Thursday, October 21, 2021

Palm Beach Resort & Spa Labuan | Beach view hotel


If you get to stay here, you will definitely be amaze with beach view… oh wait! You get to ride a horse too – just as the front desk tau.


Hotel being hotel I shall share with you my experience on the room. I only have ONE word – HUGE (or perhaps super HUGE). You basically can put another queen bed and still, there’s ample space for you to spread your luggage. You will also get a balcony WITH table and chair and all… boleh feeling-feeling breakfast/tea at the balcony facing the sea gitew.

To make life easier, let me share #TravelTips if you plan to stay a day or two here. Let’s go!
 
#TravelTips
1. Request for a beach facing room
2. As the room is super huge, 3 persons can stay in a room just ask for an extra bed
3. You have a huge vanity area in the bathroom as well as outside (takkan rebut-rebut punya lah)
4. On top of that, a working area for business traveler is available as well (different from the vanity area in the room)



5. The bedroom slipper is a flipflop so you can actually wear it to the pool (takyah bawak slipper)
6. Since the beach is a public area, you probably see stray dogs roaming (they won’t kacau you wan)
7. Occasionally you see them dogs roam at the hotel ground (garden), as they are harmless so please please please do not feed them with food. As it encourages them to come closely to human (for food)
8. The food you must try/request is the LAKSA SARAWAK – jangan kata sis tak payung tau
9. Breakfast food is so-so, due to the pandemic the hotel exercises strict SOP hence remember to ask for smaller portion if you plan to sample all the food there. Jangan membazir makanan
10. I did not manage to take a swim there but it look amazing kan kan kan



11. The hotel is located near a few attractions namely; Palm Beach Trail, Labuan Bird Park, Chimney Museum, and Chimney Walking Trail
12. Journey to the airport takes 20-30 mins max from the hotel (pretty convenient huh)
13. Journey to Pasar UTC (highlight recommended) takes about the same as to the airport.

In terms of hospitality they are okay, adhering to the SOP mandated by KKM and very helpful when asked for help.



PS : Labuan is not under/in Sabah, it’s a Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan similar to KL and Putrajaya

Palm Beach Resort & Spa Labuan
700, 87014 Labuan
Labuan Federal Territory
Website : https://www.palmbeachresortspa.com/






Labuan Geopark Media Trip is in collaboration with Tourism Malaysia, Tourism Labuan, Malaysia Airlines and all its sponsors.

#CutiCutiMalaysia #MaritahKaLabuan #TourismMalaysiaLabuan #TourismMalaysia #MalaysiaAirlines #MASWings #MASWingsMates







Monday, October 18, 2021

Pasar UTC Labuan | A MUST visit place


I have always been curious with local delicacies, hence it should not come with great surprise that I insisted to try or at least to look for my sayur paha-paha or pepaha (paha-paha vegetable) what some people claim to be unique to Labuan. Click HERE to learn about sayur paha paha as explained by the mak cik pasar. And because of this, I have been pestering Tourism (non-stop mind you) to take is to Pasar UTC Labuan – a so called ‘MUST’ visit place.


Finally, I got to do some local fruit/food hunting in Pasar UTC, and guess what… our guide Kak Kwa was with me the whole time. Not sure whether she is regretting it or not cos I asked plenty of questions as in P.L.E.N.T.Y! Told her she should be glad cos what I am doing is ‘membantu menyumbang pada ekonomi Labuan’ - I bought beras bukit merah, beras hitam, beras brown, beras bukit, ikan bilit mata biru, cumi-cumi, ikan keropok, cili putih and cili pandan. If they were to allow additional 30minutes, I would have bought the herba-herba mandian (this is so cool, will be sharing more). Or perhaps the whole pasar kot. HAHHAHAHHAAA…

I personally feel if you want to know the locals’ daily life/lifestyle, market/pasar or breakfast spot is the best place. All you need to do is sit down and watch or popularly known as people surfing. I will be giggling as I seeing them chit chatting; trying to understand the local dialect, watching them arranging their produce while cleaning the stall is like my personal TV Program. Do you know what I enjoyed best? Talking to them, and most of the time the respond is good and informative.


