Tourism Malaysia

24 hours in Chinatown

24 hours in Chinatown

I revisit Kuala Lumpur so mostly any year I’ve started to feel like a local. That is a internal of Chinatown where we constantly spend all my time.

It’s substantially a small unhappy though if I’m customarily in KL overnight — frequently we am there longer also — we go directly to Chinatown to a same shops, hairdressers and hotel we always go to.

The night time movement in Chinatown. Pic: Joanne Lane.

The night time movement in Chinatown. Pic: Joanne Lane.

I’ve kind of grown a bit of a slight that doesn’t change many from revisit to visit. This is given it’s unequivocally good to ramble a informed community when you’re so used to being out of your home domain and do a same things and not feel like a tourist, notwithstanding it being a touristy area of course.

I don’t guarantee these practice are for everyone, though here’s my report and a things we like to do.


I some-more mostly than not arrive during LCCT airport where there are unchanging buses to KL Sentral for as small as RM 8 one approach or RM 14 return. These flattering many run 24 hours a day so we never have to wait too long. They also have buses for other destinations including KLIA, Genting and other areas. If we arrive during KLIA there are identical train services and trains.

Once I’m off my moody and have my luggage we conduct for a train – leave a departures area and conduct outward and travel around to a right of a arrivals area where you’ll see lots of buses.

I’m customarily flattering sleepy after a moody so we try to get a bit of siesta on a float as it’s impossibly well-spoken and prolonged adequate to nap (about one hour duration).

From LCCT we afterwards take a LRT to Pasar Seni where it’s a brief travel to my guesthouse.


I always stay during Matahari Lodge (Jalan Hang Kasturi, tel. +603 2070 5570). I’ve been going there for years – ever given they non-stop and they’ve even altered hands once. It’s a bill investiture though we get a private room that is impossibly clean. The bathrooms are common though also impeccably managed—they yield showering shoes–and they have giveaway WiFi and breakfast in a morning. There’s also a lounge, a TV, copiousness of books to review and we can keep food in a fridge if we like.


By this theatre if I’m sleepy it’s bed time, if not I’ll cocktail into a night marketplace in Chinatown to get something to eat. There’s so many to select from – duck baked in clay pots, banana and chocolate roti, satay chicken, grilled fish, smorgasboard character giveaway for alls (usually during lunch time and a good one underneath one of a overpasses on Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock) and more. You can eat from streetside stalls or lay down and watch life go by with a Tiger Beer or two. we adore it. we also adore to ramble around and demeanour during some of a peculiar things being brewed, baked and eaten – durian unmentionables (not for me), cubes of rice, soya bean matter, prawn on sticks, coconuts and countless unidentifiable objects.

Clay pot chicken. Pic: Joanne Lane.

Clay pot chicken. Pic: Joanne Lane.



I always report in a bit of pampering during my time in Chinatown. we know it’s touristy though there was glorious Chinese reflexology on a second building of Central Market when we was there progressing in a year. The manager told me they have utterly a high turnover of staff though a peculiarity is many improved than a options in Jalan Petaling – I’d grant with that. It was something like RM 60 for an hour.

I’ve also been to a beautician nearby a Reggae Bar (literally around a corner) a few times where they do illusory hair cuts and massage. There was an Indonesian lady there final time we went who did a Indonesian character cream bath – ask for it!


As I’m customarily streamer home from KL we always cocktail into Central Market to do some commemoration shopping. My nieces adore a small knicknacks we collect adult there and I’ve got their Christmas presents there a final few years. There are small Malaysian dolls on pencils, lovable Batik purses, small boxes to store things in, kitchenware, scarves we name it. It’s a ideal place to spend a few Ringgit and get a final things we need.

The other selling object I’m guilty of is DVDs. These are sole via Chinatown and we always collect adult a few cinema to move home – something to watch on my laptop on a subsequent flight. It’s value bargaining—I’ve paid several prices over a years—and we should always ALWAYS check a peculiarity initial – they have DVD players there and will give we a viewing.

A wander

If we still have time I’ll customarily ramble down Jalan Petaling to suffer a activity. Because it’s a ancestral area with copiousness of engaging Chinese shophouses and temples I’ll customarily cocktail into one or dual of a latter of these – many mostly than not a Guandi Temple that’s only around a dilemma in Jalan Tun H S Lee from a Matahari Lodge. This is a really internal dilemma with people entrance in and out and lighting incense, observant their prayers and creation merit. we suffer sitting in a dilemma and examination them flitting in and out. It’s utterly atmospheric.

