Tourism Pahang Blogger

I was invited on Saturday (28th July) to join a Tourism Pahang Blogger colloquium organised by Tourism Pahang, in Kuantan, Pahang. The event kicked-off at 3pm with a speech by Dato’ Shafik Fauzan bin Shariff, the Pahang State Minister for Tourism Malaysia. Pahang Tourism is handled by Fraser’s Hill Development Corporation (Perbadanan Kemajuan Bukit Fraser – PKBF).

Other blogger friends that were also invited include Yafielda, Jard, Rayyan and Lilyriani. All of them are also the Malaysian Travel Bloggers members.


Dato’ Shafik Fauzan

In his welcoming speech, Dato’ Shafik explains about Pahang’s plan to boost its tourism sector with the help of bloggers. He added that traditionally, the tourism body has mainstream media to spread tourism information and activities but however, as part of the efforts to boost tourism industry this year, they decided to invite the new social media — bloggers. Stating about the state’s ‘naivety’ about social media, Dato’ Shafik said that he is open to any suggestions by bloggers to help improve tourism in the state. He explains that bloggers are very powerful when it comes to dissemination of  information as they often come equipped with social sharing tools such as twitter, facebook, etc and that they exert strong influence, reaching millions of people.

During the colloquium (informal meeting), bloggers were presented with information about Tourism Pahang website by the CEO of Secretlab.Media, Mohd Khairul Azizi Mohd Razali. Azizi emphasised the importance of social media and he revealed the fact that previously, the global ranking for the Tourism Pahang is 13M. When his company was given the task to revamp the website, he integrated social media buttons such as twitter, facebook, foursquare, G+1 and many more for easy sharing. Now, Tourism Pahang website’s rank has improved to 3M and as such, it is hoped that it will improve when bloggers shared their articles on the website. This feature is still under testing and will be released soon.

There were also talks about blogging basics by two Pahang-based bloggers, Azwan and Fatin Suhana.

Tourism Pahang is considering to organise many interesting activities (as per suggestion by bloggers during the meeting) including familiarisation tour for bloggers, contests, blogger’s award and many more. Apart from that, Tourism Pahang which has yet to launch its newly revamped website, is very much excited to invite bloggers to join the launch soon.

Pahang, situated on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, is blessed with a variety of natural and cultural attractions. It is a home to Malaysia’s national Park as well as three major highlands, namely Genting Highland, Cameron Highland and Fraser’s Hill. Apart from the highlands, Pahang boasts some 210 kilometers of shoreline that includes the famous Cherating beach. For marine life fans, there is Tioman. The island park is teeming with an assortment of exotic marine life that turn the colorful coral reefs as their homes.

I am planning to explore more of Pahang soon. Being a Pahang-born blogger, I feel that I need to explore my birth state. My recent trips to Fraser’s Hill and Deerland Park (Gandah Elephant post still in draft) were some of the starters.

 

 

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Wrapper design under Foldees brand

It has been 4 years now that Foldees carried my card designs.

my cards at foldees

From selling online to retail outlets throughout Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, Foldees is now adding another product other than cards—gift wrapper. I thought this is a great idea and agreed right away to come up with few designs. So…am working on to submit some designs, here’s one:

Although royalty is quite small, I believe that it is better to have something than nothing. It’s fun to see how my designs can grow money. I don’t always ‘water’ them but yeah, the ‘gardener’ did a great job keeping them alive.

 

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Frankfurt Book Fair 2012

My publisher friend, Linda, is going to promote selected books from Malaysia and will be meeting with publishers around the world at Frankfurt Bookfair 2012 for the possibilities to license the books to be published worldwide. In fact she has been doing this not only in Frankfurt but also other bookfairs around the world.

I would love to see, experience and appreciate her noble effort for the past few years and for that I decided to attend Frankfurt Bookfair 2012. My books (hopefully with some merchandise items) will be included and I hope to assist Linda and learn about the licensing process. I hope to find some inspirations too for my next books; more likely in the children and travel category.

I have also been accredited a journalist/blogger pass for the bookfair and am excited to be there and blog about the bookfair on location as well.

For your information, The Frankfurt Book Fair is a meeting place for the industry’s experts. Be they publishers, booksellers, agents, film producers or authors – each year in October, they all come together and create something new.

