Thursday, 30 November 2017

Jom Kitak Pergi Bako Lok! (Bako National Park, Sarawak!)

Kitak apa khabar tek?

Everybody ready to follow me on my Sarawak Adventure Day 2? LETS GO!

After enjoying glorious seafood the night before, i guess it's time for me to shed all those extra calories. Read about day 1 HERE.
So my second day in Sarawak was one that i was truly looking forward to, simply because from a very young age I have been fascinated with nature and spent quite a fair bit of time in the forest. 

There was a time when i was stationed in the dense forest of Endau Rompin National Park for almost two months, which almost resulted in me being married of to the Village Chiefs daughter. LOL.... Almost....


Anyway, back to Sarawak and Bako National Park.... 
Bako National Park is one of the oldest national parks in Borneo, it was declared a National Park way back in 1957.

The park, although fairly small in size (27.27 square kilometers) has a myriad of different flora and fauna with approximately 25 distinct types of vegetation which translate into 7 complete ecosystems.
Beach vegetation, cliff vegetation, kerangas or heath forest, mangrove forest, mixed dipterocarp forest, padang or grasslands vegetation and peat swamp forest.

Bako National Park is also home to some very rare and endangered species. One such animal is the Proboscis Monkey or as the locals call it Monyet Belanda which roughly translates as "Dutch Monkey" or "The Dutchman". There are approximately 150 of these endangered Proboscis Monkeys in Bako. These Monkeys are also endemic to Borneo.

Other species of wildlife here include the long-tailed macaque, silvered langur, plantain squirrel, Bornean bearded pig, monitor lizards, and otters.






From Kuching, it's approximately 40 kilometers to Kampung Bako followed by a 20 minute boat ride to the park office / entrance where you will have to wade from the boat to the beach.
At the beach you will be received by a large sandstone formation. These sandstone formations are formed due to hundreds or even millions of years of erosion.


Whats even more amazing is the fact that with a little imagination, you'll be able to notice things like the peninsular of Malaysia, a dancer and even a butterfly. As if it were etched into the formation.


We got ourselves registered at the park office before we were given a briefing by the ever so friendly park guide "Ijam".

Whilst he was explaining on the history and overview of the National Park, he had also mentioned that we would be lucky to see the "Proboscis Monkey". Then something AMAZING happen!!!!
Right behind where we were being briefed, a Proboscis Monkey appears as if to affirm our hopes of seeing one! It was truly an awesome moment to be able to see one up close.



After a brief photo session with our guest of honor, we set off on our excursion throughout the park (well actually only a brief trek due to time constraints)



About 200 meters into the trek, we were once again treated to a magnificent sight, what was it this time you're wondering? Well if you ask me, it kind of looks like those dwarves from "The Hobbit" lol...

There were two of them feeding of the vegetation to the left and right of our path! The bearded wild boar!



Did you know that you can event rent chalets here so that you can enjoy all that Bako has to offer? 
Yes! you can, and their not too shabby as well. 
Decent accommodation in the heart of such a beautiful place, what more could you ask for?!





Anyways, lets get back on track shall we.

Moving on, here's where it gets really interesting....


No....No.... Not this mischievous creature....

I meant the trek on towards our ultimate destination (at that point in time) Teluk Paku Beach!
The trek was somewhat a novice trek with slippery sections and some slightly steep inclines, all in all a very fun trek. Slow paced but brisk enough to break a sweat (buckets of it... lol).



I didn't take many photos at this point because the route was rather slippery and had a lot of jagged rocks, but i did however record some videos throughout with an action cam strapped to my chest (which i'll show you at the end of this.... P/s: I meant the video, not my chest ;) )

Towards the end of our trek, the weather started to change and there were really strong gusts of wind but it didn't stop us from pushing forward! Boy was it worth it! the sigh of relief as we approached what seemed to be light at the end of a tunnel.

There it was staring us in the face, such majestic beauty! The Teluk Paku beach was simply amazing!
Waves hitting the shore and a private beach surrounded by lush greenery and sandstone cliffs. It truly felt like we were a part of some National Geographic production.