I started with buying my ikan bilis mata biru, I remembered one of my media friend told me to look for a stall with lesser tourist and when I asked why, he said ‘berbahagi rezeki’. I did just that here disregarding my friends asking me to purchase from the other stall, I said ‘takpe lah, berbahagi rezeki’. I felt proud. Ahaks.

After borong-ing ikan bilit mata biru, cumi-cumi and ikan keropok, Kwa the guide found me and told me she found THE paha-paha vegetable (vegetable = sayur in Malay language). I believe the right word to use is I ‘RAN’ to the stall… I asked the makcik how do the locals usually cook sayur paha-paha? And you know how a typical makcik will respond tight? She basically gave me the whole recipe, you can watch the REEL HERE… by the way, this vege is seasonal tau.


Next is the white and pandan birds eye chili. According to the makcik the taste is verydifferent from the usual red and green birds eye chili - click HERE to listen to mak cik. The spiciness kicks-in after. Apa lagi, beli lah kan… Not so sure KL ada tak. Video kat sini.


Then there bambangan jeruk that can be eaten with nasi panas-panas, sedap giler. A MUST MUST BUY tau!


From my observation, the market here is superbly CLEAN. And they pack everything beautifully, I even joked saying I don’t mind cooking everyday if the market is this clean in KL. Seriously (Eh! Korang percaya ke?). Click HERE for video.


Akar langir is used to mandikan mayat (to clean the corpse) as well as mandi pengantin (for wedded couple showering ritual) … This is sooooo interesting as this is the first time me hearing this. Apparently it is being practice by Kedayan tribe in Sarawak also, hence it is not unique to Labuan. I was made to understand by the makcik that you need to peel the langir root skin and boil it, sud will form and act like a soup thus camouflage the smell of the corpse. It is a custom that is not being practice as it used to. To view the video, click HERE.


And then there’s Kayu Patawali or Tinospora Crispa (Miers). It is good for high blood pressure and diabetes patients, the makcik said but I did not buy lah - see the mak cik HERE. My luggage is too full hahhahah…

And you must check out (to view the video, click HERE) the show herb - to buang angin, buang panas, lepas bersalin and etc.

Mind you, this is only a trip to the market. Next time, we go on food hunting trip pulak kay!


Labuan Geopark Media Trip is in collaboration with Tourism Malaysia, Tourism Labuan, Malaysia Airlines and all its sponsors.

#CutiCutiMalaysia #MaritahKaLabuan #TourismMalaysiaLabuan #TourismMalaysia #MalaysiaAirlines #MASWings #MASWingsMates









Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Staycation at Desa Tunas Hijau (Desaland), Labuan



So much has changed since I last came here, and the changes they did were amazing.

This is what I personally feel, the owner’s vision and mission supersedes everything. Dato’ Sri Mohd Alias Bin Abdul Rahman, the founder of Desa Tunas Hijau in Labuan took advantage of the pandemic to upgraded, revamped and improved this great place thus making it one of the most sought after place for outdoor and family recreation place.


Previously was equipped with activities such as ATV, kayak, a banquet hall and many more but now, the stage is beautifully decorated that it suits a wedding event (a rugged/outdoorish wedding theme would be perfect here). The pond not only caters for kayaking, but it also has paddle boats, water roller balloon and many more. What caught me by surprise is that Desa Tunas Hijau or Desaland has accommodation for guest to overnight, this was the highlight for me. You can use the accommodation for wedding prep or family to stay, ourdoor activities R&R place, staycation, picnic and many more. How great is this!!!! 

Let me share some of the places they have here, I bet you gonna get as excited.


