Tag: Malaysia Travel

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New Airline Alert: Malaysia Turns Its Frown Upside-Down with 'flymojo'

Where: Malaysia
March 17, 2015 at 1:18 PM | by | ()

If you were to ask us what commercial airplane we'd want as our own private jet and the Concorde wasn't an option, we'd have to go with a swingin' 747 with a groovy livery much like that of Austin Powers'. Something about an airplane forgoing the safe, corporate color of a white fuselage to rock a rainbow speaks to us, but sadly that 747 is fictional and only a computer-generated graphic.

It seems the closest the average traveler will get to a funkadelic airplane is on the groovy Bombardier CSeries airliners of Malaysia's new low-coast airline, flymojo.

The announcement of the new airline was made this week in Langkawi, as flymojo will not only be the first airline to fly the new single-aisle CSeries planes (of 100-149 seats onboard) in Southeast Asia, but it will also be the only airline based out of both Johor Bahru and Kota Kinabalu, with routes planned to other ASEAN countries.

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$160 is the Price for One Month of Flights with AirAsia's New ASEAN Pass

February 23, 2015 at 11:15 AM | by | ()

How does a month of flying around Southeast Asia for under $200 sound?

That's the question we asked back in December, when it was first announced AirAsia would introduce some sort of pass for unlimited flights. Well, that pass—the AirAsia ASEAN Pass, named for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations—is official and available for purchase, beginning today.

The ASEAN Pass' original promise of travel to 10 countries has been kept, and passengers may elect to fly to airports in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Burma, Laos and Brunei. The greatest variety of destinations is of course offered from AirAsia's base in Kuala Lumpur, although Bangkok also has a bunch.

Popular leisure destinations in the passes include Bali, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Langkawi, and Puerto Princesa. With just those it'd be very tempting to turn an ASEAN Pass into a "best exotic beaches of SE Asia" pass, but culture and business travelers will find plenty destinations of interest as well.

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Southeast Asia Really Wants You to Visit: Here's What's Happening Where

February 4, 2015 at 11:30 AM | by | ()

The culture, food, jungles, mountains, and beaches of Southeast Asia all provide platforms for travelers looking to make the trip across the Pacific. Some countries are looking to expand their offerings, and others are working to improve accessibility and attract Western travelers. After attending the annual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Myanmar, here's a breakdown of the latest buzz, country by country.

Considering a trip to Southeast Asia? Not sure where to go or what to see? Send us your questions and we'll answer them for you!

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Where to Find the World's Smallest (and Therefore Cutest) Bear

Where: Sepilok, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia
July 28, 2014 at 3:05 PM | by | ()

Time to add another novelty to the list of cool things you can see in the jungles of Borneo: The world's smallest bear, the Sun Bear, is now on display at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre in Sepilok in the Malaysian state of Sabah.

Opened to the public this year, the Conservation Centre attempts to rehabilitate sun bears that have been the victims of deforestation and, believe it or not, those that have been mistreated as pets. Apparently, people have made a habit of poaching them as cubs, keeping them in cages and raising them like a dog while they're little. But ultimately, things go wrong as they grow and suffer from a life of captivity.

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Street Food Friday: Kueh, the Sweet Treats of Singapore

Where: Singapore
July 18, 2014 at 3:05 PM | by | ()

In a new weekly Friday column, we'll explore street food and other culinary specialties from around the world.

Last week we brought you the traditional delicacies of Vietnam and, this week, we skip to another part of Southeast Asia for the colorful treats of Singapore. Kueh, as they're called, are not specific to Singapore; these tiny desserts can be found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Southern China, but each country twists the basics into their own recipes.

Kueh (or kuih and kue) is really just a broad term signifying small cakes, cookies, dumplings, pudding, biscuit, or pastries made from rice or glutinous rice. Like most kueh, the Singaporean variety comes with no specific or authentic recipe since most of the methods have been handed down from generation to generation, creating a unique taste from color to color. Traditionally handmade for special events like Hari Raya and Lunar New Year, kueh is sold in food hawker stalls all year round.

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Here's Why You Should Attend Next Year's Rainforest World Music Festival

July 15, 2014 at 11:52 AM | by | ()

Last month, when we previewed our attendance at the Rainforest World Music Festival, we anticipated that it would be one of the best events of the summer given its location on the island of Borneo and its lineup that brought in bands from all over the world. We’re happy to report that despite the “on-paper” promise and high hopes we had set for RMF - typically a travel no-no - the festival weekend exceeded absolutely every expectation.

