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Malaysia Asia

Malaysia Asia

Malaysia travel blog and website on eco-tourism, nature, hotels and resorts, islands and beaches and also around Southeast Asia.
URL: http://blog.malaysia-asia.my/

Malaysia Asia

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  • How to go to Raja Ampat
    Probably one of the frequent questions from a number of travelers is how to go to Raja Ampat in West Papua, Indonesia. Having visited here for my first time in September 2017, I decided to write this article to share what information I obtained from my recent trip to Raja Ampat. First of all, where is Raja Ampat? Well, if you heard of the exotic island of Papua, Raja Ampat is located on the Indonesian side of Papua, which is known as West Papua, and is an island located towards the North West side. In a summary, the best way to go to Raja Ampat is;1. Flight from Makassar, Jakarta or Manado to Sorong, West Papua2. Ferry from Sorong to Waisai3. Ferry from Waisai to Raja AmpatWhere is Raja Ampat? The map above shows that it is in the far east of IndonesiaHow to get to Raja Ampat in West PapuaGenerally, there are a number of ways to travel to Raja Ampat, and I will list them down for the convenience of the different types of travelers. The fastest and most easiest way would be by flying there and the longest way would be taking a boat or ferry there.Below are various ways to travel to Raja Ampat, so please consider all your options before you decide on the best way to get here. The Domine Eduard Osok airport in Sorong, West PapuaCurrently, Wings Abadi Airlines flies the Sorong to Waisai routeFlying to Raja AmpatYour connecting city to catch a direct flight into West Papua would be the city of Makassar in Sulawesi, Indonesia. This means, you need to fly from Jakarta or Bali into Makassar. From here, there is a direct flight all the way to Sorong in West Papua. The airport in Sorong is called Domine Eduard Osok (Airport code: SOQ), and is quite modern with up to date facilities. There are cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops and a foot massage located just before the main departure hall. From Sorong, you have two options to get to Wai Sai, which is the main island to Raja Ampat on the west of Papua Indonesia. From Waisai, you can either fly or take the fast boat to Raja Ampat.Garuda Airlines flies only from  Makassar to Sorong in West PapuaAirline that fly to Raja AmpatFrom Jakarta To Sorong, West Papua - 4 Hour Direct FlightAirlines: Batik AirPT Nam Air Wings Abadi Air (1 Stop)From Makassar to Sorong, West Papua - 2 Hour 10 Minutes FlightAirlines:Batik AirSriwijaya AirGaruda AirlinesLion Air (1 Stop)Flight from Manado to Sorong, West Papua - 1 Hour 15 minutes FlightAirlines:Lion AirPT Nam AirGaruda Airlines Batik Air (1 Stop)Sriwijaya Air (1 Stop)Denpasar (Bali) to Sorong, West Papua - 8 Hour + Flight (Transit)This is only recommended for those who are already in Bali. But take note that you must fly to Makassar for your connections to Sorong and Raja Ampat. Please monitor the flight timings, as if there is a delay, and you miss your flight, the next flight is the following day.For those coming out of Indonesia, I do not recommend flying  to Bali then to Raja Ampat. It will be a little tricky. It is better to fly to the above mentioned cities and then to Raja Ampat. For my trip, what my group did was we took the late morning flight and put up a night at the Makassar Novotel Hotel located in the airport. The following morning, we caught the Sorong flight, so we were relaxed and not in a rush.View of Sorong from the aircraft landingHow to get from Sorong to Raja AmpatOnce you arrive in Sorong, you have two main options to travel to Raja Ampat. Depending on your time and budget, I will list both ways down as I have tried them both on my recent trip in September 2017. 1. Flight from Sorong to WaiSai (Marinda Raja Ampat Airport RJM)This is the fastest option and it takes only 30 minutes flight to Raja Ampat, but can cost you easily around US$25-$30 one way. The window between you connecting flight from Makassar or Jakarta needs to be observed, as sometimes delays could cost you to miss your flight. The only airline that flies this route is Wings Air and once a day at 1.45 PM. The plane they use is an ART-72, meaning only 72 passengers for one flight. Sometimes, there can be minor delays, like waiting for the connecting flight to land, or weather conditions.The fast boat from Sorong to Waisai, Raja Ampat2. Fast Boat or Ferry from Sorong to Waisai, Raja AmpatThis is the most common way that everyone uses. It is much cheaper and efficient, but takes about two hours boat ride. Once you arrive in Sorong, you need to take a 15 minute taxi ride to the Sorong Harbour and then catch the ferry to Raja Ampat in Waisai Island. There are a few ferry companies that operate this route, but I would recommend using Bahari Express  ferry to Raja Ampat as they are the most reliable. The Bahari Ferry Timetable for 2017 is;Daily - 2.00 PM Mon, Wed, Friday - 9.00 AM & 2.00 PMTime: 2.5 Hours JourneyNormal Ticket: IDR 130,000 per personVIP Ticket: IDR 220,000 per person (Recommended)Go a little earlyDoes not operate of Indonesian public holidays (Please check with them)You should also know that the times may change a little, and prices may change over time. So if you plan to use the ferry both ways, you need to buy your return ticket from the Waisai Harbour or Port. They have a ticket counter at the port.This is Bahari Express, the most popular way to get to Raja Ampat from SorongSome of the types of private speed boats in Raja Ampat Private Speedboat from Sorong to Raja AmpatThis is the most expensive way. However, if all fails and you have no other option, a private chartered speedboat can cost you easily around USD $600 to USD $1000 per boat from Sorong to Waisai.This also depends on the engine size, so for the well heeled or those strapped for time, this would be a quicker way to get directly to your dive resort in Raja Ampat. How to go from Waisai to Raja Ampat From the Raja Ampat Airport in Waisai, you can take a taxi to the Waisai Harbor or Port where you can catch your arranged resort boat, which usually comes and picks you up. You need to inform the resort on your arrival as it may take 10 to 20 minutes boat ride to and from the resort. This also depends on which resort you are booked at. The closer resorts take only five to ten minutes, while further resorts may take 10 to even 45 minutes. I highly recommend that you arrange for this part of the final travel to your homestay or resort. Raja Ampat in West Papua, IndonesiaThe very small Marinda Airport or Raja Ampat Airport in Waisai, West PapuaBest and Fastest Way to get to Raja AmpatHonestly, due to no direct flights to Raja Ampat, everyone needs to do at least one transit and one boat ride to get here. There is no short cut for this. I have spoken to many locals, and everyone says that the best connecting city is still Makassar.Perhaps in the future, they may eventually have a direct flight, but I doubt it. Unless they revamp and renovate the Raja Ampat airport in Waisai, larger planes will be able to land here. Currently, only the Wings Abadi ATR-72 propeller planes land here.Passengers at the Sorong port in West PapuaBahari Express fast boat ticket counter at Waisai Harbour in West PapuaRaja Ampat Marine Park Entry For Visitors For those of you heading here, please do not forget that every tourist, local or foreign visiting here requires a special marine park permit or Raja Ampat PIN. I have written about it, and you can find the information on how to get the Raja Ampat Marine Park Permit from Sorong or Waisai. This is something that many people are unaware about, until they reach the harbour area. Some of the locals or ticket counters may ask you if you have got the permit. So, please take note that this is mandatory for anyone visiting Raja Ampat.The permit fees for international travelers is IDR 1,000,000 and for local Indonesians, it is IRD 500,000. The fees collected goes directly to the conservation of the Raja Ampat Marine Park and is managed by the ministry here. There are no third parties that sell the permits.The Raja Ampat Marine Park entrance permit feesAs Raja Ampat is one of the desired destinations for many travelers, this information provides valuable up to date details on how to get here. Over the years, much of the information has been changed over and over, hence this was obtained in September of 2017, which is very recent.Many scuba divers are now planning to visit here as well, and if you are one of them, you can check out this article on this best guide for scuba diving in Indonesia which covers most of the popular places.One of the most iconic places to visit in Raja Ampat is also Piaynemo, a beautiful island karst that sits in a lagoon. The view from the top of the hill makes this place one of the must visit places here. I have also written an article on how to get to Piaynemo when you are here. The above was compiled by David Hogan Jr of Malaysia Asia, on how to go to Raja Ampat based on my actual experiences traveling here. This incredible trip was made possible with Indonesia Tourism on the 2017 Trip of Wonders Adventure and Dive Campaign. 
    Thursday 21st of September 2017 07:06:00 AM
  • How to go to Piaynemo Island
    Among some of the most beautiful places in Indonesia, Piaynemo Island is one of them and located in Raja Ampat, West Papua. This article shares information on how to go to Piaynemo Island, when you are in Raja Ampat. Piaynemo is probably the most prominent photo that you see online and in advertisements when you look for information. This collection of small island in a lagoon is world famous and one of the must-visit places in Indonesia. To get here, it is no easy task, as the boat charter or trip will cost you quite a bit. So, for single or couple travelers, you need to book the trip to Piaynemo from your resort where you are staying. Usually, you will go in a group with others as it is more practical to do this.The incredible view of Piaynemo from the viewing deckGetting to Piaynemo IslandIf you plan to charter a boat for just yourself or as a couple, you need to prepare to pay a lot of money for this. Boats rental can cost anywhere from USD$300 to USD600. Piaynemo is located about one to one and a half hours boat ride from the popular resort area of Raja Ampat. The further you stay, the more it will cost. Sometimes, the resorts may join venture with other resorts to send guests to Piaynemo Island.The welcome sign that you see before hiking up to the view point of PiaynemoPianemo, Pianemu or Piaynemo? While both are often used among the locals, the name is pronounced the same as some call it Pianemo, Pianemu or even Piaynemo. Also, there is little or no information found on Wikipedia or other websites about this beautiful rock islets that stick out of the blue turquoise waters in a bay.The Pianemu Karst is a natural heritage site of West Papua, and dates back to over 15 million years ago. The limestone karst are formed from sedimentation in the last 10 million years, creating thePiaynemo Karst formations that we see today. To be honest, I tried my best to obtain any information I could, but the locals there have very little knowledge on this amazing view point. However, once you are up top, you will be mesmerised by the incredible beauty that is postcard perfect, especially on a clear morning.How to get the beautiful view of Piaynemo? Boat charters will bring you into the lagoon area of the rock islets and drop you at the one and only jetty here. There are a few local stalls that sell drinks and souvenirs, operated by the locals.At the jetty, there are two wooden walkways that lead up the island, with thick trees covering the canopy. The steps lead all the way up to the main view point of Piaynemo Island.The start of the hike up to the Piaynemo view pointIt is a steep climb, one way up and another way down. So, this place is not disable friendly or kind to the unhealthy ones. If you are short of breath, please take your time to go up. There are a couple of rest stops along the way up to the view point. Once you reach the final flight of stairs, your exhaustion and sufferings will vanish into thin air. Why? Because, the natural beauty from the view point of Piaynemo will blow you away. I am not kidding, as I took longer than usual to make my way up the stairs, and when I reach the view deck, I was in awe, just looking and the incredible view of Piaynemo. At one section to the left, there is a short staircase down to a special wooden deck where everyone takes that epic Piaynemo photo. I kid you not, that is indeed the best place for your portrait shot with the rock islets popping out of the water below. On the right, there is another viewing deck, but the gate is sometimes closed. This viewing deck is not as beautiful as the one of the left. Anyway, once you are up there, you can explore both to see which you prefer.The wooden stairs leading up to the Pianemu view point. Note the steep climb up.Please go early to avoid the crowds, as mentioned below. Also, do not sit or stand on the wooden railings there, as it is dangerous. There are some basic information of geology of this place, which was faded. A small covered area with a bench is also available for those who want to avoid the sun up here. In general, I spent about two hours up there, before making my way down to the waiting boat at the jetty. Most visitors wear slippers or simply go barefoot up. However, on a hot day, the floor can get really hot. Best to bring along a pair of walking or hiking shoes along. Also bring water if you dehydrate easily. Here's the epic moment - I see many people bringing their wardrobe up, all for the name of taking a beautiful shot, with their dress or sarong flying in the air. So, if you are a diva or want that epic Instagram photo up here, do bring you change of clothes and make up box along.A landscape photo of Piaynemo, taken with mu Oppo Smartphone. On the left is the famous viewing deck. Best time to visit PianemoThe best time to visit this place is in the mornings just before lunch. Reason for this is that the skies are really clear and sometimes, after lunch it can get cloudy, and after coming all the way here, you would not want a horrible photo of Pianemo.For photographers, it is recommended to come early, and for those wanting that epic Instagram photo of Piaynemo, you need to come early to avoid the crowd and also the heat. How much is it to visit Piaynemo? The golden question - Well, since my trip was arranged by Indonesia Tourism, I do not know the exact amount. But I did ask the organizer about the costs involved, and he told me that a boat charter from Waisai or the Raja Ampat resorts could cost anywhere from IRD 20 Million to 40 Million. One of the reasons for this is the long journey and fuel cost. Apparently, fuel is like gold in Raja Ampat, hence the high fees to get here. But as mentioned earlier, it is best to consult your resort about the cost per person or couple.If you do not visit this place when you are in Raja ampat, this is what you will be missingWhat if I don't Visit Piaynemo? Then you wasted your entire trip to Raja Ampat in West Papua. Piaynemo is the landmark of this place and is the most popular photo used in travel flyers. Whenever you see a tourism brochure on Raja Ampat, Piaynemo is bound to be one of the main photos. Also, you may save some money, but just don't tell your friends that you did not visit one of the most beautiful places in the world. They would probably kill you for that. So, my recommendation is to make that visit up here.When I visited Raja Ampat in early September 2017, I stayed at the Raja Ampat Dive Resort, which is really nice, cozy and very professional. For divers, or even non divers, I recommend staying at this resort. You have seen the photos I posted here, done with very little editing, because the natural beauty was good enough. For anyone visiting Raja Ampat, I hope this article on hoe to go to Piaynemo will provide you with the right information needed. Have a great trip and if you have questions, please ask below. 
    Monday 18th of September 2017 07:23:00 AM
  • Takpala Village on Alor Island
    On a recent visit to East Nusa Tenggara, I was fortunate to have visited the Takpala Village on Alor Island, which is one of the least visited places around this region. Having little knowledge on the Alornese, this was a very interesting eye opener for me. Takpala Village sits in in the hills of Alor, which is around 13 kilometers from the Kalabahi district, the main area of Alor Island. The people of Takpala are also known as the Abui tribe who is also the largest of the ethnic groups on the island. The Abui people are also known as the mountain people. In total, there are three main traditional villages, but Takpala is one of the easiest and best to visit in Alor Island. The Abui tribe at the foot of the village, welcoming visitorsVisiting Takpala VillageAs Alor is home to to over 40 different ethnic groups and speaking to the village headman, he said that there are over 60 languages and sub languages in Alor Island itself. That is incredible, considering how small the island is, and so many languages. However, on communication among themselves, they all speak one common language, which is Bahasa Indonesia. As our group was fairly large, they Abui people of Takpala had prepared a welcoming ritual at the foot of the village. Men and women, boys and girls were dressed in traditional Abui attire, and welcomed the group with some traditional words. Behind the headman, two other men had drums, and started to beat them as they walked uphill. The women danced as they led our entourage up to the entrance of the village. Once here, we could see over 30 to 40 other men and women who were waiting for us. In the background, thatched roof homes called Rumah Gedung stand majestically as a backdrop. Abui warriors perform a traditional ritual as part of the welcome ceremonyGedung means storage, and they call them store houses because this is where they store their food supplies such as rice, corn and others. In the middle of the village area, you see a round structure, looking like a place of ritual. This place is called the Mesbah, which is made from large stones. The Mesbah is the general communal area where meetings, dances and other important events are held by the Abui people. Once we were seated on bamboo chairs made for visitors, the headman called Pak Abner, started his ritual speech, welcoming us all to Takpala Village. Soon after, they started to perform the traditional dance, called the Lego Lego dance. This harvest dance is performed by the Abui women and men, by creating a circle around the Mesbah. Music is played by other men, while the women start moving around the Mesbah, hand in hand around each other. The Lego-Lego dance performed by the Abui tribe of AlorA rhythmic moment is observed by everyone, even the young girls who don the traditional attire. As the dance gets more intense, the Abui people move faster and faster in a circle. The women and girls have brass rings around their legs, therefore making it chime as them stomp their feet during the dance. Following the dance, the visitors are then invited to participate along with the locals in a merry and joyful atmosphere, but performing the same dance in a circle. After song and dance, photo sessions are a must. This is where you get your portrait photos of the Abui people in traditional attire. You can take their photos or even pose with them as they are extremely friendly. One thing you should note is that the Alornese people love to chew betel nut, hence their blood red mouths. This is a common thing practised around Alor Island and East Nusa Tenggara among the men and women. If you have questions about the people or the village, feel free to ask your translator to ask Pak Abner or any of the village elders. They would be glad to answer your questions. The Abui people are also Christians, so you will be seeing lots of crosses planted around the area. Usually indicated as markings, but I did not manage to ask why they were places along the road up and even in front of the village. Takpala Village PhotosBelow are some random photos taken at the Takpala Village on Alor Island. I spent about two hours here, watching, talking and learning what I could about this unique tribe from Alor. Abui children, some of them in traditional wearThe headman and village elders at Takpala villageOne of the Abui elder ladies plays a traditional drum soloBrass rings are used for Abui women, when they dance, the rings give out chimesAbui women performing the Lego-Lego dance in Takpala VillagePak Abner, the village headman strikes a warrior pose with his bow and arrowTakpala Village Souvenirs At the end of the performance and photo taking, you can visit the right section of the village where you will see the local Abui women selling various local handicraft made by them. There must have been around 10 makeshift stalls to browse through. Items include the local dried banana seeds which are made into bracelets and necklaces, combined with wooden pendants. Another type of wooden seeds made from the Kenari tree is also unique. They look like wooden prayer beads. Wild boar teeth infused into jewelry are also sold at slightly higher prices. However, this is one of the local income for the Abui people, hence I bought about five necklaces and three bracelets as souvenirs. At places like these, it is often good to contribute back to the community. Some stalls even sell hand crafted parangs (swords) and wooden shields. For those traveling internationally, I would advise against carrying them. But then again, if you are a serious sword collector, this would be awesome for your display. The sign just outside Takpala Village in AlorHow to go to Takpala VillageFor anyone planning to visit the Takpala village, you need to start from Kalabahi, and it takes around 30 minutes by car or van to get here. You also need to engage a guide or charter a taxi, and possible get one that speaks English, to translate. Once here, no one speaks any form of English, but Bahasa Indonesia or their local ethic language. You can easily spend around an hour here, talking to the locals or exploring their traditional homes. On the right section of the village, the local Abui people have makeshift stalls which sell homegrown souvenirs. Some of them are pretty cool, especially the banana seed necklaces and bracelets. This trip was part of the 2017 Trip of Wonders by Indonesia Tourism where we explored far East of Nusa Tenggara and Raja Ampat. It was purely an adventure and dive trip which introduced us to these amazing places in Indonesia. 
