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Tourism Malaysia

Roadhop – Bus & Train Travel in Malaysia

Bus  Train Travel in Malaysia

Bus Train Travel in Malaysia

We love to travel. Last year, we picked our next exotic travel experience – a grand tour to Terengganu. The first thing we had to do was to find out how to get there. That should be simple enough. Our parents would have picked up the phone book, and called many different tour agencies. But we are young and savvy, so we know that everything can be found on the internet.

We did a google search and found that we can leave from a few different places, with exciting names like “Bukit Jalil” and “Hentian Putra”. Now, we are Malaysians and it pains us to admit this, but we actually had no idea where these places were. So we had to check them out too. Of course, things don’t end here. We have to find out things like departure timings, fares. We heard horror stories about people being dropped off in the middle of the highway, so the companies have to be reliable. Being kiasu, we wanted to know all our alternatives, so we compared a few online travel agents, travel forums, and some individual company websites.

This was unfortunately starting to feel rather like homework.

Travelling Is Not Easy

This was made worse by our grand idea that it might be fun to go by train. So we decided to make a list of the train timings too. Then we found that there is no train stations on the East Coast, and abandoned the idea. Finally, an hour later, we were satisfied that we found the best option and called to book the ticket. We felt very pleased with ourselves until we went down to the bus station. There, we found that we didn’t actually get the best price after all. Being old, established companies, many coach operators still operate off the counters of the bus stations, with additional bus routes that the net savvy us overlooked. There are also many touts within each terminal giving us a lot of interesting advice.

It may have occurred to you by now that Kuala Lumpur to Terengganu is just an example. We are enthusiastic backpackers, and I have just described a problem that we have faced over and over again and many countries that we have been to. Alternatives are present for air travel. Yet what is overlooked is the large number of people who travel by land and sea transport.

Roadhop Is The Solution

Hence, our team realized that it doesn’t have to be so complicated, so we came up with roadhop.com. Roadhop provides comparisons of bus, train departure schedules and fares for long-distance travel in Singapore and Malaysia. We aim to help travelers find the best prices for the best rides. We believe our services will be greatly useful for any travelers to Malaysia. Do email us at [email protected] to tell us what you think!

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A day-trip to Melaka

A day-trip to Melaka

Click! Click! Click! …

Standing excitedly in front of Porta De Santiago, Timothy Woo snapped divided with his camera.

He and 3 of his friends, from a United States, went on a one-day outing to Melaka recently.

“We were seeking around for a end that we could go on a day-trip from Kuala Lumpur, and everybody suggested Melaka,” pronounced Timothy Woo, of Boston, Massachusetts.

Steeped in tradition and cultures, Melaka is situated about an hour and a half-away from Kuala Lumpur. They were assimilated by a internal guide, Siva, who described a story of Melaka.

Melaka was initial detected by Parameswara, a immature Hindu Prince pronounced to be from Palembang. He afterwards determined himself as a aristocrat in Temasek, now famous as Singapore.

Melaka shortly grew to turn a pier of trade between a East and West, and traders from India, Arab, China and other tools of a universe brought in products such as tea, cotton, silk, silver, porcelain, ivory, Persian carpets, brassware, perfumes, scent and opium. The Chinese Emperor also sent emissaries to Melaka to settle ties with a small, yet critical city.

Others would come to Melaka 60 years later, generally a Portuguese led by Alfonso de Albuquerque, arrived first, conquering Melaka in 1511. Then, in 1641 a Dutch wrested Melaka from a Portuguese, rebuilt a city and tranquil a critical waterways of a Straits of Melaka.

During their revisit to Melaka, Timothy and his friends visited several places including:  The Dutch Square (St. Peter’s Church, St. Paul’s Hill (A’ Famosa), The Stadthuys), Jonker Walk, Kampung Hulu’s Mosque, Taman Mini Malaysia, and went on a Melaka River Cruise.

