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Travel Archives - New Malaysia News

Off the beaten (jungle) trail in Malaysia
Recently, Lonely Planet published a book entitled Epic Hikes Of The World, featuring some of “the planet’s most thrilling treks and trails”. The book features 50 hiking routes in 30 countries, across five continents, as well as other trail suggestions. Malaysia’s Mount Kinabalu in Sabah makes it into the list as one of these “epic hikes”. But, besides this tallest mountain in Malaysia, which is 4,095m above sea level, there are many other remarkable hikes that you can try out here. What constitutes an epic hike? Generally, it is said that such hikes usually take about five hours or more, yield unique sights that are not easily found elsewhere, and require some degree of physical fitness and preparation. Many of them also require a guide and permit to climb. Gunung Ledang (Mount Ophir) in Johor Gunung Ledang (Mount Ophir) is a legendary mountain located in Gunung Ledang National Park, Johor. Legend has it that a mythical princess – Puteri Gunung Ledang – once lived at the top of this mountain. If you do go hiking here, you might not see a princess or find any gold. But, you will most likely see jungle flora (such as wild orchids and the pitcher plant) and fauna (such as monitor lizards, wild boars, tapir, birds) while ascending the 1,276m mountain. The climb takes five to six hours one way for a fairly fit person. There are also some steep parts where you need to use a rope. You need to engage a guide from the ranger’s office to climb this mountain so it is advisable to contact them beforehand to make a booking. There are also admission charges to the park as well as climbing fees. For more information: www.johornationalparks.gov.my Gunung Stong in Kelantan Gunung Stong is a lesser known hiking route in Kelantan. Located in the Gunung Stong State Park (formerly known as Jelawang Jungle) near Dabong, in Kota Baru, Kelantan, Gunung Stong is one of the peaks that you can attempt to hike up. The rest are Gunung Ayam, Gunung Saji, Gunung Tera, Gunung Kob, Gunung Baha, Gunung Beirut, and Gunung Che Tahir. The park is also home to the seven-tiered Jelawang Waterfall, said to be one of the highest in South-East Asia. There is also the Boto Rock Shelter, a cave-like formation where you can rest along the way, when climbing Gunung Stong. It takes about four hours to summit the 1,442m tall mountain. Besides its rugged landscape, the area is also rich in flora (such as the rafflesia, bamboo, palm, and others), and fauna (the Asian elephant, seladang, Malaysian tiger, tapir, hornbill), making it a good spot for nature and wildlife enthusiasts, as well as adventure lovers. For more information: www.gunungstong.com Gunung Tahan in Pahang Usnea (a kind of lichen) seen growing at Gunung Tahan, Pahang. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Shaiful Azman Abdul Rahim Located in Taman Negara, Pahang, Gunung Tahan is the highest mountain in Peninsula Malaysia at 2,187m. Considered one of the most challenging treks in the Peninsula, hikers need to be not just physically fit but mentally prepared. Besides ascending and descending the mountain, you will need to cross rivers, trek for long distances, and camp for several days. It also gets very cold, especially at night. There are three trails to reach the peak, and they range from three to four, to five, to seven days. There are entrance fees to the park and it is recommended to have a guide for this climb. For more information: www.tamannegara.asia Gunung Api (Pinnacles Trail Climb) in Sarawak Take the Pinnacles Trail (Gunung Api) in Sarawak, to see this amazing sight. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Paul White Gunung Api is a limestone mountain located in the Mulu National Park in Sarawak. This trail, often referred to as the Pinnacles Trail, is another extremely challenging one. Although it is only 2.4km long, it rises 1,200m to the viewing point. For the first part of your adventure, you need to hike 9km to Camp 5 where you will usually stay overnight. The actual climb starts early the next morning (before sunrise). The gradient is extremely steep, and full of sharp, slippery rocks. For the last part of the trail, you will need to climb with the aid of ropes and ladders as it is almost vertical. Descending is usually more difficult than ascending. It also takes longer (around five hours), and you might have to descend in the dark. Park fees apply and a guide is required. For more information: mulupark.com Gunung Gading in Sarawak Gunung Gading is one of the places where you might get to see the Rafflesia flower. Photo: Tourism Malaysia Gunung Gading is located in the Gunung Gading National Park in Sarawak. Although not very high, at 906m, this is one hike that might yield a rare find – the rafflesia, which is the largest flower in the world. This unusual flower, which takes nine months to grow, blooms for only three to five days in a year. Its peak flowering period is from November to January. Hiking to the Gunung Gading summit takes around three to four hours one way and you need to be fairly fit. Hikers need to start early and return the same day, as overnight forest stays are not allowed. There are also easier trails like the Waterfall Trail, and Batu Bakubu Trail. Park fees apply and a guide is recommended. You might also want to check with the park headquarters to find out when the rafflesia flower will bloom, before your trip. For more information: sarawaktourism.com Gunung Irau in Pahang Gunung Irau in Cameron Highlands, Pahang, is also known as The Mossy Forest. Photo: Wikimedia Commons Gunung Irau, also known as the “mossy forest”, might make you feel like you’re in New Zealand or the movie Lord Of The Rings, because of its rather cool climate and unusual vegetation. You might also see wild orchids, unusual shrubs, mushrooms, and pitcher plants along the way. At 2,110m, it is the highest mountain in Cameron Highlands, Pahang, and is right next to Gunung Brinchang. The moss grows as a parasitic plant on high altitude trees. Coupled with the [...]
