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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Categories
Tourism Malaysia

TOP HOTELS IN MALAYSIA THAT TRANSPORT YOU TO A DIFFERENT WORLD

Holidays are a way to get away from the routine and
familiar. That’s why when we travel, we sometimes catch ourselves doing things
we wouldn’t normally do back home. We’re more adventurous, aren’t we, when we’re
on the road travelling. There’s a change of scenery, we’re surrounded by
strange cultures, the food is different, etc. In such an environment, we find
ourselves opening up to new experiences – we try the local food, we get out of
our comfort zone and speak to the locals, we participate in their traditions,
and more.

A romantic holiday at Colmar Tropicale, oui?

Similarly, when we check ourselves into a hotel, wouldn’t it
be nice to be surrounded by a fresh change of scene? Of course, the standard
hotels have all the comforts we could ever want, but how about passing up on
that spick and span hotel experience and jump in to a whole new “hotel”
environment?

Kids will just love to be kids at Legoland Hotel

Thematic hotels abound in Malaysia and it’s a great way to get out of our comfort zone to try something new. For kids, surely they would love the Legoland Hotel in Johor to relive their love for these iconic play bricks. Or how about Jen Hotel, also in Johor, where we hear you can check into a Hello Kitty-inspired room? Feeling a little bit French? Colmar Tropicale transports you to a Parisienne holiday in the tropics!

Love the Sanrio characters? Check into this cute Hello Kitty room at Jen Hotel!

Well, read on to see our top picks of unusual and themed accommodations that will definitely give you a fresh take on your holiday in Malaysia!

Tiarasa Escapes, Janda Baik, Pahang

Tiarasa Escapes is glamping extraordinaire for folks who want to be near nature but have issues with creepy crawlies. Rest assured that this property will put you up in exclusive tented villas surrounded by thick rainforest in the hills of Pahang…and pamper you while you are there with in-room comforts such as free-standing bathtubs, luxurious bedspreads and comfortable pillows.

Think of picnics by the bubbling brook, evening campfires to roast your marshmallows, stargazings at night, moonlight cinemas and morning walks amid the cool highland mist. Here’s where you can be the luxe-version of your Indiana Jones!

The Prestige Hotel, Penang

If you love a little magic in your life, then book a room at The Prestige Hotel in Penang’s UNESCO World Heritage enclave, but don’t mistake it as simply another Victorian heritage hotel.

Light, space and lines create unique optical illusions at Victorian-styled The Prestige

So inspired was the designer of the hotel, Colin Seah of Ministry of Design, with Christopher Nolan’s 2006 film, “The Prestige” about rival magicians in the Victorian era, that he introduced elements of optical illusion throughout the property. Take for instance the “levitating” bed that seems to float in the middle of the room, hidden doors that lead to pantries, and the piece-de-resistance of the room — the custom-designed shower and wardrobe enclosure, supposedly harking back to Houdini’s escape box!

Through subtle and clever use of light and space, geometric lines and repeated patterns, the designer leads guests to experience a little magic during their stay, so that nothing is ever quite what it seems!

Hard Rock Hotel, Desaru Coast, Johor

Fancy yourself a rockstar? Then, you’ll dig staying at the newly-opened Hard Rock Hotel in Desaru Coast, Johor. The international brand of property is renowned for its rockin’ hospitality. Check into their Rock Star Suite for some top-class Hollywood star treatment — enjoy in-room plush Sleep Like a Rock bedding, Bose sound system, and even a 15-ball American City ARAMITH 7 ft Pool Table. Pair that up with a personal concierge to meet your every whim and fancy, and you’ll have a rocking good time for sure!

Get ready to rock your holiday at Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

Don’t forget to explore the hotel’s Memorabilia Gallery to get you that bit closer to the rich and famous of Hollywood. On display are some of the greatest rock memorabilia, whether you’re a rocker who loves The Rolling Stones or a Rihanna fangirl!

Tanjong Jara Resort, Dungun, Terengganu

If you’re an urban dweller used to braving traffic jams and air pollution, why not retire to the east coast countryside of Malaysia and enjoy a change of pace in life? Get a room at Tanjong Jara Resort and enjoy the tranquility of this property, inspired by 17th century Malay palaces with a layout that makes you feel like you are in a typical Malay village.

Enjoy the tranquil east coast village lifestyle at the luxurious Tanjong Jara Resort

The genuine countryside charm is so authentic, even the staff that serve you are actually drawn from the local villages, who truly embody the gentle Malay art of service and hospitality. Sleep in luxuriously-appointed wooden villas, wake up to a traditional Malay breakfast, stroll along the beautiful beach, and enjoy local folk games in the afternoons. If that’s not enough, indulge in traditional beauty treatments at their Spa Village — there’s one couple’s treatment that last half a day where we hear you’ll be treated like Kings and Queens!

