Durian Fiesta in the middle of the jungle in Kampung Bidak, Padawan Kuching

December 14, 2015 by  
Filed under General

Everyone loves the King. Don’t you all love the King of Fruit, durian? Sarawak now is haven with durian season in full swing since last month. Bountiful harvest throughout Sarawak.

Durian Fruit

Durian Fruit

We were invited by our friends to go eat durian right off the tree in the jungle. This is an offer that we cannot resist. So off we went on a Sunday morning to Kampung Bidak, Padawan Kuching. It was a 45 minutes drive from Kuching city. Along the way, all we saw were durians being sold at the roadside. Durian! Oh durian!

We were told that because of the recent haze here in Borneo, it caused most worms to die off, enabling the durian trees to bear fruits successfully. Upon arriving at the village, we have to trek through jungle trails that took us about 30 minutes to reach the site.

Once arrived, we were greeted with lots of durians on the ground. My friends even managed to open up one along the way to the site as all over us, there were many durian trees bearing fruits. We then picked the big durians to open up and just ate, ate and ate. As the durians came from different tree, the taste of each durian differed. Some were milky sweet, some were bitter sweet, and some were just plain sweet.

Enjoying our durians

Enjoying our durians

We ate to our heart’s satisfaction. Each of us paid only RM10 per person to enjoy this bountiful harvest.

Picking our durians

Picking our durians

We bought a few more durians to bring home, and we head back home as some members were really tired from the trekking while the rest of the group continue another half hour trek to Sebarau waterfall further uphill, where the water is clear, cool and refreshing.

It was indeed an enjoyable day. We then drove back to city, being greeted by villagers selling durians along the way. It beats buying durians from the traders at MJC, where it is more expensive, and the flesh not as thick. We returned home feeling satisfied, full and happy. What better way to spend the day than with the King of Fruits. It is a day like this where you really appreciate God’s Gift of nature to us humans.

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‘Lan Berambeh’, an annual event for Sarawakians in Peninsula Malaysia

October 28, 2015 by  
Filed under General

Lan Berambeh, which translates to “Let’s Stay Over” in Sarawak language, had been gaining popularity among Sarawakians in Peninsula Malaysia, especially in Kuala Lumpur.

Lan Berambeh programme

Lan Berambeh programme

In the recently held event on 24th of October 2015, it had gathered about 10,000 Sarawakians attending the dinner. The dinner was graced by Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Tok Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib.

This event was held to support the Sarawakians studying, working and living in Peninsula Malaysia, as well as somewhat healing the homesickness of their home and family.

Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud had launched the dinner that night and a short video titled “Kamek Anak Sarawak” was shown afterwards.

Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud

Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud

Image credit to Regional Corridor Development Authority (RECODA)

Apart from the dinner, a carnival was held at Putra World Trade Centre from 9 am to 11 pm on the same day. This carnival welcomed everyone who wanted to know more about Sarawak and not only Sarawakians. The carnival had managed to show the uniqueness of Sarawak and the culture to Peninsula Malaysians who attended the carnival. The stalls selling Sarawak products such as food and handicrafts were erected on that day.

There were also convention sessions for Sarawakian students in the afternoon. There were 4 sessions in total; Education by Yang Berhormat Liwan Lagang, Socio Economy by Datuk Seri Richard Riot, Rural Development by Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and Politics by Hajah Nancy Shukri.

The annual event which was open to the public, was a platform for Malaysians to familiarise themselves with Sarawak culture. The first ‘Lan Berambeh’ was held on 2008, and by then it was only a dinner gathering for Sarawakians. Over the years, it has become a platform to exhibit Sarawak’s unique culture and craftwork while reuniting ‘anak Sarawak’ in Peninsula Malaysia.

Hopefully, this joyous event will continue in foreseeable future so that people from Peninsula Malaysia will get to know Sarawak better.

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Kuching Marathon 2015

August 21, 2015 by  
Filed under General

Kuching Marathon had kick-off on 16 Aug 2015. There were thousands of people flooding Padang Merdeka that Saturday in order to join this event. This year was the second time this Kuching Marathon was held as last year’s marathon had been a great success.

