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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2013

Shopping mall attractions in Kuching, Sarawak for the Shopaholics

Kuching, Sarawak has been rapidly growing in the past few years and the opening of a large number of shopping malls in the city makes Kuching one of the ideal destinations for shoppers and window shoppers to fill their desire and spend their money.

 

Together with MASWings, we are taking you to the Cat City and look around a number of shopping malls in Kuching.

Sarawak Plaza Kuching

image courtesy of http://www.sedctourism.com/sp.asp

 

The first shopping mall in Kuching, Sarawak that we would like to introduce to you is Sarawak Plaza. Located in the city area, Sarawak plaza is a 4 floor mall next to Grand Margherita Hotel. In 2008, Sarawak Plaza had undergone an interior makeover for a couple of months giving it new life thus re inviting more customers back into the mall. Most of the tenants in the malls are selling clothes, shoes, toys and gift shops. 

Tun Jugah Shopping Mall Kuching

 

The second shopping mall, Tun Jugah, Kuching, is just across the street from Sarawak Plaza. Tun Jugah Mall is named after a national hero who was involved in the independence and formation of Malaysia. The shopping mall comprises of 3 Levels with the first made up mainly of food and beverages. The second floor compromise of electronics, clothes, optical stores, toys, and a hair design centre. The third floor is made up mostly of Popular Book Store with a food court situated at the back.

Plaza Merdeka Kuching

 

The third shopping mall that we would like you to keep in view is Plaza Merdeka, Kuching. Plaza Merdeka has a number of floors ranging from the lower ground to the fourth floor. It is one of the shopping mall that houses many tenants and thus making it easier to choose and find products that you would like to buy. Its tenants are mostly upmarket branded store.

The Spring Shopping Mall Kuching

 

The Spring Shopping Mall, the fourth mall that we will be introducing is located at Simpang Tiga, Kuching. The Spring shopping mall which was opened in 2008 is said to be one of the best lifestyle shopping mall in Kuching. The Spring shopping mall houses a number of branded products and various items from electronics to books and entertainment. Besides that, on the top level, it also houses MBO cinemas for movie goers to enjoy themselves.

CityOne Shopping Mall Kuching

 

The fifth shopping mall, CityOne, is located at Jalan Song, Kuching. It is designed after the Bird Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing and comprises of two sections. It is said to soon be the largest mall in Kuching upon completion. A shopping mall housing various different tenants, it has also recently open up Golden Screen Cinema at the top floor thus making more members of the public to stop by CityOne to watch movies.

 

OneJaya is another shopping mall located at Jalan Song, Kuching. It is a 4-story building and the management of OneJaya is dedicated in bringing people in the surrounding neighborhood to enjoy a different experience in shopping.

 

The next shopping mall introduced is Kuching Sentral which is located at 6th Mile near to Kuching International Airport. Also a bus terminal, Kuching Sentral is a stop for those wanting to travel to other parts of the state via buses or coaches. Although it is used as a bus terminal, you will be surprise at what kind of products that you can find in the mall.

Boulevard Shopping Mall Kuching

 

One of the popular shopping malls in Kuching is Boulevard Shopping Mall. Boulevard Mall, located just 5 minutes from Kuching International Airport is a perfect destination for those looking for a mid-range priced products. The shopping mall will be one of the main attractions in Kuching as it is still expanding and more entertainment in the shopping will be available in the near future.

The Summer Mall Kuching

 

Another shopping mall which was recently opened is The Summer Shopping Mall. Located at Kota Samarahan, Kuching, The Summer is a three-story landmark building looking to cater to the needs of the people in the area. The Summer Shopping Mall will also house the region’s largest Lotus Five Star Cineplex and also the Summer Lagoon Water Theme Park.

Eastern Mall Kuching

 

Eastern Mall, Siburan is one of the newest shopping mall in Kuching. Located at 17th Mile, Eastern Mall is a single story shopping mall and is fully air –conditioned. Eventhough it is a small one-story shopping mall, it houses a number of tenants and is worth checking out.

 

A well-known shopping mall has also branched out to Kuching which is the Giant Hypermarket. In Kuching alone, there are two branches of Giant Hypermarket which is at Tabuan Jaya and at Kota Padawan. Giant houses a number of tenants mainly in the food and beverage, fashion, and electronics department.

