Sarawak Film Industry sets to grow

In light of the recent ASEAN International Film Festival & Awards 2017 (AIFFA2017), Sarawak Tourism Board has begun looking into promoting Sarawak through the film industry.

The Board’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mary Wan Mering expressed Sarawak Tourism’s desire in using entertainment in marketing to travellers, in addition to the Board’s traditional marketing strategies.

Earlier this year, the Board set up a Filming Support Unit to aid international film production houses in getting permits, ground support and location scouting.

With Chinese film Blue Tears airing in China later this month, as well as previous cooking shows such as Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservation and Australian cooking show Out Of The Blue, Sarawak plans on expanding its presence in television and film in the near future.

(Information reference: http://www.ttgasia.com/article.php?article_id=29343)

Image shows Out of the Blue, an Australian cooking show, filming in Sarawak.
Image shows Out of the Blue, an Australian cooking show, filming in Sarawak.

Coco Cabana Launch in Miri

The Coco Cabana, a small art gallery and museum with cafes and gift shop, at Marina Bay, Miri, located right next to the iconic Seahorse Lighthouse, is now open to the public from 9:30am to 10:30pm.

It features a serene seaside ambiance for visitors, with intricately carved wooden detailing on the main hall and an unforgettable view of the Miri coastline from all sides.

The location was officially launched on April 20 with an Asia Food Festival that included food stalls, a cosplay segment, children’s activities, paragliding and many more.

Miri’s paragliders have already made the beach area their new weekly ‘headquarters’, and can be seen in the evenings sailing across the sky.

Image shows a view of Coco Cabana from the water. Photo taken from Coco Cabana Facebook page.
Image shows a view of Coco Cabana from the water. Photo taken from Coco Cabana Facebook page.
Image shows Miri’s local paraglider, taking a picture of the Marina Bay seaside. Photo taken from Coco Cabana Facebook page.
Image shows Miri’s local paraglider, taking a picture of the Marina Bay seaside. Photo taken from Coco Cabana Facebook page.
Image shows children’s activities held in the intricately carved wooden event hall. Photo taken from Coco Cabana Facebook page.
Image shows children’s activities held in the intricately carved wooden event hall. Photo taken from Coco Cabana Facebook page.

Award-winning Rantau Kemiding’s Kampung-stay Concept

The 65-door award-winning longhouse and homesta, Rantau Kemiding, located in the Sibu division in central Sarawak will be expanding their guests’ itinerary to include a Kampung-Stay programme, making it the first of its kind in Sibu.

The difference between a homestay and a kampung stay is that the guests do their own cooking and conduct their own activities, but are free to join activities held within the longhouse as well.

The longhouse has already constructed a two-room chalet with air-conditioner and a few other facilities except a kitchen, which they plan on adding soon.

Last year alone, Rantau Kemiding received a total of 2,784 visitors, 109 of whom were foreign. The arrivals can be attributed to the attractive kampung lifestyle as well as the annual Rantau Kemiding Festival. Though most of the arrivals are day-trippers to the annual Rantau Kemiding Festival, the homestay owners hope to increase the number of overnight visitors through this kampung-stay.

The Rantau Kemiding Homestay is one of the five in Malaysia given the Asean Homestay Standard awards during the award presentation in Singapore this January, along with many other awards such as winning the ‘1 District, 1 Industry’ in Homestay Category in 2016, the Outstanding Hotel and Accommodation Provider (Homestay) Category in Sarawak Hornbill Tourism Awards in 2015 as well as the the Anugerah Desa Cemerlang for People’s innovation and Participation Category on both state and national level in 2006.

For more information on the Rantau Kemiding Homestay and Kampung-stay, visit http://rantaukemiding.blogspot.my/ or contact the ‘Tuai kampung’, Benjamin Angki at ben_8845@yahoo.com.

Image shows welcome sign and entrance to Rantau Kemiding longhouse. Photo credit: Rantau Kemiding blogspot.
Image shows welcome sign and entrance to Rantau Kemiding longhouse. Photo credit: Rantau Kemiding blogspot.
Image shows a jungle trek path near Rantau Kemiding longhouse. Photo Credit: Rantau Kemiding blogspot.
Image shows a jungle trek path near Rantau Kemiding longhouse. Photo Credit: Rantau Kemiding blogspot.

Four International Conferences planned in April throughout Sarawak

Four international conferences will be held   throughout the state in April catering to a diverse array of professional fields.

Hosted for the academia and specialized industries, these conferences have received encouraging response.

The International Conference on Teaching and Learning Languages (ICTLL 2017) for academia and educators will take place on April 3-4 in Kuching, and the International Conference on Sustainable Soil Management (ICSSM 2017) in the agriculture and development industry will be hosted on April 4-7 in Bintulu.

In Sibu, the Orthopaedic Conference: AO Trauma Combined Basic Principles of Fracture Management for Surgeons and Operating Room Personnel is schedule on April 8-10 while the International Conference on Materials Technology and Energy (ICMTE 2017) takes place in Miri on April 20-21.

While these conferences further develop the understanding and strength of local professionals in their respective fields, it also contribute greatly to the local business events industry, creating awareness of Sarawak’s presence as a destination for international conferences.

Image shows conference at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching or BCCK. Photo Credit: Malaysia Asia
Image shows conference at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching or BCCK. Photo Credit: Malaysia Asia

 

Kuching Heritage Trail

The Kuching Heritage Trail, showcasing the State’s historical and cultural legacy of beautiful Chinese and Malay architecture and colonial buildings from the Brookes’ era, is a testimonial to Kuching’s rich heritage dating back to the 19th century.

