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Consent of late Sudirman's family vital to rebuild house, says state tourism exco - June 20, 2022

TEMERLOH: Plans to restore the neglected house where legendary entertainer, the late Datuk Sudirman Arshad, grew up at Kampung Tok Embun near Mentakab here can only materialise if his family gives the "green light". State Tourism, Culture and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin said the family will have to step forward and give their consent before the authorities can initiate any plans to rebuild the structure.

"It is a private property, so only if his (Sudirman) family gives their consent can the state government or Pahang Museum make plans to turn it into a gallery or museum. "We cannot act on our own as it involves a set of procedures. "If the family comes forward and agrees (to hand over the house), then maybe the Museum department can look at how we can preserve it and turn it into an attraction. This is concerning land ownership and legality," he said. Various quarters have urged the federal and Pahang governments to repair and preserve the house as an appreciation to Sudirman who brought fame to the country and state as a performer.

The house is now only left with its concrete staircase with the wooden floor, walls and roof missing. The structure is located about 100m from Jalan Temerloh-Mentakab and surrounded by overgrown bushes and trees. Meanwhile, Sharkar said work had begun to set up a museum in Temerloh to highlight the life and contributions of several prominent individuals who were born here including the late Sudirman. "An old government building will be refurbished and named as Museum Temerloh. Several individuals, including former writer and nationalist Pak Sako (Ishak Muhammad), former menteri besar Tan Sri Yahya (Mohd Seth) and Sudirman, will be featured at the museum.

"The museum will provide visitors with information about the history of Temerloh town, past prominent leaders, famous individuals and other relevant information," he said.

Source: NST

Berjaya Tioman Resort has reopened with a fresh new look - June 2, 2022

The Berjaya Tioman Resort on Tioman Island in Pahang reopened on April 25, 2022, following an upscale renovation. The more than 50-year-old luxury resort has been closed since June 15, 2020, to allow for renovations to revitalise its rooms and facilities. The property is managed by Berjaya Hotels & Resorts, a subsidiary of the Berjaya Corp Group of Companies, and features exclusive chalet-style lodging and an 18-hole international golf course across 210 acres of tropical rainforests.

According to resort manager Simon Tan, Berjaya Tioman Resort is currently offering an "Infinite Getaway" experience that allows guests to enjoy a hassle-free island vacation starting at RM1,275 nett per person, based on twin sharing. It includes two nights' accommodation, a complimentary shuttle from Tekek Jetty to the resort, and a welcome hygiene kit. Highlights of the package include daily unlimited breakfast, lunch, and dinner and an unlimited supply of selected alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

There are also limited-time benefits such as one-time kayak use and free bicycle rental. Tan said that the refurbishment and daily unlimited inclusions of meals, beverages, and activities add value for guests looking for a getaway. The "Infinite Getaway" experience was specifically designed to make guests feel happy and relaxed.

"With unlimited inclusions, guests can take in the beauty of Tioman Island and enjoy to their hearts' content," he said in a statement. The resort also offers thrilling activities such as snorkelling, stand-up paddleboarding, ATV rides, and jungle trekking. Golfers will enjoy teeing off on the resort's picturesque 18-hole course. After eating, drinking, and playing, guests are invited to rejuvenate and pamper themselves at the Taaras Spa. "We are happy to welcome our guest back to rediscover this tropical paradise and experience the next level of holiday with unlimited inclusions. We guarantee you it's going to be a fresh and exciting holiday experience in Tioman," Tan said.

Source - NST

#JOM! GO: Charming Kuantan - May 19, 2022

The capital of Pahang offers a modern and rustic holiday experience. THIS used to be known as 'jalan ikan masin', then 'jalan bicycle' and now it is 'jalan Cafe'," says Steven Hong as he stretches out his right hand and points to the busy main road in front of his shop. So excited is he in talking about the address of his 40-year-old kitchenware shop, that he stands on his high stool near the small entrance. The quiet and serious looking 60-yearold Hong took over the shop in Jalan Besar, Kuantan, from his uncle. Those days, he continues, out-of-towners would walk end to end along the two rows of century-old shophouses in the state capital's main thoroughfare, looking for the best bargains of dried seafood.

