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GOASIAPLUS May 2019

For May, we uncover the long-overlooked nature retreat in Malaysia's biggest man-made reservoir, Kenyir Lake in Terengganu and its never-ending surprise with its abundance of outdoor treasures! Check out a new Malaysian cuisine cooking class for travellers in Kuala Lumpur. Also, get travel inspirations to Laos and China and a shopping guide for Mother's Day.

For May, we uncover the long-overlooked nature retreat in Malaysia's biggest man-made reservoir, Kenyir Lake in Terengganu and its never-ending surprise with its abundance of outdoor treasures! Check out a new Malaysian cuisine cooking class for travellers in Kuala Lumpur. Also, get travel inspirations to Laos and China and a shopping guide for Mother's Day.

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MAY 2019 | ISSUE 36

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM

TREASURES OF

KENYIR LAKE

THAKHEK, LAOS

MALAYSIAN COOKING CLASS


CONTENTS

4 ON THE RADAR

6 OUT & ABOUT

8 TRAVEL

Spotted in Asia:

Zhangjiaijie, China

12 TRAVEL

The Lake is An Oyster

16 TRAVEL

Thakhek, Laos

18 TRAVEL

A Reflection of Modern

Day Armenian

20 SHOP

The Tender Gifts of Love

22 FOOD

A Home Kitchen for

Travellers

24 TALES ON TRACK

Lost & Found

16

12

COVER BY

JESSY WONG

EDITORIAL TEAM

GROUP HEAD & BRANDS

JOHN SO

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

JAMIE SOO-HOO

SENIOR WRITER

JESSY WONG

PHOTOGRAPHER

RICK CHEAH

CONTRIBUTORS

FRANCIS YIP, NG SHEN LEE,

DISCOVERY TERENGGANU & CLIFF PEK TZE WEI

DIGITAL TEAM

22

WEB CONTENT

JESSY WONG

EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES

EDITORIAL@PCOMASIA.COM

COMMERCIAL & PARTNERSHIP

JOHN SO

JOHNSO@PCOMASIA.COM

PUBLISHED BY

PUBLISHCOM ASIA SDN. BHD.

NO. 83–1, JALAN MEDANG SERAI, BUKIT BANDARAYA,

59100 KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA.

+603–20118983 WWW.PCOMASIA.COM

18

PRINTED BY

ULTIMATE PRINT SDN BHD

NO.2, JALAN SEPANA 15/3, OFF PERSIARAN SELANGOR,

SEKSYEN 15, 40200 SHAH ALAM, SELANGOR, MALAYSIA

+603-51013355 WWW.ULTIMATE.COM.MY

The views expressed in the articles published are not necessarily those

of Publishcom Asia Sdn Bhd (963236–P). While every reasonable care is

taken in compiling the magazine, the publisher shall not be held liable for

any omission, error or inaccuracy. Please notify the publisher in writing of

any such omission, error or inaccuracy. Editorial contributions are welcome,

but unsolicited materials are submitted at the sender’s risk. The publisher

cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage. All rights reserved by

Publishcom Asia Sdn Bhd (963236–P). No part of this publication may be

reproduced in any form without the publisher’s permission in writing.

KDN PP 19019/05/2016 (034482)

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 1


EDITOR’S NOTE

It is usual that

as we get busy

on a routine

basis, we tend to overlook the blessings in

our surroundings. Always looking afar for

vacation places, getting tempted with foods

on social media and socialising through

phones than bonding with people around us.

Because sometimes we don’t have to

look far to seek for the finer things in life. If

we pay close attention, we will notice that

the good things are always nearer at hand.

From awesome places to go, amazing food,

and of course, people.

For a change of scenery, Kenyir Lake

by Malaysia’s east coast has been long set

out of sight as a travel destination. It is by

good chance that Tourism Malaysia engaged

with GOASIAPLUS in the ‘Ekspresi Media’

programme to uncover this hidden gem.

Check out page 12 on how simple

activities like living on a houseboat,

trekking and swimming with fishes

make Kenyir Lake a great relaxing travel

destination without breaking the bank.

Local food as never been a

disappointment to Malaysians. Most of our

first love is nasi lemak and it also never fail

to amaze tourists who first try the icon of

all Malaysian food. But, how many of us

actually know how to make this iconic dish?

Professional cook and author of four

Malaysian cookbooks, Sara Khong, opens

her kitchen for travellers to join “New

Malaysian Kitchen”, a cooking class of local

cuisine right at her home (page 22) for

you to try your hand in making all of our

delicious offerings.

For every person’s best folk, we have

our ever reliable and supportive mothers

to take care of everything. It is a great day

to celebrate all that they have done for us

on May 12 so if you need a gift guide, see

page 20. Lastly, to all great mothers, Happy

Mother’s Day!

