Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Malaysian Armed Forces Museum

Malaysian Armed Forces Museum
If you are into history or would just want to know more about the armed forces of Malaysia, head for The Malaysian Armed Forces Museum which is located at Jalan Padang Tembak in Kuala Lumpur. In Bahasa Malaysia, the museum is known as Muzium Angkatan Tentera Malaysia. The Armed Forces of Malaysia comprises of the Army, Navy and Air Force which was officially established on September 16, 1963. Since then, this date has been celebrated as the Armed Forces Day.
The many challenges faced and contributions that the armed forces made were depicted in the artifacts shown here. Some of the challenges faced were protecting the nation's sovereignty from the communists, the confrontation with Indonesia during the formation of Malaysia as well as joining the United Nation's peacekeepers in various countries.

Emergency Gallery
The emergency gallery displayed the pictures, events, maps and other artifacts to provide you with a picture of what happened during this time from 1948 to 1960. The declaration of the emergency was done during the time of the Communist Party of Malaya disturbance. Exhibits include the formation of the Briggs plan and the Baling talk. The end of the emergency was concluded with the peace agreement that was signed by Communist Party of Malaya leaders and the Government on December 2, 1989.

The entrance to the Emergency, Confrontation and Insurgency Galleries

United Nations Duty Gallery
This gallery shows the involvement of the armed forces with other international forces during peace keeping operations in countries such as Congo. Pictures, equipments used and the honour bestowed upon our forces are shown here.

Second World War Gallery
This gallery shows the start of World War Two and how the Japanese invade the country from the North. It also featured the equipments used during the war. An old bicycle used by the Japanese during this time is shown. This bicycle was also used to charge telecommunication batteries by taking turns to peddle the bicycle. Other items on display include the battle of Pasir Panjang at the beach and the surrender of the British to the Japanese in Singapore on February 15, 1942. Th exhibit ends with the highlights of the causes of defeat of the Japanese and the surrender in 1945.
This piece of history is an important information to the newer generation who has never experience the difficult times during the war. It will help to remind one to be grateful for the peace and prosperity that our nation has been experiencing thus far.

The spacious ground outside the Armed Forces Museum

The armoured fighting tank that is placed on the exhibit at the compound of the museum. This type of tank was used by the British during the colonial time.

Other Galleries
Other galleries on display include the Chief of Defence Forces Gallerywhich was dedicated to the past Chiefs of Defence Forces for their contributions and services to the country. The Defence Minister Gallery is dedicated to the former defence ministers in helping to ensure the sovereignty of the country. Valor Gallery exhibits the couragous act of our Malaysian soldiers and the medals received by them.

If you are keen to get some souvenir that relates to the armed forces of Malaysia, there are mugs, T-shirt, books, stickers, key chains and badges that you can purchase from the front counter of the museum.

Some of the souvenir that you can purchase

Getting To Malaysian Armed Forces Museum
The museum is located in Jalan Padang Tembak, Kuala Lumpur. Head for Kem Kementah as the museum is located at this camp. Taking a taxi to this place is the most convenient mode of transport. As this place is an army camp, you will have to take a pass before you are allowed to enter the premises of the camp.
If you are driving, take note that you can ask permission from the personnel at the museum to allow you to park your car at the compound of the museum. Otherwise, you will have to park quite a distant away from the museum as there are not many parking bays available.
The address of the museum:
Muzium Angkatan Tentera
Kementerian Pertahanan
Jalan Padang Tembak
50634 Kuala Lumpur

Opening hours

Saturdays to Thursday
10:00am - 5:00pm
The museum is closed on Fridays, Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya HajiHolidays. Check out the public holidays before you make your plan to come here.

Admission Fee
Admisson to the museum is FREE.
Further information can be obtained by calling Tel: +6 03 2071 2010.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Malacca Vacation

Malacca Vacation

Malacca Vacation in Malaysia
Visiting Malaysia is not complete without going to the historical state of Malacca. Malacca was founded by Parameswara, a Hindu Prince from the Kingdom of Srivijaya in Sumatra in the year 1403. After he embraced Islam and became the Sultan of Malacca, Malacca became a trading centre with goods from China, India, Middle East, Thailand and neighbouring countries passing through the port of Malacca.