“Melaka is full of history. It’s extraordinary that everywhere we look; there is something of chronological significance,” pronounced Timothy.

“I unequivocally like Harmony Street where there were 3 opposite places of ceremony for 3 opposite religions side by side,” pronounced Timothy, adding that this finished Melaka, and generally Malaysia, unique. (Harmony Street also famous as Jalan Tokong Besi, was given a name since of a plcae of a Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Kampong Kling Mosque and Sri Vinayagar Temple situated peacefully along a same street).

“I’ve been to Macau before so a European change churned with Asian design always amazes me and Melaka reminded me of that,” he said.

“I consider this unequivocally personifies what is engaging about Malaysia, where so many opposite people or opposite cultures and religions can live side by side in harmony,” he added.

“Besides Melaka, we have usually visited KL and a surrounding suburbs. we find a people here to be intensely comfortable and hospitable,” pronounced Timothy.

“Malaysia is a pleasing nation with a landscape reduction of plateau and water. Malaysians have unequivocally left out of their approach to safeguard that my outing has been fun. we find Malaysian food to be really distinct,” he said.

“Coming from a US, we have never been to an authentic Malaysian grill so we had never attempted a food before. After entrance here though, we have to contend that it is great. we find it graphic since we can tell it is an change of many flavours such as Chinese and Indian,” he added.

Christine Chiou, from California, who also went along on a outing combined that Melaka seems to be a exhausted tiny town, abounding with history. Christine was generally intrigued by A’ Famosa.

“I favourite A’ Famosa (the Portuguese fort) a lot.  It was distinct any other installation I’ve seen before… it was so small!  How were they means to urge Melaka with such a tiny fort?” she asked, amazed.

Porta in Portuguese refers to portal, that means gateway and loyal adequate Porta De Santiago was indeed one of 4 categorical gateways into a Portuguese outpost of A’ Famosa. The personality of a Portuguese army that cowed Melaka in 1511, Alfonso de Albuquerque started a construction of A’ Famosa in 1512 from that they fended off attacks by a armies of a Sultan of Melaka and Acheh for good over a century.

Christine had a good time holding cinema of a fort, generally with a abounding history. They also saw singular Dutch headstones as good as an aged well, strewn with coins and bank records from all over a universe during a fort.

Stacy Shi, of Boston agrees that Melaka is a really flattering and chronological town.

“The design that combines mixed informative influences is beautiful, and a temples and mosques are really intriguing as well,” she said.

“The park we visited during initial with opposite forms of houses (Taman Mini Asean) from South-East Asia was a lot of fun.  we favourite saying a opposite forms of homes and saying what it is like inside,” she added.

Meanwhile, Kenneth Fung from California concluded that yet Melaka was a prohibited and wet place, yet was gay with a abounding history.

“It’s propitious that a debate beam was intensely knowledgeable.  There are really a lot of engaging and different places within a city as well,” he said.

He however suggested a few changes could be finished to improved a tourism infrastructure in Melaka.

“I wasn’t means to find any easy tips or guides on where to go for brief day-trips such as Melaka from Kuala Lumpur.  This information could be gathered for tourists that are staying in Kuala Lumpur,” he said.

Their outing brought them to Jonker Street, a Chinatown eminent for a antique shops, wardrobe and qualification outlets.

“There were some articles online that we looked adult and it seemed that a lot of people endorsed several snacks such as pineapple tarts that Melaka is famous for,” he said, acid for a nyonya pineapple tarts during Jonker Street.

Their final debate of Melaka finished with a pleasant journey of a Melaka River, enabling them to see adult tighten a multi-cultural aspects of a city. The journey upheld by several chronological sights including Kampung Morten, a oldest Malay encampment in a city. There is even a glance of a Melaka tree, where Parameswara was pronounced to have complacent on and was desirous to name a city, Melaka.

