Mesmerising Redang

Mesmerising Redang

Malaysia has very beautiful island resorts that deserve to be promoted.
Not many people, for example, knew that the Hong Kong-Chinese movie, “Love You You” was shot on the Summer Bay Lang Tengah Island Resort.

Malaysia has very beautiful island resorts that deserve to be promoted.
Not many people, for example, knew that the Hong Kong-Chinese movie, “Love You You” was shot on the Summer Bay Lang Tengah Island Resort.

For several years, we have returned to this beautiful part of the East Coast off Terengganu, which is well-known for its islands such as Redang, Pulau Kapas, Pulau Perhentian and Lang Tengah, especially after experiencing the magnificent marine park.

We stayed at Lang Tengah some eight years ago. The clear sea water was simply inviting for anyone to jump into the sea but I especially loved it when we could see the colourful marine fish coming to us the moment we threw some bread into the water.

That had given me a longing desire to return to this part of the world, so we decided to return. In fact, Redang and Perhentian here are among the three islands besides Tioman which are highly recommended by ExpatsGo.

We were there last year at Redang Bay Resort; but this last trip which was just a week ago for four days / three nights was the best so far, as my wife managed to get a room at a very attractive subsidized rate at The Taaras Beach and Spa Resort, Redang. It is worth checking out their package.

The resort is definitely worth another visit, if we get the chance, to explore further its facilities and, of course, to laze around on its private beach overlooking a most spectacular bay. It is simply mesmerising.

In fact, The Taaras is one place that I would highly recommend to mother-and-son, 42-year-old Cheng Chau Yang and her eight-year-old son who are currently stranded in Shanghai over a questionable court’s travel ban preventing them from leaving China.

I have been advising the family, and hopefully with the help of foreign minister, Anifah Aman, they will soon return to their homeland by end of September.

At The Taaras, I also met a middle-aged couple who had stayed at the resort on a number of occasions. Pointing to a beautiful boat docked near the beach, they told me that’s they have just sailed in all the way from France. Never mind the sun, it was smiles all over on their faces.

Swimming with the turtles.
This time around, the biggest satisfaction was to go out on island hopping, where we were brought to a special spot, where the kids got a chance to swim with the turtles.

Swimming with the turtles.
This time around, the biggest satisfaction was to go out on island hopping, where we were brought to a special spot, where the kids got a chance to swim with the turtles.

On previous excursions, we did enjoy the marine park, but on this particular island hopping, for the first time we were introduced to the friendly turtles; for this, I would recommend this operator Asmadi Redang (+60 13-928 5002/016-9215002).

The only downside is that they did not bring us to the Marine Park, but on further discussion with Asmadi while writing this article, he agrees that locals would like to at least be able to say they have spent some time at the Marine Park and he would include Marine Park for all his trips. Foreign tourists, he added, are more interested in the quiet locations.

According to the boat skipper, Jojo was the first of the turtles to become very tame; soon, the others also followed along. Over here in Terengganu, apart from the giant leatherback sea turtle which is also known to locals as Penyu Belimbing found mainly in Rantau Abang, there are also the other three marine turtles namely the Green, Hawksbill, and Olive ridley turtles. 

With that, we have four out of a total of seven marine turtle species in the world! Snorkelling and swimming with the turtles is both educational and fun for the kids as they learn that sea creatures and humans can co-exist and enjoy each other’s presence when they could touch the turtles when going on snorkelling.

The ones that we saw on this trip were the green turtles which are also known to islanders as penyu Agar, penyu Pulau or penyu Hitam. Its scientific name is Chelonia mydas.

The skipper even caught a nemo to show them, but thankfully, the nemo was allowed to return to its habitat after some nice photography session with the kids. Guests also get to touch the sea cucumber if they ask for it.

Something to look out for are the baby sharks near to the Long Beach. According to a reviewer on TripAdvisor, if you stay at Redang Reef Resort, you can even snorkel basically anywhere near the beach. “You can just walk a bit towards the sea and you will see fishes and marine life immediately. We got the chance to see baby sharks.” See the other reviews here.

Because they provide safety jackets, even children as young as five or six years old can learn to float in water with some supervision by their parents.

The marine fish here are colourful and really beautiful and children would be fascinated when they see the sea creatures in real life. Yes, nothing beats the real thing, not even the Walt Disney’s Nemo.

On hindsight, I should have let my kids watch the movie again before the trip to Redang in order to fire up their imagination. It is a great opportunity to teach them to love the environment.