At the oldest temples in Kuching along the waterfront, travellers can learn a little about the religion of the first Chinese settlers in the city whose religious beliefs are still practised to this day.

Here, history continues in the daily lives of the shop-owners, descended from the original tin craftsmen and traditional medicine vendors, and who continue to market their wares as they had generations ago.

The Museum caps the trail, with galleries displaying art and lifestyles of the local tribes, including life-sized replicas of traditional houses so travellers can truly experience what it felt like to live in the ‘olden days’ of Sarawak.

image004
Image shows a Chinese Temple in Kuching. Photo Credit: Füzzy Mijmark

 

UCSI Hotel Ready For Takeoff?

The USCI Hotel, located opposite the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) at the Isthmus Commercial Hub, will soon be opened.

The Hotel has been a long awaited addition to the Isthmus Commercial Hub as the preferred hotel for conventions taking place at BCCK and will be having its first ‘hardhat walkthrough’ later this month with members of the tourism industry.

The Isthmus is an effort by the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation, creating a centralised area for conventions and business tourism, not too far from the city centre.

It is an ongoing development plan which is estimated to be completed by the year 2020.

Image shows UCSI Hotel Concept Rendition, Photo credit: UCSI Group
Image shows UCSI Hotel Concept Rendition, Photo credit: UCSI Group

The Turtles of Talang-Satang Island

Talang-Satang is a lesser known National Park of Sarawak, not for lack of attractions, but rather for one of the most sought after attractions in Asia.

The National Park is the location of sea turtle nests, and the island has been conserved and protected by the local state government and conservation programmes such as the egg hatcheries to protect the eggs from poachers and wild animals, and reef ball program which encourages the growth of corals as shelters for turtles as well as protection against fishing nets.

While it is not an open to an infinite amount of tourists, one can book a conservation visit as a volunteer in the Sea Turtle Volunteer Programme, where you can help collect and incubate turtle eggs, see the turtles swimming in the ocean, and maybe even witness a hatching in person.

Talang Satang is the first marine national park of Sarawak and is an island spanning 19,400 hectares coastline and sea surrounding four islands of the southwest coast of Sarawak; Pulau Talang Besar (Greater Talang Island) and Pulau Talang Kecil (Lesser Talang Island) off Sematan, and Pulau Satang Besar (Greater Satang Island) and Pulau Satang Kecil (Lesser Satang Island) off Santubong, near Kuching. 

For more information on the Sea Turtle Volunteer Programme, visit http://www.sarawakforestry.com/htm/snp-np-satang.html

image009

Boat Cruise on Bau Lake

Enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the Bau Lake Boat Cruise, run by the Kampung Tasik Biru Cooperatives.

The Boat Cruise has been in operation since September, launched two weeks before the Tasik Biru Festival last year, and is intended to promote the Bau District as a tourist destination, by branching out their attractions.

There are two boats in operation, accommodating eight and 12 passengers respectively, with a fee of RM10 per adult and RM5 per child for a 30 to 40 minute cruise.

The lake also has kayaks and ‘donut boats’ for family fun on the ‘Tasik Biru’ or Blue Lake, so tourists can choose between relaxing while admiring the blue waters and serene nature, or paddle through the waters.

Photo Credit: Borneo Post & Utusan Borneo
Photo Credit: Borneo Post & Utusan Borneo

CH Premier Restaurant – First in Malaysia

The CH Premier Restaurant at Jalan Tun Jugah, Kuching, has set records as the first restaurant in Malaysia to have robotic serving staff.

With four new robotic waitresses on their payroll, the taller robots named Goddess 1 to 3, and a smaller robot named Lolita, all four of whom use magnetic strips on the ground to navigate the floor.

The Restaurant serves fine dining meals, steamboat meals and Chinese-style family platters, so  in lieu of the theme, the robots speak in Mandarin and are able to speak a specific set of phrases including ‘thank you’, ‘excuse me’ and ‘please take the food from the tray’.

This bodes as the dawning of a new age in cuisine for Kuching, as it shows a blend of traditional cuisine and modern times, and this upgrade should encourage local attractions and facilities to add more marketable aspects to their business to keep them relevant.

Photo shows Lolita (left) and the three Goddesses at CH Premier Restaurant, Jalan Tun Jugah.
Photo shows Lolita (left) and the three Goddesses at CH Premier Restaurant, Jalan Tun Jugah.

Tusan Beach – A hidden gem

Tusan Beach on the outskirts of Miri City has now gained prominence after the discovery of natural bioluminescence or a neon-blue glowing in the ocean waves at night better known as “Blue Tears”.

While the Blue Tears are a product of phytoplankton in the water, and while it does not occur every night, it is undoubtedly a breath-taking sight.

There is no promise that one can get a heads-up as to when to go to the beach to witness it, but Tusan does have incredible pull even without the blue-glowing waters at night.

The Beach is one of the more secluded beaches on the Northern coast of Sarawak.

With pristine white sands, incredible natural rock formations like the Horse Head Cliff, and a group of local food and drink stalls with fresh coconut and barbeque.

One can come by and enjoy a fun and peaceful day out on the beach, away from the hustle of the city.

Picture shows Horse Head Cliff at Tusan Beach, Miri. Photo credit: See Hua News
Picture shows Horse Head Cliff at Tusan Beach, Miri. Photo credit: See Hua News