John So

Publisher

MOUNTAINS

MADE OF

PLASTIC

Photo ADOBE STOCK

I have been making the news headlines lately.

Here I am in a small country in Southeast Asia,

an absolutely beautiful place called Malaysia, (not

very surprisingly) made into the world’s rubbish

dump of plastic wastes.

Malaysia is already one of the world’s biggest

single-use plastic consumers before the country

became the plastic waste capital of the world.

There are landfills filled with endless trash as

the country import wastes at large from United

States, Japan and Britain.

With no proper faculties of disposing the

plastics, these wastes are burnt in the open air

releasing toxic chemicals. My surroundings parts

from air, soil and waterways are polluted and

when I’m sick, my ecosystem will cause health

issues to people and other living species.

Come on, it is not only our problem. It is a

global problem. Enough of prostituting me for

profit. Save the earth and stop single-use plastic.

There is only so little of the plastic wastes are

clean plastic that are recyclable.

Stop purchasing drinks that comes in a

plastic packaging on a whim. Doesn’t it make you

feel better if knowing that the end product of the

take-out food or drink you buy only goes down

your stomach and nowhere else?

Forever forsaken,

The environment

PICK-UP POINTS

Read our magazine exclusively in Aerobus airport shuttles or bring home a copy of GOASIAPLUS with

you at these pick-up points below:

GATEWAY@KLIA2

AIRPORT SHOPPING MALL

KLIA EKSPRES

KL SENTRAL

KLIA

INFORMATION COUNTER AT

DEPARTURE MAIN TERMINAL

& SATELLITE BUILDING

KLIA2

INFORMATION COUNTER,

SATELLITE BUILDING &

INTERNATIONAL ARRIVAL

2 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM


NEWS

ON THE RADAR

GET UP TO DATE ON THE LATEST HAPPENINGS ON

TRAVEL, HOTEL OPENINGS, FOOD OFFERS AND

TRENDING FASHION AROUND SOUTHEAST ASIA

WINNER OF NEXT

DESTINATION: FORTUNE

The much-awaited winners announcement for

‘Next Destination: Fortune’–GOASIAPLUS

Chinese New Year contest–has seen Zahar

Bin Amir landing on fortune when he walked

away with RM10,000 cash prize while three

other consolation winners are awarded with

Mayflower Online RM1,000 travel credits each.

Major sponsors of the event, gateway@klia2,

Mayflower Online and Alor Tastiway jointly

presented the awards during the ceremony.

ANT-MAN IN HONG KONG

DISNEYLAND

As the second Marvel-themed

attraction in Hong Kong Disneyland,

the iconic Ant-Man turned into an

explosive interactive adventure. Ant-

Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! is

a high-tech dimensional battle for

players to shoot Swarmbots in helping

Ant-Man to defeat Zola. Guests can

also find exclusive items of the Marvel

hero at S.H.I.E.L.D Pavilion.

www.hongkongdisneyland.com

FIRST HIDDEN COCKTAIL

BAR IN MALACCA

Adding to Malacca’s heritage

charm, The Old Merchant bar

enlivens the olden days with a line

of specially concocted cocktails

by recalling the flavours of a rich

Malacca history. Upon entering the

pre-war shop, the tastefully hidden

speakeasy bar can transport one

back to the early 20th century.

88, Jalan Kampung Pantai, 75200

Malacca

AIRASIA MAKING HISTORY IN VIETNAM

Asia’s best low-cost airline became the first-ever international flight to

touchdown at Can Tho, the largest city in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta from

Kuala Lumpur. Can Tho is AirAsia’s sixth destination in Vietnam. Following

the new route, AirAsia is looking to launch the Bangkok–Can Tho flight

service this month.

www.airasia.com

4 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM


EVENTS

OUT & ABOUT

LOOK OUT FOR THE MOST ANTICIPATED EVENTS OF

THE MONTH IN MALAYSIA AND BEYOND

JASON MRAZ GOOD

VIBES TOUR

13 MAY

This two time Grammyaward

winner is excited

to return to Malaysia

after his last visit in 2012

for a “Good Vibes” tour

following his sixth studio

classic-pop album “Know”.

Mraz gained international

recognition with his 2002

debut album and hits such

as “I’m Yours” and most

recently, “Have It All”.

Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

www.myticket.asia

BORNEO JAZZ FESTIVAL

11-13 MAY

The annual jazz festival takes on an intimate setting

for their 13th year event to bring audiences closer to

the performers. Festival-goers can enjoy the outdoor

breeze by the coast with a line-up of local and

international jazz musicians like Isao Miyoshi (Japan),

Gaoyang Li (China) and Tony Lakatos (Germany).

