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Tourism Malaysia

5 COSY BOOK CAFES FOR THE LITERARY-MINDED

Since book cafes have become a global craze, bookworms nowadays have some of the coolest venues to hang out while enjoying their books. Malaysia is no exception. There are a myriad of book cafes in Malaysia that will definitely persuade those literary-minded people to leave their favourite reading nooks at home. Here are five places perfect for the bibliophiles:

Hedley Books Cafe @ Kota Bahru, Kelantan

 

 

Who would have thought that there is a Harry Porter inspired book café in the middle of the state that is steep in culture and tradition? Believe you me, Hedley Books and Cafe is one café that you should look for whenever you find yourself in Kota Bahru, Kelantan. With logos of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin adorning its wall, and Harry Porter’s robes, as well as his magic wand, you will feel like you have stepped into Hogwart and become part of Harry Porter’s world.

There are more than 1,000 book for you to read. Just choose one from the bookshelves and enjoy your reading while sipping your favourite coffee; or maybe you can try the pie that the book café is famous for while re-reading a book from the Harry Porter’s collections; or take a selfie of you wearing Harry Porter’s robe and scarf, complete with a magic wand.

So, what are you waiting for, head to the east coast and search for this gem of a café.

Opening hours: Daily, 10am – 10pm

Photos are courtesy of Hedley Books and Cafe

Contact Details:

Hedley Books and Cafe
PT 1667 Tingkat 1, Jalan Raja Perempuan Zainab 2, Kubang Kerian,
16150 Kota Bharu
Tel: 012-988 1997

Instagram: www.instagram.com/hedleybookscafe
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hedleybookscafe

 

BookXcess’s Madeleine Café, The Starling, Selangor

 

Madeleine Café – BookXcess’s first in-store café – which offers a range of coffee-based drinks, herbal and regular teas, as well as a limited food menu is just perfect for book lovers who can’t wait to read their newly-bought book. BookXcess is bookstore where you can get a good selection of new books at a discounted price.

With a bookstore that measures some 10,500 square feet, The Starling BookXcess is considered one of the chain store’s largest outlets. You will definitely need to stretch your leg, quench your thirst, fill your stomach at the attached Madeleine Café after spending hours hunting for books at such large book store.

Business Hours: 10am-10pm every day.

Contact Details:

BookXcess
T-331A, T-331B,
The Starling Mall, Uptown, Damansara Utama.
Telephone No.: +603 5614 4554
Website: www.bookxcessonline.com/

The Wood Second Hand Book Store Café, Gajah Berang, Melaka

 

The Wood Second Hand Book Store Cafe at Jalan Gajah Berang Melaka is a little hidden gem for book lovers looking for a place to read books written in Mandarin.

At this book café, the smell of old books that mingles with the scent of a freshly-brewed coffee will really make you feel a bit nostalgic. Grab a rattan chair and lose yourself in the world of beautifully-written words at The Wood Second Hand Book Store Café.

Opening hours:

11am – 8pm (Mondays – Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays

Contact Details:

Address: No. 35 Jalan Gajah Berang, Melaka
Tel: +6012 616 7128
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thewoodsbookstore

 

The Nook Books Coffee, George Town, Penang

 

The Nook Books Coffee is a used bookstore and coffee shop, which is located at Khoo Cheow Teong Court along Fish Lane (Lorong Ikan) in George Town, Penang. This is the place to go for both book and coffee lovers. Here, if you fell in love with the book that you are reading, you can keep the book at a reasonable price.

The Nook Books Coffee is so warm and cosy that this place will make you forget that you are at a book café. All you want to do is find a corner and curl up with a good book.

This book cafe is open daily except for Tuesdays, from 9 am till 6 pm.

Contact Details:

The Nook Books Coffee
4 Khoo Cheow Teong Court
George Town, Penang

Tel:  012-525 2762

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/thenookgeorgetownpenang 

Lit Book, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Founded and managed by a husband and wife duo who are former journalists and ardent bibliophiles, Lit Books specialises in English literary titles. From collector’s editions of classics to modern and contemporary reads and of course, exciting new releases, Lit’s handpicked titles are sure to appeal to avid and casual readers alike.