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the most important marketplace for books, media, rights and licences worldwide. About 7,400 exhibitors from 106 countries, 280,194 visitors and over 10,000 journalists. The history of the Frankfurt Book Fair dates back to the 15th century, when Johannes Gutenberg first invented movable type – only a few kilometres down the road from Frankfurt.

Frankfurt remained the central and undisputed European book fair city through to the 17th century. In the course of political and cultural upheaval, in the 18th century Leipzig then came to play the part. In 1949, that early Frankfurt book fair tradition was given a new lease of life: 205 German exhibitors assembled on Sept. 18-23 in Frankfurt’s Paulskirche for the first post-War book fair.

More than 60 trade-fair years later, the Frankfurt Book Fair is the largest of its kind in the world – and the hallmark for global activities in the field of culture.

Copyright of logo: Frankfurt Book Fair

I hope to blog daily from Frankfurt but before that happens I have yet to find sponsors for flight and accommodation though. Do e-mail me at emilayusof@gmail.com if you are interested to be my sponsor; it can be in monetary form to help me buy tickets or book room as well as buy travelling gadgets/gears or clothing. I can offer banner ad spots on my sidebar for 6 months as well as credit mention on my blog posts.

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Exotic animals at Deerland Park, Lanchang, Pahang

Visiting Deerland Park in Lanchang, Pahang not only gives the opportunity to meet deers, but to also to meet a collection of pheasants like Golden Pheasant, Vulturine Guineafowl, common pheasants, other type of birds like quails, cockatiel, Mandarin duck as well as the four-legged ones; ferret, Bengal cat, Guinea pigs, rabbits not to mention the hissing ones; couple of pythons.

I found that these two pheasants have very interesting plumage so I took them as subjects for my pen drawing.

Golden Pheasant caught my attention as it has a very beautiful intense shimmering plumage. The crest is in golden yellow and rump and bright red body. The deep orange “cape” or tippets can be spread in display, appearing as an alternating black and orange fan that covers all of the face except its bright yellow eye, with a pinpoint black pupil. According to the keeper, this pheasant is not that friendly despite it’s beautiful plumage. When it saw me aiming my camera, it came darting across the lawn and walk non-stop and made it hard for me to take the picture. Unlike Golden Pheasant, Vulturine Guineafowl has primarily bright blue body with interesting black and white streaks and  dots on the back feathers. There is a band of tiny brown feathers on the back of its head and the eyes are fiercely red.

My son was in awe with the cute quails and the keeper told me that these were the meat-type not the egg-laying type. He also added that meat-type quails are bigger than egg-laying ones.

After walking around the corner of this quail area, I saw a couple of creepy crawlies! I dared not go near but my son and his dad went near and touched them! Yikes. I ran—like quail—away from the pythons and later got to meet a cockatiel.


Photo captured by my husband.

 I looove this cockatiel! It has orange blush spot, so cute. I must draw this cute bird in color when time permits.

Cockatiel is an exotic bird, popular for its attractive yellow crest, bright orange patch in its cheeks and its long sleek tail. Cockatiel is usually gray colored, however, some domesticated cockatiel breeds are found in colors of yellow, peach, gray, orange and white.

And later we got to see Bengal cat sleeping. I called tsktskstsk (the sound when one calling out to cat) but it ignored, must be in deep slumber. The Bengal is actually a nocturnal loner and very shy—that explains why it was in deep slumber. The Bengal is a hybrid breed of cat, formed by the cross of a domestic feline and an Asian leopard cat (ALC). The Bengal cat has large spots, rosettes, and a light/white belly, and a body structure reminiscent of the ALC.

Next, we got to feed rabbits!

Later we got to see pretty Mandarin ducks. I love the plumage, so beautiful. This will be my next pen drawing subject too.

You see the pretty one in the middle? It’s the male one; the female ones are those two having not so attractive plumage. The male duck has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and “whiskers”. The breast is purple with vertical white bars, and the flanks ruddy, with two orange “sails” at the back. The female is similar to female Wood Duck, with a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye, but is paler below, has a small white flank stripe, and a pale tip to its bill.

And the mandarin duck ends our trip around Deerland Park. We really had great time here getting to know more animals. We waved goodbye to the animals and dropped some donation to support them before we leave.

 

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Pulau Ketam, Selangor

Spontaneous trip is always fun. The art of not planning is what makes it more exciting.

