Travel to Melaka

McDonald’s Hello Kitty Fairy Tales Available from November 7th

McDonald’s Hello Kitty Fairy Tales will be available for purchase form November 7th onwards till December 5th at RM9.95 each with any Mc Value Meal. There are available in 6 types of Hello Kitty plush toys ; The Frog Prince, Wizard Of Oz, Little Red Riding Hood, The Ugly Duckling and The Singing Bone.

The Hello Kitty Fairy Tales series will be available as followed :

  • Ugly Duckling – 7th November 2013
  • Wizard of Oz – 21st November 2013
  • Lttle Red Riding Hood – 28th November 2013
  • Frog Prince – 14th November 2013
  • Singing bone – 5th December

Cuisine in Melaka


Originally published Monday, March 26, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Malaysia’s Malacca thrives with history
The hub of Malacca’s civic colonial sites is Dutch Square — also called Red Square because of the color of its buildings.

By NAOMI LINDT The New York Times

On the tranquil grounds of the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Malaysia’s oldest Taoist house of worship, late afternoon visitors bowed and offered burning wands of incense to a gilded statue of the Goddess of Mercy, the deity for whom the temple was founded in the 1600s. Tourists quietly watched or focused cameras on the structure’s ornate, figurine-covered roof.

The placidity was interrupted by the muezzin’s call from the nearby Kampung Kling Mosque, an amalgam of Corinthian columns, Portuguese tiles and Hindu carvings, built by Indian Muslims in 1748. And down the street at the 230-year-old Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple, the country’s oldest Hindu temple, bare-chested and barefoot men in pastel-hued sarongs and garlands made of yellow blooms gathered to pray.

It was another seemingly sleepy afternoon in Malacca, Malaysia’s oldest city, just two hours south of Kuala Lumpur and about four hours northwest of Singapore. But underneath that sleepiness, its foundation of vibrant multiculturalism, which dates back centuries, is very much alive and increasingly accessible, as it welcomes a handful of hotels and millions of international visitors a year.

“I just love Malacca — its laid-back, slow pace of life and the history in the buildings, the people, the culture,” said a local resident, Colin Goh, 66, at Cheng Hoon, surrounded by a pair of red-and-gold sedan chairs and black-and-white photos that chronicled decades of the temple’s religious festivals. “Everything you touch that is not new is old.”

With his mix of Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese and “God only knows what else” heritage, Goh, a retired civil servant who now manages 8 Heeren Street, a restored 18th-century Dutch shophouse, embodies the city’s colonial past. Founded around 1400 by a Malay-Hindu prince, Malacca, within a century, became Southeast Asia’s most important trading port, luring an international cast of colonialists and merchants seeking a piece of the region’s lucrative spice trade.

The hub of Malacca’s civic colonial sites is Dutch Square — also called Red Square because of the color of its buildings — where tourists pose in front of the century-old Queen Victoria Fountain and trishaws festooned with plastic flowers gather. Nearby are the ruins of the A’Famosa fort, one of Asia’s oldest European-built structures, erected by the Portuguese 500 years ago, and the imposing Stadthuys, or town hall, built by the Dutch in 1650 and later painted salmon red by the British, Malacca’s last foreign rulers, whose reign lasted until 1957.

On the west side of the Malacca River, which flanks the square, along the old center’s narrow, atmospheric streets, are hundreds of lantern-hung shophouses, some distinctly Chinese in style, others bearing geometric Art Deco trademarks, and grand residences with ornately tiled stoops built by wealthy families of the past. For centuries, these streets served as the town’s commercial and residential center.

Malacca’s eclectic charm, with some help from a UNESCO World Heritage designation in 2008 and its reputation as one of Malaysia’s most exciting culinary destinations, has resulted in a steady growth in tourism. Last year 12 million visitors came, an increase of over 17 percent from 2010, according to a state tourism committee.

While some heritage buildings are still occupied by generations-old family businesses — silversmiths, watchmakers, dim sum purveyors — others have newer identities. At Temple Street, a shop run by a local artist, watercolors and hand-painted tiles depict idyllic street scenes. In another building, Nancy’s Kitchen, a no-frills restaurant known for its local Nyonya cuisine, sells addictive delicacies like buttery pineapple tarts and onde-onde, glutinous rice balls filled with Malacca’s famous palm sugar, known as gula Melaka, and covered in fresh coconut.


The Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, in a grand, preserved residence on Heeren Street (officially known as Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock), pays tribute to Peranakans, a group of wealthy, sophisticated families that arose from the intermarrying of Babas, or Chinese traders, and Nyonyas, or local residents.

The Peranakans forged a distinct East-meets-West culture that represents much of what makes Malacca so fascinating: A racial and religious multiculturalism that’s been cultivated and honored for centuries.This rich cultural heritage is also being celebrated in new lodging options. In 2009, a 100-year-old residential property down the street was converted into the 14-room Courtyard (AT) Heeren hotel, which blends era-appropriate furnishings with modern amenities. At the Snail House nearby, a charming French-Malaccan couple, Serge and K.C. Jardin, rent rooms in their carefully restored century-old home, with an open courtyard, a grand spiral staircase and high ceilings, offering travelers the chance to appreciate the nuances of Peranakan architecture.

“When you’re inside, you feel as if you’re in the presence of a wealthy Baba,” Jardin said. “And though you’re in the city center, it’s so quiet you forget where you are.”

Josephine Chua, a self-described “busybody housewife,” history buff and proponent of Malacca’s historic preservation, agreed.

“This place has been built on harmony since the 15th century,” she said.

Chua, 55, traces her local roots back nine generations, to 1765, when one of her paternal ancestors migrated from Fujian, China.

“The religions have coexisted side by side for centuries — that’s what makes us so unique and the town so great to live in,” she said. This is a particularly telling statement in modern-day Malaysia, whose Muslim, Malay-majority government has been criticized for exploiting ethnic divisions for the sake of political gain. “We don’t ask each other about one’s race and religion, but what we do always ask each other is,’Have you eaten?”‘

Where one has dined is not a question to be taken lightly in a city of restaurants serving home-cooked dishes, many of which have been passed down through generations. At Aunty Lee, a grandmotherly spot with lace curtains and pastel walls just a short drive from the historic center, septuagenarian chefs cook mouthwatering renditions of classic Nyonya dishes — chicken stewed with earthy, smoky keluak nuts; a fluffy omelet flavored with dried shrimp and chili; and cendol, a shaved ice dessert topped with coconut milk and gula Melaka.

Though authentic culture is easy to find in the city, residents like Chua and Goh worry about its future. The old center is now home to a recently opened Hard Rock Cafe, and many historic buildings have fallen into disrepair or been transformed into conventional souvenir shops and hostels, with no government financing to protect them.

Perhaps the most glaring example is Jonker Street, officially called Jalan Hang Jebat. Once known for its antiques shops, the strip now draws tour groups trawling stores stocked with Birkenstock knockoffs, batik linens and cheeky T-shirts with sayings like, “If YouTube MySpace, I’ll Google Your Yahoo.” It’s particularly raucous on weekends, when a food and retail night market takes over.

Still, what captivated explorers and entrepreneurs centuries ago never seems far away, whether it’s during a contemplative moment in a crumbling church or a stroll along the old town’s back streets and its fragrant Chinese medicine shops. Or while you are sipping a steaming cup of tea during a downpour at Zheng He Tea House, a hidden spot two blocks from Jonker Street. “Once you step into Malacca, you can feel the positive energy,” said Pak Siew Yong, the teahouse’s friendly owner. “Foreigners, once they come here, they don’t want to go home.”

Tourism Malaysia

Here Comes The Dragon

   Here Comes The Dragon!

Dragon Year
Enter the Dragon!

Legend has it that the Jade Emperor, the ruler of the heavens, had called for a meeting of the animals. He had ordained that the Zodiac be named after each animal according to the order of their arrival at the meeting.

It seems the dragon came in fifth. Being a fair and wise ruler, the Jade Emperor questioned the dragon as to why it did not come in first, having wings on its back and all. The latecomer explained that it was held back to help bring some rainfall to some farmers. He later saw a rabbit stranded on a log in a river and had aided the poor creature to the shore.

