Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Teaser | World Of Wonders - Perak Darul Ridzuan

When I first received the World of Wonders (WOW) invite, I did 'wonder' what and where will Tourism Perak take us this time around? I mean, after all, I have attended a few of Tourism Perak Fam Trip and I truly believe I have covered a fair bit (if not all). Yet again, I underestimated Perak (and you think I should have learnt by now, right?!?). This time around the activities is to die for, much to my liking despite I am terrified of pacat, but you know what they say right - No Pain. No Gain.

So, here I am. Enduring the foreseeable pain in order to gain as much experience and enjoyment of Perak as I can. All I can say it.... it is totally worth it.

Here are some teaser pictures of what you can expect in my upcoming post (psst... the next one will be on Friday *wink*).

World of Wonders - Perak Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with Tourism Perak and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Long Forgotten Fortress : Somba Opu

I was told that we will be going to a 15th century Somba Opu Fortress of which I missed checking this out; no reading nor research was done. But the word ‘fort’ excites me, plus the fact that am going on a ride and sightseeing with Makassar’s travel bloggers add the cherry on top (with cream and all). Somba Opu; the name sounded very Polynesian, ethnic-ish, and very exotic. I started to imagine all sort if things. Everything. Getting there, we have to cross a river and later turn into a waterpark, hemm…. Waterpark next to a fort? Well… well… Guess what, that’s where we parked our car. I soon realized (as we walk towards the entrance), this might be a living museum – too my delight. 

Back during its golden days, the Gowa Sultanate decided to erect this beautiful complex as a country defense fortress from the Dutch and Portuguese colonialism attack, social meeting points and a trading centre. The success and wealth of Somba Opu drives power hungry westerners to own this Nusantara territory. Marking their win, control and most importantly supremacy. Somba Opu admit defeat to the Dutch VOC in 16th century and was left unkept, unattended and left to ruin.

I have a very high expectation on Somba Opu, however, some part was still under restoration and the rest looked stressed by the weather. There were a couple of houses that looks like it is open for public but we gave it a skipped, I saw a group of students pitching tents (must be school activities of some sort) and an archaeological museum where artifacts and relics found during excavations of the fort areas. It is said that Somba Opu is the strongest fortress ever built the archipelago, with its solid thick red brick walls and bastions guarding every angle with cannon known to be the most powerful during the time proves that the fort is impenetrable.

With its fame days narrated to me while I was there, the sense of pride seen on the locals’ face, I felt that Somba Opu Fortress should be better kept and managed, information and proper signages placed accordingly, its history video-ed and aired for the public to see and understand and perhaps seek the locals to act and relive its beautiful glory day. I truly believe it is worth the effort, dollars and time for the love of Makassar history, culture and heritage.

Somba Opu Fortress
Jl. Cendrawasih, Kab. Gowa
(access road to Jl. Daeng Tata)
Sulawesi, Makassar

Friday, March 11, 2016

Frankfurter in Frankfurt. And it's Halal!

Was browsing my Germany photos and realized I hardly (well 1 blog entry todate) blog about my trip. I guess there’s nothing much for you to blog about if you did a layover trip. Well, there was the Frankfurt old town and the factory outlet, that’s about it. For me at least.
Insisting myself to blog about Germany makes me relook al the whole Germany album. Ah hah! Found it. This will be a text heavy entry (which is quite rare for so I hope you read thru lah), enjoy….

As usual, when I travel, one of the main issue will be food; finding halal food to be exact. Of course alternatively I can go for pure vegetarian food, seafood, pork free and kosher (not in any particular order), but my first options will be halal food. The same goes for my layover city – Frankfurt. Having stopping here for less than 24 hours enroute to Balkan, I didn’t put any stress on it, maggi me will do. Yes, am simple liddat.

You know what? Was I wrong. Very wrong. So very very wrong.

“When you least expected, it’ll spellbound you. Always.” True?

Our journey begin when we arrived Frankfurt am Main Flughafen Fernbahnhof; the main train station, a short walk to the hotel we were staying. As I walk and look around, getting familiar with the surrounding I soon realized that there were a couple of halal shops, all within 5-10 minutes walking distance. I remembered saying to myself “I beginning to like Frankfurt, I underestimated this city”, obviously after the journey outskirt to the factory outlet, I told myself to revisit this city. A definite must.

Since halal restos are at abundance here, I do not need to ration my Brahim food stock *wink*, the days we were in Frankfurt, we will eat out.

