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Malaysia Asia

Malaysia Asia

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

Malaysia Asia

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malaysia-asia

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Asia

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2012-02-23 16:12:32

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  • Visit Malaysia Year 2025
    The announcement of Visit Malaysia Year 2025 was made during the presentation of Budget 2023 by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, on 23 February 2023.This comes at the right time as Malaysia, among many other countries, is beginning to recover from the Covid19 pandemic that shook the world tourism industry.Visit Malaysia Year 2025The last Visit Malaysia Year 2020 was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and it will be the sixth time a VMY campaign is held in the country; the first one was held in 1990 and recorded 7.4 million arrivals.The Prime Minister said Malaysia was rich in national treasures and offers beautiful pristine beaches, apart from diverse flora and fauna.He added that such attractions would clearly give Malaysia an edge and the ability to generate more income through tourism activities.Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysia recorded an average of 25 million international arrivals annually, with over 26 million recorded in 2019, and also recorded an all-time high of RM86.1bil in tourism receipts.The Prime Minister said 2025 would be "Visit Malaysia Year", with a target of 23.5 million international tourist arrivals and a projected income of RM76.8 billion.He added that the Malaysian government will allocate RM250 million to promote tourism. RM115 Million will be made available as matching grant funds to collaborate and work with the Tourism, Arts and Culture industries.These matching grants will help promote tourism promotion activities and organise major events such as international sporting and cultural events.The Prime Minister also mentioned that such grants will be used to forge collaborations with Malaysia Airport Holding Bhd (MAHB) and international airlines to encourage charter flights.No official logo or other information is available as it was only announced. It will take some time for the Tourism Ministry to start preparing everything.Once I get more information about Visit Malaysia Year 2025 or VMY2025, I will share it in this article with updates. You can also check the official Tourism Malaysia website for more info.ConclusionWhile the announcement of the Visit Malaysia Year 2025 is relatively new in 2023, much will change over the coming months and years.This means that budgets may increase while specialised targets are highlighted, and many improvements, like the KLIA aerotrain system, will be upgraded.
    Thursday 23rd of March 2023 01:00:00 PM
  • La Vela Khao Lak Review
    I've never been to this part of Thailand before, and on my first visit to Khao Lak, I was thrilled to see and experience this beautiful beachside town of Southern Thailand.Here is my review of La Vela Khao Lak Resort, a five-star beachfront property that sits along the main beach of this beautiful surf town 90 minutes from Phuket.La Vela Khao Lak ReviewOften, I would choose a hotel or resort that offers a balance of everything, and with much research, the internet pointed me in the direction of La Vela Khao Lak.Choosing a resort is also tricky nowadays as every other resort claims to be better than the next one. And these days, many other options exist for researching a hotel or resort.The resort with its distinctive geometrical points.Gone are the days of depending on Trip Advisor as nowadays, a quick search on social media will show more realistic photos and feedback of the property. And there are also Google reviews which do an excellent job of up-to-date reviews from real people.I ended up booking five days at Le Vela Khao Lak, considering after I found out they had three resorts on the same stretch of the beach, I decided on Le Vela.The Journey to La VelaAfter landing at Phuket International Airport and exiting, I was greeted by the resort driver, which had my name on a welcome paper. The van was just outside the airport exit, which was very convenient.It took about 90 minutes to drive from Phuket to Khao Lak, and the roads were excellent, considering that this entire area was devastated by the 2004 tsunami.One of the blocks of rooms with its own private pool area.I must stress that the Thailand vans are very comfortable, and the drivers are well-trained not to speed. That is something my own country needs help with.Throughout the 90 minutes, I just took time to relax and see the laid-back lifestyle of the villages along the way. Many rubber tree plantations are spotted, while some have started to plant palm oil trees.First Impression of La Vela Khao LakArriving in Khao Lak town centre, the whole place was rebuilt from scratch but with a more modern look and feel. There was even a McDonald's there!After passing the town centre, a small junction led further to the coast, and along this narrow road, there were shops on both ends, catering to the tourists with massage, bars, restaurants, tailors and tour companies.The interesting walkway into the main lobby area of the resort.I arrived at La Vela to find the entrance very different from other hotels and resorts. It was very modern and designer-built. My first impression was....wow!The staff greeted us as we headed through a designer passage with mini-column pillars surrounded by shallow pools. The lobby was another wow factor, with many dark wooden tones and two beautiful large white sofas.Check-in was done on the sofa, complete with welcome drinks, and we were also greeted by the general manager, who happened to be a local Malaysian and happy to see Malaysians checking in.Rooms at La Vela Khao LakI booked the pool access room, which allowed direct access to the main pools, and the unit was at Block D, just a three-minute walk from the resort's main lobby.It has been a long time since I stayed in such a beautiful room, and as you know, many of us have not been travelling since Covid 19 hit the world hard.Pool access rooms on the lower level.So, treating ourselves to something nice for a change was only fair. The pool access suite was massive and had a long room concept, which is the type I like. The entire block consists of pool-access rooms and three more floors of sea-facing balcony units, so guests can choose which they prefer.Overall, the most important part of the room was the bed and the bathroom, so those two were the first thing I checked. The bed is a king-sized unit with a simple backboard.The bathroom, however, has two entrances, one facing the pool access entrance and one as you enter the room. It came with a mini jacuzzi tub and split shower and toilet areas with full amenities.Everything is well thought of in terms of convenience and, most importantly, the international plug sockets fitted into the walls. This was a joy for me as I need not use my extension.Pool access rooms are convenient yet fun.Each of the rooms is tastefully decorated and very earth-toned.The pool access rooms are relatively large, with much space to move around.This is the pool access room, where guests can get in and out of the pool and straight to the room.I love how they give a proper fridge in the room versus the commercial small box type.The bathtub cum jacuzzi in the bathroom.Complimentary water is refilled daily while a coffee machine is also available.Some of the bathroom amenities in the room.The international socket fitted in all the rooms makes life so much easier.Facilities at La Vela Khao LakLike any other resort, La Vela offers regular facilities like restaurants, cafes, a gym, and a spa, But one thing stood out: a skate park. I was dumbfounded when I saw that, but I was told that the owner built this during the pandemic to entertain the locals.Khao Lak is slowly becoming one of Southeast Asia's surf and skate cities; hence, the owner decided to build a decent-sized skate park complete with a skate & surf shop.The Kokulo Beach Club is also a nice touch as it is lively and offers some amazing shows on weekends, not forgetting a local DJ that spins music during dinner. There's also live music on selected days by a local Thai musician.Food at La Vela Khao LakThis has to be highlighted as it has been too long since I had some excellent hotel and resort food. The last I remember was back in Dubai when the hotel offered some of the best I have tried.Here at La Vela, I must highlight the breakfast as it meets international standards by offering a balanced variety of east meets west. Just looking at the selection takes up about 15 minutes.The breakfast area is located in a quiet, cosy and comfortable section of the resort.Guests line up for the multiple choices during breakfast.The scrumptious local Thai breakfast choices at the restaurant.Kopi & Tea Corner has a very Malaysian influence.Six types of cheese are served during breakfast. Amazing!So, every morning, I plan to have something different, and if you are a cheese lover, they offer six types of cheese to go with your bread. How about that?While many westerners will go for the continental mix, some want to experience the local Thai breakfast, and I must stress that the noodles and Thai omelette are highly popular.Japanese, Malaysian and Chinese-style dishes are available, and they even have a special room for bread. Can you imagine that?I could go on and on about the fantastic breakfast spread, but I leave it up to you to go there and try it in person.La Vela Khao Lak Resort at night, photo taken with my Galaxy S23 Ultra on night mode.Where is La Vela Khao Lak?La Vela Khao Lak is located at the Bang Niang Beach area of Takuapa in the main Khao Lak area. It is also close to the well-known Bang Niang Night Marker and the main walking street.The main street is Chai Hat Bang Niang Road, where you will find many restaurants, cafes, bars, spas and other shopping outlets. It is about a ten-minute walk from the resort.For those interested, you can book a room at La Vela Khao Lak via their website, as they have many ongoing promotions. ConclusionIt has been a while since I did some overseas travels, and this was my first trip out of Malaysia since the Covid19 pandemic, and I'm glad I visited Khao Lak in Southern Thailand.This also marks my first international hotel and resort writing for the La Vela Khao Lak review done in early 2023. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you have questions, please do ask.
    Tuesday 21st of March 2023 06:15:00 AM
  • Feel Sabah, North Borneo Campaign Launched
    The launch of Sabah Tourism new destination brand tagline "Feel Sabah, North Borneo" at the MATTA Travel Fair here will give a huge impetus to the growth of domestic tourism, says Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Christina Liew.She stressed that the domestic market is still an important economic segment for Sabah, while we welcome international tourists from around the globe.Feel Sabah, North Borneo Campaign LaunchedCiting statistics from Sabah Tourism Board's (STB) Research Division, Liew said domestic travellers contributed two-thirds of the total tourism arrivals in Sabah before the Covid-19 pandemic.Datuk Christina Liew said in an interview;"For the pre-pandemic scenario, the total tourism arrivals in Sabah was 4.19 million visitors in 2019. That year, domestic tourism contributed 2.72 million arrivals, while the figure for international arrivals stood at 1.47 million visitors.Last year, 80pc of the 1.72 million arrivals to Sabah constituted domestic visitors. Based on the Domestic Visitors Profile survey in 2019, one finding is that for domestic visitors, shopping activity is considered high compared with international visitors."The peak of Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, North Borneo.As part of the campaign, the minister then flagged off 10 of 100 e-hailing cars to mark the occasion, highlighting Sabah's new identity at the Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre (MITEC). According to her, all these vehicles bearing the "Feel Sabah, North Borneo" sticker will be around the Klang Valley area for three months as a promotion strategy.The MATTA Travel Fair is one of the largest and most anticipated travel fairs by consumers in Malaysia.Christina also mentioned;"What better venue than this leading Travel Fair for STB to launch Sabah's new destination rebranding - 'Feel Sabah, North Borneo'. This motto is punchy enough to capture people's attention.""Malaysians in other parts of the country will embrace this new promotional theme. Many younger generations may need to know about Sabah's historical and colourful past.So, while they feel Sabah's beautiful nature, warm hospitality, cultural heritage and iconic wildlife, they also get to experience treasures of yesteryear, such as antiques dating back to the North Borneo era. Furthermore, this emphasises our geographical location as a Malaysian State on the Northern part of Borneo Island." Mataking is one of the beautiful islands that Sabah, North Borneo has to offer. STB is under the purview of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment. The Sabah delegation comprised Assistant Minister cum STB Chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, the Ministry's Deputy Permanent Secretary I Mary Malangking, STB Chief Executive Officer Noredah Othman, and STB officials.The map of Sabah, North Borneo.ConclusionPlease visit the official Sabah Tourism website for more information on this brand-new tourism campaign launched in March 2023.The Feel Sabah, North Borneo Campaign was launched on the first day of the MATTA Fair March 2023, which was 17 March, a Friday.
