Categories
Tourism Malaysia

Food Hunt along MRT Line

Many people might find it a bit tiresome of driving and waiting for a carpark in order to get a good place to fill up empty tummy.

With the Sungai Buloh – Kajang Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line in operation, both locals and tourists alike can have opportunity to spend less time for going on a food adventure.

Here’s a list of food gems that you can find along the MRT line; think Nasi Kandar, Dim Sum, Satay and more.

Along the 51km journey with a total of 31 stations, selected special dishes will be covered for this food hunting trip! Just take it as exercise if you need to walk to reach your desired locations.

Apart from food hunting, some of the routes covered include tourist spots, historical and cultural hubs, shopping paradise. It is time for you to plan ahead and spend your free time with like-minded friends or family members.

Surian Station

Hameediyah

After serving nasi kandar in Penang for more than a century, the legendary Hameediyah has now set its foot in Sunway Nexis, Kota Damansara, which is just a short walk away from the Surian MRT Station.

Operating since 1907, this famous nasi kandar is run by its 6th and 7th generation now, with all the recipes coming from their ancestors, bringing the herbs and spices over from Penang.

Highly recommended dishes include chicken kapitan, chicken curry, mutton curries, beef rendang, fish and sotong curry, all guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds. Top them with some vegetables and eggs as well.

Unit A-GF-01, Sunway Nexis
Jalan PJU 5/8, Kota Damansara
Tel: 03-6151 7766
Business hours: Mon (10am – 10pm), Tue – Sun (11am – 10pm)

Tips: Surian MRT Station is located in Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara. Dataran Sunway is developing township located in Kota Damansara, Selangor. Notable landmarks located within the area are Sunway Giza Shopping Mall.

Phileo Damansara Station

Skippy Pizza (Non-halal)

Chicken or beef pizza is easily found anywhere. However, “Skippy Pizza” offers pork dishes where it serves a wide variety of pork pizzas and more.

“Skipping Kangaroo” is the theme for the restaurant, with Australian influence on its pizza recipes.

*Disclaimer: This eatery not halal-certified

Phileo Damansara I, 107 Block D, Jalan 16/11, Seksyen 16, 46350 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 10pm (Monday to Sunday)
Contact: 0192509347
http://www.skippyspizza.com/

Tips: Phileo Damansara MRT Station, located at Section 16 near to Eastin Hotel Phileo Damansara, a modern township nestled within PJ and Kuala Lumpur.

Muzium Negara Station

Commuters can get access to NU Sentral shopping centre via the linkway connecting to the MRT station and dine at one of the most famous halal Chinese restaurants called Dolly Dim Sum.

Dolly Dim Sum is a modern interpretation of a classic Chinese tea house, specialising in modern authentic dim sum. Top picks include Siew Mai Dumpling, Roasted BBQ Bun, Glutinous Rice Parcel “Loh Mai Gai”, Spicy Szechuan Dumpling, Egg Custard Bun, BBQ Chicken Cheong Fun, Chewy Meat Croquette, to name a few.

You will be surprised by the unique dining experience encompassing quality of ingredients, heartfelt service and an impeccable dining ambiance.

Address: LG.43, NU Sentral, No. 201 Jalan Tun Sambathan, 50470 Kuala Lumpur.
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Monday to Sunday)
Contact: 012-301 8161
http://dollydimsum.com/

Tips: Muzium Negara MRT Station, underground station located near to National Museum and connected to KL Sentral Main Terminal by a covered pedestrian walkway. KL Sentral is a main public transport hub for Kuala Lumpur. NU Sentral is linked with KL Sentral Main Terminal.

Pasar Seni Station

Cafe Old Market Square

Formerly known as Sin Seng Nam Kopitiam, it takes about a 10-minute walk from Pasar Seni Station to dine in this newly restored cafe, which has transformed to what it is today since it was taken over by its new owner in 2014.

Located at an incredibly well-preserved heritage building, Cafe Old Market Square will definitely bring old memories back to life as it did 80 years ago. Artwork and old photos of Kuala Lumpur adorn the walls of the cafe with the top floor of the building being turned into a gallery space that showcases old Kuala Lumpur.

Among the signature dishes are Hainanese coffee, half-boiled eggs, toasted bread with kaya and margarine. You still can see the dishes are served in old fashioned kopitiam cups and saucers.

Address: 2, Medan Pasar, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur
Opening Hours: 7am – 6pm (Monday to Saturday), Closed on Sunday
Contact: +60 16-964 9509
https://www.cafeoldmarketsquare.com/

Merchant’s Lane

When it comes to Instagrammable cafes in KL, no doubt Merchant’s Lane is on top of our list. What’s the best way to explain East Meets West? Merchant’s Lane. Tucked in off Chinatown, Merchant’s Lane has a strong Asian vibe with rattan chairs and rustic walls. Every corner screams picture-perfect. The entrance is a bit discreet so have fun hunting down Merchant’s Lane.

