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Showing posts with label Tourism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tourism. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Aspiring plans for Kuching to be travel hub .

"Sarawak is known as an eco-tourism sector and our main problem is connectivity. This conference will give insights to the airlines executive, that there is such a place called Kuching in Borneo where they can expand their market potential in Asia,” he said when announcing Routes Asia 2014."
How many foreign Airline that stop over at Kuching International Airport ?
 Kuching International Airport, with a volume of 4.86 million passengers recorded last year, is the door to exquisite Borneo niche tourism but was challenged with connectivity problems, says its Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.
 Currently, direct flights from Kuching to other international destinations include Brunei, Singapore and Pontianak in Indonesia. Other launched direct flights, which had been cancelled, include Kuching to Perth, Macau and Bali. Direct flights from Kuching to Singapore operated by Tiger Airways was also cancelled after three years.
This article was published :
First Published: 4:11pm, Feb 05, 2014
 XPress Air from Indonesia is one of the foreign Airline that still flies to Kuching International Airport.
 Silk Air from Singapore one of the foreign airline still stop in Kuching International Airport.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Prostitution Scene in the Backpacker's Area of Saigon, Vietnam.

Prostitution is a never-ending story in a tourism city such as Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok and Singapore. Even if your travel intention is just for sightseeing and visiting tourist attraction places, single or group male travelers normally cannot avoid from being approached by sexual offers from male or female prostitutes in town. Even, the industry is not as open as in Bangkok or Phuket, the scene in Ho Chi Minh is on the rise especially at the backpacker area, Pham Ngu Lao.
In this article, we describe female prostitutes as “Night Butterflies” which to portray their image who are flying around the city seeking for customers .
“Night Butterflies” on the Bike
Motorbike is a means of transportation in Vietnam. These “Night Butterflies” are very mobile when they are moving around by motorbike. They can ride on streets, alleyways and even in the pedestrian walks. When you walk alone from Ben Thanh Market heading to Pham Ngu Lao across 23/9 Park, do not be surprised when there are beautiful girls on bikes nicely say “Hello” to you and offering sex service. Its can be 1 girl and sometimes they come with another friend. The best way is, just smile and go without looking at their eyes. If you be chattier, they will think that is your “buying signal” and they will bother your way.

“Night Butterflies” on the Pavement
Some of these girls are working together with other teams who are finding customers by using motorbikes. When you out for drinks with travel buddies and walk to your hotel a bit later around 10pm, some girls on the walking side sometimes daringly will ask if you are looking for prostitute and they are very open talking about their services. Not only that, some motorbike taxi or locally called “xe om” driver also play a role as an agent for this prostitution business in backpacker area. With coffee-dirt teeth smiling faces, they will repeatedly asking every male tourist if they are looking for “massage” or pretty women.

“Sexy Shampoo Girls” in Saloon
There are some Hair Saloons or massage centres with half dozen of beautiful girls with a very short mini skirt sitting in front of their saloon premises. It is fine if you just want to cut your hair, but you have be careful whenever the girls are trying to do something weird to you as normally it will come with different price. Some say, it’s kind of weird when it is hard to see a scissors in a hair saloon. The best way is, avoid these places and Google for places that tourists always go.
Mid Age Women at Bar
There are many bars in the backpacker area with American-Vietnamese interior design which are always welcoming American veterans as their customer. The best part is, the waitresses in the bar are just their type which is middle age Vietnamese women with sexy low-cut dress. Not all of them are prostitutes as many say so. It will be best for you to be gentle towards those women and politely say no if you are not interested in other intimidation movements.
For more information you can visit this website as This article was published in The Vietnam Guide on June 25, 2012.

