Malaysia travel blog and website on eco-tourism, nature, hotels and resorts, islands and beaches and also around Southeast Asia.
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- The Last Lun Bawang Longhouse In Bakelalan
For some reason, I had to write this article about the last standing Lun Bawang longhouse here in Bakelalan, which was inspired on my last visit here in October 2018.Though these people are a minority in the many ethnic tribes of Sarawak, the Lun Bawang people are also one of the smallest of the Orang Ulu group here.They can be found in the Lawas district of Northern Sarawak which borders Brunei and Sabah, where Bakelalan is one of the original and traditional place to see them. After visiting Bakelalan a number of times, I finally got around to learning about this friendly society that live in the beautiful highlands of Sarawak.Frontal view of the last longhouse in BakelalanLast Lun Bawang Longhouse in BakelalanOn my recent visit to Buduk Nur, Bakelalan, I was there on a bird watching expedition, where a cross border initiative was arranged between Sabah and Sarawak to promote birding in Sarawak. It was then when our group had the pleasure of staying at the lovely homestay of Cikgu Sang and his amazing wife, Julia Sang. By the way, Cikgu translates from the Malay language as teacher.Just so you know, there are no hotels in Bakelalan, and only warm homestays that make this one of the best experiential tourism places. We would be out at 7.00 AM daily to explore trails or bird watching, and just before lunch, the group would be back at Cikgu Sang's place for lunch. One of the days when we were relaxing after lunch, I was talking to Cikgu Sang about the Lun Bawang people here, and asked him about their interesting culture. The topic lead on to why there was proper traditional longhouse, and Cikgu Sang pointed out that there was in fact one last longhouse for the Lun Bawang people, and his relatives were living there. Pointing out his window, it was right there, about 200 meters from his home, and not looking like one of those authentic longhouses that I was expecting. Without fail, I got overly excited, and of course, an invitation by Cikgu Sang to visit the Lun Bawang longhouse was the following words. Grabbing my smartphone and camera, we headed to the longhouse, and along the way there, a barrage of questions started coming out from my mouth. Why, who, what, when were all asked, and having been a local growing up in Bakelalan, Cikgu Sang had explained what he know about the Lun Bawang culture, dating back to his grandparents era.Originally, the community of the Lun Bawang people lived in multiple longhouses all over the Bakelalan heartland, coming in from Long Bawan across the border.History also states that the origins of the Lun Bawangs come from central Borneo, and congregated in the Maligan Highland area where they made it their home.A photo of a traditional Lun Bawang Longhouse in Long Semado, taken many years ago.Lun Bawang LonghouseSadly, I do not have any photos of what an original Lun Bawang longhouse looks like, but I did find some examples on the internet, which the photos were taken in Long Semado a long time ago.The last Lun Bawang longhouse in Bakelalan is pretty much a modern wood and brick design, with a total of six doors or 'rumah panjang enam pintu'. This means, six families stay at this double storey building.The two photos above were taken in Long Semado or Long Tanid, many years agoI was informed that in the old days, these longhouses could have up to 20 to 30 doors, and over 100 people from various families staying in one single longhouse.The last few original longhouse were seen back in the 70's and 80's, and over the years, they started to break up and become individual homes.Some of them caught fire due to the materials, but most of them started to modernize and be standalone units.Right now, this one longhouse in Buduk Nur still remains, and from outside, you would not even notice that it is a longhouse.Only when you get closer and get inside, you will see the that this is indeed the last Lun Bawang longhouse left here in Bakelalan, and possibly the entire Lawas and Maligan Highland area.Inside the back portion of the Lun Bawang longhouse in BakelalanThe current Bakelalan longhouse entrance serves as the main receiving hall, family and visitor area for guests, friends and family members.From the front portion, you will walk through the washroom and toilet area, and into the kitchen and common area where families gather, cook and eat.This is one huge and long open area, where there is no divider, hence families are free to walk about in this section of the longhouse.In the kitchen area at the back, it is one long area open to all families. But each family has their own kitchen section and traditional wood stove where they still use for cooking and boiling water.Why did the Lun Bawang people live in longhouses? Well, from research papers, their main reason was for defense against other attacking tribes.However, since the turn of the 20th century, is no longer happening, and most of the thatched longhouses have been replaced by wood, zinc and bricks. Lun Bawang Longhouse PhotosBelow are random photos taken inside the last Lun Bawang longhouse in Bakelalan. I specifically asked Cikgu Sang to show me around, except the personal bedrooms.Just to add that when I visited the longhouse, the entire village was there for their rare bamboo musical instrument tuning session, and you can see it in one of the photos below.Good friend and traveling buddy Kevin Nila also documented the Lun Bawang bamboo band in one of his articles, which stresses on the 'Bas' of bamboo horn.Exterior of the longhouseA common sight at the longhouse main entranceThe family common area in the longhouseFamily and visitors area in the main longhouse A typical wall decoration for each of the family units in the common areaPhotos, a Lun Bawang ceremonial sword and a weaved basket The toilet and bathroom, connecting the main longhouse to the kitchen areaOne of the longhouse kitchens from one unit, at the backAnother Lun Bawang longhouse kitchen set upThe common wood fire stove of the longhouse, each unit has their ownView of the Lun Bawang Longhouse from one end of the back portionA lounge area on the first floor of the longhouse where other rooms are foundLun Bawang men gather to make and fine tune their bamboo instruments in the longhouseThe oldest Lun Bawang man in Bakelalan, aged around 90 years oldOutside the end of the longhouseWhere Is Bakelalan? Bakelalan is located in the Maligan Highlands in the Limbang district of Northern Sarawak. This remote village is also 20 minutes from the border to Kalimantan, and has a border checkpoint.The altitude of Bakelalan is estimated to be around 950 meters above sea level, which makes this village a very cooling place.The immediate neighbor is no other than Long Bawan, a 20 minute drive across the Kalimantan-Malaysia border.The next closest village to Bakelalan in the Sarawak side is Bario, which is another highland village that is home to the Kelabit people.You can also read about my interesting travel to the Bario Highlands, as I have visited the other village numerous times.What the Lun Bawang longhouse looks like from the fieldHow To Go To Bakelalan? There are only two way to get here, and the most practical is by taking a 4x4 off road truck. But depending on the luxury of time, you have the alternative flight you can take. Driving to Bakelalan - Most people do this as it is much easier, but a unique rural journey passing villages and incredible landscapes. The dive from Lawas takes about five to six hours, depending on the weather. The best way to drive to Bakelalan is through the town of Lawas, which sits in between Sabah and Brunei. This place is quite laid back and is one of the known Lun Bawang towns of Sarawak. For visitors coming here, they usually fly into Miri City, then connect with a MAS Wings flight to the town of Lawas. From Lawas, they will embark on the 4x4 journey to Bakelalan. Flight To Bakelalan - This is of course, the fastest way to get here, but there are only two flights a week, and you need to plan your arrival and departures well to meet the flight schedule.Flying to Bakelalan can be done via Miri Airport or Lawas Airport, and in a day, there are only two flights. Tickets should be booked way in advance for these rural flights due to the plane capacity.The planes used are the DCH-6 Twin Otter turboprop aircraft, which sits a maximum of 15 passengers at one time.Check in luggage is 15 kgs, and each additional kilogram is charged at RM2.00 per kilo, which is purely subsidized for the local Lun Bawang people traveling.The Bakelalan Airport is also one of the most unique Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) airports I have visited, and can be a culture shock for regular travelers.A map of the Maligan Highlands and where Bakelalan is locatedWho Should Visit Bakelalan? To be very honest, Bakelalan is not for everyone. Yes, if you love the fast city life, lifestyle cafes, malls, fancy restaurants, fast food and so on, you will not find any of that here.There isn't even an ATM machine or banks available in the highlands, hence cash is king here. Unless you have something of interesting to barter trade? This is a pure and natural destination, without any modernization or development. It is a farming culture that lives in the highlands and perfect for anyone who wants to see the original side of Sarawak.Life remains simple and yet beautiful, with a lot of outdoor activities to participate in. Hence, this place is a bird watchers paradise or for anyone who loves trekking, culture and nature.And if you are considering to visit this stunning place, I have also written about the things to do in Bakelalan as a rough guide.An elderly Lun Bawang lady plays a handmade bamboo flute in the longhouseConclusionIn my few times of visiting Bakelalan over the last few years, nothing has changed here and still remains the way it should be. What got me overly excited was the fact that I managed to see and experience the last Lun Bawang longhouse here in Bakelalan, and I hope that the locals keep it the way it is.I would highly recommend this destination for anyone who prefers an eco tourism experience, and also to see and learn about the amazing Lun Bawang people of Bakelalan, Sarawak.
Saturday 10th of November 2018 05:19:00 AM
- 10th Borneo Bird Festival 2018 - What Can You Expect
The 10th Borneo Bird Festival 2018 will be held in Sandakan, Sabah on 1st and 2nd December, and many are happy to know that the decade long birding event is now coming back to its home ground.Since the conceptualization of this unique bird watching festival which started back in 2009, the Borneo Bird Festival has seen huge changes in the last 10 years, and is also known as the largest bird watching and nature festival in Malaysia. The event has also brought together bird watchers from all over Sabah, Sarawak, Peninsular Malaysia and also from around the world to this event.The very unique RDC steel canopy walk is one of the areas for the bird festivalBorneo Bird Festival 2018 HighlightsWhile the regulars may know what happens during this bird festival in Sabah, it is also important to keep the awareness going, namely to the overall population.The theme for this years Borneo Bird Festival 2018 is 'Born To Be Wild', where strong emphasis has been put on not caging the birds, and letting them be in their natural habitat.The theme also focuses on forest conservation all over Sabah and Malaysia, plus the main highlight is to be able to stop the legal and illegal bird trade which has shocked the world in recent years.Bird watching at RDC, SepilokMany birds have been trapped and hunted to be sold in the black markets, and some of these birds are poached and hunted for their natural beaks, like in the hornbills.Bird and wildlife education is a never ending process, and the best that people can do is by constantly educating the public about this.Another highlight of the event is also to promote nature and bird watching as a hobby, as this is one of the growing trends in experiential tourism.Photographing the animals and birds is also one of the growing hobbies by locals and also many foreigners who come here to experience Sabah's beautiful wildlife. Awareness is never enough, and it is at event like these where you can get more information from the organizers and even the participating vendors.The official banner for the 10th Borneo Bird Festival 2018Activities At The Borneo Bird FestivalThroughout the two days, there are a number of activities that go on during the festival, and they are broken into different areas. Depending on what you or your family want to participate in, the list of events is below, and you can choose. Sabah Bird Race - This is the most popular event where teams need to register and go on a bird watching race around the RDC. Bird Photo Race - Similar to the bird race, but this event is done in a photography style race, where participants photograph the most number of birds during the race. Bird Photography Contest - This contest is open to everyone, and is submitted before the festival, and photos are judged during the festival, where the winners are selected and announced on the final day.A talk going on inside the air-conditioned hall at RDCTalks - Without fail, there will be a number of talks by local and international speakers in regards to bird watching, migrations, conservations and techniques. A number of NGOs will also give talks on conservation and ecotourism. Workshops - These are specialized workshops dedicated to bird watching and conservation, done by professionals in the respective fields. Some include Borneo Bird Run - A unique marathon around Sepilok that is fun for the family, and takes the bird theme. Participants have a best dressed category in this fun run, and over 2000 people will be seen taking part on the final day morning.Some of the bird watching equipment on display at the festivalExhibitions - There are various exhibitions that take place around the event, which will suit all walks of life. Some exhibits display conservation efforts by the wildlife department, WWF and even MNS. Others will be on books, paintings and photography. Bird Watching Equipment - A number of vendors from renown brands will be seen displaying their latest equipment that ranges from binoculars, cameras, telephoto lenses, field scopes, bird and nature book and many other interesting items.At the start of the Borneo Bird RunGuided Nature Walks - Special timed nature walks by volunteer guides will take place on both days where it is free. Interested parties need to just sign up for the guided walks around the RDC. Food and Drinks - There will be a section dedicated to food and drinks at the event where you will find local food like bites, burgers and snacks among cold drinks and juices. Games and Quiz - There will also be a series of games and quizzes held throughout the event, and these are very suitable for both adults and kids.The scene at the Borneo Bird Festival at RDC, SepilokWho Should Go To The Borneo Bird Festival?This is a popular bird watching event in Sabah that attracts all walks of life. The main purpose of this event is to create awareness of the importance of birds and the environment. If you are a nature lover, or even a beginner bird watcher or photographer, this is the perfect place to start. At the event, you will see a lot of beginners, amateurs and even professionals participating.At the RDC, there is also an amazing steel canopy walk that stretches about one kilometer long, and it is a modern design type that can accommodate hundreds of people at any time. For those who live out of Sabah, this event could be something very different compared to other events you may have attended.Personally, I easily recommend attending this, namely because it is in Sandakan, on the east coast of Sabah Borneo.The open aired restaurant at the RDC in SepilokSandakan is also known as the nature city of Sabah Borneo, where there is abundance of nature to be discovered.There is of course the world famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation, Labuk Bay and many other places for wildlife and nature watching. Even around Sepilok, there are a number of nature resorts available for guests to stay at, which is also walking distance to the Rainforest discovery Center or RDC as it is commonly called.On one of my previous trips, I had the pleasure of staying at the popular Sepilok Nature Resort, which is perfect for any kind of traveler.Bird watchers in full attire for the eventWhat to Bring to the Borneo Bird Festival?As this is an outdoors event at the RDC, you will be walking around most of the time. A majority of the events take place outdoors, hence you should be prepared for any weather changes.In a rainforest, it can also get hot and humid, so here is a list of what you can bring to the RDC for the Borneo Bird Festival;Mosquito or insect repellentPoncho, raincoat or umbrella in case it rains as the walkways are not coveredBottled water and snacksA pair of binoculars are worth bringing if you want to see birdsProper trekking or sports shoes here as some of the walkways can be slipperyThe Bornean Bristlehead look out point at the RDCTickets / Entrance Fees for the RDCMalaysian Resident RM 7.00 : Adults RM 3.00 : Children 5-17 years old Free: Children below 5 years old Non-Malaysian (Foreigners)RM 15.00 : Adults RM 7.00 : Children 5-17 years oldFree : Children below 5 years oldOpening Hours for the RDC:Daily 8.00 am to 5.00 pm (Daily)Birders start as early as 6.00 am at the car park area Rainforest Discovery Centre Address and Contact;PO Box 140790715 SandakanSabah, Malaysia.Telephone: + 60 089 533780 / 781Website: Rainforest Discovery Center SepilokA list of birds of BorneoA couple of Pied Hornbills spotted at the RDCHow To Go To RDC In Sepilok? The Rainforest Discovery Center or RDC is located just out of Sandakan city, and is about 23 kilometers away. To get here, you have a few options which includes taking a taxi, Grab or renting your own car. For locals, it is a 30 minute drive without any traffic jams.Driving Directions To RDCDrive along Jalan Labuk from Sandakan TownTurn left at the Mile 14 roundabout (with a large Orangutan statue)Drive along until you see the large, pictorial RDC sign and turn rightDrive for about 500m to the RDC car parkTaking A Bus From Sandakan To Sepilok - There is a public bus service from Labuk Bus Company that departs from the Sandakan Town Council, and the timings are not as frequent.The bus stops at the junction of the main road of the Sepilok entrance and you then need to walk in about 1.5km. This is not recommended, unless you are doing a budget travel around this part of Sabah. Flying To Sandakan - There are a few airlines that fly from Kuala Lumpur to Sandakan, where AirAsia has the most flights a day. Malaysia Airlines has two direct flights into Sandakan from KL. AirAsia also connects from Kota Kinabalu and some other cities to Sandakan for those traveling locally. Taxi or Grab Ride Hailing Service - Taxis and Grab is available, but you need to weigh the pros and cons of this, as you know Grab is the cheaper alternative. 10th Borneo Bird Festival in Sandakan InformationDate: 1st and 2nd December 2018 (Sat & Sun)Venue: Rainforest Discovery Center (RDC), Sepilok, SandakanTime: 8.00 AM to 5.00 PMOfficial Website: Borneo Bird FestivalThe Kabili-Sepilok rainforest has been recognized as an Important Bird Area or IBAThe Sandakan Borneo Bird Club (SBBC) home at RDCThe incredible team of organizers and bird marshall's for the Borneo Bird FestivalConclusionIf you love birds and nature, this is one birding event you should consider attending. Even though it is located in Sandakan, Sabah, it is very well organized and truly an eye opener for many. For me, I live in Semenangjung Malaysia, and in the fast city life of Kuala Lumpur, and I have attended quite a number of bird events around Malaysia.But on my first event trip to Sandakan to witness the second Borneo Bird Festival in 2010, I was taken aback with the overall organization done by the local bird club called Sandakan Borneo Bird Club. Never did I expect that a local organized bird festival could have been done in such international standards, attracting people from all over the region. Therefore, I would easily state that the Borneo Bird Festival 2018 is something you may not want to miss if you have been planning to visit this part of Sabah.
Friday 2nd of November 2018 01:15:00 PM
- Travel Visa Guide Information for Malaysians
For most Malaysians, we have the luxury to travel visa free to many countries, and this is thanks to the Commonwealth agreement among each of the countries. Over the years, we have traveled without issues to many countries without the hassle of applying for any type of visa. But since the last ten years or so, more Malaysians are getting adventurous and starting to travel to new destinations, and a little further than the regular destinations around Southeast Asia. Malaysians love to visit ChinaWhy Malaysians Love TravelingThe mushrooming of budget airlines in Malaysia and around the region has been the biggest contributor to the rise of travel among Malaysians. In fact, it has become a normal weekly or monthly affair for friends or families to be traveling somewhere out of Malaysia. Another reason for this is also thanks to the many long weekends from the public holidays that Malaysia observes. Yes, Malaysia is one of the rare countries that sees over 17 public holidaysIf you ask any Malaysia if they have been to Bali or Bangkok, chances are that they have been not once, but several times! Well, this goes to show how much Malaysians travel nowadays, and why some travelers opt for further and no to commercialized destinations. Applying for a China Visa in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaHow To Apply For Travel Visas for Malaysians?There are a few ways you can do this, and of course the most common one is by visiting the embassy of the country you want to visit. But many people who are first time travelers would not know the proper procedures in getting a visa, hence you should always do your homework on the country you are visiting. Back many years ago, Japan used to require a travel visa to visit, but in recent years, the Japanese government decided to waive the visa requirement for Malaysians, making travel there easy. China however, still requires a travel visa, and no matter which part of mainland China you visit, you still need to get one done beforehand. Through my research, I actually did find information for China visa application, which was very helpful. General China visa applicationTypes Of Travel VisasThere are three main types of travel visas that Malaysian would be applying for, and this depends on which country you are planning to visit. Hence it is important to know which kind of visa you need. Single Entry Visa - This visa is used when you visit a country only once. For example, if you are visiting Beijing in China for a holiday, you simple need to apply for this one time single entry visa. Multiple Entry Visa - Similar as the single entry, this visa allows you to travel to the country as many times as you like throughout the duration of the visa. Example would be if you are in love with Tokyo and plan to visit there again and again, the multiple entry visa is recommended. Transit Visa - This is a common visa for anyone who is traveling to Europe and transits in Dubai or Qatar and want to explore the transit country. For example, if you are traveling to London or Europe on any Middle Eastern airlines, you will most definitely be transiting at one of the countries of the United Arab Emirates. And you will want to spend at least a day or two there, where a transit visa is required. Visa On Arrival - This is when you arrive at the airport and get a visa on your arrival. Some countries practice this, and you simply fill up a visa form. Certain countries have waived the visa fees, but some still require you to pay for the visa on arrival.Business Travel Visa - This is only if you are traveling for business and you can apply for a business visa to the selected countries. In this case, a family traveling may have the father or mother going there for business and leisure, and bringing along the family. The working adult applies for the business visa while the family members apply for the travel visa. The last thing you want to see on your passport is this chop. Photo Wikipedia. Cause of ConcernsWhile many think it is easy to get a visa and just travel to the desired country, there are very rare cases where visitors have been turned away at the arrival from immigration officers. Yes, we think it may never happen to any of us, but there have been cases where tourist have been denied entry to a country even he or she has all the proper documents and visas. This is completely out of your hands as the immigration officers at the arrival country have the right to do this. There could be many reasons for this, and you should be prepared for any sudden emergencies like this. The China visa application formFirst of all, it is always recommended to dress smart casual when entering a country, as you do not want to look dodgy or shady. These are warning signs for immigration officers on duty. Second, at times, immigration officers will question you on arrival, asking you all sorts of questions, and if you do not answer them correctly, this is where many visitors get sent back. Questions are usually about where you are staying at, why are you visiting the country, and how much money are you carrying. In order to pass the checks, you need to look presentable, have your visa paperwork in order and never look nervous. The China Visa once applied to your passportConclusionAgain, this article was written purely for Malaysians as we do love to travel nowadays, and at times, we often overlook many things. It is highly important to know if the country you are visiting requires a travel visa, hence you need to get this done at least a month before your travel. China is a popular destination for many Malaysians, and a travel visa is still required for you to visit any part of China. There are services where you can do this online, or visit the Australian Embassy to get this done. While flights are abundance, and with many airlines to choose from, most Malaysians are penny wise and always go for the cheapest and best deal. With so many choices, I often look at many websites and eventually found one to book cheap flights for my travels. The long lines at one of the China immigrationRemember, if you are a first time visitor to China, you need to follow the instructions of completing the online visa application before you head to the China Embassy to get your visa.At the end of the day, I would stress to always find out beforehand about general information of the country you are visiting. The main thing to check if the country requires you to have a visa before visiting, and how long the visa application will take. As many would say, it is better to be prepared rather than get caught off guard, especially if you love to do thing last minute or on the eleventh hour.So, for Malaysians, I recommend getting your travel visa information beforehand, as it will save you heaps of unwanted issues.