More than just a bookseller, Lit was conceived to be a haven for book lovers, where conversation and discourse are encouraged and welcome. On top of books, there’s also the Lit Bar, a beverage station and a corner where readers can enjoy some coffee with their books.

Opening hours: Wednesday-Sunday: 11am-9pm, Tuesday: 1pm-9pm. Closed on Mondays.

Contact Details:

Lit Books
P-01-11 Tropicana Avenue, 12 Jalan Persiaran Tropicana, Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-7886 6988

Website: https://litbooks.com.my/

 

 

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Categories
Tourism Malaysia

UNIQUE BIRDS IN MALAYSIA

According to the Lonely Planet alone, there are over 750 bird species in Malaysia, and some of which are amongst the “coolest” of species.

If you love nature, and are fond of travelling to the many nature parks and reserves of Malaysia, chances are, you would have come across at least one of these precious feathered creatures.

The popular birding sites in Peninsula Malaysia such as Taman Negara Pahang, Fraser’s Hill, Royal Belum Forest in Perak, Kinabatangan River and Kinabatangan Park, both located in Sabah, and Bako National Park in Sarawak are also home to some unique and endemic birds, specific to Malaysia.

Read on, and perhaps on your next trip, you can keep your eyes peeled for any one of the species listed here.

The Rhinocerous Hornbill

 

While any hornbill is worth watching out for, the rhinoceros hornbill is probably the most majestic-looking of them all, with its horn-like crown and mighty stature. Because hornbills generally require larger trees for building nests in, they are most commonly found in the forests of Temenggor Lake, Perak and Kenyir Lake, Terengganu.

Mountain Peacock Pheasant

This medium-sized, elusive, endemic bird to the Peninsula Malaysia can be found in the mountainous region of Pahang namely Fraser’s Hill and Cameron Highlands. The male and female have the same colour, and as the name would suggest, they do have a rather impressive tail plumage as well!

Malaysian Hill Partridge

Another bird endemic to Malaysia is the ground-dwelling Malaysian Hill Partridge, which can be spotted in the rain forest of Fraser’s Hill, Pahang as well as other highlands forests in Peninsula Malaysia.

Black Crimson Pitta

This brightly-coloured, ground-dweller is endemic to Borneo, and can be found in the Danum Valley in Sabah. The black crimson pitta prefers dark and damp places, which is prime condition to feast on its diet which includes spiders, ants, cockroaches, beetles and snails.

Malayan Laughingthrush

 

 And finally, the Malayan Laughingthrush which can be sighted in Taman Negara National Park and the forest of Fraser’s Hill, and is recognisable from its maroon-chestnut head. It prefers shrubs, and its diet of choice is mainly insectivorous.

 

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Categories
Tourism Malaysia

MASJID WILAYAH – MASJID OF CHOICE

For many countries, places of worship are part of their tourist attractions. Part of the reasons people travel to other country is because they want to learn and understand other people’s culture and way of life. For example, when we go to Turkey, it will not be complete if we didn’t visit its mosques because many of the beautiful Mosques there are the symbol of the great Ottoman Empire.

 

Malaysia also have a huge list of Mosques that are architectural wonder but for now I am going to focus on one mosque that is rated among the top five most visited tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur.

 

By Any Other Name

The mosque is called Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan but it is also known as Mosque in the Garden. Its location within a well-manicured garden and surrounded by a moat, makes it a sight of behold The mosque is also dubbed Jewel of Kuala Lumpur because its many domes are like turquoise gemstones amidst the lush greeneries surrounding it. Among the locals, the name of the mosque is shortened to Masjid Wilayah.

 

Architecture Wonder

Masjid Wilayah is one of Malaysia’s largest and most modern of mosques. Visiting Masjid Wilayah will make you feel as if you are travelling into the best parts of the world and exploring the beauty of their artworks. This is because various designs, patterns and colours that had been adopted as the primary adornments of the mosque are from Turkey, India, Iran, Morocco and Malaysia

 

Masjid Wilayah managed to blend the exquisite and refined beauty of art and architecture with pragmatic sophisticated modern technology, making it one of the most photographed mosques in Kuala Lumpur.