Prostitutes cruising streets in downtown Ho Chi Minh City a few years ago. Photo by Nghia Pham  

The number of sex workers in Vietnam -- criminals according to the government -- increased last year and prostitution became harder to control, the social affairs ministry said Friday.
A report by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs said the number grew to nearly 33,000 in 2013, up more than 9 percent from the previous year, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
But the number local government agencies have on file dropped by more than a third.
Prostitution is illegal in Vietnam and sex workers face fines of VND300,000 (US$14.2) for their first offence and up to VND5 million for repeat offences. Their clients are fined VND500,000-5 million depending on the circumstances.
But civil society has been pressuring the government to legalize prostitution so that the industry could be regulated.
The ministry said prostitution has become increasingly complicated to control as those involved are employing new ruses to avoid being detected.
It is most rife in large cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong and nearby Nam Dinh Province and in tourist destinations, the ministry said.
Local statistics showed that of the country’s more than 83,000 shops offering body services, such as spas, salons and barber shops, more than 8,000 are suspected to provide sex services.
Programs to help sex workers reintegrate into the community were established years ago, but only 500 of them were supported and with loans worth just VND2 billion ($95,000), the ministry said.
It also said other crimes related to prostitution increased from 2012.
This article was published in Thanh Nien News.Com  Sunday, January 12, 2014
 google image.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Visit Sarawak Year 2014. Seeing Orang Utans in Kuching.

If you flew to Kuching, on the Malaysian side of Borneo, for a chance to see endangered animals in the wild and explore native tribal culture. It was like stepping into the pages of National Geographic.
Visit Orangutans  for more info HERE or Sarawak Tourism Board .

Adventurejunglewildlife and beauty are the first words that spring to your mind when you travels to Sarawak in Borneo, East Malaysia. You can view here what the tourist say about his or her trip to Sarawak. British Travel Press Award 2013.

Transportation :HERE
My Visit to Orang Utans: HERE


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Heroes Memorial Monument in Limbang.

Heroes Memorial Monument located in front of Limbang Police Station is listed as a new tourist destination under the Ministry of Tourism to promote the acts of the warriors, who died in 1962.The monument had to be promoted because it has its own history as a tribute to the warriors who were killed fighting against British colonialism.“The Heroes Memorial Monument has been listed as a tourist attraction in Limbang in Sarawak. Therefore, various efforts will be made to upgrade and beautify the monument to attract both domestic and international visitors.
 A memorial stands alone opposite the Limbang Police Station.  It commemorates the death of five Royal Marines and four Royal Malaysian Police Constables who was killed in action during the Limbang Rebellion/Limbang Raid.   Built close to the spot where where the first Z craft landed, the unveiling of the monument in 1963 was attended by many of the Royal Marines who took part in the actual riot.
Read the History HERE
The names of those who perished.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Media Visit for Pesta Babulang (Lumba Kerbau) Limbang. Part2.

Before I write about Pesta Babulang in Batu Danau in Limbang .I thought it is better for me to insert the photograph that I shoot during our trip to Merarap Hotspring in Lawas & my experience traveling off-road journey with gravel, riverbeds, mud, rocks, and other natural terrain.Our guide and experience off road driver is Chong Teah Lim (Mr Lim) from Borneo Touch Ecotour and Encik Amirul (Paul) from Sarawak Tourism Board base in Miri.
Upon arriving Lawas, Sarawak, we drove another 15 mins to the entrance of the forest. The journey to get into this hot-spring took us another 2 hours. Partly because it was an off-road journey with gravel, riverbeds, mud, rocks, and other natural terrain as you can see from this album. One mistake you could be in disaster. Only experienced 4WD drivers dare get in (for now). Along the journey, I learned a couple off-road driving communication signs especially to oncoming trucks and 4WD. Since its deep rainforest, phone lines are yet developed. Whether you’re Maxis,Tune Talk,Celcom or whatever telco..all zero.
Actualy from Lawas to Merarap our journey started late evening after Magrib prayer and dinner & the photograph that I share here is shoot during our return trip from Merarap.We arrive quite late in the evening and almost midnight as Mr Lim could not drive faster due logging truck activity also active during the night.We arrived safely. From the entrance of the Lodge, I heard water rushing loudly. Curious me.I saw a huge muddy river with powerful water that brushes over stones. From my judgement the width of the river is at least 100ft wide. It rushes from left to right. Its already very late and we are tired so everyone say goodnight.When I woke up next day !! I see such a beautiful scenery this place is blessed with various attractions.. from diverse flora and fauna. Nevertheless, it is still largely unknown to the rest of the world, even to most people of Sarawak or Malaysia.More effort need to be made to promote this region. It's world class.. we should be proud of it..