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A Winter in Greece: Athens and Naxos
Greece was my dream destination. My husband and I went to Athens, Naxos, and Santorini, but here, let me focus on my beautiful adventures in Athens and Naxos. Walking through a park at the base of the Acropolis Best Time to Visit: The peak season is summer, but we weren’t keen on crowds and queues. So we went in January. We also got a travel package for a stress-free holiday. Our Winter Vacation in Greece Days 1-2: Athens Modern Athens, with the Temple of Zeus right smack in the middle. We flew into Athens and stayed at Central Athens Hotel. As its name suggests, the hotel is in the middle of the tourist area — many of the top things to do in Athens were within walking distance. The first task was to eat! After lunch, we visited the National Archaeological Museum. It has an extensive collection of sculptures and artefacts. I was especially intrigued by the frescoes, well-preserved mural paintings discovered in ruins. Visitor Info Visitor Info National Archaeological Museum Address: 44 Patission St, Athens 10682 Opening hours: 8 am to 8 pm (Tuesday to Sunday); 1 pm to 8 pm (Monday) Admission: €10 Getting there: ΖΑΠΠΕΙΟ bus stop / Monastiraki Metro Station / Taxi The ‘Spring Fresco’ some 3,500 years after being buried by volcanic ash. Nightlife was vibrant at Adrianou Street and the Plaka, as patrons buzzed about the restaurants and shops. I especially liked the Greek turquoise jewellery and mini pottery. Later, we chilled at the hotel’s rooftop bar and enjoyed an unobstructed view of the Acropolis — a definite positive for the hotel in our books. Adrianou Street is busy even in winter The Acropolis The next day’s itinerary was the Acropolis, the centre of ancient Greek civilisation. Some sites that stood out were the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the Erechtheum, and of course, the Parthenon. The Parthenon was undergoing restoration but was still a striking sight up close. Athens weather in the winter was perfect for all the walking and climbing. No complaints about sweat and humidity! The Acropolis Visitor Info Visitor Info Address: Athens 10558, Greece Opening hours: 8 am to 8 pm daily, with slight changes according to season Admission fee: €20; Reduced €10 (1 November – 30 March) Multi-site pass: €30; Reduced €15 (e.g. Acropolis, Hadrian’s Library, Roman Agora, Kerameikos). Valid for 5 days. One of the temples in the Acropolis. The Parthenon and us Days 3-4: Naxos On the third morning, we went to Piraeus harbour for our 5-hour ferry journey to Naxos. The island boasts the most beautiful beaches of the Cyclades, and the view from our room didn’t disappoint. It was scenic everywhere. Too bad it was too cold to swim. We love our hotel, Naxos Resort, as it was 5 minutes away from town by car. So easy to get around Naxos! A pink-hued sunset from the beach at Naxos Resort Food in Naxos was good! There was more seafood, and the dishes had homelier flavours than in Athens. We frequented Maro’s Taverna and had some of our best meals there! Greek salad at Maro’s Taverna. Salads never tasted so good! Old Town Old Town, the part of the town that is… well, old. Medieval, in fact. Some parts looked like they came out straight from Lord of the Rings. There were only my husband, some cats, and I roaming the narrow winding pathways. Although I appreciated the quiet, I admit that summer might be the better and livelier season to visit Naxos, when the town market is open. A quiet moment in an Old Town courtyard Temple of Demeter The Temple of Demeter and its winter-green surroundings. You can actually hire a taxi or car and drive around the large agricultural island. We took a taxi because we weren’t confident on navigation. On our second day, we visited the marble Temple of Demeter deep inland. It has many unusual features. For example, its square floorplan is unlike the rectangular build of other Greek temples. It was insightful, but we were more taken by the surrounding landscape and its dewy lustre. Visitor Info Visitor Info Temple of Demeter Address: Drimalia 84302 Opening hours: All day Admission: Free Getting there: By car A basilica that was later added to the Temple of Demeter. Portara When we returned to town, we visited Kastro, a 13thcentury castle-now-museum. Then we searched for locally made goods like soap and cinnamon infused olive oil. We also walked up to Portara, a majestic marble doorway at the entrance of the harbour. It was imposing against the stormy sky, and I’m amazed it’s still standing today! We wished we had stayed longer because there were more things to do in Naxos. There’s something appealing about the island. Athens was riveting, but Naxos was laidback. Cinnamon sticks galore at Naxos. There’s no hurry in laidback Naxos. Day 8: Athens Back in Athens for our flight home, we visited the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Monastiraki flea market. We also ventured into the modern part of the city to buy back local produce and pastries. Bags of figs and apricots at a fraction of the price in Singapore! Visitor Info Visitor Info Temple of Olympian Zeus Address: Athens 10557, Greece Opening hours: 8 am to 8 pm Admission: €6; Reduced €3 Getting there: 10-minute walk from the hotel Freshly baked goodies at an Athens bakery. The Temple of the Olympian Zeus, with the Acropolis in the background. We went to Greece with three aims: to visit the sites, to soak in the scenery, and to enjoy the delectable cuisine. All were successfully achieved, and we couldn’t be happier! Greece: Know Before You Go Read up on basic Greek history to appreciate the significance of the locations. If you prefer fewer crowds and less sweating, consider visiting off-peak season, especially Athens. Check out lesser-known islands besides Santorini or Mykonos. Each island has its own signature experience. There’s a bit of travelling between locations, so get a Greece travel packag [...]
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You can now fly to Ipoh instead of driving or taking the train
If you want to take a trip from Johor to Perak but find the thought of driving more than 500km and spending almost five hours in the car daunting, there is good news for you. Now, you can fly to Ipoh directly from Johor Baru, thanks to AirAsia. And, it only takes 70 minutes to get there, giving travellers all the more reasons to visit the happening city. AirAsia recently launched its inaugural flight from Johor Baru to Ipoh, adding the new destination of Perak’s capital city to its extensive network. Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu said at the launch: “We are optimistic that AirAsia’s four times weekly direct flights will boost the number of visitors to Perak, and contribute significantly to the state’s economy.” He added that the State Government plans to set up the Perak Tourism Action Council (PTAC) and among its first tasks is to come up with a masterplan to drive the state’s tourism sector. This includes the rebranding of the state’s tourism to attract more domestic and foreign visitors. Ipoh marks AirAsia Malaysia’s 17th domestic destination and the 16th route from the JB hub. In addition to Ipoh, AirAsia also flies from JB to other cities in Malaysia including Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Alor Setar, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. The capital city of Perak offers many attractions to tourists. For foodies and travellers who enjoy trying local hawker food, there are many coffeeshops in Old Town Ipoh where you can enjoy delicacies such as chicken rice, white coffee, kuay teow soup and egg custard. When you’re in Ipoh, do check out the pomelo stalls. There are many local biscuits and salt-baked chicken that you can buy, too. As for shopping, there is the Kong Heng Artisan Bazaar where you can find lovely souvenirs. At night, there is the Gerbang Malam Night Market. If you prefer to visit a mall, head for Ipoh Parade or Kinta City. Gerbang Malam night market in Ipoh. For nature lovers, go for a walk at a park such as the Gunung Lang Recreational Park or D.R. Seenivasagam Recreational Park. There are also hills like Bukit Kledang where you can go hiking with some mild climbing. For something a little bit more adventurous, go caving at Gua Tempurong. It is best to go with a guide, which you can easily find via local tour companies. A scenic place to check out when you visit Ipoh is Gunung Lang, a recreational park with a lake and limestone hill. As for historical buildings and places, check out the Birch Memorial Clock Tower, Ipoh War Memorial, Ipoh Town Hall, Ipoh Railway Station, and Kellie’s Castle. In the Kinta district of Ipoh is the Birch Memorial Clock Tower. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Prema Darshini There are Buddhist temples like Perak Cave Temple and Sam Poh Tong Temple, Hindu temples like Kallumalai Arulmigu Subramaniyar Temple (Kallumalai Murugan), and mosques like Panglima Kinta Mosque and Masjid India Muslim. To find out more about the culture and history of the city, visit museums like the Hor Yan Hor Museum, Darul Ridzuan Museum, Geological Museum, and Yasmin at Kong Heng Museum. If you are a museum enthusiast, check out the Geology Museum. Other places of interest include Funtasy House Trick Art, Qing Xin Ling Leisure & Cultural Village, and Miniature Wonders Art Gallery. [...]
