Malaysia travel blog and website on eco-tourism, nature, hotels and resorts, islands and beaches and also around Southeast Asia.
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- How to get to Subang SkyPark Terminal Airport
For domestic flights from Petaling Jaya, the Subang SkyPark Airport Terminal is the local city airport that services domestic routes in Malaysia via a number of airlines. This has been one of the fast alternatives for those not wanting to travel to KLIA. In May 2018, a new train station opened at Subang SkyPark Terminal, which provides a direct train service from KL Sentral. The station here is also called the SkyPark Terminal Station which is being operated by KTMB or Keterapi Tanah Melayu Berhad, which is the national railway of Malaysia.The Class 83 type electric trains for SkyPark LineHow to go to Subang SkyPark Terminal AirportWith the new direct train to Subang SkyPark Airport, passengers can now travel from KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur. This has now created the connectivity from KLIA-KL-Subang SkyPark easier as you can travel from one airport to the other airport. From KLIA or KLIA2, you simply need to take the KLIA Express train into KL Sentral, and from there, change to the SkyPark Line Train which goes directly to Subang Airport. The train makes only one main stop, which is the Subang Jaya Station, and the final station which is the SkyPark Station. From KL Sentral, the distance is a 26 kilometers. A beautiful photo of SkyPark Terminal from www.mymalindo.comTotal journey from KL Sentral to Subang SkyPark Terminal is 30 minutes. From Subang Jaya, it is only 13 minutes. An estimated 3,250 passengers are expected to travel on a daily basis on this train. The trains used are Class 83 type electric trains and each train will consist of three coaches. For tickets, a special SkyPark Link ticket is sold for daily trips or monthly passes. The SkyPark Link Ticket can be bought via vending machines at the station of from KTMB counters. Passengers will have free WiFi on board the trains which are at 60 minute intervals. A total of 30 trips per day are scheduled for now and each train will travel as speeds of up to 100 km/h. SkyPark Line train schedule notice boardSkyPark Line Train Time TableKL Sentral to Subang SkyPark Terminal - First Train 5.30 AM, Last Train 9.25 PMSubang SkyPark Terminal to KL Sentral - First Train 7.50 AM, Last Train 11.20 PMSkyPark Line Train Ticket PriceTicket prices are RM15.00 one way from KL Sentral to Subang SkyPark Terminal. Senior citizens, children from 6 to 12 years old, disabled and students get 50% discount. The SkyPark Line TrainPublic Transport To Subang SkyPark Terminal AirportThere are other ways to get to Subang SkyPark Terminal Airport if the train schedule does not meet your timing. There are airport taxis, transit buses, feeder buses and even a KLIA shuttle bus. You can also use private car service like Grab to get to Subang SkyPark from anywhere in the Klang Valley. Below is the additional information on ways to get to Subang SkyPark Terminal Airport. Airport Taxi - From inside the terminal, there is a taxi counter to buy taxi tickets.Rapid KL Bus - Rapid KL Bus No. 772 from Subang SkyPark to Pasar Seni (Central Market) in Kuala Lumpur city center. The bus also stops at Asia Jaya LRT station and KL Sentral. Ticket price is RM3.00 and buses operate from 6.00 AM till 12.00 Midnight.MRT Feeder Bus - Rapid KL feeder bus No. T773 operates between Ara Damansara LRT Station and Subang SkyPark Terminal. MRT feeder bus No. T804 operates between Kwasa Sentral Station and Subang Airport. Bus fares are fixed at RM1.00 per person.Airport Shuttle Bus to KLIA/KLIA2 - An airport shuttle bus service operates between Subang SkyPark Terminal and Kuala Lumpur International Airport KLIA and also KLIA2. Buses run every hour from 5.00 AM till 11.00 PM and cost RM10.00 per person. Journey time is around 60-70 minutes one way. Grab - You can also book Grab services to anywhere from here. All you need is to download the Grab App on your phone. SkyPark TerminalFireFly Airlines at SkyPark Terminal in SubangThe information counter at SkyPark Subang AirportWhat is the best way to travel to and around Kuala Lumpur?For travelers who plan to stay in Kuala Lumpur and move around the city, I have also written another guide on the best way to travel around Kuala Lumpur by using the KL Travel Pass. In that guide, it shares information on what kind of travel pass you need to get for easy travel from the international airport, and also for public transportation around Kuala Lumpur. The best way to get to this airport is by taking the new train called SkyPark Line from KL Sentral as it is affordable and convenient. No traffic jams and your journey is hassle free. You can get additional information from the official Subang SkyPark website. Alternatively, there are other options as mentioned above, but for those transiting via KLIA, you can connect to the main transportation hub in Kuala Lumpur which is KL Sentral. For anyone who wants to know how to get to Subang SkyPark Terminal Airport, I hope this information has come in handy for you. The new train service is currently the best and fastest option for anyone wanting to come here from Kuala Lumpur.
Wednesday 23rd of May 2018 07:41:00 AM
- Updates for 20th Century Fox World Theme Park
With the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park in Malaysia opening really soon, many are anticipating what is it going to look like. Officially, there has been no photos, press release or announcements done by Resorts World Genting to date. For those visiting Resorts World Genting, they will definitely see the construction ongoing, as it is done in the open, where the former outdoor theme park and Arena of Stars was located. This article will share some of the latest updates for the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park in Malaysia, which is also the first in the world.The theme park view from the cable car as you are approaching SkyAvenue Genting20th Century Fox World Theme Park UpdatesCurrently, the brand new theme park in Genting is around 70% complete, judging from the outlook. A majority of the structural features are already up, and serious construction is ongoing everyday.Most of the external fittings are made elsewhere and then brought here to fit in, while the major structures are being renovated and painted. If you are visiting Resorts World Genting by using the Genting Skyway or cable car, you are guaranteed to see the new theme park construction as the cable car goes over the park. This is also when you are arriving at SkyAvenue Genting cable car station.One of the items being sold at the 20th Century Fox Studio Store in MalaysiaDuring a trip in April 2018 to witness the official opening of the 20th Century Fox World Studios Retail Shop at SkyAvenue, I had the opportunity to see the construction of the new theme park from my cable car. Everything looks pretty busy, rides are being fitted in, buildings are all constructed and some even painted. However, with all of that going on at once, the place looks busy and yet messy. There are no brands or names put up as of May 2018. During the launching of the official Fox Store, I managed to speak to Brian Machamer, the senior vice president of 20th Century World Theme Park about the opening dates. He mentioned that in accordance to international theme park construction, it generally would take around 4-5 years to complete one.Photo taken in May 2018, showing the ongoing construction of the new theme parkThe 20th Century Fox World Theme Park Malaysia was in fact announced in 2013, and ambitiously it was mentioned in the mainstream news that the all new Genting theme park would open its doors somewhere around 2016. Along the way, it got delayed and many speculated that the theme park would open in 2017, and again in 2018. Speaking to Brian Machamer, he did not want to disclose any official dates, but he did mention that in due time, the official announcement will be made, probably somewhere in mid year or after that.However, we can hopefully expect a soft opening of the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park in Malaysia to be most likely at the year end, and an official opening in early 2019.But then again, this is absolutely unofficial until the new comes out, therefore, we can all speculate on the opening. If what Brian Machamer states is correct, it does in fact take a good four to five years to completely build up an entire theme park of this scale.Below are random photos taken during my trip here and they show photos of the construction at the theme park. I have to say that the roller coaster (in blue color) looks pretty interesting and huge.Photos of 20th Century Fox World Theme Park Malaysia ConstructionView of the roller coaster construction at the theme parkOne of the rides at the new 20th Century Fox World Theme Park MalaysiaTaken from the cable car as it passes the constructionClose up of one of the interesting rides at the new theme parkArena of Stars seen during the renovations in May 2018Some of the buildings under construction at the theme parkAnother of the main buildings at the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park MalaysiaThe Theme Park Hotel seen just before the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park MalaysiaA section of the theme park being renovatedCropped image showing two of the new rides at the theme parkSome of the rides seen during the renovations in May 201820th Century Fox World VR ExperienceOne of the much talked about experiences is no other than virtual reality or VR in short, which may or will be one of the attractions at the theme park. Nothing solid is confirmed about this, but reading other news reports, FoxNext has created a location based VT game called Alien: Descent. The experience lets users wear a wireless VR headset and a pair of special sleeves with motion sensors. The user then arms him or herself with a special VR gun for the game. Alien: Descent is created to be experienced for 15 minutes and by groups of four people in a special VR area. This means that the gamer can walk freely without wires, and when they ride an elevator, it feels like the real thing due to a moving platform. Currently, Alien: Descent is available at Orange, California and there has been no news if they are planning to bring it to the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park in Malaysia.20th Century Fox World MalaysiaSkyTropolis Indoor Theme ParkThe former Genting Indoor Theme Park is also undergoing a complete makeover and from news reports, the former attraction will be renamed as SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park, and is also set to open alongside 20th Century Fox World Theme Park in Malaysia. This was once a very popular place for both kids and adults as it was located indoors and visitors could move around freely without having to worry about the cold climate outdoors. Currently, SkyTropolis has opened up six attractions and another 12 more are to open by late 2018 or early 2019.SkyAvenue Genting, a hive of lifestyle and entertainmentSkyAvenue GentingThis completely new lifestyle and entertainment area looks like a mini indoor city, a modern mall and an event area all combined into one attraction. From the photos, you can already imagine the sheer size of this place. At SkyAvenue Genting, you can find all sorts of retail stores, cafes, restaurants, the 20th Century Fox Studios Store, Ripley's Believe It Or Not and many other attractions around SkyAvenue Genting. This is poised to be the main hub of Resorts World Genting. At level four, the main Genting Skyway Cable Car has its station there, meaning when you take the cable car from Awana Station, it will end here.A panoramic view of Genting Premium Outlets, photo taken in May 2018Genting Premium Outlets (GPO)Imagine a factory outlet in the highlands at 5,000 feet above sea level. Yes, the Genting Premium Outlets are the second official premium outlets to open in Malaysia after the Johor Premium Outlet. At the Genting Premium Outlet, you will experience a multi level outlet concept which is built on the hill side, just next to the Awana Skyway cable car station. For anyone wanting to shop without breaking a sweat, this is the place to do it. Opened in early 2017, Genting Premium Outlet has attracted thousands of visitors and is one of the popular places to visit when you are up at Genting Highlands. So if you need some serious shopping therapy, this is the place to head to.The new Genting Skyway cable car that goes over the theme parkThere are also many other attractions available at Genting Resorts World where some are located in Awana Genting, while others are at the top of Genting Highlands. Overall, this place is the most popular tourist attraction in Malaysia with an average of 60,000 people visiting on a daily basis. Once the new 20th Century Fox World Theme Park Malaysia opens, Resorts World Genting will be the talk of the world as this unique theme park is also the first of its kind in the world, and here in Malaysia. Till then, I will do my best to keep you updated on the progress and also when the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park will officially open in Malaysia.
Monday 21st of May 2018 02:29:00 PM
- Container City Miri
The all new Container City in Miri is definitely a place worth checking out for not only locals but also for anyone who is visiting this amazing resort city. Located in North Yu Seng Road in the main city, this is one of the most happening places in Miri now.The name Container City Miri also may sound like a lifestyle bazaar, but in actual fact, it is a food haven that operates from refurbished containers. Yes, those old shipping containers have been converted into kitchens at this exciting new place.Entrance to Miri Container CityMiri Container CityThis food bazaar concept is something totally new and never before seen in Sarawak. There was once a container bazaar in Petaling Jaya, but that concept stopped and we never saw it again.In Miri, this container concept brings a whole new world of excitement not only to Mirians, but those who are coming from Brunei, Sabah or even from Malaysia and other countries like Singapore, Indonesia and China.Opened in October 2017, Container City Miri has been receiving raving reviews from visitors to Miri, namely from Malaysians, Singaporeans and Bruneians. Among all the restaurants here, the Tusan Ice Cream is probably the most popular.However, the balance of choices are well thought off and caters to almost everyone. Note that the food here is all pork free, and there is no alcohol served here.What the place looks like from the main entranceWhat to Eat in Container City Miri? There is a well balanced food and drink selection available here, and visitors have the choice from over 14 different vendors. Choices include mostly local food, but there is a burger joint on the first level and a seafood container at the back section. Halal Food at Container City Miri - For Muslim visitors, you are in luck as there are a couple of local Malay and Indonesia choices available. Overall, Container City in Miri does not serve any pork. Some of the Malay vendors offer Halal food too. Food at Container City Miri - There are several containers that provide proper meals, and you can choose from Only Mee which serves noodles, Sebenak which serves all kinds of prawns, Madness Delicious which serves a good mix of local Malay dishes, and Lalapan Selera Kampung for some popular Indonesian dishes. Coffee and Dessert at Container City Miri - Coffee lovers will be pleased to know there is a container called The Brew Crew that serves cafe style coffee. And for dessert lovers, the famous Tusan Ice Cream is available there. Frozen Yogurt is sold at a container called Pretty Pink while there is a Juice Jungle selling all kinds of juices. Seafood at Container City Miri - One of the favorites here is Captain's Catch, which serves couple or group seafood meals that are reasonably priced. This is highly popular among couples.What it looks like inside Container CityMiri Container City PhotosBelow are random photos taken at Container City Miri when I visited here on the 12th May 2018. They show almost all of the container restaurants that are available here.A majority are on the ground level while on the upper level, there are a few more, plus seating options as well. This place is suitable for singles, couples, families or even large groups.The Brew CrewLalapan Selera Kampung (Halal Food)Customers buying the famous Tusan Ice CreamOnly Mee, serving noodlesSebenak, one of the container restaurants serving Halal food at Container City MiriHalal menu at Sebenak Container City MiriEgg Taste, serving dessertsJuice Jungle, healthy option for drinksCheese and Chong, for cheese loversOn the first floor, a container selling burgers and western foodMadness Delicious, serving local foodThe menu at Madness DeliciousBerbara, serving western, fusion and local foodCaptain's Catch, serving awesome seafood in MiriSeafood menu at Captain's Catch in MiriTusan Ice Cream container, famous in MiriTusan Ice Cream, I ordered a small cupPretty Pink, serving frozen yogurt at Container City Miri What Container City in Miri looks like from outsideWhere is Container City Miri?Container City is located along Jalan North Yu Seng, in the main city area of Miri. A prominent landmark is the famous Restaurant Muara Lalapan or just further down from the corner Ming Cafe. If you are stating in the city area, you can easily walk there from you hotel. If you stay out of Miri city area, you can take a taxi or Grab to Container City Miri. Map to Miri Container CityHow to go to Container City Miri? If you are staying in Miri City center, just walk there as mentioned above. If you are driving in from Brunei or Sabah, it is located on the main street of Jalan North Yu Seng. Just use Waze or Google Maps and search for Container City Miri.If you are staying at the Pullman Hotel Miri, it is only a 10 minute walk there. If you stay at Everly ParkCity Hotel or the Miri Marriott Resort and Spa, you need to take a taxi there. Other general hotels in the city is only a short walking distance.A larger map of Miri showing where the Container City Miri is locate atContainer City Miri InformationAddress: Lot 2225, North Yu Seng Road Miri, Sarawak 98000Telephone: 011-3120 3352 / 019-888 2366Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/containercitymyy/Business Hours: 10.00 AM to 12.00 AMOpen: 7 Days a weekSome of the murals seen on the upper level of Container City MiriView of Container City in MiriFor the traveler or businessman visiting Miri, be sure to take some time to experience this unique eatery. It is also recommended to visit during dinner as the place looks beautiful when lit up with lights at night. For those wanting a peaceful and quiet time here, it is best to visit the Container City Miri before lunch or just after the lunch hour as the place is nice and quiet. For me, I visited this place around 5.00 pm, and there were already a few tables occupied.You can also read my other article on what are the things to do in Miri, if you are a first time visitor here, as I have generally identified most of the attractions in and around Miri.
Friday 18th of May 2018 10:20:00 AM
- SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park
The SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park in Resorts World Genting will be opening its doors by the end of 2018. This is also the upgrade from the previous indoor theme park which was located at the First World area. In line with the all new 20th Century Fox World theme park that is also scheduled to open by end of 2018 or early 2019, the SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park will provide visitors with a while new experience in family entertainment.What the First World Indoor Theme Park used to look likeSkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park GentingCurrently, there is no official media statement on this indoor theme park, which I speculate that the news should be out by the mid of 2018. Resorts World has been tight lipped about both massive projects since announcing it in 2013, and there are no photos inside the indoor park. Genting closed the previous First World indoor theme park in April 2017 for renovations of the new SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park, and currently a few attractions are already available to visitors.What can we expect from the newly renovated and revamped Genting indoor theme park? This is a question that I was thinking about before writing this article. Well, from the main promotional poster, we can see the Eiffel Tower, a Merry-Go-Round and a Ferris Wheel. There are also two Dodgem Cars which means that all of these will be available at SkyTropolis Genting. One more thing stood out which is the Art Decor motive or design that is directly over the word SkyTropolis. It looks like a classic Broadway theme from the Great Gatsby era. I wonder if this element will be included into the overall theme. But, it is the background of the poster that totally intrigues me, where Steampunk gears make up the overall image. Does this mean that the master theme of the indoor park will be Steampunk related? Or a mix between Art Decor and Steampunk? If it is, then it will be awesome as the genre of Steampunk is something very niche in Malaysia, with not many people knowing what it is all about. I think this will bring a whole new perspective to themed entertainment.SkyAvenue Genting, photo taken in April 2018What is the SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park?It is an indoor theme park that caters to just about everyone, from young to old and especially families. Due to the cool climate of Genting Highlands, there are many who like to be inside the resort where the temperature is controlled. News reports from other sites claim that there are currently six attractions that have opened, and a balance of 18 attractions that will open in June 2018. This brings the total of attractions to a whopping 24 inside the SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park. You can expect indoor roller coasters, fun rids for kids, themed shopping for everyone and of course, a carnival atmosphere that will keep visitors entertained wherever they explore here. The 6 Attractions at SkyTropolis Theme ParkStormy Voyage - A massive indoor swinging ship. Copper Express - An open top classic train ride experience. Space Cadet - A controllable ride that spins from bottom to top.Jumping Spurs - Mini jumping tower for children and kids. Ride 'Em Round - A classic merry go round ride for all ages.Whirly Bugs - Gigantic bugs spin kids on a carousel.Where is the SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park? This indoor theme park will be located inside Genting Highlands and at Level 2 of the First World Plaza. You can access SkyTropolis from three main entrances which are;Level 2 of SkyAvenue GentingLevel 2 of Sky CasinoEscalator from First World HotelFor anyone taking the Awana Skyway cable car up to Resorts World, your final stop will be at level 4 of SkyAvenue Genting. From there, you can just walk down two floors to find the entrance to SkyTropolis. Ripley's at SkyAvenue GentingWhat else is around SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park? As Resorts World promises a world of lifestyle and entertainment, you can expect to find many other unique attractions at SkyAvenue Genting. They are;First World PlazaPlay Time Video Games Park - Level 4, First World PlazaSnowWorld - Level 2, First World PlazaGenting Bowl - Level 3, First World PlazaThe opening of the 20th Century Fox World Studio Store in Genting Malaysia on April 2018SkyAvenue Genting20th Century Fox World Studio Store - Level 2, SkyAvenue GentingJurassic Research Center - Level 4, SkyAvenue GentingRipley's Believe It Or Not - Level 4, SkyAvenue GentingZombie Outbreak - Level 4, SkyAvenue GentingJungle Gym - Level 4, SkyAvenue GentingSky Symphony - Level 1, SkyAvenue GentingBona Cinemas - Level 1 & 2, SkyAvenue GentingGenting GrandVision City Video Game Park - Level 1, Genting GrandThe 20th Century Fox World Theme Park, photo taken in late April 2018With an entertainment history of 50 years, Resorts World Genting is no stranger to the tourism industry. Over the last five decades, millions of visitors have experienced Malaysia's premier entertainment and hospitality destination and keep coming back.On average, Resorts World Genting receives around 60,000 visitors daily, which includes locals and foreigners. A whopping total of 13,000 employees are hired to keep this amazing place running tip top. With the news of the first 20th Century Fox World Theme Park opening, many are eager to see and experience this attraction. Tourist from around the world are also keen on making a return visit to Malaysia's most popular tourist destination. Resorts World Genting is located 6000 feet at Genting Highlands and is also known as the coolest tourism destination here in Malaysia. The full opening of the SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park at the end of 2018 will also compliment the overall tourism experience here.
