Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween Fam Trip in Sungei Wang Plaza!

Being a curious cat, that makes me participate in this Halloween Fam Trip organized by Sungei Wang Plaza.

Despite that I didn’t manage to attend the whole session, that 1 hour spent was sufficient for me to wonder and wander and share some feedbacks to them. I personally think it’s a great idea and good move to keep the mall alive and provides new activities and feel to the consumer/public.

I was swarmed with curiosity, ideas and assumptions on how a Halloween Fam Trip would be like, it being ran by Sungei Wang Plaza marketing team and conducted in the mall itself alraeady spark interest and enquiries among my friends. To feed their curiosity with absolute answer, I attended to see it for myself. 2 things I thought was interesting are (1) the concept itself of which can be tighten and (2) a visit to SNIPS College of Creative Arts (I will do a separate entry on this as I personally think it is too inspiring to merge it in this entry. It deserve a standalone coverage).

Warm greetings and excited voices in the air in U-Café where we had our Halloween lunch; carrying the theme to the dot, U-Café kick-started our visit at the right tone. Lunch was indeed special as pumpkin fried rice was served in pumpkin jack itself. One that everyone can relate too, fried rice and Jack-o'-lantern. We were later brought into our mysterious journey… No. There weren’t any haunted corners in here, at least not that I know of. Ahaks.

We were taken to participating outlets, which is… Tattoo shops! One that never (and Islam forbid) has any permanent tattoo in her life, I became the nosy lot here. Asking 1001 questions, how long will it last, how long does it take? Do you design it yourself? Can we bring our own design? How much is it, is it depending on size and colour? All this was answer by them. Diligently. Then there was an air-brush tattoo which can last for a week and nicer in appearance (for ladies will love this). Same question was posted, and satisfying answer received. Psst… it’s cheaper too *wink*.

Mr. DIY was a surprise as they conducted a game for us with winning prices. I’m glad it was a find-the-item game and not paint your face as ghostly and ghastly as possible (phew… wipe forehead). Interestingly, I find this game enlighten me on what is available in Mr. DIY where I have always assume that it is a handyman shop. They have almost everything here except food and while searching and finding the item, I began to wish it was my shopping time. I guess Mr. DIY isn’t that bad after all.

We adjourn to SCCA or SNIPS College of Creative Arts of which I plan to write a full article, it is definitely inspiring. Promise.

So, stay tune guys and keep your eyes glued here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Kajang Prisoner Dept.'s My Pride Gallery | Kembara Kraf Selangor

“Ignorant as ignorant can be.

I heard and know that there are alot of activities that the prisoners do to develop and enhance their skillsets and at the same time generate income. Little did I know their produce is of international standard. Being at My Pride Gallery under Kajang Prisoner Dept. opened my eyes and has truly educated me. Given a chance, guidance, proper training; they too can be a high achiever with their skillset. Here we see basket weaving, batik canting, metal and wood art etc were crafted to the detail; intricately and exquisitely. Perfect.

Yes. Public can purchase it too, to help, encourage them, and boost their moral and confidence; and to remind us of humbleness, and humility.

I guess we learn new things every day.”


The above was what I wrote on my Instagram and I couldn’t say it any better nor longer. It pretty much says it all.

Their batik design as worn by Miss Malaysia during the pageant, a collaboration with Tenun Pahang Diraja. All batiks are hand painted.

I went with no expectation except of what I’ve heard, and clearly what I’ve heard did not paint to correct picture, their craft were ‘undersold, undervalued, underappreciated’. They deserve more attention and highlights, at least to my opinion. And I believe you will share my sentiment or at least amazement when you walk into the My Pride Gallery. The craft, the detailing, and the creativity is to be awed, I especially like the metalwork such as the bench, swings, sattee etc. 

One that fascinated all of us is the use of old denim to transforming it as sofa upholstery. The answer is Yes, they do sofa upholstery too, just provide the material you wish and send you sofa over. Creativity at its best I would say.

Talk about technology, if visiting the place worries you, you can also visit their MyPride - Online Shopping portal and place your purchase or simply view what they have to offer here :

Providing them with social skill and survival skill to help them move forward positively is an admirable work that Kajang Prisoner Dept. have done. Kudos!