Thursday 18th of October 2018 12:33:00 PM
- Sarawak More To Discover Campaign Launch
The Sarawak More To Discover Campaign for 2019 and 2020 was officially launched at the JW Marriott Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on the 16th October 2018 to media and tourism industry players from here . A creative approach in tourism for the coming year, the Sarawak Tourism Board and also the Ministry of Tourism Sarawak came up with a simple and yet catchy logo for this campaign that is schedule to run for two years. The Sarawak Tourism Minister, CEO and other VIP's during the launching in Kuala LumpurWhat is Sarawak More To Discover?While many wonder what the tagline means, it was created with simplicity and with an objective to focus on the unique culture, endless adventures, amazing nature, fascinating food and incredible festivals of Sarawak.The More To Discover logo comprises of seven different colors, where each of them represents the elements and diversity that makes up Sarawak, otherwise known as the Land of the Hornbills.If you notice the letter "a" in the logo, it has cleverly been replaced by the iconic Rhinoceros Hornbill bird, which is native to Sarawak. And finally, the brush strokes of the More To Discover logo font portrays fun and friendliness, which is representing the unparalleled hospitality found all over Sarawak.The More to Discover LogoSarawak More To Discover Logo MeaningFor those who really want to dive deeper into the logo meaning of the More To Discover tagline, here it is below;S - The 'S' is in red color, which represents the Sarawak Flag, and the motif is part of the traditional design for the Dayak and Orang Ulu people of Sarawak.A - The 'A' is orange in color, which represents the vibrant energy and strong spirit of the multi ethnic people in Sarawak.R - The 'R' comes in the amber yellow color, which is also the color of the Sarawak flag, and represents supremacy of law and order, unity and stability in diversity.A - The 'A' in green color is cleverly represented with the head of the Hornbill bird, and signifies the 'Bumi Kenyalang' or Land of the Hornbills.W - The 'W' in blue color reflects the calmness of the ocean along Sarawak?s vast coastline.A - The blue colored 'A' is the same as above, representing the ocean.K - The 'K' also in a darker tone of green represents the lush tropical rainforest in abundance all over Sarawak. Sarawak Tourism Minister Datuk Abdul Karim giving his talk during the launchingObjective of More To Discover in SarawakThe main mission is to brand Sarawak as a destination for culture, adventure, nature, food and festivals, which is all totally unique to the largest state of Malaysia. The Sarawak Tourism Minister, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah also jokingly mentioned that Sarawak is not your shopping destination. He also clearly stated that 'If you want to do shopping, just visit Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong or Singapore'. Sarawak has always been one of the more unique states of Malaysia, and located on the island of Borneo, and is shared with Brunei and Kalimantan. The island is well known to the world simply as Borneo too. With such unique flora and fauna, Sarawak boasts of a very diverse multi-ethnic culture and with that comes unique celebrations, festivals, crafts and of course food. The CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board, Sharzede Datu Hj. Salleh Askor giving her opening speechAn incredible 27 ethnic groups make up Sarawak and there are a total of 45 different languages and dialects being spoken through here. This is part of the culture campaign that Sarawak has to offer visitors. The abundance of tropical rainforest only sees fit to have beautiful and unique national parks, and in Sarawak, there are a total of 56 totally protected areas. Out of the 56, there are 37 gazetted national parks, the most in one state for Malaysia. A total of 14 nature reserves can be found and there are five wildlife sanctuaries found in Sarawak. When it comes to festivals, you can find a number of unique ethnic festivals and celebrations throughout the year, and one can only imagine what is being celebrated from the 27 ethnic groups. Modern day festivals also contribute to this area where one of the most famous events is no other than the Rainforest world Music Festival, held for the last 21 years at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong. There is also the Borneo Jazz Festival in Miri, and the Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival among the well known events that see international and local visitors. The amazing marketing and communication team of Sarawak Tourism BoardA Recent Exploration for Culture, Nature and Wildlife in Bakelalan, SarawakI would like to share with you a preview of my recent exploration trip to Ba'kelalan in the highlands of northeast Sarawak just this early October 2018.On this trip, I visited the Lun Bawang community of 9 villages that make up the entire area of Bakelalan, where I spent about five days here with the friendly highland people.Even though this is my second visit here, I learned so many new things, explored many new places and found out even more about the local Orang Ulu here. Check out some of my Bakelalan preview photos below, which were all taken with my Oppo Smartphone on this trip. The general landscape around Bakelalan in SarawakAn elderly Lun Bawang lady plays a bamboo flute in BakelalanMe taking a pose at one of the incredible landscapes of Bakelalan in SarawakConclusionAs I have been continuously visiting Sarawak for the last ten years since 2008, I can only share two words - Amazing Place. After visiting almost all of Sarawak, there is still so much to discover, and this is just me. Imagine what a first timer to Sarawak will discover when he or she steps foot in this unique destination? As far as I know, there is limitless amount of adventure, nature, culture and food awaiting anyone here in Sarawak. If you want a fast city life with shopping and skyscrapers, this is not the place to explore, but if you want a different kind of tourism experience, then Sarawak should be high on your bucket list. And finally, I concur with the Sarawak Tourism Minister, Datuk Karim, where if you want something very unique and different, then it is recommended to visit Sarawak as there is more to discover here.
Tuesday 16th of October 2018 02:06:00 PM
- How To Go To Chemerong Waterfalls
The Chemerong Waterfalls are one of the most beautiful in Malaysia, and this article shares information about how to get here from Kuala Lumpur or anywhere from the country. First of all, you should know that it is possible to make a day trip here to visit the waterfalls, namely for those who just want to take that Instagram shot. And for the serious outdoor and nature lovers, you can book a tour that lets you trek and camp at the Chemerong Waterfalls, which is also known as one of the tallest waterfalls in Southeast Asia. This place is often called the CBL or Chemerong, Berembun, Langsir, and in Malay, this place is known as the Hutan Lipur Chemerong, or Chemerong Forest Reserve in the Pasir Raja Forest Reserve of Dungun region in Terengganu. How To Go To Chemerong WaterfallsThe beautiful Chemerong Waterfalls. Note the people at the bottom right of the photoMost of you will either be in Kuala Lumpur or some other city around Malaysia, and many would be wondering how to get to the Chemerong Waterfalls in Terengganu. Before I get into the details of traveling here, you should know what else is there to do around the Chemerong Waterfalls, the park and its surrounding. Chemerong Waterfalls is located about two kilometers into the Chemerong Forest Reserve, and there is a park entrance fee of RM2.00 per person to enter, and RM5.00 per person for camping.Outside the park entrance, there is a wildlife park office and center where you get your tickets, park guides and so on. The main car park is also located outside here.The Chemerong Park Office and waterfalls at the backGood news is that you can drive here or from any other city in a few hours, and from Kuala Lumpur, it is only a four hour drive to the forest entrance.Once you reach the park entrance, you can park your car and make the ticket purchase from the main office here.If you are just visiting the waterfalls, you pay only RM2.00 per person, and it is a one to two hour trek to the main Chemerong waterfalls.If you are planning to do camping, you need to pre-arrange this, and get the necessary documents from the Terengganu Forestry office, book your guide and so on.You may need a minimum of three (3) weeks advance booking for your camping permit. The official contact is listed at the end of this article.A park guide at CBL ChemerongWhat You Need To Know About Chemerong WaterfallsBefore you blindly say "I'm going here", you need to take note that this is not your easy Bukit Gasing trekking trip.Overall, one needs to be fit to trek up this waterfall. If you are a pure city person, make sure you can hike for at least one hour without having to stop every ten minutes. First thing you need is an entry ticket from the park quarters, and it is compulsory for everyone to pay this fees. Guides are compulsory as they do not allow self trekking here. However, the guide fees is around RM500 a day, for one or two persons, of even a group. You can hire them from the park quarters. Porters are also available for hire to carry up any heavy things, and there is a set price for this where you can arrange this with the park office.Hikers trekking the CBL here. Photo by www.jenalothman.comFor those planning to hike to Langsir, it will take around eight hours one way, and this is excluding stopping and photography. Some visitors are actually photographers and they trek all the way to Langsir to overnight there and photograph the clear and beautiful stars. This spot is well known for stargazing too. If you are trekking the 3D/2N CBL Trail, then do keep an eye out for one of the biggest Chengal Tree in Asia. Also keep an eye out for the strange hollow tree which is very Instagrammable.If you are expecting 4G coverage, so sorry to burst your bubble, but there is limited cellphone coverage in this area. You would be lucky to get GPRS at some points.But your objective is to trek and hike here, so let's keep to that and use your smartphones to take photographs.Chemerong Forest Reserve in TerengganuWhat is Available at Chemerong Waterfalls ParkThis is important for anyone who is planning to visit here and you need to know what is available once you reach the park. I will list down the general facilities at park area;Park Office / Ranger Station - For tickets and bookingsSmall Cafe - Local and simple food and drinksSouvenir Shop - Basic souvenirs soldCar Park - For those who drive hereSmall Children's Playground - Really, it's only for the kidsSurau or Prayer Room - For prayer timeHanging Bridge - Just a hanging bridgeThe park office is managed by the forestry department and is quite well laid out with walking paths to the trails, picnic areas and the start of the waterfall trek.ATV adventure just outside of Chemerong Forest ReserveWhat Else To Do Around Chemerong Waterfalls?You are either coming here to see the waterfalls or most probably for trekking and camping. Hence for those who want to know what else can be done, below are some other activities to explore.Chemerong Offroad ATV Adventure - Your complete ATV adventures in the rainforest of Chemerong. This company provides all kinds of ATV experiences in this area and can be contacted via phone - 012-202 9057Chemerong Outdoor Adventure - This is an outdoor and adventure company who provides trekking, camping, kayaking, team building and many other activities around the Chemerong Reserve. They are all local guides from the area. They can be contacted via phone - 012-202 9057Al-Muktafi Billah Shah - This is the nearest town to Chemerong Forest Reserve, and is where you can get your supplies of snacks, food, drinks and other smaller items. From the town, it takes a 30 minute drive to the forest reserve.Sunset and stargazing are one of the must experience things at Chemerong. Photo by Zati Iwani Abdul Malek.What To Bring For Chemerong Waterfalls Trekking? Most seasoned trekkers or waterfall hunters would know what to bring, but I am going to list down the general items you need when you visit this place.The list will be broken into two sections, one for just the waterfall day trip visit, and the other for camping overnight here.Chemerong Waterfall Day Trip ChecklistHiking Shoes (Basic, Expensive or Adidas Kampung)Insect Repellent (Malaysian made ones are the best)Poncho (It's a rainforest, and it can rain)Waterproof Bags (Always a must for any trekking trip)Swimwear and Towel (Unless you are not planning to swim here)Sunblock (Especially for morning and midday trekking)Tripod (For photographers)Mini First Aid Kit (Always a necessity)Drinking Water (At least 2 liters per person)Snacks and Power Bars (For those who need it)Chemerong CBL Camping Trip ChecklistHiking Shoes (Basic, Expensive or Adidas Kampung)Insect Repellent (Malaysian made ones are the best)Poncho (It's a rainforest, and it can and will rain)Waterproof Bags (Always a must for any trekking trip)Trekking Gloves (For steep climbs and support)Change of Clothes (Light wear)Swimwear and Towel (Unless you are not planning to swim here)Sunblock (Especially for morning and midday trekking)Tripod (For photographers)Proper First Aid Kit (Required for camping)Drinking Water (At least 5 liters per person)Snacks and Power Bars (For those who need it)Camping Utensils (For those who plan to cook)Raw Food (Simple and easy to cook like instant noodles, eggs)Other general camping equipment (This list goes on)Nadzira from In A Nutshell poses at the Chemerong WaterfallsHiking Reviews of Chemerong WaterfallsOver the years, many hikers have made their way to Chemerong Waterfalls, namely for hiking and camping at the CBL here in Dungun, Terengganu.Since 2016 and 2017, more hikers have been coming here or the amazing experience and I have gathered some of their articles for you to read and see photos. Catherine from 'Catching Travels', shares her 3D/2N camping experience at Chemerong in May of 2017 along with 30 hikers. She shares detail about her journey up, camping overnight and some beautiful photos. Nadzira Hata from 'In A Nutshell' has also experienced 3D/2N camping and trekking at Chemerong Waterfalls in April of 2017. Nadzira is one of those hiking and trekking lovers from Malaysia. MCHiker is also one of those hard core hikers and trekkers from Malaysia who has experience trekking to Chemerong Waterfalls in his detailed trekking blog. His journey was in 2015 and there are lots of photos. Joan from LuvFeelin has also experienced visiting Chemerong Forest Reserve in July of 2016 and spent two nights hiking and camping here. Her blog is entirely in Chinese for those who can read. The various national parks and forest reserves around TerengganuChemerong Waterfall Information1000 feet (305 meter)Chemerong Waterfalls GPS Coordinates: N4.65988 E102.98899 Gunung Berembun GPS Coordinates: N4.63963 E102.97063 Langsir Waterfalls GPS Coordinates: N4.63291 E102.97555Chemerong Waterfalls ContactJabatan Perhutanan Negeri Terengganu,Tingkat 8, Wisma Negeri,Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu,20200 MalaysiaTel: +6 09 6222444 Ext. 6808Talian Terus : +6 09 6221587 / 6274123Email : email@example.comAdditional Info: Chemerong Forest Reserve WebsiteCBL Trekking MapApplication for Climbing and Camping Permit for CBL Chemerong WaterfallsSend to: Pengarah Perhutanan Negeri Terengganu, Jabatan Perhutanan Negeri Terengganu,Tingkat 8, Wisma Negeri,20000 Kuala TerengganuTel : +6 09 627 4155Fax: +6 09 623 6552Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgFees for Chemerong Waterfalls and CampingAccording to the last update in 2017, there are a number of different fees for visitors and they are;Park Entrance Fees: RM2.00 Adults, RM1.00 for childrenCamping Fees: RM5.00 per personPark Ranger Fees: RM500.00 per dayWhat Time Does The Chemerong Park Open?The Chemerong Forest Reserve operated on government hours which is from 8.00 AM till 5.00 PM. If you want to get your park entry, tickets and other fees, you need to do it during these hours. The best is to plan your travels so that you reach here during the park operation hours. And the park office is open seven days a week, including weekends and holidays. An epic photo of Chemerong WaterfallsWhen is the Best Time to Visit Chemerong WaterfallsAnyone planning to visit Chemerong Waterfalls must take note that the park closes during the Monsoon season in east coast Malaysia from late October to mid March. Why do they close? Because the monsoon period brings a lot of rain, and it can sometimes rain for days. This can cause mudslides, uprooting of trees and even floods, which can endanger the lives of trekkers, hikers or general visitors. It is recommended to visit during the dry season in May, June and July. However the park is open from March till October, and during the other months, you can expect small showers.On weekends, school holidays and public holidays, this place can get really crowded. So, if you dislike crowds, I will personally recommend you avoid these times and go on a weekday.You will enjoy a peaceful trek with very little people, which is something that I really enjoy when trekking. For those interested, it is best to contact the park office and find out when exactly they close and reopen.Driving Distance from KL to Chemerong CBLHow to Drive to Chemerong WaterfallsFor those driving, this is important information as the road signs are quite tricky. Unless the park has put up more signboards, you need to follow the Waterfall Junction GPS Coordinates: N4.66192 E102.98992Distance to Chemerong WaterfallsBelow are distances from various cities around Malaysia to Chemerong waterfalls, and the time taken is from Google Maps calculation. Give and take, just add another 30 to 60 minutes for food and toilet breaks during your journey.From Al-Muktafi Billah Shah - 35.8 KM, 30 minutes driveFrom Kuala Terengganu - 126 KM, 1 hour 45 minutes driveFrom Dungun - 67 KM, 1 hour driveFrom Kuantan City - 147 KM, 2 hours driveFrom Kota Bharu - 265 KM, 4 hours driveFrom Kuala Lumpur - 378 KM, 4 hours driveFrom Ipoh - 431 KM, 6.5 hours driveFrom Melaka - 419 KM, 5.5 hour driveFrom Johor Bharu - 489 KM, 6.5 hours driveFrom Penang - 593 KM, 8 hours driveFrom Singapore - 473 KM, Coastal Road, 7 hours driveFor those without their own transportThis applies to tourist or anyone without a car or bike, there is no public transport to Chemerong Waterfalls. You need to travel to Dungun or Kuala Terengganu and then take a taxi or private car service to the park.There is no bus service to Chemerong Waterfalls so you can forget this option. If you are going in a group, usually you will charter a bus or van for the trip.I would recommend three options;1. Taxi or Private Car Service - First, get the price for a one way trip. Then get the taxi contact number or make arrangements for him to pick you up when you are done here. I do not think that Grab will pick you up from the park, so please do check on that.2. Rent a Car - You can also rent a car in Kuala Terengganu and self drive to the park as this would be a fun way to explore this part of Terengganu. Make sure you have a GPS, Waze or Google Maps for this.3. Book a Tour - There are various travel agents that offer special tours here, and you can book them in Terengganu or other cities. For example, if you book one in Kuala Terengganu, they will pick you up, send you there and after you are done, send you back to the city.The Chemerong Waterfall information from Tourism MalaysiaAdditional Information for Chemerong WaterfallsSome people may want additional information about this beautiful waterfalls which is one of the tallest in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.Photography - There is a required permit for any professional photography at the park and you need to apply for this through the forestry office for the photographers permit.This simply means if you are coming here with crew, equipment and talents for a photo shoot, wedding photo or other photography, you need to apply for a permit from the park office.Video Shooting - Depending on what kind of filming you want to do, it requires different permits from the forestry department.If you are just doing your own filming for your company, you can get the permit from the park office at RM200 per day. If you are doing a TV commercial, music video or movie that requires crew, you need to apply a special permit from the main office.Drone Photography - This is still new, but I believe you must inform the park office if you are doing anything commercial here.One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Malaysia, Photo by www.jenalothman.comFinal ThoughtsThe Chemerong Waterfalls are simply breathtaking and one of the amazing Eco destinations in Terengganu, Malaysia. If you are an outdoors, adventure and nature lover, this is one of the highly recommended places to visit.And if you are into camping, trekking, hiking and a waterfall lover, this is one of the highly recommended places in Malaysia to visit. I hope this guide on how to go to Chemerong Waterfalls has come in handy for you.Any questions, comments or updates, please leave a comment in the form below or you can use the contact me form. Have a great trip here.
Friday 14th of September 2018 12:31:00 PM
- Bakelalan Airport [Review]
This is a review of the Bakelalan Airport in Sarawak, specially done for anyone who is planning to visit this beautiful highland in northern Sarawak, on the island of Borneo. Bakelalan is one of two main highland towns that offers probably the best of Malaysian Ecotourism and also rural tourism, which is purely community driven by the local Lun Bawang people here. Review of the Bakelalan Airport in SarawakArriving at the Bakelalan AirportFirst of all, you should take not that only MasWings, a subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines flies to Bakelalan and there are no other airlines that service this route.The aircraft they use is the DCH Twin Otter turboprop planes which can only seat up to 16 passengers per flight, and takes about an hour from Miri Airport. The Bakelalan airport is probably one of the smallest airports in Malaysia, and is very straightforward and simple, unlike what you are commonly used to.The arrival hall at the airportThe Bakelalan airport code is BKM, and is located just by the main village of Bakelalan, which is at an altitude of 884 meters or 2,900 feet above sea level. Here is my personal and unique experience about the Bakelalan airport when I last visited a number of years ago.The airport sits at the edge of the Bakelalan village, meaning that when you land here, you can just walk to your homestay from the airport. Yes, the airport is so small, it is made of mainly wood and has only three sections. A combined arrival and departure room, a ticket counter, and a control tower on the top. Important Information About Flying to BakelalanMe sitting in the Twin Otter plane bound for BakelalanFirst timers will need to know that in the event you leave Miri for Bakelalan, there could be diversions or other factors that may require the flight to turn back.For example, just before your flight is arriving and there is a storm or strong winds, the flight may return back to Miri and your flight will be re-timed for the next available flight. If you have a confirmed flight ticket and on that day, if it storms terribly, your flight may be pushed to the next available day. Yes, I am not kidding about this as it once almost happened to me.The MasWings flight about to land in BakelalanI have heard of situations where passengers could already see Bakelalan from their plane window, but had to turn back to Miri because of the strong winds and the flight could not land. Another case I heard is that on the flight out of Bakelalan, the passengers could not fly on that day due to a heavy storm, and the fight from Miri or Lawas was unable to leave. How Many Flights Are There to Bakelalan? Aerial view of Bakelalan while flying in the Twin Otter planeThere are only three flights to Bakelalan a week, which is on Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays only. This means you really need to plan your flight in and out, according to the flight schedules. Another thing to note is that most of the flights will get fully booked, due to the locals traveling around. This is also because each flight can only accommodate up to 15 passengers per flight. If you are planning to visit here, I would strongly recommend you book at least a couple of months in advance as at times, last minute bookings may not offer any seats.During the school holidays or other large holidays in Sarawak, the flight are usually fully booked by the locals who travel back home. There are only three airports that service the Bakelalan route, and they are Miri, Lawas and Bario. Miri is the international airport for Northern Sarawak, while the other two are smaller village airports.The emergency response unit at Bakelalan Airport Bakelalan Flight InformationThree flights a week, and this is crucial for your booking if you want to visit this unique highland village. The best option is a direct flight from Miri to Bakelalan.Miri to Lawas, then to Bakelalan (Mon, Wed, Sat) - Depart: 10.35 AM, Arrive: 12.10 PMThe above flight makes a stop in Lawas for a very short transit before continuing to Bakelalan. There is no direct Miri to Bakelalan flight. Luggage has to be weighed before checking in, including the passengerWhat If I Cannot Book A Flight? This is a common question asked by visitors who try and book on the last minute. In most cases there may be only one of two seats available, or you have to keep trying until you get it.This applies to those traveling in pairs or groups of three or more, and as I mentioned earlier, it is best to book well ahead if you want to visit this beautiful place. Some visitors manage to fly in, but are unable to fly out, hence they will have to take the local 4WD transport out of Bakelalan, back to Lawas or Limbang.The price varies, and is usually above RM100 per person, and depending if there is a trip going on that day. Usually it will be woth other locals that are using this service too.If you plan to charter the entire 4WD, the price may be three to four times higher. This is only done if you really need to catch a connecting flight or other urgent matters. Other Ways To Go To BakelalanWell, if all fails, there is still the good old way of taking a 4WD from Miri or any of the other cities around here. There are no buses or trains that travel to Bakelalan, and you need to book a 4WD from those who regularly operate the service. If you are driving cross border, you will need to have your passport with you as you will head into Brunei before exiting again. What most people do is take a flight to Lawas or Limbang, and then start their journey to Bakelalan from there. From Miri - 8 Hour Drive (Cross Border)From Limbang - 5 Hour Drive From Lawas - 4 Hour DriveFrom Kota Kinabalu - 7 Hour Drive (Cross Border)From Bandar Seri Begawan - 7 Hour Drive (Cross Border)For this experience, you will need to engage a specialized tour company that operates these routes. For me, I worked with one of the reputable companies from Sarawak, and my journey started from Lawas. A trek up the lookout point shows part of the Bakelalan Airport landing stripWhat to Do in Bakelalan?Well, if you are already planning to come here, you must have some sort of itinerary planned out for you, unless you are taking a tour package to Bakelalan.For those who are thinking of visiting this unique destination in Sarawak, then you need to know what you can do in Bakelalan, as I have written about this place. There are no proper hotels or modern day shops available here, only homestays and family run grocer shops, local cafes and restaurants.Things are pretty laid back here, and activities include trekking, learning about the local culture and just absorbing the laidback life here. Bird watching in Bakelalan is one of the special activities as a couple of endemic birds in Sarawak are found in the area. This needs to be specially arranged, and not a commercial activity.I have also written a comprehensive article on what to do in Bakelalan, and if you are planning to visit here, you should read that article to get a heads up. Bakelalan Airport in SarawakAirport Code: BKMAircraft: DCH-6 Twin OtterAirlines: MasWingsOperator: Malaysia AirportsMasWings Flight Network around Sabah and SarawakConclusion The Bakelalan airport is probably one of the most unique airports I have been in the world, and when you do get here, you will see why.Overall, if you are an aviation fan, this is a unique rural airport experience, which you will remember for life. The way things are done, still date back to the early days and is such a rush to witness and experience.
