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Monday, January 31, 2011

Carey Island, Selangor, Malaysia

Located just off the mainland, Carey Island is well-known for the orang asli community known as the Mah Meri. They have assimilated into life with jobs in the nearby plantations and farms.

However, they have retained the unique culture and way of life. Apart from exhibitions of the traditional dances and music, Mah Meri are particularly known for their votive sculptures, fashioned from a kind of a swamp hardwood called "nyirih batu".

Drive from Kuala Lumpur to Teluk Panglima Garang on the Kelang-Banting road. From Teluk Panglima Garang, a narrow road takes you past rustic Malay villages to Pulau Carey. A bridge links the mainland to the island. The entire drive takes approximately 11/2 hours.Northwest of Morib, across the sea from Port Klang, is Pulau Carey (Carey Island). Comprised largely of oil palm estates owned by Golden Hope Plantation, the island is also home to the Mah Meri, an aboriginal tribe renowned for their traditional woodcarvings, depicting their ancestral spirits or 'moyang'.The tribe has kept the legends of their ancestors alive through these figurines and stories told to any willing listeners.Visitors wishing to tour the vast oil palm estates on the island must obtain prior permission from the relevant authorities.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia

Batu Caves is a limestone hill, which has a series of caves and cave temples, located in Gombak district, 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu or Batu River, which flows past the hill. Batu Caves is also the name of the nearby village.
The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, dedicated to Lord Murugan. It is the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia.
The limestone forming Batu Caves is said to be around 400 million years old. Some of the cave entrances were used as shelters by the indigenous Temuan people (a tribe of Orang Asli).
As early as 1860, Chinese settlers began excavating guano for fertilising their vegetable patches. However, they became famous only after the limestone hills were recorded by colonial authorities including Daly and Syers as well as American Naturalist, William Hornaday in 1878.
Batu Caves was promoted as a place of worship by K. Thamboosamy Pillai, an Indian trader.

He was inspired by the 'vel'-shaped entrance of the main cave and was inspired to dedicate a temple to Lord Muruga within the caves.In 1890, Pillai, who also founded the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur, installed the murti (consecrated statue) of Sri Subramania Swamy in what is today known as the Temple Cave. Since 1892, the Thaipusam festival in the Tamil month of Thai (which falls in late January/early February) has been celebrated there.


Wooden steps up to the Temple Cave were built in 1920 and have since been replaced by 272 concrete steps. Of the various cave temples that comprise the site, the largest and best known is the Temple or Cathedral Cave, so named because it houses several Hindu shrines beneath its 100 m vaulted ceiling.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kuala Selangor, Selangor, Malaysia

Kuala Selangor is a town located in Selangor, Malaysia, and is capital of an administrative district of the same name.
The town caters largely to tourists coming this way en route to Kelip-Kelip at Kampung Kuantan or local travellers on a trail of seafood binging. Kuala Selangor town is not particularly big and one can easily walk around without a map or a guide. There are a number of cheap food outlets and a couple of fast food joints. It is also possible to walk to the Kuala Selangor Nature Park and Bukit Melawati for a visit.

Kuala Selangor is an old royal capital of Selangor. It was conquered by the Dutch in 1784, when they successfully attempted to expand from their base in Melaka to control the tin trade of Perak and Selangor.
Bukit Melawati is a hill overlooking Kuala Selangor and the Strait of Malacca. The Dutch destroyed the existing fortifications on the hill during their 1784 invasion, and built a European-style castle, naming it Fort Atlingsburg after their commander. The fort was fought over repeatedly by the Dutch, Sultanate of Selangor and later the British, until all that remains today are some scattered ruins.

 Taman Alam Kuala Selangor (Kuala Selangor Nature Park) is a forest reserve with an area of 2.4 square kilometres just outside town on the estuary of the Sungai Selangor river. It is known for its mangrove swamps and variety of birds. There is also a firefly park in Kuala Selangor which allows visitors to go in a boat along the river to see the fireflies. A restaurant is located outside the Firefly Park for convenience.