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5 great apps single travellers need to meet new people on holiday
Having the right apps on your smartphone can help you connect with locals and get all the right recommendations whenever you’re in a foreign country. Of course, it’s always a good idea to be wary whenever you’re meeting someone new.  But go in with a positive attitude and you might just make a genuine connection. Here are some apps to meet locals and other travellers while you’re on a holiday. SoloTraveller This social travel app that’s great for backpackers and solo travellers instantly connects with other visitors near you. SoloTraveller is a complete travellers community that’s useful for motivating people who normally wouldn’t feel comfortable travelling alone. There is also a function for single female travellers to connect with other female travel companions. EatWith The founders of this app had positive experiences as solo travellers dining with locals. This app serves to recreate that warm hospitality for other visiting folks. Eatwith is the world’s largest community for authentic food experiences with locals, in over 130 countries. The platform connects local hosts with travellers seeking unique and immersive culinary experiences. Travel Pal This app comes from the company Hello Pal, which was founded by a Malaysian. Travel Pal connects over 1.5 million hosts and travellers in more than 150 countries. As a traveller, all you need to do is create a travel plan. You will then be able to find locals who are willing to help you during your stay. You can even find fellow holidaymakers who are planning a trip to that same destination. Backpackr Whether you are a solo traveller or travelling in a group, this app helps to expand the network of people you know in the world while travelling. The Common Room feature lets travellers post up queries or even organise meet-ups. Meanwhile, the “nearby” tab allows you to see what’s going on around you while the “worldwide” tab is a more universal way of finding out information from around the world. Flip The Trip The idea behind this app is to connect travellers to locals who are around the same place. It’s available in over 4,500 cities and has been picking up positive reviews. Through the app, users can get in touch with other travellers for sightseeing or to grab a meal. There is also an option to connect and chat with future travel partners before your holiday. [...]
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A Weekend Getaway to Brunei Darussalam
Most people who visit Southeast Asia usually skip Brunei Darussalam. Located on the island of Borneo and nestled in the state of Sarawak, Malaysia, overlooking the coastline of the South China Sea, this Muslim country may be tiny in population but is beaming at the seams with tourist attractions! I spent a weekend in the country’s capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan. Walking around is possible, but always remember to take the necessary precautions. If you prefer to take public transport, there are buses to most of the sights for a small fee. Cabs here are charged without metres but it is not easy flagging one down. Get them at hotels, shopping malls or the bus terminal. A weekend is more than enough to get a taste of the city. Here are some of the sights you’d want to check out. An Afternoon in the Mangroves  Can you spot the Proboscis Monkey? Brunei River Cruise This is a must do while in Brunei. I didn’t book ahead, but it wasn’t difficult to talk to the many boatmen at the jetty, agree on a fair price, and hop onto one of the traditional wooden river boats. I enjoyed zooming across the river with the wind in my hair and watching the skyline of buildings slowly change to greenery as we headed down the river. It was low tide during my trip, so the banks of the river were above me, the tangled roots of the trees in the mangrove forest were showing, and village houses looked like they were built on higher ground. Because of that, I couldn’t venture further into the mangrove, but was lucky enough to spot a crocodile and proboscis monkeys! It got me really excited! Kampung Ayer / CC0 / Bernard Spragg Kampong Ayer (Water Village) On the way back to the jetty, I took a quick tour of the water village – a small community living in buildings on stilts above the Brunei River. The boatman pointed out several interesting sights as he navigated through the village. The mosque, the school, the fire station and the many small houses stood on stilts and are linked together by wooden walkways. The Brunei government has been helping to preserve the place, so most of the buildings have modern facilities like electricity, satellite television and internet connection. It was an interesting tour, seeing and learning about the way of life of the people living here. Catching the Evening Sunset  The Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque from afar during dusk. Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque The mosques in Bandar Seri Begawan are simply stunning. The Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is the largest mosque in Brunei, completed in 1992 to commemorate the current (29th) Sultan’s 25th-year reign. It is grand and majestic, especially with its 29 golden domes. This mosque is located a few kilometres away from the city centre and is open to visitors when not used for prayers. I think it is most beautiful when seen from afar especially during the evening at sunset.  The Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0 / Mark爱生活 Gadong Night Market In Bandar Seri Begawan, the most famous night market is the Gadong Night Market. Running every day from late afternoon till midnight, the street food bazaar offers all kinds of local Bruneian dishes and delicacies and is a great place to hit up to get a local authentic Bruneian dinner.  Grilled satays at Gadong Night Market / CC BY-SA 2.0 / IQRemix Hitting Brunei’s City Center The majestic floating mosque. Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque I started the day with a walk around the city. While cruising down the Brunei River the day before, I noticed the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque (The Floating Mosque) as it is located by the river bank. This mosque is considered one of the most magnificent ones in Southeast Asia. Its massive dome of pure gold glistens in the sun and can be seen from anywhere in the city. It is open to visitors outside of prayer hours, but the best way to admire is by cruising down the Brunei River. Royal Regalia Museum The Royal Regalia Museum is located about a 10-minute stroll from the Floating Mosque. This is a museum filled with beautiful and expensive gifts, given to one of the richest men in the world, the Sultan of Brunei. The Royal Regalia Museum houses priceless gold and jewels from dignitaries and royalties from all around the world, as well as royal accessories used for coronations. This is the Sultan’s public vault and is pretty impressive. Unfortunately, pictures are not allowed inside the museum. Living it Up with Afternoon Tea at the Empire Hotel High Tea at the Empire Hotel Brunei’s most extravagant hotel can be considered a tourist attraction. Overlooking the South China Sea, the Empire Hotel and Country Club offers beautiful views of the ocean. I had a nice time walking along the beach and the walkway overlooking the sea, exploring the huge hotel with its lavish architecture and intricate designs before sitting down for some scones, sandwiches, cakes and a nice hot cuppa tea. Relaxing at the hotel was a great place to unwind after the day’s activities and to end my trip to Brunei. I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend trip to Brunei. It was a short and sweet visit to a country so close to my home, Malaysia — and I have to say, almost culturally similar, but not quite. And of course, while you are within the wilderness of Borneo island, take some time to venture further afield from the capital city and visit the national park and its rainforest that encompasses much of the country. The post A Weekend Getaway to Brunei Darussalam appeared first on Expedia Malaysia Travel Blog. [...]
