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Tourism Malaysia

CRAZY RICH ASIANS: 5 SET LOCATIONS YOU CAN VISIT IN MALAYSIA

Crazy Rich Asians is the current big hit in movie theatres right now. If you don’t already know, it is a rom-com movie about a guy, Nick Young, who brings home his Asian-American girlfriend to be introduced to his family in Singapore. Only then does the girlfriend, Rachel, realise that her boyfriend is a “crazy rich Asian” and has to keep up with all the glitz and glamour, contend with weird relatives and gossip among envious socialites while trying to win over the heart of his domineering mother.

The movie, adapted from Kevin Kwan’s book by the same title, is directed by Jon M. Chu, and has an all-Asian cast, including Malaysian darlings Henry Golding as Nick Young and Michelle Yeoh as his mother, Eleanor Young.

We’re super proud of the fame and glory shining on Golding and Yeoh, but we’re equally excited that Malaysia was prominently featured in many of the movie scenes. That’s right, most of the movie was shot right here in Malaysia, and if you want to live it up like a crazy rich Asian, here’s where to go!

Carcosa Seri Negara

In the movie, Carcosa Seri Negara is the ancestral estate of Eleanor Young at Tyersall Park, but in reality, the twin buildings have an iconic role in Malaysia’s journey to independence. Historically, it was home to Malaya’s first British resident, Frank Swettenham, and later was made into a luxury hotel where Queen Elizabeth II once stayed, and socialites gathered for their popular afternoon high teas.

The Kuala Lumpur mansion, located on a hill near the Perdana Botanical Gardens, is currently being transformed into the Asian Heritage Museum. The museum will see a staggering collection of artefacts from China, the Malay Archipelago, and the larger region, including salvaged treasure from sunken ships, drums, keris and swords, etc.

It currently has an on-going exhibition called “Jalan Merdeka” which is open free to the public, chronicling Malaysia’s road to independence.

Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

In the movie, there is a courtyard mahjong scene between Eleanor and Rachel. This was filmed at the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion in Penang, affectionately called the Blue Mansion.

This building was once owned by a notable Chinese merchant who lavished his wealth on its construction. He envisioned his home to have exacting feng shui elements and it soon became a showcase for his wealth through imported finishings such as Scottish cast iron columns, English art-nouveau stained glass windows, and Stoke-on-Trent floor tiles.

Abandoned for years thereafter, the building was then restored and earned the prestigious UNESCO Heritage 2000 Award and the ASEANTA Conservation Award 2004.

Today, the mansion has become a living museum cum boutique hotel located within the George Town UNESCO Heritage site. Many cultural and heritage attractions, as well as some of the best Malaysian street food, are located within the area. Penang is only an hour away by flight from Kuala Lumpur.

Langkawi Island

Apparently, shots of Colin Khoo’s bachelor party in the movie were filmed on Langkawi Island, referred to as “Rawa Island” in the movie. Langkawi is actually a cluster of 99 glorious islands with beautiful emerald waters, stretches of white sandy beaches and geological formations that are said to be more than half a billion years old.

It has been endorsed as a UNESCO Global Geopark, the first in Southeast Asia, thanks to the island’s stunning landscapes, karsts, caves, sea arches, stacks, and other geological formations.

This beautiful island is a natural paradise that will charm all those looking for an idyllic island holiday, surrounded by thick rainforests, the sun and the sea!

Four Seasons Resort Langkawi

If you’re planning a bachelorette party ala Araminta Lee in Crazy Rich Asians, there’s no need to dream anymore. The scene was filmed at the super luxurious Four Seasons Resort Langkawi and you could easily have yours there as well!

Parties aside, the classy resort also caters to those looking for peace and quiet amid natural landscapes and mile-long white sandy beaches. Tucked away within the Langkawi UNESCO Global Geopark, the resort is a cluster of Malay-style pavilions and villas that offer quiet, romantic havens for guests.

A Geo Spa pampers adults with wellness treatments based on local traditions, while children are made to feel special with the Kids For All Seasons programme. With Langkawi’s rich natural environment conveniently at its doorstep, be prepared to explore the outdoors with a resident naturalist, or on your own at the Geopark Discovery Centre where Langkawi’s diverse ecosystems and natural attributes are showcased. Or, simply pull up a deck chair and lounge lazily on the 1.5 km stretch of white, sandy beach.

With daily flights to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur on a variety of local airlines, paradise is only one hour’s flight away!

