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Travel. Guides. Photography. Fun. A photoblog of travel photography, insider travel guides, and random fun stuff.



Last Build Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2010 06:24:57 +0000

 



Religious Stained Glass

Sun, 13 Jul 2008 01:38:00 +0000

(image) A religious stained glass inside of Catedral de la Almudena, Madrid, Spain.



Catedral de la Almudena, Madrid, Spain

Sat, 28 Jun 2008 22:16:00 +0000

(image) The intricate carvings on the door of the Catedral de la Almudena, Madrid, Spain.

(image)



A Street Vendor at Commercial Street, Bangalore

Sat, 26 Apr 2008 03:25:00 +0000

(image) The best place to shop in Bangalore is Commercial Street, with rows of shops selling all sorts of local fabrics, colorful ornaments, shoes, sourvenirs, and more.

This is a street vendor selling fruits at Commercial Street, Bangalore.



Photoblog: The Colors of India, Part 2

Tue, 22 Apr 2008 09:13:00 +0000

(image) I went crazy with these bangles, I wanted to buy everything. They are simply beautiful.



Photoblog: The Colors of India

Mon, 21 Apr 2008 15:42:00 +0000

(image) Colorful beaded ornaments form a beautiful "blind" at Commercial Street, Bangalore--the shopping paradise of the garden city of India.



People Photography: Beautiful Faces of the Caribbean

Thu, 17 Apr 2008 05:37:00 +0000

(image) Beautiful and innocent faces of the Carribean. A chance encounter in Dominican Republic; captured during my recent cruise trip to South Caribbean.



Photoblog: Beijing, 南锣鼓巷 (Nanluoguxiang)

Wed, 16 Apr 2008 04:46:00 +0000

(image) Beijing's Nanluoguxiang (南锣鼓巷) is one of the oldest streets in Beijing. It's full of artsy little shops, cafes, souvenir shops, and cute boutiques. It's worth it to spend an hour or two walking through the little alley ways and hutongs around it.



Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, Penang, Malaysia

Sat, 22 Mar 2008 17:07:00 +0000

(image) (CHI Spa at Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa)

Read all about Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa, the famed hotel in Penang, Malaysia here.



Secret Islands in Southeast Asia: Pulau Lang Tengah (Malaysia), Ko Lipe (Thailand), and Koh Rong (Cambodia)

Mon, 18 Feb 2008 03:49:00 +0000

(Blue sky and cystal clear water in Pulau Lang Tengah, Malaysia)The islands in Thailand are no longer a secret. The words are out about the beautiful and pristine islands in the Philippines, tourists and backpackers alike are starting to discover the islands and beaches of Cambodia and Vietnam - but fret not, there are still some secret island hideaways in South East Asia that are still untouched by mass tourism and completely off the tourist paths. As an island snob, I want my island to look like a picture perfect island wall paper on my computer - swaying coconut trees, alabaster sands, crystal clear water, lush tropical jungle, and offers lots of privacy. If an island has powdery white sands, it also means that the sea is fringed with coral reefs and teeming sea lives and will make activities like snorkeling and diving possible.In this guide, I will take you to the lesser known tropical islands in Southeast Asia: Ko Lipe in Thailand, Koh Rong in Cambodia, and Lang Tengah Island in Malaysia.Pulau Lang Tengah, MalaysiaCompared to its more famous sister islands such as the Perhentians and Pulau Redang, Pulau Lang Tengah is not as well-known, which means you can still pretty much have the island to yourself and avoid and tourists crowd. Currently, Lang Tengah attracts only some enthusiast divers, and accommodations are provided by four resorts. These resorts offer very basic accommodations with chalets dotting the beach. If you are looking for more amenities, I strongly recommend the newest D' Coconut Lagoon. This resort has its own private beach (albeit a very small one), a swimming pool, and PADI dive courses. Overall, the services are pretty good and you get a rustic feeling staying in one of their bungalows since they are located in a secluded corner of the island.For activities, snorkeling and diving are great around Lang Tengah Island. If you have more time, you can also charter a boat to explore the underwater scenes in the nearby Redang Marine Park and the Perhentians.How to get there:Malaysia Airlines flies to Kuala Lumpur from all the major cities in the world. Once you get to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), take the Malaysian low cost carrier Air Asia to Kuala Terengganu. Then proceed to Merang jetty with a taxi and take a speedboat to Pulau Lang Tengah. The resorts on Lang Tengah Island offer packages that include meals, snorkeling and/or diving trips, and boat transfers.Accommodation:D'coconut Lagoon: +603-4296-5753 Blue Coral Island Resort: maxcarry@tm.net.myRedang Lang Island Resort: +609-623-9911Best time to visit:May to September. Avoid the monsoon season from October till February.Ko Lipe, Thailand Near the border of Thailand and Malaysia lies a tiny and beautiful island called Ko Lipe. Together with Ko Adang, Ko Rawi and other smaller islands, they form the island Ko Adang-Ko Rawi archipelago located 40 km away from Tarutao National Park. Inhibited by only 500 Chao Náam/sea gypsies, this is your Robinson Crusoe island. Unlike Phuket, Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta, Ko Lipe is still very undeveloped and rustic. Most of the bungalows are pretty basic with fan, and they usually shut off their electricity after 9 pm. For air conditioning and full electricity, stay at Varin Resort or Mountain Resort.Ko Lipe is blessed with long white sandy beaches, warm turquoise water, and some secluded bays while Ko Adang and Ko Ravi's mountainous slopes provide good hiking and jungle trekking. For snorkeling and diving, head over to the local dive shops on Ko Lipe and arrange a trip around Ko Lipe, Ko Adang, and Ko Rawi. The coral reefs here are healthy and intact with a wealth of tropical fish and marine life. You can also island hop to other smaller islands such as Ko Ngai and Ko Hin Gham. At Ko Hin Gham, check out the natural stones in decorative patterns which are scattered about the beach. When n[...]