Atmospheric sights during a Guandi Temple. Pic: Joanne Lane.

Atmospheric sights during a Guandi Temple. Pic: Joanne Lane.



As on arrival, removing behind to LCCT or KLIA is a breeze. It’s value checking a report for buses vacating KL Sentral however only in box we find we have to wait there for a bit – not value blank your flight.

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Tourism Malaysia

Regatta Lepa – a boating festival Sabah style

Regatta Lepa – a boating festival Sabah style

Most people go to Semporna in distant southeastern Sabah for a universe category diving sites that distortion usually off a seashore – Sipadan immediately springs to mind for many. But for me, it was a tiny footnote in Lonely Planet that got me hooked: “This especially Bajau city unequivocally comes alive during a finish of Mar when a charming regatta takes place, though routinely it’s quiet.”

A regatta in Sabah? A Borneo festival with traditional, single-mast sailing boats? we was in.

I arrived in Semporna a few days before festivities for a Regatta Lepa got underway when tents and stalls were usually being set up. The 2012 eventuality was Sabah Tourism’s 19th annual chronicle of a charming internal frolic and it betrothed an insinuate perspective into some of a traditions of a region.

Semporna itself seemed a flattering small place with stilt houses sprawled opposite a bay, that in spin was filled with boating activity, markets and trade. It looked earnest already though we headed over to Mabul Island initial for a prevalent diving knowledge and afterwards returned to a mainland several days later.

By a time we returned on a Friday evening, a festivities had begun. In what had been dull streets when we initial arrived, were countless stalls piled high with all demeanour of products – scarves (for Muslim women), kids’ toys, clothing, hats, jewellery, internal food and drinks.


There were so many of these stalls they literally clogged a streets – many of that were sealed to traffic. Wandering serve afield into what competence have indeed been permanent marketplace areas, we also came opposite countless stalls barbecuing adult several forms of seafood.

There were also some informative events holding place on a city margin with dancing in normal dress, song and singing. And there were some normal wooden hulled lepa boats already sailing around, flashy and prepared for a vessel parades of a morrow. These single-mast sailing boats of a Bajaus of Semporna give a festival a name and it was sparkling to see them finally.

Cultural performances with electric costumes on a city field. Pic: Joanne Lane.

However I’d unequivocally come for a fad of a boating events on a Saturday and it was value watchful for. These were hold on a waters in front of a Seascape Hotel so we trudged down there to join an huge throng heckling for pivotal observation spots on a river. A word of recommendation for destiny festival goers – get here early for a best views.

There were singular vessel or organisation dug-out events, an eventuality in that competitors had to stand a stick and try to pull any other off, and even a yank of fight foe in that vessel competitors could use their legs usually to row. It was noisy, rough and entirely beguiling with teams removing resounding cheers when they returned to a docks.

Hotly contested boating events during a festival. Pic: Joanne Lane.

After this a regatta of a boats began with a charming tide of lepa boats embellished out in flags and even dancing women in normal dress. They smiled, swayed, and changed impossibly prolonged finger-nailed hands around while group behind them kick on gongs, drums and other internal instruments.

When this was over there were countless speeches and prayers and a throng changed off behind into a streets. we incited my courtesy afterwards to a marketplace stalls nearest a hotel. It was good to see some of these enlivening coral charge and improved fishing practices as a segment is indeed famous for a underwater life and dynamite fishing has been a problem in a past.

The charming march of lepa boats finish with dancing women. Pic: Joanne Lane.

The WWF was using a children’s sketch foe of a internal flora and fauna underneath and above a sea, there were tolerable farming/agricultural exhibits and some group displaying a famed woodwork skills of lepa boats. One was quite gratified when we commented on how good they were.
Local tourism ventures had also put together some giveaway tours in a area including a town, internal movement and mangrove trips. You simply sealed adult if they still had space and afterwards met during an allocated time to be taken on a trip. Unfortunately by a time we came opposite their information I’d missed a final tour.

In a afternoon and dusk a movement changed to a city margin again with a lantern march threading by city from a gulf with boats illuminated with angel lights.

This was followed by a accumulation of speeches, some of that were translated in English. One, by a administrator or internal minister, was quite good espousing a secular peace and farrago of multicultural Malaysia and unequivocally roused a throng with cheers.