 

The arch is decorated with woodcarving arts from Kelantan and Terengganu. The three beautiful carved wooden doors are based on floral motifs. If you look closely, you will see that the flower used in the motifs was lotus, a flower that shrinks in the morning and gradually opens during the day.

 

When you take a stroll at the courtyard, you will notice that the verandahs are influenced by Moroccan architecture.

 

The prayer hall, which can house 17,000 people at a time, has significant Islamic designs and features. The mehrab (a semi-circular wall that indicates the direction of Mecca or qibla) has inlays of semi-precious stones embedded into carved marble. It was skillfully crafted by the descendants of artisans who built the Taj Mahal.

Inspired by the Sultan Ahmet Mosque in Istanbul and the Masjid Imam of Isfahan; the turquoise-glazed tiles which cover all 22 domes will definitely mesmerise the visitors of the mosque. The overall design, when viewed from below, has a very humbling effect.

Masjid Wilayah also come equipped with seminar rooms, a library, a banquet hall, a multipurpose hall, wedding hall, accommodation for students, as well as guest rooms.

There is a Tourist Information Centre located within the Mosque Complex named after the Islamic World’s most prolific traveler, Ibnu Batuttah, that caters to both local and international visitors.

There are five major entrances as named Anjung A, B, C, D and E, which is similar to the layout of the Blue Mosque, Istanbul. Multiple entrances and directional signage is all to ensure maximum accessibility and convenience to congregants and visitors.

Mosque Tour Programme Masjid Wilayah

Many visitors to Masjid Wilayah have given testimonies that they have entered the mosque with curiosity and left enlightened. This is because the dedicated volunteers treat them just like friends. The volunteers share not only about the beautiful architectural designs of the mosque but also the Islamic beliefs and culture. It is a knowledge-based tour, which can ignite your intellect, and it is free of charge. I must warn you though that even if your original plan to tour the mosque is about 10 minutes, you might find yourself staying for two hours or more.

For those volunteers, taking the visitors on the tour is like an act of worship, thus, they gave nothing but the best as it is a service to God himself. At the moment, Masjid Wilayah has volunteers who can do tours in French, Japanese, Tamil, Mandarin, English and Malay.

Location

Masjid Wilayah is not in the routine tourist routes and there is hardly any public transport facilities to go there. So, we have to find a way to visit this special mosque. As such, special arrangement has to be made by the visitors to visit the mosque. Nothing worth having comes easy, anyway, eh!

Contact Details

Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan
Jalan Khidmat Usaha, Kompleks Kerajaan,
50480 Kuala Lumpur,
Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Tel:+603 6201 8791 / 8767 / 8780
Fax:+603 6201 8790 / +603 6201 8779
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://masjidwilayah.gov.my/v1/

Photo by: Fahrul Azmi @fahrulazmi

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Categories
Tourism Malaysia

AMAZING “BACK-TO-NATURE” STAYS IN MALAYSIA!

Looking to escape from the hustle and bustle in the city and relax in a quiet jungle setting or unique staycation experience? Check out our favourite “back-to-nature” hotels in some states in Malaysia, from minimalist accommodation to green villages and luxurious getaways.

With more eco-conscious travellers around the world, many hotels have incorporated numerous sustainable measures that go beyond planting a few extra trees on its compounds. A stay in a hotel with lush, solar-powered gardens is no longer a dream as many hotels transform their once ordinary common spaces into tropical wonderlands that are pleasing on both your eyes and the environment.

The Element Kuala Lumpur


Holding the title as the tallest eco-friendly hotel in Kuala Lumpur at 275 metres (902 feet), The Element has a total of 252 spacious rooms. The interior has a modern design with marble bathrooms while its facilities include an on-site restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre. Anyone looking for comfort in the heart of Kuala Lumpur but is conscious of the environment should consider The Element.