Boutique Hotels in Luang Prabang, Laos

Thu, 14 Feb 2008 01:47:00 +0000

(Room in La Residence Phou Vao, Luang Prabang, Laos)Luang Prabang is the jewel of Indochina, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. The ancient royal city is surrounded by mountains at the junction of the Mekong and its tributary, the Khan river. In the center of the city is Mount Phousi with stunning views of the surrounding temples and hills. Luang Prabang is a magical place where time seems to stand still; it's becoming increasingly popular these days as travelers discover its old time charm and serenity.This guide provides the complete list of boutique hotels and resorts in Luang Prabang, Laos. As Luang Prabang is small, you can practically reach everywhere by foot. Plan your vacation well and you can probably stay at all the resorts below and you probably should!Boutique Hotels in Luang PrabangLa Residence Phou Vao, Luang Prabang - ForeverBee RecommendedLa Residence Phou Vao is probably Luang Prabang's best hotel. La Résidence Phou Vao boasts breathtaking views of the mountains and the sedate World Heritage town of Luang Prabang. La Résidence Phou Vao boasts 3 hectares of lush gardens, rich with bougainvillea, palms and frangipani, which fringe the breathtaking infinity swimming pool overlooking Mount Phousi.The Spa at La Résidence Phou Vao is the first luxury spa in Luang Prabang. The Spa offers a full range of face and body treatments including facials, massages, body scrubs, body wraps and packages for individuals and couples. In addition, the resort's restaurant serves authentic French cuisine as well as local Laotian cooking.Deluxe Room starts at US$120++ per night.Satri House, Luang Prabang - ForeverBee RecommendedSatri House was the residence of Prince Souphanouvong when he was a child and was refurbished in 2002. This boutique lodge is the most exquisite place in the city. Decorated with a unique colonial style, it has an air of refinement, calm, and bliss one will never forget.With only 7 rooms and each with its own design and decor, Satri House beckons to those looking for the best and most unique accomodation experience.Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel, Luang PrabangThis beautiful and enchanting hotel will take your breath away as soon as you step into it. Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel has won many awards, most recently, in Condé Nast Traveler (US Version) Hot List 2005. It has also won PATA Gold Awards 2006.Maison Souvannaphoum Hotel features a celebrated Angsana Spa as well as a choice of intimate rooms and luxurious suites for its guests. The Elephant Blanc restaurant in the hotel is the ideal place to be tempted by a variety of mouth-watering French, Laotian and Indochinese dishes, all served up in a causally chic poolside setting.The former residence of Prince Souvannaphouma in the 1960s and 70s, Maison Souvannaphoum is the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring the ancient temples and enchanting scenery of Luang Prabang.Room starts at US$170++ per night.The Apsara Hotel, Luang PrabangIf you like your hotel uber hip, funky, yet affordable, you will love The Apsara Hotel in Luang Prabang.The Apsara hotel is located in the heart of the heritage center of Luang Prabang, on the banks of the Nam Khan. Each room in The Apsara Hotel are individually designed and unique in its own sense with some rooms overlooking both the Nam Khan river and the mountain and offer spectacular sunrise views. The Apsara also offers the best (and most beautiful) restaurant in town with its French-Laotian fusion menu.Room starts at only US$55++.Villa Savanh, Luang PrabangIf you want to experience true Laotian life in Luang Prabang, you can rent the whole house at Villa Savanh. Managed and run by the same people at The Apsara, Villa Savanh has three double bedrooms, three bathrooms, an open-air dinning area, a very large living room, and maid service.Done in a simple but tradi[...]



