Monday, January 15, 2007

Malaysia welcomes the world in style, Visit Malaysia 2007 Campaign

It's a truly extravagant and successful celebration. The Visit Malaysia Year 2007 launch was celebrated in pomp and splendour at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, Kuala Lumpur last night.

Even the rain did not dampen the spirit of the tens of thousands, both local and foreign, who gathered as early as noon to witness the celebration.

Colourful fireworks illuminated the sky throughout the celebration.

Merry mood: Street performers entertaining those who visited Taman Tasik Titiwangsa before the launch of VM 2007 yesterday. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi launched the campaign and the 60m-high Eye on Malaysia ferris wheel.

Abdullah arrived at 9.05pm in a Bufori car but it took him almost 20 minutes just to reach the stage as he was surrounded by scores of people who gathered around the moving vehicle to get a glimpse of him.

The event was telecast live to 10 countries like Australia, China, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

The crowd, which comprised some 600 foreign journalists and ambassadors, was earlier treated to cultural performances and singing by Anita Sarawak, Michael Wong and Sheila Majid, among others.

The two Malaysians who are eyeing to be the nation’s first angkasawan – Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor and Kapt Dr Faiz Khaleed – went up on the stage to meet Abdullah.

The prime minister then proceeded to the Eye on Malaysia on a boat across the lake.

After launching it, Abdullah took a ride on one of the gondolas to get a breathtaking view of the capital at night.

The Eye on Malaysia will be opened to the public today.

The crowd was then treated to another round of fireworks display and a jet-ski stunt.

American tourist Michael Bernath, 42, said the campaign was “very attractive and beautiful”.

“People here are very helpful. There are so many different cultures here. I will definitely come back in the future,” he said.

Source from The Star Online.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Heritage Properties in Britain (Scotland)

Still in Britain. After you have done with London Sightseeing now it's time to visit many heritage properties in Britain and as you all know Britain contains a vibrant history, from the legend of King Arthur and the Holy Grail to the mystery of Stonehenge. Also there is a wealth of places to visit, take a journey through Britain exploring magnificent castles, ancient fortresses, idyllic gardens, mysterious monuments, opulent royal residences, and historic stately homes.

There are nearly 600 attractions in England, Scotland, Wales and including Northern Ireland Stonehenge, Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyrood House, Roman Baths, Shakespeare's Birthplace, Warwick Castle, Leeds Castle and Anne Hathaway's Cottage. I suggest you begin your journey from North to South (Scotland to South West England). If you're in short vacation just visit Scotland first and come back next year for England.

Begin your tour of Scotland in Orkney at the Skara Brae Prehistoric Village. This location is a World Heritage Site and the best-preserved prehistoric village in Northern Europe, which dates back 5,000 years. Continue at the Maes Howe Chambered Cairn and see the finest prehistoric chambered tomb in Europe. No visit to Scotland would be complete without going to Loch Ness and attempting to see Nessie, the infamous Loch Ness monster that supposedly lurks within the depths of the water. Urquhart Castle overlooks Loch Ness’s shores, and remains an impressive stronghold despite its ruinous state.

Go east into Cairngorms National Park and discover Balmoral, the Royal family’s Scottish home, and take a tour around the grounds, gardens and exhibitions. Peter Pan fans can then head into Kirriemuir and visit Barrie’s Birthplace, where there is an exhibition of his literary and theatrical works. Shakespeare fans can next visit Glamis Castle and see the legendary setting for his play ‘Macbeth.’ This has also been a royal residence since 1372.

Edinburgh offers a wealth of properties to visit, including Edinburgh Castle, which overlooks the city. It is an ancient fortress of great importance, which includes the old palace and old parliament. There is also an award-winning exhibition on the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny. In Charlotte Square is the Georgian House, a typical house of Edinburgh’s 18th century New Town, and part of a magnificent square by Robert Adam. Continue sightseeing at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of her majesty the Queen in Scotland. It is also closely associated with Scotland’s rich history, and perhaps best known as the home of Mary Queen of Scots. Relax at the Malleny Garden, which includes a good collection of shrub roses and 400-year-old clipped yew trees.

Go for mystical Britain!

Tips: If you are international visitor, get yourself a Great British Heritage Pass. It was designed to enable you have free access to all of this 600 attraction with a minimum of £2.25 a day

Pic: Knocks Castle

Link: (thanks, Great British Heritage Pass)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Free travel by house-sitting

A few of my friend asked me whether it is possible to have a free travel trip. Well, to say yes for that question is a big lie but there are a few ways to score for a free trip. One is called house-sitting kind of baby-sitting where you will be asked to take up residence in someone else's home for a specified period of time.

Your job is take care of that house and no worries about the rent. Off course you still have to pay for transport and foods but can you imagine how much could be save for lodging if it takes place for a 3 months period. And it is not for everybody: Research, patience, good timing and often a bit of luck and sweat are required.

Instead of waiting for your rich aunt in the Hampton to go away and ask you to watch over her place, look into a service that lists house-sitting opportunities. If things work out, you might be chilling out at a Caribbean villa or caring for cats and hens in an adorable French farmhouse.