There were 4 categories for this marathon; 42km full marathon, 21km half marathon, 10 km run and 5km run. The first category flagged off as early as 3:00 am, while the others started at 5:00 am, 6:00 am and 7:30 am respectively. Several medical posts, drink stations, bar & gel stations and food station were set up along the route.

Flagged off at Padang Merdeka

Flagged off at Padang Merdeka

Image credit to The Borneo Post

First of all, we would like to applaud each participant for bracing the chilly 3:00 am breeze in order to participate in the 42 km marathon. After being flagged off, the participants passed through Jalan Muhibbah, then crossed the river via Jambatan Tun Abdul Rahman Ya’akub which locals usually refer to as Jambatan Satok. They passed Jalan Astana, then Jalan Semariang and probably saw the Kuching North City Council building on top of the hill. After that, they continued to Jalan Diplomatik, Jalan Bako then passed through Borneo Convention Centre and Sarawak Energy before continuing their run to Jalan Pending, then to Jalan Padungan before finishing the marathon. Sounds tough, isn’t it? Even by car, the journey would probably take about 1.5 hour.

42km Full Marathon Route

42km Full Marathon Route

Image credit to Kuching Marathon Official Website


For half marathon, instead of passing Jalan Semariang, they used Jalan Astana, straight to Jalan Demak and they passed toll plaza before crossing the river via Jambatan Tun Salahuddin, then continued to Jalan Pending and Jalan Padungan to finish the run at Padang Merdeka.

21km Half Marathon Route

21km Half Marathon Route

Image credit to Kuching Marathon Official Website

For 10 km run, the route took them around the city centre and the outskirt. They used Jalan Dato Ajibah Abol, which is the main road to Kampung No 1 to Kampung No 6. Yes, you read that right. There are Kampung No 1, Kampung No 2 until Kampung No 6 in Kuching. Then, they passed through several villages such as Kampung Mataim, Kampung Parit Lama, Kampung Laruh and Kampung Dagok before passing by Jambatan Satok. Then, after running through Jalan Merdeka and Jalan Tun Abdul Rahman Ya’akub, they returned to Padang Merdeka by Jalan Haji Taha, then to Jalan Market and Jalan Gambir.

10km Run Route

10km Run Route

Image credit to Kuching Marathon Official Website


The 5 km run covered only city centre and Jalan Dato Ajibah Abol and Jalan Muhibbah before going back to the finish line.

5km Run Route

5km Run Route

Image credit to Kuching Marathon Official Website

The first prize for 42 km open category was RM15,000, while the total prize money for the winners from first place to 10th place for all categories was RM125,000. The winners for 42 km and 21 km male and female open categories were mainly from Kenya with Julius Kimtai Rotich as the first place winner for 42km open category for male, and Ruto Beatrice Jepkorir for female category.

Winners for Kuching Marathon 2015

Winners for Kuching Marathon 2015

Image credit to The Borneo Post

Furthermore, the first 200 runners of 42km Full Marathon and 21km Half Marathon who crossed the finish line had received Special Top 200 Finisher Tee. Of course, everyone who finished the run had received finisher t-shirt.

We hope the marathon will be organised as a yearly event. As Sarawakians, we know that this is the perfect opportunity to put Sarawak, especially Kuching as its capital, in the world map as a sports tourism city.

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7 Tips to Protect our travel documents when we go holiday

June 1, 2015 by  
Filed under General

Nowadays with the cheap or low cost airline that seems to fly to every destination around the world, it has only encouraged us to travel even more.

Being a tourist in an overseas or foreign land, we must make sure that we take care of our personal belongings especially our passport, credit cards, debit card and our cash especially.

So here below are 7 steps for us to take note of:

1) Before we travel, we must scan or take a photo of our passports (inside front page), and then email to our own email so that we would have access to it in case we lose our passports. Of course, the best way besides this is to commit to memory our passport numbers and details.

Passport


2) The first thing to do if we lose our passport in a foreign land is to lodge a police report, and then call our embassy to get a temporary documents so that we can leave the country.