Address: No, 150 Jalan Petaling. Kuala Lumpur
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 10.30pm, Closed on Wednesday
Contact: +603-2022 1736
https://www.facebook.com/merchantslane

Tips: Pasar Seni MRT Station situated in Pasar Seni (Central Market), a few minutes away from Petaling Street (Chinatown). Central Market is now a landmark for Malaysian culture and heritage.

Merdeka Station

VCR Cafe

It takes about a 11-minute walk from Merdeka station to VCR cafe, which is located just next to Swiss Garden Residence along Jalan Galloway. VCR cafe is easily recognised for its all-black exterior, where old architecture meets the modern twist.

It is well-frequented by coffee drinkers and brunch lovers for its perfectly brewed coffee. VCR is an ideal place for breakfast, lunch, brunch or even dinner! Guests can also complement their choice of caffeine with delicious homemade cakes and pastries.

Some of the other must-try food include French toash, consisting of berries compote, mocha sauce, chocolate biscuit crumble, pumpkin seed, and a scoop of espresso ice cream while the fluffy potato waffle is a savoury delight of mushrooms, chervil, and perfectly poached eggs. Other favourate menu include soft shell crab burger and Scandinavian breakfast.

Address: 2, Jalan Galloway, Bukit Bintang, 50150 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Opening Hours: 8.30am – 11pm (Monday – Sunday)
Contact: +603-2110 2330
https://vcr.my/

Tips: Merdeka MRT Station situated in proposed Merdeka PNB 118, the tallest building in Malaysia, to build next to Stadium Merdeka in Jalan Hang Jebat, Kuala Lumpur.

Bukit Bintang Station

Feeka Coffee Roasters

It is housed in an old heritage shop lot in Changkat Bukit Bintang while bearing some contemporary elements. Feeka is inspired by the Swedish social philosophy, “fika”, which means to take a break.

Apart from serving specialty coffee, Feeka is a charming little café that offers a wide range of food choices such as Sweedish Meatballs, Spicy Ragu Pasta, Roasted Vege Burger, Chinken Banh Mi and etc. It is the perfect spot for you to spend your time with your loved ones or close friends.

Address: 19, Jalan Mesui, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 8am – 11pm (Monday – Sunday)
Contact: +603-2110 4599
www.facebook.com/feekacoffeeroasters

Restaurant Wong Ah Wah, Jalan Alor

One of the most famous spots for food is Jalan Alor, just a 15-minute walk from the station.

Jalan Alor is famous for its wide variety of street food and many foreigners or travelers will flock into this area for food hunting, especially dining night time.

The street is packed with different types of stir fried dishes ranging from seafood, Thai food, Vietnamese food and Chinese variety. One of the highly recommended restaurants is Restaurant Wong Ah Wah. Some of the popular dishes include fried oyster egg, chicken wings and roast pork dark noodles.

*Disclaimer: This eatery not halal-certified/Muslim-owned but halal ingredients are used.

Address: 16, Jalan Alor, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur.
Opening Hours: 5.30pm to 12am
Contact: +603-2144 2463

Tips: The station is named after Bukit Bintang district, a shopping hub in Kuala Lumpur. The area has long been Kuala Lumpur’s most prominent retail belt that is home to many landmark shopping centres, al-fresco cafés, swanky bars, night markets, as well as hawker-type eateries. This area is popular among tourists and locals, especially among the youths. Some of the famous shopping malls include Pavillion shopping mall, Berjaya Times Squares, Fahrenheit 88 and Lot 10 shopping mall.

Cochrane Station

Peel Road Nasi Lemak

Have you ever tried mixed-rice style nasi lemak? With choices like sotong, lucheon meat, chicken rendang and a number of stir fried vegetables, it allows you to scoop your own dishes and be as creative as you wish.

This stall is located right at Peel Road and it is within walking distance from Cochrane station. With the development of the MyTown Shopping Mall and IKEA, this area has gone through massive transformation in recent years. The stall is open for dinner daily and you can see huge crowd from 6pm onwards.

*Disclaimer: This eatery not halal-certified

Address: 96, Jalan Peel, 50400 Kuala Lumpur.
Opening Hours: 4pm – 8pm daily

Tips: The IKEA furniture store and MyTown Shopping Mall are in its vicinity. Sunway Velocity is connected with this station as well.

Taman Connaught Station

Night Market Taman Connaught

With the construction of new Taman Connaught MRT, you can now get to your favourite Taman Connaught night market easily. The night market is around 2km long, and opens every Wednesday. with over 700 stalls selling everything from street food and flowers to cuddly toys, books and clothes. Some of the famous snacks here are fried chicken, smelly tofu, pancakes, dim sum, sausage, to name a few. Just remember to bring some tissue!

Tips: Taman Connaught MRT Station located right in front of Cheras Sentral, a retail outlet that offers a huge variety of products and services.

Stadium Kajang Station

Medan Satay Kajang

Kajang is known as the ‘Satay Town’ since the 1960s and is famous among tourists and locals alike. Medan Satay Kajang is located within close distance to the Stadium Kajang MRT.

