Browsing articles in "Travel"
Jul 7, 2011
wilsonbeh

Georgetown is alive again – UNESCO Heritage Status 3rd Year Anniversary

Georgetown, Penang has come a long way since its establishment in 1786 by Captain Francis Light. It was once the regional hub of waterfront commercial and financial district when Kuala Lumpur was still a small outpost.

The oldest bank in Malaysia, Standard Chartered Bank opened its doors in 1875 to cater to the financial requirements of early European traders while HSBC, opened its first branch in 1885.

However over the decades we saw the decline of Georgetown, prominently starting in the late 90s when Rent Control Act was repealed.

Many people moved out of Georgetown to stay in other areas in Penang or Klang Valley for job opportunities. The population declined and Georgetown was even dubbed as “Dead City” when night falls.

But, 7th July 2008 was a turning point for Georgetown when it was listed as UNESCO World Heritage City together with Malacca.

This month we celebrate the 3rd anniversary and yes, Georgetown is alive again.

One of the most noticeable change is Beach Street (locals call it Tho Ko Ke).

The restoration of a number heritage buildings adjacent to Standard Chartered Bank was a huge success.

Logan Building before restoration.

After restoration

If you happened to pass by Beach Street at night, you will fall in love to the city charms when you’re surrounded by these European feel heritage buildings under the dim light.

More coffee shops and commercial outlets are entering these restored buildings too.

The untapped values of these old buildings are unleashed.

Distance away to Weld Quay a whole new landscape is taking place too. The completion ofSwettenham Pier Penang has enabled big cruise such as Queen Mary II to dock in not to mention the restoration taking place at the British Council building.

A whole new project – The Rice Miller Development sets to launch too at the Old Clock Tower area.

Apparently the plan is set to abide UNESCO Heritage Rules in height limit.

All these private developments will further spur Penang into a truly global city. Don’t compare it with Kuala Lumpur or Singapore because they of different categories. Penang can aspire to be the best secondary city in South East Asia or even Asia.

However the progress must be even bolder and faster. Take a look on Singapore, every year new things pop up. Last year it was casino and now it’s the Marina Barrage and Marina Financial District. They are transforming from “Garden City” to “City in a Garden”.

Georgetown needs to add more spices so that young people think it’s really cool and stay here for jobs and entertainment.

A city, to succeed, needs to have the right positioning. Penang has been doing good over the past 3 years.

UNESCO Heritage Status is a bless, and we must preserve the piece of land in inner Georgetown, cherish its rich cultures and histories. As we package and brand it well enough, more tourists will come to Penang and definitely this makes Georgetown a more vibrant, dynamic city.

Why spend RM 5b for a 100-storey building, when we have a priceless heritage zone? =P

Jun 6, 2011
wilsonbeh

10 fun things you can do in Kuching

1st time to East Malaysia and it was a great 7-day journey! If you think that East Malaysia has not much thing to offer, then you have to read this post nicely =)

Traveled more than 750km during the trip… and it makes me feel like… oh natural is so wonderful! Malaysia is soooo blessed!

“People live on trees in Sarawak”? C’ mon, see its modern city of Kuching! It’s even more advanced than some cities in West Malaysia.

So, what you can do in Kuching – The Cat City without Cats (I don’t see real cats there, that’s good I don’t like cat ) Haha

 

1. Visit to Sarawak Cultural Village + Damai Beach

It’s the best way to learn about Sarawak in 3 hours. It’s a real-life showcase of the Sarawak long houses and rich cultures.

Don’t tell me you’re Malay, Chinese, Indian first and Malaysian second; when there’re more races like Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, Melanau just in Sarawak.

The Orang Ulu Longhouse.

Take a 5-min walk up to a resort at Damai Beach. The sea breeze is refreshing! Say Hi to South China Sea!

2. BBQ & Jungle Trekking at Bako National Park

Take a 15 min boat to Bako!

Beautiful natural wonders at Bako.

YMCA! It stands for… You Might Catch AIDS… Haha! HIV/AIDS awareness yo!


BBQ with bearded pig (山猪) at night! It just keep staring at the foods… At a point of time 5 bearded pigs gathered in front of our chalet! Oh goodness!

3. See Rafflesia, World’s Largest Flower at Gunung Gading National Park

Good thing never come easy. You have to go through a lot of obstacles, sweat a lot and take the risk for not being able to catch the beautiful blooming moment.

We’re just too lucky! Finally after 1 hour ascending Gunung Gading, we found it!

4. See Orang Utan eat Banana at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre (Orang Utan Rehabilitation)


This Orang Utan is called “Delima” – Delima got a ‘child’ called “Annuar“. Given the name during the 1998 Anwar’s Courtcase. Oh these Orang Utan are so smart wei!

A lot of foreign tourists from all around the world are here @ 9 am.

5. Taste Sarawak Laksa at Chong Choon Restaurant


Sarawak Laksa = Penang Curry Mee with prawns

This famous old-school kopitiam, just minutes walk away from Riverfront. Every morning it’s so packed with customers craving for laksa…

But thanks to Bryan & Kim Travel Agency, I know there’re some other nicer Laksa at Kuching… Google Golden Arch Laksa :P

6. Drink a cup of  Teh C Peng


I don’t know why 3 layers Teh in West Malaysia just can’t be as good as the original one in Kuching.

7. Sampan trip to buy Sarawak famous Layer Cake


RM 0.50 per person for the boat trip and cross Sarawak River

Kek Lapis Dayang Salhah – The best of the best in Kuching!