    Monday 20th of March 2023 09:19:00 AM
  • Galaxy S23 Ultra Street Photography in Bangkok
    Here is a special picture compilation of Galaxy S23 Ultra street photography in Bangkok, Thailand, taken from 15-18 February 2023.I was on transit to Khao Lak via Phuket and had a different kind of stopover in Bangkok; therefore, I used the Galaxy S23 Ultra to explore this vibrant city.Galaxy S23 Ultra Street Photography in BangkokIn the last 10 years, I have focused on smartphone photography in Malaysia and other countries when the opportunity arises.Most of my work is simple and straightforward, as I am different from the Gen Z content creators focusing on social platforms. My work is always translated through my articles, which are highly relevant nowadays.The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra was recently launched worldwide through Galaxy Unpacked 2023 on 2 February.Bangkok Street Photography with the Galaxy S23 UltraThe super-famous Erawan Shrine in Bangkok Central. While moving around this area, I captured this semi-wide angle shot from the BTS elevated walkway. Sometimes, you can find great angles from various places and just need to look around for them. Also, you may need to time your shots due to the traffic moving around the area. Notice how there are no cars in front of the shrine.While exploring the Choe Phraya River, I could not hesitate to photograph these large Thai River Prawns, which stood out beautifully against the famous riverway. Again, I went into the 'Portrait Mode' and focused on the river prawns, resulting in a beautiful bokeh in the background.I had to try this unique Mango Sticky Rice Frappe, which was a first for me and using the Galaxy S23 Ultra to photograph this was so easy. I went into the 'Portrait Mode' to get focus on the frappe while the background went auto bokeh. Perfect for immediately sharing photos on social media with friends.A close-up photo of the Four-faced Buddha at the Erawan Shrine, and I love how the S23 Ultra picks up all the details, especially the mirrored mosaic glass decoration pieces. The focus point was the Buddha.The Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel is an interesting subject for architecture, especially on the 'Ultra Wide' mode of the S23 Ultra. You can get an excellent perspective of the hotel's unique and pointed architecture when you go a little low to photograph this. Moments like this require quick action, and while visiting the famous Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, I saw a local doing a prayer to the Four-faced Buddha and captured the moment quickly with the S23 Ultra. I also used the 'Portrait Mode' to get the bokeh effect while maintaining the focus on the person.While exploring Chinatown in Bangkok, I stumbled across a shop selling crystals and tested the S23 on this particular crystal cluster in a sphere shape. Notice how sharp the details are, and this was shot with the normal mode before it went into auto-macro when I got closer.Sometimes, I cannot help but take photos from interesting angles, like this one from the fifth floor of the Terminal 21 Shopping Mall in Bangkok. I was here to explore a Thai seafood restaurant in Bangkok that was highly recommended by many.Sunsets are one of my favourite subjects with smartphones, and this time, the S23 seems to have found a good balance between what your eye sees and what the system produces. This was shot in normal mode with a 3x zoom.This is one of my favourite shots using the S23 at night. Notice how well the camera compensates for the lighting in the gym versus the outdoor lighting. It's quite balanced, and the details are intact when you zoom in on the photo.The S23 picks up the details of buildings and processes them well with the sky colours. This works great, especially on a clear day. I had a great time photographing several beautiful buildings around Bangkok central.When I visited Khao Lak in Southern Thailand after Bangkok, I also took the opportunity to explore night photography with the Galaxy S23 Ultra.ConclusionThese photos are just randomly selected to show a diverse range of photography. Sometimes I will do a series based on location, but Bangkok is too big.And if you have considered upgrading your previous smartphone, I recommend doing it now, as the technology has greatly improved.I hope you enjoyed this article on my Galaxy S23 Ultra Street Photography in Bangkok, and if you want to see more, you can also check out my personal Facebook profile.
    Saturday 18th of March 2023 09:43:00 AM
  • Dream Forest Langkawi
    Dream Forest Langkawi is a new tourism attraction opening on 1 May at the foot of Gunung Raya mountain.This new tourism attraction in Langkawi Island is set to be placed on a world-class level, which is part of an integrated project comprising a Dream Forest Immersive Park and Dream Forest Book Village.Dream Forest LangkawiThe Dream Forest Langkawi is also built at around 20 million ringgit (US$4.5 million). The project is also conceptualised and developed by Enfiniti Group and led by Malaysian Tiara Jacquelina.Tiara Jacquelina (centre) during a press conference.The tourism attraction will feature a multi-sensory, immersive evening walk through a 1.2km trail in Langkawi's lush rainforest, where local stories and legends of the island come alive through the soundscape, illuminations and projection mapping on the trees and the ground. Some spaces are also interactive.During the day, visitors can enjoy nature walks, and at night, the forest transforms into a 6.39-hectare-wide natural theatrical space.When the sun goes down, the forest comes alive.... and the tales of Tasik Dayang Bunting, Merong Mahawangsa and the Giants of Langkawi turn into interactive adventures for visitors of all ages.Tiara Jacquelina during the press conference event.Tiara Jacquelina mentioned the following at a press conference;"The project was four years in the making. It started in 2019 as a very different project, designed to be experienced as separate stories told through various mediums of technology in individual pavilions.This was part of a plan to revitalise and reinvigorate the beautiful, former Kampung Buku of Langkawi. We even had plans for a spectacular nightly performance in an outdoor theatre.By 2020, it was very clear that the tourism industry and attractions like the one we created needed to adapt to a new normal with Industrial Revolution 4.0. The world was changing; the way people travelled and consumed entertainment was changing.?Before you visit the Dream Forest, you must know the following;The venue is dark and has many rough pathways. Wear comfortable shoes such as sneakers.To avoid mosquito bites, wear long sleeves and long pants to avoid skin exposure, and use insect repellent.The park is enormous. Give yourself enough time to explore.Dream Forest Book Village - Phase 2The second phase will be known as Dream Forest Book Village, which will house an events space, F&B and retail outlets, and picnic spots.There will also be regularly curated cultural-based pocket performances of music, dance and poetry readings around the gardens or at the 120-seat amphitheatre.The map to the attraction.Dream Forest LangkawiOpening: 1 May 2023Hours: 5.00/7.00 PM to 12.00 AMClosed: Every WednesdayLocation: Taman Rekrasi Lubuk Semilang, 07000 Kuah, KedahFor more information, please visit the official Dream Forest Langkawi websiteTickets for Dream Forest LangkawiMalaysians ? RM68 adults, RM48 kids, RM28 senior citizensNon Residentials ? RM98 adults, RM68 kids, RM38 senior citizensLangkawi residents ? RM38 adults, RM28 kids, RM 28 senior citizens*Please note that the prices are based on a press release announcement in February 2023.ConclusionThe project's first phase is called Dream Forest Immersive Park and is set to open in May at the foot of Gunung Raya mountain.For those wanting to know more, you can also read Tiara Jaqueline's interview about Dream Forest Langkawi with Business Today, done in February 2023.
    Monday 13th of March 2023 09:31:00 AM
  • Khao Lak at Night with a Galaxy S23 Ultra Review
    Here is a special smartphone photography series of Khao Lak at night with a Galaxy S23 Ultra review done at the end of February 2023. This was also done just after the flagship smartphone was officially launched.I was given the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to test out photography during my work trip to Bangkok and Khao Lak. While at both places, I tested the camera system to see how it compared with the S22 Ultra.Khao Lak at Night with a Galaxy S23 Ultra ReviewIf you did not know, Khao Lak is a lovely quiet beach town 90 minutes north of Phuket and is less known to most travellers. My work was mainly to review the La Vela Khao Lak Resort, one of the top resorts here.One of the common bars seen around Khao Lak town.Spending five days in Khao Lak, I explored the entire area, visiting beaches, national parks, heritage old towns and the main Khao Lak nightlife, unlike Phuket or Koh Samui.So, below are Nightography photos taken using the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra while I explored the nightlife around Khao Lak.I also used the night mode function on the normal and ultra-wide modes during my photo-taking to explore different angles.4-5 seconds of holding still are required when using ultra-wide and night mode, while it only takes 2-3 seconds for the normal mode.Generally, when you click the shutter button, you just hold still for a few seconds. Then the smartphone will calculate and compensate for the photo, resulting in beautiful and realistic night shots.A bar called Fat Shark was photographed in Nightography with the S23 Ultra.A beautifully lit restaurant along the Khao Lak main walking street.Using the ultra-wide angle and in night mode on the S23 Ultra.Motorbikes are commonly used to move around Khao Lak.Shot using night mode with realistic colours as an outcome.An Indian Restaurant is photographed in night mode n the Galaxy S23 Ultra.A vendor sells hand-carved candles and is photographed in night mode on the S23 Ultra.Even with sufficient lighting, you can still capture photos in night mode, like at this art gallery.A local Mookata Restaurant at Khao Lak is photographed in night mode.Night scenes are now even easier with the Galaxy S23 Ultra, as seen in this photo.Capturing the entire Khao Lak street with ultra-wide and night mode.A local Khao Lak restaurant was photographed in night mode on the S23 Ultra.I love the natural colours without over-compensating from the S23 Ultra.Some of the exciting photo-combinations of plants and buildings.A photo of a local pub with striking colours came out just like my eyes saw it.Again, using the night mode, the colours were well-balanced and not overdoing it.This shot shows more greenery versus lights, and with the night mode, it looks natural.Khao Lak's nightlife is captured in night mode on the Galaxy S23 Ultra.Here's a simple shot with fewer lights, and the S23 Ultra knows how to keep it real without overdoing it.Khao Lak at night, photographed with the Galaxy S23 Ultra.ConclusionSince I switched to smartphones many years ago, I have been very impressed with the technological advancements done for every model.I currently use the Galaxy S22 Ultra for Nightography, my favourite smartphone due to its incredible camera capabilities, especially while travelling. Therefore, using the S23 Ultra saw a slight improvement in the camera system.The photos are more natural now, without the A.I. trying too hard; therefore, most of the photos above are what my eyes see at night. That is a huge plus point for me, especially since heavily using Galaxy smartphones for years.And I hope that you enjoyed this Nightography series of Khao Lak at night with a Galaxy S23 Ultra. I will be sharing more reviews in the coming articles.
    Friday 10th of March 2023 12:59:00 PM
  • Thai Seafood Restaurant in Bangkok Experience
    Over the years of visiting Thailand, I've always tried many different restaurants, and this time in 2023, I bring you my Thai seafood restaurant in Bangkok experience at Savoey.Many of you may have been to Bangkok several times and heated at several places, and just like you, I have tried so many, only to be left hanging until I was recommended to this place.Thai Seafood Restaurant in Bangkok ExperienceThe entrance to Savoey Seafood Restaurant in Terminal 21 Shopping Mall.Usually, when I'm in Bangkok, I avoid restaurants because of the stigma of paying a high price to dine in. Therefore, I've always done the safe thing and eaten at more local places.But after more than 30 years of travelling to Bangkok, I was recommended to experience some authentic Thai seafood at a proper place called Savoey Restaurant.Again, the first thing on my mind was the price, as the outlet I visited was at level five of the Terminal 21 Shopping Mall in Bangkok central.So, shopping malls and restaurants equal high prices. But my friend had assured me that I would be in for a surprise, and yes, he was absolutely right.When I walked in, the Savoey seafood restaurant at Terminal 21 looked inviting, well-balanced, and tastefully renovated without trying too hard.The staff, as always, were welcoming, and everyone I passed greeted me with the standard Thai 'Wai'. I have to admit that I felt welcomed when walking to my table.Seafood at Savoey Restaurant Terminal 21The menu's first page shows their signature dishes, making ordering easy.The menu was already on the table and was a conventional restaurant menu with photos of the food and amazingly affordable prices. For a moment, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me.I proceeded to order what was recommended by the waiter, who spoke decent English. And yes, the menu was also in English, which was a plus point.Asking more about the place, I was informed that the Savoey brand has been a Bangkok household name for over 40 years. Wow, that really is a long time.The first thing that caught my eye on the menu was the Seafood Tom Yum Goong, followed by the fresh mud crabs, deep-fried seabass, crab meat curry, vegetables and drinks.Looking around, I noticed more non-locals dining here, but there were still several local Thai people with foreign colleagues eating in too. So, it was not a pure tourist place - fantastic!The food took only a short time; within 15 minutes, dishes started appearing on my table, with the staff explaining each dish to me.Savoey's River Prawn Tom Yum Goong is a great starter.The massive Thai river prawns are used for their Pad Thai dish.Quick-fried Water Morning Glory with cut chilli, known to me as Kangkung.The won tons are made from deep-fried jumbo crab meat.The deep-fried seabass is served with mango salsa.My favourite - Stir-fried mud crab in yellow curry sauce.Stir-fried jumbo crab meat with chilli, Thai style.Honestly, the taste was so much better than I expected, all because the restaurant took passion in cooking the dishes, giving the consumer a truly authentic Thai seafood experience.Overall, the freshness of the food was terrific. More importantly, the authentic cooking style was amazing, giving me a whole new taste minus the overpowering spices like many other places.You should also know that there is no best Thai seafood out there, and everyone has their own taste preferences, but here at Savoey, I was treated to freshness at an affordable price combined with passion in the kitchen.Our ordered dishes gave us a complete Thai food experience in Bangkok.Well, I'm not going to explain each dish to say how it tasted or how good it was, as I would rather you be the judge when you visit any of the Savoey restaurants in Bangkok.My Thai Seafood restaurant experience in Bangkok opened my perception of getting ripped off because I'm a tourist. There's always something new to learn every day.So, if you are headed to Bangkok, I recommend trying any of the Savoey restaurants around the city, and you, too, would be in disbelief about the quality and prices of the food here.The Mango Sticky Rice Frappe is on the right.Drinks at Savoey Restaurant Terminal 21This has to be mentioned, all because I was dumbfounded when I tried that one unique and special Thai Mango Stick Rice Frappe.Oh my god, it was totally out of this world, and if you are a huge fan of Mango Sticky Rice, this is definitely something to consider.My detailed review doesn't do any justice; therefore, when you are in Bangkok, just head to any of the Savoey Restaurants and order this. No regrets! Savoey RestaurantLevel 5, Terminal 21 Shopping Mall Asok,Soi Sukhumvit 19, Bangkok, ThailandHours: 10.00 AM to 10.00 PM DailyPhone: +66 64 017 0237Facebook: Savoey RestaurantLocation Map of Savoey Restaurant at Terminal 21 Shopping Mall.Savoey Seafood Restaurant is located on the fifth floor of Terminal 21 Shopping Mall in Bangkok.ConclusionI hardly do food reviews, but when I do, I make sure the experience is worthwhile for my readers, and this one is definitely a must-share. I also don't just post some text, put in photos and caption them all to get an article out.I prefer to always share personal experiences as any proper travel or food writer will do, hence a story-based article with as much information as possible. And to add, this restaurant is non-Halal.I never expected my Thai seafood restaurant in Bangkok experience to be budget-friendly and exceptionally unique. On my next visit, I will surely return to try the many other dishes they offer.
