Sep 29, 2011

Night Life in Kuala Lumpur area

Night life in Kuala Lumpur can be very exciting and colourful. Check out some of the new clubs. While you are at it, you can also go clubbing around Petaling Jaya and Subang!

New club in Bukit Bintang opens with a bang
By Christina Low
Friday September 30, 2011

THE streets behind Jalan Bukit Bintang will no longer be short of excitement, quiet and lonely with the opening of @live Kuala Lumpur music club.

Located at the Federal Arcade — close to Low Yat Plaza and the Federal Hotel — it is the second outlet for @live. The first was in Sunway Pyramid.

Assistant manager Colin Yap said he was thankful to the patrons especially those residing outside the city who has been visiting the club and showing their support.

"We have only been operating for a month and the people here have been very kind to us.

Raise your glasses: The performers and dancers toasting the guests to mark the opening of the club at Bukit Bintang.
Raise your glasses: The performers and dancers toasting the guests
to mark the opening of the club at Bukit Bintang.

"Sometimes we feel bad for not being able to accept more reservations especially from new patrons as our members and regulars reserve their seats weeks in advance," he said.

He said tenants from the various shopping malls, hotels and food outlets surrounding the club have yet to get a chance to come to the club.

Hence, when the club held its grand opening ceremony recently, Yap made sure his neighbours made time to visit the two-storey club.

"With the four-day celebrations, we are able to invite more people to come over and experience how different our club is," he said.

Guests were treated to a two-hour free flow of drinks before the outlet opened its doors to the public.

At 11pm, @live KL's 22-member music group comprising nine singers, nine dancers and four musicians came on stage to entertain patrons with various songs from Pop, Rock to Urban and Dance in English, Chinese, Thai, Korean and Japanese.

After one hour into their non-stop performance, the group took a brief break to pop champagne and toast the crowd, thanking them for their support. -- Star Metro

Besides the night life in Kuala Lumpur, there are many other other night life and clubbing around Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya. Do check them out!

Clubbing on the fringes

This week looks at the clubbing scene on the fringes of the Klang Valley. We like to call it the outer ring. Here are some of the more active clubs just outside the confines of KL.



Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel, Persiaran Lagoon, Bandar Sunway

Wednesday – Student Night ft MIDI Life Crisis. Heads up to all students out there! A weekly affair tailor-made especially for you. MIDI Life Crisis is the brain child of the duo lefunktstudio and 3MO. A playground where the two combine their skills and talents to put together weekly experimentations and creations. 18 years and above only. Present valid student ID for complimentary entry. Come in student costume to be entitled to 5 complimentary drinks. All others cover charges apply.

Thursday – Open format fusing new wave, hip hop, house, rock, anything and everything that the imagination desires. Resident DJ: Patrick Oliver from Miami, U.S.A. Free entry for Ladies. Admission (with one drink): RM40 (men).

Friday – EDM (electronic dance music) night weekly with frequent local and international guests. Admission (with one drink): RM50.

Saturday – MixTape with Patrick Oliver and lefunktstudio back to back. Admission (with one drink): RM35.

For reservations and table bookings, contact RSVP: +603-7495 1786 / +603-7495 1789 * reservation line opens from 10am - 7pm (Mon – Sat) or email or visit


OB-1E, Oasis Boulevard, Sunway Pyramid, Bandar Sunway

@ LIVE (pronounced “at live” or “alive”) is the newest dance club hotspot at Sunway Pyramid’s Oasis Boulevard strip, the first of its kind in Malaysia to provide unparalleled English (E-pop), Mandarin (M-pop) and Korean (K-pop) live dance club shows.

Chill outdoors at the Alfresco Terrace at sundown with a drink or two, or park yourself inside The Live Room to catch an eyeful of spectacular shows. Regular themed nights also mean there’s never a dull moment at @LIVE. Sunday through Tuesday provides you with the best of E-pop, M-pop and K-pop performances while Ladies’ Night on Wednesdays means there’s eye candy for the girls with plenty of male dancers executing body-popping moves and a DJ turning up the heat onstage. On the weekends, E-pop and K-pop go head to head with sprightly entertainers fuelling the creative fire at @LIVE to the hottest club hits.