Before signing on for any assignment, you as a house-sitter should ask questions. Namely, who pays the bills? Many homeowners state upfront that house sitters pay for utilities, at the least. If there are pets, find out how many and what their special needs are. If there's a garden, ask how big it is and how much attention it requires. At some point, the work may make the "free" lodging not worth the trouble. Also, ask the owner for the names and contacts of previous house sitters, and grill them about the experience.

Where do you find these gigs? posts more than 1,000 house-sitting openings per year, most of which are in the U.S. ($30 per year to see listings). At last check, listed 226 opportunities, including 82 in Australia ($32). There's also, where homeowners can search for registered sitters with availability and skills that match their needs ($40). And is a site where the houses are all left behind by academics on teaching assignments (free for house sitters, from $25 to post a home).

Link (thanks, Sophie Alexander)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sightseeing in London

If I want to have a metropolitan sightseeing, London is probably the one in my mind. Okay, let us start the day by taking Bus or Underground to St. Paul’s station off the Central Line. St. Paul’s Cathedral is an architectural wonder, full of history and breathtaking beauty.

From there, make way toward the River Thames. Here we can cross the famous Millennium Foot Bridge. Nearby is Tate Modern and on the south bank of the river we will come across Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, a reconstructed outdoor theatre from William Shakespeare’s time.

Afterwards, continue sightseeing tour along the Thames’ south bank then stop in at Vinopolis where we can enjoy a Classic Tour. Here we will learn about different wine growing regions and cultures and enjoy some taste testing as well. Along the river we can visit the HMS Belfast. This a 1938 light cruiser that survived WWII, today it is a floating museum.

For one of the most famous sites in London and for one of the best views of London, let us make way across the Thames and experience the Tower Bridge Exhibition. This is truly a great way to see London. The bridge is one of the most recognised in the world and the views of London are impressive.

Once reach the north bank, we will visit the Tower of London which holds so much of London’s history, including the Crown Jewels. It’s a ‘must see’ when visiting the city. Just down the road we can enjoy The Medieval Banquet for a meal with live music and dancing. It’s a real treat to attend a meal with so much entertainment.
Tips. To save time, skip queues and save energy with itinerary planning assistance and to make fantastic money savings, you should have a London Sightseeing Pass and the most popular one is London Pass package.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Wonders of St Ives

St. Ives is one of the most famous holiday towns in Cornwall - a jewel situated at the south-western tip of this island kingdom flanked by miles of magnificient coastal scenery, surrounded by tranquil sub-tropical gardens and country lanes that are hedged with wild honeysuckle, foxgloves, montbretia and fucias. Beside its wealth of history and tradition amongst its cobbled streetsand old fisherman cottages, it's also famous as an International Centre for the Arts with more than forty craft shops and galleries as well as the Tate Gallery.

Approximately 6 hours driving from London, St Ives is readily accessible by road, rail and air. Its warm summers and Britain's mildest climate make it's perfect for all seasons but reaching highest tourist attraction in the summer because of it’s sandy beaches and pretty harbour. It's one of the UK’s top summer destinations, and it’s easy to see why. Four sandy beaches , a pretty harbour and good weather, all you could want for a summer holiday.

The streets of St Ives have strange names, and it’s like being in Gulliver’s Travels. The top of the town is called Upalong and the bottom is Downalong. Fore Street is the most popular shopping street, packed with all kinds of quaint little boutiques. For more unusual items Sloop Craft Market is worth a visit. The Tate Gallery is also worth a visit.

The Tate overlooks Porthmeor Beach, and is one of St Ives best-known landmarks. The exhibitions here show the best of contemporary Cornish art in the area and atmosphere in which it was created. There are lots of artists living and working in the area, and during the annual Arts Festival open up their studios to visitors.

St Ives has some amazing scenery, and a good way to appreciate it is to get out along the picturesque coastal path. It links St Ives to another hotspot of artistic activity, Zennor. It will take at least five hours over rugged terrain, so you will need your walking boots. Zennor is also popular place to visit as it was home to DH Lawrence during the First World War. It was here he found inspiration to write Women in Love.

You can take various sea-going excursions from St Ives’ Harbour front. There is also a ship that has been built according to designs for the old Cornish fishing vessels, which were over 100 years old. A 30 minute journey takes you round the coast to Seal Island where you’re likely to spot Atlantic Grey Seals.

At night, there are a choice of small restaurants and bars. When the Festival is on, there are lots of live entertainment, including free performances in Norway Square.

Okay! Go Travel

Monday, September 11, 2006

Vanuatu...a happy island

My first dream destination would be Vanuatu, an island located in the South Pacific which tops the ranking of Happy Planet Index. So how you measure happiness? Can you use numbers to decide how happy (or unhappy) you are? Happy Planet Index is an innovative new measure that shows the ecological efficiency with which human well-being is delivered around the world. It is the first ever index to combine environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which country by country, people live long and happy lives. The results are surprising, even shocking, but there is much to learn from what they show when some of developed country like United States ranked at 158 out of 178 (Zimbabwe is the lowest).

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Message from Luq Luq

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