Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival to feature tai chi for wellness


KUCHING: The upcoming Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) from July 14-16 will feature tai chi sessions as part of its wellness programme.

In a statement yesterday, Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) said the sessions will be hosted by the Sarawak Shenlong Tai-Chi Chuan Society led by instructor Lai Cho Sin.

Open to all ages and any level of physical fitness, the tai chi sessions will be held in the mornings of the three-day festival at the Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) festival ground.

Tai chi is a mind-body exercise classified as a martial art, with principles of relaxation that can be applied in daily life.

Thanks to its low-impact and slow movements, tai chi is not taxing on the body.

The Sarawak Shenlong Tai-Chi Chuan Society was established in 1988 under master Wu Kuo-Chung.

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BeyondTheOffice: Mt. Kinabalu, You May Have Won the Battle, But If I Were Fitter, I Could Maybe Win the War


Mount Kinabalu

At 2am this morning the sky was clear, the stars were out and it seemed almost ashame to let a mountain with a crying problem defeat me.

So, with the help of a dry pair of pants (courtesy of our guide) and borrowed plastic bags to cover my socks in an attempt to keep my feet dry, I joined our group and trekked toward the summit.

We hiked in the dark for three hours, the ultimate sneak attack, somehow hoping that the mountain didn’t notice 105 headlamps pointed her way, or a 210 feet clamering about on what I can only assume was her chest cavity.

Miraculously, after pouring her heart out yesterday, she was feeling in a generous mood and rewarded our climb with ridiculously gorgeous views – she let every one of us trample on her rocks, pull on the ropes whose lines were drilled into her, and then scramble up her head to take pictures.

Incidentally, this was not a quick invasion – half way through the ropes bit, I thought my arms would give out, and by the time we got to the peak, we all needed to stop every five rocks. The invasion was more the “let’s plod along and see how we go” variety.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

BeyondTheOffice: A Message to Mt Kinabalu, Regarding a Truly Terrible Hike


Dear Mt. Kinabalu,

You may be the highest peak in South East Asia and maybe you’re used to hearing people say how beautiful you are, and how your views are stunning – but sometimes you need to hear from the people who you beat down, whose will power you took so easily, as though it were a muffin from a buffet table.

I’m sure on a normal day, hiking the 6km (as the crow flies) up to the lodge would be doable, and beautiful. It would be a day filled with clouds, giant trees, sunshine and sweaty people.

But, this was not a normal day – today you decided to pour out rain as though this were a rainforest plagued with a drought and you had one day to fix the problem.

Today was the day you made me question my faith in dry bags and anything sold as “water proof”.

Today was a day that would have had weathermen named “Storm” out in giant yellow ponchos to report on the extraordinary amount of rain and interview the 105 climbers on whether (ha) the rain was a factor in them being cold: “do you think you would be this cold if it werent raining nonstop for five hours?”

And then say, “now, back to the studio, where it’s dry as a hay stack in summer.”

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Sarawak - Always a welcoming state


THREE months ago, Eunice Sandi-Moyo led a delegation comprising members of the Zimbabwean industry and tourism players from the province of Bulawoyo to Malaysia to explore potential business collaborations.

The provincial affairs minister, together with her entourage, made a pit stop in Sarawak to search for an “indigenous set-up of cultural tourism” module, which perhaps, could be applied in Bulawayo, which is the second largest city in Zimbabwe.

Sandi-Moyo’s group did not know what to expect when they arrived at Kuching International Airport as the trip was their first to the Land of the Hornbills.

“All I see are wonders, including the warmth of the people here,” she said at a dinner hosted by the state government in conjunction with her visit on March 17.

All this while, she had only heard about and adored the greenery of the forests and richness of Sarawak’s biodiversity from advertisements on television and in magazines.

Her appreciation of natural resources was understandable as Bulawoyo is also the gateway to Matobo National Park — a 44,500ha reserve housing the Matobo Hills rock formations and stone age cave art, which were recognised as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation World Heritage Site in 2003.

She also spoke on the richness of the diverse cultures in Sarawak, which she concluded after the group’s visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong and a handicraft centre in Petra Jaya.

“What is great about your state is you keep welcoming. There is so much that I want to say.

“We are so amazed that we want to be the ambassador to those who have not visited the state before,” said Sandi-Moyo in calling for collaborations between Sarawak and Bulawoyo to promote tourism in both places.

Sandi-Moyo’s views on Sarawak had been expressed by many international and local figures, who were impressed with the state’s natural treasures and its racial integration among people from diverse cultures.

Among them was 1Malaysia Foundation trustee Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who acknowledged that the integration of various ethnic groups had helped to develop the state in many sectors, including tourism.

“Apart from Sabah, Sarawak is a good example of what the people can do to bring about greater integration and unity in helping to promote moderation.”

Lee said this was among the reasons that compelled the foundation to declare Kuching the first “City of Unity” in the country.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Sarawak - Always a welcoming state
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Only 5 pct flew international from Kuching International Airport last year


KUCHING: Only 5 per cent of passengers using Kuching International Airport (KIA) last year flew from the airport to an international destination.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad Kuching senior manager Mohd Nadzim Hashim said the other over 4.5 million passengers travelled from KIA to a destination within Malaysia.

As such, he explained the airport had difficulty getting operators to run stalls at the international departure hall.

“I can understand the frustration of these international travellers once they are inside the holding room, so much so when they are looking through the glass wall, noticing all the activities occurring at the domestic departure hall,” he said during a tour of KIA for The Borneo Post yesterday.

He was commenting on complaints that international flight passengers were not allowed access to many shops, eateries, and toilets available to domestic passengers.

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