Sunway Pyramid Ground Floor (orange entrance)

The Republic Bar, where the hip and the chic come to party or simply chill out, now has a swanky new face combining stylish design, lavish decor and just a dash of charming bohemian allure. Free entry all nights. Tel: +603-5631 8661 / Fax: +603-5631 8662. web:


Oasis Boulevard 3, 3 Jalan PJS 11/15, Sunway Pyramid, Bandar Sunway

Six nights a week, with the action peaking from Wed to Sat. Mostly featuring R&B and hip hop music with a little house music thrown in along the way. Cover charges apply.


Sunway Pyramid (Main Entrance 2), Bandar Sunway

Opens seven days a week. Resident and guest DJs keep the motors running with urban hip hop, dancehall and house. Call 017-224 7390 or +6016-339 0002 for reservations or information.



Curve, Mutiara Damansara, PJ

Laundry was born out of a passion for life and it’s many pleasures - music, good company, food and drinks. Laundry is also firm supporter of the local music scene as well as international artistes looking for a platform to share their love with the world.

Sunday: DJ Elvin of Goldsounds with R&B and hip hop.8Pm onwards.

Monday: The finest dub, soul, roots, reggae and chill. Every city needs a dub club. 9.30pm till closing

Tuesday: Who’s World dropping metronomes of retrospective hits, temperature funk, soul, punk, Afro beat samba, disko jazz, R&B, broken hips to hip house. 9.30pm till closing.

Wednesdays: Jason M with anything you want from hip hop, R&B to party and house.

Friday: Elvin and Vick give you hip hop, R&B, party and dance.

Saturday: New Kid On The Block DJ Vin - hip hop and R&B, party, dance. 9.30 till closing.

And it’s all free entry. Tel: +603-7728 1715. web:


Unit C-03 & C-03a, Block C, Giza Mall. Kota Damansara, PJ

Located at the heart of Sunway Giza. A live dining and music room that features the sounds of world music as well as serving up the best of Western and Asian Cuisine. MOVIDA is defined by clean and minimalist lines that accentuate a contemporary ambience mellowed with the warmth of traditional charm in the space with a perfect atmosphere for a party anytime, any day! Open Mondays to Saturdays. Tel: +603-6141 8022 Fax: +603-6141 8023. Email: Website:


Curve, Mutiara Damansara, PJ

Fridays and Saturdays from 8.30pm onwards with DJ Jason M. Call +603-7727 8330 for information. Web:


Unit D.G – 01 & 02, Block D, Menara Taiko, PJ Trade Centre

8, Jalan PJU 8/8A, Damansara Perdana, PJ

A new addition, Hex opens up to clientele who are young and appreciate variety. It’s anything from chill out and Top 40s during happy hours, with electro, house and progressive as it gets later in the evening. Opening hours - Weekdays 5pm-1am. Friday & Saturdays 5pm-1am. Closed on Sundays. Saturday: What The Hex? House music for your weekends. A night set to bring you to another level featuring the best of house music from house to progressive to tech-house, tribal and more. DJ Zecha (Honolulu, Hawaii) and KL’s DJ I_Sec. Call Izzy +6012-320 0098 / Genji +6012-214 2416 for RSVP.


PJ Trade Center, Menara Bata (Grd Floor),

8 Jalan PJU 8/8A, Damansara Perdana, PJ

Watch this new spot for Damansara Perdana, merely a couple of stone throws away from the Curve.


Hilton Petaling Jaya, 2, Jalan Barat, PJ

One of the longer standing nightlife venues in the PJ scene, Uncle Chilli’s is located just next to the lobby of Hilton PJ. Portraying a sleek, contemporary and stylish ambience, Uncle Chilli’s comprises of distinctive facets including The Cigar Lounge, private rooms, dining area, main bar and dance floor. Uncle Chilli’s offers party-goers pulsating music selection, DJ line up and live band every night. Catch resident DJ Mystyx Mon to Sat, as well as in-house DJs Pluck, Aloy, Danny, Eriq and Chinoz spinning the latest R&B, hip hop, electro, rock and house tracks on rotate from Monday to Sunday. For information on admission charges and reservations call +603-7955 9122. Website:

Base Jumping - Kuala Lumpur International Jump Malaysia 2011

There will be a Base Jumping event - the Kuala Lumpur International Jump Malaysia 2011 which will be held from Wednesday, 28 September to Sunday, 2 October 2011.

