I truly recommend it.
1st March 2016 - To kick off the 1Malaysia Super Sale & Shopping Malaysia Grand Launch 2016, Tourism Malaysia organised a Shopping Hunt for all the participants in the Mega FAM trip, which includes media personnel from ASEAN and tour agents from Africa and the Middle East.
The event was held at Malaysia Tourism Centre (MaTiC), just a few blocks away from KLCC. Participants of the Mega FAM was assigned to designated teams which comprises of local representatives from the travel industries, local publications and online media.
Before the Shopping Hunt, all the teams were briefed about their mission and objectives. Basically, participants are given 5 hours to visit 15 shopping malls, take 5 photos from each of the mall at specific locations as stated in the Shopping Hunt 'map'. They are allowed to travel (RM50 RapidKL card provided) via MRT, Monorail and Bus ONLY, strictly no taxis. Along the way they will have to collect 3 'treasure' items which will be essential in gathering points for their team. It is also compulsory for them to use the appropriate hashtags for the photos they took. All photos are then required to be uploaded to Miss Shophia Facebook Page.
Before the flag-off, the Shopping Hunt 2016 was officially launched by non other than the charismatic Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Director General of Tourism Malaysia. A huge group was taken at the end of this speech, before everyone proceeds to the starting line.
I only realised now that my team never took a group photo before we set off for the hunt! Anyway we strategised early, we divided ourselves in to two groups. Each group to cover the shopping malls according to location and flow of the race that will eventually end at Nu Sentral Mall. The shopping malls to be visited are Suria KLCC, Avenue K, Pavilion, Starhill Gallery, Fahrenheit 88, Lot 10, Sungei Wang, Berjaya Times Square, Quill City Mall, Sunway Putra, SOGO, Jakel Mall, Central Market, Nu Sentral and Jakel Mall.
Our first destination was Suria KLCC. This was one of the easiest one to complete, I think we did in about 10 mins. It was nice that it was a weekday, so there weren't so much human traffic.
The next mall was luckily only across Suria KLCC. The task at Avenue K was a bit challenging but we completed it quite quickly too. Avenue K is one of the newest mall in Kuala Lumpur. It serves as a urban hub where life and creativity is celebrated.
With over 60 exciting dining options including B.Bap, Fresca Mexican Kitchen, Dolly Dim Sum, Wondermama X, Simply d, Samba Brazilian Steakhouse Churrascaria, Sushi Zanmai, Ayers Rock Butcher and Grill, Fat Boy’s Burger Bar, Sushi King, Swensen’s, Bankara Ramen, Tokyo Pastry, Taste Enclave Food Atrium and Johnny Rockets, there is no doubt that Avenue K is a foodie’s heaven. Unfortunately, I don't have time to even stop at one, so I guess next time I have to. If you're into those 'escape games', this is the place to be too.
From Avenue K we had to go to the Pavilion at Bukit Bintang, which is about a kilometre plus on foot.
Pavilion was also another easy task. The competition was quite tense but still teams are willing to help each other by pointing out where the locations are. Now I'm pretty familiar with Pavilion because I never miss it every time I'm in KL but through this Hunt, I was pretty surprised that they are parts of it I don't know!
But my favourite part about Starhill Gallery is the dining area at the basement floor. From Asian to Middle East to Western and Oriental dishes, you will be spoilt for choices. And each one of them is uniquely decorated too. All together there are 15 different restaurants, you can check them out here.
Next is Fahrenheit 88, which is next to Starhill Gallery. This is my must visit in Kuala Lumpur simply because it has the largest Uniqlo store in Malaysia. It's like my Kryptonite, I cannot simply walk away empty-handed! Anyway, the mall houses a mix of regional, international and local brands with a mixture of international restaurants and entertainment too. Overall there's about 170 retail stores across 7 floors. And above the shops is the Fahrenheit Suites, a popular place especially for those who prefers a kitchen in their room.
The iconic Lot 10 was next. Before there was Pavilion, this is the star of Bukit Bintang. It houses a variety of popular brands like H&M, Zara, Timberland, Isetan amongst others. For Liverpool FC fans, this is where you'll find the LFC Store *booooooooo!* hahaha..