The boats are accessible daily during each thirty notation interlude between a following times: 9.30am to 5pm and 6pm to 12 midnight. The journey starts from a Quayside Heritage Centre adult to Taman Rempah, Pangkalan Rama.

A must-see on a journey is Kampung Morten, a vital museum showcasing a encampment that’s been around for hundreds of years. There are private museums here where one can get a deeper bargain of a internal Malay enlightenment including their costumes and crafts like elaboration work.

After an sparkling outing to Melaka, sleepy yet happy, Timothy, Christina, Stacy and Kenneth came behind with memorable memories and will really revisit Malaysia again.

Further information:

Tourism Malaysia Melaka, Lot 02, Ground Floor, Lembaga Tabung Haji Building, Jalan Banda Kaba, 75000, Melaka

Phone: +606-288 3304 / 1549 / 3785
Fax: +606-286 9804
Email: [email protected]

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Tourism Malaysia

Independent Vacationing for the Novice

Arranging your own vacation can be a little daunting if you’ve always placed your annual trip in the hands of a competent travel agent. Before, all you had to do was to select the country and resort, get yourself to the airport on the right date and at the right time, and the rest was taken care of for you. You were probably met at your destination airport by the tour operator’s representative who then escorted you to your resort, and, at the end of your vacation, you just needed to be ready and waiting for the return coach journey to the airport. The sense of reassurance this can give has always gone some way to help vacationers enjoy their trip: there’s never been any worry about how to get from the airport to the hotel, how to cope with a broken toilet once there, or how to buy tickets for a boat excursion.

However, over the years, it seems that technology has helped the average vacationer to develop a somewhat more adventurous spirit. They’ve found that not only are they capable of arranging their own travel — and making substantial savings in the process — but that the flexibility and choice independent travel offers provide a greater chance of experiencing much more than they would otherwise do with a vacation package.

While all of this is true for the majority of travelers, there are however a few who will tell you that they wish they’d carried out a little more research before heading off with only a guidebook and their return flight ticket. While independent travel offers an abundance of opportunities, it needs a little preparation and organization. This way you can enjoy your vacation, as well as get back home at your scheduled return time!

Transfers

One of the biggest issues the independent traveler has to contend with is how to get from the airport to the hotel (or apartment, or hostel). While many will just jump in the first taxi that comes along, others prefer to do it a little differently. There are those travelers who want to keep costs down and therefore look for a cheaper alternative; others who believe that local transport is perfectly adequate for their needs; and those who want to experience the local transport system as part of the whole “vacation experience.” If you prefer to take public transport, then you’ll need to research not only the schedules, but whether it will actually be operating when you arrive. Many an independent traveler, arriving at his or her destination when the locals have been enjoying a day off, has been forced to take a taxi instead of public transport as originally intended. While this shouldn’t cause too many problems — apart from depriving those who want the experience of traveling on local transport — if you’re on a tight budget, it could very well mean the difference between dinner and just a beer!

On a similar note, always pay particular attention to the arrival time of your flight at your destination airport. Remember that you won’t be whisked away in a tour operator’s nice big comfortable air-conditioned coach. Ensure that you can get to your hotel and that you won’t be left hanging around for hours. This also applies to your return journey, especially if it’s imperative that you don’t miss your return flight home. It’s always prudent to avoid scheduling important commitments the day immediately following your return from vacation, especially if you’re traveling independently for the first time!

Accommodation

In order to get the best possible deal on your accommodation, ask if there are any membership discounts available when booking (e.g. AAA, seniors, family, or hotel membership). Most hotels have some or other promotion running so it’s worth trying to negotiate a cheaper rate than that advertised. Most accommodation bookings can be made online; however, if you want to negotiate on price, it’s probably easier done over the telephone. If you can be flexible with your dates, you stand more chance of negotiating a discount on the cost (this also applies to buying your airline tickets).