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What to do at Serendah Waterfalls, Selangor
What better way to cool off on a hot sunny day than to visit a waterfall? After all, there is no lack of beautiful waterfalls in Malaysia. But, what if you’re not a hiker and don’t wish to brave the dense rainforests or conquer any mountains just to get to the fun? Or you don’t want to be too far away from the conveniences of the city? Don’t worry. There is good news for you. Why you should go Serendah Waterfalls at the Kampung Orang Asli Serendah in Selangor is quite accessible for folks who live in the Klang Valley. There are basic facilities like toilets and changing rooms at the park, as well as gazebos. There are also food stalls (which are usually open during weekends) nearby in case you get hungry or thirsty. You get to enjoy the waterfalls with all the conveniences close by. This is handy especially if you are bringing your young children or elderly parents along for the trip. There are parking facilities and the waterfalls are just a short walk away from the entrance so you don’t have to hike very far into the jungle. What to do Take a dip in the refreshing Serendah Waterfalls. Filepic Of course the main thing to do here is to take a dip and cool off in the water. Take lots of pictures at the waterfalls, but do be careful of any slippery stones. This is also a good place for a picnic with the family or with friends. Here’s your chance to show off your outdoor cooking skills or barbecueing skills! Bring some towels and a change of clothes with you, as well as some mats to lay on the ground for your picnic. Of course, you can also rough it out and just sit on a nice, big rock. Once you’re done, remember to carry everything you brought into the area back with you; never leave any rubbish or food in the forest. If you do decide to explore further, there are some easy hiking trails which take you to the second level of the waterfalls. Who will like it This place is good for group outings and since it is a pretty accessible waterfall, you don’t have to be very fit to get there. The crowds do get bigger on the weekends, public holidays and school breaks though, so do try to go early. Getting there A scenic lake close by the Serendah Waterfalls. It is pretty easy to get to Serendah, which is about an hour’s drive away from Kuala Lumpur. The road to the waterfall is narrow and you will pass by an orang asli village and some lakes. The GPS coordinates are: 3.366475, 101.636757. Or, you can easily get to the location of Serendah Waterfalls with Google Maps or Waze. Serendah Waterfalls Kampung Orang Asli Serendah 48200 Serendah, Selangor [...]
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Tempat Menarik di Penang yang Percuma
Apabila bercakap tentang Penang, hal pertama yang terlintas di fikiran saya sudah semestinya pelbagai jenis menu makanan yang boleh didapati di serata Penang daripada yang di tepi jalan hinggalah ke kedai makanan yang popular. Namun selain menjadi syurga bagi makanan, Pulau Mutiara ini juga terdapat banyak tempat-tempat menarik popular dikalangan pelancong yang boleh dilawati secara percuma sahaja! Berikut adalah beberapa tempat percutian bajet di Penang kegemaran saya yang dapat korang lawati dengan percuma. Tempat Menarik di Penang yang Percuma 1. Batu Feringghi Bagi seseorang yang cintakan alam semulajadi dan sukakan suasana angin sepoi-sepoi ditepi pantai sambil menikmati pemandangan indah matahari terbenam seperti saya, tempat ini memang sesuai sekali bagi korang. Apa yang menariknya di sepanjang pantai ini korang akan jumpa banyak tempat makan, jadi bolehlah makan sambil sambil menikmati pemandangan matahari terbenam yang indah. Pada waktu malam pula korang bolehlah meluangkan masa bersiar-siar di sekitar pantai sambil menikmati angin yang agak sejuk. Suasana pada waktu malam juga agak meriah disini, diterangi cahaya lampu berwarna-warni. Alamat: Pantai Batu Feringghi, 11050, Pulau Pinang Waktu Operasi: Setiap hari, 24 jam Cara Untuk Ke Sini: Dari Georgetown, ambil bas No. 101 dari jalan Chulia bertentangan dengan 7-Eleven. Bas ini akan membawa korang terus ke pantai Batu Ferringhi dan boleh didapati setiap 10-20 minit sekali. 2. Bukit Bendera  Cuaca dan keadaan di Penang kadang-kadang boleh menjadi agak panas, jadi apa kata korang cuba aktiviti mendaki untuk mendapatkan udara segar dan lebih sejuk berbanding bahang panas dan kesibukan di bandar. Tarikan utama di atas Bukit Bendera ini ialah The Sky Walk yang seolah-olah berada di udara. Dari sini, korang dapat melihat pemandangan seluruh bandar Penang dan laut Andaman. Betapa menakjubkan! Selain itu, terdapat banyak lagi tarikan yang sempat saya lawati seperti The Owl Museum dan Love Lock. Mengambil inspirasi daripada jambatan cinta yang terkenal di seluruh dunia, pasangan kini boleh meletakkan kunci di pagar sebagai tanda cinta mereka. Jika anda tidak membawa padlocks, jangan risau! Terdapat banyak padlocks dengan model dan saiz yang berbeza yang dijual di kedai berdekatan. Pilih salah satu yang anda suka dan pasangan anda! Lokasi: Penang Hill Waktu Operasi: Setiap hari, 6:30am – 10pm Cara Untuk Ke Sini: Menaiki bus Rapid No. 204 dari Komtar Georgetown yang akan membawa korang terus ke Bukit Bendera. 3. Pasar Lorong Kulit Jika korang suka melihat barang-barang lama dan antik, maka tempat ini sangat sesuai! Bolehlah berjalan-jalan sambil cuci mata melihat pelbagai jenis barangan antik dan tradisional yang mungkin korang tak pernah lihat seperti piring hitam, kamera antik, duit lama, dan banyak lagi. Lorong ini sememangnya terkenal di kalangan rakyat tempatan dan pelancong, jadi harga yang diletakkan kadang-kadang sedikit tinggi. Pastikan korang tawar-menawar dulu sebelum membeli. Jika anda ingin datang ke sini, saya cadangkan anda datang ke sini sebelum pukul 9 kerana mereka biasanya ditutup pada tengah hari. Alamat: 625, Jalan Dato Keramat, Georgetown, 10460 Waktu Operasi: Setiap hari, 6 am – 1 pm Cara Untuk Ke Sini: Korang boleh menaiki mana-mana bas No. 10, 201, dan 203 sebab bas ini akan berhenti di stesen berdekatan dengan pasar ini. 4. Jalan Armenian Korang suka mengambil gambar dan selfie? Kalau ya, jalan ini memang wajib korang terokai kerana sepanjang melalui kawasan ini saya berasa amat kagum dengan hasil seni yang memaparkan kisah kehidupan seharian rakyat Penang dan juga sejarah kawasan Georgetown ini. Di Jalan Armenian ini sahaja terdapat 5 