Here's an interesting write up about a base jumper. - Kawabanga!

BASE Jumping

Base jumping now a part of Archana's life
By Christina Low
Photo by P. Nathan
Friday September 30, 2011

THE slow-paced life of Archana Sardana took an about-turn after marrying her husband, an outdoor sports fanatic, a decade ago.

"He does everything from mountaineering, scuba-diving, rafting, sky diving and base-jumping," said the 38-year-old who then followed her husband's footsteps after much persuasion.

The mother of two, who is now in Kuala Lumpur for the Kuala Lumpur International Jump Malaysia 2011, said she had never participated in any sports before and had led a slow-paced life at home after graduating in interior design and science.

"My husband started me off with climbing mountains in Uttaranchal, India, and now sky diving," said Archana who came alone for the event as her husband who is with the Indian navy was away on work.

Being the first and only Indian woman base jumper is a title Archana carries with pride and hopes more women will join her in the sport one day.

Archana, who learnt her sky-diving techniques in California, United States, has completed 250 sky dives and 37 base jumps over the past three years.

It is not easy to be able to leap off a tower. Many countries do not allow it but I am glad Malaysia allows it. — Archana Saradana
It is not easy to be able
to leap off a tower. Many
countries do not allow it
but I am glad Malaysia
allows it. — Archana Saradana

This weekend she will be joining 90 others from all over the world to jump off the 421m KL Tower.

She is also one of five women base jumpers in the event.

"It is not easy to be able to leap off a tower. Many countries do not allow it but I am glad Malaysia allows it as well as encourages and supports such sports," said Archana who is in Kuala Lumpur for the second time.

The event, which started on Wednesday (28-Sep-2011), will end on Sunday (2-Oct-2011). There will be jumps from 10am to 6pm. Night jumps which were introduced last year will be held today and tomorrow from 8.30pm to 10.30pm.

Exhilarating: A jumper coming down during the Kuala Lumpur International Jump Malaysia 2011.
Exhilarating: A jumper coming down during the
Kuala Lumpur International Jump Malaysia 2011.

Visitors can watch the event at the tower's open deck with exclusive premier tickets priced at RM100 and RM150 for the day event.

For the night event the tickets are priced at RM150 and RM200.

Menara Kuala Lumpur chief executive officer Zuraidah Mohd Said and chairman Tan Sri Md Radzi Mansor launched the event on Wednesday and had a get-together session with the base jumpers. -- The Star Metro

Balik Pulau Penang Destination Promotion

Balik Pulau Penang, promotion to be a weekend destination spot
Friday September 30, 2011

BALIK Pulau will be promoted as the perfect spot for a weekend getaway and to unwind after a long work week.

Balik Pulau MP Yusmadi Yusoff said Balik Pulau has progressed from a sleepy hollow to being a bustling town.

"During weekends, many locals take a drive to the district to enjoy the famous food and fruits such as assam laksa, durians, and rambutans.

"Balik Pulau is also becoming a popular for mountain biking. I have seen an increase of such enthusiasts in the area," he told reporters before announcing the upcoming Interaksi Balik Pulau 2011 event.

To be held tomorrow and Sunday (1st and 2nd October 2011), the event is co-organised by Yusmadi’s office, the Fikrah Collective and Penang Municipal Council.

The event will be attended by Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. There will also be a poetry recital by national laureate Datuk A. Samad Said.

All set: Mohd Yusmadi (third left) and Penang Municipal councillor and Infrastructure and Transport Committee alternate chairman Ramlah Bee Asiahoo (left) looking at a banner at the Balik Pulau market complex promoting the Interaksi Balik Pulau 2011 event this weekend.
All set: Mohd Yusmadi (third left) and Penang Municipal councillor and Infrastructure and Transport Committee alternate chairman Ramlah Bee Asiahoo (left) looking at a banner at the Balik Pulau market complex promoting the Interaksi Balik Pulau 2011 event this weekend.

The event will also include a blood donation drive, an arts and craft market, and exhibitions by various government agencies as well as a motorcycle exhibition.

