Malaysia Travel Guide


KUCHING: UK’s most influential dancehall toaster and festival goers can work up a serious sweat during his most anticipated performance – Macka B will be one of the highlights at Rainforest World Music Festival.

A British-born Jamaican reggae artist, performer and activist with a career spanning nearly four decades in the United Kingdom and Jamaica. He also has built a career on his insanely unique delivery and stage presence, with rough and gravely vocals, complete with a voice unline few others on this planet, Macka B instantly indentifiable sound – rich and emotive. Moreover, He has used his music to push dancehall back towards Rastafarian political consciousness, while bringing elements from other branches of the reggae tree like roots, dub and lovers rock.

Jamaica’s music influence has spread throughout the world and almost everyone is familiar with this island’s reggae that is situated in the sub oceanic basin of the western Atlantic Ocean feature African musical elements that formed the basis of Jamaican music.

Dancehall reggae is described as modern Jamaican music and is a sub-genre of reggae. Often referred to as reggae’s rebellious counterpart, dancehall music first emerged as an underground genre attracting large crowds on street corners, thus resembling a dance hall, hence its name.

A Rastafarian with political consciousness, his songs are devoted to spiritual and social messages. He has many songs hit the No. 1 spot on the Reggae charts, won numerous awards and produced albums that display an ability to move between serious and lighter hearted subject matters. Earlier albums like the landmark Sign of the Times (1986) and Looks are Deceiving (1988) are marked by dark political undertones with a constant eye on the struggle and strive of everyday life.

While fans know him for his music with impressive fan base sprouted following his popularity, the currently on-going “Medical Mondays” web series where he shares his ever-growing knowledge of bodily health and veganism that spawned a surprise smash hit when his raps on the health benefits of cucumbers appropriately titled Cucumba went viral, racking up over a million views.

At Rainforest World Music Festival Macka B will take over the DJ set on the After Party Stage on the Friday night.


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.

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

Malaysia Travel Guide

UK to be Key Market for Sarawak Tourism Board’s Promotional Activities

UK to be Key Market for Sarawak Tourism Board’s Promotional Activities

Sarawak Tourism Board unveiled the Visit Sarawak Year logo yesterday on November 7, 2018, as a precursor to its official launch in January 2019 at an industry event held in London today.

The Visit Sarawak logo will be the anchor emblem for the Visit Sarawak campaign.

Sarawak Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Hamzah said that the Visit Sarawak campaign is envisioned to place Sarawak on the tourism map as one of the preferred tourism destinations in Southeast Asia.

“The tagline, “More to Discover” underscores Sarawak Tourism Board’s strategy to position the state as a plethora of culture, adventure, nature, food, and festivals (CANFF) offerings that are not found anywhere else in the world, and ready to be discovered,” he said.

“Last year, we received 33,399 more British tourists as compared to 31,274 in 2016 a 6.79% increase which is a good indicator of gaining interest from travellers from the UK market”.

As of July this year, Sarawak received 19,784 arrivals from the UK and with the hope to reach a 10% growth this year.

He cited that the seven days Kuching combine with Mulu packages which are favoured by tourists from the UK with Central Sarawak being a rising attraction.

“We will be looking to intensify efforts to increase arrivals from the UK in the coming year while at the same time to increase their length of stay to at least 10 days in Sarawak”.

British tourists can now look forward to more new packages that will provide competitively priced offerings focusing on culture, adventure, nature, food and festivals, he added.

Sarawak had recorded a total spending of RM8.59 billion from tourism in 2017, which accounted for 7.9% of its gross domestic product (GDP).

International arrivals to Sarawak clocked in at 2.6 million last year. Some of the key international markets for Visit Sarawak will be UK, Germany, the Benelux, China, Australia, and ASEAN countries. ASEAN countries were a key source of visitors, which accounted for 48.98% or 2.38 million arrivals in 2017.

The newly-minted Sarawak Tourism Board CEO, Askor said, “Digital will be a large part of our campaign. Besides creating content on digital platforms to reach out to our markets, we are also developing a mobile app which will anchor the discovery process for all our visitors.”

Sarawak Tourism Board’s new logo multi-coloured logo spells out “Sarawak” with the tagline, “More to discover” to represent the aspirations of the campaign.

Comprising seven colours, in curled script, the red and yellow colours represent the state flag while orange represents the strong spirit and vibrant energy of the different ethnic communities within Sarawak, which is quintessential to Sarawak’s diverse tourism proposition. Green is used to represent the verdant rainforests abundant with wildlife and blue is used to represent the calmness of the ocean along Sarawak’s long coastline.

The uniqueness of the logo is augmented by the hornbill, which replaces the letter “A,” representing Sarawak’s moniker, “Bumi Kenyalang,” or “Land of the Hornbills” that the State has been known for many years, which is also an important symbol of luck to the indigenous people of Sarawak.