There are several jetties here in Kuala Terengganu
depending on which resort you are living in but the two more common ones are Shahbandar and Merang.

There are several jetties here in Kuala Terengganu
depending on which resort you are living in but the two more common ones are Shahbandar and Merang.

Shahbandar Jetty is just about a kilometre away from the express bus station and to get there, you can use either Uber, Grab or the normal taxis (which you do have to negotiate the prices with the taxi drivers).

Merang jetty is closer to Redang but it is 40 minutes away from the Kuala Terengganu on the road, but I would not recommend using private speed boat during the end of the year when the current is strong. It is also doubtful that they have public insurance since these are mainly private speed boats.

It is important to book the ferry tickets first to avoid any disappointments especially during peak seasons. The one that we booked the tickets for this recent trip is Sejahtera Ferry Services Sdn Bhd where we find the seats more comfortable and it is licensed and come with public insurance. You can contact them at 016-416-8800 (Mr.Yap) or email them at [email protected] with cost RM55 for adults and RM30 for children.


is an ordinary citizen with an avid interest in writing about interesting tourist spots and places to eat.

Tropicana Fills the Market Gap with Reasonably Priced Homes for the Modern Urbanite

Tropicana Fills the Market Gap with Reasonably Priced Homes for the Modern Urbanite

Tropicana Fills the Market Gap with Reasonably Priced Homes for the Modern Urbanite

The unveiling of Tropicana Corporation Berhad’s new brand extension, Tropicana Urban Homes shows the developer’s dedication to fill the growing consumer need for high quality, accessibly priced homes.

2017 has seen a booming Malaysian population and among the highest numbers of young working class adults in recent history.

This has led more attentive developers such as Tropicana to cater to the market segment, building property to suit the needs and buying power of these home seeking adults.

“Tropicana Urban Homes was conceptualised with young buyers, middle-income professionals, aspiring homeowners and new families in mind, who are priced out of the traditional property market. ”

said Dato’ Yau Kok Seng, Group CEO of Tropicana

According to the Malaysian department of statistics, the Median age for the Malaysian population is now 28 years old, signaling a higher number of working class adults who are around the age when the purchase of a home is among their top priorities.

Tropicana, announcing the launch of its newest portfolio expansion under its Tropicana Urban Homes collection, has said that the development will see a total of 1791 modern apartment units at two of its award winning townships, Tropicana Aman in Kota Kemuning and Tropicana Heights in Kajang.

The developer recognized the need for young working class adults to be based near the city, as transportation and length of travel time continue to be one of the segment’s top concerns. This has led to the strategic selection of the development’s location.

Tropicana Aman is linked to six major highways including KESAS, the Federal Highway, LKSA, ELITE, and SKVE. The Tropicana Heights township is also conveniently 4km away from a transportation hub that harbours both, KTM and MRT stations.


The target demographic of young adults and families have been faced with skyrocketing property prices, properties now see prices ranging from RM 500, 000 and above without a corresponding increase in wages.

Tropicana’s development of Aman 1 and Heights 1 counters the average overpriced home and sees a starting price of a mere RM236, 000, making it the sensible choice for the home buyer.

Through extensive market research, the developer has also found and catered to the demand for self-contained townships and has designed Tropicana Aman and Tropicana Heights to be self sustainable so that every possible amenity is within reach.

Tropicana’s idea behind the concept of a self contained township has led to the incorporation of amenities and facilities such as world class educational hubs, Central parks, Neighbourhood commercial spaces, and recreational hubs within the townships. This caters to the unique needs of young home buyers and families alike.

With the increasing gentrification of the congested city areas, property prices within KL have skyrocketed so that green lungs within developments are now a rarity.

But Tropicana Aman brings with the development a huge 85-acre central park which acts as not only a green lung, but also a recreational space with a with a linear lake and a centrally-located Clubhouse, ringed by a 100-feet wide tree-lined boulevard.

The Tropicana Aman township has also been designed to be a walking and biking community. This has been achieved through the incorporation of a 7km long walking / biking trail to encourage a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. 10 link-bridges and 17 beautiful pavilions are also spread across the Central Park for the enjoyment of Tropicana Aman’s residents.

Tropicana Heights also follows suit with 16 acres being dedicated to the creation of a Central Park that features a 750 meter linear lake, seamless pedestrian walkways, jogging and bicycle tracks, all complemented by beautiful landscaping and parkland views.