Coco Cabana, Marina Bay, Sarawak, Malaysia

www.borneojazzfestival.com

BAGAN FESTIVAL

25 MAY

The recurring Bagan Festival at Butterworth Art Walk aims to reduce the

use of cars on the roads. The “Car Free” evening is hopeful in bringing

the community closer to the local arts and culture as this Bagan Festival

celebrates Ramadan with a showcase of festive food and cultural elements.

Butterworth Art Walk, Lorong Bagan Luar 2, Penang, Malaysia

www.mpsp.gov.my

FUTURE

9 MAY

The prominent icon of hip-hop and rap

from Atlanta brings his music to the

Singapore shore in promotion of his

seventh chart-topping album “Future

Hndrxx Presents: The WIZRD”. Future

has platinum-certified albums under his

belt with critically-acclaimed mixtape

and tracks like “Mask Off”, “Super

Slimey” and “Low Life”.

ZEPP@BIGBOX, Singapore

www.sistic.com.my

LAUV ASIA TOUR 2019

18 MAY

Ari Staprans Leff is better known as Lauv is a growing

alt-pop singer, songwriter and producer. Ranked first

on Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart in 2018, Lauv is

embarking on his first headlining tour for fans to catch

live performances of hit songs “I Like Me Better”, “I’m

So Tired…” and “Superhero”.

Moonstar Studio, Bangkok, Thailand

www.ticketmelon.com

6 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM


TRAVEL

SPOTTED: ASIA IN FILMS

ZHANGJIAJIE

NATIONAL

FOREST PARK,

CHINA

Text NG SHEN LEE

Photos ADOBE STOCK & FREEVECTORMAPS.COM

Rarely does China’s

scenic wonders get to

play a role in Hollywood

blockbusters. Zhangjiajie

National Forest Park however,

proves that barriers are meant

to be overcome by serving as

the landscape inspiration for

the biggest box office hit and

highest-grossing film of all

time–Avatar.

In the 2009 sci-fi epic,

much of the action takes place

in the fictional Hallelujah

Mountains of Pandora. If you’re

unfamiliar with Avatar, picture

the Hallelujah Mountains as

floating islands of rock covered

by dense foliage, with waterfalls

streaming down their cliffs

and hazy mist enveloping the

mountain bases.

As ethereal as this

setting seems, the Hallelujah

Mountains were originally based

off a real location–Zhangjiajie

National Forest Park! The

first ever national forest

park in the country, its most

notable features are its 3000

quartz-sandstone pinnacles,

resembling a landscape much

like those represented in

Chinese calligraphy paintings.

With pillars enshrouded

in greenery and seemingly

extending towards the heavens,

it’s not hard to see how these

natural formations attracted

the attention of legendary

filmmaker James Cameron.

What really thrusted

Zhangjiajie into the limelight

was when word got out that

a pillar named “Southern Sky

Column” was used as reference

for the Hallelujah Mountains–a

discovery which led to the area

seeing upwards of 61 million

tourists in 2016 alone. Among

them, domestic Chinese

tourists make up the landslide

majority at 99.99 percent.

That same year, the

infamous Zhangjiajie glass

bridge was constructed and met

with overwhelming response

from the public. Over ten times

the estimated amount!

And to top it all off, the

local government decided to

pay homage by renaming the

structure “Avatar Hallelujah

Mountain”. All this thanks to

the influence of a sci-fi film.

But Avatar wasn’t always

met with open arms. Only

two weeks after it premiered

in China, authorities ceased

screening of the film in theatres

nationwide, afraid that it might

incite revolts from citizens

battling over land rights with

the government at the time–a

situation similar to what the

Na’vi in the film were facing.

With four more film sequels

destined to hit cinemas by 2021,

it’s safe to say that Chinese

filmgoers will be on the lookout

for more representation in

the films, a desire Cameron is

looking to fulfill via Chinese

Na’vi actors.

FUN

FACTS

James Cameron got the idea

for Avatar after watching

Disney’s 1995 animated

movie Pocahontas.

Zhangjiajie is also home to

the Bailong Elevator, the

highest outdoor elevator in

the world, made from glass!

8 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM


ADVERTORIAL

MONEY-

SAVING TIPS

FOR BUDGET

TRAVEL

GET YOUR CALCULATOR READY

BECAUSE EVEN WITH A THIN WALLET,

IT IS POSSIBLE FOR ANYONE TO HAVE

A FULL-FLEDGED TRAVEL EXPERIENCE.

These days, it is all about convenience

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FIND DEALS FROM A COMPREHENSIVE AND

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You can always find more deals from a company that has

a wide and long experience in the industry. Close to 60

years in the travel market, Mayflower travel agency has a

dynamic range of travel products to select from based on

their website, Mayflower.com.my. Over 80 airlines and

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are something and somewhere for every budget needs.