Photoblog: A Lonely Scooter in St. Tropez, France

Sun, 10 Feb 2008 17:33:00 +0000

(image) St. Tropez is a quaint little coastal town in south of France. The little alleys and side streets in St. Tropez are choked full of characteristics and charms.

I found this lonely scooter on this alley, againt the pastel wall which is a typical sight in St. Tropez.



Photoblog: An Unknown Tree in South of France

Fri, 08 Feb 2008 00:21:00 +0000

(image) There are a lot of these trees along the coast in south of France, from Nice, to Cannes, to St. Tropez. Not sure what they are called, but they are beautiful.

Shot at Fréjus Plage, France.



Diving in Malaysia and Reef Fishes of Malaysia

Sun, 20 Jan 2008 20:56:00 +0000

Imagine warm clear waters, colorful underwater reefs and fascinating aquatic life forms. Imagine stunning, sheer walls and large, graceful pelagics. Imagine breathtaking beaches of powdery soft sand. These captivating sights will be yours to enjoy in the abundance of dive sites in Malaysia. For diving enthusiasts, there are plenty of dive sites in the waters of Malaysia.Climate and Water TemperatureMalaysia has an equatorial climate with fairly uniform temperatures ranging from 32 Degree Celsius during the day to 22 Degree Celsius at night. Humidity is about 85-95%. Water temperature is 27-28 Degree Celsius and during the dry months the temperature may rise to 30-31 Degree Celsius. Divers will not require thick wet suits. A wet suit of between 1.5 to 3 mm is appropriate.Best Time to DiveWest Coast of Peninsula Malaysia - December to May.East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia - March to October. The islands around Sabah and Sarawak are reasonably well-protected and can be dived all year round. However, water visibility is better during the months of April to August.Dive Equipment RentalDive equipment is readily available for rent at almost all dive centers. But it would be wise to give prior notice to the operators, as sizes could be limited.Local Diving AssociationMalaysia Sport Diving AssociationB-13-D2, Plaza Mont Kiara50480 Kuala LumpurTel: (603)6411 8002Email: info@msda.com.myEmergenciesThe following are contacts for recompression chambers in Malaysia:Labuan Naval Base Tel: (6087)412 122Lumut Naval Base Tel: (605)683 7090/164/166/168Kuantan Naval Base Tel: (609)513 3333/557 2222Sipadan Island, Borneo Divers and Sea Sports Tel: (6089)784 299Diving insurance for emergency point-to-point evacuation and personal accident cover while in Malaysia are available through most dive centers. Evacuation is not included unless covered by insurance.ElectricityElectricity is 220 volts at 50 cycles, although most first-class hotels can suppy an adapter for 110 volts , 60 cycles appliances. Plugs are of the British three rectangle prong type. Most island resorts are powered by 24-hour generators or have an electrical supply from the mainland.Time ZoneMalaysia is about 8 hours ahead of GMT, 16 hours ahead of US Pacific Standard Time and 13 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.ClothingVery casual, light cotton clothing like t-shirts, shorts, etc. is the order of the day. No formality is expected in the restaurants. Tourists are recommended to be properly dressed when visiting villages and towns. Nudity is prohibited.Best Places to Dive in MalaysiaPulau Sipadan (Pulau means island in Malay language)Pulau MabulPulau MatakingPulau TiomanPulau PerhentianPulau RedangPulau Lang TengahPulau AurPulau PayarReef Fishes in the Waters of MalaysiaThe waters in Malaysia is abundant with marine lives: fish, soft and hard corals, green turtles, leatherback turtles, and many marine biology systems. There are many different species of reef fishes in Malaysia. Take a trip to dive sites like Lang Tengah, Pulau Sipadan, and many islands in Malaysia and you will find rich marine lives. Below is the list of reef fishes found in the waters of Malaysia.Reef Fishes in Malaysia:BarracudaBarramundi CodBatfishBlack tip reef sharkBlennyBoxfishBumphead wrasseButterflyfishChromisClownfishDamselEmperor angelFlashlight fishFrogfishFusiliersGhost pipefishGlass sweepersGobiGrouperHammerland sharkHatchet fishJacksLeaf fishLeopard sharkLionfishNurse sharkManta RayParrotfishMoray eelParrotfishPennant butterlyfishPutterfishRabbitfishRed coral troutSurgeonfishSweetlipsTriggerfishStingrayWrassesYellowtailGreen turtle[...]