    Monday 6th of March 2023 04:20:00 AM
  • Jom Cuti Cuti Malaysia 2023 Roadshow
    After almost three years of the Covid-19 pandemic, Tourism Malaysia has brought back the Jom Cuti Cuti Malaysia 2023 campaign, which starts this 24, 25 & 26 February.This popular domestic tourism campaign falls under the main Cuti Cuti Malaysia, which has been well-received over the last decade by everyone and brought to you by the Domestic and Events Division of Tourism Malaysia.Jom Cuti Cuti Malaysia 2023This time, the Jom has been added to the main roadshow (Jerayawara) that will move around Malaysia to different cities, promoting unique local tourism products.Visitors to the roadshow will be treated to various programs, product information, exhibitions and even a contest and daily lucky draws where you can win vouchers and gifts from participating vendors.'The highlight of this roadshow is for consumers to get to know the many different tourism products and destinations from all over Malaysia.And Tourism Malaysia Domestic & Events Division has carefully selected the roadshow vendors for each destination. Check the list below for where the JCCM2023 roadshows will be held at.Program for Jom Cuti Cuti Malaysia 2023 at The Curve Shopping Centre24 February (Friday) - Day 110.00 am : Pameran dan jualan Jom Cuti-Cuti Malaysia bermula11.00 am : Pengenalan produk-produk pelancongan12.00 pm : Persembahan kebudayaan dan cabutan bertuah/ kuiz pelancongan1.30 pm : Laluan Azan Zohor2.30 pm : Pengenalan produk-produk pelancongan4.45 pm : Laluan Azan Asar5.00 pm : Pengenalan produk-produk pelancongan5.20 pm : Persembahan kebudayaan dan cabutan bertuah6.00 pm : Demonstrasi Teh Tarik7.30 pm : Laluan Azan Maghrib8.30 pm : Persembahan kebudayaan dan cabutan bertuah/kuiz pelancongan8.40 pm : Laluan Azan Isya?9.00 pm : Pengenalan produk-produk pelancongan10.00 pm : Pameran ditutupThe official launch program for the Saturday event at The Curve in Mutiara Damansara.25 February (Saturday) - Day 210.00 am : Pameran dan jualan Jom Cuti-Cuti Malaysia bermula dan Pengenalan produk-produk pelancongan10.30 am : Ketibaan hadirin dan media11.25 am : Ketibaan YBhg. Dato? Hj Zainuddin Abdul Wahab, Ketua Pengarah, Tourism Malaysia11.30 am : Ketibaan YB Tuan Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, Timbalan Menteri Pelancongan, Seni & Budaya11.35 am : Persembahan ?Overture?11.40 am : Ucapan oleh YB Tuan Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, Timbalan Menteri Pelancongan, Seni & Budaya11.55 am : Perasmian Jerayawara ?Jom Cuti-Cuti Malaysia (JCCM) 2023? dan ?Pakej Khas Penginapan Staycation #isninkhamisjak bagi Sabah & Labuan?12.00 pm : Penyampaian Cenderamata12.10 pm : Sesi Bergambar12.15 pm : Sesi Lawatan Tapak12.45 pm : Persembahan Kebudayaan1.10 pm : Sidang Media1.20 pm : Jamuan Ringan1.30 pm : Laluan Azan Zohor2.30 pm : Demonstrasi Masakan oleh Dato? Chef Ismail3.30 pm : Pengenalan produk-produk pelancongan dan cabutan bertuah4.45 pm : Laluan Azan Asar5.00 pm : Pengenalan produk-produk pelancongan5.20 pm : Persembahan kebudayaan dan cabutan bertuah6.00 pm : Demonstrasi Teh Tarik7.30 pm : Laluan Azan Maghrib8.30 pm : Persembahan kebudayaan dan cabutan bertuah/kuiz pelancongan8.40 pm : Laluan Azan Isya?9.00 pm : Pengenalan produk-produk pelancongan10.00 pm : Pameran ditutup26 February (Sunday) - Day 310.00 am : Pameran dan jualan Jom Cuti-Cuti Malaysia bermula11.00 am : Pengenalan produk-produk pelancongan12.00 pm : Persembahan kebudayaan dan cabutan bertuah/kuiz pelancongan12.30 pm : Cabutan bertuah/kuiz pelancongan1.30 pm : Laluan Azan Zohor2.30 pm : Demonstrasi Masakan oleh Dato? Chef Ismail3.30 pm : Pengenalan produk-produk pelancongan4.45 pm : Laluan Azan Asar5.00 pm : Pengenalan produk-produk pelancongan5.20 pm : Persembahan kebudayaan dan cabutan bertuah/kuiz pelancongan6.00 pm : Demonstrasi Teh Tarik7.30 pm : Laluan Azan Maghrib8.30 pm : Persembahan kebudayaan dan cabutan bertuah/kuiz pelancongan8.40 pm : Laluan Azan Isya?9.00 pm : Pengenalan produk-produk pelancongan10.00 pm : Pameran ditutupVisitors at the Tourism Malaysia domestic booth during one of the recent travel fairs.Jom Cuti Cuti Malaysia Roadshow 2023There will be several locations around Malaysia where this event will be held. To kick off, the first location is at the famous Curve Shopping Mall in Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya.Anyone out of the Klang Valley can see where the nearest JCCM2023 Roadshow will be in the following months.Below are the locations for the Jom Cuti Cuti Malaysia Campaign;24-26 Feb 2023 - The Curve, Mutiara Damansara, Selangor26-28 Mei 2023 - AEON Mall Nilai, Negeri Sembilan9-11 Jun 2023 - 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Petaling Jaya, Selangor14-16 July 2023 - AEON Mall Kinta City, Perak25-27 Ogos 2023 - AEON Mall Shah Alam, Selangor29 Sept-1 Oct 2023 - Sunway Carnival Penang27-29 Aug 2023 - Sunway Pyramid, Selangor10-12 Nov 2023 - AEON Mall Bandaraya MelakaA random photo of a travel agent explaining tour packages to a customer.ConclusionPlease visit this Jom Cuti Cuti Malaysia Jerayawara 2023 at Curve Shopping Center for anyone considering travelling locally around Malaysia. And visit the official Tourism Malaysia website for additional info.One of the packages to note is the IsninKhamisJak Staycation Promotion for Sabah and Labuan, as several deals are for weekday travellers.By being there physically, you will better understand what is available in the different states or destinations around Malaysia, as a lot has changed since the pandemic.Several new tourism products opened three years ago, while a lot of the domestic packages are even more worthwhile, with more being offered.
    Tuesday 14th of February 2023 08:50:00 AM
  • Sabah Borneo International Music Festival
    In early February 2023, a group from China showed interest in working with Sabah to hold an international music festival in the state.During a courtesy call, the Hong Kong International Musician Association to Tourism, Culture, and Environment Sabah Assistant Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai conveyed this.Sabah Borneo International Music FestivalIts chief executive officer Jye Lee proposed that a Sabah Borneo International Music Festival that features competitions, forums, and masterclasses, among others, be staged in the Land Below the Wind.The group had visited the Sabah International Convention Centre to assess the venue's suitability for events and had found it to have promising possibilities.The Hong Kong International Musician Association is a professional organisation that promotes music artists worldwide. The association has a global reach and has been involved in more than 600 music events across the globe.Jye Lee said;?We aim to offer an international stage for all the musicians, and we believe the Sabah Borneo International Music Festival could potentially attract about 10,000 participants, including family members,?.The Sabah Tourism Board chairman said Sabah was looking into hosting more international events to attract more tourists and draw economic investment, which would benefit the state and locals.Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said;?This is an excellent idea because we want to host a homegrown event. I can see the possibility of working together, and given the association?s global connections and performances, Sabah can take advantage of this network.It's high time Sabah had its very own music festival, and I'm confident we can entice musicians to visit, discover, and draw inspiration from our state's rich culture and landscape,?.Conclusion to Sabah Borneo International Music FestivalFinally, Bangkuai added that the Sabah Tourism Board was keen to understand what the association offered and suggested that the group prepare a proposal paper.On to when this will take place, there is no official announcement and once news is out, I will share it here.