3) It is also good that we inform our family members that we have arrived at a new destination, and which hotel we will be staying. Give them our local mobile number. You never know when things might happen and our loved ones back home needs to know where we are and that we are safe, eg. If there is an earthquake for example.

4) Credit cards, debit cards, and ATM cards are our best friend when we travel. My advise here again is to commit to memory the banking cards number when we travel, and to also scan the front and back and email to ourselves in PDF for record purposes and for retrieval when we needed them.

Credit card


5) We must also inform our credit card banks that we would be at which country on which date on holiday. Some banks are strict and may block us if there is a transaction done overseas for fear of fraud.

6) There are also those waist pouch that we can buy and wear inside our shirt. So we keep our travel documents safe from pickpocket.

7) For me, I always keep my documents inside my luggage bag, and all zipped up and locked while I go out sightseeing. There is the fear that I may lose my documents or cash while outing. So if I am travelling long distance, do not buy cheap luggages but buy those of good quality and sturdy ones as after all, it is better to keep your belongings safe than  go missing later.

Well, I hope the 7 tips above are useful for you on your next trip overseas.

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AirAsia now requires passengers to print and tag their own luggages

December 2, 2014 by  
Filed under General

Air Asia the low cost carrier recently upped its self service requirement whereby now, all passengers are required to print and tag their own baggage from the self-service kiosk machine.

Passengers can now check-in using self-service kiosks, tag their own bags, and deposit them at a self-service bag drop without the assistance of an airline agent.

I first had my experience of tagging my own bags in Amsterdam early this year.  It was something new for me, given that I have travelled frequently around Asia but I had not experienced this self-tagging my own luggage before. I had travelled with KLM, the Dutch airline. When we arrived at the airport, we had to go to a computerised compartment to drop our luggage in there.

Bag Drop Machine at Amsterdam Airport

Bag Drop Machine at Amsterdam Airport

The door would not close if the luggage was not placed properly. It would also not close if the luggage was larger or heavier than the allowable size. After the door closed, we then had to press a few buttons to print out the baggage tag. Needless to say, I actually felt rather hopeless at that time because I did not know where to press to print out the baggage tag.  A few airline agents were on hand to guide us. Thank God for that!

So this system has now arrived at our shore. I experienced it recently at Kuching International Airport. After queuing up and waiting for my turn to drop my luggage, I was told that I needed to print my baggage tag from the kiosk machine. It was a hassle because I was not aware that it had been implemented early this month. So I obediently went to the kiosk machine to print out the baggage tag and gave it back to the Air Asia officer behind the counter and she sticked it onto my luggage and checked in my luggage.  So now, not only do you have to arrive 2 hours earlier prior to your departure, you are recommended to arrive at least 3 hours earlier, as you need to print and tag your bags, then queue up to drop your bags and this actually took time as sometimes what happens if the machine broke down or if it is a festive season and many people are travelling.

AirAsia self-tagging kiosk

AirAsia self-tagging kiosk

On my return trip from Kuala Lumpur back to Sarawak, I anticipated that it may take some time to do all this self-check in and I arrived 3.5 hours earlier but was happy to find out that the machines were not yet working and our bags were still being checked and tagged by the airline officer behind the counter.

Well folks! If you are reading this article, do be prepared to do everything yourselves when travelling with AirAsia or even if going to overseas. Once this system is implemented in KLIA2, I would recommend you to arrive at least 3 hours before departure time because it takes time to check in and the airport is very big. You need a fair bit of time to reach your departure gate and if you are travelling with your elderly parents or kids, it will take longer to reach the departure gate. Good Luck & Enjoy Flying with AirAsia! The airline where everyone can fly!

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Rare Fruits that can be found in Sarawak

November 2, 2014 by  
Filed under General, Sarawak

Sarawak has many types of rare and exotic fruits that you may never heard of. Below are the types of fruits for you.

1. Dabai

Dabai is a type of fruit that can be eaten after being soaked in warm water with a pinch of salt. Locals usually eat this fruit by itself or it can be eaten as a side dish for rice. Furthermore, you can easily find Dabai Fried Rice at local restaurants when this fruit is in season.  Dabai’s skin is black while the flesh is yellowish.