When choosing your hotel, don’t be content only with the information provided on the hotel’s website. This will show the hotel in the best possible light and some of the details (e.g. its location in relation to the local attractions) may be a little vague: “a short walk to the beach” is always worth further investigation! Check the hotel’s location in respect of amenities and attractions depending on what’s important to you: Is it close to the beach? Is it close to the bus station so you can take trips out of the city/resort? Is it close to the local sights?

If you’re on a tight budget, transfer fees from the airport to your hotel may dictate where you eventually decide to stay. While public transport costs will undoubtedly be cheaper than taxi fares, you could still end up paying more than you bargained for. Again, try to find out how much you’ll need to pay in public transport costs.

If you’ve been advised that the hotel or apartment is particularly difficult to find — this sort of information can be obtained from reading previous guests’ reviews online — then make sure you have a good map of the local area. While most local taxi drivers should be able to find your hotel, there’s no guarantee that they will. Always carry a contact number for your hotel just in case you run into any problems en route. Most times, if you get into difficulty, there will be someone you can call who can help you with directions.

Necessities

It always pays to learn a few words of the local lingo, regardless of whether or not you travel independently. However, without access to a tour guide, and the comfort of an “all-inclusive” resort, you may find that a few words of the local language come in very handy. Attempting to communicate with the locals can sometimes be the difference between receiving acceptable and very good service in a restaurant or café. Invest in a small phrase book. If you’re going to be eating out often then make sure it includes translations for food and beverages, especially if you have special dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian, food allergy).

Find out whether you’ll be able to access your money while on vacation or whether you need to take cash or travelers’ checks with you.

As you won’t have a travel agent to remind you about necessities such as vaccines, and visas, research what’s needed in this respect for the country you’ll be visiting.

The same applies to travel insurance. Carry out the necessary research to see which package best suits your travel needs.

Research the resort or city where you’ll be staying to know which spots you should visit — and which you should avoid. Again, there may not be anyone on hand to advise you about this aspect of your vacation so find out what you can before leaving home.

And finally, regardless of how independently you travel, remember that we all need to consider our impact on the places we’re visiting and how we can be responsible travelers: take only photographs and leave nothing but footprints.

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Wesak Day Festival in Malaysia

Wesak Day Festival in Malaysia

Buddhist devotees offers incense sticks to Buddha during Wesak Day celebration at the Temple Mara Vihara, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Wesak Day commemorates the birth of Buddha, his attaining of Enlightenment and his passing away into Nirvana. Kamal Sellehuddin/The Star

Wesak Day falls in the month of May and is considered to be the most important festival for Buddhists in Malaysia. This day is celebrated in order to observe the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha which according to the Buddhists all three of the events took place on the same lunar date. Different countries celebrate Wesak Day on different days due to the difference in the local lunar observance.

When translated Buddha literally means ‘one who is awake and has become enlightened’. This particular term is used to describe a person that has obtained supreme wisdom as well as the compassion of Enlightenment. The concept of Enlightenment for Buddhists can be described as a blessed stated in which the individual attains Nirvana (transcendence of desire and suffering).

On this particular day the Malaysian Buddhist devotees will begin the celebrations usually even before dawn where they will gather at the temples. The Buddhists will then hoist the Buddhist flag and sing hymns in praise of the holy triple gem namely; The Buddha, The Dharma (his teachings) and The Sangha (his disciples). Simple offerings are also brought to the temple such as flowers while prayers using candles and joss-sticks are used.

Besides using them for prayers, these items are also significant in the Buddhist teaching as it teaches the devotees about the non-permanence of life. Like a flower that will wither in due time or candles that will eventually burn out so is that of life which is subjected to destruction and decay. Before the actual day of the celebration the devout Buddhists will eat a vegetarian diet so that they will be cleansed and purified.

Wesak Day is also where you will see many of the Malaysian Buddhist devotees releasing animals such as doves and tortoises. This act is seen as a symbolic gesture of one releasing the soul and giving up for the sins that they have made in the past. Besides that, this particular act is also seen as a way of giving freedom for those that are held against their will or being tortured.