 

These are some of the shopping malls in Kuching and each has their own unique architectural build and selling various kinds of different things. It is worth visiting all of these malls and who knows you might find something that you are really searching for all this while. With MASWings, purchase your tickets at www.maswings.com.my to Kuching now and search for various kinds of products and entertainments available at each mall.

Tags: Kuching | MASwings | Best Kuching Hotels | The Spring | Sarawak Plaza | Tun Jugah Mall | Grand Margehrita Hotel | Boulevard Shopping Mall | MBO Cinema | City One | Golden Screen Cinema | Kuching International Airport | Giant Hypermarket | |

FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

The Land of Wind - Bario, Sarawak

The town of Bario, located on the northern part of Sarawak, is not only the home of Kelabit and Penan tribes (both belonging to the Orang Ulu ethnic group) but also the source of  exotic food and crafts. Lying at an altitude of about 3,500 feet above sea level in the north-eastern corner of Sarawak is the famous Bario Highland. Bario is blessed with cool weather with temperatures that could go down as low as 11° Celsius. It has 14 villages with a population of 2,000 people.

Bario Sarawak

Image courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bario

 

The name Bario is a combination of the words ‘Ba’ and ‘Rio’. ‘Ba’ means paddy field, while ‘Rio’ means wind. The majority of residents in Bario is of Kelabit descendant, one of the minority Orang Ulu tribes of Sarawak, formerly known as headhunters and warriors in the past but now successful planters and farmers. Although the highlands are named after the Kelabits, it is actually home to many other groups such as the Penan and Lun Bawang. The Lun Bawang, who are the same group as the Lun Dayeh in Sabah, are the predominant people around Ba Kelalan in the northern part of the highlands. All of them are collectively known as the "Orang Ulu" or "People of the Highlands".

 

A gateway to Kelabit highlands is made possible by flying to Bario with MASWings from Miri.

 

Most of the area's accommodation is found in and around Bario, and it is the main starting point for treks throughout the area. You can go kayaking or immerse in the historical tales of the monoliths that dot the area. The place has incredible organic food such as the famous Bario rice and pineapple.

 

One of their annual events is the internationally known Bario Food Festival also known as 'Pesta Nukenen', held in July each year since year 2005. Nukenen means food in Kelabit. It was relatively small when it first began but now it has become larger, made popular with the fact that visitors could get the chance to savour the famous Bario rice and pineapple during the festival while taking in the wonderful highland setting.

The Land of Wind Bario Sarawak

 

The festival had grown larger in scale and included jungle-trekking packages, historical site visits and longhouse homestay experience. It attracted visitors not just from Malaysia but also as far Japan, England, Australia and Denmark. All visitors were pleasantly surprised to find that the local food that they savoured were not only cooked traditionally albeit using wooden stove, but also served on leaves and bamboos, making the entire experience refreshingly eco-friendly. Fish, venison and other hunted animals were also cooked in the mixture of various ingredients indigenous to Bario.During Nukenen Fest, various products – from crops to wild products to Orang Ulu crafts – were exhibited and sold at the E-Bario Telecentre.

 

It can get quite chilly in the evening so do bring a sweater. Daytimes are usually warm and humid, especially when struggling through thick forests while trekking. The rainy season is between October and February.

Pay a visit to Bario, Sarawak by flying with MASWings to visit the 'Pesta Nukenen'and experience the life of Sarawak inland.

Tags: Bario | Borneo Sarawak | Kelabit | Penan | Bario Highland. Orang Ulu | Best Kuching Hotels | MASwings | Lun Dayeh | Pesta Nukenen | E-Bario Telecentre |

FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 2013

Manukan Island- an Unforgettable Honeymoon getaway

Do you want to experience an unforgettable honeymoon trip? Then you should go to Manukan Island for a perfect honeymoon getaway. It is only within a short boat rides away from Kota Kinabalu. Once you are there, you will know why the beautiful Manukan Island is extremely popular amongst tourists and local Kota Kinabalu residents alike.

MASWings has regular flight from Kuching to Kota Kinabalu once every day. From Brunei, three daily MASWings flights connect Bandar Seri Begawan to Kota Kinabalu. If you are coming from across the sea, there are available direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu.

From Kota Kinabalu, you can take the ten-minute boat ride from the Jesselton Ferry Terminal to this beautiful island. Manukan Island is one of the largest islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, Sabah’s only marine national park. The magnificent Manukan Island has a lot to offer to visitors coming to its shores. The clear blue water surrounding Manukan Island makes it the perfect spot to go snorkelling or diving. In fact, these two activities are popular amongst visitors to this island.

