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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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2012-02-23 16:12:32

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  • 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 21ºC.? 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°-88°F (23°-31°C).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
  • Sandakan Food Festival 2017
    The Sandakan Food Festival 2017 is scheduled to take place in the city of Sandakan in East Coast Sabah from 26 August to 2nd September. This years theme will be Oceans, Land and Forest and during this 9-day unique food event, you will be able to find some of the best local east coast Sabah food. This culinary event is also aimed at promoting the local food scene in Sandakan where the place is also well known for its nature and adventure. Sandakan is located in the east coast of Sabah where it is accessible via flights from Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur where there are a number of flights that fly direct here via AirAsia or Malaysia Airlines. Those wanting a little extra adventure can even rent a car from Kota Kinabalu and drive overland for about six hours to Sandakan.Traditional Sabah Food in Sandakan - Kadazan CuisineSandakan Food Festival 2017For the Sandakan Food Festival, food travelers or foodies will be in for a treat as there is much to explore, especially the seafood here where many claim it is much fresher and cheaper than in other parts of Sabah. A barter trading and fishing sector, the city is also a morning city where it gets extremely lively from as early as six in the morning till after lunch. As I have been here many times over the last ten years or so, I have tried quite a variety of the local Sandakan food which ranges from Chinese to Malay and even some of the ethnic local favourites and for foodies, the best place to start exploring is of course around the main Sandakan city area.Dim Sum in SandakanTo fully explore the Sandakan food culture, you need to also move around from the city outwards and the way the areas are measured are using miles, therefore Mile One all the way to Mile 32 and a popular area out of the city is no other than Mile Four where you can find lots of restaurants, coffee shops and cafes.Sandakan Food Festival 2017Date: 26 Aug to 2 Sept 2017Venue: Sandakan CitySFF2017 Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/sandakanfoodfest/The Sandakan Food Festival is brought to you by the Sandakan Food Project (SFP) and the Sandakan Tourism Association. The SFP is a very small group of Sandakan citizens with a passion for preserving and advancing the local food heritage in this east coast city of Sabah, Borneo.Photos of Sandakan, SabahSteamboat in Sandakan at Restoran 1Malaysia on Trig Hill (No Pork)Seafood Bak Kut Teh in Sandakan, one of the best in MalaysiaFor Bak Kut Teh lovers, the famous Seafood Bak Kut Teh in Sandakan is something you should try. It's probably the best in Malaysia or even the world. They have been doing this for years and habve perfected the combination of seafood and the Bak Kut Teh herbs and soup.Ikan Bakar Mama Resepi at Pasar Sim Sim, SandakanFor those who love grilled fish, Mama Resepi at Pasar Sim Sim is the place to try it. No one does it better than Mama herself. All the seafood here is delivered freshly on a daily basis and you can choose from fish, crabs, prawns and squid to be grilled.Sandakan City before sunsetIf you visit the Ba Lin Roof Top Bar of Nak Hotel in Sandakan, this is the amazing view of Sandakan City. Truly one of the best places to catch the beautiful Sandakan Sunset with cocktail in hand.Sandakan view from the Four Points Sheraton HotelWhere to Stay in SandakanThere are a few notable hotels found in Sandakan city area, and depending on your budget, you can choose from the Four Points Sheraton Sandakan, Sabah Hotel, Nak Hotel, Sandakan Styles Hotel or the many other budget hotels here. Check this list from Google for hotels in Sandakan if you need more information.If you are exploring Borneo, you can also read about where to go in Sabah for 2017 as I have highlighted the best places to visit around here. This guide would also help you to select the interesting places which include Sandakan. For the Sandakan Food Festival 2017, I believe it will be held in the main town area due to accessibility and also the infrastructure plus all the main hotels are located around here too. For anyone wanting to experience the east coast Sabah food culture, be sure to check out Sandakan City as it is one of the best places to try some of the unique foods from North Borneo. 
    Thursday 1st of June 2017 05:06:00 AM
  • Malaysia Theme Parks: The Ultimate Family Guide
    If you are wondering what kind of Malaysia Theme Parks are available, this ultimate guide is created to assist anyone looking for some family fun. There are actually quite a number of theme parks in Malaysia to choose from, and at different states, there are different kinds of theme parks too.Some of them are basic theme parks while others are world class international ones. Depending on where you in Malaysia, there is always a theme park or water park available for just about anyone. This list will go through the popular theme parks in Malaysia.Malaysia Theme Parks: The Ultimate Family GuideInside Berjaya Times Square, an indoor theme parkKuala Lumpur Theme ParksBerjaya Times Square Theme Park - As Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia, most visitors, local or international will surely visit here. And if you are travelling with kids, you will most likely visit the Berjaya Times Square Theme Park, which is a one stop family entertainment and shopping center. While mummy does some shopping, daddy can take the kids to the only indoor theme park in KL city. Berjaya Times Square Theme Park is located in the golden triangle of Kuala Lumpur and is accessible by the KL Monorail. Petaling Jaya Theme Parks Sunway Lagoon - For those planning to visit one of the largest shopping and entertainment malls in Petaling Jaya or PJ, you would be heading to the Sunway area where a world-class integrated shopping mall is connected to the famous Sunway Lagoon Water and Theme Park. Truly one of the best homegrown brands, Sunway Lagoon is a full fledged water and theme amusement park that caters to the entire family. There is a wave pool, man-made beach and many different rides available here. Kidzania Malaysia - Located in the Mutiara Damansara area where you can find IKEA PJ, The Curve Shopping Mall and Ikano Power Centre is Malaysia's only Kidzania. This wonderland for children is an interactive theme park where they can actually learn while having fun. Parents can leave their kids under supervision and focus on shopping in the area where the other malls are strategically located. Kidzania Malaysia is located about 30 minutes drive from Kuala Lumpur city.Melaka Theme ParksOne of the water rides at A'Famosa Resort in MelakaA'Famosa Resort - Just 90 minutes drive from Kuala Lumpur, you will be in historical Melaka which is a popular day trip tourist attraction. Before reaching Melaka, you can stop at the A'Famosa Resort and Theme Park which is another big homegrown brand. Treat your family to the unique Old West Cowboy Town, Water World and Safari Wonderland. If that is not enough, you can also shop at Freeport Melaka, the first factory outlet in this state. This experience combines resort living, family fun, entertainment and shopping in one trip.Pahang Theme ParksBukit Gambang Resort City - Located nearer to Kuantan is the Bukit Gambang Resort City, which has made its name popular among the local Malaysians. They have the largest Zoo Safari in Malaysia apart from a modern water park, paintball area and a resort which makes this a one-stop family fun center. Recently revamped in the last couple of years, Bukit Gambang Resort is now on par with other water parks and  theme parks in Malaysia. 