The festival will be held from 9am to 5pm at the Balik Pulau market complex. (Sat, 1st and Sun, 2nd October 2011). -- The Star News

Logos Hope Ship - Floating Book Fair

MV Logos Hope

Logos Hope Ship - The Biggest floating book fair in town
By A. Ruban
Friday September 30, 2011

PORT KLANG: The world's biggest floating book fair the MV Logos Hope has arrived at the cruise centre here.

The vessel, with almost half a million books from over 5,000 titles, will be here until Oct 23, Logos Hope managing director Gian Walser said.

"The ship is making its maiden voyage around the world and Malaysia is the first eastern country we are berthing at," Walser said yesterday during the book fair's opening ceremony.

The vessel had previously docked at Penang and will be making its next stop at Kuching before proceeding to Kota Kinabalu.

Some 130,000 people are said to have visited the ship in Penang.

Book lovers: Visitors browsing for books on board the MV Logos Hope at the Port Klang Cruise Centre Thursday.
Book lovers: Visitors browsing for books on board the
MV Logos Hope at the Port Klang Cruise Centre Thursday.

"Logos Hope is not just a ship with many books or a travelling international community. It is, in fact, a vision to make a difference in this world.

"Our sole purpose is to bring knowledge, help and hope to the people around the world," Walser said.

The book supply is from donors in United Kingdom and United States, while several publishers had also donated their books, he said.

"Our store has never run out of supply as we have good Samaritans filling them up," he added.

Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Senator Heng Seai Kie said the book fair was a good way to learn the diversified culture around the world.

Impressed with the non-salaried volunteers and crew on board, Heng also expressed hope that more Malaysians would take part in the journey.

There are now five Malaysians on board the Logos Hope, including a doctor, while another 25 are expected to be recruited soon.

The fair will be open to the public from 10am to 10pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays, and 3pm to 10pm on Sundays. It will be closed on Monday.

Tickets only cost RM1 and admission is free for children under 12 who are accompanied by an adult.

The books cover a range of subjects including science, sports, hobbies, cookery, arts, medicine, languages and philosophy.

MV Logos Hope is operated by GBA Ships e.V. an international charitable organisation registered in Germany. -- The Star News

Logos Hope Malaysia

Living their dreams on board the 'Logos Hope'
By A. Ruban
Tuesday October 4, 2011

PORT KLANG: Sailing around the world and doing volunteer work without a monthly salary is not everyone's cup of tea.

Five Malaysians, however, feel that they are living their dreams by volunteering on MV Logos Hope. In fact, they don't even mind paying for the accommodation and food.

"This has to be one the best choices I have ever made," said private practitioner Dr Moses Lee, 69, of his decision to be a part of the world's largest floating book fair on the ship.

Dr Lee and his 69-year-old wife Leow Hian Yook, a retired nurse, have two more months to go before completing their 13-month stint.

They have been enjoying their time on the vessel, despite several bouts of seasickness.

"We believe life has just begun for us as we still feel young and vibrant," said Leow, who worked at Hospital Kuala Lumpur for 27 years before leaving on humanitarian missions with her husband.

Leow said their three grown-up children were initially against the idea of them sailing around the world.

"They were worried about our safety. But they relented when we told them of our dreams," she added.

MV Logos Hope, which is run by a charitable organisation in Germany, will be here until Oct 23.

With about 400 volunteers, the book fair offers about 5,000 titles at affordable prices.

The book fair is opened to the public from 10am to 10pm (Tuesdays to Saturdays) and 3pm to 10pm on Sundays.

Another volunteer, Cheah Suet Yee, 27, a media and communication graduate, said: "I had always wanted to be a part of it. Luckily, I managed to join them this time by signing up for a 52-day programme," she said.

Cheah has about 20 days to complete her service.

As for Lim Zhun Ming, 19, he has just completed his A-Level examinations.

"I believe some day I will earn a modest income. For now, I feel it is better that I venture into humanitarian work and learn about the world," Lim said.

Meanwhile, Plusliner Travel & Tours will be providing bus services to visit the floating library. There will be two departures points Terminal Bersepadu Selatan-Bandar Tasik Selatan (TBS-BTS) and Port Klang KTM commuter station.

The service will cost between RM8 and RM21. For more information, please call 1-300-888-KTB (528). -- Star

More info about Logos Hope, world's largest floating book fair!

