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

Jan 30 2013

Lunar or Chinese New Year in Penang

Published by under Penang

Hokkien New Year (photo courtesy of Penang Global Tourism).

As the state with the highest proportion of Chinese in Malaysia, Penang pulls out all the stops for its Lunar New Year, when the whole island resounds to the bangs of firecrackers and the beat of the lion dancers’ drums. Penang’s strong Chinese heritage makes it one of the best places outside China to experience … read the full post

Jan 29 2013

Langkawi’s Museum Laman Padi

Published by under Pantai Cenang

This colourful Museum piece says it all.

Rice museums may not be big on your list of things to do in Southeast Asia, but if you’re travelling through Langkawi, a visit to Museum Laman Padi (Rice Garden Museum) is worth it. The island of Langkawi is part of Kedah, a state known as the rice-bowl of Malaysia and the highest producer of … read the full post

Jan 28 2013

Photos: Thaipusam 2013 in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Photos

271 to go...

Thaipusam is a Hindu festival where devotees pierce their flesh and carry colourful kavadi to show their devotion to Lord Murugan. If that doesn’t sound dramatic enough, in Kuala Lumpur it takes place at the spectacular Batu Caves. Here are some images from Thaipusam 2013 (yesterday). It’s estimated that more than a million people — … read the full post

Jan 23 2013

Taxis in Penang

Published by under Penang

Despite what the sticker says, you will have to haggle for your Penang taxi

Across Southeast Asia, bargaining with taxi drivers is often a necessary part of the travelling experience, and can range from being mildly annoying to severely inconvenient. So imagine your relief when you arrive in Penang and find ‘THIS IS A METERED TAXI. HAGGLING IS PROHIBITED’ plastered all over the sides of the red-and-white taxis. Easy, … read the full post

Jan 22 2013

Review: Troppo Co., Langkawi

Published by under Pantai Tengah

They have an assortment of hair raising coffee to choose from.

Pantai Tengah’s Jalan Teluk Baru offers an assortment of small restaurants displaying signs of their particular days of glory. It’s almost safe to say that the older and more weathered the sign, the more staying power that particular restaurant has had among the competition and probably a good ‘sign’, so to speak. And although finding inexpensive … read the full post

Jan 18 2013

How to best enjoy Sarawak’s Mulu

Published by under Borneo

Taken during 'wet' season!

Mulu is very much the flagship tourist destination of Sarawak, and for good reason: it is breathtakingly beautiful in parts. However, it would be wise to realise a few things before going as a healthy dose of managing expectations will contribute to the enjoyment of your trip to Mulu. The food, although not the worse, … read the full post

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