Seafood restaurants are located in a small fishing town called Pasir Penambang after the bridge spanning the Selangor River. The seafood restaurants in Pasir Penambang serves halal seafood. Located within Pasir Penambang, there is a small seafood market where villagers as well as tourists come to buy seafood which are freshly caught by the fishermen who berth at the nearby pie

Interesting Places:
Kuala Selangor Nature Park - well known nature park for migratory and local birds & other animals at Kuala Selangor.

Kuala Selangor fishing village - fishing village with cheap seafood restaurants.

Pantai Remis - pristine beach beside Pantai Indah Resort, food and souvenir stalls open on weekends & public holidays. Stroll along the beach and collect shellfish or other group activities.

Mangrove Forest Reserve - serene mangrove
forest at Pantai Indah Resort, great for collecting seashells, small prawns, fishes, cockles, crabs, clams, hermit crabs. Excellent for educational tours and activities.

Bukit Malawati Historical Hill - where the site of the first Selangor Sultanate's Palace and Altingsburg light house are located.

Sekinchan Paddy Fields - well known as the golden rice fields of Malaysia.

Tanjung Karang fishing village - old fishing village with cheap seafood restaurants.

Kampung Kuantan Fireflies Sanctuary - well known fireflies sanctuary at Kuala Selangor.

Sungai Buloh New Market new market - selling lots of seafood and delicacies in Jeram.

Pasir Penambang market - selling fresh and dried seafood.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Blue Mosque, Selangor, Malaysia

The Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque in Shah Alam is one of the most stunning structures in the country. Commonly referred to as the 'Blue Mosque', it boasts the tallest minarets in the world. As visitors approach the mosque, the awe-inspiring blue dome welcomes them.The Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque in Shah Alam is one of the most stunning structures in the country.Commonly referred to as the 'Blue Mosque', it boasts the tallest minarets in the world. As visitors approach the mosque, the awe-inspiring blue dome welcomes them.Decorative Islamic calligraphy dominates the edges surrounding the dome and main prayer hall, while the interior architecture exhibits ethnic Malay design elements. Sunlight filtering through the blue stained glass of the mosque renders a bluish ambience to its interior, evoking a sense of peace and serenity.The Blue Mosque overlooks the Garden of Islamic Arts, a beautifully landscaped park inspired by the Quranic Garden of Paradise. Covering 14 hectares, this spiritual sanctuary houses nine galleries that exhibit a rich array of Islamic arts such as calligraphy, sculptures, paintings and architecture. Occasionally, traditional Islamic performances are held here.

Key Tips
The huge blue dome that gives the Blue Mosque its name is made of aluminium

How to get there 
By Train and Taxi
Get the frequent Komuter train from KL to Shah Alam station. From there, get a taxi for the short ride to the Blue Mosque, locally known as Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah.  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Famosa Resort Melaka

A'Famosa Resort. The name conjures up images of a bygone era, when the bustling port city of Malacca was not only the commercial hub of Asia but an exotic melting pot of cultures, ideas and architecture as well. The A'Famosa is in fact named after the famous 16th century Portuguese monument, which is all that remains today of the Portuguese fort which once formed an imposing circle of stone around the entire city. The logo of the resort also incorporates a stylized silhouette of the gateway in the background.
That romantic era may be long-gone but it can be re-lived at A'Famosa Resort, rated by many as the region's foremost leisure and holiday resort.Situated on a 1300-acre site in Alor Gajah, surrounded by rolling hills and a lush countryside, A'Famosa is a dream getaway which will entice your senses, calm your nerves and leave you totally refreshed and rejuvenated.
One of the best things about A'Famosa is its strategic location off the North-South Highway- just half an hour's drive from historic Malacca city, 45 minutes from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and about an hour from Kuala Lumpur. The resort is also extremelypopular with Singaporeans as it only takes two hours by road to go there from the Lion City. An alternative mode of travel is via rail, alighting at the Tampin Railway Station which is just a 10-minute taxi ride away.
Rightly touted as a one-stop destination for business and pleasure, A'Famosa offers an international championship 27-hole golf course, the highly-acclaimed Animal World Safari,Water World Theme Park, Equestrian Club, Resort Hotel, Villas , Condotel, excellent  conference/banquet facilities and much more. It's one of the few resorts in this region that can truthfully claim to have 'something for everyone' regardless of age, whether you're an avid golfer, animal lover, watersports enthusiast, or just someone who enjoys a blissful, worry-free escape from the hustle and bustle of modern city living.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Melaka River Cruise