    Tuesday 14th of February 2023 08:49:00 AM
  • PATA Destination Experience Forum Mart 2023
    The Pacific Asia Travel Association is set to organise the PATA Destination Experience Forum and Mart 2023 (PDFM 2023) in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, from 21 to 23 June.The event, supported by Sarawak Tourism Board, comprises four components: destination experiences, a conference, a B2B adventure travel trade show with 1-1 meetings, and various networking opportunities.It provides an opportunity for tourism professionals to gain first-hand practical experience and knowledge in marketing and managing attractions, tourism products, and services that are relatively unknown by both trade and consumers to a global audience responsibly and sustainably.PATA Forum Mart 2023Kuching city is chosen for PATA Destination Experience Forum Mart 2023.Focusing on Ecotourism, Gastronomy Tourism, Adventure Travel, Wellness (particularly Sensory Nature Activities), Destination Management and Digital Marketing, the three-day programme begins with a one-day destination experience through a choice of technical tours, followed by a conference and travel mart spread across two full days, as well as various networking opportunities throughout the programme.With gastronomy tourism being one of the themes of the PATA Destination Experience Forum and Mart 2023, Sarawak Tourism Board CEO Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor said the theme suits Sarawak perfectly, as its capital city Kuching was recognised as the "City of Gastronomy" by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 's Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in 2021.Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor also said;?Sarawak?s diversity in ethnicities and culture has created a wealth of authentic dishes and food that are staples of the indigenous households, passed down through generations, making Sarawak not only a destination rich with nature and culture but also a place to enjoy and relish in a variety of local foods.?PATA Chair Peter Semone said; ?At PATA, we continue to focus on bringing greater depth and value to our events, understanding that, more than ever, delegates are more focused on four aspects when attending events: trading, networking, learning and socialising.As the travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region is seeing positive signs of recovery, the inaugural PATA Destination Experience Forum and Mart 2023 looks to highlight the best practices in destination marketing and destination management in support of a responsible and sustainable recovery for the region. We all look forward to welcoming you to Sarawak, Malaysia.?The year 2022 has been a thriving one for Sarawak tourism as the industry has seen a substantial surge in tourism arrivals since the region opened its international borders in April 2022, with the rise of "revenge travellers" ticking off Sarawak from their wish list and the increasing demand for ecotourism-based destinations, such as national parks and nature reserves, post-pandemic.Kuching is the capital city of Sarawak, Malaysia, located along the southwest tip of the island of Borneo, the third largest island in the world. A vibrant city well known for its immersive culture, adventure, nature, food, and festival elements, it makes you feel at home away from home.Visitors can enjoy pristine rainforests, meet gentle orangutans, spot the world's largest flower, the Rafflesia, check out the second largest museum in Southeast Asia, the Borneo Cultures Museum, and find the rare proboscis monkey endemic to Borneo at the oldest national park in Sarawak, Bako National Park.The program.Conclusion to PATA Forum Mart 2023Registration is now open for buyers, sellers, and conference delegates. Interested delegates can register now, enjoy a Super Early Bird Rate, and receive a 15% discount on registration fees until 15 February. Afterwards, delegates can enjoy an Early Bird Rate and receive a 10% discount until 15 March.Following the event, delegates can extend their stay and visit the Rainforest World Music Festival, which takes place from June 23-25. Event delegates will receive complimentary access to the festival's first night on 23 June and a discount on tickets to access the entire event during the weekend of June 24-25.For more information about the event, please visit the official PATA Forum Mart 2023 website or email Events@PATA.org.
    Sunday 12th of February 2023 07:00:00 AM
  • AirAsia Launches 5 million Free Seats to Boost ASEAN Tourism
    As AirAsia pledges its commitment to boost the tourism industry across Asean, the airline and the Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture, YB Dato' Sri Tiong King Sing, today launched AirAsia 5 million Free Seats Promotion for 2023.Leveraging its strength as the biggest airline with the broadest network and the lowest fares, the campaign will also support the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) in its mission to strengthen Malaysia as a multi-faceted and multi-destination attraction.AirAsia Launches 5 million Free SeatsHaving pioneered low-cost travel in Asia, AirAsia has carried close to 800 million guests in the past two decades. Pre-pandemic in 2019 alone, the airline carried over 25 million guests to Malaysia, more than 40 million guests to the Asean region, and 17 million guests to North Asia.Guests can fly to Penang, Langkawi, Kuching, Sibu, Kota Kinabalu and more from RM23* and to international destinations, including Bali, Krabi, Jakarta, Macao, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Phu Quoc, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore and more from RM60*.For those seeking to adventure out further, AirAsia X offers flights to Gold Coast, Busan, Taipei, Tokyo and more with all-in low fares from RM329* one way on Economy.Flights are available for booking starting today until 19 February 2023, with the travel period between 1 March 2023 and 10 December 2023.As the largest low-cost carrier and the fourth largest carrier (including full-service carriers) in Asia, AirAsia continues to expand its network and grow its market leadership.Completing the final piece of the puzzle, AirAsia Malaysia (AK) will restart its service to four destinations in China: Macao, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Kunming.The airline is also set to welcome the first flight from Guangzhou on Saturday with a substantial load factor of 96%.YB Dato' Sri Tiong King Sing, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia, said:?The tourism sector is a major economic driver for Malaysia, accounting for almost 15% of our gross domestic product (GDP), and air connectivity is the backbone of our tourism sector.As we target to receive 15.6 million tourist arrivals with RM47.6 billion in tourism receipts for 2023, we would like to commend AirAsia for outlining its plan to revitalise the tourism industry and play an integral part in achieving this outcome.AirAsia has done a fantastic job connecting the dots within Malaysia to Asean and beyond and has been instrumental in facilitating national and international connectivity all these years, besides being a major player in supporting the country?s tourism industry.We hope to continue working with all stakeholders, especially the airline sector, to boost tourism and provide connectivity, employment and ongoing spillover effects along the supply chain.? Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A, said:?As they say, size matters! When it comes to airlines, bigger is always better so we can leverage economies of scale and pass on to our guests in the form of lower fares and deliver more value and choice. AirAsia has been a major contributor to Malaysia and Asean?s GDP. AirAsia alone contributes to more than 2% of Malaysia?s GDP. You may think that 2% is a small number, but for a big country like Malaysia, with a GDP worth more than RM1.5 trillion, 2% is a sizable contribution. ?Not only that, we generate significant multipliers beyond the aviation and tourism industry, and as a result, AirAsia contributes to more than 300,000 jobs in Malaysia. And the same trend is seen in all the Asean markets we have a presence in. Now that we?re back almost in full swing, we will continue to play our parts in driving tourism, trade and investment in Malaysia and across Asean. We plan to fly over 69 million guests annually, providing a much-welcomed boost to the Malaysian tourism industry.?Our commitment to excellence never stops. Our on-time performance (OTP) has been steadily improving, and it is now averaging around 80%. We are confident about our OTP, and at the same time, we want our guests to have peace of mind when they travel with us, which is why we are launching an industry-first Flight Delay Insurance underwritten by Tune Protect. All these, together with our recently launched AI-powered concierge, Ask Bo, widest network and lowest fares, will be our big year, and we will only get better from here!?YB Dato' Sri Tiong King Sing and Tony Fernandes launch the campaign in KL.Flight Delay InsuranceThis offers a one-off payment of RM200 if the flight is delayed for a minimum of two (2) hours from the initially scheduled departure time or any new departure time.It is now available for FREE to all guests who book their flights from 10 to 19 February 2023 for the travel period between 1 March 2023 and 10 December 2023.The insurance will be available for purchase starting 20 February 2023 from RM10 (one way) or RM14 (return) on the airasia Super App and the website.AirAsia has also partnered with BigPay exclusively to provide automatic claims credited to the BigPay user's account within three (3) working days.Conclusion to AirAsia launches 5 million Free SeatsFor a seamless and enhanced experience, download the airasia Super App from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or Huawei AppGallery.*The FREE SEATS exclude airport tax, MAVCOM fee, fuel surcharge and other applicable fees. Terms and Conditions apply. **The claim applies to guests who received a delay notification from AirAsia within 24 hours before their scheduled departure time as stated in their itinerary or any new departure time.BigPay users will receive their claims in their BigPay account within three (3) working days based on their mobile phone number.Non-BigPay users must submit their claims to Tune Protect accordingly by visiting the Tune Protect website. For the full T&Cs, please refer to the AirAsia website.
    Friday 10th of February 2023 12:28:00 PM
  • Batik Air Jogjakarta - Kuala Lumpur Flights Without Transit
    Batik Air (flight code ID) member of Lion Air Group, has added international routes, starting January 31, 2023, flying directly (without transit) from Jogjakarta via Yogyakarta International Airport in Kulonprogo (YIA) to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia (KUL).Batik Air Jogjakarta - Kuala Lumpur Flights Without TransitBatik Air's international scheduled flights, Jogjakarta - Kuala Lumpur, will be able to provide benefits for every guest (businessmen and tourists) with a wider choice of flight networks.For travellers and business people, the opportunity to continue flights (connecting flights) through KLIA is connected to the Lion network.Air Group, namely Batik Air (flight code OD), Batik Air Indonesia (flight code ID) and Thai Lion Air (flight code SL) to;Malaysia, consisting of Kuala Lumpur (KUL), Langkawi (LGK), Penang (PEN), Kota Kinabalu (BKI), Melaka (MKZ), Kuching (KCH), Labuan (LBU), Johor Bahru (JHB), Sandakan (SDK)Singapore (SIN)Phom Penh, Cambodia (PNH)Yangon, Myanmar (RGN)Hanoi (HAN), Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and Da Nang (DAD), VietnamBangkok Don Mueang (DMK) and Phuket (HKT), ThailandPlease visit Batik Air Indonesia or Batik Air Malaysia for more information about these flights.You can also visit one of my articles highlighting where to go in Jogjakarta for first-timers visiting this beautiful city in Indonesia.Batik Air at the Jogjakarta Airport.Conclusion to Batik Air Jogjakarta - Kuala Lumpur Flights Without TransitThis is perfect timing as the world recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. In Malaysia, Batik Air was previously known as Malindo Air.The non-stop route between KL and Jogjakarta will also increase tourism both ways, as Jogjakarta is well-known for its iconic Borobudur, Prambanan and Malioboro Shopping Street.
    Friday 10th of February 2023 02:24:00 AM
  • Imperial Riverbank Hotel Kuching Review
    Here is an Imperial Riverbank Hotel Kuching review, where I have stayed several times on visiting cat city in Sarawak.This is one of my favourite hotels because of several factors, and I will list them below to share why I like to stay here.Imperial Riverbank Hotel Kuching ReviewThe hotel is straightforward, but the logistics of it make it easy for visitors to move around Kuching. Especially if you are the type that loves to walk around the city area.So, the Imperial Riverbank Hotel in Kuching is strategically located in the middle of the city, providing easy access to both the older part of Kuching and the Padungan area of the town.Below are a series of photos taken in my standard room, which is sufficient for my stay. Please note I don't go overboard to oversell the hotel with tons of pictures and saying all good things only. I'm more realistic and straight to the point.Here's a wide-angle shot showing the entire room from where the TV is.I love sharing wide-angle shots to give the reader a whole experience of the room.The common area is where amenities and luggage area are.The bathroom is cleverly planned for guests and relatively modern.Basic amenities from the hotel room.The view from my room shows part of the Kuching Waterfront and the Riverside Shopping Mall.VerdictOverall, the simplicity of this hotel makes it an easy place to stay with no high expectations. It's very budget friendly with rates as low as RM100+ per night during non-peak.If you are not a fussy traveller, the Imperial Riverbank Hotel is one of the recommended places to stay. It also caters to single, couples and family travellers and business travellers.Facilities are fundamental, but whenever I'm in Kuching, I skip the hotel breakfast and head over to Padungan to try the local Sarawakian hawker food, where you can find Halal and non-Halal options.Things to try are, of course, the Sarawak Laksa and Kolo Mee, which are undoubtedly a must for anyone visiting Kuching. But if you love fast food, there's a Mcdonald's just opposite the hotel.Just to AddAll the photos above are taken with my Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, as I prefer to use the smartphone for my overall images. It's not like I'm going to enlarge the photos for print as for web use; is it sufficient.I am currently using the Galaxy S22 Ultra for my everyday photography since 2022. I still carry around my mirrorless FujiFilm, mainly for my bird photography in Sarawak.Location of Imperial Riverbank Hotel in KuchingConclusionI hope you enjoyed my Imperial Riverbank Hotel Kuching review and if you always wanted to know what this hotel looked like inside.Sometimes I will travel a few days earlier to attend the famous Rainforest World Music Festival. I usually stay here to explore Kuching city before moving to Santubong for the event.Overall, there are several hotels located around this area, and it all depends on what the guests want. Kuching is a fun city to explore n foot, so I like to stay here whenever I visit.