Dabai

Dabai

Dabai Seed

Dabai Seed

Image credit to MalaysianVegetarianFood.com


2. Tampoi

Although you can find tampoi in Peninsula Malaysia, the fruit are mostly found in Borneo. The locals have many different names for this fruit. Some called it Larah, Terai, Rambai Hutan or Setei. The Ibans called it Kejira. The outer appearance of this fruit is round with brown colour, and the flesh is usually white or yellow.

Tampoi

Tampoi

Image credit to MalaysianVegetarianFood.com


3. Uchung

This fruit is also called belimbing hutan (wild starfruit) by the locals. It was shaped like a teardrop, with ridged surface. Peel the fruit to taste the white pearly pulp. In rural areas, you can find jeruk uchung (uchung pickle) sold at the village grocery store.

Uchung

Uchung

Image credit to MalaysianVegetarianFood.com


4. Asam payak

Asam payak is a fruit that can be found in the jungle of Sarawak. It has a sour taste, and can be bitter when eaten unripe. The skin is red and scaly, and you need to remove the skin to get the juicy and sour fruit inside. This fruit is usually used to make umai and sambal belacan. Because of its sour taste, the locals make pickles out of this fruit.

Asam payak

Asam payak

Image credit to MalaysianVegetarianFood.com


5. Terap

Terap is closely related to jackfruit and breadfruit.  It has scent that smelt similar to durian, and the fruit pulps taste creamy. You can even eat the seeds when it was fried.

Terap

Terap

Image credit to MalaysianVegetarianFood.com


6. Engkalak

The ripen fruit has pink colour. Soak the fruit in warm water for a few minutes before eating. The creamy taste of the fruit is perfect to be eaten with rice.

Engkalak

Engkalak

Image credit to MalaysianVegetarianFood.com


7. Salak

The most famous fruit when you visit Serikin. You can easily find this fruit there, since this fruit is not seasonal. Some even called this ‘snake fruit’, as the skin bears a resemblance with snake’s skin.

Salak

Salak

Image credit to MalaysianVegetarianFood.com


8. Terung dayak

This is actually a type of vegetable, and you cannot eat it raw. Usually, it is cooked in simple broth or stir-fried with sambal.

Terung dayak

Terung dayak


9. Mawang

This fruit is actually a type of mango. There are also other names for this fruit such as Embang and Embawang. The fruit can be either round or oval.

Mawang

Mawang

Image credit to MalaysianVegetarianFood.com


10. Kechala

Most people use the flower buds (known as bunga kantan) in their cooking, especially laksa. It tastes a bit sour.

11. Senggang

Mainly found in Sarawak rainforest, this fruit is a type of ginger which actually tastes a bit sweet and sour.

12. Kasai

This fruit is a bit like longan, but bigger in size. It tastes sweet, and the flesh is clear white. The skin of this fruit is hard, so to crack it open, you need to crash it to something hard. A tip from the local vendor, you can squeeze two of this fruit together in your fist to crack it open.

13. Serait

Some called it mujau, buah redan or buah putit. It was actually more like a hairless rambutan. The taste is almost the same with rambutan and some even taste sourer than the other.

Serait

Serait

Image credit to MalaysianVegetarianFood.com


You may find these rare fruit at Pasar Tamu at Kubah Ria on weekends. Some of them are hard to find, and some can only be found at rural areas, but you had to try them when you find them.

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Review Of Kampua Noodles From Sibu Sarawak

October 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Best Kuching Eateries, General

Kampua noodles or fondly known as Kampua mee originated from the Foochow community, when they brought their favourite noodles to Sarawak when they came here to settle down centuries ago. The noodles are tossed in pork lard or vegetable oil, fried shallots, spring onions and soy sauce and/or chili sauce for that additional taste.