Friday 4th of May 2018 12:07:00 PM
- 20th Century Fox World Studio Store Genting Malaysia
On 21st April, the 20th Century Fox World Studio Store officially opened in Genting, Malaysia. This was huge news as it leads up to the opening of the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park, where both are the first in the world. The 20th Century Fox World Studio Store in Malaysia is the first Fox Studio store in the world where visitors can purchase special and unique collectibles, memorabilia and also apparels from popular 20th Century Fox movies. 20th Century Fox Malaysia Studio Store, the world's first speciality store opens in Resort World Genting20th Century Fox World Studio Store Genting Malaysia OpeningThe official opening of the Fox World Studio Store saw over 40 media, bloggers and influencers arrive the night before for a special camping session outside the store. On the event day, special invited guests and media were treated to an opening Samba dance performance before quick and official speeches were delivered by the 20th Century Fox World Studio VIP's. The thumbs up just before entering the flagship storeFrom left - Brian Machamer, Paul Baker, the deputy CEO of RWG and Jules Vallier, GM of design and constructionKey people that officially opened the store are Paul Baker, the deputy chief operating officer of Resorts World Genting, Jules Vallier, the general manager of design and construction of 20th Century Fox World Malaysia, and Brian Machamer, the senior vice-president of the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park.Characters from Rio and Ice Age were there to grace the official opening, which was done in a simple ribbon cutting ceremony, followed with a store visit. A quick, simple and sweet speech by Brian Machamer, the senior vice-president of the 20th Century Fox World Theme ParkFox World Studio Store Malaysia Opening TeamHaving been to many events and launching over the years, I have to take my hat off to the people at Resorts World for organizing such a simple and straightforward event launching. There was no protocol and time wasting. The event was to be launched at 12 noon, and it all went smoothly like clockwork, and by 12.05 PM, the guests were already in the store. At SkyAvenue Genting, the Fox World Studio Store was seen everywhereDuring the official opening of the Fox World Studio Store in SkyAvenue GentingWhat is 20th Century Fox World Studio Store? This is the official retail store for 20th Century Fox World Studios, and sells a range of merchandise that is related to all the movies that they own. The Fox World Studios Store is also the first in the world opened here in Malaysia, and is part of the 20th Century Fox World Studio Theme Park Malaysia. Popular movies like Rio, Aliens vs Predator, A Night at the Museum, Robots, Ice Age, Planet of the Apes, and many others have their merchandise sold at the store. Inside the Fox World Studio Store Malaysia on opening dayThe items are all originals and come in various categories. You can find apparels like t-shirts and caps with your favorite movies, or unique collectibles that are only sold in the store.Smaller items such as postcards, notebooks, magnets, mugs and many other interesting items that are priced very reasonably and sold in the store too. Some of the movie memorabilia on sale at the storeFor the serious collector, there are limited edition toys and other memorabilia up for grabs. This is a joy for movie buffs who love to collect the memorabilia. For example, Aliens vs Predator has some pretty cool items, such as the Alien Queen scale model toy or even a tray of unhatched Alien eggs which retail for RM299.00. Finally, for tourist visiting Resorts World Genting, you can purchase the 20th Century Fox World Malaysia t-shirt that comes in many designs and sizes. Prices are ranged from RM79.90 to 89.90, and are same for all sizes. Characters from Rio during the openingWhere is the 20th Century Fox World Store in Malaysia? The flagship Fox World Store is located on the second level of SkyAvenue Genting. Is is also located just next to Japanese apparel outlet Uniqlo. SkyAvenue Genting is the main lifestyle and entertainment area for Resorts World Genting, and is a brand new concept that targets all walks of life who visit this highland resort. SkyAvenue Genting, where the Fox World Studio Store is located atHow to go to 20th Century Fox World Studio Store in Genting Malaysia?Generally, there are two main ways to get to Resorts World Genting. By road via car or bus, or by the new and modern cable car system called Awana Skyway. If you take the Awana Skyway, it will lead you directly into the 4th floor of SkyAvenue Genting. From there, you need to take the escalator down two levels to 20th Century Fox World Studio Store. One of the special limited edition 20th Century Fox World Malaysia T-shirts on saleOnce you are on level three and go down to level two, you will see the Fox World Studio Store in front of you. It is quite hard to miss, and if you do need help, just ask any of the staff working around SkyAvenue Genting. The Awana Skyway can be accessed in Awana, where the Genting Premium Outlets is located. The cable car station is the next building to GPO. There is ample parking there at RM3.00 an hour. Photos of Fox World Studio Store Malaysia Guests outside the Fox World Studio Store in Genting MalaysiaSome of the items on sale at the storeInside the Fox World Studio Store MalaysiaCharacters from the movie Ice Age entertain guest at the opening What the inside of the Fox Studio Store looks likeEven the cupcakes were brandedA view of the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park take on 21st April 2018Video of the Fox World Studio Store Malaysia OpeningI managed to make a video of the Fox World Studio Store Malaysia opening and it runs for about 2 minutes. If you are watching it, don't forget to subscribe to my channel for more tourism and travel videos.Well, the big question still remains - When is the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park opening? As I spoke briefly to Brian Machamer, the senior vice-president of RWG Theme Parks, he clearly stated that there is no official announcement. Brian also claimed that in the international standards, a world class theme park takes around 4-5 years to complete. The news came out in 2013 about the new theme park in Genting, and the time line is in-accordance with the standards. The official logo for 20th Century Fox World MalaysiaThe good news is that the new Genting theme park will see its doors open by end of 2018 or early 2019, if everything goes according to plan. For further reading, I created an interesting list of 10 facts about 20th Century Fox World Theme Park. For anyone who is visiting Resorts World Genting, you still have the opportunity to visit the 20th Century Fox World Studio Store at SkyAvenue, which opened on 21st April 2018. And while you are here, do take the opportunity to look around as you never know what you may end up getting.
Sunday 22nd of April 2018 10:58:00 AM
- MIDE 2018 - All You Need To Know
This year, Malaysia's pioneer scuba diving expo called MIDE 2018 will be taking place from 4-6 May, and at the regular venue of Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur.For this year's dive expo, I have done an all you need to know about MIDE 2018 article for anyone who wants to know a little more information about this scuba diving expo held here in Kuala Lumpur. Visitors at the Malaysia International Dive ExpoMalaysia International Dive Expo 2018 (MIDE2018)MIDE was the only Malaysian dive expo which started back in 2006, but now another world class dive expo called DRT Malaysia had their inaugural event in Kuala Lumpur early in 2018. With that, there are now two major diving events which strongly favors the scuba diving community of Malaysia. Isn't that great that we have more choices? From a positive point of view, these two dive expos in Malaysia will provide a healthy competition among both diving expos and more opportunity for divers to choose from. This years Malaysia International Dive Expo 2018 will see over 150 exhibitors participating at the event, compared to 133 last year. There will be 30 over presentations done by various professionals from the scuba diving industry, sharing valuable information, tips and tricks to the public. Visitors shopping at MIDESome MIDE FactsBelow are some statistics from the previous MIDE 2017 which is quite impressive, considering that scuba diving in Malaysia is still a very niche hobby and sport.MIDE 2017 generated RM8.2 million in total sales3000 Scuba Diving Courses were sold during the expoA total of 133 companies took part at MIDE 2017A record 12,166 visitors attended MIDE 2017 over three daysVisitors from 45 countries visited MIDE 2017A whopping 928 international brands participated in MIDE 2017 95% of visitor had scuba diving interest80% of attendees were professional scuba divers85% of visitors had dive travel interest1,777 Non Divers attended MIDE 2017International vendors ate MIDEMIDE 2018 ProgramAs the scuba diving industry is growing steadily in Malaysia, multiple programs have been scheduled throughout the expo. Asia Dive Conference (ADC)Freediving ForumOcean Rescue ForumUnderwater Photography ForumSpeaker Presentations (Various)B2B Meeting SessionsDive Diva Fan Club PresentationMarine Educational ProgramPerson with Disabilities Program (PWD)Purchaser Lucky DrawPool Try DiveLens Beyond Ocean Photography CompetitionWhen is MIDE 2018? The Malaysia International Dive Expo 2018 takes place from the 4th to 6th May 2018. The expo usually takes place just before the fasting month of Ramadan which falls in June. The PWTC LRT Station is on the left, while Sunway Putra Mall is the colorful building. Where is MIDE 2018? Malaysia International Dive Expo 2018 has always been held at the Putra World Trade Center or PWTC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This venue is perfect due to the huge space and multiple halls offered. Kuala Lumpur is also the capital of Malaysia, making it easy for visitors, speakers and vendors to get to. The main KLIA and KLIA 2 airports are 60 minute drive from KL or a 30 minute train ride into the city from the airport. How to go to MIDE 2018?There are two main ways to get to the event, and most locals will self drive to PWTC and park there. For visitors, the best way to get to MIDE2018 is by taking the STAR LRT Train which stops at Sunway Putra Station. Alternatively, an easy way to go to MIDE 2018 is by taking private car services like GRAB. You can do this from anywhere in the Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Jaya, and prices are very reasonable. For those taking the train, your important transit station will be Masjid Jamek in KL city where other trains like the LRT and MRT stop. Here, you need to walk over to the LRT station and head to PWTC. PWTC LRT Station (SP4 & AG4)) is served by the RapidKL Ampang Line and Sri Petaling Line.Where to park near PWTC KLWhere to Park at PWTC?If you go to MIDE 2018 early, there will be ample parking at PWTC, which charges by the hour. Alternatively, you can also park at Sunway Putra Mall, just opposite PWTC and they too charge hourly. The old Putra Bus Terminal car park is no longer there as there are some renovations going on. For those planning to stay much longer, there are some open air car parks outside the main road along Japan Putra. The open air car park charges a flat rate of RM6 to RM10 for a full day parking, so that would be a cheap option. But you need to walk to PWTC, which takes you about 5 minutes. This car park is in front of the Sani Hotel. MIDE sales are something many divers wait forTips for MIDE 2018For those planning to visit the Malaysia International Dive Expo 2018 or MIDE2018, here are some tips for you, especially if you are a first time visitor here. Hate Crowds? Go early on each day when the event opens. Pick Pockets? There are always unscrupulous people at any expo or event so be cautious.Hungry or Thirsty? There is a mall opposite PWTC and a Riverside Cafe with local food.Toilets? Surprisingly, the toilets at PWTC are quite clean. Lonely? Best o come with a friend or friends.Scared to Spend? Don't bring your wife or girlfriend. Scared to bring Cash? Don't worry, most vendors accept debit and credit cards.See Something Cheap You Like? Grab it! Don't think too long.Cannot Decide What To Buy or Where To Go? Call your friends.Too Much Walking Around? Wear comfortable shoes, not high heels or slippers.Kiasu? Wait for the last hour of the last event day for some last minute extra deals.MIDE 2018 InformationDate: 2-4 May 2018Venue: Dewan Tun Razak 1, PWTC, Kuala LumpurTime: 10.00 AM to 7.00 PMAdmission: RM5.00 per personWebsite: https://mide.com.my/Phone: +6 03 7980 9902The writer at Lankayan IslandAbout the WriterWell, after 12 years of casual scuba diving and over 1000 dives, I have decided to take a much more easier hobby of bird watching rather than fish watching. Sometimes, a balance is needed in life to fully enjoy it. My last dive trip was at Raja Ampat, Alor Island and Komodo Island in far east Indonesia, where I did a 14 day trip in October 2017. The beautiful and colorful underwater landscapes at Komodo IslandThat truly burned me out big time, as it was fly-van-dive-sleep-boat-fly-dive-eat and repeat. Usually, I go for 3-5 day easy dive trips, but Raja Ampat being the highlight and my major diving bucket list, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dive some of the most beautiful places in Indonesia. You should know that I am an overall travel writer, hence I do not do much underwater photography. I have also done some articles on my experience diving there and hopefully some of the articles like how to fly to Raja Ampat will come in handy. The must-see Wobbegong Shark at Raja AmpatWhile I did a live on board at Komodo, I choose to stay at the Raja Ampat Dive Resort for a more casual experience. Honestly, if you are thinking of visiting here, start saving up and do it quick. I also wrote about why Alor Island should be your next diving destination, as it is so untouched and beautiful. Take a look at my article, and you will see why. MIDE 2018 this 4-6 May at PWTC Kuala LumpurI hope this article on all you need to know about MIDE 2018 will come in handy for you and that you have a fantastic and productive time here. Most visitors do. As for me, I will hopefully be there for the first day, visiting friends and checking out the dive expo. If we know each other, don't forget to say hello and happy diving where ever you are going.
Tuesday 17th of April 2018 11:26:00 AM
- Raja Ampat Airport Review
If you are planning on visiting Raja Ampat in West Papua, you will most likely be flying into the city of Sorong in West Papua. Since my last visit at the end of 2017, it is only right that I do a review of the Raja Ampat airport which is called the Domine Eduard Osok airport.Sorong is the capital of West Papua and flights from selected cities around Indonesia will land here. From Sorong, you will either connect on another short flight to Waisai airport or most likely be taking the fast boat or ferry to Waisai from the harbor here. So, what can you expect at the airport in this part of the world? To my surprise, I was actually very impressed and if you are planning to visit the Raja Ampat Islands, then you should read on.The Betel Nut Design at Domine Eduard Osok AirportReview of the Raja Ampat AirportFirst of all, there are two main airports that service the Raja Ampat Islands, the Domine Eduard Osok airport in Sorong, which is the main airport that is connected to other major cities in Indonesia, and the smaller Marinda Airport in Waisai, which is connected by smaller aircraft from smaller cities.When your flight lands at the Domine Eduard Osok airport (SOQ), you will most likely have a second look as the airport building as is quite modern designed, which easily attracts anyone's attention.The airport name comes from one of the renown pastors from Sorong and West Papua, where Domine Eduard Osok (1920-1988) did a lot of missionary work spreading Christianity here. Hence it was right to name the airport after the pastor, as he is well known among the locals here.During the renovations of the Sorong airportThe Domine Eduard Osok is also a single runway airport with a total length of 2,500 meters and 45 meters wide, and capable to accommodate small turbo prop planes, Boeing 737 series and Airbus A320 series. Anything bigger is unable to land here. There are also only tow main airport gates that service the many airlines that land here. And the boarding gates are connected to two modern glass and steel structure aero-bridges for the larger wide bodies aircraft like Bombardier, Airbus and Boeing planes.Modern aero-bridge at the airportIn 2017, Domine Eduard Osok Airport or DEO served a total of 2.3 million passengers, making this the busiest airport in the far east of Indonesia.The original runway of 1,950 meters was extended to 2,500 meters in 2016 to meet the larger passenger aircraft like Boeing and Airbus. With a modern structure that is designed to resemble local culture, the futuristic design makes the Domine Eduard Osok Airport look up to date in this part of the world.The modern check in counters at the airportThe new look was also finally completed in March of 2016 after a five year renovation, and at a cost of 236 Billion Rupiah (USD$16.5 Billion).In terms of the overall design of the airport, it culturally reflects the unique Betel nut, which is very popular in this part of the world. This is also one of the 54 airports from all over Indonesia.Inside the Domine Eduard Osok airportFacilities at Raja Ampat AirportThe airport consist of two floors with international air travel facilities like luggage x-ray machines, walk through metal detectors, baggage handling system, elevators, waiting lounges and modern designed retail and F&B shops. The main passenger terminal building is also huge, with a total space of 13,700 square meters and can accommodate 782 passengers at any one time. A massive parking area has also been dedicated outside the airport.The modern boarding area at Domine Eduard OsokOnce inside the airport, you will be pleased to know that the flow of passengers is similar to any other international airport around the world.Check in counters are aplenty with modern designs with a queueing system for respective airlines. Before you arrive here, you will be greeted by friendly airport personal manning the conveyor belt luggage scanning system. The waiting lounges are modern designed with ample space for seating. Retail shops are found on the second floor of the airport and offer quite an interesting choice for travelers.Sehat Bugar Reflexology at the Sorong AirportThere are modern coffee cafes, bakeries, local cafes, food massage and a lot of souvenir shops. Generally, you can keep yourself busy here due to the decent selection of shops at the airport. While I was waiting to fly out of Sorong, I have to thank my trip organiser for arriving early as this allowed me to explore the airport on my own.Due to the excess time we had, I even managed to go for a 30 minute foot massage which was timed perfectly before my flight. The verdict? It was awesome, a true Papuan foot massage, a first for me.A quick bite cafe and a souvenir shop at the airportThe souvenir shops are not to be missed as this is the best place to get your West Papua souvenirs. Mind you they are actually quite reasonably priced, unlike those in Bali.I managed to snap up quite a bit of souvenirs from here as I visited all five souvenir shops here. Item you can find are local ethnic jewelry, Papuan fabrics, paintings and many other unique Papuan souvenirs.Waiting lounge area at the Raja Ampat airportFor coffee lovers, you must know that the Papuan coffee is one of the best in the world, and at some of the souvenir shops, they are being sold mostly in beans. You can find some instant Papuan coffee too. And the best part is that you can walk into one of the coffee cafes to sample the local Papuan coffee which is highly recommended.Domine Eduard Osok Airport LoungeA premium lounge is also available for business travelers, however, I did not have the opportunity to visit this place. From the outside, it looks really nice though hopefully one day I will have the opportunity to visit this lounge.Toilets are very clean and well kept as they have round the clock staff to continuously maintain the washrooms. I have to highlight this as some of you may have encountered airports with horrible toilets.Here is a photo of what the old Raja Ampat airport in Sorong looked likeA 'Surau' or prayer room is also available for those wanting to conduct their prayers at the airport. Other than that, the Sorong airport is very modern, clean and with a great design, considering this is in Raja Ampat, West Papua. Flying into Sorong, West PapuaAirlines that fly to Raja Ampat AirportIn total, there are seven airlines that operate flights into Raja Ampat, however for foreigners, there are four main airlines that operate from the commercial airports around Indonesia. I also did an article on what airlines fly to Raja Ampat for anyone wanting more information. Just to add that you need to really check your connecting flights as most of the direct flights to Raja Ampat depart in the mornings. In some cases, you may need to spend a night at your connecting city in order to catch the early flight to Sorong. Domine Eduard Osok AirportAddress: South Remu, Papua, Sorong City, West Papua 98412, IndonesiaGeographic coordinates: Latitude (-0.89), Longitude (131.29)Phone: +62 812 8889 6500Website: https://www.domineeduardosok.com/Pasir Timbul, one of the beautiful places to visit in Raja AmpatSorong is also a tourist destination as there is much to explore, see and do around here. While I did not have the opportunity to do so, I do have plans to re-visit Sorong once again.The next time around, I would love to explore Sorong for some nature, adventure and of course to do some serious bird watching at Raja Ampat. Hopefully I can do it in late 2018 and then I can share additional information with you about what to do in Sorong. Meanwhile, for those wanting to visit here, I did an article on how to get to Raja Ampat with a lot of information on flights and boats. And for those planning to visit this amazing destination, I do hope you find my review of the Raja Ampat airport helpful. If you have any experiences here, please do share them in the comment form below.
