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Malaysia Travel Guide

SARAWAK SPREADS HER “PROMOTIONAL WINGS” TO ASIA

Kuching – August 13th: The Sarawak Tourism Board (‘STB’) has added another milestone in her efforts to boost Sarawak’s tourism through a collaborative effort with AirAsia and Laduni Services Sdn Bhd. to ensure that Sarawak’s brand will be widely seen on selected aircrafts flying in the region.

Minister thumb up sarawak tourism board air asia cabin ad panel

YB Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Sarawak giving thumbs up to one of Sarawak Ad Panel on AirAsia aircraft witness by Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor, CEO of STB and Dato Aziz Bakar, AirAsia Board of Director.

Through this collaboration, the overhead cabin compartments of 5 AirAsia planes will be prominently adorned with visuals depicting Sarawak as a destination full of life, vibrancy and excitement, showcasing various attractions of Sarawak’s culture, adventure, nature, food and festivals.

The collaboration was officiated by the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Sarawak, YB Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah at a signing ceremony held at the Kuching International Airport today.

This promotional effort on the 5 aircrafts involves AirAsia Malaysia and AirAsia Thailand, reaching out to 6 countries around Asian countries for duration of one year. Some of the key destinations include Kuala Lumpur, Miri, Kota Kinabalu, Langkawi, Johor Bharu, Kuala Terengganu, Alor Setar, Penang and Kuching in Malaysia, Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai in Thailand, Chennai, Kochi and Kolkata in India, Ho Chi Min City, Danang, Hanoi in Vietnam, Medan and Jakarta in Indonesia, Phnom Penh and Siam Rep in Cambodia, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Kunming and Shenzhen in China, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei and Singapore.

In addition, Sarawak will also be featured in the coveted 360 inflight magazine and other digital platforms at KLIA2.

YB Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said: “We hope that this promotional initiative will be able to give Sarawak greater brand visibility in the region targeting the correct audience among travellers. It serves to convey not only our promotional messages but a chance to showcase our State’s iconic visuals including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Mulu National Park, Sarawak Laksa, Tusan beach, Rainforest World Music Festivals and the Rafflesia flower amongst others.”

Flight connectivity has always been a key structural challenge for the State. It is hoped that promotional efforts such as this will enhance visibility in prime catchment areas within the region.

Echoing the Minister, STB’s CEO Sharzede Datu Salleh Askor said, “Sarawak tourism sees this private-public sector collaboration as a good synergy and consolidated initiative to promote Sarawak to its key target markets. Sarawak has many hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered and aircrafts are certainly one of the best platforms to boost visibility and capture tourists travelling around the Asian countries mentioned.”

Sharzede added that STB is also going strongly on promotions in the digital media realm to capture air travellers who are IT savvy, many of whom tend to use Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), for their travels.

This latest collaboration follows the earlier ‘Visit Sarawak Campaign’ AirAsia aircraft livery, which was launched on February 2, this year. These are among STB’s promotional strategy to create visibility for Sarawak in the domestic and International markets.

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Beach-bumming in Cambodia

With 60 primitive pleasant islands nestling in bluish waters simply reached from Phnom Penh, Cambodia is a place to island-hop while enjoying sand, roller and normal encampment life.

TRUSSED between dual outrageous palm trunks, my hammock sways in a pacific zephyr as Heng brings me a Mojito packaged with ice and uninformed mint.

Stretching out a idle palm to purchase a ice cold glass, we magnify a owners of Sihanoukville’s Snake House ? a quirky Russian food grill where we eat surrounded by crocs and snakes ? who told me about a 60-plus islands studding a stimulating waters of a Gulf of Thailand along Cambodia’s southern coast.

Far from a (sometimes maddening) full-moon parties and kitsch bungalow accommodation cramming Thailand’s coastal resorts, Cambodia’s beaches ? since they were undiscovered for years due to a upheavals of a Khmer Rouge regime ? are mostly deserted, a fact that tempted me immensely.

“It’s no traveller guide’s junket,” Ivor of a Snakehouse told me. “Not many of these islands have decent travel links, so if we wish to learn a best of what’s out there, you’ll substantially need to sinecure a boat.”

That night in Sihanoukville, as my feet were nibbled giveaway of calloused skin by fish in a tank, we motionless to get a first-taster and requisitioned a sheet for Koh Tang. Ivor had warned me to move copiousness of camping gear.

“Not many of a islands have correct traveller comforts or accommodation, so you’ll need to be prepared and, if we need diving gear, it’s substantially improved to arrange it all forward of time from a mainland,” he warned.

Dragging my complicated enclosure on and off boats and along sandy beaches and jungle paths was a bit of a nuisance, though we was shortly blissful we determined his advice.

A spacious five-hour outing from a mainland, Koh Tang became a conflict belligerent in 1975 when a Khmer Rouge prisoner a organisation of SS Mayaguez, a US-flagged enclosure ship, and US marines launched an unfinished rescue operation.