Over 500,000 book titles on Logos Hope
Posted on 26 August 2011 - 05:30am
Aaron Ngui

GEORGE TOWN (Aug 25, 2011): The Logos Hope which docked at Penang port last week has been attracting a array of tourist and visitors from all over the country.

There are so many choices of books on the 132-metre long Logos Hope that visitors are sure to find one that they like, its managing director Gian Walser said.

There are half a million titles on what is slated as the ‘world’s largest floating bookstore’, he said adding that 5,000 titles were available at affordable prices so everyone can purchase their favourite title.

“Our aim is to make it (books) available and affordable to everyone,” he said at a press conference when the ship officially opened its gangway to the public at the Swettenham Pier today.

Also present was the ship’s captain James Dyer and state Wanita MCA chief Tan Cheng Liang who officiated the opening ceremony.

The ship will be in Penang until Sept 26 before leaving for Port Klang, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.

The ship is open to visitors from 10am to 10pm on Tuesdays to Saturdays, 1pm to 10pm on Sundays and will be closed on Mondays.

Visitors have to pay a RM1 entry fee while entry is free for children under 12.

Tan said she hoped that all Malaysians can learn from the 400 volunteer crew members of the Logos Hope which come from 45 different countries.

“We can and should learn how so many people from different cultures can live together peacefully, and I hope that they (Logos Hope) will come more often to Malaysia,” she said.

One of the volunteer crew, Malaysian Melissa Krishnan, 34, said she joined the crew two years ago and has no regrets.

“It has been a fun and unforgettable experience all this time,” the electrical and electronic engineering graduate said.

Another Malaysian volunteer, 23-year-old Matthew Lee said it was a very good experience to be able to stay and work together with people from various backgrounds.

“I experienced a bit of culture shock when I first joined the crew in June but got used to it eventually and now everyone is like a family,” the engineering graduate said. -- The Sun Daily

Sep 23, 2011

Baba Nyonya Cultural Performance at Jonker Street

Baba Nyonya community thrill the crowd in Jonker Street
Story and photos by Foo Swee Lee
Thursday September 22, 2011

MALACCA: The famous Jonker Street podium was surrounded by hundreds of locals and tourists recently, as they witnessed and appreciated the colourful and cultural performances of the Baba Nyonya people.

Many Nyonyas came in intricately embroided kebayas, batik sarong and beaded sandals while the Babas arrived in colourful batik shirts and neatly pressed trousers to the event.

The Nyonyas also had their hair swept up in buns, decorated with flowers and gold pins.

The vibrant night started with the singing of Negara Ku and patriotic songs.

Looking pretty: Four young Nyonyas clad in vibrant kebaya and sarung at the Baba Nyonya Night at Jonker Street, recently.
Looking pretty: Four young Nyonyas clad
in vibrant kebaya and sarung at the
Baba Nyonya Night at Jonker Street, recently.

Some mini flags were distributed to the spectators in-conjunction with the Malaysia Day celebration.

Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam who officiated the event, urged locals to be proud of the Peranakan culture and to embrace its uniqueness as their custom was part of Malacca's heritage as it reflected elements of the Malay and Chinese assimilation.

He also said there would be an international Baba Nyonya festival in Dec where many competitions would be held at the UnescoWorld Heritage site.

A melodious evergreen Dondang Sayang number, performed by septuagenarian Nyonya Tan and Baba Boon kept the audience mesmerized throughout the event.

The duet also exchanged impromptu pantuns in a humourous style. Sri Lankan tourist, Philip Gunaraenam considered himself lucky to witness the 600-year cultural heritage performances on his second day of visit to the state.

Another performance which caught the crowds attention was the Joget Baba Nyonya which was performed by 12 gorgeously-dressed Nyonyas.

Traditional dance: The Nyonyas showcasing the Joget Baba Nyonya at Jonker Street recently.
Traditional dance: The Nyonyas showcasing the
Joget Baba Nyonya at Jonker Street recently.

The performance showcased the Joget Bimpoh (handkerchief dance) and Joget Bakul Siah (traditional Baba Nyonya basket dance).

They swayed harmoniously to the classical Peranakan tunes.

Steve Stephens, 40, from Finland said the night was an eye-opener in understanding Malaysia's multiculturalism.

"I will return and discover more cultures of this wonderful country, especially the Peranakan community," he added.