Us being the "Happy Go Lucky" bunch never ever turned down a photo opportunity. So after taking a million selfie's and wefie's, it was already time for us to depart back. The weather had also changed and a downpour had already started.

Before I end my adventure for day 2, as promised here's a short video of our trip from start to finish.
ENJOY!!!!


“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin

Until next time... Bon Voyage...

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

MPay Prepaid Mastercard And MPay Wallet - To Target Lower Income Group.


Today a milestone was achieved by Managepay Systems Berhad (MPay Group) as they signed a partnership with Kelab Sahabat Persaudaraan (KSP) to initiate the development of a Unity inspired Digital Economic Lifestyle program.

The program which has received full support from the Prime Minister's Office in September 2017 is being lead by MPay Group and has since given birth to the Mpay Wallet and Mpay Prepaid Mastercard respectively. Aptly themed "Negaraku", this initiative is inline with the vision of TN50 to foresee formidable growth and National Transformation by the year 2050. 


Through the Exclusive Co-operation and Appointment of KSP, the club plans to seriously implement this program with the goal of linking the Government, People and Registered Bodies such as NGO's whilst working towards the betterment of  the "rakyat's" well being and welfare.


The joint venture with Managepay Systems Berhad not only allows the people to move towards a cashless era but also allows a smoother transaction when it comes to funds transfer, bill payment, mobile prepaid recharge and online shopping. As an added benefit, users of this program will also be able to enjoy discounts, coupons and gift cards.


Since the prepaid card is a Mastercard, it means that it can be utilize to make purchases or withdrawals anywhere in the world, this makes travel and miscellaneous expenditure a lot easier.

As for now, the main concern of KSP and MPay is to lessen the burden of those in the lower income category by seeking out sponsorship's for daily household items and groceries. Sounds complicated right? Well, it isn't all that complicated actually.


Here's a small example of what their goals are and how the "Rakyat" can benefit from the program.

Person A : Has a low household income and needs at least 20 kilograms of rice monthly to feed his / her family.

NGO or Registered Body (i.e. Poverty Eradication Foundation Malaysia - Hati) : Convey the information and requirements of "Person A" to KSP, Mpay and the Governmetn via the program.

How the program helps:
- Seek out sponsorship's and / or discounts from vendors / producers.
(i.e 20% off for a 20kg bag of rice -  Priced at RM 40.00)
- Provide this discount to "Person A" in the form of credit in their prepaid Mastercard.
( 20% off RM 40.00 = RM 8.00)
- Person A is now able to purchase the same 20kg bag of rice for RM 32.00 instead of RM 40.00.
- Plus they get an additional RM 8.00 (from the discount / sponsorship received) added to their Mastercard.

In a nutshell, The MPay Prepaid Mastercard joint venture program with KSP aims to provide a new avenue for the lower income groups to enjoy everyday necessities at a cheaper price whilst allowing the the additional spending power to purchase other daily household goods.

If you ask me personally, some one should have come up with this idea long ago because this will truly change the lives of those in need and probably help to decrease poverty as a whole.

I hope you found this informative and helpful.

Cheers.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Power Puff Girls & Ben 10 Comes To Life At Lost World Of Tambun.

HERE THEY COME, JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!


With the school holidays just around the corner, what better way to spend time with the family than going to The Lost World of Tambun.
This time round, LWOT will be bringing our favorite childhood cartoon characters The Power Puff Girls and Ben 10 to life.

From today till the 1st of January, Guests will be amazed by the beautiful 20-foot-tall Christmas
tree at the Malayana Village, and the epic decorations, inflatables and statues of The
Powerpuff Girls and Ben 10 decorations at Toon City, Riverside. There will be exciting games
such as Giant Jenga, Giant Snakes & Ladders, Giant Slingshot, Shuttle Smash, Wheel of
Power and Slow & Steady, that will test coordination.