The Jade Emperor was so impressed with the Dragon’s helpfulness that His Majesty included it into the Zodiac, despite it being the only mythical animal among the lot.

What’s in Store for the Much-Anticipated Dragon Year?

Starting a new business? Embarking on a new career path? Planning to tie the knot or have a baby? If you’re a Chinese, you couldn’t be happier that the Year of the Dragon is just around the corner .

The Dragon Year has always been considered the most auspicious in the Chinese Zodiac and indeed, the 2012 Chinese New Year looks set to provide us a fair share of excitement, prosperity and meaningful events!

Joey Yap, founder of the Joey Yap Consulting Group, author of over 80 books on Feng Shui and face reading, calls 2012 as `a year of changes’. As 2012 is the Year of Water Dragon, it will bring much cleansing and clarification, as water refreshes and nourishes all negative elements.

He added that the Dragon Year also brings growth and renewal. Bickering people will tired of arguing and quarrelling – they would resort to finding solutions and answers to their problems.

Feng Shui expert, Lillian Too, along with her daughter, Jennifer Too, call 2012 a `transformative year’, a harbinger of good luck and prosperity.


Though the Chinese dragon looks intimidating it’s a symbol of generosity and compassion
(public domain image from Wikimedia Commons)

The Stuff Dragon People are Made Of

Westerners perceive the dragon as a fire-breathing, man-eating, evil beast and malicious ‘lizard’, with depictions of its viciousness in folklores and movies like “Dragonheart” and “Reign of Fire”. Even the Disney cartoon, “Sleeping Beauty”, portrays the creature as malevolent, with the nasty Queen turning herself into a dragon to kill the Prince!

So, do people born in the Dragon Year exhibit the so-called villainous character of the dragon? They don’t seem to.

The Chinese regard the dragon as a symbol of generosity, auspiciousness, prosperity, not to mention regal and imperial authority. So much so only Emperors were allowed to sport the dragon symbol in their regalia.

A wise guardian, protector of the weak and a symbol of happiness and joy, the mystical dragon is held in high esteem by the Chinese, and like the creature, the people born under this Chinese Zodiac Sign display a great amount of generosity, compassion and other exemplary qualities.

These extroverts enjoy outdoor activities and are essentially thrill-seekers. Being highly imaginative and rather dominant, they make good engineers, architects, philosophers and lawyers.

Pearl S Buck Dragon Child

Dragon child :1938 Nobel Prize Winner, Author Pearl S. Buck
(public domain image from Wikimedia Commons)

Dragon People, however, possess a short temper and are prone to emotional eruptions.

Famous Dragon People include Courtney Cox, Sandra Bullock, Reese Witherspoon, Isabella Rossellini, Shirley Temple, Ringo Starr, Pearl Buck, George Bernard Shaw and John Lennon, among others.


Tourism Malaysia

Si Putih and the 7 Makciks

December 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Everyone knows the tale of a beautiful young girl with hair as black as ebony, lips as red as blood and skin as white as snow, who had a stepmother who grew envious of her stepdaughter’s beauty. She summoned her hunter to kill the daughter and bring back her heart as proof. Faced with such innocence, the guard could not bring himself to do the evil deed and helped this fair maiden escape into the woods, where she stumbled upon a cottage own by seven colourful characters.

When the stepmother found out that this fair maiden was very much alive, she took it upon herself to get the task of killing her done. Three attempts were made to take this girl’s life, and all but the third attempt failed to do so. Many a girls may have sighed and wished for their own version of Prince Charming when he showed up just in time to save the fair maiden, and vanquished the evil stepmother.

The seven ‘beautiful’ makciks

From today until 23rd December 2011, The Actors Studio presents an adaptation of one of our all time favourite fairy tale Snow White and the 7 Dwarves. Entitled Si Putih and the 7 Makciks, this funny tale is set in two kampong kingdoms where an envious Queen plans to kill her beautiful and fair stepdaughter named Si Putih. Does Sergeant Sutera, the queen’s henchmen, kill Si Putih as ordered or will she be saved by the 7 Makciks, keepers of secrets from another kampong? Come and watch this pantomime with singing and dancing and an all male cast with a surprise ending. Tickets are priced at RM 40 and RM 50 for all night shows and normal matinee shows. The showtime is as follows:-

14th till 23rd December at 8.00 pm AND 17th 18th December at 3.00 pm.