A Catwalk and Umbrella Dance performed by the SJFM group was also a highlight of the event as they sang and danced to Malay, Chinese and Indian tunes.

This eventful night was organised by the Baba Nyonya Unit in the Chief Minister's Department, in conjunction with the Merdeka celebration. -- The Star Metro

Sep 22, 2011

Lenggong Valley, Perak

Lenggong Valley in the limelight
By Sylvia Looi
Thursday September 22, 2011

PERAK'S bid to have the 50,000-year-old archaeological site of Lenggong Valley listed as an Unesco World Heritage Site looks promising with the recent visit by the organisation's valuer.

State senior executive councillor Datuk Hamidah Osman said the state government was confident of getting the site in Upper Perak into the organisation's list of cultural and natural heritage.

Vast area: A view of the Lenggong Valley where many undisturbed sites await archaeologists.
Vast area: A view of the Lenggong Valley where many undisturbed sites await archaeologists.

"A valuer from Unesco visited the site last Tuesday and it went very well. It will be a great boost to the state's tourism sector should Lenggong Valley be given the recognition as a World Heritage Site by Unesco," Hamidah told reporters at a press conference in Ipoh on Tuesday.

If successful, Lenggong Valley will become the fifth site in Malaysia to be listed as a world heritage site after Gunung Mulu National Park, Kinabalu Park and the cities of George Town and Malacca, which are listed as historic cities of the Straits of Malacca.

Hamidah, who is also state tourism committee chairman, said Lenggong Valley was the only paper submitted by Malaysia currently.

"The World Heritage Committee, which is made up of 21 members, will be vetting proposals submitted to it in June next year.

"Our Commissioner of Heritage, Prof Emeritus Datuk Zuraina Majid, will represent Malaysia in presenting our proposal then," she added.

Awesome site: A filepic of participants of the Perak Heritage Society's Lenggong Valley Trail admiring the cave where the skeleton of the famous Perak Man was found in Gua Gunung Runtoh.
Awesome site: A filepic of participants of the Perak Heritage Society's
Lenggong Valley Trail admiring the cave where the skeleton of the
famous Perak Man was found in Gua Gunung Runtoh.

Lenggong Valley is reportedly a jewel in Malaysia's archaeological crown.

Dubbed an "archaeologist's dream valley", the undisturbed site is said to have many more discoveries to be unearthed in years to come.

Excavations between 1987 and 1990 had revealed that Kota Tampan was a stone age workshop dating as early as 50,000 years ago.

It had also been discovered that there was a stone age community living around Lake Cenderoh.

Several other findings also had considerable impact on regional and world archaeology.

Old treasure: The Perak Man skeleton is being preserved with special care.
Old treasure: The Perak Man skeleton is
being preserved with special care.

Among them are the Perak Man, the only prehistoric skeleton in the world born with the congenital deformity Brachymesophalangia Type 2 in Gua Gunong Runtuh, Palaeolithic stone tool-making techniques in Kota Tampan, the migratory route of Homo sapiens from Asia to Australia, and the revelation that Southeast Asia was not the backwaters of civilisation as claimed by earlier archaeologists. -- The Star

Sep 11, 2011

Bukit Tinggi Colmar Tropicale and Japanese Gardens

Bukit Tinggi Colmar Tropicale and Japanese Gardens / Tea House

French-themed square a cool respite in Bukit Tinggi
By Melinda Roos
Monday September 12, 2011

THERE is no shortage of bustling and vibrant sceneries in Kuala Lumpur. Sometimes, you can feel the city pulsating at your fingertips just by sitting in the middle of where the action is.

Driving through its major thoroughfares on the way home at three in the morning from a night out at Changkat Bukit Bintang, I've seen the traffic congestion similar to that of rush hour. The city doesn't sleep.

We have frequent guests staying with us in our home, so we tend to go out quite often.

In the five months since we've moved I am counting six arrivals on our doorstep so afr

And Hotel Roos has no shortage of future bookings. Our guestroom has reservation dates blocked already for upcoming visits.

Too many nights out in town for weeks in a row can be dizzying.

And it is really no fun to wake up to a throbbing headache the following morning when you have two energetic young children jumping on your bed.

So to avoid these from occurring too often, I welcome the fresh mountain air as always the better alternative, a much-needed break from the usual frenzy and the heat that accompanies city living.