The Culvert, Kuching, Sarawak

Who would ever think that refurbished concrete culverts would make a cosy hotel room…well, the owners of The Culvert thought it would be unique to transform these huge cylinders of concrete and galvanised steel into rooms, and so they did! Don’t worry, you’ll still get to sleep in comfortable beds, have access to en-suite baths and even soak yourself in the free-standing bath tubs!

Beautiful sunset view at The Culvert in Kuching

On a patch of land nestled in the dense flora and undergrowth of Santubong, Kuching is this dreamy and relaxing resort that will melt away your stress. Enjoy views of the iconic Mount Santubong in the background, and frolic in the private beach nearby. Outfitted with eco-friendly room designs and an array of facilities offering adventure and relaxation, this Kuching hotel resort promises to take you on a cultural journey of Sarawak’s rainforests and rejuvenate your weary soul.

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

Categories
Tourism Malaysia

TOP HOTELS IN MALAYSIA THAT TRANSPORT YOU TO A DIFFERENT WORLD

Holidays are a way to get away from the routine and
familiar. That’s why when we travel, we sometimes catch ourselves doing things
we wouldn’t normally do back home. We’re more adventurous, aren’t we, when we’re
on the road travelling. There’s a change of scenery, we’re surrounded by
strange cultures, the food is different, etc. In such an environment, we find
ourselves opening up to new experiences – we try the local food, we get out of
our comfort zone and speak to the locals, we participate in their traditions,
and more.

A romantic holiday at Colmar Tropicale, oui?

Similarly, when we check ourselves into a hotel, wouldn’t it
be nice to be surrounded by a fresh change of scene? Of course, the standard
hotels have all the comforts we could ever want, but how about passing up on
that spick and span hotel experience and jump in to a whole new “hotel”
environment?

Kids will just love to be kids at Legoland Hotel

Thematic hotels abound in Malaysia and it’s a great way to get out of our comfort zone to try something new. For kids, surely they would love the Legoland Hotel in Johor to relive their love for these iconic play bricks. Or how about Jen Hotel, also in Johor, where we hear you can check into a Hello Kitty-inspired room? Feeling a little bit French? Colmar Tropicale transports you to a Parisienne holiday in the tropics!

Love the Sanrio characters? Check into this cute Hello Kitty room at Jen Hotel!

Well, read on to see our top picks of unusual and themed accommodations that will definitely give you a fresh take on your holiday in Malaysia!

Tiarasa Escapes, Janda Baik, Pahang

Tiarasa Escapes is glamping extraordinaire for folks who want to be near nature but have issues with creepy crawlies. Rest assured that this property will put you up in exclusive tented villas surrounded by thick rainforest in the hills of Pahang…and pamper you while you are there with in-room comforts such as free-standing bathtubs, luxurious bedspreads and comfortable pillows.

Think of picnics by the bubbling brook, evening campfires to roast your marshmallows, stargazings at night, moonlight cinemas and morning walks amid the cool highland mist. Here’s where you can be the luxe-version of your Indiana Jones!

The Prestige Hotel, Penang

If you love a little magic in your life, then book a room at The Prestige Hotel in Penang’s UNESCO World Heritage enclave, but don’t mistake it as simply another Victorian heritage hotel.

Light, space and lines create unique optical illusions at Victorian-styled The Prestige

So inspired was the designer of the hotel, Colin Seah of Ministry of Design, with Christopher Nolan’s 2006 film, “The Prestige” about rival magicians in the Victorian era, that he introduced elements of optical illusion throughout the property. Take for instance the “levitating” bed that seems to float in the middle of the room, hidden doors that lead to pantries, and the piece-de-resistance of the room — the custom-designed shower and wardrobe enclosure, supposedly harking back to Houdini’s escape box!

Through subtle and clever use of light and space, geometric lines and repeated patterns, the designer leads guests to experience a little magic during their stay, so that nothing is ever quite what it seems!

Hard Rock Hotel, Desaru Coast, Johor

Fancy yourself a rockstar? Then, you’ll dig staying at the newly-opened Hard Rock Hotel in Desaru Coast, Johor. The international brand of property is renowned for its rockin’ hospitality. Check into their Rock Star Suite for some top-class Hollywood star treatment — enjoy in-room plush Sleep Like a Rock bedding, Bose sound system, and even a 15-ball American City ARAMITH 7 ft Pool Table. Pair that up with a personal concierge to meet your every whim and fancy, and you’ll have a rocking good time for sure!

Get ready to rock your holiday at Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast

Don’t forget to explore the hotel’s Memorabilia Gallery to get you that bit closer to the rich and famous of Hollywood. On display are some of the greatest rock memorabilia, whether you’re a rocker who loves The Rolling Stones or a Rihanna fangirl!