Next we had to cross over to Sungei Wang. Now I call this the oldskool Mall because of the layout. This award winning mall has everything. There is well over 800 retail stores for you to explore, so I'm not kidding when I say you will find everything. A day is definitely not enough here. Anyway, the task at Sungei Wang was a bit challenging, as we needed to get our "shopping passport" stamped on various floors. But other than that, the task was pretty simple.
From Sungei Wang we took the LRT to Berjaya Times Square, another popular shopping destination in KL especially for families because of the largest indoor theme park in Malaysia. The 5-Star Berjaya Times Square Hotel is also another popular place to stay in KL. There over 1,000 shoplots which includes GSC Maxx (the largest Digital Hall in Malaysia) and Tiny Taipei. And if you're a fan of Krispy Kreme, this is where you'll find it (ground floor).
With barely an hour before the end of the Shopping Hunt, we finally arrived to the final destination, Nu Sentral. Before we can rest, we had to complete some task too. I was given the responsibility to upload the photos to the designated Facebook Page for the judges to tally our points. We were also anxious waiting for our two other team mates, hoping they'll be able to upload their task too. Out of the three required treasures, which is the Karipap, Dodol and a DVD from Tourism Malaysia, we only managed to submit two of them. Despite that, we were quite confident that we'll be in the top 10.
After the official launch, cultural performances and fashion show, it was finally time for the results. The countdown begins from number 20. It was totally nerve-wrecking. My team mates and I felt kinda surreal that we made it to the top 10. And as they countdown to the top 3, it got beyond unbelievable as we're totally in the running to win the RM5000 for the first prize!
But finally, our team name was announced for the 3rd place! Alhamdulillah. It was totally unexpected and we wonder where would we place if we manage to submit all the the "treasures" required. But nevertheless, all of us were ecstatic to receive RM400 each plus some shopping vouchers worth another RM200.
Despite not getting the top spot, I'm still glad that another representative in Brunei was in the winning team. What a day it has been. Super exhausting but the adventure and rewards made it totally worth it. Thank you so much for this priceless experience Tourism Malaysia.!
For more info about shopping in Malaysia, visit the official Tourism Malaysia website here.
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Kuala Lumpur 29th February 2016 - The media reception for the Malaysia Super Sale this year was held at Sasana Kijang, the Museum & Gallery of National Bank of Malaysia which was opened in 2011. It is a centre of knowledge and learning excellence that embodies the Bank’s commitment for the development of thought leadership and for regional and international collaboration in central banking and financial services.
Upon arrival the Mega FAM participants was greeted with a creative showcase on various Malaysian handicrafts. The media was even given a chance to create a Batik pattern of their own. In attendance were the media form ASEAN region and travel agencies representatives from Africa and the Middle East.
After a short welcoming remark from Hazlini Harun, the Manager of the Museum and Art Gallery, we were brought to the Art Gallery first which houses a rotating display of the Central Bank of Malaysia’s art collection. The spacious area is very delightful and calming too.
We then proceed to the Numismatics Gallery. This gallery tells the early history of money and go back to a time when objects of different shapes and sizes were commonly accepted as currency within the region.
If you're a numismatists, you'll probably wanna spend a lot of time here. Old money is so interesting!
We then proceed to the Bank Negara Malaysia Gallery, where we learn about the important role and responsibilities of the Central Bank of Malaysia in maintaining the financial and economic health of the country.
The Vault is probably the highlight of this gallery. To view it you'll need to enter some codes and then only will the frosted glass clears for a while for you to view this treasures. We're told it's the real deal but they could just be pulling our legs.
The final stop was at the Children’s Gallery which is filled with hands-on games and activities based on the concept of ‘Save, Spend and Share’. The entry to this section is a also tunnel made of RM1 Million. No I'm not kidding.
After the visits, we were given a chance to have a hands-on training on how to properly frame artworks so that'll it last longer.
Despite the short time, it was a fun workshop. Next on the agenda was the Seminar Session for the 1Malaysia Super Sale.
