Sunday 28 December 2014

ASEAN Explore Quest Malaysia 2014 - Part 2

The first day of ASEAN Explore Quest Malaysia (AEQM) 2014 started with a visit to Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, one of the most popular theme park in the country. The theme park also boasts for having the world’s highest, largest and most thrilling water ride – The Vuvuzela!

Dato’ Haji Azizan Noordin, the Deputy Director General of Tourism Malaysia was present to flag off the event by sounding the air horn, followed by loud cheers of the participants.  The first activity of the day was for each and every member countries to come up with their own unique welcoming dance and theme song. This was followed by a few telematch games which lasted until late noon. After lunch, the coordinator announced the winner of the telematch which went to team Malaysia. A one hour free and easy was later spent by the participants exploring the theme park while some were seen busy snapping some pictures before they call it a day at about 4pm.

The second day of the ASEAN Explore Quest Malaysia 2014 took the participants to Homestay Kampung Lonek in Jempol, Negeri Sembilan, about 90km south of Kuala Lumpur. The two hour journey by bus passed through the state’s capital town of Seremban and the more scenic Kuala Pilah town.
Kampung Lonek (Lonek village) is located in the district of Jempol, about 20km from Kuala Pilah town. Patches of paddy farms greet visitors as they enter the village. The villagers are mostly farmers and small traders. 

Experiencing a homestay in a traditional village or “kampung” is perhaps one of the fastest and easiest ways to get to know the real Malaysia. Guests will discover that things here move at a slower pace than in the city, and for those who relish the quiet calm of the rustic life, this is possibly as good as it gets. 
Hajah Badariah Ahmad, the chairperson of the village homestay association was already prepared to greet the AEQM entourage with a group of ‘kompang’ percussionists when we arrived shortly before noon. After a short welcoming speech and briefing by Hajah Badariah, the participants were divided into three groups before we were brought around the village in special trams for a tour and demonstration of dodol making, mengemping padi  (flattening of dry rice) and kelulut bee farm. We also got to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the paddy fields, irrigation canals and the traditional village houses during the two kilometre tram ride.

In the next event, two members of AEQM, one male and one female were randomly selected to be the bride and groom of a traditional malay mock wedding. Ms. Ying Kanyapatch of Thailand and JV, the hot vlogger from Vietnam were the lucky ones. Dressed up in the best songket costumes, the couple was paraded to the altar with the beat of the kompangs complete with a full entourage. The audience and the wedding couple were then feted with display of traditional dances and silat performances by the locals.

The last event for the evening was a village telematch of F1, tarik upeh and coconut bowling before we proceed to Port Dickson where we will be spending the night at Grand Lexis.

End of a long and tiring (but fun nevertheless) day 2….

Tuesday 23 December 2014

ASEAN Explore Quest Malaysia 2014 - Part 1

I was to represent Malaysia? Wow! “Is this for real?” I asked myself. That’s a real honour, representing your own country, wasn’t it?
The event was ASEAN Explore Quest Malaysia 2014 (AEQM). Tourism Malaysia organized it’s second year of the ASEAN Explore Quest Malaysia after having successfully organizing the same program last year. It started on the evening of the 13th of November with a press conference by the Director General of Tourism Malaysia, Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Also present was Syed Yahya Syed Othman, Director of Tourism Malaysia – ASEAN sector.
THE Asean Explore Quest Malaysia this year brings together glitzy personalities from 10 countries in the region. The second installment of the event sees over 100 participants – comprising regional celebrities, media members and tour agents – racing through four states in Malaysia.
Much like the previous year, the event melds exploration, homestays and photography competition into a The Amazing Race-like experience as participants traverse across some of the country’s top tourist destinations and perform a myriad of activities.
Participants travel by bus from Kuala Lumpur to Negeri Sembilan and Johor Bahru, and then proceed to Penang via flight while engaging in the country’s tourism products.
“We want to create a memorable event for the celebrities, media, travel agents and tour operators. At the same time, we also want them to have a first-hand experience of Malaysia,” said Tourism Malaysia director general Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, when interviewed by the media.
After the press conference, we attended the official opening and a hearty dinner whilst being entertained by some cultural performances. Performed by a troupe from the Negeri Sembilan Cultural Department, the guests were impressed with the local duo who sang popular songs from all the different countries, in their own different languages!

Towards the end of the performances, guests and participants were invited on stage to join in the Malay dance of ‘Joget’, a very upbeat traditional dance that enthralled both the dancers and the audiences. It was joined by Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyab himself!

Monday 3 November 2014

Legoland's Halloween Treat.

Sunday, the 2nd of November marked the last day of LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort’s ‘Brick or Treat’ Halloween celebrations with guests fully enjoying the giant LEGO® pumpkin attraction that was built using 28,000 bricks.

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