This was followed by several informative performances including women in a many implausible costumes and really thespian fireworks late in a dusk that boomed over city in an implausible arrangement of colour.

On a final morning Semporna seemed to be returning to a routinely still slight with a boats, parades, lanterns, song and dance of a annual regatta already over. In all it was a illusory approach to see a bit of internal culture.


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Tourism Malaysia

Enjoying a liberality of headhunters in Borneo

Enjoying a liberality of headhunters in Borneo

Rumah Bundong is a 60 year-old, 50-door longhouse nearby Kapit in a Malaysian state of Sarawak. It is inhabited by about 40 families of Iban ethnicity, who are famed, among many things, for headhunting.


Yes that’s right—headhunting—and 40 families means there are a lot of them. Still, I’m speedy to learn they ceased a use around WWII since I’ve inaugurated to stay with them for dual nights and honestly we don’t wish them removing any ideas.

When we initial arrived during Rumah Bundong, one of a initial things we saw were skulls moving from rafters in front of a headman’s bilik (door). Whether it was a warning for uncontrolled guest or a hideous commemoration for tourists, who knows? In any box we shortly took tiny notice of it since there were so many other things to take in.

Skulls unresolved from a rafters during Rumah Bundong. Pic: Joanne Lane.

The longhouse was located about an hour’s rough expostulate from Kapit and opposite a cessation bridge; in many ways a thespian attainment that combined to a experience.

A ruai (verandah) connected a 100-metre prolonged structure with doors heading to particular family areas. The verandah was a village area where women dusty grains, divided a fish catch, worked on handicrafts, disposed children and chatted. The organisation also grouped together to smoke, mend fishing nets and carve hooks. There was a genuine clarity of a close community.


I was given accommodation for a price with a headman, Tua Rumah Bundong Tajok, and his family. His married children lived with their possess families in a array of bedrooms in a same quarters, while singular members slept in a loll or nearby a guest buliding – a loft above a vital area.

The 100 metre prolonged widen of a Rumah Bundong longhouse. Pic: Joanne Lane.

There was electricity, a television, they had mobile phones and lived in simple though gentle rooms. An latrine was used for soaking and toileting, though many people bathed down during a river.

Few in a family spoke English though it didn’t matter. The headman’s mother and daughters prepared tasty dishes of beef and vegetables that we ate communally on a kitchen floor. It was smashing to be enclosed in family life and not treated differently and we dived into a bowls with everybody else.

The initial day we spent personification with a headman’s grandchildren, showering in a tide and exploring to get a clarity of a rhythms of a longhouse. Most people were farmers and spent a days operative in a fields. There was also a propagandize on site for younger children. In a afternoon a workers would lapse home and accumulate on a verandahs.

On a second day we accompanied a headman, some of his family and a dozen workers to their fields. We set out during dawn, walking for 30 mins opposite hillsides and rivers to strech what seemed to be a array of burnt out, hilly paddocks.

It didn’t demeanour too earnest to me though we guessed they contingency have recently privileged them for replanting – a charge for today. While we sat eating breakfast one of a comparison men, lonesome liberally in tattoos, constructed a duck and cut a throat. When he dipped a feathers in a blood and set them in a plate of food—perhaps to magnify a work—visions of headhunting came to mind again.

The lunch time feast after a sweaty morning in a fields. Pic: Joanne Lane.

However it was shortly transparent a duck was a lunch. The headman burnt a feathers in a glow and began to ready it. Meanwhile a organisation started creation holes in a belligerent with poles and a ladies trailed behind stuffing a pockets with rice seeds.


After examination for awhile we assimilated a women and was shortly scratched, sweating and lonesome in ash. It was tough work. When we pennyless for lunch a women gave me a prolonged sleeved shirt, pants and a conical tillage shawl for protection.
We feasted on chicken, rice and vegetables in a hovel by a tiny stream. Before returning to a fields we all jumped in a H2O to cold off. As a midday object came out in blazing excellence we wondered if we could crawl out gracefully, though we didn’t wish to let a side down.

By a time we were finished we satisfied we had warranted my acclamation and behind during a longhouse was invited into homes, had food pulpy on me and treated as partial of a community.

On my final day a debate organisation visited a longhouse. Each was given a sip of tuak, rice wine, and food to eat and there was song and dancing. we was seated with a headman’s family via this and it seemed an confirmation we had turn partial of a family even only for those few days.


