Home » Destination ASEAN » Currently Reading:

Destination Malaysia – Races, Sales And So Much More!

March 20, 2014 Destination ASEAN No Comments Email Email

The Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix roars into the country this month, beginning 28 to 30 March 2014 at the Sepang International Circuit.

With a multitude of race fans and tourists expected at this exciting event, Malaysia is set to welcome the world with a line-up of programmes and activities, beginning with the 1Malaysia Grand Prix Sale 2014 (1MGP Sale) from 15 March to 6 April 2014.

Held in conjunction with the Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix, the nationwide Sale promises to be just as eventful with malls, retail and F&B outlets offering discounts and promotions on a wide range of products and merchandises.

The launch of the 1MGP Sale 2014 will take place on 15 March 2014 at the LG2 Orange Concourse area of Sunway Pyramid Mall. Colourful cultural dances, buskers entertainment, performances by popular local artistes, a fashion show and the star highlight of the day – a display of a series of the sharp and sporty Lotus Supercars are in store for shoppers to the mall. If you’re a spa enthusiast, look out for the Beaubelle Spa stall which will be featuring its range of all-natural spa products and packages.

F1 fans have a great race season to look forward to. The recently launched Petronas Formula 1 Grand Prix campaign saw the kick-off of a series of roadshows scheduled to take place at the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Queensbay Mall in Penang, Johor Bahru and Sunway Pyramid in Selangor.

Themed ‘Sepang Comes Alive’, the roadshows bring motorsports and F1 fans in particular a string of activities built around the excitement of the Formula 1 event; the F1 Simulator Challenge that is open to all F1 ticket holders is one event that promises to engage the interest and participation of all sporting fans. Ten drivers with the fastest time laps at each venue will qualify for the grand finale run at the Sepang International Circuit on 29 March. The winner will get to drive home a brand new Nissan Almera NISMO worth RM92, 000!

While you’re here, you should experience some of the country’s other tourism offerings such as Malaysia’s award-winning Homestay Programme. Winner of the World Tourism Organization 2012 Ulysses Award for Innovation in Public Policy and Governance, this unique programme offers tourists first-hand experience of kampung life in a traditional Malaysian village. In a Homestay programme, tourists live with local families in kampung houses where they enjoy home-cooked food and discover the simple lifestyle in the country.

Every homestay programme offers a different experience depending on the type of activities, culture, food, economic activity and location chosen.  While visitors to a homestay in Melaka, Kedah or Terengganu may learn about coconut plucking, rubber tapping, silat or a Malay martial art and a visit to a turtle-conservation centre, those who choose to experience homestays in Langkawi will get a taste of Malaysian island life which could mean fishing activities. Participating villages have been carefully screened to comply with strict guidelines set by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia to ensure guests’ satisfaction.

Until December 2013, there are 3,431 approved homestay operators in 166 villages around the country. Reservation details and cost of homestay packages can be obtained from Homestay Malaysia’s official website at www.go2homestay.com. Tourists can choose the state they wish to visit and activities they wish to participate in.

Away from the racetrack, tourists can experience Malaysia at a more leisurely pace, as the country can be a truly rewarding place for road cycling tours. Many cycling packages in the country incorporate elements like accommodation, nature trails and sightseeing at tourist spots along major roadways and tourist zones. More than 100 cycling packages are offered nationwide including in Johor, Melaka, Putrajaya, Pahang, Langkawi and Sarawak. A good cycling tour operator can help you find experienced tour guides who can show you the best routes, quality accommodations and great food along the way. They can also help tourists take into account cultural considerations and help liaise with the locals when necessary.

Packages may vary from the extreme to the more relaxed depending on your level of fitness and stamina. Cycling from Thailand through to Singapore via the West Coast of Malaysia is fairly common amongst tourists. Others may choose more adventurous trails such as from Kuala Lumpur to Malaysia’s eastern provinces, using smaller, windier roads through lush jungle territories or, cycling in Sabah and Sarawak which requires off-road capability and equipment. Most major cities, towns and tourist venues in the country have several bike shops that rent bikes and gear to visitors.