20th Century Fox World Malaysia - The former Genting Highlands Theme Park is currently undergoing a world class revamp where the first 20th Century Fox World Genting theme park will open here in Malaysia. After much delays, the operators have announced that the new Genting Theme Park will be opening its doors in early 2018, so this is something to look out for. Imagine a world class theme park 2000 meters up in the cooling highlands of Malaysia. Resorts World Genting is only a one hour drive from Kuala Lumpur city too.Johor Theme Parks The Legoland Malaysia Water Park, just next to the theme parkLegoland Malaysia - If you are a huge Lego fan, this theme park in Johor will be your ultimate haven. Legoland Malaysia is the first international chain to open in Asia, and has been attracting visitors from all over the region. They offer more than 70 activities and rides for anyone aged from three years and above. Indoor and outdoor activities are available, including the first 3D simulator ride called Ninja-Go. There is also the Legoland Water Park and Hotel which is all interconnected, and possibly in 2018, there will also be the Legoland Aquarium.Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park - For kids, and those who love Hello Kitty, the Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park is the place to visit. Housed indoors, there are three main sections in this family theme park. The Thistle Hotel is conveniently located just next door, making it easy for families who want to travel here. Plus, Legoland Malaysia and the Johor Premium Outlets is only 20 minutes away. This park is excellent for those with kids under 12 years old, and especially if they love Hello Kitty.Angry Birds Activity Park - Imagine a 26,000 square feet indoor park where kids can let loose. Yes, the Angry Bird Activity Park in Johor is the perfect place to combine lifestyle, shopping and family fun in one visit. Located on the third floor of Komtar JBCC Shopping Mall, this first of it's kind activity theme park offers play pits, climbing area, mini track, toddler's playing area, a themed cafe and also an interesting souvenir shop.Perak Theme ParksOne o the rides at Lost World of Tambun theme park in PerakLost World of Tambun - Over the years, one of the most successful theme parks in Perak is the Lost World of Tambun, which is also owned by the Sunway Group. Located just 20 minutes out of Ipoh city, this water and theme park comes complete with a resort hotel and a variety of shops and attractions. The Lost World of Tambun also brands itself as a theme park, hotel and spa, which is perfect for the family where everyone gets to indulge in something.Movie Animation Park Studios - The latest theme park to open in Ipoh is the Movie Animation Parks Studios or MAPS Perak, which is a world-class theme park. Opening in June 2017, and is a new attraction here, you can be assured that there will be lot of curiosity. The attractions here come in shows, stunts, rides and interactive games which is suitable for kids and adults. MAPS Perak is also a two hour drive from Kuala Lumpur and can be done on a day trip.Penang Theme ParksSome of the natural activities at Escape Adventureplay theme park in PenangEscape Adventureplay - For anyone heading to Penang Island, there is a very unique theme park called Escape Adventureplay located at Teluk Bahang, all the way past Batu Feringgi, which is a very popular tourist area in Penang.This eco-themed concept brings you back to the good old days of childhood and parents who lived in the 80s and 90s, and is the perfect place to let your kids experience how you enjoyed back in the day. Climbing trees, swinging, jumping and crawling is part of the activities here, so you can imagine what kind of fun your kids will have at this theme park which is build around a natural environment. To complete your vacation, stay at the Hard Rock Hotel Penang, which is just five minutes drive away.Genting Highlands used to be the king of theme parks, this is the former outdoor theme park thereThis Malaysia theme park guide is done for those who are wondering which theme park is the best place to visit, especially with the school holidays and also the long weekends that Malaysia experiences from time to time. Overall, there are many theme parks in Malaysia, which include water parks, and it all depends which part of the country you are going for your vacation.Remember, you need to book well in advance in order to get some of the theme park promotions. And for accommodations, it is always better to book ahead to get the best deals. Ultimately, for visitors or even locals traveling around Malaysia, you now have the luxury of visiting some of the theme parks here, where you can plan your family vacation to enjoy the best of the destination and also indulge in some family fun at the many Malaysia theme parks. 
    Tuesday 30th of May 2017 11:51:00 AM
  • AirAsia Cambodia
    According to news reports in May, AirAsia Cambodia is set to be launched in August 2017. This would be the second AirAsia in Indochina after AirAsia Thailand. The reason for this is purely handle an increasing number of air travelers from Malaysia to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville in Cambodia. Cambodia has an open skies policy that promotes Asean connectivity and this in turn allows more goods to be transported and more people to travel to other countries. The news of AirAsia Cambodia also surfaced during a recent press conference in Kuala Lumpur where CEO Tony Fernandes announced a new service from Kuala Lumpur to Sihanoukville city.AirAsia CambodiaSihanoukville beach. Photo from www.www.mekongtourism.orgWith the new service, a total of four AirAsia flights a week from Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 to Sihanouk International Airport is scheduled for August 9, 2017. Currently, AirAsia flies a daily service from Kuala Lumpur to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.The objective of AirAsia Cambodia is also about connectivity and according to Tony Fernandes, one of the most important aspects is for the people of Sihanoukville to have another option to fly. He also hopes that small businesses can benefit by expanding their businesses into Asean. This is also part of the AirAsia expansion into Indochina where AirAsia Vietnam is also in the works for 2018. For more information, visit the AirAsia website. 
    Tuesday 30th of May 2017 05:05:00 AM
  • Batik Air Malaysia: New Name for Malindo Air
    In Malaysian aviation news, Malindo Air will be renamed as Batik Air Malaysia in the second half of 2017 to align itself with the Indonesian airline currently using the original name. Chief executive officer Chandran Rama Muthy mentioned that the branding change will give the airline a better position in the Lion Air Group that controls both Malindo and Batik Air, and to offer seamless domestic and international service.Batik Air MalaysiaWith this change in name, the airline is positioned to be the international link within the Lion Air group, while the existing Batik Air Indonesia will continue to serve the Indonesian market as a full service airline. Under the new name, the company will promote Batik Air Malaysia brand across the 16 countries which will also help boost Malaysia's heritage and culture. Currently, Lion Air Group owns 49 per cent of Malindo Airways Sdn Bhd, and Chandran owns a 51% stake. Besides Malindo Air and Batik Air, other subsidiaries in the group include Wings Abadi Airlines, Lion Bizjet, and Thai Lion Air which focuses primarily around the Southeast Asian and Asian region.  Currently, Malindo offers interlining services to four other international airlines which are Etihad Airways, Oman Air, Turkish Airlines, and Qatar Airways. with a mission to connect ASEAN and European markets. What the Batik Air Malaysia livery looks likeMain Image from @DafeeTravelGeek (Twitter). Originally, Batik Air Malaysia is supposed to service international routes while Batik Air will focus on the domestic Indonesia routes. The airline currently operates a fleet of 11 ATR72-600s, 11 B737-800s, and 7 B737-900ERs on flights throughout Malaysia as well as to Indonesia, India, Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and China. With the new name change of Malindo Air to Batik Air Malaysia, the airline plans to have 30 interline partners and several code-shares by 2018. 