Sunday 15th of April 2018 05:23:00 AM
- BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet
With the trend of factory outlets in Malaysia soaring, a brand new concept called BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet is set to open on the island of Labuan in Malaysia in 2019. This will also be the first of its kind in Malaysia and will officially open its doors by mid or end of 2019. According to press releases, the target date to open the BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet is by the first quarter of 2019. Duty Free Premium Outlet in LabuanWhile Labuan remains one of the lesser visit duty free islands in Malaysia, a lot of planning is ongoing to ensure that this island turns into a major tourism hot spot in the next few years. The BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet in Labuan is also being built at a cost of RM70 million and by BVA Berhad. Artist impression of the BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet in LabuanThis massive BVO premium outlet will consist of a two story open concept structure and building. This will also be the first premium outlet in Borneo will offer over 70 exclusive tenants on a 6.8 acre or 2.7 hectare prime land in the Kiansam area of Labuan. BVO Outlet also claims that they will be offering luxury products which are 30% cheaper than most other outlets due to the duty free status of Labuan. Products you will find here include designer clothing, handbags, shoes, wines, alcohol, tobacco, perfumes and cosmetics.There will also be a special 150 meter long park in the mall that juxtaposes modern with greenery. For food and beverage, a series of modern restaurants, bars, bistros and cafes will located around the duty free premium outlet. There is no official announcement on who the tenants are. BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet also plans to launch a smart delivery service system using a mobile application by providing a new shopping experience for consumers. A model of the BVO Outlet in LabuanWhat is BVO Duty Free Premium OutletThis is a new concept where BVA Berhad is introducing a duty free premium factory outlet concept. The first of its kind in Malaysia and possibly in Southeast Asia. While consumers and travelers are used to the general premium outlet shopping at places like Johor Premium Outlets or Genting Premium Outlets, the duty free premium outlet introduces a whole new concept of travel and shopping. Other modern lifestyle projects to support the whole concept here include a five star hotel, service condominiums, resorts, water theme park and commercial properties which is connected to the new esplanade. There is another BVO Outlet at Mitsui Outlet Park in Sepang and also at Penang Design Village, but that company is branded as Best Value Outlet or BVO. There is no direct connection to both brands from what I know. On a side note, a new proposed bridge from Sabah to Labuan Island is also in the plans for the Labuan Development Blueprint 2030. This massive project will see huge potential for tourism as it will be much easier to enter Labuan. On when it will open, there is no official news. What the duty free outlet will look like when openedWhen is BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet OpeningThe official press release states that the Labuan BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet will open by the 1st quarter of 2019. However, other press statements indicate a 14-18 month development time which puts the opening time line to mid of 2019. Until there is official news of the opening, the current dates are just an estimate or projected date. We should hear more news about the opening of BVO Duty Free Outlet towards the later part of 2018.The location of BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet in LabuanWhere is BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet in LabuanThe BVA Premium Outlet will be located near the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Labuan International Campus and just next to the Labuan International Golf Club and Kampung Beiukut. The exact location of the BVO Premium Outlet is also at the on the south west part of Labuan Island. You can get to Labuan which is 2 hour 30 minutes flight from Kuala Lumpur, 30 minutes flight from Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, and 40 minutes flight from Miri in Sarawak.Directions to BVO Premium Outlet in LabuanHow to go to BVO Duty Free Premium OutletThe best way to get to BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet in Labuan is by driving there. It is located about 13 kilometers from the Labuan International Airport and takes around 20 minutes drive one way. For visitors planning to visit this place, you need to fly into Labuan from KLIA or selected Malaysian cities. Currently, there are daily flights to Labuan via Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia only. BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet Information:Address: Jalan Sungai Pagar, Kiansam, 87000 Labuan.Landmark: Next to Labuan International Golf CubWebsite: http://www.bvacorporation.com/mall.html*Disclaimer: Photos used here are obtained from the BVA official website and Facebook Page. We use them as reference and without negative intention.BVA BerhadWho is BVA Berhad?BVA Berhad is founded by Dato' Lawrence Low. The company is involved in diverse industries, which includes property development, the Internet Of Things, digital currency and many other businesses. The BVA team during the launch of the BVO Premium Outlet in March 2018They have been providing charter services for visitors from China since 2016, and currently operating four flights serving the China-Labuan route weekly. BVA Berhad also projects that by 2020, there will be up to four flights daily coming from China to Labuan and up to two cruises weekly.Other Duty Free Shopping in MalaysiaFor those looking to do some duty free shopping in Malaysia, there is only one other island that offers this. Many travelers also head to Langkawi for duty free shopping as there are many smaller outlets and shops for this. Tioman Island is also designated as a duty free island, but there are not much choices for shopping there. It is more of a island getaway with a lot of resorts in different villages. However if you are into the whole shopping experience, I have created a complete list of factory outlets in Malaysia where you can do some serious shopping. These places are located all over the country and depending on where you go, there may be an interesting outlet for you to visit. BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet is developed by BVA Development Sdn Bhd and is part of the Labuan Development Blueprint 2030. This will also be the first duty free premium outlet in Malaysia.
Wednesday 11th of April 2018 08:24:00 AM
- What are the Airlines that fly to Raja Ampat?
Due to the popularity of being one of the most beautiful places on earth, many have seen or heard about Raja Ampat in West Papua. And there are many who even want to explore this incredible destination in Indonesia.But where is this mysterious place that goes by the name of Four Kings or translated as Raja Ampat? This island paradise comprises of more than 1,500 small islands, and sits on the northwestern tip of West Papua.Yes, Papua is divided into two different countries, the east being Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the opposite to Indonesia's West Papua, and Raja Ampat is located here.Piaynemo, one of Raja Ampat's most beautiful destinationsFlying to Raja AmpatIronically, most travelers have a fear of not knowing how to travel to Raja Ampat, but since 2015 and 2016, a couple of local Indonesian airlines have made the journey here much more easier.Connectivity is no longer an issue as there are daily flights into the city of Sorong, where the international airport is located at. This has made traveling here easy for not only travelers, but the locals too. This does not mean that you can connect directly from any major city around the world, but from selected cities around Indonesia.As visiting Raja Ampat was a huge tick off my bucket list, my inaugural trip here was in October 2017 where I traveled with a group of international scuba divers exploring some of the most beautiful dive sites in this part of Indonesia, and possibly in the world.The amazing view of Piaynemo in Raja AmpatBasically, for my trip, we flew into Raja Ampat via Makassar in Sulawesi, Indonesia. We had boarded a Garuda Indonesia flight, which uses a Bombardier CRJ-1000 Next Generation aircraft that was a comfortable and smooth two hour and fifteen minutes flight.Upon arriving at Sorong City via the flight, I looked out the window only to be welcomed by some amazing old world scenery of fishing boats and low rise settlements before landing at the Domine Eduard Osok Airport here.It felt more like a time travel trip as I am so used to seeing tall buildings, highways and modernization, but my plane view was the opposite. Then again, this was what I truly wanted, to go where not many people have explored and my journey was only going to get better.Anyway, I will get to the details and information that most people want, which is what are the airlines that fly into Raja Ampat below.Lion Indonesia at one of the local Indonesian airportsHow to Fly to Raja Ampat? There are four main airports in Indonesia that service the city of Sorong in Raja Ampat. They are Jakarta, Makassar, Ambon and Manado, where you can catch a direct flight or a connecting flight, depending on your choice.Jakarta to Raja AmpatMakassar to Raja AmpatManado to Raja AmpatAmbon to Raja AmpatFor Malaysians or Singaporeans, we have slightly better choices as we can catch direct flights into Makassar or Manado, making it easier for us to connect to Raja Ampat. For other countries, you may have to look at your options as your main port of entry would be Jakarta. Alternatively, you can also choose to transit in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore to connect to Manado or Makassar, and with this, take the opportunity to explore these beautiful places before heading to Raja Ampat. Please take note that if you fly into Denpasar, Bali, there is no direct flight to Raja Ampat, and you will need to connect to Makassar or Jakarta to get to Sorong. Many travelers are caught unaware of this and tend to automatically head to Bali.There are also no direct flights from Kupang and Labuan Bajo in NTT Flores. This means, you need to connect to Ambon in Maluku to fly into Raja Ampat.Garuda Airlines Bombardier CRJ1000 aircraft at Sorong AirportFlying from Jakarta to Raja Ampat International long haul flights will mostly land here, and you can connect from Jakarta to Raja Ampat with a couple of airlines. However, it will be another four to five hour flight before you reach Sorong city in West Papua. You should also take note that Sorong city and West Papua is two hours ahead of Jakarta in terms of the time, so the arrival time shows the local time there. Via Garuda IndonesiaFrom Jakarta to Sorong, Raja AmpatFlight GA682 - Direct FlightDepart Jakarta (CGK) - 00:20 Soekarno Hatta International AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 06:35 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight time: 4 hours 15 minutes*There are 8 other daily flights from Jakarta, but each of them makes one or two stops and arrive in Sorong the following day. The flight times are from 6 hours to 15 hours with transits and so on. Best to check with Garuda Indonesia on the timings. *The Jakarta-Sorong route uses a Boeing 737-800 Next Generation aircraft that has a capacity of 162 passengers, with 12 business class seats and 150 economy class.From Sorong to JakartaFlight GA683 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 07:35 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Jakarta (CGK) - 09:15 Soekarno Hatta International AirportFlight time: 3 hours 40 minutes*There are additional 7 return flights from Sorong which require one or two stops and take around 6 to 21 hours. This includes transits and layovers. Flying over some of the beautiful islands of Raja AmpatVia Batik AirBatik Air From Jakarta to Sorong, Raja AmpatFlight ID7797 - Direct FlightDepart Jakarta (CGK) - 01:00 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 07:10 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 4 hours 10 minutesBatik Air From Sorong to JakartaFlight ID7780 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 07:50 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Jakarta (CGK) - 10:00 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportFlight Time: 4 hours 10 minutesVia Sriwijaya AirThere are some flights from Jakarta to Sorong, Raja Ampat, but they are mostly one or two stop flights that take from five to 10 hours. This can be used if you are in hurry to fly there. However, Sriwijaya is known to delay or re-time their flights. More information can be seen at the official Sriwijaya Air website.The Makassar Airport seen from outsideFlying from Makassar to Raja AmpatMakassar in probably one of the best options to fly into Raja Ampat as they have one of the earliest arrival times, giving you a good head start. There are also many choices for direct flights from Garuda, Wings Abadi and Batik Air. Good news is that Batik Air and Wings Abadi Air operates five direct flights from Makassar to Raja Ampat, providing awesome choices for flight timings. On the return, there are also four direct flights back to Makassar. For those who want options, there are many other connecting or transit flights, which may be a little cheaper, but very long transit times. Via Garuda IndonesiaGaruda From Makassar to Sorong, Raja AmpatFlight GA698 - Direct FlightDepart Makassar (UPG) - 03:30 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 06:45 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 15 minutesGaruda From Sorong to MakassarFlight GA699 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 14:55 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Makassar (UPG) - 16:10 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 15 minutesWings Abadi Air that flies to Raja AmpatVia Batik Air or Wings Abadi AirBatik Air From Makassar to Sorong, Raja Ampat1. Flight ID6196 - Direct FlightDepart Makassar (UPG) - 04:10 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 07:30 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes2. Flight ID7703 - Direct FlightDepart Makassar (UPG) - 04:10 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 07:30 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes3. Flight ID8196 - Direct FlightDepart Makassar (UPG) - 04:10 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 07:30 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes4. Flight ID6288 - Direct FlightDepart Makassar (UPG) - 09:45 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 13:05 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes5. Wings Abadi Flight IW1187 - Direct FlightDepart Makassar (UPG) - 09:45 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 13:05 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes*3 additional flights with stop overs and transits with total time from 10 to 15 hours.Departing the Sorong Airport in Raja Ampat, West PapuaBatik Air From Sorong to Makassar1. Flight ID6197 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 08:00 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Makassar (UPG) - 09:20 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes2. Flight ID6265 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 08:00 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Makassar (UPG) - 09:20 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes3. Flight ID6195 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 14:05 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Makassar (UPG) - 15:25 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes4. Flight ID6285 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 14:05 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Makassar (UPG) - 15:25 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes*There are 4 additional transit and stop over flights back to Makassar with total travel time from 3 hours to 12 hours. More flight information can be found at the official Lion Air Indonesia website.Sriwijaya Air that flies to Raja Ampat. Photo from JakartaPost.Via Sriwijaya Air Sriwijaya Air From Makassar to Sorong, Raja AmpatFlight SJ572 - Direct FlightDepart Makassar (UPG) - 03:15 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 06:25 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 10 minutesFlight SJ570 - Direct FlightDepart Makassar (UPG) - 04:15 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 07:25 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 10 minutesSriwijaya Air From Sorong to MakassarFlight SJ571 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 10:50 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Makassar (UPG) - 12:00 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 10 minutesDomine Eduard Osok Airport in Sorong, Raja AmpatFlying from Manado to Raja AmpatFor those who prefer to fly from the city of Manado in north Sulawesi, there are two daily flights from Garuda Airlines that depart to Raja Ampat early in the mornings. There is also one direct flight from Lion Air that also departs in the morning.This means that you need to fly in the evening before and overnight in Manado to catch the next day early morning flight.Manado is connected not only by the Indonesian airlines but also AirAsia and Silk Air from Singapore. This city provides easier options for the Southeast Asians that want to visit Raja Ampat.Garuda Airlines Bombardier CRJ-1000 aircraftVia Garuda IndonesiaGaruda From Manado to Raja AmpatFirst Flight GA470 - Direct FlightDepart Manado (MDC) - 05:40 Sam Ratulangi AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 08:10 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight time: 1 hour 30 minutesSecond Flight GA472 - Direct FlightDepart Manado (MDC) - 06:45 Sam Ratulangi AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 09:10 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight time: 1 hour 25 minutesGaruda From Raja Ampat to ManadoFlight GA471 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 13.50 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Manado (MDC) - 14:30 Sam Ratulangi AirportFlight Time: 1 hour 40 minutes *On certain days, there is an additional flight GA473 at 14.30 to Raja Ampat. More flight details on Garuda Indonesia. Wings Abadi Airlines is under Lion Air IndonesiaVia Lion Air IndonesiaLion Air From Manado to Raja AmpatFlight JT796 - Direct FlightDepart Manado (MDC) - 08:05 Sam Ratulangi AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 10:30 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight time: 1 hour 25 minutes*There is an additional flight that connects via Makassar before heading to Sorong. Total flight and transit time is 5 hours and 20 minutes where you depart at 06:45 and arrive at 13:05. Lion Air From Raja Ampat to ManadoFlight JT799 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 16:40 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Manado (MDC) - 17:20 Sam Ratulangi AirportFlight Time: 1 hour 40 minutes *There are five other flights that make stop overs before arriving in Manado. These flights take a total of 6 - 12 hours for transits and so on. Ambon in Maluku, IndonesiaFlying from Ambon to Raja AmpatAmbon is also one one the up and coming scuba diving destinations and this city is located on the island of Maluku, in between Raja Ampat and Makassar. It truly is one of the unexplored destinations of east Indonesia and well worth visiting.Via Garuda IndonesiaGaruda from Ambon to Sorong Raja AmpatFlight GA680 - Direct FlightDepart Ambon (AMQ) - 12:00 Pattimura AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 12:55 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 55 minutesGaruda from Sorong, Raja Ampat to AmbonFlight GA681 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 14:10 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Ambon (AMQ) - 15:15 Pattimura AirportFlight Time: 1 hour 5 minutes*There is an alternate flight to and from Ambon to Raja Ampat, but that is a transit flight that takes about 15-24 hours of flight time.The Pattimura Airport in AmbonVia Wings AirlinesWings Air from Ambon to Sorong Raja AmpatFlight IW1506 - Direct FlightDepart Ambon (AMQ) - 12.00 Pattimura AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 13:10 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 1 hour 10 minutesWings Air from Sorong, Raja Ampat to AmbonFlight IW1505 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 06:50 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Ambon (AMQ) - 08:00 Pattimura AirportFlight Time: 1 hour 10 minutes*Please note that on Wings Air, there are selected flights throughout the week and not everyday.The on board meals on Batik Air is quite impressive and very localVia Sriwijaya AirA third airline called Sriwijaya Air also flies to the many remote destinations around Indonesia. They also have direct and also transit flights to Raja Ampat, but has a track record of being delayed or re-timed.Sriwijaya Air from Ambon to Sorong Raja AmpatFlight IN607 - Direct FlightDepart Ambon (AMQ) - 09:30 Pattimura AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 10:20 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 50 minutesSriwijaya Air from Sorong, Raja Ampat to AmbonFlight IN606 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 12:10 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Ambon (AMQ) - 13:00 Pattimura AirportFlight Time: 50 minutesLanding at Sorong, Raja AmpatThe above are all the flights from various cities around Indonesia that fly to Raja Ampat. The flight timing and other information is taken from the official website of the respective airline websites. A very important tip in booking your flights is that you must make sure that you have enough time to make that transit for your next flight. Otherwise, you may end up missing your connecting flights.The easiest way is of course flying to Raja Ampat via Makassar in Sulawesi as they have the most flights starting extremely early in the mornings. Not only that, a total of three airlines fly our of Makassar with multiple direct and also connecting flights.What most travelers do is that they fly into Makassar, check in at the airport Novotel Hotel to catch the early morning flight the following day. This is the safest way in order not to miss your flight.Marinda Airport in Waisai, Raja AmpatFlights from Sorong to Waisai, Raja AmpatThis is a new option for those who prefer to fly closer to Raja Ampat as there is a once a day flight from the Sorong Airport to the Waisai Airport. The flight is a 30 minute flight versus a two hour ferry ride and suitable for those who get seasick.The price is quite reasonable, but you need to connect on this flight from Sorong, therefore, you need your original flight to be on time. On my trip here, the flight to Sorong was a little delayed by 20 minutes, and due to many passengers connecting, the Sorong to Waisai flight actually waited for our plane to land.Other Airlines that Fly to Raja AmpatThere are other airlines that fly into Raja Ampat, but mostly they are the smaller local airlines which service the smaller cities around the east Indonesia sector. However, if you are in that part, you can check out those local airlines which are;Nam AirSusi AirXpress Air Overall, for anyone wanting to visit Raja Ampat in West Papua, I would advise to do some research and planning before booking your flights. You should plan your trip according to your flight timings as it will be smooth sailing once planned well.Raja Ampat is well known as one of the best marine biodiversity places on earth and is literally non commercialized. Many people have the one fear of the destination being expensive. When planned well, it is actually not that expensive, unless you are planning to spend your time on a live on board boat.A Garuda Airline stewardess serving meals and drinks on board the flightYou should also know that you need to get the Raja Ampat Marine Park permit once you arrive in Sorong. Officials will check when you are at the airport or harbor heading to Waisai.For those who want different alternatives, I have also done another article on how to get to Raja Ampat using boats and ferries. This is suitable for those traveling on a budget, and who have the luxury of time to slowly travel.The most commercial way that most people use from Sorong is by taking the Bahari Express Ferry to Raja Ampat, which takes about two hours. This is an air conditioned fast boat service and is reliable.This article has provided most of the important information for traveling here, and also for those who want to know what are the airlines that fly to Raja Ampat. Remember, you need at least two travelling days to get here, which includes flights and boats.