As a result of Melaka's strategic location, the Portuguese conquered it in 1511 followed by the Dutch in 1641 and finally by the British in 1824. The Japanese was ruling it for a while during World War Two from 1942 to 1945. Malacca gained independence as one of the states of Malaysia on August 31, 1957

Melaka together with Georgetown in Penang have been inscripted as historical cities under Unesco's World Heritage Sites (WHS) in July 2008. The first area is the St. Paul's Hill Civic Zone which consists of the government buildings, the original fortress town built during the time of Portuguese and Dutch occupation, Bukit Cina, museums and churches.

The second area is the Historic Residential and Commercial Zone which consists of more than 600 shophouses, religious buildings, commercial and residential buildings as well as tombs on the four main streets. Explore them..

Places of Attractions

Try taking the trishaw at The Stadthuys

Malacca vacation is not complete without visiting the following attractions. See the historical heritage of Malacca where many of the old buildings dated back to the 16th century still stand strong today. See A Famosa, St. Paul's Church, St. Peter's Church, The Stadthuys and Christ Church all of which are within walking distance of one another. Try taking the trishaw and make sure you take a good picture as you ride as a memento for you to bring home. Not to be missed is the 45 minutes cruise along Malacca River and the Maritime Museum.

Finally, try Nyonya Food which is a combinaton of Chinese and Malay ingredients. Not to be forgotten is Portuguese cuisine at Restoran San Pedro and Restoran De Lisbon.

Malacca vacation - A'Famosa
This landmark as shown in the picture above is a must for all visitors to Malacca. Known also as Porta de Santiago, this fortress was built by Portuguese Admiral Alfonso d'Albuquerque in the year 1511. A big part of it was destroyed during the Dutch invasion and what remains today is just a small section of the fortress left behind by the Portuguese. Malacca vacation is not complete without visiting this ruin.
The admission to this attraction is FREE.
Click here for a more detailed description of this fort.

The Stadthuys

The Stadthuys was built in 1650 as residence of Dutch governors and their officers

The Stadthuys is another major landmark left behind by the Dutch. Used to be white in colour, this building was refurbished and painted Salmon red colour to match the colour of the surrounding buildings. When completed in 1650, it was used as official residence for Dutch governors and their officers.

Today, this building is used to house the Museum of History and Ethnography.

Opening hours
9am - 5pm (Monday to Friday)
9am - 9pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Admission Fee
RM5 for adult and RM2 for children.
Further information can be obtained by calling +6 06 284 1934.

Christ Church

The distinctive salmon red colour Christ Church, a Dutch architecture heritage

The Christ Church building is located just beside The Stadthuys. Built by the Dutch as a place of worship for the people at that time, you will be able to see interesting design such as the ceiling beams that were constructed without any joints, the tombstone with Armenian inscriptions, the handmade pews and brass Bible. Notice also the "Last Supper" of Jesus and His Twelve Disciples shown in glazed tiles.

When the British took over Malacca, the building was converted to become an Anglican church where a bell tower and weathercock were added and remains until today. You can visit this place by getting the permission from the church officials. This building is a must when you plan your Malacca vacation itinerary.

Further information can be obtained by calling +6 06 284 8804.

Malacca vacation - St. Francis Xavier's Church

The huge cathedral of St. Francis Xavier's Church

Built by a Catholic French priest, Rev. Farve in 1849, this Gothic styled church was dedicated to St. Francis Xavier who was a missionary to SouthEast Asia in the 16th century. St. Francis Xavier had been to Penang Island as well and was known as "The Apostle of the East" for his missionary endeavours in this region. You can visit the place by getting the permission from the church officials.

Further information can be obtained by calling +6 06 282 4770.

