Dec 16, 2009

Mount Kinabalu Trail - highest in the world

Mount Kinabalu trail highest in the world
Wednesday December 16, 2009

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah made it into the Guinness World Records with Mount Kinabalu now certified as having the world’s highest via ferrata or "mountain top trail".

The highest of Mount Kinabalu's via ferrata – iron road in Italian – is at an altitude of 3,776m, nearly 500m higher than the second highest track in the world at the Dolomites mountain in Italy.

Mountain Torq Sdn Bhd sales and marketing director Quek I-Gek said Guinness World Records officials issued the certification last July after a six-month effort that included survey work carried out by the state Land and Survey Department.

The certificate was presented to Sabah Parks deputy director Dr Jamili Nais here yesterday by Mountain Torq, the company that established the via ferrata trail on Mount Kinabalu.

The certificate was handed over by its executive director Wilfred Tok and witnessed by Sabah Tourism chairman Datuk Tengku Zainal Adlin Tengku Mansor.

Vertical challenge: Climbers going up the via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu.
Vertical challenge: Climbers going up the via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu.

The via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu is a route using a series of steel rungs, rails and cables embedded into the mountain’s Panar Laban rockface.

More than 5,000 people have climbed the 1.2km-high via ferrata – which includes a 22m foot bridge suspended 3,600m above sea level – since it was opened to public use on Dec 15, 2007.

Quek said that although there were more than 300 via ferratas worldwide, the route on Mount Kinabalu was the only one in Asia.

Tengku Zainal Adlin said the Guinness certification would further establish Sabah among travellers, especially those keen on adventures and eco-tourism. -- The Star Metro

"We are proud of the fact that Mount Kinabalu is Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site.

"Now, Malaysians will be proud to identify themselves with a Guinness World Record," he added. -- Star News

Nov 8, 2009

Malaysia Food

Penang Food Street
Pulau Tikus Market

Jalan Pasar. Open 5pm till late. Traders’ days off vary.

The Pulau Tikus wet market is one of the best places to head to for dinner if you are clueless as to what to eat. There are some 20 stalls offering a plethora of goodies such as mamak mee goreng, char kway teow, asam laksa, duck kway teow soup and char kway kak (radish cake).

Malaysian Food - Lok Lok

The lok-lok, or steamboat, is very popular. With over 30 types of skewered items such as cockles, quails’ eggs, prawns, squid, fish balls and meatballs, the stall attracts a huge crowd every night. Just dip your skewer into the pot of boiling water , then pour the sauces – chilli, sweet bean or peanut sauce – over the cooked items.

The chai kuih with a choice of yambean or Chinese chives as a filling is also popular. The steamed dumplings can also be lightly pan-fried.

The char kway kak at Stall 17 (open from 7–11am) has a steady stream of loyal customers; its regular patrons include wives of ministers and other state officials.

The crowd is at full strength around 8pm, which is when the market acquires a festive atmosphere.

Pudu, Kuala Lumpur
May King - Lam Mee

38, Jalan Yew, off Jalan Pudu. Tel: 03-9222 3740.

Open 9.30am-5.30pm. Closed on Mondays.

May King has been in business since 1969, and the signature dish here is lam mee. It is not the most common noodle dish around but owner Madam Chan has tweaked the recipe first taught to her by her mother-in-law – and turned it into a best-seller.

Malaysian Food - Lam Mee

The full-bodied gravy sets the lam mee apart; bursting with flavours, the thick gravy coats every noodle strand. The roast pork bits that form a garnish give the dish a home-cooked feel.

The meatballs are also well known, thanks to the addition of cuttlefish bits in each ball.

Madam Chan’s attention to detail – and talent at balancing flavours – is evident in her delicious chicken soup kway teow. The soup is sweet, and the garnishing of shallot crisps and chives perk up the dish.

Cameron Highlands
Yong Teng Cafe - Pancakes

Stall No 4 at the Majlis Daerah stalls (diagonally opposite Bank Pertanian Malaysia), Tanah Rata. Open 8am-5pm.

Head to this stall for a quick meal, which is one of the cheapest places in Tanah Rata for a simple, hearty fare. The place is run by Teng See Poh and his wife, Yong Oi Kim, who are both hearing-impaired. Communication with the friendly couple isn't a problem, however, as diners are given a piece of paper to write their orders on. There is also a full-length menu with items listed in both Chinese and English, so just point to what you want.

