Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Go ape in Malaysia

I'll say one thing about Tourism Malaysia.

They sure know how to throw a party.

Earlier in October, they held a press conference to launch their new program, Visit Malaysia 2014

The Honourable Dato Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism for Malaysia, stated during the announcements that ecotourism would play a large part of the future tourism promotions in Canada, particularly the viewing of primates like the proboscis monkey (found only on Borneo) and the orangutan.

Young proboscis monkey in Borneo.
As part of the announcement, a new Facebook contest was announced, giving people a chance to win a trip for two to the southeast Asian country.

Then came the really fun stuff…

We were treated to an evening of performances by a troupe of dancers from Malaysia, demonstrating dances from the three main cultural groups in Malaysia: Malay, Chinese and Indian.

We enjoyed some authentic Malaysian satays as appetizers, follow by a more traditional western meal at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Vancouver.

Everybody, dance now!

Following dinner, dancing and some travel agent table trivia games, Tourism Malaysia held several draws for prizes…and Yours Truly did get lucky.

While I did not manage to nab the most-coveted prize - a return flight to Malaysia - I did win a beautifully carved pewter pen well.

Mother orangutan with baby.
I have been to Malaysia myself, and it was one of my more enjoyable trips abroad. I did manage to see orangutans at both the Sepilok and Semenggoh back-to-wild rehabilitation centres, as well as in the wild jungles, along the Kinabatangan River

I also saw the proboscis monkeys, known for their Jimmy Durante-like noses.

The cultural adventures were also amazing, with trips to villages that included an Iban village (former head-hunters) where we saw dancing, danced and ate a traditional meal along the river.

So if you’re thinking of planning a trip abroad, you might want to consider Malaysia. Everything there is very inexpensive compared with Canada (beer for $1, 2-hour massages for $30, etc.)

And they really know how to have fun in-country, as well as out of country.