Encik Amirul enjoy the hotspring spa.

  • Get closer to nature.
  • Enjoy the surrounding at the same time enjoy the nice cold weather.
  • Enjoy beautiful scenery along the long and winding road on a 4 wheel drive from Bakelalan to Merarap Hot Spring.
  • Take a dip in the lukewarm water in the pools.
  • A great place to relax and rejuvenate your body and mind. Do bring along your reading material; here you can rest and read comfortably at the common area while listening to the sound of the stream nearby. 
End of part2 & next part3: On our way back to Lawas from Merarap Hot Spring we stop by Tagang Long Lidung Eco-Tourism.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Media Visit for Pesta Babulang,Limbang .. Part 1.

So I was happy indeed when Sarawak Tourism Board  invited me as a blogger to be one of the representative of Sarawak Blogger Community for media visit for Pesta Babulang in Limbang from 6th to 9th June,2013.It;s largely to-do with Bisaya Community cultures from Limbang and Lawas in Sarawak.
So I look forward to telling you more and sharing the photograph of the event that I shoot during my trip.First of all I would like to Thanks and Thank You very much to my host Sarawak Tourism Board..
About Sarawak Tourism Board:
VISION - Making Sarawak the naturally preferred tourism destination.
MISSION- Positioning and promoting Sarawak as a safe and friendly Eco-tourism destination.
                   Be the catalyst for tourism growth.
                   Providing networking and synergy among the official gencies and tourism promotion partner.
                   Increasing awareness among Sarawakian on the benefit and importance of tourism industry.
                   Enhancing performance though motivation and teamwork.
My itinerary on the 6th June is flying to Miri by MAS and Miri to Limbang by MASwings.I reached Miri almost 3PM and Limbang almost 4:30PM.In Miri airport I meet Mr Amirul (Paul)the officer from STB Visitors Center Miri and in Limbang airport Amirul introduce me with Mr Lim from Borneo Touch Eco Tour  who arrange our trip to Merarap Hotspring Lodge in Lawas.
Merarap Hot Springs :: Lodge is in Lawas division and Mr Lim drive us all the way from Limbang airport straight to Lawas via the Malaysian border town of Limbang in Sarawak and Temburong District in Brunei.To cross the border we use ferry, the ferry services are operated by two companies on a rotation basis, each ferry has a maximum load of 10 for saloon cars and six to eight for bigger vehicles, and takes approximately five minutes to transport vehicles across the river.The bridge over Pandaruan River is scheduled for completion in August 2013 three months before the 2013 ASEAN Summit which will be hosted by Brunei.With the increase in cross-border traffic for various purposes, the bridge will facilitate connectivity, increase transport and logistics activities and create a spin-off for the both Limbang and Temburong especially in social-economic and tourism activities.
We reached Lawas town almost dark and from Lawas we heading straight for Merarap .
About Merarap Hotspring Lodge:Located on a 5-acres in Ba'kelalan Highlands, Lawas District, Limbang Division, Sarawak..its a good place to seek rest and recreation. Merarap Hot Spring Lodge is a private/family owned business..How to get to the lodge)  because its' quite remote into the jungle, you have to get-into a four wheel drive (4WD) and it takes 1 1/2 - 2 hours journey (approx 68km) from Lawas town. rm600 -max 10 person in 1 car (to & fro) - current fares.
You have to get into a 4WD .
Merarap Hot Spring Lodge.
Crossing the border...
More on part2 & will updated soon.
Thank You.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

MATTA Fair 2013 in Kuching.

