Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Penang | Tropical Spice Garden

Do you know ginger plant?

What we know is ginger lah kan, ie halia.
But do you also know that bunga kantan (torch ginger) is a ginger plant? Tumeric is also a ginger, do you know this?

This gets even more interesting :
But did you know that gingers can be loosely used to refer to any one of a whopping 3,000 species of plants? Falling under the ginger order (Zingiberales), this group includes eight plant families as diverse as the heliconias (Heliconiaceae), orchidanthas (Lowiaceae) and even bananas (Musaceae)!
YUP! Banana is also under the ginger family. We found this out at the Tropical Spice Garden.
Interesting huh.

Fun facts
  • Medium to steep gradients (Wear propershoes)
  • Total walking trails 2km
  • Total area size 6 acres
  • Audio guides are available in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Arabic, Japanese, German and French
  • Guided tour is also available sharing on plants medicinal benefits, folklore and the historical spice trade of these magical plants alive. Tours takes approximately 1.30 hours.
  • Cooking class available covering Penang dishes - Nyonya, Malay, Indian-Malay, Thai, Penang Street - food and Asian Vegetarian cuisines.
  • Nature education available for kids under the ages of 12 such as Spice & Herb guided tour, scavenger hunts, and arts & craft.
  • There is also night walk to see nocturnal plants and animals in their natural habitat. Torches, mosquito repellent and refreshments are provided. Walks start from 8:00pm – 10:00pm. Call in advance.
  • Tropical Spice Garden offers team building packages (half day and full day)

Entrance Fee

Tropical Spice Garden
Lot 595 Mukim, 2
Jalan Teluk Bahang
Teluk Bahang, 11050
George Town
Pulau Pinang

Operating hours
Open 9 am to 6 pm daily
Last admission at 5.15 pm

The VM2020 Heritage and Family Fun 2019 Media Fam Trip is organized by Tourism Malaysia in partnership with all its sponsors.

Friday, January 17, 2020

World’s longest water slide | Escape Penang Water Park

Well, people who know me, KNOW ME.
I don’t like my trip to involve water as I have to pack extra – beach bag, swimsuit, towel, toiletries so on and so forth. The luggage will be heavier and I have to ensure I bring extra plastic bags to store them wet cloths. You get the drift right. Basically very very the leceh.

So, when I saw the itinerary… I do the usual ie googling each destination to understand what I will be covering and how to angle my writing etc.

‘Escape! Hemmmm…. OK’ I remember telling myself. I have to pack extra lah maknanya kan. Consoling myself ‘kena pack slipper and towel gak ni’ murmuring under my breath.

Credit : Escape

Reluctantly I pack. Whole trip was great… Enjoyed myself thoroughly – very informative, action pack activities, great travel buddies. Then the last day came, Escape! Told meself to at least play 1 ride #demisebuahcontent. I asked Miera is it scary? I googled, I watched video, I read reviews…. Everyone said it is slow, not scary at all. Just that the ride is 1.1km long… few mins till you reach the end.
Great! I shall do this. One content done!
We took our float and head to the chairlift (I ain’t gonna take he staircase, tinggi giler kot)…

Credit : Attractions Management

Every was ok… then it was our turn; Nisa and I. Both penakut and scared of height, salah pairing nih. I sit and as Nike’s motto ‘Just Do It’. And we splashed down… screaming and enjoying the ride. Half way I stop screaming ‘bila nak sampai bawah ni? Bosan giler’…. ‘Are we there yet?!?’.

Yeah, we arrived and has a photo as a proof. The ride was around 4 mins kot but the queue was like 20mins or so. Sejenis kegigihan kalau nak buat second round, memang tak lah kan. By then the adrenaline rush kicks-in for all of us, I was persuaded to try the face-down steep scary splash (tak lah scary tapi I kan penakut [eyes rolling]). And strangely I said ‘OK, jom!’. Mabuk kot masa tuh… Hahhahaha….

Credit : STAR

We did the ride, all 6 of us… we were competing. Yup! We came out with this idea (masalah bila queue lama, semua orang jadi came out with weird ideas), we shall compete WHO will reach the FURTHER POINT of the splash. Remembered someone said that the heaviest will win. I lah tuh lah… me admitting.

I was wrong, I couldn’t garner enough inertia and I was placed second (macamlah ada hadiah). Tetiba rasa best pulak… apa lagi nak main yek. I think my adrenaline when into turbo boost gear. Baru dok piker-pikir nak main apa, we were asked to pack, get ready as we need to head for lunch and then pecut balik KL.

BUUUUUUUUUUT I tak puas main lagi lah! Mana aci.
Jarang I enjoy water park ni tau.
Fine! Nanti kena dating lagi sekali.

