Thursday, April 4, 2019

D is for Durian

D is for Durian... that thorny fruit that tastes like heaven but smells like hell (to some).

If you visit Malaysia at the 'right' time when local fruits are ripe for the picking, second to third quarter of the year, you just might catch a whiff of some strange aroma in the air. Yep, that's our 'King of Fruits', the durian.

This is one fruit you either love it or hate it, even for locals.

Malaysian durians have grown in popularity in the last few years so much so durian fruit tourism is gaining traction. People travel on guided tours from as far as China, Taiwan and even the U.S. (I kid you not!) to savour the Malaysian durian when it is in season.

Prices of this fruit (which is sold by weight) has soared significantly as a result of its popularity. Malaysia now exports a bulk of the produce overseas mainly to China. A good amount of the fruit also ends up down south in Singapore where the fruit is just as popular.

The better species like the popular Musang King could go as high as between RM85 to RM100 (approx between USD21 to USD25) per kg. Each fruit can weigh from between 800gm to one-and-a-half kg. Durian-lovers look forward to a bountiful harvest each year which would result in a glut bringing prices down. We experienced that the last season.

Our durians come in different species ranging from the ordinary Kampung Durian to Red Prawn, D24, Musang King just to name a few. Durians in Malaysia are not plucked from the tree but are allowed to fall on their own when they ripen.

If you are wondering how a durian tree look like here are some images.. courtesy of Bing.

The durian fruit.. courtesy of Bing.

Come on! Give it a try when you are here. It's not that bad afterall. Richard Quest confirms it..

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

C is for Cameron Highlands

C is for Cameron Highlands.

Cameron Highlands or commonly referred to as 'Camerons', is one of two hill stations developed from the British colonial times which still stands today. I'll let Wikipedia take over..

'The Cameron Highlands were named after William Cameron, a British explorer and geologist [7] who was commissioned by the then colonial government to map out the Pahang-Perak border area in 1885.

In a statement concerning his mapping expedition, Cameron mentioned he saw “a sort of vortex on the mountains, while for a (reasonably) wide area we have gentle slopes and plateau land.”

When approached, Sir Hugh Low, the Resident of Perak (1887–1889), expressed the wish of developing the region into a "sanatorium, health resort and open farmland”. A narrow path to “Cameron’s Land” was then carved through the jungle. Nothing much happened after that.

Forty years later, the tableland was given another review when Sir George Maxwell (1871–1959) visited the locale to see if it could be turned into a resort. He spent about nine days surveying the territory. On his return from the highlands, Maxwell described the terrain as being “somewhat oval in shape.” After comparing it with Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka and Baguio in the Philippines, he decreed that the site should be developed into a hill station.'

Tea plantation in Cameron Highlands

You can also read the entry on Cameron Highlands last year - map from Wiki and interesting video included.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

B is for Balloons - 10th Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2019

B is for Balloons.

Even though a small nation, Malaysia plays host to a number of world events, the latest being the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. This is held yearly and the last one being just last weekend.

This year, the 10th Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2019 was held from March 28 to March 31 at Precinct 2, Putrajaya.

We had the honour of Mr Hirosuke Takezawa who is a world record-holder. Hirosuke Takezawa has seen much of the world from a bird’s-eye view.

The veteran pilot has flown hot air balloons in several countries and has even crossed the snowy caps of the Himalayas during his travels in the skies.

His latest adventure has brought him to Malaysia where Takezawa is taking part in this 10th Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2019.

Admission to the event is free and interested visitors could visit the event’s website ( for more information.


Monday, April 1, 2019

A to Z Challenge 2019 - 10th Anniversary - A is for Asia

The A to Z Challenge 2019 is a celebration of its 10th Anniversary. So Happy Anniversary A to Z Challenge and to all participants this year!

That's part of the reason I'm joining this year - the 10th Anniversary.

The other part is I'd like to complete the theme I signed up for last year but never did complete the challenge. The theme is carried forward so to speak to this year. It is still on Malaysia - what's available here, what you can see and do if you are planning a trip to this tropical paradise (ahem!).

Alright, without much ado, let's begin, shall we?

I pick Asia for A this time around. A for Air Asia in last year's challenge.

Why did I pick Asia you may ask. Several years ago I was on holiday in Australia and New Zealand and the nice gentleman at a train ticket counter asked where I was from and when I said 'Malaysia', he was like 'Where? Is it (he named a country)'. I then realized that more people need to know where Malaysia is. I'm just doing a small part.

In case you too are not sure where Malaysia is, it is in ASIA like here...

The image above is courtesy of Wikipedia.

The capital city of Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur and the administrative capital (seat of government) is Putrajaya. However, Kuala Lumpur remains the largest city in Malaysia.

The official and national language here is Malay but English is widely spoken here, so no worries there if you have a concern about communication when you are here.

According to a 2017 census, the population here is over 32 million and are made up of four main Ethnic groups:

68.8% Bumiputera (Natives and Malay)
23.2% Chinese
7.0% Indian
1.0% Others

More information can be obtained on Wikipedia.

All that's for A. And on to B..