Friday, January 23, 2009

More Trains from Butterworth to KL and vice-versa

The Star reported that

KTM Bhd has increased its intercity services (north-bound) from today until Feb 1 to cater to the large crowd during the festive season. Trains heading towards Butterworth will leave Kuala Lumpur at 9.30am and 10.30pm daily, while trains heading towards Kuala Lumpur will leave Butterworth at 10am and 5.56am daily. For tickets, call 03-2267 1200.

Festive Chinese New Year cuisine on MAS flights

If you are flying on Malaysian Airlines to China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan during this festive season of Chinese New Year, you may be happy to note that you will have a choice of Chinese cuisine.

Among the authentic Chinese dishes available on the new menu are pan-fried silver cod served with soy sauce glaze, yong chow fried rice with crab meat and diced scallops, stir-fried noodles with chicken and julienned vegetables, steamed red garoupa yuh siang-style, barbecued chicken pau and Chinese congee with shredded dried scallops.

MAS currently operates 82 flights per week to China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

Source: The Star

Chinese New Year Street Festival/Open House

If you are in Kuala Lumpur or happen to be here in KL on Feb 7, you may want to note this date as the national-level Chinese New Year open house will be held at Pavilion Bukit Bintang on Feb 7.

The gathering, in the form of a street festival has a theme of "Unity through Festivity". It is expected to attract some 50,000 people. Be part of this memorable event in which Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdul­lah Ahmad Badawi is expected to greet visitors.

The Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry, which is organizing this event, cited the choice of the Pavilion due to its prominence in the city and the area is easily accessible by public transport.

The main event will be from 8.30pm to 10.30pm, followed by the people’s performances which will run from 10.30pm to midnight. There will be lion dances, a drum performance by multi-racial performers, stilt-walking performances and a lantern performance. There will also be an exhibition on calligraphy.

The artistes slated to perform at the festival include Fauziah Latiff, Den Bisa and Lee Mau San.

Source: Open house to be held at Pavilion on Feb 7..The Star

Penang Island Jazz Festival

For you who are wondering what life in the island of Penang is like, here is an article, which is very well-written, which will give you some clues.

This article is carried in The Star today. Among others, it tells of the author's short trip to Penang from the mainland for a two-night visit to attend the Penang Island Jazz Festival which happened last month. Enjoy the article.

Friday January 23, 2009
Simple fun
Not Today

It is recommended to occasionally put aside life’s concerns and let the good vibes roll.

REMEMBER what having fun was like? Fun, as in leaving your issues behind for a weekend and not worrying about a single thing except answering nature’s call? And eating?

Some of us are so caught up in the rat race that we’ve forgotten how to have fun. Fun, as in, say, going to a concert and getting caught up in a musical adventure.

Music is a hobby of mine, yet, it has been years since I went to a concert. I could blame a number of factors, but I suspect it’s mainly because I’m too lazy. This is unfortunate for my wife, a fan of all sorts of music (I was once dumbstruck to hear her humming a Black Sabbath tune!).

Music festivals? She would love to go, I’d rather stay at home. I’ve adroitly avoided these festivals, despite numerous broad hints over the years.

However, I was cornered into promising to take her for the fifth edition of the Penang Island Jazz Festival last month, and braced myself for what I expected to be a taxing weekend.

At least, to lighten the ordeal, I was offered a new MPV to review that weekend, so along with a couple of friends, we piled into the spacious vehicle and headed up north.

I’m a Penang boy but a prodigal son of sorts, having “migrated” from the island when I was 10. Since then, my trips back “home” have been rare. The last visit more than eight years ago.

Despite the reluctance I showed, I was secretly yearning to see what had changed on the island.

George Town, despite the fresh coat of paint, some new buildings and traffic jams, made me feel as if I had tripped into a time tunnel. I hope it stays this way forever, because that’s the charm of the heritage site. But I digress.

The jazz festival was held at a Batu Ferringhi beach resort, and we carried mats to the grounds there. For about five hours each night, we sat on the grass, basking at times in starlight, at others, under the clouds. I was armed with a camera to catch the action, and was so caught up in the mood that when a friend passed me a bottle of beer, I cheerfully took a swig, forgetting my abstinence from alcohol!

The organisers didn’t allow outside food or drink, but provided a number of stalls in the area cordoned off for the festival. Of course, the prices were high – I shelled out RM10 for a bunch of vegetarian spring rolls and RM5 for a pack of potato wedges. But, in and around town, the food was cheaper and much tastier.

A slight drizzle threatened to spoil our fun for a while, but such was the power of the music and the enthusiasm of the crowd that the elements held off until the next morning!

The music was infectious, the crowd, friendly and the toilet facilities, excellent.

At one point, my wife complain­ed she was uncomfortable sitting on the ground, so I recommended stretching out on the mat. Which she did and promptly fell asleep!