Twin Rooms x 3 units




Suitable for family as it comes with 2 rooms
#TravelTips : Bring own sleeping bag or TOTO - fit more people
Weekend : RM320
Weekday : RM300 


Studio Room x 2 units



Suitable for couple or honeymooner
Weekend : RM300
Weekday : RM250 


Pine Cabin x 4 units 



#TravelTips : Connected and covered to the banquet, no problem come rain or shine
Weekend RM250
Weekday RM220 


Treehouse x 1unit (fan)



#TravelTips : Bathroom and toilet is located on the ground (common area)
Weekend RM180
Weekday RM150 


Campsite Rent


Suitable for youngster, scouts camping trip and gathering sesh, BBQ pit is available
#TravelTips : A great Family Day venue.
Daily RM10 per/head per/day (sewa tapak)
Tent Rent
Type 1. Cabin Tent - RM100.00
Type 2. Highlands Lodge Tent - RM100.00
Type 3. Cypress Grove Tent - RM120.00
Type 4. Timber Lodge Tent - RM100.00
Type 5. Wilderness Cabin Tent - RM100.00



There are also a few new ones that is still under construction, lodge facing the pond as well as igloo type tent. Can’t wait for this one.


As for the ATV ride, here’s the #TravelTip :
1. Check the tide, go during low tide.
2. If its during low tide, beg them to let you ride by the beach. It is MORE fun.
3. If you ride within the Desa Tunas Hijau compound, make sure you take care of your shoes as the ride takes you thru muddy pothole (saja jer kan supaya thrilling sikit).
4. You get to ride for 30 mins at the rate of RM60.00, don't worry 30 mins is sufficient. Having said that, You can also do a 1hr ride which cost RM100. Janji enjoy.
5. It is very easy and driving license is not required. Hahhahhah…
6. Helmet will be given to each rider.
7. Briefing will be given and the marshal will take you around, follow him (so jangan dok pandai-pandai).
8. Remember to take loadsa photos. Paling penting ni, hahahahhaha….




My suggestions are :
1. Local Labuan : Do your staycation here, after all they have BBQ pit as well
2. Travelers : Instead of booking your stay in a hotel, come here instead.
 
 
Desa Tunas Hijau
Jalan Sg Pagar, Kg Sg Miri
87008, WP Labuan
Website : https://www.desaland.com.my/



Operating Hours
Monday – Friday : 9:00AM–5:00PM
Saturday – Sunday : 9:00AM–5:00PM




Labuan Geopark Media Trip is in collaboration with Tourism Malaysia, Tourism Labuan, Malaysia Airlines and all its sponsors.
#CutiCutiMalaysia #MaritahKaLabuan #TourismMalaysiaLabuan #TourismMalaysia #MalaysiaAirlines #MASWings #MASWingsMates








Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Labuan’s G1 Geopark - Tanjung Kubong Chimney Walking Trail

This marks my second time on the Chimney Walking Trail. The first trip I started from the Chimney Museum (or Punil known to local) itself which feasted my eyes with totally different experience and view, this time around we started from the entrance next to the museum which eventually lead to the same final destination – the cliff (what I like to call this spectacular place). I have to say, this time around felt easier or perhaps because I already know what to expect. As suspected, around the Gedung Ubat or Ammunitions Storage is a popular place for photo taking. Everytime.


The area somehow gave a savannah vibe (perhaps due to dried grasses and leafless trees) with a touch of greenery enveloping it, over time and due to the natural process of erosion it is amazing to find soft powdery white sand on the cliff yet none seen on the beach below. I guess the sea level was higher thousands of years ago.

It was said that this Chimney Walking Trail loop is approximately 3-4km or so; depending on your starting and ending point. And easy/moderate trail I would say, having said that if you have an injured knee (like moi), do be careful as you descent to the beach, the boulders and rocks tend to get slippery especially after the rain. Other than that, it is fairly doable and suitable for a morning or evening walk, it takes less than half an hour to reach the beach unless you terhegeh ambek banyak gambar like us lah.