"It's said the ikan masin sold in this stretch made the best souvenir from Kuantan," he says. His face lights up and I can see him smile behind his lilac-coloured face mask. Perhaps he is reminiscing about the good old days when Kuantan's seafood products were one of the most sought-after. Now standing closer to the edge of his shop's five-foot way, Hong looks up to the towering Kuantan 188 nearby. "Those days, visitors were not tourists. They were either here for business, balik kampung or just passing by," he says. "But, now we get more tourists here. They're either from out of Pahang or the city, and they come to Jalan Besar just to check out all those viral cafes," adds Mrs Hong. "Your shop is viral too. That's the reason why I am here," I reply. My remark elicits an immediate burst of laughter from the cheerful couple.

SOMETHING VIRAL

But there is nothing spectacularly touristy about the Hong's shop — Soon Woh Kitchenware Enterprise. It's just a shop selling cookware and kitchen utensils. "We didn't know that the shop went viral until people started to come after the travelling was eased in 2020. Thanks to this window display," Hong, the husband, chuckles. Unlike other shops along the stretches, Soon Woh has only a small opening that is enough for one person to stand, and that opening is further blocked by a folded table. The rest of the original entrance is covered with hanging kitchen utensils and equipment, which the duo hung in the early phase of the Movement Control Order to pass their time. Once they're allowed to open their business, the "window display" attracted passers-by and soon, images of colourful pots and pans, plates and cups, trays and whatnot hanging on the entrance began hitting the Net. It became the talk of the town that spread beyond Kuantan city limits.

"No-lah, the big stars are actually those hipster cafes. There's the famous Kula Cakes at the end of this row, then Tjantek and next door, Kuantan Pickers. "And there are more here and across the road, like Watak Kopi, and also in other parts of the city. You just need to do a little research," says Mrs Hong. Yes, she's right. We did stumble upon quite a number of cafes — all hipster-looking with their own identity and character as we walked the length of the century-old shophouses from the inner lane of Jalan Teruntum, where the city's latest colourful attraction — the Kuantan Art Street — is located. "But seriously, you just have to go up the tower. It's our latest star attraction, otherwise your visit here is not complete," says the bubbly Mrs Hong, pointing at the majestic Kuantan 188 tower.

SOMETHING DARING

Oh yes, I did. Kuantan 188, the city's latest landmark that was officially opened in February, is the first activity in our itinerary. I have booked the earliest slot for the tower's latest activity in the skywalk. "Don't worry about the morning traffic, the tower is just a few minutes away, and the traffic here in Kuantan is not as bad as KL (Kuala Lumpur)," says my newfound friend Julia Rashid, who is accompanying us on our city tour.

Julia is the executive assistant manager of AC Hotel By Marriott Kuantan and I asked her about the travelling time from the hotel to the tower. Yes, it takes less than 10 minutes to reach the tower. The hotel turns out to be the right place to stay in Kuantan, thanks to its strategic location — not right smack in the heart of the city, and also not too far away from all the happenings. The moment we step into the lobby of Kuantan 188, I am awed. The bright morning sun shines through the all-glass walls, which also brings in the sight of Sungai Kuantan with its grand "KUANTAN" sign that stands at the mangrove-covered
bank. Honestly, for some reason, I expected to walk in a somewhat passable lobby. After all, the tower is located in Jalan Besar, which is probably the oldest road in the city.

But Kuantan 188 proves me wrong. Not only it is the city's latest icon at 188 metres high, but it is also the second tallest lookout tower in Malaysia after the Kuala Lumpur Tower at 421m. Done with the necessary pre-tour preparations and safety briefing, we are taken up to the open observation deck, where the Skywalk activity is conducted. So what is Skywalk activity? Oh, it's just a walk along the open platform that encircles the tower's outdoor Observation Deck... outside the deck's tempered glass panels. Yes, you walk on a platform made of steel mesh outside the tower deck and the only thing that holds you to the deck is the "string" of a safety harness!

Is it scary? Thankfully, I'm not altophobic, but I'm pretty sure it can be intimidating for those who have a fear of heights. However, judging by the excitement Julia and my family show, the fear has slowly disappeared. Thanks to the staff's professionalism, we enjoy the superb view of Kuantan city and the pleasant weather.

SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL

Thanks to its location, AC Hotel By Marriott Kuantan puts me and my family in the centre of places that we planned to visit. One of them is the much talked-about Starbucks outlet in Pantai Teluk Cempedak, and the best part of it is that the beach is just less than 5km away. While the glasshouse outlet looks everything like those photos I've seen on the Internet, it is actually the beach that surprises me the most. I can't remember how it looked like the last time I was here, but I know that it didn't look as well planned and equipped as it is now. The moment my car heads down from the small hill towards the beach, the little township of Teluk Cempedak looks like a mini version of Phuket or Bali. Looking for something more rustic, we head south towards Pantai Anak Air, which is just 8km from the hotel. Though there's another beach nearby we choose to go further because the name of this beach draws us there. Located deep inside Kampung Anak Air and far away from the busy Jalan Tanjung Lumpur, the beach is charming and rustic as I have expected. Except for the swings, there is no modern "touristy" facility and on top of that, the peaceful kampung setting adds to the serenity of the area. And a stunning sunset concludes my family's impromptu short holiday in Kuantan.

Source: NST

#JOM! GO: Fab five of Malaysian turtle sites - May 23, 2022

AWARENESS days are very useful in educating people about important issues confronting society. Every year on May 23, the world celebrates World Turtle Day and it's a day when we can all focus on the plight of global turtle populations. Awareness days also help focus attention on everyone's role in protecting such habitats with one very obvious contribution we can all make is to reduce plastic consumption and dispose of it appropriately as plastic is a major killer of turtles. While turtle egg sales are banned in Malaysia, the eggs are still taken from some nests and illegally sold in some coastal wet markets.

With so many beaches and islands, it comes as no surprise that Malaysia is an important marine turtle habitat and there are several locations to visit to learn more, see turtles and even get involved in some valuable volunteer programs. Check out these five fabulous turtle sites in Malaysia.

PANTAI CHERATING, PAHANG

Leatherback, Olive-Ridley, Green and Hawksbill Turtles are known to visit the soft sands adjoining Club Med Resort, north of Cherating in Pahang. This Cherating Turtle Project is operated by the Department of Fisheries and is open daily except for Monday from 9.30am to 4.30pm and there is an entrance fee. The centre has a static display and some young turtles but more interaction with the turtles is possible for guests staying at the adjoining Club Med property.

PULAU TIOMAN, PAHANG

Juara Turtle Project on Tioman's east coast is a turtle conservation non-governmental organisation that works closely with the Department of Fisheries and Marine Parks to protect turtles and their eggs and marine habitat. Volunteers can assist with patrols, clean-ups and educational activities. A visitors' centre provides information on sea turtles and the programme. Visitors can also watch the release of recently-hatched baby turtles. Turtles also visit Tioman's main beaches like Nipah and Paya as well as Tulai Island. Visitors can travel to Juara year-round but the November to February monsoon is best avoided.

PULAU PERHENTIAN, TERENGGANU

The Perhentian Turtle Project operates on both islands of the Perhentians (Besar and Kecil) as an initiative of Fuze Ecoteer Outdoors Activities. Activities began in 2015 and the team works with authorities from marine parks and fisheries to complement their activities in protecting turtles in the waters around the islands. Interested visitors can volunteer to participate in kayak surveys, awareness programmes and beach patrols to monitor turtle activities and protect turtle habitats. They operate an adopt-a-turtle programme and fund-raising activities too.

TALANG SATANG NATIONAL PARK, SARAWAK

Life on Satang Besar Island moves at such a slow pace that it is measured by the speed of turtles. Talang Satang National Park is home to endangered Green and Hawksbill Turtles and limited and basic accommodation enables just a handful of ecotourists to visit at any one time. Visitors can help the rangers manage the conservation programme including a hatchery where the eggs incubate for 50 days, safely protected from predators. Turtles lay their eggs in the soft sands with the egg-laying process taking several hours and each turtle lays about 100 eggs.

TURTLE ISLAND PARK, SABAH

Located one hour off Sandakan in northeast Sabah, this marine park comprises three islands that are turtle protection reserves. While Green and Hawksbill Turtles lay eggs on all the islands, Selingan is the focus for ecotourism with basic park accommodation, a hatchery, a cafeteria and an information centre. Just one operator conducts 24-hour tours in conjunction with Sabah Parks leaving in the morning and returning the next with an overnight stay on the island.

Source: NST

#JOM! STAY: At the right place in AC Hotel Kuantan - May 18, 2022

THIS is not an entirely new hotel to me. I've stayed here once during an event some years ago, then at another time, my friends and I almost checked into it but unfortunately, it was fully booked. So, I could almost picture the hotel, its surroundings and the way to get to the hotel when I finally got the confirmation on my booking for a two-night stay at AC Hotel By Marriott Kuantan.  Yes, it spots a different name now. Quite an unfamiliar name, I must say. But how different can a changed name do to a property? Big! The moment I turn into its driveway off Jalan Teluk Sisek, AC Hotel By Marriott Kuantan looks so much different from the building I had in my mind. The low-rise building is now sporting a new colour scheme - all grey with a simple signboard design for its logo. A clean, unpretentious look but has enough warmth to exude a warm welcome. 