Tuesday 28th of August 2018 11:39:00 AM
- Royal Floria 2018 in Putrajaya
After skipping one year, Royal Floria 2018 in Putrajaya is back, and will take place from 25th August till 2nd September at Anjung Floria or Precinct 4. This years Royal Floria Putrajaya will also be highlighting the expertise, creativity and professionalism of Malaysian designers to showcase our local talents, as part of the Malaysia National Day which falls on 31st August. Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018This year's Royal Floria will have a theme called ?10 Wonders of Floria?, in conjunction of the 10th anniversary of the event being held at Anjung Floria in Precinct Four.Artist impression of Royal Floria's 10 Wonders of Floria gardenOver 400,000 flowering plants will be on display which includes bougainvilleas, begonias, lilies, hibiscus, orchids, heliconias, roses and chrysanthemum flowers, which are all the theme flowers over the last 9 years. This year's Royal Floria 2018 expects to see a total of 1,500,000 people attending the event over nine days, as during the last event in 2016, a total of 1 Million visitors were recorded visiting the show. For those who are new to this event, you may be wondering why there was no Royal Floria 2017, and this was not publicized during that year.Royal Floria has been ongoing since 2007 and only in 2017, it was halted, where prior to this, the last event was actually Royal Floria 2016, with the theme called Magical World of Floria, and the Chrysanthemum as the theme flower.Flowers at the Putrajaya Royal Floria ShowVisitors coming to this floral event in Putrajaya also need to take note that you will be spending at least three hours and above here. The area is huge, and there is a lot of walking to be done.For amateur or professional photographers, this will be a great place to practice your landscape, portrait and macro photography skills. There is also a photography contest during the event.One of the flower art pieces at Floria PutrajayaOne of the concepts that attract many are the many different themes and gardens that are specially created by the government departments, schools, colleges, universities and corporate sectors.Each of these gardens showcase their own unique design and landscaping, and visitors are invited to walk in to see the details. Some of them are really creative, hence you will need to explore them all.A total of 29 international participants from nine countries will be featuring their floral art and displays throughout the event. Activities and Events at Royal Floria 2018Artist Impression of Taman Diraja or Perak Royal Garden for Royal Floria 2018Every Floria event, there will be many different activities that take place around the event grounds. These activities have time slots and best to get the information brochure when you enter.Some of them are held in the air-conditioned tents while others are located around Anjung Floria. This year will also see similar events as the past including some news ones, and they are in alphabetic order below;Designer Gardens - A yearly feature where professional landscape architects create unique and designer gardens for the urban lifestyle.Entrance Statement - This is the main entrance, where colorful fabrics from Royal Floria's logo are cleverly used overhead as you enter the expo grounds. This will be your first impression of Royal Floria when you walk in.Fantasy Garden - A garden crated for those who love fantasy and children, there will be a surprise for kids as the Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside Hotel will be giving out free lollipops, candies, popcorn and balloons.Fertigation Garden - This unique feature demonstrates urban farming techniques for the general public to cultivate greens and vegetables. Fertigation is suitable for use in homes or apartments with limited space for gardening.Floral Pavilion - One of the most popular attractions as the Floral Pavilion is inside an air-conditioned tent. The pavilion also showcases floral displays by international and local exhibitors.Floria Arts and Crafts - This is a new attraction for Royal Floria 2018 where you will find vendors selling traditional Malaysian handicraft products. A total of 90 vendors will display and sell their products at this section. Floria Flavours - A must visit for anyone who is attending this event as you will at some point need to eat or drinks. Vendors include stalls selling local Malaysian food from different states, drink stalls, and also local souvenir shops.Floria Sunshine Run - This special run is organized by Hivelocity Sdn. Bhd. and takes place on the 26th August from 6.00 AM to 11.00 AM. Flower Arrangement Demonstrations - For the florist hobbyist and businesses, this demonstration is held on certain days and times. Inquire with the organizer for the schedules.Food Trucks - Various food trucks from all over the Klang Valley will be stationed at an area in Anjung Floria. They will be serving a cosmopolitan mix of local, international and fusion food and drinks. Garden Bazaar and Horticultural Market - This is a standard feature at every event where visitors can buy flowers, plants, garden products, outdoor furniture and many related items.Gardening Workshops - Interesting workshops that discuss about gardening tips and techniques. You can find out more from the information counter about these workshops. Hipster Square - A new shopping culture experience is aimed at teenagers and young people who are visiting Royal Floria 2018. International Floral Pavilion - 19 International designers from Singapore, China, Japan, Germany, Indonesia, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam will be showcasing their floral designs at the International Floral Pavilion.International Orchid Competition - A highly popular competition where many orchid lovers from local and abroad will participate their prized and rare orchids for this competition. Over 300 Orchids will be on competition this year.Miniature Gardens - This feature is brought back due to the success of the the Bucolic Gardens from 2015 where the Lord of the Rings Hobbiton House was one of the main features. It is also themed as the Mini Hobbiton of Malaysia, and is one of the most photographed garden at Royal Floria.The Garden Bazaar and Horticulture Market at Royal FloriaPhotography Competition - This is for the photographers and is a very popular category. Prizes include cash and other prizes. You need to register with the relevant department at the event. This takes place on 26th August from 9.30 AM to 10.00 PM. Royal Floria International Dialogue - A seminar and talk sharing and discussing horticulture and related topics by local and international speakers takes place from 25th to 26th August. This is registered event and you can get more information about this from the Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia or ILAM.Royal Garden - Since becoming Royal Floria in 2014, the organizers will select one state of Malaysia as the Royal Garden. This year will feature the gardens of Istana Kenangan in Kuala Kangsar, Perak. The main entrance of the Perak Royal Garden will feature the Istana Iskandariah in Bukit Chandan.Showcase Gardens - This is a segment participated by various associations, organizations, schools, to display their garden design talents.The Magic of Bonsai and Suiseki Exhibition - For those into Bonsai and Suiseki, this is not to be missed as there will be a display for this category.Tropical Magic In A Glass - This is a Terrarium exhibition for anyone who is into this indoor plant hobby.Watercolour Contest - Open for kids, you need to register at the event or get details from the main information counter here. This takes place on 26th august, from 10.00 AM to 3.00 PM. Watercolor Workshop - There will be a special watercolor workshop taking place on four days at Royal Floria. The dates are 25th, 26th and 31st August and one more on 2nd September. Wonder Garden - This is the main showcase for Royal Floria 2018, which takes you through the 10 years of Floria through various garden displays. You can see unique flower towers and multi-colored flower beds through the Floria Wonder Garden.Flower art decoration during Royal Floria 2016Awards and Prizes at Royal Floria 2018At every Royal Floria event, there will be multiple awards and prizes up for grabs and this year will see over RM40,000 in cash prizes for numerous categories. They include;Garden Prime Award - RM15,000Designer Boutique Garden Award - RM10,000Garden of Malaysia Award - RM5,000 Best Media Article - RM5,000Best Media Photograph - RM5,000Other awards for participants are also up for grabs based on categories which include;Royal Floria Putrajaya International Cup + RM5,000 CashBonsai and Suiseki Competition AwardsOrchid Competition AwardsNight time at Royal Floria PutrajayaRoyal Floria 2018 in PutrajayaDate: August 25th to September 2nd, 2018Monday to Thursday: From 9:00 am to 10:30 pmFriday, Saturday and Sunday: From 9:00 am to 12:00 midnightGeneral Contact Number: 03 8893 1967Website: Royal Floria PutrajayaTickets for Royal Floria 2018You can buy tickets at the door, or buy them online from the official website. Royal Floria tickets are priced at;Weekday TicketsMalaysian Adult - RM12.00Malaysian Child (7 to 12 Years Old) - RM6.00Malaysian Senior Citizen/OKU - RM6.00Non Malayisan Adult - RM24.00Non Malaysian Child/Senior Citizen/OKU - RM12.00Weekend TicketsMalaysian Adult- RM15.00Malaysian Child (7 to 12 Years Old) - RM6.00Malaysian Senior Citizen/OKU - RM8.00Non Malaysian Adult - RM30.00Non Malaysian Child/Senior Citizen/OKU - RM16.00Layout Map for Royal Floria 2018How To Go To Royal Floria Putrajaya 2018? Driving - Those driving can simply key in Anjung Floria into their Google Maps or Waze Application, and it will bring you directly to the event. There is a huge parking area in front of Anjung Floria. ERL Train - If you are taking public transportation, there is the ERL train service to Putrajaya from KL Sentral, and when you arrive at Putrajaya Sentral train station, you need to take a taxi, Grab or bus to Anjung Floria in Precinct 4. You need to take Bus Route 301 and 401. Private Car - You can also take raid hailing services like Grab, GoCar or MyCar to Putrajaya, and the journey one way is around 50 to 60 minutes from Kuala Lumpur.Various public transport to PutrajayaWhere is Royal Floria Putrajaya?Royal Floria 2018 is located at Anjung Floria in Precinct 4 of Putrajaya. This is the administrative capital of Malaysia and is located about 35 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur city.To drive here, it can take from 35 minutes to 60 minutes one way, depending on the time of the day, and the traffic.Generally, if you plan to do a day trip, then head here early to get parking and also to avoid the midday heat. Or you can come in the late afternoon and spend the evening and night here. Sponsors and Partners for Royal Floria 2018Official Hotel Partner - Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside HotelOfficial Transport Partner - myCarOfficial Ticketing Partner - Seat AdvisorOfficial Charity Partner - Mercy MalaysiaRoyal FLORIA Putrajaya International Cup Sponsor - Putrajaya Holdings Sdn BhdThe Negeri Sembilan Royal Garden from Royal Floria 2015Beautiful Slipper Orchids at Royal FloriaConclusionMy personal tip is if you love flowers and gardens, you should go for this event, as it truly is one of Malaysia's most beautiful event held over 9 days here in Putrajaya. Also, if you want to avoid the large crowds, I will recommend you visit Royal Floria 2018 on a weekday in the mornings when they just open.If you visit on a weekend, you will be among the tens of thousands of people at the event. Therefore, it is entirely up to you when you want to visit.To see live photo updates, follow my social media accounts of Air Plants Malaysia Instagram or David Travels on Instagram as I will be uploading photos on those accounts.If you are new to this, the Royal Floria 2018 is a recommended event to visit, namely if you love gardens and flowers. I can guarantee that you will be impressed by the level of international standards seen here.
Wednesday 22nd of August 2018 02:06:00 PM
- AirAsia Flights To Raja Ampat
In an interesting turn in aviation news, AirAsia is currently considering adding a number of flights to new destinations around Indonesia, and one of them comes as a shocker. There may soon be AirAsia flights to Raja Ampat. Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes mentioned that they are currently in talks with the relevant authorities about flights to Belitung. They are also looking at direct flights to Banyuwangi and Raja Ampat. AirAsia Flights To Raja AmpatArborek Island, one of the popular destinations in Raja AmpatThe news came about in early August 2018 when Tony Fernandes spoke to media after announcing direct flights from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (klia2) to Silangit Airport in Tapanuli, North Sumatra.If this materializes, it would be a huge game changer for scuba divers as Raja Ampat has always been one of the most beautiful dive destinations in the world, and one of the hardest to reach. Some even claim that it costs too much to dive at Raja Ampat, where the cost can reach up to RM10,000 per person, who is doing a live on board dive trip. My flight landing at Sorong in West PapuaAs I visited Raja Ampat in late 2017, I had the pleasure of finding out how complicated it can be to get to this part of West Papua. I also write an article on airlines that fly to Raja Ampat, which provides detailed information. According to the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism, 25 percent of international tourists currently travel to Indonesia via the AirAsia Group. And AirAsia is dedicated to continue supporting the ministry to achieve a target of 20 million visitors by the year 2019, versus the target of 17 million arrivals for 2018. Why Do People Want To Go To Raja Ampat? Scuba diving in the pristine clear waters of Raja AmpatHonestly, this place is truly one of earth's most beautiful and natural destination that is not spoiled by general tourism. Imagine Bali 50 years ago, that is how it is here. Well, I would say it is more than that. Raja Ampat's underwater biodiversity is so rich, it has become of the best places on earth to dive at. Most divers that have been here usually stay on a live on board or at a dive resort on Waisai Island. Checking out the world's largest clam in Raja AmpatImagine I spent five days here, and during every dive I did, there was only my group and no one else around. At times, I felt like we were the only diving tourist here. This is how peaceful and enjoyable Raja Ampat is. No pretentious or wannabe tourist, no shouting tourist, no screaming kids, none of that. But if there are AirAsia flights to Raja Ampat, I can promise you that this place may lose its natural charm and beauty. Well, it will be very good for tourism here, but bad for the conservation. Honestly if you ask me, this is a catch 22 situation which could go either way. I am sure many would not want Raja Ampat to end up like Bali or Labuan Bajo, where it looks like a tourist circus, versus a beautiful vacation destination. Watch one of my Raja Ampat Scuba Diving Videos belowHow Do You Get To Raja Ampat?The Domine Eduard Osok Airport in Sorong, West PapuaDon't get too excited yet as this is only being discussed by AirAsia, but knowing the group, they will eventually do it, but will the flight last? That all depends if the route is profitable or not. So, many of you may think that when AirAsia flies to Raja Ampat, you can just hop on a flight, arrive there and just check in and go for your dive. Sorry, you got it all wrong as there is more to that. The Sorong Airport which recently had a makeover in 2017The only airport that AirAsia can land is at the Sorong Airport, or simply called the Raja Ampat Airport. Sorong is the city on the western part of West Papua, whis is known as Indonesia Papua. This is where all international and domestic flights land, as the airport is capable to cater to small and mid sized aircraft like Airbus A320's, Bombardiers or even the Boeing 737 series. On the island of Waigeo, where most of the Raja Ampat Resorts are located atFrom Sorong, you need to travel to Waisai Harbour on Waigeo Island, which is also known as Raja Ampat. This can be done either by flight or boat. All this is extra travel time which you should take note of, and you can find out in detail on my article on how to go to Raja Ampat, which covers flights and boats. ConclusionIf AirAsia starts flying to Raja Ampat in the near future, this would be a huge bonus for scuba divers as it has been a dream diving destination for many.Honestly, it is not your Bali, Lombok or Gili Trawangan destination, so for the general travelers, you can still visit but do not keep your expectations too high. Me sitting at the view deck of the famous Piaynemo in Raja AmpatFor bird watchers, this would also be a super bonus as bird watching in Raja Ampat is also high on the bucket list where people want to spot the beautiful Bird of Paradise. This species can only be spotted here and nowhere else in the world. To be honest, I would look forward to AirAsia flying to Raja Ampat, as I would love to return for more bird watching and scuba diving there, so we can only wait for the news to be official.
Thursday 16th of August 2018 10:27:00 AM
- Malaysia Airlines New Baggage Allowance For Domestic Flights
From 1st August 2018, the new Malaysia Airlines baggage allowance for domestic flights will be reduced. This comes as a shock for many local travelers who have been used to the free 30kg baggage allowance all this while. Malaysia Airlines has announced that they will reduce the baggage allowance by 10kg, bringing it down to 20kg from August 1st, and this applies to all economy class flights and tickets booked after the date. Malaysia Airlines Domestic Flight New Baggage AllowanceMalaysia Airlines passengers still get complimentary perksSince I do fly Malaysia Airlines regularly, the news comes to a shock for me, as all this while, I have enjoyed the free 30kg baggage allowance for my travels.Now, I have to watch my luggage weight for my future MAS flights, hence I thought I might as well share this new information with anyone who flies regularly with Malaysia Airlines on domestic routes.Malaysia Airlines claims that the revised baggage allowance was in line with other full service airlines. This applies to all economy fares booked from 1 August 2018, and existing bookings are still exempted. The main reason for Malaysia Airlines new baggage allowances are to ensure competitive prices with the issue of increasing fuel prices worldwide. The airline also commented that passengers will get the complimentary 7kg cabin baggage allowance, in flight entertainment and the in flight meals. Business and First Class passengers have no change in their allowances.One of the Malaysia Airlines check in counters at KLIACurrent Baggage Allowance for Malaysia AirlinesCurrently, the allowance for check-in baggage is 30kg per passenger, and the new revised MAS baggage allowance is 20kg effective from 1 August 2018.For Malaysia Airlines cabin baggage allowances;Economy Class passengers: One cabin baggage with a maximum weight of 7kgBusiness Class passengers: Two pieces of cabin baggage weighing a total of 14kg.Cabin Luggage Measurements: Each cabin bag must not exceed L36cm x W23cm x H56cm.For more information, visit the Malaysia Airlines website, as you can contact the customer service for your questions. Passengers at Kuala Lumpur International AirportAirlines That Fly Domestic Routes in MalaysiaIn Malaysia, other airlines that operate domestic flights are AirAsia, Malindo Air or Batik Air Malaysia and FireFly Airlines. Each of these airlines also offer different baggage allowances as stated below;1. Firefly AirlinesDomestic and International Check In Baggage Allowance - 20kgAdditional 5kg, 10kg and 15kg can be purchased online, call centre or at sales officesCabin Baggage - One piece of hand baggage per passengerWeighs 7kg or lessMore information on Firefly Airlines Baggage FeesPlease note that the Firefly Airline B737 aircraft 15kg baggage is now 20kg and free2. Malindo Air (Batik Air Malaysia)Check In Baggage for Malindo AirDomestic & International Flights Business Class - 40kg (for Boeing aircraft)Economy Class - 25kg (for Boeing aircraft) excluding DAC & CGP, 35kgEconomy Class - 15kg (for ATR aircraft)Malindo Air Excess Baggage FeesAny excess baggage fees will be charged at the check in counter, and this will cost you extra money and time so please double check your baggage weight before checking in. International Flights - RM48.00 per kilogram Domestic Flights - RM39.20 per kilogramMalindo Air's baggage allowanceCabin Baggage for Malindo AirBusiness ClassEach passenger (2) two pieces of cabin baggage AND 1 laptop bag OR 1 handbag on-boardCabin baggage shall not exceed 36 x 56 x 23 cm Weighs no more than 10kg.Economy ClassEach passenger (1) one piece of cabin baggage AND 1 laptop bag OR 1 handbag on-boardCabin baggage shall not exceed 36 x 56 x 23 cmWeighs no more than 7kg.For more information on the baggage allowances or sporting equipment luggage, visit the Malindo Air website. AirAsia's cabin baggage allowance3. AirAsia You should know by now that there is no free check in baggage for any AirAsia flight. Everything is charged and passengers have options to choose the weight they want to buy.You usually purchase your baggage when you buy your flight tickets online. And if you suddenly have access luggage, you can easily buy extra baggage before your flight.The last thing you want is to be charged at the check in counter for excess luggage, as this can run into the hundreds.AirAsia Domestic Check In Baggage Allowance 15kg, 20kg, 25kg, 30kg, 40kgAirAsia International Check In Baggage Allowance20kg, 25kg, 30kg, 40kgAirAsia Cabin Baggage or Hand Luggage AllowancePassengers on AirAsia are allowed to carry on board 2 pieces of cabin baggage comprising of either:One Cabin Baggage: Not exceeding 56cm (H) X 36cm (W) X 23cm (D)One Laptop Bag or One Handbag or One Small Bag: Not exceeding 40cm (H) X 30cm (W) X 10cm (D)The total weight of both pieces must not exceed 7kg. For more information on baggage information like sports bags or golf bags, please visit the AirAsia website.Passengers on Malaysia Airlines at the domestic check in linesFor those planning to fly locally with Malaysia Airlines from 1 August 2018, please take note of the new revised domestic flight baggage allowances of 20kg for MAS.You will be required to pay for any extra weight while checking in. This means you will have to pay the excess weight at another counter, then come back to your check in counter to show that you have paid for the access luggage.If you are rushing, this will not work in your favor and you will end up being frustrated. I hope this information will come in handy for the local frequent flyers on Malaysia Airlines. If you think someone should know about this news, please share this article and thank you.