Few weeks back on Sunday, my family and I went to Pulau Ketam after a morning walk at a park. It was unplanned and I mentioned to my husband that I would love to go and look what’s in Pulau Ketam and he said the magic word—let’s go. We took the Federal Highway and finding our way was easy, we just followed the signboards to Pulau Ketam Jetty.

We bought tickets at the price of RM7 per adult and RM4 per children (one way). 3 adults and 1 kid, to and fro = RM50. We boarded a ferry with a capacity of  at least 70 passengers. Interesting trip as it took us through Pulau Klang to reach Pulau Ketam. The narrow channel is covered in mangrove swamp and is uninhabited.

We reached Pulau Ketam in about 40 minutes time. We saw a lot of crabs when we arrived at the jetty—now we know how the island got it’s name, Ketam means crabs.

We had our lunch there before going around the village for a walk. We were quite hungry and below were the first two dishes that arrived on our table. The rest came later and I totally forgot to snap pictures. Haha. There are a lot of seafood restaurants here and we picked one with a Bismillah signboard. It’s a Chinese restaurant that serves only seafood and I saw that a lot of Muslims came here to eat. I totally forgot the name of this restaurant. But if you come from the jetty, take Jalan Dua and look for a restaurant with the Bismillah sign, it’s on your right side.

After lunch, we went around the fishing village to look at how a fishing village look like mostly the area of Jalan Timur and Sungai Satu.  Pulau Ketam is equipped with almost all the basic facilities—there’s hospital, police station, surau, fire station, power station, post office, bank, hotel and shops. Pulau Ketam is free from traffic jam as the main transportation here is bicycle.

Pulau Ketam was founded when three Hainan fishermen from Bagan Hainan, Port Klang, arrived at Pulau Ketam catching crabs for their living. At first, they came and returned to Port Klang daily. The journey took almost a day, so they built a small house to stay overnight. In 1872, they decided to stay permanently and built a temple named “Chuan Eng Bio” located near Jalan Timur. In 1883, the population increased almost to hundred and major activities were catching crabs, fishes and prawns. Some of them built sundries shops, and fish dealer shops. The locals are mainly Teochew and Hoklo (Hokkien) Chinese, with Teochew, Hokkien and Mandarin Chinese the main dialects spoken.


Chuan Eng Bio temple.

As we explored further, we saw houses and more houses built on stilts. I found it interesting that some of the houses have paintings on top of their windows. It is not just new year painting posted on top of their windows during Chinese festivals but more like a permanent fixture of decoration. Some of the houses have hanging lanterns too. I guess other than hanging it during festivals, lantern continue to be a means of artistic expression, both in terms of functionality, design, and decoration.

We came to the end of Sungai Satu where we reached a fish-dealer jetty. Fish dealing was not in sight as we came about 3pm. I think the dealing is in the morning. We took a rest before heading back the same way to the jetty.

We did not  get to visit Floating Fish Farm is as we were already tired exploring the other part of the island. We will save the other part for later when time permits. I bought a map at Greenway‘s shop and perhaps I can take the Visit Fish Farm Package. For a trip for 4 persons, the price is RM60. The package will include around the island tour on a wooden boat before arriving at the Fish Farm. At the Fish Farm, there will be a tour guide to explain about fishes reared there. Or perhaps we can take the Day Time Fishing Package which cost about the same price. This will be interesting as my son, Yassin, is very keen on fishing. He has his own fishing rod.

References:
http://greenway2u.com/about.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulau_Ketam

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Glutinous rice with salted fish and grated coconut in Ampang for breakfast

It has been few months already that I frequented a local stall that serves Glutinous Rice with Salted Fish and Grated Coconut, or locally known as Pulut Ikan Masin dengan Kelapa Parut. I discovered the stall while driving in the vicinity of the place I live in looking for breakfast.

Gerai Cik Ani Goreng Pisang is the name of the stall. Previously, Cik Ani sells goreng pisang (fried bananas) only in the afternoon but throughout the years, she expanded her stall to serve more authentic dishes for breakfast, lunch and tea-time. My top favourite here is Pulut Ikan Masin.