Delicious looking Kampua Mee, ready to be eaten

Delicious looking Kampua Mee, ready to be eaten


The social and cyber space have been abuzz with this new latest instant kampua noodles (kampua mee)  which comes in a transparent bag with 5 rolls of instant noodles inside, together with 2 sachets  of seasoning per roll of noodles.  We never actually went out to hunt for it until a relative from Sibu graciously gave us a bag to try.

Here is our review of the kampua noodles.

The noodles come in several varieties. They are white soya sauce, black soya sauce, round noodles and flat noodles.

The packaging of the bag seems to tear easily. They could work on the packaging but we saw that they are coming up soon with the newer packaging and they have also been listed in the top 20 listing of 2014 Innovation Business Challenge recently.

There are 5 rolls of noodles inside the transparent bag, with their own packaging. Each roll comes with 2 sachets of seasoning of soya sauce, stir fried shallots and oil.

Instant Kampua Mee from Sibu

Instant Kampua Mee from Sibu

First, you boil about 1.5 cups of water and then put in the noodles. You may need to boil the noodle for about 5-7 minutes. To have a more springy and firm texture, you are recommended to remove the noodles from the hot boiling water and then blanche it into cold water for a second and then remove it. Pour the noodles into a bowl.

Next, if you want a more tasty kam pua noodle, most people like to eat it with more additions of stir fried shallots. After you have set the noodles aside, heat up your wok and while the wok is heating up, pour in some oil. At same time, dice up some shallots and pour it into the wok and stir fried it until it is golden brown. Then you toss about 2 teaspoonfuls of the fried shallots and garnish it over the noodles.

You may also chop up some scallions to garnish the noodles. Kampua noodles is not complete without a few slices of BBQ pork meat. You may buy some from outside vendors and cut up a few slices onto your noodles.

Kampua Mee, a famous dish among Foochow people

Kampua Mee, a famous dish among Foochow people

There, we are sure you will love this Kampua noodles. If you eat the Kampua noodles just on its own, the small amount of fried shallot in the seasoning may be insufficient to give you that tasty aroma. Do add in some chilli sauce for that addition of spicy flavour to your noodles.

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Airasia Stopped Self Check-In Kiosk Services at KLIA 2

July 18, 2014 by  
Filed under General

Attention to all travellers! AirAsia had discontinued their self-check-in kiosk services at KLIA2 on 22 June 2014.

It seems like the service was found to be incompatible with the new system which is integrated with INTERPOL’s I-Checkit System, a tool to detect and prevent illicit transactions and identity theft of the public and private sector.

This incompatibility had caused kiosk check-in at KLIA2 incapable of providing the same protection against the INTERPOL’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD).

Airasia self check-in kiosk services at KLIA 2

Airasia self check-in kiosk services at KLIA 2

Image credit to the AirAsia

This service is currently being revised and AirAsia will implement native check-in kiosks at KLIA2 and will announce accordingly when they will be made available. Apart from that, guests can still utilize Self Check-In via Web or Mobile. These self-check-in services are available from 14 days up to 1 hour before departure for all AirAsia flights while guests need to check in up to 4 hours before departure for AirAsia X flights.

To check-in, guests may receive their boarding pass via email and smartphone users can also use mobile QR code to check-in. All passengers are advised to print their boarding passes to avoid upcoming problems. Guests can also opt for manual check-in which comes with a RM10 fee.

Airasia self check-in

Airasia self check-in

Image credit to the AirAsia

These self-check-in services were made for passengers’ convenience, so they do not have to queue up before departure. All you have to do is check-in, print your boarding pass, baggage drop at the counter and voila, you are good to go. People usually would not care about the backend operation where there will be a security check by AirAsia. It is essential that they stopped self-check-in kiosks for now to avoid global identity theft and international crime or human trafficking being commited.

Even though it might trouble some people who use self-check-in kiosks often, it does not stop people from traveling all over the world on AirAsia’s flights. So, instead of being hung up on the discontinuity of self-check-in kiosks, use other check-in methods available and enjoy your vacation!