arca dan lukisan mural yang terletak dekat antara satu sama lain. Sesetengahnya dibuat dengan penuh humor; ada juga yang penuh nostalgia. Jadi foto-foto anda di sini pastinya akan mempunyai kepelbagaian. Inilah masanya untuk menunjukkan sisi kreatif anda dan mengambil foto sebanyak-banyaknya. Alamat: Lebuh Armenian, Georgetown, 10450 Waktu Operasi: Setiap hari (24 jam) Cara Untuk Kesini: Untuk kesini korang hanya perlu berjalan kaki selama 13 minit dari Georgetown melalui jalan Jalan Burma dan Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah. 5. Air Terjun Titi Kerawang  Lokasi air terjun ini terletak di atas bukit, di antara Balik Pulau dan Teluk Bahang yang sering menjadi tumpuan orang ramai dan pelancong. Apa yang menariknya disini ialah keindahan alam semulajadi yang masih terpelihara dan tidak tercemar, dan tentu saja, air terjun! Bagi korang yang nak kesini waktu yang paling sesuai adalah sekitar pukul 7 hingga 8 pagi sebab waktu tu tak ramai orang lagi. Bolehlah pilih tempat yang sesuai untuk berkhelah sebab kawasan disini agak terhad dan tak besar sangat. Kalau boleh cuba elakkan dari datang pada hujung minggu kerana tempat ini agak sesak pada hari-hari cuti. Alamat: Air Terjun Titi Kerawang, 11000, Penang Waktu Operasi: Setiap hari, 7 am – 5 pm Cara Untuk Ke Sini: Dari Georgetown, korang boleh mengambil bas No.304, 502, dan 404 dari Ban Joo Lee, Georgetown dengan perjalanan kira-kira 2 jam 30 minit. 6. Chew Jetty  Jetty ini menjadi salah satu tempat yang takkan saya lupakan disebabkan oleh keunikan suasana perkampungan masyarakat cina dan bagi korang yang suka menikmati pemandangan laut, memang tak rugi lah untuk kesini. Secara tak langsung korang juga boleh mengetahui tentang cara hidup penduduk nelayan. Selain itu, terdapat banyak juga kedai makanan dan kedai menjual cenderamata hasil penduduk tempatan di sepanjang laluan jetty ini. Saya cadangkan korang untuk datang kesini pada waktu petang kerana cuaca pada ketika itu tak lah terlampau panas dan pastikan korang juga tidak melepaskan peluang untuk menyaksikan pemandangan matahari terbenam! Saya pasti korang akan dapat mengambil gambar-gambar yang cantik di sini. Alamat: Chew Jetty, Weld Quay, 10300, Georgetown Waktu Operasi: Setiap hari, 9 am – 9 pm Cara Untuk Ke Sini: Dari terminal bas Weld Quay, korang [...]
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Millennial travellers are sick of social media influencers
Millennial travellers know better than to trust pretty Instagram photos. A recent survey revealed that social media influencers barely have any influence over young holidaygoers’ decisions when it comes to travelling. When asked who has the most influence over their travel planning, millennials ranked celebrities and social media influencers right at the bottom – even lower than brochures! The Journey Of Me Insights: What Asia Pacific Millennial Travelers Want study by Amadeus revealed that family, friends and travel reviews provide more reliant travel recommendations. Amadeus general manager (Malaysia) Miro Blazevic said the millennial generation is beginning to grow wary of social media influencers. “While millennials may still look to influencers to curate trends, ideas and inspiration, I believe they are also becoming more sophisticated in how they evaluate them,” he said. Part of this jadedness is the result of a perceived loss of credibility among influencers. “With so many influencers becoming brands unto themselves, some of the authenticity that made them so appealing in the first place starts to get lost. ‘Real’ is more important than ‘perfect’, and that is an important lesson for the industry to understand,” he said. Social media have little influence over millennials’ travel decisions. Prized privacy The study, conducted across 14 markets in Asia Pacific, also revealed a few other interesting travel patterns. Millennials will visit a destination that has had recent turmoils (terror attack, political or social uprising, natural disasters, etc) – but don’t ask them to share their personal information with you. The research finds that millennials are less open than older travellers to sharing their personal information with travel providers, in return for more relevant offers or personalised services. This caution may be due to millennials being tech-savvy digital natives, and therefore more likely to be aware of security and privacy issues. While 68% baby boomers and 66% Generation X travellers say they are open to sharing their information, only 62% of all APAC millennials say likewise. The research further finds that Taiwanese (76%) and Indonesian (75%) millennials are the most open, while Japanese (33%) and New Zealand millennials (45%) were the least open. Meanwhile, more than half of Malaysian millennials (54%) are somewhat or very open to sharing personal information – that percentage is lower than Generation X (66%) and baby boomers (56%). Privacy is a concern when it comes to using technology while travelling. Tech me there Perhaps not surprising is millennials’ openness to technology in satiating their wanderlust. In Malaysia, 34% of millennials say they often use ride-sharing apps when they travel, while 32% say they frequently use sharing economy services for trip accommodation. The study suggests that travel providers should target millennials’ desire for new experiences through technology. The research found that after recommendations that help them save money (37%), millennials are most interested in recommendations that expose them to new experiences (27%). They are also open to travel providers sending them these recommendations or updates through alternative platforms. In Malaysia, 42% of millennials say they prefer to be contacted via e-mail, followed by social media (25%). However, in countries like Thailand and Indonesia, social media comes up as the top choice for millennials, chosen by 50% and 34% of them respectively. Blazevic said the Millennial generation is indeed an extremely interesting generation. “They grew up with the Internet, and technology is second skin to them. They have an openness to new experiences and a willingness to rattle the status quo. “They want different experiences in travel, so the industry must serve them differently. Travel providers will need to adopt new technology, new strategies, and above all, new mindsets if they want to secure millennial mind and market share,” he concluded. [...]