Pulut Ikan Masin is very common in the upper east coast of Peninsular Malaysia as well as other parts of Southeast Asia; namely Thailand, Burma, Laos and Indonesia. A cup of glutinous rice has about 150 calories, 2 very small cut of salted-fish has about 50 calories and another 50 for a spoon of grated coconut. In total, a plate of Pulut Ikan Masin has about 200 calories. I am highlighting it in case you need to keep track of your daily calorie intake.

So, if you are craving for Pulut Ikan Masin, come to Bukit Belacan (Lembah Jaya Utara), Ampang, Selangor and look for Gerai Cik Ani Goreng Pisang. You can ask for additional spicy sambal if you like and the price for a plate is RM2. It is only available during breakfast time from 7am to 11am, Monday to Saturday.

Gerai Cik Ani Goreng Pisang is located at the main road of Jalan Bukit Belacan, just in front of the 4th building of Permai Flats where a musolla (surau) is situated. There is also a grocery shop in front of Gerai Cik Ani.

Gerai Cik Ani is a typical by the road-side stall with only canopies to cover our head from the sun and the rain.  Expect to see a view of the locals; some waiting for bus, some driving out and about doing their chores and some in sporty attire walking/jogging their way to the nearby Ampang Forest Reserve. The area is very much a residence area where you can see few blocks of flats, surau, small shops, small houses, big houses, lush forest or even trace of people climbing up a hill nearby to put up flags.Very interesting view to complement a plate Pulut Ikan Masin dengan Kelapa Parut.

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A visit to Deerland Park, Lanchang, Pahang

Frankly, I did not know a deer farm known as Deerland Park existed in Lanchang, Pahang. I discovered the place by chance.

My family and I, with a plan to visit Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, reached Lanchang at about 10am, Sunday, from Temerloh. We stopped by a restaurant somewhere in Kampung Chempaka Kanan to take our late breakfast and later bought some bottled water from grocery shop next door. The taukeh asked me whether I was going to visit the elephants. I said yes and he told me that the activities only start at 2pm. Since it was only 11am, he told me to visit Deerland Park and that the signs would lead me there. I thanked him for the information and told my husband about it. So, we followed the sign and found the place. When we parked, I saw a van full of tourists visiting the same place. I was a bit ashamed of myself; well, who wouldn’t? They came with a plan to visit the place while I, a Malaysian living in Malaysia, just discovered the place by chance. But I guess that is a good sign that tourists are given good information of where to go and what to visit.

We paid RM16 in total; RM12 for 2 adults, RM4 for a kid. We were given entry stickers (to stick on shirt) and a coupon for deer food. My son was really excited to feed the deers. At the enclosure, we exchanged the coupon and get two small baskets of deer food and fed the Javan Rusa deers. It was fun but deers can be quite aggressive sometimes. My purple shirt got chewed by a deer, probably mistaken me for purple sweet potato.


My son feeding Javan Rusa deer. 


Javan Rusa deers are principly found in deciduous forests, plantations and grasslands in the islands of Southeast Asia. Javan Rusa lives between 15 to 20 years and rarely do they live for more than 20 years.


The deer enclosure here at Deerland park is quite big to allow deers to move about freely. The front area of the enclosure is for visitors to feed deers while surrounding area is very much a forest.

Other than Javan Rusa deers, we got to see Sika deers and a mouse deer.


Sika deers are native to much of East Asia and introduced to various other parts of the world. Spot patterns vary with region. 


Greater mouse-deers are found in Sumatra, Borneo and smaller Malaysian and Indonesian islands, and in southern Myanmar, southern Thailand and peninsular Malaysia. They live near water, in tropical forests and mangrove thickets. They are terrestrial, but spend a lot of time in wet, swampy areas.

Deerland Park is a great place to visit. A trip to this petting park is an opportunity for animal lovers to get up-close and personal with deers as well as a variety of animals such as Golden Pheasant, Bengal Cat, Rabbits, Parakeets, Phytons and few others. I’ll cover this on another post.

Deerland Park opens daily (except Friday) from 10.30 am to 5.30pm. To get here from Kuala Lumpur, take the Karak Highway to Lanchang, passing Karak along the way. Once in Lanchang, turn left into the road just before the BP gas station, then follow the road signs that show the way to Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary. You will reach a junction where you can see a Deerland( 2km) road sign on your right.

http://www.deerland.org
http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Rusa_timorensis.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_mouse-deer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sika_deer

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