Malaysia Travel Guide


KUCHING: There is no doubt that Latin and music from the Spanish-speaking world is far outpacing many other genres on the world music stage. There has always been a Latin group thrown in the mix at the Rainforest World Music Festival and at the 22nd edition this year there will be two bands – La Chiva Gantiva from Colombia who will provide an insight into their roots with their sensual, upbeat, danceable and contagious music and Ana Alcaide from Spain who fuses traditional sounds from around Europe and the Mediterranean with the cultural mix of her hometown, Toledo, Spain.

La Chiva Gantiva plays music without borders. Genre bending and adventurous, they’ll make you dance with abandonment with their original combination of rock, funk, hip hop and punk with Colombian rhythms, while preserving a jam mentality and multicultural origins.

Known for their live antics and frontman Rafael Espinel’s empathy towards the audience, La Chiva Gantiva are a treat to see live but also an amazing trip around the world when any of their three studio records play at a Colombian party, at a Belgian bar, or at a Mexican radio station.

At the end of the other musical spectrum is Ana Alcaide, a singer, composer and instrumentalist from Toledo, Spain. Her prime instrument is the nyckelharpa which she came across while studying in Sweden.

Rooted in ancient traditions yet resolutely modern, her compositions deftly blend musical styles from different cultures. From the inspirational backdrop of the city of Toledo, Ana writes and produces her songs, creates new arrangements and adapts the nyckelharpa to ancient melodies that originated in medieval Spain and have travelled throughout the Mediterranean region. But her personal and artistic evolution leads her to conquer new creative fields in the recent years.

In 2016, her fifth album Leyenda reached Top 10 in the WMCE (World Music Charts Europe) as well as on the Transglobal World Music Charts. Leyenda was also on the top of some of the International radios around Australia, Canada, UK, USA and Europe. The album has received reviews from professional critics around the world including Songlines Magazine which awarded Leyenda a 5 Star Review, Top of the World.

Alcaide has presented her music in some of the most important festivals, theatres and venues around Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Morocco, Canada, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Switzerland, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Argentina, Uruguay, and has performed in more than 500 concerts in 4 continents.

Since 2016 she is the Artistic Director of the ‘Toledo World Music Festival’.

The Rainforest World Music Festival takes place on July 12-14 at the Sarawak Cultural Village and is organised by the Sarawak Tourism Board, endorsed by Tourism Malaysia and is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth Sports Sarawak.


ANA ALCAIDE - Photo by Ander Olaizola

For further information on tickets, festival activities and logistics, please log on to

Malaysia Travel Guide

Visit to Long Bedian and the Highland Folk Music & Dance Festival

Visit to Long Bedian and the Highland Folk Music Dance Festival

The Highland Folk Music Dance Festival is a musical and dance festival that showcases the cultural traditions of the different ethnicities in Sarawak.

First held in 2003, the event was organized to attract tourists to Long Bedian and other villages in Tutoh Apoh, as well as to become a platform to introduce traditional music to the younger generation in a vibrant and celebratory way, encouraging them to take up the mantle and continue their traditions.

All nine Orang Ulu ethnic groups under the Federation of Orang Ulu Malaysia (Forum) took part in the performances in 2016 which were held for two nights.  They comprise of Petipun Penan Sarawak, Sarawak Lakiput Association, Sarawak Lun Bawang Association, Sarawak Berawan Association, Sarawak Bisaya Association, Sarawak Kayan Association, Sarawak National Kenyah Association, Miri Rurum Kelabit and Sarawak Saban Association.

Beside that, the Federation of Miri Chinese Association (Long Lama), Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA), Miri Kadayan Association, Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Marudi) also participated.

The 2016 Highland Folk Music Dance Festival was also held to commemorate the first anniversary of Telang Usan’s elevation into a district and Long Bedian into a sub-district.

Music and dance performances over the two nights were held by the different ethnicities.

Around one thousand viewers were estimated to have attended the event over the course of two nights. Beside the cultural show, the organizer also invited a local singer to entertain the local who coming for the festival.