Want to meet and greet PPG and Ben10?
Well LWOT has you covered because there will be a total of 4 meet and greet sessions held daily all throughout the promotion period. An Awesome Pool Party will also be held at the Jungle Wave Bay featuring Bubble, Blossom, Buttercup and Ben10.




There will be special treats in store as well like cartoon network inspired popcorn and cotton candy. Let's not forget all the awesome merchandise and memorabilia available at the POW  shop during this campaign.

LWOT will also be giving out a total of 1000 Lost World POW tickets in balloons during the campaign. Each ticket allows you to bring up to 4 guests. Cool right? what's even better is the fact that you can redeem these tickets anytime during the campaign. Now you can bring along the whole family to enjoy LWOT throughout the school holidays.


“Spending time together outdoors with family and friends is precious, so fitting in quality time
is priority. With this special time of the year, we are bringing in these all-time-favourite cartoon
characters that will bring life to LWOT! This is truly the place to be for those who want to
unwind and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, reconnect with nature and
more importantly, each other,” said Nurul Nuzairi Bin Mohd Azahari, General Manager of Lost
World Of Tambun.


I remember how much I enjoyed LWOT when i was there in September. It's truly a wonderful experience that shouldn't be missed. I enjoyed Glamping there for 2 nights amidst the lush greenery and awesome scenery.





The theme park and surrounding areas make for a very adventures holiday too.
The petting zoo at Hippo Kingdom and the 6th mile cave were among my favourite! Let's not forget the amazing natural hot spring as well.

LWOT together with its strategic transportation partner, ETS KTMB is currently organizing
LWOT-ETS Selfie Contest from now until 31 December 2017. 
Participants will have to take a photo at any of Lost World POW Holiday poster and standee at 6 ETS stations located at KL Sentral, Gemas, Ipoh, Sungai Petani, Butterworth and Padang Besar and post the picture with the ETS ticket ID on the website at https://a.pgtb.me/WsSkkd

One weekly winner will take home the 2D1N stay in Lost World Glamping for two adults and two children as well as a return ETS train ticket to Padang Besar
Ten weekly consolation prizes for four (4) Lost World Of Tambun entrance tickets (two adult ticket and two children tickets) will be up for grabs too.

So what are you waiting for? start planning your holiday now and take advantage of the great offers that await you ath The Lost World Of Tambun!

For more information, log on to the website at https://sunwaylostworldoftambun.com/powholidays/
or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lostworldoftambun or by calling the park
at +605 542 8888.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Tourism Malaysia FAM Trip - Kuching, Sarawak (Day 1)

Greetings from the land of the Hornbill.

It's been along time dream for me to visit Borneo and today I finally did...
Thanks to the wonderful people from Tourism Malaysia for the invitation.

Just a few days ago, I didn't even know what to pack let alone what to expect. Now here I am on the majestic island of Borneo. My journey today started as early as 5 am because we had to be at the airport at least 1 hour and 30 minutes before departure. ( My flight was at 8.40 am by the way ).

We landed safely in Kuching at around 10.20am and were cordially greeted by our Sarawak Tourism counterparts. As for me i was still in awe of the whole situation, kind of like a dream come true you could say. lol....

Photo of us upon arrival at Kuching International Airport.

The ever popular "selfie" & "wefie"

Our first stop for the day was Lunch (Common Malaysian Hospitality) Everywhere you go, the first thing your host will ask you is "What Do You Want To Eat".
So off we went to a cozy little restaurant called Dayang Salhah Cuisine in the heart of Kuching, nestled right beneath the Pullman Hotel here in Kuching.



The food here is such a treat the palate as the fusion in all its dishes gives a little yin and yang with each dish complimenting the other. One dish that stood out the most to me was the "Black Pepper Corn Relish" or better know as a form of Sambal Lada Hitam. The taste is to DIE for, literally if you are not the kind of person that enjoys spicy dishes.