I only have one concern though, frankfurter! I am in Frankfurt so obviously I should try their frankfurters. As we walk into the old town, Anna was leaping with joy “I must try this and this and that!” and I was only hoping to see a halal frankfurter stall/cart. Almost feeling disappointed, I saw this young chap selling frankfurters in green shirt, green container and green umbrella instead of the colourful rainbow coloured umbrella. Curiosity took over, and I made a beeline over and saw the word I was looking for “HALAL”, “Yeszaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…” I told myself (masa tuh rasa nak buat lompatan berpusing macam ‘Moero Attack’ hokkay). I told him what I want and eagerly waited. Snapped a few pictures *proud moment*.

Makanya… the taste?!?

Its ok, yummy but takde lah sampai termimpi-mimpi nak makan 3 juta kali lagi. Hehhehehhehe…..

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Arashiyama : The “NEW” Old (Bamboo Groove Illumination & Kimono Forest)

Having been to Arashiyama few years back didn’t quite prepare me for this trip. There were a few “NEW” old places that I rediscovered in this trip, namely the Bamboo Groove and Kimono Forest.

Truthfully I am rather impress with what the Kansai Tourism embarked in ensuring the return and growth of local and domestic tourist. An act I hope that our Tourism Malaysia will consider and perhaps consider to implement in Malaysia, I am sure it will be greatly welcomed by us Malaysian and tourist alike.

Bamboo Groove Illumination / Arashiyama Hanatoro 2015
Arashiyama celebrates Hanatoro every December for a duration of 10 days whereby lanterns and spotlights were placed at the Bamboo Groove pathway and lit up at dusk. During this period, the visiting hours are extended to greet the tourists. It created a magical and whimsical feel thus became a crowd puller every December.

I like the idea of how Tourism Kansai regenerates crowd interest by creating a new feel of an existing attraction. It increases the demand for the shops and restaurants to open till late hours that translate into business growth and high profit.

Kimono Forest
Located at Randen Tram Station on Kyoto’s Keifuku Arashiyama line, Kimono Forest stood beautifully still. It is a collection of kimono textile selected by Yasumichi Morita, places in a lit up cylinder-shaped pillars. It is best viewed from dusk till dark.

The objective is to create awareness on Japanese kimono art, giving the train station a new and unique ambience and feel, plus generating interest among the younger generation to appreciate Japan greatest icon, identity and heritage; Kimono.

As you can guess, we can do the same in Malaysia with our batik print, batik canting, pua kumbu print etc. Perhaps around KLCC or Masjid Jamek.

Interesting right? I will share more on activities in Arashiyama in my next post.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Bamboo Rafting at Ulu Hati, Hulu Langat

I have the chance to visit UluHati that I have been reading for the last 2-3 years, the name itself sounded full of passion and mysterious, a sense of curiosity swept over the first time I read the name and it still does. It was proven when I recce-d the place and met up with En. Shaipudin Shah Harun or Pak Din, a passionate pensioner, the mastermind and creator behind UluHati.

With an objective to create a place away from the hustle and bustle of city life (just an hour away from Kuala Lumpur), be closer to the greenery, and help the locals to create a sustainable income while preserving mother-nature. UluHati was created with love and passionate.

Everything was well thought through, from accommodation, to teambuilding activities to mentoring youngsters, to mention a few.

During Eat. Travel. Write Hulu Selangor edition, we were given an opportunity to experience bamboo rafting, an activity most looked forward by us. Working together with the locals in sourcing for the bamboo, building the raft and managing the whole raft course is a common practice by Pak Din. They work hand-in-hand seamlessly. We were split into 6 team with minimum 2 person per raft (excluding instructor) and followed the river downstream. The journey was calm and peaceful and participants get to enjoy the morning sun, and flora and fauna. A rare sight for us ‘budak bandar or city kids’. Ahaks. 

Water activity is not your thing? Worry not, there’s always hose riding, camping and ATV. Or perhaps you prefer to laze and enjoy the sound of nature while embracing a bit of vitamin C (something that I would love to do. Definiately.). As for food, one can always request or cater for all day dining from UluHati, or just drive to the nearest kampung and enjoy a bit of local delicacy which covers authentic dishes from the Jawa, Minang, Mandaling and Kerinci.

So, would I recommend UluHati for everyone?
The answer is YES. I highland recommend for you (and me) city folks, after all, it is only an hour away *smile*.

Lot 2668, Kampung Kuala Perdik
Jalan Ulu Lui, Batu 18
43100, Selangor

Contacts, location & directions :

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