Medical Vacation in Bangkok, Thailand

Sat, 19 Jan 2008 01:17:00 +0000

Private hospitals in Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiangmai are increasingly attracting foreign customers on the strength of their relatively low prices, skilled personnel, modern world class facilities and services and wide range of medical treatments offered. As a result, some of the top hospitals in Bangkok cater to a very large number of overseas visitors.

These hospitals have focused on developing and investing in state-of-the-art equipment and services, highly trained and experienced physicians, and specialists with international certifications and accreditations.

They offer both GP and specialist care facilities with an international department specially for overseas visitors. The specialist departments usually cover the following: heart institute, cancer center, endocrine and diabetes center, health and weight control center , allergy center, eye clinic, advanced skin laser, plastic surgery, etc. Most private hospitals offer packages at very low cost for routine checks.

Facilities such as credit card payment, acceptance of some of the major health insurance plans from world over making payments, quintessential Thai service and multilingual staff are added incentives for patients making use of the local hospitals.

General Hospitals in Bangkok
Bangkok Christian Hospital
124 Silom Road
Bangkok 10500
Tel: 02-233-6981-9

Bangkok Hospital
2 Soi Soonvijai 7, New Petchuburi Road
Bangkok 10320
Tel: 02-310-3000

BNH Hospital
9/1 Convent Road
Bangkok 10500
Tel: 02-632-0540-72

Bumrungrad Hospital
33 Soi Nana Nua, Sukhumvit Soi 3
Klongtoey, Wattana
Bangkok 10110
Tel: 02-667-1000

Camillian Hospital
423 Soi Thonglor 25, Sukhumvit Soi 55
Bangkok 10110
Tel: 02-391-5724

Central General Hospital
362/114 Phaholyothin Road
Bangkok 10220
Tel: 02-552-8777