    Friday 26th of May 2017 11:07:00 AM
  • Kuala Lumpur Mayor?s Tourism Award 2017
    The Kuala Lumpur Mayor?s Tourism Awards 2017 came to a resounding finale with the Award Presentation and Gala Dinner Event held at the Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on the 23rd May. The KLMTA 2017 is also organized by the Kuala Lumpur Tourism Bureau under Kuala Lumpur City Hall, and this year?s event was the third edition of the tri-annual industry awards program. Previous editions were organized in 2011 and 2014. For this years Kuala Lumpur Mayor's Tourism Awards, 650 guests that included Kuala Lumpur tourism industry players, related government agencies and members of the media attended the prestigious event.The guest of honour for the evening was no other than the Minister of Tourism & Culture, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Bin Abdul Aziz. In the Mayor's speech, he mentioned that Kuala Lumpur was ranked as the 7th Most Visited City in the World according the Mastercard?s Global Destination Cities Index for 2016. The city received 12.02 million visitors, an increase of 7.4% from the previous year of 11.19 million visitors, while the total revenue garnered from this volume of visitors in 2016 was USD11.3 billion. Kuala Lumpur Mayor?s Tourism Award 2017 Winners ListMayor?s Award for Outstanding Contribution Tan Sri Datuk Yong Poh Kon Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh Sock Ping Accommodation Category (5-Star Hotel) Platinum Award ? Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur Gold Award ? Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur Accommodation Category (4-Star Hotel) Platinum Award ? Impiana KLCC Hotel & Spa Gold Award ? Ambassador Row Hotel Suites by Lanson Place Accommodation Category (Budget Hotel) Platinum Award ? Tai Ichi Hotel Gold Award ? Sungei Wang Hotel Dining Category (Fine Dining Restaurant) Platinum Award ? Taka by Sushi Saito Gold Award ? Nobu Kuala Lumpur Dining Category (Home Grown Restaurant) Gold Award ? Serai Restaurant Gold Award ? Dancing Fish Dining Category (Food Court)Platinum Award ? Lot 10 Hutong Gold Award ? Quizinn by Rasa Tourist Attraction Category (Family Entertainment) Platinum Award ? KL Bird Park Gold Award ? Aquaria KLCC Tourist Attraction Category (Culture, Arts & Heritage) Platinum Award ? Royal Selangor Gold Award ? Kuala Lumpur City Gallery Shopping Mall Category Platinum Award ? Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Gold Award ? Sunway Putra Mall Medical Tourism Category Platinum Award ? KPJ Tawakkal Specialist Hospital & KPJ Tawakkal Health Centre Gold Award ? Institut Jantung Negara Education Tourism Category Platinum Award ? University of Malaya Gold Award ? Berjaya University College of Hospitality Mayor?s Commendable Award for Front Liners Ms. Lim Hwi Shuen (The Federal Kuala Lumpur)A total of over 500 nominations were received for the 14 categories and subcategories, and only 449 were qualified for the first round of judging where nominee?s submissions were scrutinized and shortlisted for the final round. For the final rounds of judging, the panels of judges conducted site visits and even sampled the products and services first hand.Continuing with the system of voting from the previous editions of the programme, the judges scores made up 95% of the total marks awarded to each nominee, while public voting made up the remaining 5% of the marks. Members of the public were invited to vote for their favourite establishment by logging onto the official awards programme website and registering.Kuala Lumpur Mayor?s Tourism Award: What's Missing? While the KL Mayor's Tourism Awards focuses on the mainstream industry, I have suggested that they include a digital category in 2014, but it was left to deaf ears. Unfortunately, the committee is either not interested or just not bothered about the digital sector. We all know that digital is currently the number one method for tourism around the world, including Malaysia. The key element is how tourist or visitors find attractions, places to stay or places to eat. A good 80% of this comes from online branding and marketing and it is those who are actively promoting these places, that should also be recognized. Even players like Sarawak Tourism and Sabah Tourism have acknowledged digital and online tourism as one of the awards in their tourism awards since five years ago, and Tourism Malaysia also has a category for digital or online, so why can't the Kuala Lumpur Mayor?s Tourism Award have this? We shall see for the next awards. 
    Thursday 25th of May 2017 05:03:00 AM
  • Best Way To Go To Taman Negara
    What is the best way to go to Taman Negara? A common question that is asked by most travellers who plan to visit the oldest national park in Malaysia, I will share with you some of the best ways to get there, all depending on your budget and how fast you need to travel. Before I get into the logistics for Taman Negara, you should know that this massive national park is located only three and a half hours drive from Kuala Lumpur city and anyone can visit this place without prior booking or permits. Taman Negara National Park is open to everyone who is into nature, trekking, hiking or wildlife watching and is Malaysia's premier rainforest destination in the peninsular. Best Way To Go To Taman NegaraAs there are a few ways to get here, and each of them require traveling around three to five hours. I will narrow down the best way to go to Taman Negara National Park in Pahang for anyone interested to visit this fascinating and enchanting rainforest in Malaysia.Taman Negara's famous canopy walkTaman Negara Van Transfers - This is the best way to get to Taman Negara National Park from Kuala Lumpur or KL City. There is a daily Taman Negara van transfer service by Ivy Holidays which is located at Wisma Selangor Complex along Jalan Sultan and they depart at about 8.30 AM daily. All you need to do is make a booking by phone (+6 010 900 8699) or visiting the tour counter on the ground floor of the building. Walk in through the main entrance and it is on your right. The entire journey takes about four to five hours and direct to Taman Negara National Park in Pahang. Ivy Holidays is also offering a package price of RM90 per person, one way, which includes the van transfer and also boat ticket to Kuala Tahan, which is the main gateway to the national park.The van I traveled with to Taman Negara National ParkTravel Time to Taman NegaraVan from KL to Kuala Tembeling - 3.5 Hours Boat from Kuala Tembeling to Kuala Tahan, Taman Negara - 2 hoursTaman Negara Bus Service - There are buses that go to Taman Negara National Park but the only public bus is from the town of Jerantut to Taman Negara, which is three times a day. For those bus lovers, and must travel by public bus, the only way is to take an express bus to Jerantut and then take the local bus to Kuala Tahan.*Important Note - We would like to clarify that bus means 20-40 seat coach buses. Many companies in Malaysia use the term bus when it is actually a tour van that seats from 6 to 10 people. So, when you see a company selling Bus to Taman Negara, it is actually a small van.View from the jetty of Kuala Tembeling, before you take your boat to Taman NegaraTaxi to Taman Negara - This is probably the most expensive option. From KLIA or KLIA2, a taxi or private van will also take about 4 to 5 hours drive to Taman Negara National Park. The price however, is much higher than getting the van shuttle from KL City. A tip is to take the KLIA Express into the city, then take the van transfer to Taman Negara. The price would be anywhere from RM550 to RM750 per van or taxi. However, if you are a family, this could be one option to ease moving around too much. Flights to Taman Negara - This is tricky, but there are no flights to anywhere near here. The closest airport is Kuantan Airport and it takes 40 minutes flight time from KLIA. From the airport, you need to take a taxi or private van transfer which will take about 3 hours. It generally works out to be around the same time therefore I am not recommending this, unless you have lots of frequent flyer miles to spend.Taking a local boat to and from Taman Negara allows beautiful scenic landscapesBoat to Taman Negara - Well, in reality, the only boat service is from Kuala Tembeling town near Jerantut where they have boat service to Taman Negara. There is no other boat service from other towns or from Kuala Lumpur. So, when you see anyone promoting a boat transfer or boat service to Taman Negara, it is from Kuala Tembeling Jetty.They are wooden long boats that seat about 14 to 16 people and has a roof on top. The boat journey is fascinating as you get to see nature at its best along the two hour journey to Kuala Tahan along the Tembeling River. Most overnight tours will have you dropped off at Kuala Tembeling Jetty where you catch the long boat to Taman Negara national park.View of Kuala Tahan town outside Taman NegaraYou can also find out more about the types of Taman Negara tour packages which I have written about. Each of the tours highlight the different days or if you plan to do day trips to Taman Negara National Park. This is one of the premium national parks that has one of the best canopy walks in Malaysia, and is also one of the oldest national park in the world.My trip in April 2017 was an amazing experience using both van and boat as I had booked my Taman Negara tour with Ivy Holidays. They can be contacted at +6 010 900 8699 or via email at marketing (at) ivyholidays.com. You can Whatsapp, Line or WeChat to inquire about any transport or overnight trip here. Even if you need last minute bookings, they can arrange it for you. The next time you want to know what is the best way to go to Taman Negara National Park, hopefully this article will shed some information for you to choose from. Enjoy the journey there and don't forget to take lots of photos. 