Other significance of celebrating Wesak Day is to make special efforts to bring happiness to those that are less fortunate such as the elderly and the sick. In an effort to bring joy and happiness the Malaysian Buddhists will conduct various charitable activities such as donating money and take the time out to visit orphanages and old folks home and helping out wherever they can.

The statue of the baby Buddha is displayed by some temples and it is usually located in front of the altar. The statue is then placed in a basin filled with water and decorated with flowers where the devotees are allowed to pour water over the statue. The act of pouring water over the statue is seen as a symbolic act of the practitioners of cleansing their bad karma. The other significance of pouring water over the statue is to re-enact the event following Buddha’s birth, when the devas and spirits made heavenly offerings to him.

Image Credit – KamalSell

Travel Guide to Malaysia and Singapore

Traversing the South China Sea, guiding travellers from the giddy heights of Kuala Lumpur to the national parks, perfect white sand beaches and coral reefs, Footprint’s Malaysia guide is back for its 7th edition. With extensive coverage of the best dive sights, where to spot rare wildlife and how to explore the heart of Borneo, this fully revised and updated edition provides all the comprehensive information need to introduce you to this rich and diverse land.

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Petronas Twin Towers Malaysia

Petronas Twin Towers Malaysia

The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Petronas Twin Towers was officially opened on the 31st August 1999 by Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Dato Seri Dr. Mahatir Mohammad. The tower is not only a landmark for the city of Kuala Lumpur but it is also a symbol of Malaysia’s achievement. Besides that it is also a constant reminder to all Malaysians of how the country will achieve the status of developed country come the year 2020.

 The twin towers are also home to the Malaysian Petroleum Company which is known as Petroliam Nasional Berhad or Petronas which the towers are named after. The company engages in a wide variety of oil and gas related operations in more than 30 countries worldwide and is also ranked amongst the Fortune Global 500 largest corporations.

It was Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir who came up with the idea to build the tower as he wanted something that was different and that people around the world could instantly recognize it as being an iconic symbol of Malaysia such as the Great Pyramid in Egypt and the Great Wall of China.

The design of the twin towers were created by Cesar Pelli Associates from America and it was built on a former horse racing track located on Jalan Ampang. The project was completed in the year 1997 and Petronas Twin Towers become the highest twin building in the world standing at 452m (1483 feet). However the title has since been taken over by the Burj Khalifa which officially opened in 2010 in Dubai.

Since Islam is the official religion in Malaysia, the design of the building also follows the concept of the religion for example the design uses simple Islamic geometric forms of two interlocking squares which create an eight pointed star shape. There are also eight superimposed semi-circles upon the eight pointed stars that soften the inner angles. This particular design was used in the architecture as it reflects some of the important aspects of the religion such as unity within unity, harmony, stability and rationality.

Another attraction of the twin towers is the Sky Bridge which is also the highest double story bridge in the world. The bridge is located on the 41st and 42nd floor and visitors are allowed to go up to the Sky Bridge however they can only visit the 41st floor section as the 42nd one has been reserved for tenants. Admission is free with about 1500 tickets issued each day, it is on a first come first serve basis so you might want to get there early to get your tickets.

The towers are mainly used as office spaces with Tower 1 being fully occupied by Petronas as well as its subsidiaries and associate companies while Tower 2 houses multinational companies and is open for leasing. Besides this, visitors can also find an 864 seat arena which is home to the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra located at the podium level.

There is also a modern contemporary museum called Petrosains that displays just about anything that has to do with oil and gas, here visitors can interact with the displays and exhibits. For the shopping fanatics there is also a shopping complex located here, called Suria KLCC and you will be able to find just about anything and everything there.

Travel Guide to Malaysia and Singapore

Your Guide To Visiting Malaysia

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