    Thursday 14th of September 2017 10:56:00 AM
  • Tourism Malaysia Awards 2017
    The Tourism Malaysia Awards 2017 will take place in early 2018, and this is also the 20th year that the prestigious awards are being held here in Malaysia. Tourism Minister YB Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri made the announcement on the 7th September about the news. The announcement was to call for nominations as every two years, the tourism industry, its players and those promoting Malaysia as a tourist destination will be recognised by receiving the highest awards in Malaysia. Tourism Malaysia Awards 2016/2017 These prestigious tourism awards are a way to acknowledge and recognise those who have contributed and worked hard to up the tourism standards of Malaysia. Nominations are submitted and a panel of highly qualified judges then select the deserving winners for the awards. The Tourism Malaysia Awards also recognises and honours local and international tourism industry players for outstanding and innovative products and services. It also acts as an incentive for participants to strive for the highest level of professionalism and quality in both products and services in Malaysia.Media Category Winners for the previous Tourism Malaysia AwardsTourism Malaysia Awards CategoriesIn total, there are 14 categories for the awards which some of them have sub-categories as listed below. 1. Best Local Tour OperatorInbound Tour OperatorDomestic Tour Operator2. Best Foreign Tour OperatorSoutheast Asia MarketSouth Asia and West Asia MarketEast Asia and North Asia MarketAmericas, Europe and Oceania Market3. Best Tourism Article3a. Printed PublicationLocal PublicationInternational Publication3b. OnlineLocalInternational4. Best Travel Documentary and TV Commercial on MalaysiaDocumentaryTV Commercial5. Best Tourist AttractionNatural Attraction / Eco-Tourism / Agro-TourismMan-Made Attraction ? Theme ParkMan-Made Attraction ? Arts & Culture Attraction6. Most Innovative Tour PackageOff-the-Beaten TrackSpecial Interest7. Best Hotel Services5-star (city)5-star (resort)4-star (city)4-star (resort)3-star (city)3-star (resort)NBOS Fresh Air resortBoutique Hotel8. Best Tourist GuideCity GuideNature Guide9. Best Shopping CentreIntegrated Shopping CentreStand-Alone Shopping Centre10. Best Homestay11. Best SpaBest Spa (Hotel/Resort)Best Spa (Individual Premise)12. Innovative RestaurantMalayChineseIndianEthnicInternational13. Best Entertainment Spot14. Best AirlineDomesticInternationalCharterTwo new categories were introduced for this edition of the Malaysia Tourism Awards, namely, ?Best Entertainment Spot? and ?Best Airline? to acknowledge the private sector effort in accomplishing the Tourism NKEA objectives of establishing a ?Dedicated Entertainment Zone (DEZ)? and enhancing connectivity from medium-haul markets to capitalise on the high-yield tourism market.The ?Best Travel Documentary on Malaysia? category has been revamped to ?Best Travel Documentary and TV Commercial on Malaysia? while ?Best Tourism Article? will focus on articles on Malaysia in both printed and online media by local and foreign writers.The Tourism Malaysia Awards Media Category WinnersWhen is the Tourism Malaysia Awards 2017?Date: January 2018Venue: Kuala LumpurTime: 6.00 PMWebsite: http://awards.tourism.gov.myThis awards are the highest awards that is given by the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia, and is the most recognised awards in the travel and tourism industry of Malaysia. You can also read my article on the last Tourism Malaysia Awards 2014/2015. For more information, please visit the official Tourism Malaysia Awards website, where you can also see past winners and other information is available. If you are in the tourism industry, see you at the Tourism Malaysia Awards 2017, as I hope to be submitting some of my work done in the last couple of years promoting Malaysia. 
    Wednesday 13th of September 2017 09:36:00 AM
  • Dream Theater Live In Malaysia
    Definitely a dream come true for fans as Dream Theater will perform live in Malaysia for the first time ever. With a collection of 14 studio albums, hard core fans in Malaysia and around the region will definitely  take the opportunity to catch the band live in Malaysia for 2017.As Dream Theater has never performed in Malaysia before, many fans have only dreamed of seeing them live on stage, and this time, IME Asia is making the ultimate dream come true for fans in the region. Dream Theater will be touring Japan, Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Philippines, Bangkok, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore as part of their Images, Words & Beyond - 25th Anniversary Tour. For those who cannot see them in Malaysia, there is still hope to catch the band in Singapore the following day. Dream Theater to perform live in Kuala Lumpur on the 2nd of October, 2017Dream Theater Live In Malaysia  The progressive rock from America was formed back in 1985, and has had a massive following since then. Dream Theater comprises of members: John Petrucci (guitar), James La Brie (vocals), John Myung (bass), Mike Mangini (drums),  and Jordan Rudess (keyboards and continuum).The band has sold over 10 million records worldwide, with five RIAA gold and platinum certifications, as well as multiple awards and nominations. On April 9, 2013, Images and Words won the award for Metal Madness 2013, defeating ever a lot of the well-known artists such as Ronnie James Dio, Megadeth, AC/DC and many more.The Images and Words album was ranked 95 on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time? in 2017. From the band?s classics all the way through to their latest opus "The Astonishing?, Dream Theater maintains their identity of heavy emotional rock, with deep, meaningful lyrics that strive to lead their fans beyond imagination.Seating Layout for Dream Theater Live in Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaDream Theater Malaysia tickets are priced at:VIP ? RM488Cat 1 ? RM398Cat 2 ? RM308Cat 3 ? RM238Cat 4 ? RM188Where to buy Dream Theater Live in Malaysia?You can buy the tickets from TicketCharge online at www.ticketcharge.com.my or you can call the TicketCharge hotline at +603-92228811. Other places where you can get tickets in Kuala Lumpur are;Speedy videoVictoria MusicRock CornerChambers MusicPJ Live ArtsInformation counter at The Mines shopping mallInformation counter at 1 Shamelin shopping mallFor tickets outside of Kuala Lumpur;Eden Ultimate (Kuantan)Blonde Brunette (Penang)Dream Theater Live Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Venue: KL Convention CentreDate: 2nd October 2017 (Monday)Time: 8.30 PMOfficial Dream Theater Live in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia PosterDream Theater Live in Asia Dates13 September 2017 - Osaka, Japan14 September 2017 - Tokyo, Japan16 September 2017 - Seoul, Korea19 September 2017 - Sydney, Australia20 September 2017 - Victoria, Australia22 September 2017 - Taipei, Taiwan25 September 2017 - Quezon City, Philippines27 September 2017 - Bangkok, Thailand29 September 2017 - Yogyakarta, Indonesia30 September 2017 - Yogyakarta, Indonesia2 October 2017 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia3 October 2017 - Singapore, SingaporeAfter Singapore, Dream Theater moves on to India, the Middle East and then around the USA.for their world tour that ends on 2nd December 2017. For more information, visit the official Dream Theater website. For those traveling to Kuala Lumpur to catch the Dream Theater concert, you should make your travel arrangements, hotel bookings and find out the easiest way to get to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center.The Kuala Lumpur Convention Center is located in the main Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur City Center (BBKLCC) area and just minutes walking distance from the Petronas Twin Towers and also the Bukit Bintang Area. If you have been a huge fan since the beginning, this is probably your best chance to catch Dream Theater Live in Malaysia in 2017, as it is uncertain that the band will make another tour here. 
    Tuesday 12th of September 2017 04:33:00 AM
  • Royal Belum International Hornbill Expedition 2017
    The Royal Belum International Hornbill Expedition 2017 will take place from the 25th to 28th August, 2017 and this bird watching event will be mainly to survey the Malaysian Hornbill population. Held at the Royal Belum State Park, this place is known to be the home of all 10 Malaysian hornbill species in an IBA or Important Birding Area of MY07. The event is also organised by EcoMy, one of the leading ecotourism non-governmental organisations of Malaysia. Royal Belum State Park is also known as one of the premier ecotourism destinations of Peninsular Malaysia, where the rainforest here are known to be over 130 million years old and the second oldest in the world. A photo of the Plain-pouched Hornbills (Photo by N.Sukumal / www.birdsofthailand.org)Royal Belum International Hornbill Expedition 2017Because of the concentration of all 10 hornbill species found here, this place is also called the Hornbill Capital of Malaysia. And for this years hornbill count, international teams have been invited to participate for the event. The Royal Belum International Hornbill Expedition 2017 is also in partnership with Tourism Malaysia, Perak State Park Corporation (PSPC) and the Northern Corridor Implementation Agency (NCIA). Inside the Royal Belum State Park (Photo by Mesmerizing Malaysia)In previous counts, there have been up to 3000+ birds done in one count. This of course includes other bird species at the state park. For hornbills here, it is stated that there are 9 resident species which live around here. One of the highlights include spotting the migrating Plain-pouched Hornbill (Rhyticeros subruficollis) from Southern Myanmar and Thailand. These beautiful hornbills are also threatened by habitat loss in recent years. Data collected from the count will be used as part of an action plan to promote ecotourism and  bird watching as a sustainable tourism activity for Royal Belum State Park. The official logo for the Royal Belum International Hornbill Expedition 2017Royal Belum International Hornbill Expedition 2017Date: 25 - 28 August 2017Venue: Royal Belum State ParkOrganiser: EcoMyThe main image of this article is from Belum.com.my. You can also view more articles on Malaysia bird watching done by me as I have been writing a bit about this hobby. Slots are limited therefore if anyone is interested, please contact EcoMy and they will provide the necessary information for you. If you are heading to the Royal Belum International Hornbill Expedition 2017, please do share your experience with me after the event. 
    Friday 18th of August 2017 07:50:00 AM
  • Borneo International Beads Conference 2017
    Travelers who are into the Bornean arts and craft should take note the 5th Borneo International Beads Conference 2017 taking place this 13-15 October in Kuching, Sarawak. Held once every two years, this is the premier traditional beading event for Malaysia Borneo. Known as BIBCo2017, this years theme is called "Our Universal Beads" and the event promises even more exciting demonstrations, talks, workshops and displays of all kinds of ethnic beads from Borneo and around the world.If you have a thing for beads or love the ethnic beading culture, this is not to be missed. Borneo International Beads Conference 2017 Itinerary:Academic papers by world-renowned authorities on bead studies?Borneo Traditional? workshopsBorneo International Beads AwardBorneo indigenous bead-working techniques workshopBeads Abuzz, the International Bead BazaarContemporary Bead Design workshopsExciting post-conference toursHands-on workshops covering a wide range of disciplines and techniquesNative American bead working techniques workshopNatural fibre bead making workshopPolymer clay workshopPaper bead making workshopVisits to Craft exhibitions and Museums in Kuching During the BIBCo workshop at the last event (Photo by Crafthub)There are also special segments that will showcase a number of speakers from around the world. They have been specially invited to the Borneo International Beads Conference to talk about beads and their respective countries cultural beads.Experts and speakers that are attending the BIBCo 2017 are from  Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Singapore, Thailand, and the USA.This unique and exciting event is also organised by Crafthub, a non-profit organisation that is based in Kuching. Their mission is to promote and market Sarawak handicrafts in an economically viable way, with international-standard quality control. Rainforest Craft Bazaar 2017 VideoThe craft bazaar video above shows one of the events organized by Crafthub called the Rainforest Craft Bazaar, which is a feature during the world famous Rainforest World Music Festival. It is at this event where you can find most of the traditional Sarawakian handicraft and beads for sale and display.Crafthub has been the main organizer for this even for the last 10 years and continues to keep this important beading heritage and culture ongoing. With many promotions being done locally, people are seeing the importance of the traditional handicraft which is slowly fading away due to modernisation and technology.Talks at the Borneo Beads Conference (Photo by Crafthub)Borneo International Beads Conference 2017 Info Dates: 13-15 October 2017Venue: The Waterfront Hotel, KuchingOrganizer: Crafthub Sdn. Bhd.Phone: +6 082 421346Email: crafthub@gmail.comWebsite: CrafthubAnyone interested to attend this should sign up at the Crafthub Registration Page. This will secure you seat for any of the workshops or talks during the event.The Borneo International Beads Conference 2017 has also received the support of several organisations, including the Sarawak Government, the Sarawak Craft Council, Sarawak Tourism, the Jabatan Muzium Sarawak, the Sarawak Convention Bureau, the Sarawak Cultural Village, Kraftangan Malaysia, and the World Crafts Council.
    Thursday 17th of August 2017 08:33:00 AM
  • KLIA2 New Passenger Service Charge Tax Rate 2018
    For those traveling internationally out of Malaysia, you should take note of the new KLIA2 passenger service charge tax rates for 2018. Known as the PSC, the new tax rate may or is going to be increased from RM50.00 to RM73.00. The main reason for this is that KLIA2 needs to match that of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport or KLIA. Malaysian Aviation Commission or Mavcom stated that the rate at KLIA was already one of the cheapest in the world, and the budget airline terminal needs to have the same rate. The new KLIA passenger tax may or will take place in January 2018, but the date has yet to be set, as of August 2017. News of this was announced in mid August, where they are giving consumers to adjust and also for airlines to promote fair competition among the airports. What is the Passenger Service Charge (PSC)?The Passenger Service Charge or PSC is a charge imposed by the airport operator, and it is for the passengers use of the airport and its facilities. The PSC also has different taxes for different regions. Asean (RM35.00) or domestic regions pay much less than long haul or international destinations. KLIA2 will see an increase of the PSC tax rate in 2018Travelers Levy Tax at KLIA & KLIA2 for 2018In other recent airport news, travelers departing any Malaysian airports will also be subjected to a levy of RM1.00 imposed by Mavcom in early 2018. This news was also reported by Channel News Asia on 15th August, 2017.The airport levy will apply to all departing passengers for both domestic and overseas destinations except for rural air services in interior Sabah and Sarawak. The purpose of the RM1.00 levy is to ensure financial sustenance and more importantly the independence of the commission.Mavcom, said it expects the Malaysian air passenger traffic to grow between 7.8 and 8.6 per cent in 2017 with the number of air travelers expected to hit 99.6 million.While airlines are competing for prices, the airports and Mavcom are increasing the taxes. For most travelers, the increase doers not matter much, but there will be those who are against this increase for the new KLIA2 PCS tax rates for 2018. 
    Wednesday 16th of August 2017 10:40:00 AM
  • Halal Restaurant in Tokyo - Samrat Curry Plaza
    For Muslim travelers visiting Japan, food is one of the main concerns and this article will talk about Halal restaurant in Tokyo, featuring Samrat Curry Plaza in Shibuya. Most Muslim travelers would prefer to find a proper Halal restaurant, and sometimes, it is not easy to find one. If you did not already know, there are over 50 Halal restaurants found all over Tokyo. All you need to do is find out where they are. And no, they are not located in one main area too. Most of them are well spread out in the different districts of Tokyo. During a visit to Tokyo in February 2017, I was introduced to a number of Halal restaurants in Tokyo, mainly at the commercial tourist areas. Having been to Tokyo multiple times in the last 20 years, I have pretty much seen how the food landscaped has changed to suit tourism. A sign showing the Halal logo on the main doorMore importantly, the rise of Muslim travelers to Japan has also brought in a number of Halal restaurants and even food supply shops. A recent statistic shows that currently, there are over 100,000 Muslims living and working or studying in Japan. So, this article generally talks about the main area of Shibuya, which many Malaysians or Muslim travelers would visit on their trip to Tokyo. Shibuya is one of the most popular districts which offers an amazing choice for shopping, dining and entertainment. Halal Food in Tokyo - Samrat Curry PlazaSamrat Curry Plaza is located on the ground floor at street level, therefore it is not hard to miss. Japanese call this place Samuratokarehausupuraza, which means Sam Rat Curry House Plaza, but said in Japanese. Funny right? Menu at Samrat Curry Plaza in Shibuya at the front of the restaurant and in EnglishThe Halal restaurant gets really crowded during peak dining hours, especially with locals. But Muslim tourist are also often seen dining here as well. They offer seating up to 30 pax, and also cater to take aways. What is great about Samrat Curry Plaza is that they have a huge Halal logo on the main entrance door, and strangely next to a Corona Beer sign. This means, the outlet serves alcohol, by the bottle only, but is a Halal certified outlet. Confusing right? The Halal certification is issued by the Nippon Asia Halal Association of Japan and they probably see things differently, compared to Muslim countries. Again, Dubai is a Muslim nation, but beer is also sold there, just like in Malaysia, Singapore or Indonesia. So to clear the confusion, Japanese customers would order beer by the bottle, as it is part of their dining custom. So no glasses are used for this. However, you can always check with the restaurant first before ordering, or you can buy a drink from the vending machine just outside the restaurant. One of the dishes served at Samrat Curry Plaza in Shibuya (Photo from www.tabelog.com)Samrat Restaurant Shibuya MenuAs for the menu, the great thing is that they have it in pictures and in English, plastered all over the main entrance. This means, you can see what is sold before going in to order your food. This is one of the issues faced by many travelers, not understanding text only menus. Because Samrat is an Indian style cuisine, you can expect the good old Naan and Curry in various meats. They offer chicken, mutton, seafood and dhal choices, which means vegetarians can also visit this halal restaurant in Shibuya. Apart from ala-carte, they offer set meals, which are quite a bargain. Prices start at ?950 per set, and you can eat as much Naan and Rice as you like. For children, there are kids set priced at ?750 which includes a soft drink. A Curry Set meal at Samrat Curry Plaza in ShibuyaA Biryani set will cost ?1200 which comes with a salad and drink, and you can eat as much naan and rice as you want. You have the choice to choose what type of curry you want too. For side dishes, Samrat offers a decent selection of tandoori, kebab, samosa, spring rolls and salads. Prices are from ?300 to ?800 per side dish. Naan bread is also offered in choices of plain, butter, garlic and cheese with prices of ?350 to ?500 per naan. For the big eater, try the 2-curry or 3-curry set at ?1000 and ?1100 respectively, or the Deluxe Thali set at ?1280. Samrat Curry House Plaza Address12-12 Udagawacho Shibuya Tokyo03-5728-1821 (+81-3-5728-1821)Business hours: 11:00 AM to 05:00 AMPrice: Starting from ?1000 to ?2000 per personSamrat Curry Plaza, the signboard is obviousIf you are in the area and need to find a Halal restaurant in Shibuya, Samrat is one of the highly recommended places to visit. Again, if you don't mind the modern Halal style Japanese restaurants, this place provided a great meal. The shop is located along the main road of Inokashira Dori and facing a junction. From the famous Shibuya 109 Building, it is only a five minute walk, so just use Google Maps or Waze to find Samrat Restaurant Shibuya.I also visited a Halal Ramen restaurant in Tokyo called Naritaya. It is located in the Asakusa area and just near the famous Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa. Honestly, it is not bad at all. I had my speculations on this, but after trying it, it was actually quite nice. So, if you are looking for a Halal ramen, then this is one of the recommended places. For those who are visiting Tokyo on their own, you will be traveling around the metropolis to get to the popular places. The best way to explore Tokyo is by using the Tokyo Metro and its day passes as this saves you quite a bit of money if you move from district to district.  If you have discovered other Halal restaurants in Tokyo, do share them with me as I would like to know how the experience was. Have a fantastic trip in Tokyo and travel safe. 