Both developments have taken into consideration the various lifestyles of its residents and have catered in layouts suited to both families, and single working adults. Heights 1 consists of 1025 units that vary in size ranging from 449 sq ft to 1783 sq ft while Aman 1 consists of 766 units and is split into two sizes, 870 sq ft, and 1000 sq ft.

These two maiden launches under the Tropicana Urban Homes collection is slated for a 2017 year-end release date.

For Tropicana Aman enquiries:

Call 1700 81 8868

or visit the Tropicana Aman Property Gallery

For Tropicana Heights enquiries:

Call 1700 81 9566

or visit the Tropicana Heights Show Village

K-drama in Winter Olympics!

K-drama in Winter Olympics!

K-drama in Winter Olympics!

Lu Wei Hoong | 17 March 2017
Of late, “Goblin” has been the craze word among K-drama fans.

No, it isn’t the monstrous creature from European folklore, but a handsome and immortal character played by the charismatic Gong Yoo, known for his lead role in Train to Busan.

The character is from the South Korean drama “Gaurdian: The Lonely and Great God“, or simply referred to as “Goblin“, which has emerged as the second highest rated drama on Korean cable television.


The drama, available on Kuala Lumpur-based streaming service iFlix, has also sent Malaysian K-drama fans into a frenzy.

The wildly popular and unorthodox drama features several iconic scenes which have driven tourists to flock to its filming sites.

Many of the iconic scenes were filmed in the South Korean province of Gangwon, where its city PyeongChang also happens to be hosting the Winter Olympics 2018.

One such location is Jumunjin breakwater located at 1609, Haeanro, Jumunjin-eup, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do.

In the romantic yet melancholic scene, the goblin who goes by the name Kim Shin, meets his destined bride for the first time, who is also fated to return him to ashes.

The beautiful Kim Go-eun plays the bride Ji Eun-tak, who is able to see ghosts.

Eun-tak was draped in a red scarf while holding a bouquet of buckwheat flower when she meets the goblin as the waves crash into the rocky platform they stood on.

Local merchants have started selling similar red scarves and flowers for a growing number of tourists visiting the site to reenact the scene.

Another iconic scene was filmed at Yongpyong Ski Resort, a 40 minutes drive away from the Juminjin beach.

The resort is located at 32-950, 715, Olympic-ro, Daegwanryeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do.

Featured in episode nine, Eun-tak who works at the resort rides, rides a cable car with the goblin.

The breathtaking scenery of the snowy mountain featured in the drama is equally is not more stunning when witnessed in person.

Stretching 7.4 kilometers, it is South Korea’s longest sightseeing cable car and takes some 20 minutes to ascend to Mount Balwangsan, which is 1,458 meters above sea level.

Below, snow sports enthusiast can be seen crisscrossing down the white slope past pine forests.

At the top, known as the Dragon Peak, are swiss-style chalets and South Korea’s first ski resort which opened in 1975.

The peak, which hosts ten giant wind turbines, offers a panoramic view of the region.

Coincidentally, Yongpyong resort was also the set for Winter Sonata, another hit series in 2002 which was also well-received in Malaysia.

Apart from Gangwon’s natural beauty being featured in dramas, the province also plays host to significant historical sites such as the Ojukheon House, located at Yulgok-ro 3139beon-gil, Gyeongpo-dong, Gangneung-si, Kangwon, Tel: +82-33-660-3301~3308.

The location was featured in the historical drama “Shin Saimdang: Memoirs of Colours“, currently being aired on Korean television.

The story follows the life of Shin, mother of a prominent 16th-century scholar Yulgok Yi.

Being a rare well-educated woman during the Joseon dynasty, Shin raised Yulgok into a scholar, who went on to become defense minister and foresaw the Japanese invasion of the Korean peninsular 100 years later.

Thriving for historical accuracy, the drama was set at Ojukheon House, the very place where Shin was born and lived some 500 years ago.

The well-preserved wooden structure, surrounded by pine trees and black bamboo, records the life of Shin and her son.

The site also gives a glimpse of the Joseon dynasty, with bank notes from that era on display as well as a bronze statue of Yulgok.

Shin on bank note

Yulgok Yi statue

Just a 10 minutes walk away is the Seongyojong House (Address: 63, Unjeong-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, Tel: +82-33-648-5303), which was also featured in the historical drama.

Shin, played by Lee Young Ae, was said to have met her lover there.

The historical drama is Lee’s first debut in 14 years following her appearance in the hugely successful historical drama “A Jewel in the Palace“.

Lee is also the ambassador for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018.