Sharzede Datu Salleh Askor (second left) at the prize presentation to the grand prize lucky draw winner that night, Jayne Byott (centre), Corporate Events Manager of J.M.B. Associates, United Kingdom. Also present at the occasion are Tuan Haji Ibrahim Noordin, STB Board of Director (second right), Richard De Villa, Marketing Manager UK Europe, Malaysia Airlines (right) and Rosmarie Wong of The Ranee Boutique (left).

Tourism Malaysia

Cruise travel grows in Asia

A Princess Cruises ship in Alaska. The company will operate from Singapore next yearto provide short-haul leisure tripsA Princess Cruises ship in Alaska. The company will operate from Singapore next year
to provide short-haul leisure trips

The region will have more cruise travel options next year with the coming of a mega-cruise company.

CARNIVAL, the world’s largest cruise group, unveiled its Asian expansion plans, predicting the regional market for leisure voyages will grow dramatically within the decade.

South-East Asia in particular will be a key focus, the company said as it announced that one of its brands, Princess Cruises, will operate from Singapore by next year to provide short-haul leisure trips.

“Carnival is really investing a lot in Asia. We are trying to stimulate the demand of the market. Today, it’s a bit quiet as cruising is not well known,” Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and chief executive of Carnival Asia, said.

“South-East Asia is a key market to develop cruising because it is a year-round experience. The seas are typically calm and the surroundings are beautiful, particularly for short-haul cruises.”

Carnival’s brands include Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Ibero Cruises, PO Cruises in Australia and PO Cruises in Britain.

Foschi, speaking on the sidelines of a press conference, cited industry forecasts that cruise liners will see a total of seven million passengers a year by 2020 in Asia, up from just above one million now.

The Sapphire Princess will be deployed to Singapore from November 2014 to February 2015. The luxury liner, which can carry 2,670 passengers, will bring travellers from Singapore to cities and exotic destinations in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. Carnival already has a presence in China through its Costa Cruises brand, while Princess Cruises is setting up shop in Japan this month.

“As cruise lines are being deployed into the market, the market starts to develop. Slowly at first, but then they reach a critical mass,” said Alan Buckelew, chief executive and president of Princess Cruises.

“Our ships move to where we believe the demand is strongest.”

Singapore, a regional aviation hub, has also taken steps to gain a bigger slice of the growing cruise travel market. In October last year, it opened a new cruise terminal capable of berthing the world’s biggest luxury liners. – AFP

Tourism Malaysia

Channel Islands: Channelling two nations

Flowers blooming on Alderney.Flowers blooming on Alderney.

Nearer to France than England, the Channel Islands in the English Channel, administered by Britain, have a uniqueness about them which is neither British nor French.

FOR centuries, many outsiders, myself included, have been drawn repeatedly to the Channel Islands, and their charm and popularity shows no sign of diminishing, even in the 21st century.

For visitors there are five main islands, all offering different scenery, culture, traditions and activities.


Alderney is the third largest Channel Island and possesses a strong individual identity. Many people compare the atmosphere on the island to the England of the 1950s, as there is a real sense of community among the residents.

And time seems to have stood relatively still.

Other quirks include the language, because until relatively recently French and the island’s own dialect were spoken. Nowadays English is the first language of residents but place names are still in French.

However, the remnants of a darker recent past are still scattered across the island from World War II when it was occupied by the Nazis. The whole population of the islands was removed by the Germans so that concentration camps could be built there. The remains of the German occupation are scattered everywhere, but are now a popular source of exploration for young children unaware of their sinister past.

Most people who come here are either families looking for a place where the children can freely explore the countryside and forts or play on the beach, or they are are older couples relishing the quiet pace of life. However, if you are seeking more, then Alderney has a relatively lively night scene with many pubs and restaurants, confirming the island’s ancient reputation among the other Channel Islands as being populated by drinkers.

While you are there, the one thing not to be missed is a journey on Alderney’s railway, the only one on the Channel Islands. The very leisurely ride takes one from the capital of St Anne’s to the old Mannez Quarry, and for only £3 (RM15) per person, it represents value for money.

Causeway linking Big and Little Sark.Causeway linking Big and Little Sark.


I first visited the second largest of the Channel Islands as a 13-year-old on a school trip, and I loved the scores of uncrowded beaches, country lanes and abandoned fortifications awaiting exploration.

In fact, for a small island, Guernsey offers a surprising amount of open spaces and activities for children. Returning over 20 years later as an adult, I discovered it had lost none of its charm, although I was more reluctant to climb atop the old German pillboxes perched precariously on top of cliffs.

I was also struck by the amount of flowers everywhere, with the whole island sometimes feeling like a giant garden centre.

The picturesque capital of St Peter Port, with its cobbled streets and colourful boats bobbing in the harbour is a good place to make your base, but most of the fun in Guernsey is to be found exploring its beaches and hinterland or strolling along its cliff-tops. However, unlike some of the smaller islands, Guernsey offers lots of man-made attractions targeted at the tourist market.