    Monday 15th of May 2017 03:30:00 AM
  • Movie Animation Park Studios Ipoh To Open 26 June 2017
    In recent development after a fiasco of delays, the much talked about Movie Animation Park Studios Ipoh will open on 26 June 2017. Known as MAPS Perak, this will be the second theme park in the Ipoh area and will be the talk of town as this joint venture theme park project will feature world class attractions and rides. Movie Animation Park Studios or MAPS Perak, will be the first of its kind in Asia and is in the last phase of its RM520 million development. The theme park director Ramelle Ramli also disclosed that the MAPS Perak has more than 40 attractions and is expected to attract a million guests within its opening year.Entrance to Movie Animation Park Studios in Ipoh PerakMovie Animation Park Studios Perak OpeningThe opening day should coincide with the second day of Hari Raya in Malaysia therefore, you can be expecting a flood of people heading there. The theme park was planned for an opening in last June before it was postponed to December. Delays was due to the management?s decision to enhance the park. The management has also added new attractions the Movie Animation Park Studios which are;HyperspinAsteroid AttackCartoon FactorySmurf LifeWormhole TechnologiesMovie Animation Park Studios Perak is also built on a 21 hectare plot of land in Meru. The park has six zones housing 23 interactive attractions and 15 rides. One of the main highlights is Malaysia?s tallest drop tower ride called Megamind Megadrop, which rises 52 meters before dropping. MAPS Perak park ticket promotionsMovie Animation Park Studio VideoMAPS Park Tickets Season passes purchased earlier will be valid for 12 months after the openingsingle day passes will valid for three monthsMovie Animation Park Studios Perak Map (Click to enlarge)We has published an article about the Movie Animation Park Studios Opening in July 2016, but that was postponed. With the news being official from the mainstream media, we truly hope nothing delays the MAPS Perak opening as it was postponed three times since announcing it in 2015. Right now, you can look forward to the Movie Animation Park Studios Ipoh opening on 26 June 2017. 
    Monday 8th of May 2017 11:17:00 AM
  • Komodo Island Dive Trip Report
    If you have been planning to visit Komodo Island for diving, here is my Komodo Island Dive Trip Report based on my recent dive there in September 2016. For me, this was my second time visiting Komodo Island in 12 months but on my first visit, I did not manage to dive therefore on my second trip in September 2016, I did my inaugural dive at Komodo Island. The main photo in this article was taken by Kiersten during our dive together. Before I go on, this Komodo dive was a very last minute arrangement by Skyscanner Indonesia and Wonderful Indonesia as when our group arrived at Labuan Bajo in Flores, it was finalized just before checking in to the Sylvia Hotel Labuan Bajo. I have also written an article about diving at Komodo Island where all the basic information is shared there and this article will just talk about diving there.In total, I did three dives at Komodo Island which was all arranged by Orca Dive, a trusted dive operator which is very professional and safety being paramount. Their dive boat was a twin 150 hp engine speed boat complete with full top cover and descent was the standard rollback style.The dive boat I used for my Komodo divesPink Beach Dive Site, KomodoMy first dive spot was of course the famous Pink Beach dive site, together with dive buddies Kiersten from USA, Henry from Australia and Jac from Singapore, and the four of us were given the mandatory dive check before descending down. First impression was wow, super clear visibility and healthy coral life. As usual, my descend is always the slowest due to my sinus problem where I have to equalize every meter on my way down.Looking below me at a depth of 10 meters, I could clearly see the rest of the divers with the dive master already exploring the corals. Kiersten was trigger happy with her GoPro, shooting away while the rest followed. As I caught up with them, the pure myriad of colors just kept me in awe as I passed various types of coral life. A beautiful mix of hard and soft corals dominated the sea floor with various types of coral fish swimming around.Our dive master pointed out a spotted blue stingray, moray eel, turtles and some nudibranches or sea slugs. Overall, the landscape was beautiful and picture perfect for those who love underwater photography. Currents were mild during the dive where not much effort was put into finning, and this made the dive very relaxed. Eventually, we surfaced after about 50 minutes underwater with huge smiles on each of our faces.Dive master giving a briefing before going down at Pink Beach Dive SiteManta Point Dive Site, Komodo Next spot was Manta Point, but this was quite debatable due to the off season of Mantas, and since we were already here, the dive master had said that if we were in some serious luck, there could still be a couple of manta rays around, so he left us with the choice, but being a first time for the four of us, why not. Back-rolled and again, a slow descend for me while the other divers were already on the lookout for those majestic manta rays. Well, not quite as they would be found at various cleaning stations, and these were on a flat terrain therefore, you could see far, providing the visibility was super clear. For our Manta Point dive, the visibility wasn't that great as it was just past noon and we were getting about 15 meters. Currents were decent and approaching the first cleaning station, it was empty.Our dive master signaled us to follow him to the next one and to our disappointment, no one was home either. So, throughout the dive, we checked a number of cleaning stations with no luck but corals were pretty and marine life was thriving.After reaching the end, most of us still had about 120 bar left so I decided to do my safety stop and head on up the boat while the others continued to explore the area. On the boat, our dive master was pretty apologetic about not being able to see any mantas, but we had already known that it was a 50-50 chance of spotting them in this time of the year, well more like a 90-10 chance if you ask me. However, it was a great experience overall.The dive master briefing us about the Pink Beach Dive SiteBatu Bolong Dive Site, KomodoThis was a bonus since all of our tanks were still with air, our dive master took us to Batu Bolong dive site as a surprise, which is touted as one of the best dive sites in Komodo Island. He told us that he's taking us to a special place and to sit back and enjoy the ride.Here, a small rock island divides the strong currents that flow into the channel and from the surface of the sea, you could see the sheer power of the currents flowing, which was scary.The boatman had to be extra careful, to position his boat in between the current split and asking about the currents, the boatman told me that if we jumped in, we would be immediately carried away really fast so descending down was crucial as if you got caught in the current, you would just have to wait it out.We were told to gear up for a quick check dive for this site, and our dive master said that you wouldn't believe how rich and beautiful the marine life was down below, so everyone got really excited.After a few good minutes of re-positioning the boat for a safe descend, we back rolled in one by one and quickly descended, following the dive master. On my descend, I could already see the fascinating marine life that hung around the base of the rock island with hundreds, possibly thousands of fish swimming in all directions.Turtles were seen eating off the healthy corals while larger fish were lurking in schools in the deeper areas. Truly, this was a divers haven for photography, and yet, one needs to be extra cautious not to get caught in the strong currents here.With all the excitement going on, I had trouble descending as when I reached three meters, I could not go and deeper, probably due to my almost empty tank with 80 bar. I kept forcing myself to go down, letting all the air out of my BCD and exhaling to the maximum, but I just could not and one thing I learned about diving is that when you can't, don't force it.One of the live on board boats at Komodo IslandSo I decided to surface back to the boat and kept looking down to see the amazing view. However, I did not immediately climb up the boat when I hung on to the ladder, I kept looking down with my mask to see what else was there. In general, there was too much going on and I told myself, the next opportunity I get to come back here, this would be one of the must-dive spots of Komodo Island for me.So there you have it, my little dive report on diving in Komodo Island where I was fortunate to experience three dive sites, well, just two and a brief third site for me. Overall, the feeling is amazing as there was just so much to see here plus there was no sign of coral bleaching during any of my dives. Marine life is simply incredible and for photographers, this is indeed one of the best places I have seen in my years of diving.Komodo Island Diving Video by Kiersten of The Blonde AbroadA post shared by Kiersten ? The Blonde Abroad (@theblondeabroad) on Sep 26, 2016 at 4:13am PDT Huge thanks goes to the team of Skyscanner Indonesia and also Indonesia Tourism as this was part of the Wonderful Indonesia campaign to promote these places to the rest of the world. Skyscanner provides information on the cheapest flights to get via their app or website and for this collaboration between them and Indonesia Tourism, I have to say that this was indeed a smart partnership.I have also written about how to go to Labuan Bajo and also a list of things to do in Labuan Bajo for anyone planning to visit this beautiful place in East Nusa Tenggara. Again, I am just a casual diver and more of a travel writer, therefore this was one of my best diving experiences to date, after diving in Jordan and also diving in Sipadan Island. I hope you enjoyed my Komodo Island dive trip report and if you have questions, please ask in the comment section.