    Tuesday 15th of August 2017 09:25:00 AM
  • How to go to Mount Kelimutu
    For those who want to know how to go to Mount Kelimutu, I have come up with a basic guide that will provide you with the much needed information. Mount Kelimutu is located on the island of Flores in East Nusa Tenggara, which is near East Timor. Most travelers have been to Komodo Island, and Mount Kelimutu is on the other side of Flores. To get here, the best way is by flying to one of the smaller towns near the Kelimutu National Park. The closest town to Mount Kelimutu is also Ende where the Bandar Udara H. Hasan Aroeboesman Airport is located at.The view of Mount Kelimutu from the bottomHow to go to Mount KelimutuThere are a few ways to travel to Mount Kelimutu, and they will be explained below in the most simplest way possible. Again, they are just guides and for those planning to visit, you should thoroughly research your options. For your added information, the only airlines that fly to Kelimutu are the local Indonesian airlines. No international airlines fly to Labuan Bajo or Kelimutu. This means, your connecting city needs to be Jakarta or Bali.The tree main ways to get to Mount Kelimutu are;1. Flights2. Ferry3. Land Transport (with ferry)Wings Abadi Airlines, a common way to fly to Ende and around East Nusa TenggaraFlying from Bali to Mount KelimutuThe best way is to fly in from Denpasar, Bali and there are two main airlines that fly here. They are Garuda and Wings Abadi Airlines which have direct flights to Ende and Labuan Bajo. The flight from Bali to Ende will take around two and a half to three hours via propeller plane and will cost you about $USD200.00 per person one way. You may need to check various websites for the best deal too. If you are already in Labuan Bajo, you can take a direct flight to Ende with Garuda or Wings Abadi, which is a 45 minute flight on the same type of plane. A flight from here will cost you around $USD60-70 per person and one way. From the town of Ende, the journey to Mount Kelimutu will also take you around 1.5 to 2 hours overland. There are a few local hotels or guest lodges located around Kelimutu, so these are the best options for lodging. Garuda's propeller planes that fly to the smaller islands and places around IndonesiaFlying from Jakarta to Mount KelimutuIf you plan to fly from Jakarta, it will be a long flight with a few stops and this is not recommended. I personally think the best way is via Denpasar, Bali. Unless you have no other option, then this is your best way to do so. Traveling Overland to Mount KelimutuWell, some of you may be thinking of a cheaper way to get to Kelimutu and one of them is via road. However, this is one adventure that you will most likely remember for life.The overland journey involves around 40-50 hours of travel via road and ferry. This is based on traveling from Bali through the many islands on route east.You will have to take three different ferries in this journey through Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara before arriving on East Nusa Tenggara. This would be some serious traveling so you need to be prepared for it. The cost involved here will vary of the different types of transport used like buses, ferries and so on. By saying this, I think it would be better to take the ferry, explained below.Pelni Ferry seen docked at Labuan BajoTraveling by Ferry from Bali to Labuan Bajo, FloresIf you are a backpacker or serious budget traveler, this is your best option where you can take a massive ferry from Bali to Labuan Bajo, Flores. From there, you need to take the local bus overland to Ende, and then to Mount Kelimutu.Lets get to the logistics for this incredible journey. From Bali to Labuan Bajo, the Pelni Ferry (https://www.pelni.co.id/) will take you a good 32-40 hours journey. Your departing port will be Benoa in Bali. This cargo and human ferry will make port of calls at various towns along the way and this is a great way to see East Indonesia. This is also provided you have the luxury of time. The ferry ticket will cost you only USD$18.00 per person, which is a very good price. Most budget travelers or backpackers would take this option as it is the cheapest way to travel to Komodo Island and Flores.The infamous Truk Kayu or Wooden Trucks that are actually local buses in FloresFrom Labuan Bajo to Mount KelimutuFor those who take the ferry or land in Labuan Bajo, the cheapest way to travel to Mount Kelimutu is via local bus. This journey will take you at least 13 hours via road. This would also be one of those epic moments of traveling, as you will get to see the real local way of life here. There are two types of buses available here, one of them is called 'Truk Kayu' (Wooden Trucks), which are actually modified diesel trucks with a roof, and you get to sit with the locals on this adventure.If you are up for a challenge, then this would be quite interesting. I know of some backpackers who actually did this, as an experience.The private company buses in Flores, which are recommendedThe other is a proper bus company called Gunung Mas Travel (+62 385 21407) which uses big vans as buses. The bus service from Labuan Bajo to Ende makes one stop at the town of Ruteng.From there, you change another bus to Ende under the same company. Price per person is RP260.000 per person or $USD20.00. The fastest way is to engage a private car (Supir) to shuttle you to Ende. This would cost quite a bit, around $USD40-50 per car.So if you are in a group, this option would be very practical. Again, the price also depends on your bargaining skill and make sure you look at the car first.The Kayu Trucks are a common sight around Labuan Bajo and FloresOverall, the best way is still to consult with your hotel or guest house in Labuan Bajo as they would know the best options for travel within Flores, East Nusa Tenggara. Visiting FloresThough this may be one of those harder places to visit, there are actually many things you can do in Flores. But if you are a luxury traveler or those short stay travelers, I would just recommend Komodo Island, that is it.When you arrive at the Ende airport, this is what greets youFlores is quite large and offers a different kind of travel and tourism experience, suitable for those who love nature, trekking, outdoors, bird watching and a peace of mind. For those visiting this part of Indonesia, you can read about what to do in Labuan Bajo, an article written by me. I visited Labuan Bajo three times in 2015 to late 2016 for my work.A panoramic photo of Labuan Bajo Town in FloresIf you are planing to see the mighty Komodo Dragon, I have also done an article on how to go to Komodo Island with additional information there. For any traveler out there, this is one part of the world that is amazing and less traveled. I would highly recommend visiting Flores as it is truly a natural tourism destination, with very little modernization. And I hope that the information on how to go to Mount Kelimutu will come in handy for you. 
    Thursday 10th of August 2017 06:02:00 AM
  • Canopy Walk in Taman Negara
    One of the most exciting tree top walks in Malaysia is no other than the canopy walk in Taman Negara, Pahang. This amazing treetop walk is also known as the longest in the world, spanning a distance of 1,738 feet or 530 meters in length.The canopy walk is also 40 meters or 131 feet above the rainforest floor and is connected with 9 tree platforms which sits in a 130 million year old rainforest. Taman Negara is also known as one of the oldest rainforest in the world.As an avid outdoor lover, I had the opportunity to try the longest treetop walk in the world in early 2017. This review is based purely on my personal experience and is one of the most popular things to do in Taman Negara National Park.Known as a treetop walk, this is the longest in the worldCanopy Walk in Taman NegaraThis project was originally built for research purposes in 1992 at a cost of around RM1 million, and took about a year to complete it. It was first used in 1993 and only a section of 250 meters was completed. After receiving positive reviews from visitors, they eventually opened it up to the public for use. Now, the Taman Negara canopy walk is the most visited attraction in the national park here. The location of the canopy walk is also quite near to the park headquarters and Mutiara Taman Negara Resort. From here, you can either hike there for about 1.5 kilometers, or take a longboat to the river entrance.The path leading up to the canopy walk areaMost visitors would choose to hike to the canopy walk from the park headquarters as it is a scenic route with lots of flora and maybe some fauna to spot along the way.Reaching the canopy area, you need to trek up via wooden stairs, which will take you around 10 minutes.If you take the boat, it will stop at a small jetty where you will walk up via stairs. Please note that the canopy walk is not disabled friendly.The Canopy Walk station in Taman Negara National ParkA fee of RM5.00 is collected at the start of the canopy walk by park officials, and this fee goes to the maintenance of the walkway.After you purchase your tickets, they will register your name and country you are from. The ticket is then shown at the top of the wooden tower before you start your journey.For those wanting to go to the bathroom there are men and women's bathroom available at the bottom, before the canopy walk station.The entrance ticket priced at RM5.00 per personAt any one time, only three persons are allowed to walk in each section of the canopy walkway. This is purely for safety reasons.The entire canopy is netted on both sides, therefore if you do slip or lose balance, you can hold the ropes and you are still in the canopy walk. Though it may sound terrifying for some, the experience of walking on the world's longest canopy walk will guarantee you will talk about it to your friends or loved ones.The Canopy Walk Tower where you start your journeyAt the start of the canopy walk, you will need to climb up a flight of stairs in a wooden tower. This is about two floors high, and there is an opening where your incredible journey begins. The beginning is around five meters high as the canopy ascends from tree to tree. The thrill is to balance your walk by holding the ropes as you place your feet one after another on the wooden planks. After several tree stations, you suddenly realise that the ground is over a hundred feet below you. If you are afraid of heights, then I suggest you do not look down. By then, you would be halfway through the walk.At the start of the treetop walk, it does not look really highAt the peak of the canopy walk, you can stop at the highest station to catch a view of the rainforest canopy. Ambient nature sounds take over and chuckles of other visitors will be heard in the distance. If you are lucky enough, you can spot the giant squirrels hopping about on the trees. Other wildlife will only be the rainforest birds that are heard often.For bird watching in Taman Negara, chances of spotting some endemic birds along the canopy walk is a fifty-fifty chance. If you want to do bird photography, you can only do it at the tree stations.Note that the canopy walk here will close when it rains or if the weather is bad. This is for safety reasons. Walking on the world's longest canopy walkBest Time To Visit The Canopy Walk in Taman NegaraI will be honest with you and say that the best time to visit this place is on a weekday. Why? You guessed it - The crowds. For me, I planned my trip on a weekend and on a school holiday period. However, if you cannot avoid the weekend, then the other tip is to go to the canopy walk as early as possible, just before it opens. They have different opening times, and you need to check with the park headquarters there.The canopy walk gets higher and longer as you go further inThe best time to visit Taman Negara is;February to November: This is the season where the weather is great, and may have small showers. Overall the optimum time to visit here is from February to June. December to January: This is the rainy season, and is not the ideal time to visit the national park.Most visitors tend to book their own travels to Taman Negara, meaning that they will either book a full tour package to Taman Negara or take the transport only package.The transport is via a bus or van transfer to the national park, and all other bookings are on your own. There is currently no AirBnB available around the national park.Towards the end, you will come to a canopy staircase heading downYou can visit Taman Negara as a day trip or overnight trip, but either one lets you have an amazing experience of the Malaysian rainforest. I recommend you spend at least two days here to fully see this place.For the traveler who loves nature, wildlife and the outdoors, this amazing national park in Pahang offers some of the best adventures you can have in the tropical country of Malaysia.What to do in Taman Negara?Taman Negara is about five to six hours drive away from Kuala Lumpur. There are quite a number of activities available to be done here. They include;Visiting the canopy walkRiver rapid shootingVisiting the 'Orang Asli' (Native) villageTrekkingBird watchingVisiting the waterfallsNocturnal trekkingThe map of the Taman Negara canopy walkIf you are interested, I wrote another article for those who want to know how to go to Taman Negara national park, especially if you need to book just the transport service there or find your own way there.In general, the range of activities here will definitely keep you busy as there are quite a number of things you can do here. One of the popular attractions is no other than the canopy walk in Taman Negara, which is also known as the longest in the world too. 
    Wednesday 2nd of August 2017 10:41:00 AM
  • Diving in Malaysia
    Scuba diving in Malaysia is getting more popular as there is a lot of publicity being done about this underwater sport in the last few years. There has also been a very large increase in the number of divers over the last five years too. In a recent statistic report from PADI, a whopping 15% of the dive certifications worldwide are coming from Malaysia. However, this was shared from one of the senior divers in Malaysia recently. There is no official full report issued out from PADI currently.This article is created for anyone planning to do some diving in Malaysia as it highlights the best dive locations in Malaysia, what to expect and what kind of diving is available. Where to Dive in MalaysiaThere are in fact many places where you can dive at around Malaysia, and on both Peninsular and Malaysia Borneo. The most popular place that divers would have heard about is no other than Sipadan Island in Sabah Borneo. The infrastructure for scuba diving in Malaysia is very international standards, and facilities are top notch with very up to date equipment available. Those who prefer branded diving equipment will be pleased to know that this is available at some of the dive centers in Malaysia. For divers visiting Malaysia, your port of entry will be via the Kuala Lumpur International Airport or better known as KLIA or KLIA2, which is the budget long haul terminal. KLIA is located in the state of Selangor, and there is no diving available here. Usually, you will transit to catch a connecting flight to your diving destination around Malaysia and there are numerous airlines that provide this. Most frequent flights to many smaller cities would be AirAsia, followed by FireFly Airline, Batik Air Malaysia and Malaysia Airlines.Divers exploring the macro world in Mantanani Island, SabahTypes of Diving in MalaysiaFor divers, there are many types of diving available all over Malaysia. However, the most commercial would be leisure diving which is found at almost all of the popular islands in Malaysia.Most dive sites are open water level certification, and if you need to do your scuba license, you can easily do so at a number of dive centers throughout Malaysia.The beauty about diving in Malaysia is that you can choose from leisure to technical diving, depending on how long you spend here.You can also just walk-in to some of the dive centers to book your dive. Others include buying a dull stay and dive package from the resorts.Coral art, what you can find in the waters of MalaysiaBelow are the types of diving in Malaysia offered;Leisure Diving - Found at almost all islands on Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysia Borneo. Advanced Diving - Same as above, with the inclusion of wreck, drift and deep dives. Wreck Diving - Available around Malaysia. Some dive sites have wrecks as shallow as 16 meters. Kuching in Sarawak offers some of the best wreck diving in Malaysia, followed by Labuan Island in Sabah. Drift Diving - While the currents around Malaysia are not too strong, there are some dive spots where you can do drift diving in Malaysia.Night Diving - Most resorts and dive operators around island offer night diving to those with advanced level certification.Macro Diving - There are many notable dive spots around Malaysia that offer some great Macro diving. Also depending on what you want to photograph or see.Diving Photography - A number of dive centers around Malaysia offer dive photography trips for underwater photographers. Camera equipment can also be rented at some centers. Live On Board Diving - A limited number of live on boards or LOB's are available around Malaysia and you need to book directly with them. Usually they are found in the waters of Sabah and the East Coast of Malaysia. Cave Diving - Selected dive operators provide cave diving in Malaysia. However, you need to book this with the operator directly.Rebreather Diving - Only very selected dive centers offer this and you need to check with them.Nitrox Diving - Quite a few div centers offer Nitrox diving in Malaysia, or Trimix diving, for those who want to do wrecks or deep dives. Technical Diving - Selected dive centers offer technical diving in Malaysia. However, there has been an increase in technical diver certification over the years here, so it is not new. Perhentian Island, the quiet sideBest Places for Diving in MalaysiaSo, what kind of diving would you like to do? This is the tricky question that most divers will be asking. At the end of the day, it all depends what you want to see or experience during your diving. There are divers who only want to see large fish, while others want to see macro life like nudibranches, pygmy seahorses and other macro life.Most leisure divers are just happy to dive in a beautiful dive site rich with corals and fishes. The most popular places for diving in Malaysia is also very subjective, but I will list them down in no order.A map of Sabah showing the popular dive sitesDiving in Sabah BorneoSabah is currently the number one spot for diving in Malaysia. Why? Because the world famous Sipadan Island is located here. Sipadan is also known as one of the top three dive sites in the world, ranked by many dive magazines, CNN and even Lonely Planet. Sabah's dive sites are divided into two sides - East Sabah where you will find Sipadan Island, Mabul Island, Lankayan Island, Mataking Island, Kapalai Island and many other smaller islands.The dive sites here are some of the best in the world where you can choose leisure diving or muck diving. At Mabul Island, some of the dive sites are minutes away from the resort, so you can imagine how easy it is here.One thing that first time divers to Malaysia should try is staying at the Seaventures Dive Resort. This unique experience lets divers stay on the world's only diving oil rig resort. The oil rig is parked just minutes off Mabul Island too.A Sargassum Frogfish seen while diving in Mabul