Wednesday, November 25, 2015

AirAsia 3sixty magazine 100th issue celebration party

Last week, AirAsia's travel 3Sixty magazine magazine marked its 100th issue with a celebration event, also marking eighth anniversary of the publication which has grown to reach over 3 million readers monthly.

A special contest themed "Invite travel 3 sixty" was announced in conjunction with the magazine's 100th issue. This contest provides readers of the magazine opportunities to invite the editorial team to visit their hometown and be featured as the cover story, enabling local stories to be shared on a regional front through the magazine. 

The inspiration came from a school teacher from Tebedu, a remote area in Sarawak who emailed and shared his story on how he has been using travel 3sixty to teach his students about other cultures in the region, apart from improving their English. His initiatives reached the ears of the editorial team when the school teacher wrote in to request for old copies of the magazine to be donated to the school. Since then, copies of travel 3sixty have made appearance at the school as part of their lessons.

Marini's on 57 is located at level 57 at Petronas tower 3. It has a rooftop bar, private lounge and restaurant. I like the open air area where we can have twin tower at the background. Ambience at Marini's on 57 is great but make sure you bring enough money to spend if you dine here. 

He is my plus one of the night who is also my good brother :D

Dato Aziz Bakar, Board of Director of AirAsia Berhad revealed the cover of Travel 3sixty's 100th issue during the celebration party. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Kenalanmu Restaurant Sandakan, Sabah

 One of the things that should not miss in Sandakan is the local seafood. The Sandakan seafood is well known for its freshness with reasonable price. I asked a friend to suggest for a nice place to dine in Sandakan as she stayed there for a few years time and married with a local. She recommended Kenalanmu Steamboat Restaurant and I was delighted when I was taken to there during my visit. Kenalanmu Steamboat Restaurant has been reputed as one of the best restaurants in Sandakan by Tripadvisor.

The price list for the seafood is listed at the board. 

 The crunchy fried seafood taufu (bean curd) is always my favourite

 Salty sweet spicy butter prawn

Spicy fried squid

Crunchy salty soft shell crab :D It is a bit salty for me but I'm surprised they serve soft shell crab in the restaurant which is not common and mostly found in Japanese restaurant. 

The fresh Kerapu fish
All meal must be balanced with vegetables and fruits after having all the meats. 

The restaurant is full that day. Everyone at my table is obsessed with the seafood and dishes in front of them.

3 glasses of beer that day gifted from the guys at the next table.

 Presentation ceremony

I have no idea about our bills that night as someone paid it. But if you are looking for a comfy place that is always visited by the local together with affordable price, here is where you should come over. Tourism Sabah has launched Sabah Food Trail package which included Sandakan as it is dubbed as seafood paradise by all. If you wish to explore Sandakan further with guidance of the great food and places to visit, please refer here.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Shocking Deals by 11 Street

Last week, online marketplace 11street ( reinforced its customer commitment by revealing new strategic plans for its mobile app and signature ‘Shocking Deals’, and have chosen the 11th of each month as its ‘LOVE 11’ Day to surprise shoppers with great deals and giveaways.

11street announced its latest commitment at its inaugural Korean – inspired celebration event at Lot 10, which focused on rewarding Malaysian shoppers for their immense support over the past 8 months. As of today, 11street is ranked a top 40 website in the country and our online marketplace has more than seven (7) millions of quality products selling at competitive prices.

As a form of acknowledgement and gratitude,11stree’s CEO, Hoseok Kim unveiled their biggest giveaway of the year for Malaysian shoppers in the amount of RM11 million as a year-end treat. Starting from 11 November until 31 December, shoppers can redeem daily offers of deals and coupons with up to 90% discounts.

“We selected November 11 to announce these commitments because it is a day that is symbolic to our brand name; It is also a day that 11ST Korea celebrates widely by giving back to its consumers, motivated by the Korean annual practice of showing affection to loved ones on November 11.We too were inspired to host our first ‘LOVE 11’ celebration in Malaysia, and to mark the 11th of every month as our ‘LOVE 11’ Day to reward fans and loyal customers with great offers,” Kim said.