Malacca vacation - Melaka River Cruise
Your Malacca vacation is not complete without taking a cruise down Malacca River. Costing only RM10 for adult and RM5 for children, this 45 minutes tour will take you pass many Dutch style buildings. Remember to take along your camera and take interesting pictures of the old shop houses, bridges and Kampung Morten Malay village.

The cruise can be taken at the quay behind the tourist information centre.
Further information can be obtained by calling +6 06 286 5468.

The Malacca River and the surrounding area

Malacca vacation - Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum near the city centre is located along Jalan Quayside. It housed a replica of the Flor de la Mar, a Portuguese ship that sank off the coast of Malacca. The exhibit at this museum showed the history of Malacca from the time of the Malacca Sultanate to the pre-independence time of Malaysia. You will be able to see models of iron chests, old charts, ships and maps.

The beautiful replica of Flor de la MarMaritime Museum located along Jalan Quayside

See more pictures and information about this museum here.

Melaka Hotels

There are many international standards hotels in Malacca. Some of the popular Malacca Hotels include The Bayview Hotel Melaka, Equatorial Hotel, Everly Resort, Grand Continental Hotel, Legacy Hotel, Mahkota Hotel Melaka, Renaissance Melaka Hotel and Seri Costa Hotel.
See a more detailed writeup about hotels in Melaka here.

Getting Here
Visitors usually fly to Kuala Lumpur or Penang before going to Melaka. If you are coming from Australia, Cheap flights to Malaysia are offered during promotional period and online bookings in advance. Compare also the Cheap Flights available from Australia travel website.

If you are coming from Kuala Lumpur, Melaka is approximately 145 km away and it will take you 2 hours drive to reach here. Regular bus and taxi service are available at Melaka Sentral, a new bus and taxi terminal 6 km away from the city centre.

Further information can be obtained by calling Melaka Sentral terminal at +6 06 288 1321.

Melaka Sentral, the bus and taxi transportation hub of Melaka

Related Links

Melaka Restaurants
See the restaurants that you can go to while in Melaka to savour Portuguese, Nyonya or Chinese Chicken Ball Rice cuisine.

St. Paul's Church
See the ruin of St Paul Church that was built by the Portuguese.

Nightlife In Melaka
Experience the nightlife of Melaka by joining the locals at the night market, visiting Melaka Zoo, A Famosa Cowboy Town..

A Famosa Resort
A Famosa Resort in Melaka is one of the theme park attractions that you should consider going with your entire family. This 520 hectare integrated resort has attractions that will enable you to spend your day from morning till the evening.

Melaka Sentral
This is the main transportation hub in Melaka. You can find taxis and buses to various destination here.

Baba Nyonya
Find out more about Baba Nyonya of Melaka in Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum.

Jonker Street
Visit this popular street, buy some souvenir and taste some of the local delicacies here.

Christ Church
This distinctive landmark was built by the Dutch and is still in use today.

Melaka Town
There are plenty of activities that you can do while visiting Melaka Town. Shopping, food..

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mines Shopping Fair

Mines Shopping Fair is located in Seri Kembangan and is about 30 minutes drive away from the city of Kuala Lumpur. This shopping mall is different from the rest of the malls in the country in that there is a canal that runs right into the complex. This canal links two former tin mines lakes called the North Lake and the South Lake. Take a break and rest your tired legs by hopping on one of the water taxis for an option of 15 or 45 minutes cruise down one or both of the lakes. Enjoy the mini Venice experience in Malaysia.

This shopping mall is part of the Mines Resort City which also include theMines Wonderland, Mines Resort & Golf Club, Palace of Golden Horses Hotel and Mines International Exhibition & Convention Centre. All these facilities are located within the vicinity of the two lakes and were developed by Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew in 1988.

The retail outlets at Mines Shopping Fair

The water taxis that provide daily cruise services to customers that come here. The Mines Cruise is located at the Ground Floor of the shopping centre.

