Friday, February 18, 2011

Kuala Lumpur Tower


History of Kuala Lumpur Tower
Kuala Lumpur tower or Menara Kuala Lumpur's construction began in 1991 and was completed in 1995. It was officially opened by former Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Dr. Mahathir on 1 October 1996. It is used for telecommunication purposes and features an antenna that reaches a total height of 421 metres (1,381 ft). It now stands as the fifth tallest tower in the world.

The tallest tower in the world is the 553 m CN Tower in Canada followed by the 537 m Ostankino Tower in Russia. Third is the 468 m Oriental Pearl Tower in China and fourth is the just completed 435 m Borj-e Milad tower in Iran.

Once up the tower, you will be able to see the beautiful scenery of Kuala Lumpur. There are paid binoculars that are located on each section of the tower. However, it is always better to bring your own binocular as the paid binoculars can be quite crowded at certain time of the day. If you do not have your own binocular, ensure that you bring enough coins to be used for using the binoculars.

The tower is opened daily from 9:00am to 10:00pm. Last admission to the tower is at 9:30pm.

The 421 metres Kuala Lumpur Tower

Revolving Restaurant
There is a restaurant called Seri Angkasa Revolving Restaurant where you can dine and enjoy the beautiful scenery and glittering lights of the city of Kuala Lumpur. Make sure you call up to make reservation as this restaurant is packed most of the time.

Watch the colourful cultural performances from Thursdays to Sundays at 11:30am and 4:00pm.

Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve

While you are here, remember to take a walk at the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve and enjoy the oldest forest reserve in the city. There are jogging tracks, open-air gymnasium, birds and a fantastic view of the city from this park. Guided tour at regular interval is provided but remember to bring along your towel as it can be quite humid and hot in the afternoon.

Getting To KL Tower

The tower is located at Jalan Puncak. You can take the KL Monorail to Bukit Nanas station where you can take a 10 minutes walk to the main gate at Jalan Puncak. From here, the free shuttle service at an interval of 15 minutes is available from 9:00am to 6:00pm for you to reach the tower. After 6:00pm, it is better to take a taxi to the tower.

The entrance fees are:
Adult RM8
Children(4-12 years old) RM3
Senior citizens(55 years and above) RM6

Adult RM20
Children(4-12 years old) RM10
Senior citizens(55 years and above) RM17 

Further enquiry can be obtained by calling the tower hotline at:
Tel: +603 2020 5444 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Malaysia Souvenir

Malaysia Souvenir
If you are looking for a Malaysia souvenir to purchase, you will soon find that there are many of these items that are on sale at various shopping complexes and crafts centre. A brief description of some of the items made by the local craftsmen of Malaysia is provided below.

Batik and Songket
Batik is the local language which means "to draw in wax" and its origin can be traced back to Indonesia. There are 2 types of batik production namely "Tulis or Conteng" and "Cap". The first method uses a metal pen tool filled with hot wax in outlining the design of the batik. After the outline has been drawn, colours are painted on the cloth. "Tulis" means write and "conteng" means scribble in the local language.

The "Cap" method uses the application of wax directly onto the cloth using soldered tin or copper strips block impressed with the fashioned design. The newer process using silkscreen is commonly used now where different screens are used according to the colours and patterns desired.

Traditional batik uses silk or cotton cloth as its material. The advancement of technology has enabled fabrics such as voile, chiffon, cheesecloth, georgette and velvet to be used in the design of batik.

The typical batik and songket available in most souvenir shops in Malaysia

The songket is an elaborate and richly hued handwoven embroidery used by the Malays Royalty and nobility. Infused with traditional handwoven silk or cotton yarn, it is a colourful cloth which is still used today during the coronation of a King or Sultan, weddings or awards ceremony. Bow ties, vests and jackets can also be made from this material.

Pewter as a Malaysia Souvenir
Pewter was made popular in Malaysia as Malaysia was a leading tin mining nation in the late 19th century to early 20th century. Pewter is made from an alloy composed of tin and other metals of which the molten metal is poured into pre heated steel mould, filed and polished. More complicated item consists of different parts which are soldered together. Some of the souvenir items made from pewter are mug, name card holder, twin tower, kl tower, photo frame, cigarette lighter, letter opener and clock.

Visit Royal Selangor Visitor Centre in Setapak and you will learn the art of making pewter as well as making your own souvenir.

A vase made from pewter

Silverware as a Malaysia Souvenir
In the past, silverware was linked to the social status of a person. It signifies wealth and power during the time of the Malay aristocracy in the Malacca Sutanate. It is made by hammering the silver and decorated with patterns of flora and fauna motifs. Two categories of silver crafting are used in Malaysia. The first method is filigree work where the silver is drawn into fine threads and twisted into delicate ornamental tracery. The second method is repousse where sheet silver is hammered into relief from the reverse to produce various designs for the items being made.