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Guide to a Perfect Long Weekend in Redang Island
Two more long weekends left before 2019 comes! Not sure of where to go? Instead of running away from the hectic city lifestyle to another equally packed city, how about retreating to an island? My pick will be Pulau Redang. Rows of palm trees, white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, colourful corals, turtles — I can go on and on. Located off the coast of Terengganu state, Redang Island is a haven not only for divers but also for travellers seeking respite from the hustle bustle of city life. How to go to Redang Island Take a flight to Kuala Terengganu. From the airport, catch a taxi/van to Merang Jetty and then a boat transfer to Redang. Best time to go to Redang Between April to late-September is the best. Most hotel resorts are shut from November to March when monsoon strikes the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Where to stay in Redang Most hotel resorts offer full-board packages, including return boat transfers, accommodation, snorkelling trips and meals. Here are some of my top picks. Sari Pacifica Resort & Spa Redang Island I stayed at Sari Pacifica during my last trip to Redang. Sari Pacifica beautifully sits a few steps away from the white sands and sparkling waters of Pantai Pasir Panjang (Long Beach). I love how this boutique resort is situated on the quieter end of Long Beach, away from the crowd. The spacious tropical-style villas come with top-notch features: huge beds fit for a Sultan, generous-sized bathrooms, private balconies with a daybed, a beachfront pool and restaurant. I was pampered like a queen! Redang Island Resort While most Redang resorts offer a beachfront view, Redang Island has something different. Situated at Teluk Siang bay, Redang Island Resort consists of chalets, all of which have an open balcony with breathtaking views of the rainforest AND the sea. Killing two birds with one stone! Images courtesy of Redang Island Resort The Taaras Nestled deep in Teluk Dalam Bay, The Taaras is the most luxurious beach resort in Redang with stretches of beaches and stunning azure waters. With plenty of suites and rooms, including a five-bedroom private villa perched high on a cliff overlooking the South China Sea, The Taaras is a paradise for couples looking for their n-th honeymoon! Image courtesy of The Taaras Things to do in Redang Just chill and relax Even when your mind is set to go snorkelling or diving right away, the swaying palm trees, turquoise waters and beautiful white sand might say otherwise. Let yourself get lulled into the relax mode once you step on Redang Island. Just chill and relax on the beach lounge chair, sip your favourite cocktail, read, eat, sleep and repeat! Snorkelling in Redang Redang Island is a snorkelling paradise, and you don’t have to go far to see marine life up close. The most popular snorkelling spot in Redang is the Marine Park Centre. It offers a wide range of snorkelling activities with the main attraction being shoals of colourful creatures, coral fishes and barracudas.  @nashazly Some sites also give you a chance to swim with large sea turtles, only an arm’s length away.  @muk77 Diving While I’m not a diver, but I do know that Redang Island is popular among divers across the globe, thanks to its numerous dive sites. Huge white coral reefs, turtles, baby sharks, coral anemone and schools of fishes are some of the reasons why thousands of divers flock to the island every year. @ilovetheocean2018 There are plenty of dive centres sprawling across the island, running professional PADI courses as well as customised dive trips. If Redang Island suddenly motivates you to get your first diving license, you know where to head. Equipment is available for rent. Visit the Chagar Hutang Turtle Sanctuary Aside from snorkelling with turtles, you can visit the Chagar Hutang Turtle Sanctuary to learn about their conservation efforts. To ensure the survival of turtles, the residents of Redang Island have come up with a sustainable initiative. Because of its status as a designated turtle landing point for mating and nesting, the beach of Chagar Hutang Turtle Sanctuary is off-limits. Instead, visitors will be brought to a secluded cove on the island for a guided tour by the staff. I missed the opportunity to visit the turtle sanctuary during my last trip there but would definitely plan a visit there next time. Good Places for Makan and Drinks in Redang If you’re staying at Long Beach, look out for Summer Point that serves delicious and tasty Malaysian Chinese-style cuisine. This beachfront restaurant is quite popular and runs out of food quickly, so make sure you arrive there early. If you wish to have pizza and cocktails with great vibes and music, head over to Luna Bar, located just a stone’s throw away from Sari Pacifica Resort.  @emilianaemily  Luna Bar Redang Redang Practical Info Redang Practical Info Know Before You Go Bring sufficient cash. There is no ATM on the island. Only the luxury resorts accept card payment. Otherwise, everything is in cash. Mobile phone coverage is spotty. Take this opportunity to go on a digital detox! The post Guide to a Perfect Long Weekend in Redang Island appeared first on Expedia Malaysia Travel Blog. [...]