    Friday 5th of May 2017 03:59:00 AM
  • Global Big Day 2017
    This years Global Big Day 2017 is on 13 May and bird watchers or birders from 150 countries around the world will participate as a global team to see what birds are there. This years Bid Day 2017 will be held at  the Yucatán Peninsula, one of the world?s most stunning and important areas for birds.In order to cover the phenomenal bird diversity there, they will be dividing into three teams for the first time ever: Team Belize, Team Guatemala, and Team Mexico. All three teams will be joining forces in a quest to find the most bird species and raise USD$475,000 for conservation.How to Participate in Global Big Day 2017For those interested in participating in Global Big Day 2017, you can follow the guide below as it highlights how anyone can be a part of this. All you need to do is register on the eBird website and put in your count. Birding statistics from the Global Big Day 2017 website (Photo from eBird.org)1. Submit Your Data to eBird on May 13 2017It is very simple. If you submit your birds to eBird they count. Learn how to take part. Don?t worry ? you don?t need to be a bird expert, or to go out all day long. Even a half hour checklist from your backyard will help. Of course, you are welcome to spend the entire day in the field, but know that it is not required! Please enter your data as soon as you can, preferably by Tuesday, May 16, 2017. 2. Visit the Global Bid Day Page for Live Updates and Detailed StatsDuring the Big Day, the main page will be updated. You?ll be able to follow Team Sapsucker in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico ? but more importantly, you?ll be able to track how many species have been seen around the world and in any region of interest to you.3. Organize With Your Friends for Greater CoverageNow is the time to start discussions on local birding discussion lists to make a plan to find difficult species. Learn how to share Global Big Day with others. Try to organize in your home state, province, or even county to make sure teams spread out and find as many species as possible. Put your patch on the worldwide Global Big Day map. Use the hashtag #eBird_GBD for Twitter, Instagram and also Facebook if you can. 4. Join A Global Network of Birders and ConservationistsGlobal Big Day connects a network of people across the world to support a cause that transcends languages and cultures. From the southern tip of Africa to the soaring peaks of Himalayas, and from the Ecuadorian rainforest to backyards in New York ? Everyone is a part of Team eBird, working to understand and conserve the birds we care about.5. Make Your Sightings CountEvery bird that you enter in eBird counts as a part of Global Big Day. However, there are three ways that you can make your sightings as valuable as possible. It is important to note that these are only suggestions?not requirements!Submit complete checklistsKeep counts of the birds that you seeKeep multiple checklists throughout the course of your birding: if you get in the car you should end that checklist and start a new one when you get to the next location.Big Day 2017 (Image from eBird.org)Not sure how Global Big Day relates to you? Global Big Day is a day for everyone who loves birds to make your passion count. Not everyone will find a unique species, and that's absolutely fine. Even if you just have a few minutes on 13 May 2017, there is nobody better than you to put your local birds on the map.For more information, visit the Global Big Day Website. Big Day Malaysia 2017Malaysia has been a part of Global Big Day for a number of years now. One of the main bird clubs of Malaysia who have promoted this event is no other than the Sandakan Borneo Bird Club or SBBC, which is based in Sandakan Sabah where they have encouraged groups of bird watchers to participate on this special day. The Sandakan Borneo Bird Club has also successfully organised the Borneo Big Day where three countries - Brunei, Malaysia and Kalimantan, Indonesia participated in collecting data from the entire island of Borneo. This was initiated in 2015 and again in 2016. For Borneo Big Day 2015, the Sabah portion submitted 53 checklists with a total number of 333 birds. About the writerI am David Hogan Jr, an amateur birder who has been birding since 2007. On occasion, I travel all over Malaysia and other countries for my work in promoting tourism destinations and when I have the opportunity, I will do some casual birding. To know more, see my bird watching articles. I have worked closely with the Sandakan Borneo Bird Club, Tourism Malaysia, Sabah Tourism Board, Sarawak Tourism Board, Indonesia Tourism, Bird Watching Accessories, Malaysia Bird Tour Companies and many other related company, hotel, resort or tour operator. Those who are all set for Global Big Day 2017, all the best and have a great bird count. Remember to add your collected data to the eBird website and if you have any comments or questions, do share them below. 
