Monthly Archives: January 2014

3D2N Railway Tour Package Trip to Bukit Gantang Homestay, Perak

Team E.T.A was invited to experience the recently launched Rail Tour Package, courtesy of RTAM and KTMB, along with our Sahabat Media friends, in conjunction of the Visit Malaysia 2014 campaign. Launched by Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri, I believe that this holiday package is one of the kind and would be very inviting to those who wants a vacation with a difference. No. We’re not talking about luxurious kind of holiday package here, but an all-in one of it’s kind holiday experience.

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The package that we were given were inclusive of a a round trip ticket from KL Centrail to Ipoh Railway Station. The trip to Ipoh took approximately 2 hours, and on board to Ipoh, we were served an in-train meal. There was a choice of pasta or fried rice, bento style. Not exactly gourmet. The meal was pretty much cold and rather unappetizing, but it kept the tummy from growling out loud nevertheless.

Since this was a media trip with the ministers on board, Team E.T.A can’t be sure whether or not the meals will be served on board for tourists who signed up for this package or not. Inquiries regarding in-train meals should be made in advance if you’re to sign up for this Railway Tour Package to Perak.

Upon arrival to Ipoh Railway Station, the media were ushered to the bus that is supposed to take us to our respective homestays. There was a bit of a hiccup during transition that day and things were habit off-schedule and delayed but we arrived in our respective home stays safely regardless.

Team E.T.A was assigned to Bukit Gantang Homestay. We arrived at about 2am. Short briefing regarding itineraries were given by our host at the community hall before we were handed over to our respective foster families.

Team E.T.A was assigned to Pn.Noriah of Kg. Pauh. A quiet and demure lady who is rather camera shy. Despite the unfriendly impression that she gave us, Pn.Noriah whom we dubbed Mak Tok is a very warm lady who took the troubles to oversee our needs.

On the first day, she prepared a simple local breakfast for us. According to her, meals are charged RM10 per pax for one meal and the usual price per night stay in her house is RM70 per pax. Note: everything is inclusive with Railway Tour Package, though.

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Lenggong Food Festival was on the Media Trip iterinary. Do note that the food festival is a one off thing in conjunction of Visit Malaysia 2014 launching, and not something you will be able to experience during your 3D2N stay in your respective homestays should you signed up for the tour. More on Lenggong Food Festival, head over to our team member’s blog; HERE.

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Tropical fruits feast and a walk around the village is a part of the activities that’s included in the itinerary.

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One of the most interesting thing that Bukit Gantang has to offer is that they go all out to promote the Malay culture to the tourists. A mock wedding feast was held by our hosts during our second night in Bukit Gantang. So yes…you get to experience an authentic Malay wedding and culture. Food served during the mock wedding was fabulous. If you are into a laid back, cultural fun, Railway Tour Bukit Gantang package is the one you should sign up for.

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Victoria Bridge Green Day in Karai, Perak was not in the Railway Tour Bukit Gantang Homestay iterinary. Like Lenggong food festival, it is a one off event, an effort made by the Tourism Ministry of Malaysia to.promote interesting places in Malaysia along with the Voluntourism Program in conjunction of Visit Malaysia 2014 campaign. A bit about Victoria Railway Bridge: named after Queen Victoria of England, the oldest railway bridge in Malaysia and according to the locals, it came alive at night with paranormal activities. The river underneath hosted various water and transportation activities among the villagers. Crocodiles is said to be sighted during the monsoons.

Plenty of activities were done during the Victoria Bridge Green Day. Among them is cleaning up the river done by the volunteers, cultural dance and feasting the food served the traditional way; known in Malay as Makan Berhidang. More on that, head over to our team member’s blog HERE.

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A short tour around Kuala Kangsar was next before we departed back to KL Central via ETS. Kuala Kangsar is the royal district of the reigning Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah. It was more to hop on and off thing for us to snap photos. No actual visits with tour-guides were done to any of the locations above. Free and easy time for about 30 minutes to buy souvenirs and restroom break were allocated to us in Kuala Kangsar before we were sent to Ipoh Railway Station for departure back to KL Central. The trip back to KL Central took about 2hours++ with stops.

No meals were provided for us on the way back, so again, please check in advance before you sign up for the trip.