Bukit Tinggi Colmar Tropical French Village

Bukit Tinggi is a sight for sore eyes if you just want a respite from the regular Malaysian city landscape and a reprieve from the humid and soaring temperatures.

Nestled up at 762m above sea level and about an hour's drive from Kuala Lumpur's city centre is a little French village reminiscent of the Colmar in the northeastern part of Alsace, France.

The Colmar Tropicale is a picturesque themed hotel that looks like its been lifted out of a fairy tale storybook illustration and planted on a mountain scenery.

You'll just feel glee at the sight of this magical castle setting made up with buildings styled in typical French medieval architecture complete with clock towers, cobblestones and tiled roofs.

There is non-stop lively singing, dancing and all other kinds of live entertainment in the "town square's" stage and there is enough mix of restaurants for al fresco dining.

Whether you're in the mood for pizzas and pastas, local Malaysian cuisine, roast chicken and mashed potatoes, bakery items and cakes from their French boulangerie or even a French fine dining restaurant is on your list of choices.

I wouldn't count on the "authentic" claim though.

The pizzas and pastas are quite good actually.

Children will be more than occupied with the game machines, kiddie rides, carnival atmosphere, clowns strutting their stuff and playrooms that abound.

Or just by simply running around such a festive setting.

The place is apparently popular for company team building activities.

It is best to visit when there are no company conferences going on as the place could get really busy with groups of people running around and performing team building games and exercises.

Bukit Tinggi Rabbit Park

A few minutes drive outside of Colmar Tropicale is a Rabbit Park. Children can play and cuddle with the rabbits for a very small fee of RM3.

Bukit Tinggi Japanese Garden, Village and Tea House

There is also a Japanese Village where you can watch women in their kimono outfits conduct a one-hour tea ceremony in the Japanese Tea House or you can opt to go for a walk in the lush botanical garden.

Bukit Tinggi Golf and Country Club and Horse Riding

The mountain range is also home to the Bukit Tinggi Golf and Country Club, which has an 18-hole golf course and other facilities like a bowling alley, badminton, squash and basketball courts.

My favourite activity however is saddling up and going for some relaxing horseback riding and terrain exploration.

The Bukit Tinggi Horse Riding Trails offers just that kind of experience.

You can go on your own or with a group, together with a trail guide to discover the different hills and valleys and admire the panoramic vistas of the countryside.

Good to consider

So the next time you have guests and you're wondering where to take them after you've visited the Petronas Towers for the umpteenth time, the mountains beckon and offer a different kind of view from those of the city's towers.

It is a refreshing alternative to consider and its unhurried pace is soothing.

Bukit Tinggi is perfect for a full day's visit unless you want to do more horseback riding on the mountain trails and can't get enough of that fresh air tickling your skin.

But I am told it is monsoon season now.

I look forward to the late afternoons to evening rains that sometimes go on for the rest of the night.

The lightning and thunder rouse me up on certain nights, light sleeper that I am. But I welcome waking up to cooler mornings, refreshed by the colder breeze.

The city is starting to chill and the mountain escape will have to wait for a while now until summer dishes up its heat once again. -- The Star Metro

Bukit Tinggi Colmar Tropicale and Japanese Garden / Tea House

Four Seasons Resort, Langkawi

Four Season Resort, Langkawi

Kemewahan senibina & dekorasi tradisional
Oleh Diyana Rose Kamalludeen
Isnin September 12, 2011

Dekorasi dalam villa dua bilik yang luas dan menarik di Four Seasons Resort.
Dekorasi dalam villa dua bilik yang luas dan menarik di Four Seasons Resort, Langkawai.

NUN terpencil di penghujung Tanjung Rhu, Pulau Langkawi, tersergam sebuah destinasi percutian tropika ideal yang mengharmonikan segala keunikan warisan budaya senibina Melayu dalam membawakan pengalaman lima bintang terunggul kepada para pengunjung.

Ketenangan dan kedamaian bayu ombak Laut Andaman sedia terhampar baru mengalu-alukan kedatangan tetamu dari dalam dan luar negara ke Four Seasons Resort Langkawi dengan penuh kemesraan layanan hospitaliti yang cukup sinonim dengan masyarakat Melayu pada suatu ketika dahulu.