    Sunday 5th of February 2023 12:08:00 PM
  • Kuala Lumpur Street Art with Galaxy Smartphones
    Here is a special article for Kuala Lumpur street art with Galaxy Smartphones that I have used in the last two years.I am currently using the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the best unit for my smartphone photography due to its incredible camera capabilities that lets me enjoy photography to its maximum.Kuala Lumpur Street Art with Galaxy SmartphonesOver the years, I have travelled around Malaysia a lot for my personal and tourism work, and I always encounter interesting street art or murals painted on shop lots and buildings.I used to take photos with my DSLR camera many years back, and eventually, in 2019, I moved to a mirrorless camera, leaving the bulky DSLR world.Since technology with smartphones has improved, I started to focus on using my Galaxy smartphone for general photography, namely when I walk around for street photography.Therefore, here is a series of street art and murals from around Kuala Lumpur, which I have been taking photos of over the last few years with my Galaxy smartphone.Also, note that some of the street art may no longer be there as the building owners sometimes paint over it. Click on the images to see the full photos.I found this very interesting, and it is one of my favourites. Very minimalist.Cloak is one of the well-known street art and graffiti painters in Malaysia.Sometimes, the messages make up the art.This is one of my favourite street art or graffiti pieces in KL, and it's no longer there.Massive graffiti piece, which I believe was commissioned by Standard Chartered and DBKL.Even Habib Jewels has a mural done at the side of their building.This is found at the original Pasar Karat in KL and is one of my favourites.I believe this was commissioned by a sponsor.Fine street art like this is unique but can be seen in KL.An interesting play of colours for this graffiti piece.I love this piece, which was done during the Covid-19 pandemic in KL.One of my favourite paintings is at a shop lot in Petaling Street, KL.These are the old-school graffiti works seen around KL.Interesting street art murals in KL City.This is hard to miss as it is located by the River of Life in KL.Pik Wah Cafe did a Bornean street art piece showing an orangutan.Building street art on the side of Rex KL.Some of KL's graffiti is interesting.This was taken at one of the car parks before it opened and using my S22 Ultra on a wide angle.Detailed graffiti work captured with a Galaxy S22 Plus.Some of the graffiti was painted in the open car parks of Jalan Sultan.I saw this several times in KL, but I think it is no longer there.Beautiful colours from one of the paintings on a school wall in KL.Old Kuala Lumpur Street Art at Pik Wah CafeBelow is a series of street art murals painted at the side of the Nanyang Art Supply shop at Jalan Petaling in KL city. The cafe next to it is Pik Wah Cafe, which serves coffee and food.Street art shows the life of KL city in the 50s and 60s.Kuala Lumpur in the good old days.Life in Kuala Lumpur in the 50s and 60s.Beautiful details of old Kuala Lumpur.The old KL street art is painted at the side of the Nanyang Art supplies store.This is my all-time favourite street art in KL.I have also done a series of street art photos in Melaka, showcasing some of the fantastic murals on buildings around Malaysia's historical city.For those into landscape and building photography, I also used a Galaxy S22 Ultra to capture smartphone photography of buildings around Kuala Lumpur.And for those travelling around Malaysia, I did an article about places to see street art in Malaysia, which was written in 2015 and updated.ConclusionYou can also take a look at some of my Malaysia smartphone reviews that I have done over the years, including some interesting units like folding and flip phones.And for anyone else who is into this, you can also check out my Smartphone Photography Malaysia Facebook Group, where I and others post pictures.I hope you enjoyed this photography series of Street Art Malaysia with Galaxy Smartphones. I will have another series out soon, so please subscribe to my articles if you want more.
    Wednesday 1st of February 2023 09:33:00 AM
  • Langkawi to Koh Lanta Ferry Service
    There is soon a new ferry service linking Kedah's resort island, Langkawi, and southern Thai's Krabi province, which will help to boost both countries' tourism.Currently, there is only a Langkawi to Koh Lipe ferry service that has been in operation for many years, and the departure point is from Telaga Harbour and now from Kuah Jetty.Langkawi to Koh Lanta Ferry ServiceLangkawi Development Authority (LADA) chief executive officer Nasaruddin Abdul Muttalib said the Langkawi-Koh Lanta ferry service is the latest initiative to boost tourism in both island destinations.This initiation was discussed during a working visit of Thailand's Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, who led a delegation of 28 officials on 6 January.The Koh Lanta Marine Park is one of the places to visit.During the visit, the Tourism Thailand delegates visited several tourist attractions in Langkawi, namely the MAHA Tower, SkyCab, Mahsuri Tomb and Lang Square."They mooted the idea of initiating a Langkawi-Koh Lanta ferry service," Nasaruddin told reporters after an engagement session with Langkawi tourism players at his office in Kuah. Koh Lanta is a famous tourist island for domestic and international travellers in the Krabi province.Nasaruddin also said the ferry operator, Langkawi Ferry Line Ventures Sdn Bhd, has agreed to operate the new route. But there has yet to be a confirmation on when this service will launch.He added that strategic collaboration between Langkawi and Koh Lanta will be further enhanced through official discussions involving the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Tourism Malaysia and Lada.Malaysia and Thailand Immigration ProceduresMalaysia Immigration - The counter is inside Telaga Harbour Marina or Kuah Jetty, where you will receive your Malaysian exit and entry stamp before boarding the ferry.Thailand Immigration - When entering Thailand, there is a brief stop on Koh Lipe Island for Thailand Immigration purposes. After receiving your Thailand entry stamp, you continue the journey to Koh Lanta.*The above immigration procedures may change depending on the outcome of the agreement from both countries; therefore, it will be best to check when buying your ferry ticket to Koh Lanta or Langkawi.One of the ferries from Langkawi Ferry Line Ventures Sdn Bhd.In terms of tourism numbers, Langkawi has also received a total of 2.5 million visitors throughout the year 2022 and expects a rise to 3.2 million in 2023. LADA targets 78 per cent of domestic tourists, and the rest are international tourists.Conclusion to Langkawi to Koh Lanta Ferry ServiceI have been visiting Koh Lipe since 2007 and have seen the massive changes done because of tourism. Koh Lanta is still a lesser-developed destination and will suit those who prefer something quiet.Until this very day, getting to Koh Lipe is still done via boats as there is no airport or roads connecting this beautiful island in the southwest of Thailand.For those planning to visit this part of Southern Thailand, soon you will be able to take the Langkawi to Koh Lanta ferry service.
    Thursday 26th of January 2023 06:45:00 AM
  • Rainforest World Music Festival 2023
    Are you ready for Rainforest World Music Festival 2023? Because this year is going to be bigger and better than the last.RWMF2023, called in short, will take place at the same venue at the Sarawak Cultural Village, one hour from Kuching and from 23-25 June.Rainforest World Music Festival 2023And, if you did not know, this is also the 26th year that the RWMF is taking place, and as always, visitors will be treated to a spectacular show like no other concert or festival.The unique and fascinating Miring Ceremony was performed to officiate the RWMF.The Rainforest World Music Festival is truly one of the most unique music festivals in the world and is held here in Sarawak, Malaysia Borneo.While the dates have been announced since 2022, this article reminds everyone that you should start making travel and accommodation arrangements now.June is just around the corner, and at the snap of your finger, it will be time to start preparing for RWMF2023.The great Alena Murang played at the last RWMF2022.Why Start Preparing for RWMF 2023?Every year, I encounter friends and acquaintances that always say they want to visit the festival but never book in advance, and usually, they will be reminded by me, and it is too late then.This time, I'm coming out with the article early in the year to remind you to start making travel arrangements for the Rainforest World Music Festival 2023.As the dates for the event are locked, you can start looking at flights to Kuching, and you should know by now that if you book in advance, you tend to get lower prices.And not only that, there is a new Malaysian airline in the market called MyAirline that flies from KL to Kuching, and they should have some great promotional prices now.And, of course, AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, Batik Air and Firefly Airline fly to Kuching from Kuala Lumpur and several other cities.Some international airlines also fly into Kuching, one of which is Scoot from Singapore. The Sarawak government is also working on bringing in more international flights.For RWMF 2023, you can expect a crowd like the last year.What to do at the Rainforest World Music Festival?While the entire RWMF revolves around ethnic-fusion music and a diverse cultural experience, some may wonder what else can be done here.Not to worry, I have created an article on things to do at the Rainforest World Music Festival, so you can better understand how to plan your trip there.Rainforest World Music Festival 2023Date: 23 - 25 June 2023Venue: Sarawak Cultural Village, SantubongTickets: RWMF Main WebsiteYou can also see some of my photos of the Rainforest World Music Festival 2022, which I took using a Huawei P50 smartphone.The unique crown at the recent RWMF 2022.How to go to RWMF2023?This is for first-timers attending or planning to attend RWMF2023 in Sarawak; please note that the venue is about an hour's drive from the capital city of Kuching.I have come up with this article on how to go to the Rainforest World Music Festival. It covers overland transportation from Kuching to Santubong and even flights into Kuching, Sarawak.A beautifully designed promo for RWMF.Conclusion to Rainforest World Music Festival 2023That's all for now; in the coming months, I will update this article with more information on the Rainforest World Music Festival 2023 as it is gradually shared.And again, for those who want to visit this one-of-a-kind festival, start making early inquiries or bookings for your flights and hotels. You should know that the closer you get to the festival, the higher the chances of rooms being sold out or flights getting expensive.