This shopping centre has over 200 retail outlets and plenty of car parking bays. Some of the tenants are:

  • Giant Hypermarket has a wide selection of food, beverages and other household items for your daily needs.
  • TGV Cinemas offers the latest cinema environment movie experience.
  • SenQ and Best Denki both have a whole range of electrical and electronic goods for you to choose from.
  • IT City is the place to head to for your IT needs. Gadgets such as mobile phones, PDAs and computers of various brands are sold here.
  • Mines Bowl is for those who are into bowling.

Water Cruise
One of the key highlight of this centre is the water cruise on the lakes. Families with small children will enjoy the tranquility of the lakes couple with the lush greeneries that abound within the vicinity. Both the North and South lakes are connected through a 1,054m canal. The unique Water Lock system was developed to cater for the different lake height of 7m. It works based on a hydraulic system and takes 7 minutes to discharge or refill the water. The volume of water in the lock is 61,600 gallons.

The packages that are available are:

Mines Resort City Tour
This cruise takes you to the Palace of Golden Horses, Mines Resort & Golf Club, Mines Waterfront Business Park, Palace Beach & Spa, Mines Wonderland, Mines Shopping Fair, Mines International Exhibition & Convention Centre and the gardens. You will experience the spectacular water lift during this tour.

Adult - RM28
Child - RM18

North Lake Tour
This cruise takes you around the bigger North Lake
Adult - RM21
Child - RM15

South Lake Tour
This cruise takes you around the smaller South Lake
Adult - RM16
Child - RM11

The canal that links the North and the South Lakes.

Ride 'N' Fun
This cruise takes you around the North Lake where you will experience the history of Mines, the landscape, the building as well as into Mines Wonderland where you can enjoy the many attractions here.
Adult - RM48
Child - RM33

Hotel Guest Transfer
Hotel guests will be able to cruise between the Palace of Golden Horses/Palace Beach & Spa and Mines Shoppping Complex.
Adult - RM15
Child - RM10

Getting Here
If you are driving and coming from Kuala Lumpur, use the BESRAYA Highway. This mall is also accessible by using the SILK Highway from Cheras and Kajang. There are over 4,000 car park bays here with parking flat rate of RM1 on weekdays and RM2 during weekends.

The other alternative is to take a train. Use the KTM Komuter Train and stop at Serdang KTM Station. From here, take the Rapid KL Bus No. 414 or water taxi to the mall.
The address and customer service telephone of the mall.

Mines Shopping Fair
Jalan Dulang
MINES Resort City
43300 Seri Kembangan
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Tel: +6 03 8942 2163
Open Daily: 11am to 10pm

The cruise from the mall towards the South Lake

source: http://www.malaysiavacationguide.com/

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pulau Payar Marine Park

Pulau Payar

If you are looking for a marine park at the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, head for Pulau Payar Marine Park which is located 19 nautical miles south of Langkawi Island. If you are coming from Penang Island, it is located 32 nautical miles north of Penang Island. It is also approximately 15 nautical miles west of Kuala Kedah. This island still remains unspoilt until today due to its status as a marine park.

Being a marine park means that you are not allowed to do the followings:

  • No fishing or killing of fish.
  • No collecting of corals or other marine organisms.
  • No collecting of sand, dead shells or dead corals.
  • No polluting or littering.
  • No anchoring on reefs.
  • No building or erecting any type of structure on the water.

Keeping strictly to these rules and regulations will ensure that this park will remain unspoilt for many years to come. Comprising an uninhabited islands of Pulau Payar, Pulau Lembu, Pulau Kaca and Pulau Segantang, this park is surrounded by coral reefs and many kinds of endangered marine species. Payar Island is the biggest island in this park measuring 2 km by 1/4 km. The Marine Park Centre which provides information on the marine park is located in Pulau Payar.