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Kuching, The Cat City – It is not just about cats

February 7, 2014 by  
Filed under General

Kuching is the capital of Sarawak. While it is a famous tourists destination, it also has a unique name. When Malaysians hear the name, the first thing that pops to their mind is cat. “Kucing” means cat and “Kuching” is the old spelling for it. Cat statues can be seen in the city mostly in the Golden Triangle of Kuching. Contrary to the belief that the city got its name from felines straying around the city, it is not how it got its name.

The Great White Cat Statue in Kuching dressed for Chinese New Year

The Great White Cat Statue in Kuching dressed for Chinese New Year

The city was called Kuching since James Brooke arrived and nobody knew when it started to be called that name. Some said that it was supposed to be “CoChin”, which means “harbor” in India. Merchants from India used to stay in Kuching on the way to China or on their way back home.

Other theory states that it was named after a tree, “pokok mata kucing” or “dragon’s eye fruit” (Euphoria longan) that could be seen on the riverside of Sungai Kuching. Another source said that the name Kuching was taken from the name of the river, Sungai Kuching, that used to exist between Chinese Museum and Tua Pek Kong. However, the river is no longer there as they have built the roads.

Sarawak was ruled by the Brookes or widely known as the Rajahs from 1841 to 1941. Throughout the years, lots of colonial building had been established.

Astana viewed from the Kuching Waterfront

Astana viewed from the Kuching Waterfront

Kuching has many interesting heritage for people to see. Historical buildings, built mostly along Sarawak River, have been revived by the Sarawak Heritage and Tourism Ministry. As most of them are popular tourists’ destinations, the buildings are well maintained. The Astana, once home for the White Rajahs of Sarawak is situated across from Kuching Waterfront. It can be viewed from Waterfront or you can hop on the sampan to take a close up view of Astana. Fort Margherita is also across the river and to go there from The Astana, you can walk there by passing the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building.

Brooke Memorial, situated in front of Old Kuching Courthouse

Brooke Memorial, situated in front of Old Kuching Courthouse

At the Waterfront, you can see the Square Tower, near the grand stand. Water fountains are situated in front of the tower and colourful lights illuminate the fountains at night emphasizing the features of the tower. From the tower, Brooke Memorial that is in front of the Old Kuching Courthouse can be seen across the road. It displays the silhouette of Charles Brooke, the second White Rajah of Sarawak. The Old Courthouse is now known as Sarawak Tourism Complex. It also houses Magenta Restaurant, the winner of The Most Innovative Fusion Restaurant by Tourism Malaysia in 2010. You can reach The Round Tower after a short walk north of the courthouse. Near the tower is the General Post Office building and The Pavilion which houses the Textile Museum.

General Post Office Building that was built in Kuching in 1931

General Post Office Building that was built in Kuching in 1931

Nowadays, Kuching is a popular tourists destination in Malaysia. People from Peninsula Malaysia often visit this city for holiday. Apart from shopping, places like Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Sarawak Cultural Village and Jong’s Crocodile Farm may be another few favourite stop for these tourists.

Having said that, after the city tour of Kuching, if you are into nature and adventure, your main stop would be Bako National Park. If you are into culture, your favourite stop would be Sarawak Cultural Village.

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Regatta – The event Sarawakians should not miss

January 24, 2014 by  
Filed under General

Regatta is a type of sport gaining popularity in Sarawak especially in Kuching and Baram, Northern Sarawak. Regatta is held annually in both places. This sport usually has 15 to 20 peddlers and 1 person is the leader of the team guiding them. According to Sarawak Tourism, it is held on 12 – 14 September 2014 this year for the event in Kuching and on August 2014 for the one in Baram.

A longboat with its paddlers in front of Dewan Undangan Negeri, Kuching
A longboat with its paddlers in front of Dewan Undangan Negeri, Kuching

Multicultural and peaceful as it is nowadays, there was a racial war in Sarawak among local tribes a long time ago. To solve this, Sir Charles Brooke proposed the boat race to change the way of their dispute against each other. Instead of headhunting, they battle each other in boat race to prove their strength and power.

Enough with history. Let’s focus on the main event.

In 2013, the race category was divided into 4 categories. They are Balok Boat, Bidar Boat, Kenyalang Boat and Tambang Boat. Mostly the races were in Bidar Boat category.