Sate Kajang Haji Samurai said to be one of the best. You can spend your time eating a variety of satay as supper while chatting with friends. Some of the favourite satay meat including rabbit, tripe, fish apart from classic choices like beef and chicken. Don’t forget to combine it with heavenly thick peanut sauce (kuah kacang) and nasi impit! This is one satay-eating experience you wouldn’t want to miss!

Address: Medan Sate Kajang, Gerai No. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 7 Jalan Kelab, 43000 Kajang, Selangor Darul Ehsan.
Opening Hours: 10.30am – 12:30am (Monday to Thursday), 4pm – 1am (Friday), 10.30am – 1am (Saturday Sunday)
Contact: +6013-330 3269
https://satekajang.com.my/

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

Categories
Tourism Malaysia

20 Boutique Hotels – Stay with A Style!

If you need some cosy time all by yourself, and looking for somewhere unique to stay for a night or more, boutique hotels in Malaysia offer you more than an accommodation. You will get extra nice decoration, extra services plus extra experience.

Today, boutique hotels – normally a cosy-signature accommodation with less than 100 rooms – are mushrooming with variable themes and decors. For our 20 SPECIAL picks this month, we give you some of the popular choices from many states of Malaysia.

1. AMBONG-AMBONG, Langkawi (www.ambong-ambong.com) The Travellers’ Choice 2019 Winner outshines the most in the mystical island of Langkawi. Ambong-Ambong Rainforest Retreat is rainforest accommodation of boutique resort perched on a slope, overlooking the sea and islands of Langkawi offers great Japanese restaurant and highly rated massage services.

The Ritz Carlton Langkawi

2. THE RITZ CARLTON, Langkawi (www.ritzcarlton.com/Langkawi‎) With unique traditional architecture and services, The Ritz Carlton Langkawi has it all – 90 luxurious guest rooms and suites and 29 pool villas, three swimming pools, a locally inspired spa, three dining outlets, two ocean front bars and lounges, and both indoor and outdoor wedding venues.

3. MAJESTIC, Melaka (www.majesticmalacca.com) The heart of the hotel is a restored 1920s Straits Settlement mansion complete with its original porcelain tile flooring and teakwood fittings. It has been extended to house the guest rooms and suites as well as an award-winning spa that is a reflection of that era, melding luxury, modernity and tradition. (source www.ytlhotels.com)

4. ESTADIA, Melaka (www.estadiahotel.com) Estadia By Hatten is perhaps the best Baba Nyonya-themed hotel in Melaka. It is located in the center of Melaka City and the interior of the hotel is tastefully done up based on Baba Nyonya style. There are a Nyonya restaurant a pub located beside the hotel lobby the Nyonya foods are fantastic (review in tripadvisor.com).

Seven Terraces, Georgetown

5. SEVEN TERRACES, Penang (https://www.georgetownheritage.com/seven-terraces-hotel) Winner of the 2007 UNESCO Award of Distinction for heritage conservation and regular Conde Naste Hot List nominees, It successfully captures and celebrates the spirit of this world heritage town and its unique peranakan culture. Pure beauty!

Cheong Fatt Tze, Georgetown

6. CHEONG FATT TZE, Penang (www.cheongfatttzemansion.com) The majestic boutique hotel rooms are tucked within the tranquil tropical courtyards of The Blue Mansion. Each of the 18 personalized boutique rooms are uniquely adorned and intricately furnished, taking you back into Penang’s glorious history in the exclusive rooms, invigorating jacuzzi and authentic furniture of the 19th century.

Yeng Keng Hotel, Georgetown

7. YENG KENG HOTEL, Penang (www.yengkenghotel.com) Yeng Keng Hotel is a restored 19th century building, with only 20 rooms that is located in George Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Penang. It offers an outdoor pool, a restaurant and free Wi-Fi with splendid decor.

8. MARRIOT MULU, Miri, Sarawak (www.marriot.com) Nestled amongst the natural and lush greenery of the rainforests near the border between Malaysia and Brunei, Mulu Marriott Resort is located on Melinau Paku River in Miri. With well-designed rooms and suites, the resort offers guests with beautiful views of the tropical rainforest and river.

9. RANEE B SUITE, Kuching, Sarawak (www. theranee.com). The Ranee Boutique Suites is located in the heart of Kuching, a 1-minute walk from Kuching Waterfront and China Street. This stylish boutique hotel provides free WiFi throughout the building.

Villa Molek

10. VILLA MOLEK, Langkawi (www.villamolek.com). As you step into Villa Molek you are greeted by 12 charming and beautifully designed private villa studios, each resembles a complete home. Its superb location and quiet elegance makes it a favourite among travellers looking for total relaxation, writes www.tripadvisor.com

Panji-Panji, Langkawi

11. PANJI-PANJI TROPICAL WOODEN HOME, Langkawi (www.panjipanji.com). Enjoy the comforts of a sea frontage tropical wooden Malay house. A home situated next to the Cenang river and the local fishermen’s pier, and is only minutes away from the famous Cenang Beach. A perfect place to enjoy the sunset and relax (from booking.com).