Kluaynamthai 1 Hospital
80 Rama 4 Road
Bangkok 10110
Tel: 02-381-2006-20

Kluaynamthai 2 Hospital
27 Sukhumvit Soi 68
Bangkok 10110
Tel: 02-399-4259-63



Complete List of Boutique Hotels/Boutique Resorts in Malaysia

Wed, 16 Jan 2008 05:40:00 +0000

This guide prodives the complete list of the most popular boutique hotels and small boutique resorts in Malaysia. Enjoy!(Exchange Rate: RM3.30 = US$1.00)Boutique Hotels in MalaysiaHotel Maya, Kuala Lumpur - ForeverBee RecommendedHotel Maya is a boutique urban resort located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. With its resort-type environment, Hotel Maya sets a new benchmark for a unique yet pleasant experience: when you enter the Hotel Maya, your senses are truly transported to exotic realms!Located in the hub of the business and commercial districts adjacent to Kuala Lumpur's famous Petronas Twin Towers, Hotel Maya is an epitome of class with a twist of nature. The stylish interior of the hotel is finished with bamboo panelling, a pathway over the flowing water and elegant furnishings create an ambience that is both contemporary and compelling.Luxuriate in your chosen path toward beauty and relaxation at Anggun Spa; guided by the gentle hands of the spa's qualified therapists. The spa brings together a multitude of approaches - Malay urut, Thai massage, even shiatsu - enjoyed in the comfort of private treatment rooms, for individuals or couples. Room starts at RM300.Carcosa Seri Negara, Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaCarcosa Seri Negara is one of the leading hotels in Kuala Lumpur with its manicured lawns and the lake gardens, a part of Malaysia which seemingly can never change. One of Carcosa Seri Negara's trademarks is the English afternoon tea, served in the elegant drawing room or on the verandah overlooking the beautiful gardens. Savor the delightful variety of teas, assorted sandwiches, hot savories, pastries, cakes, fresh strawberries, and the quintessential English tea fare of scones served with Clotted Cream and homemade strawberry jam.The 13 suites at Carcosa Seri Negara are furnished in distinctive regency style with fine brocades, old etchings and Malaysian objects d'art. Several suites have large terraces; two actually come with private dining rooms.Suites are identified by their own name, derived from names of Malaysian States. Most state names are followed by a descriptive virtue of the State. That description, prefaced by "Seri" (Malay for "beautiful") is often reflected in the design of the suite itself.All suites are air-conditioned, furnished with a mini-bar, personal safe television with satellite, writing desk, and DVD / CD player and wireless internet access. Room starts at RM1,100 at this boutique hotel. G Hotel, Penang, MalaysiaChic and stylish, Penang's latest gem the G Hotel is a new urban icon along Penang's bustling Gurney Drive. With its stunning interior and contemporary design, the G Hotel offers accommodation with style and substance. The hotel is also an epitome of modernity, in terms of its bold and innovative approach. This ultra-chic boutique hotel is close to all the major attractions in Penang, and right in the hawker food heaven of Penang. Room starts at RM240.Lone Pine Hotel, Penang, MalaysiaThe colorful history of the Lone Pine Hotel dates back to 1948 when a lonely bungalow owned by the McKearn family was bought over by a group of Chinese with the intention of operating a hotel on Batu Ferringhi.On the land where the bungalow stood, was then a lone Casuarina tree, which was thought to be a pine tree, hence the hotel's name 'Lone Pine'. With only 10 rooms, the Lone Pine Hotel was the first hotel on Batu Ferringhi, and was a haven for expatriates and their families fleeing the severe winters of home.The beautifully restored Lone Pine Hotel is a wonderful escape for those who seek complete privacy amongst an idyllic setting. Having gone through phases of expansions through the years, today, the L[...]



Shopping and Nightlife in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia

Sun, 13 Jan 2008 18:48:00 +0000

Shopping in Kuala LumpurKuala Lumpur or commonly known as "KL"--promises variety, value, and convenience. There is a bewildering range of shopping establishments catering to every taste and budget, which includes modern shopping malls, department stores, handicraft centers, and duty-free shopping.Experience the novelty of shopping in the open-air night markets or Pasar Malam, where haggling is a common practice. From branded items to ethnic bric-a-brac, the city will dazzle you. The Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival from July to September is a shopping experience not to be missed as it offers a whole range of goods at competitive prices.Major Shopping Malls In and Around Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia:Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Bintang *NEWSuria KLCC, Petronas Twin Towers Mid Valley Mega Mall, Lingkaran Syed Putra Lot 10 Shopping Center, Bukit Bintang Bangsar Shopping Center, Bangsar Bangsar Village, Bangsar One Utama, Bandar Utama Ther Curve, Damansara Perdana Sunway Pyramid, Bandar Sunway Berjaya Times Square, Jalan Imbi Starhill Shopping Center, Jalan Bukit Bintang Sungai Wang Plaza, Jalan Bukit Bintang Bukit Bintang Plaza, Jalan Bukit Bintang Maju Junction Mall, Jalan Sultan Ismail Central Market, Pudu The Mall, Jalan Putra The Weld, Jalan Raja Chulan Imbi Plaza, Jalan Imbi Petaling Street / ChinatownThe Chinatown of Kuala Lumpur (KL) teems with stalls and people. Shop for watches, bags, wallets, jeans, t-shirts--think pirated or imitation Gucci, Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Christian Dior, etc.--and all manner of bric-a-brac.Locals flock here for the fruits, Chinese cakes, cookies, and delicious and mouth-watering hawker food such as claypot chicken rice, "Lok Lok" (various seafood and meats cooked in hot boiling water and served with various dipping sauces), grilled fish and seafood, etc. Other than shopping, one should not miss trying out the local delights here. Outside the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple nearby are stalls selling garlands and strings of sweet smelling jasmine. The strong smell of Chinese traditional herbs and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee fill the air.Jalan Tuanku Abdul RahmanThe grande dame of KL shopping, in the days before modern complexes took the city by storm. Many established names like GS Gill, P. Lal, and PH Henry chose to remain when others moved out. The shops along this stretch offer a wide range of fabrics and textiles, imported leather goods, bags and luggages, carpets, sports goods, and winter clothing. Narrow alleys between the shops offer a fantastic range of clothing material at irresistible bargain prices. Other established names offer a fine collection of silver and crystalware. Sogo Shopping Complex and Maju Junction Mall are located along this stretch.Jalan Masjid India / Little IndiaThe neighborhood around the Indian Muslim mosque known as "Little India" to the locals, is filled with numerous wholesale and retail outlets offering a wide range of Indian goods. Boutiques, restaurants, textile shops, and hawker stalls contributing to the exotic tapestry. This is the place to find traditional Indian finery such as sarees, lenghas, kurtas, and dhotis as well as a variety of adornments. A sprinkling of Malay boutiques displaying traditional wear can also be found. Streetside entertainers vie for attention with blaring Bollywood music as the pungent scents of spices and curries; and heady sweet incense assail your senses.Laman Seni / Kuala Lumpur Art MarketA monthly Arts and Crafts Bazaar, held every first Saturday in the vicinity of the National Theater and National Art Gallery at Jalan Tun Razak. It showcases the works of local artists and artisans. Interact with them during the demo[...]