Why? The first and foremost reason is because it is exactly as advertised in terms of its exotic setting and multi-cultural lineup. They call it the Rainforest World Music Festival for a reason. Located at the Sarawak Cultural Village about 45 minutes from Kuching, the festival takes place in the shadows of Mount Santubong, where the rainforest spills down to the coast. The rainforest serves as a backdrop for the two stages, and across the street is the beach and the calm waters of the South China Sea.

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Five Things to Have in Your Pocket for a Trip to Southeast Asia

July 10, 2014 at 11:33 AM | by | ()

Ngoc Son Temple at Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi

It's a long trip from North America to Southeast Asia, so when you make the journey, you'll want to be as prepared as possible. For this travel writer, a few pocket-size things make all the difference, the value of most learned via baptism by fire. Stick these in your suitcase to make life easier next time you find yourself across the Pacific:

Pocket Poncho

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Kuala Lumpur’s New Terminal Puts a Twist on Convenience

July 7, 2014 at 10:53 AM | by | ()

The new terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, KLIA2, opened earlier this year in May. A three minute, 50-cent train ride from the main terminal, it serves AirAsia, Lion Air, and Zest Airways and contains about 60 gates overall.

On our recent adventure in Southeast Asia, we passed through it on our way to and from the Rainforest World Music Festival in Borneo. As expected, the building is very modern, following the “new airport trend” of looking more like a shopping mall than a transit terminal. But there was one vendor that jumped out at us as we walked by, something we never expected to see: A grocery store.

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Why a Festival in the Rainforest Might Be the Summer's Most Travel-Worthy Musical Event

June 6, 2014 at 2:53 PM | by | ()

Last week, we told you some of our top picks for festivals to kick off summer. The most worldly and unique, however, might be found on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo at the end of the month.

Known as the Rainforest Music Festival, the weekend concert features musicians from around the world with a theme of tribal and traditional music. Every continent is represented, but there is a focus on the local island cultures with performances by the indigenous musicians of Borneo.

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What It's Like to Stay in an Iban Longhouse on Borneo

April 30, 2014 at 2:07 PM | by | ()

Similar to the Native American reservations here in America, native tribes maintain ownership of certain plots of land on the island of Borneo. One such tribe, the Iban, inhabits the jungles outside of Kuching in Malaysia, and makes its home in community lodging facilities known as “longhouses.”

The name is a pretty accurate description of their appearance. Picture a long, rectangular "motel" with side-by-side rooms and a common-area patio that runs the entire length. This is essentially the setup for the longhouse, except the outside common area is enclosed, and beyond that is an outdoor patio. Each room houses a single family and consists of two rooms, the bedroom and the kitchen. The bedroom also doubles as a living room when the mattresses are removed from the floor and leaned against the wall.

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Street Food Friday: Laksa, Kolok Mee, and Satay in Malaysian Borneo

February 21, 2014 at 11:36 AM | by | ()

In a new weekly Friday column, we'll explore street food and other culinary specialties from around the world. Last week, it was Trinidad's roti, shark, and doubles. This week, we shoot across the Pacific to Malaysian Borneo to see what's cooking.

Last month, we spent close to two weeks in Kuching on Borneo, hiking through the surrounding vacant national parks and tracking down human skulls in the rainforest. But as any western traveler can tell you, the traditional food in Asian countries is one of the biggest treats. You can go out on a limb and try delicacies like python, but noodle-based street food dishes are the thing to try in Kuching.

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ASEAN: A Recap of the 2014 Meeting of the Minds in Southeast Asia

February 7, 2014 at 11:48 AM | by | ()

Last month, the 33rd annual ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) was held in Kuching, Malaysia (Borneo) and drew delegates from around the world. The ten member countries - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam - were all represented by their ministries of tourism. The conference takes place each year but its location rotates through the member countries. This year’s host, Malaysia, opened the gathering by highlighting ATF’s vision of “Ten Countries, One Destination.”

“I hope that this forum will chart the strategic directions to expedite the growth and development of tourism in ASEAN and enhance our collaboration towards projecting ASEAN as an attractive and multi-faceted single destination,” said Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak.

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