Bapa Kanak-Kanak Istimewa (PIBAKIS) centre in Lutong.

STB’s spokesperson said the event was part of the board’s ongoing corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.

It is held to share the festive joy of Christmas together with the special children in collaboration with the tourism industry partners.

Earlier, the children were brought for a leisure and educational trip to Miri Crocodile Farm cum Mini Zoo in Kuala Baram.

The farm is the first and the largest Crocodile Farm in the northern region of Sarawak and is also known as one of the tourism attractions.

After the tour, the group was hosted a lunch at Mega Hotel. Also present were representatives from Mega Hotel, Miri Crocodile Farm, Brighton Travel Tours and the chairman of PIBAKIS, Yeo Kian Leong.

Miri FamTrip

The cheerful faces of the children after their visit to Miri Crocodile Farm

Miri FamTripWelcoming remarks and briefing by the Managing Director of Miri Crocodile Farm, Kapitan Chai Kuen Ming

 

Issued by:

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

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A Malaysian Spa Experience

Shopping and sightseeing can be hard work…just ask any city tourist! At the end of a long, hard day of bargaining and negotiating, all you want to do is flop down and recuperate…A nice massage wouldn’t be too bad, either.

While traditionally, wellness and spa centres have adopted European treatments, Balinese massage and Thai reflexology have also gained a firm following. But did you know that there is soon to be a new addition to the spa menu in Malaysia – and, hopefully, worldwide – that will be offered alongside these popular treatments?

Urutan Malaysia is a signature massage treatment to brand Malaysia – locally and internationally – through wellness and healing, and offers a uniquely Malaysian experience encompassing all the rich diversity for which Malaysia is known and loved.

With Malaysia’s rich and diverse multicultural background, it certainly wasn’t easy to create a massage “brand” that would be quintessentially Malaysian. After six long years of study, though, it is finally being introduced in Malaysia and to the world.

Urutan Malaysia is a holistic spa experience that weaves together the best healing techniques, rituals and treatment recipes of Malaysia’s multi-ethnic society into 90 minutes of pure bliss. Not only is it about the massage techniques, but Urutan Malaysia delivers a truly local experience through the selection of music, décor and choice of massage oil that reflects Malaysia Truly Asia!

So what can you expect when you book an Urutan Malaysia session?

You’ll first be wrapped in the traditional Malaysian batik, a textile whose aesthetics are designed using a wax and dye method with motifs inspired by nature. This long piece of cloth, usually about three to four metres long is usually made of cotton and thus provides a cool and comfortable drape over your body throughout the massage session.

You’ll then enjoy a herbal foot soak in aromatic water infused with kaffir lime and pandanus leaves. Malaysians usually walk barefoot in their homes, and this foot bath is a ritual to wash away the impurities and hey, it’s nice to pamper our twinkle toes for a change!

Subsequently, the therapist will gently guide you in the proper Qi Gong breathing technique. Drawing in oxygen deep into your lungs, this method of breathing harmonises the breath with nature. This initiation into Urutan Malaysia is said to be relaxing and creates a peaceful atmosphere in anticipation of the full-body massage later.

An Indian head massage follows to melt away the tension and stress of the day, leaving you feeling light and calm. For those who are prone to getting stiff shoulders and neck, this would be the perfect antidote!

At this point, you’ll faintly note the soft music piped into the room which further aids your relaxation…and no wonder, too, as the songs have been especially composed using traditional Malaysian instruments such as sape and the flute. They are recorded at 528 Hz frequency, which is said to be a healing miracle tone!

The rest of the treatment is administered as you are lying down on the massage table, covered in the Malaysian batik. Fret not, as the trained therapists have mastered the art of draping to respect the modesty of their clients. Therefore, only the parts of the body to be treated are exposed, one at a time.

The Urutan Malaysia is applied using a special concoction of oils infused with herbs and spices often used in Malaysia such as ginger, cloves, galangal, cinnamon, betel leaves, lemongrass, turmeric and nutmeg. Individually, these ingredients are each known to impart a warming sensation to the skin, penetrating deep into the aching muscles to do its wonderful work. Together, they impart a wonderful aroma not easily forgotten.

The massage treatment utilizes extensive thumb and palm pressure taken from the Malay tradition of massage to deliver a satisfying deep-tissue massage. The long, kneading strokes towards the heart increase blood flow, disperses waste products, clears blockages in the urat or nerves, and encourages mobility and agility, leaving one feeling invigorated.

The Peribumi tradition of massage is incorporated using thumb pressure at various pressure points in the body. Since the people of Sabah and Sarawak were historically paddy planters, farmers, seafarers and warriors, the backs and legs were over-utilised in such occupations. Thus, emphasis of the Peribumi massage is on the manipulation of the superficial and deep layers of muscles at both sides of the spine and gluteus.

Chinese reflexology is also applied with a focus on the ears, palms, and feet, as these are areas believed to be linked and correspond to every part, gland and organ in the body.

All too soon, the spa experience is over, but after being gently kneaded, pressed and pampered, you will leave feeling energized and refreshed with a sense of relief to your previously-aching muscle and joints…Oh yes, you’re ready again for another round of shopping spree in the city!

 

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