Strategic Plans for 2016
November 11th also provided 11street the perfect opportunity to look back at its recent achievements and what the future holds, as itannounced future strategies that were anchored to empowering consumers to continue finding what they love at 11street.

i) More quality products for ‘Shocking Deals’ promotions
Since April, 11street’s ‘Shocking Deals’ and its lowest price guarantee (LPG)promise have enabled many shoppers to purchase their favourite items at the most competitive prices. Today, 11street revealed plans to double its variety of product listings for its ‘Shocking Deals’by early 2016. This signifies its continued commitment to be a trustworthy source for the most price competitive dealswith the widest variety in the country.

“Shocking Deals’ have always been the cornerstone of ourbusiness, and is one of our greatest commitments for local consumers to enjoy ourLPG promise. As of today, we are happy to share that when it comes to our lowest price guarantee refund, we received close to 0% of claims, whichreinforces how well Shocking Deals are managed at 11street as a reliable source of price competitive products in Malaysia,” Kim shared.

ii) Stronger mobile app strategyfor enhanced shopping experience
According to a Nielsen report[1], the growth of connected devices have paved the way for a positive increase in the e-commerce sector with 47% of Malaysians using their smartphones to shop online. In fact, the use of mobile for online purchases is growing in popularity with the country ranking sixth out of top 10 markets globally for mobile shopping. This is further evidenced by the fact that close to 50% of traffic to11street is generated on mobile devices.

Kim further shared, “Today, the 11street mobile shopping app is already one of the most popular apps in Malaysia. Listed as one of the top 3 shopping app[1]on the Malaysian Google Playstore, we are pleased by this achievement as we have always placed great importance in offering a convenient mobile shopping experience for all users.”

In 2016,11street will further place a stronger focus to serve mobile shoppers through a two pronged approaches by providing more curated content with an improved user interface and user experience designs (UI/UX), along with additional personalized features for greater customer experience; at the same time, 11street will be offering more mobile exclusive value deals and discounts.

By continuously upgrading its mobile app offering and services, 11street assures its consumers will have a more enriched mobile shopping journey.

To reiterate that its loyal consumers are significant to its success, consumers at the LOVE 11 event enjoyed giveaways in the form of 11,000 boxes of Pepero, 11street shopping coupons, attractive prizes from contests, giveaways, as well as great product gifts from participating brandssuch as SONY, Samsung, Kinohimitsu, K-market, BONIA, Lenovo, NESCAFÉ, Thermos®, and WindRider. Malaysians also enjoyed the stage performances by Korean entertainer HAHA.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

River Cruising @ Kinabatangan River, Sabah

As promised, here is my write up about the activity that we did at Myne Resort during Back to Nature FAM trip. Last year during my first visit to Sabah, I was taken to Le Cruise De Kota Belud which cruise along Tempasuk river with the sighting of bouncy proboscis monkey at the riverside. Compared both experiences, I would say Kinabatangan river has more to offer to visitors! 

About Kinabatangan river:
  • It is the second longest river in Malaysia (longest river in Sabah), with a length of 560 kilometres from its headwaters in the mountains of southwest Sabah, to its outlet at the Sulu Sea, east of Sandakan (source from here).
  • The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) states that the Kinabatangan River in Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia is one of only two known places on Earth where 10 primate species can be found. This includes the Bornean Orang Utan, the Proboscis Monkey, Macaques, Maroon Langur and Bornean Gibbon, most of which are endemic to Borneo (source from here). .

Suited up with life jacket, we were ready for depart. The jetty is just in front the Myne Resort.