CHECK OUT THE TRAVEL SITE’S

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Listen to suggestions. When there are two things offered

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BOOKING DIRECT ADD-ON SERVICES

One-for-all travel booking platform like Mayflower.com.

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10 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM


TRAVELLING TO BANGKOK WITH MAYFLOWER.COM.MY

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A trip to Thailand is always packed with a myriad of things to do so for a fuller experience,

people would commonly spend more than 3 days in the bustling city. For a comfortable

budget stay, Bangkok Palace Hotel is a 3-star establishment in the city with strategic location

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you can save for a couple’s trip to Bangkok when you book with Mayflower.com.my.

TRAVEL COSTS FOR 2 PAX ON MAYFLOWER.COM.MY*

Independant Booking

Bundle Booking

FLIGHT

AirAsia (KUL-DMK) = RM814.00

HOTEL

Bangkok Palace Hotel (4D3N) = RM585.84

INSURANCE

Chubb Travel Protection = RM82.80

‘FLIGHT + HOTEL’ BUNDLE BOOKING

AirAsia (KUL-DMK)

&

Bangkok Palace Hotel (4D3N)

ADD ONS

Insurance (Chubb Travel Protection)

&

Roaming Wifi (Roaming Man SEA)

ROAMING WIFI

Roaming Man SEA = RM100.00

TOTAL SPENT = RM1582.60

TOTAL SPENT= RM1496.64

ADDITIONAL 6% SAVINGS

*Price breakdown is for illustration purposes only and

may differ on the availability of flight and hotel based

on the selection of individual dates

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 11


TRAVEL

1

THE LAKE IS AN OYSTER

THE OUTBACK OF TERENGGANU PACKS PLENTY OF PLEASANT SURPRISE

IN MALAYSIA’S LARGEST MAN-MADE LAKE. BEYOND THE AMAZING

LANDSCAPE, KENYIR LAKE IS A TREASURE CHEST OF NATURAL,

HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS.

Text JESSY WONG • Photos DISCOVERY TERENGGANU, JESSY WONG & CLIFF PEK TZE WEI

12 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM


TRAVEL

2

1 A bright scenic day in

Kenyir Lake 2 Buyong

Houseboat and Pesona

Houseboat 2 3 Kenyir

Lake during high-tide in

March 4 Jungle trekking in

natural forest 5 Fun swim

with Malaysian mahseer 6

Beautiful flowers at Orchid

Garden 7 An 18-year-old

rescued elephant named

Abong 8 Lasir Waterfall 9

The ceiling of Gua Bewah

10 Spotted crabs in the

limestone cave

3

The creation of Kenyir Lake or Tasik Kenyir (in

Malay language) is unintentional. This freshwater

lake was formed circa 1980s when a dam was

built to generate hydro-electric power and mitigate

flooding in Terengganu. Water from the dam would flow

to the valley and fertile land behind, filling the lowland

and naturally forming around 340 smaller islands from

remaining hilltops.

Present day, exotic wildlife, fishes and various plants

species beautifully endowed Kenyir Lake as it thrives

on a landscape drawn with mountains, rivers, limestone

caves and waterfalls. Without a doubt, Kenyir Lake is a

dark horse running as one of Malaysia’s top eco-tourism.

LIVING ON A HOUSEBOAT

A houseboat is akin to a house on water; there are

living room, bedrooms, toilets, kitchen and even an

entertainment space for karaoke session. At Kenyir Lake

houseboats, you can choose to hire a houseboat chef for

your stay or wear the chef’s hat yourself.

During my time in Buyong Houseboat, the kind

operator took us to different waterfalls on two evenings

to make the most of Kenyir Lake’s attractions. On my

second night, we even had a barbeque on the houseboat

right in front of the waterfall! Even without a phone

connection, nothing beats waking up to the sight of

waterfall, sun rising on the waters and smell of the

surrounding forests when you’re living with nature.

There are many houseboat operators on the lake

with different packages so when you’re choosing, see

which activities are the best interest to you and your

travelling friends. Fares for houseboat living are usually

determined by the type of boat, activities covered in

Kenyir Lake island hopping and your length of stay.

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 13


TRAVEL

4

5

9

10

Jungle Trekking

The natural forests on the Kenyir Lake

islands are worthy of an expedition. For this

trip, I was blessed to have Mr Khairul Abu

Bakar–a national award-winning tour guide–

to lead the way to see the biggest Melunak

tree in West Malaysia. It is an extremely

valuable tree in the logging industry and

the large tree is estimated to be 314 years

old. Along the way, trekkers can also spot

the trail of elephants, traces of tapir and

excitingly, prints of a tiger cub in the forest.

Discover other popular and challenging

trails at Gagau Mountain or Lawit.

