Malaysia Travel Guide

Malaysia Airlines Signs Partnership with Sarawak Tourism Board for 2019

Malaysia Airlines Signs Partnership with Sarawak Tourism Board for 2019

LONDON, 6 November 2018:  Malaysia Airlines signed a partnership agreement with Sarawak Tourism Board yesterday to boost tourist arrivals to Sarawak and raise the profile of the destination in the UK.

Under the new agreement, Malaysia Airlines and Sarawak Tourism Board will fund a range of campaigns and promotional activities, including Digital Campaign Promotions, to boost domestic and international travel to Sarawak, OOH media to promote sale campaigns on print and taxis and joint-promotional activities with selected travel partners.

The agreement was signed at this year’s World Travel Market in London’s ExCel Centre by Sarawak Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer, Sharzede Datu Salleh Askor and Malaysia Airlines’ Chief Marketing Officer, Arved von Muehlen.

Arved von Muehlen, Malaysia Airline’s CMO, said: “We are delighted to be working with Sarawak Tourism Board even more in 2019 to showcase all that the region has to offer following agent familiarisation trips and  press trips jointly organised last year. Sarawak has a plethora of culture, adventure, nature, food and festivals ready to be discovered by the British public.”

Sharzede Datu Salleh Askor said: “We look forward to working closely with Malaysia Airlines to showcase the wonders of Sarawak to the world. The strength of the airline’s network and the quality of their product resonate strongly with travellers.”

The World Travel Market is a three-day conference bringing together travel professionals, key industry buyers, journalists, digital influencers, students and tourism ministers to discuss business, innovations and trends in the travel industry. Last year’s event sparked a million meetings, resulting in around £3 billion in contracts.

Malaysia Airlines also recently renewed its global partnership deal with Tourism Malaysia. The two parties will jointly invest in promoting Malaysia in key overseas markets including China, Australia and the UK.

Malaysia Airlines operates twice daily between London and Kuala Lumpur on its new Airbus A350. To take advantage of the airline’s great prices guests can book their tickets at Malaysia Airlines’ participating travel agents or visit Malaysia Airlines’ website at


Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Mohamad Din Ketapi (second from right), with Tuan Haji Mohammad Ibrahim Nordin, STB Board of Director member (right), Sharzede Datu Salleh Askor (centre), Arved von Muehlen (second left) and Captain Izham Ismail (left), flanked by Malaysia airlines stewardesses and a cultural troupe in traditional orang ulu garb.

Malaysia Travel Guide

STB holds business networking session for tourism players

STB holds business networking session for tourism players

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) on Monday conducted a business networking session for travel agents, tour operators, hoteliers and tourist attraction owners at a hotel here.

A press release said the session was attended by 15 Matta Johor travel agents and 20 Sarawak-based tourism-related players in conjunction with a familiarisation tour by the travel agents to Kuching and Sibu from Oct 8 to 11 soon after the business session wrapped up.

Read more at Borneo Post.

Updated October 10, 2018.

Travel to Melaka


Impression Melaka Encore series is expected to start her inaugural live show by 1st. quarter of 2018.

The show tickets are expected to cost between RM 120 to RM 130.00 per head.

During the signing ceremony with 6 travel agents recently, these agents are tasked to market about one million tickets annually for the next 3 years.

Two daily shows by 200 local actors and actresses will be carried out in the rotating auditorium.

Malaysia Travel Guide

China Agents Responded On Sarawak Tourism Opportunities

China Agents Responded On Sarawak Tourism Opportunities

Kuching, Monday – 20 selected travel agents from Guangzhou and Shenzhen, China will be in the City to do tourism product inspection from December 28 to January 1 as part of the promotion initiative for Air Asia’s Direct Kuching-Shenzhen flight.

These top China agents are selected from the list of more than 70 agents that turned up at the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and Air Asia’s business sessions that were held in Guangzhou and Shenzhen on December 13 and 14 respectively.

The five-day familiarisation trip will enable the China agents to see and check for themselves the various Sarawak tourism product experiences and also the various hotel properties while at the same time they will be given opportunities to do networking sessions with local travel partners.

The Business sessions were being conducted by STB with five Sarawak hoteliers and eight travel agents attending to propose their tour packages to their China travel operators.

Meanwhile, Sarawak trade partners who participated at the two business sessions in Guangzhou and Shenzhen have expressed satisfaction on the outcome of the Roadshow trip.

The opportunity to meet up with quality big time China travel agents was intended to share business opportunities available in packaging the Sarawak tourism products and also a networking platform to discuss business potentials.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Minister for Tourism, Datuk Lee Kim Shin, who also led the roadshow delegation together with the Chairman of STB, Datuk Abdul Wahab Aziz, expressed satisfaction on the outcome of the trip.

“The Business sessions allow us to meet more than 70 China’s agents and they are very enthusiastic about Sarawak as it is seen as a new destination”, he said.

The proposed direct flight has given new window of opportunities for the industry and with the strong business support from these China based agents, we hope that it will turn a new chapter on China potential tourism market for Sarawak, he added.