12. VIVANTA by TAJ-REBAK MARINA, Langkawi (www.vivantahotels-com) Staying at Rebak Island is akin to being on a private island surrounded on all sides by the turquoise Andaman Sea. Secluded beaches, vibrant jungles, and beautiful rock formations that spread across 390 acres, make Rebak Island a tropical paradise. (source www.tajhotels.co.uk)

Tanjung Jara Resort, Terengganu

13. TANJUNG JARA, Terengganu (www.tanjongjararesort.com) Offering accommodation inspired by the majestic 17th century Malay palaces, Tanjong Jara boasts 2 outdoor pools and an award-winning spa. It features 3 dining options with South China Sea views.

14. VILLA SAMADHI, Kuala Lumpur (www.villasamadhi.com.my) A garden resort within Kuala Lumpur City, the 5-star Villa Samadhi Kuala Lumpur – By Samadhi provides luxurious Asian-inspired rooms with free WiFi and thatched roofs. An outdoor lagoon pool weaves through the resort and connects all rooms.

Rosa, Melaka

15. ROSA, Melaka (www.rosa.com.my) This hotel screams nothing but an industrial-concept marvel. Bare bricks, cement walls, and wooden floor panels make up most of the hotel’s interior which is further complimented with tonnes of fun and timeless deco. Such a photo haven for Instagram addicts! (from www.rojakdaily.com)

Timez, Melaka

16. TIMEZ, Melaka (www.timezhotel.com) The hotel is literally a melting pot of culture as it incorporates five cultures in its design – Chinese, Peranakan, Dutch, Portuguese, and British but with a modern twist.

Toojou, Kota Kinabalu

17. TOOJOU, Kota Kinabalu (www.toojou.com) Chic and trendy, Toojou is a new breed of hotel, and  a melting pot for ‘nomads, wanderlusters, and socialites. From affordable cosy rooms to ergonomic work spaces to a funky rooftop bar, there is something for everyone here… This is where travel meets social.’ (photo by agoda.com)

18. BLISS BOUTIQUE, Johor Bharu (www.blissboutiquehotel.com) Not all boutique hotels charge exorbitant rates, some are value-for-money and offer high rated services. Bliss Boutique Hotel falls into this category, adorned with artistic and flamboyant touches. This Art Deco hotel is totally colourful and chic!

M Boutique Hotel, Ipoh

19. M BOUTIQUE HOTEL, Ipoh (https://ipoh.mboutiquehotels.com) Featuring stark contrasting monochromatic furnishings, this unique hotel takes its inspiration from jazz bars of the past. Black chandeliers, monkey cages, and rustic grey furniture adorn the rooms and communal areas, lending it a stark yet classy vibe (source www.smartlocal.com)

20. JAPAMALA RESORT, Tioman(www.japamalaresorts.com) JapaMala is Tioman Island’s only boutique resort, and one-of-a-kind in Malaysia. This small and exclusive resort of 13 rooms is hidden amidst 11 acres of lush tropical rainforest. A one-village-one-resort property, JapaMala has its own private and quiet beach. Rated highly in www.tripadvisor.com.my

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

Categories
Tourism Malaysia

CHASING WILDLIFE IN SABAH

They say travel broadens the mind, and I totally agree with that statement. However, the more I travel, the more I begin to appreciate all things back home, be it food, culture, nature or even our wildlife. I mean we saved enough money to go all the way to Africa for example, so that we can see the lions or cheetahs running wild in their own habitat but did it ever cross our mind to do the same thing in our own country. Do we even know what kind of species of wildlife that are unique to our country or native to the Asian region?

I wonder whether we care enough about our wildlife to do at least the simplest thing or take the smallest step to conserve and protect our animals whether they are endangered or not.

Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Lahad Datu

My quest to learn more about our wildlife had taken me all the way to the east coast of Sabah, Lahad Datu, to be exact. It is where Tabin Wildlife Reserve, the largest of its kind in Malaysia is located. Mind you, it took me about 3 hours and 20 minutes to reach the wildlife reserve from the airport in Tawau. I chose to stay at the river lodge owned by Tabin Wildlife Resort, which was located within the wildlife reserve.

The mummified remains of Puntung

While waiting for
the sun to go down so that I could go for the night safari, I took the
opportunity to visit its Visitor Centre to learn more about the wildlife
reserve. This was where I met Puntung, well, the mummified remains of her, that
is. Puntung was one of the last trio of the Sumatran Rhinos that lived in
captivity at the Tabin Wildlife Reserve after the species was declared extinct
by the Government of Malaysia in 2015. I could hardly hold back my tears when the
guide told me the story of Puntung’s life. When they found her in the wild in
2011, she was missing a front left foot, believed to be caught in a poacher’s
snare when she was a baby and yet she survived for so many years in isolation.
However, Puntung had to be euthanized in 2017 because she was suffering from
cancer.