Yong Teng Cafe Pancakes in Cameron Highlands

The food is simple but well prepared, and the pancakes are particularly good. Fruit toppings such as banana or strawberry accompany the crepes, and for an additional 50 sen, you can have a scoop of ice-cream as well. The stall also serves nasi lemak, burgers, hot dogs, toast and half-boiled eggs. -- The Sunday Metro

Oct 1, 2009

Cameron Highlands Destination

How time flies and now we are in the 4th quarter of 2009. I've been busy and finding a little less time to update the Cameron Highlands travel destination website. It's been fun and rewarding too. Basically this site is funded by the sponsors to help support the server cost plus travel, time and effort to put up articles with information as accurate as possible, though it is not always the case.

I still find myself not knowing certain things. When I first set out to do travel writing with this website about Cameron Highlands, I thought I would run out of things to write pretty soon. After several years on, I am still filling in the gaps! Boy, are there still so much more gaps to fill up!

Doing this Cameron Highlands travel destination, I get very interesting inquiries and meet very interesting people along the way. As they said, life is the journey, not a destination, and that seems to sum up what I'm trying to do here.

Recently I make a quick pass through to Cameron Highlands; well I had some time to spare, and decided to have a quick check on a few things. It turned out to be an interesting visit despite the short duration. I only have about two hours of running around Cameron Highlands.

Hope to write up the articles soon for more updates about Cameron Highlands tourism Malaysia travel destination. Yey!

For more updates on Cameron Highlands see Cameron Highlands Tourism Malaysia Updates

Sep 4, 2009

MATTA Fair 2009

The MATTA Fair is back! Travel and tour companies would be offering plenty of MATTA Fair travel packages. So look around and see if you can hunt down some special offers.

Venue: PWTC Kuala Lumpur
Date: 4-6 September 2009
Time: 10am to 9pm

Visitors can enjoy the exciting travel bargains at the three-day fair at Putra World Trade Centre.

About 65,000 visitors are expected to visit the fair to be launched by Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

There are 830 booths and 15 foreign tourism organizations including airlines, tour and cruise operators taking part in the fair.

Matta caretaker president and fair adviser Ngiam Foon said they were excited about what visitors could gain from the attractive bargains and offers.

“This is the best time to shop and travel. Malaysians are bitten by the travel bug but will shop for value.

“Those in the industry are confident that travel will pick up in the third and fourth quarter,” he said, adding that the domestic and regional markets were expected to do well.

The fair is open to the public from 10am to 9pm. Fee per entry is RM3. EON Bank Matta Card holders will enjoy free entrance. The Star, Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press are the event’s official newspapers.

In conjunction with the travel fair, Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) which is the operator of KLIA Transit and KLIA Ekspres is offering special fares.

Visitors to the Matta fair can get one KLIA Transit return ticket for free if they buy a return adult ticket at RM70.

As for commuters on the KLIA Ekspres, they can buy their ticket at RM25 one-way compared to the usual RM35. All they have to do is purchase a minimum of three adult return tickets at RM50 each.

Related Post:
MATTA Fair 2010 promotion for Tourism Malaysia
MATTA Fair 2010 in Ipoh, Perak
MATTA Fair 2009
MATTA Fair 2006

Apr 21, 2009

Bukit Genting, Penang - Stars on the menu

Stars on the menu
By Andrea Filmer, Photos by Wan Mohizan Wan Hussein
Tuesday April 21, 2009

Vantage point: A restaurant owner has joined forces with USM's Astronomy Club to build an observatory for amateurs at his hilltop eatery in Bukit Genting, Penang.
Vantage point: A restaurant owner has joined forces with USM's Astronomy Club to build an observatory for amateurs at his hilltop eatery in Bukit Genting, Penang.

SINCE 2004, the Bukit Genting hilltop in Penang has offered visitors delicious Thai food, a breathtaking view, a fairyland atmosphere with hundreds of lights lit during the night and now, stars have been added to the list.

A new amateur observatory named the Pearl of Orion Observatory was completed on the hilltop this month and at 305m above sea level, it is believed to be the highest observatory in the country.