About Melaka River Cruise
The Melaka River was a key reason behind what Melaka is today. The beautiful past of this great city would not have been possible had its was not bestowed with a river like this. It other words, the Melaka River significantly shaped the history of this land.
The Melaka River can be imagined as the embodiment of the Malay Sultanate of Melaka;  it was the start and conclusion of each war.  The Melaka River was perhaps one the most important incentives that lured foreign colonization. In short, the Melaka River has made Melaka what it is today. Throughout its history, the Melaka River  slowly modified its role as a busy and productive port along the import trade route of spices to a popular tourism attraction. And for your information, the Melaka River was even called the Venice of The East by European travelers who were looking for new conquests to the east of India and beyond.

Tips for Travelers
A cruise through this river is an exciting way to explore the whole city, its historical sites, the scenic beauty of the place and the simple, yet absorbing, life of its people.  The cruise is surely a tour-de-force; and the experience has been enriching ever since the state administration plays an active role in developing the river (with the objective of making it a tourism magnet!).
The idea was to make the river completely pollution-free (which they have successfully achieved), so as to develop exquisite gardens on its banks, and pave the pedestrian pathways to perfection. At present, there are 12 boats in use for the Melaka River Cruise; there are six, forty seater boats, and six twenty seater small boats plying the river currently.  These boats are constructed out of fiberglass and they are able to travel along the Melaka River even if the water were to drop to a level of about 0.8m.  They are also capable of cruising beneath the bridge even during the highest tides.  However, if the weather condition is not good then it is better to call first to confirm if the Melaka River Cruise is operational.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Zoo Melaka, Malaysia

 Zoo Melaka is located about 13km from Melaka City. It is the second largest Zoo in the country encompassing 54-acres with more than 1,200 animals of over 200 different species. It is also the first Zoo in the region to exhibit the rare and endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros and Gaur.


The Zoo was established in 1963. Since 1979, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Peninsular Malaysia took over the management of the Zoo to enhance its operations and upgrade its services for public's benefit. Zoo Melaka is easily accessible by public transportation via the city's bus terminal.

Zoo Melaka also functions as a center for wildlife research, conservation breeding, zoo education center and a popular tourist destination About 198 species of mammals, 100 species of birds and 22 species of reptiles are exhibited at the zoo

. Zoo Melaka is also a member of the South-East Asian Zoological Park Association (SEAZA) 

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, Malacca, Malaysia

Peranakan, Baba-Nyonya, and Straits Chinese are literally 3 different terms, but these names are all referring to the same unique community - the descendants of the early Chinese immigrants to the British Straits Settlements of Singapore, Malacca and Penang, who have partially adopted Malay customs in an effort to be assimilated into the local communities. Baba refers to the Male descendent, while Nyonya refers to the female.

The interesting intermarriage between the early Chinese settlers and local Malay has born a unique culture which is not commonly seen, especially in this modernized and urbanized city. Straits Chinese no longer speak the dialect of their ancestors but a language of their own known as Baba Malay a Malay patois consists of many Hokkien words.
In Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (neighboring to Jalan Hang Jebat/Jonker Street) of Melaka, there a small museum comprising 3 adjacent townhouses called the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum. Appearing to be similar in design with other old houses in the old Melaka Chinatown, this privately owned and managed museum is showcasing the best of distinctive cultural values and lifestyle inherited by the Baba Nyonya community and family. Its not exaggerating to consider this small but comprehensive museum as the gateway of your discovery to the Baba Nyonya cultural establishments.