Tuesday 10th of April 2018 07:54:00 AM
- Bukit Matanoi Hill
One of the new emerging places for tourism in Sabah is no other than the Bukit Matanoi Hill, which is located in the Keningau district, about two and a half hours drive from Kota Kinabalu. It is here that you will find the famous Sarang Burong Bukit Matanoi or Matanoi Hill Bird's Nest that was recently completed in early January 2018. With social media postings, this place has seen a sudden spike in local tourist that have been flocking here. The reason? To get that Instagram or Facebook photo of sitting in the bird's nest overlooking the lush rainforest hills here. Simple and easy, the only challenge is getting up that hill.Locals sit in the bird nest for a photo opportunityWhat is at Bukit Matanoi Hill?The question that everyone is asking now, what is available here? Or why should I visit here? And the simple answer is that if you are that person who loves social media, you will want to come here and get that epic photo.While the birds nest attraction is still new here in Malaysia, I will share some tips for those planning to visit this place here in Keningau, Sabah. Some of the tips mentioned are also from my experience traveling around Indonesia.Posing in one of two bird's nest found hereChange of Clothes - Usually, women will bring a change of clothes on their trek, and when they reach the location, they will change into beautiful dresses, shoes and even bring their make up kits to put on some serious make up for the photo shoot.Scarves, Pario or Flags - Some people bring large scarves that will catch the wind, while other bring bright and colorful dresses to contrast the brown and greens when they pose. And for the patriotic travelers, they bring their country flag to display.Once the place gets really popular, you will start seeing wedding photography being done here. Not only for weddings, but even for professional portrait photography of singles or couples.Rafie Robert and his famous Bukit Matanoi social media photo that went viral The new Love Arch at Bukit MatanoiBelow is a list of what is available at Bukit Matanoi Hill in Keningau Sabah;Sarang Burung Bukit Matanoi This is hands down the number one attraction here, with not one, but two bird's nest that overlooks the beautiful landscapes of Matanoi Hill. Locals have been coming here since January to take photos of themselves sitting in these man-made giant bird's nest. Bukit Matanoi Lookout PointThere is a man-made bamboo structure that is built as a lookout point. It is solid, but only a limited number of people are allowed at one time. One of the spots to capture sunset photos at Bukit Matanoi.Love ArchA giant heart arch made out of twigs is one of the new attractions at Bukit Matanoi. This comes with a red wooden bench enough to seat two to three people. Giant Straw HatA man-made giant hat is also part of the attraction at one section of the hill. This is an initiative of the local Kampung Matanoi people, which serves as a decent photograph for your social media postings. Rabbit Farm at Bukit MatanoiA small rabbit farm was created near the entrance area of Bukit Matanoi. This is mainly for the children and families that come here. A visitor poses at the birds nest hereBest Time To Visit Bukit MatanoiHonestly, if you are local, the best time is of course during the weekends, but this comes with a price. You can expect the place to be crowded with many other locals coming here for the experience.This means that you have to take your turn to get that photo, plus you need to make sure that no one is in your photo frame. Quite a challenge, but it can be done. For the foreigner, I would highly recommend you come here on a weekday when it is less crowded, and you can have your photograph taken without having to line up with others. But then again, the smart locals will also do the same thing.The giant straw hat at Bukit Matanoi. Photo by Rafie Robert. For those wanting a photo with clear scenery, I recommend visiting Bukit Matanoi in the morning, as there should be no one here. Usually many locals come here in the evenings for the sunset. Unless there are those who took the day off to visit this place. If it rains, then I would recommend not to visit as it is pointless. The weather would spoil the scenery and the trek up would be slippery. Best to wait for clear weather, or check the weather forecast of Keningau before heading there.A rainbow seen over the bird's nest hereHow far is Bukit Matanoi from Kota Kinabalu? Most city tourist may want to make a day trip to Bukit Matanoi, and it is recommended to leave very early from Kota Kinabalu city. It takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes drive on way to Kampung Apin Apin, and then another 3.6 kilometers to Bukit Matanoi.One you reach the main entrance of Bukit Matanoi, you are required to register at the visitor booth before you start your short hike up the hill. Note that this place is not disable friendly as one needs to hike up hill for a bit before reaching the view point.Expect a large crowd of locals on weekends and public holidaysIn total, you may need about three and a half hours time from Kota Kinabalu all the way to the view point at Bukit Matanoi, hence leaving as early as possible is your best option.There is a signboard by the trunk road leading here, and you will see a Sabah and Malaysia flag by the make shift car park. Usually in the evenings or weekends, there will be a lot of cars parked by the main road.Bukit Matanoi is about 2.5 hours or 108 km from Kota Kinabalu City in SabahAddress for Bukit Matanoi Hill Apin ApinOff Jalan Apin-Apin Bundu Kg. TigaApin-Apin, Keningau, Sabah.Bukit Matanoi Hill GPS Coordinates: 5°29'34"N 116°14'46"EAll photos shown here are from the Bukit Matanoi Facebook Page.Bukit Matanoi is also open after sunset and you can take some beautiful night photosBukit Matanoi Hill ToursRight now, because this is a relatively new tourism product, there may be no one selling tours to Bukit Matanoi Hill. Perhaps in the coming months, some travel and tour agents will start to offer packages here.You can contact Freddy Peter at 019-809 8007 if you need more information or a guide while you are here. Freddy is also in charge of the Bukit Matanoi Facebook Page. However, I will recommend anyone in Kota Kinabalu, namely the foreign tourist, that you rent a car or a driver to bring you here for a fix price. This is probably your easiest and best option to get to Bukit Matanoi in Keningau.
Friday 6th of April 2018 12:00:00 PM
- Halal Bento Delivery Service in Japan
Who would have thought that a Halal Bento delivery service around Japan would excite Muslim travelers in Japan? I for sure was clueless when I first heard about this unique food delivery service for Muslims.While Muslim travelers to Japan have been growing strong over the last five years, it was only right for a company to offer this specialized service. First of all, Halal food in Japan is still in its growing stage, and there is a huge demand for this.Popular destination life cities may have Halal eateries, but because the metropolis is so huge, they may be out of the way for some travelers, hence a Halal Bento delivery came into play.Malaysian-Japanese Halal Bento FoodJaha Halal Bento Delivery in JapanOne company in Tokyo called Japan Halal Kitchen or Jaha, which runs the Japan Jaha Bento delivery, started this unique service in July 2017. The news of this Halal food deliver in Japan has also been the talk of Muslim travelers and has been receiving raving reviews from Malaysia, Singapore Indonesia and around the world.The concept is very simple and straight forward where you order in advance from them, and they deliver the bento to where ever you are in Tokyo or around Japan. How easy is that? Let us take a look at how they run this operation. Japan Jaha Bento has an operations kitchen in Tokyo which is certified Halal. All the food is prepared and packed at this central kitchen located in Omori-Kaigan, Shinagawa district of Tokyo.The daily menu of Japan Halal KitchenJapan Halal Kitchen (JAHA)The main company is called Japan Halal Kitchen (JAHA), which is set up primarily for the increasing number of Muslim travelers to Japan. As the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are getting closer, the strong increase in Muslim travelers will see more demand for Halal food. With the anticipation of the Muslim traveler growth, Japan Halal Kitchen also plans to with travel agents that cater to Muslim travelers to Japan. The company also plans to work with hotels and event venues by providing catering for Halal food. JAHA is also founded by a team of passionate chefs and businessmen, and has obtained the Halal certification to operate their kitchen. The managing director of the company is also Mr. Martin Foong, a Malaysian. Plans for the near future include running a mobile catering service, but there is no information on this project. Currently, a local Japanese company operates Samurai Kitchen, a Halal food truck in Tokyo that moves around popular places. The company has also recently won the Best Asia Halal Brand Award in Japan for 2017/2018, making Japan Halal Kitchen an award winning company.Instructions for self heating bento boxWhat is the Self Heating Bento System?JAHA also provides a revolutionized self heating bento system where all you need to do is just pull a sting, wait for three to five minutes and your bento is nice and hot, ready to be eaten. This self heating technology can last about 10 to 20 minutes, hence if you are a slow eater, the food will remain hot or warm throughout your meal. The self heating bento can also be put in a freezer for storage, but you need to remove the food container for this. Do not put the whole bento into the freezer as it will not work after that. Just remove the paper cover, take out the bento tray and put that tray in the freezer. However, you must take note of the self heating bento and how to operate it. First, do not store the bento box any other way than flat. Next, do not allow children to operate this as they could burn themselves. Always let the adults do the self heating process before passing it on to the children.JAHA delivers their Halal Bento to anywhere in Tokyo CityWhere Does Japan JAHA Bento Deliver To? JAHA Bento delivers to around Japan, namely the popular tourist destinations that Malaysians and other Muslims travel to. They started within Tokyo and eventually moved on to other major cities around Japan. Currently, the halal bento deliveries are to places like Osaka, Mount Fuji, Toyama, Hokkaido, Yokohama, the two Disneylands and Tohoku. You simply need to visit the website and make your booking according to the area you are at. A delivery fee is applicable based on the area.For deliveries out of Tokyo, the Halal Bento is delivered only to hotels which you are staying at. They do not do deliveries to landmarks at places out of Tokyo. What Are The Halal Bento Delivery Charges? As for each order, there are delivery charges and they vary from different areas, and Tokyo being the central, will be the cheapest. There is a minimum order of six boxes for the delivery charges, which are;Within Tokyo - ¥800Tokyo Disneyland - ¥1200Tokyo Disney Sea - ¥1200Narita Airport - ¥2500Haneda Airport - ¥1000Yokohama - ¥1000Kyoto - (Hotel Delivery Only - Contact JAHA)Osaka - (Hotel Delivery Only - Contact JAHA)Mount Fuji - (Hotel Delivery Only - Contact JAHA)Tohoku - (Hotel Delivery Only - Contact JAHA)Hokkaido - (Hotel Delivery Only - Contact JAHA)The National Azabu Supermarket which sells Halal BentoWhere Can I find Halal Bento in Tokyo? Currently, you can find the unique self heating Halal Bento at National Azabu Supermarket in Tokyo. JAHA has made their Halal Bento products available at this special Halal supermarket where you can just walk in a buy them.The National Azabu Supermarket is located in Minato, Tokyo, near the Hiroo Station, which is along the Hibiya Subway Line. The supermarket is well known for selling international foods, gluten free products and many other groceries.For those craving for some Malaysian Bento dishes, take note of the different days that they are available. And not to worry as they come in the self heating bento trays, so you can enjoy hot halal bento food.Monday, Wednesday Friday, Sunday;Malaysia Chicken SatayMalaysia Curry BeefTuesday, Thursday, Saturday;Malaysia Beef Rendang South East Asia Grill ChickenNational Azabu Supermarket 4-5-2 Minamiazabu, Minato,Tokyo 106-0047, JapanHours: 8.30 AM to 9.00 PMWhat else is offered for the Halal Bento Delivery in Japan? As the company is continuously innovating on their halal menu and service, they keep coming out with special limited time food promotions on their website and Facebook page. In the latest promotion, they have introduced some exciting burgers for Muslim travelers.Japan JAHA Bento started offering Chicken Halal Burger at ¥1100 and Beef Halal Burger at ¥1150 from 1st of February 2018. On how long this promotion will last, you can enquire with the company.Halal certification for Japan Halal KitchenHow to Order Halal Bento Delivery in Japan? The big question that Muslim travelers are asking, and it is quite simple. To book your halal bento in Japan, you simply need to visit the website, register for an account and put in your booking dates.In the process of booking using their booking system which is six steps, you may run into an error on the payment part as when I tried to do so, it ran into an error. However, you can contact them in regards to your booking.Alternatively, they are quite active on Facebook, so you can also use the Japan Jaha Bento Facebook page to make your booking. You can also email them to make your booking. Just visit their website, choose the type of meals you want and then email them. They are responsive, therefore they should contact you back quite fast. To do a manual order, you simply need to fill up the information and email or message them and they will process your order. You need to fill up the standard information as below;1. Name : 2. Nationality : 3. Menu Selection : 4. Order Quantity : 5. Date of Delivery : 6. Place/Address of Delivery : 7. Time of Delivery : 8. Telephone / WhatsApp / LINE contact in Japan :Delivery time is during Japanese office hours and depending on areas around Tokyo;Tokyo Area - 9.00 AM till 6.00 PM. Tokyo Disneyland - 12.00 NoonTokyo Disney Sea - 1.00 PM For other areas, please contact Japan JAHA Bento and they will get back to you on the information. The menu from Japan Halal Kitchen or JAHAWhat is the minimum order for the Halal Bento? While single and couples may want to just order one or two, there is a minimum order for the Halal Bento, and it is four sets. This means you can order a double or triple meal, and keep the extra in your freezer or fridge. Japan Jaha Bento InformationWebsite: http://www.jahabento.com/Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/jahabentoEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: +81 80 1270 4543For Muslims traveling to Japan, you can now order a halal bento delivery service in Japan, and this is made possible by the people of Japan Halal Kitchen or JAHA. Even if you are going out of Tokyo to any of the places that they deliver to, you can book your Halal Bento meals in advance and have them delivered to your hotel or landmark you are at. Halal travel became much more easier with this unique service.
Tuesday 3rd of April 2018 05:44:00 AM
- Japan's Most Instagrammed Train Station
For the Instagram travelers, did you know that there is a train station in Japan which is the most Instagrammed train station? Yes, one particular train station called Shimonada is known as Japan's most Instagrammed train station. With digital travelers on the rise since the social media boom worldwide, many new generation travelers have been seeking unique and special places that are Instagram-worthy. The mission is clear cut simple - Having pose in the photo and post it on Instagram or Facebook.Japan's most famous train station.While Japan is one on the popular destinations for this, the most common photos usually shared are from Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto. I am pretty sure you have seen hundreds if not millions of photos with people posing with sakura or cherry blossom photos. Not only that, other popular photos and selfies are taken with Mount Fuji, Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Fushimi Inari Red Gates in Kyoto, Tokyo SkyTree and so on.Well, to be honest, these are the commercial popular places in Japan, and this article shares one of Japan's most Instagrammed train station which is highly popular among the Japanese.A beautiful sunset photographed in Shimonada. Photo by Kosu from Japan.What is Shimonada Train Station? Built in the 30's, this nostalgic station was officially opened on 9th June 1935 and operated by the Japanese Government Railway or JGR and eventually taken over by JR Shikoku in 1987. This is part of the Yosan Line and the station code is S09. The Shimonada Station is also known as Shimonadate Eki, and is so small, that there is only one mini platform that faces the Seto Inland Sea on the island of Shikoku, the smallest of four islands that make up Japan. This is also an unmanned station which makes it event more interesting.The train station became popular when it was featured in various movies, TV programs, Japanese Anime, and even TV commercials over the years. The popularity initially brought Japanese photographers and train fans here to capture the loneliness of this station, but that changed fast.Flowers blooming at the platform area. Photo by Visit Ehime Japan. NHK even ran their 72 Hour documentary here in 2017, where they put a camera team here for three full days to document this station and its visitors. Japanese photographers came from very far parts of Japan, just to photograph this station. Over the years and with the new generation of social media, more people were attracted to this place due to social sharing. As photos went viral in Japan, it became a phenomena for Japanese to put the Shimonada train station as a bucket list destination in Japan.One of the tourist trains stopping at Shimonada StationNow, modern social and lifestyle travelers from the world over are slowly beginning to learn about this unique and mysterious station. Soon you can expect to see foreigners making their way here to get that Instagram photo, and this will slowly be shared among other travelers which will in turn start visiting here.The classic wooden station building. Photo by Kinarino Japan.The wooden station building also houses some memorabilia, photos of the station, information and a guest book for visitors to read or even sign in. A station keeper comes by daily to open the place an some simple housekeeping in and around the station area. A classic red post box is also located just outside the station building for those who may want to post any letters or postcards from here. But you should have your post items ready and just slot it in the main box.A beautiful sunset scene at the station. Photo by KinarinoJapan.Best time to visit Shimonada Train StationThe most popular times to visit the Shimonada Station is just before sunset, to catch that magical golden hour. However, many locals tend to come here on a good clear day to capture themselves sitting at the station platform facing the sea. Summer would be a very good time, but you can expect huge crowds of locals visiting the train station. If you are all out for your epic Instagram shot, you should just rent a car and head there as early as possible to beat the crowd. This way, you can take your own sweet time. March and April is also a popular month as winter ends and spring begins with a nice blossom of flowers around the station area. Just by the station, a small sunflower garden has its own blooms, and they make a perfect photo when you visit during this time.The local Yosai train arriving at Shimonada StationShimonada Train ScheduleThere are a few trains that pass this station and one of the best ways to experience this is by taking the Iyonada Monogatari Sightseeing Train. For those on a budget, it is better to take the local trains that make daily routine trips from Matsuyama station to Shimonada station here. Iyonada Monogatari Train - 4 times a day, weekends and public holidays only. This special train service uses an old classic retro train with modern interior and facilities and makes a short stop here. Due to the popularity of this train service, advance reservations are only accepted and you can get more info and also book from Iyonada Monogatari website. Local Train along the Yosan Line - The locals trains that ply the Matsuyama to Iyo-Ozu cities along the Yosan Line (Amber or Yellow Line) will make stops here. When you buy your tickets, just inform the ticket counter that you want to stop at Shimonada Station.Matsuyama Station to Shimonada Station TrainThis local train makes 8 stops before Shimonada. There are 11 trains running hourly.Duration: 47-60 minutes, depending on train scheduleTrain Schedule;1st Train: 6.02 AMLast Train: 9.08 PMTicket Price: ¥550 per personPhotos of Shimonada Station taken by various InstagrammersRandom Instagram photos of the stationDo's and Don'ts at the Shimonada StationAs always, you must be ethical and polite, the Japanese way when you are here. There will be a lot of photographers and Instagrammers here, hence it is best to take your turn for your photos. Do not take forever to get your photo at the platform bench as there are many others wanting to take that same photo. Please take turns and let others get their photos. If you are done and are not happy with your photo, let the rest finish before you go again. Do not shout or talk loudly there as Japanese people are mild mannered and soft spoken. If you smoke, please do not smoke at the station, as it is non-smoking. You can smoke at the car park area and most importantly, do not simply throw your rubbish as there are rubbish bins available.An outdoor concert held at the platform of the Shimonada StationShimonada Station Sunset Platform ConcertA special concert is performed at the Shimonada train station platform on the first Saturday of September. Here, local artist will take stage to perform Japanese songs to a niche audience who come to witness this once a year event. If you are here in early September, do make it a point to plan your trip so that you can catch the unique Sunset Platform Concert at the Shimonada Station on the first Saturday.Map showing where Shimonada Station is locatedWhere is Shimonada Train Station? The Shimonada Station is located in Futamicho Okubo, Iyo, in the Ehime Prefecture of Shikoku Island. It is also located in the far north west of the island and the nearest large city is Matsuyama City. If you are self driving, just use Waze and locate Shimonada or you can key in the GPS Coordinates: 33°39'18.36" N 132°35'21.12" E or (DD Coordinates - 33.6551 132.5892).The local train from Matsuyama. Photo by Libaclub Japan.How to go to Shimonada Train Station? From Matsuyama Station, it takes about 50 minutes by train and if you choose to drive there, it will take you about 60 minutes from Matsuyama. For those who are coming in from Osaka or Okayama, I would recommend you take a train from Takamatsu all the way to Matsuyama. This will be a long but beautiful coastal train journey with a lot of things to see. Once you reach Matsuyama, you can either check in here and catch the local trains the following day so you need not rush. Takamatsu Station to Matsuyama StationTrain: Yosan Line - Limited Express Limited Express Ishizuchi 29 towards MatsuyamaTrain Type: JR Shikoku Tilt Train (Modern fast train)Duration:2 Hours 40 minutes to 3 HoursTrain ticket ¥6390 per personThe JR train board at the stationWhat else is at the Shimonada Station? On peak periods like weekends and summers, you would be lucky to see one or two vendors who come in trucks to sell the local Shimonada Coffee, fruits, snacks and other drinks. They usually park around the station area by the road and are hard to miss.At the bottom of the station, there is a road, which was newly constructed. Previously, that piece of land used to be a beach where the sea would meet the foot of the station. Shimonada Station was once the closest train station to the sea. Disable friendly - There is a disable ramp to the platform for those on wheelchairs.Shimonada Station by the sea at Shikoku. Photo by Wikipedia Japan. For the serious train tourist, there is also the All Shikoku Rail Pass that you should get as it covers the entire island by train. This is only recommended for those who are into train travel or if you are a train buff. And if you ever wanted to know which is Japan's most Instagrammed train station? The Shimonada Station in Shikoku is the most famous one. Now that you know, it is time to start making plans to visit this unique and interesting place.