The items that are produced are silver rose bowls, jewellery boxes, bolster ends, the caping, belts, buckles, snuff boxes, and betelnut set.

Betelnut set is also called "Tepak Sireh" in Malay language usually used by the Malays. It is the custom of the Malay suitor to announce his intentions to his prospective bride's parents by sending them a complete set of betelnut through a trusted intermediary. The acceptance of the gift signifies agreement to the betrothal.

The silverware

Forest Based Fibre
The forest based fibres such as rattan bamboo, ribu-ribu, bemban, mengkuang and pandanus are coiled, plaited, twined and woven to produce comely bags, baskets, mats and hats.

Rattan or cane are usually used for furniture while the smaller varieties are woven into baskets ranging from waste paper basket to picnic hampers. The ribu-ribu of Sabah or Lygodium are woven from the twines of the creeper fern by the ethnic Rungus people in Kudat and is a Sabah specialty. So, remember to get one if you happen to be in Sabah.

Ceramic and Glass
Ceramic and glass craft are also widely produced in Malaysia as souvenir items.

Wood Carvings

The abundance of good and durable tropical wood from the rainforests of Malaysia has enabled the woodcarvings industry to thrive. Head for WARISENI Woodcarvings at the capital city of Kuala Lumpur and see the many products on display here. You may even want to purchase an item or two as a Malaysia souvenir. 

Where to Get Malaysia Souvenir
If you are in the capital of Malaysia, head for Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex to see the souvenir items that are readily available for you to choose from. 

You can also go to Central Market, one of the most popular tourist destination in getting souvenirs from Malaysia. 

Get a listing of Kuala Lumpur Souvenir Outlets to help you get good and value for money souvenirs. 

Pucuk Rebung Museum Gallery in Suria KLCC is another place you can go for some unique souvenir and collectibles.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Terracotta warriors, Lye Huat Garden

Lye Huat Garden is a recreational park in Kubang Pasu District,Kedah. It comprises a man-made lake, a miniature landscaped garden, and a terra cotta garden. Visitors also get to enjoy the koi carps in the lake, and view its collection of ceramic figurines.

Lye Huat Garden was founded by Dato Lim Lye Huat in 2002. It was originally called Lye Huat Stone Art Gallery when it was first built in 1994. Dato Lim built it for his personal enjoyment. However, through the suggestion of friends, he decided ton open it to the public. In addition to being a tourist attraction in northern Kedah, Lye Huat Garden was also a venue for several national competitions including the National Flower, Hornfish, Bonsai and Suiseki Competition launched by the then prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, in 2002. In 2004, the International Bonsai and Suiseki Competition was held here, and officiated by the Sultan of Kedah.

Lye Huat Garden Location Map

View Lye Huat Garden in a larger map

Lye Huat Garden signboard
Lye Huat Garden signboard (20 October 2009)

Lye Huat Garden entrance
Lye Huat Garden entrance (20 October 2009)

Getting there

Lye Huat Garden is located on the east side of the North South Expressway after Jitra. Look out for signage by the roadside. 


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Crocker Range Park

Crocker Range Park visitor's centre is about 12km away from the town of Keningau. This range was gazetted as a park in 1984 due to its importance as water catchment area for the surrounding towns. This range covers an area of about 1,392 square km and is located to the south of Mount Kinabalu. It is also called "Taman Banjaran Crocker" in Malay language. The Kadazandusun and Murut communities live in various settlements surrounding the range.

The headquarter of the park is located about 145km from Kota Kinabalu where the visitor centre is. Basic facility was constructed and opened in 2004 where you can camp and do jungle trekking here. Bird watching is one of the natural attraction here. For those who are into greater challenge, you can do white water rafting at Padas River. Prior arrangement with tour agent is neccessary to if you intend to jungle trek or white water rafting.

Flora and Fauna
Find out more about Rafflesia, the world's largest flower at The Rafflesia Information Centre on your way here. It is located near Tambunan. There are trails from this centre where the Rafflesia can be found. It opens daily from 8am to 3pm. Call the centre at Tel : +6 088 898 500 or +6 088 898 501 for more information.

This flower is a parasite which has no root, leaf or stem and its host is a vine called Tetrastigma.
It flowers usually at midnight after a rainy day and lasted only for a few days. You will be fortunate to see a real one flowering. After that, they will begin to rot emitting a rotten meat smell. Flies will come and as a result the plant is pollinated. The most common species found in Sabah are:
  • Rafflesia Pricei
  • Rafflesia Arnoldii
  • Rafflesia Keithii
  • Rafflesia Tengku-Adlinii

  • Rafflesia, the biggest flower in the world.