The observatory was the combined effort of the Bukit Genting Hill Leisure Park and Restaurant and Universiti Science Malaysia’s Astronomy Club.

Interesting topic: Dawson (right) engaged in a discussion on the universe with Jaime and Cameron (left).
Interesting topic: Dawson (right) engaged in a discussion on the universe with Jaime and Cameron (left).

Club committee member Stefan Dawson said restaurant owner Robert Tan had offered to sponsor both the land and funds to build the observatory in February when efforts to secure corporate funding fell through.

“The view of the sky from this location is amazing and we have a clear view in all directions, save a little obstruction in the south due to the contour of the hill.

“The observatory is also built in a completely unique design. Tan and his team came up with the design themselves after visiting some of the other observatories in the state,” Dawson said.

Perfect location: USM Astronomy Club members setting up telescopes at the new observatory.
Perfect location: USM Astronomy Club members setting up telescopes at the new observatory.

And the effect is indeed spectacular.

The 3.0m by 3.7m observatory with a ‘roll-on roll-off’ roof is nestled between two boats-turned-chalets and overlooks the beautiful span of Balik Pulau’s lush greenery.

“Minus the telescopes,” Tan said, “about RM70,000 went into the place. My interest in building it was to help the state’s tourism sector.

“Penang has the sea, hills and the English language skills needed for the tourism industry to flourish, so there is no reason why we should be lagging behind Malacca and Singapore,” said Tan.

According to USM Astronomy Club academic advisor Dr Chong Hon Yew who named the observatory, the sliding roof was the most convenient design for an amateur observatory.

“It is cost effective, easy to use and allows a lot of air circulation so the place does not get too stuffy.

“Having an observatory here is wonderful. The Astronomy Club had several overnight stays on the hill last year but now, we definitely plan to come up more frequently for stargazing and photography.

“We also encourage school students to come or even get in touch with us for monthly astronomy sessions,” Dr Chong said.

Curious kids: The international school students taking turns to look through the telescope.
Curious kids: The international school students taking turns to look through the telescope.

Among the first to use the observatory were 17 students from the Tenby International School in Penang who participated in a space camp recently organised by Dawson, who teaches world history at the school.

For students Jaime Gunter and Cameron McGrath, the atmosphere of Bukit Genting added to the hype of their first space camp.

“I’m looking forward to being the first to use the telescopes here.

“I hope we get to see some satellites, because normally, we only get to see them when they’re taking off and not when they’re in the sky,” said Jaime, 15.

Year 8 student Cameron, on the other hand, was anticipating other activities planned for the two-and-a-half day camp.

“We’re going to make water cannons and I want to see how high they can go.

“I also can’t wait for the jungle trek to the (Gertak Sanggul) beach. The hike is going to be winding and it doesn’t follow a straight path so I think it’s going to be really adventurous,” the 13-year-old boy said.

Admission into the observatory is free. -- The Star Metro.

Apr 14, 2009

Sarawak in Astro spotlight

Sarawak in Astro spotlight
Tuesday April 14, 2009

MIRI: Astro’s Travel and Living Network will be featuring tourism documentaries on northern Sarawak soon, a move that is expected to draw more tourists to the region.

The network will be giving prominent coverage to Miri, Unesco World Heritage Site Mulu National Park, the highlands of Bario and Ba’kelalan and other destinations in the area in conjunction with the Miri International Jazz Festival 2009 on May 9-10.

Sarawak Tourism Board chief executive officer Gracie Geikie said Astro had helped to facilitate the arrangements for the coverage.

“Travel and Living will highlight the jazz festival and air documentaries on the various places of interests that northern Sarawak has to offer, even after the festival is over.

“This will be very important for us as it will give worldwide publicity to northern Sarawak and encourage more foreign tourists to visit.

“We will continue to promote Sarawak via as many channels as possible despite the difficult economic situation. With such publicity, we expect tourists to continue visiting us,” she said, adding that the board had arranged various tour packages for tourists when they come to northern Sarawak.

The jazz festival will be held at Miri Parkcity Hotel, which faces the South China Sea on the outskirts of the city.

Geikie said the board was hoping to attract an audience of 8,000 for the two-day jazz event, adding that more than 3,000 tickets had been sold so far. -- The Star News