The Payar Island measuring 2 km by 1/4 km is the main attraction of this park

Things To Do Here

Snorkelling, swimming and scuba diving are the main activities that you can do here. Being a marine park means that most of the marine life and vegetation in the sea are still thriving here. The popular diving site is known as Coral Garden and is located at the south-west of Pulau Payar where you will be able to see the bright and multicoloured soft corals. The fascinating feature of this park is that there are many artificial reefs built from old boats, concrete blocks and tyres that have developed into mature reefs with plenty of sea creatures around them. Visibility on a good day can go up to 15m.

Jungle Tracking is another activity that you can do over here. There are 2 trails that you can use to explore the flora and fauna of Payar Island.

The crystal clear water at the Pulau Payar Marine Park

Baby Shark Feeding will be a memorable experience to do for you and your children. See the video of shark feeding in Payar Island.

Floating Platform is designed for those who does not want to wet their bodies but still want to enjoy the marine life here. It is a platform called Coral Langkawi which is moored off Pulau Payar. Measuring 49 m by 15 m, you will have to book a package tour in order to have the privilege of using it. It has a tunnel shape chamber at the bottom of the platform 10 feet below the sea. There are also boats which have glass bottom for you to see the marine life and corals as you move along the coral gardens. This platform is also equipped with a snack bar, a dining area and a sunbathing area.
Other facilities provided in this park include picnic tables, barbecue pits, gazebos and restrooms.

Getting Here

As there is no facility for accommodation here, most visitors will plan to spend a day trip here and stay in the hotels in Langkawi Island or Penang Island. It takes approximately 50 minutes using catamaran or speed boat operated by Langkawi Coral from Kuah Jetty in Langkawi Island. If you are coming from Penang Island, the journey will take approximately 60 minutes. Another option of coming here is using the boat from Kuala Kedah in Kedah.

Booking for a days trip usually include pickup from hotel, lunch, use of snorkelling and diving equipments. Two dives are arranged. Total time that you need to allocate for this trip is from 8am to 4:30pm.

For safety reason, details such as passport numbers, date of birth and full names need to be provided in advance before going for the trip.
If you are staying in Penang and would like to go for a day trip to the island, do your booking enquiry here by using the form below:

source: http://www.malaysiavacationguide.com/

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pangkor Island

Pangkor island is located off the west coast of the state of Perak. It has everything that an ideal island has to offer. One can see the long stretches of golden beaches in many parts of the island and the popular ones are Pasir Bogak Beach, Golden Sands Beach or Pantai Puteri Dewi and Teluk Nipah. Pangkor is still unspoilt in that the pace of development is still slow compared to other islands in Malaysia.

You will be able to see fishermen going out to the sea to make a living as the majority of them are fishermen. Most of them stayed in the small towns of Sungai Pinang Kecil and Sungai Pinang Besar. In fact, one can even venture into their small factories to see how they process their catch of the day as well as buying some of the processed food.

Getting To Pangkor Island

The newly renovated Lumut Terminal, the gateway to Pangkor Island

The town of Lumut is the gateway to Pangkor Island. The jetty and its surrounding was recently renovated and is now ready to receive tourists that will be coming in throngs to enjoy the beauty of this island. It takes approximately 35 to 40 minutes to get to the island from Lumut Jetty. If you are driving to Lumut, there are plenty of private overnight car parks that you can safely park your car. It also has a beautiful waterfront facilities such as restrooms, souvenir shops, viewing platform and playground for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

A Speed Boat to Pangkor Island

There are many chalets, motels and hotels of different pricing and categories to cater for the needs of the visitors. Most of the bigger hotels are built along the beachfront that offer you a splendid view of the sea. The 4 and 5 star hotels that one can stay are Pangkor Island Beach Resort which is located along Teluk Belanga Beach. Other budget hotels amongsts others include Sea View hotel, Khoo Holiday Resort and Sri Bayu Beach Resort.

See also the listing of Pangkor Hotels for more information.

Pangkor Laut Resort

The world renowned Pangkor Laut Resort is located in Pangkor Laut Island, a private island to the west of Pangkor Island. It has the facilities of a 5 star hotel with a private beach called Emerald Bay. Emerald Bay is one of most beautiful beach on the island where the water is crystal clear. If you have the budget, I would strongly recommend you to stay and experience the wonders of this island where you will be treated like a VIP.