Along the trail you’ll get to see :
- British graveyard – 5 tombstones dating back to 1866 believed (I did not bump into this, thank goodness for that!)
- Gedung Ubat or Ammunitions Storage
- Coal formations and sea cave
- And of course the cliff (it is said that on a good day, you can even see Gunung Kinabalu and also the best place to view sunrise)

The Tanjung Kubong Chimney Walking Trail lead to the beach where you can see the rock formation that is estimated to be 15 million years old of sandstone lithology of the Belait formation. The Belait Formation consist of crossbedded sandstone, interbedded sandstone, siltstone, coal and shale that overlies the Setap Shale in Klias Peninsula. It is an extension from the Klias Peninsula that is located at the south-western part of Sabah.


During the walk we could find coal pebbles by the beach. Further reading shows that during 19th century, Labuan major export was coal and the main source is situated in Tanjung Kubong. Based on my desktop research, the said coal mined in Labuan is claimed to be of the highest quality ie. with little sooty residue.

In fact if you visit the Chimney Museum you will find history of the New Central Borneo company; the lessee for the coal mine constructed an 11 mile Labuan Coal Line to transport coal from Tanjung Kubong to the town; previously known as Victoria Port. The Labuan Coal Line was built under the leadership of a British civil engineer, Arthur Joseph West.



It was indeed a very educational and informative walk, we later ended our evening walk at Wak Kiman Point for the yummiest chocolate cake I ever tasted (either that or I am extremely tired and hungry).

Chimney Museum/Chimney Walking Trail
Kg Lubok Temiang
Jalan Tanjung Kubong
Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan





Labuan Geopark Media Trip is in collaboration with Tourism Malaysia, Tourism Labuan, Malaysia Airlines and all its sponsors.
#CutiCutiMalaysia #MaritahKaLabuan #TourismMalaysiaLabuan #TourismMalaysia #MalaysiaAirlines #MASWings #MASWingsMates












Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Gyeongpodae Pavilion Architecture


One thing that always fascinated me (or more like what I love about kinda thingy) is the (colourful) Korea architecture. It got me wondering so I did a little bit of googling on Gyeongpodae Pavilion in specific (I mean, I would have gone to Korea and ask around but yah… let’s blame it on the pandemic gitew).


Gyeongpodae Pavilion has been designated as Regional Cultural Asset. Located on a small hill north of Gyeongpo Lake, Gwangdong (northeastern coast). At this scenic site is where this famous pavilion was moved in 1508 from its previous location, built in 1326 this beautiful architecture has five pillars in the front and on its side,with Korean distinctive gabled roof. Its architectural feature is the “paljak” roof that is commonly used in Korean large and tall pavilion. What makes it even more interesting is the 28 pillars surrounding the pavilion and that 5 columns at both front and sides, 48 columns in total with different floor heights. Amazingly the roof is shaped like the Chinese character "" from the side.

Park Sukjeong was the first person that built the pavilion who is also the governor of Gangwon-do, at the site of Inwolsa temple from the Three Kingdoms period (57 B.C.-A.D. 668). Later it was moved and rebuilt by Han Geup in 1508; the mayor of Gangneung of which was reconstructed and repaired many many many a times. The beauty of this pavilion is the scenic mountain view, lake and sea.




I found out that there are 12 pavilions in the Geyongpodae area, namely Geumnanjeong, Gyeonghojeong, Banghaejeong, Haeunjeong, and many more. And that the best time to visit is between March and October.








Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Gayageum | A Korea musical instrument

When I first saw the instrument it immediately reminded me of the Chinese Guzheng.

Having studied in Chinese school all my live, I am not new to Guzheng infact my school has a club and class for those who want to learn about this instrument. When I found out about Gayageum I was like... eh eh… this looks similar to Guzheng lar.