For more information, please call The Actors Studio @ Lot 10 at 03 2142 2009 / 2143 2009 OR klpac @ Sentul Park at 03 4047 9000 or log on to their website here.

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Tourism Malaysia

The Magical World of Aladdin

December 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Our story begins in a land far far away called Askabah…

The evil Jafar, who is also the Sultan’s Grand Vizier, is up to no good again. Standing in front of the Cave of Wonders, Jafar sends in a local thief to retrieve the most powerful item that is stored within the cave – a magic lamp. But his efforts to get the lamp are wasted as the guardian of the cave informs him that only one person can enter the cave, a boy known as ‘The Diamond in the Rough’.

Where a young lad named Aladdin roam the market grounds of Askabah, avoiding the royal guards of the Sultan.

Though it may be early in the morning, the marketplace is now bustling with people from all walks of life. Some of them were there to peddle their wares while others were there to browse at what was offered. Suddenly, a buzz of activity formed at the fringes of the marketplace – Aladdin is on the run again from the Sultan’s guards. As he outwits and outruns the guards with his quick mind and nimble feet, he caught a glimpse of a dark-haired beauty from the corners of his eyes walking around the marketplace…

The marketplace of Askabah

Here comes Aladdin!

Uh oh.. look out behind you Aladdin! The Royal Guards are closing in!

As he was trying to shake the Sultan’s guards off his tail, he sees a beautiful girl walking around the marketplace…

Though Princess Jasmine knows that her father loves her very much, she was not too pleased when she found out that the Sultan is trying to find a husband for her. The princess believes that one should only marry for love and nothing else. Though she could not help but be smitten when she met Aladdin, she realised that she could never marry a street rat.

Princess Jasmine reveals her true identity at a chance meeting with Aladdin in the marketplace. Alas… as a princess, she could never marry a street rat

After realising that the dark-haired beauty was Princess Jasmine, Aladdin escapes the guards once more and heads to the Palace Garden.

Although she realises that marrying a street rat does not befit her status as a princess, Princess Jasmine cannot help but share her feelings for Aladdin with her hand maidens. Little did she know that Aladdin is nearby. And when the opportunity came for Aladdin to reveal himself to Princess Jasmine, he gladly took it with both of his hands.

The princess shares her feelings with her hand maidens about her brief encounter with the handsome Aladdin

Aladdin taking his chance to meet Princess Jasmine at the Palace Garden

Unbeknownst to Aladdin, the evil Jafar has his eyes on the boy and manages to capture him at the Palace Garden…

Jafar is still looking for the boy known as ‘The Diamond in The Rough’ but failing miserably. He then hypnotises the Sultan in order to get his mystical blue diamond ring, where The Slave of the Ring resides. Through this lesser genie, Jafar finds out that only Aladdin can enter the caves and retrieve the magical lamp. When he finds out that Aladdin was at the Palace Garden talking to Princess Jasmine, he wastes no time and sets out to capture the boy.

The evil Jafar casts a spell on the Sultan in order to steal the Sultan’s mystical blue diamond ring

The Sultan confides in his Grand Vizier regarding his plans to find a husband for Princess Jasmine. Unknown to the Sultan, Jafar wants to marry the princess himself so that he can become the next king!

As soon as Princess Jasmine finds out that Aladdin has been captured, she pleaded with her father to let him go, but to no avail

Disguised as an old man, Jafar enters the dungeons and promises to set Aladdin free with only one favour in return – that Aladdin follows him to the Cave of Wonders and retrieves one item of his bidding from the cave.

Aladdin follows this mysterious old man across the desert and to the Cave of Wonders. Acting on the old man’s instructions, he goes into the cave and manages to find the magical lamp. An impatient Jafar tries to enter the cave in hopes of laying his hands on the magical lamp faster, but the cave closes in and traps Aladdin inside. Feeling despair, Aladdin pondered on his predicament when the Slave of the Ring came to his help!