Once on the island, one can explore the many attractions of the island by renting a car, a motorcycle or a bicycle. For those who are not on tight budget, is is very convenient to take taxi as there are many taxis on the island. You can even negotiate with the taxi driver to take you around the island for a fee and he will surely be glad to provide this service for you.
The Dutch Fort is a 300 year old fort that was once a Dutch stronghold against the pirates and local Malays. One can see its ruin till today. If you are a golf player, there is a golf course situated to the north of the Island. The various beaches that one can enjoy are Pasir Bogak Beach, Teluk Nipah, Coral Beach and Teluk Belanga.

Other Attraction Nearby

Cross over to Lumut and go to Segari Pasir Panjang Turtle Hatchery Centreand see the many turtles that are being breed here.

Pasir Panjang White Sandy Beach is another desolate and undeveloped beach that you may want to go for the adventures.

Teluk Senangin Beach near Swiss garden Golf Resort and Spa is another beach that you can drop by for half a day's trip. 

source : http://www.malaysiavacationguide.com

Friday, November 5, 2010

Taiping Lake Garden



Taiping Lake Garden

Established in 1880, the Taiping Lake Garden is one of the oldest garden in Malaysia. This 62 hectares of park is also known as Taman Tasik Taiping in the Malay language. The huge lake was formerly a tin mine but was since transformed into a beautiful well used and well maintained park where flowers, birds, insects, animals and lush greeneries thrive. Drop by this lake and take a stroll if you are visiting  Taiping Zoo, one of the better zoo in Malaysia. Bukit Larut, used to be known as Maxwell Hill is located just within the vicinity.

The oldest golf course in Malaysia within the vicinity was closed in the year 1995 due to the hazard it posed to the users at the lake garden. The course has since been converted to parks where trees, flowers and playgrounds have replaced the common sight of a golf course.

The nice gazebo built as a shelter from the sun and rain

The greeneries add to the beauty and serenity of Taiping Lake Garden

Some of the facilities and attractions that are available here include:

  • A Lotus Pool where you will see the beautiful pinkish colour lotus on the pond near the entrance to Taiping Zoo.
  • A Japanese Garden
  • A Zig Zag Bridge
  • A Pagoda Bridge
  • A Rollerskating Rink
  • Paddle-Boat Rides are the rides that children will be glad to embark on.
  • Children's Playground
  • Jogging tracks
  • Reflexology tracks
  • Open Air Gymnasium with instructions that describe the various exercises that you can do.

During the weekends, families with young children can be seen having their picnics while the older ones jog around the garden.

Rain Trees

Of particular interest to most photographers is the huge rain trees that grow by the lake. You will notice the branches that stretch across the road and dipping into the waters of the lake. It is as though the branches are quenching their thirst by taking in the water from the lake. The pictures of this rain trees can be seen in magazines and calendars. Sometimes, couples who are getting married can be seen posing here in their wedding clothes for a shot to remember the most important event of their life.

Bird Watching

If you are into bird watching, this is one place that migratory birds stop by here while escaping winter from the North or South Hemisphere. Arm yourself with a camera, binocular, books about birds and be prepared to learn some of the species of birds that you have yet to encounter.

The children's playground facility near the lake

The branches of rain trees forming arches as they stretch towards the lake

Getting Here
If you are driving from Penang, head for PLUS North South Expressway and exit at Kamunting Toll Plaza. From here, go straight along Jalan Kamunting Lama. You will not lose your way as there are many signages along the way.

If you are coming from the Kuala Lumpur, exit at Changkat Jering Toll Plaza and turn right at the traffic light. Go straight along Jalan Taming Sari and follow the signages towards Taiping Zoo/Bukit Larut/Taiping Lake Gardens.

source: http://www.malaysiavacationguide.com/

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