Help make traveling to Malaysia a more delightful experience!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

i-City: City with magnificent light

(Source: Club Lexus)

Have you ever seen this picture? The title of this picture is "You lighted up my World". A very impressive picture with a deeply meaningful caption At least it leave footprint in my mind after my first view on it. The Earth is alive because of light, this is true for a city too. Darkness do not belong to a city, especially the i-City - a new tourism spot of Malaysia.

(Source: skyscraper city)

i-City is a newly developed town in Klang Valley of Selangor state. Its exact location is Seksyen 7 in Sungai Rasau between Bandar Baru Klang and Shah Alam. Travelling from KL (Kuala Lumpur) town to i-City needs about half an hour. As a MSC (Multimedia Super Corridor) Malaysia Cybercentre except the one in Cyberjaya, i-City is built equipped with fascinating light scape using state-of-the-art LED technology. This is why i-City is also called City of Digital Light.

Soon after the launching of the light scape, i-City immediately becomes the heaven for photographers. A lot of photographers from all around the world have visited i-City to shoot the beautiful scenery. You may view some at i-City facebook page. There are uncountable quality photos on the internet that enriched my eyesight and the one shown below is the best I have ever seen. 

For those who loves photography, don't forget to bring your camera along when you visit i-City. If you have great photos of i-City, you may consider participating the on-going contest. Currently, there is i-City: "It's Always On" photography and videography challenge. This contest ends at 31 August 2010, the Independent Day of Malaysia. For the others, don't forget to come with a camera too. Maybe you will get your next desktop wallpaper here. 

Light display at i-City begins from 7.00pm local time daily. There are dancing light show named "Hibiscus in the Sky" on every night at 8.30pm and 10.30pm. A gentle reminder to tourist, travelling to i-City from KL city centre is normally using the Federal Highway, it is advisable to depart from KL after 8.00pm during weekdays if you don't wish wasting your time to stuck in the traffic jam for one and a half hour as this is the traffic peak period.

Remember to include i-City in your trip if you are coming to KL, Malaysia!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fruit that gains the most publicity - DURIAN

(Picture from New England Wellness)

You might never see or touch the real fruit. You might never smell its smell. You might never know how is its shape. You might not know what color it is. But, you definitely know its existence in this world. Yes, we are talking about Durian here. It is no doubt being called the King of fruits - its name is shown at almost all important public places, shopping malls, airports, transits, restaurants to name a few.

(Picture from Dirty Little Cookbook)

For some foreigners, durian smells stinky. But for locals, the smell is aromatic. The size of durian varies from big to small, each durian fruit can weighs from 1 to 3 kg. They are round or oblong shape with green or brown husk. What we ate in the durian fruit is its flesh. Normally, it is yellow in colour. The taste of durian is not the same for each breed. Some of them are sweet, some of them are bitter. The texture of the durian is also vary, it might be hard and dry or it might be soft like cream.

Durian is a seasonal fruit, we do not get them through out the year. The harvesting period for durian is around June to August every year for the best durian in Malaysia. There is Durian Feast organized in Penang during this period, unfortunately, Durian Feast for this year has just pass. However, you can still find great durian from stalls at roadside. Famous premium grade durian includes Cat Mountain King (Mao San Wong), Bamboo Foot (Zuk Kiok), Red Prawn (Hong Ha), D101, and D24. These durians are sell for higher price for their bittersweet taste and creamy texture.

In SS2 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, there is some famous durian stalls gathered. You can find cheap durian deal here, eat all you can for RM10.00. However, they only serve normal grade durian for this price. If you would like to try the premium grade durian, you have to pay according to the weight and market price of that durian breed. If you have time, visiting durian farm and eat fresh collected durian at there will be a better option. Durian farm that is open for visitors are Bao Sheng Durian Orchard (Sungai Pinang, Penang) and Pondok Uteh Durian Farm (Balik Pulau, Penang).

A warm reminder for tourist, durian is believe to cause heat to body. Locals like to use the empty durian shell to fill with plain water and drink it or drink salt water to cool down the body. If you don't drink water after eating durian and continue with hot foods after that, you might end up getting fever the next day.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Travel Tip to Malaysia

People live with different way in different places. It is always best to check these little differences so that you can adapt yourself comfortably in other's country. Here are some tips for those who are going to visit Malaysia. 
1.  You cannot avoid greeting with locals during travel. In Malaysia, here are how we greet:

  • Muslim - both hands stretch out to 90 degree from arm with both palms overlap with other side's palms, then pull both palms back to chest. 
  • Chinese - shake hands.
  • Hindu - bring both palms together as in prayer at mid-chest level