Overall, it was a new experience for us, and despite of a few hiccups here and there on KTAM’s part, I do believe the Railway Tour is something you should sign up for if you want a holiday with a difference.

Here’s the actual package with itinerary for 3D2N Railway Tour Package to Bukit Gantang Homestay, price starts from RM529 per pax.

Railway Tourism: Railway Tour Package to Bukit Gantang Homestay, Perak

Railway Tourism: Railway Tour Package to Bukit Gantang Homestay, Perak

More on this soon in garfield.in and cleffairy.com

Pictures and collages used in this blog are both courtesy of Ms. E and our junior member, Little A.

 

And a special thanks to MMode for taking care of us Sahabat Media.

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Sungai Batu Archeological Site

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During our Christmas getaway back north in Sungai Petani, Kedah, Team E.T.A chanced upon Sungai Batu Archeological Site. The researchers are still in the process of uncovering relics and buried civilization that’s believed dated way back in the second century.

Archeologists believed that these are the remnants of a civilization that is dated as early as second century, believed to be the earliest civilization unearthed in South East Asia; earlier than Lembah Bujang and even the well known Angkor Watt.

Potteries, smelting area and even ritual site is uncovered here. The ritual site is facing Gunung Jerai and it is believed that the people during that time subscribed to animinisme; praying and offering sacrifices to elemental items like mountains, wind, trees, the sun, etc.

The site, though still being dug up by researchers and archeologists alike is open to public for visit from 9am-5pm daily. Entrance is free.

Should you be in Sungai Petani, and want to play Indiana Jones a lil bit…this is the place you should go.

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Local Marketplace In Tanjung Dawai

So, after satisfying our hunger and chilling out by the beach of Ranking Dawai, we headed to the local marketplace nearby.

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Opie Fishery is one of the place we decided to check out. It looks pretty decent and less crowded.

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Some of the local produce stuff sold here.

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Preserved fruits and candies. Bought some to munch on. Pretty cheap. It only costs RM2 per pack.

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Jellies

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Ice cream sticks.

There are also plenty of local made traditional cookies being sold at dirt cheap price, but we were pretty worn out from our excursion earlier, so we left and headed home and call it a day.

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Road trip to Tanjung Dawai, Sungai Petani

Feeling the heat from our little excursion in Lembah Bujang, we decided to head over to somewhere cooling.

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We decided that Tanjung Dawai would be a perfect place to chill.

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And we were right

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It’s a very serene place to be.

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Tummy was grumbling so we headed to one of the stalls by the beach and ordered some cooling delicacy. Ais kacang for Little A.

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Cendol pulut for Ms.E and Mr.T

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Prawn noodles (soup)

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Prawn noodles (fried)

The prawn noodles costs rm12 each. Kinda expensive but considering the huge giant prawns…it was worth every penny.

After filling our tummy, we decided to check out the local marketplace. :) Wanna know what the local marketplace have to offer? Stay tune for the next post then.

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Lembah Bujang Archeological Sites

After feasting our eyes on the exhibits in the museum, we proceed outdoors to hike up to the well-famed temple sites in the vicinity of the musuem.The Bujang Valley or Lembah Bujang is a sprawling historical complex and has an area of approximately 224 square km. Situated near Merbok, Kedah, between Gunung Jerai in the north and Muda River in the south, it is the richest archaeological area in Malaysia.

These archaeological remains show that there was a Hindu-Buddhist polity here. The name itself is roughly translated into “Dragon Valley”. The area consists of ruins that may date more than 2000 years old. More than fifty ancient tomb temples, called candi (pronounce “chandi”), have also been unearthed. The most impressive and well-preserved of these is located in Pengkalan Bujang, Merbok. The Bujang Valley Archaeological Museum is also located here. In the area of Bujang Valley known as Sungai Batu, excavation have revealed jetty remains, iron smelting sites, and a clay brick monument dating back to 110AD, making it the oldest man-made structure to be recorded in Southeast Asia.

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There are four sites in total to visit. The Pendiat Temple, Bukit Batu Pahat Temple, Pengkalan Bujang Temple and Bendang Dalam Temple.

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Hiking uphill is easy with stairs.

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Gateway to a mysterious ancient civilizations.