Thursday 2nd of August 2018 01:42:00 PM
- Things To Do In Bakelalan
Here is a list of things to do in Bakelalan, based on actual experiences that I have done over the years visiting this unique part of Sarawak, which borders Kalimantan. Bakelalan is home to the Lun Bawang people who live 3000 feet up in the Maligan Highlands, which is sometimes referred to as the Kelabit Highlands. This is truly one of Sarawak's most hidden gem for a true tourism experience. What To Do In BakelalanThe general landscape view in BakelalanFor those heading to Bakelalan, you should take note on what can be done here. First of all, Bakelalan is not your everyday commercial tourism destination, but more of a rural tourism destination of Sarawak. There are no hotels or commercial shops, cafes or anything you can find in general towns or cities. Bakelalan is a highland village that has a population of around 1000 Lun Bawang people. Only homestays, local run restaurants and sundry shops are what you will find here. Bakelalan is perfect for anyone wanting a digital detox, escaping the city life or anyone wanting to experience the Sarawakian outdoors, culture and heritage.Bakelalan also consist of nine villages, where each of them are connected by walking trails. So, below is the list of what to do in Bakelalan, created from my experiences. 1. Visit the Bakelalan Salt Factory Locals with their Bakelalan salt at Buduk BuiThis is hands down a must for anyone who visits Bakelalan, the Buduk Bui salt factory is a homegrown community business that makes traditional Bakelalan salt. This village is the furthest from the main village called Buduk Nur.Trips here are usually arranged by your homestay or tour operator where you will take a 60 minute ride via 4WD. Once at the salt factory, you will be introduced to the traditional process of salt making which dates back hundreds of years ago. The unique part of the Bakelalan salt is that it is processed from natural salt springs that have been in the village for centuries.There are actually three salt springs found in Bakelalan at Buduk Bui, Pa Komap and Punang Kelalan, where Buduk Bui is the most popular Bakelalan salt factory to visit. 2. Try the Lun Bawang Food Preparing the local Lun Bawang foodThis is something that you will be guaranteed to experience, which is a bonus if you are a food lover. The Lun Bawang food is one-of-a-kind and very different from the general Sarawakian food that you can find in Miri or Kuching. When you are staying at any of the local homestays here, you will be introduced to traditional Lun Bawang cuisine, and it is considered a very traditional ethnic food. Most of the food is organic, which is grown, farmed and harvested in Bakelalan.Traditional Lun Bawang dessertsOne of the signature dishes to try is the Nubalaya, which is pounded rice wrapped in banana leaves. If you are lucky, you can try the pickled fish or game meat called Telu.For Muslim travelers, there is no Halal food, though maybe one or two families may have converted to Muslims, and you could probably get it there. Or, just bring your own rations for this trip. 3. Go Trekking or Hiking in BakelalanView of Bakelalan from Pa Sarui HillWhen you are here, this is probably the main activity that you wile experience. Bakelalan has many trails that are very interesting, and most importantly, raw.These trekking trails are used mainly by the local for hunting or even for traveling to other parts of the highlands. Some of the trails are relatively easy, while others may be a little hard. One of the trials I hiked was actually to a hill behind the village called Pa Sarui.Trekking up a hillThe trails was easy at the start but got a little hard halfway up with a total time of about 90 minutes. The reward was amazing, as you could see the entire village from the top of Pa Sarui Hill. These trails must be accompanied by a local guide, as you do not want to get lost here. On a side note, the border to Kalimantan is just kilometers away from Bakelalan, making this place one of the closest villages to Indonesia. 4. Experience a Traditional Lun Bawang Cultural ShowLun Bawang women in traditional costume for the cultural showThis can be arranged by your homestay or tour operator, where the locals will have a special performance for you or your group. The Lun Bawang cultural show can be done in the day or during dinner. At this performance, you will be introduced to the traditional song and dance of the Lun Bawang people here.The Lun Bawang traditional dances include the popular Hornbill dance, long dances and single dances, which are accompanied by a Sape instrument being played. The Lun Bawang people were once known as fierce warriors and also head hunters, but no longer are since the turn of the century.A traditional Lun Bawang dinner is also part of this experience, and for any first timer to Bakelalan, this is not to be missed. 5. Bird Watching in BakelalanSome of the highland birdsThis hobby and activity has been around for about a decade, with only specialist bird watchers coming here to complete their checklist of Borneo birds.To do this, you need to engage a specialized company that does bird tours to Bakelalan, and there are not many around. On my last trip here, my itinerary was so filled up, I did not manage to do this, but on writing this in July 2018, I am planning a bird watching trip to Bakelalan this year.It is said that you can find two endemic birds in Borneo in Bakelalan, and they are the Dulit Frogmouth and the Black Oriole. Nowhere else on the island of Borneo can you spot them too. Not to worry, as when I complete my bird watching here, I will surely post about it in my future postings. Yes, I am an amateur bird watcher with a lot of experiences all over Sabah and Sarawak over the years. 6. Try the Bakelalan PineapplesA Bakelalan pineapple growing in the wildYes, they have pineapples growing, but not on a commercial scale. You need to ask the locals when is the season the fruits are available, and I was lucky enough to try one of them, which was on par with the ones I tried at the sister village called Bario. One of the places where you can see the Bakelalan pineapples growing is on the trek up to PA Sarui Hill, the part when it starts to ascend, there are pineapples grown in the wild.So if you are lucky, you can find a ripe pineapple and eat it on your way up or down the hill. Not to worry as these pineapples are free for all, because no one wants to look after them. 7. See the Bakelalan Megalith StonesThe Bakelalan megalith stones. Photo by Carolyn from Footsteps on the Fringe.As any old culture has their own myths, the Bakelalan megaliths are one of them, and the best part is that you can actually see them. This is provided you have a good guide that can explain the stories behind these strange stones found in Bakelalan. The Bakelalan ancient stone monuments are seen at Long Lemutut village, and there are a few of them which carries their own stories.One of the more popular and easier to get to megaliths is the Upai Semaring Stove at Pa Tawing. Here, four to five massive boulders make up a cooking stove area, as the legend Upai Semaring was known to be a giant. If you have seen the Bario Megalith stones, the ones here in Bakelalan are totally different, minus the carvings and purely myth or legend driven. However, a good guide will share a very interesting story on them.8. Visit the Bakelalan WaterfallsOne of the Bakelalan waterfalls. Photo by Carolyn from Footsteps on the Fringe. According to Kevin from Dayak Wanderer, there are two main waterfalls in Bakelalan worth exploring. They are the Ritan Waterfall and the Pa Kumap Waterfalls. Both which require trekking and is generally a half to full day trip. Honestly, I have not been to either, but plan to do so.Pa Kumap Waterfalls in Bakelalan is the nearer one, which is only a two trek from the village, and can be done in half a day.The Ritan Waterfalls is the harder one, which is about six to eight hours of trekking. Generally, people would take a 4X4 to get here, as it saves a lot of time.I found out that there are in fact a few other smaller waterfalls located in Bakelalan, but sadly due to the hydro electric dam project, most of these waterfalls have shrunk in size, with very little water.9. Try the Bakelalan Rice CoffeeBakelalan Rice Coffee or Kopi BeraThis is one of the most intriguing things I did when I visited Bakelalan, trying the local rice coffee. I have to admit, in my lifetime, I have never heard or rice being made into coffee until I visited this place.They call this Bera Kopi or literally rice coffee made from the Adan rice, which is one of the highest grades of highland rice. The rice is fried in a pan over firewood, and sugar is added while constantly stirring the rice to caramelize it a little.After the rice turns to a dark reddish brown, it is ready to be made into your regular black coffee. The method is so straight forward, put the rice in a cup, just add hot water and stir. Sift it and your Bakelalan coffee is ready.10. Visit the Bakelalan Strawberry Farm Since Bakelalan stopped growing apples, some local farmers have resorted to growing strawberries as the climate is much more suitable here. The Bakelalan strawberries project was initiated in 2015 and the farm is located in Buduk Nur.This private farm is owned by local Purait Gatum or Tagal Paran (Pak Tagal) and they open their houses and farms for visitors who want to come and see his Bakelalan strawberries. You can even buy them fresh from his farm.11. Try the Bakelalan ApplesA Lun Bawang girl holds the Bakelalan Apples. Photo by Cinta.Alright, this one is a little vague but you should know that Bakelalan was once the apple capital of Malaysia. Yes, they grew apples in Bakelalan,which was an amazing feat, considering that Malaysia is a tropical country.I was told by a local that they stopped the apple farming many years ago due to manpower shortage and weather changes in Bakelalan.However, the good news is that some of the locals recently started to plane apples in early 2018, hence it takes a three to four years before we can see fruits.But there are a few apple trees that are still being grown in Bakelalan, but unfortunately, they are not well taken care of, and if you are lucky, they may be fruiting. Or else, do ask about the other unique fruits that they grow here like oranges, grapes and even persimmons.12. Attend the Irau Aco Lun Bawang Festival (Special)The Irau Aco Lun Bawang Festival held in Lawas. Photo by Irau Aco FB Page. This is only for those who are seriously into the whole ethnic culture. The most popular local festival is called Irau Aco Lun Bawang which is held on from the 31st May to 1st of June every year.Known as a rice harvest festival for the Lun Bawang people, this is also in conjunction with the Gawai Festival that is celebrated all over Sarawak. The Lun Bawang people celebrate this all over Bakelalan on a local scale, but if you want to fully experience this on a large scale, the main event will take place in the town of Lawas, which hosts the Irau Aco Lun Bawang Festival. At Lawas, you will see a Lun Bawang beauty pageant contest called Rurun Ulung and also the male warrior contest.Visitors can also find the Ngiup Suling, which is a local traditional bamboo flute band, accompanied by an Angklung performance, which is a traditional bamboo instrument being performed here. Many other activities take place in the day and night, hence this is one of the Lun Bawang festivals not to be missed if you love all things ethnic.When is the Best Time to Visit Bakelalan? A rare sunset seen in Bakelalan by the airport when I was hereFor me, anytime is a good time as Bakelalan is located in the highlands, the temperature is always cooling, and ranges from around 19°C and 24°C.If you want to see the beautiful green paddy fields in Bakelalan, the best time for this is from November to early December.This is when the paddy fields are in full green color. At the end of December, the color begins to turn golden yellow for the harvest.Rainy season in Bakelalan is from November to January, but with today's unpredictable weather, it can rain anytime. Other months, it is often dry season.June is the harvest season celebration or Gawai, and is also a good time to experience the local Lun Bawang harvest festival in Bakelalan. How to go to Bakelalan? A DCH6 Twin Otter aircraft operated by MasWings landing at Bakelalan airportOverall, Bakelalan is one of the truly amazing destinations in Sarawak which caters to a very niche breed of tourism.Due to connectivity and infrastructure, this place is not that easy to access and here is the best way to travel to Bakelalan.Flights to Bakelalan - I highly recommend you book a flight there and back, as it only takes about an hour from Miri with a quick stopover in Lawas. There are only three flights a week, Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.You also need to book well in advance if you plan to travel in groups of two or more. There is also a strict weight allowance for passengers, and usually flights will take up to 12 or 14 passengers, even though they say it is a 19 seater aircraft.4x4's that travel to Bakelalan4x4 to Bakelalan - This is the old way, and is still being used by the locals to transport items. However, you need to do this via Lawas, and through a travel agent that specializes in Bakelalan tours.The 4x4 journey will take you about four to five hours one way through logging roads, plantations and beautiful picturesque scenery.You will also experience the famous Bornean massage on this journey. No, not that one, but the one sitting in a bumpy 4x4 for the entire journey. I did this!Other Ways - Sadly, the above are the only two ways to go to Bakelalan. There are no buses or trains for this experience. Out of curiosity, I did a Google check for walking to Bakelalan from Laws, and it would take you 31 hours non stop.What Should I Bring To Bakelalan?This has to be added, if not visitors will travel with their extra large luggage bags, hair dryers, laptops and so on. First of all, if you take a flight here, they need to weigh you and your luggage. So, just bring what you need.Trekking backpackTrekking clothes and shoes (I just use Adidas Kampung)GPS tracker if you plan to explore on your ownMosquito and insect repellentSpecial dietary food if requiredSnacks and junk food if you mustHalal or vegetarian food for special needsCamera and chargersA book would be a nice touchA good attitude towards the amazing local Lun Bawang peopleStunning landscapes waiting to be discovered in Ba KelalanConclusionIf you have been looking for a special destination in Malaysia to explore, which is rustic and out of the ordinary, Bakelalan is the just the perfect place to visit. Just keep in mind that Bakelalan and Bario is not your regular tourist destination.For those contemplating on where to visit, you can also read about my travel to the Bario Highlands, which is the sister village of Bakelalan. I have visited both, where each of them have their own unique experiences.An image of what you can expect in BakelalanBakelalan is suitable for anyone who wants to experience what real tourism in Malaysia is all about. This location lets you experience what the local Lun Bawang highland people go through on an everyday life, which is sweet and simple.There is little to no phone signals and WiFi available, hence you will most likely be disconnected from your daily grind. I call this a digital detox, which I believe is good for everyone, especially when you know how everyone is just attached to their smartphones and gadgets nowadays.Up here, you will embark on a unique experience and learn about the Lun Bawang culture, feast on the local food while exploring the many things to do in Bakelalan as shared above.
Wednesday 25th of July 2018 01:18:00 PM
- How To Go To The Rainforest World Music Festival
For anyone wanting to know how to go to the Rainforest World Music Festival in Santubong, I have come up with this guide for your convenience. This includes various ways including self driving to the Sarawak Cultural Village. The Rainforest World Music Festival takes place on a yearly basis, and is one of the most unique music festivals in the world which is held in Sarawak, on the island of Borneo.Often called RWMF in short, this unique music festival in Sarawak tends to attracts people from all over the world. How To Go To The Rainforest World Music FestivalThe Sarawak Cultural Village, where the music festival will take placeThis article applies to those who are staying in the Kuching or other areas out of Santubong, and it takes about 60-90 minutes travel one way to the Sarawak Cultural Village where the Rainforest World Music Festival is held. In most cases, festival goers will be taking public transport as it will be the most economical way to travel to the festival from Kuching. Options include a shuttle bus, public taxi or even GRAB, a private car service. For the foreigners attending the festival, please note there is no more UBER in Malaysia, ad it was bought over by GRAB, so you need to download the GRAB App on your phone for this. Below are the ways to get to the Rainforest World Music Festival. The Free Shuttle Bus to the Rainforest World Music Festival. Source KuchingBorneo. 1. Free Shuttle Bus to Rainforest World Music FestivalThis is a bonus for Rainforest World Music Festival ticket holders, as there is a free shuttle bus service from Kuching to the Sarawak Cultural Village. The free shuttle bus will depart from four main stops around Kuching city and they are;Hills Shopping Mall - From 9.30 AM till 8.00 PMRiverside Majestic Astana Wing - From 9.40 AM till 8.10 PMHarbour View Hotel - From 9.50 AM till 8.20 PMMerdeka Palace - From 10.00 AM till 8.30 PMThe free shuttle bus service is an hourly service, hence if you miss the bus, then you need to wait for the next timing. The Free Shuttle Bus Time Table for RWMF 2018All you need to do is show your valid Rainforest World Music Festival ticket to the bus driver or conductor. All shuttle buses will drop off in front of the Sarawak Cultural Village entrance.Good news is that if there is a huge demand for passengers, the organizers have extra buses on standby if the need arises. This is for during peak hours and pending on the volume of festival goers.Shuttle buses back to Kuching will also start from 12.30 PM on an hourly basis, and the last bus back to Kuching is at 1.30 AM2. GRAB GRAB Kuching is the official transport partner for the Rainforest World Music Festival, and is offering a special promotion code where you can get RM10.00 off for one trip when you use the promo code of "RWMF2018". A normal GRAB ride from Kuching to the Sarawak Cultural Village will cost you RM35.00 one way, and using the code, you can get it for RM25.00. You can book a GRAB from anywhere around Kuching or other areas around the city. What the common taxi's look like in Kuching. Source Wikipedia CC By-SA 3.03. Regular TaxiThere are many local taxis available, but please note that in Kuching, the local taxi's do not usually run around looking for passengers. IT is the other way around where you need to find a taxi stand where all they are waiting. Taxi's in Kuching also do not operate on meters, hence you need to ask them how much it will cost for your journey there. I am told that during the music festival, prices may be a little higher than usual. In 2017, I took a local taxi from Kuching to the Cultural Village, and it cost me RM40.00 one way. Also, local taxi's only seat four persons by law. So if you are in a group, you may need two taxi's and best to book them together. One of the performers during the festival4. Car Rental or Self DrivingIn rare cases, there are some visitors who actually rent a car to travel up and down for the festival. This is entirely up to you, but you need to know that all regular cars are not allowed to drive directly into the festival. When you reach the Rainforest World Music Festival checkpoint at the Damai Gold Club junction, you will be required to park your car or bike there. Parking is free, and first come, first serve. From the check point, you need to take a van shuttle to the festival grounds. The price is RM7.00 for adults and RM4.00 for children one way.Not to worry as there is constant security places at the checkpoint, hence your vehicle will be safe. Take note that to drive from Kuching, it will take you around one hour, one way. Malaysia is not very open toward Hitchhiking. Source Wikimedia. 5. Hitchhiking While this does happen, you should know that in Malaysia, hitchhiking is not accepted due to crime and so on. Throughout Malaysia, hitchhiking is rarely seen on the roads. However, a couple of years back when I attended the Rainforest World Music Festival, I saw a couple hitchhiking along the main road to the festival. If you actually plan to do this, be prepared not o be picked up, or if you are lucky, someone may even stop for you. What the traditional Sarawakian ethnic people look like in full costumeAdditional InformationFor those staying around the Santubong or Damai area here, it is possible for you to walk to the festival. It also depends how far your hotel or guest house is located, but those in the immediate vicinity can easily walk there. If you are planning to stay longer for the festival, here is a list of what to do around the Rainforest World Music Festival. The list provides places to visit around the cultural village and around the Damai Santubong area. There are many who will stay for a week here, and in the day, you may be wondering if there are any places you can visit in Santubong. You can also explore out of Santubong and head to Kuching, where there are a ton of places to visit in the city.Crowd at the Rainforest World Music FestivalLast Minute Hotels in KuchingThere are many who will make their way here last minute, or friends may suddenly decide to follow you to the Rainforest World Music Festival on the eleventh hour. Just to let you know, most hotels will be fully booked by then, and it will be a nightmare to look for one. I have created a list of accommodations in Kuching, and you can go through them to see if there are any available rooms left. The list provides hotels ranging from five stars right till guest houses to suit your budget. Outside the Sarawak Cultural Village, a sign stating the home of the Rainforest World Music FestivalConclusion The Rainforest World Music Festival takes place annually here in Santubong, Sarawak, and usually held mid year in June, July or sometimes August. This is Malaysia's most successful music festival and has been running for 20 years, and organized by the Sarawak Tourism Board. For any additional information, you should visit the official RWMF website as it provides you with the ticket prices, dates, performers list and all other information. For those heading to the festival, I hope to bump into you and most importantly, have an amazing time there. So, if you have been wondering how to get to the Rainforest World Music Festival, I hope this information has helped you greatly.
Tuesday 10th of July 2018 02:36:00 PM
- If You Only Have One Day In Kuala Lumpur
This article is specially created if you have only one day in Kuala Lumpur, and wonder what can you do around here. Many travelers make Kuala Lumpur a stopping or transit city when they are traveling around the region, mainly due to the cheap AirAsia flights being offered. Personally, I have had many emails over the years asking me what to do in Kuala Lumpur in a day, and I have been providing all sorts of personal information to these travelers.I guess it is high time that I create this article for anyone who wants to know what can you do in Kuala Lumpur in a day.Visiting Kuala Lumpur in One DaySuria KLCC, the massive shopping mall under the Petronas Twin TowersLet me start with your arrival into Kuala Lumpur. Most travelers will be doing a long transit or one day layover in Kuala Lumpur before catching their connecting flights. For anyone transiting in Kuala Lumpur, it is important that you know how long your transit is before you make your way into KL city. This list caters to anyone who has 12 to 24 hours in Kuala Lumpur.If you are on a very short transit or stay, then just scroll to the bottom of this page as I have a solution on what you can possibly do in a short time.Another reason may be that you are in Kuala Lumpur for a business trip or event, and you may have a free day to explore the city. Kuala Lumpur offers some exciting landmarks to explore, and most of them can be conquered within half a day. Among the most prominent landmarks, the Petronas Twin Towers are not to be missed along with the Kuala Lumpur Tower or KL Tower. Both of these landmarks are just 15 minute walking distance from one another, and located in the golden triangle of Kuala Lumpur.Note that if you are traveling from the international airports, it will take you around 28 minutes to 60 minutes one way, depending on the mode of transport you use. Below, I will list down the areas that you can explore with a estimate time to spend there.Golden Triangle of Kuala Lumpur. Photo by EasyBook. Golden Triangle of Kuala Lumpur or KLCC AreaThere are a number of attractions found around the golden triangle area of Kuala Lumpur and these places can be visited within three to four hours. Remember to use Google Maps or Waze to find the best walking routes in the city.These places listed below are all within walking distance and best done in the day. For those who have an entire day to spare, you can generally see the best of Kuala Lumpur in one day at the places mentioned below.The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur1. Petronas Twin Towers - This would be the best starting point where you can see the tallest twin towers in the world. The best place to take photographs is from the junction of Jalan Ampang and Jalan P. Ramlee, near the Public Bank Tower. Alternatively, you can also explore the Kuala Lumpur City Center Park or KLCC Park, which is the green lung providing manicured landscapes, beautiful views of the twin towers and the dancing fountain at Simfoni Lake, just outside Suria KLCC. For those who want to indulge in some lifestyle shopping, the Suria KLCC is the mall to visit here. In the mall, there is the Petrosains Discovery Center, which is a fun place for those traveling with kids. Time to spend: From 30 to 90 minutes.The Underwater Tunnel at Aquaria KLCC. Photo by Star2. 2. Aquaria KLCC - Kuala Lumpur's most exciting aquarium which is located at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center or KLCC is just a few minutes walk. Great for both adults and kids, this aquarium houses marine and freshwater fishes, corals and a beautiful underwater tunnel. Tickets are priced at RM65.00 for adults and RM56.00 for kids, and you can easily spend about an hour to two hours inside here. Go only if you love aquariums, otherwise, skip this and head to KL Tower. Time to spend: From 30 to 60 minutes.One of the thrilling experiences at KL Tower Sky Box. Photo by KL Tower.3. Kuala Lumpur Tower or Menara KL - From Aquaria KLCC, you can take a 25 minute walk to KL Tower which is the tallest structure in the city offering majestic city views of Kuala Lumpur. You can experience three things here which is the main indoor observation deck, the outdoor sky deck and the unique glass sky box. The tickets start at RM52.00 for adults and RM31.00 for children, and have various combo packages. At Menara KL, there are also many other attractions like the unique Upside Down House and a mini zoo, which is perfect for both adults and kids. Time to spend: From 30 to 60 minutes.4. KL Forest Eco Park - Just next to KL Tower is a unique Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve located in the heart of the city. This is the only green lung of Kuala Lumpur is also the smallest forest reserve in Malaysia. There are really short treks with 300 meter lengths and a unique canopy walkway or tree top walk. I would recommend visiting here to experience a true Malaysian rainforest if you have not. To walk here from Menara KL, you will take about 20 minutes and use Jalan Raja Chulan to get to the main entrance. This place is open from 7.00 AM till 6.00 PM and is free entrance. Time to spend: From 30 to 60 minutes.Bukit Bintang Shopping Area in Kuala Lumpur. Photo by Wonderful Malaysia 5. Bukit Bintang Shopping Street - After your rainforest adventure, you can take a 20 minute walk to the heart of Kuala Lumpur, which is the Bukit Bintang shopping area. This is where all the top shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur is located at, and recommended if you want to do shopping. The main shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur to explore are Pavilion, Lot 10, Sungai Wang Plaza and Berjaya Times Square, and all of them are located within walking distance. Think of this place as the Malaysian Champ-Elysees, but the Southeast Asian version. If you want to explore a unique mall, it would be Low Yat Plaza, entirely dedicated to gadgets, accessories, phones, cameras and computer stuff. This mall is located along Jalan Bukit Bintang. Time to spend: From 1 to 3 hours.Jalan Alor at night. Photo by IQRemix on Flickr. 6. Jalan Alor Food Street - Minutes walk from Jalan Bukit Bintang is the famous Jalan Alor food street where an entire one kilometer street is dominated by restaurants serving Malaysian Chinese, Thai, Cambodian and Vietnamese food. This popular street is best visited around 5.00 PM, for an early dinner, but the ambiance gets better when the sun goes down.Apart from the amazing food sold here, you can also sample local fruits and also the world famous durians. Cold beer is also available at all the restaurants here.You can also visit Jalan Alor in the day, just that the ambiance is not 100%. There are local restaurants opened here in the day. Time to spend: From 30 to 60 minutes.Changkat Bukit Bintang at night. Photo by Kuaby. 7. Changkat Bukit Bintang - This lively street is just a minutes walk from Jalan Alor and is known as the lifestyle and nightlife hub of Kuala Lumpur.Along this road, you will find all kinds of unique bars, clubs and restaurants catering to the lifestyle travelers. Some of the more quiet bars or cafes are located off Changkat Bukit Bintang, along Jalan Nagasari, Jalan Berangan and Jalan Mesiu.Choices include a Cuban bar called Havana Bar and Grill, a Jazz Bar called No Black Tie, a Tapas Bar and even a place called The Whiskey Bar.These are just a few popular places, where there are probably around 20-30 different entertainment outlets around here which close around 1.00 AM to 3.00 AM. Time to spend: From 30 to 90 minutes.The Kuala Lumpur Heli Lounge Bar, one of the most unique bars in Malaysia8. Heli Lounge Bar KL - Probably one of the most unique rooftop bars in Kuala Lumpur and the world is the Heli Lounge Bar, which is located at a helicopter landing on top of a skyscraper.This unique place only opens at 5.00 PM, and is one of the best places to experience the Kuala Lumpur skyline view. It is also the best location to catch the sunset. From Jalan Alor, it is a 10-15 minute walk to the Heli Lounge Bar, which operates till midnight on weekdays and on weekends, it closes at 3.00 AM.Truly one of the iconic lifestyle places in Kuala Lumpur, anyone visiting should make this place a must-visit location. Time to spend: From 1 to 3 hours.TREC Kuala Lumpur, the trendiest place for clubbing, bars and restaurants9. TREC Kuala Lumpur - This is an optional suggestion where TREC KL is currently the latest lifestyle entertainment spot for Kuala Lumpur where you can find the best clubs in KL city.The place comes alive once the sun goes down and you can find a good selection of clubs, bars, live music and restaurants in one dedicated place. The TREC main street is where you can find all these entertainment outlets, all next to each other which creates a beautiful nightlife scene. Overall, you can come here to just have dinner, coffee and drinks if you are not into the clubbing scene. And for the clubbers, Zouk Kuala Lumpur is the most happening club in Malaysia with local and international DJ's performing till 5.00 AM on weekends. The best way to get here is to take a taxi or Grab from anywhere in the city. Time to spend: From 1 to 3 hours.Petaling Street or Chinatown Kuala LumpurChinatown Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Street AreaThis is the older part of Kuala Lumpur and is worth a visit if you like culture and heritage with a bit of shopping and architecture viewing.This itinerary will take you on foot through some of Kuala Lumpur's most historical places and you can do it in two to four hours. 