    Sunday 30th of April 2017 07:24:00 AM
  • Talad Neon Night Market Bangkok
    The new Talad Neon Night Market in Bangkok recently opened in December 2016 and is currently the talk of town. However, this new Bangkok attraction adds on to the number of shopping and entertainment places in the city and is not a permanent attraction. The Talad Neon Night Market currently opens from Thursday till Sundays and from 4.00 PM till midnight only. The good thing is that the night market in Bangkok is located in the main Pratunam district and caters to the hipster and younger generation travelers. No, this is not your Chatuchak Market or Asiatique Riverfront Market where you can find a wide range of items for sale. Talad Neon Night Market offers more lifestyle stalls, booths and containers that sell drinks, snacks, food, trinkets, home ware and trendy fashion. You can find a lot of trending items here and for food, you will encounter the best of Bangkok in terms of street food, fusion and good old Thai food. Think of Art Box Singapore, it is generally the same kind of concept. Scene at Talad Neon Night Market. (Photo by Richard Barrow/Twitter)Talad Neon Night Market BangkokIn total, there are plans to have over 1000 stalls here when it is fully operational and due to social media and wide media coverage, Talad Neon is gaining popularity fast, especially to the Southeast Asian youth. One of the reasons is the location, where many travelers prefer to stay around the Pratunam area of Bangkok and getting to the night market is just 10 minutes walk from Platinum Fashion Mall in Pratunam. Apparently, Talad Neon is also part of the Platinum Fashion Mall group hence there is a special tuk tuk shuttle service from the mall to the market and back from 7-9 PM. But you need to check if the service is still running. The name Talad Neon also means Downtown Night, hence the name. The place is well organized and clean, which is fantastic for tourist. Live entertainment at the night market (Photo from Talad Neon Facebook)What Can You Find At Talad Neon Night MarketAt one glance, it looks like a massive flea market but catering to the hipster lifestyle fashion which includes retro fashion, fusion food and drinks, chill out areas, quick massages and some obscure decorative items. Beer is easily available apart from some festival style foods. The night market is also open from 4.00 PM till around midnight, offering another avenue to continue shopping with a little leisure time. Live music performances are also lined up at selected areas where visitors can just lay back with a cold beer, fusioned juice or the good old iced Thai tea. Bright neon lights literally cover the area making this a festival and lifestyle area. No, this is not the Asian Coachella. Some of the local drinks and desserts (Photo by Talad Neon Facebook)Photos of Talad Neon Downtown Night MarketThere are many photos of this place which are circulating on social media. Go here to see more photos of Talad Neon Night Market. Talad Neon MarketOpening Hours: Thursday to Sunday, 17:00 - 24:00Location: Petchaburi Road, PratunamBTS: Ratchthewi or Chit Lom (10 minute walk from the station)Tel: +66 (0) 2 121 8000Website: https://www.facebook.com/taladneon/Use: Waze or Google Maps to get here by footMap to Talad Neon Night MarketBangkok has been one of the favourite destinations for many travelers and over the years, there have been many new attractions coming up here. If you are headed up north, do pay a visit to the Chiang Mai Night Market as that is also one of the must-visit and recommended places. The next time you visit Bangkok, do explore this place in the evenings after your shopping or sightseeing. Who knows what you will discover at the Talad Neon Night Market in Bangkok. 
    Saturday 29th of April 2017 06:59:00 AM
  • Things To Do In Bario
    If you are planning to travel to one of the best natural places in Sarawak, here is a list of things to do in Bario for those heading here. Located in the Kelabit Highlands, in the north of Sarawak, Bario is home to the Kelabit people who have been living here for centuries. The absolute beauty about this highland town is that it is located 14 hours by road and 45 minutes by flight from Miri city. Bario is well known for their highland rice, salt and pineapples, but due to the remoteness of this amazing place, there is much to do here. What you won't find here are shopping malls, hotels, restaurants or any other modern day city or town facility. This place is one of the most original villages in Sarawak and Malaysia. To get to Bario, the best possible way is to take a flight from Miri city and  there are only three flights a day here. The type of aircraft used is a turbo prop 19 seat Twin Otter plane, operated by MAS Wings. The journey here is another adventure as the plane flies up to around 8500 meters, so you have a beautiful view of the rainforest, hills and mountains along the way. So, what are the things to do in this unspoiled place? Read on.One of the scenic landscapes in BarioThings To Do In BarioBelow is a list of things to do in Bario, catered to just about anyone who plans to visit this amazing highlands. You should also check with the homestay operator about the activities that you want to do as they can arrange for it.Most of the things can be done on your own, but some of them require a local guide, especially trekking or hiking around the highlands. Please note that most of these activities are paid separately when you are there as the main packages cover the food and accommodations. Unless you pre-arrange the Bario package with the activities.Trekking in Bario takes you through an amazing experience1. Trekking in BarioThe best thing one can do is trekking in Bario as there are so many beautiful treks available here. There are simple and basic treks to advance treks depending on the level you require. The beauty about trekking in Bario is that the weather is so cooling, you most likely won't break a sweat while trekking. Some treks are short and simply but the rewards at the end of the trek is pretty nice. Below are a list of popular trekking places in Bario;Korea Hill Trek - Easy (10-15 minutes)Prayer Mountain Trek - Medium to Hard (45-60 minutes)Pineapple Farm Trek - Easy (10-15 minutes)Penan Village Trek - Easy (20-30 minutes)Bario Salt Factory Trek - Easy (15-20 minutes)Pa Ukat Village Trek - Easy (15-30 minutes)Pa Lungan Village Trek - Medium to Hard (4-5 hours)Pulong Tau National Park Trek - Medium to Hard (3-5 Hours)Bario to Bakelalan Trek - Hard (1-2 days)2. Visit a Kelabit Longhouse in BarioThere are a few traditional longhouses found in the Bario areas and some of them are still in the original statuses. Since 2016, some of the traditional Kelabit longhouses have started charging a small fee, around RM 3.00 to RM 5.00 per person to visit the longhouse. One of the most popular long houses is no other than Bario Asal Long House.Inside Bario Asal Longhouse, the first longhouse here3. Bario Salt FactoryActually, this is more of a local homegrown center where local families take turns to process and produce the famous Bario Salt. You need to trek in for about 10 to 15 minutes before you arrive at a shed where the salt is processed and made. A guide is required to bring you here and you can see how the Bario Salt is made and you can also purchase it directly from those making it there. If it rains, the trek can be quite muddy, so take note on this.Cycling in Bario, one of the many things to do here4. Cycling in BarioPersonally, I enjoy doing this the best. Most homestays in Bario offer mountain bike rentals, therefore you can use them to explore this highland village. The roads are very safe here and there is little to no traffic. Cycling can be done individually or in families and there is no available map, so it is pure exploration. See highland paddy fields, traditional Kelabit longhouses, churches and many other natural landscapes while you cycle around Bario.5. Bird Watching in BarioOne of the lesser known bird watching places in Malaysia is no other than Bario. But for those who plan to do some bird watching in Bario, you are in luck as there are quite a number of montane birds to be spotted all over this place. A simple walk around Bario would easily net you 10 to 20 birds and when you go for bird watching treks, you will see much more.Even the famous Dulit Frogmouth was once spotted just out of Bario. There are a couple of bird watching guides in Bario and one of them is Scott Apoi from Nigmat Ayu Homestay. Personally, I have visited Bario five times in the last three years and I can say that I have spotted over 50 species of birds around here.Bird Watching in Bario is highly popular among the birders6. Experiencing the Kelabit Culture in BarioNothing beats learning and understanding the Kelabit culture in Bario and one of the best times to do this is during the Pesta Nukenan or Bario Food Festival , held usually in August every year. However, the locals can arrange a traditional Kelabit dinner complete with a traditional Kelabit cultural dance at one of the long houses.7. Walking around Bario One of the best things you can do is take a walk around Bario, which is relatively easy and there is little or no traffic around here. The best time to do this is also in the mornings, where you see the locals going about their daily chores. In the evenings, it is equally beautiful as children would be seen playing and locals heading home for dinner. The beauty about walking around Bario is that everything is natural and the picturesque landscapes are incredibly beautiful. 