Traveling to Malaysia: Fact File, Getting There, Accomodation, and Do's and Don'ts

Sat, 12 Jan 2008 22:36:00 +0000

I get quite a lot of emails from readers of Rasa Malaysia and random visitors to this site about Malaysia tourism and travel-related questions about Malaysia. Hence, I have put together a quick guide (excerpt from Tourism Malaysia's brochure) about traveling to Malaysia--the place I call home. Malaysia Fact FileCountry: Malaysia comprises of Peninsula Malaysia and the states of Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo. Geograhical Location: Located between 2" and 7" north of the Equator, Peninsula Malaysia is separated from the states of Sabah and Sarawak by the South China Sea. To the north of the Peninsula is Thailand while its southern neighbor is Singapore. Sabah and Sarawak are bordered by Indonesia while Sarawak also shares a border with Brunei. Area: 329,758 sq. km. Population: 26 million People: Malays make up about 57% of the population and are the predominant group with Chinese, Indians, and other ethnic groups making up the rest. Language: Bahasa Melayu (Malay) is the national language but English is widely spoken. Malaysian also speak various dialects and languages.Religion: Islam is the official religion, but all other religions are freely practised. Climate: Malaysia has a tropical climate and the weather is warm all year round. Temperatures range from 21 Degree Celsius to 32 Degree Celsius and the annual rainfall varies from 2000mm to 2500mm. History and Culture: Apart from the local Malays and the native groups, immigrants from China, India, Indonesia, and other parts of the world have all contributed to the multiracial composition of its population. Its interesting cultural diversity can be largely attributed to the country's long and ongoing interaction with the outside world and colonial rule by the Portugese, Dutch, and the British. The evolution of the country into a cultural melting pot is evident in the unique blend of religions, socio-cultural activities, traditions, languages, and food. The country achieved independence on August 31, 1957 as the Federation of Malaya and subsequently with the entry of Sabah and Sarawak in 1963, Malaysia was formed. Entry Requirements: Visitors must possess a valid passport or travel document with a minimum validity of six months beyond the intended visiting period. Citizens of most countries do not require visas for social or business visits. For further information, please visit or call the nearest Malaysian diplomatic mission of Tourism Malaysia office. For the complete list of Tourism Malaysis overseas offices, click here. Currency: The unit of currency is the Malaysian Riggit (RM). Foreign currencies can be converted at banks and money changers. Time Zone: Malaysia is about 8 hours ahead of GMT, 16 hours ahead of US Pacific Standard Time and 13 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Electricity: Electricity is 220 volts at 50 cycles, although most first-class hotels can suppy an adapter for 110 volts , 60 cycles appliances. Plugs are of the British three rectangle prong type. Most island resorts are powered by 24-hour generators or have an electrical supply from the mainland.Getting ThereThe main gateway to Malaysia is through the new Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at Sepang, which is located approximately 50 kilometers south of Kuala Lumpur. Other major international airports that serve as entry points are located in Penang, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, and Langkawi.Getting AroundMalaysia has excellent domestic air links and a well-developed and efficient public transportation system served by taxis, buses, and trains. The national air carrier is the award-winning Malaysia Airline, however, low cost carriers such as Air Asia and Firefly [...]



Edelweiss Cafe: My Favorite Hang Out Place in Penang

Fri, 11 Jan 2008 02:34:00 +0000

(image) Edelweiss Cafe, one of the food and entertainment establishments at Armenian Street, Georgetown, Penang.

