The Road to Old Terengganu

The deep seas off Terengganu may be rich in oil and gas reserves, making the east coast state among the region's leaders in the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, but some argue that its real treasures are all found on the mainland. With a documented history reaching as far back as the 2nd century, Terengganu certainly has accumulated a wealth of heritage influenced by the Langkasuka and Srivijaya kingdoms it was part of, and the Majapahit, Khmer and Chinese empires it traded with. Despite modern developments, the old Terengganu still remains - and the best way to explore it? Via Federal Route 3 - approaching a hundred years old, but still one of Malaysia's most scenic highways.

Heaven at the Edge of Borneo

Robert Frost once wrote, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." He could very well have written about Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, a mere dot on the map of Kudat district in Malaysia. Relatively unknown due to its remote location, Tanjung Simpang Mengayau doesn't get many visitors, and for now, this outpost on Borneo Island remains a paradise.

Putrajaya, the making of a city

As a young capital, Putrajaya may not have the character and soul of the great cities of the world, but it is well on its way there with innovative architecture, community-centric town planning and long term ambitions. In relation to many of Malaysia's other cities like Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, the garden city of Putrajaya is like a new kid on the old block. Granted, it lacks the dramatic history of the former and the age-old culture of the latter but what it has in excess is youthfulness, a modern vision and a spirit to embrace the new.

Striking Oil And Spilling Attractions

1 Comment
A lone oil well sits atop Bukit Telaga Minyak in Miri, Sarawak, an icon of the city’s present-day tourist attraction and an important landmark that sparked Malaysia’s entire history in oil and gas. Ironically, it almost never got built if not for the perseverance of a young college dropout from England. Choosing cadetship over completing […]

A Hundred Years in Ipoh

Being married to a man from Perak, it was inevitable that as I learned to love this person, I also had to learn to love his home state. Fortunately, neither task was too difficult to accomplish! Perak has been fantasized, romanticized and idealized by all sorts of people from all walks of life throughout Malaysian history. In the days when tin prices were sky high, the Kinta Valley in Perak, possessing the world’s richest alluvial tin deposits, held promise of great fortunes for already-wealthy businessmen, small-time speculators and the average dreamer.

A Steamy Affair In Tambun

It's not something you expect to see, but on the walls of one of the limestone caves deep in Tambun, Perak, are some markings that might be dismissed as careless graffiti at first. A closer examination reveals that they are actually Japanese characters that link to Tambun's past. Apparently, the messages, mostly names in Japanese and expressions of homesickness, are believed to have been written by the Japanese soldiers who were in Ipoh in the 1940s.

At the edge of the earth

An overwhelming sense of peace came over me as I set foot on the black sandy beaches of Telok Assam. With waves lapping softly at my ankles, I stood rooted there, admiring God’s work. Huge sandstone cliffs rose up from the ground like a solemn cathedral, weather-beaten to reveal fluid lines on its flat iron […]

Life Lessons in Rural Malaysia

As city dwellers, we are used to demanding for things to be done “yesterday.” We are so used to listening to the scripted customer service dialogue at fast-food counters that we’ve learned to tune it out. We are used to the mass-produced “nutrition” in polystyrene boxes. And no matter how much we “communicate” on our […]

Langkawi, the second time around…

Has Langkawi become an annual pilgrimage destination for me? It seems that way since the past few years, I have never failed to visit the isle of legends at least once a year! But who can blame me. After all, I think it’s one of the destinations in Malaysia that is perfect for any occasion […]

The Mighty Mountain and Me

The first time I caught sight of Gunung Stong and its seven-tiered waterfalls, Jelawang Waterfall tumbling down from it, I thought, die lah like this. It was this massive, imposing granite rock that looked like a hard-core adventurer's dream, and my worst nightmare come true!