Sarawak Product Experience in Sarawak

The Visitor’s Information Centres (VIC) of the Sarawak Tourism Board conducted six Sarawak Product Experience (SPE) trips throughout the State this year.

The main objective of the trips are to research products and advise product owners on product development, positioning and marketing of the product experiences

Some of the products visited by the VIC team this year includes heritage trails in the highlands in Long Semadoh and Ba’kelalan, Iban animal tracking at Batang Ai, diving in Miri, Sarikei’s markets as the ‘fruit basket of Sarawak’, Maludam and Mukah.

Product management and corporate relations manager Maurice Balang said the team obtained insightful new knowledge through the SPE.

Sarawak Tourism intends to hold more SPE over the course of the rest of the year to connect more product owners to tour operators and other key travel partners.

Visitor’s Information Centres (VIC) team following an animal tracking tour in Batang Ai.
Visitor’s Information Centres (VIC) team following an animal tracking tour in Batang Ai.

Vietnam Learns From Sarawak National Parks

In a bid to glean knowledge from Sarawak’s ecotourism, conservation tourism and national park management, a delegation of Danang Department of Tourism, Vietnam visited Kuching from August 15 to 19. 

In addition to Bako National Park, the delegation visited Semenggoh Wildlife Centre and were briefed by the Sarawak Forestry Corporation.

They were awestruck by Sarawak’s use of wooden staircases instead of cement and how the parks provide job opportunities to locals in the form of maintenance, construction, transportation and guiding.

Among the delegation were the deputy director of Danang Tourism Truong Thi Hong Hanh, Planning and Development Division deputy managers Phan Minh Hai and Son Tra as well as Peninsula management board deputy director Nguyen Duc Vu.

Danang Tourism delegation trekking through Bako National Park.
Danang Tourism delegation trekking through Bako National Park.

Sarawak ‘Malaysia’s Favourite Destination’ at MATTA Fair

Sarawak was hailed as “Malaysia’s Favourite Destination” for this year’s Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair KL, which took place on the eight to 10 September at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC).

With 13 travel agents and hoteliers offering over 108 packages at the Sarawak Pavillion, as well as a cultural troupe decked in the traditional garb of Sarawak tribes, Sarawak stood out among the other local booths.

Sarawak Tourism had launched a #SarawakJe hashtag for the event for a daily Instagram photo competition at the Pavillion, as well as a lucky draw for those who purchased tours from travel agents.

One of the winners of the Instagram competition, receiving his reward.
One of the winners of the Instagram competition, receiving his reward.

Penan Handwoven Bags

Handwoven bags supplied by Penan designers and weavers will be used as the official conference bag for the National Teochew Conference on August 15 to be held at the Pullman Kuching.

The Penan motifs are woven in the state colours of red, yellow and black, and will be given to the estimated 1,200 delegates from across the country that are expected to attend, combined with special guests from China and Singapore.

These Penan-woven bags were also the official bags during the Kuching Heritage Race which took place February this year, and received great feedback from the race participants. 

These bags are produced by Sarawak’s last semi-nomadic Penan artisans, under the support and coordination of the Ten Ringgit Club, a non-profit organisation that assists these artisans to sell their woven crafts as a supplementary household income, and the proceeds go to an education fund to provide tuition and education aid for Penan children.

Photo shows penan woman weaving the bags for the conference.
Photo shows penan woman weaving the bags for the conference.

AirAsia in Kuching

AirAsia has launched the Kuching-Langkawi-Kuching direct flight on August 8, a four times weekly flying on every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

This is AirAsia’s 11th destination out from Kuching, including the direct Kuching-Pontianak-Kuching route which was launched on June 5.

3.2 million guests flew AirAsia from Kuching last year.

The arrival of the Kuching-Langkawi flight being officially welcomed by water salute at the Kuching International Airport
The arrival of the Kuching-Langkawi flight being officially welcomed by water salute at the Kuching International Airport

Sungai Semadang on the Map

Two Bidayuh villages along the Semadang River, Kampung Semadang and Kampung Danu, have acquired popularity for outdoor and water activites.

The two villages are located about 40km from Kuching City, the stretch of river has become known for its clear rivers, caves and forested areas as well as their abundance of fish, which attracts tourists interested in fishing, river and jungle activities.