Loaded with heaps of character, this restored pre-war heritage building is now proudly owned by a Swiss gentleman and his wife. This is easily one of the coolest hang out places in Penang--complete with antique furniture, Nyonya artifacts, and that very homey and intimate ambience. So, bring your best buds or family and just chill out. While you are at it, try their house special cheese fondue.

Click on the image above or here to view my pictures of Edelweiss Cafe, Penang.

Edelweiss Cafe
38, Armenian Street,
10200 Penang
Tel: 04-261-8935

Business Hours:

12 noon to 11pm
Closed on Mondays



Armenian Street, Georgetown, Penang

Thu, 10 Jan 2008 06:14:00 +0000

(image) Armenian Street is my favorite street in Georgetown, Penang. Located in the heritage enclave of Georgetown, this street oozes old world charm and is home to some of the oldest historical buildings in Penang. Along Armenian Street, you will find lots of beautiful heritage buildings--some of which have been restored to their original glory.

Armenian street also houses the famed Dr. Sun Yat Sen's Penang base (120 Armenian Street), Cheah Kongsi, Yap Kongsi Temple, Tua Pek Kong Temple, Edelweiss Cafe, a new art gallery, a very old barber shop (which my dad frequented when he was younger), and a couple of Chinese restaurants.

(Kongsi means Chinese clan house in Hokkien dialect; Cheah/谢 and Yap/叶 are common Chinese last names.)

In the next few days, I will take you on photo tours to some of the sights of Armenian Street. If you are in Penang, I strongly urge you to take a stroll along this street and check out the sights I mentioned above. You won't be disappointed, I promise.

Please also check out and mouse over this very cool interactive map of Armenian Street here.



Tropical Dreamin' on a Cold Winter Night

Tue, 08 Jan 2008 09:06:00 +0000

(image) Aquamarine sea water at Pulau Lang Tengah, east coast of Peninsula Malaysia. ("Pulau" means island in Malay language.)

Powdery sand. Turquoise sea. Sea turtles. Coral reef. Colorful fish. Local people. Blue sky. White clouds. Sun. Warmth. Ocean breeze. Coconut trees. Happiness!

Tropical dreamin' on a cold California winter night...

(Continue dreaming here, here, here, and here.)



Photoblog: Georgetown at Night

Tue, 08 Jan 2008 07:56:00 +0000

(image) An empty and deserted street in Georgetown, Penang. Day or night time, the narrow streets of Georgetown exude a nostalgic aura of bygone eras.



Dying Trade of Penang: Paper Lantern

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 08:07:00 +0000

(image) Paper lantern at the entrace of Yap Kongsi, Georgetown, Penang.

Paper lanterns are mostly found outside of the Chinese clan houses in Penang, it's beautiful and truly an art form. Unfortunately, paper lantern is a dying trade in Penang.

To visit the last workshop standing, please go to:

Tua Keat Seng
42 Magazine Road,
Georgetown, Penang
Open Daily from 8.00am to 3.00pm

To check out other dying trades in Penang, please view Journey Malaysia's article here.



2008: A New Start for ForeverBee

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 01:30:00 +0000

(image) I have had too many iterations of this website--countless versions of ForeverBee in various shapes, forms, and designs.

Once upon a time ago, it was my personal website. You know, about who I am, what I wanted to do sort of things (well, I was younger then). Soon after, it morphed into a personal plus travel photography website. And later, it evolved into an independent travel guide website about traveling in Malaysia and Asia. It never flourished, so I ignored it. It's my step-child as I invest all my heart and soul into my baby Rasa Malaysia--a food blog--which is hugely popular and successful.

However, 2008 marks a fresh approach and a new start, I hope this time around I am able to stick to my vision and plan. I wanted to turn ForeverBee into a hub where I share my travel, travel photography, insider travel guides (if and when I have time to do so), random, and fun stuff. I will share a lot of pictures I captured during my trips--be it home to Penang or elsewhere on Planet Earth. Hence, the taglines of this blog are "Travel. Guides. Photography. Fun."

Ultimately, I expect this to become my photoblog, a place where I can share random stuff other than recipes and food photography.

If you are a fan of Rasa Malaysia, do support me and I hope you find this blog interesting, too. Please also add ForeverBee to your Blogroll or links. :)

Hang around and let's have fun.

Thank you so much!