Fishing

Kenyir Lake is an angler’s heaven. The

38,000 hectares of freshwater lake is

estimated to be the home to 300 species

of freshwater fishes. Popular ones are

snakehead, friendly barb, green arowana

and giant gourami. It is also said that during

the rainy season, the fish can even be

caught with only a pair of hands. Although

you can fish from your houseboat's deck,

anglers are encouraged to fish at designated

spots on the lake like Cacing Island, Leban,

Petuang, Saok and Terenggan.

Cave Exploration

There are two limestone caves to be

explored in Kenyir Lake. Estimated to be

around 300 million years old, Gua Bewah–

Bewah is a Kelantan word for feast–is a

known historic site with the findings of a

skeleton and remains of a civilisation. There

is an archeology gallery just outside the

cave entrance with findings of prehistoric

items at the area. Besides, find elephantshaped

stalactite, crabs, tiger spider and

bats in the limestone cave. Whereas for

Gua Taat, the cave would be inaccessible

at times due to high tides so make sure to

catch the right timing for a visit.

Mahseer Sanctuary

The Malaysian mahseer is Malaysia’s most

expensive gourmet fish and sought-after

game fish for anglers. A living Malaysian

red mahseer can cost between RM800 to

RM1,000 per kg. Threatened and dwindling

in numbers, a special rehabilitation and

conservatory zone is set up for the species

to naturally breed at Petang River.

It takes a 40-minutes hike before you’ll

reach the breeding point. You may also

purchase some fish feed at the rest stop by

14 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM


TRAVEL

6

8

7

the hiking route. These mahseer are familiar

with human interactions and will playfully

surround you as you enter the running

stream. It is definitely prohibited to fish

there and the sanctuary is only open from

9am till 12pm daily from March till October.

Island Hopping

It is only natural to go island hopping

among the hundreds of little islands

on Kenyir Lake. The 3 notable stops for

tourists are definitely Herbal Park, Orchid

Garden and Butterfly Park. Herbal Park is

located on Sah Kecil Island known for the

cultivation of more than 200 traditional

herbal plants. Visitors will be given a short

introduction to these traditional herbs and

enjoy a tasting session of the herbal drinks.

For orchid lovers, be amazed with a

large collection of orchid species including

the rare types at Orchid Garden. Spanning

across 3 smaller islands, the place is

dedicated for cultivation and research

of the flowers. Located at Lubuk Geras

Island, the Butterfly Park houses thousands

of butterfly species with an interactive

museum for visitors to learn and see the

breeding of unique butterflies.

Kenyir Elephant Conservation

Village (KECV)

Opened in 2014, KECV is a sanctuary

built by state authorities and the

government to protect and reduce

human-elephant conflict in Terengganu.

Unknown to many, there are an average

of 200 wild elephants roaming in the

area and KECV is built in a community

vision to educate the locals.

Wild elephants that are rescued from

conflict will be treated and healed in the

center before being released back into

the forest whereas for abandoned baby

elephants, KECV will rescue and adopt

the orphaned elephants before they are

ready for the wild.

There are currently 18 Asian

elephants in the center, mostly rescued

elephants from the wild and some

born in conservation. Visitors can feed,

interact and bath the elephants at KECV.

Also, catch an educational show where

the elephants perform with their trained

caretakers, showcasing the creature’s

level of intellect and playfulness. All

proceeds at KECV are channelled into

elephant’s conservation efforts.

GOOD

to

KNOW

It is recommended to hire a

licensed local tour guide to get

the most out of Kenyir Lake.

There are plenty of Kenyir Lake’s

historical and interesting local

stories to know about.

Kenyir Information Center is open

from 8am till 5pm every day at

Pengkalan Gawi, the main jetty

entrance to Kenyir Lake.

Extreme sports like waterfall

abseiling and zip-line into water

are also offered in Kenyir lake.

Contact Go Nature Travel & Tour

at my.gonature@gmail.com for

more information.

WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM · 15


TRAVEL

ROAD LESS TRAVELLED

THAKHEK, LAOS

SHARING A FRIENDSHIP BRIDGE WITH THAILAND, THE CAPITAL OF

KHAMMOUANE PROVINCE IS A CITY LOST-IN-TIME WITH COLONIAL-

ERA BUILDINGS AND DECLINING FRENCH VILLAS BY THE BANKS OF

THE GREAT MEKONG RIVER.

Text JESSY WONG • Photos ADOBE STOCK & LE BOUTON D’OR BOUTIQUE HOTEL

HOW TO GET

THERE

As a center point

between Vientiane in the

north and Pakse in the

south, Thakhek is highly

accessible through buses

departing from both

major cities. If you’re

coming from Nakhon

Phanom in Thailand, the

border is easy to cross

through the third Thai-

Lao Friendship Bridge

which is just 13km north

from Thakhek.