Poor Aladdin found himself thrown into the dungeon by Jafar’s men

A mysterious old man suddenly appears out of nowhere to save Aladdin from his predicament

In return, Aladdin must follow the old man to the Cave of Wonders and retrieve a magic lamp from within the cave

As only Aladdin can enter the cave, Jafar’s impatience caused the cave to close up… trapping our hero inside!

With a little bit of help from the Slave of the Ring, Aladdin rubbed the magic lamp and …

Whoosh!! Out of nowhere, a genie appeared from that little lamp. In return for setting him free from the lamp, the genie promises to grant Aladdin three wishes. Aladdin also finds out that in order to release the genie from his prison, his master must wish for his freedom. Aladdin promises to use his last wish to release the genie, but for now he asks the genie to make him a ‘Billionaire’ and both of them escape from the cave with the genie’s help.

Oh no! How will Aladdin escape from the cave? Wait… did he not find a magical lamp?

Do you think Aladdin should rub the magic lamp?

Whoosh! The Genie of the lamp appears in front of Aladdin as soon as he rubs the magic lamp

With your help Genie, let’s get out of the cave and rock Askabah!

Out came the Genie of the lamp! Using two of the three wishes granted…

There is a new prince in town and no one knows where this dashing prince comes from, not even Jafar. Prince Ali struts into the town of Askabar with his grand entourage and his loyal sidekick, the Genie. With his new found wealth, Prince Ali plans to woo Princess Jasmine and eventually ask for her hand in marriage. Though the prince may appear to be charming, he is at his wits’ end when it comes to the topic of wooing Princess Jasmine. So with Genie’s help, Prince Ali takes the beautiful Princess Jasmine on a magical carpet ride and together they discover ‘A Whole New World’.

There is a new prince in town… And his name is Prince Ali!

As Prince Ali’s entourage swept into the city of Askabah, everyone was mesmerised by the fire-eaters and the dancers

Everybody is wondering.. who is this mysterious prince?

Aladdin may be good at avoiding the Royal guards, but he definitely can use some of the genie’s help when it comes to capturing Princess Jasmine’s heart

Aladdin brings Princess Jasmine on a magical carpet ride, opening her eyes to a whole new world

The street rat is now a wealthy prince. But alas, the evil Jafar soon finds out Prince Ali’s true identity…

Jafar plans to trick Princess Jasmine into giving him the lamp by posing as a lamp merchant. Thinking nothing bad will ever come from trading an old lamp for new, Princess Jasmine hands over the magical lamp to Jafar, making him now Genie’s new master. Jafar captures the princess and the Sultan and locks them up in the dungeon.

Jafar disguises as a peddler trading new lamps for old, and manages to trick Princess Jasmine into giving him the magic lamp for a new one

Oh no! Now that the genie is under Jafar’s control, he has ordered the Sultan and Princess Jasmine to be locked up in the dungeons. Who will save them?

He tricks Princess Jasmine into handing over the lamp and is now Genie’s new master. Jafar soon plans to use his wishes to make himself the ruler of Askabah and the world!

When Prince Ali realises what has happened, he quickly came to the princess and the Sultan’s rescue. He bravely fights off the palace guards but Jafar turns the genie onto Prince Ali. Remembering his last wish, Prince Ali wishes for the genie’s freedom and … poof!! The genie is now a free man. But what happened to the evil Jafar?

Poor Princess Jasmine… who will come to her aid now?

With his last wish, Aladdin wishes for the genie’s freedom… imprisoning Jafar as the genie in the lamp instead!

When Prince Ali discovered Jafar’s evil plans, he rushed to the dungeons and saved Princess Jasmine and the Sultan. Using his last wish, he wished that the genie will have his freedom and never to be a slave to the lamp.

By making that last wish, Prince Ali freed the genie and in return, the evil Jafar took over the genie’s place. Now that Jafar has been captured, Askabah is once again ruled by the gentle hearted Sultan. Prince Ali confesses to his true identity to Princess Jasmine, who is glad to know that her beloved prince is the same street rat that she had fallen for previously. They celebrate their wedding in great style and…

After confessing his true identity to Princess Jasmine, they both celebrate their wedding in style and live happily ever after

Prince Ali saved the princess and the Sultan from Jafar’s evil plans. Everyone is happy and they all lived happily ever after… including the genie!

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