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ZafigoX2018 all set to inspire women travellers
“Today’s woman wants more adventures and new experiences when they travel. They want to give back to society. And some even do volunteer work at their travel destinations,” said Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir at the launch of the ZafigoX2018 event in Kuala Lumpur recently where she announced the key speakers for this year. ZafigoX, an annual event dedicated to women empowerment and travel, is the only one of its kind in the region. This time around, it will be held in November. “The driving force behind ZafigoX is to empower women to uncover and realise their potential through informed and independent travel,” Marina said. “Travelling can be a powerful experience. Many are filled with wanderlust to travel the world, yet have never taken that first step. We’re held back by responsibilities, self-doubt, and sometimes, even fear. ZafigoX looks to change that, especially for women. “As a woman, travel can be daunting and holds many risks. But with careful planning and education, travel can be safe, simple, and a catalyst for personal growth,” Marina, who is the founder of ZafigoX, shared. “Travel is a very gendered domain. Female travellers have very different concerns compared to their male counterparts such as appropriate attire and cultural behaviour, as well as safety. “At ZafigoX, women travellers can share their stories to help guide and encourage other women to travel with a renewed sense of confidence and self-assurance. We want to empower women to take that first step to explore the world and the endless possibilities that come with it,” she added. Last year’s ZafigoX event in Penang was the first and comprised 12 talks, four discussion panels and six workshops. There was also a women’s artisan bazaar. It was the first event in Asia dedicated to women and travel. It hosted over 100 female participants, and included speakers like Malaysian hitchhiker Petrina Thong, South Korean cyclist Jin Jeong, and Manal al-Sharif who led the “Right to Drive” campaign in Saudi Arabia. For this year’s event, 300 participants are expected. ZafigoX 2018 will be held from Nov 9 to 11 at The Gardens Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. It will feature talks by women who travel, workshops on things related to travel such as self-defence, keeping safe, gearing up for cycling around the world and preparing for mountain climbing. There will also be a marketplace with booths operated by women producing goods and services for women travellers. New this year are panels and sessions for the travel industry. Known as ZafigoTravelIndustry, this will debut with its first panel session, titled “What Do Women Really Want When They Travel?” and its first masterclass, “Selling Travel To Women”. This year’s event boasts an extensive list of international speakers, including Malaysian solo female motorcyclist Anita Yusof, Australian rape survivor and women’s advocate Claire McFarlane, Indonesian photographer and activist Hermandari Kartowisastro, Japanese university student and youngest person in the world to complete The Explorer’s Grand Slam (seven summits, and north and south pole) Marin Minamiya, and Malaysian consultant and activist Khairun Nisa Mohamed Zabidi. There will be talks and workshops, among others, on seeing the world on a motorcycle, travelling for women over 50, trekking and breaking gender stereotypes, travel photography and how to travel with children. Tickets are available for sale at the following rates: super early bird (until Oct 12) at RM199; early bird (Oct 12 to 27) at RM299; standard (from Oct 28) at RM399; and door sales (per day) at RM249. For more information, visit zafigo.com/zafigox/.   [...]
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10 Fantastic Heritage Hotels in Malaysia for Your Ultimate Staycation
When you’re craving a getaway but planning a trip is too leceh, there is something in between that hits the sweet spot. A staycation. Spending a nice ‘vacation’ in a great hotel means all the fun, without much planning, budgeting, and packing — and no waiting! If you need a quick getaway after a strenuous work week, unwind by enjoying a staycation in your own backyard. Trust these gorgeous heritage hotels around Malaysia to satisfy your escapism. Great Heritage Hotels in Malaysia for a Staycation 1.      Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang This iconic hotel situated at a prime seafront location in Georgetown needs no more introduction. The name itself is synonymous with the British colonial era in Malaya. First established as The Eastern Hotel by the Armenian Sarkies Brothers in 1884, the name changed to the Eastern & Oriental Hotel in 1889 after a merger. The hotel offers all the trappings of luxury that let you experience the elegant living of a bygone era. Did we mention the legendary 24-hour butler service? Foodies will also know this place by the award-winning restaurant, 1885. Honeymoon-goers will love this place to bits! 2.      The Majestic Malacca, Malacca Step up your staycation game by pampering yourself at the most elegant establishment Malacca has to offer. Located along the banks of the Melaka River, the history of The Majestic Malacca goes back to 1929. The hotel was built by a tycoon named Leong Long Man who furnished the mansion with imported Victorian tiles and exquisite furniture. The mansion remains as the heart of the hotel although a new building has been built to house the 54 lavishly decorated rooms and suites. The extension still gives you the unmistakable old-age elegant vibe. 3.      Sarang Paloh Heritage Stay & Event Hall, Ipoh This gorgeous Sarang Paloh Heritage Hotel located in the centre of Ipoh’s Old Town was once the famous Oversea Building and Yick Woh Building in the 1930s. The restored façade of the buildings are given a new lease of life with a coat of fresh paint, but the structure otherwise is left untouched. Furnished with traditional timber flooring, each room is named after popular local birds to represent the distinctive features of each room. For example, the Green Magpie room is facing the tranquil water garden just like the bird itself that inhabits the evergreen forests. 4.      The Majestic Hotel, Kuala Lumpur Situated on a serene hillside at the edge of the Lake Gardens, facing the Neo-Moorish style Kuala Lumpur railway station, the location couldn’t have been more perfect. Built in 1932, the 51-room hotel was constructed in a blend of Beaux-Arts and Art Deco styles, contributing to the glamour and grandeur of the building. The Majestic Hotel is now restored to its former resplendent glory by YTL Hotel after its closure in 1983. Spend your afternoon indulging in the high tea selection in the midst of blooming orchids at The Orchid Conservatory. 5.      The Jesselton Hotel, Kota Kinabalu If you wish to experience a taste of the former colonial grandeur, the Jesselton Hotel, the first (and thus, oldest) hotel in Kota Kinabalu is a must. Right smack in the heart of the city, the Jesselton Hotel was built in 1954, after the World War II to redevelop the city. At the hotel lobby, you will be greeted with its charming pink marble interior. Though the hotel rooms come with modern amenities, the décor still retains a distinctive colonial allure. 6.      Seven Terraces, Penang Banker-turn-hotelier Christopher Ong transformed seven Anglo Chinese conjoint decrepit shophouses built in the late 19th century into 18 splendid suites — and thus the name: Seven Terraces. The hotel is bound to transport you back to the romance and resplendence of the Peranakan Chinese era. The strong colonial charm shines through the collected antiques such as Blackwood mother-of-pearl inlaid furniture and original Peranakan Chinese wedding bed. If you want to relive the golden era of Baba and Nyonya in the past, Seven Terraces is the hotel to go to. 7.      The Ranee Boutique Suites, Kuching Restored and modernised from two dilapidated 19th-century shophouses, this boutique hotel is anything but typical. The Ranee Boutique Suites tastefully fuses the rich colonial heritage with Sarawak’s indigenous cultures, create an attractive one-of-a-kind ambience. The hotel is centrally located in the heart of Kuching’s Old Town, facing all the iconic landmarks: the riverfront, the Astana, and the State Legislative Assembly building. Don’t check out from the hotel without trying the popular Sarawak tipple: The Ranee’s Tuak — a local brew made from glutinous rice. 8.      Ban Loong Hotel, Ipoh Exposed brick walls, lofty high ceilings, rustic furniture — Ban Loong Hotel is a 102-year-old restored heritage building with bold characters. The building is the ancestor home of the Loh Family, which then was converted to a boutique hotel by the family in 2015 to cater to the surge of tourists in Ipoh. Most of the original brickwork and the wooden beams of the building are preserved to maintain its historical character. There are only 9 rooms on the premises so you can expect warm hospitality from the staff, treating you like one of their big family members. 9.      Temple Tree at Bon Ton, Langkawi Faithful to its proclamation as “A resort of many cultures”, Temple Tree at Bon Ton at Pantai Cenang has 8 antique villas of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Eurasian origins. Each building is 70 to 110 years old. The owner bought these buildings, dismantled and then reassembled them at the Bon Ton estate which is nestled in the lap of nature, overlooking vast green spaces. 10.  Courtyard at Heeren Boutique Hotel, Melaka Located right in the heart of Jonker Street, this converted historic shophouses boutique hotel provides a glimpse of how the old Chinese and Pera [...]