Some of the major events in the Semadang region are the Bengoh Cultural Carnival, Padawan Raft Safari as well as the annual Semadang River [email protected] Festival.

Kampung Danu has participated in the Tagang System of fish conservation in certain stretches of Sungai Semadang where fishing is prohibited, except for once a year during the [email protected] Festival.

For more information on tourism activities in the Semadang area, visit Semadang Kayaking at http://www.semadangkayak.com/contact/

Kayakers enjoying the Semadang River
Kayakers enjoying the Semadang River

 

The Marian Boutique Lodging House

Formerly an all-girls boarding school dormitory, the Marian has been restored into Kuching’s first Heritage Boutique Lodging House.

The Marian is located next to the Bishop’s house at Wayang Street, on a tall hill overlooking Kuching city and the waterfront.

Steeped in history, from the dark original timber flooring and architectural flourishes, to the naming of the rooms after the former matrons and headmistresses such as Betty Johnson, Thelma Cook, Mary and Caroline Sharp as well as the founders of St. Mary School, the McDougalls, the Marian retains the Heritage of the building itself, while displaying elements of clean lines and modern simplicity.

The property now has 40 rooms ranging from dormitories, standard rooms, family rooms and a 2-bedroom apartment

For more information, visit their website at http://themarian.com.my/

Image of the Marian Boutique Lodging house. Photo courtesy of jeephotography.com
Image of the Marian Boutique Lodging house. Photo courtesy of jeephotography.com

 

 

Culture Club Kuching and the Rainforest World Music Festival

Culture Club Kuching has joined to be partners of the Rainforest World Music Festival when they become a Diamond Sponsor for the 20th edition of the festival

The Club contributed RM50, 000.00   besides providing the official venue for the Festival’s preview shows at the Culture Club Kuching bar at Jalan Green Hill.

“We are delighted to be able to partner with Sarawak Tourism for the Rainforest World Music Festival, as this is in line with our aspirations of  moving into the modern era and bringing with us  our tradition,” said Dato’ Sri Ho Kim Hee, the Club’s Director.

In providing an official venue for nightly cultural and ethnic performances, the Culture Club Kuching has found success among local and international audiences alike.

The festival will be held at the Sarawak Cultural Village on July 14 to 16.

Picture shows Dato Sri Ho (centre) presenting the mock cheque to the representative of the Sarawak Tourism Board, organisers of the Rainforest World Music Festival.
Picture shows Dato Sri Ho (centre) presenting the mock cheque to the representative of the Sarawak Tourism Board, organisers of the Rainforest World Music Festival.

Kuching’s Upside Down House

The Upside Down House at Jalan Borneo is a new uncanny attraction in Kuching, which has an entire gallery of a living room, dining room, kitchen, master bedroom, bathroom, children bedroom and a home office on the ceiling, making for strange photo opportunities.

This is phase one of the project, with phase two including optical illusion art, set to be complete in four or five months’ time.

Tickets for foreign adult and child are priced at RM20 and RM15, respectively. Meanwhile the ticket price for a Malaysian (MyKad holder) is RM15 per adult, and RM10 per child, with a promotional price of RM12 per adult and RM8 per child up until the second phase of the project is complete. The promotion runs till the second phase of the project.

For more information and updates, visit www.facebook.com/pg/upsidedownhousekuching.

Image taken at the Kuching Upside Down House. Photo Credit: Wong Tong Wei
Image taken at the Kuching Upside Down House. Photo Credit: Wong Tong Wei

Borneo Jazz Bands

Borneo Jazz will be taking place this May 12 t0 13 at ParkCity Everly Hotel, Miri, and is bursting at the seams with local and international bands.

Malaysian bands Michael Simon’s Asian Connection, with legendary Malaysian pianist Michael Veerapen in the band, as well as Fluoroscent Collective with band members from all over the world. From Asia, the line-up includes Idang Rasjidi Syndicate from Indonesia and Osaka Monaurail from Japan.

Cabocuba Jazz from Netherlands, Delgres from Guadoloupe and France, the Cape Jazz Band from South Africa and Laila Biali from Canada, are all signed up for the Festival.

For more information, visit: jazzborneo.com/

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