Dragon boat race was introduced last year and foreign teams from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other Asian countries participated in this race as well. The boats were shaped like a dragon, featuring the head and tail of a dragon.

Boats in Sarawak River in front of Astana
Boats in Sarawak River in front of Astana

Different races have their own unique attributes of their boats. Boats that are used for the race are usually the longboats. For example, the Malays have their Perahu Balok (Balok Boat) that is originally created from a whole timber tree trunk using simple instruments such as the “parang” and “beliong” to cut down the tree. The Melanau Community has a few types of boats, known as Bahong, Badong, Bakong, Buangan and Bidar. Orang Ulu’s boats are called “Haruk Adang usung Tingang” which means “flying boat with hornbill bow”. There are many other boats that belong to the other races. Since each of the boats have their own unique features, it would take an entire different article to be written about it.

The boats were given interesting names such as Burong Raja Wali Senang Hati (Happy Kingfisher), Tidak Disangka (Unexpected) – that sounded cooler in English, Seri Bulan Pelandok Dara (Moon Virgin Mousedeer) and Bendera Baru Note Sarawak (Flag New Note Sarawak). Most of the names sounded intriguing, and kudos to them for coming out with such names.

The roads leading to the area are usually closed to give way to the event. Hundreds of local vendors could be seen at the roadside along Waterfront. Furthermore, many other activities held during the event such as duck catching event, kayaking and Brooke Swim. For those who wonder what the duck catching event was, well, you should not be. The name says it all. Ducks were released into the river for people to catch. It must be fun to watch people chasing ducks in the river while the ducks only think about running for their lives. Brooke Swim is an event where 20 people swim from Sapi Jetty to Waterfront grand stand.

Duck catching event in Sarawak Regatta
Duck catching event in Sarawak Regatta

Traditions, old and ancient as it is, are priceless. People learn from their past. In this case, instead of battling in a war, they battle in a race. Now, we can live in harmony and understand each other albeit having different race and culture. Win or lose is an experience people had at least once in their lives, and by working together, it makes the victory sweeter or the losing less painful.

People viewing the race from Kuching Waterfront
People viewing the race from Kuching Waterfront

Well, we sure cannot wait for this exciting event. Hope to see you there this year!

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Puerto Princesa, Experience the Greenest Spot in the World

December 7, 2013 by  
Filed under General, Offer

For the first time ever, in year 1894, Puerto Princesa was recognized by the government authorities as one of the most beautiful towns in the country. Buildings and other infrastructures were well placed in orderly manner streets and houses were categorized as the cleanest in the community.

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National ParkPuerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

Puerto Princesa is known for its Eco-Tourism Center of the Philippines. In recent years, the city has seen a remarkable number of tourists coming in and out of the town. Ranging from business purposes to family vacations as well as honeymoon spots.

The subterranean River National Park, located 50 km north of the city, was named as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. This is the starting point to travel to Tubbataha Reef.

In terms of culture, waves of migrants from other Philippine provinces and even other countries have turned Puerto Princessa into a melting pot of various cultures. They have tribes such as the Cuyonons rich in legacy of folklore and traditions. And also the indigenous group such as the Tagbanwas, Palawanos, Molbogs and Bataks whereby each groups have its own distinct and culture system of beliefs. With such a mixed culture, it will definitely blow your mind away.

So, are you excited yet to travel to Puerto Princesa? Or would you like to know more about it? Here are a few points that you might want to do once you are there.

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is a beautiful river stream with the limestone and grandeur display of stalactites and stalagmites. You will also get to experience the close up view of the flora and fauna and a boat ride from the river stream down under the cave.

Secondly, it is a renowned world heritage center declared by UNESCO. The Tubbataha Reef is one of the New 7 Wonders of the world. This is a must place to see and to experience it personally to get to know what makes it as one of the New 7 Wonders of the world.

The Honda Bay is located at the eastern shore of Palawan Island. This is one of the best places to go to for snorkeling activity especially at the Pambato Reef. You want it to be more adventurous? Well then, here is what you can do at Honda Bay. Rent a boat and go for a boat ride and hop from one island to another for the next 45 minutes.