    Look out also for the following flora at this dipterocap forest.
    • Oaks
    • Chestnuts
    • Conifers
    • Orchids
    • Rhodedendrons
    • Pitcher plants
    You may be able to spot some of the animals and birds here:
    • Civet Cats
    • Long-Tailed Macaques
    • Pig-Tailed Macaques are intelligent and can be trained to pluck cocunuts which are high above the ground.
    • Wild Pigs
    • Orang Utans
    • Gibbons
    • Furry Tarsier or "Kera Hantu" in Malay language
    • Hornbills
    • Pheasants
    • Partridges
    • Golden-naped Barbet
    Camping Contact Sabah Parks for permit if you intend to camp here. Contacts of Sabah Parks: Lot 1-3, Block K, Ground Floor Sinsuran Complex Kota Kinabalu Sabah Tel: +6 088 212 719 or +6 088 211 881 or directly to: Crocker Range Park: +6 019 862 0404

Friday, February 4, 2011

Niah National Park

The 3,138 hectares Niah National Park was gazetted as a national park on 23 November 1974. It is located about 130km away from Bintulu and 110km away from Miri. It is about 3km away from the nearest town known as Batu Niah. Its importance was recognized when archaeologists found the oldest remains of humans in Southeast Asia in the Great Cave, believed to be 40,000 years old. The west mouth of the Great Cave is one of the biggest cave entrances in the world with a dimensions of 250m wide and 60m high.

The cave was believed to be a refuge for the early human civilization. You will encounter swiftlet birds and bats in the caves here. The locals collect the nests of the swiftlet birds to be processed and sold as birds nest cuisine, believe to be good for health by the Chinese. The guano which is the droppings of bats and birds is collected and used as fertilizer for vegetables and plants.

Painted Cave

The Painted Cave is named so probably due to the small human-like figures drawn in red haematite.

Jungle Trekking
There are two jungle trails that you can use to discover the flora and fauna here. They are Jalan Bukit Kasut Trail and Jalan Madu Trail. Look out for orchids, giant pandanus plants, fungi, balsam and begonia. Birds such as bulbuls, partridges, hornbills can be spotted as well. Look out also for the long-tailed macaques and squirrels.

Jalan Bukit Kasut Trail
This trail will lead you to the peak of Bukit Kasut or Kasut Hill. This trail will take you less about 50 minutes and is marked in green and white. See the vegetation and Kerangas forest at the foot of the hill. See the panoramic view of the tropical rainforest from this hill.

Jalan Madu Trail
This trail will take you along the banks of Sungai Subis, one of the tributary of Niah River. It is marked in red and white and will take you less than an hour to complete. You will pass thourgh peat swamp forest.

Fees and Opening Hours

Admission Fees

Entrance fee is RM10 for adult and RM5 for child. Remember to get a trail map of the park at the counter.

Opening Hours of the Park Headquarters

8.00am to 5.00pm daily


Basic accommodation is available at the park with chalets and hostels managed by the Sarawak Foresty Corporation. There are also inns such as Niah Cave Inn and Niah Cave Hotel for ccommodation at Batu Niah town.

Pictures : From Google

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sipadan Island

White Beaches

The famous island of Sipadan. Its main attraction, however, is underwater.

Located off the east coast of Sabah, Sipadan Island is a small 12 hectare land mass that rises just 600 metres from the seabed. Part of the Tun Sakaran Marine Park, Sipadan Island is known throughout the global diving community as one of the top dive destinations in the world. It also is one of the most exclusive as only 140 people are allowed to visit the island daily, with every visitor checking in at the national park jetty on arrival at Sipadan Island.

National Park Registration
Only a tiny fraction of Sipadan Island is open to visitors and there are only basic amenities available, including a small resthouse and toilets. Sipadan Island is home to an extensive range of birds and it is common for visitors to spot at least a bird or two while on the island. The island used to offer accommodation, but conservation efforts in later years led to a decision to shut down and remove all accomodation on the island in 2004 to preserve the island's ecosystem. Accommodation is available at the nearby Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort just offshore Kapalai Island, on Mabul Island or at Semporna on the coast of Sabah.

Formed by a coral reef atop an extinct volcano cone, the island and the waters that surround it offer divers an amazingly rich experience, from snorkelling among the outlying reefs, to wall diving along the cone of the undersea volcano. The myriad of marine life seemingly on display in Sipadan's waters are simply astounding. Turtles, sharks and barracudas are just some of the inhabitants of this undersea paradise. There are as many as twelve well known dive sites around the island, including Barracuda Point, and Turtle Cave, each offering a unique look at the mysteries of the sea.


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