THE NAME

Formerly known as Vistana Kuantan City Centre, the four-star hotel officially took on the new brand in February 2022, about a month before Malaysia went into its first Movement Control Order (MCO), thanks to Covid-19 pandemic. Yes, it didn't look good for business, especially for a new, foreign brand to get a firm footing in the local tourism market, but the two long years of MCO series and measures turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the hotel.

Why? Well, this two-year old hotel looks very much like a brand new hotel that just opened its doors. One can even get that fresh, new smell! So, what does AC stand for? The AC Hotel brand is named after its founder, a renowned Spanish hotelier Antonio Catalan who founded the AC Hotel brand in Madrid, Spain 25 years ago. It then took on its new brand, AC Hotels By Marriott in 2011. Though it sets itself as "an upscale business hotel", the hotel chain also puts its money on a concept as a design-led lifestyle brand with a trendy design mission defined as "European-inspired classic modernism." Together with AC Hotels By Marriott Kuantan, the brand debuts in Malaysia with two other properties in Kuala Lumpur and Penang. These three hotels were formerly Vistana hotels, a brand owned by YTL Hotels.

THE STAY

True to its design-led, lifestyle brand, AC Hotel by Marriott Kuantan welcomes me with a stylish lobby without being pretentious with over-the-top or unnecessary ornaments. Still continuing the grey colour scheme, the bright lobby looks like a luxurious office setting with its choices of furniture perhaps to suit its "upscale business hotel" concept. But, thanks to the presence of unique art deco and fresh plants in the forms of cute cactus and giant monstera leaves that are placed at the right spots, the lobby has warmth to welcome leisure travellers.

In the room, the hotel takes on a dark but warm setting to set up the right mood for guests to unwind after the long journey, or even after a day's work. What I like about the room is, besides the functional and purposeful designs, the king-sized bed with Marriott standard pillows and beddings. Another plus point is the sweeping view of Kuantan city with its latest landmark, the towering Kuantan 188. But what I like the most about my whole stay at AC Hotel By Marriott Kuantan is its strategic location that puts me close to the city's attractions like the beaches and the happening city vibes. And of course, the friendly and efficient staff.

AC HOTEL BY MARRIOTT KUANTAN
Jalan Teluk Sisek
25000 Kuantan
Pahang
TEL 09-5178000
FAX 09-5178400
 

STAY A total of 215 guestrooms and suites that are designed with clean lines and unpretentious elegance. They may not be extravagantly spacious but they have enough space to give guests rooms to move around with amenities and furniture are placed at the right places to maximise spaciousness. Business travellers will appreciate the large work desk and the luxurious Marriott-standard beddings of plush pillows and soft sheets.

EAT Two outlets - AC Kitchen, the all-day dining restaurant where daily breakfast is served, and AC Lounge, a cosy lounge with a view of the outdoor swimming pool is where AC Hour is served in the evening. As the AC Hotel brand originated from Spain, guests will find Spanish cuisine being featured at these outlets. For AC Hour, the lounge serves unique Spanish Root, Local Flavours tea time offering in a form of Malaysian-flavoured tapas and signature drink, Signature Roselle that is inspired by Malaysia's national flower. At the breakfast buffet counter, AC Kitchen dedicates a section for Spanish breakfast dishes.

DO There is an outdoor swimming pool and a gymnasium.

GO With its strategic location - not exactly in the heart of Kuantan city and not too far away from the city's happening sites, the hotel is within short driving distance from Pantai Teluk Cempedak, Jalan Besar - the main thoroughfare where the city's latest landmark, Kuantan 188 and most of its hipster cafes are located, and Tanjung Lumpur's famous ikan bakar joints.

HIGHS It is a "brand new" hotel in a familiar site at a strategic location.

LOWS If only there's a direct exit route from the hotel to the city centre, instead of driving down Jalan Teluk Sisek towards Pantai Teluk Cempedak before making a U-turn at a nearest possible U-turn point.

Contact Us

No 33 & 33A, ICT Hub, Indian Town,
Jalan Putra Square 4, 25200 Kuantan, Pahang
T: +609 568 1623/1624
F: +609 568 1626
H: 1-300-88-2017
E: webtourism16@gmail.com

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