You want a comfortable peace and quiet time to relax? Well, try the Sabang beach. It’s a place with resorts and definietely the right place to be if you want that peace and quiet moment.

For those of you who wants more to be on the outdoor no worries. There is the Ugong Rock. It is a 75 foor limestone with great challenges waiting for you just around the corner. You can even climb into its tight spot cave corner just to take a closer look and see the inner beauty. This is perfect for those who love spelunking activities.

Last but not least, the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm will take you back in time on what the American territorial was like back during those days. It is a historical area that depicts their daily activities.

Other than that, in Puerto Princessa there are several museums such as the Palawan Museum, PSU Museum, and Heritage Center. The Plaza Cuartel is a restored historical area where a total of 143 World War II American soldiers where held prisoners by the Japanese army. For shopping, you might want to hit the Rizal Avenue. It’s place where you get to find all sorts of handicrafts and many gift shops available here.

Now is the best time to go because MASwings Airline is opening up direct flight from Kota Kinabalu to Puerto Princesa. The fare is very cheap also. It takes only 1 hour and 20 minutes  to fly from Kota Kinabalu to Puerto Princesa.

Book now at www.maswings.com.my

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Asia music Festival Rocked Miri Sarawak

October 17, 2013 by  
Filed under General

Miri is getting its status as a Music Festival City after hosting the Asia Music Festival 2013. There were a large number of groups, bands and individuals performing during the festival. The performers for the festival are from different Asian countries such as Indonesia, Korea and India. The festival attracted people from neighboring countries too such as Sabah, Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore.
The international performers who performed during the music festival are the Bembol Rockers, Vstar, Anthony Dassan, Soesah Tideor, Foxy Girls, Boy Thai Band, Tritha and Fakhrul Razi. Bembol Rockers is a band from Philippine and they perform the jazz, swing and blues genre of music. Vstar is a South Korean female group and were trained under the supervision of a prominent Korean musical director. Anthony Dassan, a performer from South India is a Tamil folk song player who used to play his music for his urban audiences. “Soesah Tideor” or in English, “Insomnia”, is a band from Indonesia and they play their own style of music which is the mixture of dangdut, keroncang and rock. Foxy Girls, a female group from Indonesia are made up of three girls and was established in 2011. The type of music genre that they bring is from the blending of RnB, Pop and Malay. Boy Thai Band, a traditional band from Thailand and are known as “Commandos of traditional Thai Music in the Globalization Age”. This band gave the audiences a refreshing feel of traditional style music. Tritha, an artist from North India, and also a supporter of women’s right who include her ideas in her songs. Fakhrul Razi, is an independent singer and songwriter from Brunei. He did a great job on stage with his energy and voice.
There are also be local artist who performed during the Asia Music Festival in Miri. Bands such as Hevance, Mountain Wind Band, and Starlets Band performed some local music for the audiences. There are also be two local singers, Melissa Francis and Bob Yusof. Hevance, is an Iban Rock band from Bintulu. They are a really talented band and also became the only Iban band to be nominated in a Malay Award. The Mountain Wind Band is a band from Miri, and plays Country music. Although they are a new band that just broke through, they have performed in various functions and should not be brushed aside. The Starlets Band is from Miri and consists of four members. Started their first performance in 2005, they instantly became a hit and now are hired by various companies to do some performance. Local singer Melissa Francis also be performed during the Asia Music Festival. A director and artist of the Company Platinum World Network Sdn. Limited, also a professional artist, she certainly did entertain the crowd during the festival. Another singer from Sarawak is Bob Yusof. Bob’s talent was founded when he joined a reality show a few years ago. A person, who knows how to sing different kinds of song genre, he got the crowd going with his talent.
The Asia Music Festival really rocked the place and brought everyone to their feet. During the festival there are also other stalls such as food stalls selling food from different countries. Other activities going around the area are like the showcase of superbikes and also tattoo artists if you want to get your skin inked on the spot. The local and international performers are really worth watching and it truly is a wonderful event worth going again in the future.

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