This morning I dropped by in Boulevard Shopping Mall in Kuching to see  what Matta Fair had to offer!  Today is actually the second day of the 3 days fair and there were some free gifts to be given away for those who made a booking for a vacation locally to West Malaysia or outside Malaysia.As usual, MATTA will offers various promotion, deals that can suit your holiday needs.  Remember to be there as early as you can to grab any of the limited offer.  Amongst others,  the participating company will  offer good deals for  air tickets including Malaysia Airline  travel package , hotels and many more.
Below are few photograph that I shoot @ MATTA fair in Boulverd in Kuching.
Photo by Awang Lumix LX3 Panasonic.
photo by Awang.
MASwings & Malaysia Airline Booth.
Photo by Awang a gateway to Casino Macau Street.
Photo by Awang,
 Most popular booth  due school holiday by end of May.
Photo by Awang.
Travel agency from Kalimantan Barat ,Indonesia.
Photo by Awang
This is a huge bi-yearly event that will eventually force people to used up all their year leave and run away from Malaysia for weeks because the offers, CHEAP!!! Well, compared to normal period, it is quite cheap. BUT, look out for the terms and conditions that comes with all air ticket and packages offer during promotion..
READ THE FINE PRINTS! Can’t find any… ASK! You don’t want to regret later..

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sarawak tourism stakeholders want MAS to initiate air accessibility.

 Sarawak’s tourism stakeholders want to work closely with Malaysia Airlines (MAS), on air accessibility to certain selected destinations in Europe and Australia, following the Kuching International Airport’s new runway extension.The extension is to accommodate the Boeing 737 and Airbus A380 aircrafts.
State Housing and Urban Development Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the local tourism industry, including the state government, is expected to engage MAS on such a possibility based on a 50-50 business joint venture.“MAS wants to make money and we want to attract tourists as part of our marketing strategies,” said Abang Johari who has been tasked with looking after the state Tourism and Heritage Ministry.
He was speaking after meeting with local stakeholders to discuss the industry’s roadmap here.
In terms of aviation and linkages, MAS and its wholly-owned subsidiary, MASWings which serves the Sarawak-Sabah sector, operates 206 weekly flights for the international routes in the state at present.
In January this year, MAS launched its Kuching-Seoul direct flight via Kota Kinabalu as well as its Kuching-Tokyo and Kuching-Osaka direct flights to attract more tourist arrivals from Korea and Japan.
According to the ministry’s data, both airlines also operate 132 domestic flights in Sarawak
Other international routes to Sarawak include those operated by AirAsia which has 224 flights per week, Firefly (28), Tiger Airlines (seven) Silk Air (five), Batavia Air (three) and Royal Brunei Airline (two).
AirAsia has another 42 flights weekly on the domestic route. 

## All above photo taken with my Lumix LX3 camera.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Trip to Semban Village-Day Two (part 1)..

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On day two we are suppose to go for trekking to the summit for sunrise viewing point .It's still raining outside so we skip this trip and hopefully can make it on day three. So to-day trial is heading to waterfall.After breakfast,trekking start to most imposing waterfall 'Susukng' (higest) and the 'Pent'(beautiful) waterfall.According to Mr Sagen ,Semban region have 13 waterfall but the 'Susukng' and 'Pent' is the most imposing waterfall .

My entry here is kind of photojournalist ..more photos then a story .

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Heading to waterfall is more then an hour walk and we have to be careful as the trial is still wet .I suggest you buy cheap rubber shoes commonly wear by the local here and its cost you only Rm6.00.Travel light with drinking water recommended (by me).

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On our way to the waterfall trial we are being brief of various wild plants,flowers and herb that are found in Semban jungle or I would say its kind of Semban village botanic experience.We even found a kind of local bamboo trap as Semban villagers are expert for hunting wild animal for meat.


This is 'SUSUKNG" the highest waterfall in this region... the word 'susu-kng' mean highest .I can't go closer to the waterfall ,because the surrounding rock is still wet and very slippery and dangerous too..

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According to our guide no swimming at this waterfall ...Dangerous...yes, of course at your own risk.