WHERE TO EAT

There are plenty of

food stalls by the

waterfront selling

snacks and local

cuisine. Thakhek

Market has a large

food section for

sumptuous meals in

the morning and find

BBQ meats and sweet

treats at the town

square night market.

Laos noodle soup,

mini sandwiches and

pork pasties are worth

the bite in Thakhek.

WHAT TO DO

Thakhek is a small

commercial town with

budding tourism for

travellers. Go for an

architectural tour around

the tiny town square and

live in the atmosphere.

Also, one of Laos’ holiest

pilgrimage sites, Wat Pha

That Sikhottabong, can

be easily reached by tuktuk

from town.

Thakhek’s best

features lies in Phou

Hin Poun National Park.

There are many trekking

routes to explore that

leads to Khoun Kong

Leng, known as the Blue

Lagoon, for a cool dip.

While you’re at the park,

a trip to Konglor Cave is

a must. The ride on the

long boat will bring you

to see caverns and huge

limestone formations.

WHERE TO STAY

Upon a sight, Le Bouton

D’or Boutique Hotel

has the best location by

the Mekong riverfront

offering a view for

sunset from the French

architecture building. It

is also adjacent to the

tourist center and night

market. Meanwhile,

Thakhek Travel Lodge is a

popular backpacker place

to crash for the night.

GOOD

to

KNOW

“Thakhek” means “Visitor’s Landing”, a

reference to the town’s importance and

relations to the Chenla and Funan empires

since the 8th century.

Tours around Thakhek can be booked

directly at Khammouane Tourism

Information Centre, located 2km away

from the main town.

Thakhek Loop in Central Alos has an

adventurous route for a 3D2N motorcycle

journey and be surrounded by mountain

sights and farmlands.

16 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM


TRAVEL

1

1 The heritage facade

of 88 Armenian 2 A

minimalist luxury

3 Bathroom with lots of

natural light 4 Private

dining space at Copper

Bar and Restaurant

A REFLECTION

OF MODERN

DAY ARMENIAN

THE MALAY SETTLEMENT TURNED

COPPERSMITH STREET IS NOW A CULTURAL

MECCA AND RECOGNISED AS A UNESCO

WORLD HERITAGE SITE. 88 ARMENIAN PAYS

SUCH TRIBUTE TO ITS COLOURFUL HISTORY.

Text JESSY WONG • Photos 88 ARMENIAN

Rodin, Bartholdi, Dunand, Mackenzie, Pearson

and Revere are the six luxurious rooms in

88 Armenian. They are also the names of the

world’s six most distinguished coppersmiths.

The legacy continues in this heritage boutique

hotel, built on “Pak Thang-Ah Kay” which the Chinese

recognised as “Coppersmith’s Street” in Hokkien.

Copper and brass industry flourished on this street in

the mid-19th century but the residence of Armenian

traders here made the lasting address.

THE LAST HOTEL

This part in Georgetown is inscribed on the World

Heritage List. To preserve a place that is considered

to have special cultural or historical importance to

everyone, the state government has dictated that no

more approvals will be given to hotel developments

in the area.

That said, 88 Armenian would be last and latest

hotel to gain such significance and value within a

UNESCO World Heritage Site. Owner and founder

Dr. Angeline Yong is happy to share her vision for her

third hotel in a UNESCO heritage town.

“When you step into 88 Armenian you are still

very much in Georgetown. Meticulously restored

in line with heritage standards, and utilising only

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TRAVEL

2

appropriate heritage council approved materials and

methods, this project has truly been a labour of love

on our part, with the entire process from background

research, council approvals and finally painstaking

restoration taking more than 5 years”.

3

4

COPPER-MADE LUXURY

88 Armenian will bring you into a different world

of the heritage town. Within the Straits exterior of

the shophouse, the restored building radiates with

modern style and sophistication.

Greeted with wooden flooring and mirrored

stairwell, the accent wall serves a gentle

remembrance of the building’s original identity

through the exposed masculine brick wall while the

prominent copper features and finishes add to the

former glory of Pak Thang-Ah Kay.

The minimalist rooms are splashed in muted

palette with a synonymous balance of wood finishing

and copper trimmings. Indulgence guaranteed, the

natural stone bathtub and Italian spa shower in the

airy bathroom puts me in awe of having a supreme

spa in a private room.

ALL ABOUT SERVICE

As the hotel drips with history detailing, Copper

Bar and Restaurant complements the modern

interpretation of the Straits settlement with bold

innovation of the Malaysian cuisine and exciting craft

cocktails. They are also one of the unique bars in

Penang that serves non-alcoholic “wine” and drinks

as choice.

Apart from the many surprise elements in 88

Armenian, the stark distinction is the absence of

reception desk in the hotel. Dr. Yong prizes on having

personal touch with her hotel guests. To enable a

smooth check-in, guests verification are done during

airport transfer and other means.