Island, SabahWest Coast Sabah is where Kota Kinabalu, the capital is located. Here you can do quick dives at destinations that are nearby. Popular dive spots include Sapi Island, Manukan Island, Mengalum Island, Mantanani Island, Tiga Island and a few more. These are the more commercial diving sites.Some divers have actually made their way up north to do diving in Kudat. However, I would not recommend this as the diving here is not recommended due to the rip curls and strong currents. The only oil rig dive resort in the world called Seaventures is located at Mabul Island, SabahLabuan Island is popular for wreck diving and the wrecks are quite far out. Advanced open water divers and above can dive around Labuan. You need to take a ferry from the Kuala Penyu area to Labuan Island or fly there. For the extreme divers, there is Layang Layang Island, which is touted to be one of the best dive sites in Malaysia where you can spot schools of hammerhead sharks during the season from March to May.Sabah is connected via frequent flights from Kuala Lumpur and many other large cities in Malaysia. No, you cannot take a bus or train to Sabah as it is located on the island of Borneo.A school of large Puffer Fish spotted during a dive at the Perhentian IslandsDiving in TerengganuLocated on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, you will find some of the most beautiful resort islands. Terengganu is a 5-6 hour drive from Kuala Lumpur or a one hour flight to Kuala Terengganu. The popular islands here are the Perhentian Islands which come in Perhentian Kecil (Small) and Perhentian Besar (Big). These are one of the most popular dive destinations in Peninsular Malaysia, but only operates from March till October. The rest of the months are the monsoon season from November till February.A beautiful nudibranch photographed during a dive in Perhentian IslandNearby is Redang Island or Pulau Redang, which is one of the best beginner diver spots in Malaysia. The island has it's own marine park and diving here is easy and casual. Redang is also well known as a romantic island but can get crowded during the peak season with snorkelers. Another island off Terengganu is Lang Tengah Island or Pulau Lang Tengah, which is less busy but offering some decent dive sites. This island is more of a laid back type of place for divers. Tenggol Island is a smaller island and further down south that offers some intense diving, depending on the diver. They have simple dive sites, and some really challenging ones. There is one dive resort called Tenggol Island Beach Resort which is noted as probably the best option here.Dive sites at the islands of TerengganuFor luxury divers, there is the Tanjong Jara Resort on the mainland in Dungun area. They operate dive trips to Tenggol on request. There are other smaller islands like Gemia Island and Kapas Island which have independent resorts and offer diving as well. You need to book directly with the resorts here.A Banded Sawblade Shrimp or Tozeuma Shrimp, photographed while diving in Perhentian IslandDiving in JohorJohor is the state bordering Singapore and on the east coast of Johor, you will find Tioman Island, which is one of the very popular dive sites for locals. In general, locals drive five hours from Kuala Lumpur to spend a weekend diving here. Other islands around here include Rawa Island (Pulau Rawa) which is a private island with their own resort, Pemanggil Island (Pulau Pemanggil) and Aur Island (Pulau Aur) which are more local and not so commercial.Dive sites for Tioman IslandOther less commercialized dive spots in Johor are Aur Island and Dayan Island. Both islands are mostly visited by divers from Singapore and is not commercialized as Tioman Island.Islands closer to the mainland are Sibu Island and Tinggi Island, which has three resorts that offer scuba diving. Mostly muck diving, the best times to dive at these two island is from March to June.Tioman and other islands here also observe the monsoon season, therefore from mid October to mid February, it is off season. Some resorts still operate during the monsoon and may offer diving.Sarawak offers some amazing scuba diving as well (Photo from Sarawak Tourism Board)Diving in Sarawak Sarawak is one of the lesser known dive destinations in Malaysia, but in recent years, two notable spots have come up on the dive radar. One in Kuching and one in the resort city of Miri, just bordering the Kingdom of Brunei.However, you should know that diving in Sarawak is not as commercial as other parts of Malaysia. There are dive operators in Sarawak, but just a handful of them. In most cases, you need to contact the dive centers to check when the weather is good before diving here.Diving in Kuching - Most serious divers come here to explore the many historical wrecks found in the waters of Kuching. Apparently, there is also a submarine wreck, but this place is not recommended by the dive operators.I recently did a dive at Satang Island, 40 minutes boat ride from Santubong, however, due to weather, the waters were not clear. I was getting a visibility of 2 to 3 meters, which was really bad. This was during the dive season here and in July 2017. Anyway, I plan to go back and try again.Dive sites of Kuching, SarawakMost of the wrecks are World War 2 Japanese wrecks which are hundreds of meters long. So you need to be and advanced open water (AOW) diver to see them.Diving in Miri - This is more commercial and there are two dive operators located in the city of Miri. Coco Dive is one of the pioneer centers who organises trips to the many dive sites around Miri.My last dive here was in May 2017, healthy corals, reef fish, macro life and occasional large fish. I saw  a lone Bumphead Parrotfish one one of my dives. Read about my recent Miri dive experience.To get to Sarawak, you need to fly from Kuala Lumpur or some other larger city. There are many flights a day to both Miri and Kuching.Diving in Langkawi IslandYes, you can dive in Langkawi Island. However, it is not as popular as the east coast or East Malaysia. So, if everything else fails and you can only visit Langkawi, you can book a dive here.There are a few dive operators in Langkawi that offer dive trips to the Pulau Payar Marine Park, which is probably the best place to dive in Langkawi. For serious divers, you can talk to the dive center on other places to dive around Langkawi Island.Diving in Pulau Payar Marine Park - To be honest, I am yet to dive here, but from reviews and articles, it is said that visibility can go up to 20 meters from April to August. But always best to double check with the dive operators there.A number of divers I spoke to have informed me that Langkawi is decent diving, but nothing compared to those of Sabah's dive locations. Seeing photos of Pulau Payar's dive sites, it looks quite decent, so not all is lost.To get to Langkawi, you can fly from Kuala Lumpur and it takes only an hour. If you are traveling overland, you can take a bus, train or rent a car. From the mainland, you can take the ferry across. But to be honest, it is much faster to fly in and rent a car to move around.The beautiful Pulau Perak or Tukun Perak Island. Photo from www.xnuripilot.blogspot.myDiving in PerakAmong these lesser known dive spots in Malaysia, Pangkor Island, Sembilan Island and Jarak Island are a few of them. Located off the coastal town of Lumut, Pangkor is well known as a resort island, nearest to Kuala Lumpur.Reports state that diving here is generally entry level, and visibility is decent. There are numerous resorts, guesthouses and homestays available on the island and on the mainland.There is also one or two dive operators who provide dive packages to these islands. One of them is located on Marina Island, which offers frequent dives to Sembilan Island. There are five main dive sites ate Sembilan Island too.Tukun Perak diving photos. (Images were compiled by Pulau Perak Dive Expedition 2014 Video)Pulau Perak or Tukun Perak is one of the very exotic dive sites of Peninsular Malaysia. The island is also known as Fairway Rock, and is actually a sandstone rock that rises from the Straits of Malacca. However, Pulau Perak is situated around 150 km from the Island of Penang and takes about 8 hours by boat.This island is or was used as a military base, as there are some structures at the top of the island. In a dive video, Giant Manta Rays were seen swimming openly in the waters here. Visibility is up to 40 meters. Other rare small crustaceans which are rare can be found here too.Tukun Perak sits off the island of Penang, but is under the Perak state. Only specialized dive trips to Perak Island are made here by selective dive operators.Lumut is about 3.5 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. If you are going to Pangkor Island, you need to take the ferry from Lumut.A Pipefish photographed in Mabul by me during one of my divesDiving in Port Dickson Honestly, if nothing else works, you can still dive in Port Dickson or PD. But let it be known that this is probably going to end up bad. Meaning, visibility is not good here. There are a couple of dive sites in PD, but the best seems to be at the Blue Lagoon area or 12th mile of PD.Diving in PD requires some serious addiction, if you are on a budget. There is one operator who provides 2-dive packages at the Blue Lagoon in Port Dickson. Prices are around RM160 per person including boat fees and others.I saw a video of scuba diving in PD and let me just share with you, the visibility was maybe 1-2 meters. But the macro life here is pretty decent, so if you are a macro diver, there is still hope.Port Dickson is only 1.5 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. Once known as the most popular beach destination in Malaysia, on weekends, PD can get really crowded with beach goers.A nicely camouflaged StonefishDiving in MelakaProbably unheard off, but there have been people who have done scuba diving in Melaka, with very low visibility. There are currently two places to dive in Melaka, which is Pulau Undan and Pulau Besar Melaka.One local operator is known to do dive packages which cost RM300 per person including 3 boat dives, lunch, fees and so on. Best to bring your own equipment, or they can be rented.One of the dive schools tend to bring their open water certification students to Pulau Undan for the open water examination. Contact +6 019 4908677 for diving in Melaka or Port Dickson.The place to depart for diving in Melaka is from the village of Umbai and it takes about two hours to drive here from Kuala Lumpur.Me taking a close look at a Hairy Seahorse during a dive at Mabul Island, SabahDive Conditions In MalaysiaBecause Malaysia is a tropical country, there are multiple seasons to observe for diving here. The biggest factor on the Peninsular side is the monsoon season. This is when it rains hard and seas become really bad.It is during these times that most boats do not go out to sea, depending on the weather conditions. And most resorts on the islands will close. However, there are some resorts that remain open and offer discounted rates.Diving during these times are also a gamble, as you may book your discounted package only to find that the five days here is just pouring with rain.On the other hand, there have been many cases where the weather is good for a few days or a week, with great diving conditions.Over in east Malaysia on the island of Borneo, Sabah and Sarawak observe the rainy season. Sabah is well known for their world-class diving sites, and offers diving throughout the year.Sarawak however, is dependent on the weather conditions, as the rain messes up the visibility of the waters here.Whale Sharks are commonly spotted all over Malaysia (Photo from YTL Hotels)Best Time to Dive in MalaysiaAgain, Malaysia is divided between the Peninsular and Malaysia Borneo by the South China Sea. So, there are two different diving conditions. Sabah and Sarawak are on Malaysia Borneo, while the other places mentioned here are on the Peninsular.Best Time to Dive in SabahEast Coast Sabah - Islands of Mabul, Sipadan, Lankayan, Mataking, Kapalai, Pom Pom, Sibuan, Siamil: The best time to dive here is from July to August, as visibility is at its optimum, and if you are lucky, 40 meters is not a problem.Macro Diving in Mabul - Mabul Island is home to the best macro or muck diving in Sabah, and you can do this all year round.West Coast Sabah - Islands of Manukan, Mamutik, Sulug, Sapi, Mengalum, Tiga, Mantanani: The best time to dive at these islands is from March to October, when the season is dry with very little rain.Layang Layang Island - Best time to dive in Layang Layang Island is from March to May, when chances to spot the schools of Hammerheads. There is only one resort here which closes from September to February.Some of the dive sites in Malaysia provide excellent visibility underwaterDiving in Peninsular MalaysiaThe peninsular observes the monsoon season and also rainy seasons so you need to check carefully when you want to dive in Malaysia.East Coast Malaysia - These are the states of Terengganu, Pahang and Johor where most of the islands are located at. The monsoon season here starts in mid October till mid February.This means, during the year end and beginning of the year, it is off season for diving. So for anyone planning to visit these islands at the end of the year, you can avoid it.Some resorts may remain open throughout, but weather wise, it is totally unpredictable. It is a gamble if you want to dive during this time of the year.West Coast Malaysia - States of Perak, Penang and Langkawi offer some diving and the best time to dive is from November to April. These are the driest months with little rain.You can visit these places anytime of the year, but expect showers during other months. September and November are the wettest months of the year.Night dives in Malaysia are quite commonDiving Prices in MalaysiaSome divers claim that Malaysia is one of the cheapest diving spots in the world, and probably due to the currency exchange. At the more popular dive destinations, the price ranges anywhere from RM100 to RM150 per dive. This is converted to US$25 to $45 per dive.Most divers would rather go for diving packages as resorts or operators will provide a 3-dive, 5-dive or 9-dive package for a very good price. These packages usually include all in.More expensive resorts in Sabah charge more for dive packages, so depending on which resort you stay at, the dive packages may vary in pricing.On Peninsular Malaysia, dive prices are a little cheaper compared to Sabah. For example, one dive will cost around RM90-RM120 (US$22-$30). But if you take more dives, the price can drop to around RM60-RM70 per dive.Most divers prefer to take the diving package offered by the resorts as it includes stay, food and dives at one price. A 3 Day / 2 Night dive package with 5 dives will cost you around RM400 to RM600 (US$100 to $150) per person, depending on the type of room you choose.If you have your own equipment, the price may be discounted slightly, but most visitors would just use the operators equipment, which is quite up to date and safe.Some of the amazing diving in Sipadan Island. (Photo by Sabah Tourism Board)How much is it to Dive in Sipadan?The golden question. Well, if you take a full package from some operators around Mabul Island, they will include 3 dives to Sipadan. But the dive packages consist of 3-4 nights stay, full board meals and everything. So you only pay one price and have the opportunity to dive at Sipadan Island.However, there are many guest houses or budget hotels on Mabul that offer ad-hoc bookings for diving in Sipadan Island. The prices range from RM700 to RM800 (US$180 to $200) for 3 dives, including boat, meals and everything else.You must know that Sipadan Island is a fully protected marine park and there are only 120 visitor permits issued on a daily basis. These permits are divided among the dive resorts in the area and there is no lodging available or allowed on Sipadan Island.One of my epic diving moments, trying to get into the Barracuda Vortex in Sipadan IslandOther Diving Information in Malaysia Overall, Malaysia offers tropical diving as the waters are 28-30 Degrees Celsius. You can dive in your shorts, t-shirt or bikini if you prefer. If you are bringing your wet suit, you just need a 3-5mm thickness and no need for a hood.Most of the dive sites are leisure diving while there are wrecks, caves and deep water diving available. The marine life is rich due to the tropical climate, so there are many things to see throughout the year.There are many dive centers found on most of the islands in Malaysia. They come fully equipped with all the necessary equipment needed, so you need not lug your equipment around.Divers making their way back after a diveDive photography is also big here, so some dive centers offer camera rentals or GoPro rentals. There are also dive videographers who will record your diving experience and compile a dive video for you.More complicated diving is also available, especially for side mount divers, technical divers and rebreather divers. But you need to check with the dive operator if they have this.For selective divers, there are PADI, NAUI and SSI dive centers available which offer all kinds of dive certification and courses. Prices are one of the cheapest in the world too, when you compare the currency exchange. Diving Insurance in MalaysiaAs any diver out there, you should have your own dive insurance when you travel overseas. If you ask me, I would say that it is better to be safe than sorry.There are a number of companies that offer diving insurance in Malaysia. Some of them are reputable and some of them are internationally known. So, do get your diving insurance as it does not cost very much.A scene at the Malaysian International Dive Expo in Kuala LumpurDive Expos in MalaysiaOver the years, there was only one main diving expo which is called MIDE or Malaysia International Dive Expo, which takes place just before the middle of the year. This is where dive operators, dealers, re-sellers, resorts and distributors will make their mark. The last Malaysia dive expo was also held in May, and in Kuala Lumpur.A new dive expo called DRT Malaysia or Dive Resort Travel Expo will take place in Malaysia from 2-4 February in Kuala Lumpur. This will benefit the dive industry here as all this while, there was only one. With the emergence of this new dive expo in Malaysia, consumers will have more options.Dive Warnings in MalaysiaYou should only dive with certified and professional dive operators in Malaysia. There have been cases where freelance dive operators without proper licenses or insurance have been operating.They offer really cheap dive packages to unsuspecting tourist via online platforms like Facebook, Instagram or even personal blogs. If anything goes wrong, no one is going to help you. So, please avoid diving touts and go for the recognized dive operators.That's me, always curious underwater. Checking out a Frogfish in Mabul IslandOverall, this article is created for those who have interest to do scuba diving in Malaysia. And if it is your first time, you should do your research on what kind of diving you want to do here.Sabah is still known as the best place to dive in Malaysia, due to the world-class dive sites available here. There are many other dive sites in Malaysia, but depending on where you are heading. You can also read more about my scuba diving adventures.Some divers will plan their trips purely for diving, while others will try to mix and match their vacation with sightseeing and diving. I mean, if you are coming half way around the world to Malaysia, you would definitely want to see some of the amazing places in Malaysia.