10. Petaling Street or Chinatown Kuala Lumpur - This would be your starting point and the main area to explore here is Jalan Petaling and Jalan Sultan. Just so you know, 'Jalan' means Street in Malay. Jalan Petaling is an open aired covered walkway, littered with stalls and shops selling all sorts of things, namely souvenirs, clothes, knock off products and local food. In the day, the main Jalan Petaling is active with shops and stalls on the sides, and come 4.00 PM, vendors start moving in to occupy the center of the road, creating a lively night market atmosphere.The surrounding roads provide various types of restaurants, coffee shops and stalls selling all sorts of items. Time to spend: 40 to 120 minutes around here.Central Market Annexe art row in Kuala Lumpur11. Central Market and Central Market Annexe - This is a historical wet market converted into a handicraft and art complex called Central Market KL.From Jalan Petaling, it is only a four minute walk here. Once you arrive, you will enter the air conditioned market which offers two floors of shopping or window shopping.Inside Central Market KL you will find countless shops and booths selling all sorts of souvenirs from Malaysia.On the first floor, there is a local Malaysian food court offering some local hawker cuisine which is worth an experience. A recommended shop to visit is the Malaysian Wau or kite shop, which also sells miniature kites. The connecting building at the back entrance leads you into the Central Market Annexe, a specialized section dedicated to Malaysian art.Here you will find a section where local artist are seen painting their works in small cubical shops. Other shops found here are art galleries showcasing some of the more reputable Malaysian artworks. Time to spend: 20 to 30 minutes.The birthplace of Kuala Lumpur at Masjid Jamek Mosque. Photo John Mason on Flickr. 12. Kuala Lumpur Birthplace Lookout Point - From Central Market Annexe, just walk out the back to Leboh Pasar Besar Road and head towards the only bridge over the Klang River. From this bridge, you can spot Masjid Jamek Mosque and where the two rivers meet. This historical place is called the confluence of rivers, where Kuala Lumpur was born. What does Kuala Lumpur mean?Kuala mean confluence and Lumpur means muddy. There you go, now you know what the capital of Malaysia means. Time to spend: 5 minutes.Victoria Fountain at Merdeka Square in KL. Photo by IQRemix on Flickr. 13. Merdeka Square or Dataran Merdeka - From the bridge, just continue walking another two minutes and you will arrive at Dataran Merdeka, which is a massive field called the Independence Square of Malaysia. At Merdeka Square, you will find Southeast Asia's tallest flagpole and the century old Victoria Fountain, which was presented to Kuala Lumpur as a gift from Queen Victoria. From the field, you will see the iconic Sultan Abdul Samad Building, which is a Moorish Classic Renaissance architecture built in 1897.Around the field, there are various heritage buildings that house the Kuala Lumpur Textile Museum, Kuala Lumpur City Gallery and the KL Library. Time to spend: 10 to 30 minutesMasjid India market street in Kuala Lumpur. Photo Wikimedia. 14. Masjid India Market Street Area - A very localized area that caters to the local fabric scene of Kuala Lumpur where you will find hoards of traders selling all kinds of fabrics, sarongs, batik and general apparels for all walks of life.From Dataran Merdeka Square, it is only a 10 minute walk to Masjid India area. There is also a local covered bazaar that is nearer to the main train station here. If you are fabric hunting, this is the place recommended to explore in Kuala Lumpur, which is commonly called Masjid India. But for tourist, it would also be called India Street Market, and is a great place to explore on foot. At one section of Masjid India, you will see Indian jewelers selling all kinds of gold, and also a mini bazaar selling a mix of fabrics and souvenirs.Exploring further in, retail shops and even small shopping complexes offer all kinds of raw fabrics or ready made clothes. If you want to get Malaysian Indian attire and jewelry, this is the place to visit. Time to spend: 30 to 60 minutes or more.Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur. Photo Lonely Planet. 15. Little India or Brickfields Kuala Lumpur - This is the official Little India of Kuala Lumpur, and located just out of the main city area, and very close to KL Sentral Station.Noted in many guidebooks or travel sites, most tourist want to visit this place. So, if you are traveling back to KLIA airport, this could be your last stop. Over at Brickfields, you can explore the many authentic Indian restaurants, buy Indian jewelry and even art, browse through some of the Indian textiles, or explore some of the Indian temples here. Little India is a vibrant place with strong colors, and is located To walk here from Masjid India or Dataran Merdeka Square, it will take you around 30-40 minutes. But from Masjid Jamek Station, you can hop on a train which will take you 20 minutes to KL Sentral, then walk across to Little India, which takes you 5 minutes. Visit only if you have the extra time.Time to spend: 30 to 60 minutes or more.Nu Sentral Mall at KL Sentral16. Nu Sentral Mall - One of the lifestyle and trendy shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur is connected to the KL Sentral Station. This place would serve as a place to get whatever you need before heading back to the airport. And if you are into the shopping and lifestyle scene, Nu Sentral Mall is the perfect place to chill out with some casual shopping.There are many cafes, restaurants and lifestyle bars found here. Well, this is recommended, namely if you have a very short transit and want to explore shopping in Kuala Lumpur, this is one of the places.Time to spend: 30 to 60 minutes or more.The KLIA Express, fastest way into Kuala Lumpur. Photo Wikimedia. How to Travel To Kuala Lumpur from KLIA / KLIA2? By Train - The fastest way to travel into Kuala Lumpur from KLIA is by taking the KLIA Express Train, which takes 28 minutes one way. However, the train schedule varies throughout the day and night. Train tickets cost RM55.00 one way. If you arrive late evening in Malaysia, with a six or eight hour transit, you might as well just hang out at the airport until your connecting flight. Or you could do a Kuala Lumpur nightlife visit to some of the entertainment places mentioned in number 7,8 or 9 above. By Bus - This would be the budget way of traveling into Kuala Lumpur, and takes about 60-70 minutes. The bus ticket is RM12.00 per person one way into KL Sentral, and after midnight, the frequency is less. By Taxi - Taxi's cost anywhere from RM80 to RM100 one way into the city, and depending on which part. There is also a 50% surcharge on top of the taxi fare after midnight.There are budget taxi's which run on meters, or fix rate taxis. And for four or more persons, you need a bigger taxi, which will cost more.You can get a taxi coupon from the transportation counters at each terminal. Please do not accept or entertain anyone approaching you for a taxi service. These are taxi touts, and against the law.MyCar and Grab, ride hailing services in MalaysiaBy Ride Hailing Services - If you are two to six persons, you can take a private car service which is called Grab or MyCar, into Kuala Lumpur.You need to download the Grab or MyCar App for your smart phone to book this. The journey takes about 50-60 minutes one way and straight to your starting destination. Ride Hailing company Grab currently offers a promotion of RM65.00 one way for up to four persons, and this is all day.MyCar is similar to Grab, and they are currently offering a promotion of RM59.00 one way from or to the international airports.Uber in Malaysia - There is no more Uber in Malaysia, they were bought over by Grab.Baggage area at KLIA2Tips for Transits in Kuala LumpurI have also come up with these tips for transits in Kuala Lumpur, which will help you a great deal if you want to make the best out of your travels. The best way to make use of a long transit is by booking your flight to arrive early in the morning in KL, where you can use the entire day to explore Kuala Lumpur city for a day trip. Then by evening, you can head back to the airport to catch your connecting flight. Please note that for a one way travel in to Kuala Lumpur, you must allocate at least two hours if you take a bus or taxi. This also works for your travel back to the airport. In simple terms, you need at least minimum three hours for travel to and from Kuala Lumpur. You should have a transit time of at least six hours or more to visit Kuala Lumpur and experience some of the recommended places above. If your transit is just three or four hours, the best thing you can do is to take the KLIA Express Train into KL Sentral, and then exploring (15) Little India and (16) Nu Sentral and then head back to the airport. This would also be best in the day time from 7.00 AM till 8.00 PM. Anything less that that, you are better off just hanging out in the airport, as you would not want to risk the timing to travel in and out of Kuala Lumpur.For those on a budget, it is recommend that you get the KL Travel Pass as it the best way to move around Kuala Lumpur. This includes the KLIA Express tickets and other local train passes. Lovers bridge at Tanjung Sepat. Photo Wikipedia. What is there to do around KLIA or KLIA2 in Sepang? Honestly, there is nothing much to do around the Kuala Lumpur International Airport area. The closest town is Sepang Town, which is about 30 minutes drive one way. To be honest, this is a local town with very Malaysian businesses and coffee shops. There are a number of hotels or budget hostels found in Sepang town, but in terms of a tourist destination, there is nothing here. The closest options would be quite niche and unique, depending on the type of traveler you are. Nearby, there is a small town called Tanjung Sepat, which you can also explore, but this place is mainly for the local tourism. There are some nice very local restaurants, a traditional coffee maker factory and a scenic wooden lovers bridge here.Sultan Abdul Samad Building in Kuala LumpurShort Layover in MalaysiaIf you are on a short layover in Kuala Lumpur, you may want to check out this article on what to do on a short transit in Malaysia. It highlights a few iconic places you can visit for anyone who is transiting for six to ten hours.Overall, this article about having one day in Kuala Lumpur is specially created for anyone who is on a long transit in Kuala Lumpur, or business travelers who have one free day after your meetings.The places mentioned above include the estimate time required to visit, and based on your timings, you can actually visit multiple places which are in the same area or district of Kuala Lumpur.If you have questions, comments or suggestions, I would love to hear them below. Otherwise, have a great visit to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Friday 29th of June 2018 07:00:00 AM
- Short Transit In Kuala Lumpur - What To Do
For anyone having a short transit in Kuala Lumpur and wanting to know what to do, I have come up with some choices that you can choose from.These places to visit are the main iconic destinations in Kuala Lumpur city for anyone who is on a short transit in KLIA or KLIA2. The list calculates the time taken from KLIA or KLIA2 to travel to the city, and by using the KLIA Express Train as this is the fastest route into the city with only 28 minutes travel one way. Also considered are the walking time to the train platforms and so on. If your bags are going all the way, you can just exit the airport and make a quick visit to Kuala Lumpur city. If you have to collect your baggage and re-check in, then there are luggage storage services available at KLIA and KLIA2 airports. KLIA2 is the budget terminal for Malaysia where airlines like AirAsia will land atWhat To Do On A Short Transit in Kuala LumpurFor those on a short transit, meaning from six to eight hours at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport or KLIA2, I have come up with this super quick and almost flawless itinerary for you.This includes visiting one iconic landmark in Kuala Lumpur and then head straight back to the airport to catch your flight.At KLIA, you need to find this elevator that takes you to the KLIA Express platformAt KLIA2, the KLIA Express platform is located in the Gateway MallPlease not that international flights require 2 hours check-in before your flight, but you can get by with 1 hour 45 minutes check in, if it is not peak hour.Below are some of the major iconic places in Kuala Lumpur you can visit. Please note that the time does not include your 2 hour check in at the airport, so you need to plan your timing well.The times given are based on general timing for a common person, but you can actually cut the sightseeing time and save some time for your exploration.IF you are planning to see multiple places in Kuala Lumpur due to a slightly longer transit, you may want to check out the KL Travel Pass, which includes all your train tickets.The Petronas Twin Towers, seen from the KLCC Park areaA. See the Petronas Twin Towers and KLCCTake the KLIA Express Train into KL Sentral (28 minutes travel time)Exit the station and look for the LRT Train Platform (KJ15) in KL SentralBoard LRT Train Magenta Line, heading to Gombak (20 minutes travel time)Exit at KLCC Station (KJ10)Walk towards the exit and you are outside the Petronas Twin Towers (10-20 minutes)Visit Suria KLCC Mall and the Dancing Fountain - Simfoni Lake (50-60 minutes)Return to KLIA/KLIA 2 the same way you came (50-60 minutes)Total Time: 3 Hours Chinatown KL or Petaling Street Kuala Lumpur in the dayB. Visit Petaling Street and Central Market KLTake the KLIA Express Train into KL Sentral (28 minutes travel time)Exit the station and look for the LRT Train Platform (KJ15)Board LRT Train Magenta Line, heading to Gombak (10 minutes travel time)Exit at Pasar Seni Station (KJ14)Walk towards Jalan Sultan, then along Jalan Petaling (7-10 minutes walk)Arrive at the main Petaling Street shopping area (Spend about 1 hour here)Walk to Central Market along Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lok (5 minute walk)Arrive at Central Market. (Spend about 30 to 60 minutes here)Walk back to Pasar Seni Station (5 minutes)Return to KLIA/KLIA 2 the same way you came (40 minutes)Total Time: 3.5 Hours Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur at night. Photo by Straits Times. C. Visit Bukit Bintang Shopping and Jalan Alor Food Street AreaTake the KLIA Express Train into KL Sentral (28 minutes travel time)Exit KL Sentral Station and walk to the KL Sentral Monorail Station (MR1) (10 minutes)Board Monorail Green Line, heading to Titiwangsa (20 minutes travel time)Exit at Bukit Bintang - AirAsia Station (MR6)Exit Station and you are in the middle of Bukit Bintang areaExplore the shopping malls around here and also Jalan Alor food street (2 hours)Return to KLIA/KLIA 2 the same way you came (60-70 minutes)Total Time: 4 HoursThe famous Batu Caves in MalaysiaD. Visit Batu Caves (Only One Location)Take the KLIA Express Train into KL Sentral (28 minutes travel time)Exit the station and look for the KTM Komuter Platform (KA01)Board Komuter Gold Line, heading to Batu Caves (35 minutes travel time)Note that train frequency is every 40 minutesExit at Batu Caves Station (KC05)Walk straight in to Batu Caves (5 minutes walk)Climb the 272 steps to the cave temple (2 hours)Return to KLIA/KLIA 2 the same way you came (1.5 hours)The allocation for train frequency is counted in the total timeTotal Time: 5.5 Hours*Optional Batu Caves - If you do not climb the 272 steps to the cave temple, you can minus 1 hour to 1.5 hours depending on how fit you are.Generally it takes about 20-30 minutes walk up one way for a decent healthy person. This means, you can just visit the foot of the entrance and explore the art cave area and the surrounding areas.When you arrive at KL Sentral, look for the KJ15 train platform to move around Kuala LumpurKL Sentral is quite huge and is the main train hub for the entire Malaysia. You can find the MRT, LRT, Monorail, ETS and all other trains here.For buses, there is only the KLIA and KLIA2 airport bus terminal located at the lowest level.When you take any train from the airports, they will all arrive here, and you can change to other train services from here. KL Sentral is also connected to Nu Sentral, which is a modern lifestyle shopping mall.A lot of fast food chains are available at KLIA2 and also KLIA airportWhat to do around KLIA Airport? Some of you may not want to risk it, and prefer to see what is there to do around KLIA or KLIA2, and let me be very honest as there is nothing much to do in terms of fun and excitement.Fear not as I have included what you can do around the airport for a short transit. Well, they are limited, but still, you can exit the airports and explore around here.Mitsui Outlet Park KLIA. Photo from Mitsui Outlet Park.E. Visit Mitsui Outlet Park KLIAThis is a factory outlet park, located some six kilometers away from both KLIA and KLIA2. There are shuttle buses to the outlet park, which are on a 20 minute interval from both airports. It also takes 10 minutes from KLIA and 20 minutes from KLIA 2 to travel to Mitsui Outlet Park.At Mitsui, you can walk around the massive outlet park which offers over a hundred stores in an air conditioned environment. There are also four zones at the outlet park, including a Japanese zone.Cafes and restaurants that sell local and international food are available. This place is based on the concept of the common factory outlet mixed with a mall, and who knows that you could probably buy some items for a good deal here.Mitsui Outlet Park KLIAOpening Hours: 10.00 AM to 10.00 PMShuttle Service: 8.30 AM to 11.10 PM dailyTicket: Free ServiceGateway @ KLIA2 AirportF. Visit Gateway @ KLIA2At KLIA2 airport, there is a lifestyle mall connected to the main terminal. KLIA2 is the budget airline airport for Malaysia, and a number of budget airlines like AirAsia are based here. If you are connecting on most budget airlines, you will transit here.For those who connect on full serviced airlines like Malaysia Airlines, Garuda, KLM, Emirates and so on, you will transit in KLIA airport.This means that you can take the free shuttle bus from KLIA to KLIA2. It takes less than 10 minutes transfer from airport to airport.FOS at KLIA2Jaya Grocer Supermarket at KLIA2 Gateway MallGateway @ KLIA2 was created to incorporate a lifestyle shopping mall concept, and this has worked extremely well with the passengers.There are many fast food joints, coffee cafes, restaurants, supermarket, general retail outlets and even a vegetarian restaurant available here.While KLIA offers a choice of shops, cafes and restaurants, Gateway @ KLIA2 is way much better, in terms of window shopping and so on. The mall operates for 16, but some cafes and restaurants do operate much later hours.Gateway @ KLIA2Opening Hours: 8.00 AM to 12.00 AM (16 Hours)Shuttle Service: Transportation Hub at both airportsTicket: Free ServiceMany choices for coffee cafes at KLIA2 AirportStarbucks offers a really huge outlet at KLIA2While you are at KLIA or KLIA2, the area is known as Sepang, which is a district of Selangor. There is absolutely nothing else to do around here, apart from visiting the old town of Sepang, where a number of budget hotels are found along with the general small town shops.If you really want to explore, I would recommend you visit Mitsui Outlet or Gateway @ KLIA2 and this is for those with three or four hour transits.Otherwise, you can just chill out at your respective airport before catching your connecting flight. There are quite a lot of duty shops at KLIA worth exploring.Some of the Premium Lounges at KLIA and KLIA2 are also worth checking out as they have quite good facilities. This of course, caters to the premium lounge fans.Nu Sentral Shopping Mall at KL SentralFor anyone who is connecting to the local Malaysian FireFly Airlines that fly domestic, I have done an guide on how to go to Subang SkyPark airport, which is located in Petaling Jaya.This article was created specially for anyone who wants to know what to do on a short transit in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.There are also business travelers or those in visiting Kuala Lumpur who may have an extra day to spare, and I have done an article for those who need to know what to do in Kuala Lumpur in one day.If you are on a long transit in Malaysia, this would also come in handy for you. Any questions or comments, please leave them below and I hope this came in handy for you.
Tuesday 19th of June 2018 06:18:00 AM
- Uncommon Places to Visit Around Kuala Lumpur
Have you ever wanted to do something out of the ordinary out of Kuala Lumpur? Something really off the beaten path? Well, you are in luck as Kuala Lumpur does have some uncommon places worth visiting. Kuala Lumpur or KL as it is commonly called, sits in the middle of the Klang Valley, which is the core of Selangor. As you may already know the regular touristic or Instagram worthy places, this list takes you to the next level. Getting to some of the places mentioned here requires you to either rent a car or take a private car service for your transportation. Some of them can be done in a few hours while others may require a full day exploring. Uncommon Places to Visit around Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaTanjung Sepat fishing village in SelangorTanjung Sepat, Selangor A quaint little fishing town located in the Sepang area is one of the Selangor's little hidden secret. Here, you can literally explore Tanjung Sepat on foot as it is quite a small village.Located about 1.5 hours from KL Sentral by car or 60 minutes from KLIA, the best time to explore here is in the mornings. When you get here, the first thing you can do is wander around the main town area and you will find the famous local Seafood Bak Kut Teh restaurants. This is one of the recommended places to have your brunch or lunch.A beautiful sunset at Tanjung Sepat. Photo by Aqmal Riezal. After your food, take a walk and look for the local coffee roaster, which is located in a wooden house. They are open to visitors and you can see how they roast the coffee inside. When don, buy some of the local processed coffee beans as souvenirs. Your next stop will be the local Bao (Pau) factory, where you can see how these traditional Chinese buns are prepared. They have a small cafe where you can buy different types of Baos to sample. After this, head to the jetty area for a view of the Straits of Melaka. There is a wooden lovers bridge located here. For further information, you can read my other article on what to do in Tanjung Sepat as I have narrowed down almost everything there is to do there.Tanjung SepatAddress: Jalan Besar, Selangor, Pekan Tanjung Sepat, 42800 Tanjung Sepat, SelangorOpen: All day/nightBest Time To Visit: Day TimeThe historical brick chimney at Batu Arang TownBatu Arang Coal Mining TownOnce a colonial coal mining town, this place dates back over a century ago when mining was at its peak in the early 1900's.Now almost forgotten, remnants of the glory day are left standing. An old brick factory chimney stands majestically, towering over this quaint town in Selangor. Visiting Batu Arang on a weekend is probably the best bet as you get to see how a laid back local life goes about on autopilot.A Sunday outdoor market sells necessities versus modern day bazaars, and you can find some stalls selling traditional cakes and food. After arriving here, you can simply walk around, speaking to locals and savoring old world coffee shop food and drinks.At one particular coffee shop, an Indian lady is seen making the famous Malaysian roti canai or flat bread.One of the abandoned houses with character at Batu Arang. Photo Ah Pek Biker. Batu Arang is more of a place to discover what old towns used to look and feel like. Buildings and homes from decades ago still stand strong and you can easily spot the British colonial charm here.This place is best visited with a local or someone who knows the area. Alternatively you can drive here and venture with friends. To get here, it takes about one hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. And you can also continue towards Kuala Selangor for some seafood on the same day.Batu Arang TownAddress: Jalan Stesen, Batu Arang, 48100 Batu Arang, SelangorOpen: All day/nightBest Time To Visit: Day TimeThe colorful fishing village in SekinchanSekinchan Old TownQuite popular among the locals, Sekinchan is a coastal town near the border of Selangor and Perak. Many come here for the beautiful paddy fields when they are in the harvesting season. This is when the entire paddy fields are bright green in color. Usually, the visit here is best done in the mornings as you can spend more time exploring the paddy fields and then the old town area before heading to the beach area.I would recommend renting a bicycle and cycling around the area is this would be the best way to see the entire Sekinchan village. The beach is called Pantai Redang or Redang Beach and this is where you can find a Chinese temple with a special wishing tree.Visitors can give a small donation for some red ribbons and you write your wish before throwing it up on the wishing tree.A beautiful sunset at Sekinchan, Selangor. Photo Zhai Genji. For food, there are some seafood restaurants to try and for the photographers, there is a unique 100 feet watch tower overlooking the town and sea.Climbing up here allows visitors to see the seascape and also the fishing village on the opposite direction. For the curious, visit the Sekinchan paddy processing factory where you can see how the entire process is done. Quite a learning experience if you ask me.To get to Sekinchan, you can either self drive for about two hours from Kuala Lumpur or take a special tour from some of the travel companies in Kuala Lumpur.Sekinchan AddressPekan Sekinchan, 45400 Sekinchan, SelangorOpen: All day/night\Best Time To Visit: Day Time Dong Zen Temple in Jenjarom, SelangorFGS Dong Zen Temple in BantingFor the cultural lovers, this is one of the beautiful Buddhist temples that is off the mainstream tourist radar. FGS stands for Fo Guang Shan and this is probably one of the largest Buddhist temples in Malaysia with a area of 16,000 square feet. Visitors that come here are usually locals but there have been a slight rise in foreigners also visiting here. Mainly, the want to see a more natural temple in Kuala Lumpur apart form the usual commercial places.Dong Zen Temple decorated during festivalsAt FGS Dong Zen Temple Jenjarom, you can spend almost half a day here exploring this massive religious place. The main hall houses the largest copper Buddha statue in Malaysia which is 18 feet high. An art museum called Buddha Guangyuan is also available for those who want to explore the local artist work.Outside in the temple grounds, you can find a replica of the Lumbini Park, where it is said that Prince Siddhartha was born under a Bodhi tree at the original park.A lotus pond with statues at FGS Dong Zen TempleExploring further, you will come across a beautiful 25 feet high glass pagoda which is very special. This glass structure symbolizes bringing light to all things in the universe and eradicating darkness. A huge 4,200 feet lotus pond is also in the vicinity, allowing visitors to take photos here. After spending a day exploring this place, there is a Chinese and Western vegetarian restaurant called Drip where you can have your meals, or just sit for a cup of Chinese tea. There are many other attractions at the Dong Zen Temple which I have not listed as it is best to explore on your own. To get here, you need to rent a car and drive here, and it takes about two hours from Kuala Lumpur city.FGS Dong Zen Temple, JenjaromAddress: PT 2297, Jalan Sungai Buaya, Kampung Jenjarom, 42600 Kuala Langat, SelangorHours: 10.00 AM to 6.00 PM (Closed Monday)Phone: +6 03 3191 1533Best Time To Visit: Day Time, and night time during festivalsWaterfalls at Sungai Tekala Forest ReserveSungai Tekala Recreational Forest at SemenyihOne of the lesser visited forest reserves is the Sungai Tekala Forest Reserve, located about one hours drive from KL city center. This beautiful rainforest dipterocarp forest boasts of crystal clear waters, lush greenery and minor wildlife.One thing great about this forest reserve in KL is that the place is quite well maintained with proper walkways and basic facilities.However, the bad side is visiting this place on weekends or school holidays as it can get really crowded with locals.I would highly recommend visiting the Sungai Tekala Recreational Park on a weekday to avoid any crowds, and if you want some peace and quiet hiking or trekking here.The park is open from 7.00 AM to 6.00 PM and is free admission, but one website stats there is a minimal fee of RM1.00 per person. Check out the 1.5 km jungle trek and also the local waterfall when you visit here.To get here, you can either book a tour from the local tour companies in KL, or best is by renting a car and self driving here.Sungai Tekala Recreational ParkPejabat Hutan Daerah Selangor Tengah,KM11(Batu 7), Jalan Cheras,43200 Cheras, Selangor.Tel: 603 ? 9075 2885Best Time To Visit: Day TimeRainforest at Sungai Tekala, Selangor. Photo MyItchyBackside.ConclusionThe above information has been compiled personally by me, the writer and having been to these places, I can say that I have experience all of these uncommon places around Kuala Lumpur.This is also created for those wanting to do something out of the ordinary, or visit some off the beaten path places in Kuala Lumpur, which is not mentioned in travel guide books.Most visitors would always want to visit the common and popular tourist places, and you can find quite a lot of information on them, but it is the uncommon places around Kuala Lumpur that makes it much more interesting.