The luxury boutique hotel room rates per night

starts at RM750. 88 Armenian are accepting early

reservations and will be officially open for business

on 18 May 2019. Bookings and further enquiries can

be made to 88@88armenian.com.

88 Armenian

88, Lebuh Armenian, Georgetown, Penang

www.88armenian.com | +604-2637125

SURROUNDING PLACES

OF INTEREST

Set in the heart of

Georgetown, the UNESCO

World Heritage Site, you can

easily walk to these cultural,

historical and heritage sites

from 88 Armenian.

79m

190m

190m

Sun Yat Sen Museum

Khoo Kongsi

Cheah Kongsi

220m

400m

450m

Street of Harmony

Clan Jetties

Little India

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SHOP

SWAROVSKI

SUNSHINE

PENDANT

Showcasing the

radiant bond

between mother and

child, Swarovski’s

celebratory campaign

sees the eye-catching

metaphorical

collection–on how

a child revolves

around the mother

who is the sun–by

inviting people to

#FollowYourSun.

Price RM549

THE TENDER

GIFTS OF LOVE

CELEBRATE THE WOMAN WHO FIRST INSPIRED YOU AND

EVERYTHING SHE HAS DONE FOR US WITH THESE THOUGHTFUL

MOTHER’S DAY PRESENTS FOR THE SPECIAL DAY.

Text JESSY WONG

SWENSEN’S OH MY LOVE

There’s nothing like a lovely pastel pink and purple

sweet treat just for Mother’s Day. Oh My Love is a

combination of vanilla ice-cream with strawberry bits

and roaster hazelnut ice-cream with crunchy Kit Kat.

Price SGD 59.90

THE FACE INC

HYDRATION

HERO

This nourishing gift

is perfect for both

9-to-5 mum and glam

mum to supercharge

their skin. Using

Green Tea extract,

this Rejuvenate

Moisturiser has

anti-oxidant and

anti-inflammatory

properties in

reducing lines and

wrinkles.

Price RM108

WRISTLET CANDY

FROM BONIA

Part of BONIA’s Spring

Summer EAT Collection,

this elegant timepiece

is framed with Sapphire

encircled with bezel and

a glossy matt dial. This

stainless steel bracelet

and case is perfect and

straightforward for

everyday wear. Code

name: BNB10242-2312S.

Price RM630

SALON-INSPIRED OGX HAIRCARE

Feel amazing with Renewing + Argan Oil

of Morocco Shampoo and Conditioner

that protect, restore and strengthen hair.

As a premium salon-inspired collection,

this signature line leaves hair feeling

lush, shiny and soft.

Price RM47.48

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FOOD

A HOME

KITCHEN FOR

TRAVELLERS

1

THE AUTHOR MALAYSIAN

COOKBOOKS, SARA KHONG, OPENS

HER HOME KITCHEN TO TRAVELLERS

FOR LOCAL CUISINE COOKING CLASSES

AT NEW MALAYSIAN KITCHEN.

Text JESSY WONG

Photos JESSY WONG & SARA KHONG

The lament of Malaysians living overseas is real

when it comes to missing home-cooked food.

Same goes with travellers that fell in love with

our flavourful local offerings but have no idea on

where and how to start.

Sara Khong puts our worries to rest with “New

Malaysian Kitchen” where we can learn to cook

Malaysia’s hawker food and tour an edible garden in

her cooking class. The excitement of taking home

cooking course from a professional cook and famous

culinary author definitely adds some kick to my

amateur cooking ability.

ORGANIC GARDEN TOUR

The cooking class starts with a light appetizer and

tea for refreshment. It is during this introduction

session when I found out the canape salad I just had

is a produce from her organic garden using wild betel

leaf, pickled papaya and butterfly pea flower. Sara

shares her accident in knocking the papaya fruit from

the tree before it ripen so she had to find a way to

serve the green papaya.

Her quick save does make the accident

worthwhile as the canape salad is well-prepared for.

It only raised my anticipation for her edible garden

tour. With our straw hats on, Sara takes us on a

storytelling session in her garden.

Plant by plant, it is clear that Sara has some

serious gardening skills up her sleeves and would

generously gave us plant seeds to bring home.

REAL MALAYSIAN KITCHEN

After harvesting spices and leaves necessary for

cooking, we head straight to the kitchen to start my

fledgling attempt of making the Malaysia’s National

Dish menu for the class.

Besides this, there are two other menus to choose

from either hawker fares or Chinatown favourites,

each with five recipes of our preferred local cuisines.

