Archive for February, 2013

Feb 27 2013

Review: Roommates Guesthouse Penang

Published by under Penang

Floor to ceiling glass: more than your average hostel dorm.

Hostels in Georgetown are undergoing something of a renaissance at the moment. As attention moves away from the tired establishments along the traditional backpacker row, Lebuh Chulia, a host of more happening hangouts are beginning to emerge, and Roommates Guesthouse on Lorong Chulia is one of the most recent new kids on the block. Located … read the full post

Feb 26 2013

Cheap eats in Pantai Cenang, Langkawi

Published by under Pantai Cenang

A multi-coloured ribbon winner!

With increased international tourism to Langkawi, more mum and pop restaurants are not only surviving, they’re thriving.  Despite increased rents for many local businesses, these family-owned and operated eateries continue to serve their specialty dishes at backpacker prices. We sussed out a few winners in Pantai Cenang that embrace culinary dishes from several continents and … read the full post

Feb 23 2013

Borneo Jazz Festival

Published by under Borneo

She sounds like a jazz musician, but she's actually Miri's first oil well

Sarawak’s Miri is not a place we would say is ablaze with culture, yet two days a year it plays host to the Borneo Jazz Festival. A tiny festival held at the Park City Everly Hotel, this event sees jazz musicians from around the globe perform. It recently changed its name from Miri Jazz Festival … read the full post

Feb 19 2013

Sundowner spots in Langkawi’s Pantai Cenang

Published by under Pantai Cenang

The best seats in the house.

The busy beachfront of Pantai Cenang, heavily laden with palms and massive beach umbrellas, often obscures some businesses from sight. Add water sports touts and the general circus-like chaos and you can be seriously hindered from spotting a dining or cold drink pit stop. Here are a few affordable waterfront sunset cafe and bars where … read the full post

Feb 17 2013

Review: Penang Hill

Published by under Penang

A hi-tech twenty-first century funicular train has replaced the old red-and-white carriages.

Although much of Georgetown is predominantly Chinese in character, the settlement was actually founded by the British, back in 1786. Remnants of Penang’s colonial heritage are still to be found all over town, from the Palladian splendour of St. George’s Church to the archetypically English Eastern & Oriental Hotel, but nowhere is the British influence … read the full post

Feb 15 2013

Rainforest Music Festival, Kuching

Published by under Borneo

Heineken never looked more cool.

As destinations go in Asia, Malaysian Borneo does not often come top in terms of culture and the arts; there are few live music concerts and almost no theatre features in any of the major cities. It is curious then that one of the highlights of the world music calendar happens to be in Kuching … read the full post

Feb 14 2013

Penang street art

Published by under Penang

The bike is real. The children are not.

Having been declared a UNESCO heritage city in 2008, it is no surprise that Georgetown is now capitalising on this status and establishing a strong reputation for the arts. The Penang Island Jazz Festival and the George Town Festival have become international events, and you don’t have to wander far through the streets of Penang’s … read the full post

Feb 13 2013

Langkawi duty free

Published by under Practicalities


One of the first things that you’ll likely notice when you arrive in Langkawi is the inexpensive beer and beachside cocktails compared to elsewhere in Malaysia. The island was a relatively unknown tourist destination in Malaysia before the government awarded it duty-free status in 1987; this was initially initiated to make tourism more affordable for … read the full post

Feb 06 2013

Review: Gecko Guesthouse, Langkawi

Published by under Pantai Cenang

That old style charm.

Gecko Guesthouse is one of the original backpacker-type guesthouses in Langkawi’s Pantai Cenang. It’s conveniently located a short walk from  Jalan Pantai Cenang, the main thoroughfare that runs parallel to Cenang Beach seaside. Originally built in the early 1990s, it was purchased by its present proprietor in 2003 and upgraded, yet has kept its old … read the full post

Feb 05 2013

Review: Ko Chai Lai vegetarian restaurant, Penang

Published by under Penang

Lunchtime vegetarian buffet. Strictly no meat.

A vegetarian friend recently asked for a meat- and fish-free char kuay teow at one of Penang’s hawker stalls. Minus the prawns, cockles, pork fat, prawn paste and Chinese sausage, the result was an uninspiring mess of noodles and a few beansprouts in a bland brown sauce. Perhaps the experiment was ill-advised, but there is … read the full post