The Festival provided some side income for villagers selling food and drinks, as well traditional crafts, modern crafts with traditional ‘flair’ and event memorabilia. Over 10 government agencies including the Fire and Rescue Department, army personnel from the 9th Infantry Brigade, the Welfare Department, Kolej I-System, Malaysia Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and Agriculture Department were also present to give talks and cultivate public awareness on various subjects for the communities. Safety demonstration by BOMBA and cooking demonstration by KEMAS.  Various traditional games were held during the daytime which many visitors also participated in.  Apart from the performances, there were stall also set up by Penans from nearby longhouses who brought handicrafts such as mats, baskets bags and purses made from rattan to sell to visitors.


Sightseeing – The Town

Although there are only 3 row of shoplots, the township will surprise you on what you can find, despite its rural location! Its suggested that travelers visit in the morning, though most shops close during the festival (the shop owners can usually be found selling their wares at the festival itself.

The township is also the main trading point for the nomadic tribe, the Penans, to trade wild meat and their jungle ware/handicrafts with middle-persons, who will later resell them in their shops once the Penan have moved on.

The Longhouse

The longhouse, like many others in Sarawak, seems to house the elderly, the very young and their mothers.

Many other inhabitants have moved to larger towns such as Miri to make a living. Some of them have built their own house nearby the Long Bedian village. The community take up the usual agricultural activities to supplement their income.  They have rice fields or ‘sawah padi’ on the perimeter of the village, and sole have taken up planting oil palm.

The Waterfall

The journey to the nearby waterfall began with a 30 minute 4WD ride from Long Bedian to the Tenyok Rimba Resort, a community project that was built in the 1980-1990s. The resort is all but abandoned and is currently not open to the public for stays.

Parking the car at the resort, the waterfall is a short 15 to 20 minute trek through the reserve’s beautiful and prime rainforest.

Along the way, trekkers can admire rock falls and towering green trees, surrounded by the peace of the rainforest. The beauty of the reserve is punctuated by the serenity of the waterfall.

There are about 6 waterfalls located within Tenyok area where visitors can swim. The river running between the Tenyok Rimba resort and Long Bedian is a great place for a quick dip and a picnic.

The trip proved to be a memorable visit for the group. They express their gratitude to the guide Mr. Richard, and Ms. Joanna Ping Eng Oyok, the owner of D’village Homestay of Long Bedian (017 858 3166) where they stayed.

They group encourages the locals of Long Bedian to continue and even increase their efforts in pushing cultural musical and dance performances during the Highland Folk Music Dance Festival, encouraging the younger generation towards preserving their heritage. They also expressed hope for the future of the Tenyok Rimba Resort, which was beautifully located and would prove to be an amazing tourist location should the area be maintained, well managed and opened to the public once more.





Tourism Malaysia

Things To Do At Night In KL

By Lloyd Green

Lost at what to do at night in Kuala Lumpur? Never fear, we have all your answers.

Open Mic Nights Live Music
KL’s live music scene has it all, and now with the emergence of conceptualised musician-friendly venues, the depth of KL’s talent pool is booming. For a chilled-out evening, check out the open mic sessions at Merdekarya and Gaslight Cafe Music. These laid back music shacks hosts regular open mics before that evening’s featured performer. At Gaslight, it’s strictly folk, country, jazz, blues and soul with antique records from the 60s and 70s available for purchase. Merdekarya has an ‘originals only’ policy, attracting anything from dark, singer songwriter ballads to fusion punk, hip-hop acts. Live Fact is a DIY, self-sustaining space for gigs, band rehearsals, meetings and has already played host to a number of Indie gigs, including a two-day showcase of Swedish bands. No Black Tie has been a stalwart of the KL live music scene for over 14 years and is the birthplace of many Malaysian independent artists. Besides jazz performances, it features bands that play lively Brazilian beats as well as blues and roots.

blog 16.06 pic 1Photo by

Stand-Up Comedy
 Up for a few laughs? Check out Kuala Lumpur’s comedy scene with stand up events and open mic nights throughout the week. Enjoy the feel of international, big city comedy at the LOL Room @ Live House. Combining chic design with a group of comedians that know how to deliver, this venue packs a punch with early evening comedy shows followed by live music giving you the ultimate live entertainment experience. Crackhouse Comedy holds title as KL’s first dedicated comedy venue and hosts nightly shows featuring the best local, regional and international comics. Expect every joke under the sun, with with improv nights on Thursday’s and raw, unfiltered open mics on Wednesday’s where both veteran comedians and newbies can test their material. PJ Live Arts has played host to a number of local and international shows, with their weekly Tuesday night One Mic Stand show always a hit. It’s also Malaysia’s first open mic platform for stand-up comedy in Malay.