     *For women, greeting involving touch of body is often avoided with men. You can just smile and nod.
2.  Preferable dress in Malaysia are those casual and light in cities. Modern wear is acceptable in cities of Malaysia. However, if you are visiting small villages, it is best to wear clothes that covers your chest, arm, and legs. When visiting mosque (Muslim worship place), remember to cover your whole body including head. At beaches, do not ever think of topless sunbathing. You do not want to spoil your trip just because of clothing problem right? 
3.  If you are visiting some locals house, it is always polite to remove your shoes and leave it at the front door.
4.  There will be at least one electrical appliances that you bring along isn't it? Malaysia's common plug is those with 2 parallel flat pin and 1 ground pin. Check if yours can fit into this plug, if not, bring one adapter or get it from local market or convenient store. Malaysia voltage is 240 volts, 50Hz for your information.
5.  Time zone of Malaysia is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Don't be surprised to know that Thailand is 1 hour behind Malaysia even though we are just below them. This is because West Malaysia time is set to follow East Malaysia time, so time is the same in whole Malaysia.
6.  Temperature fluctuation is small in Malaysia, 20 to 36 degree Celsius is recorded throughout the year. Malaysia is falling into the equator region, we do not have 4 seasons. What we have are just rain season and hot season. During rain season, almost everyday is raining. In the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, rain season is from October to November and April to May while in East Coast and East Malaysia, raindrops come often at November to January. So, plan your trip to avoid rain season if you would like to visit the beaches. 
7.  Malaysia is one of the best shopping spot in the world with unbelievable low price especially during grand sales season. You can enjoy shopping from day to night. Shopping malls open from 10am to 10pm.
8.  Office hour in Malaysia is normally 9am to 6pm for most private firms. Government office operates from 8.30am to 4.30pm. Saturday is half day working day while Sunday is off day. Not every Saturday is a working day, public service and bank will be close on the 1st and 3rd Saturday every month. This is true for all states except Kelantan, Terengganu, and Kedah. In these 3 states, working day is from Saturday to Wednesday while Thursday is half day working day and Friday is off day. 
9.  Well, we have to admit that crime level is still high in Malaysia especially in big cities such as Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru. So, keep an eye on your belongings all the time. Pick-pocket and snatch-and-run is common in big cities. Hope that you do not meet with them in Malaysia.
10.  Most of the public toilets charge a small amount of money to use it. It is normally between RM0.20 to RM2.00. Prepare some small change as you will need it to use the toilet. 
11.  Land transport is your main transportation choice to travel around cities or inter-cities. Remember few traffic rules listed below, otherwise prepared to be summoned or you have to bribe the officer (only applicable for some light offense):

  • It is compulsory to fasten seatbelt no matter you are the driver, front passenger or back passenger. You can be fined for up to RM2,000 for not doing that. 
  • It is illegal to use your cell phone during driving. Only answering call using hand-free kit is allowed during driving. 
  • Remember do not drink alcoholic beverages if you want to drive, do not drive if you drink them. This is a serious offense. 
  • If there is accident happen to you, report to police within 24 hours. 
  • Keep alert when walking on road, motorist often make wrong turns to avoid traffic jam.
12.  Normally Malaysian is not used to a tipping lifestyle as most of the hotels and restaurant has already charged 10% of service charges to your bills. 
13.  If you would like to make a call to local number, you can do it with any of the public phone using coins or card. International calls can be made from phone booth with card phone facilities or at any Telecom office.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Knowing Malaysia's ABC

Malaysia with a total landmass of around 330 square kilometres is a country located in South East Asia with Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia as our neighbours. Together, we all shared the hot and humid weather all year round. Land of Malaysia is separated into two by South China Sea. Therefore, we have a land called Peninsular Malaysia on the west while East Malaysia on the east.
Malaysia celebrates its independence day at 31st August every year. However, this is not the time when we are named Malaysia. We got our independence as Federation of Malaya. The day when we are named Malaysia is during the September 16th of 1963. Now, both of the days are announced public holiday and we celebrate it annually. 

We have 11 states in Peninsular Malaysia and 2 states in East Malaysia. In the state of Selangor lies two Federal Territories with one of them as the Capital of Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) that has the busiest lifestyle among others and another one (Putrajaya) as the government administrative centre. There is another Federal Territory in East Malaysia named Labuan which is an island near the state of Sabah. 

The 3 main ethic groups in Malaysia are Malay, Chinese, and Indian. We also have some indigenous ethic groups that made up minority of the Malaysian population. Together we shared the land, the resources, the hot and cold, the good and bad of Malaysia. Malay language is the official language in Malaysia. However, we do speak more than one language. Most of us can speak English and some mother-tongue languages such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Tamil, and so on. 

Malaysia has Islam as the official religion. But, we are free to believe in whatever religion we wish to. There are Buddhist, Hindust, Christian to mention some of them. We are very open-minded, so you do not have to worry about having any difficulties due to different religion or political view. We welcome guests from all over the world to our home land. 

Except multi-races, what Malaysia is rich of is its natural resources. We were once well known for being one of the world's main port for herbs and spices. Now, palm oil is our major business. Well, these give us money. As a tourist, the rich flora and fauna is what attracting. We have many rainforests reserved as they are naturally waiting for your discovery. We have the biggest flower in the world, but it smells like corpse. 

We trade using Ringgit Malaysia (RM or MYR) in Malaysia. Approximately MYR3.20 is equivalent to USD1.00 (true for time this post is published) if you would like to know the current conversion rate. Malaysia is in the time zone of MST (UTC +8). If you are thinking about driving in Malaysia, well, we are driving at the left side as opposite to USA, Germany or Italy.

*Technorati Token = NFSRBF553K3E

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hello World

Hello friends,

This blog is aimed to provide information and guide to backpackers / travelers to Malaysia. We welcome you to share your needs and question to us anytime.

1. Provide transportation service from Airport to desired destination. (detail describe in next section)
2. Provide travel information and assistant on accommodation. (we would like to know your budget and location)
3. Be friend and make sure you enjoy your holiday/vacation in Malaysia :)


Have a nice day !