He was optimistic that China’s huge tourism market will open up the travel and hospitality business in the State and bringing in tourism related investment opportunities to spur up development in the State.

“STB will continue to collaborate with Air Asia to tap the travel potential in South China especially now that we will have the direct flight and the need to sustain it,” he reiterated.

The Assistant Minister called on industry partners to prepare for the influx of China tourists with the availability of the direct flight and he equally hoped that more direct flight will be planned in the future connecting Miri to China as well.

Meanwhile, tourism promotion for the proposed direct flight was extended to Kalimantan Barat where Indonesians are expected to transit in Kuching to catch the flight to South China.

STB had earlier organised the Sarawak Travel Fair in Pontianak on November 17 to 18 and the proposed direct flight to Shenzhen which had received favourable acceptance to the Indonesians, said the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mary Wan Mering.

Adding that it will be a double bonus to the state, the arrivals of Indonesian on transit to South China augurs well for the tourism arrival into the State, she said.

While admitting that air connectivity is crucial in getting the tourists into the state, she said   without it, a double hurdle challenge is in for us to promote the destination in the market place.

We are truly thankful to Air Asia for being able to look into our needs, she enthused.

China Agents

Picture show, the Sarawak delegation with Datuk Lee (front row fourth from left) with Datuk Wahab on his right with their China guests posing a thumb up photo opportunity   after finishing the Shenzhen business session.


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Malaysia Travel Guide

A Visit to the Annah Rais Longhouse

A Visit to the Annah Rais Longhouse

A Visit to the Annah Rais Longhouse

As a frequent traveler, and especially all over Sarawak in the last 10 years, I have to admit that I have never been to the popular Annah Rais Longhouse. This is one of the most popular longhouses that a majority of travellers would visit and is sold by local travel agents.

I have been to traditional longhouses deep in the interiors of Sarawak, at places like Lemanak and Batang Ai, which are easily five to seven hours traveling, but not to Annah Rais in the main Padawan area. In October 2017, I finally managed to visit this Bidayuh Longhouse which is just an hours drive from Kuching city.

A Visit to the Annah Rais Longhouse

Everyday life at Annah Rais longhouse in Padawan

Some people claim that Annah Rais is on a more commercial side, due to the proximity being close to Kuching city, hence the dwellers here are more modern and up to date. This was one of the reasons that over the last decade, I choose to visit other longhouses in the remote areas.

Annah Rais village is predominantly Bidayuh, with an exception of cross marriages to other races. The village is estimated to be over a hundred years old, and has expanded in all directions throughout the century.

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseA local Bidayuh man goes about his daily chores at the longhouse

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseA wooden bridge connecting the main longhouse to the communal hall and football field

Ever since the tourism boom in Sarawak, the Bidayuh community here had turned this traditional home into one of the most popular tourist attraction just out of Kuching. Visitors from the world over are seen doing day trips here whole for those who want to experience staying here, there are 9 registered local homestay programs available.

Driving about an hour from Kuching, I made my inaugural step into this fascinating culture where you actually get to walk around and see the Bidayuh people going about their daily lives.

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseSkulls on display in a cage of the Skull House at Annah Rais

The massive longhouse is interconnected by a wooden or bamboo walkway, which is the main common area where families would sit around and talk and kids play. Annah Rais is so huge that it seems like one entire village is connected together with home run restaurants, grocery shops and the local homegrown products.

The first unique feature I came across was a headman’s house or skull house where I was intrigued by a collection of traditional skulls that were in a cylinder wire cage. I believe these were the invaders of the longhouse where the Bidayuh people caught and beheaded.

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseOne of three murals that Ernest Zacharevic painted at Annah Rais

Walking along the main route, two wall murals from world famous Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic is spotted on the walls of certain homes. He was invited to paint some of his murals here at Annah Rais in 2014.

At the far end of the longhouse, there is one unit called a Bidayuh Show House where I saw what a traditional Bidayuh home looked like back in the day. It displays simplicity and basic living by using natural resources.

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseLocal Sarawak black and white pepper sold here

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseFor those wanting to sample the local rice wine or Tuak, they are also available here

Souvenirs can be found sold by a number of homes, which are usually traditional Bidayuh items such as beads or woven baskets or mats. For fans of the world famous black gold or black pepper, you can buy the Sarawak black and white pepper in packets here.

And for those wanting to sample the famous local brewed rice wine or Tuak, this can be done here too. I also noticed that bottles are also for sale from some of the homes here at very reasonable prices.

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseOne of the older wooden houses at Annah Rais

A Visit to the Annah Rais LonghouseAt the entrance, a glass of Tuak is served after purchasing your entrance ticket

Annah Rais is one of the most popular tour packages that can be booked from any of the travel agents in Kuching. Alternatively, many also use private taxi services to get here by them selves or even rent a car to self drive here.

For tickets, there is a RM8.00 entrance fee before entering the longhouse and I recommend you go before 10.00 AM. A glass of rice wine or Tuak is also served to non Muslims when you purchase your ticket.

Photos by David Hogan Jr