Apr 16, 2012

Penang Wayfinding System to visit Heritage sites

Having good signage is a must for tourism Malaysia. So the new Wayfinding System in Penang should help travelers find their way around the various historical and heritage sites around Georgetown.

Pointing the way to heritage gems
By Han Kar Kay
Friday April 13, 2012
Photos by Lim Beng Tatt

THE newly-launched Wayfinding system in Penang should provide an innovative approach for tourists during their visit to historical sites along the island’s famous Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling.

The pilot project, an initiative by Think City Sdn Bhd (TCSB) together with George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) and the Penang Municipal Council, is designed to provide information on the 10 heritage sites.

GTWHI acting general manager Lim Chooi Ping said the project that cost RM167,000 kicked off end 2010.

"The first phase saw installations of seven directional signs, four maps, and 12 site panels with descriptive information.

"The 10 sites include Kapitan Keling Mosque, Han Jiang Ancestral Temple, Khoo Kongsi, Yap Kongsi, Logan Memorial, St George’s Church, Goddess of Mercy Temple, High Court, Sri Maha Mariamman and Acheen Street Malay Mosque.

"So far, we have identified other sites such as Weld Quay, Little India and Beach Street for the second phase," she said at GTWHI office in Acheh Street, Penang, on Monday.

TCSB chairman Prof Datuk Dr Anwar Fazal said the signs installed at various historical sites would give directions to tourists in Penang.

Penang wayfinding system for tourist
American tourist, Carolyn Fowle and Melissa Perham
looking at the newly installed maps found along
Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling.

"We welcome more ideas for improvement in the next phase," he said.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who officiated the event, visited several sites such as Kapitan Keling Mosque, Khoo Kongsi and Yap Kongsi.

He said this was the first initiative based on the "public-private partnership" concept between the state government and other stakeholders.

Apr 14, 2012

Penang Hill ZigZag Canopy Walk

There are many canopy walks in Malaysia, but this Penang Hill version will feature a zigzag canopy walk and rather long too at 1.6km. It will be under construction so will have to wait and see how it will turn out when it is completed. Other canopy walks that I know of include FRIM in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur and Poring Spring in Sabah. There are many others as it is very popular. It started out as a way for botanist and scientist to study the upper habitat of the canopy trees but turn out to be rather popular for tourists and travelers too! If you got a fear of heights, this tree top attraction is not for you!

New attraction on hill
By Christina Chin
Saturday April 14, 2012

WORK on a 200m-long Penang Hill zigzag canopy walk and 1.6km-long educational nature trail will commence early next month.

Access to forest: An artist's impression of the canopy walk which will be constructed in a zigzag fashion.
Access to forest: An artist's impression of the
canopy walk which will be constructed in a zigzag fashion.

The eco-tourism project, estimated to cost over RM3mil, was awarded to local engineering firm Creative Quest Sdn Bhd (CQSB) after the open tender closed on Nov 30, 2010.

CQSB director Harry Cockrell said a project team had been assembled and was waiting to start work.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said work on the project would start once the agreement was inked between the state government and CQSB in "a week or two".

The project will be undertaken in two phases and is expected to be completed in 10 months.

Phase one consists of renovation of buildings and the construction of the nature trail and canopy walk.

The second phase is to complete the nature trail and build the 'heli-pad plateau' rest area, giant swings and remaining rest areas.

Eco-tourism consultant Frederick Walker said the project would leverage on the hill's heritage and the use of green materials for construction.

The 'heli-pad plateau' is located halfway along the nature trail and will be designed with an English-style botanic garden concept. There will be creeks and water features with benches and sitting areas.

"Water will be re-circulated from the hill stream," he told a press conference yesterday.

Other features include solar-powered lighting and interactive informative signage.

He said the existing canopy walk located along Summit Road would be dismantled with the component parts reused.

He said flora indigenous to the hill would be replanted where soil erosion had occurred.

"There is already an existing path so there won't be any massive clearing or tree cutting for the nature trail," he said.

Cockrell said ticket prices had yet to be determined but assured the public that it would be affordable especially for locals.

Lim said out of five companies which attended the site briefing, only CQSB submitted a development proposal.

"Cockrell is a long-term resident on the hill and we are confident that CQSB will deliver an eco-tourism attraction that is of international standards," he said, adding that the project's concession period was 30 years.

Penang Hill Corporation is the agent for the state government in the project to be fully financed by the firm.

The canopy walk was closed in 2006 due to a termite problem but reopened in July 2007 after repair work.

It was closed after being partially destroyed by falling trees during a thunderstorm in September 2008. -- Metro

Apr 12, 2012

i-City SnoWalk, Shah Alam

i-City SnoWalk would be an interesting place for a drop in for a nice cool (cold?) off from the hot humid tropical heat of Malaysia. Definitely a tourism attraction place for me to drop by one day. It would be draw for local tourist as most of us don't get a chance to visit a temperate country during winter and see snow. So this theme park would be it!

Happy Family in i-City SnoWalk enjoying some fun snow!
Happy Family in i-City SnoWalk enjoying some fun snow!

I remembered the Mines in Balakong had one of this Snow attractions, I wonder if it is still on or scrapped. Anyway, now that I know i-City has this snowing place, would chalk it up as one of the place to visit. Besides it is easily accessible makes it one of my quick short travel destination to head out during the weekend!

SnoWalk re-opens to a bigger crowd
Thursday April 12, 2012

THE refurbished SnoWalk at i-City, Shah Alam, opened its doors to visitors late last month and the new set-up is expected to draw in more visitors to the city of digital lights.

New ice sculptures and lights have been installed in the 50,000sq ft Arctic area to include educational and interactive elements to the icy-themed park in conjunction with the 2012 science theme.

I-Bhd, the developer of i-City, spent about RM3.5mil to do up the new SnoWalk as well as to relocate the i-Walk to where the theme park is.

Gao Guang Ming, 42, from China carving a big bull ice sculpture at i-City SnoWalk
Gao Guang Ming, 42, from China carving a big bull ice sculpture at i-City SnoWalk

i-City draws in about 90,000 visitors every week and about 70% of these visitors drop by SnoWalk. The newly refurbished park targets to draw in 500,000 students within the next six months.

On average, SnoWalk can accommodate about 500 visitors comfortably at one go. The theme park has extended its opening hours on weekdays due to overwhelming response.

The management team flew in 50 expert ice carvers from Harbin, China, specifically for the task of sculpting the ice structures.

Dinosaur exhibits will also be set up at the 10,000sq ft lobby of SnoWalk to enhance the educational experience for visitors. The structures are expected to be up in two weeks time. -- Metro

Fun in the cold: Muhammad Umair Harraz and his siblings going through the ice house.
Fun in the cold: Muhammad Umair Harraz and his siblings going through the ice house.