We were welcomed by Ms. Azizah Aziz (left), Director of Corporate Communication Division, Tourism Malaysia. In her remarks, she presented the latest statistics of visitors to Malaysia. Ms. Baizuri Baharum (right), Head Secretariat of Shopping Secretariat Malaysia then presented to us the current and upcoming tourist attractions and also how the 2016 Malaysia Super Sale will be conducted. Check out their Calendar of Events so you can plan your trips to Malaysia wisely!
We also heard some briefings from various theme park and mall operators, sharing the activities that they have planned for 2016. There is certainly a ton of activities and deals for all those visiting Malaysia this year. Not just shopping but also sporting activities too.
One of the slides shared was this, which I'm kinda proud of hehe.. despite our small population of not more than 450,000 people, we manage to score high on the most generating tourist market statistic. No surprise really because we all know how we love to drive down to Miri or Kota Kinabalu for some R&R due to the strong Brunei currency.
To end the seminar, we were shown the award winning video of 'Malaysia Truly Asia" sung by non other than the renowned Malaysian artist and Tourism Advisor of Malaysia, Yuna. Personally, I've loved this song from the first time I heard it last year. So soothing and video is nicely done.
The final program of the day was the Welcome Reception hosted by Museum & Gallery of National Bank of Malaysia. The guess of honour was Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Director General of Tourism Malaysia. In his speech he emphasised more reasons why Malaysia is the right destination for tourist who wishes to experience Asia as Malaysia has a vast variety of races and religion which has showcases their own unique tradition from culture to food.
The event ended with some really good food and entertainment of various cultural dances and songs. It was a really long day but everyone truly enjoyed it. For more info on traveling to Malaysia, simply visit the official website of Tourism Malaysia. You can also drop me an email via my Contact page.
A month before my trip to Singapore for Taylor Swift's 1989 concert (oh yes I did, story on a different post later!), I was looking for a fun/convenient place to stay along Orchard Road (of course!). And when I read about Hotel Jen Orchardgateway from Rano's post, my choice was made. And after a couple of emails, my room was confirmed. YASSS!
Bruneians who've been to Singapore will be familiar with 313 @ Somerset on Orchard Road. It houses the likes of Uniqlo, Zara, Muji, Forever 21 and so on. Hotel Jen Orchardgateway (HJOG) is located at the very same building, 10 floors up. So if shopping is in your mind, you couldn't have picked a better spot.
As I exit the taxi, I'm greeted by this a very huge chair. That seat part is about my height so it does take an effort if you wanna sit on it for a photo (like this). You are at your own risk tho, the HJOG will not be responsible for any injuries. At HJOG, they do not have any porters for your luggage, so you're welcome to use the trolleys provided. And those bicycles, they're free for use too.
While there is a reception at the ground level, you will need to take the lift to the 10th floor for check-in. All is done via a tablet, no papers to sign at all. Even when you check-out. Now that already impressed me and I haven't seen my room yet! If you've booked yourself their Club Room, check-in is a bit more exclusive on the 19th floor at the Club Lounge. My arrival was met by Elsa, the Asst DIgital Marketing Manager who briefed me more about the HJOG concept. I was then shown to my room after we set a time to meet up for dinner at the main eating hall at the hotel.
My Club Room was on the 18th floor. I've seen it online of course but nothing beats the real thing. SImple but elegant in a chic kinda way. The view was pretty amazing too albeit a little bit hazy.
After checking out my room, I quickly freshen-up and went to the 19th floor to see for myself their rooftop pool and lounge - Baywatch @ Jen. And I'm happy to say, it is as lovely as it looks online, if not better. The view is just amazing to say the least.
There is even massage services you can book during the day as you relax at the poolside cabana. If you've got kids, there's also quite big specially for them. If you intend to do nothing, this is the spot for it.
Lounge @ Jen - a place to just chill with your favorite cup of beverage, light snacks and tapas too. In the evening, they even have a Dj that spins chill out, loung-ish and groovy oldskool tunes too. See more info about their Happy Hour and Ladies Night specials here.
After the mini exploration, I stepped out to catch James Bond: Spectre on IMAX at Shaw Lido. Did I enjoy it? Well.. I find it all rather tame and cliche. Quite disappointing, not as dark as Skyfall was. Anyway, more on Jen. It's for dinner ar Makan @ Jen with Elsa.