This trip was sponsored by Gangwon-do Province and Korea Tourism Organisation

Rivers in Bayan Lepas are severely polluted

Rivers in Bayan Lepas are severely polluted

Rivers in Bayan Lepas are severely polluted

SM Mohamed Idris | 16 March 2017
The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) urges the City Council of Penang Island (MBPP) and the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID) to take urgent action to address the pollution of the Keluang and Nipah Rivers near Bayan Lepas.

The pollution of these two rivers for the past 10 years has caused the water of both the rivers to become black and muddy. The rivers are not only an eyesore and revolting, but also emit a nauseating stench.

The pollution problem arises from the discharge of waste from industrial plants, residential area, business premises, workshops, animal waste and human excrement. Subsequently, downstream of both these rivers are likely dead without any living being in it.

CAP’s survey found the river water to be greasy and its surface filled with garbage and other waste that had settled. CAP was surprised to find that people living near the Keluang River jetty had built toilets and defecate into the river.

CAP is concerned that if the problem is not addressed now, the pollution of the rivers will worsen in the future and may affect public health and threaten marine life in the nearby sea.

CAP also urges the Department of Environment (DOE) and the Health Department to investigate this pollution and conduct frequent monitoring visits to ensure that manufacturers comply with the Environmental Quality Act 1974 and its regulations and that the public do not dump rubbish and excrement into the river.

CAP is appalled by this incident and hopes that the state government, local authorities, departments, and agencies play a more effective role, including enforcing the relevant laws to ascertain that the rivers in the state are pollution-free.

SM MOHAMED IDRIS is president, Consumers Association of Penang (CAP).

Fresh crab, bibimbap and crunchy Hangwa

Fresh crab, bibimbap and crunchy Hangwa

Fresh crab, bibimbap and crunchy Hangwa

2018 Korea's Winter Olympics

Lu Wei Hoong | 15 March 2017

For Malaysians, Korean barbecue and kimchi are probably be the first things that come to mind when discussing about Korean food.

These dishes are typical of many local restaurants in Klang Valley offering a taste of South Korea.

However, nothing beats an authentic experience and the upcoming Winter Olympics 2018 poses an opportunity.

While the focus of attention may be in the host city of PyeongChang, the wider province of Gangwon promises to offer a delightful culinary experience.

Being a thriving agricultural province with a coastline of over 200km, it has more to offer than the mundane, including an abundance of seafood.

One such gem of a restaurant is Daegewangguk.

Restaurant name: Daegewangguk
Address: 55, Saecheonnyeon-doro, Samcheok-si, Gangwon-do
Tel: +82-33-573-8185

Daegewangguk, literally meaning the Kingdom of Crab, offers a rich selection of crustaceans dishes.

At the restaurant, guests are greeted with a tray of nine kinds of appetisers, including fresh prawns, baby octopus, mussel and quail eggs.

A popular main dish here is its steamed red snow crab.

The shells of the palm-sized crabs are broken up and neatly placed on a plate, allowing diners to easily savour the succulent meat instead of having to deal with the hassle of a crab mallet.

The legs of the crabs are also removed and broken up and can be easily eaten with the aid of a scissor.

Another must have is its crab meat soup and crab shell fried rice.

Bibimpap-variety of vegetable

Away from the coast, the Taebaek mountainous region produces a variety of vegetables which are used in Bibimpap, a traditional Korean mixed rice.

Restaurant name: Jeong Gang Won (serves authentic Bibimpap)
Address: 21 Baekokpo-ri, Yongpyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do
Tel: +82-33-333-1011

Similar to the ‘lousang‘ concept in Klang Valley back home, diners can mix the myriad of ingredients before tucking in. The ingredients include shredded mushroom, cucumber, turnip, carrot, bean sprouts, spinach and five other vegetables. They are simultaneously poured into a giant wooden bowl filled with rice, along with gochujang chili sauce and sesame oil. After being tossed around, the dish is completed with a seasoning of seaweed.

The restaurant only uses the freshest vegetables from the region and diners can savour in its crunchiness.

Diners with a penchant for spiciness can add on brown chili sauce.

Hundreds of Onggi earthenware can be seen in the dining hall, which is used by the restaurant to produce its own brown chili sauce, red chili paste and kimchi which complements the Bibimpap.

They come with side dishes including kimchi, pickled turnip and lotus root.

Hangwa dessert maybe?

After the scrumptious meals, diners may want try a traditional Korean dessert, the Hangwa.