Sunday 1st of April 2018 06:13:00 AM
- Coco Cabana Miri - A New Lifestyle and Entertainment Place
If you have been to Miri recently in 2017 and 2018, you may have already been to Miri's latest lifestyle and entertainment place called Coco Cabana. And if you have not, or plan to visit Miri soon, you should be reading this article. Coco Cabana is a modern seaside area where there famous Miri Seahorse Lighthouse is located at Marina Bay. Previously, this place was known as the Marina Bay Seafood Restaurant, but it was taken over buy a new management in early 2017.The main event building at Coco Cabana. (Photo - Coco Cabana FB)Coco Cabana MiriThe multi-purpose seaside area of Coco Cabana offers many different kinds of experiences for visitors coming here. usually on a weekend, this place comes a live with all kinds of attractions. Since opening in 2017, Coco Cabana has played venue to many different kinds of events and one of the well known events in Miri is the Asia Food Festival which was held in April 2017.The open area around the Seahorse Lighthouse in Miri. (Photo - Coco Cabana FB)Food and Entertainment at Coco CabanaFor food and entertainment, there is the Cabana Cafe, which serves some authentic local Sarawakian food. There are also other choices for fast food and drinks. A Sunset Bar serves drinks for those wanting to catch the beautiful Miri sunset. Choices include mocktails and alcoholic beverages. There is also a small art gallery and museum for the public which is open from 9.00 AM till 10.30 PM.One of the bazaars being held inside the main event building here. (Photo - Coco Cabana FB)Art and Craft Market and Bazaar at Coco CabanaOn weekends, you can find the Uptown Market taking place here on a regular basis. This is one of the most successful events that brings in a lot of visitors to Coco Cabana. A good balance of local and international food is sold while there are many other vendors selling souvenirs and other items. On selected months, there is also the Miri Artisan Market, a local craft and handmade bazaar that showcases some of Sarawak's handmade art and crafts. This artisan market takes place inside the Coco Cabana main building in an indoor environment.A cultural performance being held in the event building. (Photo - Coco Cabana FB)What else is there at Coco Cabana? Apart from the cafe, sunset bar and weekend market, this place is well known for sunset viewing. Most locals come here in the evenings (Around 5.45 pm) to catch the beautiful Miri Sunset. At times, it can be really amazing, and all depends on your luck. On most weekends, there may be special events being held around here. It could be a bike week, car show or some other interesting event taking place. Depending on the time you visit, it could be crowded or even quiet.2018 Borneo Jazz posterBorneo Jazz Festival at Coco CabanaFor those of you who may not know, the Borneo Jazz Festival 2018 has found a new home here at Coco Cabana. The event will take place inside Coco Cabana's main event building while the food and village mart will be on the outside area near the Seahorse Lighthouse.For those planning to visit the jazz festival in May, please take note that the venue is now at this new location, which is a fresh new experience. Unlike the previous venue, there are many other activities that will coincide with Borneo Jazz.The layout of Coco Cabana at Marina Bay in Miri (Photo - Coco Cabana FB)Where is Coco Cabana Miri? This new lifestyle and entertainment place is located in Marina Bay Miri, which is a short drive from Miri City Center. The location is towards the end of the Miri Marina, which is about 10 minutes drive from the city. Nearby, there is the popular Parkcity Everly Hotel at Brighton Beach and also the Miri Marriott Resort and Spa which is near the Tanjung Lobang Beach. To get to these places, you need to drive there or take a private car service.Directions to Coco Cabana in MiriHow to go to Coco Cabana in Miri? To get here, you can either self drive here, use a private car service like Grab or hail a taxi from the city area. It takes about 10 minutes drive one way from the center of Miri City. For those adventurous travelers who prefer to walk, it will take you about 45 minutes walk from the center of town. The only road that leads you into Coco Cabana is also Jalan Bandaraya, when you turn off from Jalan Marina Utama.Panoramic view of Coco Cabana. (Photo - Coco Cabana FB)Coco Cabana Miri Address and InformationAddress: Lot 2260, Jalan Bandaraya, 98000 Miri, SarawakHours: 7.00 AM to 11.00 PMWebsite: http://cococabana.my/Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/cococabana.miri/While you are visiting Miri, do not forget to see what are the many other things to do in Miri as there is plenty for everyone. Miri Resort City is growing in terms of tourism and caters to all walks of life, proving a unique Sarawakian experience.There are also a number of new tourism products here and one of them is Container City Miri which opened in October 2017. This two level lifestyle food haven offers some of the best local and international coffee and food culture. With so many attractions and things to do in Miri, Coco Cabana at Marina Bay will also provide visitors with a unique experience.
Friday 23rd of March 2018 10:46:00 AM
- New Venue for Borneo Jazz 2018
A new venue has been selected for the upcoming Borneo Jazz Festival 2018 in Miri Sarawak. This brings exciting news to festival visitors as for the last 12 years, the jazz event has always been held at the Everly Park City Hotel and Resort.This time around, the 13th Borneo Jazz Festival will take place at Coco Cabana at the Marina Bay in Miri, Sarawak. Locals are excited to see this change after more than a decade of the usual beach resort venue.Another new concept is that the Borneo Jazz Festival 2018 will take place for three days from 11-13 May. Previously, the jazz event was a two day event at the former location. This is also the second longest Jazz Festival in Malaysia having been around since 2005.The final Borneo Jazz at Parkcity Everly Hotel in 2017The 13th Borneo Jazz Festival poster and logoBorneo Jazz 2018 - A New ChapterAs a totally new venue and concept, the Borneo Jazz Festival will also feature a brand new event management and organizer which is Kuala Lumpur's No Black Tie. Sarawak Tourism Board or STB remains as the event owner and will be in charge of marketing the destination of Miri. This year also marks the Visit Miri Year 2018 or VMY2018, and the jazz festival is part and parcel of the many events that are taking place in and around Miri. A media briefing was held in Miri on the 21st March at the main venue of Coco Cabana. The Sarawak Tourism Board, No Black Tie and the Miri City Council was present to share the exciting news with local media during the press conference.Zainal Abidin in white surrounded by Sarawak Tourism Board, No Black Tie and Miri City Council at the press conferenceBorneo Jazz 2018 PerformersCurrently, this is the confirmed list of performers for Borneo Jazz 2018. On the day and timing of each performance, it is yet to be announced, but once it is official, I will update it here. The performers are; Chris Stalk Quartet - Switzerland & FranceCecilia Brunori - ItalyGrzegorz Karnas - PolandHavana Social Club featuring Lazaro Numa - CubaJeremy Monteiro & the Jazz Association of Singapore Orchestra (JASSO) - SingaporeMalaysian-Japanese WVC featuring Isao MiyoshiGypsy Jazz featuring artists from Belgium, Taiwan and MalaysiaJohn Dip SilasNadir3 Saxes featuring Tony Lakatos (Germany), Gaoyang Li (China) and Julian Chan, alongside Zainal Abidin, Michael Veerapen and Dasha Logan.Borneo Jazz 2018 festival director Evelyn Hii of No Black Tie during the press conferenceBorneo Jazz Talent SearchFor the first time in Sarawak, a special Borneo Jazz Talent Search event was kicked off in March 2018. This will provide a specialized avenue for up and coming and also talented jazz artist from all over Borneo. The selected artist will have the opportunity to perform on stage, and in front of an international audience during the Borneo Jazz Festival. For more information, please visit the official website of the Borneo Jazz Festival.The new venue for the Borneo Jazz Festival 2018Where is the Borneo Jazz New VenueAs most locals and regular festival visitors are accustomed to the decade long Park City Everly Hotel as the venue, this time around the Borneo Jazz Festival has found an entirely new and exciting home called Coco Cabana at Marina Bay in Miri. Coco Cabana is no stranger to events as the company has been organizing many outdoor and indoor events at their unique venue, at the Miri Marina. For first timers, Coco Cabana is located at the famous Miri Seahorse Lighthouse, 10 minutes drive from the city.Venue for Borneo Jazz 2018 is Coco Cabana at Marina Bay in Miri, Sarawak.The Borneo Jazz Festival will also take place inside the main Coco Cabana building in a multi-stage concept. This means, all performances will be indoors without worry for the weather.As for the food and craft market, it will be held outside at the main Seahorse Lighthouse vicinity where specially allocated stalls are present. This provides visitors with a choice of food, drinks and souvenirs to buy while here.Performers at the last jazz festival in MiriWhen is Borneo Jazz 2018?For the first time in the events history, it will take place for three days instead of two days. This year's Borneo Jazz Festival takes place from 11-13 May (Friday-Sunday). This means that there will be single day tickets and also three day tickets on sale for visitors who plan to attend the festival here in Miri. And there will possibly be the early bird tickets, which you can buy from the website once it is announced.The main Coco Cabana event hall where Borneo Jazz 2018 will take place insideBorneo Jazz Festival 2018Date: 11-13 May 2018Day: Fri, Sat & SunVenue: Coco Cabana, Miri Marina Bay, SarawakWebsite: https://jazzborneo.com/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/borneojazz.official/Tickets: Starts selling on 22nd MarchMain photo credit: Coco Cabana Facebook PageAerial view of Coco Cabana showing the different places. Photo by Coco Cabana Facebook.Sunset at Coco Cabana taken during my visit there in 2017What to do in MiriFor those planning to visit Miri for the Borneo Jazz Festival 2018, there are many things that you can do around Sarawak's Resort City. They include city sightseeing, beach visits, cultural experiences, gastronomical wonders and even outdoor activities. In the main city area, food hunting is one of the top things to experience in Miri while there are local and unique markets to explore. Mind you these are best done in the day time too. There are a number of shopping malls available which offer a variety of products, cafes, restaurants, coffee joints and fast food outlets. This is specially for the city travelers.Close up of the Seahorse Lighthouse hereThe main outdoor area at Coco CabanaFor the adventure seeker, heading out of Miri will lead you to some of Sarawak's most impressive national parks like Lambir Hill, Niah and Loagan Bunut National Parks. To find out more, you can also read my article on what to do in Miri which narrows down most of the different experiences for any kind of traveler. Overall, if you plan to attend this years jazz event, please take note that there is a totally new venue for Borneo Jazz 2018, which is at Coco Cabana in Miri Marina Bay.
Wednesday 21st of March 2018 01:38:00 PM
- 99 Wonderland Park
A new recreational spot has opened in Kuala Lumpur called the 99 Wonderland Park. This new park is located in the Selayang area of KL and surrounds a beautiful lake. The new tourism attraction was officially opened on 14th March 2018 by the Malaysian prime minister. Currently as the 99 Wonderland Park is a new tourism attraction in the Klang Valley, it will be seeing a huge turn out from locals and also foreigners, especially during the weekends. The park also adopts an open concept which allows visitors to interact with nature and landscape. The RM18 million park took about two years to be constructed, and is located in the border of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.Update 20th March 2018 - 99 Wonderland Park will only open to tourist and non-Malaysians on the 14th April 2018. This information was obtained by the management of the park. Various photos of 99 Wonderland Park99 Wonderland ParkThe 99 Wonderland Park in Selayang has a total area of 8.9 hectares, surrounding the Sri Murni Lake (Tasik Sri Murni) and also the Lakepark Residence. 23 acres of recreational park offers attractions, while another 20 acres of lake is used for the lake attractions. Open only in the evenings, visitors can start exploring this park from 6.00 pm till 9.30 pm (10.00 pm on weekends), to enjoy the many unique and fun attractions. You can find natural animal attractions mixed with man made attractions all over this new recreational park in KL. There are two main entrances to the 99 Wonderland Park, the main entrance which is south of the park and the other which is from the Lakepark Residences. Most visitors will be entering from the main entrance at the south side. Sections of the park in the day and nightWhat Can You See At 99 Wonderland ParkThis new park offers quite a bit of things to see and do which is suitable for adults, families and kids. There is a bird island, where are a number of unique birds that have been brought in from around the world are on display.With so many different types of birds, you can expect to see peacocks, parrots, flamingos, ducks, swans and pheasants. Flamingos are highly popular and you can expect many photographers coming here to take photos of these beautiful birds. A special duck lagoon is the open area where ducks roam freely in this part of the park. An ostrich farm is also where they keep live ostriches for visitors to see. I am unsure if there are any ostrich rides at the moment. There is also a deer yard, where you can find Samba Deer. An exotic animal enclave also lets visitors see some of the more unique and smaller animals like the South American Mara and Marmoset (Miniature monkeys), and also Meerkats from South Africa. For now, this is not a petting zoo. Some of the birds and exotic animals seen at the parkOne of the popular places at the park is no other than the Magical Bridge which spans 158 meters across the lake here. The attraction of this is the Love Locks area where lovers lock a padlock on a chain or gate and then throw away the key, symbolically locking their love forever.Once the sun goes down, you will see LED lights illuminate trees and sections of the park, providing a fantasy and fairyland feel here. The best way to enjoy the park is to walk around it and you will come across the many attractions here. Most of them are photo spots, namely to be used for your social media and so on. Please note that this is a walking park, therefore you will be doing a lot of walking to see this park, and the best way is to take your time to walk around. For those who have walking issues, please reconsider. Unless you contact the park about a wheelchair service. Bird Island seen from aboveKinds of unique birds that can be seen at Bird Square of the parkAttractions at 99 Wonderland ParkThe attractions are broken up into different areas around the park and you can find both natural animal attractions and also man-made attractions at 99 Wonderland Park. Remember, you are required to walk around the park to see them. The attractions are;Animal AttractionsBird SquareDeer YardDuck LagoonExotic AnimalsHatchery and Incubator Room (Bird Island)Ostrich FarmRabbit HouseMan-made AttractionsSky Fountain (Lake area)Magical Bridge (158 meters and Love Locks)T-Rex Ring (Mechanical Dinosaurs)Golden Waterfall (Best at night)12 Zodiac Zone (200 meter zodiac walkway)99 Cruise (Cruise around the lake)Signs showing where everything is located atFacilities at 99 Wonderland ParkWhile this park opened in March 2018, there are many other attractions and facilities to be opened soon. For food, there are plans to open a Thai and Seafood Restaurant in the main park area. Drinks and snacks are available at the park from various kiosk located around the lake. For the Muslims, there is a surau or prayer room available. A number of toilets are places around the park too. Night view of the 99 Wonderland ParkFor the patriotic lovers, there is a special I Love BN and Kuala Lumpur structure, and also a 1Malaysia Structure erected at the park. You can get some photos of this at the south entrance of the park. A souvenir shop and cafeteria will soon be opened and you can then buy souvenirs for friends or loved ones from here. Soon To Open ActivitiesAnimal Learning SanctuaryTransformer Open SpaceGlass HouseDirections to 99 Wonderland ParkWhere is 99 Wonderland Park This recreational park is located in Kuala Lumpur and in the area of Selayang. The nearest popular landmark will be Batu Caves. From the center of Kuala Lumpur, it will take you about 20-40 minutes drive one way, depending on traffic. I recommend you leave before rush hour which starts at about 5.15 pm, hence it is best to leave Kuala Lumpur city just before 5.00 pm. You should take about 22-30 minutes to reach the park if the traffic is smooth. If you leave at 6.00 pm, be prepared to get caught in the infamous KL traffic jam heading out of the city area. This can easily take you from 40-60 minutes of traffic time. Google Maps shows it takes 32 minutes during early rush hour from Kuala LumpurHow to go to 99 Wonderland ParkFor tourist, you can easily take a taxi or private car service like Grab or Uber to get to 99 Wonderland Park in Selayang. When you are done, just take the same transport back to Kuala Lumpur. For those self driving, you simply need to head on the Jalan Kuching main road towards Selayang and Rawang, passing the Batu Caves. Once you reach the junction of the old Selayang Wholesale Market (Pasar Borong Selayang), keep left, the park is located by the Lakepark Residence. You can also use Waze or Google Maps to guide you to the park. For those driving, you can use these GPS coordinates - Latitude: 3.236570 Longitude: 101.664519 and there is ample parking available around the park. Make sure you park in the designated parking area of 99 Wonderland Park. 99 Wonderland Park Layout Map99 Wonderland Recreational Park InformationAddress: Jalan 9/3A, Pusat Bandar Utara, 68100 Batu Caves, SelangorTelephone: +6 03 6138 1899Website: http://99wonderlandpark.com.my/Email: email@example.comOpening Hours: Mon to Thurs: 6.00 pm to 9.30 pm Weekends and Public Holidays: 6.00 pm to 10.00 pm Entrance Fee: Free of charge until 13th April 2018 for all Malaysians with MyKad.Non-Malaysians: No information yet*Disclaimer: Photos shown here are from 99 Wonderland Park Facebook and Website. 99 Wonderland Park logoWho Owns 99 Wonderland Park?99 Wonderland Park is a unique recreational landmark in Kuala Lumpur owned by JL99 Group, a remarkable Malaysia property developer who believes in giving back to the society. As this is a totally new tourist attraction in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, it is guaranteed that the park will be seeing a lot of visitors over the weekends. If you dislike crowds, it is best to go on a weekday evening. Due to the proximity of 99 Wonderland Park being close to Batu Caves, tourist can now opt to visit Batu Caves in the late afternoon, and then head to the park by about 6.00 pm. This way, you can see two attractions of Kuala Lumpur in one go.