    Monday 16th of January 2023 01:55:00 PM
  • TAT strengthens Visit Thailand Year 2023
    The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is strengthening the ongoing "Visit Thailand Year: Amazing New Chapters" campaign towards a meaningful travel direction.Underlining the kingdom's soft power foundations and experience-based tourism, key strategies include elevating supply and sustainable standards and raising awareness among stakeholders about the importance of being hospitable hosts to all visitors.TAT strengthens Visit Thailand Year 2023The 'Visit Thailand Year 2022' campaign was at the forefront of the kingdom's efforts to drive the Thai economy forward in its first year.Thailand welcomed 11.8 million international tourists and recorded 189 million domestic trips ? a milestone achievement that reflected the successful restoration of the country's tourism industry from the concerted efforts of all stakeholders.With this tourism revival continuing to pick up momentum amid volatile global challenges, Thailand aims for 2.38 trillion Baht in overall tourism revenue in 2023 ? representing a return to 80% of the pre-pandemic level seen in 2019.Through the "Visit Thailand Year 2023: Amazing New Chapters" campaign, TAT emphasises the promotion and development of high-value and sustainable tourism in Thailand.This includes elevating the tourism supply (Shape Supply) to offer experience-based tourism and leveraging the kingdom's 5F soft-power foundations ? Food, Film, Festival, Fight and Fashion ? to offer meaningful travel experiences in Thailand.TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn on stage.?Amazing Thailand? brandingTAT will continue communicating and strengthening its global campaign's long-standing 'Amazing Thailand' branding.This will be accentuated by the "Amazing New Chapters" concept to promote Thai soft-power cultural values, inspire travellers from around the world to visit Thailand once again, and further reaffirm the kingdom's well-established status as one of the world's most popular holiday spots.Meanwhile, it is introducing the new "Create Your Right Moment" concept in its domestic campaign to inspire domestic travellers to travel more within the country."Amazing 5F and More"TAT is introducing the new "Amazing 5F and More" concept, aimed at delivering meaningful travel experiences in various aspects such as wellness, luxury, and Thainess.At the same time, it is focusing on enhancing the quality of tourism products and services to drive the Thai tourism industry towards sustainable growth.Key activities include the Good Host New Chapter Season 2 project, the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) certification, and the 14th Thailand Tourism Awards.A series of events to highlight the kingdom's 5F soft-power foundations ? Food, Film, Festival, Fight and Fashion ? will occur throughout the year.Food ? at least two events are planned: Amazing Thai Tastes during March-June and Bangkok International Food Festival in June.Festival ? events include Chinese New Year in January, Songkran Thai New Year in April, and Loi Krathong in November.Film ? the Amazing Film Festival Experience in August, while a Y series Meet & Greet event is planned.Fight ? Amazing Muay Thai Festival in February.Fashion ? Valentine Fashion TV Beach Award Festival in February.Policy and PlanningTo drive tourism towards sustainability, TAT is adopting the BCG Model to highlight Gastronomy Tourism.By collecting and analysing data under the 'From Policy Lab to Real Product' strategy, TAT has developed the Best Practice Model to showcase organic cuisine and transform it into an inclusive business and smart organic farmer, which leads to generating income for the local community.Technology and InnovationSeeing 'Digital as a Game Changer', TAT leverages technology and innovation to add value and transform Thai tourism into Smart Tourism.It is tapping into Digital Asset holders via the TAT NFTs projects, promoting Thai tourism products and services with virtual arts and Metaverse.It introduces the '3I' concept: Intelligence ? using Big Data and building Digital Literacy for TAT employees; innovation ? developing new innovation and Travel Tech; and Investment ? investing in digital transformation, such as Start-up, Venture Capital, Cloud funding, etc.TAT is committed to developing its human resources to be ready to support and collaborate with the Thai tourism industry while strengthening and improving its work processes through innovation and technology.During the Visit Thailand Year 2023 Press conference.International MarketTAT is adopting the 'Great Resumption Episode II' strategy for short-haul markets.This include:1)  China is back ? Tapping emerging segments and enhancing cooperation with the airlines to increase air access flights to cater to the increasing demands and promote new modes of travelling, such as an overland border.2) 7 Digits Target ? Focusing on rapidly growing markets, such as China, Malaysia, India, and South Korea, and cooperating with partner agents and airlines.3) Colour Your Life by Amazing Thailand ? Seamlessly integrating the Amazing Thailand brand in the tourist's slice of life through on-site and virtual marketing promotional events.4) Responsible Tourism ? Supporting CSR and responsible tourism projects like Reborn the Nature to advocate tourism sustainability.5) 2 Tier, Second to None ? Encouraging visitors to visit emerging destinations while sourcing new tourist segments from secondary cities in South Korea, China, India, Vietnam, and Malaysia.TAT is adopting the 'A-B-C-D Fast Forward' strategy for long-haul markets.A ? Airline Focus to continue collaborating with leading airlines, such as Qatar Airways, Etihad, and Oman Air, to expand new routes and increase the frequency of direct flights. B ? Big Cities and Beyond to penetrate new markets in major and secondary cities, such as Bucharest in Romania and Sofia in Bulgaria.C ? Collaboration is Key to working with new partners, including airlines; such as Delta Airlines, Air Canada, FlyDubai, and Aeroflot, and online travel agencies; such as Almosafer and SAGA Holidays.D ? Destination for All to promote Thailand as an "All-year-round Destination" to meet the demand for visitors regardless of the season and with all segments, including family, medical and wellness in the Middle East or the LGBTQ+ in Europe and America.Domestic MarketTAT is focusing on 'Value over Volume' under the new 'Travel Thailand in Limited Edition' concept highlighting the 5F Soft Powers to cater to the various needs of domestic travellers.Various events are planned for 2023 to inspire domestic travel, including Travel 365 days in Amazing Thailand, Visit Thailand 2023, and Amazing Thailand Festival Experience 2023.TAT is also continuing to encourage domestic travellers to visit emerging destinations during weekdays to expand the expenditure and balance the capacity of the destinations.2023 Targets for Visit Thailand YearTAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) expects to welcome 25 million international tourists and inspire 250 million domestic trips in 2023.The target for overall tourism revenue is 2.38 trillion Baht comprising 670-880 billion Baht from domestic tourism and 1.5 trillion Baht from international tourism. For more information, please visit the Tourism Thailand website.
    Monday 16th of January 2023 12:08:00 PM
  • Smartphone Photography of Buildings in Kuala Lumpur
    I take a lot of smartphone photos daily, mostly just for self-satisfaction, and sometimes I enjoy doing smartphone photography of buildings in Kuala Lumpur.Why? Because Kuala Lumpur offers some fascinating and beautiful building architecture that feeds my hobby using the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra smartphone.Smartphone Photography of Buildings in Kuala LumpurKL, as the city is fondly known, is home to several world-class skyscrapers and is relatively easy to move around with the mass transit services.The city of Kuala Lumpur often undergoes lots of construction.When I go for my smartphone photography in KL city, I usually take the LRT or MRT train from Petaling Jaya, where I live, as it is much more convenient.My first stop is always at the older part of KL at Petaling Street or Chinatown, where I will walk around for my smartphone street photography while looking for interesting building angles.From there, I will take the LRT train towards KLCC and explore that part of Kuala Lumpur, as you can also find many skyscrapers around the area.Below are random photos taken with my Galaxy S22 Ultra smartphone on several occasions of visiting Kuala Lumpur city. Please click on the pictures to see them in full size as smartphone mode re-sizes them a little odd.One of my favourite technicolour murals near Central Market in KL.The Petronas Twin Towers is one of the most photographed buildings in KL.Dayabumi is one of the early skyscrapers of KL city.In some areas of the city, you can get shots like this when you look up.A distant view of the Kuala Lumpur City skyline.A lot of interesting buildings can be found all over KL city.Some buildings are simple, while others look futuristic.Some buildings provide interesting angles for architecture.The Petronas Twin Towers are hidden among other skyscrapers.TRX Exchange was now one of the latest skyscrapers to open in 2022.Looking up at the TRX Exchange.Beautiful architecture around the TRX Exchange.TRX Exchange 106 building in KL.One of the odd-looking building designs in KL city.Outside the Exchange 106 skyscraper.ConclusionIf you enjoyed this, please check out my other smartphone photography articles and photos I have taken over the years.I travel quite often, and I often use my Galaxy Smartphone to take photos, so keep a lookout for travel photos in 2023 with the Galaxy S23 Ultra, launched in February.Thanks for viewing my smartphone photography of buildings in Kuala Lumpur article. I would one day love to organise a special photowalk for this.
    Sunday 15th of January 2023 08:05:00 AM
  • Galaxy S23 Ultra Malaysia
     With Galaxy Unpacked 2023 happening on 2 February, many are looking forward to what the Galaxy S23 Ultra will offer in terms of upgrades from the S22.This massive event will be streamed worldwide from San Francisco via its official Samsung country website and social media channels and promises to be the 'Show of the Year'.Galaxy S23 Ultra MalaysiaWhile many fans worldwide patiently await the official news, others in Malaysia, like me, who have been using the Galaxy S series for many years, are also excited about the Galaxy S23.As the S23 was launched during Unpacked 2023 on 1 February 2023, you can pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus Ultra in Malaysia.The official colours for the S23 Plus and Ultra are available in Malaysia.I cannot wait for the official announcement of the improvements made to the all-new S23 Ultra during Galaxy Unpacked 2023 on 1 February.So much speculation and leaks about the all-new Galaxy S23 have been shared on social media in the last six months, and that got a lot of people, including me, excited about the innovation of the smartphone.The four primary colours of the S23. Photo from PhoneArena.As I have been actively using the Galaxy S series over the last few years, I have reviewed many models of the S series.While there have been so many speculations, many hints toward high-megapixel sensors and improved low-light photography.It seems there was some teaser promotion done on the Chinese social platform Weibo where the teaser claimed that "Stunning night photos are coming soon" and "WOW-worthy resolution is coming", Another speculation is that the chipset will likely be powered by Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. This is also rumours that Samsung will be quitting Exynos globally in favour of a unified Qualcomm front.One more rumour is that some or all of the phones might come with at least 256GB of storage, which is double the starting capacity of the current Galaxy S22. Everyone needs more space nowadays.The phone screen is essential to me, and it is rumoured to be an AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh rates, which means they are colourful and bright with silky smooth onscreen motion. Hopefully, it will also be the new Gorilla Glass Victus 2.And some massive news as for the flagship Galaxy S23 Ultra phone, rumours are suggesting that Samsung will be bending the glass on that phone on all four screen edges. Maybe slightly.Samsung has been bending the sides of the phone in varying degrees since the Galaxy S6 edge, but this could be a first for an all-around curve on the S23 Ultra flagship phone. That would be really cool!Finally, the rumoured colours for the Samsung Galaxy S23 series are four attractive colours: black, beige, green, and light pink. But these are only rumours, as the current series colours are Cotton Flower (cream), Misty Lilac (pink), Botanic Green and Phantom Black.Another speculated photo of the 200MP Camera on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Photo BusinessToday.Galaxy S23 Ultra Specification SpeculationsDimension: 163.4 x 78.1 x 8.9 mm (6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 in)Weight: 233 gramsScreen Size: 6.8 inches, 114.3 cm2 (~89.5% screen-to-body ratio)Screen Type: Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1750 nits (peak)Screen Resolution: 1440 x 3088 pixelsChipset: Qualcomm SM8550-AC Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm)Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM, 1TB 12GB RAMBattery System - Li-Ion 5000 mAh, non-removableCharging - 45W wired, PD3.0 - 15W wireless (Qi/PMA) - 4.5W reverse wirelessColours: Black, beige, green, and light pinkCamera System on the Galaxy S23 UltraThis is important to me because I use the camera for my work and daily photography, so my focus goes to this department on every launch of the flagship models.The news also announced that Samsung launched a 200MP ISOCELL HP1 sensor very early in 2022, which could be a major leap in phone photography.It can also be the most significant step forward from Samsung in years, with one source saying the phone has 'night vision', a super improved night camera system.Well, there has been a speculated slight improvement in the quad camera system on the S23, and below is what I have gathered so far;Rear Camera: Four Cameras200 MP, f/1.8, 23mm (wide), 1/1.3", 0.6m, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS10 MP, f/4.9, 230mm (periscope telephoto), 1/3.52", 1.12m, dual pixel PDAF, OIS, 10x optical zoom10 MP, f/2.4, 70mm (telephoto), 1/3.52", 1.12m, dual pixel PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120? (ultrawide), 1/2.55", 1.4m, dual pixel PDAFSelfie Camera40 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/2.82", 0.7m, PDAFBeige colour rendering of the S23. Image from NoteBookCheck. Video System on the Galaxy S23 UltraThis is another area I have been focusing on in the last three years, as I have done several quick videos for social media postings. 8K@24/30fps4K@30/60fps1080p@30/60/240fps720p@960fpsHDR10+stereo sound recording gyro-EISThe official price for the Galaxy S23 Plus Ultra in Malaysia is for pre-order.Galaxy S23 Ultra Price in MalaysiaThis is also one of the factors that many are considering, as a flagship smartphone usually starts around RM3,000 and above.But nowadays, people just trade in older models or take on a new telco contract to get the latest smartphone in instalments. This way, you don't need to fork out RM5,000 and above to buy it instantly.Galaxy S23 Price: Starting from RM3,899 to RM7,199.Probably S23 Variants AvailableGalaxy S23: 8GB of RAM + 256GB Galaxy S23+: 8GB of RAM + 256GBGalaxy S23 Ultra: 12GB of RAM + 256GB/512GB/1TBThe speculated colours for the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Galaxy S23+, and Galaxy S23. Photo PhoneArena.My ReviewsBefore we end, you can also look at my smartphone reviews, including the current Galaxy S22 Ultra, Galaxy Fold 4 and many other Samsung flagship models.And, for those who are into smartphone photography, you can also check out my Galaxy Z Fold 4 Photography review.That special edition was done inside the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Mulu and Niah National Park in Sarawak in 2022. Then I had a smartphone photography exhibition at KLPF 2022 a few weeks later.Conclusion to Galaxy S23 Ultra MalaysiaAnyway, for those who are into whole smartphone photography, please register at Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2023 in Malaysia to get to know all the details about Samsung's next-generation flagship smartphones, including their features, specifications, pricing, availability, and pre-order information.And finally, this could be the fastest and most advanced Andriod smartphone in the market when launched, if the rumours above are all accurate. But then again, let's wait till they fully announce the Galaxy S23 Ultra during Galaxy Unpacked 2023.