Galgol Hangwa Village is well-known for this dish.

Restaurant name: Galgol Hangwa Village
Address: 446, Nodong-ri, Sacheon-myeon, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do.

In Korean culture, Hangwa is a festival food, served in wedding receptions, parties and paying homage to ancestors.

In the past, it was considered a rare confectionery for commoners.

Choi Hyung Jun, a fifth generation owner of the restaurant, said the popular sweet was even banned during the 1960s to 1980s on grounds of saving rice.

“The government had difficulty taxing small businesses selling the sweet, so they banned it.

“My father had to sell it secretly,” he said.

These dishes and treat are only a taste of what the province of Gangwon has to offer for an authentic Korean experience.

This trip was sponsored by Gangwon-do Province and Korea Tourism Organisation

Cool breezing experience watching athlete

Cool breezing experience watching athlete

Cool breezing experience watching athlete

PyeongChang Winter Olympics

Lu Wei Hoong | 13 March 2017

Ever thought about escaping the hot and humid weather of Malaysia for something different? Perhaps somewhere with winter for a change of scenery?

PyeongChang, 180km east of the South Korean capital of Seoul, would be a timely destination as it gears up for the Winter Olympics 2018.

The city is busy preparing a hospitable welcome for visitors with a new high speed rail, upgrades to hotels as well as a brand new stadium.

It is a six-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to Incheon International Airport.

From there, the new Korean Train Express bullet train service, due to be completed in late 2017, will allow visitors to get to PyeongChang in just two hours.


At PyeongChang, visitors can enjoy the sights of snowy mountains and smell the breeze of fresh air.

PyeongChang is located within the province of Gangwon-do, which has a thriving agriculture industry.

Apart from the natural sights PyeongChang has to offer, the city is also pulling all the stops for an Winter Olympics experience to be remembered.

The upcoming Winter Olympics will take place from Feb 9 to 25, 2018.

Ahead of the games, the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics Centre, (address: 131, Nanseolheon-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do, 25466) offers an early experience.

The sporting events are split into two clusters, namely the PyeongChang mountainous cluster and Gangneung coastal cluster.

PyeongChang will be the focal point of all snow sports, hosting the Alpensia Sports Park, Alpensia Sliding Centre, Yongpyong Alpine Centre, Jeongseon Alpine Centre and Bokwang Snow Park.

Within the Alpensia Sports Park are a ski jumping centre, biathlon centre and cross-country skiing centre.

Most importantly, it is also where the 35,000-capacity Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium is located.

A main attraction within the PyeongChang cluster is the Bokwang Snow Park. (Address: 1095, Myeonon-ri, Bongpyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Kangwon), a popular resort for ski sports lovers.

With an annual snowfall of 210cm, visitors can enjoy uninterrupted skiing from November up until March.

Skiing and snowboarding are common sports for locals at the resort which has opened its doors for 22 years.

It will also be the place where athletes show off their free style skiing and and snowboarding skills for the Winter Olympics.

The Alpensia Sports Park (Address: 225-3 Yongsan-ri, Daekwallyeong-myeon,Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do) will play host to six sports, namely cross-country skiing, nordic combined, biathlon, bobsleigh, luge and ski jumping.

The ski-jumping range has the stunning Baekdusan Mountain ridges as backdrop, a major national park in South Korea.

Organisers have made it a point to ensure that all venues are accessible within a short drive.

The Olympics Centre’s public engagement team project manager Jasmine Lim said the compact concept was a result of lessons learnt in two previous unsuccessful bids to host the Winter Olympics in 2010 and 2014.

In the two previous bids, PyeongChang narrowly lost the to Vancouver and Sochi respectively.

From the PyeongChang mountainous cluster, it is around a 30 minute ride by coach to the Gangneung coastal cluster.

In Gangneung, much of the venues are concentrated within its Olympic Park which hosts a hockey centre, oval, ice arena and curling centre. It also hosts the Kwandong Hockey Centre.

At the Gangneung Ice Arena, visitors can witness graceful skaters taking to the ice to the tune of soft musics and if they wish, toss flower bouquets or soft toys into the arena as a sign of appreciation for the performance.

After three tries, PyeongChang is set to become only the second Asian city to host the Winter Olympics after Japan’s Sapporo.

The city aspires to capitalise on the prestigious sporting event to become an Asian winter sports hub.

So if you’re up for a unique getaway, PyeongChang beckons.

This trip was sponsored by Gangwon-do Province and Korea Tourism Organisation

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