Astor Bar, St. Regis Kuala Lumpur

Not many recognize The Astor Bar at St Regis Kuala Lumpur in the movie due to its transformation into a jewellery boutique, but apparently, it made the scene where we are first introduced to Astrid Teo aka The Goddess.

The bar, with its old-world charm and modern elegance of rich leather, black-and-gold marble and brass accents, is located within the recently-opened St. Regis Kuala Lumpur.

Those wanting to re-live the Crazy Rich Asian moment may visit the bar and enjoy an extensive offering of champagne, spirits and fine vintage wines while smoking on choice cigars and sampling their signature dishes such as the royal king crab served the highly-prized Oscietra caviar and truffle cream…all this under a breathtaking domed ceiling clad in handmade Italian gold tiles.

And, for a limited time only, Astor Bar has concocted a special cocktail, “The Astrid,” to celebrate its appearance in the film. The drink, a mixture of Jose Cuervo silver tequila, pomegranate juice, lemon bitters and elderflower foam, taken in the gilded setting of The Astor, is the perfect way to fantasise about being a crazy rich Asian!

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

Categories
Cuisine in Melaka

WHAT TREE DID PARAMESWARA SEE WHILE RESTING BESIDES THE RIVER

Saturday November 5, 2011

What tree did Parameswara really see in Malacca?
INTERACTIONS
By FRANCIS NG

IT is taken as a historical fact that Malacca was founded by Parameswara, who named it after the melaka tree. Parameswara, in the legendary account of the founding of Malacca, actually had no idea what the tree was.

He had seen a mouse deer kick one of his hunting dogs and, inspired by the fighting spirit of the mouse deer, he asked his followers “What is the name of the tree under which I am standing?” His followers replied “It is called melaka, your Highness”. Nobody said “Wait, let us check this out.”

I would like to present evidence that Parameswara was wrongly advised. Before anybody questions whether I am qualified to change history, let me explain that my comments are based on botany, and I am, after all, a qualified taxonomic botanist, one who deals with the naming and classification of plants.

The melaka tree, known in Sanskrit as amalaka’, has an ancient and venerable history in Sanskrit culture and medicine.

What’s in a name? Phyllanthus pectinatus is native to Malacca but is often mistaken for Phyllanthus emblica from which Malacca is believed to have gotten its name.
When the Swedish founder of modern plant classification, Carolus Linnaeus, gave this tree its scientific name in 1753, he Latinised amalaka’ to emblica’ and placed it within the genus Phyllanthus. Hence the melaka tree became known in science as Phyllanthus emblica. Phyllanthus emblica is now planted all over Malacca as the state’s iconic foundation tree.

However, what Parameswara saw must have been another species, Phyllanthus pectinatus, which has a superficial resemblance to Phyllanthus emblica.

Phyllanthus pectinatus was first described and named by Joseph Dalton Hooker in 1890, based on specimens collected in Perak, Malacca and Singapore.

I first became aware of the possible mis-identification when I planted melaka’ trees in FRIM (Forest Research Institute Malaysia), some from seeds collected in a forest, and some from seeds collected from a garden.

When the trees grew and produced flowers and fruits I found that they represented two utterly different species. These differences are obvious when specimens of the two species are placed side by side for comparison.

In Phyllanthus emblica, the fruits are clustered at the base of rather robust leafy shoots whereas in Phyllanthus pectinatus they sway in the wind at the ends of the finely feathery leafy shoots.

Inside the fruit is a hard stony structure containing the seeds. This stony structure is sharply 3-angled in Phyllanthus pectinatus but rounded in Phyllanthus emblica. There are also differences in flower structure and in the appearance of the bark.

In trying to figure out the relationship between the two species, I checked the specimens of melaka’ preserved at the herbarium of FRIM.

A herbarium is a place in which specimens collected by plant explorers are permanently preserved for scientific study and reference.

The FRIM herbarium serves as the national herbarium for Malaysia and it has specimens from all over the country, collected by botanists and foresters during the past 100 years of forest exploration. All the specimens of melaka’ in FRIM were of Phyllanthus pectinatus.

When I had the opportunity to visit the world herbarium at Kew, I examined the collections from all over Asia, including the specimens seen by Joseph Dalton Hooker. I also went to the Botanic Gardens Singapore to check the specimens in its herbarium.

Putting all the information together, the picture that emerged was that Phyllanthus emblica has its natural range across India, Burma, Thailand, Indo-china and South China.