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First one was Pendiat Temple

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A close up

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Next is the Bukit Batu Pahat Temple

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Bukit Batu Pahat Temple was one of the main temple in Lembah Bujang.

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Bujang Temple

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Close up of Bujang Temple

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Bendang Dalam Temple

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One for the album 😀

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Visiting Lembah Bujang Archeology Museum in Sungai Petani

During our most recent trip up north of Malaysia, team E.T.A took the opportunity to play a little bit of Indiana Jones. We visited a renown musuem in Kedah, the Lembah Bujang Musuem. We thought it is good for Little A since there is also archeology site in the vicinity of the museum. ujang Valley Archaeological Museum is the only museum in Malaysia to display archeological artifacts proving the existence of international trade and development of the Hindu Buddha religion in South-East Asia in the 3rd – 12th century. This museum is located at the top of Bukit Batu Pahat, Merbok, Kedah about 23 km from Sungai Petani. It was built to facilitate in research and archaeological excavation works as well as a display centre for proto- historical artifacts before the coming of Islam at Bujang Valley.

The museum was opened on 23 January, 1980 by Al-Sultan Almu’tasimu Muhibbuddin Tuanku Alhaj Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah, Sultan Kedah Darul Aman (The sultan is currently the 13th Agung of Malaysia).

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Lembah Bujang Archeology Museum

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Part of the exhibits. Ancient stone used to build temples and buildings. Archaeological artifacts displayed at the museum were obtained from excavations at sites around 400 km2 at Bujang Valley. These artifacts are proof that the area was a trading hub for travellers from the East and West, especially Chinese, Indian and traders from the Malay Archipelago that traded in spices and exotic resources from the rainforests for markets in the Far East since the 5th Century.

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Sculptures on stone pillars. This one resembles the Mayan pyramid’s stones.

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Proof of civilizations… The Cherok Tok Kun inscribed stone written in sanscrit.

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Ritual site

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Ganesha sculpture

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Hinduism worship can be clearly seen during the 4th and 5th century civilizations.

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Relics…broken potteries. A proof of advance daily activities.

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Ancient coins. Proof of trade

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Accessories made from beads and seashells.

The museum has plenty more exhibits and it not possible for us to share all of it over here, and Team E.T.A highly recommends a visit here in Lembah Bujang Archeology Museum if you ever visit Sungai Petani, Kedah.

Entrance is free. Great for those who travels on a shoestring.

Visiting time: 9am-5pm daily
Closed on First day of Aidilfitri and Aidiladha
Address: Musium Arkeologi Lembah Bujang
Jabatan Muzium Malaysia
08400 Nerbok, Kedah

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The Wonders of Belum Rainforest

Here’s following another adventure with SMCC1M. 😀

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In the meantime, here’s a little something for you to ponder about: Getting closer to nature. Cuti Cuti 1Malaysia Media companions departed from as early as seven in the morning in Matic for Belum Rainforest Resort .

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A few hours later,the group stopped at Kellie ‘s Castle .

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The media were welcomed by the Board of Kellie ‘s Castle , Encik Zamari bin Muhyi.This heritage destination is also a symbol for a romantic love story.
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Our next destination was Belum Rainforest Resort.

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Something I don’t mind seeing everyday.

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Very peaceful…

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Amazing

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Eco-tourism is something pretty much foreign to me. The efforts made by Tourism Malaysia to introduce such thing is indeed something that needs to be praised. 😀 Temenggor is the ideal destination to attract travelers to eco-tourism.

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One of the activities that can be done here. 😀 water recreation.

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The resort offers various activities while kayaking around the islands. Rent is about RM30 per hour.

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Closer to nature. Guests may chose to trail through the jungle or fishing and camping.

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Night scene. We were given a chance to participate as Green Ranger in the Belum Rainforest Resort . The program began in May 2013. The program was 3 days 2 nights stay worth RM400 . There are five chalet and dorm that could accommodate 50 people . During our stay, we learned about various stuff that’s definitely not in the textbooks. If you want to be closer to nature, this is the place you should go.Green Ranger program offers an all- new experience- seeing wildlife habitat and wild plants which have never been seen before. The travelers may choose some interesting packages to explore the place.

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One for the album. 😀 Hopefully, we’ll have an opportunity to stay longer there soon.

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