Tanjong Jara Resort, Dungun, Terengganu

If you’re an urban dweller used to braving traffic jams and air pollution, why not retire to the east coast countryside of Malaysia and enjoy a change of pace in life? Get a room at Tanjong Jara Resort and enjoy the tranquility of this property, inspired by 17th century Malay palaces with a layout that makes you feel like you are in a typical Malay village.

Enjoy the tranquil east coast village lifestyle at the luxurious Tanjong Jara Resort

The genuine countryside charm is so authentic, even the staff that serve you are actually drawn from the local villages, who truly embody the gentle Malay art of service and hospitality. Sleep in luxuriously-appointed wooden villas, wake up to a traditional Malay breakfast, stroll along the beautiful beach, and enjoy local folk games in the afternoons. If that’s not enough, indulge in traditional beauty treatments at their Spa Village — there’s one couple’s treatment that last half a day where we hear you’ll be treated like Kings and Queens!

The Culvert, Kuching, Sarawak

Who would ever think that refurbished concrete culverts would make a cosy hotel room…well, the owners of The Culvert thought it would be unique to transform these huge cylinders of concrete and galvanised steel into rooms, and so they did! Don’t worry, you’ll still get to sleep in comfortable beds, have access to en-suite baths and even soak yourself in the free-standing bath tubs!

Beautiful sunset view at The Culvert in Kuching

On a patch of land nestled in the dense flora and undergrowth of Santubong, Kuching is this dreamy and relaxing resort that will melt away your stress. Enjoy views of the iconic Mount Santubong in the background, and frolic in the private beach nearby. Outfitted with eco-friendly room designs and an array of facilities offering adventure and relaxation, this Kuching hotel resort promises to take you on a cultural journey of Sarawak’s rainforests and rejuvenate your weary soul.

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Categories
Tourism Malaysia

Desaru Coast

Key five reasons why you should go Desaru Coast fast!

I have made up my mind to head “down south” again this year after I was impressed by the development of the state of Johor when I visited the place a year ago. This round, I decided to take an in-depth travel to Desaru Coast, which spans over 3,900 acres along a pristine 17km beachfront that faces eastwards over the clear ocean waters.

I’m well prepared to share with you my exploration to this place as something new and exciting are waiting all of us there. Let’s see what excite me during my trip.

The stunning Desaru Coast Hard Rock Hotel 

The 365-room hotel is linked to a newly built world-class waterpark via its ground level. Overlooking the man-made beach and wave pools, Desaru Coast Hard Rock Hotel features eco-friendly themed, music-inspired elements as well as a resort-styled accommodation experience for its guests. Just trust me, you will definitely wish to visit here again and again after your first trip here. Well, if you are Johoreans or Johor residents, you can keep track of 50% discounts offer before your trip here.

The hotel rooms, at first glance might be quite similar to other typical hotel rooms, but in fact it got something make you feel it is still above your expectation as it takes everything with attention to detail (you can see umbrella, weighting machines, complimentary minibar and snack tray in your room and the guitar logo is printed on its pillow). Refill water bottle and water dispenser are available to reduce the usage of its plastic bottle. Guests will receive a personalised welcome message when switching on TV and they can enjoy a great selection of rock music.

Themed Rock Star concept, all guests can be entertained by live band daily as scheduled. There is a memorabilia exhibition of the Rock Stars Collection and a Sound of Your Stay Music program in a complimentary audio experience for its guests to either enjoy creating own personalised playlist, playing a music instrument or listening to 10 specially-curated records etc at specific schedule.

Besides, a 23-acre waterfront landscaped retail and lifestyle village, offering exciting retail, restaurants, cafes and entertainment outlets are just within walking distance from the hotel.

World-class Desaru Coast Water Challenge Park 

Even though the weather is hot in Malaysia, but it will not stop anybody, both young and old from exploring this newly-built theme park. Featuring more than 20 wet and dry rides, slides and attractions, this waterpark can accommodate up to 12,000 guests at one time. It is home to unique rides including the first-ever water coaster in the region and one of the biggest wave pools in the world. You will find it a great splashing time with your family and friends here.

Taking “Kraken’s Revenge” as example, it brings guests to the sky through its shipwreck and throw them in fast speed to the water pools.

It creates excitement and fun with loud screaming heard everywhere inside the theme park.

Golfing Paradise – The Els Club Desaru Coast 

 

Set in the heart of Desaru Coast, The Els Club Desaru Coast features 45-holes of golf in total, with two distinct clubs; Ocean Course, a 27-hole golf course designed by Ernie Els and Valley Course, an 18-hole golf course designed in collaboration with Els’ long standing friend and major champion, Vijay Singh.

Managed by world-renowned management organisation, Troon Golf, the experience, service and condition will be of the highest order and will bring a new standard to gold in Southeast Asia, giving members and guests the assurance their experience will be first-class each and every time they play.