If you go for a dive in the water, you will be astounded by the colourful variety of tropical fish and beautiful coral reef formation littered throughout the area. Apart from snorkelling or diving, you can in indulge many other activities in Manukan Island such as para sailing, jet skiing and boat riding. You could just simply sail along the water surrounding this island and enjoy the breath taking scenery with clear blue skies that complemented the equally clear blue water. The soft clean water is indeed captivating to the eyes. Do make sure you take many photos when you are here to capture this perfect scene!

On Manukan Island itself, you can find many things to do to indulge yourself in the honeymoon vacation that you are in. The various choices of accommodations available here will surely make you want to spend a night or two with your loved one in this tropical paradise. Manukan Island boasts complete recreational facilities for visitors, with several restaurants serving local and international cuisines, several chalets, a clubhouse and of course a dedicated diving centre for avid divers out there.

Walking together hand in hand with your loved one down the beach, with its clean sands and the beautiful palm trees rustling overhead is one experience that you will never forget. Visitors to Manukan Island often say that this island is one of the best places for a honeymoon getaway. You would be hard-pressed to disagree with them once you are here to see Manukan Island for yourself. The various indigenous plants and animal life throughout Manukan Island adds to the colourful atmosphere of this natural retreat. Watching the sun setting across the horizon is indeed a romantic and breathtaking view.

Words alone cannot describe the beauty of Manukan Island. You really have to go there to fully experience it. If you are planning for a honeymoon getaway, why don’t you take a trip to Kota Kinabalu, hop on a boat and head straight to this wonderful island for a trip of a lifetime?

 

Tags: Manukan Island | Sapi Island | Sabah Borneo | Honeymoon Sabah | MASwings | Manukan Island Resort | Jesselton Ferry Terminal | Taman Tunku Abdul Rahman |

SUNDAY, JUNE 2, 2013

Mari Mari Cultural Village and Monsopiad Cultural Village, Sabah

Sabah is popular with its diverse ethnics and rich history. The Mari Mari Cultural Village and the Monsopiad Cultural Village are two of Sabah’s popular tourist spots in learning and finding out more about the culture and history of these ethnic groups in Sabah.

 

Together with MASWings, let us unfold the two cultural villages and see what do these two have in store for us.

Mari Mari Cultural Village is situated in a remote forest in Kionsom, Inanam. It is an ideal setting for a cultural village which preserves the environment of the tribes long ago. Situated 25 minutes away from the city and in a remote forest, you could enjoy only the sound of nature and the closeness of what the tribes feel years ago. Entering the village requires you to cross a hanging bridge to cross the river and get to the other side.

 

Upon entering the village, you will be introduced to a variety of ethnic tribes in Sabah such as the Bajau, Lundayeh, Murut, Rungus and Dusun. You will also be shown their traditional homes and how each and every house has a different look and feel. Besides that, the different ethnics at the cultural village will even demonstrate their traditional way of cooking food in bamboo and the brewing of Montoku, known as rice wine which is the favorite drink of the Dusun tribe.

 

Other tribes present there will also demonstrate the different kind of skill sets such as the traditional way of lighting a fire by the Rungus tribe, the extracting of tree bark in order to make various items such as ropes, vest, floors, and walls by the Lundanyeh tribe, and also blowpipe making by the Murut tribe. There are many more demonstrations in the cultural village itself such as dances and musical performance. Besides that, they will even teach you how to cook or craft using their traditional way if you are interested in learning.

 

The Monsopiad Cultural Village on the other hand, is another cultural village worth going to. The Monsopiad Cultural Village is founded in 1996 making it Sabah’s first living museum. The cultural village is situated beside the Penampang River and is surrounded by many other traditional buildings. It takes about an hour and a half from Kota Kinabalu and if you are wondering where the name Monsopiad comes from, the name is taken from a fearsome warrior who lived in the village of Kuai long time ago.

The Monsopiad Cultural Village is a Kadazan cultural village allowing you to learn more about the Kadazan tribe. Upon arriving at the village, you will be treated to various Kadazan displays such as their ceramic jars, padi grinders and bamboo items. You will also be shown the costume of Bobohizan Inai Bianti, a direct descendent of Monsopiad. There are lots of other interesting things being shown at the cultural village alone such as a massive monolith holding a dozen legends, and also the House of Skulls, where you will be shown 42 skulls which are also trophies of war from Monsopiad.