    Thursday 27th of July 2017 02:57:00 PM
  • Diving in the Red Sea, Jordan
    One of my most interesting scuba adventures was actually diving in the Red Sea in Jordan. Never did I dream that I would be doing this, but it happened, and at a very ad hoc decision on the trip.I was on a tourism trip around Jordan in 2015, when the itinerary was changed a little, letting the group do some snorkeling in the Red Sea. Well, since it was snorkeling, I casually requested if I could do a dive while the  others snorkeled.Luck was on my side when Jordan Tourism agreed, and the next think I knew, two of the other media had also wanted to dive in the Red Sea. In total, there were three of us who were going on an dive adventure of a lifetime here in Jordan.I did not have an underwater camera, therefore there are no photos of the dive. But lots of photos above the water here. Perhaps, if I re-visit Jordan for scuba diving, I will be more prepared.Scuba diving in the Red Sea, AqabaDiving in the Red Sea, JordanThe most popular place to dive in Jordan is at Aqaba, which is the resort city of Jordan. Aqaba is located in the north most point of the Red Sea or better known as the Gulf of Aqaba. The city is also rich with historical value as it has been around since 4000 B.C, and a thriving port city. Diving season in Aqaba is from May until July, but the waters here are clear throughout the year. The beauty about diving in the Red Sea of Jordan is that you will be doing it in the Aqaba Marine Park, which is a protected area on the coastline here. Most of the dive operators in Jordan are located in Aqaba and it takes about four hours drive from Amman to Aqaba. For Southeast Asians divers, there are direct flights to Amman, Jordan and then you travel overland to Aqaba. The journey here is an adventure by itself.The dive sites of Aqaba are located just next to the South Beach HighwayOnce you reach the city of Aqaba, there are many hotels and resorts to choose. The city life is pretty exciting with lots of shops, malls, cafes and restaurants. Note that all the food here is Halal.If you choose a budget package, then you need to book everything by yourself. Otherwise, you can just book an all in package from one of the tour operators here. Dives are usually boat dives, but you can also do shore dives. For boat dives, you will depart from one of the Aqaba jetties as dive operators have their boats at the local jetties here. The dive boats are pretty modern and full facility. This is not your regular 8 person small boat, but a 16-20 person dive boat. First thing that comes to mind is luxury diving. Yes, the boat helps increase your enthusiasm with positive feelings. Dive masters, guides and crew are all local Jordanian, and speak good English. This means, communication is not a problem here, unless you do not speak English.The jetty at the Fisherman's Harbor in Aqaba where dive boats pick you up Diving in Aqaba, JordanFirst things first, you should know that the Red Sea is not your ordinary sea as the salt content is much higher and the waters are much cooler. This means, when you dive in the Red Sea, you need to be well prepared for your dives.There are a number of notable dive site in Aqaba which include the Yamanieh coral reef, the Cedar Pride Wreck at 26 meters and another wreck which is an anti-aircraft vehicle called 'The Tank', which is one of the most unique wrecks.My dive boat in Aqaba, Jordan. Notice how nice the dive boat is? Dive Weights for Red SeaDue to the higher salt content in the Red Sea, your body becomes more buoyant and harder to sink. Therefore, you will need double of the weights you usually use.I normally use three one pound weights for normal dives, and here in the Red Sea, I needed to use six one pound weights in order to be neutral underwater.So, if you normally use 4 weights, then you need to use around 8 here. Don't worry about having 8 pieces of weights around your belt, as they have 2 pound weight pieces, so you need only 4 of those. However, you should take note that once you pass the 10 meter depth, you tend to sink a little faster than usual, hence you need to compensate your buoyancy fast, otherwise you will hit the bottom fast too. So, keep your hand on that BCD inflater as you go down.Getting ready to descend with a boat jump into the Red Sea. Sharmsoul of Gaya Travel is on my right. Water Temperature at the Red SeaThe other thing about the Red Sea is that the waters are much colder compared to the tropical water that most Southeast Asians are used too. We Asian divers get comfortable at 28-30 Degrees Celsius, and yet, some divers still use a 5mm wet suit. The water temperature at the Red Sea ranges from 19-27 Degrees Celsius, from the winter to summer periods. This means a dive suit is highly recommended and minimum of 5mm thickness, whole those who dislike the cold, would require a 7mm thick suit. You may want to bring your gloves and hoodie along for diving in the Red Sea. A rash guard is also recommended as inner protection. Not to worry as the dive operators there have different types of wet suits available.That first leap into the Red Sea was an amazing moment.Going Diving at the Red Sea, JordanDivers will be brought to the jetty where your dive boat awaits you. In my case, everything was pre-arranged for my group. The jetty is at the Fisherman's Harbor, where the Aqaba Museum and Aqaba Revolt Plaza is located at. When we boarded the modern dive boat, we simply picked out our sizes for wet suits, fins, regulators and BCD's, which was all ready. The dive boat will take you along the main coastline and most of the dive sites are just located next to the South Beach Highway, which is about 15 to 30 minutes boat ride. In total, there are over 30 dive sites in Aqaba and 20 of them are leisure dive sites by the coast. The other dive sites are for advanced, wreck or technical divers.Sharmsoul and me take a pose after our first dive in the Red Sea of JordanJapanese Garden Dive SiteOur first dive site was just 50 meters from the main highway and called Japanese Garden. Imagine my expression when the dive master told me that we are going down at that spot where cars and lorries were passing by the main South Beach Highway. Honestly, none of us had an underwater camera, but from my memory, the underwater landscape was beautiful. From the surface, the water was striking blue and as I did my descend, the water clarity was amazingly good.I estimate around 15-20 meters visibility when I hit the bottom. The corals were lively, colorful and dominated with small coral fishes. We started to make our way along the reef, following the dive master who pointed out anything worth spotting.That's me taking the leap into the cold waters of Aqaba, JordanFor small critters, this is macro galore, with so many things to look out for. Starting at a depth of around 12 meters, the reef gradually slopes down to around 24 meters. Expect mild currents in the mid waters. Coral life here is amazing as there are so many different types of corals, ranging from soft to hard. Table corals are massive while the unique black corals stand out with tons of reef fish in the area. For the shallow divers, there is a seagrass patch which is thriving with aquatic life. The Japanese Garden dive site is also a very popular place for snorkelers, so during the summer months, expect many snorkelers above the shallow coral areas. Overall, this dive site is very relaxing and easy with a depth of around 12-24 meters.What diving in Aqaba looks like. Image from www.diveaqaba.comGorgon 1 Dive SiteThe second dive spot was equally close to the highway and just a short boat ride further down south. From the boat, you can hear the trucks passing by, and when you looking down into the waters, the beautiful blue is just calling you and inviting you to jump in. Gorgon 1 gets its name from the Gorgonian sea fan corals, which is abundance at this dive site. There are three main pinnacles found here and your dive will take you from one to the other. The majestic gorgonian fans will surely impress you along the way. Reef fish are a plenty along your dives and you will spot from small to large reef fishes. The occasional lionfish is also spotted at the third pinnacle. In general, this dive site is overflowing with rich marine life. Suitable for beginner divers.I totally missed this. A WW2 Tank sunk as an artificial reef at 5m deep. Photo: Quora. Seven Sisters Dive SiteOur final dive was a nearby site, just minutes away from Gorgon 1, so you will have your surface interval and freshly prepared lunch on board the dive boat. Now, this is luxury. The dive operator had organised a mini barbecue with some healthy looking fish pieces, where we were coaxed into doing it ourselves. The dive master and his assistant prepared the fresh salads and Hummus, which was incredibly tasty. After the surface interval, we geared up and got into the water to explore the Seven Sisters dive site, which is around 30 meters from the shore line. The depth here is maxed out at 16 meters, so as the final dive, we mostly dived at around 12-14 meters. Diving here lets you encounter the best of Red Sea diving, where the combination of small, medium and large can all be seen at one small area. Turtles, moray eels, barracudas and many other fish are present, which makes this an overall great dive site.If you are diving here, ask your dive master about The Tank, a WW2 American tank sunk in 1999 as an artificial reef and at an amazing depth of 5 meters only. If you are an underwater photographer, the Seven Sisters dive site is probably the best spot to take underwater photos in Jordan. Colorful corals, reef fish and beautiful underwater landscapes make the entire setting simply amazing.Sharmsoul takes a moment to admire the highway next to the dive site in AqabaHow Much To Dive In Aqaba?The golden question. From my last experience here, the price was around USD 70.00 or 50.00 JD for two dives per person, which includes all diving equipment, guide, food and the works. Below is the standard rates for diving in Aqaba 2017.One Dive - 30 JD (Full equipment)Two Dives - 50 JD (Full Equipment)Night Dive - 50 JD (Full Equipment)Some dive centers may offer a slightly cheaper package for walk-in divers, therefore it is best to shop around online. You can also do window shopping when you are there.However, you need to make sure that the dive operator is a certified and professional one. Never dive with freelancers without a dive center.Also, make sure you have your scuba diving insurance coverage, as it highly important when you travel around the world to dive. I think overall, it is best to just get a yearly insurance coverage for scuba diving.Our Jordanian lunch served on board the dive boat during surface intervalVarious photos showing my Jordanian food and the dive boat facilitiesAqaba Dive Packages for 2017Note that the below is a rough estimate for the Aqaba dive prices for 2017. Some dive centers may be cheaper, while others may be a little more expensive.If you are staying at one of the luxury resorts, the price will be much higher than below. The prices are taken from popular dive operators around Aqaba.2 Day Aqaba Dive Package - US$100-200 per person. Includes 2 dives per day with equipment, food, port fees, transfer and guide. Total 4 Dives.3 Day Aqaba Dive Package - US$240-280 per person. Includes 2 dives per day with equipment, food, port fees, transfer and guide. Total 6 Dives.5 Day Aqaba Dive Package - US$400-430 per person. Includes 2 dives per day with equipment, food, port fees, transfer and guide. Total 10 Dives. On board the dive boat in Aqaba with the dive master and guideBest Time to Dive in Aqaba, JordanThe best time or the peak times for diving in Aqaba is from May to July. However, you can still dive during other months as the waters are still clear, but a little colder. December and January are the coldest months where the water temperature can go as low as 19 Degrees Celsius. You may require a 7mm wet suit during these months. If you are planning to do some diving in Egypt, you can also read about my good friends experience of Blue Hole Diving in Dahab, as this is one of the places which I would love to dive at. Perhaps in the near future, I will make a dive trip to Dahab, Egypt.Amman to Aqaba takes about 4 hours drive. Note Aqaba is in the south most part of Jordan.During my trip to Jordan, I visited numerous places including the Dead Sea, Petra, Wadi Rum, Jerash and the capital Amman. In general, when you visit Jordan, I highly recommend you take at least a week to dive and explore this beautiful destination.My trip was provided by the Jordan Tourism Board to create online awareness for the Asian and Southeast Asian markets. It covers an overall perspective of Jordan, the historical sites, the local cuisine, bird watching, scuba diving and the local cultures. I also wrote an article for places to visit in Jordan for Malaysia, if you are planning to go there. Overall, Jordan has so much to offer, it should be on everyone's bucket list. And if you are a scuba diver, then a must do is no doubt diving at the Red Sea in Jordan.
    Friday 21st of July 2017 09:39:00 AM
  • Miri Scuba Diving
    For anyone who is interested in Miri scuba diving, there are actually two dive operators located here. Miri is branded as a resort city in the north of Sarawak, next to Brunei and on the island of Borneo. Scuba diving in Miri has been very niche as not many people know that you can actually dive here. As for me, this article is to highlight that you can actually dive in Miri as there are some really beautiful dive sites found around here. The dive sites are part of the Miri-Sibuti Coral Reef National Park. Dive sites here range from around 7 to 30 meters deep while you can find over 800 species of hard and soft corals. Marine life is abundant with a variety of coral fishes, mid water fishes and on occasion, larger fishes. On a recent dive trip to Miri in May 2017, I had the opportunity to dive at three spots with Coco Dive. They will pick you up from your hotel and bring you to the on-site dive center, which is located at Marina Bay Jetty in Miri.My Miri diving trip with Coco DiveAfter signing the appropriate documents and gearing up, you are led to the dive boat. From the marina, it takes about 20-30 minutes out into the open sea. The boats are medium sized and come with a roof. Originally, we were supposed to dive at the Siwah Reef dive site, but due to strong currents, we had to change our site. At the next site, the waters were much calmer and upon descending, we were greeted by decent visibility of around 7-10 meters.What the dive sites in Miri look like. Me in the photo, taken with a basic action camera.The corals were thriving with rich marine life while colors stood out at about 17 meters deep. Nudibranches were easily spotted apart from the common coral fish. A very mild current in our direction made the dive much easier too. After our first dive, the surface interval was on route to the next site, which is about 15 minutes, plus the time we took to gear up, listen to the dive brief, checks and so on. Once everyone was cleared to dive, we quickly got into the water for the next dive. A school of Jacks, which contributes to the rich undersea life in MiriDuring the second dive at Batu Belias, the visibility was around 10 meters. A bonus halfway during the dive was that I encountered a lone Bumphead Parrotfish, banging away at the hard corals. It must have been at least 1.5 meters in size. Of course, I tried to get closer, but it eventually swam away. The final dive was at Eve's Garden dive site, which is relatively shallow and rich with abundance of corals. It is here where you can find lots of smaller critters. The occasional spotted blue ray will pass by, while at some holes, the common Morey Eel is seen with his head sticking out.The massive Bumphead Parrotfish which I encountered while diving in MiriMiri Scuba Diving InformationFor the first timer, you should know that Miri is well known as the gate way to some amazing national parks in Sarawak, namely Mulu National Park and Niah National Park.The resort city is also home to the Borneo Jazz Festival that takes place every May, with top international jazz musicians performing here.The decommissioned Siwah Oil Rig, where the Siwah dive site is located atThere is over 40 dives sites in Miri for you to choose from, and depending on what kind of diving you want to do. However, you need to consider the time of the year for some of the dives. All the dives in Miri are boat dives and each dive site is around 20 to 60 minutes boat rides. Usually, the nearer dive sites are the most popular, namely Eve's Garden, Belias Reef and Anemone Garden dive sites.A couple of divers photographing some corals in Miri during my dive.For macro divers, there are plenty of dive sites in Miri with beautiful underwater landscapes which are rich in macro life, nudibranches and other small critters. You need to inform the dive operator what type of diving you want to experience here. For general divers, there are also a number of dive sites that cater to leisure diving and chances to spot larger fishes. Schools of barracudas and jacks are common and ff you are lucky enough, you can even spot a whale shark. Visibility for diving in Miri varies from around 5 meters to 20 meters, also depending on the time of the year and weather. In my three times diving in Miri, two were giving me 10-15 meters visibility, while one was just around 5-8 meters. For those who want to experience scuba diving in Miri, you can do DSD (Discover Scuba Diving) in Miri, where they give you a quick course at a swimming pool, before taking you out to the sea for a real time experience.The Coco Dive team assisting one of the divers to gear up.Miri Scuba Diving OperatorsThere are two main dive operators in Miri currently, where one has been around for years, and the other, a new player here. Both dive shops in Miri are located in the town area too. Previously, there was another dive operator called Hoopa Dive, but apparently, they closed shop in 2016. Below are the dive centers in Miri with some basic information. Coco Dive CenterCoco Dive is the pioneer dive operator in Miri, having been here for more than 10 years now. They are located in Miri City while at the Marina Bay Jetty, they now have a mobile dive office and center in a container style shop.Coco Dive has been very active in promoting diving in Miri over they years, as they have worked with numerous divers, media and me. I have dived with Coco Dive three times to date, and all dives have been pretty good. They offer PADI courses from beginners to instructors while you can do simple 2 dives, or even custom our dive package in Miri. For the dive courses, you can also choose to learn to be a divemaster, assistant instructor, master scuba diving trainer, IDC staff instructors, Emergency first response instructor and even doing an internship with them. Coco Dive Miri AddressLot 2117, Block 9, Jalan Miri-Pujut, MCLD,Sarawak, 98000 Miri, MalaysiaHours: 7.00 AM to 8.00 PMPhone: +60 85 414 433Coco Dive Website: http://www.divemiri.com/Borneo Dive Network team heading for a dive in Miri. Photo from www.tripadvisor.comBorneo Dive Network The newest dive operator in Miri is no other than Borneo Dive Network, part of a travel agent based in Miri. They are also a dive school, offering PADI courses for anyone wanting to learn scuba diving. Apart from that, they do leisure dives to over 30 dive sites in Miri. I am yet to experience diving with Borneo Dive Network, but hopefully I get to do so, and I can give you a much better review of them.Borneo Dive Network AddressLot 1084, First Floor, Jalan Merpati,Miri 98000, MalaysiaPhone: +60 85 417 751BDN Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BorneoDiveNetwork/One of the divers spots a school of fish passing by in MiriBest Time for Miri Scuba DivingThe best time to dive in Miri is from April to October, and this is weather pending. You can dive during the other months, but the weather poses an issue, especially the rainy season and choppy seas. However, there has been reports of divers going in November and December, and having excellent dives with great visibility. This is pure luck as some may say. For me, I usually dive around May, which has been great. For more information, you can also see the Sarawak Tourism website as they have diving and other tourism related info about Miri and Sarawak.Me diving in Miri, just had to include this underwater selfie. Other Than Diving in MiriFor anyone planning to visit Miri, there are many hotels and resorts available here. For those on a budget, there are guest houses and backpacker lodges available as well. I wrote an article on the many things to do in Miri, especially if you are a first time visitor here. As a resort city, Miri also offers some interesting exploration, if you love old cities. The old part of Miri town is worth a visit, especially to the markets, temples and local coffee shops. For the modern day traveler, Miri offers some interesting and modern shopping malls with cafes, fast food chains and cinemas. For divers, if you have been looking for a new place to dive and experience, I would highly recommend Miri as one of the new diving destinations in Malaysia. The dives here are peaceful and most of the time, it is usually one boat going out to sea.The interesting underwater landscape of Miri. This is just one of them.This means, it is not high traffic like other dive sites in Malaysia. I am sure you have experienced diving at peak areas, where you see multiple dive boats at one dive sites. When you descend below, you will see many groups of divers versus marine life. One of the places which I would like to dive in Miri is no other than the Luconia Shoals. This dive site is said to be one of the most beautiful dive sites in Malaysia, and yet one of the most difficult places to get to. Luconia Shoals requires a live on board boat as the distance is over 100 kilometers from Miri, out in the South China Sea. Having seen photos of this amazing dive site, it is now my mission to have a dive here, and hopefully one day.Scuba diving in Miri is highly recommended for any diver.For those planning to explore the largest state in Malaysia, here is a list of dive sites in Sarawak for you to consider. If you are a wreck diver, there are plenty of wrecks found in Miri and also in Kuching. Scuba diving in Miri is growing at a slow pace, and for now, it is considered as a beautiful place to dive, especially if you are looking for a peaceful dive without many other divers at the same time in the water. I also recommend you experience it fast, before it becomes commercial. 
    Tuesday 18th of July 2017 11:39:00 AM
  • World's Smallest Durian
    How small do you thing the World's Smallest Durian is? Well, on one of my many trips to Sabah Borneo, I encountered one of the local durians at a small market town called Pekan Nabalu, which is the village just before Mount Kinabalu. It is here, that I spotted a baby durian, which I felt was the world's smallest durian. Just take a look at the photo, compared to a standard packet of smokes. To be honest, I am yet to see something smaller than this, which is of course ripe and ready to eat. World's Smallest DurianThis cute baby durian cost me only RM2.00, when I bought this from one of the local vendors at the Nabalu market. Thinking that the seed would be super small, I was shocked to see the contents after opening it.The size of the durian content was comparable to any other durian, and the flesh was equally as bid as the others, so this really shocked me.The million dollar question, how was the taste? Honestly, It tasted really unique unlike the common durians that are found all over Malaysia and around Southeast Asia. The flesh was medium-soft, a little sweet but not too flavorful. Just nice if you ask me.Various 'Kampung' Sabah durians sold at NabaluThe durians at Pekan Nabalu in Sabah come from the jungles around Kinabalu and the Ranau area, hence it is known as a highland type of durian. Locals call this 'Durian Kampung' or village Durians, which is of course seasonal.For anyone heading up to Mount Kinabalu or Kinabalu National Park, the village is on the left side and hard to miss. It is called Pekan Nabalu where you can find all types of Sabahan souvenirs, some handmade craft and lot of local fruits being sold here.During the durian season in Sabah, which is usually at the end of the year, you will find many different species, including the very unique and famous 'Dalit' or Red Durians. They are also called Durian Sukang or Durian Tabelak. These are highly sought after as many locals use the red durians to cook.If you have experienced eating durians before, this is something definitely worth trying as it will let you experience what real or traditional durians taste like. But for novelty purpose, nothing beats trying the world's smallest durian, or even taking a selfie holding it. 