The highest waterfall  'SUSIKNG'..


Semban not only interesting because of the seven women .Living surrounded by forests and high mountain itself is exciting to explore. Continue their way of life in everyday life is not easy as I thought, especially for those of us living in the cities.
Imagine, a trip to get to the village if by land is about six to eight hours. Do not dream to go by 4WD or by boat because there was no way. Only a small path that exploited the people using machetes and placed bamboo ladder climbing into the village with the mediator Bengoh, the location closest to the main road...oh my,,I can't forget this..My story is not edited or censor ..My story is my own experience and what i see.

Kampung Seban is a small village of no more than 30 houses with a population of approx 200 people at 3000ft or circa 1000 meters above sea level in the jungles of Borneo, reached only by helicopter ( in extreme emergency) or approx. 5 hours of trekking.If you are purely nature lover,adventures or extreme kind of people ..I would say this is the place.For more info kindly contact Mr Deckson Bundak ,Sarawak Tourism Board Tourist Co-ordinator at

+6 082-410944

+6 082-256301 

My story is not ending yet..more photos and my Semban village experience on Part 2.I know some of you maybe interest to see the mysterious of the seven ladies with ring..just watch out.

Thank You.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Firefly to make Senai next hub ?.

Firefly looks set to use Johor's Senai Airport as the second hub for its jet planes and is eyeing regional destinations like Jakarta and Bandung in Indonesia.


Photo Credit to


Firefly has leased two Boeing 737-400 planes, and these will be positioned at Senai Airport. It is not known if any of the Boeing 737-800 planes ordered by the airline will be joining the fleet of Boeing 737-400 jets at Senai Airport.

It is understood, however, that Firefly is leasing the two planes on a short-term basis. Sources said subject to traffic rights approval, Firefly aims to operate the jets from Senai by the first quarter of 2011 and is eyeing routes such as Bangkok, Jakarta, Bandung, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu

"There is also great potential for other international airports like those in Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Penang to serve as subsequent hubs for Firefly jets," one source said.

Making Senai Airport a hub may also help spur the airport and the Iskandar Malaysia region.

Senai Airport:

The airport, meanwhile, can expect to be infused with a new lease of life, following many repeated attempts by other airlines which had previously introduced international and domestic flights.These efforts had not taken off, resulting in an under capacity at the airport, which has recently been upgraded with a first of its kind Aeromall.The airport is currently served by Malaysian Airline,Fireflyz and AirAsia.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Museums in Kuching City.....

Honestly,I have found the most reasonable air fares directly from the official airline websites.And if you subscribe to their newsletter or like their facebook or twitter you are always informed of the upcoming discount or package well in advance,sometime even before it's out in the press for e.g.

Firefly Airlines

We have an EXCITING announcement tomorrow that involves NEW routes and LOW fares! How low can we go? Check back tomorrow (Feb 22) after 3pm (local time) for the juicy details... :)

Firefly Airline is flying to KCH from KLIA .....



The Sarawak Museum.....

If you have no time to travel to the entire Sarawak, you owe a visit to the Sarawak Museum. Some travelers commented that simply spend an hour at Sarawak Museum is as good as traveling to the entire Sarawak for a week. There are simply too many things to tell you about Sarawak in this museum. It’s located right in the city centre, and within a walking distance from major hotels in Kuching, especially Merdeka Palace Hotel. The best part of it is, the entrance to Sarawak Museum is free of charge, and no ticket purchase needed, nothing, so why not?


The rear view of Islamic Museum.....

The Islamic Museum is open daily from 9 am to 4.30 pm.It is located on Jalan P.Ramlee in the beautiful restored Maderasah Melayu Buildinh (1930).It is also accessible from the rear of the Sarawak Museum's new wing.The Islamic Museum present a clear picture of the rich historical heritage and special culture of the Muslim community in Sarawak and throughout the Malay-Indonesia archipelago,the traces connection with the development of Islam in the rest of the World.The museum consists of 7 galleries set around a central courtyard garden.each with a different theme.