Wednesday 13th of June 2018 12:20:00 PM
- Miri Handicraft Center
The Miri Handicraft Center is now a brand new modern building and located in the heart of Miri City. This center has been the heart of ethnic and cultural products of northern Sarawak since the 1990's and still continues to do so till this very day. As I have been frequenting Miri since 2013, I have always made it a point to visit the Miri Handicraft Center to see if there was anything to purchase. This is purely due to my collection of native Sarawakian items.The Miri Handicraft CenterMiri Handicraft CenterThe new Miri Handicraft Center was built at a cost of RM1.6 million, which is quite reasonable, considering that the entire building was town down and rebuilt. Interior wise, it has two levels and a modern design for the vendors. The old Miri Handicraft Center was officially closed for major renovations on October 2016, and was eventually completed and then relaunched in September 2017.Inside the craft centerSliding automatic glass doors welcome visitors into the handicraft center and an information counter is the first thing you will see to your left.s you walk in, the beautiful colors of the ethnic crafts and products will distract your attention, luring you deeper into the vendor section. Once you get into the main area, you will be welcomed by a 270 degree angle of vendors selling all sorts of Sarawakian ethnic items, where 90% of them are all hand made by the different ethnic groups.One of the vendors at the craft centerThe beauty about the Miri Handicraft Center is that all the products here are Sarawakian, which means that this is one of the very rare places where you actually get real native or ethnic products. At many handicraft centers around Malaysia, you will always see a number of non-Malaysian handicraft being sold or passed off as Malaysian handicraft. Currently at this center, you will find a total of 13 different vendors selling all sorts of local Sarawakian handicraft that comes from various parts of Sarawak.This is the old Miri Handicraft CenterThe Old Miri Handicraft CenterPreviously before becoming a handicraft center, this place was known as the Miri Community Hall, where a lot of local events took place, including concerts, plays, weddings and so on. This community hall opened in 16th August 1958, which makes this place now 60 years old. The place was also changed to the Miri Handicraft Center in the year 2001, after serving 42 years as a local community hall. Ethnic crafts sold at the Miri Handicraft CentreWhat to Buy at the Miri Handicraft Center? The most important thing to buy for visitors are souvenirs, and the Miri Handicraft Center is one of the best places for this. There are countless items available, depending on what you want to get. The list of items you can buy from the Miri Handicraft Center are;Woven BagsBeaded JewelryHand Carved SouvenirsTraditional BasketsLocal AntiquesTree Bark Hats and VestBatik SarongsLocal Sarawak T-ShirtsLadies Woven Clutch BagsLayered Cakes (Kek Lapis)Bario Salt in CylindersEthnic WeaponsWoven MatsPotteryPenan woven bags sold at the handicraft center hereThe above items are mainly done by the different ethnic groups of Sarawak. Some of them are made at the local villages and then sent here, while others may be made on the spot there by the vendors. These local ethnic people from Sarawak consist of;DayakPenanKayanKenyahMelanauKelabitLun BawangMap to the Miri Handicraft CenterWhere is the Miri Handicraft Center? The handicraft center is located at the intersection of Jalan Brooke and Jalan Merbau in the city center. Another prominent landmark is the Bintang Megamall and Meritz Hotel.From the other part, where Ming Cafe is located on Jalan North Yu Seng, you can just walk five minutes to the Miri Handicraft Center.For those driving, there is ample parking available here, and you simply need to use Waze or Google Maps to get here.The new Miri Handicraft CenterOther Facilities at Miri Handicraft CenterThere is a local cafe called NarsCafe that serves drinks, cakes and some food which is all local. This cafe also provides sit down service where you can take a break and relax while you are here. Miri Handicraft Center AddressAddress: Corner of Jalan Brooke and Jalan Merbau, Miri City, SarawakHours: 8.00 M to 6.00 PMTel: +6085 433 501GPS Coordinates: 4.39614, 113.99115Business hours at the craft center in MiriThe Miri Handicraft Centre was officiated by Datuk Lee Kim ShinDue to the year long renovations that took place, most of the original vendors were moved to a temporary handicraft center at Jalan High Street in Miri.And when the new handicraft center re-opened, many came back, but some vendors preferred to stay back at High Street. This means there is now two handicraft centers in Miri for visitors to choose from. One of them is located at High Street and the original one at the city center.After you are done here, just take a walk over to Miri Container City for some food and drinks. This is one of the latest lifestyle, coffee and food places which is made entirely out of shipping containers. This is also a great place to chill and unwind after a long day of walking around.Outside the craft center, a giant Orang Ulu mural is seen on a billboardThe Miri Handicraft Center is also the best place where you can find some unique Sarawakian souvenirs and the good thing here is that you can bargain a little from the locals when buying a lot from them.I also wrote an article on things to do around Miri for anyone who wants more information. It generally covers the main tourist areas here, and can can be easily done on your own.If you are spending a few days here, and on the weekend, do check out Coco Cabana in Miri on a weekend, namely just before sunset as this place is one of the trending lifestyle places in Miri. If you are visiting Miri, make sure you visit the Miri Handicraft Center as it houses a fantastic collection of ethnic products from northern Sarawak. In the near future, there will also be special cultural performances for visitors here.
Saturday 26th of May 2018 06:59:00 AM
- How to get to Subang SkyPark Terminal Airport
For domestic flights from Petaling Jaya, the Subang SkyPark Airport Terminal is the local city airport that services domestic routes in Malaysia via a number of airlines. This has been one of the fast alternatives for those not wanting to travel to KLIA. In May 2018, a new train station opened at Subang SkyPark Terminal, which provides a direct train service from KL Sentral.The station here is also called the SkyPark Terminal Station which is being operated by KTMB or Keterapi Tanah Melayu Berhad, which is the national railway of Malaysia.The Class 83 type electric trains for SkyPark LineHow to go to Subang SkyPark Terminal AirportWith the new direct train to Subang SkyPark Airport, passengers can now travel from KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur.This has now created the connectivity from KLIA-KL-Subang SkyPark easier as you can travel from one airport to the other airport. From KLIA or KLIA2, you simply need to take the KLIA Express train into KL Sentral, and from there, change to the SkyPark Line Train which goes directly to Subang Airport. The train makes only one main stop, which is the Subang Jaya Station, and the final station which is the SkyPark Station. From KL Sentral, the distance is a 26 kilometers. A beautiful photo of SkyPark Terminal from www.mymalindo.comTotal journey from KL Sentral to Subang SkyPark Terminal is 30 minutes. From Subang Jaya, it is only 13 minutes. An estimated 3,250 passengers are expected to travel on a daily basis on this train. The trains used are Class 83 type electric trains and each train will consist of three coaches. For tickets, a special SkyPark Link ticket is sold for daily trips or monthly passes.The SkyPark Link Ticket can be bought via vending machines at the station of from KTMB counters. Passengers will have free WiFi on board the trains which are at 60 minute intervals. A total of 30 trips per day are scheduled for now and each train will travel as speeds of up to 100 km/h. SkyPark Line train schedule notice boardSkyPark Line Train Time TableKL Sentral to Subang SkyPark Terminal - First Train 5.30 AM, Last Train 9.25 PMSubang SkyPark Terminal to KL Sentral - First Train 7.50 AM, Last Train 11.20 PMSkyPark Line Train Ticket PriceTicket prices are RM15.00 one way from KL Sentral to Subang SkyPark Terminal. Senior citizens, children from 6 to 12 years old, disabled and students get 50% discount. The SkyPark Line TrainPublic Transport To Subang SkyPark Terminal AirportThere are other ways to get to Subang SkyPark Terminal Airport if the train schedule does not meet your timing. There are airport taxis, transit buses, feeder buses and even a KLIA shuttle bus. You can also use private car service like Grab to get to Subang SkyPark from anywhere in the Klang Valley. Below is the additional information on ways to get to Subang SkyPark Terminal Airport. Airport Taxi - From inside the terminal, there is a taxi counter to buy taxi tickets.Rapid KL Bus - Rapid KL Bus No. 772 from Subang SkyPark to Pasar Seni (Central Market) in Kuala Lumpur city center. The bus also stops at Asia Jaya LRT station and KL Sentral. Ticket price is RM3.00 and buses operate from 6.00 AM till 12.00 Midnight.MRT Feeder Bus - Rapid KL feeder bus No. T773 operates between Ara Damansara LRT Station and Subang SkyPark Terminal. MRT feeder bus No. T804 operates between Kwasa Sentral Station and Subang Airport. Bus fares are fixed at RM1.00 per person.Airport Shuttle Bus to KLIA/KLIA2 - An airport shuttle bus service operates between Subang SkyPark Terminal and Kuala Lumpur International Airport KLIA and also KLIA2. Buses run every hour from 5.00 AM till 11.00 PM and cost RM10.00 per person. Journey time is around 60-70 minutes one way. Grab - You can also book Grab services to anywhere from here. All you need is to download the Grab App on your phone. SkyPark TerminalFireFly Airlines at SkyPark Terminal in SubangThe information counter at SkyPark Subang AirportWhat is the best way to travel to and around Kuala Lumpur?For travelers who plan to stay in Kuala Lumpur and move around the city, I have also written another guide on the best way to travel around Kuala Lumpur by using the KL Travel Pass. In that guide, it shares information on what kind of travel pass you need to get for easy travel from the international airport, and also for public transportation around Kuala Lumpur. The best way to get to this airport is by taking the new train called SkyPark Line from KL Sentral as it is affordable and convenient. No traffic jams and your journey is hassle free. You can get additional information from the official Subang SkyPark website. Alternatively, there are other options as mentioned above, but for those transiting via KLIA, you can connect to the main transportation hub in Kuala Lumpur which is KL Sentral. For anyone who wants to know how to get to Subang SkyPark Terminal Airport, I hope this information has come in handy for you. The new train service is currently the best and fastest option for anyone wanting to come here from Kuala Lumpur.
Wednesday 23rd of May 2018 07:41:00 AM
- Updates for 20th Century Fox World Theme Park
With the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park in Malaysia opening really soon, many are anticipating what is it going to look like. Officially, there has been no photos, press release or announcements done by Resorts World Genting to date. For those visiting Resorts World Genting, they will definitely see the construction ongoing, as it is done in the open, where the former outdoor theme park and Arena of Stars was located.This article will share some of the latest updates for the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park in Malaysia, which is also the first in the world.The theme park view from the cable car as you are approaching SkyAvenue Genting20th Century Fox World Theme Park UpdatesCurrently, the brand new theme park in Genting is around 70% complete, judging from the outlook. A majority of the structural features are already up, and serious construction is ongoing everyday.Most of the external fittings are made elsewhere and then brought here to fit in, while the major structures are being renovated and painted. If you are visiting Resorts World Genting by using the Genting Skyway or cable car, you are guaranteed to see the new theme park construction as the cable car goes over the park.This is also when you are arriving at SkyAvenue Genting cable car station.One of the items being sold at the 20th Century Fox Studio Store in MalaysiaDuring a trip in April 2018 to witness the official opening of the 20th Century Fox World Studios Retail Shop at SkyAvenue, I had the opportunity to see the construction of the new theme park from my cable car. Everything looks pretty busy, rides are being fitted in, buildings are all constructed and some even painted. However, with all of that going on at once, the place looks busy and yet messy. There are no brands or names put up as of May 2018. During the launching of the official Fox Store, I managed to speak to Brian Machamer, the senior vice president of 20th Century World Theme Park about the opening dates.He mentioned that in accordance to international theme park construction, it generally would take around 4-5 years to complete one.Photo taken in May 2018, showing the ongoing construction of the new theme parkThe 20th Century Fox World Theme Park Malaysia was in fact announced in 2013, and ambitiously it was mentioned in the mainstream news that the all new Genting theme park would open its doors somewhere around 2016. Along the way, it got delayed and many speculated that the theme park would open in 2017, and again in 2018. Speaking to Brian Machamer, he did not want to disclose any official dates, but he did mention that in due time, the official announcement will be made, probably somewhere in mid year or after that.However, we can hopefully expect a soft opening of the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park in Malaysia to be most likely at the year end, and an official opening in early 2019.But then again, this is absolutely unofficial until the new comes out, therefore, we can all speculate on the opening.If what Brian Machamer states is correct, it does in fact take a good four to five years to completely build up an entire theme park of this scale.Below are random photos taken during my trip here and they show photos of the construction at the theme park. I have to say that the roller coaster (in blue color) looks pretty interesting and huge.Photos of 20th Century Fox World Theme Park Malaysia ConstructionView of the roller coaster construction at the theme parkOne of the rides at the new 20th Century Fox World Theme Park MalaysiaTaken from the cable car as it passes the constructionClose up of one of the interesting rides at the new theme parkArena of Stars seen during the renovations in May 2018Some of the buildings under construction at the theme parkAnother of the main buildings at the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park MalaysiaThe Theme Park Hotel seen just before the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park MalaysiaA section of the theme park being renovatedCropped image showing two of the new rides at the theme parkSome of the rides seen during the renovations in May 201820th Century Fox World VR ExperienceOne of the much talked about experiences is no other than virtual reality or VR in short, which may or will be one of the attractions at the theme park.Nothing solid is confirmed about this, but reading other news reports, FoxNext has created a location based VT game called Alien: Descent. The experience lets users wear a wireless VR headset and a pair of special sleeves with motion sensors. The user then arms him or herself with a special VR gun for the game. Alien: Descent is created to be experienced for 15 minutes and by groups of four people in a special VR area. This means that the gamer can walk freely without wires, and when they ride an elevator, it feels like the real thing due to a moving platform. Currently, Alien: Descent is available at Orange, California and there has been no news if they are planning to bring it to the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park in Malaysia.20th Century Fox World MalaysiaSkyTropolis Indoor Theme ParkThe former Genting Indoor Theme Park is also undergoing a complete makeover and from news reports, the former attraction will be renamed as SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park, and is also set to open alongside 20th Century Fox World Theme Park in Malaysia. This was once a very popular place for both kids and adults as it was located indoors and visitors could move around freely without having to worry about the cold climate outdoors.Currently, SkyTropolis has opened up six attractions and another 12 more are to open by late 2018 or early 2019.SkyAvenue Genting, a hive of lifestyle and entertainmentSkyAvenue GentingThis completely new lifestyle and entertainment area looks like a mini indoor city, a modern mall and an event area all combined into one attraction. From the photos, you can already imagine the sheer size of this place. At SkyAvenue Genting, you can find all sorts of retail stores, cafes, restaurants, the 20th Century Fox Studios Store, Ripley's Believe It Or Not and many other attractions around SkyAvenue Genting. This is poised to be the main hub of Resorts World Genting. At level four, the main Genting Skyway Cable Car has its station there, meaning when you take the cable car from Awana Station, it will end here.A panoramic view of Genting Premium Outlets, photo taken in May 2018Genting Premium Outlets (GPO)Imagine a factory outlet in the highlands at 5,000 feet above sea level. Yes, the Genting Premium Outlets are the second official premium outlets to open in Malaysia after the Johor Premium Outlet. At the Genting Premium Outlet, you will experience a multi level outlet concept which is built on the hill side, just next to the Awana Skyway cable car station. For anyone wanting to shop without breaking a sweat, this is the place to do it. Opened in early 2017, Genting Premium Outlet has attracted thousands of visitors and is one of the popular places to visit when you are up at Genting Highlands.So if you need some serious shopping therapy, this is the place to head to.The new Genting Skyway cable car that goes over the theme parkConclusionThere are also many other attractions available at Genting Resorts World where some are located in Awana Genting, while others are at the top of Genting Highlands.Overall, this place is the most popular tourist attraction in Malaysia with an average of 60,000 people visiting on a daily basis. Once the new 20th Century Fox World Theme Park Malaysia opens, Resorts World Genting will be the talk of the world as this unique theme park is also the first of its kind in the world, and here in Malaysia. Till then, I will do my best to keep you updated on the progress and also when the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park will officially open in Malaysia.
Monday 21st of May 2018 02:29:00 PM
- Container City Miri
The all new Container City in Miri is definitely a place worth checking out for not only locals but also for anyone who is visiting this amazing resort city. Located in North Yu Seng Road in the main city, this is one of the most happening places in Miri now.The name Container City Miri also may sound like a lifestyle bazaar, but in actual fact, it is a food haven that operates from refurbished containers.Yes, those old shipping containers have been converted into kitchens at this exciting new place here in Miri, Sarawak.Entrance to Miri Container CityMiri Container CityThis food bazaar concept is something totally new and never before seen in Sarawak. There was once a container bazaar in Petaling Jaya, but that concept stopped and we never saw it again.In Miri, this container concept brings a whole new world of excitement not only to Mirians, but those who are coming from Brunei, Sabah or even from Malaysia and other countries like Singapore, Indonesia and China.Opened in October 2017, Container City Miri has been receiving raving reviews from visitors to Miri, namely from Malaysians, Singaporeans and Bruneians. Among all the restaurants here, the Tusan Ice Cream is probably the most popular.However, the balance of choices are well thought off and caters to almost everyone. Note that the food here is all pork free, and there is no alcohol served here.What the place looks like from the main entranceWhat to Eat in Container City Miri? There is a well balanced food and drink selection available here, and visitors have the choice from over 14 different vendors. Choices include mostly local food, but there is a burger joint on the first level and a seafood container at the back section. Halal Food at Container City Miri - For Muslim visitors, you are in luck as there are a couple of local Malay and Indonesia choices available. Overall, Container City in Miri does not serve any pork. Some of the Malay vendors offer Halal food too. Food at Container City Miri - There are several containers that provide proper meals, and you can choose from Only Mee which serves noodles, Sebenak which serves all kinds of prawns, Madness Delicious which serves a good mix of local Malay dishes, and Lalapan Selera Kampung for some popular Indonesian dishes. Coffee and Dessert at Container City Miri - Coffee lovers will be pleased to know there is a container called The Brew Crew that serves cafe style coffee. And for dessert lovers, the famous Tusan Ice Cream is available there. Frozen Yogurt is sold at a container called Pretty Pink while there is a Juice Jungle selling all kinds of juices. Seafood at Container City Miri - One of the favorites here is Captain's Catch, which serves couple or group seafood meals that are reasonably priced. This is highly popular among couples.What it looks like inside Container CityMiri Container City PhotosBelow are random photos taken at Container City Miri when I visited here on the 12th May 2018. They show almost all of the container restaurants that are available here.A majority are on the ground level while on the upper level, there are a few more, plus seating options as well. This place is suitable for singles, couples, families or even large groups.The Brew CrewLalapan Selera Kampung (Halal Food)Customers buying the famous Tusan Ice CreamOnly Mee, serving noodlesSebenak, one of the container restaurants serving Halal food at Container City MiriHalal menu at Sebenak Container City MiriEgg Taste, serving dessertsJuice Jungle, healthy option for drinksCheese and Chong, for cheese loversOn the first floor, a container selling burgers and western foodMadness Delicious, serving local foodThe menu at Madness DeliciousBerbara, serving western, fusion and local foodCaptain's Catch, serving awesome seafood in MiriSeafood menu at Captain's Catch in MiriTusan Ice Cream container, famous in MiriTusan Ice Cream, I ordered a small cupPretty Pink, serving frozen yogurt at Container City Miri What Container City in Miri looks like from outsideWhere is Container City Miri?Container City is located along Jalan North Yu Seng, in the main city area of Miri. A prominent landmark is the famous Restaurant Muara Lalapan or just further down from the corner Ming Cafe. If you are stating in the city area, you can easily walk there from you hotel. If you stay out of Miri city area, you can take a taxi or Grab to Container City Miri. Map to Miri Container CityHow to go to Container City Miri? If you are staying in Miri City center, just walk there as mentioned above. If you are driving in from Brunei or Sabah, it is located on the main street of Jalan North Yu Seng.Just use Waze or Google Maps and search for Container City Miri.If you are staying at the Pullman Hotel Miri, it is only a 10 minute walk there. If you stay at Everly ParkCity Hotel or the Miri Marriott Resort and Spa, you need to take a taxi there.Other general hotels in the city is only a short walking distance.A larger map of Miri showing where the Container City Miri is locate atContainer City Miri InformationAddress: Lot 2225, North Yu Seng Road Miri, Sarawak 98000Telephone: 011-3120 3352 / 019-888 2366Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/containercitymyy/Business Hours: 10.00 AM to 12.00 AMOpen: 7 Days a weekSome of the murals seen on the upper level of Container City MiriView of Container City in MiriConclusionFor the traveler or businessman visiting Miri, be sure to take some time to experience this unique eatery. It is also recommended to visit during dinner as the place looks beautiful when lit up with lights at night. For those wanting a peaceful and quiet time here, it is best to visit the Container City Miri before lunch or just after the lunch hour as the place is nice and quiet.For me, I visited this place around 5.00 pm, and there were already a few tables occupied.You can also read my other article on what are the things to do in Miri, if you are a first time visitor here, as I have generally identified most of the attractions in and around Miri.