After having our fill, we had to head off to our next destination which was the Sarawak Regatta taking place at "Sungai Sarawak" or the "Sarawak River".
Since we were travelling in a group (of 18 persons to be exact) our ground handlers advised that we stick to riding the tour us even though the actually venue was mere minutes away.
"Honestly I don't mind at all since i had just gained some weight from eating such superb dishes, there wasn't a chance that i would actually walk. hahahaha..."

Anyone wondering what the Sarawak Regatta is all about?
Well if your answer is YES, then that makes two of us.
Regatta - Taken from Venetian word "Regata" meaning "Contention for Mastery"


As far as i know, a Regatta is basically a boat race comprising of different categories.
Apparently I was wrong (well not quite), The Sarawak Regatta dates back to the 18th century when Borneo was still the land of tribal feuds, wars and the headhunting practices.
It was set in place as a competition for men to settle their differences in a more civilized manner other than taking a life. An ingenious way of resolving a tiff between tribes without resorting to violence and bloodshed if you ask me.


Back in the day, the Regatta had quite different rules and regulations compared to the ones in place today.
According to our local guide Teddy, back when he races in the Regatta for his school these wooden boats or sampans as we call them were constructed out of a single log and weighed approximately 800 kilograms. The contestants also only used shorts and a tribal headpiece.

So much has changed since then as the wooden boats have been replaced with much sturdier and light weight boats made from fiberglass, the tribal head pieces have since been replaced with bright, sporty, numbered jerseys. Though change is inevitable, it is good to see that the people of Sarawak and Brunei are still keeping this tradition alive! Kudos fellas!



Rather unfortunate though, that I wasn't able to get any good photos during the races as there were swarms of local EVERYWHERE! A truly wonderful sight to behold people from all walks of life united as one regardless of their race, religion, color or creed...


Standing along the river and overhead on the aptly named "Bridge of Unity" or as it is now called "Darul Hana Bridge". The bridge which has only recently been completed, allows tourist (like me...lol) to be able to take stunning photos of the river as well as the colonial "Astana" building in the background.
The main attraction here is actually the State Legislative Building which is nestled on the opposite side of the river right next to the Astana.
Standing tall and Gold in color, you will never miss it! The weather was beautiful, sun was out shining and the clouds were simple magnificent!.


Taking a walk back to our tour bus, we walked along the bazaar and had some bites along the way. Again here you notice the unity and diversity of Sarawak.




Okay... So anyway here are some shots I managed to get of the surrounding before we adjourned back to the hotel. Enjoy...






Everyone was bushed by the time we reached the hotel and finally checked in... But wait... We aren't even done with the day yet. As much as one is mesmerized by the beauty surrounding the river, one does not forget to MAKAN!!!!.

The Majestic Riverside Hotel is our home for the next 2 nights in case you were wondering. 
The best part of all this is that the location is so so SOOOOOO close to everything.


The rooms are very spacious and comfortable. 
My room was on the corner of the 15th floor with a killer view! WOOHOOO!!!.




Our dinner was at the ever so famous Top Spot Seafood Food Court, which is actually a large rooftop food court specializing in authentic Sarawak cuisine.
It doesn't look like much at first glance, but let me tell you that you will be awestruck the moment the food hits your table.

With prawns the size of an average fist, really fresh fish and squid and the legendary Sayur Midin which is a type of creeping fern found only in Sarawak. It is said that sayur midin has anti aging benefits if consumed regularly.
So i decided to speed up the process by finishing half of the portion allotted to my table. hahaha... In the hopes that I might return to KL as an infant. (Bite me!).






I actually thought that the dinner would end up costing a bomb but apparently it only cost's an average of RM 25 per head for a table full of glorious FOOOODDDD!!!. This was confided in me by one of the local travel agents here. ( Honestly, even if it costs more than that I would gladly pay)

I'm already back at the hotel writing this and i can still taste the sweetness of the prawns and fish. Looks like i'm gonna have a buffet in my dreams tonight! LOL!.

Tomorrow will be another eventful packed day so I'm off to bed now. Good Night!

P/s: YES I have a happy tummy & YES I am a happy child.

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