Thursday 15th of March 2018 12:01:00 PM
- How to Get to Christmas Island
Christmas Island has been high on my bucket list for the longest time ever and recently, something prompted me to do some research on how to get to Christmas Island from Malaysia. You see, back in the day, about 20 years ago, I really wanted to visit Christmas Island but during that time, it was quite difficult as you needed to fly into Western Australia then only connect on another flight there. But over the years, with the aviation industry growing an incredible pace, more and more airlines or budget airlines have emerged providing vast choices for unique destinations. Christmas Island was one of them, so if you want to know how to go to Christmas Island, read on.Where is Christmas Island exactly? Image from Google MapsGetting to Christmas IslandThere are two main airlines that fly to Christmas Island which is from Perth, Jakarta and a third flight from Kuala Lumpur. Surprised? Well, for Malaysians, don't get too excited just yet as the flight from Kuala Lumpur is a special charted flight. This needs to be booked by a travel agents that sells Christmas Island tour packages from Malaysia. From Perth, Australia Virgin Australia flies to Christmas Island twice weekly and on route back, they make a stop over at Cocos Islands before arriving back at Perth. The flight also departs from Terminal 1 of Perth International Airport. Flights are;Every TuesdayVA1909 Depart Perth 13:00 Arrive Christmas Island 15:50VA1918 Depart Christmas Island 16:35 Arrive Cocos Islands 17:40VA1916 Depart Cocos Islands 18:25 Arrive Perth 00:20+1Every SaturdayVA1913 Depart Perth 06:10 Arrive Cocos Islands 09:15VA1917 Depart Cocos Islands 10:00 Arrive Christmas Island 12:05VA1912 Depart Christmas Island 12:50 Arrive Perth 17:25*Prices vary and you need to check the dates or the accurate price. The world famous Christmas Island crab migration. Photo from Christmas Island TourismFrom Jakarta, IndonesiaThe good news for Malaysians or Southeast Asians is that you can now fly in from Jakarta in Indonesia. This means you need not fly all the way to Perth and then to Christmas Island. Departure is also from the International Terminal 3, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. For scuba divers, you should take note that the general checked baggage allowances is 20 kg per person . There is an additional allowance for dive equipment which is AUD30.00 when pre booked. Every SaturdayGA7000 Depart Jakarta: 13:40 PM - Arrive Christmas Island: 15:00 PMGA7010 Depart Christmas Island: 15:40 PM - Arrive Jakarta: 17:05 PMFlight Prices to Christmas IslandOne Way via Jakarta : AUD375.00One Way via Christmas Island : AUD405.00Return Tickets : AUD780.00Bird watching at Christmas Island is one of the main activities. Photo from Christmas Island TourismFrom Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaUnfortunately there are only special chartered flights that depart from Kuala Lumpur. Many years ago, FireFly Airlines used to have direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Christmas Island in 2012. The once a week flight was every Saturday and took 2 hours and 35 minutes flight time one way. The airline also used a B737-400 aircraft for the flights. FireFly Airlines then stopped this route and Malaysia never again saw a direct flight with a commercial airline. In November 2014, Malaysia Airlines announced that they will operate a special charter flight to Christmas Island from KLIA. However, this was short lived too as it was only for one and a half months. The last I heard was that there are one or two travel agents in Malaysia that sell Christmas Island tour package. They operate a series tour with fixed departures with chartered flights from Kuala Lumpur to Christmas Island. But I cannot obtain any information on this.One of the beautiful beaches at Christmas Island. Photo by David Stanley via Flickr.Do Malaysians Need A Visa To Visit Christmas Island? Yes, Malaysians need an Australian visa to visit Christmas Island. The visa can be obtained at the Australian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and is the same visa that is required for entry into Australia. Please note that you should get your Australian visa done before booking your flight or tour package to Christmas Island. Please also note that Australian Dollars are used as the main currency on the island.If you are travelling to Christmas Island from Australia, you do not need any visa or passport as you would have already used it to get into Australia. However, a form of identification is required at the airport.One of the beautiful seaside golf course at Christmas Island. Photo by David Stanley via Flickr.Events at Christmas IslandBelow are some of the major events taking place on Christmas Island for 2018. You may want to plan your visit here according to what type of even you would like to attend. 19 - 20 May 2018 - Christmas Island Golf Open5 - 11 August 2018 - Christmas Island Sea Week8 August 2018 - Ocean Film Festival World Tour screening at the Outdoor Cinema28 August - 4 September 2018 - 12th Annual Bird'n'Nature Week19 - 21 September 2018 - World ARC Yachts Visit Christmas Island1 October 2018 - 60th anniversary of Christmas Island becoming an Australian Territory14 October 2018 - Annual Christmas Island "Destination" MarathonNovember 2018 - Whale sharks return to Christmas IslandFor more information, please visit the Christmas Island website.Signs indicating which roads are open and closed for the crab migration. Photo by David Stanley via Flickr.Interesting road signs seen at Christmas Island. Photo by David Stanley via Flickr.Christmas Island is so small, there are only less than 2,000 residents living there. This makes the destination one of the more interesting places to visit and the island is well known for their Red Crab migration from November to January 2019. You can find Malaysians living there with a mixed community of Chinese, Malays, Eurasians and Australians living together. For language, English, Malay and Chinese is commonly used around the island too. Generally this place is perfect for anyone seeking outdoors, nature, wildlife and culture. For those who have been wanting to know how to get to Christmas Island, I hope this article provides you with the information needed. I truly hope that one of these days, I will have the opportunity to visit this amazing place and in return, share my experience with you all.
Saturday 3rd of March 2018 03:30:00 AM
- Bona Cinemas Opens At Resorts World Genting
Bona Cinemas has recently opened at Resorts World Genting, which is one of the the first attractions that accommodates the new 20th Century Fox World Theme Park Malaysia, and located at SkyAvenue Genting.Opened on the 24th February 2018, China's largest film distributor Bona Film Group who owns the cinema, also plans to open other Bona Cinemas around Malaysia. The Bona Cinema in Genting is also the first overseas cinema for the movie group.The official opening of Bona Cinemas in Genting. Photo by https://www.theedgemarkets.com/Bona Cinemas at Resorts World GentingAs the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park Genting is opening soon, Bona Cinema has opened its doors to visitors and is located in the SkyAvenue area of Genting. The modern cinema currently has four movie halls, and two additional halls will be added in August 2018, which is a VIP hall and also a 250-seat IMAX theater. The current movie halls include state-of-the-art comfortable seats which promises movie goers an amazing experience. For the cinema sound effects, there are using the latest using Dolby Atmos, a next generation audio experience for cinemas.Genting Malaysia Bhd chairman and chief executive officer Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay with Yu Dong (Photo by http://www.sohu.com/)Yu Dong and Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Salleh Said Keruak (Photo by http://www.sohu.com/)This joint venture is something grand that will accommodate visitors to the soon to open 20th Century Fox World Theme Park in Genting. Currently, many are in anticipation for the opening of this new theme park in Genting, which is the first in the world, and here in Malaysia. During the grand opening, the group chairman Yu Dong and Bona Cinema chairman Wang Yi specially flew in from China for this auspicious event held here at SkyAvenue Genting. The opening saw a huge turnout from the public and invited media while it was graced with a traditional lion dance and a ribbon cutting ceremony.Bona Film Theme ParkBona Film Group chairman and general manager Yu Dong has also revealed that there are also plans to build a Bona Film Theme Park next to the new 20th Century Fox World Theme Park in Genting.Recreations from some of the movie sets will be the main attractions of the movie theme park. On when this new movie theme park is opening, there is no official announcement made, but it will soon be known once everything is finalized by both parties.Bona Film GroupAbout Bona FilmsThe company Bona Film was founded in 1999 as film and television production, and also a distribution firm. It is also the first private company to receive a film distribution license from China.Bona Film is currently one of China's largest film distributors having produced and distributed over 220 domestic and international films with a cumulative box office of almost RMB 200 billion (approximately MYR123 billion). They also have cineplexes in 50 locations throughout cities in China.With the new Genting theme park opening and an the Bona Film theme park will definitely make Resorts World Genting (RWG) one of the premier entertainment destinations in Southeast Asia. For now, visitors coming here can enjoy some of the latest blockbuster movies at the all new Bona Cinemas at SkyAvenue Genting.
Thursday 1st of March 2018 08:50:00 AM
- Top 10 Cities You Should Visit In 2018
Travelling has changed so much over the years that people can just hop on a plane and go just about anywhere they like. With easy access that allows both luxury and budget travel, more people are venturing to destinations that have once been considered expensive. Trends too have changed with this, and many travel companies have put effort in monitoring today?s travel trends. One of the companies that has been paying attention to travel trends is no other than Wego, who has been closely accessing what Malaysian consumers what nowadays. The list of top 10 cities to visit for 2018 also saw some changes compared to the previous year. With this data compiled, the company has also made it easier for travelers to highlight which cities they want to visit, and with easy access to booking the flights from Wego. Top 10 Cities You Should Visit In 2018As 2018 is already in the second month, all you need to do is simply plan ahead and just explore these amazing cities listed below, and with their current standings compared to 2017;Shanghai?s amazing skyline. Photo Credit: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/china/shanghaiShanghai, China (51 to 42)Coming in at number 42, Shanghai has always and will be an acquired destination for many travelers. No doubt it is one of the most prominent city in all China, Shanghai comes with a mix of both modern and nostalgic old Shanghai. The Bund in Shanghai. Photo Credit: http://www.chinadiscovery.com/shanghai/the-bund.html Visitors love to explore both sides of this fascinating city where food, lifestyle, shopping, culture and art are easily sourced. Over in the Pudong district, a barrage of modern skyscrapers will easily capture anyone?s attention. The Bund, which separates the old and new areas is probably the most visited place in all Shanghai. A Longtang area in Shanghai. Photo Credit: http://www.china.org.cn/living_in_china/life_in_pictures/2009-07/03/content_18061942.htmThe Puxi area is well known as the core of culture and entertainment in Shanghai and should not be missed. For the explorer, the Shanghai Old Quarter or Old Town Shanghai is probably the best area to get lost in. Notable places include Danfeng and Sipai Road for its authentic architecture and also Yuyuan Gardens for the amazing architecture, food and shopping. Average Airfare to Shanghai : RM1006Best Price: RM427Best Time to Book: MayView of Kathmandu City. Photo Credit: https://travelmassive.com/chapters/kathmanduKathmandu, Nepal (67 to 35)One of the up and coming destinations for Malaysians is no other that this city that is nested among the mighty Himalayas of Nepal. In 2015, a massive earthquake robbed the city of much of its? ancient luster, and two years after that, Kathmandu continues to endure as a curiously intoxicating mix of exotic scents and heartwarming hospitality. Swayambhunath Stupa. Photo Credit: https://handluggageonly.co.uk/2017/09/08/exploring-swayambhunath-stupa-monkey-temple-kathmandu-nepal/Whether you find yourself lost in the backpacker crowd in Thamel or marvelling at ancient monuments in Durbar Square, Kathmandu continues to awe travellers around the world ? so much in fact, the city leapfrogged from 67th place to 35th in 2017.Mustard fields of Khokana. Photo Credit: https://twitter.com/asia_foundation/status/583006258384351232One of the most popular places that travelers love is Durbar Square and Swayambunath Stupa. Kathmandu is a city steeped in faith and mysticism, and one need look no further than the many coins nailed to the Toothache Tree to affirm this. While not in Kathmandu proper, the village of Khokana is famed for the brightly coloured fields of yellow mustard flowers.Average to Airfare to Kathmandu: RM1234Best Price: RM607Best Time to Book: April to JuneIsland hopping in Phuket. Photo Credit: http://www.phuket.com/Phuket, Thailand (37 to 33)Coming in at 33rd place, Thailand?s world-renowned island getaway continues to captivate travellers all around the world. Phuket?s abundance of outlying islands provide the ideal respite from toil and routine as well as opportunities for an awesome snorkeling or diving experience, while Patong offers quite the contrary experience.Patong Nightlife. Photo Credit: http://www.phuket.com/island/beaches_patong.htmWhile Patong or one of the many elephant sanctuaries in Phuket are crowd favourites, tourists wanting a glimpse into the island?s confluence of many cultures can stop by the Shrine of the Serene Light.Sang Tham Shrine/ Photo Credit: http://www.jamiesphuketblog.com/2009/04/shrine-of-serene-light.htmlThe view point of Samet Nangshe. Photo Credit: http://www.travellennial.com/camping-at-samet-nangshe-viewpoint-in-phang-nga/Once a tourists? best kept secret, Samet Nangshe Viewpoint is now one of Phuket?s most popular spots to capture panoramic views. Average Airfare to Phuket: RM339Best Price: RM166Best Time to Book: March to JulySunset View of Sydney. Photo Credit: http://www.australia.com/en-sg/places/sydney.htmlSydney, Australia (32 to 26)Most Australian cities have a readily identifiable niche or two, but Sydney wears so many facades it?s close to impossible to pin it down to anything at all. Vibrant and charming, the Harbour City commands not only a respectable amount of international fame, but also panoramic seafront views, beautiful beaches and a strong confluence of the old and new.Sydney?s most prominent attractions are quite impossible to miss ? the pearl-hued sails of the world-renowned Opera House invite huge crowds all year round and the Sydney Harbour Bridge is an imposing sight to behold as you traipse down The Rocks.Manly Wharf in Sidney. Photo Credit: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/manly-daily/first-look-at-proposed-upgrades-adding-a-secondstorey-to-manly-wharf/news-story/e9b98c5bf751139dbb897e38e2a4ce75If you?re looking to do Sydney like a Sydneysider, head over to Manly Wharf for great surf and great food, or take a tour of Barangaroo and marvel at the district?s many architectural masterpieces.Average Airfare to Sydney: RM1572Best Price: RM621Best Time to Book: MarchOsaka?s Dotonbori Area. Photo Credit: https://blog.gaijinpot.com/neon-lights-dotonbori/Osaka, Japan (26 to 25)Most Malaysians love visiting Japan and it is always Tokyo or Osaka that pops up as the favourite destination. Osaka is all about hanging out with great company over awesome food with a livelier and more playful city compared to busy Tokyo or culturally reserved Kyoto. Japan?s third-largest city truly knows how to have a good time.Downtown Minami in Osaka. Photo Credit: https://kansaionepass.com/en/article/detail/19Visitors can find the perfect balance of shopping and eating in Osaka. While the the abundance of good food and dazzling lights at Dotonbori and the magnificence of Osaka Castle are inarguably Osaka?s main draws, Hozenji Yokocho (which happens to be just adjacent to Dotonbori) and Chihaya ? Akasaka Mura are off-the-beaten trail spots ideal for travellers looking to experience a more traditional side of the city.Average Airfare to Osaka: RM1222Best Price: RM527Best Time to Book: June to JulyIstanbul in Turkey. Photo Credit: http://eventturkiye.com/en/istanbula-7-milyon-yabanci-turist-geldi/Istanbul, Turkey (28 to 17)Turkey had an amazing year for tourism where they emerged from 28th to 17th place in 2017. Situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is a colourful potpourri of cultures richly blended together by antique grandeur and contemporary gleam.Topkapi Palace Library. Photo Credit: http://www.theguideistanbul.com/location/topkap%C4%B1-palace-museum-libraryWhile no trip to Istanbul is complete without a visit to Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sofia, intrepid travelers should give less conventional locations such as the Basilica Cistern and Sakirin Mosque a look.Balisica Cistern in Istanbul. Photo Credit httpswww.ruebarue.comistanbulattractionbasilica-cistern5473559203807232The sheer scale and astounding symmetry of the underground Basilica Cistern not only offers myriad opportunities for enterprising photographers, but also a convenient respite from the summer heat.Sarikin Mosque. Photo Credit: http://www.cheria-travel.com/2016/11/nuansa-klasik-masjid-sakirin-turki.htmlWhile mosques are an ubiquitous sight across the city, Sakirin Mosque is an architectural masterpiece of unparallelled beauty.Average Airfare to Istanbul: RM2340Best Price: RM1328Best Time to Book: MarchMelbourne City. Photo Credit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/oceania/australia/victoria/melbourne/Melbourne, Australia (27 to 13)Melbourne is well known as a global microcosm of cultures where the city?s many districts teem with rich art-deco architecture and offers a myriad of gastronomical experiences for Malaysians.Narrow lane ways and secret alleys conceal some of the world?s best bars and epicurean experiences, as well as a wealth of street art well-deserving of greater mention. Jumping to 13th place, Melbourne?s reputation continues to hold strong in 2018.Melbourne?s Southbank Promenade. Photo Credit : http://shafir.info/plain/australia~melbourne~southbank_1.htmMost visitors to Melbourne will want to traipse down one of the city?s many street-art lane ways or shopping arcades, with mandatory stopovers at the Royal Botanic Gardens and the ever popular Southbank promenade. View of the Coops Shot Tower. Photo Credit: https://www.triphobo.com/places/melbourne-australia/coops-shot-towerIf you are looking for a more eclectic experience, Coop?s Shot Tower provides a glimpse into Melbourne?s past, while The Limelight Department, an attic studio located in the Salvation Army, pays homage to one of the world?s first movie studios.Average Airfare to Melbourne: RM1539Best Price: RM651Best Time to Book: MarchView of Taipei 101. Photo Credit: https://nomadisbeautiful.com/travel-blogs/amazing-things-to-do-in-taipei-taiwan/Taipei, Taiwan (5 to 4)Known for the plethora of mouthwatering street food to the eclectic mix of architectural styles both traditional and modern, Taiwan?s capital feels like a cultural hotchpotch unlike any other.And this is one of the top reasons why Malaysians love to visit Taipei, namely for food tourism and also the unique culture that spreads all over the island. Ximending in Taipei. Photo Credit: https://www.treksplorer.com/best-hotels-in-ximending-taipei/While the Taipei 101 and Ximending are obvious tourist mainstays, Taipei has many hidden secrets and lesser-known attractions that are well-worth a visit. If the summer heat in Taipei is getting you, stop by Ice Monster for their signature Taiwanese-style shaved ice. Longshan Temple in Taiwan. Photo Credit: https://www.expedia.com.sg/Longshan-Temple-Taipei.d6080203.Place-To-Visit?rfrr=Redirect.From.www.expedia.com%2FLongshan-Temple-Taipei.d6080203.Vacation-AttractionWant some hints on where your life is headed? Take a trip down to Longshan Temple and have your fortunes read by a White Javanese Sparrow.Average Airfare to Taipei: RM766Best Price: RM148Best Time to Book: OctoberKK City View. Photo Credit: http://bewickedtravel.blogspot.sg/2012/11/changi-airport-special-kota-kinabalu.htmlKota Kinabalu, Sabah Borneo (4 to 3)Kota Kinabalu makes it to number three on the list, up from 4th place in 2016. Well-known for its? many treks around and up Mount Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu or KK is also a place of breathtaking seaside sunsets and a sanctuary where native cultures flourish alongside the perpetual progression of modernity. The city is huge on seafood, but that?s no excuse to miss out on the excellent street food scene.Peak of Mount Kinabalu. Photo Credit: http://www.mountkinabalu.com/While KK?s biggest draws are inarguably Mount Kinabalu and Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, the city has its? fair share of obscure spots deserving of mention too.Kota Kinabalu Mosque. Photo Credit: https://wall.alphacoders.com/big.php?i=543478Rumah Terbalik Upside Down House will guarantee quite the literal topsy-turvy experience, and the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque, seemingly just floating above the water, will enthrall even the less architecturally ? inclined.Average Airfare to Kota Kinabalu: RM361Best Price: RM267Best Time to Book: AugustAerial view of Bangkok City. Photo Credit: http://www.bangkok.com/Bangkok, Thailand (Maintain at 2)There is no doubt that Bangkok is that one place everybody probably knows at the back of their hands. Coming in at 1st place, the Thai Capital is hands down Malaysia?s favourite destination, and it is very easy enough to see why.A local bazaar in Bangkok. Photo Credit: http://blog.panpacific.com/hotels/singapore-getaways/Choices include great food for highly affordable prices cater to even the most curious palate, a wealth of casual and street-shopping options for even the traveller on a shoestring budget and the reputable standard of Thai hospitality and general warmth that invites casual banter even at the most unfamiliar occasion.Thai wooden boats in Bangkok. Photo Credit: https://www.expedia.com.sg/Bangkok.d178236.Destination-Travel-GuidesMost will agree Chatuchak and Jatujak Green Market (otherwise known as JJGreen) are definite must-sees, and the more culturally inclined ought to include Wat Pho in the list too.For a more interesting take, try the Bangkok Forensic Museum ? a collection of the gory and grotesque, this is one place absolutely off-limits to the faint-hearted; exploring the city?s many Khlongs in a river boat offers a unique alternative to the standard Chao Phraya river cruise. Alternatively, many tourist love to book the cheapest hotels from Wego and the best ones are usually along the Chao Phraya River, where they can easily access all parts of Bangkok. Average Airfare to Bangkok: RM413Best Price: RM169Best Time to Book: SeptemberFor anyone planning to explore and travel for this year, I hope that this list of top 10 cities to visit in 2018 will come in handy for you. Any questions, please do ask below.