MENU FOR CLASS

Malaysia’s National Dish (USD60)

• Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice with Spicy Sauce)

• Malaysian Spiced Fried Chicken

• Four-Angled Beans Coconut Salad

• Sago Pudding with Palm Sugar

• Teh Tarik

In the small cooking group, it is easy to follow

the pace as Sara takes us through each step in her

instructions and cooking tips. Sara is known for

writing cooking books like “Malaysian Meals in 30

Minutes”, “One-Pot Wonders” and “3 Ingredient

Recipes” so it is an added perk to receive a

personalised recipe booklet from a published chef.

The classes are held on booking basis only so try to

book a slot in advance. Overall, the contentment of

learning how to “pull” tea, success in wrapping my

own nasi lemak and grinding spices using a pestle

and mortar are the unsuspecting ingredients that

make the food taste even more amazing.

HOW TO GET THERE

Situated 20 minutes away from KL center, the

“New Malaysian Kitchen” is easily accessible via

MRT or car-hailing services at Cheras. For train

takers, alight at Taman Connaught MRT Station

and you will be privately chauffeured to the

destination. Additional services like hotel pick-up

are available upon request.

New Malaysian Kitchen Cooking Class

No.2, Jalan 11, Taman Len Seng,

Cheras, 56000 Kuala Lumpur

www.newmalaysiankitchen.com

1 Recipe booklet, kitchen

supplies and ingredients

are all ready for class

2 Practising the art of

wrapping nasi lemak

3 Marinating Malaysian

Spiced Fried Chicken

4 Proud of a perfectly

bubbled teh tarik 5 Sago

pudding for desserts

6 Malaysia's National

Dish lunch spread

GOOD

to

KNOW

Classes can be

conducted in

English, Mandarin

or Cantonese

language

The private cooking

class can only

accommodate up to

5 people in a session

Learners get to go

home with Sara’s

recipe booklet and

extra cooking tips

through her friendly

follow-up email

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FOOD

2

3

4

5 6

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TALES ON TRACK

LOST & FOUND

THOSE

WERE THE

METAL

DAYS

Text FRANCIS YIP

Photo ADOBE STOCK

As a little boy, I used to follow my

mother to the Chowrasta Market

in Penang. Sometimes, she would

bring along her kitchen knives. Not as

self-defense against snatch thieves but to

visit the knife-sharpening uncle, to get her

knives sharpened.

THE LOST GLITTER

Knife sharpening is a process of making

the knife or similar tool sharp by grinding

against a hard rough surface such as the

stone or grinding wheel and then smoothen

it further with a leather razor strop. This

old trade was popular in the wet market

especially in the butcher area.

Today, modern machineries can easily

sharpen the knives faster and easier

compared to doing it manually. Hence,

the trade is gradually dying. But for some

people, nothing beats the good old manual

way to a more precise and sharper tool.

Apart from knife sharpening trade, I

still remember tin smiths were very much

sought-after in the past. People would seek

their services to repair or fabricate light

metal items like kitchen utensils, water

pitchers, candle holders and other tinware.

Most of this trade was handed down for

generations. However, as plastic became

more in demand, tin smiths found it tough

to sustain their age-old trade and hence,

many had ceased from their business.

In fact, the popularity of tin and iron

smiths have given birth to a street known

as Ironsmith’s Street (Pak Theek Kay) in

Georgetown, Penang.

SURVIVING METAL TRADES

While some metal trades are dying, the

locksmith is still very much popular today.

Long ago, locksmiths ran their businesses

in push carts and would often move from

places to places. Today, the locksmiths

operate from their shops and keep up with

the demand of modern locks, from cars to

homes and offices.

Moving on is the scrap metal trade. I

remember I was taught in school to collect

tin cans for recycling purposes. Well, scrap

metal trade seems to be doing well as

there are more recycling efforts now. Scrap

metals such as copper, brass, aluminium,

zinc, magnesium, tin, stainless steel and

more have monetary value.

Next, gold trading is one of the oldest

trade and compared to the past, we saw the

flourishing businesses of gold businesses

like Habib Jewels, Wah Chan, Tomei and

Poh Kong. As a matter of fact, Jalan Masjid

Kapitan Keling in Penang is thriving with

gold traders since colonial times.

If there is one metal that put Malaysia

on the world map, it is obviously pewter.

Royal Selangor prides itself as the largest

Malaysian pewter retailer and producer in

the world. The company offers thousands

of pewterware from tableware, tankards,

tea sets, photo frames to desk and wine

accessories.

So here we are, the good old memories

of metal trade can be considered worth its

weight in gold.

24 · WWW.GOASIAPLUS.COM

FRANCIS YIP always loses himself but somehow, finds his way back with lots of juicy stories to share. Forgive him if he sparks a debate.

Love him if he unlocks hidden jewels. So heavenly, so travelicious with him!

www.franciswriter.com franciswriterAd franciswriter

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