8. Visiting a Penan Village in BarioFor those who are into hiking, there are actually two authentic Penan villages found around Bario. While the Penan people are not very hospitable, you can actually engage one of the local Bario guides and trek to their villages. This is purely to visit and observe, that is all. In most cases, it would be hard to communicate as the Penan tribe here are quite reserve and shy. Again, this is purely by luck and you should consult in your guide about this.Jungle Blues Dream Art Gallery in Bario9. Visit an Art Gallery in BarioYes, there is an art gallery in Bario run by artist Stephen and his wife. The beauty about this art gallery in Bario is that it is located in a traditional Kelabit longhouse here. The gallery is also shared with a unique homestay and combined, it is called the Jungle Blues Dream Gallery and Homestay. Artworks are all created and painted by Stephen and put on display around the homestay and gallery.10. Visit the Bario Plane Wreckage of World War IIAn almost well preserved plane wreckage is found in Bario where the RAF plane crashed here in 1964. The plane is in three pieces minus the wings and interior, so you will see a full bodied structure and you can actually go inside the plane. This plane is also a Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer CC.1 aircraft, Registration XP294. You should be careful of the sharp metal edges when doing so.The Bario plane wreckage is located by a local homestay called Nancy Hariss Homestay. The story of the plane crash in Bario is that the Twin Pioneer skidded while trying to land on a wet runway. It ran into a ditch, causing the undercarriage leg to collapse. For aviation fans, this would be quite interesting, otherwise, a great photo opportunity.Bario Plane Wreckage11. Visit the War Memorial of BarioA small war memorial was erected in Bario to commemorate the soldiers and parachuters during the war. Names of the soldiers include Australians, British and local Kelabit people. The Bario War Memorial is located five minutes walk from the main town area and is hard to miss. It is enclosed in a fenced area with a wooden gate and anyone can go in there.12. Visit the mini Bario MuseumA new structure was erected in the main town area for the Bario Food Festival in 2015 and now serves as a mini museum of Bario. However, there are no items on display but more information on the Kelabit people and also important information about the highlands and its unique megaliths found here.13. Catch a Bario SunsetThe best place to see a sunset in Bario is no other that Bukit Korea, a hill located behind the main town center. In between the two row of shops, lies a walk way near the old Bario community center. There is a path that leads up a small hill where you pass a mini pineapple farm and only a 10 minute easy walk up. Once up there, you will see a wooden hut and this is the spot to catch the sunset. Timing wise, best to go up at around 5.00 PM to catch the stunning scenery from up the hill. The sun sets at around 6.30 PM too.The unique Bario Megalith or Batu Ritung in Pa Lungan Village14. Visit the Bario Megalithic StructuresOne of the mysteries of Bario are the many megalithic structures found around Bario. The most famous being Batu Ritong which is found at Pa Umor village, 3-5 hours trek from Bario. Batu Ritong stands at about 7 feet high and the two ton slab is supported by two other vertical slabs. No one seems to know how it was erected or why it was. However, there are many folktales that the guides will share with you. When I was in Bario in 2014, I met some university students who were in Bario to study the megalithic structures, and on asking them how many were there, it was estimated at 300, but only a handful were known.Kelabit Food in Bario, very unique and different.15. Try the Kelabit FoodThis is hands down the most unique experience where you will be guaranteed to try the Kelabit food when you stay in Bario. One of the most organice food experience I have had during my travels, the local Bario food is all farmed, rared, caught or hunter. Vegetables are farmed or taken from the wild, fish is caught from the local ponds and game meat is hunted by the locals.If there is one food type that anyone visiting Sarawak should try, it is the Kelabit Food. The way it is prepared is handed down from generation to generation and is cooked traditionally. If you have the opportunity, do ask for the local porridge or 'Kikid'. For Muslim travelers, it could be a challenge for you, but there is one shop in Bario town that serves Halal food.Map of Bario, showing the various villages around hereIn general, the best time to visit Bario is from December to February or in August for the Pesta Nukenan Bario or Bario Food Festival. The food festival will see the entire Bario come alive with visitors from all the surrounding villages, who participate here for this weekend event.You can see local traditional games being played while for foodies, this is the ultimate food experience where you can taste many different types of highland cuisine. Very unique and highly recommended for any food traveller.Nigmat Ayu Homestay in Bario seen from the paddy fieldBario is not your regular tourist destination, but it is a very unique cultural experience that is located high in the highlands of Sarawak Borneo. Me, as the writer, have been here five times in the last three years and my last trip in March 2017. I never get tired of this place as once I arrive here, I am disconnected from the modern world and go back to how things were, without modernization. You can also read about my journey to the Bario Highlands in Sarawak, which I wrote in 2015.For anyone wanting something different when you visit Sarawak or Malaysia, I would easily recommend you explore this unique highlands. Perhaps, the list of Things To Do In Bario will also make it easier for your visit here and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me anytime. 
    Friday 21st of April 2017 04:00:00 AM
  • Horizon Village Outlets (HVO)
    Another factory outlet in Malaysia called Horizon Village Outlets (HVO) Sepang, will be opening in mid 2018 at Sepang in Selangor. This adds the number of factory outlets in Malaysia to six where the latest Genting Premium Outlets or GPO is scheduled to open in mid to late 2017. Horizon Village Outlets Malaysia will feature 150 retail lots in a luxurious European architecture open styled area of 400,00 square feet and is located about 10 kilometers north of KLIA and KLIA 2 in Sepang. The massive factory outlet in Sepang is also being built in the Serenia City township by Sime Darby Group. The closest factory outlet in Sepang to Horizon Village Outlets is also Mitsui Outlet Park which is located along the way to the international airports. This will be quite interesting as there will be two outlets in a 10 kilometer radius and will offer a good variety of choices to travelers and also local shoppers.Artist Impression of Horizon Village Outlets (HVO) (Photo by HVO)Horizon Village Outlets SepangThe tenants will include well known international brands where a quota of 30% is expected for this. The balance will be catered towards other local brands, food, beverage and entertainment outlets. Currently, there are no super luxury brands mentioned but the international brands include;Kate SpadeMichael KorsLa MartinaVictoria?s SecretGiuseppe ZanottiTory Burch, TumiSwiss Watch GalleryArtisan Village HVOAn Artisan Village will also be the highlight of HVO where they plan to showcase a variety of art, culture and design from all over Malaysia. There will be Malaysian handicraft products and also Malaysian culinary delights that will be something different from the other factory outlets in Malaysia. This unique Artisan Village project is steered to create a unique Malaysian experience, especially for foreigners or travelers visiting HVO.Horizon Village Outlets Malaysia (Photo by HVO)Festival Village HVOA food and beverage section called Festival Village will also be showcasing the unique culinary tastes of Malaysia. Restaurants and cafes serving Malaysian or fusioned-Malaysian foods will be the highlights here. The Festival Village target is to provide a unique customer experience for shoppers who visit HVO, and most importantly, the Malaysian experience.Artist impression of Horizon Village Outlets Sepang (Photo by HVO)Architectural Design of Horizon Village OutletAccording to architects Adam & Associates, they are creating an unique experience for shoppers in the design of this factory outlet. They were quoted in a brochure stating; Horizon Village Outlets (HVO) is designed to exceed customers? expectations and deliver an unrivalled outlet shopping experience. The racetrack circulation design was specifically developed by the architects, Adam & Associates, and has been proven to encourage intuitive wayfinding by the shoppers. It means that the visitor flow is maximised so that each and every shop will have excellent visibility and foot trac. HVO will have the benefit of seven entry points and a corridor width designed to optimize cross-corridor shopping. When combined with the multiple access points and crosscorridor optimization, the racetrack design will maximise the exposure and convenience to the shoppers for all store locations.Layout plan of Horizon Village Outlets (Photo by HVO)Horizon Village Outlets (HVO) Address:Directions: Intersection of the Elite Highway and Putrajaya-Cyberjaya ExpresswayMap of HVO: Google MapsGPS Coordinates: 2.840383, 101.697934Website: www.hvo.com.myAdding to the list of Factory Outlets in Malaysia, this will surely put Malaysia back on the tourism map as one country with multiple factory outlets. Currently, Malaysia is aiming to hit a target of 31 million visitors for the year of 2017 and with the opening of these factory outlets, and also the right marketing strategy, it should not be a problem.Map to Horizon Village Outlets (Photo by HVO)Genting Premium Outlets and Johor Premium Outlets are one of the strongest factory outlet brands that have been seeing a balanced turnout over the years while the others have been seeing more locals visiting them.With Horizon Village Outlets opening in 2018, this will definitely provide travelers and those who enjoy shopping who are visiting Malaysia. The shopping concept will also work well for those who are on their way to the airports after spending time visiting Malaysia. As a traveler myself, I look forward to the opening of Horizon Village Outlets (HVO) in Sepang.