As mentioned above, this museum comprises of well-preserved townhouses. Thus, you will be finding yourself comfortably uncovering the astonishing cultures as if you are visiting a friend. This is a traditional homey feeling which is very much differing from visiting a conventional museum with items kept inside the cold glasses and enclosures. Housed in a beautifully restored ancestral home dating back to mid 19th century, this museum is a rare treasure which succinctly captures the aura of an interesting era.

The design of this house is influenced by the neo-classical European architecture, with the building mainly framed by heavy Greco-Roman columns. The interior of the house is complemented with a number of priceless old antique furniture made of finely carved hardwood. The furniture is extremely bulky and heavy, but featuring wonderful classic Chinese work of art.

The front area of the interior leads into an open courtyard where sunshine streams into the house on sunny days and raindrops patter during the rainy season. Yes, the olden traditional Baba Nyonya and Chinese village houses are usually having an open-aired courtyard, and some are also complemented with a well to provide water supply for daily consumption.

You will be able to see some of the traditional so-called ‘Nyonya-ware’ or ceramics that were specifically commissioned by the Straits Chinese from the craftsmen in the Jiangxi and Guangdong provinces in China. The Nyonya ceramics come in multi-coloured designs and normally have a combination of green, pink, dark blue and yellow colours.
At the heart of its charm is an archive of costumes and knick-knacks that once served the Baba Nyonya lifestyle.

The entrace rates is RM8.00 for adults, and RM4.00 for children (5-12 years old). For more information, contact Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum at +606-283 1273.

Melaka Maritime Museum

Surprising and Outstanding Maritime Museum
Moving from Melaka Tourist Information Center and walking at the pathway between Samudera Medan Handicraft Shop and Melaka River for less than 10 minutes, you will reach the famous Maritime Museum. Standing in front of the museum, you will first be surprised by the magnificent structure of the museum and later, redefine the common way you perceive a museum as nothing more than a normal building.
The structure of the ship is actually a replica built according to the former Portuguese ship named “Flor De La Mar”. Centuries ago, the ship which carried a vast amount of Melaka treasures was on the way back to Portugal. However, accident happened and caused the ship to sink off the coast of Melaka. The construction of the museum according to this former Portuguese ship started in year 1990 and was opened to the public in 1994 after being officiated by Malaysia former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir.
Once you stepped into the museum, you will feel a sense of serenity through the dim light and spiral staircase. Walking down the stairs you will see models that visualize the situation of how traders from Arab, India and China conducted business with each other in order to gain profit in Melaka port, which was known as Venice of the East at that time. Porcelain, silk, textile and spices were among some of the famous merchandises being brought into Melaka by the traders.
Walking down further, you will get to see framed paintings and picture that illustrate how Melaka played its role as emporium for traders from all around the world. From those paintings, you can see how the Straits of Melaka is a strategic location for traders from both the east and the west to stop and conduct business while waiting for the monsoon season to change.

Apart from showing the significant history of Melaka Maritime, Maritime Museum also showcases the different eras that Melaka has gone through, from the Melaka Sultanate era, to Portuguese era, Dutch era to British era. With different flags, statues and illustrations representing each era, you will realize that history is no longer a series of boring lessons.
For ship fanatics, you will be thrilled by a collection of different ship models that are being showcased in the museum. From the collection, you can get to know more about the type of ships and and their functions. In the adjacent area, you can also read about the history of how Melaka became an Islamic state and the legend of famous warrior such as Hang Tuah during the Melaka Sultanate era.
There is another interesting part on the upper level of Maritime Museum. Coming out from the dim museum, you can climb the stair that bring you up to the upper level of the ship. This is where you can see diorama of a captain cabin. Although you are not allowed to walk into the cabin to have an actual look, you can still read about the roles of a captain at the door step.