    Friday 14th of July 2017 03:30:00 AM
  • Best Places To Visit in Asia for 2017 by Lonely Planet
    Every year, Lonely Planet comes out with a list of best places to visit in Asia, and for 2017, the list came out only in July. This list will impact some travelers, especially those who follow Lonely Planet. The list is always compiled based on interesting places, mostly new, but in many cases, commercial destinations. In this years list, 10 places have been selected as the Best Places to Visit in Asia for 2017. Are you planning to visit any of these places? If you are, read on. Best Places To Visit in Asia for 2017 As I am Malaysian, it is always a joy to see one of the destinations listed here. For this edition, the historical city of Melaka has been listed in at number 9 of the list. Located about two hours from Kuala Lumpur, Melaka has always been a very popular destination for both locals and foreigners. The beautiful old architecture seen in Melaka, listed at number 9 in the listMelaka has and will always be the center of attraction, due to the centuries old history which was the epicentre of Southeast Asia in the 1500's. Various sailors from as far as Spain and Portugal made Melaka a trading point, to trade wares with other nations that docked here. Nowadays, Melaka is a thriving tourist destination that offers historical buildings, forts, museums and the unique cross culture foods. The local Melaka food is also known as some of the best food in Malaysia to try. I did a compilation on Melaka new tourist attractions in 2015, highlighting some of the new things for anyone planning to visit Melaka. Terracotta Pit in Xi'an, listed at number 7 in the Lonely Planet listBelow is a list of the best places to visit in Asia for 2017, compiled by Lonely Planet.  Lonely Planet?s Best in Asia 2017 1. Gansu, China?Blissfully well-connected thanks to high-speed rail services and upgraded highways, and a new metro will ease traffic in provincial capital, Lanzhou, when it opens this year ? Gansu?s crown jewel and world-class Buddhist art site, the Mogao Grottoes, received a huge upgrade in 2015, but ? just like the entire region ? remains underrated and relatively crowd-free.? 2. South of Tokyo, JapanWith Japan currently on many travellers? bucket lists, ?two cities south of Tokyo are well worth making time for. Yokohama ? is just a 20-minute train journey from the capital and packs considerable appeal with its bayside location, eclectic architecture, microbreweries and tasty cuisine?Less than an hour from Tokyo, classy seaside town Kamakura is known for its surfing scene, but also offers a tempting selection of relaxed cafes and restaurants ...? 3. Northern Kerala, India?Northern Kerala has long been the underrated half of the state, concealing its backwater charms and emerging slowly like a butterfly from a chrysalis. 2017 marks India?s 70th year of independence and the opening of a new international airport in Kannur ? Kerala?s largest ? which will provide an easy introduction to the north. The beaches around Kannur, Thottada and Bekal are pristine?? 4. Keong Saik Road, Singapore?Once a crime-riddled red-light district, Keong Saik Road has reinvented itself to become the poster-child for hip ?New Singapore?. Behind the beautiful colonial and art-deco buildings you?ll discover the best of Singapore?s famed dining scene ? fabulous rooftop views and super-slick cocktail bars ? draw a trendy crowd, and you can sleep it all off in a boutique hotel room?? 5. Astana, Kazakhstan?From mid-June to mid-September 2017, Astana will host the World Expo on the subject of sustainable energy. And as of 2017, citizens of 45 countries may visit Kazakhstan without a visa for up to 30 days. Furthermore, the introduction of LTR (light rail transit) and improvements to the existing bus network are making a visit to this modern, cosmopolitan city even easier.? 6. Takayama, Japan?The time to treasure Takayama is now ? Secluded in the mountainous Hida region of central Japan, Takayama is a place where Japanese history and tradition flourish in the 21st century ...The Hida region has ? come into the spotlight anew following the success of the 2016 blockbuster film Your Name (Kimi no Na Wa) ? history's highest grossing anime feature ? as devoted fans have made the Hida region a pilgrimage destination for location spotting.? 7. Xi?an, China?Xi?an?s diverse heritage is supreme ? And then there?s the biggie: the Army of Terracotta Warriors, celebrating 30 years as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017. Xi?an is vast, but a relaxed tempo reigns and recent openings have boosted an already superb accommodation market; throw in a crop of new bars and cafes plus the 72-hour visa-free policy and there?s never been a better time to visit.? 8. Sri Lanka?s Hill CountrySri Lanka may be ?so hot right now?, but Lonely Planet recommends getting ahead of (and away from) the pack by taking ?a scenic train to Sri Lanka's idyllic Hill Country for a wonderfully temperate escape from the nation's humid coasts ?This tropical isle is endowed with a mountainous interior that is every bit as scenic as the coast, blessed by pleasantly cool temperatures that rarely tip 21C.? 9. Melaka City, Malaysia?Boat rides along the meandering Melaka River are popular and soon water taxis will connect Melaka Sentral bus station with downtown. Check out the waterfront gallery space Zheng He Duo Yun Zuan ? or rummage for souvenirs at the Trash & Treasure flea market ? Then head to the Shore Shopping Gallery ? where the rooftop Sky Tower provides panoramic views across this alluring metropolis.? 10. Raja Ampat, Indonesia?Packed with white-sand beaches, lush jungle and unusual mushroom-shaped islets, Raja Ampat is a biological hotspot ? home to some of the richest, most diverse coral reefs on the planet ? over 200 diving spots are still pristine ? and this, paired with a growing ecotourism offering, means Raja Ampat will no doubt remain king of the islands.?The old town of Takayama in the Nagoya Prefecture, listed at number 6 in the listThere you go, the list of best places to visit in Asia for 2017, compiled by Lonely Planet. The list looks well balanced and for any first timers visiting Asia, this would be very helpful. For more information, see the original post on Best in Asia by Lonely Planet. For those visiting Malaysia, you should also take the time to plan where you want to visit here. Different places in Malaysia offer different experiences, therefore it depends what you want to do. I have also made a list of best places to visit in Malaysia for 2017, which could provide some valuable information. I would recommend that the traveler do much research before planning to visit any of these places in the best places to visit in Asia for 2017, as list post or guides only provide a basic overview. Sometimes, travelers want to experience different things, hence research is optimum. 
    Tuesday 11th of July 2017 06:32:00 AM
  • Crocker Range National Park Photos
    Here is a series of Crocker Range National Park photos, provided by Cede Prudente and the Borneo Bird Club. This is also part of a build up to the Borneo Bird Festival 2017 which will take place from the 20 to 22 October 2017. The Borneo Bird Festival 2017 is also going to be held in two locations, one in Kota Kinabalu and the other at the Crocker Range National Park. For the Sabah Bird Race, it will be held at the national park which is about two hours away from Kota Kinabalu City. View of Crocker Range ParkCrocker Range is one of the highland areas of Sabah, which is rich in flora and fauna, but it is not as popular as Kinabalu National Park. However, in recent years, more people are heading here for nature, adventure and also bird watching. The journey to Crocker Range is an adventure by itself as there is so much beautiful and scenic sights to be seen. The winding road uphill provides views of the mountain range, local homes and random sightings of birds. The air up here is also nice and cooling, compared to down in the city areas.The road towards Crocker Range National ParkCrocker Range National Park Photos The photos here are provided by Cede Prudente of the Borneo Bird Club, as he and other avid bird watchers have been going to Crocker Range National Park over the years to spot certain endemic birds and also tar birds of Sabah. In a recent trip to the national park, they managed to photograph some of the endemic and unique birds found around here. Below are some of the bird photos shared with me. A Bornean Ibon, photographed at Crocker Range National ParkThe Bornean Ibon is special to Crocker Range National Park, as it is difficult for bird watchers to see at Kinabalu National Park. Usually the bird is spotted near the Manis Manis Resort trails. The Mugimaki Flycatcher recently photographed at the national parkThe Mugimaki Flycatcher is a migrant bird and during their migration period between September to March, the can be spotted at Crocker Range. The male and female Asian Paradise Flycatcher, spotted at the national parkThe beautiful Asian Paradise Flycatcher is resident at the trails of Rafflesia plot, which is near the Manis Manis Resort at the national park. This is one of the birds that photographers love to shoot. Smallest raptor in the world is the White Fronted Falconet, photographed at Crocker RangeThe smallest raptor in the world is the tiny Bornean Falconet, and is a resident at the Crocker Range Park headquarters. Usually found perched on tree tops, this is one of the sought after birds to photograph by bird watchers.The Borneo Bird Festival 2017 takes place from 20-22 OctoberMore information of the bird festival can be obtained from the official Borneo Bird Festival website. You can find the program, itinerary and other relevant information there, including contacting them.For those interested in the Borneo Bird Festival 2017, contact the organisers for more information. This is also Malaysia's largest bird watching event and festival, which has been running for the last nine years.  A beautiful view of a sunset and rainbow from Crocker Range, the Keningau partThe Borneo Bird Festival has also been held at numerous locations all over Sabah, namely at the Rainforest Discovery Centre in Sandakan, as this is the home ground for the birding event. It has also been held in Kinabalu National Park and now, at the Crocker Range National Park for 2017. Once again, thank you Cede Prudente of the Borneo Bird Club for providing the Crocker Range National Park photos for this article. For those interested in bird watching in Sabah, this is one of the places closest to Kota Kinabalu city. Any comments, please leave them below. 
    Friday 7th of July 2017 11:53:00 AM
  • LaLaport Kuala Lumpur
    What is LaLaport Kuala Lumpur? A confusing yet interesting name, but eventually this will be one of the new shopping malls in KL by 2021. LaLaport Kuala Lumpur is a brand under the people who brought you the Mutsui Outlet Park in Sepang, which is under the Mitsui Fudosan Company from Japan. LaLaport KL will be retail and shopping mall in the Bukit Bintang area of Kuala Lumpur or now branded as the BBCC. Construction of this project will commence in 2017  and be ready by 2021, and will be the first LaLaport in Southeast Asia. The LaLaport Mall in Kuala Lumpur model. (Image from Twitter)LaLaport Kuala LumpurThe LaLaport mall will also have direct access to the LRT and KL Monorail stations as well as an access via a pedestrian deck to the MRT station. The mall will comprise of an extensive selection of 300 stores offering everything from high-end brands to daily life essentials, proposing a new style of living to the local community.This project involves a shopping and retail mall, residences, a hotel, entertainment complex, transport hub, outdoor shopping street and offices. And if you thought that Kuala Lumpur was no in need of any more shopping malls, well this is just one of the many massive projects that will be popping up in the next few years. For tourist visiting Malaysia, you should know that Malaysia has always aimed to be one of the destinations for shopping tourism in Southeast Asia. This is mainly to be on par with neighbors of Singapore and Thailand.Artist impression of LaLaport Kuala LumpurOver the last decade, many new shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur have opened up. Some massive ones, while others are specialty malls and not all of them located in the Golden Triangle of KL. They are spread out throughout the greater Kuala Lumpur region. There have also been a surge in shopping malls in Petaling Jaya, the satellite city just out of Kuala Lumpur with some huge malls being built. This has created some kind of mall culture among the Malaysians and also a great experience for local and foreign tourist visiting here. A layout of LaLaport Kuala Lumpur showing what is going to be builtLaLaport Mall Kuala LumpurLocation: No.2,Jalan Hang Tuah,55100 Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaSite Area: Approximately 78,500 m2 Store Area: Approximately 80,000 m2Opening: 2021 Image Sources: http://www.mitsuifudosan.co.jp/english/corporate/news/2017/0620/index.html For now, the news was officially covered by the mainstream media and an official ground breaking ceremony was conducted in 2017. There is no other solid information available. The name LALaport Kuala Lumpur is also a tentative name.The current name could be changed to LaLaport Mall Kuala Lumpur, but until there is more information available, it is currently named LaLaport Kuala Lumpur. 
    Sunday 2nd of July 2017 09:13:00 AM
  • Places To Visit In Dubai During Summer
    There are actually quite a number of places to visit in Dubai during summer season and this article will highlight some of the interesting places, which was actually visited by me in May 2017. As you already know, summer in Dubai can get really hot outdoors and this story will focus on the indoors. The summer season in Dubai starts in mid May till late August, and temperatures can reach up to 45 Degrees Celsius, hence outdoor activities in the day can really take a toll on your body. However, the good people of Dubai has overcome this by providing many indoor places to visit in Dubai during summer.Places To Visit In Dubai During SummerOn a recent trip to Dubai in May 2017 with Dubai Tourism, my entourage was brought to many of the indoor places around this rapid growing city in the Middle East. It was also my inaugural trip to Dubai as this fascinating city has always been on my travel bucket list, and what an experience this was.An incredible view of Dubai from the top of Burj KhalifaMy accommodation was put up at the luxurious Address Hotel Dubai Mall, one of Dubai's fastest growing chain of hospitality groups. The hotel is connected to the world's largest mall, the world's tallest building and the world's most impressive outdoor fountain. You can now see why this hotel is so convenient. Let's get to the many places to visit in Dubai during summer as this is probably what you would be doing there. Summer Experiences in DubaiThe incredible Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the worldBurj KhalifaThis is the ultimate must-do thing when you visit Dubai, going up the world's tallest building which is a total height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft). The Burj Khalifa is connected to the Dubai Mall and every day, thousands of visitors will be seen here as this is currently the number one thing to do in Dubai.  The Burj Khalifa was named in honor of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The building was officially opened on 4 January 2010 and holds a total of 17 world records.View of Dubai city from the 125th floor of the Burj KhalifaVisitors have the option of going up to level 124 and 125 for the price of AED125.00 (USD 34.00) and here you can get an amazing 360 degrees view of Dubai and its surroundings. For those who want to go higher, you can visit level 148 at a price of AED350.00 (USD95.00). This ticket gives you an all level pass. After going up the Burj Khalifa, I have to say that the experience and view is exhilarating. Especially at the outdoor deck of level 126. Note that during prime hours of 5.30PM to 7.00PM, the price is AED200 (USD54.00). This is for the sunset view. This is highly recommended by me, as it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and you can then say, been there, done that. Where: Dubai DowntownWebsite: Burj KhalifaThe amazing Dubai fountain, a sight to behold. Image from www.dubaifountain.infoDubai FountainAnother major attraction to catch in Downtown Dubai is the amazing Dubai Fountain where at any one time, 22,000 gallons of water is sprayed in the air, accompanied by 6,600 lights and 50 coloured projectors. Water is also shot at an incredible height of 150 meters (500 feet) in the air which is supported by music. The backdrop is set with the amazing Dubai skyline, which includes the Burj Kalifa. This fountain is one of the best free attractions in Dubai, and is best seen in the evenings or at night. I would recommend you take the 30 cruise around the fountain on the traditional Arabian Abra boat.Dubai Fountain Video Price is AED65.00 (USD17.50) per person as this experience lets you cruise around the lake in the traditional boat during the fountain show. If you have a family, this would be perfect too. Fountain Times: 1:00 pm and at 1:30 pm as well as every 30 minutes from 6 pm to 10 pm on weekdays, and from 6 pm to 11 pm on weekendsWhere: Downtown DubaiWebsite: Dubai FountainInside IMG Worlds DubaiIMG Worlds of AdventureThe world's largest indoor theme park is not to be missed for those travelling with kids. This mega indoor theme park is divided into four zones and two of the four zones represent Cartoon Network and Marvel, while IMG Boulevard and the Lost Valley. In total, the area covers over 1.5 million square feet. My visit here was on a weekday, hence there was no line at any of the attractions, making it fast and easy to see the place. In general, you would need at least four to six hours here and some of the rides are pretty exciting. I must have visited all the thrill rides in the park and to me, the most crazy ride was Thor Thunder Spin. My instinct tole me not to do it, but I just had to. The outcome... I leave it to you to try.Inside the world's largest indoor theme park in DubaiIf you are a fan of thrill rides, IMG Worlds has probably the best rides in the region. One of the rides is Predator, an interesting roller coaster located in the Lost Valley. This ride is not for the faint-hearted, that is all I have to say. Another name deceiving ride is the Power Puff Girls Ride in the Cartoon Network Zone.For the family, there's everything you need in here, including restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops and most importantly, an amazing time. As a shopping bonus, you can visit the Dubai Outlet Mall (review below) which is quite near IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai. How Much: Adult AED245.00 (USD66.00). Kids AED 225.00 (USD61.00)Where: City of Arabia, DubaiWebsite: IMG WorldsEntrance to Ski Dubai at the Mall of the EmiratesSki DubaiThe world?s most exotic indoor ski resort is found at the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai. If you have always wanted to ski or even play in the snow, this is the place to do it. Who would have thought to build a snow park in the middle of the desert? Well, they managed to do this here. Ski Dubai is a indoor ski resort with 22,500 square meters of indoor ski area which includes a 85-metre-high indoor mountain with 5 slopes, and a 400 meter long ski run. The highlight here is the world's first indoor black diamond run. There is a ski chairlift that will take you to the top of the snow mountain.Inside Ski Dubai, an incredible skiing experience and snow worldFor those who do not ski, there is a 3,000 square meter Snow Park play area which offers a sled ride, toboggan runs, an icy body slide, climbing towers, giant snowballs and an ice cave. There is also a penguin area where you can see live penguins. For Asians or those who come from countries without four seasons, this is highly recommended as you can experience winter here in Dubai. The average temperature inside is -4 Degrees Celsius and winter clothing is provided, including boots and gloves. How much: Snow Park Tickets AED200.00 (USD54.00), Full Experience AED500 (USD136.00)Where: Inside Mall of the EmiratesWebsite: Ski DubaiThe futuristic design of the Etihad Museum in DubaiEtihad MuseumRecently opened in January 2017, this special museum tells the story of the birth of the United Arab Emirates or UAE, and the story of the founding fathers behind this historical moment. This museum used to be called Union House and now officially known as the Etihad Museum.For those who want to know more about the United Arab Emirates, this is where you should start. The futuristic design of the museum does not give the perception of any museum, but once inside, you will be brought through a historical journey from 1968 to 1974.Visitors getting information inside the Etihad MuseumPrepare to spend a minimum of two hours here as you make your way through eight pavilions and a very interesting underground museum. There are audio-visual rooms, interesting memorabilia and interactive displays.Where: Jumeirah Beach RoadWebsite: Etihad MuseumA very interesting conservation concept called The Green Planet DubaiGreen Planet DubaiPerhaps one of the most interesting attractions in Dubai which showcases an amazing tropical forest, and inside a five story building. More of an educational experience, you will find over 3,000 plants and animals and the world?s largest indoor man-made and life-sustaining tree in here.As I come from a tropical country, I did not expect much, but when I walked in there, it was a whole new world for me. Seeing the massive man-made tree with all kinds of tropical birds on it was an eye-opener, as I have never seen some of these birds in real life.Visitors inside the amazing Green Planet DubaiThe concept takes you all the way to the top level where you slowly make your way down, level by level and learning about the tropical rainforest, flora and fauna and the biodiversity. If you have kids, this is highly recommended.The Dubai City Walk is just next door, and after exploring The Green Planet Dubai, you can continue to explore one of Dubai's modern shopping, lifestyle and entertainment areas. I would recommend you come here just after lunch and then head to City Walk for dinner and some walking about.How Much: AED95.00 (USD25.00) Adults, AED70.00 (USD19.00) KidsWhere: City Walk, Al Wasl, DubaiWebsite: The Green Planet DubaiThe Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding in DubaiSheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU)I would have to say that the SMCCU is probably one of the highlights of my trip to Dubai in May 2017. Thinking it was another cultural attraction, I was very impressed with the entire experience here.This center was actually coined in 1998 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, when His Majesty saw the need to reach out and educate expatriates in the traditions and customs of the UAE.Inside SMCCU, guests gather at the Majlis before startingThe openness of the staff here was extremely welcoming as they shared information about the traditional Arabic culture and lifestyle, in a simple yet effective way. In return we were told to ask any kind of questions that we had about the Arabic lifestyle, even if it was controversial.I raised my hand to ask a sensitive question about how the Arab people dressed, especially about the Burkas or Veils and the Abaya that the women wear. My follow up question was about the Tawb or Dishdash that the men wear, and both questions was answered very well. I now have a much better understanding about the way the Arab people dress.A demonstration of Emerati women's attire is openly discussed at the SMCCU in DubaiThose are the kind of questions that were being asked as we sat in the Majlis or main hall where guests were entertained. While question and answers were exchanged, we were treated to some traditional Arabic food and tea, which made the experience of visiting a traditional Arabic home here in Dubai.I am highly recommending this experience at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding or SMCCU in Dubai, purely because of learning and understanding the Emirati traditional culture and lifestyle. As a bonus, we were each given the opportunity to dress up in the traditional Emirati attire to take photos. This was such an experience for me.Where: Al Musalla Road, DubaiWebsite SMCCUInside one of the rides of Legoland Dubai. Image from Legoland DubaiLegoland DubaiI never had the chance to visit this place, but if you are a theme park and Lego lover, this is the place to visit. Located near Palm Jebal Ali, you can bring your family to both theme parks and spend the entire day here, outdoors and then indoors.There are two parks here, Legoland Park and Legoland Water Park. At the main park, there are over 40 themed rides, shows and attractions in six themed areas. If you have kids, they eat for free. During the summer, the main park is open from 4.00 pm till midnight and the water park is open from 10.00 am to 7.00 pm. As a bonus, I would recommend to try The Last Exit, a specialized food truck park which is located near Legoland. Imagine a gourmet food truck park, set in s special area where you can drive through or dine in. Beautifully created and with good taste. How Much: AED145.00 (USD39.00) for one park or ARD195.00 (USD53.00) for both parks.Where: Near Palm Jebal AliWebsite: Legoland DubaiOutlet Village in DubaiThe above are the places I visited in Dubai in May 2017 where my trip was organised by Dubai Tourism and Emirates. This was purely a familiarization trip in order for me to experience the many indoor activities.Overall, I would have to say that being indoors, especially in the summer is a normal thing for most people, and in the Middle East, the weather can get really hot and humid with temperatures up to 45 Degrees Celsius.You can also read my other article on summer shopping in Dubai, for those who plan to do a bit of both. There is much to explore, especially at the world's largest mall - The Dubai Mall.Also, you can fin out more information from the official Dubai Tourism website, as they frequently update the information according to the seasons.For anyone visiting here from June to August, I hope that this list of places to visit in Dubai during summer will come in handy for you and your family. Even if you are travelling solo, as a couple or for a business trip, there is always something to do here in Dubai. 