Later in 1978, this void island some 40km south of a Cambodian mainland again strike a headlines when Englishman John Dewhirst and New Zealander Kerry Hamill were prisoner here and after executed during a Khmer Rouge’s scandalous S21 jail in Phnom Penh.

Deserted, detached from a tiny troops presence, Koh Tang currently has a happier repute as one of a best dive sites in Cambodia.

Along with 5 other low sea fans who’d come here, with Scuba Nation Diving Centre (two days’ “room”-and-board from US$220 (RM668), we set adult tents in a untrustworthy mark behind a long, sandy beach, afterwards headed out to dive.

Over a subsequent few days, we explored a wonderland of multicolored shoals of fish that live in a staghorn coral of Explosion embankment and frolicked with a barracudas, jacks and cobias along Three Bears reef, afterwards returned to a campfire any dusk and ate uninformed fish, and drank punch-packing palm booze underneath a shining canopy of stars.

However, with my hair tangled from soaking in sea H2O and skin severe from sunburn, a intrigue of roughing it Robinson Crusoe-style began to wear thin, so we was some-more than prepared for my subsequent stop during Koh Rong Saloem a few days later. Hailed as a subsequent Ko Samui, Rong Saloem island is breathtakingly pleasing with unconstrained stretches of chalk-white silt and a unenlightened jungle interior where we hiked with a beam a following day and glimpsed a big-fanged black cobra.

Most of a time, however, we spent in a aptly named Lazy Beach Bungalows (US$40/RM121 a night) chilling out in one of half a dozen thatched-roofed huts sparse along a sandy beach nursed by a pacific bend of bluish sea, afterwards cooling off in a phosphorescent waters during night.

Seeking kick on a final day of my stay, we hired a long-tail vessel powered by an outboard engine that looked like a sidestep trimmer, and headed turn a seashore to Mai Pei Bei to do some proffer work.

“If you’re staying for a while, we can learn during a school, though if you’re usually here for a day, we’d adore it if we assistance out with a beach clean-up operation,” pronounced Nhean, who runs proffer operations in this accessible tiny fishing village.

Along with Nhean and some other volunteers, we combed a beaches all day for spawn and felt agreeably commendable as we loose a sleepy legs and painful backs that dusk in one of a internal food shacks sipping ice-cold Angkor drink and supping on juicy chunks of fresh-caught squid.

Back during Sihanoukville and surrounded by revelling crowds, we was shortly feeling agoraphobic, so we motionless to conduct for a islands on a other side of this sharp-witted Cambodian resort. Catching a Coasters vessel that leaves any morning during 9.30 from Ochheuteal beach, we was shortly leaping from a high stem of a vessel into a soothing silt of Koh Russei.

An hour’s float from a mainland, Bamboo island is usually dual prolonged sandy beaches related opposite a center by a jungle trail that buzzes with cicadas. Friends had endorsed Bimbamboo Bungalows on a bustling side of a island that attracts all a daytrippers, though we opted for a some-more pacific Koh Ru Bungalows (from US$15/RM45) on a southern side.

Enjoying a peace in a Koh Ru bungalow

Painted in clear colours, these bungalows are sincerely basic, with common showers and toilets, though a kindly shelving sandy beach strewn with seashells creates it ideal for kids, giving a laidback, family feel to this side of a island. After a few days lazing on a beach and supping on prahok-flavoured fish soup, samlor machu and a grilled-fish-and-pickle plate called trik kreoung pahok during a beach restaurant, we headed behind to Sihanoukville.

Up early a subsequent day, we headed a few kilometres out of city and held a newcomer vessel that travels along a mangrove-lined Prek Toeuk Sap River into Ream National Park.

Created in 1995, a park, that extends over 15,000ha of land and 6,000ha of sea habitat, is home to a horde of involved wildlife, including aristocrat cobras, pythons, good hornbills and leopard cats.

During my six-hour outing along this stream that empties into a Gulf of Thailand, we saw coffee-coloured Rhesus monkeys bathing any other in a sun, singular Irrawady dolphins that popped their bizarre lumpy heads out from underneath a vessel and dozens of drifting fish leaping out of a H2O around us like prismatic spinners.

Apart from a few bill rooming places, a usually accommodation inside a park is a Ream Beach Guesthouse (room from US$15/RM45 a night), a basic-but-friendly sleepery right on a beach where we spent a night.

The Ream Beach Guesthouse is a usually accommodation accessible inside a Ream National Park

Early a subsequent day, a tiny vessel whisked me on a 30-minute float opposite a festive cove to Koh Thmei, a primitive island where I’d indifferent a room during a eco-friendly Koh Thmei Resort (room from US$15 a night).

Sitting on a patio of one of a resort’s wooden bungalows unaware a prolonged sandy beach fringed by casuarina trees, we systematic another mojito and toasted a object environment in streaks of burning flush over a cove of Thailand. – Heidi Fuller-Love


Map: Bizarre Museums

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