Credit : Escape

 MUST ride the longest slide in the world - 1.1km long!
 Spend 1 full day at each park (dry and wet)
 MUST also experience Banana Flip (water) and Splash
 Wear slippers, preferably the one with strap
 Bring own water as you easily get dehydrated
 Bring own TOWEL and toiletries
 Purchase tix online to avoid long queue
 Come early so you'll have more time to play and repeat.

Operating hours
Tuesday - Sunday (closes on Mondays)
10am - 6pm

828 Jalan Teluk Bahang
11050 Penang, Malaysia

The VM2020 Heritage and Family Fun 2019 Media Fam Trip is organized by Tourism Malaysia in partnership with all its sponsors.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Penang KOMTAR | Rainbow Skywalk and The Gravityz - World's Highest Rope Course Challenge

Cold feet. Chicken feet? Chicken out!!!!

Yup! That’s me alright.
Scared of height. Gayat.

I bet you will too if you take a look at Penang Komtar’s The Gravityz.
Basically there is NO safety net. And you will be hanging at 65th floor rope dependent.

KOMTAR stands for Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak, Malaysia’s 2nd Prime Minister. KOMTAR Tower's is also Penang's tallest building was erected in 1974 and completed in 1986. 2015 marked the year revamping of KOMTAR took place, 3 additional storeys were added. This additional floor is where the Rainbow Skywalk and The Gravityz are located; world's highest rope course at the 65th floor.

KOMTAR houses multipurpose complex, comprising retail outlets, a transportation hub and administrative offices aside from Geodesic Dome, 7D Discovery Motion Theater, Magic Mirror Maze, Danceoki, 5D Ocean Explorer, Jurassic Research Center and many more. There is also a Gym in the Sky on the 66th floor.

2 unique attractions that I experience are the Rainbow Skywalk (Level 68), a semicircle glass floor bridge walkway. As for The Gravityz (Level 65) of which I ‘partially” tried, a rope obstacle course along the exterior of the 65th floor, including a zip-line challenge (scary as there is no safety net). Partially tried basically mean I tried but chicken out. OK OK OK! I did gear up and all but as I step out and look out. It is scary shit man! That was when I chicken out and retract myself. Ahaks

Rainbow Bridge

There’s 2 glass floor, one is on 68th floor (out door) and the other one is indoor on 65th floor. I did both (well, kinda). They persuaded me to did the full semicircle of the Rainbow Bridge, for a person that is scared if height this is really terrifying. But demi sebuah content, I took 1 big step on the bridge and got them to quickly crawl back to the building. Literally crawled back. Kid you not.

As for the indoor version of the glass floor. It wasn’t as scary (tetiba overconfident), having said that, I still dare not dance and walk everywhere like the rest of them. But no screaming and crying lah.

Rainbow Skywalk
Level 65 @ The Top
Menara Komtar
Penang Island

Operation Hours
Sunday to Thursday
11:00am to 10:00pm
Friday to Saturday
11:00am to 11:00pm
(Selected Public Holiday and School Holiday from 10.00am to 10.00pm)

Do book online to avoid queues : https://thetop.com.my/buy-tickets/

The Gravityz

No. It’s a no for me. Despite the fact that I negotiated for a photo opp just outside the exit. Here’s the thing, I came out with this brilliant idea of having a photo just outside the exit (my bravest moment) but guess what?!?! I forgot to inform them to take a photo of me and they are nowhere in sight. So I have no prove of execution. Cis. 

The rest of them takde fear langsung, especially Miera. I rasa dia ni Avengers kot. By the way, The Gravityz's ropes course consist Confidence Path, High Bench, A Great Bridge, X-Point, Z-wire and G-Rocky.

The Gravityz
Level 65 @ The Top
Menara Komtar
Penang Island

Operation Hours
Monday to Sunday
11:00am - 2:00pm
4:00pm - 7:00pm
(break at 3pm)

Public holiday & school holiday
11:00am - 7:00pm

Do book online to avoid queues : https://www.thegravityz.com/booking

The VM2020 Heritage and Family Fun 2019 Media Fam Trip is organized by Tourism Malaysia in partnership with all its sponsors.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The Taiping secret : Dr. Sun Yet Sen, Chen Ciufen and Antong Coffee Mill

The house where Chen Ciufen and Dr. Sun Yet Sen stayed when they were in Taiping.

This was written at the gate of Antong Coffee Mill or Aun Tong as written in chinese 东.
Now I got slightly distracted AND curious.
Who is Chen Ciufen (we all KNOW who Dr. Sun Yet Sen is)
And who is Antong?
I need answer! (Nancy Drew mode ON, [hair flip])

Alexa, search Chen Ciufen!
(Unfortunately I don’t have Alexa to assist me (drama jer lebih), I therefore rely on the old and trusty Mr. Google)
I found the link between Chen Ciufen, Dr. Sun Yat Sen and Antong Coffee Mill.