Food Night Markets
Jalan Alor off Changkat is foodie-central with Chinese seafood restaurants and hawker stalls selling an array of local delicacies and international cuisines until the wee hours of the morning. Petaling Street in Chinatown is also famous for food with its night market chock-full of shops and stalls selling goods and street food. If you prefer a bit of adventure check out the hawker-style food in Klang, Petaling Jaya, Ampang and Cheras. It’s just as good as the tourist hotspots and is where most of the locals eat. Also keep an eye out for local night markets known as Pasar Malam. They offer amazing delicacies and fresh produce and are more authentic than the ones in the city. The Monday Pasar Malam next to Setiawangsa LRT station is a hive of activity with stall owners spruiking their fresh produce from early evening until late. Another popular location is the Fiesta Nite Market in Mont Kiara. The market takes place every Thursday in the main courtyard of Mont Kiara and offers visitors a variety of local and international food as well as clothes, jewelry, accessories, bags, toys, books and hand made soaps.

shutterstock_204589072Photo by Calvin Chan /

Something Different
Multipurpose venues hosting social activities like trampoline parks, paintball and dodgeball are becoming increasingly popular and are great for late night reunions, work functions and family gatherings. Locations such as Jump Street in Petaling Jaya and Xtion Paintball Park in Bukit Jalil can cater for all kinds of activities including trampoline dodgeball. There are even regular dodgeball competitions and social leagues organised by the Malaysian Association of Dodgeball held throughout the city. Simply join a club or league and remember your five D’s: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge. There are also various styles of dance classes on offer around the city, particularly those that double as workouts like Salsa, Zumba and Burlesque. Havana Estudio is regarded as the first salsa dance school in KL and hosts a range of other dance classes in addition to its marquee calorie-burning salsa lessons.

blog 16.06 pic 2Photo by

If all that fails, you can always grab a ticket to the movies.

About the Author

Tourism Malaysia

Shades of NAKKEERAN Concert

January 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm

There will be a treat for all Tamil music fans come 28th January 2012 at Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) at Sentul Park. Nakkeeran is a Malaysian singer, song composer and songwriter who currently lives near London. This talented singer has been singing Tamil songs from a very young age. He recently gained fame after his performance in a television talent quest called ‘Vaanavil Paadal Thiran Potti’, organised by Vaanavil channel of ASTRO. He quickly became a household name after reaching the finals in the talent show and is still remembered for his performances by many even today.

Shades of NAKKEERAN Concert will be happening at klpac on 28th January 2012

Nakkeeran released his first single called ‘Thirumanam’ (Wedding) in 2008 and his debut album in 2010 was called ‘Shades of Nakkeeran’. Fans can now catch his famous hits such as Chellame (Dearest), Kanave (Dreams), Elunthidu (Rise Up) and other new songs specially written for this concert. This two hour concert will also include a fan meet and greet session after the concert. Tickets are priced at RM 30 / RM 40 / RM 50. There is also a promotion where for every 5 tickets purchased, one ticket will be free. 50% of the concert’s profits will be offered to two selected Tamil schools that is in dire need of financial assistance. Concert is scheduled at 6.30 pm and will be held at Pentas 1, klpac at Sentul Park. For more information, please call 03 4047 9000 or log on to the website here.

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Tourism Malaysia

Mystical Eve Interview: Joe Flizzow

December 24, 2011 at 5:30 pm

The team sat down with Joe Flizzow, Malaysian rap artiste and formerly part of Too Phat recently at the Mystical Eve Countdown Party press conference. He was game enough to share with us his thoughts about New Years. How does it feel to be invited to perform at the Mystical Eve Countdown Party at Encorp Strand?
Joe: I feel blessed… and really excited because I feel that there is something special about The Strand. The place looks like it’s built for community based and family oriented outings, so I hope that we can provide sort of entertainment for those who are coming. It feels good to be performing on stage with Mizz Nina and Pop Shuvit.