    Thursday 20th of April 2017 04:43:00 AM
  • Cabin Zero Travel Bag Review
    Over the years, I have used quite a number of travel bags which came in small, medium and large units and from time to time, I would have a favourite bag, until I met Cabin Zero. Usually, I travel for short to medium trips as I am not one of those world nomads who travel from country to country forever. I have done that over 25 years ago when travel was pure and original compared to nowadays, so this Cabin Zero travel bag review is to share my happiness in finding the perfect bag for all my travels. Currently, my travels take me around Malaysia and Southeast Asia, occasionally to Japan, Korea or even the Middle East, but my style of travel is usually a to-and-from trip without jumping from country to country. This makes it easier for me to bring either a backpack or check-in bag and backpack, depending on the duration on my trip.Perfectly fitting into any airplane overhead luggage compartmentAlso having to consider, most of my trips take me into the wilderness, especially for nature, flora and fauna, culture, bird watching or the general sightseeing. So, depending on who my client is, I need to consider what type of travel bag to bring along on my trips. Having said that, I always have a preferred travel bag which I use and on the last few years, I was using a sleek waterproof backpack, but to be honest, it was just normal, but practical. You see, I belong to the 40's club and  traveling at this age group, you need a real comfortable bag. This means, something easy to carry around and store on buses, trains or flights. Cabin Zero Travel BagsIn 2016, a fellow traveler had introduced me to this new travel bag brand, which was considered new in my region, called Cabin Zero and I thought little of it. So, as I got tired of my waterproof back pack, I got one of those massive 44 liter backpacks from Cabin Zero in the military green color, and when it arrived, I had a shock as to how huge it was. With a total weight of 950 grams, it looked really large and the whole concept of it being a aircraft friendly cabin bag really impressed me. Yes, this means that the bag can be brought into any commercial flight as cabin luggage, hence the name.Yes, that is me at Bangkok's Don Muang Airport with my Cabin Zero BagSince using it in 2017, this has been my all time favourite bag that I travel with now. In March of 2017, I visited Tokyo in Japan for three days for a quick work trip and Cabin Zero was the only bag that I brought along. This was really hassle free as I did not have to wait for any checked in luggage, speeding up my airport check in process.Then in late March, I visited Bario in Sarawak for four days to do some bird watching and trekking, and I used only my Cabin Zero bag for the entire trip. Everything I needed was packed neatly into the bag and I still had extra space, so I even put in my trekking shoes.My next trip would be taking one of those Taman Negara tour packages where I will explore Malaysia's largest and oldest national park in the state of Pahang. This will see me exploring the rainforest, rivers and also trekking around the national park. Again, the Cabin Zero travel bag will be the perfect choice for my adventure here.Cabin Zero Military 44L bagsWhere to buy a Cabin Zero Bag in Malaysia? This is the big question being asked to me whenever someone meets me during my travels. Well, they do not have an official retail store here in Malaysia, but you can buy a Cabin Zero online from the official website. What's So Special About Cabin Zero?Each bag comes built in Global Luggage Tracker, powered by Okoban. That's pretty cool. And the shoulder straps are thick padded AirMesh which is really comfortable. The outer composite material is actually made from military spec nylon, the real hard stuff. So, I have been using the bag for a number of times and it still looks good.Cabin Zero WarrantyEvery Cabin Zero bag comes with a 10-year warranty, and to sweeten the deal, if you ?like? CabinZero on their official Facebook, they will increase the warranty to 25-years. Now, that's an awesome deal if you ask me.At the end of the day, I am still using this bag for all my travels and so far, it has been a really good experience. As a seasoned traveler for the last 30 years, I have gone through many different travel bags, and this Cabin Zero travel bag review is one of the very rare articles I do for travel products. In other words, the bag is awesome and I am actually happy using it. 
    Wednesday 19th of April 2017 03:41:00 AM


Malaysia Asia Stats

Daily Unique PVs Total PVs Unique In Total In Unique Out Total Out
Average 0.2 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.3
Today 0 0 0 0 0 0
Yesterday 0 0 0 0 0 0
July 18 0 0 0 0 0 0
July 17 0 0 0 0 1 1
July 16 1 1 0 0 0 0
July 15 0 0 0 0 0 0
July 14 1 1 0 0 1 1
July 13 0 0 0 0 0 0
July 12 0 0 0 0 0 0
July 11 0 0 0 0 1 1
Highest 5 5 0 0 4 64
Weekly Unique PVs Total PVs Unique In Total In Unique Out Total Out
Average 0.9 0.9 0.0 0.0 1.9 7.9
This Week 0 0 0 0 1 1
Last Week 2 2 0 0 2 2
Week 27 1 1 0 0 0 0
Week 26 2 2 0 0 6 66
Week 25 2 2 0 0 2 2
Week 24 0 0 0 0 2 2
Week 23 0 0 0 0 1 1
Week 22 2 2 0 0 1 1
Week 21 0 0 0 0 2 2
Week 20 0 0 0 0 2 2
Highest 8 9 0 0 9 66
Monthly Unique PVs Total PVs Unique In Total In Unique Out Total Out
Average 4.5 4.6 0.0 0.0 7.7 16.3
This Month 3 3 0 0 4 4
Last Month 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
November 16 6 6 0 0 5 5
October 16 0 0 0 0 2 2
Highest 20 20 0 0 19 71
Unique PVs Total PVs Unique In Total In Unique Out Total Out
Overall 509 533 0 0 229 326

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