Kembara Kraf Selangor Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with Tourism Selangor and UPEN with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Selangor Craft (Kembara Kraf Selangor 2015)

Fast becoming the craft hub, Tourism Selangor and Selangor Economic Planning Unit or Unit Perancang Ekonomi Negeri Selangor (UPEN) has embarked in yet another mission to differentiate and educate type of craft as well as introduce modern craft to the public, thus making Selangor the place and centre for modern craft.

I was introduced to the very first time of Selangor craft, being an ‘thorough bread anak Selangor’, am very much ignorant of what we have to offer unlike other states which I feel have a strong foothold in their craft and heritage, the likes of peranakan food, craft, architecture and culture for both Penang and Melaka famous all over the world, the Kelantan’s Wau Bulan craft and the renown Mak Yong dance art (that falls under the UNESCO Intangible heritage) or the Pua Kumbu print for Sarawak that has taken Malaysia to international level in fashion industry. After attending the Kembara Kraf Selangor, I can now be proud of Selangor craft that I have learnt and visited, and dare to shout-about. There are 3 types of craft that we’ve seen and I would personally like to share, namely :
  • Tribal and Traditional Craft
  • Modern Craft
  • Timeless Craft

I will guide and take you step-by-step of what we as proud Selangorian have to offer and would want you to share with us what you have so that we can help broadcast it even more and further. The mission is to create, showcase and make Selangor the centre of excellent (COE) for modern craft; especially now, with the birth of the hipster joints/cafes and the need of an outlet for modern craft enthusiasts and entrepreneurs to showcase their beautiful produce.

Tribal and Traditional Craft/Art

We set sail to rediscover traditional craft made under My Pride by Jabatan Penjara Kajang or Kajang Prison Department. Among handicraft or handiwork products produce by them are baskets, batiks, songkets, chair, tables and ornaments made of wood, iron and ferro cement etc. 

We were also introduced to tribal wood and nature craft by the Mah Meri tribe in Pulau Carey and Pack Cik Sabri; the wood ring-maker.

Modern Craft/Art
This is easily relatable and will be a great favourite for yuppies ([Y]oung [U]rban [P]rofessional), it comes in wide range that covers everything but everything. We were awed with #AmalKufi sharing on String-art Kufi, a unique and modern style of kufi art as well as with #SewFabby; a fabric art concept and #LuvlyTouch where we learnt on Polymer Clay Art that helps to counter depression as it stimulates neuro senses.

Timeless Craft/Art
Pressed-flowers made famous by Puan Esiah Kaimun from Banting, using naturally dried and pressed flowers for artwork design. An everlasting craft that was established in 1983; started and practiced in Japan; known as Oshibana, that gained popularity in England since the last 30 years or more. 

I’ve also learnt that historically, people occupied in small-scale production of handcraft goods are known as craftsman or craftswoman which are now being replaced by the term artisan or journeyman/woman. Started from passion or as an hobby, most of them has transformed this passion of theirs to a money generated hobby and became an entrepreneur. This exercise is to help broadcast them out and the availability of all these modern craft in Selangor.

I will share more on respective craft in my next blog entry.

Kembara Kraf Selangor Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with Tourism Selangor and UPEN with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fontainhas Old Latin Quarter in Panaji / Panjim, Goa

When did you fell in love with Goa?

When watching Kuch Kuch Hota Hei

I have such a high expectation on Goa after watching the movie and I bet some of us still do, but I was disappointed upon arriving, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t Goa in general that I was disappointed of, it was just the beach. I was given the impression of pristine and picturesque beach but when I reach there I was unimpressed. Perhaps I didn’t venture more or further, perhaps there are other wonderful beaches. Perhaps.

But what I was overwhelmed was - Panaji, the capital of Goa.

Panaji is a rich Portuguese influence city with its tiled roofs, baroque churches, colourful villas and home, and of course cobbled streets. Staying here in Panaji (as the beach site area was too expensive) was not what I expected, being warned that it is a distance walk from the bus station, an hour bus ride to beach and that the guesthouse was a bit hidden and far back from the Old Latin Quarter or Fontainhas kind of dampen and lowered my expectation, in fact, I felt worried. Until I saw the quarter, the day we took a stroll aimlessly, the day we decide to dine at one of the villas enjoying the local dailies, the day we chill; doing nothing. No thing.