Ini merupakan sebahagian keunikan pengalaman lima bintang Four Seasons, yang bukan sekadar penginapan mahal sarat dengan ekstravaganza dekorasi asing.

Sebaliknya, keseluruhan konsep resort berkenaan memperincikan keistimewaan struktur kediaman Melayu lama, ditonjolkan oleh landskap kemakmuran tropikal yang menyelimuti premis resort tersebut.

Sementara senibina tradisional Melayu asli dijadikan asas konsep binaan kesemua struktur di resort itu, para tetamu pastinya menyedari pengaruh etnik Asia, India dan Arab. Ini bertujuan untuk menyingkap kepelbagaian suntikan budaya yang benar-benar mewakili Malaysia pada hari ini.

Ketelitian suntikan hiasan menyerlahkan idea sebenar di sebalik konsep dekorasi Four Seasons, bermula daripada ruang masuk utamanya yang menggabungkan unsur rekabentuk Moor terutama pada arca gergasi menuju ke ruang lobi utama berkonsep terbuka.

Kemewahan ruang tidur di Pavillion Melaleuca.
Kemewahan ruang tidur di Pavillion Melaleuca.

Inspirasi Moghul turut membingkai struktur kesemua pavilion dan villa penginapan mewah sehingga kepada motif luar biasa yang menyerikan ruang kamar mandi berlantai terazo dan marmar diimport khas membentuk seakan-akan sebuah oasis persendirian.

Diasaskan daripada konsep sebuah perkampungan Melayu tradisional, kamar penginapan Four Seasons dilengkapi sistem perudaraan ala tradisional agar tetamu dapat menikmati hembusan bayu laut sebenar sama ada dari keselesaan katil sambil menonton televisyen mahupun sambil bersantai di anjung peribadi serba luas.

Di samping itu, hiasan dekorasi dalaman juga tidak kurang kekuatan pengaruh kesenian Melayu dengan penggunaan meluas motif dan fabrik tradisi batik sebagai penghias utama walaupun masih diperkukuhkan dengan kemasan ala Arab untuk menonjolkan sisi eksklusif.

Four Seasons merangkumi 91 pavilion atau astaka dan villa penginapan bersaiz mewah. Sebanyak 68 pavilion Melaleuca dua tingkat masing-masing merangkumi empat unit dan 20 Villa Beachfront eksklusif, setiap satunya dengan bilik spa dan kolam persendirian.

Sebahagian kamar mandi Beach Villa di Four Seasons Resort
Sebahagian kamar mandi Beach Villa di Four Seasons Resort, Langkawi.

Namun paling mengujakan adalah kamar mandi. Lebih layak dipanggil ruang mandian, ia direka khusus untuk memberi ketenangan kepada para tetamu dengan inspirasi hammam (tempat mandian) atau jakuzi ala Turki juga pancuran 'hujan' di luar dalam taman terpencil tanpa gangguan.

Seolah-olah enklaf tersembunyi dalam spa eksklusif, kesemua kamar mandi menampilkan jendela langit (skylight) yang memantulkan pencahayaan suria semula jadi sekali gus memperjelaskan lagi dekorasi unik dan memberikan pengalaman luar biasa kepada para tetamu.

Bayangkan pula tahap kedamaian yang bakal dikecapi apabila melangkah ke The Spa untuk mengembalikan ketenangan dan mengimbangi keperluan diri dengan suasana serta layanan khusus bagi mententeramkan kecelaruan jiwa dari kota.

Tidak seperti mana-mana kemudahan rawatan seumpamanya, The Spa berjaya melangkah kembali ke dunia lampau untuk mewujudkan sebuah perkampungan Asia yang maha tenang, berlatarkan cenuram kapur dramatik dan dikelilingi kolam teratai.

Kamar mandi inspirasi halaman Turki.
Kamar mandi inspirasi halaman Turki.

Selesai bersantai dan memanjakan diri seharian, para tetamu tidak perlu susah payah mencari makanan.

Sebaliknya, hidangan Melayu asli atau gabungan menu gourmet Asia disediakan dalam persekitaran paling sempurna di restoran Ikan Ikan, Serai dan Kelapa Grill.

Untuk maklumat lanjut mengenai Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, layari -- mStar