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Tourism Malaysia

Close encounters of a monkey kind – visiting a Semenggoh Rehabilitation Centre

Close encounters of a monkey kind – visiting a Semenggoh Rehabilitation Centre

Borneo is famous for a orangutans and a prominence for many travellers here is to see them in a wild. While it is probable to join trips going low into a jungles of Sarawak and Sabah, these can be costly and while there are an estimated 20,000 or so orangutans in Borneo there’s no pledge you’ll indeed come opposite them.

Orangutans are naturally bashful creatures and live singular lives mostly adult in a trees so it can be tough to come opposite them.

Orangutans are mostly arboreal, definition they live in a trees. Pic: Joanne Lane.


So many brief on time that wish guaranteed sightings will revisit places like a Semenggoh Rehabilitation Centre, customarily outward Kuching (Sarawak) or a Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary circuitously Sandakan (Sabah).

I visited a former during my revisit to Kuching as we was really penetrating to see these “people of a forest” – a approach interpretation of a name orang utan. What’s critical to note about a orangutans during Semenggoh is that while they aren’t utterly vital in a wild, they are mostly giveaway to come and go as they please.

Food is supposing twice daily to addition their needs as there simply isn’t adequate stable timberland left for them to roam. Apparently vast adults will naturally ramble a vast area of timberland any day customarily to find adequate to eat, so though a supplemented diet during Semenggoh there wouldn’t be adequate food for them all.

Orangutans are of march an involved class and thankfully stable by law in Malaysia. Authorities have been perplexing to negate their detriment of habitat, and a live animal trade, that has decimated their numbers, by environment adult these reconstruction centres.

Feeding time during Semenggoh. An orang-utan reaches down for an egg. Pic: Joanne Lane.

We had a automobile and motorist to take us to Semenggoh from a hotel in Kuching as there were utterly a few of us. This saved us a 20 notation travel from a gate, as a open bus, series 6, customarily drops we during a entrance. It also earnings during 5pm so we have to watch a time if we go in a afternoon.

It is best to revisit during a feeding times that take place daily from 9-10am and 3-3.30 pm. There’s customarily a substantial throng collected for these so it’s not a totally singular or camera giveaway experience, though once a orangutans start nearing we forget about all else.

Around 9am workers during a refuge started putting out fruit for a primates. This seemed to be primarily bananas and pawpaw though apparently they are lustful of figs, eggs and even a sharp durian. For awhile we all stood there with a gawk skyward to a trees anticipating to locate a glance of them.

Before prolonged a initial of a primates seemed – a prolonged reddish hair graphic opposite a immature leaflet of a trees. It was a assured youth masculine and it worked a approach along a good placed wire with implausible lively until it could strech down and collect contentedly during a offerings. It seemed unfazed by a throng collected nearby.

Minutes after a mom and baby arrived. The youngster seemed roughly dumbstruck by all a courtesy and gazed during us with far-reaching eyes, stealing intermittently in a mother’s hair. Meanwhile silent herself hardly blinked during a watchful assembly while she took a offering bottle of divert and sucked away. They seemed roughly tellurian in some of their mannerisms and it was easy to see where a name “person of a forest” had come from.

A mom and baby during Semenggoh. Pic: Joanne Lane.


By this theatre some-more and some-more orangutans began to appear—1, 2, 5, 10… we mislaid count—and what had creatively been a vast organisation of 30-plus tourists began to waste as people wandered off to follow a sold primate.

We had been educated about how to act around a orangutans and not to give them food, fume in front of them, hold them or get in their way. At times it was unfit to follow a final of these instructions as spasmodic one of them would simply seem within metres of a done paths, above we in a trees and spasmodic on a trail with you.

When they did come to belligerent they lumbered along in an roughly laughable way, babies retained to their chests, though would afterwards unexpected pitch gracefully adult by a bend and disappear above you.

There was a notice house in a closeness that listed a names of any one and some of a park wardens forked them out when they appeared. There was Ritchie, Rose, Anaku, Selina, Murray and many others. Their date of births were given and their age and mother, if known.

When a food ran out shortly after 10am, and they were delighted with a feast, they began to leave customarily as they had arrived. One by one they flitted off into a trees; there would be flashes of red hair here and there and afterwards they would disappear behind a leaves, accurately like people of a forest.

For some-more information we can hit a Visitors Information Centre during a National Parks Office, tel: (+6) 082 248088 Fax: (+6) 082 248087 or a Semenggoh Wildlife Centre (+6) 082 618423.

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