Friday 18th of May 2018 10:20:00 AM
- SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park
The SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park in Resorts World Genting will be opening its doors by the end of 2018. This is also the upgrade from the previous indoor theme park which was located at the First World area. In line with the all new 20th Century Fox World theme park that is also scheduled to open by end of 2018 or early 2019, the SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park will provide visitors with a while new experience in family entertainment.What the First World Indoor Theme Park used to look likeSkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park GentingCurrently, there is no official media statement on this indoor theme park, which I speculate that the news should be out by the mid of 2018.Resorts World has been tight lipped about both massive projects since announcing it in 2013, and there are no photos inside the indoor park. Genting closed the previous First World indoor theme park in April 2017 for renovations of the new SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park, and currently a few attractions are already available to visitors.What can we expect from the newly renovated and revamped Genting indoor theme park? This is a question that I was thinking about before writing this article. Well, from the main promotional poster, we can see the Eiffel Tower, a Merry-Go-Round and a Ferris Wheel. There are also two Dodgem Cars which means that all of these will be available at SkyTropolis Genting. One more thing stood out which is the Art Decor motive or design that is directly over the word SkyTropolis. It looks like a classic Broadway theme from the Great Gatsby era. I wonder if this element will be included into the overall theme. But, it is the background of the poster that totally intrigues me, where Steampunk gears make up the overall image. Does this mean that the master theme of the indoor park will be Steampunk related? Or a mix between Art Decor and Steampunk? If it is, then it will be awesome as the genre of Steampunk is something very niche in Malaysia, with not many people knowing what it is all about. I think this will bring a whole new perspective to themed entertainment.SkyAvenue Genting, photo taken in April 2018What is the SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park?It is an indoor theme park that caters to just about everyone, from young to old and especially families. Due to the cool climate of Genting Highlands, there are many who like to be inside the resort where the temperature is controlled. News reports from other sites claim that there are currently six attractions that have opened, and a balance of 18 attractions that will open in June 2018. This brings the total of attractions to a whopping 24 inside the SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park. You can expect indoor roller coasters, fun rids for kids, themed shopping for everyone and of course, a carnival atmosphere that will keep visitors entertained wherever they explore here. The 6 Attractions at SkyTropolis Theme ParkStormy Voyage - A massive indoor swinging ship. Copper Express - An open top classic train ride experience. Space Cadet - A controllable ride that spins from bottom to top.Jumping Spurs - Mini jumping tower for children and kids. Ride 'Em Round - A classic merry go round ride for all ages.Whirly Bugs - Gigantic bugs spin kids on a carousel.Where is the SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park? This indoor theme park will be located inside Genting Highlands and at Level 2 of the First World Plaza. You can access SkyTropolis from three main entrances which are;Level 2 of SkyAvenue GentingLevel 2 of Sky CasinoEscalator from First World HotelFor anyone taking the Awana Skyway cable car up to Resorts World, your final stop will be at level 4 of SkyAvenue Genting. From there, you can just walk down two floors to find the entrance to SkyTropolis. Ripley's at SkyAvenue GentingWhat else is around SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park? As Resorts World promises a world of lifestyle and entertainment, you can expect to find many other unique attractions at SkyAvenue Genting. They are;First World PlazaPlay Time Video Games Park - Level 4, First World PlazaSnowWorld - Level 2, First World PlazaGenting Bowl - Level 3, First World PlazaThe opening of the 20th Century Fox World Studio Store in Genting Malaysia on April 2018SkyAvenue Genting20th Century Fox World Studio Store - Level 2, SkyAvenue GentingJurassic Research Center - Level 4, SkyAvenue GentingRipley's Believe It Or Not - Level 4, SkyAvenue GentingZombie Outbreak - Level 4, SkyAvenue GentingJungle Gym - Level 4, SkyAvenue GentingSky Symphony - Level 1, SkyAvenue GentingBona Cinemas - Level 1 & 2, SkyAvenue GentingGenting GrandVision City Video Game Park - Level 1, Genting GrandThe 20th Century Fox World Theme Park, photo taken in late April 2018ConclusionWith an entertainment history of 50 years, Resorts World Genting is no stranger to the tourism industry.Over the last five decades, millions of visitors have experienced Malaysia's premier entertainment and hospitality destination and keep coming back.On average, Resorts World Genting receives around 60,000 visitors daily, which includes locals and foreigners. A whopping total of 13,000 employees are hired to keep this amazing place running tip top. With the news of the first 20th Century Fox World Theme Park opening, many are eager to see and experience this attraction. Tourist from around the world are also keen on making a return visit to Malaysia's most popular tourist destination. Resorts World Genting is located 6000 feet at Genting Highlands and is also known as the coolest tourism destination here in Malaysia.The full opening of the SkyTropolis Indoor Theme Park at the end of 2018 will also compliment the overall tourism experience here.
Friday 4th of May 2018 12:07:00 PM
- 20th Century Fox World Studio Store Genting Malaysia
On 21st April, the 20th Century Fox World Studio Store officially opened in Genting, Malaysia. This was huge news as it leads up to the opening of the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park, where both are the first in the world. The 20th Century Fox World Studio Store in Malaysia is the first Fox Studio store in the world where visitors can purchase special and unique collectibles, memorabilia and also apparels from popular 20th Century Fox movies. 20th Century Fox Malaysia Studio Store, the world's first speciality store opens in Resort World Genting20th Century Fox World Studio Store Genting Malaysia OpeningThe official opening of the Fox World Studio Store saw over 40 media, bloggers and influencers arrive the night before for a special camping session outside the store. On the event day, special invited guests and media were treated to an opening Samba dance performance before quick and official speeches were delivered by the 20th Century Fox World Studio VIP's. The thumbs up just before entering the flagship storeFrom left - Brian Machamer, Paul Baker, the deputy CEO of RWG and Jules Vallier, GM of design and constructionKey people that officially opened the store are Paul Baker, the deputy chief operating officer of Resorts World Genting, Jules Vallier, the general manager of design and construction of 20th Century Fox World Malaysia, and Brian Machamer, the senior vice-president of the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park.Characters from Rio and Ice Age were there to grace the official opening, which was done in a simple ribbon cutting ceremony, followed with a store visit. A quick, simple and sweet speech by Brian Machamer, the senior vice-president of the 20th Century Fox World Theme ParkFox World Studio Store Malaysia Opening TeamHaving been to many events and launching over the years, I have to take my hat off to the people at Resorts World for organizing such a simple and straightforward event launching. There was no protocol and time wasting. The event was to be launched at 12 noon, and it all went smoothly like clockwork, and by 12.05 PM, the guests were already in the store. At SkyAvenue Genting, the Fox World Studio Store was seen everywhereDuring the official opening of the Fox World Studio Store in SkyAvenue GentingWhat is 20th Century Fox World Studio Store? This is the official retail store for 20th Century Fox World Studios, and sells a range of merchandise that is related to all the movies that they own. The Fox World Studios Store is also the first in the world opened here in Malaysia, and is part of the 20th Century Fox World Studio Theme Park Malaysia. Popular movies like Rio, Aliens vs Predator, A Night at the Museum, Robots, Ice Age, Planet of the Apes, and many others have their merchandise sold at the store. Inside the Fox World Studio Store Malaysia on opening dayThe items are all originals and come in various categories. You can find apparels like t-shirts and caps with your favorite movies, or unique collectibles that are only sold in the store.Smaller items such as postcards, notebooks, magnets, mugs and many other interesting items that are priced very reasonably and sold in the store too. Some of the movie memorabilia on sale at the storeFor the serious collector, there are limited edition toys and other memorabilia up for grabs. This is a joy for movie buffs who love to collect the memorabilia. For example, Aliens vs Predator has some pretty cool items, such as the Alien Queen scale model toy or even a tray of unhatched Alien eggs which retail for RM299.00. Finally, for tourist visiting Resorts World Genting, you can purchase the 20th Century Fox World Malaysia t-shirt that comes in many designs and sizes. Prices are ranged from RM79.90 to 89.90, and are same for all sizes. Characters from Rio during the openingWhere is the 20th Century Fox World Store in Malaysia? The flagship Fox World Store is located on the second level of SkyAvenue Genting. Is is also located just next to Japanese apparel outlet Uniqlo. SkyAvenue Genting is the main lifestyle and entertainment area for Resorts World Genting, and is a brand new concept that targets all walks of life who visit this highland resort. SkyAvenue Genting, where the Fox World Studio Store is located atHow to go to 20th Century Fox World Studio Store in Genting Malaysia?Generally, there are two main ways to get to Resorts World Genting. By road via car or bus, or by the new and modern cable car system called Awana Skyway. If you take the Awana Skyway, it will lead you directly into the 4th floor of SkyAvenue Genting. From there, you need to take the escalator down two levels to 20th Century Fox World Studio Store. One of the special limited edition 20th Century Fox World Malaysia T-shirts on saleOnce you are on level three and go down to level two, you will see the Fox World Studio Store in front of you. It is quite hard to miss, and if you do need help, just ask any of the staff working around SkyAvenue Genting. The Awana Skyway can be accessed in Awana, where the Genting Premium Outlets is located. The cable car station is the next building to GPO. There is ample parking there at RM3.00 an hour. Photos of Fox World Studio Store Malaysia Guests outside the Fox World Studio Store in Genting MalaysiaSome of the items on sale at the storeInside the Fox World Studio Store MalaysiaCharacters from the movie Ice Age entertain guest at the opening What the inside of the Fox Studio Store looks likeEven the cupcakes were brandedA view of the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park take on 21st April 2018Video of the Fox World Studio Store Malaysia OpeningI managed to make a video of the Fox World Studio Store Malaysia opening and it runs for about 2 minutes.If you are watching it, don't forget to subscribe to my channel for more tourism and travel videos.Well, the big question still remains - When is the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park opening? As I spoke briefly to Brian Machamer, the senior vice-president of RWG Theme Parks, he clearly stated that there is no official announcement. Brian also claimed that in the international standards, a world class theme park takes around 4-5 years to complete.The news came out in 2013 about the new theme park in Genting, and the time line is in-accordance with the standards. The official logo for 20th Century Fox World MalaysiaThe good news is that the new Genting theme park will see its doors open by end of 2018 or early 2019, if everything goes according to plan. For further reading, I created an interesting list of 10 facts about 20th Century Fox World Theme Park. For anyone who is visiting Resorts World Genting, you still have the opportunity to visit the 20th Century Fox World Studio Store at SkyAvenue, which opened on 21st April 2018. And while you are here, do take the opportunity to look around as you never know what you may end up getting.
Sunday 22nd of April 2018 10:58:00 AM
- MIDE 2018 - All You Need To Know
This year, Malaysia's pioneer scuba diving expo called MIDE 2018 will be taking place from 4-6 May, and at the regular venue of Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur.For this year's dive expo, I have done an all you need to know about MIDE 2018 article for anyone who wants to know a little more information about this scuba diving expo held here in Kuala Lumpur. Visitors at the Malaysia International Dive ExpoMalaysia International Dive Expo 2018 (MIDE2018)MIDE was the only Malaysian dive expo which started back in 2006, but now another world class dive expo called DRT Malaysia had their inaugural event in Kuala Lumpur early in 2018. With that, there are now two major diving events which strongly favors the scuba diving community of Malaysia. Isn't that great that we have more choices? From a positive point of view, these two dive expos in Malaysia will provide a healthy competition among both diving expos and more opportunity for divers to choose from. This years Malaysia International Dive Expo 2018 will see over 150 exhibitors participating at the event, compared to 133 last year. There will be 30 over presentations done by various professionals from the scuba diving industry, sharing valuable information, tips and tricks to the public. Visitors shopping at MIDESome MIDE FactsBelow are some statistics from the previous MIDE 2017 which is quite impressive, considering that scuba diving in Malaysia is still a very niche hobby and sport.MIDE 2017 generated RM8.2 million in total sales3000 Scuba Diving Courses were sold during the expoA total of 133 companies took part at MIDE 2017A record 12,166 visitors attended MIDE 2017 over three daysVisitors from 45 countries visited MIDE 2017A whopping 928 international brands participated in MIDE 2017 95% of visitor had scuba diving interest80% of attendees were professional scuba divers85% of visitors had dive travel interest1,777 Non Divers attended MIDE 2017International vendors ate MIDEMIDE 2018 ProgramAs the scuba diving industry is growing steadily in Malaysia, multiple programs have been scheduled throughout the expo. Asia Dive Conference (ADC)Freediving ForumOcean Rescue ForumUnderwater Photography ForumSpeaker Presentations (Various)B2B Meeting SessionsDive Diva Fan Club PresentationMarine Educational ProgramPerson with Disabilities Program (PWD)Purchaser Lucky DrawPool Try DiveLens Beyond Ocean Photography CompetitionWhen is MIDE 2018? The Malaysia International Dive Expo 2018 takes place from the 4th to 6th May 2018. The expo usually takes place just before the fasting month of Ramadan which falls in June. The PWTC LRT Station is on the left, while Sunway Putra Mall is the colorful building. Where is MIDE 2018? Malaysia International Dive Expo 2018 has always been held at the Putra World Trade Center or PWTC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This venue is perfect due to the huge space and multiple halls offered. Kuala Lumpur is also the capital of Malaysia, making it easy for visitors, speakers and vendors to get to. The main KLIA and KLIA 2 airports are 60 minute drive from KL or a 30 minute train ride into the city from the airport. How to go to MIDE 2018?There are two main ways to get to the event, and most locals will self drive to PWTC and park there. For visitors, the best way to get to MIDE2018 is by taking the STAR LRT Train which stops at Sunway Putra Station. Alternatively, an easy way to go to MIDE 2018 is by taking private car services like GRAB. You can do this from anywhere in the Kuala Lumpur or Petaling Jaya, and prices are very reasonable. For those taking the train, your important transit station will be Masjid Jamek in KL city where other trains like the LRT and MRT stop.Here, you need to walk over to the LRT station and head to PWTC. PWTC LRT Station (SP4 & AG4)) is served by the RapidKL Ampang Line and Sri Petaling Line.Where to park near PWTC KLWhere to Park at PWTC?If you go to MIDE 2018 early, there will be ample parking at PWTC, which charges by the hour. Alternatively, you can also park at Sunway Putra Mall, just opposite PWTC and they too charge hourly. The old Putra Bus Terminal car park is no longer there as there are some renovations going on. For those planning to stay much longer, there are some open air car parks outside the main road along Japan Putra. The open air car park charges a flat rate of RM6 to RM10 for a full day parking, so that would be a cheap option.But you need to walk to PWTC, which takes you about 5 minutes. This car park is in front of the Sani Hotel. MIDE sales are something many divers wait forTips for MIDE 2018For those planning to visit the Malaysia International Dive Expo 2018 or MIDE2018, here are some tips for you, especially if you are a first time visitor here. Hate Crowds? Go early on each day when the event opens. Pick Pockets? There are always unscrupulous people at any expo or event so be cautious.Hungry or Thirsty? There is a mall opposite PWTC and a Riverside Cafe with local food.Toilets? Surprisingly, the toilets at PWTC are quite clean. Lonely? Best o come with a friend or friends.Scared to Spend? Don't bring your wife or girlfriend. Scared to bring Cash? Don't worry, most vendors accept debit and credit cards.See Something Cheap You Like? Grab it! Don't think too long.Cannot Decide What To Buy or Where To Go? Call your friends.Too Much Walking Around? Wear comfortable shoes, not high heels or slippers.Kiasu? Wait for the last hour of the last event day for some last minute extra deals.MIDE 2018 InformationDate: 2-4 May 2018Venue: Dewan Tun Razak 1, PWTC, Kuala LumpurTime: 10.00 AM to 7.00 PMAdmission: RM5.00 per personWebsite: https://mide.com.my/Phone: +6 03 7980 9902The writer at Lankayan IslandAbout the WriterWell, after 12 years of casual scuba diving and over 1000 dives, I have decided to take a much more easier hobby of bird watching rather than fish watching. Sometimes, a balance is needed in life to fully enjoy it. My last dive trip was at Raja Ampat, Alor Island and Komodo Island in far east Indonesia, where I did a 14 day trip in October 2017. The beautiful and colorful underwater landscapes at Komodo IslandThat truly burned me out big time, as it was fly-van-dive-sleep-boat-fly-dive-eat and repeat. Usually, I go for 3-5 day easy dive trips, but Raja Ampat being the highlight and my major diving bucket list, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dive some of the most beautiful places in Indonesia. You should know that I am an overall travel writer, hence I do not do much underwater photography. I have also done some articles on my experience diving there and hopefully some of the articles like how to fly to Raja Ampat will come in handy. The must-see Wobbegong Shark at Raja AmpatWhile I did a live on board at Komodo, I choose to stay at the Raja Ampat Dive Resort for a more casual experience. Honestly, if you are thinking of visiting here, start saving up and do it quick. I also wrote about why Alor Island should be your next diving destination, as it is so untouched and beautiful. Take a look at my article, and you will see why. MIDE 2018 this 4-6 May at PWTC Kuala LumpurConclusionI hope this article on all you need to know about MIDE 2018 will come in handy for you and that you have a fantastic and productive time here. Most visitors do. As for me, I will hopefully be there for the first day, visiting friends and checking out the dive expo. If we know each other, don't forget to say hello and happy diving where ever you are going.
Tuesday 17th of April 2018 11:26:00 AM
- Raja Ampat Airport Review
If you are planning on visiting Raja Ampat in West Papua, you will most likely be flying into the city of Sorong in West Papua.Since my last visit at the end of 2017, it is only right that I do a review of the Raja Ampat airport which is called the Domine Eduard Osok airport.Sorong is the capital of West Papua and flights from selected cities around Indonesia will land here. From Sorong, you will either connect on another short flight to Waisai airport or most likely be taking the fast boat or ferry to Waisai from the harbor here. So, what can you expect at the airport in this part of the world? To my surprise, I was actually very impressed and if you are planning to visit the Raja Ampat Islands, then you should read on.The Betel Nut Design at Domine Eduard Osok AirportReview of the Raja Ampat AirportFirst of all, there are two main airports that service the Raja Ampat Islands, the Domine Eduard Osok airport in Sorong, which is the main airport that is connected to other major cities in Indonesia, and the smaller Marinda Airport in Waisai, which is connected by smaller aircraft from smaller cities.When your flight lands at the Domine Eduard Osok airport (SOQ), you will most likely have a second look as the airport building as is quite modern designed, which easily attracts anyone's attention.The airport name comes from one of the renown pastors from Sorong and West Papua, where Domine Eduard Osok (1920-1988) did a lot of missionary work spreading Christianity here. Hence it was right to name the airport after the pastor, as he is well known among the locals here.During the renovations of the Sorong airportThe Domine Eduard Osok is also a single runway airport with a total length of 2,500 meters and 45 meters wide, and capable to accommodate small turbo prop planes, Boeing 737 series and Airbus A320 series. Anything bigger is unable to land here. There are also only tow main airport gates that service the many airlines that land here. And the boarding gates are connected to two modern glass and steel structure aero-bridges for the larger wide bodies aircraft like Bombardier, Airbus and Boeing planes.Modern aero-bridge at the airportIn 2017, Domine Eduard Osok Airport or DEO served a total of 2.3 million passengers, making this the busiest airport in the far east of Indonesia.The original runway of 1,950 meters was extended to 2,500 meters in 2016 to meet the larger passenger aircraft like Boeing and Airbus. With a modern structure that is designed to resemble local culture, the futuristic design makes the Domine Eduard Osok Airport look up to date in this part of the world.The modern check in counters at the airportThe new look was also finally completed in March of 2016 after a five year renovation, and at a cost of 236 Billion Rupiah (USD$16.5 Billion).In terms of the overall design of the airport, it culturally reflects the unique Betel nut, which is very popular in this part of the world. This is also one of the 54 airports from all over Indonesia.Inside the Domine Eduard Osok airportFacilities at Raja Ampat AirportThe airport consist of two floors with international air travel facilities like luggage x-ray machines, walk through metal detectors, baggage handling system, elevators, waiting lounges and modern designed retail and F&B shops. The main passenger terminal building is also huge, with a total space of 13,700 square meters and can accommodate 782 passengers at any one time. A massive parking area has also been dedicated outside the airport.The modern boarding area at Domine Eduard OsokOnce inside the airport, you will be pleased to know that the flow of passengers is similar to any other international airport around the world.Check in counters are aplenty with modern designs with a queueing system for respective airlines. Before you arrive here, you will be greeted by friendly airport personal manning the conveyor belt luggage scanning system. The waiting lounges are modern designed with ample space for seating. Retail shops are found on the second floor of the airport and offer quite an interesting choice for travelers.Sehat Bugar Reflexology at the Sorong AirportThere are modern coffee cafes, bakeries, local cafes, food massage and a lot of souvenir shops. Generally, you can keep yourself busy here due to the decent selection of shops at the airport. While I was waiting to fly out of Sorong, I have to thank my trip organiser for arriving early as this allowed me to explore the airport on my own.Due to the excess time we had, I even managed to go for a 30 minute foot massage which was timed perfectly before my flight. The verdict? It was awesome, a true Papuan foot massage, a first for me.A quick bite cafe and a souvenir shop at the airportThe souvenir shops are not to be missed as this is the best place to get your West Papua souvenirs. Mind you they are actually quite reasonably priced, unlike those in Bali.I managed to snap up quite a bit of souvenirs from here as I visited all five souvenir shops here. Item you can find are local ethnic jewelry, Papuan fabrics, paintings and many other unique Papuan souvenirs.Waiting lounge area at the Raja Ampat airportFor coffee lovers, you must know that the Papuan coffee is one of the best in the world, and at some of the souvenir shops, they are being sold mostly in beans. You can find some instant Papuan coffee too. And the best part is that you can walk into one of the coffee cafes to sample the local Papuan coffee which is highly recommended.Domine Eduard Osok Airport LoungeA premium lounge is also available for business travelers, however, I did not have the opportunity to visit this place. From the outside, it looks really nice though hopefully one day I will have the opportunity to visit this lounge.Toilets are very clean and well kept as they have round the clock staff to continuously maintain the washrooms. I have to highlight this as some of you may have encountered airports with horrible toilets.Here is a photo of what the old Raja Ampat airport in Sorong looked likeA 'Surau' or prayer room is also available for those wanting to conduct their prayers at the airport.Other than that, the Sorong airport is very modern, clean and with a great design, considering this is in Raja Ampat, West Papua. Flying into Sorong, West PapuaAirlines that fly to Raja Ampat AirportIn total, there are seven airlines that operate flights into Raja Ampat, however for foreigners, there are four main airlines that operate from the commercial airports around Indonesia. I also did an article on what airlines fly to Raja Ampat for anyone wanting more information. Just to add that you need to really check your connecting flights as most of the direct flights to Raja Ampat depart in the mornings.In some cases, you may need to spend a night at your connecting city in order to catch the early flight to Sorong. Domine Eduard Osok AirportAddress: South Remu, Papua, Sorong City, West Papua 98412, IndonesiaGeographic coordinates: Latitude (-0.89), Longitude (131.29)Phone: +62 812 8889 6500Website: https://www.domineeduardosok.com/Pasir Timbul, one of the beautiful places to visit in Raja AmpatSorong is also a tourist destination as there is much to explore, see and do around here. While I did not have the opportunity to do so, I do have plans to re-visit Sorong once again.The next time around, I would love to explore Sorong for some nature, adventure and of course to do some serious bird watching at Raja Ampat. Hopefully I can do it in late 2018 and then I can share additional information with you about what to do in Sorong.Meanwhile, for those wanting to visit here, I did an article on how to get to Raja Ampat with a lot of information on flights and boats. And for those planning to visit this amazing destination, I do hope you find my review of the Raja Ampat airport helpful. If you have any experiences here, please do share them in the comment form below.