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Get your Hi Tec outdoor merchandise in this store in Malaysia
With its variety of earthy landscapes, tropical flora and fauna, Malaysia is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. In fact, a growing interest in activities like camping, hiking, trekking and trail-running has spurred the growth of businesses for adventure products and merchandise. Meeting the demand for more footwear, clothing and equipment choices, Sports Direct Malaysia now offers a range of quality outdoor gear at appropriate prices. At a launch event at its flagship store in Petaling Jaya, the company announced its collaboration with outdoor brand specialist Hi Tec. It’s a valuable partnership, says Sports Direct Malaysia managing director Paul Gibbons. “The Hi Tec performance brand complements our extensive range of rucksacks, walking boots, backpacks, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, tents, outdoor clothing, camping equipment, trail running shoes and everything else customers could possibly need for an outdoor adventure.” Hi Tec, founded in England in 1974 with its HQ in the Netherlands, has been operating in the United States since 1978. Hi Tec Asia Pacific sales and marketing director Steven Rogers says that the company understands the needs of its customers. “The average person spends 90% of life and their time indoors, and yet there’s a beautiful world outside. So, one of our goals is to get more people outdoors,” he tells us. “The big thrust in our marketing is to have an annual outdoor day in every country, to get new people into the great outdoors. Not everyone stays but many do. The outdoor family is growing.” He adds that, “People have been educated by big brands that they need specialist footwear for every sport. But some shoes can be multi-functional. Besides wearing them outdoors or at the gym, you can wear them to a bar, shopping malls, or other urban environments. “We have a whole category of products called Outdoor Crossover. It uses materials and colours from the outdoors and it is excellent for trails. But it is equally suitable in an urban environment.” While showing off mid-sole samples (the layer of material between the inner and outer soles of a shoe), Rogers explains, “Hi Tec uses a unique new foam that is 80% lighter, gives 54% more rebound and 26% more shock absorption than traditional athletic and outdoor mid-soles.” As a business, Rogers points out that Hi Tec sells in over 110 countries and that the company is worth US$750mil (RM3bil). It’s No.2 in the outdoor footwear global market, but the gap is closing. “In the US, every other outdoor shoe under US$100 (RM400) purchased is a Hi Tec,” he declares. Gibbons is equally proud of Sports Direct’s operations, particularly their latest flagship outlet which opened in July 2018. “This is our 29th store in Malaysia, and we’ve been in Malaysia for almost nine years.” he says. “In the last three to four years, we really scaled the business to where we got larger stores and more brands. This is in collaboration with our sister company, MST Golf, to bring the largest retail sports environment in Malaysia, almost 3,902sq m under one warehouse roof.” Talking about size, Gibbons adds that, “As a group, we’ve got MST Golf, Sports Direct and a number of affiliated companies, which gives us close to 70 stores and about 1,000 employees.” Also, the flagship store carries about 72 brands that cover a wide array of sports. He’s so confident that he doesn’t view other major sports outlets in Malaysia as rivals. “We’re very transparent in our business and don’t see them as competition. Some are good as an entry level into sports, like when people buy their first pair of unbranded shoes,” he says. “But we have discovered that when people really get into sports, they want brand association. Whether it’s running or soccer, there are brands that specialise in particular sports, and those are the ones we partner with.” The latest Hi Tec waterproof hiking shoes. . How did Sports Direct get into the outdoor business? “The outdoor category in Malaysia and across Asia is booming. People want to get fit, they want to go outside, they want their kids to stop gaming indoors and get some fresh air,” Gibbons explains. “We have such a unique topography in Malaysia and South-East Asia in terms of height and length, the trail running, the jungle tracks that people can experience. And part of that, we hope, starts with us when they come to get the right gear.” Their partnership with Hi Tec should secure that hope. “From the equipment you see, whether it’s sleeping bags, tents, hiking, camping or trail running, we’re expanding in the outdoor business. What we needed was a brand that’s an expert in the outdoors,” Gibbons says. “That’s when we went to Hi Tec and said, ‘We have some good brands but we need a bona fide outdoors company. We’d really like to retail and handle the Hi Tec business (which has been around 44 years) for Malaysia and Singapore.’” Gibbons also revealed that future plans include five more stores in Malaysia – two in Selangor, one in KL and one in Johor. “There are negotiations for more Sports Direct stores,” he says. “Eventually, you’ll see about 40 stores around the country.” He added that apart from the retail outlets, those who prefer shopping online can get their kits and gear at sportsdirect.com. [...]
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