Complimentary shuttle bus is available for guests to The Els Club from Hard Rock Hotel. Golf lovers can definitely enjoy a nice stay with great golfing experience. For non-golfers, you can also enjoy the lush greenery view for the stunning golf course. 

Special events and activities

To position Desaru Coast as a premium destination resort, a host of exciting events and activities will be held all year-long that promises great fun for whole family and create memories that will last a lifetime. Its first edition of Desaru Coast Gourmet Series, themed “A Malaysian Journey”, featuring award winning Michelin Grand Chef, Emmanuel Stroobant is one of the examples that offering exclusive dining experience that took place in Dec last year for its guests. Look forward for the remaining five-series of this special curated dining program in 2019, which is partnered with Singapore’s culinary event organisers, SAVOUR.

It is proud to say that I managed to sample the six-course dinner, a first-of-its-kind mouth-watering fusion flavour during my visit served by the celebrity chef Emmanuel.

Desaru Coast Gourment Series is part of “Desaru Coast Live Series”, a curation of special events focusing on music, gourmet and lifestyle, which includes sports, designed exclusively for Desaru Coast with the aim to nurture it as a signature events destination.

Key Upcoming Development

Upcoming components due to open in 2019 include renowned hotels such as The Westin Desaru Coast Resort, Anantara Desaru Coast Resort Villas and OneOnly Desaru Coast. Besides that, Desaru Coast Conference Centre, a fully-equipped multipurpose venue that can host up to 1,000 participants is another key attractions for the entire development to cater to corporate functions, meetings, exhibitions and entertainment events.

 

 

 

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Categories
Tourism Malaysia

Ramadan Rarities!

The most-awaited month is approaching, for various reasons.

Ramadan!

For Muslims, this month of fasting is also the month to enhance their relationship with Allah by doing more good, be it towards each other or by increasing number of prayers and reciting the Holy Quran.

For Non-Muslims (and many Muslims too, if you’re really honest!), this is also a month of enjoying food. Yes, Malaysians generally enjoy food on a daily basis, but during Ramadan, there is something special in the air, the hustle-bustle at the Bazaars, that takes the whole experience to another level.

Be it the common martabak, roti John, or the sweet and silky tepung pelita, everyone has their favourite must-have dish when breaking fast.

Here are some ‘Ramadan rarities’ from a few select States around Malaysia.

When I went back to Kelantan to my in-law’s place a few years back, I was very much intrigued when I saw some of the dishes available at the local Bazaar. One of which was lemak bakar, or literally translated, grilled fat. Yes, FAT. It was really a chunk of cow fat on a stick, grilled over an open fire. I was fascinated! Out of curiosity, we bought one to try. It was weird, because when you bit down on it, it was like an ‘oil balloon’ that just burst in your mouth! If you are a fan of the fatty bits from a perfectly-cooked sirloin, you MUST try this!

Another dish which was unusual, even to my in-laws, was apam telur. It looked like a rolled up egg omelette, slightly sweet with a filling of shaved young coconut. And it was delicious!! Another must-try dish if ever you are in Kelantan during Ramadan.

Sweet desserts are not uncommon in Kelantan and Terengganu, and one of the elusive ones that only often appear during Ramadan is nekbat.

Nekbat is made from rice flour, sugar and eggs, and the syrup it is drenched in contains cloves and pandan leaves, giving it a unique spicy-sweet aroma.

Way down South, in Johor, the absolute MUST when breaking fast is air kathira. It is a milky-green concoction made from blended dates, milk (some use soy milk, some use evaporated milk), and added to it is some basil seeds, kembang semangkuk, and a dash of rose water. It is said to be really nutritious and great for quenching one’s thirst.

Another dish which is difficult to find on normal days is botok-botok ikan. Fresh whole or sliced fish is laid on banana leaves, drenched in a spicy, aromatic sambal sauce, then covered with fresh herbs and various ‘ulam’, then wrapped carefully and steamed till cooked through. Best enjoyed with a plate of steamed white rice!

Let’s journey back up North to Kedah, and savour the uniqueness of this one particular dish – Nasi Ulam.

Because of the meticulous preparation required to prepare this dish, one will not easily find it outside of Ramadan.

A variety of fresh herbs and ‘ulam’, some of which are quite rare, are sliced really finely, combined with fried salted fish, grilled Indian Mackerel (ikan kembung), and a basic sambal, it is then topped off with toasted coconut paste (kerisik). Everything is then mixed together to form a beautiful, aromatic, healthy rice dish. One can enjoy it on its own, or with a side serving of asam rebus keladi, a savoury dish made from yam stems.

And there you have it, some of the rare dishes which one can only find at the bazaars during Ramadan. You can probably find a few of them at the bazaars in the Klang Valley, but really, nothing beats the original!

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