To start off, take a whirl in Putrajaya where there are safe dedicated cycle tracks that are great for children. Bikes are available for rent at the Putrajaya Sentral Station or Taman Wetlands, Putrajaya Botanical Gardens and Putrajaya Challenge Park though these bikes can only be ridden in the respective parks.  With a bit more time, tourists can try the Nature Paya Indah Wetlands Cycling Package or the Shah Alam Cycling Tour. More referral information on legitimate and credible cycling tour operators is available at Tourism Malaysia’s website at www.tourism.gov.my.

Tired after your day at the racetrack? Head to the nearest spa for a good restful massage. Walking into a spa is like walking into an oasis of calmness. The whiff of exotic and sweet smelling essential oils immediately put you in a relaxed state of mind. The most difficult part of your spa experience will probably be choosing the right therapeutic treatment.

Spas in Malaysia run the gamut from sleek urban hotels and lush jungles to amazing island retreats. The treatment may vary from spa to spa – from the traditional that combines natural herbs and spices with Asian healing techniques, to the more modern papaya and pineapple body wraps, caviar hand and body therapy and pearl facial masks.

If you don’t want to travel too far, check out the spa at your hotel. Alternatively, head over to these spas which may just be some of the best in the country – The Spa Village at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Swasana Spa at the Impiana KLCC, The Spa at Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur, The Mandara Spa at Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa and the Signature Spa at Shangri-La Hotel Putrajaya. If you’re heading to other parts of the country, rest assured that most Malaysian resorts are fitted with top spa facilities too.

When in Malaysia, do what the locals love to do – EAT. The three major cuisines in Malaysia are Malay, Chinese and Indian; combined, they have never failed to delight and satisfy the gastronomic cravings of visitors to the country with incredible variety and flavours. Malay food in general is rich with herbs like lemongrass, tamarind, chillies, ginger, onion and garlic. Indian food on the other hand is very much a marriage of spices and a mix of northern and southern Indian cuisines. Indian food has also assimilated with Malay recipes resulting in Mamak food. Similarly, the Chinese cuisine has assimilated with Malay to bring forth Nyonya cuisine.

There is no doubt that Malaysia is a food haven. Food outlets open early and extend till late night and prices ranges from cheap to expensive, depending on where you eat and what you order. Some local favourites to look out for include Nasi Lemak, which is rice cooked in coconut milk with condiments ranging from hard-boiled egg, peanuts, vegetables, lamb/chicken/or beef curry, seafood and sambal (chili-based sauce); Laksa, noodles in spicy-sour fish/prawn broth and Satay, delicious marinated meat on a stick, grilled to perfection and served with peanut sauce. Foodies can’t go wrong either with the Roti Canai, a fluffy piece of bread eaten by dipping into gravies. Another favourite is the Char Kway Teow, which is flat rice noodles fried with soy sauce, chillies, cockles, bean sprouts, Chinese chives, prawns and egg.

The Rendang is a lovely moist meat dish of chicken or beef, cooked with coconut milk and spices. During festive seasons, it is usually eaten with Lemang (glutinous rice cooked in a hollowed bamboo stick) or Ketupat Nasi (steamed pressed rice).  To round off a rich Malaysian meal, try the delicious Ais Kacang, a shaved ice dessert filled with red beans, palm seeds and cubed jellies drizzled with creamed corn, condensed milk, Gula Melaka or palm sugar and coloured syrups.

So, a visit to Malaysia, especially during Visit Malaysia Year 2014 promises to be exciting and eventful. Make time to visit all the colourful tourist spots, on and off the beaten tracks and eat to your heart’s content. Do try something new every day, and most of all, create lasting memories of a fantastic and unforgettable holiday to take home with you.

Comment on this Article:







Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Platinium Partnership

ADVERTISEMENTS

Elite Partnership Sponsors

ADVERTISEMENTS

Premier Partnership Sponsors

ADVERTISEMENTS

Official Media Event Partner

ADVERTISEMENTS

Global Travel media endorses the following travel publication

ADVERTISEMENTS

GLOBAL TRAVEL MEDIA VIDEOS