In ancient time, the Portuguese captain was the most powerful person in the ship where every subordinate will have to obey his instructions. Those who were found committing crime will be sentenced by the captain immediately. He will also be the one who took full responsibility in fulfilling the mission of the king and ship owner. By visiting Maritime Museum, you will be able to understand Melaka more vividly. Apart from the educational and beneficial information you can get from the museum, this place is also one where you will find the art of architecture blended in together with the history of Melaka.
Admission Fees
The entrance fee for Maritime Museum is RM 3.00 per entry for adult and RM 0.50 for children and students. Visitors are not allowed to go into the museum by wearing shoes. You can choose to put your shoes at the shoe rack provided at the entrance door or put them into a plastic bag provided by the museum and carry it with you to the museum.

Opening hours
9am - 5:30pm (Monday to Friday)
9am - 9:00pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Further information can be obtained by calling Tel: +6 06 283 0926.

Jonker Street (Jalan Hang Jebat), Malacca, Malaysia

If you asking a local resident or tour guide to suggest a must-visit destination in Melaka, except the historical places of warship, chances are extremely high that he/she will definitely answer with firmed tone, speaking out one of these names  Jonker Street, Jonker Walk or Jalan Hang Jebat. While having variation, these names are actually referring to the same narrow street located in Melaka Chinatown.
Jonker Street, houses some of the Melaka oldest dwellings or houses dating back to the 17th century, is also informally known as the antique street. The antique shops here are featuring artifacts from different periods of colonial rule Portuguese, Dutch, and British. If you have sufficient time to stroll through the street with eagle eyes, you can easily hunt and bargain for the unique and valuable antique furniture, Chinese porcelain, brassware, cast iron beds, lamps, coins and money notes, as well as the priceless Buddha statues.
If you are looking for antiques from a trusted distributor in Jonker Street, you may feel free to visit Beyond Treasures. Beyond Treasures is armed with huge range of antiques originated from various Asia countries, and has received plenty of testimonials from foreign customers. If you are looking for shipping services to transport the large item bought, Beyond Treasures will also be more than willing to assist you with satisfying services.

Jonker Walk The Live Cultural Museum
Jonker Walk

On 19 June 2000, the Melaka State Government had launched the concept of Jonker Walk, utilizing the richness of heritage values in this narrow antique street to realize a live touristy culture street.
Through this plan, the Jonker Street is changing its cloth to play the role of Jonker Walk, on every Friday evenings, Saturday evenings and Sunday evenings from 6.00pm to 12.00 midnight. During these specially located hours, traders are lining along the pedestrian street and setting up stalls to sell and display products associated with or reflect the cultural colours, such as antique copper coins, local and ethnic traditional food, unique arts and crafts, souvenirs, ornamental jewelry, and wooden clogs. For your information, Purple Flowers Handicrafts is one the pioneers of wooden clogs crafting in Melaka. Some of the local residents who own a house in Jonker Street, are also participating in this activity by converting the house into a premise, such as food stall, which allows visitors to enjoy the delicacies while gaining a chance to have a first hand experience on the unique architectural design.

Menara Taming Sari, Malacca, Malaysia

Menara Taming Sari Anniversary Celebration The Revolving tower is located at Bandar Hilir, beside Dataran Pahlawan Megamall. This 110m high revolving tower was built using Swiss technology at a total cost of RM23mil. It is the first of its kind in the country with a revolving observation cabin, which provides a breathtaking 360-degree view of the entire historical areas in Melaka city. The air-conditioned revolving viewing cabin is equipped with 80 seats. It revolves as it rises from ground level to the top of the tower. Each viewing session would last 7 minutes. Fares for locals are RM 10 for adult and RM 5 for children, foreigner adults are RM 20 and children are RM 10.
Venue : Menara Taming Sari / Tel : 06-2881100 

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