Friday 23rd of February 2018 10:32:00 AM
- Bird Watching in Raja Ampat
One of the things that I managed to do during my scuba diving trip was some bird watching in Raja Ampat in West Papua. You may already know from my niche travel blog that I am a scuba diver, adventurer and also bird watcher. I have been bird watching as long as I have been scuba diving and as of 2017, it has been a total of 9 years doing both niche hobbies. Raja Ampat in West Papua has always been a dream destination or major bucket list for me, and in September 2017, this dream came true.A green parrot spotted on my trek to see the Red Bird of ParadiseRaja Ampat Bird WatchingWorking with the Indonesia Ministry of Tourism, under the Wonderful Indonesia Campaign for 2017, a group of us were invited on a scuba diving adventure to three island in the far east of Indonesia, and Raja Ampat in West Papua was the last stop. This gave me some free time and without fail, I had immediately booked a local village bird watching guide who took me for a half morning birding experience here in Raja Ampat. Of course my main objective was to spot the amazing Bird of Paradise, which is the star endemic bird here.Raja Ampat Dive Resort, where I stayed atOn this trip, my sole purpose for visiting Raja Ampat was for scuba diving and with what free time I had, I utilized it to the fullest for my bird watching. I stayed at the Raja Ampat Dive Resort, and around the resort area, I must have spotted at least 10 species of birds. Every morning, I would be woken up by the calls of the Red Bird of Paradise, Parrots and a number of other canopy birds which are really loud. While having my coffee, I would see some of the lory and parrots flying above for their morning feed.A Grey-headed Cuckooshrike spotted eating a cicada on Piaynemo IslandWest Papua is known to be a bird watchers paradise as there are over 704 species (as of 2016) of birds that can be found throughout this part of Indonesia. However, my trip was only to Waisai in the Raja Ampat Regency and thus, I could only do bird watching around here. The balance of bird species are also incredible as there are a total of 640 island that make up the Raja Ampat Regency. Some large islands and many smaller ones attract both lowland and water birds. On an average day, I could easily spot about 10-20 species even without trying.A Great Frigatebird spotted flying over my dive boat in Raja AmpatWhat makes this place a birding wonderland is that the pristine rainforest have been preserved all this time, with very little development done around here. The area is not crowded with villages or people, making it ideal for the avian life. My Raja Ampat Bird Watching Experience For my special birding adventure, I paid IDR300,000 (US$22.00) for a half morning trek and this was via foot from my resort to the Bird of Paradise spot which is about one hours trek inland and uphill. This was of course a special rate for the very little time I had.The beautiful Paradise Kingfisher spotted at about 6.00 am on my trekI started at about 4.00 AM and ended by 8.00 AM, so in actual fact, I only managed to do two hours of solid birding. But the one hour walks were equally fruitful as there were many birds to spot along the way. There were two locations in the rainforest where you can spot the Red Bird of Paradise and if the first location is quiet, the guide will bring you to the second location. At the locations, makeshift benches are available which are organically made.The Red Lory is quite a common bird to spot in Raja AmpatYour guide will ask you to be extremely quiet when you are near the area. Even walking, you should try not to break any twigs. Hand signals are used, or he will approach you and whisper to your ear.At the first location, I sat for a good 10 minutes with no moment. But it was at the second location where I spotted two Red Bird of Paradise, which was pretty amazing, though I did not get a good photo.What I managed to photograph of the Red Bird of Paradise which was spottedLuck was no one my side as time was crucial, by the time I spotted the Red Bird of Paradise, I could barely see them as they were plucking the top canopy leafs, and of course, blocked by the canopy.I could get glimpses of them with my 600mm lens and also my Omicron Binoculars, however I needed to wait for the right moment to photograph them, which of course was quite frustrating.And soon, I needed to be back at the dive resort to go for my 8.30 AM dive, and it was already 7.30 AM when I spotted the birds. I took what ever photos I could, but I saw them through my binoculars and they were indeed beautiful birds. Looking at the time, I had to abandon my mission and head back one hour to the resort to get ready for my dive. Well, at least I managed to spot the Red Bird of Paradise and this gave me motivation to plan another trip back here.Some of the common Willie Wagtails spotted hanging around the resortStar Birds or Raja AmpatWithout fail, one bird comes to mind and that is the Bird of Paradise, which is endemic to Papua. However, I learned that there are 33 species for the Bird of Paradise found all over Papua, which was a shock to me.The good news is that there are four main Bird of Paradise that people look for in West Papua. From what I know, most serious bird watchers will have these four on their checklist. Here is a list of star birds of Raja Ampat that birders want to spot - Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Red Bird of Paradise, King Bird of Paradise, Western Crowned Pigeon, Western Parotia and Northern Cassowary just to name a few of the amazing birds here.A raptor seen in the skies near Piaynemo, can't really tell if this is a Honey-BuzzardRandom Bird Photos Taken in Raja AmpatA Hooded Butcherbird spotted high on the canopy near the resortPacific Reef Egret spotted at sea just before my diveA Helmeted or New Guinea Frairbird spotted on a branchBird Watching Tours in Raja AmpatFrom what I know, bird watchers usually book a 10-day or 30-day bird watching tour around West Papua and this is to make sure that they get to spot the best of the best on this trip.Well, to be perfectly honest, it is not cheap to get here, and once you plan your trip, you got to make the best of it in all possible ways. I would advise against booking a one day tour, unless you are here specifically for a business trip or a quick honeymoon or even a dive trip, then maybe you can book this bird tour for a day.In my case, that was how I did my bird watching here, with limited time, but adamant to do it. In the end, it was an eye opener for me. A Grey-backed Tern flies near my dive boatPrice for Bird Watching Tours in Raja Ampat Please note that the Raja Ampat bird watching tour prices below are based on actual figures from various operators. Some of the bird tours may offer cheaper or more expensive packages and it is up to you to see what is being offered in each of the packages. Raja Ampat Bird Watching Prices 2018 1/2 Day Raja Ampat Birding Tour - IDR 450,000 / US$33.00 (RM140.00)1 Day Raja Ampat Birding Tour (2 Locations) - IDR 600,000 / US$45.00 (RM187.00)5 Day West Papua Birding Tour - IDR 8,041,425 / US$ 595.00 (RM2,512)12 Day West Papua Birding Tour - IDR 79,130,325 / US$ 5855.00 (RM24,728)30 Day West Papua Birding Tour - IDR 121,071,000 / US$ 8958 (RM 37,835)*Prices are based on per person and minimum two or four to go. You need to double check with the operator on this. Prices are also without flights and for the longer days, accommodations, food and transport is included. A Spice Imperial Pigeon spotted on one of the trees on my trek backHow to go to Raja AmpatGenerally, there are flights that connect from Makassar in Sulawesi, directly to Sorong, the capital of West Papua. Once you arrive in Sorong, you need to take another flight or take the Bahari Ferry to Waisai harbor. From Waisai harbor or airport, your bird watching guide will pick you up and send you to your resort. In simple layman terms, you need one full day just for traveling from Bali or Jakarta.However, if you are flying in from elsewhere, be prepared to spend two days just for traveling to Raja Ampat one way. Usually, if you book tours, it only includes the pick up from the port of entry. You can also read my other article on getting to Raja Ampat, which explains everything in detail. Hopefully that can give you a better idea on the travels to this part of the world. Conclusion to Bird Watching in Raja AmpatHonestly, if you are an avid bird watcher, or want to see some of the most beautiful birds in the world, Raja Ampat is your next destination. For me, it was my first time setting foot on this exotic and mysterious land, and how could I not even try a little birding here. For my bird count, I spotted at least 45 species of birds during my five days in Raja Ampat. This includes the many sea birds, raptors and the lowland birds. On my bird watching morning trip, I counted the number to be around 25 species of birds spotted in a total of four hours.An Asian Glossy Starling seen on Arborek Island, Raja AmpatI would easily pack my bags again to visit Raja Ampat in West Papua to do some serious bird watching, probably for a week. Well, not everyone has the luxury of doing a 30-day birding tour.But I know of some birders who are all out to get the world bird count numbers out and they would engage on tours like that. The good thing about birding here is that most of the guides are professional and know what they are doing. They are well knowledgeable about the local birds and know the best times and spots to locate them.Piaynemo in Raja Ampat, one of the iconic places in West PapuaThey understand the difference between a bird watcher and bird photographer too. And the best part is that they communicate in English which makes bird watching here in Raja Ampat easy. You can also read about my other bird watching articles from Malaysia, Borneo and other places as I always make it a point to do this whenever I visit a new destination.For anyone planning to do some bird watching in Raja Ampat, make sure you are well prepared and ready to spent at least five to seven days at minimum.
Monday 12th of February 2018 03:30:00 AM
- Sarang Burung Bukit Matanoi in Keningau
Finally, someone in Sabah has created the famous man-made birds nest for Instagram and social media photos. The name Sarang Burung actually translates as Bird's Nest in English, and it is commonly called by the local Malay name here. This man-made bird's nest was created by the Matanoi Hill Crew of Keningau as a new tourist attraction, in conjunction with the Visit Keningau Year 2018, which is also part of the rural tourism plan of Sabah.Getting photographed during the sunset at the Sarang Burung in KeningauSarang Burung Bukit MatanoiThis Sarang Burung in Keningau Hill was created and completed in early January 2018, and is still considered a very new tourism product. To date, there have been hundreds of locals that have visited this place.What is so special about these man-made overly large bird's nest? Well, bird's nest attractions have been very famous throughout Indonesia due to to sharing of social media postings, namely on Instagram and Facebook. How visitors dress up at the Indonesian 'Sarang Burung' for photographyA number of places around Indonesia have been doing this since a couple of years ago, with some of them amazingly beautiful. Locals take the initiative to bring even costumes for their photography.Apart from the common bird's nest, some even create special themed platforms to beautify the overall photograph. One example is the themed sunflower platform where the person sits in the middle, while it overlooks a river and ravine.Different types of Sarang Burung found all over Indonesia which are very uniqueA Sunflower Deck, that is hugely popular in Indonesia for photographyWith the popularity of these gaining in Indonesia, it was a matter of time before this caught on in Malaysia. This then resulted in bringing the 'Sarang Burung' concept into Sabah Borneo, as there is a number of beautiful hills with lush scenery available. One place that took full advantage of this is the village of Matanoi Apin-Apin, in the district of Keningau. They already had a beautiful hill that locals used to hike up for sunsets, and turned this into one of Sabah's latest rural tourism attractions.Matanoi Hill viewpoint made entirely out of natural bambooAt Matanoi Hill, there are also other tourism products available, not just the bird's nest. There is a man-made look out point which is built entirely with bamboo. This structure is solid, but a limited number of people are allowed at any one time. At the foot of Bukit Matanoi, there is a visitor registration booth where data is collected and all visitors must register before proceeding inside.A series of other man-made items are found around Bukit MatanoiThis is the initiative of the Bukit Matanoi people, who are working together with the local tourism council. A mini rabbit farm is also found here where this is mainly for the children and families.Currently, an new Sarang Burung was added on 18th January 2018, bringing the total of two bird's nest available here. Both nests are built on the ground level.The 1st Sarang Burung at Matanoi Hill in KeningauThe second Sarang Burung at Matanoi Hill in Keningau, Sabah1st Sarang Burung Bukit Matanoi HillThis is the first bird's nest that was built and is the larger unit. This Sarang Burung can easily seat two adults in the nest and overlooks the hillside of Matanoi. This has one of the best views as you can get and overall view of the hillside and even the sunset here.2nd Sarang Burung Bukit Matanoi HillThe second bird's nest was built on 18th January 2018, and is a smaller unit that can only seat one adult. It overlooks the opposite of the first bird's nest here.*Note - Please exercise caution when getting in around here as they are built on a slope. Especially if you are with kids, be careful as you do not want to slip and roll down.The entrance by the main road from Matanoi VillageHow to get to Matanoi Hill in Keningau?Matanoi Hill is located about 3.6 kilometers from Apin Apin Town. It is also about 23.6 kilometers from the city of Keningau in Sabah. Usually, locals will self drive all the way here and park by the road where they will trek or hike up. There are three main gates, which are A,B and C. During the rainy season, only Gate A and B are open due to safety reasons for the third gate. Address for Bukit Matanoi HillOff Jalan Apin-Apin Bundu Kg. Tiga,Apin-Apin, Keningau, Sabah.Bukit Matanoi Hill GPS Coordinates: 5°29'34"N 116°14'46"EPhoto Credits goes to;1. Bukit Matanoi Facebook Page2. Discover Keningau Facebook PageA local is seen posing in the man-made bird's nest at Matanoi HillThe best time to visit Bukit Matanoi is during the weekdays, as it can get really crowded on weekends and public holidays. If you do go there during this time, expect a crowd here. This means, you may need to wait your turn to get your photographs. This district also celebrates the Visit Keningau Year 2018 this year and there are many other sights and attractions found in this district. They range from adventure, nature, food and to culture and history. This Sarang Burung at Bukit Matanoi is the first of its kind in Malaysia and hopefully there will also be other places that will take advantage of this tourism trend. More importantly, to cater to the current social media lifestyle of the younger generation tourist and travelers.
Friday 9th of February 2018 11:25:00 AM
- Michelle Yeoh Visits Sepilok in Sabah Borneo
Hollywood superstar Michelle Yeoh, who is also popular in the Sci-Fi world as Captain Philippa Georgiou from Star Trek Discovery, recently visited the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center in Sandakan, Sabah. Her visit here on Saturday, 3rd February 2018 also marks her 10th year of volunteering and shooting the popular National Geographic documentary called Among Great Apes with Michelle Yeoh. During Michelle's visit to Sepilok, she was escorted by Dr Diana Ramirez, Acting Manager of Sabah Wildlife Department?s Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) and Sylvia Alsisto, Officer in Charge of Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.Michelle Yeoh Visits SepilokMichelle feeds the baby pygmy elephants at Sepilok, SabahMichelle was also briefed about the current ongoing conservation for wildlife here. And currently, there was also the Human Elephant Conflict situation in Sabah, which has brought five rescued orphan elephants under 24 hours care by the wildlife rescue unit's vets and rangers.Michelle Yeoh braved the rain and visited multiple places here in Sepilok. After her briefing, she visited the orangutan viewing platform during the non-visitor hour. From there, the star moved on to the recently opened orangutan outdoor nursery complex. Finally after a full tour of the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, Michelle then visited the one and only Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center, where she was greeted by the founder and CEO, Dr. Wong Siew Te. She was also briefed on the ongoing efforts of the sun bear conservation here. Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh pats one of the pygmy elephants at SepilokMichelle Yeoh had this to say;?After nearly 10 year of volunteering while shooting the documentary here in Sepilok, I am so delighted to see so many changes here in Sabah in terms of Wildlife conservation. Sabah Wildlife Department?s Wildlife Rescue Unit and the gravely important work they do in rescuing and passionately taking care of Sabah?s endangered wildlife is an awe-inspiring experience that Malaysia should be proud of??The establishment of the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre here in Sepilok is also a new conservation initiative that need to be applauded and supported as it gives chance for captive sun bears to be rehabilitated and released back into the wilds of Borneo"? I sincerely cant wait to be back and hopefully work closely with the Wildlife Rescue Unit and showcase the wonderful work they do, to the world at large? With her final statement, most Malaysians and me hope that Michelle will come back to do more conservation work, and perhaps another documentary to highlight the conservation here. Below are photos of Michelle Yeoh visiting Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center in Sabah.Michelle poses with Sabah's Wildlife Rescue Unit Team at SepilokClose up of Michelle Yeoh and the pygmy elephantMichelle takes a moment at Sepilok, SabahBorn in Ipoh, Perak Malaysia, Tan Sri Dato' Sri Michelle Yeoh Choo-Kheng is an actress that has been in numerous Hollywood movies like Tomorrow Never Dies, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and many other movies. She has also been nominated for many awards and won some local awards. Currently, she is well known as her role on the new Star Trek Discovery TV series as Captain Philippa Georgiou. She has also contributed to getting Malaysia on the world map and inspires many Malaysians with her work and also conservation efforts.
Sunday 4th of February 2018 11:23:00 AM
- Why Alor Island Should Be Your Next Scuba Diving Destination
If you are wondering why Alor Island should be your next scuba diving destination, I will share with you the information based on my recent trip there in September 2017.First of all, Alor Island is located in the east of Nusa Tenggara, just after the island of Flores in Indonesia. And second, Alor is one of those places that not many people have explored, making this one of truly raw destinations in the world for scuba diving. Alor Island is part of the Alor Archipelago and has only one main town called Kalabahi where the main airport is located at. In total, Alor Island is home to around 200,000 people which are mostly found in the remote villages around here. The main industries of Alor Island are mostly homegrown small industries like farming and cultivating. With a slow development, there is not much infrastructure here, but there are roads connecting the island. Incredible clear waters of Alor IslandWhy Alor Island Should Be Your Next Scuba Diving DestinationAs tourism is one of the up and coming industries in Alor Island, it is mainly due to scuba diving and snorkeling at the incredibly clear waters and rich marine life. However, there is only one main hotel found in Kalabahi which is the two star Pulo Alor Island. That is it, and I am not kidding. The other accommodations are a few local operated beach lodges and homestays. Usually divers that visit here will opt for the live on board boats for scuba diving. There are no proper restaurants, cafes or modern retail shops and everything is still raw and untouched here. So why you should make Alor your next scuba diving destination? Simply because of the non commercialization, this places takes you to a place never before experienced. People are not spoiled by modernization and this is one of the best factors to visit here.Some of the accommodations seen at the smaller islands of AlorDiving at Alor IslandRight now, there are probably only five dive operators on the entire island, where they are all located in the town of Kalabahi. One of the reputable operators here is no other than Donovan of Dive Alor Dive, who has 25 years of experience diving these waters and its surroundings.Great news is that there are over 63 dive sites at Alor Island, suited for experienced divers and those with the advanced open water certification. Each of the sites provide unique experiences, and the main highlight is the incredible clarity or visibility at all these sites.One of the Alor Island dive sites with incredible visibilityThe main reason for this is that the place is not commercialized. This means, at any dive site you visit, it will be only your group. This is not like diving at Komodo Island where it has become a major tourist attraction.Alor Island is still considered as one of the undiscovered dive destinations of Indonesia, and is a very raw place. Things are still as they were 50 years ago as development here is one of the slowest. Honestly, I really like this place because of this.For anyone planning to dive in Alor, I would suggest you come in a small group as the costs are cheaper when combined together. Read about my Alor Dive trip report from my visit here in September 2017.Dive Operators in Alor Island1. Dive Alor Dive2. Alor Divers3. Alor Diving Kepa4. Alami Dive Alor5. Air Dive AlorBandar Udara Mali-Alor, the main airport on Alor IslandHow to get to Alor Island?Generally, I would recommended you fly in from Kupang in Flores which is a one hour flight and this is the best and fastest way to get here. For my visit here, I took the local flights from Kupang to Alor.Alternatively, there are ferries that operate from Kupang and other smaller ports around East Nusa Tenggara, but this can be tricky or take a longer time. There are private boats that operate from Kupang to Alor, but the journey can take hours.If you are going backpacking style, then you really need to do your homework as not many people speak English. I would strongly recommend you make arrangements with your dive operator, so they can have everything pre-arranged for you when you arrive.The Abui tribe of Takpala Village on Alor IslandWhat Else Can You Do In Alor Island? While diving is the main itinerary here, there are in face a number of things that you can do in Alor Island which is quite general. In most cases, you will either be staying at a homestay, Pulo Alor Hotel or on the live on board boats.I would personally recommend visiting the local town and markets, with a guide of course, and sample some of the local Alornese food. One of them to try is the betel nut chewing which is absolutely out of this world.Pulo Alor Hotel, the best and only hotel on Alor IslandOn the island, you should also make it a point to explore the Takpala Village, which is a traditional Alornese ethnic village. This place is open for tourism and usually the trips here are arranged by your travel or dive operator.For seasoned scuba divers, if you are planning to visit Komodo to dive, I would recommend you consider adding in Alor Island as your next scuba diving destination. This is because you have already made your way to this part of Indonesia and Alor is just the next island on the east of Flores.