And what fascinate me event more was that, when I was searching for more info on Gayageum I found out about this >>>
On the Korean Peninsula, the gayageum was part of the music of court halls, ceremonies, rituals, and commemorative, religious and social celebrations. The ancient Gaya Confederacy is where the name gayageum, which literally means "Gaya instrument," comes from. The harp has strings made of nylon or other materials that are organized, with each string having an absolute sound
different from that of other strings, while the gayageum's strings rest horizontally on its wooden body. The harp has 47 strings while the gayageum traditionally has 12. <<<<

Out of curiosity I search over the internet the key differentiator between this two - Korean Gayageum and Chinese Guzheng. And these are my findings :

Korean Gayageum
- The players will put the Gayageum on their knees in a cross-legged position when they playing the instrument.
- The sounds are rather soft for the Korean Gayageum.
- The Gayageum is able to change the string pitch by manipulating or moving the bridge.
- The other uniqueness of Gayageum is that it is played with the bare fingers.
- Its strings is made out of silk.
- Last but not least, the Gayageum was invented by Wu Ruk, who was commissioned by Gaya’s king.

Chinese Guzheng
- It is played lying horizontally on the floor.
- The Guzheng has twenty-one strings made of metal.
- It is also played with the fingers by pushing the left side of string to produce a vibrato effect.
- The Guzheng requires picks on the player’s right thumb, forefinger, and middle finger.
- Finally, Guzheng instrument creates a celestial sound by doing rapid alternate picking.

Photo credit : Tourism Korea

Do you know that you can actually visit Goryeong, the capital of Daegaya where the glorious culture and heritage Gaya prospered. At Gayatgo village, you can actually experience Gayageum as it is the symbols (or icon perhaps?) of the village. And you might be amazed this village has the best Gayageum experience hall in the whole South Korea – according to their local lah. If you want to know how the instrument is made you can take a tour at the workshop and check-out the ‘how gayageum is being assembled/made’ and of course learn a simple song or two, and later entertain you friends during meal time.

For those that is interested to listen to the soothing sound of Gayageum, you can head over to Spotify and listen.







Thursday, September 2, 2021

Alpaca World in Gangwon-do, South Korea


I found this place from Jaslin Puasa during his last trip to South Korea, I thought I should blog about it as I feel it will be a great place to visit when you are coming here. So, I am going to share some tips for you guys to ease your travel.
 
#TravelTips
1. Good walking shoes is a must because Alpaca World is 110,000 square feet making it the largest forest experience farm in Korea.
2. Alpaca food can be bought at vending machines that is conveniently located around the farm.
3. You need to purchase the "Pacacoin" at the ticket office in order to buy the Alpaca food. Each coin is worth ₩1,000.
4. Bring lotsa cash as the vending machines accept only cash.
5. There are indoor and outdoor activities, incase of rain just run indoor.
6. Do ride on the safari train around the hillside. It takes a brief stop for you to take close-up photos with the alpacas.
7. Aside from alpacas, the farm animals such as rabbits, deer, duck. eagles, peacock, pony and etc are available for guest.
8. There is also a colouring land for kids. Head there for some kids’ activity time.
9. Don’t worry about food as there’s food court available near the Alpaca walks and an Alpaca Cafe located near the ticketing office.
9. Souvenirs can be purchase at the Alpaca World at its Art Shop gift shop. Get the soft toy Alpaca!
10. Best time to go is Spring and Autumn. Having said that, Alpaca World operates whole year round except during Lunar New Year's Day and Korea Thanks giving Day. Obviously!
 
Herd animal such as Alpacas are usually inhibiting high mountain areas of Peru, Bolivia and Chile. You can see them in group of 20 at an altitude of 3,500 to 5,000 meters. Alpacas have a natural life span of 15–20 years and their diet are mostly grass, but occasionally leaves wood, bark or stems.
 
Fun fact : Many do not know that Alpacas are also known for being a therapy animals that can help people with traumatic experiences. Interesting huh!
 