The locals are super friendly, the environment is pretty safe, the culture is rich… all to my liking, wondering and wandering is fun. I spend half a day just walking and checking out the galleries, oh yah! There a few galleries here too. Just small ones. You get local handicraft shops, probably a handful yet you’ll enjoy browsing. Unlike those touristy places, come to think of it, I don’t remember seeing any tourist on some of the days we were there.

Other thing that caught my attention was the locals doing yoga, eateries with local ambience, nice expensive villas (for those who can afford), the converted kopitiam; now a Goa Café amongst other thing. As I was strolling in the evening, my pictures did not do it justice but I swear the ambience is fantastic. Especially if you like old architecture and culture. Don’t give this a miss.

One thing I wish travelers get to experience the same way we experienced was local wedding (again me failing to snap any pictures), during this we get to listen to their music which is Portuguese or Latin in nature, more upbeat and danceable. I too feel like joget joget. Hahahhaaaa…. I should just volunteered myself to joget together huh. 

Here is the Goa Portuguese Folk song /dance - 

Sounds familiar?
Like our Malaccan Portuguese song right?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Santa Claus Village, Arctic Circle

Dashing through the snow,
In a one horse open sleigh
Over the fields we go

Laughing all the way.

Santa Claus Village
After all, it’s 8km away from the Rovaniemi Airport, might as well right.

We did a quick few hours pit stop here enroute to the airport. We didn’t see Santa though as the queue was very very very long and we (or at least I) have nothing to wish for… Ahaks.

They have a few activities here but we only pick a few… the main reason why I wanted to visit this place is that I wanted to step on the Arctic Circle Line. Yes, you can do that… it ajer pun. Kiasu dak?! Hahhahahaa…. I will share more tips on luggage area and taxi to the airport from here. I find it hard to source for this info when I was preparing for my trip. Will definitely make a point to share with everyone.

Arctic Circle: The Arctic Circle cuts right through Santa Claus Village. A white line denoting the Arctic Circle (at its position in 1865) is painted across the park. Visitors officially enter the Arctic area when they cross the line. The line is a very popular photo spot for visitors.

Santa Claus' Main Post Office: A large variety of Christmas related items, Christmas cards and CDs are sold in the post office. All mail sent from this post office is postmarked with a special Santa Claus postmark. Visitors can also specify their mail to be sent at the next Christmas, regardless of when they actually visit the post office and send their items.

Santa Claus's Office: A Santa Claus's Office is located inside the main building of the Village, for visitors to take photographs and chat with Santa Claus. However, there is an "office hour" for Santa Claus and he may not be in the office all the time even when the Village is open.

Other attractions: There are also many shops and restaurants inside the park selling a variety of items related to Santa Claus and the Lapland region.

Source : Wikipedia

Aside from this, jeng jeng jeng… there is also Santa Park of which I did not visit, it is rather expensive and most of my money was spent at Ranua Zoo.

Elf Show
Santa's Workshop
Gingerbread Kitchen
Sleigh Ride
Elf School
Elf Workshop
Post Office

Source : Wikipedia


I don’t even know how to describe my excitement in Rovaniemi, first was the snow; its everywhere but everywhere, then the Ranua Zoo – the northern most zoo, followed by the northern most McDonald (apparently taken over by Russia), the Arctic Circle Line and now this; the Santa Claus Village! How lah not to love Finland.

The annoying part was the Igloo Bar & Restaurant and Igloo Hotel cost EU18 per entrance, aisey mannn….. mahai nya. Snowman World lagi. Aish… Bila nak kaya raya ni.

Anyway, nothing much for me to story mory here as I did not fall town, tripped on ice or do anything stupid. So, layan gambar ajer lah yek.

For more Santa Claus Village picture, please visit my Facebook Page HERE.

Entries on : 
Santa Claus Post Office at Arctic Circle
Yummiest salmon : Helsinki Old Market Hall
Ranua Zoo, an Arctic Zoo of the Lapland (Part 1)
I found my Wolverine in Ranua Zoo, an Arctic Zoo (Part 2)
Huskey sled. Reindeer sleigh. My Finland Trip! (Part 3)

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