Next to the Antong Coffee Mill is the Changchun Pu villa. There is a statue not far from the door, the  statue of Dr. Sun Yat Sen. It is said that Chen Ciufen travelled to Tanah Melayu in 1914 after she broke up with Dr. Sun Yet Sen and stayed at Changchun Pu villa for a few years.

And in 1940, Tiah Ee Mooi rented the land next to Changchun Pun and set up Aun Tong Coffee Mill. Tiah Ee Mooi bought over the property in 1942 and became the owner of Antong Coffee Mill.

You are welcome to visit the living room of Changchun Pu villa to look at the old photos, memorabilia or just walk around and feel the olden days vibe.


Being Malaysia’s oldest coffee mill established in 1933, this halal certified coffee produce sources their bean from both local and internationally; from Johor, Sabah and Sarawak to Indonesia, Kenya and Brazil. Not only that, it also sells kopi luak or civet coffee, one of the best and most expensive.

It also has a guided tour at the mill on coffee production where it take your on a journey of how an Antong Coffee is being made/produce. What caught my eyes are their flavoured coffee. I am not a coffee drinker nor do I eat durian (yeah, I’m weird. I know)… they durian coffee and mint coffee. I bought the durian coffee for a friend who loves both durian and coffee. Am yet to find out how the mint coffee taste like.

Aside from that, it also houses a café if you just wanna lepak while sipping a cuppa.

Antong Coffee Mill
Kampung Asam Kumbang

Email : info@antong.my
URL : www.antong.my

Office operating hours : 8.30am – 5.30pm daily
Mill operating hours : 8.30am – 12.30pm – closed on Sundays

The VM2020 Heritage and Family Fun 2019 Media Fam Trip is organized by Tourism Malaysia in partnership with all its sponsors.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Malaysia Telegraph Museum (Taiping)

Many might not know, but Taiping boast to have 33 first in Malaysia. And you must be wondering what do I mean by ’33 first’ right?
Well, there are 33 items that were implemented or erected in Malaysia located in Taiping, such as the Lake Garden – 1884, Telegraph Office – 1877, Railway – 1885, Museum – 1886, General Hospital – 1881 among others.

And today, I would like to share one of it… the Telegraph Museum.

The Telegraph Office (PWD 103) is located at the end of the first railway line in Malaya between Taiping to Port Weld, where the Post & Telegraph Department (P&T) is, the original name of the present Telekom Malaysia (TM).

Telegraph office are usually located at the trail station as telegraph instruments were installed at each station as information travels faster via railway back in the 19th century. Prior to that it was via horse carriage hence crucial information might take weeks or months to reach the other party. The telegraph is an important medium of communication for sending critical news, and this message was known as telegram. Telegram service in Malaysia was terminated in 2012.

2 things that thrilled me the most, (1) Gutta Percha and (2) Laying of submarine cable. The rest are the telegraph communications system use back then. Let us focus on the 2 item mentioned earlier shall we [wink].

Gutta Percha

Is a tough plastic substance from the latex of Malaysian tree (especially Palaquium gutta or locally known as pokok Nyatoh Taban Merah) that resembles rubber but contains more resin and is used as cable insulation and extensively for submarine and underground cables due to its non-conductivity for electricity and heat, and imperviousness to water.

Also displayed is the Gutta Percha grindstone aside from the actually tree itself. There is a brief explanation on how the Gutta Percha sap is extracted by crushing and grinding the tree’s leaves under granite roller. The sap is put into a pot and boiled with a little water to prevent it hardening when exposure to air. Very informative.

Laying of submarine cable

Have you ever wondered how back in the 10th century a telegraph cable is being laid on the seabed?
The first submarine communications cables laid in the South East Asia linked Singapore to Jakarta in 1870 carried telegraphy traffic, establishing the first instant telecommunications links between continents. The South East Asia Commonwealth (SEACOM) system went live in 1967.

Where else in 1874, the 1st inland telegraph lines link Taiping and Kuala Kangsar, and later a few more linkage including from Simpang to Port Weld (Kuala Sepetang). In fact within in Taiping itself, telegraph network links between the British Resident General’s office to critical and important places such as the police station, army and of course the hospital.

Also being showcased here is the Bukit Mertajam Railway Footbridge, museum restoration process, sample of telegrams and a copy of Mat Kilau activity report that was sent via telegram in 1895.

Telekom Museum in KL and Telegraph Museum in Taiping are under Telekom Malaysia (TM) via its foundation Yayasan Telekom Malaysia (YTM). YTM mission is to continue its role in preserving arts, culture and our national heritage.

Operating Hour
Monday – Sunday : 9am – 5pm (except for public holidays)

Entrance Fee
Adult : RM8 (MyCard), RM15 (Foreigner)
Kids : RM5 (MyCard), RM10 (Foreigner)
Old citizen : RM5
Student : RM3

The VM2020 Heritage and Family Fun 2019 Media Fam Trip is organized by Tourism Malaysia in partnership with all its sponsors.

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