Thursday, 31 January 2013

"Return Of Warriors" Showdown

Please make a date for the ultimate showdown in Malaysian Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) event of the year! This classic battle of styles will be between two of Malaysia’s most well-known martial arts, Silat, represented by AJ “Pyro” Lias Mansor VS Muay Thai, represented by Jian Kai “The Headhunter” Chee

More story on AJ "Pyro" Lias Mansor in my next entry.

For more information on ticket sale, please visit:

Monday, 21 January 2013

Visit Malaysia Year 2014 Kicked Off To A Grand Start!

“Awesome! Simply awesome!” was all Steve could say when asked to comment on the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 promotional campaign official launch that was held on the 19th January recently. Steve, an engineer from South Africa was among the tens of thousands of visitors that thronged the Bukit Jalil National Stadium here, the venue of the grand celebration. The three day event which started on the 18th of January showcased the best of Malaysian hospitality and attractions with participations from the tourism industry players, homestay operators, 1 Malaysia Contemporary Art Tourism (MCAT) as well as the various relevant government agencies.

The hundreds of clowns in various costumes enlivened the carnival atmosphere

Hundreds of booths offering numerous products from souvenirs to books, bicycles to big bikes are being sold at attractive discounts. Also on display was 1 Malaysia Chopper, a customized motorcycle produced by Paul Teutul  Sr. of the American Chopper fame. The project was sponsored by Tourism Malaysia and two episodes of the series were aired in the Discovery Channel last year. 

Another exciting attraction not to be missed was the massive 1Malaysia Food Court with almost 100 hawker stalls serving local and ethnic dishes from all over the country which was set up in an open tent. Malaysia is synonym with fabulous food, so it was no surprise to see the food court being a big hit with the locals and foreigners. Food lovers were spoilt for choices as food from almost every state in Malaysia was available here.

And what is a carnival without a concert. Three strikes onto a traditional drum by all four ministers present at the ceremony, led by The Honorary Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, marked the kickoff of the concert which was followed with the VMY 2014 campaign's theme song, Celebrating 1Malaysia, Truly Asia, sung by Malaysia's rock queen, Ella. The song will be used worldwide to promote the VMY 2014 campaign. Visitors were then captivated by the performances of popular artistes Datuk Khadijah Ibrahim, Jimmy Palikat and Azlan and the Typewriter.

Dato' Khatijah Ibrahim mesmerized the large audience with her Malaysia...Truly Asia song

Visitors were entertained by cultural performances  of the various races and ethnics of Malaysia

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in his launching speech, urged Malaysians to play a big role in ensuring foreign tourists here get a tourist-friendly Malaysian experience. He said the government targeted to receive 28 million tourists next year under Visit Malaysia 2014, an additional three million to the 25 million foreign tourists received last year. “Their sharing of experience to their family and friends back home is what will encourage more people to visit, so we must prepare to give them a Malaysian experience that will leave a lasting impression in their hearts and minds,” he said, adding that Malaysia's uniqueness rested in its successful combination of Eastern and Western values.

A contemporary art piece by a local artist was displayed at the MCAT pavilion.

One of the many beautiful illuminating sculptures that lined up the main walkway

The launch carnival was still very much alive when I left the venue at about 10.45pm. It has been a long day for me, being there since 4.30pm, but it was really fun and fulfilling indeed. It was good to be able to visit all the booths and pavilions, getting up close and personal with some of the drivers of the multifaceted industry and being captivated by the wonderfully choreographed music and dance performances by the various races and ethnics of this blessed country. Malaysia, I believe, has truly risen up to its iconic slogan, “Malaysia… Truly Asia”.

For more information, please contact:

Tourism Malaysia Head Office 
9th Floor, No. 2 Tower 1
Jalan P5/6, Precint 5
62200 Putrajaya, MALAYSIA
Tel : +6 03 8891 8000
Email :
Tourism Infoline : 1 300 88 5050
Web :

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Mountain Biking in Eco Paradise

Wheeww! What a Sunday it was! The total distance – 54.4km, so far the longest distance I have covered with my  30 speed entry-level Merida mountain bike. Not a big feat at all for the more seasoned bikers, but it is still an achievement for me, an old weekend warrior. The toughest part is the 12 km uphill ride to Fraser’s Hill in Pahang, about 60km from the state capital of Kuala Lumpur, a popular weekend hill retreat 1220m above sea level. I was with a group of 8 mountain bike riders who took off from the Ulu Yam Dam, another popular picnic spot among the locals.

A common sight on most weekends at Bukit Kiara Urban Trails

Cycling is fast becoming one of the favourite activities for Malaysians. International cycling events like Le tour de Langkawi (LTDL) and the most recent one, Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge (LIMBC), which is on its third year running, have been successfully organized in Malaysia. Numerous local events for both road and mountain bikers have been filling the cycling events calendar for the whole year of 2013.

Tourism Malaysia, the government tourism agency has played a significant role in further promoting the cycling events and activities by coming up with the Cuti-Cuti 1 Malaysia Sunday Bike Ride (Cuti-Cuti means Holiday in Bahasa Malaysia). The family/community events are held in various towns and cities all over Malaysia and are sometimes joined by the minister herself. The activities are very well received by Malaysians from all walks of life as demonstrated by the large number of turnouts.

For travellers  who plan to add cycling activities on their travel itineraries, there are a number of travel agencies that offer cycling packages that ranges from light and easy sightseeing to the more challenging and extreme for the serious bikers. For a start you hardly have to leave Kuala Lumpur to experience great mountain biking. The city nature reserves and country surrounding the Malaysia capital offer plenty of activities for days out on a mountain bike. There are gentle rides through bamboo forests and beside reservoirs and intense hill climbs – you choose the pace. For a jungle workout on Kuala Lumpur’s mountain biking trails start at Kampung Kemensah behind Malaysia’s National Zoo in Ulu Klang and ride across the hills to the Sungai Chongkak recreational area. This is a 14-kilometre ride with plenty of single track through the jungle. If you’re just looking for a day out riding in natural surroundings head for the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) in Kepong. There is a range of routes among shady rainforest trees and along winding road climbs. The Bukit Kiara Urban Trails is a park for runners and bikers with a number of technically challenging single-track trails.

Foreign MTB riders challenging the tough terrains of Sabah

Other exciting mountain bike trails can also be found on the fringes of Kuala Lumpur. In Cameron Highlands, the most popular highland holiday destination in Malaysia, fresh air and beautiful scenery greets eager mountain bikers to experience its 47km loop route that will take them through the Bertam Valley, Boh Tea Plantations and an orang asli settlement, partly on tarmac roads and partly on rough double track. The island of Langkawi and Sabah, in the Malaysian Borneo also have their unique offerings to the serious mountain bikers. Langkawi’s cycling route will take you through the beautiful lush rainforest and paradise island landscapes. It’s an opportunity to be part of a unique mountain biking experience in a protected natural environment. The ultimate challenge for mountain bikers in Sabah is the circumnavigation of Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in Southeast Asia. This takes around five days, depending on side trips and is advised to be attempted with a support crew.

Cycling is one of the best way to explore Malaysia
So for all the mountain bikers out there, whether you are up for a serious and extreme challenge or just a recreational cyclist, please mark Malaysia as your next travel destination. We definitely have a lot to offer. 

For more information on cycling travel packages, please visit this link:

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