In contrast, Phyllanthus pectinatus has its natural range within the Malay Archipelago, especially in Sumatra, Malay Peninsula and Borneo. In their natural state, there is no geographical overlap between the two species.

In brief, Phyllanthus pectinatus is a true forest tree of the Malay Archipelago and it is particularly common in the forests of Malacca state.

In contrast, Phyllanthus emblica occurs only as a planted garden tree in the Malay Peninsula and the rest of the Malay Archipelago. It has never been able to escape and establish itself in our forests.

The best place to see Phyllanthus pectinatus is in the recreational forest of Ayer Keroh just outside the city. This area is now being redesignated as a botanical garden, but its core area is maintained as natural forest.

In this forest, there are many natural trees of Phyllanthus pectinatus, prominently mislabelled as Phyllanthus emblica. Just outside the forest, the true Phyllanthus emblica has been planted prominently in various locations for visitors to see.

Nobody has noticed that the native trees in the forest are a different species from the planted trees outside. What Malacca needs is a botanist, ideally a taxonomist cum horticulturist, to manage its botanical garden.

Malacca may have to accept that it has two iconic foundation trees: the tree that Parameswara saw and misidentified, and the tree it got mistaken for.

To me, the native tree is the more attractive of the two.

? Botanist and researcher Francis Ng is the former deputy director-general of the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia. He is now the botanical consultant to Bandar Utama City Centre Sdn Bhd and the Sarawak Biodiversity Centre. ([email protected])

Article source: http://tourism-melaka.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Categories
Uncategorized

Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca

Date of Inscription: 2008
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Property : 148.0000 ha
Buffer zone: 284.0700 ha
N5 25 17 E100 20 45
Ref: 1223

Melaka and George Town, historic cities of the Straits of Malacca have developed over 500 years of trading and cultural exchanges between East and West in the Straits of Malacca. The influences of Asia and Europe have endowed the towns with a specific multicultural heritage that is both tangible and intangible. With its government buildings, churches, squares and fortifications, Melaka demonstrates the early stages of this history originating in the 15th-century Malay sultanate and the Portuguese and Dutch periods beginning in the early 16th century. Featuring residential and commercial buildings, George Town represents the British era from the end of the 18th century. The two towns constitute a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.

Outstanding Universal Value

Melaka and George Town, Malaysia, are remarkable examples of historic colonial towns on the Straits of Malacca that demonstrate a succession of historical and cultural influences arising from their former function as trading ports linking East and West. These are the most complete surviving historic city centres on the Straits of Malacca with a multi-cultural living heritage originating from the trade routes from Great Britain and Europe through the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and the Malay Archipelago to China. Both towns bear testimony to a living multi-cultural heritage and tradition of Asia, where the many religions and cultures met and coexisted. They reflect the coming together of cultural elements from the Malay Archipelago, India and China with those of Europe, to create a unique architecture, culture and townscape.

Criterion (ii): Melaka and George Town represent exceptional examples of multi-cultural trading towns in East and Southeast Asia, forged from the mercantile and exchanges of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures and three successive European colonial powers for almost 500 years, each with its imprints on the architecture and urban form, technology and monumental art. Both towns show different stages of development and the successive changes over a long span of time and are thus complementary.

Criterion (iii): Melaka and George Town are living testimony to the multi-cultural heritage and tradition of Asia, and European colonial influences. This multi-cultural tangible and intangible heritage is expressed in the great variety of religious buildings of different faiths, ethnic quarters, the many languages, worship and religious festivals, dances, costumes, art and music, food, and daily life.

Criterion (iv): Melaka and George Town reflect a mixture of influences which have created a unique architec¬ture, culture and townscape without parallel anywhere in East and South Asia. In particular, they demonstrate an exceptional range of shophouses and townhouses. These buildings show many different types and stages of development of the building type, some originating in the Dutch or Portuguese periods.

The integrity of the nominated areas in both towns is related to the presence of all the elements necessary to express their Outstanding Universal Value. The properties have retained their authenticity; listed monuments and sites have been restored with appropriate treatments regarding design, materials, methodologies, techniques and workmanship, in accordance with conservation guidelines and principles.

The protective measures for the properties are adequate. Both towns exhibit a generally acceptable state of conservation, although efforts are required to ensure the conservation of shophouses. The management plans and structures are adequate, and can be enhanced through the continuing conservation programs of the State Party.