Last May, we also lost the only male rhino we had, Tam, who died of old age. Right now, Iman is the nation’s sole remaining member of its species in Malaysia but she is also suffering from cancer. The Borneo Rhino Alliance or BORA, a non-profit company, had tried so hard to keep the Sumatran Rhinos from going extinct but it wasn’t meant to be. The heartbreaking story of our Sumatran rhinos made me feel helpless but at the same time just made me more determined to go and see our native animals in the wild as many as I can before they disappeared.

Finally, the time had come for me to take a ride on the makeshift truck to hunt for the nocturnal animals in the wild, and instead of a rifle, I was equipped with camera and handphones. I was hoping to see some magnificent creatures along the way, but unfortunately I wasn’t lucky enough. However, I did get to see the pygmy elephants’ droppings and footprints though. I suspected my guide was one of those nocturnal creatures himself because his eyesight was so sharp, he could spot a small flying squirrel on top of the trees in the dark of the night. For the first time ever, I got to see a flying squirrel glided through the air between trees in the blink of an eye, thanks to my guide.

Searching hard for the nocturnal creatures

We spotted a Buffy Fish Owl trying to capture its victim at the lake, hornbills, a family of civets climbing up the trees probably looking for a new home, a couple of Bornean wild cats roaming between the tall grass looking for rats and that’s about it. It’s probably not much but the experience was exhilarating and it was such a great feeling to know that our wildlife can roam free at this wildlife reserve and I could just imagine the orangutans making their nests to sleep at night deep in the forest, and somewhere out there the pygmy elephants (the world’s smallest elephant) were having the time of their lives. And also, during the whole journey, don’t forget to look up because you will get to see all the beautiful twinkling stars with your own naked eyes, something that you can’t experience in the big cities.

Having fun at the Lipad mud volcano
A hornbill is spotted perching on top of the tree

The next morning, I went for a short hike to check out the well-known Lipad mud volcano and I was so glad to see an eagle, one of the eight species of hornbill, a monitor lizard and the macaques along the way. The active Lipad Mud Volcano is an elevated muddy hill with warm, salty mud bubbling from below the surface almost continuously; occasionally, the mud volcanoes have mild eruptions that add to their height and scatter small stones around. It is an area frequented by wildlife and birds for much-needed minerals and nourishment – and the evidence is in the foot/paw prints left behind on the grey mud. I saw a few footprints of the pygmy elephants at the mud volcano. While there, I came across a couple of tourists returning from the mud volcano and was informed that they camped all night at the observation tower at the mud volcano to spy on the animals that visited the place at night. Oh my, why didn’t I think of that?

Kinabatangan River, Bilit Village

My plan to chase the wildlife of Borneo did not end at Tabin Wildlife Reserve. This lowland part of Sabah has plenty of spots for wildlife sightings. I took another one hour and a 22-minute journey to the Lahad Datu airport to fly to Sandakan for another wildlife adventure. After the half an hour flight, I arrived at the Sandakan airport and went straight to Bilit in Kinabatangan, which took me about 2 hours and 9 minutes to reach the place. I chose to stay at the Mynes Resort, which was situated on the banks of the Kinabatangan River. Upon arriving at the resort, my guide brought me straight to the jetty for a river cruise. My aim was to take a closer look at Sabah’s most famous primates – the proboscis monkeys or also known as the “dutch monkeys”, as well as the orangutans.

Baby proboscis

The cruise took about 45-minutes and at first all I saw were the macaques and gibbons until the boatman suddenly steered the boat closer to the river bank, and that was when I saw a male proboscis monkey with its harem munching on leaves while sitting on the branches on the top of the trees. Oh, what a beautiful sight! Endemic to Borneo, these endangered monkeys are easily recognisable because of their comical appearance e.g. big noses and protruding bellies. Compared to other exotic creatures in Sabah, the proboscis monkey is the most likely to be spotted in the wild, due to their proximity to the rivers. I was a bit disappointed about not being able to spot orangutans, pygmy elephants or even Irrawaddy dolphins, but sunset at the Kinabatangan River was simply breathtaking, that I can guarantee.

The next morning I took another chance on the river cruise because I wanted to see more of the wildlife there. Lo and behold, I got more than I bargained for because my guide spotted a huge female crocodile on the river bank patiently waiting for its prey while a baby crocodile was playing near the water. I was, you can say, entranced by the size and beauty of the crocodile. This was my first time seeing wild crocodiles in their natural element. It was exhilarating but also a bit scary. I could just imagine their massive jaws crushing down on their victim before drowning it. But that was the highlight of my morning cruise though. On the way back, I spotted a troop of silver leaf monkeys, and pig-tailed macaques. Not bad for an early morning cruise but I was a happy camper, after all I was dealing with nature, and they didn’t follow our rules, we followed theirs. So I left Bilit with beautiful memories and headed back towards the city of Sandakan for another 2-hour plus journey.