All these brought back memories of when I was a child and my father used to take the family to the Esplanade to watch the fireworks. We’d spread newspaper on the ground, get snacks and gawk at the spectacular display of lights in the skies. When it was over, we went home, our kiddy senses sated and stomachs full.

During those two evenings in Penang, I felt like that child again.

As we Penangites say, Keong Hee Huat Chye ...

Source: The Star...Simple fun

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lowest MAS domestic fares

Not only Air Asia, MAS is also giving low fares. Check out article below from The Star:

PETALING JAYA: For the first time, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is offering the lowest fares for all its domestic destinations with prices starting from RM39 nett.

Customers can also enjoy other all-time low fares from RM69 nett for all flights from or to Kuala Lumpur and to all destinations in Sabah and Sarawak.

The special fare is also available from Johor Baru to Kuching.

MAS senior general manager (network and revenue management) Dr Amin Khan said they were offering their best deals ever for domestic routes with 250,000 seats up for sale.

The seats would be on sale for two days from tomorrow on MAS’ website and the travel period is between Feb 5 and Aug 31.

Good news, eh?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Firefly now flies to Kerteh, Terengganu

If you are planning a trip to the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia, you now have an additional travel convenience.

Budget airlines have made it easier for travel domestically. The latest addition is Firefly's twice-daily trip to Kerteh in Terengganu from Subang.

This route provides further convenience for leisure travellers to tourist destinations such as Kijal and Cherating. Club Med operates in Cherating.

Kerteh is the airline’s second destination in Terengganu after the state capital, Kuala Terengganu.

Rear seat belt ruling waived for foreign cars

With regard to the rear seat belt ruling, foreign cars will not be affected, according to Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat. He was referring to vehicles from Thailand, Singapore and Brunei on Malaysian roads. Foreigners who drive Malaysian-registered vehicles will have to adhere to the law.

He said the Government has no plan now to impose the law on the vehicles as it would involve various complications.

However, foreigners driving vehicles that had rear seat belts are urged to use them when driving in the country as they could help to protect them in case of emergency.

The rear seat belt ruling took effect on Jan 1. Those not wearing rear seat belts can be given compound notices for RM300 now, and fined RM2,000 from July 1.

Vehicles without rear seat belts registered after Jan 1, 1995 have three years to get their vehicle retrofitted with the safety feature. It is not mandatory for cars registered before Jan 1, 1995.

Source: The Star

Thursday, January 08, 2009

History of Street Names - Georgetown, Penang

If you were to visit Penang, you would notice some of the 113 plaques featuring historical street names and background information being put up on walls of houses in the heritage enclave of George Town.

This is part of enhancement of Georgetown being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the city will have to be preserved to a certain degree to remain a qualified heritage site.

The blue plaques measuring 40.6cm x 71.1cm carry information in four languages – Bahasa Malaysia, English, Chinese and Tamil. The plaques have been put up since early November.

Let's hope other parts of Malaysia will follow suit on this positive practice so that the history of streets is not forgotten.

Source: The Star..Street history in plaques

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Johor Baru Shuttle Train Service begins on Monday

This is good news for travellers and commuters going from Johor Baru to Singapore or vice-versa. The Star has the story:

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Baru-Singapore shuttle train service will start operations on Monday and provide travellers with an alternative way of transportation.

Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul G hani Othman said the service would ease congestion at the new Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex.

Introductory tickets are priced at RM3 each from the mall to Tanjung Pagar station in Singapore and S$3 return. There will be five trips daily between 5.30am and 8.08pm from Johor Baru and 5.35am and 10pm from Singapore.

Tickets are
sold at Danga City Mall level 2. For enquiries, call 07 - 223 4727/07 - 223 3040.

Majestic Malacca Hotel

Malacca, to the south of Kuala Lumpur, is a popular tourist destination and from Kuala Lumpur, the road-trip takes around two hours at a leisurely pace.

The historic city of Malacca is a cultural melting pot that houses the oldest Dutch building in the East, the Stadhuys.

Malacca has recently been awarded World Heritage Site status, so there is every reason for a visitor to visit Malacca which is rich in culture and history. Even the Eye On Malaysia Ferris wheel has been relocated from Kuala Lumpur to Malacca.

With the increase in visitors, there has also been an increase in hotel capacity to cater to visitor increases. Why not experience luxury with culture in an award-winning Majestic Malacca hotel.

Majestic Malacca has teak wood fittings, leather furniture and traditional Portuguese porcelain flooring enhanced by artwork and antiques which echoe the history of the region; while four-poster beds decorated in a mixture of rich silks and cool cotton and vintage pedestal bath tubs provide the comfort required by discerning modern travellers.

The architectural style of the hotel mirrors Malacca’s multi-faceted and historical past, with influences from the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British and the Peranakan cultures.

Source: The Star
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