    Thursday 12th of January 2023 12:43:00 PM
  • Galaxy Unpacked 2023: Share the Epic
    Another year has passed, and a new era of Galaxy innovation is coming. Samsung's innovations are designed to enable incredible possibilities for people today and beyond.The new Galaxy S series will be the epitome of how Samsung defines the ultimate premium experience, and they're raising the bar and setting new standards for what's epic.Galaxy Unpacked 2023: Share the EpicFor the first time in three years, Samsung Electronics will hold an in-person Unpacked event in San Francisco, on February 2, at 2:00 AM Malaysian Time.Join Samsung as one of the first to see the new premium Galaxy innovations unveiled during the live event in the USA.The Galaxy Unpacked 2023 event will be streamed live on Samsung Malaysia YouTube, Samsung Malaysia Official Website, Samsung Malaysia Facebook and Samsung Malaysia Newsroom.Since the Covid 19 Pandemic, the events were live streamed to millions of people worldwide, and this was Galaxy Unpacked 2022 was themed The Epic Standard.The much-awaited Galaxy S23 Ultra.Conclusion to Galaxy Unpacked 2023From now until February 2, register your interest at Malaysia Galaxy Unpacked 2023 to receive first-hand updates on Samsung's newest innovations and an RM200 Samsung e-voucher.Stay tuned to the Samsung official channels for all the upcoming teasers, trailers, and news about Galaxy Unpacked 2023.
    Wednesday 11th of January 2023 03:05:00 AM
  • Okinawa For First-Time Visitors
    You may have heard of Okinawa Island in Japan, but only a few people have visited this beautiful paradise island known as the Hawaii of Japan. Okinawa is located about 640 kilometres south of Japan and is connected by flight.With a population of 1.5 million people on Okinawa, the island is a top-rated tourist destination for Japanese and Asians, mainly due to the northern tropical environment and landscape. Summer sees the island getting busy with those who love the sun, sea and sand.Okinawa For First-Time VisitorsOkinawa is also home to some of the most beautiful national parks, scuba diving sites and fantastic mountain trails or hikes. If you are expecting another Tokyo or Osaka, I am sorry to say this is not your typical Japanese city but more of a Japanese Hawaii.An aerial view of Okinawa, Japan. Photo by Junpei Abe on Flickr. CC By-SA 2.0.First of all, how to get to Okinawa?The golden question is how to get here, as from Malaysia, there are no direct flights to Okinawa. But not all is lost, as you can connect with just two flights from Kuala Lumpur. Around four leading airlines service the Okinawa route from Kuala Lumpur.However, in 2018, AirAsia X opened a direct flight to Okinawa, and because of the Covid 19 pandemic, the airline decided to temporarily suspend the route. But the news is that Okinawa direct flights from Malaysia will restart in 2023.From Kuala Lumpur, an average flight to Okinawa takes about 10 to 11 hours. This includes the transit time, as you will have to make a stop before connecting to Okinawa. However, faster flights sell out fast, so you must book this flight well ahead.Otherwise, other flights may take 15 to 24 hours, and you must spend a night when you transmit. Flights are relatively inexpensive, as the cheapest I found online is around RM2,000 to RM2,500 for a return ticket.The fastest way is also via Taiwan, where you can take a Malaysian flight to Taiwan and then connect to Okinawa with Peach Airlines. Other methods include transit in Bangkok, Shanghai or Hong Kong. But please note that your travel day will take up to one full day of flights and transits.If you plan for a 4D/3N trip, you should not do it because two days will be spent just travelling. I recommend spending at least six to seven days on a trip to Okinawa. This way, you can really enjoy exploring this beautiful Japanese island. One of the most beautiful beaches in Okinawa. Photo by Masaaki Komori on Flickr. CC By-SA 2.0.How big is Okinawa?There are five main areas or districts in Okinawa, meaning different islands that makeup Okinawa. In total, 160 islands are found around here, with 49 of them inhabited by people. The main island is divided into three sections, north, central and south.Each of the three sections offers different tourist experiences, where the north and central tend to provide more outdoor, beach, island and Ecotourism activities. The south island is where the international airport and city are located and is the core of Okinawa.Some of the smaller islands are connected via bridges, and a total of nine islands have road access from the main island. They are Kouri, Senaga, Ou, Henza, Hamahiga, Ikei, Miyagi, Sesoko and Yagagi Island.Sesoko Island in Okinawa. Photo by Girakku on Flickr. CC By-SA 2.0.The other island regions include Kerama Island, closest to Okinawa main island, Kume Island, Miyako Islands and Yaeyama Islands. Kerama and Kume Islands are only accessible via ferries, which take two to four hours, while Miyako and Yaeyama Islands are only accessible via flights from the main island.Depending on your itinerary or where you plan to visit, it is highly recommended that you check your flight or ferry schedules beforehand. This means you should plan your Okinawa trip months ahead to get better prices and availability for flights, ferries and rooms.Most first-time visitors will arrive on the main island and stay in the Naha area of Okinawa. From there, they will explore the tourist destinations via road and maybe some boat or ferry service.Some visitors will venture to the other islands for various sea activities like diving, whale watching, snorkeling or even just an island vacation.A popular area is Kokusaidori Street in Naha. Photo by Rapidtravelchai on Flickr. CC By-SA 2.0.What to do in Okinawa?Another popular question many travellers ask is what you can do on this beautiful island. Let me narrow this list to make it easy for first-time visitors here. You will want to see the island's best and most popular places.While Okinawa is well known for beaches, scuba diving, Ecotourism, culture and, of course, the fantastic Japanese island food, you will need help deciding where to go or what to do first.Naha City - This is the capital of Okinawa, and it is here that most visitors will be staying. The combination of beach, island and city life makes this place optimum for first-time visitors. All of your accommodations and facilities are found in and around Naha.Kokusai Street - To start your Okinawa experience, Kokusai Street in Naha is the main street, where you can find shopping, cafes, restaurants and most of your regular city stores. In this area, you can also find some shopping malls and the DFS Gallery Okinawa, the largest duty-free shop on the island.Shuri - In the Shuri area, you will find the historical side of Okinawa, where the Ryukyu Kingdom ruled. Several historical sites are seen around here, including the Shurijo Castle Park, a World Heritage Site.Kokusaidori Street - This is one of the main shopping streets in Naha that stretches two kilometres and is recommended to explore. This street is also known as Naha Kokusai-Dori and can be visited day and night. Generally, you can find everything a typical Asian tourist looks for when they travel abroad.Mihama American Village in Okinawa. Photo by Okinawa Steve on Flickr. CC By-SA 2.0.American Village - This is the most modern lifestyle area of Okinawa, Mihama American Village. You can find all things American here, including cafes, restaurants and even an American shopping mall. The famous Sunset Beach is also located around here.Sakaemachi Arcade - If you want to explore a local area, Sakaemachi Arcade is the place to visit. Here, you can see the daily life of the Okinawa people in a localized arcade which sells all sorts of things. You can also find some excellent local Japanese food, coffee joints and even small local bars in this area. Again, this is a reminder that Sakaemachi Arcade is raw and not your local Shinsaibashi or Shibuya.Beaches - For the beach hunter, there are endless beaches found all over Okinawa. Some popular ones include Okuma beach, Moon beach, Manza beach, Mibaru beach, Zampa beach, Sunset beach and Emerald beach.A view of a lighthouse at Ishigakijima Island. Photo by TrekTrack on Flickr. CC By-SA 2.0.Snorkeling - For those into snorkelling, Cape Maeda and Odo Kaigan are the two most famous spots to do this. However, it may take some travelling to get to both of these places, but the rewards are simply out of this world.Parks and Mountains - Eco lovers will find three national parks around Okinawa: Yanbaru National Park, Kerama Shot? National Park and Iriomote Ishigaki National Park on Yaeyama Island. And if you are into hiking and trekking, there are six mountains to explore around here.Food and Culture - Generally, you can find this all over the main island, as the Okinawa food culture is well spread. The one must-try dish is the Okinawa Soba and Okinawa Sea Grapes or Imu Budo. There are many other popular dishes for the food traveller to discover around here.Festivals in Okinawa - Five main festivals tend to attract many visitors who are;Hari Festival - Early JuneYaeyama Beach Opening Festival - Mid-MarchEisa Dance Festival - August or SeptemberPantu Festival of Miyakojima - September, but announced last minuteShuri Castle Festival - End of OctoberThere are smaller festivals, but the most recommended festival to attend is the Pantu Festival, as it is pretty unique and scary at the same time.The Okinawa Yui Monorail. Photo by Tak Wing on Flickr. CC By-SA 2.0.How to move around Naha and OkinawaThis is crucial for those who travel independently and require moving around Naha and Okinawa. In any city, there are always trains, taxis and buses which provide transportation solutions. But here in Okinawa, you should consider what is being offered.Trains - Sadly, there is only one central train system in Naha, the Yui Rail Monorail system that operates from the Naha Airport to Shuri, the historical part of South Okinawa. You can take the monorail into Naha city when you arrive at the international airport.This monorail system opened in 2003 and runs for almost 13 kilometres long. There have been plans to expand this monorail system, but there needs to be more information on this. On the bright side, you can easily travel around Naha using the Yui Rail.The monorail map in Okinawa. Photo by Naha Airport.The train system operates from 6.00 AM till midnight, and train tickets are from 200 to 290, depending on the distance. There are also multi-ride or open tickets available for tourists.Buses - Other ways of travelling around Naha or Okinawa include the excellent bus service. Various bus companies operate different routes all over the island. The main bus terminals are found at the Naha Airport and the main Naha Bus Terminal in the city.Cars and Bikes - For the more adventurous travellers, you can always rent a motorbike or car and self-ride or drive around Okinawa. Those who plan to do this must take high importance to the Japanese driving culture and laws here and, most importantly, have an international driving license. Malaysians need to get this before they attempt to rent a car, and you need more than your Malaysian driving licence.Taxis - Around the main city area, a Japanese taxi can be one of the quick ways to get somewhere. But here is the fun part: The cabs in Okinawa are less expensive than in Tokyo or Osaka, so you can consider this if you are in a rush.Bicycles - Finally, for those who want an easy way to explore Naha city, there are several bicycle rentals where you can pedal power your way around Naha.The Renaissance Okinawa Resort. Photo by PearlBear78 on Flickr. CC By-SA 2.0.Where to stay in Okinawa?For first-timers, you should stay around the Naha area, which is the capital of Okinawa and the central city. The international airport is also located in this part of Okinawa, southwest of the island.In Okinawa, there are hundreds of hotels, resorts, Ryokan and even budget accommodations available, depending on the type of place you want to stay at.Best to book ahead for reasonable prices, as last-minute bookings are always on the higher side.The world-famous Okinawa Aquarium. Photo by Mollenborg on Flickr. CC By-SA 2.0.Best time to visit OkinawaThe best time to visit Okinawa is during summer, but the island can be seen throughout the year. During the summer, many Japanese flocks here as an alternative to Hawaii.Summertime in Okinawa also attracts many visitors from the Asian region, namely travellers from the Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and, of course, China. For those who dislike crowds, you should avoid coming here in the peak of Summer.Conclusion on Okinawa For First-Time VisitorsThere are a lot of websites and portals that offer information on Okinawa, some are accurate, and some are just for website clicks.For detailed and precise information, I strongly recommend you visit the official Okinawa Tourism website, which is the national tourism board.