Sandakan

I know that orangutans live a solitary existence so it is almost impossible to see them in their natural habitat, which was why I made the decision to visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, located about 25km north of Sandakan. This internationally well-known centre helps rehabilitate the orphaned, injured and displaced orangutans before returning them to the wild. I arrived early to secure the best spot at the feeding platform so that I could get a closer look at our beloved orangutans. I started to get excited when I saw two rangers arriving with fruits and sugar canes and placing them on the feeding platform, approximately 60 feet from the viewing platform. It was just my luck I guess, no orangutans turned up to eat the fruits that day. So many international visitors were there waiting patiently for the orangutans to appear but we all left with disappointment.

The youngsters eating and playing in
outdoor nursery

However, fret not because there was an outdoor nursery, which was just a short walk from the feeding platform where you can watch orphaned youngsters at play. I spent almost half an hour observing the youngsters eating and playing behind the glass window. When the youngsters were moved to the outdoor nursery, it meant that they had become more independent and were less emotionally dependent to their care-takers, and for that I am thankful for the hard work done by the staff at the rehabilitation centre.

I ended my quest to see as many wildlife as I can in the lowland of Sabah by visiting one of my favourite animals, the cute sun bears at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSCC), just next to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. The BSCC is the only sun bear conservation centre in the world.  I must tell you that sun bear is listed as vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. So, I suggest that you add seeing sun bear before they disappear in your bucket list. The sun bear is the smallest and the second rarest bear species, after the giant panda. Wouldn’t you feel proud to have such rare bears in your own backyard? Once I met them, it was love at first sight. They were just so adorable, thus making you feel like wanting to protect them from any threat. All 43 of them at the centre were rescued sun bears.

Mary, the lovable sun bear

If you plan to visit
the centre, look up for the lovable Mary, the cutest little sun bear I have
ever seen and she’s very friendly towards us, human despite her sad upbringing.
She was captured by poachers and kept as a house pet in Ranau district (West
coast part of Sabah). Due to her unbalanced diet, she showed symptoms of
calcium deficiency like walking in an abnormal way and shorter body structure.
Now that Mary’s physical condition has improved, she can climb around like
other bears. And if you are lucky, you will get to meet the founder of the
centre, the Penang-born wildlife biologist Dr. Wong Siew Te who was once hailed
as a CNN Hero. (CNN Heroes is created by the American Cable News Network to
honour individuals who make extraordinary contributions to humanitarian aid and
make a difference in their communities).

It is my hope that this article can help evoke the interest among Malaysians to visit the east coast of Sabah to see the wildlife that is endemic to Borneo. Many of them are either extinct, endangered or vulnerable, so it is not too late for us to explore those places and the most important thing is the proceeds will go to protecting more habitats and conservation activities. It means that playing tourist can actually help save, protect and conserve our wildlife.

Tabin Wildlife Resort:
Location: KM 49, Jalan Tungku, Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Tel: +6 088 267266
E-mail:[email protected]
GPS Location: 5° 11′ 15.35″ N 118° 30′ 8.47″ E
Website: http://www.tabinwildlife.com.my
FB: https://www.facebook.com/Tabin-Wildlife-Holidays-Borneo–111441605544390/

Myne Resort:
Location: Kampung Bilit, Kinabatangan, Sabah
Tel: +6089 278288 / 278291
E-mail: [email protected][email protected]
Facebook: Myne Travel Resort

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre
Location: Batu 14, Jalan Labuk Sandakan , Sabah WDT200, 9009 Sandakan, Sabah.
Tel: +60 89 633 587
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.wildlife.sabah.gov.my/?q=en/content/sepilok-orangutan-rehabilitation-centre

Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSCC)
Location: BSBCC, PPM 219, Elopura, 90000 Sandakan, Sabah
Tel: ​+60 89-534491
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: https://www.bsbcc.org.my/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/sunbear.bsbcc
 

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

Categories
Tourism Malaysia

Street Art in Malaysia

The social recognition has now made mural a form of arts with a status. From Berlin to Rio de Janeiro; from Bronx, New York to the fame London’s Banksy, murals are taking its rightful place in other part of the world – slowly but surely. 

Murals in Malaysia are broad in themes and subjects. Decorating (forgotten sides of) a town – murals in Malaysia now take centre stage, presented by talented local artists – or talents from afar. 

Today, there are many places in Malaysia embrace murals or street art – Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and other cities, but let’s update some selected venues for you to grab your camera and – smile!!

PENANG

This year, Penang street art took another accolade after awarded as the 7th Most Instagrammed City for Street Art in the world. Well certainly, Penang streets outshine the most, if you are looking for something different. By combining a life-size images, plus the original piece or 3D objects, murals in Penang are ‘interactive and real’.

Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic revitalised Georgetown with his unique take on street art featuring children. Pieces like Little Boy with Pet Dinosaur and Boy on Bike are so cool that you can’t help but want to pose with them, commented https://thefreedomtravellers.com.

So just stroll down the lanes, and take your own sweet time to admire some of the finest ‘free souvenirs’ from Penang. Mind that Georgetown is not only place to find the murals, but also Balik Pulau is also picking up the trend. In fact, Russian artist Julia Volchkova painted her Old Fisherman and Silat (2015) murals there.