Food, glorious food! I was also treated to their chef's specialties, the Mee Laksa and also Laksa Fried RIce. Definitely a must if you're into Laksa. Needless to say I was totally stuffed from all the good food. As for desserts, they've got a variety of cakes and ice cream.
For Club Room guest, you will have access to the Club Lounge on the 19th floor. An exclusive and more private area for you just to unwind or catch up on some work stuff. The breathtaking views of the Singapore skyline, Orchard Road or Somerset Road is calming and magnificent. You'll be spoiled with a generous buffet and high-speed WIFI! A great place for breakfast and evening drinks while you watch the sunset.
Hotel Jen Orchardgateway is definitely a place I wanna come back too the next time in Singapore. The excellent service, facilities and location makes it really value for money. It is under the Shangri-La hotel group, so you know it's quality all around. Their 26 Hours A Day Weekend stay is also something that you should take advantage off, read more of that here.
Thank you Elsa and HJOG for hosting my stay. I had a really wonderful time staying with Jen.
Follow Hotel Jen Orchardgateway online;
Singapore, 27 October 2015 - Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore lets you maximise your stay with a 26-hour Staycation. How cool, extraordinary and generous is that? Yes, only Hotel Jen provides this real deal.
From now till December 31, 2015 (date inclusive), guests may indulge in a totally value-added worthwhile staycation at Hotel Jen every Saturday and Sunday. Gone are the rules of checking in at 2 pm and checking out at 12 pm. This Weekends with 26 Hours A Day room package, guests can check out 26 hours after whatever time they check in.
From $200* per room, per night, guests may stay in one of the 499 well-appointed rooms featuring an abundance of sunlight and which are well decorated in soft earth-tone colours. All guests who love this idea are welcome to stay at the hotel and post a picture of their stay that is relevant to the property onto their Facebook wall and tagging @Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore with the hashtag #26hourswithJen during their stay.
Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore is ‘InJeniously’ well-designed with a combination of complementing amenities to meet all guests needs and preferences in an indulging and pampering manner. They also have the flexibility to choose between one big plush king bed or two super single beds. The stay includes everything they need and some things they didn’t even expect – a 24-hour fitness centre, fast free WiFi everywhere, always and free local calls.
Strategically located in the heart of Orchard Road, guests can say hello to a seamless, weather-proof shopping heaven right at their hotel door as the hotel is interconnected with four shopping malls and has direct access to Somerset MRT station. In addition, anything that calls for a celebration and any special occasion that arises would fit in their schedule perfectly.
A stay would not be complete without experiencing the sensational 47-metre infinity rooftop pool, ideal for a leisurely dip or an afternoon cocktail, with panoramic views of the Singapore Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore invites guests to seize the weekend and get 26 hours
For reservations and enquiries, please call +65 6831 4333 or email email@example.com.
*Prices stated are in Singapore dollars and subject to a 10% service charge and 7% GST, unless stated as GST-inclusive, and are subject to room availability. Additional terms and conditions apply.
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A must install app if you're gonna be visiting Japan. The Japanese understand the value of providing internet access to tourist. When there's free data, the more likely they'll upload online their experience in Japan.
Oh Tokyo, when will I meet you?
Simply magnificent. You'll need about two weeks to explore them all properly I think.
You're essential guide to eating Halal in Thailand.
Two final attraction that we visited in Chiang Mai;
Mae Taeng Elephant Park & Clinic.
If you've always wanted to experience an elephant ride in Chiang Mai, then this is the place to go to. It was my first time ever on an elephant so I was quite nervous about it and getting to be on one of the biggest at that park, doesn't help with my fear of heights. I'm glad I braved myself tho, it was an experience like no other, altho at times I felt like i was slipping through the seats! They are also many other activities such as Bamboo Rafting, Ox Cart rides, an introduction to Rural life in Thailand, and more at the Park. As always we were on a tight schedule, so we didn't get to try it all.
Umbrella Making Centre.