    Tuesday 10th of January 2023 09:12:00 AM
  • AirAsia X Kuala Lumpur-Taipei Flights Resumes
    AirAsia X has recently re-introduced flights from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei after Taiwan relaxed entry rules and ended Covid-19 lockdowns.Three flights weekly depart from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (klia2) at 1800 and land in Taipei on the same day at 2250. The return flight departs from Taipei at 0005 and lands in Kuala Lumpur at 0450.AirAsia X Kuala Lumpur-Taipei Flights ResumesTaipei has historically always been one of AAX?s most popular routes with its renowned culture, food and numerous tourism drawcards. The airline carried more than 530,000 guests to and from the city in 2019 alone.The recommencement of the route was announced in November 2022, just after Taipei reopened its borders to tourists in October for the first time in over two years since the Covid-19 pandemic.AAX CEO Benyamin Ismail said:?Our rapid expansion into East Asia as a group continues with these thrice-weekly flights to Taipei following the launch of services to Tokyo and increased flight frequencies to Seoul recently. Moreover, AirAsia Malaysia (AK) restarted its services from Kuala Lumpur to Kaohsiung last month and will commence a route from Kota Kinabalu to Taipei this month. That?s not all; AirAsia Philippines (Z2) will also fly from Manila to Taipei this month.?Conclusion to AirAsia X Kuala Lumpur-Taipei FlightsAirAsia X offers fares from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei starting at MYR399 all-in-one way for economy and MYR1,499 one way for Premium Flatbed.The airline sells its lowest fare out of Taiwan at TWD3,090 all-in-one way for economy and TWD9,690 one way for Premium Flatbed. You can check for AirAsia X Taiwan Flight promotions.
    Monday 26th of December 2022 09:04:00 AM
  • AirAsia Super+ Unlimited Launched in Malaysia
    The world's first flight subscription product with lifestyle perks - SUPER+ by the airasia Super App- is now available worldwide, with an enhanced version enabling subscribers to fly further and enjoy more perks across the whole airasia ecosystem. Over 100,000 SUPER+ subscribers have redeemed over 500,000 flight seats across Asean, with the highest redemption being 100 flight seats within the 12-month period.AirAsia Super+ Unlimited Launched in MalaysiaTo cater to travellers' different needs and preferences, the new SUPER+ will now offer two options for subscribers with varying preferences of destination.Subscribers can choose from the SUPER+ Lite, which covers all Asean countries.Two packages are being offered for Super+ Unlimited.At the same time, the SUPER+ Premium provides access to all countries operated by the AirAsia airline group, including destinations in Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India, Maldives, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Saudi Arabia.Both options include an unlimited 10% off for an airasia ride and an unlimited 5% discount on all hotels on the airasia Super App. Go unlimited now as only 200,000 SUPER+ new subscriptions are available and can be purchased from today until 2359hrs (GMT+8) on 11 December 2022.Just click on the SUPER+ icon on the airasia Super App to purchase or visit the official Super+ Unlimited page. The new SUPER+  subscription plan is priced from:RM888 in MalaysiaTHB6,999 in ThailandPHP11,000 in the PhilippinesIDR4 mil in IndonesiaAUD309 in AustraliaKRW268,888 in South KoreaSGD269 in SingaporeUSD199 for all other countries For more information on how to subscribe to SUPER+, click here. All prices above are inclusive of taxes.SUPER+ subscribers can redeem their flights for one year* from the subscription date (5 December 2022 - 5 December 2023) and travel from 1 January 2023.Tony Fernandes of Capital A at the launch of Super+ Unlimited in Kuala Lumpur.Commenting on the new SUPER+, Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A, said,?This is what we have been preparing for - the return of travel, and we are excited about reopening markets like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and more to come in the near future.The SUPER+ subscription captures the beauty of our airasia Super App platform ecosystem, which brings together all of our airlines and travel products and services like hotels, along with our e-commerce offerings such as airasia ride, which is also included as a SUPER+ benefit.This is another product that highlights our DNA to create value for our customers, and we will continue to champion this across all new products and services we will introduce in the future.? Capital A CEO Tony Fernandes launching Super+ in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Amanda Woo, CEO of airasia Super App, said,?For the first time, we are opening up the new SUPER+ for everyone across the globe to buy, even those in the US, Europe and all other regions.For travellers from the West, this SUPER+ product is the best flight and lifestyle subscription for them to fully maximise and obtain the best value to rediscover the beauty of Asia. Since the initial launch in March this year, we have more than 100,000 subscribers across Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, with over half a million flights already redeemed.We are excited to be the only super app platform in the market to bring a product such as SUPER+ to the world and for more to enjoy the airasia way of life with this subscription.? Tony Fernandes jokes with Nathanon Tanmalaporn during the launching event in KL.Real-Life Testimonies from Super+ UsersNathanon Tanmalaporn from Thailand - When asked how he has been utilising his SUPER+ subscription, Nathanon Tanmalaporn from Thailand said, "I've booked 109 flights internationally and domestically with SUPER+ already. It makes it easy for me to fly everywhere. Next stop: Australia & New Zealand!"Joseph Chai from Malaysia - Adding to the excitement of getting the SUPER+ subscription for her family, Joseph Chai from Malaysia said, "I've gone to Manila with SUPER+ and flown over 100 times domestically. I highly recommend this to frequent leisure and business travellers."The launch event for Super+ Plus Malaysia.Photo session with Tony Fernandes with the Super+ users.Other InformationAll flights redeemed via SUPER+ are subject to government taxes, fees, add-ons, and other applicable charges.All flight bookings must be made at least 14 days before departure and are subject to the embargo period and other terms and conditions. Free seat availability depends on supply and demand on a particular route.Conclusion for AirAsia Super+ Unlimited Launched in MalaysiaPlease note that terms and conditions apply for the Super+ Unlimited Lite and Premium, and customers are required to read the Frequently Asked Questions to find out more.This is one of the best things to materialise from the aviation sector since the Covid19 pandemic happened, and AirAsia was smart to bounce back in this way. Well done!
    Tuesday 6th of December 2022 06:53:00 AM
  • Gombak Hulu Langat Geopark
    The state of Selangor was recently recognised as the first recipient of the National Geopark for the Gombak Hulu Langat Geopark Project. This project involves 20 geosites in the districts of Gombak and Hulu Langat.The results of this recognition have been announced through a meeting of the National Geopark committee, chaired by Dato' Haji Rosli bin Isa, Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (KeTSA).Gombak Hulu Langat GeoparkThe Gombak-Hulu Langat (GHL) Geopark project covers 112,955 square kilometres with geological significance in addition to the longest quartz in Southeast Asia, mountainous landscapes and the formation of several inland basins at the selected geosites.Permatang Kurza in Selangor in one locations in the Geopark project.This National Geopark recognition is the seventh after Kinta Valley and Lenggong Geopark in Perak, Jerai Geopark in Kedah, Kinabalu Geopark in Sabah, Labuan Geopark in Labuan and Sarawak Delta Geopark in Sarawak.According to Mr Azrul Shah Mohamad, the Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Selangor, the official tourism promotion agency of the state of Selangor, Tourism Selangor remains active in promoting the Gombak-Hulu Langat Geopark Project through various efforts.Tasik Biru in Selangor.Among them is the collaboration that has been held at the World Travel Market, London, with the British Geology Survey and National Geographic Traveler UK, continuous promotion on social media, and public sharing in several series of the Jelajah Selangor Penyayang.The recognition of Geopark to the State of Selangor is an achievement for the country, especially the state government and local authorities, in preserving nature's sustainability and managing areas with geological value.This is in line with the goals of the National Development Plan and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals under the United Nations (UN).Y. Bhg. Dato' Haji Rosli bin Isa, Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (KeTSA), in a statement, said, "the Ministry is confident that close cooperation can ensure the Geopark is well maintained and welcomes any form of cooperation in areas of geological importance for scientific research, education, economical generation of the surrounding community and sustainable development."Sungai Tekala in Selangor.Kanching Waterfalls in Selangor.Conclusion for Gombak Hulu Langat GeoparkGeo-tourism in sites is one of the tourism segmentations focused in the state of Selangor for the year 2023, where tourists can visit a Geosite area to enjoy the national geological heritage, culture and livelihood of the local geo-community.This is in line with the Selangor state tourism campaign, Splendid Selangor, Take Me Anywhere, which focuses on the international market.
    Friday 2nd of December 2022 09:44:00 AM
  • Krabi Canoe Adventure at Thanboke Koranee National Park
    This is an old post which I am just publishing about the Krabi Canoe Adventure at Thanboke Koranee National Park in Southern Thailand. To be honest, I wrote this article some time ago, but I never got around to publishing it. Well, I will now also state that this was the first-ever proper canoeing trip I ever did. Krabi Canoe Adventure at Thanboke Koranee National ParkBesides writing in detail about my canoeing experience, I think most of you would already know what canoeing is. Generally, I have to say Krabi is one of the places where you should try this. As part of ecotourism activities, many are available, but this canoeing experience tests your arm's strength. I mean it, especially if you are a first-timer like me. First of all, safety is always the primary concern, and a crash course or briefing will be conducted for anyone doing this. The canoe guide briefed us before the tour started. Photos of Krabi Canoe Adventure at Thanboke KoraneeBelow are random photos which I took of my canoe adventure at Thanboke Koranee National Park in Krabi.A scenic view of the canoe area.Entering a cave with the canoe.Beautiful mangrove views during the canoe tours.A couple was seen enjoying their adventure.Thanboke Koranee National Park in KrabiEntering the cave area with canoes.Inside the Tham Lot Cave at Thanboke Koranee National Park.Hungry tourists after the Thanboke Koranee National Park canoe experience in Krabi.Other Things to Do Around KrabiFor those visiting Krabi, you can also explore the main Krabi area and out of Krabi, as there are many ecotourism products and destinations to experience.In Krabi town, check out the main Krabi walking street as there are a lot of local Thai products, souvenirs and food being sold here. F&B is also plenty, and you can choose from cares to restaurants.In Krabi town, there is the famous Krabi Night Market which is recommended to visit because it is very local and not so commercial.And for outdoor lovers, visit the Tha Pom Nature Trail, as it will take you to another world because of the beautiful natural landscapes.For fun in the sun, visit the unique Emerald Pool in Krabi that attracts just about anyone who comes here. The waters are emerald in colour and simply amazing.ConclusionI hope you enjoyed reading my article on the  Krabi Canoe Adventure at Thanboke Koranee National Park in South Thailand.This simply says there is so much more you can do when you visit Krabi, not just go to the beach, shop or eat.Ecotourism in Krabi is highly popular; therefore, I hope you take the opportunity to get out of the main Krabi area and explore the many beautiful places here.
    Tuesday 29th of November 2022 05:30:00 AM


Malaysia Asia Stats

Daily Unique PVs Total PVs Unique In Total In Unique Out Total Out
Average 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.7 1.7
Today 0 0 0 0 1 1
Yesterday 0 0 0 0 5 5
March 26 0 0 0 0 3 3
March 25 0 0 0 0 4 4
March 24 0 0 0 0 0 0
March 23 0 0 0 0 0 0
March 22 0 0 0 0 0 0
March 21 0 0 0 0 0 0
March 20 0 0 0 0 0 0
March 19 0 0 0 0 4 4
Highest 5 5 0 0 24 64
Weekly Unique PVs Total PVs Unique In Total In Unique Out Total Out
Average 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.0 17.9 18.1
This Week 0 0 0 0 6 6
Last Week 0 0 0 0 7 7
Week 11 1 1 0 0 10 10
Week 10 0 0 0 0 26 27
Week 09 1 1 0 0 30 30
Week 08 1 1 0 0 18 18
Week 07 0 0 0 0 20 20
Week 06 0 0 0 0 23 23
Week 05 0 0 0 0 18 18
Week 04 0 0 0 0 21 22
Highest 10 10 0 0 109 110
Monthly Unique PVs Total PVs Unique In Total In Unique Out Total Out
Average 3.2 3.4 0.0 0.0 122.8 123.6
This Month 2 2 0 0 72 73
Last Month 1 1 0 0 82 82
January 23 3 3 0 0 109 110
December 22 3 3 0 0 127 127
November 22 9 9 0 0 104 105
October 22 6 6 0 0 108 108
September 22 1 1 0 0 72 72
August 22 0 0 0 0 120 121
July 22 2 3 0 0 221 222
June 22 5 6 0 0 213 216
Highest 21 22 0 0 221 222
Unique PVs Total PVs Unique In Total In Unique Out Total Out
Overall 830 863 0 0 5,527 5,717

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