Monday 15th of January 2018 03:00:00 AM
- Japan Travel Fair 2018
It is just early January and the Japan Travel Fair 2018 is the first travel fair in Malaysia to take place this year. Held from 11-14 January and at The Starling Mall in Petaling Jaya, this mini fair is all out to promote the various destinations in Japan. The objective of the Japan travel fair is purely to get more awareness to the consumers, namely those living in the suburban areas of Petaling Jaya and its surroundings. This time around, JNTO or the Japan National Tourism Organization, has selected the venue at one of the new shopping malls in Damansara Utama.Travel agents at the Japan Travel Fair in Starling MallWhat Promotions Are Available At Japan Travel Fair 2018? You can find all things Japan at the fair, meaning, all sorts of information about destinations around Japan. In total, there are 20 booths with various Japanese vendors from all over Japan and also some of the local Malaysian tour companies. For first timers visiting here, you should know that commercial places in Japan is not being promoted here at the fair. This means destinations like Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo and Hokkaido information booths are not available.Instead, you will see more unique destinations that are not too far from the usual popular places. Train travel is one of the main highlights as they are the best method to move from city to city in Japan.The JNTO Booth at the Starling Mall in Damansara UamaYou can get travel brochures for these interesting places from the main JNTO booth at the travel fair. The main mission is to introduce other regions from around Japan to Malaysians. If you should already know, most Malaysians have been to Japan, and to the main commercial cities. At this years Japan Travel Fair, there is a main stage area just next to the JNTO main information booth. This is where contest and performances are conducted. A beautiful photo booth is also located next to the JNTO booth.Japanese Yukata photo sessions at the travel fairThis photo booth is where you can wear the Japanese Yukata to take photos against the famous Japanese bamboo wall, which is quite nice. In another section, there are about 10 booths from various Japanese and Malaysian travel agents that specialize in Japan tours. This is where you can get information on the many types of packages being offered. Some of the Japanese travel agentsTravel Agents at Japan Travel Fair 2018H.I.S Travel MalaysiaJapan Travel BureauParlo ToursApple JapanJ-HorizonsHello HolidaysRoystar TravelPearl Holiday TravelMHTTSome of the Japanese prefectures and businesses participating Japanese Travel Companies at Japan Travel Fair 2018 Also invited to participate are selected Japanese prefectures, hotels & resorts and train operators from all over Japan. These vendors are where you can get first hand information about the destinations, in regards to logistics, accommodations, food and places of interest.You would also be in for a surprise as there are not one, not two but three different train companies from Japan participating at the Japan Travel Fair. There are also some tourism prefectures taking part and they are;Okinawa TourismTokyo Disney ResortChi Hotel & ResortIshikawa PrefectureShizuoka PrefectureJR East HotelsJR WestTokyo MetroAsakusa-Ueno VisiondataVisitors on the first day of the Japan Travel Fair 2018Fun activities at the fairThe event itinerary for Japan Travel Fair 2018Visitors to the travel fair can get valuable information from the above companies, and if you still need more information, you can jut visit the main JNTO booth or any of the travel agents there.There are numerous brochures available on various parts of Japan for you to take home and read. They have destinations, food, adventure, Muslim travel and more, and if you have questions, you can always ask the JNTO Malaysia staff.A section of the travel fair at the Starling Mall in PJThe Tokyo Metro booth seem to be one of the popular vendors as there is a lot of information for anyone planning to visit Tokyo. Namely travelling around this metropolis where the daily train passes are the most important item one needs.And if you fill up their questionnaire, you can get a special gift from them which is quite interesting. Even I filled up a form for that unique souvenir from Tokyo Metro.Watch the Japan Travel Fair 2018 VideoAs for fun and games, visitors can have the opportunity to meet a real live Pokemon at the Japan Travel Fair 2018. This is only on the selected hours. But there is a cute Pokemon game where anyone can play to win some cute Pokemon sticker sheets.You can also find out the previous Japan travel fair in Malaysia as I had visited the event to see what was being promoted. The last event was held at One Utama Shopping Mall in Petaling Jaya.Overall, the Japan Travel Fair is catered to the people of Petaling Jaya and also from around the other parts of the Klang Valley. If you are not doing anything this weekend, bring your family, friends or loved ones here as there is much to discover about the other interesting places in Japan.
Friday 12th of January 2018 12:05:00 PM
- Scuba Diving Expos in Malaysia
Over the years, there has only been the Malaysia International Dive Exhibition or MIDE which is held mid year in Kuala Lumpur. This was the only Malaysian scuba diving expo to be held for years, and as of 2018, another international player has emerged to bring the popular Dive Resort Travel Expo to Malaysia. This of course has widened the branding and awareness for scuba diving as a recreational sport, which in turn will assist to enhance tourism in Malaysia and the region. Consumers and scuba divers now have more options with two world class scuba diving expos being held here in Malaysia.At one of the Malaysian dive expos in Kuala LumpurMalaysia Scuba Diving ExhibitionsWith the announcement of DRT Malaysia taking place in early February 2018, many scuba divers are excited to attend this event as all this while, there was only one event happening in Malaysia. When choices are offered, it tends to keep the game up for the exhibition organizers, and many are waiting to see what DRT has to offer. While MIDE happens around mid year, DRT was creative in order to capture the market in the earlier part of the year. This is also seen as a positive move as many diver tend to plan their dive trips early in order to save on expensive flight tickets, better promotions and so on. The Chinese New Year 2018 celebrations also take place on the 16th February, which is roughly two weeks after the dive expo. Dive expo's like the below also attract a number of business to business (B2B) sessions, and at the last expo in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board or MTPB hosted a group of international buyers for the B2B sessions. DRT Show in Malaysia1. Dive Resort Travel Expo Malaysia (DRT Malaysia)As DRT is a strong presence around Asia, namely in China, the dive expo is also found in other countries around the region. DRT is also supported by diving training agencies such as National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), Diving Instructor World Association (DIWA), and the International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD).Originally, the first show was held in Hong Kong in 2010, 18 years ago and since then, it has been to the Philippines, Shanghai, Beijing, Taiwan, and Singapore. It is now the largest dive, resort and travel show in Asia which hosts seven expo's a year. Almost 1000 exhibitors take part from 50 countries around the world, and each show accommodates around 1300 booths. DRT also has a database of almost 100,000 registered members from around the region. As this is the first time that the event will take place in Malaysia, many are curious on to what is being offered here. There should be different exhibitors coming in from other countries around Asia, making this something to look forward to. Some of the key elements that take place at the DRT Show in Malaysia are;Save Our Ocean ProjectLive Judging for Asia Pacific Underwater Photo Challenge (UWPC)100 Star Underwater Photo GalleryScuba Diving SeminarFreediving SeminarUnderwater Photography SeminarUnderwater Videography SeminarDive Destination SeminarMarine Conservation SeminarLucky DrawKids ZoneWhen is DRT Expo Malaysia 2018Date: 2-4 February 2018Venue: PWTC (Putra World Trade Center), Kuala LumpurTime: Fri/Sat: 11.00 AM to 8.00 PM, Sun: 11.00 AM to 6.00 PMWebsite: http://www.malaysiadiveexpo.com/Tickets: RM 10.00 (Normal Entry)Promotion: RM 5.00 (Sign up our WeChat to become our fan and get RM 5 voucher when you visit the show)What MIDE Malaysia looks like2. MIDE 2018 The Malaysia International Dive Expo will take place in early May, slightly earlier this year due to the Hari Raya holidays which falls on 14th June 2018. A month before that, Muslims will observe the fasting period which starts on the 13th May, hence the dive expo is in the first week of May. MIDE is the pioneer scuba diving expo that has been running for `12 years, and 2018 will be the 13th year for this dive expo here in Malaysia. I would safely say that most scuba divers in Malaysia have visited MIDE at least once before. This dive expo provides all the latest news in the diving industry, hosts seminars and talks by various diving industry professionals, underwater photography contest and gallery, retail diving equipment promotions and more. At MIDE 2017, a total of 12,166 visitors attended throughout the three days. Out of that number, there were 1,777 non-divers who were present at the expo. Part of this was also in conjunction with the 'Be A Diver' program, where non-divers were invited to try scuba diving at a mobile pool. There was also a total revenue of RM8.2 million generated throughout the three day dive expo, which is a very healthy number considering that scuba diving is a niche hobby and sport. When is MIDE 2018Date: 4-6 May 2018Venue: PWTC (Putra World Trade Center), Kuala LumpurTime: 10.00 AM to 7.00 PMWebsite: https://mide.com.my/Tickets: RM 5.00Dive expos in Malaysia attract many foreign dive operators to participateWhy scuba divers visit dive expo's in Malaysia? There are a number of reasons why Malaysians visit these dive expos and they are listed below in no order.Information - The main reason is to get updated on the latest trends, news and products for scuba diving. It does not matter if you are a beginner, experienced or even a technical diver. There is a lot of information available for all levels of divers. During these die expo's, one of the highlights are the many seminars conducted by various dive experts. This is one way of sharing information about products, destinations and even marine conservation. At any expo, there would be at least 10 to 20 speakers conducting this over the three days. Tourism - As this underwater sport has grown tremendously in Malaysia and around the region, more people are getting into scuba diving as a leisure hobby. This allows people to visit destinations that cater to diving, as there are many beautiful places in Asia for this. With tourism being one of the biggest travel factor, a number of tourism boards from around Asia will take part at the dive expo's in Malaysia. You can expect to see tourism boards from the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia taking part, providing diving information for their countries. So, if you have been planning to make that epic dive trip to Raja Ampat, you should attend these expos as you can get first hand information about the destinations. Scuba Diving Products - Without fail, dive expo's have created a consumer myth that diving equipment is at its cheapest during this time, and many will hold back from buying any equipment until the expo. At some point, this has become a fact, that retailers and suppliers would offer massive savings, promotions and discount for diving equipment, dive packages and even courses for photography or other levels of diving. A lot of consumers will hold back from buying any equipment, and wait for the dive expo's to see if there are new products or promotions being offered. Underwater Photography - For the underwater photography category, this is also the best time for consumers to browse the many different brands and accessories. Reputable distributors and brands are prominent here and accessories are explained in detailed, providing tips and tricks. This is also the best time for the brands to showcase their new products and accessories for the consumers, and if you are lucky, you could walk away with some items at discounted prices. Some of the brands that participate at the dive exposFor any scuba diver out there, these are the two largest diving expos held in Malaysia and it is recommended to visit. There may have been smaller ones organised by state tourism boards around Malaysia, but those are state specific and cater to the local industries there. DRT Malaysia will be the talk of scuba diving for the beginning of 2018 as it is the first time this expo is happening in Malaysia. As a diver myself, I would highly recommend visiting this expo due to it having a very positive response from other countries in Asia. About the WriterMy scuba diving has taken me around the world, and also to some of the most beautiful dive sites in Malaysia. As a Malaysian, I am proud to say that we do have some world class dive sites which should not be missed by anyone. My last dive was also in the far East of Indonesia in September 2017, where I explored the remote Alor Island on the far east of Flores. You can read about my Alor Island dive trip report if you are interested to venture to this part of Indonesia.That is me diving at Alor Island, East Nusa TenggaraDuring my two week expedition, I also went on the Komodo Island live on board to dive at some of the best spots here. This was truly an experience that is recommended for any diver. My final stop was no other than Raja Ampat in West Papua where I had the opportunity to spend five day there. I ended up seeing the beautiful landscapes, doing some bird watching and of course, the main even which was diving at one of the most beautiful places on earth. If you want to explore other parts of Asia for diving, I would say that any of the dive expos in Malaysia are worth a visit. It is here that you will find all the information you will need for your trip and as for me, I will definitely be there so see you at the next Malaysia dive expo.
Monday 8th of January 2018 02:30:00 AM
- Mutiara Taman Negara Resort Review
This is a review of the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort in Taman Negara National Park. First thing you should know is that in the national park, there is no other resort but this one. All other hotels or guest houses are located opposite the park at Kuala Tahan. To get to Taman Negara National Park, everyone will have to access it through Kuala Tahan, a small river town by the Tembeling River. Once you reach Kuala Tahan, you head to the jetty area and take a river taxi across to Taman Negara National Park. The price is RM1.00 one way per person. The entrance to the national park is also the main entrance of the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort, which is where the park headquarters is located at. All park activities start from here, therefore I hope this provides you with the valuable information. Review of Mutiara Taman Negara ResortThe main lobby area of the resortI visited Taman Negara in April 2017 as part of my tourism product update and stayed two nights at the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort. The third night, I spent in Kuala Tahan at one of the local guest houses, which was quite decent. The Mutiara Resort has been around for more than two decades, named as the most luxurious resort in the national park. Prices are premium, where you can expect to pay around RM200.00 to RM500.00 per night, depending on the type of room, chalet, bungalow or villa. One of the chalets at the Taman Negara ResortBefore you continue reading, you may have already seen photos of this resort on other websites and so on. Let me just share with you about photography and its tricks.Most of the photos are enhanced with HDR or photoshopped by professional photographers. In this article, my photos are all taken by me and edited very little, to show you the real deal. For those of you who plan to stay longer than two days, the resort offers various room promotions with minor discounts. This would work well if you are traveling as a couple or family wanting to have a lovely nature experience. For single travelers, there is also an air-conditioned dorm available and for larger families, there are bungalows with multiple rooms. And if you are a company looking for a retreat or team building trip, Mutiara Taman Negara Resort is one of the recommended places away from the city. The resort also offers meeting and banquet rooms that can accommodate up to 250 people. In total, there are three function rooms within the park grounds, and for that additional surprise, an outdoor barbecue can also be arranged.Deluxe chalet units at the resortChalet Room at Taman NegaraI checked into a chalet suit, which is a single storey semi-detached unit that came with a king sized bed. There is a living room with access to your own private balcony and a mini kitchen area.The unit is done in a rustic wood ambiance which blends in with the rainforest surrounding and perfect for any nature lover.The bedroom at the suiteThe suit chalet also comes with two air conditions, and the attached bathroom is pretty modern which I believe was recently upgraded. Overall, rusting and Eco-friendly and a modern contemporary bathroom, which is a perfect mix. The chalet units are lined along the main walk way, which is about five minutes walk from the main reception area. If you have problems walking, I recommend you book a room that is nearer to the reception area and restaurant.The common area or living hall in the suiteBathrooms are modern contemporaryFor meals, there is only one restaurant called Seri Mutiara, which serves buffet or ala-carte meals that is Halal, and catering to all walks of life. Choices include Asian cuisine and also Continental cuisine.The menu is quite diverse as pizzas, pastas and burgers are also offered. For the non-Muslims, beer is offered by the can or wine is served by the glass or bottle.If you are spending a much longer time staying here, do take the boat taxi across to Kuala Tahan and try some of the local restaurants there. Some of them are pretty interesting, serving Malaysian style local and western food.Seri Mutiara Restaurant at Taman NegaraMutiara Taman Negara FacilitiesIn the main reception area and park head quarters office, there is a souvenir and mini mart combined that sells snacks, ice cream, drinks and even daily necessities. You can also get your insect repellents here. On my free time, I pretty much self trekked around the resort trails which are very safe. Recommended to do this in the mornings. One of the trails lead all the way to the canopy walk too, so if you are not up to sitting on a boat and heading there, you can trek there. One thing you should know is that one weekends, the park entrance can get a little crowded, or even extremely crowded. This is usually because many companies tend to have their retreats here, or even schools having their day trips. If you dislike crowds, I highly recommend you book your stay for a weekday, as it will almost guarantee a peaceful time with you and nature. I have read and head so many complaints about the noisy kids and crowds in the main entrance area. As mentioned, the reason for this is because anyone entering Taman Negara National Park will have to go through here to get to the park headquarters. This is for the park permit and other park activities.The Mutiara Taman Negara Resort JettyActivities at Mutiara Taman Negara ResortWhen you stay here, there are quite a bit of outdoor, nature and adventure activities for guests to choose from. This is suitable for both couples and families, including kids.While I was here, I did the most common things, which were walking the longest canopy walk in the world, rapid shooting up the Tembeling River, visiting the local ethnic village, a night walk and of course bird watching.Some of the deer I spotted while doing the nocturnal walk at Taman Negara National ParkHowever, for visitors here, you can choose what you like and the resort can arrange it for you. Alternatively, you can go to the park headquarters and book your own activities. Below is the list of activities being offered;Night Jungle WalkJungle Trekking at Bukit Teresek and Canopy WalkwayBoat Cruise to Lata BerkohCave ExplorationShooting the RapidsFishingOrang Asli SettlementsWildlife observation hide (Jungle hide)Mountain climbingFour Steps WaterfallOne of the chalets at nightMutiara Taman Negara ResortLocation: Inside Taman Negara National Park, Kuala TahanPhone: +609-266 2200Website: http://www.mutiaratamannegara.com/Book Mutiara Taman Negara ResortBook from Ivy Holidays in Kuala LumpurTel: +60109008699 Whatsapp/Line/WeChatOverall, Taman Negara National Park can be visited on a day trip, but I strongly suggest you spend at least two to three nights to fully experience Malaysia's oldest national park. There are many companies that sell tour packages for Taman Negara, but I recommend one of the reputable tour agents who is Ivy Holidays, and is based in Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur. They have been selling packages for a while and also operate daily shuttle services to and from Taman Negara. The Taman Negara daily shuttle service is catered to those who only need the transport to get to Taman Negara. Most of these guests have already booked a stay at the resort, hotel or guest house around here and there is not actual bus service to the national park.River cruising on the Tembeling River to JerantutIvy Holidays also provides very attractive Taman Negara packages at reasonable prices that suit the visitors budgets. So if you are on a tight budget, they can arrange for a cheaper alternative, while if you want a proper stay at Taman Negara, they can give you the best deal. Birders are also one of many people who come here, especially on weekdays as bird watching in Taman Negara is one of the top places in Malaysia with over 200 species of birds to be spotted. Overall, my conclusion is that for anyone wanting to have a proper experience here, you should consider staying at the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort. Though it is old, and may look a little run down, it is the only resort or hotel located in the national park.
Monday 1st of January 2018 06:06:00 AM
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