 

There are a lot more to the cultural village and it will not be interesting if you don’t see it for yourself. Let MASWings Airline fly you to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and learn more about the various ethnics in Sabah.

Tags: Mari Mari Cultural Village | Borneo Sabah | Best Sabah Hotels | Monsopiad Cultural Village | MAswings | Kionsom | Inanam | Bajau | Lundayeh | Murut | Rungus | Dusun | Montoku | Kadazan | Bobohizan Inai Bianti |

FRIDAY, MAY 24, 2013

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sepilok, Sandakan Sabah

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in the Malaysian Sabah District of North Borneo was founded in 1964, to rehabilitate orphan of orangutans. The site is 43 sq km of protected land at the edge of Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve. Today around 60 to 80 orangutans are living freely in the reserve.

 

The facility provides medical care for orphaned and confiscated orangutans as well as dozens of other wildlife species. There are also some other animals that may be found in Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, namely sun bears, gibbons, Sumatran rhinos and the occasional injured elephants.

Sepilok Orang Utan Sabah

 

Recently rehabilitated individuals have their diet supplemented by daily feedings of milk and bananas. The additional food supplied by the centre is purposefully designed to be monotonous and boring so as to encourage the apes to start to forage for themselves.

 

In the wild orangutan babies stay with their mothers for up to six years while they are taught the skills they need to survive in the forest, the most important of which is climbing. At Sepilok a buddy system is used to replace a mother’s teaching. A younger ape will be paired up with an older one to help them to develop the skills they need.

Sepilok Orang Utan Sabah

 

The creation of reserve areas minimises the impact of deforestation on orangutans and far fewer young apes become the victim of the illegal pet trade as a result of these ‘sanctuaries’. Babies are often caught during logging or forest clearance or captured by poachers who slaughter the adult apes to reach them. The Malaysian Government has clamped down on illegal trading, outlawing all such practice and imposing prison sentences on anyone caught keeping them as pets.

 

While orangutan rehabilitation is still the primary goal at Sepilok, it also focuses on public education on conservation, research and assistance on other endangered species such as the rhinoceros. Sepilok is considered by the Wildlife Department to be a useful educational tool with which to educate both the locals and visitors alike, but they are adamant that the education must not interfere with the rehabilitation process. Visitors can apply to work there as a volunteer helping with the cleaning and caring of the orangutans.

 

Visitors are restricted to walkways. Some orangutans have become familiar with people but touching them is strongly discouraged, and while the apes are naturally shy and gentle, the more mischievous ones may try to grab your camera or hat, in which case you should call for a ranger as trying to wrestle the 200 pound apes may not be a good idea. For the more adventurous, there is trekking through mangrove forests. As this is under the Forestry Department, you will have to get a permit from them before trekking the 5km trail which runs through Sepilok Laut. You can also arrange for a return boattransfer or accommodation in chalets in the forests.

 

You must go to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre if you would like to know more about the orangutan and MASWings makes it easy for you by providing you direct flights to Sandakan, Sabah. Visit www.maswings.com.my now to book your flight!

Tags: Sepilok Orangutan | Borneo Sabah | Sandakan | Best Sabah Hotels | Borneo Island | MASwings | sun bears | gibbons | Sumatran rhinos |

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2013

Let us Tee Off With MASwings Special Promo Fare

  Have you picked your travel dates yet or are you still planning your destination? Are you looking for that affordable flight tickets? Well folks here it is! It is time to Tee Off with MASwings promo fare!
Let’s Tee Off With MASwings promo fare price are from Kuching to Balikpapan at RM 99, Kuching to Pontianak at RM 160, and Kuching to Bandar Seri Begawan at RM 145!
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You may start your booking now as seats are limited and travel any time before the end of July 2013!
 
 
 
 
 
 
MASwings - Let us Tee Off
 
 
 
 
 
Tags: Kuching | Best Kuching Hotels | Borneo Sarawak | Balikpapan | Pontianak | Brunei Darussalam | MASwings | Sibu | Miri | Bintulu |

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2012

Top 10 tips on How to Travel to Sabah on a Budget

 

Have you ever thought of travelling to Sabah with big family members? You might say it is too expensive to have a holiday in Sabah. Fear not, here are some tips you can use to maximise your travel to Sabah with the minimum of spending!
 