AlpacaWorld
310, Pungcheon-ri
Hwachon-myeon
Hongcheon-gun
Gangwon-do, Korea

Website : https://www.alpacaworld.co.kr/
 
Operating Hour
10:00-18:00 (last admission: 17:00)
 
Entrance Fee
Kids and Adult : ₩15,000 (age 3-64),
Senior Citizen : ₩12,000 (age 65 & above)
Walking with Alpaca : ₩10,000
Alpaca Safari Train : ₩3,000
Animal feeding experience: ₩1,000 p/cup
 
Transportation to Alpaca World
- Take the intercity bus from Dong Seoul/East Seoul Bus Terminal’s Gangbyeon Station via line 2/exit 4 to Hongcheon Bus Terminal (1 hr/7,400 won).
- Take the Deokbatjae Pungcheon bus and get off at Deokbatjae (1hr 6 mins).
Walk 918m on the road (with the traffic) to Alpaca World.









Friday, August 27, 2021

The Many Type of Kimchi


My life is very simple when it comes to South Korean famous delicacy – Kimchi. I have also thought that kimchi is cabbage and spicy paste (what a simple brain I have) BUT NOOOOOO… apparently there are many many MANY type of kimchi. I am in awe…

Kimchi originally was a way to preserve vegetables during the winter months, this was back in the olden days lah. What began as pickles in a salty brine turned into the kimchi we know today, of course with the addition of various spices and condiments ie. paprika powder. Kira macam telah diberi nafas baharu gitew.

Nabak Kimchi is clear and soup, one that I have yet to try. 

Chonggak Kimchi a.k.a Young Radish is actually interesting as it is named base on how in the olden days Korean bachelors braid their hair. FYI, chonggak = “bachelor” in Korean language.

After a bit of help from Mr Google, I was made to understand that there are more than 50 kimchi varieties based on the raw materials being used, its processes, as well as spice and preparation methods. Not only that, it is also identified according to region, right down to its temperature and other environmental conditions, and this has led to the creation of more than 100 different varieties of kimchi.


Pakimchi (green onion kimchi) is crispy and much easier to make it seems.

I’ve learnt that Korean cabbage and radishes are among the most popular vegetables for kimchi, but I was surprised to found out that there are other types of kimchi aside from this 2 vegetables ie cucumbers, chive, carrots, onions and eggplants. You might be as surprise as I am to know that kimchi can also be in soup form – spicy red soup or spicy clear soup. There is also kimchi pancake and kimchi fried rice too, kimchi meehoon ada tak rasanya?

Oi Sobagi or Cucumber Kimchi is crunchy in texture and perhaps one of the recipes that doesn’t require one to ferment it.

In general, kimchi making process involves seasoning the vegetables and fermenting them until they soften and absorb the flavours. Its recipe gives kimchi fishy gochugaru (flaked peppers) flavor, ginger, garlic paste and fish sauce, and of course the spice. It is said that there are also Kimchi-jjigae or meat and seafood kimchi such as chicken kimchi, oyster kimchi, codfish kimchi, squid kimchi and etc but this is to added to improve and varies its flavor.

Yeolmu Kimchi or Water Radish Leaf Kimchi is popular dish during the summer.

Stuffed green chili pepper kimchi or in Korean Putgochumulkimchi reminds me of solok lada for nasi kerabu.

In general, kimchi making process involves seasoning the vegetables and fermenting them until they soften and absorb the flavours. Its recipe gives kimchi fishy gochugaru (flaked peppers) flavor, ginger, garlic paste and fish sauce, and of course the spice. It is said that there are also Kimchi-jjigae or meat and seafood kimchi such as chicken kimchi, oyster kimchi, codfish kimchi, squid kimchi and etc but this is to added to improve and varies its flavor.

Baechu-kimchi is basically cabbage kimchi or mostly referred to as kimchi.

Other common kimchi :
Napa Cabbage Kimchi is served in winter and early spring.
Perilla leaf kimchi (from Daun Pudina family) or Kkaennip kimchi, this fragrant kimchi commonly eaten during summer time as well.
Apparently Buchu kimchi or garlic chives kimchi is one of the easiest to make. Jom make.

Kimchi pancakes is made with wheat flour and perhaps leftover kimchi.

Kimchi fried rice or kimchi-bokkeum-bap is basically like our nasi goring but using kimchi, and some with cheese.


Gosh! All these kimchi are making me hungry. Jom makan kimchi!








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