    Saturday 24th of June 2017 10:40:00 AM
  • Matta Fair September 2017
    Malaysia's largest travel market called Matta Fair September 2017 will take place from 8-10 September at the Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur. Over 1000 booths will showcase the best of tourism and travel in Malaysia and around the world. The Matta Fair September 2017 is also the second fair for this year, as the first one took place in March, and at the same venue. In total, over 100,000 visitors will attend this travel fair over three days here in Kuala Lumpur.Visitors at the Matta September FairMatta Fair September 2017 - What To ExpectVisitors have become so accustomed to this travel fair, that many will wait for the Matta Fair to book their year end holidays. Most of the consumers will survey the destination they want, before purchasing the packages from the various travel agents. As the Matta Fair September 2017 is so huge, there are four main halls dedicated to individual travel destinations. For example, there is a Malaysian Hall, selling all kinds of travel packages around Malaysia. At the Malaysia Hall, you will also find local theme park operators selling entrance tickets or full packages which include hotel stays. Some other tourist attractions will also be seen selling admission tickets.Malaysia Hall at the Matta Fair SeptemberThe ASEAN Hall will feature all the tourism boards and travel agents from the ASEAN countries. You will find Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Myanmar and Vietnam booths here. For those wanting to explore the ASEAN countries, this where you should head too. And with this year being Visit Asean 2017, there are sure to be a lot of special deals and packages available. The following hall will be focusing on the long haul international countries. Here, you will find cruise companies, airline ticket counters and tourism boards promoting their destinations.One of the tour companies in the international hallThe main hall will be the largest hall promoting popular destinations like Japan, Korea, America, United Kingdom, Africa and so on. This is where you go if you have been planning that family trip to Japan or Korea. And for the Muslim travelers, you can find some of the best travel packages for those wanting to experience another country and yet have Muslim facilities. Packages include Halal food and prayer rooms with stops for prayers. At Hall 1M, which is the mezzanine floor, you will find the Umrah Packages sold by the Muslim travel agents. This upper level hall is where the main stage area and also the food and beverage area will be located. The hall is just above Hall 1, international hall.Promotions held during the Matta Fair SeptemberMatta Fair September 2017 - PromotionsMost of the promotions offered are only available at the Matta Fair. This means, when you see a package being offered, you will most likely not find it after the event. The most common procedure or tactic consumers will use is to do window shopping before actually buying a package. Example: If you want to visit Japan on a budget, you will start going to the booths that sell Japan packages.Visitors attending the Malaysia Matta FairYou can also visit the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) booth to get more information about where to go in Japan. JNTO does not sell packages, but they provide information from all over the country. They invite different prefecture tourism organizations to come and showcase tourism products for each of their areas. Let's say, you have interest to visit Okinawa, you will have to go to the Okinawa Tourism booth to obtain information about the exotic Japanese Island.Then after you have got the information needed, you proceed to any of the travel agents that sell Okinawa packages, and buy it from them.Indonesia Tourism at the Matta Fair MalaysiaMatta Fair September 2017When: 8-10 September 2017Where: PWTC, Kuala LumpurWhat Time: 10.00 AM to 9.00 PMEntrance: RM4 per person (Below 12 years old, free)Website: http://site.mattafair.org.my/I have been going to the Matta Fair for many years and every year, the fair seems to be getting larger and larger. More people are visiting the travel fair where a majority are those aged 30 and above.However, there has been a dip in travel purchases, due to the growth of the online industry. Many consumers are now turning towards online travel packages, flight tickets and accommodations nowadays and the numbers are growing.A customer getting some quotations on a travel package at Matta FairThere has also been a strong influence of foreigners visiting the Matta Fair 2017 to buy international flight tickets and also travel packages, as it is sometimes a little cheaper. This works well for those who are confirmed to travel on a particular date. For anyone who has not been to Malaysia's largest travel fair, this is a good opportunity to visit the Matta Fair September 2017. Who knows what you will learn or even buy there. 
    Thursday 22nd of June 2017 05:13:00 AM
  • AirAsia Cancels Flight Plans to Europe and USA
    In aviation news, AirAsia has indicated that they will cancels flight plans to Europe and USA. This was mentioned in a series of Tweets from it's CEO Tony Fernandes in June 2017. The news comes to a shock to many as earlier in 2017, Asia's largest budget airline had strongly indicated that the would resume the AirAsia UK flights, and also to branch out into west coast USA, namely to the state of California. One of the main reasons cited was that the group wanted to maintain focus on Asia before coming to any decision for ultra long haul flights. In February 2017, a news report stated that Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, one of the founders of AirAsia indicated that they had serious plans to venture into Europe and west coast USA, namely Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco. Tweets from Tony Fernandes indicating plans not to fly to the UK or USABusiness Traveller has also run a report on this as well as Skift, as the news is hot in the aviation industry now. AirAsia X had been flying to Paris and London in 2011, and in 2012, they pulled out of both sectors. It was cited that the routes were not cost effective for the airline, though the flights were full. It is also said that perhaps the airline would consider, if the timing was right and with a more appropriate aircraft.For now, AirAsia continues to fly to most countries around Asia, connecting one another through the AirAsia hubs. AirAsia also flies to Hawaii, via Japan with AirAsia Japan. The Osaka-Honolulu flights are probably the cheapest in the world too. If you have hopes of getting a budget flight to the UK or US, they may be shattered for now, but who knows what the future holds. AirAsia has known to surprise consumers from time to time. But for now, AirAsia has cancelled any intentions to fly to Europe and USA. 
    Wednesday 21st of June 2017 04:15:00 AM
  • Borneo Bird Festival 2017
    The Borneo Bird Festival 2017 will be taking place at the Crocker Range National Park and also in Kota Kinabalu City from 20-22 October. This is also the 9th year that the bird festival is being held here in Sabah and is the largest bird festival in Malaysia.Organised by the Sandakan Borneo Bird Club, the event has seen over 30,000 people visiting the festival over the years. International visitors have also grown due to the marketing programs conduct by the Borneo Bird Club at world bird fairs.This year, the unique venue of Crocker Range National Park was selected to assist in cross promoting tourism and awareness of the largest protected park in Sabah. This is also the first time the event is being held at the national park.Around the park, you can also find the unique Rafflesia Forest Reserve, which is touted to be one of the unique places in Sabah. Crocker Range Park has also been recognized as a Biosphere Reserve by the International Coordinating Council for Biosphere Reserve (CRBR), a program under Unesco in 2014.Birders in action at the last Borneo Bird Festival in Sabah, MalaysiaBorneo Bird Festival 2017As for the 9th Anniversary of the Borneo Bird Festival, a series of activities have been panned throughout the three day event at Kota Kinabalu and Crocker Range National Park.For the Sabah Bird Race 2017, participants will be transferred to Crocker Range from Kota Kinabalu and back. This will be a full day event that ends at 4.00 PM.This year's theme is also "Protect Our Songbirds and Hornbills", is aimed at awareness towards heavy poaching and hunting of these beautiful birds in Sabah. There will be talks specifically for this and everyone is invited.The main venue is at Imago Shopping Mall in Kota Kinabalu City where most of the bird watching products, books, equipment and talks will take place at.The main launching event for the Borneo Bird Festival 2017 will also take place here. There will also be an exhibition of bird photos and children's activities going on at Imago Shopping Mall in Kota Kinabalu.The main event, which is the Sabah Bird Race and Sabah bird photography race will be seeing many participants of all ages taking part, at the national park venue.Omicron Binoculars, one of the participants at the Borneo Bird Festival 2017Another fun activity at Crocker Range will be the guided bird walks, conducted by naturalist and the senior bird watchers of Sabah. This will allow beginners to participate in a walk to spot birds and flora around the park.As the indoor activities will be held at Imago Shopping Mall in city of Kota Kinabalu, you can expect many vendors selling bird memorabilia, books, cameras, binoculars and scopes.Brands such as Omicron, Kowa, Minox, Leica, Swarovski, Nikon, Sony, Canon and more will be showcasing the latest equipment and accessories.Kowa Malaysia, at a booth during one of the bird festivals in MalaysiaOther vendors include nature resorts from around Sabah, bird clubs from around Malaysia and Asia who cross promote their birding activities.Talks by renown naturalist, bird watchers and representatives from non governmental organisations are also one of the highlights during the event in Kota Kinabalu.In general, the Borneo Bird Festival is the best place to get first hand information about the hobby of bird watching and photography in Sabah.A list of Important Birding Areas in Sabah or IBA. Crocker Range National Park is marked on the left side. Bird Watching At Crocker Range National ParkAs Crocker Range National Park is one of the top bird watching spots in Sabah, there are quite a number of endemic birds that can be spotted here. To know more about this, you can view the list of Endemic Birds of Borneo.Crocker Range National Park is well known to be a hot spot for Bornean montane endemics, namely the Bornean Barbet, Bornean Falconet, Bornean Leafbird, Whitehead?s Spiderhunter, several species of Hornbills, the Great Argus Pheasant and many more.Visitors at the recent Borneo Bird FestivalBorneo Bird Festival 2017 InformationDate: 20-22 October 2017Day: Friday to SundayTime: 7.00 AM till 6.00 PMVenue: Crocker Range National Park & Imgao Shopping Mall, Kota Kinabalu CityWebsite: Borneo Bird FestivalCurrently, the website is still being updated and you will find more information somewhere in July or August. If you need more information, you can contact the Borneo Bird Club directly. For those in Sabah, you can also get information from the Sabah Tourism Board office along Gaya Street in KK City. How to go to Crocker Range National ParkHow to go to Crocker Range National Park? Generally, you need to drive there from Kota Kinabalu City which takes you around two hours. There are currently no buses that go directly to the event, therefore you are required to take a taxi, UBER or Grab from Kota Kinabalu.You can also rent a car and self drive to the event as it cost around RM150.00 per day for a basic car. There are many car rental companies found all over Kota Kinabalu city.For those who require more information, you can also visit the Sabah Tourism Board office at Gaya Street in KK City.Manis Manis Resort at Crocker Range National ParkAre There Hotels Around Crocker Range National Park? To be honest, there are only a couple of them. One is called Manis Manis Rooftop of Borneo Resort, which is located at the national park. If you really want to stay here, this is the best place. Other hotels are located in the area of Keningau.There is another resort named Uli Kimanis Resort, which is the other end of the national park, so please double check.Most of the hotels in Keningau are standard budget or basic hotels. We would recommend you look at the hotels to Kota Kinabalu, as the organisers will be providing a shuttle service back and forth for participants and visitors. Please contact organisers about this. Photos Taken During The Borneo Bird Festival A Wallace Hawk Eagle photographed in Sandakan during the last bird watching eventMarshall's and some of the participants during the 2016 Borneo Bird Festival in Sandakan, Sabah Participants from the Borneo Bird Festival at Kinabalu Park in 2015A Scarlet Rumped Trogon photographed at the Borneo Bird Festival in SabahBird Watching in MalaysiaIn 2014, bird watching in Malaysia as looked into by the Tourism Ministry of Malaysia where they are keen in developing this unique hobby and also promoting it to the world.Malaysia is well known for quite a number of species of birds which are found in many different areas of the country. A total of over 780 species of birds is found throughout Malaysia.Wikipedia has a list of birds of Malaysia for anyone interested to find out more as it is quite complete. You can also find both the English and scientific name of the birds of Malaysia.Crested Serpent Eagle circling the Borneo Bird Festival in SabahLittle Spiderhunter, spotted around the Borneo Bird Festival event areaSabah was one of the pioneers who steered birding to where it is today and big thanks goes out to the Sandakan Borneo Bird Club who initiated the inaugural Borneo Bird Festival nine years ago with the assistance of Sabah Tourism Board. Now Bird Watching in Borneo has grown from a niche hobby to a general hobby with many locals and international participants taking part at the many birding events held around Sabah and also Malaysia. The upcoming Borneo Bird Festival 2017 is one birding event not to miss for any enthusiast. 
    Tuesday 20th of June 2017 12:44:00 PM
  • Bird Watching in Taman Negara
    There are a few places for bird watching in Taman Negara for those interested in this hobby. The first thing you should know is that this is a rainforest area, and one of the oldest in the world dating to 130 million years old.This means, you will be doing tropical birding here and the main area for bird watching in Taman Negara is no other than around the park headquarters and its surroundings. However, for the serious birders, there are a few other places which are great for bird watching. Recently in late 2016 and early 2017, there has been a new place which opened for birding, and is a 10 minute drive out of the main area of Kuala Tahan in Taman Negara. Overall, there are over 350 species of birds recorded in the entire Taman Negara area.A group of Hornbills perched on a tree at Taman NegaraBird Watching in Taman NegaraTo do bird watching here, you should know that Kuala Tahan will be your main gateway into Taman Negara National Park. Kuala Tahan is a small village town that offers accommodations, local restaurants, floating restaurants, tour desks and convenient shops. There is no modern cafes, restaurants or shopping malls found here. There are also no ATM machines or pharmacies found here. So, if you need to get any supplies or special items, make sure you get them before you leave the larger cities.From Kuala Tahan, visitors will take the boat taxi service across the Tembeling River into the national park. Read this article on the best way to go to Taman Negara for those wanting to find out how.A Great Hornbill seen at the Mutiara ResortBird Watching Places in Taman Negara Below is a list of places for bird watching in Taman Negara, Pahang which is narrowed down for you. Some of these places are very popular while one of it is a new bird watching spot.If you are looking for Broadbills, Taman Negara is home to many, which include Green, Banded, and Black-and-yellow Broadbills. And if you are a fan of Barbets, look out for the Gold-whiskered and Red-throated Barbets.When you are here, your bird guide would most likely bring you to the popular ones where you can see the most birds. Again, this all depends on luck, weather and timing.Hornbill Valley in Taman Negara, one of the new bird watching spots hereThe list of bird watching places in Taman Negara are;Lata Berkoh (Berkoh Waterfalls) - This is one of the good places in the mornings or afternoons where the journey there will allow you to spot many birds. It is a short ride from the main area of Taman Negara. Hornbill Valley (Lembah Enggang) - One of the very new areas for bird watching in Taman Negara where you can spot hornbills, barbets and many other birds. This location is actually by the main road and about 10 minute drive from Kuala Tahan. Your bird guide will drive you to the area where you alight from the vehicle and do bird watching by the road. Best time is just before 7.00 am and in the late afternoon. A total of 173 species of birds was spotted here on a bird count in April 2017. One of the star birds is no other than the Helmet Hornbill. The Hornbill Valley in Taman Negara is also gazetted as a conservation area.Lembah Enggang or Hornbill Valley in the morningTaman Negara Forest Loop Trail - This is the easiest trail where it loops around the back of the Mutiara Resort. The walkway is boarded therefore it is an easy walk without worrying about leeches or bugs on the ground. Taman Negara Swamp Loop Trail - Another easy trail at the other end of the resort which is also boarded. Walking here requires silence in order to spot the birds in the bush or canopy. At one section, a swampy area is seen where birds are often spotted, but you need to be silent and slow here. Tahan Hide Trail - This trail connects from the Forest Loop Trail and takes you all the way to the Tahan Hide, a loo out point for wildlife. Along the way, birds are spotted in the canopy and mid-canopy levels. Jenut Muda Trail - This is one of the very popular and best trails and is relatively easy. The Great Argus Pheasant is often spotted here along other star birds like the Banded Pitta, Gould's Frogmouth, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Kingfishers, Woodpeckers and many others. Watch for the leeches here though.The Taman Negara Canopy WalkCanopy Walk Trail - This is probably one of the active trails, from the park to the canopy walk. However, there are more birds spotted along the walk, versus the canopy walk as sometimes, there are many people on the canopy walk which distracts the birds. Bukit Teresek Trail - This is the furthers trail at 2.5 km away from the park quarters. However, the journey here will bare fruit as many birds have been spotted at the first part of the trail. The unique Crestless Fireback is also spotted on this trail. Beyond The Batek Orang Asli Village - This requires you to take a long boat ride upriver, passing the popular ethnic Batek orang asli tribe village. The boat ride will take about 20-30 minutes through mild rapids to a spot upriver.Hornbills are often sighted around here among other birds. But to be honest, I am yet to explore this part, therefore I will update this once I have visited this spot. Around The Mutiara Resort - This is the best for beginners as you can do some casual birding around the resort grounds. There is a local resident Great Hornbill by the name of Abu who is frequently seen in the trees around the resort reception area or the park headquarters area.A Coucal spotted along the Tembeling River during a boat tripAlong The Tembeling River - Usually, when you depart Taman Negara, you will take a two hour boat ride down the Tembeling River to Kuala Tembeling, where your van transfer will be waiting to take you back to KL. It is on this boat ride that you will spot a number of birds along the river. On my journey back, I managed to spot broadbills, kingfishers, raptors, swallows, water birds and a few others. The trick is to sit behind the boat nearer to the boat captain, and he can slow the boat down when you want to photograph the birds. And no, he will not stop the boat for you, unless you are the only passenger. Star Birds of Taman NegaraMost bird watchers or bird photographers come here in search of the many star birds of Taman Negara. They are mostly found at most areas while some of them require some serious trekking and just to highlight, you may not see them all in one trip. Perhaps less than half of the birds below. The list of star birds are;Malaysian Rail-babblerMalaysian Blue FlycatcherShort-toed CoucalBlue-winged PittaGould's FrogmouthLarge FrogmouthFerruginous Wood-PartridgeMountain Peacock PheasantCrestless FirebackBarred Eagle OwlBay OwlMasked FinfootGreat ArgusMalaysian Peacock PheasantBlack-and-white BulbulRufous-tailed SharmaRed-legged CrakeStorm?s StorkWallace?s Hawk-EagleBat HawkJambu Fruit DoveRufous-collared KingfisherOlive-backed WoodpeckerGreat Slaty WoodpeckerScarlet-breasted FlowerpeckerTrogonsSome birds spotted sitting on a tree along the Tembeling RiverBest Time For Bird Watching in Taman NegaraFor the avid birder, there are of course the best and worst times to do bird watching. From my point of view, as an amateur bird watcher, the worst time for this is during the school holidays, weekends, public holidays and the rainy season. I would advise to book your visit for a weekday, as the best bird guides would be free and there would be very few people around the national park. This way, you can fully enjoy your birding in Taman Negara without distraction and noise. One of the chalets at Mutiara Taman NegaraWhere To Stay In Taman NegaraThe golden question for birders. Depending on your budget, there are basic air condition rooms from the many budget hotels in Kuala Tahan. Even cheaper, there are homestays available. But for the optimum relaxation, there is the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort.The resort is located in the national park where the park head quarters is. This is luxury in the rainforest and an average room would cost around RM350.00 (USD 80.00) per person, but you know you will get a good nights rest here.Your second choice would be the general guest houses which cost around RM120 to RM140 per room. They are basic, with attached bathroom, hot water and air condition. What is the Weather in Taman Negara?Just to get you in the right attire, the weather in Taman Negara is pretty hot and humid with temperatures around 74-88F (23-31C).Humidity gets really high in the late mornings and afternoons and expect random showers, unless it is the rainy season from October to January, it is not recommended for bird watching during the rainy season. In general, you need to be as comfortable as you can be. Shorts, T-shirts or short sleeved light material clothes are recommended, along with comfortable hiking or trekking shoes. A hat is optional as you would most likely be in the rainforest under the canopy. What to Prepare For Taman NegaraJust like any other rainforest, you need to have a poncho or raincoat, lots of drinking water, leech socks (if you truly are scared of them), very basic first aid kit, energy bars and insect repellent (the local ones please). Other than that, you will perspire quite a bit, so you may need to bring along a towel or tissue for this.  If you are lugging a bazooka lens with massive tripod, I would recommend you use a comfortable shoulder pad to carry your gear. a good pair of binoculars are recommended as the thick rainforest can be tricky to spot these birds.For me, I use the mid level Omicron Savvy IV HR binoculars to spot birds. They are affordable and very easy to use, as I have brought the binoculars around the world with me. My last trip was to do bird watching in Flores, Indonesia in late 2016.Some of the river birds around Taman NegaraBooking a Bird Watching Tour in Taman NegaraFor those interested, you can make a booking through Ivy Holidays, a specialist based in Kuala Lumpur, who does Taman Negara tour packages, daily transfers, overnight stays and bird watching tours.You can contact Ivy Holidays at: +6 010 900 8699 or email them (transport @ ivyholidays.com) . They offer bird watching tours in Taman Negara with some of the best local bird guides there. There are many other places to do bird watching in Malaysia, while over the years, I have been pretty much active doing bird watching in Sabah and Sarawak, on the island of Borneo.So, for the Peninsular, this place was an eye opener as the many birds spotted was quite interesting. You can also read this article for a complete list of birding events in Malaysia, for the serious birders. My recent trip to Taman Negara was done with the company above where it took a four hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. I stayed at the Mutiara Taman Negara and explored the many places around here.This is also my first time doing bird watching in Taman Negara and it was a fruitful one and after that, I am planning to go back for another round of birding here. 