There is an interesting myth about the river as told by the tour guide. The story was about the agreement between the crocodile named Turonggari and Sungai (Sungai= river) tribe living at the river bank.
"Once upon a time, there was a big crocodile lived at Kinabatangan river. It controlled from Segama River until the lower Kinabatangan. The crocodile was known as Turonggari, meaning that it can transformed to crocodile or human. The crocodile slowly fell in love with a  beautiful lady who always wash clothes at the river bank. He turned into a man, went to the land and met the lady's parents to propose. Both parents rejected his proposal. They asked the man: "We don't know you?? Where you come from? Where is your parent?" The crocodile can't even answer a question. He continued to propose for a week but he got the same answer from the parents. He was disappointed. One day, he decided to pounce (not to kill) the lady at river bank to bring her to other place. Unfortunately, his plan was not work. Her brother threw the "bujak" (wood with knife- one of the weapon many years ago that the people used for hunting in jungle) to the crocodile. So the bujak filled with poisonous herbs hit the stomach of the crocodile. The lady was then rescued by her brother. The crocodile went back to river as he was injured and felt painful. He asked all other crocodiles to find some one in the land to help him to pull out the bujak and removed poison out from the body. They found one old granny named Sibulik-bulik but the crocodiles failed to make a deal with that old granny.They tried again for second time. This time, the old granny asked: "How could I help you? I live in the land and you live in the water. We come from different world." The crocodile said:"Don't worry. Just stand at the back and close your eyes for 5 seconds. You will be at our place." The old granny followed what was told and by the time she opened her eyes, she was in the water at the crocodile's kingdom. In front of her was the sick crocodile (Turonggari). Sibulik-bulik examined his stomach and was worried her safety after giving treatment to the crocodile. Thus, the old granny made an agreement with Turonggari. Sibulik-bulik said:"If I help you, please do not kill my people. When they are in the river, please protect them." Turonggari agreed with a special request. He said: "Before your people go to the river, they must eat or drink something." During that time, the people living at the river bank mostly worked as fishermen. Both came to an agreement eventually. Sibulik-bulik helped to pull out the bujak and treated him with some herbs from jungle. Until today, the local folks still believe of the story. There is no record on the killing of crocodile to the Sungai tribe." (Thanks to Dido who writing this out for me)

Thus, when the local folks invite you for a cup of coffee, you should receive with thanks :D

There were total 3 boats. And there was no crocodile seen throughout our river cruising :P

At my back is Myne Resort where I spent a night during my stay. 

Jonathan, the tour guide was busy explaining and finding the animals hiding behind the trees. He able to tell us correctly the scientific names of the animals that we seen. He is such a knowledgeable nature guide.

Aren't they lovely? Hugging each other just like human being LOL

A family of pot-bellied Proboscis Monkeys stretched, scratched and yawned on the bare branches of a ghostly Mengaris tree.

It was a fruitful journey. We spotted macaques, pig tailed monkey and proboscis monkey. I did not get a clear image of the pig tailed monkey as the boat was wobbly at the river.

The white crane at the river bank was hunting for its food.

Not only Pulau Pangkor, we saw hornbills here too. 

I guessed the guide has a pair of sharp eyes. He spotted the kingfisher at the branch which was about 50m distance from our boat.

This was my first time seeing kingfisher in real. It is so tiny. I don't believe that the petty kingfisher is agile and able to catch a fish in front of us in a blink of eyes. I hope I had recorded it down to share with you guys.

Jonathan explained that the two ropes tied at the trees at both sides were to help the wild Orang Utan to cross the river as they don't know how to swim.

Part of the gas oil plantation

The baby macaque

We thought it is petai or being known as bitter bean. But it is actually not. Jonathan said it was under Entada genus in the pea family.

I was surprised to see our guest of the day - lesser fish eagle when the sky began to dark :D

We were unable to have any sighting of pygmy elephants which I was excited to see it. But I was glad with the overall experience of the tour.

It was about 2 hours cruising at the river. By the time we back to the resort, the sky already dark. It was time for dinner.

If you are a nature lover, how could you miss out this melting pot of biodiversity? A stay at the Kinabatangan River should come on top of your list when visiting Sabah, Borneo. So what are you waiting for? Book your Kinabatangan River and wildlife safari, Sabah, Malaysia with any of the 6 agents listed below:

1. Borneo Sandakan Tours Sdn Bhd
2. Green Holiday Sdn Bhd
3. Home Away From Home Sdn Bhd
4. Myne Travel Sdn Bhd
5. Sensational Holidays (Borneo) Sdn Bhd
6. Totally Borneo Holidays Sdn Bhd
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