Sunday 15th of April 2018 05:23:00 AM
- BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet
With the trend of factory outlets in Malaysia soaring, a brand new concept called BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet is set to open on the island of Labuan in Malaysia in 2019. This will also be the first of its kind in Malaysia and will officially open its doors by mid or end of 2019. According to press releases, the target date to open the BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet is by the first quarter of 2019. Duty Free Premium Outlet in LabuanWhile Labuan remains one of the lesser visit duty free islands in Malaysia, a lot of planning is ongoing to ensure that this island turns into a major tourism hot spot in the next few years.The BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet in Labuan is also being built at a cost of RM70 million and by BVA Berhad. Artist impression of the BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet in LabuanThis massive BVO premium outlet will consist of a two story open concept structure and building.This will also be the first premium outlet in Borneo will offer over 70 exclusive tenants on a 6.8 acre or 2.7 hectare prime land in the Kiansam area of Labuan. BVO Outlet also claims that they will be offering luxury products which are 30% cheaper than most other outlets due to the duty free status of Labuan. Products you will find here include designer clothing, handbags, shoes, wines, alcohol, tobacco, perfumes and cosmetics.There will also be a special 150 meter long park in the mall that juxtaposes modern with greenery. For food and beverage, a series of modern restaurants, bars, bistros and cafes will located around the duty free premium outlet. There is no official announcement on who the tenants are. BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet also plans to launch a smart delivery service system using a mobile application by providing a new shopping experience for consumers. A model of the BVO Outlet in LabuanWhat is BVO Duty Free Premium OutletThis is a new concept where BVA Berhad is introducing a duty free premium factory outlet concept. The first of its kind in Malaysia and possibly in Southeast Asia. While consumers and travelers are used to the general premium outlet shopping at places like Johor Premium Outlets or Genting Premium Outlets, the duty free premium outlet introduces a whole new concept of travel and shopping. Other modern lifestyle projects to support the whole concept here include a five star hotel, service condominiums, resorts, water theme park and commercial properties which is connected to the new esplanade. There is another BVO Outlet at Mitsui Outlet Park in Sepang and also at Penang Design Village, but that company is branded as Best Value Outlet or BVO. There is no direct connection to both brands from what I know. On a side note, a new proposed bridge from Sabah to Labuan Island is also in the plans for the Labuan Development Blueprint 2030.This massive project will see huge potential for tourism as it will be much easier to enter Labuan. On when it will open, there is no official news. What the duty free outlet will look like when openedWhen is BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet OpeningThe official press release states that the Labuan BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet will open by the 1st quarter of 2019.However, other press statements indicate a 14-18 month development time which puts the opening time line to mid of 2019. Until there is official news of the opening, the current dates are just an estimate or projected date. We should hear more news about the opening of BVO Duty Free Outlet towards the later part of 2018.The location of BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet in LabuanWhere is BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet in LabuanThe BVA Premium Outlet will be located near the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Labuan International Campus and just next to the Labuan International Golf Club and Kampung Beiukut. The exact location of the BVO Premium Outlet is also at the on the south west part of Labuan Island.You can get to Labuan which is 2 hour 30 minutes flight from Kuala Lumpur, 30 minutes flight from Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, and 40 minutes flight from Miri in Sarawak.Directions to BVO Premium Outlet in LabuanHow to go to BVO Duty Free Premium OutletThe best way to get to BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet in Labuan is by driving there. It is located about 13 kilometers from the Labuan International Airport and takes around 20 minutes drive one way. For visitors planning to visit this place, you need to fly into Labuan from KLIA or selected Malaysian cities. Currently, there are daily flights to Labuan via Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia only. BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet Information:Address: Jalan Sungai Pagar, Kiansam, 87000 Labuan.Landmark: Next to Labuan International Golf CubWebsite: http://www.bvacorporation.com/mall.html*Disclaimer: Photos used here are obtained from the BVA official website and Facebook Page. We use them as reference and without negative intention.BVA BerhadWho is BVA Berhad?BVA Berhad is founded by Dato' Lawrence Low. The company is involved in diverse industries, which includes property development, the Internet Of Things, digital currency and many other businesses. The BVA team during the launch of the BVO Premium Outlet in March 2018They have been providing charter services for visitors from China since 2016, and currently operating four flights serving the China-Labuan route weekly. BVA Berhad also projects that by 2020, there will be up to four flights daily coming from China to Labuan and up to two cruises weekly.Other Duty Free Shopping in MalaysiaFor those looking to do some duty free shopping in Malaysia, there is only one other island that offers this. Many travelers also head to Langkawi for duty free shopping as there are many smaller outlets and shops for this. Tioman Island is also designated as a duty free island, but there are not much choices for shopping there. It is more of a island getaway with a lot of resorts in different villages. However if you are into the whole shopping experience, I have created a complete list of factory outlets in Malaysia where you can do some serious shopping. These places are located all over the country and depending on where you go, there may be an interesting outlet for you to visit. BVO Duty Free Premium Outlet is developed by BVA Development Sdn Bhd and is part of the Labuan Development Blueprint 2030. This will also be the first duty free premium outlet in Malaysia.
Wednesday 11th of April 2018 08:24:00 AM
- What are the Airlines that fly to Raja Ampat?
Due to the popularity of being one of the most beautiful places on earth, many have seen or heard about Raja Ampat in West Papua. And there are many who even want to explore this incredible destination in Indonesia.But where is this mysterious place that goes by the name of Four Kings or translated as Raja Ampat? This island paradise comprises of more than 1,500 small islands, and sits on the northwestern tip of West Papua.Yes, Papua is divided into two different countries, the east being Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the opposite to Indonesia's West Papua, and Raja Ampat is located here.Piaynemo, one of Raja Ampat's most beautiful destinationsFlying to Raja AmpatIronically, most travelers have a fear of not knowing how to travel to Raja Ampat, but since 2015 and 2016, a couple of local Indonesian airlines have made the journey here much more easier.Connectivity is no longer an issue as there are daily flights into the city of Sorong, where the international airport is located at.This has made traveling here easy for not only travelers, but the locals too. This does not mean that you can connect directly from any major city around the world, but from selected cities around Indonesia.As visiting Raja Ampat was a huge tick off my bucket list, my inaugural trip here was in October 2017 where I traveled with a group of international scuba divers exploring some of the most beautiful dive sites in this part of Indonesia, and possibly in the world.The amazing view of Piaynemo in Raja AmpatBasically, for my trip, we flew into Raja Ampat via Makassar in Sulawesi, Indonesia. We had boarded a Garuda Indonesia flight, which uses a Bombardier CRJ-1000 Next Generation aircraft that was a comfortable and smooth two hour and fifteen minutes flight.Upon arriving at Sorong City via the flight, I looked out the window only to be welcomed by some amazing old world scenery of fishing boats and low rise settlements before landing at the Domine Eduard Osok Airport here.It felt more like a time travel trip as I am so used to seeing tall buildings, highways and modernization, but my plane view was the opposite.Then again, this was what I truly wanted, to go where not many people have explored and my journey was only going to get better.Anyway, I will get to the details and information that most people want, which is what are the airlines that fly into Raja Ampat below.Lion Indonesia at one of the local Indonesian airportsHow to Fly to Raja Ampat? There are four main airports in Indonesia that service the city of Sorong in Raja Ampat. They are Jakarta, Makassar, Ambon and Manado, where you can catch a direct flight or a connecting flight, depending on your choice.Jakarta to Raja AmpatMakassar to Raja AmpatManado to Raja AmpatAmbon to Raja AmpatFor Malaysians or Singaporeans, we have slightly better choices as we can catch direct flights into Makassar or Manado, making it easier for us to connect to Raja Ampat. For other countries, you may have to look at your options as your main port of entry would be Jakarta. Alternatively, you can also choose to transit in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore to connect to Manado or Makassar, and with this, take the opportunity to explore these beautiful places before heading to Raja Ampat. Please take note that if you fly into Denpasar, Bali, there is no direct flight to Raja Ampat, and you will need to connect to Makassar or Jakarta to get to Sorong. Many travelers are caught unaware of this and tend to automatically head to Bali.There are also no direct flights from Kupang and Labuan Bajo in NTT Flores. This means, you need to connect to Ambon in Maluku to fly into Raja Ampat.Garuda Airlines Bombardier CRJ1000 aircraft at Sorong AirportFlying from Jakarta to Raja Ampat International long haul flights will mostly land here, and you can connect from Jakarta to Raja Ampat with a couple of airlines. However, it will be another four to five hour flight before you reach Sorong city in West Papua. You should also take note that Sorong city and West Papua is two hours ahead of Jakarta in terms of the time, so the arrival time shows the local time there. Via Garuda IndonesiaFrom Jakarta to Sorong, Raja AmpatFlight GA682 - Direct FlightDepart Jakarta (CGK) - 00:20 Soekarno Hatta International AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 06:35 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight time: 4 hours 15 minutes*There are 8 other daily flights from Jakarta, but each of them makes one or two stops and arrive in Sorong the following day. The flight times are from 6 hours to 15 hours with transits and so on. Best to check with Garuda Indonesia on the timings. *The Jakarta-Sorong route uses a Boeing 737-800 Next Generation aircraft that has a capacity of 162 passengers, with 12 business class seats and 150 economy class.From Sorong to JakartaFlight GA683 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 07:35 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Jakarta (CGK) - 09:15 Soekarno Hatta International AirportFlight time: 3 hours 40 minutes*There are additional 7 return flights from Sorong which require one or two stops and take around 6 to 21 hours. This includes transits and layovers. Flying over some of the beautiful islands of Raja AmpatVia Batik AirBatik Air From Jakarta to Sorong, Raja AmpatFlight ID7797 - Direct FlightDepart Jakarta (CGK) - 01:00 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 07:10 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 4 hours 10 minutesBatik Air From Sorong to JakartaFlight ID7780 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 07:50 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Jakarta (CGK) - 10:00 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportFlight Time: 4 hours 10 minutesVia Sriwijaya AirThere are some flights from Jakarta to Sorong, Raja Ampat, but they are mostly one or two stop flights that take from five to 10 hours.This can be used if you are in hurry to fly there. However, Sriwijaya is known to delay or re-time their flights. More information can be seen at the official Sriwijaya Air website.The Makassar Airport seen from outsideFlying from Makassar to Raja AmpatMakassar in probably one of the best options to fly into Raja Ampat as they have one of the earliest arrival times, giving you a good head start.There are also many choices for direct flights from Garuda, Wings Abadi and Batik Air. Good news is that Batik Air and Wings Abadi Air operates five direct flights from Makassar to Raja Ampat, providing awesome choices for flight timings. On the return, there are also four direct flights back to Makassar. For those who want options, there are many other connecting or transit flights, which may be a little cheaper, but very long transit times. Via Garuda IndonesiaGaruda From Makassar to Sorong, Raja AmpatFlight GA698 - Direct FlightDepart Makassar (UPG) - 03:30 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 06:45 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 15 minutesGaruda From Sorong to MakassarFlight GA699 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 14:55 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Makassar (UPG) - 16:10 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 15 minutesWings Abadi Air that flies to Raja AmpatVia Batik Air or Wings Abadi AirBatik Air From Makassar to Sorong, Raja Ampat1. Flight ID6196 - Direct FlightDepart Makassar (UPG) - 04:10 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 07:30 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes2. Flight ID7703 - Direct FlightDepart Makassar (UPG) - 04:10 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 07:30 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes3. Flight ID8196 - Direct FlightDepart Makassar (UPG) - 04:10 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 07:30 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes4. Flight ID6288 - Direct FlightDepart Makassar (UPG) - 09:45 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 13:05 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes5. Wings Abadi Flight IW1187 - Direct FlightDepart Makassar (UPG) - 09:45 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 13:05 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes*3 additional flights with stop overs and transits with total time from 10 to 15 hours.Departing the Sorong Airport in Raja Ampat, West PapuaBatik Air From Sorong to Makassar1. Flight ID6197 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 08:00 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Makassar (UPG) - 09:20 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes2. Flight ID6265 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 08:00 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Makassar (UPG) - 09:20 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes3. Flight ID6195 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 14:05 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Makassar (UPG) - 15:25 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes4. Flight ID6285 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 14:05 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Makassar (UPG) - 15:25 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 20 minutes*There are 4 additional transit and stop over flights back to Makassar with total travel time from 3 hours to 12 hours. More flight information can be found at the official Lion Air Indonesia website.Sriwijaya Air that flies to Raja Ampat. Photo from JakartaPost.Via Sriwijaya Air Sriwijaya Air From Makassar to Sorong, Raja AmpatFlight SJ572 - Direct FlightDepart Makassar (UPG) - 03:15 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 06:25 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 10 minutesFlight SJ570 - Direct FlightDepart Makassar (UPG) - 04:15 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 07:25 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 10 minutesSriwijaya Air From Sorong to MakassarFlight SJ571 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 10:50 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Makassar (UPG) - 12:00 Sultan Hasanuddin AirportFlight Time: 2 hour 10 minutesDomine Eduard Osok Airport in Sorong, Raja AmpatFlying from Manado to Raja AmpatFor those who prefer to fly from the city of Manado in north Sulawesi, there are two daily flights from Garuda Airlines that depart to Raja Ampat early in the mornings. There is also one direct flight from Lion Air that also departs in the morning.This means that you need to fly in the evening before and overnight in Manado to catch the next day early morning flight.Manado is connected not only by the Indonesian airlines but also AirAsia and Silk Air from Singapore. This city provides easier options for the Southeast Asians that want to visit Raja Ampat.Garuda Airlines Bombardier CRJ-1000 aircraftVia Garuda IndonesiaGaruda From Manado to Raja AmpatFirst Flight GA470 - Direct FlightDepart Manado (MDC) - 05:40 Sam Ratulangi AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 08:10 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight time: 1 hour 30 minutesSecond Flight GA472 - Direct FlightDepart Manado (MDC) - 06:45 Sam Ratulangi AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 09:10 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight time: 1 hour 25 minutesGaruda From Raja Ampat to ManadoFlight GA471 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 13.50 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Manado (MDC) - 14:30 Sam Ratulangi AirportFlight Time: 1 hour 40 minutes *On certain days, there is an additional flight GA473 at 14.30 to Raja Ampat. More flight details on Garuda Indonesia. Wings Abadi Airlines is under Lion Air IndonesiaVia Lion Air IndonesiaLion Air From Manado to Raja AmpatFlight JT796 - Direct FlightDepart Manado (MDC) - 08:05 Sam Ratulangi AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 10:30 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight time: 1 hour 25 minutes*There is an additional flight that connects via Makassar before heading to Sorong. Total flight and transit time is 5 hours and 20 minutes where you depart at 06:45 and arrive at 13:05. Lion Air From Raja Ampat to ManadoFlight JT799 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 16:40 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Manado (MDC) - 17:20 Sam Ratulangi AirportFlight Time: 1 hour 40 minutes *There are five other flights that make stop overs before arriving in Manado. These flights take a total of 6 - 12 hours for transits and so on. Ambon in Maluku, IndonesiaFlying from Ambon to Raja AmpatAmbon is also one one the up and coming scuba diving destinations and this city is located on the island of Maluku, in between Raja Ampat and Makassar. It truly is one of the unexplored destinations of east Indonesia and well worth visiting.Via Garuda IndonesiaGaruda from Ambon to Sorong Raja AmpatFlight GA680 - Direct FlightDepart Ambon (AMQ) - 12:00 Pattimura AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 12:55 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 55 minutesGaruda from Sorong, Raja Ampat to AmbonFlight GA681 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 14:10 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Ambon (AMQ) - 15:15 Pattimura AirportFlight Time: 1 hour 5 minutes*There is an alternate flight to and from Ambon to Raja Ampat, but that is a transit flight that takes about 15-24 hours of flight time.The Pattimura Airport in AmbonVia Wings AirlinesWings Air from Ambon to Sorong Raja AmpatFlight IW1506 - Direct FlightDepart Ambon (AMQ) - 12.00 Pattimura AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 13:10 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 1 hour 10 minutesWings Air from Sorong, Raja Ampat to AmbonFlight IW1505 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 06:50 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Ambon (AMQ) - 08:00 Pattimura AirportFlight Time: 1 hour 10 minutes*Please note that on Wings Air, there are selected flights throughout the week and not everyday.The on board meals on Batik Air is quite impressive and very localVia Sriwijaya AirA third airline called Sriwijaya Air also flies to the many remote destinations around Indonesia. They also have direct and also transit flights to Raja Ampat, but has a track record of being delayed or re-timed.Sriwijaya Air from Ambon to Sorong Raja AmpatFlight IN607 - Direct FlightDepart Ambon (AMQ) - 09:30 Pattimura AirportArrive Sorong (SOQ) - 10:20 Domine Eduard Osok AirportFlight Time: 50 minutesSriwijaya Air from Sorong, Raja Ampat to AmbonFlight IN606 - Direct FlightDepart Sorong (SOQ) - 12:10 Domine Eduard Osok AirportArrive Ambon (AMQ) - 13:00 Pattimura AirportFlight Time: 50 minutesLanding at Sorong, Raja AmpatThe above are all the flights from various cities around Indonesia that fly to Raja Ampat. The flight timing and other information is taken from the official website of the respective airline websites. A very important tip in booking your flights is that you must make sure that you have enough time to make that transit for your next flight. Otherwise, you may end up missing your connecting flights.The easiest way is of course flying to Raja Ampat via Makassar in Sulawesi as they have the most flights starting extremely early in the mornings. Not only that, a total of three airlines fly our of Makassar with multiple direct and also connecting flights.What most travelers do is that they fly into Makassar, check in at the airport Novotel Hotel to catch the early morning flight the following day. This is the safest way in order not to miss your flight.Marinda Airport in Waisai, Raja AmpatFlights from Sorong to Waisai, Raja AmpatThis is a new option for those who prefer to fly closer to Raja Ampat as there is a once a day flight from the Sorong Airport to the Waisai Airport.The flight is a 30 minute flight versus a two hour ferry ride and suitable for those who get seasick.The price is quite reasonable, but you need to connect on this flight from Sorong, therefore, you need your original flight to be on time.On my trip here, the flight to Sorong was a little delayed by 20 minutes, and due to many passengers connecting, the Sorong to Waisai flight actually waited for our plane to land.Other Airlines that Fly to Raja AmpatThere are other airlines that fly into Raja Ampat, but mostly they are the smaller local airlines which service the smaller cities around the east Indonesia sector. However, if you are in that part, you can check out those local airlines which are;Nam AirSusi AirXpress Air Overall, for anyone wanting to visit Raja Ampat in West Papua, I would advise to do some research and planning before booking your flights.You should plan your trip according to your flight timings as it will be smooth sailing once planned well.Raja Ampat is well known as one of the best marine biodiversity places on earth and is literally non commercialized.Many people have the one fear of the destination being expensive. When planned well, it is actually not that expensive, unless you are planning to spend your time on a live on board boat.A Garuda Airline stewardess serving meals and drinks on board the flightYou should also know that you need to get the Raja Ampat Marine Park permit once you arrive in Sorong. Officials will check when you are at the airport or harbor heading to Waisai.For those who want different alternatives, I have also done another article on how to get to Raja Ampat using boats and ferries.This is suitable for those traveling on a budget, and who have the luxury of time to slowly travel.The most commercial way that most people use from Sorong is by taking the Bahari Express Ferry to Raja Ampat, which takes about two hours. This is an air conditioned fast boat service and is reliable.This article has provided most of the important information for traveling here, and also for those who want to know what are the airlines that fly to Raja Ampat. Remember, you need at least two travelling days to get here, which includes flights and boats.
Tuesday 10th of April 2018 07:54:00 AM
- Bukit Matanoi Hill
One of the new emerging places for tourism in Sabah is no other than the Bukit Matanoi Hill, which is located in the Keningau district, about two and a half hours drive from Kota Kinabalu. It is here that you will find the famous Sarang Burong Bukit Matanoi or Matanoi Hill Bird's Nest that was recently completed in early January 2018.With social media postings, this place has seen a sudden spike in local tourist that have been flocking here. The reason? To get that Instagram or Facebook photo of sitting in the bird's nest overlooking the lush rainforest hills here. Simple and easy, the only challenge is getting up that hill.Locals sit in the bird nest for a photo opportunityWhat is at Bukit Matanoi Hill?The question that everyone is asking now, what is available here? Or why should I visit here? And the simple answer is that if you are that person who loves social media, you will want to come here and get that epic photo.While the birds nest attraction is still new here in Malaysia, I will share some tips for those planning to visit this place here in Keningau, Sabah. Some of the tips mentioned are also from my experience traveling around Indonesia.Posing in one of two bird's nest found hereChange of Clothes - Usually, women will bring a change of clothes on their trek, and when they reach the location, they will change into beautiful dresses, shoes and even bring their make up kits to put on some serious make up for the photo shoot.Scarves, Pario or Flags - Some people bring large scarves that will catch the wind, while other bring bright and colorful dresses to contrast the brown and greens when they pose. And for the patriotic travelers, they bring their country flag to display.Once the place gets really popular, you will start seeing wedding photography being done here. Not only for weddings, but even for professional portrait photography of singles or couples.Rafie Robert and his famous Bukit Matanoi social media photo that went viral The new Love Arch at Bukit MatanoiBelow is a list of what is available at Bukit Matanoi Hill in Keningau Sabah;Sarang Burung Bukit Matanoi This is hands down the number one attraction here, with not one, but two bird's nest that overlooks the beautiful landscapes of Matanoi Hill. Locals have been coming here since January to take photos of themselves sitting in these man-made giant bird's nest. Bukit Matanoi Lookout PointThere is a man-made bamboo structure that is built as a lookout point. It is solid, but only a limited number of people are allowed at one time. One of the spots to capture sunset photos at Bukit Matanoi.Love ArchA giant heart arch made out of twigs is one of the new attractions at Bukit Matanoi. This comes with a red wooden bench enough to seat two to three people. Giant Straw HatA man-made giant hat is also part of the attraction at one section of the hill. This is an initiative of the local Kampung Matanoi people, which serves as a decent photograph for your social media postings. Rabbit Farm at Bukit MatanoiA small rabbit farm was created near the entrance area of Bukit Matanoi. This is mainly for the children and families that come here. A visitor poses at the birds nest hereBest Time To Visit Bukit MatanoiHonestly, if you are local, the best time is of course during the weekends, but this comes with a price. You can expect the place to be crowded with many other locals coming here for the experience.This means that you have to take your turn to get that photo, plus you need to make sure that no one is in your photo frame. Quite a challenge, but it can be done. For the foreigner, I would highly recommend you come here on a weekday when it is less crowded, and you can have your photograph taken without having to line up with others.But then again, the smart locals will also do the same thing.The giant straw hat at Bukit Matanoi. Photo by Rafie Robert. For those wanting a photo with clear scenery, I recommend visiting Bukit Matanoi in the morning, as there should be no one here.Usually many locals come here in the evenings for the sunset. Unless there are those who took the day off to visit this place. If it rains, then I would recommend not to visit as it is pointless. The weather would spoil the scenery and the trek up would be slippery.Best to wait for clear weather, or check the weather forecast of Keningau before heading there.A rainbow seen over the bird's nest hereHow far is Bukit Matanoi from Kota Kinabalu? Most city tourist may want to make a day trip to Bukit Matanoi, and it is recommended to leave very early from Kota Kinabalu city.It takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes drive on way to Kampung Apin Apin, and then another 3.6 kilometers to Bukit Matanoi.One you reach the main entrance of Bukit Matanoi, you are required to register at the visitor booth before you start your short hike up the hill.Note that this place is not disable friendly as one needs to hike up hill for a bit before reaching the view point.Expect a large crowd of locals on weekends and public holidaysIn total, you may need about three and a half hours time from Kota Kinabalu all the way to the view point at Bukit Matanoi, hence leaving as early as possible is your best option.There is a signboard by the trunk road leading here, and you will see a Sabah and Malaysia flag by the makeshift car park.Usually in the evenings or weekends, there will be a lot of cars parked by the main road.Bukit Matanoi is about 2.5 hours or 108 km from Kota Kinabalu City in SabahAddress for Bukit Matanoi Hill Apin ApinOff Jalan Apin-Apin Bundu Kg. TigaApin-Apin, Keningau, Sabah.Bukit Matanoi Hill GPS Coordinates: 5°29'34"N 116°14'46"EAll photos shown here are from the Bukit Matanoi Facebook Page.Bukit Matanoi is also open after sunset and you can take some beautiful night photosBukit Matanoi Hill ToursRight now, because this is a relatively new tourism product, there may be no one selling tours to Bukit Matanoi Hill. Perhaps in the coming months, some travel and tour agents will start to offer packages here.You can contact Freddy Peter at 019-809 8007 if you need more information or a guide while you are here. Freddy is also in charge of the Bukit Matanoi Facebook Page. However, I will recommend anyone in Kota Kinabalu, namely the foreign tourist, that you rent a car or a driver to bring you here for a fix price. This is probably your easiest and best option to get to Bukit Matanoi in Keningau.
Friday 6th of April 2018 12:00:00 PM
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