You can try it for free… as much as you like :P It tastes better and very much more cheaper than the bakery shop!

8. Seafood dinner at Top Spot

Prime location in the city center. There’re at least 6 seafood restaurants on top of this car park building… unique hor? Haha, good seafood and don’t be surprised to see Malay friends having seafood here too!

Want to see the real 1 Malaysia? Come to East Malaysia!

9. Eat Kolok Mee + You Char Kui (油条) at EXPERT Food Court, 3 Miles – Recommended by Bryan and fully supported by me! (After eating)


A normal restaurant but the foods inside are just… awesome!

Sifu!

Varieties of You Char Kuey for you to choose! It’s very crispy and not that oily. I like it!

Kolok Mee – The most famous food in Kuching! This shop boasts the nicest Kolok Mee in town… as written in MAS Travel Magazine. And yes I think it’s aptly described :)

10. Walk around Kuching main town area


Tua Pek Kong Temple

Sometimes when you walk, you can feel the charm of city even more.

Start walking from Riverfront… Visit the Chinese Museum (Must Visit), buy black pepper at Main Bazaar (Pick the right shop), walk around at Attap Street (Chinatown) and Little India!

Kuching, a peaceful modern town with lots of nice foods, natural wonders and… its warm and friendly people!

Why go travel so far to foreign country when East Malaysia has so much to offer?

The next time I’ll be back to Kuching… I guess… will be Bryan & Kim’s wedding in Hilton, Pullman or Four Points! Haha

At the mean time… checking out for AirAsia promotion!

How much was my flight ticket to Kuching ya……?

It’s just RM 46! Like you so much Uncle Tony!

 

Special thanks: Kim & Bryan Travel Agency & a bunch of crazy people in the trip :P

 

May 14, 2011
wilsonbeh

Redang o Redang – Sun, Sea, Sand & Sxx

Malaysians are very blessed. We’re fortunate to have almost everything including our beautiful islands!

Give your hands up if you love sun, sea, sand & sex ! Awww…who doesn’t? :P

The invigorating sea breeze will just take our stress away!

Redang Island or Pulau Redang, is one of the top island comparable to Sipadan Island.

Some complained Redang is much polluted now due to uncontrolled development, I hope Malaysians can cherish its beauty and do something to preserve our treasure.

At least, exactly 2 years ago in May 2009 when I visited Redang… It was an island abound with marvelous marine fishes, sea turtles and coral reefs which makes it a great snorkeling and scuba-diving site.

Pulau Perhentian welcomes you with “crystal clear” water!

It just ain’t the milky one under Penang Bridge. I was so touched seeing this!

Together with my matriculation friends, we went on a 3D2N 3-islands trip which included Pulau Perhentian, Lang Tengah and Redang.

Staying in Pulau Perhentian can cut accommodation cost at the same time enjoying the beauties of the other 2 islands.

And you will just feel secured throughout the trip… as in my case.. we were guided well by…

“The King of 3 Islands” – Perhentian, Lang Tengah & Redang

This “tour guide” can jump into the middle of sea, and asked you to “jump” along…of course with life jacket la…to catch a glimpse of sea turtle!

And we did.

The sea was deep which we couldn’t see the bottom and had to kick extra hard in the strong waves.

But the experience was just amazing! Imagine a huge sea turtle is like 1 – 2 meter from you!

“The King of 3 Islands” actually stopped the turtle from moving away by holding carefully its rear legs.

Another best part of the trip is — Snorkeling.

We had 10 snorkeling trips each lasting 15 – 30 minutes in Redang and Perhentian. (Didn’t make it in Lang Tengah due to strong waves)

To me the best snorkeling trip was at Redang… where I actually ‘met’ the colorful Nemo and Small Sharks!

This is what happens snorkeling in a crystal clear sea. And this experience inspired me to take ‘scuba diving’ lesson in university later.

Having enough fun at Perhentian, we took a fast boat to Redang Island! South China Sea here we came!

Kang Xiang saying good bye to Pulau Perhentian (in the pic)

In about 20min time, we reached Redang! Look at the incredibly azure water!

This is what we call – Love at First sight.

Redang, of course, being more popular than Pulau Perhentian thanks to <夏日么么茶> (the famous movie featured Richie Ren at Redang), has more “resort & travel” feel.

You can easily come across with hot bikini girl walking past the “More More Tea Inn”

Redang, after all, is a very nice place for family as well as couples.

You don’t have to be a romantic guy at Redang, it made you so.

Lang Tengah

But guess among these 3 islands – which has the nicest sand?

Yes, it’s the little island called Lang Tengah.

You can leave your lovely footprints on the warm, tiny pristine sand.

Lang Tengah is located between Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Redang, and it’s gonna be a “hot” tourism spot… like very soon!

Movie <夏日热悠悠> (to continue the success of 夏日么么茶 casted in Redang) is set to take place in Lang Tengah!

You can differentiate easily the sand from Lang Tengah and Pulau Perhentian.

On our fast boat back from Lang Tengah to Perhentian, something happened.

Eng Wei, Lai and the rest of us were shocked! 2-meter high waves were after us as the weather turned badly at South China Sea. Huru-Hara and Chaos!

And yes, our earth is full of wonders.

It’s so beautiful and sun, sea, sand are natural charms…

Fish Leong’s wedding at Boracay Island, Philippines was just perfect… romantico!

Perhaps, my wedding will be like this? Haha!

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