Joe Flizzow formerly of Too Phat might not believe in resolutions, but he loves to party on New Years! Do you routinely do countdown parties?
Joe: I have been doing New Year’s eve parties for the past 15 years, so I think I’m pretty experienced in that sense. What are your New Year’s resolutions? Or do you not believe in it?
Joe: Yeah, I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions actually. For me, I feel that you do not have to wait for new year to start something. It could be March and if you feel like you want to pick up a new sport, you do not have to wait until New Year’s to do it. Though I do not believe in resolutions per se, I do believe in the symbolism of the new year, like the marking of a new beginning. It is like you are keeping time, but at the same time you want to constantly do better than what you did last year. That for me is what New Year’s is all about. If you speak about New Year’s resolutions, that will always be my resolution every year – that is to do better than before and do big things in the coming years. That sounds very good. So do you have any plans in store for the coming year? Professionally, that is.
Joe:: Oh, we got a lot of big plans. I just released a new single with another singer, Rosa. That song is climbing up the charts in Indonesia, so I guess I will be going back there a lot. Will Malaysian fans get to hear it here?
Joe: It will be released here soon. I think it’s already online, so you guys can check it out there. It is called ‘One Night Lover’, Rosa featuring Joe Flizzow. Indonesia is a big market that we are looking at to penetrate actually. We have had some success with Indonesia with Too Phat before this, so that is a good thing. Do you prefer to perform in English or Bahasa Malaysia?Or you are comfortable with a mix?
Joe: Actually English is my first language for me as I grew up abroad. My family speaks English at home. I am also equally comfortable speaking in Bahasa Malaysia. In fact, my whole next album is actually in Bahasa Malaysia and the album is called ‘Untukmu’. You will be surprised because most people know Joe Flizzow as an artist who started out with Too Phat and sang a lot of English songs. Since you said you grew up abroad, how was New Year’s celebration for you when you were younger?
Joe: Ah, I was too young to remember much when I lived in England. Actually, as a kid, New Year’s do not really register much because as a kid, you tend to get excited over Christmas. Christmas was good because my dad used to put up the trees and the presents when I was sleeping, so by the time I wake up in the morning it will all be there. When you are a kid and when you are still playing with the toys you got for Christmas, New Year’s seems like another ordinary day. What about New Year’s celebration during your teenage years or during college years?
Joe: When you are in college, you get permission to do things that college kids get to do. New Year’s is always good because I grew up in Subang, a place where it felt like it was 1Malaysia even before the 1Malaysia concept was created. New Year’s was good fun because it was the one time where you get to spend time with your friends. So do you miss that kind of New Year compared with the type of New Year that you are going through now?
Joe: There have been a lot of New Years that I have to missed out because I have been performing recently, especially when friends go for vacations or travel. I am still in contact with the same friends that I grew up with since when I was in school. It is not like I have a different set of friends now that I am a rapper. I do have more friends, but I still have the people that I started out and I am still close to the people that were close to me 15 years ago. Actually, this kind of friendship is hard to find. Since you were saying that you have been performing for the last 15 years, do you remember any memorable or outstanding New Year’s eve performances?
Joe: I won’t say every year… it’s more like on and off… maybe out of 15 years, it was like 8 or 9 years. I remember one performance with Too Phat at Menara Kuala Lumpur. They booked up the whole place and we had the whole crew there, the break-dancers and others. That was early 2000… somewhere like 2002… 10 years ago. It was good because that was the first time that they booked a rap group to be the main act. Prior to that, we were trying to come up in the underground and prove ourselves. Being invited felt like we were finally getting our recognition. For us, that New Year’s was big.

Want to see Joe Flizzow rapping? Then be at ENCORP Strand this New Year’s Eve! How has this year been for you? Was it good?
Joe: 2011 is a good year. I learned that sometimes you cannot do things alone. As much as I want to micro-manage things, I’ve learnt to trust my team. I’ve learnt to trust the younger generation and to empower the youth because I believe that the youth have got good ideas and can do something. Sometimes they just need a bit of confidence for them to shine. That has been 2011 for me. So it is like you are mellowing, and taking a lot of mentor roles…
Joe: I won’t say mellowing, but yeah.. in a lot of ways. When it comes down to working as a team, while it is important to be a good leader, it is also important that the leader learns to trust the people that is working under him.

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