The arts and handicraft centre will amaze you. The umbrella designs are fascinating, from the small decorative ones to those for your garden. And if you don't see any particular design you like, there's a lot of skill full artist who can draw what you want on the spot. They can even draw on your purse, handbag, hat, jacket, t-shirt and even jeans. I had one of them to draw a golden dragon at the back of my phone for only 50 baht. This centre is definitely a good place to buy some souvenirs for everyone back home.
Video shot with my Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
An excellent and detailed write-up by Kampung Boy City Gal about Pai. If you're planning to go, this is a guide you should read through.
Chiang Mai Weekend Walking Street
This street market is the most popular in Chiang Mai and is especially packed on Sundays. Too packed that it's quite a challenge to see what is on offer. There is just simply too many to see, buy and eat. I suggest you skip dinner before going here because I am sure you will want to try some of the food being sold. Don't forget to bargain here, some items are marked up 100% than their usual price.
The Karen Long Neck Hilltribe Settlement
A very intriguing village with lots of handmade souvenirs. You can take photos with them but don't forget to donate to them a few baht as a courtesy. According to lingneckkaren.com, legend claims that the brass rings protect the women from tiger bites. But actually the practice of waring them helps maintain individual and tribal indentity.
There's over 300+ shops here with the likes of Zara, Uniqlo, Adidas amongst others ready to take your money away! Unfortunately we only had less than an hour to have lunch and shop. Sad sad sad. I was looking forward to ass a new color to my Adidas Supercolor collection, but sadly their colors were limited and in all bigger sizes. You definitely can spend a whole day in here, shop, eat and then maybe an IMAX movie.
A much needed break after the previous day of hardcore Songkran festival. Oasis Spas offer the unique "Lanna-style" spa experience where they blend the most effective ancient Thai herbs with cutting-edge massage expertise and added the professional pampering of highly trained therapists. You can never go wrong with Oasis Spa, they've been winning the "Award of Excellence Day Spa" from the Tourism Authority of Thailand multiple times "Day Spa of the Year" award from AsiaSpa Magazine amongst other prestigious awards.
Despite the European setting, their main specialty is Thai food, sushi and some western dishes too. The live band will keep you entertained as you enjoy your food. It's advisable to book as it is a popular stop for tourist groups who usually comes in a couple of coaches.
Check out http://www.geekinwhite.com/travels for more photos of my Chiang Mai trip. Video shot with my Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
My first visit to Chiang Mai courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand. From Brunei we took a flight to Bangkok at about 10:55am and arrived at 12:30pm (BKK time). We had to be in transit until the flight to Chiang Mai which is about 5:30pm. There was 3 of us from Brunei, myself, Azlan from Borneo Bulletin and Jenson from United Daily. In transit, we met the Malaysian representatives which comprises of bloggers, journalist and photographers.
The flight to Chiang Mai took anout an hour via Thai Airways. Before checking in to our hotel, we had dinner at Khaomao Khaofang Restaurant. After dinner we checked-in to Eastin Tan Hotel and then explored MAYA Lifestyle Shopping Mall and Nimman Hill which is just across the road.
The next we actually left for Pai so the visit to What Pra That Doi Suthep is actually two days after. We visited the temple straight after we got back from Pai. It is located on Doi Suthep a mountain 1,676 metres (5,499 ft) tall and is one of the twin peaks of a granite mountain located west of Chiang Mai. The temperature was nice and cool and in the winter it goes down to 20 degrees and more.
Video shot with my Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
I so wanna do this again!
I've never been to any of them except Santorini but I only explored the amusement park and shopping area of it. I think next time in Bangkok, I'm gonna give the Siam Park City a try.
Part of the Geneva trip was a stopover for a few nights in Zurich. It is such a beautiful place albeit a bit expensive.
This was quite an unexpected and definitely not one that planned. But I'm so glad I got to go and for the first time as a blogger, attended the world-famous Geneva Motor Show.
To see more of my photos in Geneva, simply click here.
This is a really good guide. The one above comes highly recommended.
This was quite an unexpected trip. I was asked if I could go just about 3 days before the trip. Luckily, I managed to sort out my leave.
There was about 18 of us in the group, comprising of Brunei travel agents, journalist from the local newspaper, Ranoadidas and an RB representative.