With a Green Building Index certification and a stone’s throw from the city centre, the hotel uses environmentally friendly ways to create luxury and comfort. The hotel carries out eco-friendly practices on a day to day basis. Rain water harvesting, indoor air quality CO2 monitoring, and energy efficient LED lighting are just some of their many environmental efforts. The one that most people love most though, is their effort to reduce plastic wastage. It does not provide plastic mineral water bottles. Instead, they equipped each room with filtered drinking water that is certified by NSF International.

It is worth mentioning that this hotel is just a stone’s throw away from commercial districts, surrounded by shopping malls, trending eateries and tourist destinations. Guests can have a stunning view on iconic Petronas Twin Tower on the 39th floor where a 200 sqm indoor saline pool located.

Address: Jalan Binjai, Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, 50450, Malaysia.
Website: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/kulel-element-kuala-lumpur/
Phone: +603 – 2771 3388

The Frangipani Langkawi Resort Spa


Overlooking the tranquil Andaman Sea and an archipelago of over 104 islands, the Frangipani Langkawi Resort Spa is located by a pristine, white sandy beach. The resort remains close to the bustling Cenang Beach, yet retains its natural charm as secluded hideaway as the two beaches lay parted by a cliff, accessible only by road.

Over the years, The Frangipani Langkawi Resort Spa has garnered a number of prestigious awards, including the ASEAN Green Hotel Award 2014, as well as Tripadvisor’s Top 25 Relaxation and Spa Hotels for Malaysia.

The Frangipani Langkawi prides itself as an eco-friendly resort and has developed over 200 green practises to promote sustainable tourism. These include numerous ways to recycle, like reusing the water from air conditioning units, collecting rain water, and reusing old bottles for art decoration. The resort heavily promotes recycling of all waste and also has its own chickens, hens and ducks to produce its own food. It also reuses old bath tubs and toilet bowls for decoration. Guests have the chance to adopt plants and have their names displayed.

Enjoy breath taking sunsets while sipping cocktails at Coco Jam Beach Bar at the resort.  Facilities include swimming pools, one salt water lap pool, outdoor jacuzzis, an anti-oxidant sauna, Frangipani spa, watersports kiosk and etc. Pamper yourself with warm Malaysian hospitality, as you lose yourself in the beauty of Langkawi, The Jewel Of Kedah.

Address: 138, Jalan Teluk Baru, Pantai Tengah, Mukim Kedawang, 07000, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia.
Website: http://www.frangipanilangkawi.com/
Phone: +604 – 291 3141

Terra’s Tree House

Terra’s Tree House is an indigenous-themed budget hotel hidden deep in the rainforest surroundings of Brinchang, near the farmland area of Sungai Mensun.

Getting to Terra’s Tree House requires a 4 wheel drive off-road journey for 4 km. The journey may take up to half an hour drive passing through numbers of farms and orchards, via a very narrow and bumpy trail.  Guests will need to hike on a 100-meter wood-tiled track through the forest before reaching the actual site.

Accommodation is provided in thatched huts of authentic Orang Asli (Aborigine) architecture, composed of bamboo, rattan and palm leaves. Each tree house is perched on stilts for a view of the jungle canopy, but come with lighting and attached bathroom. Finally, organic food is provided from the hotel’s farm for guests to cook themselves breakfast and dinner.

That’s why guests appreciate Terra’s Tree House even more! Not only do they practice biodynamic farming, the people who run it are actively involved in the conservation of Cameron Highlands. We learned that the owner, Ng spent a year to conceptualise the design of the place. Actual construction took another 1.5 years without the use of any heavy machinery, not even for leveling! They wanted to preserve this wonderful Mother Nature!

What you see at Terra’s Tree House is what the Orang Asli (indigenous people) built with their own hands. The kitchen is well equipped with ingredients from Terra’s bio-dynamic farm and homegrown vegetables from just 200m away.

All meals provided are vegetarian. You could bring your own food but make sure that it’s halal and preferably sans meat. Being in the jungle means that anything with meat attracts wild animals at night. Not fun. For additional food (e.g. yam or corn for BBQ), bring your own or make an early special request to the staff.