    Thursday 15th of June 2017 10:19:00 AM
  • Summer Shopping in Dubai
    There are actually many people that want to do summer shopping in Dubai and on my last visit here in May 2017, I was introduced to some of the best shopping malls in Dubai. As this was my first time in Dubai, I have heard raving reviews of the Dubai shopping scene, and this was an interesting indoor adventure for me. Apart from my normal window shopping spree, I was actually very tempted to shop in many places. One of the reasons was that on my last weekend in Dubai, they were having a three day massive sale at the malls, and prices were really attractive at some of the shops. So, if you are planning on a transit in Dubai, I would easily recommend you change that into to one or two day stopover to experience Summer shopping in Dubai. A popular place for Summer Shopping in Dubai is at the Outlet VillageSummer Shopping in Dubai If you did not already know, Dubai is known as one of the ultimate shopping destinations in the world, and for any family or couple travelling here, you should take note of the shopping sales periods, especially the Dubai Summer Surprises Sale. Anyway, let me share with you the list of shopping places I visited in May 2017. Dubai MallThis is the world's largest shopping mall and the number one place to shop in Dubai. The entire mall has a total floor area 5.9 million square feet, therefore, can you imagine walking the entire mall? You would need three days to do so. I stayed at the Address Hotel Dubai Mall and on occasion, I would take an hour or two to explore the massive Dubai Mall. On one of my visits there, the management was kind enough to take me around on a buggy tour of the mall and that alone took about two hours, so you can imagine how huge this place is.Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping mallFor shopping, you would most probably go into shopping-shock as the amount of brands found here is beyond your imagination. There are over 1200 retail shops found here while they have a special concourse area just for luxury brands.Places of interest around the Dubai Mall include Burj Khalifa, Kidzania Dubai, SEGA Republic, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Dubai fountain, a luxury hotel, massive cinema, 120 restaurants and cafes. Don't forget to visit the Souk in Dubai Mall as it is something out of the ordinary and very interesting. If you have kids, this is one of the perfect places for your family.Overall, I would recommend you take your time to explore the Dubai Mall as it is so huge, chances are you may even get lost here. However, the mall planning is very good as there is information counters found throughout the mall. Here is an interesting fact - A total of 92 million people visited the mall in 2015, surpassing many other world class attractions. Where: Downtown DubaiWebsite: The Dubai MallMall of the Emirates, one of the top shopping places in DubaiMall of the EmiratesAnother mega mall in Dubai is called Mall of the Emirates where you will find 630 retail outlets, over 100 restaurants and cafes, 80 luxury stores and 250 flagship stores. In total, a whopping 2.4 million square feet is available in retail space.This three-storey massive shopping complex combines Arabic and Mediterranean elements, and is well laid out plus beautifully designed. For those who indulge in serious shopping, this mall is one of the highly recommended places to do so.As I explored the mall, I could not help but notice that at one section, they had an area specially for designer kids clothes. Yes, we are talking about Versace Kids, Armani Junior, Burberry Children, D&G Kids, Roberto Cavalli Junior and many more.Branded Kids Shopping in DubaiAnchor stores include the Apple Store, Marks&Spencer, Carrefour, Debenhams and a few others. While the souse is busy shopping, you have the opportunity to bring the kids to Ski World Dubai, which is housed in the mall. A massive snow park is available for you to experience winter here.Food and Beverage is amazingly interesting, with selections of the best cafe's and restaurant chains in the world. Even Asian restaurants like Din Tai Fung is found here while for American fast food, the Shake Shack is also available, and everything here is Halal. Where: Sheikh Zayed Road, Al BarshaWebsite: Mall of the EmiratesOutlet Village in Dubai, one of the best places to shop during the summerDubai Outlet VillageFor the serious shopper, the Dubai Outlet Village is the place to be at. Imagine, international designer brands on 50% discount! Yes, shoes, clothes and accessories from the previous season is knocked down to half price, or even more and this single floor factory outlet in Dubai.I recommend this place because there is no other factory outlet in Dubai, hence you are getting the best of over 100 international brands, ranging from high end designer to world famous brands in one place. Brands like Michael Kors, Hugo Boss, Lanvin, Ermenegildo Zegna. Armani Exchange, Antonio Marras, Juicy Couture, Roberto Cavalli, Gianfranco Ferre, DKNY and many others.Variety of branded shoes on sale at the Outlet Village DubaiFood outlets are equally impressive with local and international cafes and restaurants available. As I walked around Dubai Outlet Village, I noticed a Godiva Cafe and many other lifestyle cafes like Affogato Cafe, Caffe Nero and Ca'Puccino, Chinese food is also available at PF Chang while  Middle Easter brands Awani, Grand Saray will satisfy your craving for local food.The outlet mall is located near IMG Worlds theme park, therefore a great combination is for the wife to shop here, while the husband and kids explore the theme park. Where: Dubai Al-Ain Road (Route 66)Website: Dubai Outlet VillageOne of the massive branded shoes stores at Dubai Outlet VillageSouk Al BaharKnown as and Arabic style shopping mall, this souk offers a lot of traditional and local products. If you are looking for a local souvenir, this is the place to shop at. There are many jewelry shops, carpets sellers, fine antiques, Emirati art, traditional clothing, lakeside cafes and restaurants.To get to this souk, you need to follow the lakeside and find the bridge that connects Souk Al Bahar. My personal tip is to have dinner at Thiptara, a Thai restaurant with an amazing view of the Dubai Fountain. The Thai restaurant comes with a dining area that faces the fountain. There is also a bar area for cocktails, which faces the Dubai Fountain.Where: Lakeside of Dubai FountainWebsite: Souk Al BaharDubai's famous duty free shopping at the airportDubai Airport Duty Free Shopping (DDF)Nothing else comes to mind but shopping when you are at the Dubai Airport. The duty free shopping here is known as one of the best places to shop in the world, and you cannot ignore this. With three main terminals here, each of them has a dedicated duty free shopping area.However, you should know that at Dubai Airport Terminal 3, you will find the largest and most modern duty free shopping facilities here. The main reason is because Emirates flights transit here from all over the world. The shops are open 24 hours and all year long, making it convenient for international travelers  to shop anytime.Selection of champagnes on sale at the Dubai airport duty freePerfumes are the most sold items here at the Dubai Duty Free and you can see the latest fragrances from any brand in the world being sold here. Apart from that, alcohol and spirits, cigars and cigarettes, watches, jewelry, leather goods, clothes, electronics and many other duty free items can be found here.One of the highlights of the Dubai Duty Free Shopping is the lottery that they run, where you purchase a ticket and you could be the winner of a luxury car or even a million dollars. So, next time you transit at Dubai airport, make sure you dedicate some time to explore the duty free shopping here.Where: Dubai AirportWebsite: Dubai Duty Free ShoppingView of Dubai's Downtown area from The Address Hotel at Dubai MallThe shopping places mentioned above were all personally visited by me, therefore this article is based on a real experience. I am very sure there are many other interesting places for shopping in Dubai and with just one trip, I believe I cannot cover all the places.For more information on Dubai, you can visit the official Dubai Tourism website.I will be featuring another story things to do in Dubai during the Summer, so keep a look out for that article. It will feature all the many things to do indoors for any kind of traveler.I do look forward to returning to Dubai, perhaps in the Winter season to see how different the shopping scene is. Another area of interest for me is also the fascinating Jumeirah area of Dubai. For now, this is my first hand experience for summer shopping in Dubai and I hope it comes in handy for anyone visiting Dubai.
    Saturday 10th of June 2017 06:33:00 AM
  • Rainforest World Music Festival 2017 - 20th Anniversary
    This year's Rainforest World Music Festival 2017 will be the 20th Anniversary and it is held at the unique Sarawak Cultural Village. Can you imagine that is has been 20 years of running the RWMF, which originally started in 1997. And for this year, the 20th Anniversary of the Rainforest World Music Festival will take place from the 14-16 July. Branded as one of the must unique music festivals in the world, the setting of this festival takes place in a natural environment of a rainforest in the cultural village. The experience takes you into another world, combined with an array of world music from different parts of the earth.One of the world music performers at last years RWMFRainforest World Music Festival 2017 - 20th AnniversaryFor those who have attended the RWMF before, the good news is that there is something special planned for the 20th anniversary. Many fringe events have been arranged for the three day event, which includes a wellness program, music workshops, kids activities, talks and exhibitions. For the music lineup of the Rainforest World Music Festival 2017, a total of 25 bands and artists will perform at the main stages and workshops throughout the festival. You can expect a well balanced genre of world music from four corners of the earth here.A Whirling Dervish performing at the last RWMFRainforest World Music Festival 2017 Artist / Musicians Line Up1511 O Maliao Maliao Dance Troupe (Malaysia)Abavuki (South Africa)Achanak (UK/India)At Adau (Sarawak/Malaysia)Bitori (Cape Verde)Ba Cissoko (Guinea)Calan (Wales)Cimarron (Colombia)Didier Laloy + Kathy Adam (Belgium)Dom Flemons (USA)Hanggai (China)Huw Williams (Wales)Ilu Leto (Sarawak/Malaysia)Kelele (South Africa)O Tahiti E (Tahiti, French Polynesia)Okra Playground (Finland)Pareaso (Korea)Radio Cos (Spain)Romengo (Hungry)Saing Waing Orchestra (Myanmar)Spiro (UK)Svara Samsara (Indonesia)Taiwu Ancient Ballads Troupe (Taiwan)The Chipolatas (UK/Australia)The Paradise Bangkok Morlam International Band (Thailand)Visitors entering the Rainforest World Music FestivalEvents Happening At RWMF2017Below is a list of events that will take place during the 20th Anniversary of the Rainforest World Music Festival 2017. They are from day to night and throughout the three days. All of the events take place inside the Sarawak Cultural Village, therefore you need to buy the tickets to enter the premises. RWMF Mini Sessions (Formerly Workshops)The much anticipated music workshops will be the main highlights in the mornings and afternoons where visitors can choose which ones they want to attend. The mini sessions will be divided into three main areas of the cultural village. RWMF Theatre Stage PerformancesThis is another popular segment where visitors can attend the theatre stage shows which are indoors, and in the afternoons. Explore the world music in a closed environment where musicians perform unique sounds from their respective countries.A section of the Rainforest world Craft BazaarRainforest World Craft Bazaar 2017As every year, the Rainforest World Craft Bazaar will take place where local and ethnic crafts and jewelry will be displayed and also for sale. The bazaar will see over 30 booths that showcase some of the best native and ethnic work from all over Sarawak. For anyone into ethnic jewelry or crafts, this is where you should be at. There will also be demonstrations, hands-on projects and many other activities taking place in the craft bazaar area of the cultural village. This special segment is organised by CraftHub Sarawak. RWMF Drum CircleOne of the most popular events before the start of the live shows is the Drum Circle. Musicians gather around and perform drum rhythms together with the audience. This interactive show allows visitors to experience the moment with the artist in the open area near the main stage. Shows are at 5.15 PM daily.One of the world music performers during the Rainforest World Music FestivalPustaka Bookaroo For the kids, yes, the kids were not left out as the Bookaroo Library or Pustaka Bookaroo will provide interesting workshops for kids aged 7-12 years old. Held in one of the museum houses, this workshop promises an interactive and exciting for both, parent and kids. Asian Food KitchenA dedicated Asian kitchen will be offered at this year's RWMF where visitors can experience the many types of Asian cuisine from local hawker to fusion dishes. As to what kind of Asian food will be served, well, let us just say it's local and interesting. Definitively worth exploring, if you are a foodie. RWMF Wellness ProgramA special feature for the 20th anniversary is the wellness program where renown speakers will share knowledge and information about the world of wellness. This includes talks, meditation, yoga, personal training, Budokan, Zumba and performances. If you are into the fitness and wellness scene, this program is not to be missed.The crowd at last years Rainforest World Music FestivalRainforest World Music Festival 2017 - 20th AnniversaryWhen: 14-16 July, 2017Where: Sarawak Cultural Village, Santubong, KuchingTickets: Door Sale RM152.00 (RWMF Tickets)For more detailed information, please visit the official RWMF website.One of the local ethnic people of Sarawak pose by a traditional bamboo bridge at RWMFA beautiful sunset seen at Damai Beach, just next to the Rainforest World Music Festival20th Anniversary of the Rainforest World Music Festival 2017I will be attending the 20th Anniversary Rainforest World Music Festival as it is a yearly ritual for me, and every year, I walk away very impressed. If you have been longing for an international level world-class event, this is one of them to attend. If you are not able to attend this, you can also see the other music festivals in Sarawak as they happen on different times in the year.Rainforest World Music Festival For NewbiesHonestly, I could not believe that a good friend who I have been working with over the last 5-6 years, finally came up with a travel blog. His articles called Rainforest World Music Festival Tips for Newbies, was one of his first few articles. Well done on a great job writing this guide.Also, another new found travel blogger friend all the way in Miri is Alyssa, who wrote a great article about the Ultimate Guide to the Rainforest World Music Festival 2017. which is pretty informative. Again, this guide is very general and targets the 20-30's audience.ConclusionSarawak is also an amazing destination for travel, provided you love nature, culture and adventure. There are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, incredible rainforest, amazing national parks and fascinating cultures waiting to be discovered. Here is also a list of things to do at the Rainforest World Music Festival, for those who are staying around the Santubong area.Note that the RWMF is located about one hours drive from the city of Kuching, and if you need to travel, you should plan well ahead. There is UBER and Grab available as well. A special shuttle bus service is also provided for a small fee from the city to the event. There are in fact a number of music festivals in Malaysia which you can attend, throughout the year and the most longest and successful one is no other than the Rainforest world Music Festival, which is now the 20th Anniversary since starting back in 1997. See you there. 
    Wednesday 7th of June 2017 11:59:00 AM


Malaysia Asia Stats

Daily Unique PVs Total PVs Unique In Total In Unique Out Total Out
Average 0.2 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.2
Today 0 0 0 0 0 0
Yesterday 0 0 0 0 0 0
September 19 0 0 0 0 1 1
September 18 0 0 0 0 0 0
September 17 0 0 0 0 0 0
September 16 2 3 0 0 1 1
September 15 0 0 0 0 0 0
September 14 0 0 0 0 0 0
September 13 0 0 0 0 0 0
September 12 0 0 0 0 0 0
Highest 5 5 0 0 4 64
Weekly Unique PVs Total PVs Unique In Total In Unique Out Total Out
Average 1.6 1.8 0.0 0.0 1.5 1.5
This Week 0 0 0 0 1 1
Last Week 2 3 0 0 1 1
Week 36 3 3 0 0 2 2
Week 35 3 3 0 0 1 1
Week 34 0 0 0 0 1 1
Week 33 1 1 0 0 1 1
Week 32 0 0 0 0 2 2
Week 31 4 5 0 0 4 4
Week 30 3 3 0 0 1 1
Week 29 0 0 0 0 1 1
Highest 8 9 0 0 9 66
Monthly Unique PVs Total PVs Unique In Total In Unique Out Total Out
Average 5.5 5.8 0.0 0.0 8.4 17.0
This Month 7 8 0 0 4 4
Last Month 6 7 0 0 9 9
July 17 6 6 0 0 5 5
June 17 6 6 0 0 11 71
May 17 4 4 0 0 7 7
April 17 6 6 0 0 11 11
March 17 4 4 0 0 9 34
February 17 6 6 0 0 19 20
January 17 4 5 0 0 7 7
December 16 6 6 0 0 2 2
Highest 20 20 0 0 19 71
Unique PVs Total PVs Unique In Total In Unique Out Total Out
Overall 525 551 0 0 243 340

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