Credit: www.penang-traveltips.com

Julia Volchkova’s Old Fisherman

MELAKA

Even though the publicity of art murals in Malaysia is dominated by Penang, Malacca also stepped up their game in the street art scene. The state known for its rich history and culture also jumped on the bandwagon with their River Art Project in 2012 where 9 groups of graffiti artists collaborated to produce artworks on buildings along Bandar Hilir river, making art to beautify the city with more Malaysian elements. Aside from the project, many guesthouses and hotels along the river also feature street art murals to add a touch of personality to their walls. An example of this is the “Welcome to Malacca” mural that decorates the side of the 906 Riverside Hotel.

Colourful riverside in Melaka

Local artist Charles Cham has a number of notable murals that grace the more famous buildings in Malacca Old Town such as his mural on the wall of “The Orangutan House” and the more political “Freedom of Speech” mural. Just like the street art in Penang, there are many murals in the streets of Malacca that incorporate the element of interaction with the visitors.

In an alley near Jalan Hang Kasturi, there is an interactive murals lane where the art includes perspective-altering images which allows visitors to pose creatively to create the impression as if the visitors are also a part of the art created. More recently, the cosmetics brand Kiehl’s commissioned for the walls of its store in Jonker Street to be filled with street art that portrays vibrant colours as a celebration of Malaysia’s colourful heritage.

Credits:

https://pointandshootwanderlust.com/photo-essay-melakas-street-art/ https://www.ipacktravel.com/single-post/Malacca-Street-Arts http://projekarm.blogspot.com/

Ipoh Mural Art Trail’s map

IPOH, PERAK

The long lines of olden Chines brick shop houses in Ipoh, offer much opportunities for street artists to pen their colours. Like a big canvas, the theme is very much associated to the once a mining town.

So in 2014, Ipoh introduced the Mural Art trail in collaboration with the City Council of Ipoh, – again – Ernest Zacharevic and the Ipoh coffee brand Old Town White Coffee. To make it better, they came up with an Ipoh Mural Art Trail map depicts nine street art mural locations together with GPS coordinates.

As an icing on the cake, another local talent Eric Lai, added up his pieces depicting rich cultural heritage of Malaysia in a joyful and playful way. Now you know why Lonely Planet picked up Ipoh as their favourite destination before!

Ernest Zacharevic in Ipoh

Credit: https://alifewithoutborders.org/street-art-in-ipoh-malaysia/

MUAR

The small town in Johor – Muar – keep the best secret of Malaysian street art for years now. Elegantly adorning the walls of the shop houses, many artists contributed to the decoration of the town which focus on the ‘Malaysian faces and activities’.

For examples, Julia Volchkova’s ‘Loving Sisters’ embraces the love theme of life, and touches our inner feeling with calmness and harmony. Hailed as the biggest mural in Malaysia, it stands out proudly at 11.8 meters x 10 meters in size.

Volchkova in action!

My all-time favourite artist, Volchkova always able to present an ultra realistic piece of artwork, which connect to local elements and sentiments. Caratoes, a Belgium-born artist, also contributed with his works of many themes that made Muar a colourful town to visit.

Credit: www.mynewshub.tv

KOTA BHARU

Not to be left out, the cultural city of Kota Bharu, Kelantan in East Coast, instils a fresh breath onto street art in Malaysia. With interesting themes and vibrant colours, Kota Bharu offers a new outlook for tourists to be part of the town’s heritage.

Try walk past the amusing Riverside area, or the Jalan Dato’ Pati, Kota Bharu, which houses Palestine Street Alley art and around 20 artworks – with different local and international images. These variety of themes and styles – either pop art or realism – simply catch your eyes and thought-provoking. You’ll be amazed that even the road is turned into painted carpets!

Local artists Fazirul Ezran and many more contributed to the scene.

Credit: https://lyfandspice.com

Kota Bharu’s new attraction

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Categories
Tourism Malaysia

20 Must-Have Souvenirs from Malaysia

If you are anything like me,
you will look for the MOST interesting, out-of-the-ordinary souvenir from
places you’ve been.

It used to be very
conventional, like postcards, keychains, decorative plates and the like but
these stuff take up space and require some kind of maintenance as years go by.

The novelty of a souvenir has
changed, and it is no longer something that you show off as a statement of
“I’ve been there!” It has evolved into something else, where we want to share
with our loved ones back home a little piece of the adventure, so to speak.

So, here’s my take on some of
the things that you just HAVE to take back with you:

#1 – If
you travel to the state of Melaka,
then look out for the dainty Nyonya beaded
slippers
. They may not be the most practical footwear, but then again, they
ARE unique, and quite fancy!

Nyonya Beaded Slippers and Embroidered Kebaya Top

#2 – If
you got yourself that beaded slipper, then you just HAVE to bring back a
traditional kebaya top! The intricately-embroidered tops are a must-have in
any wardrobe.