Address: Jalan Sungai Mansion, Brinchang, Pahang, 39010, Malaysia.
Website: http://www.terrafarm.com.my/
Phone: +6012-661 3299

Tabin Wildlife Resort

For a minimalistic and eco-friendly hotel in Borneo, check out Tabin Wildlife Resort located inside Tabin Wildlife Reserve. The reserve, Malaysia’s largest by area, on the eastern tip of Sabah near Lahad Datu.

The Tabin Wildlife Resort has 20 units of lodges. 10 units of river lodges and 10 units of hill lodges. Each lodge comes with a twin-bedded, double-bedded or triple bedded room with en-suite bathroom hot-water shower, air conditioner, ceiling fan and private balcony overlooking hillside forest or Lipad river.

Constructed from timber on the River Lipad’s banks, guests have the chance to stay in the middle of the rainforest. Tabin Resort offers a range of activities including tracking orangutans and hiking. One of the highlights of Tabin being the active and mineral-rich mud volcanoes, attracting frequent visits by wildlife for their mineral intake and present an ideal platform for wildlife observation and bird watching.

Created in the year 1984, Tabin has been declared a Wildlife Reserve primarily on account of the large number of animals inhabiting its forests, some of which are highly endangered. The three largest mammals of Sabah, namely Borneo Pygmy Elephant, Sumatran Rhinoceros and Tembadau are all found within the reserve; nine species of primate are present, as well as three species of cats all of which are on the protected wildlife list. Of bird species, 4 families representing more than 300 species have been recorded.

Since the opening of the award-winning Tabin Wildlife Resort in 2004, Tabin Wildlife reserve has gained popularity to be one of the best places in Sabah to observe the rich bio-diversity of nature and to part-take in nature-based activities. Amongst the popular things-to-do in Tabin are jungle-trekking, night safari, night walk, wildlife-spotting, birdwatching and rainforest education.

To practice sustainable responsible tourism initiatives such as to observe wildlife and nature in their natural habitats and to reduce impact by human on wildlife, it is restricted to maximum 5 pax per guide.

Address: Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia
Website: http://www.tabinwildlife.com.my/
Phone: +608- 826 7266

Aiman Batang Ai Resort and Retreat 


Set on the edge of the world’s most ancient rainforest on the mystical island of Borneo, Aiman Batang Ai Resort Retreat provides the ideal getaway for those seeking a one-of-a-kind escapade that is adventurous yet fully relaxing and pleasantly satisfying at the same time.

Housing 100 fully furnished Standard Rooms and Duplex Suites, the resort’s setting is inspired by Sarawak’s traditional Iban longhouse design with spectacular view of the Batang Ai lake. It offers pristine surroundings not only inhabited by the local community but also wildlife who have made Batang Ai their home.

An outdoor swimming pool next to the jungle is a highlight as well as the cocktail bar overlooking the lake. But the environment isn’t the only way Aiman Batang Ai offers an eco-friendly retreat. Motion-sensitive light bulbs reduce their energy consumption in common areas. Resort activities range from visiting tribes and longhouses to fishing, trekking and canopy walks.

Address: Empangan Batang Ai Lubok Antu, Sarawak, 95900, Malaysia
Website: https://www.aimanbatangai.com/
Phone: +6019 – 336 8033

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Categories
Malaysia Travel Guide

Electric bus debuts on Friday, passengers ride for free for 3 months

Electric bus debuts on Friday, passengers ride for free for 3 months

KUCHING: Sarawak’s first electric bus will hit the roads this Friday (March 1) enabling locals and visitors here to travel around the city centre with ease.

Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the CRRC electric bus will go on a three-month trial run covering 26 stations that include the Open Air Market, Kuching Waterfront, iCom Square and Sarawak Museum, among others.

“The free electric bus will provide commuters with the convenience to travel around the city centre, especially for those who are from outside Kuching.

“This bus will operate for three months which will be a good gauge for us to assess the suitability of electric buses as a form of public transport,” he said when officiating the CRRC Electric City Bus flag-off ceremony at the Old Courthouse here today.

Read full article at Borneo Post

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