For history buffs, there is Castle Cornet in St Peter Port’s harbour, which houses museums and reconstructions detailing life for the garrison over the centuries. There is also the ruined medieval Vale Castle and the restored 12th century Sausmarez Manor, with its formal gardens and sculptor park.

More recent history centres on the German occupation, with the German Military Underground Hospital in La Vassalerie, and the German Occupation Museum giving an interesting glimpse into this period.

When you are tired from visiting historic sites, clean beaches, or visiting garden centres, know that Guernsey is also famous for its cream teas and buttery fudge.


Jersey is the largest and most diverse of the Channel Islands, as it combines being an off-shore finance centre, home to city types in pin-stripe suits, with an ancient history and traditions and kilometres of unspoiled coastline and countryside.

The brash capital of St Helier, which is home to the banking firms, is the place to head for if you want top-class restaurants and nightlife, although it is also a good base from which to explore the island. For families, away from the obvious attractions of the beaches, there are the Island Duck tours, with an amphibious coach, the Durrel Wildlife Park, the Aquasplash Water Park and Living Legend Theme Park.

However, the island’s heritage is a big draw to visitors and the iconic 13th century Orgueil Castle, which adorns numerous postcards of Jersey, is open to visitors, as are La Corbiere Lighthouse and Elizabeth Castle and St Aubin’s Fort.

All of these buildings are home to informative museums detailing their history. Other museums highly recommended are the Jersey Museum in St Helier, the Battle of the Flowers parade in Ouen and the Jersey War Museum.

Like the other islands, Jersey’s charm is in its slower pace of life and unspoiled beaches and countryside. However, in keeping with its air of sophistication, it does offer some things the others do not – such as the opportunity to sample apple brandy and wines at La Mare Wine Estate.


The tiny island of Sark was, until recently, still run as a feudal kingdom, headed by the Seigneur, but now its leader and parliament are elected as the place makes some concessions to the 21st century.

However, these concessions are few as you will see when you step off the boat onto the small jetty and a tractor transports you up the steep incline to the island proper. The tractor is the only engine you will come into contact with while here, as cars and motorbikes are banned.

But, as the island is less than 5km long and 2km wide, it is easily explored on foot or by bicycle.

Most of the pleasure to be had in Sark is admiring the views as you walk along its coastline, wandering its quiet country lanes, or shopping and browsing the shops and cafes on its ancient high street.

But there is also the stately home occupied by the Seigneurs which is open to visitors and for, the swimmers, the Venus Pool, an impossibly blue pool of water which is encased by rocks and only accessible at low tide.

After sundown, if you still want to savour the outdoors, then know that Sark was the first island in the world to be classed a “Dark Sky Island�, meaning the sky is devoid of light pollution and the stars can clearly be seen by the naked eye.


The small almost uninhabited island of Herm is a very popular daytrip for visitors from Guernsey, who are drawn to its car-free atmosphere and beautiful Shell Beach.

This beach, as its name suggests, is a good place for children and adults to search for shells, but it is also a long stretch of white sand fronting a shallow and relatively warm sea, making it good for swimming and sunbathing.

However, if you want to avoid the crowds, then a stroll among the flower-strewn hillsides and the ruins of St Tugal’s chapel in the centre of the island are a pleasing alternative.

? Go to for more info.

Tourism Malaysia

HK’s new luxury cruise terminal

Repurposed: The former Kai Tak International Airport is now a luxury cruise terminal.Repurposed: The former Kai Tak International Airport is now a luxury cruise terminal.

Hong Kong’s old airport is now a contemporary seaport.

HONG KONG opened a US$1.1bil (RM3.5bil) cruise terminal at the site of its former airport on Wednesday in a bid to become Asia’s hub for luxury liners.

The new terminal, built on the runway of the old Kai Tak airport, will be able to accommodate the largest cruise ships in the world – liners of up to 220,000 gross tonnes.

�Kai Tak was the site of our legendary airport and is now turning a historic page by connecting Hong Kong with the rest of the world through the seven seas,� said Commissioner of Tourism, Philip Yung.

“With the addition of this new facility, Hong Kong is in full gear to receive mega cruise ships,� said Yung.

Royal Caribbean’s 1,020 feet (310m) long Mariner Of The Seas was the first mega luxury cruise liner to dock at the two-berth terminal, which boasts a 360° panoramic view of the city. A troupe of lion dancers welcomed more than 3,000 passengers as they disembarked.

“Our favourite port was Venice. You beat Venice,� George Lamson, a 74-year-old artist from the United States, told reporters, adding he was amazed by the views as the ship entered the city’s famed Victoria Harbour.

“We feel privileged to have this honour,� 65-year-old retiree from Britain, Valerie Blakeway, said of being amongst the first visitors to the terminal.

The former Kai Tak International Airport was considered one of the most challenging places to land an aircraft due to its central location in the city and tall mountains surrounding it.

The airport closed in 1998 after being in service for over 70 years and was replaced by the current Chek Lap Kok International Airport.

The cruise terminal will open to the public in the third quarter of the year with its second berth opening in 2014.– AFP RelaxNews