#3
#4
– If you have a passion for cooking, and are always on
the hunt for that ‘umami’ flavor, bring back some shrimp paste, or belacan,
and if you’re brave enough, cencalok. Cencalok is a condiment made
of fermented small shrimps or krill, and is usually served together with sliced
chillies, finely sliced shallots and lime juice.

Bottom – A stall selling belacan and cencalok

#5
–  Look out also for the sticky coconut
‘cakes’, or dodol, available in a variety of flavours including pandan and durian.

#6
Moving further South to Johor, you can visit the herb farm along the way and
get yourself some stingless bee honey
or madu kelulut. Stingless bee honey is  twice as nutritious as ordinary honey,
according to the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI).

#7 – A
trip to Johor would be meaningless without bringing back the mandatory 434 Coffee. Malaysian Coffee a.k.a
Kopi-O is special in color, flavor and taste, thanks to its special roasting
technique and recipe that commonly includes margarine and sugar as ingredients.
It has been long enjoyed by the locals and also is popular among coffee lovers
in South East Asia. While the sweet, hot beverage may take some getting used to
for those who are used to taking it black, you will definitely fall in love
with it by the time you sip the last drop.

#8 – If
you travel to the north of the Peninsula, then Penang will be one of the places for the best souvenirs. The
Chowrasta Market will be a good place to start, where you can get nutmeg-based products. More than just a
spice, you can get massage oils, ointments and even candy made from nutmeg.

Nutmeg-based products

#9
Another product of Penang that is worth bringing home is Tambun biscuits, or Tau
Sar Pneah
. This delicacy is a mixture of sweet and savoury, and is flaky
and soft at the same time. Traditionally, it is made from wheat flour, sugar,
green bean paste, fried onions, lard and salt. However, there are many
available in the market which are lard-free to cater for the Muslim market.

#10
Pickled fruits are also a must-buy
when one visits Penang. It is a popular souvenir especially among Malaysians. Among
the most well-known is from Pak Ali’s,
best known for its distinct aroma and taste. They claim to use apple cider
vinegar and honey in the pickling process, which sets them apart from the rest.

#11
– Also known as the Food Paradise of Malaysia, especially Indian food, you can always
bring back a mix of your favourite spices
so that you can replicate the dish back home. Head to Little India in George Town, and you’ll be
spilt for choice!

Packed dry spices or ready-cooked pastes to bring home

#12
– If you are into White Coffee, then
by all means, buy a pack or two to bring home. For those who don’t know, the
coffee beans used to produce white coffee are not white. Instead, coffee beans
are roasted with palm oil margarine, ground, brewed and served with
sweetened condensed milk. The drink gets its color from the milk that is
used. 

There’s even Durian Coffee!

If
you are in Kuala Lumpur, or any other major city in Malaysia, the following
suggestions are for you.

#13
– Malaysia batik or songket are also great souvenirs to take home. These
hand-crafted textiles are versatile and can be made into clothing, soft
furnishings and even wall decorations. Malaysian batik differs from others in
the region in terms of design and motif, as well as technique.

Batik and songket

#14
– A fan of durian? You may not be
able to bring back the fruit, but there are a whole multitude of products made
from the King of Fruits available in most supermarkets, and packed safe for
your journey home. There’s durian chocolates, cakes and even coffee!

#15
– Believe it or not, instant noodles!
Seriously. The flavours available out there is UNBELIEVABLE! Even if you might
not buy them, it’ll still be nice to walk into a supermarket and browse the
aisle. You will be amazed at the array of choices you have! Locals enjoy curry
flavor, but there’s also a whole array of flavor combinations that might peak
your curiosity.

#16
BOH tea is one of Cameron
Highland’s product that is worth bringing home, too. BOH Plantations Sdn Bhd is
the largest black tea manufacturer in Malaysia, with both domestic and
international distribution owned by BOH Plantations Sdn Bhd.

#17
Asian drinks. I kid you not! There
are fizzy and non-fizzy versions, in all imaginable flavours and combinations.
From winter melon to passionfruit, pear and ginseng to watermelon and lychee,
feel free to indulge!

#18
– Another one of the things that will sound weird, but go try (and buy!) 100 Plus. 100 Plus is the first thirst-quenching, isotonic beverage to be
launched in Malaysia in 1983. It is caffeine-free, specially formulated to help
restore what the body has lost during physical exertion and rehydrate the body
to its optimal hydration balance. Its unique formula combines fluids,
carbohydrates and electrolytes for quick and efficient absorption of fluids
into the body.

#19 – Pewter goods are also a favourite among tourists. The best
place to get your pewter items are of course from Royal Selangor Pewter,
located in Kuala Lumpur. Royal Selangor International Sdn Bhd is a Malaysian pewter
manufacturer and retailer, the largest of its type in the world.

#20
Adopt and animal! While you cannot
bring the animal home with you, you have at least left a piece of yourself
here, and helped conserve a little bit of Malaysia for our future generations.
A lot of programs are available, and offered, online where you can adopt a
tiger, elephant, turtle, even an orangutan, and receive a certificate and
regular updates on your ‘child’.

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