As you look around for a bargain tour package, make sure you do it when budget airlines are having their special promotions. Airlines such as Air Asia (www.AirAsia.com) and MasWings airline (www.MasWings.com.my) or www.MalaysiaAirlines.com do offer regular cheap tickets promotion for Sabah flights. Do keep an eye open for any special flights offer online. The savings are indeed worth it. However, AirAsia tend to have promotions 6 months to 1 year ahead of flight schedule. If you are 110% sure that you are flying on that specific date, do go ahead and book online but every changes done later will cost you money. I have also found out that sometimes, it is better to book your flights after the travel fair. The fare was actually cheaper which was what I found out recently.
 
You should read about Sabah from the various available tour guidebooks. Then you’ll have an idea of which wonderful but affordable places in Sabah you can travel to. You’ll learn which place offers you the most value for money in terms of food and accommodation. So, you’d better start reading up on guidebooks such as Lonely Planet, Frommers or Rough Guides before you start on your Sabah travel!
Another way to save money for your Sabah travel is by going there with a group of friends. As they say, the more the merrier. If you are travelling in a group of 10 or more you’ll be able to split the costs of transportations and accommodations among yourselves. For example, when you want to hire a van to go some place out of the main cities in Sabah you’ll be able to distribute the rental costs and thus each person would only have to pay a relatively small sum. A Nissan Urvan van can accommodate up to 10 persons and a coach could take up to 40 persons or 43 persons maximum.
 
 
When it comes to looking for accommodations in Sabah, you should firstly compare the hotel rates first. Some websites do have such facility to let you compare rates first before you book. Go to: www.BestKuchingHotels.com. There on right handside, you can see a box that says “Compare 30 sites of hotel rates before you book”. You may also go to book online at hotel booking sites such as agoda.com or booking.com as the rates advertised online are certainly much cheaper. If possible, you should try and look for a bed and breakfast type of accommodation since it is priced even lower than a conventional hotel. There are many such budget Inn in and around Kota Kinabalu city. Tune Hotel is fine except that it is not in centre of town or Kota Kinabalu waterfront area where all the happening places are but it is near 1Borneo shopping mall.
 
If you are a regular Facebook or Twitter user, perhaps it is worth your while to make friends with people living in Sabah on these social media before starting your Sabah travel. Try and get to know them better. When you come over to Sabah, you’ll already have local friends who can show you around town and guide you to which interesting place you should visit. You might even be lucky enough to have a generous friend who would let you stay over for the duration of your Sabah travel!
 
When you have finally arrived in Sabah, you can opt to walk as your primary means of transport if it is possible. Perhaps you are staying somewhere near all the major attractions. It definitely would save you some money and it is also good for your health. After all, being on holiday doesn’t mean that you don’t have to keep fit.
 
Generally speaking, food in Sabah is rather expensive. Do skip all the overpriced fancy restaurants. Why don’t you try out the regular food stalls? In fact it is possible that these food stalls offer a more authentic sample of the delightful Sabahan cuisine. Then again, there are also the ever-present KFC or McDonald’s fast foods outlets for you to go to if you feel like having western foods.
 
Normally tourist hotspots tend to be more expensive as the retailers operating there will probably take advantage of this fact by increasing the price of the wares on offer. Instead, why don’t you go off the well-beaten tourist path? Apart from being cheaper it could also lead you to discover the authentic part of Sabah which most tourists might not even discover.
 
If you really have to use public transportations, always try to use buses instead of taxis. You won’t believe how unbelievably expensive the taxi fares are in Sabah. By using the bus to go around, you’d make a considerable saving during your Sabah travel.
 
Finally, you will definitely find it hard to resist the temptation to splurge and shop for lots of things that you don’t really need. If you really want to buy stuff, make sure you buy less and know where to get cheap items. At the end of the day, being on holiday is more than just about shopping. It’s about discovering new places and experiencing new environment.
 
If you follow these simple tips, you definitely won’t have to spend a fortune when you go on your Sabah travel. You’d be surprised at the affordable cost of having a good holiday in the beautiful state of Sabah. Hope the tips above will answer some of your questions before you go to visit Sabah
 
Tags: Sabah | Maswings | AirAsia | best kuching hotels | Sabah agoda | Sabah budget tour | Sabah Holiday | Sabah booking |