Experience Malaysian Homestay By Rail (Ipoh, Homestay Kg. Beng and Kuala Kangsar)

The song ‘To Know Malaysia is to Love Malaysia’ sang by one of Malaysia Best Female Vocalist in the 80’s, Fransissca Peter just get stuck in our head. This is the song used to promote the very 1st Visit Malaysia Year way back in 1990. Listening to the rhythm and lyric of the song, we couldn’t denied any further that to get to know the place, you have to love it.  One of the best way to explore is to experience diversity of cultures, traditions and to get to know the locals.This is definitely what a local homestay programme could offered where it’s rare opportunity and chance to experience the charm and tranquillity of ‘kampung’ life.

A homestay programme is a unique experience that encompasses ‘kampung’ lifestyle. Visitors get to live with a local family  in a ‘kampung’ house and learn a close-knit relationship. Not to forget the scrumptious home cooked foods and discover the day-to-day ‘simple’ lifestyle of the villagers. Every homestay presents a different experience based on what they could offered, varied by locations and the settings too.

Recently, we were given a chance to experience a homestay in Kampung Beng, Lenggong Perak in conjunction of the launching of Railway Tourism Package. Railway Tourism? Haven’t heard anything about it before? It’s a homestay programme with a rail journey in order to give tourist an enrich experience throughout their journey to the participating homestay.  Hence, it does not only give tourists a chance to experience the ‘kampung’ life but it includes the exciting experience of riding the train to the designated locations.

The KTMB ETS Train which goes directly to Ipoh, Perak

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An experience in ETS Train cockpit with the captain.

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Official launching of Railway Tourism Packages at Ipoh Railway Station before we depart to the homestay location. It’s official launched by YB. Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abd Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia.

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One Malaysia, unity in diversity.

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Beautiful water fountain at in front of the Ipoh railway station.

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Homestay Kampung Beng is located in Lenggong, within Tasik Raban. At a glance, it doesn’t look any much different from other traditional ‘kampung’ but the magnificent panorama view save it all. It’s a popular film and advertisement shooting spot among producer and director. Did your remember the famous Petronas Raya advertisement ‘Janda Anak 7’ directed by the late Yasmin Ahmad when the 7 siblings came back with a whole cow? A Hollywood’s Production, Anna and The King starring Jodie Foster and Chow Yun Fatt?  Our local film, Sara starring Ida Nerina and Shamsul Ghau Ghau? The shooting of the films and advertisement mentioned were made within the location.

Furthermore, what make it unique is the whole village is surrounded by lake. Thus, the main mode of transport is by boat or ‘sampan’. It’s a common sight where you can see lines of boats parked right in front of the villagers house.

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Most home stay villages are also filled with orchards where you can pluck and sample a variety of seasonal or non-seasonal tropical fruits such as rambutan and others.
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With these, you can actually savour local dishes and learn how to make one with your foster family.
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Besides waking up to the crowing sounds of a rooster and birds, walking around the village and a jungle trekking to the nearby waterfall, this is definitely what we would like to suggest – Sit back and enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view of the lake spread right in front of your eyes!

Do enjoy a short video by Ramble and Wander on Homestay Kampung Beng, Lenggong ,Perak.

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We were then crossing under the Raja Nazrin Shah Bridge at Tasek Raban, travel all the way to the Royal Town, Kuala Kangsar to visit some of the local attraction there. If you have an opportunity to come here, don’t forget to visit The Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley (AHLV) a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Our first location is definitely the Victoria Bridge built-in the early of 1900’s or known as Enggor Bridge (as it is situated in sleepy town, Karai near Enggor). We were told that Victoria Bridge is a single railway bridge that cross Sungai Perak and one of the oldest railway bridges in Malaysia.

The Victoria Bridge remained in use until 2002, when a wider concrete girder bridge built parallel to the old bridge was completed to take over the role of handling rail traffic. The new bridge is significantly wider, with room to support a second track, but in its early life it was only required to handle a single track until double tracking and electrification was conducted between the IpohPadang Besar line. While the old bridge is closed to rail traffic, its adjoining footbridge is still publicly open to motorcycles and pedestrians.

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Live cannon shooting by local which something that you seldom see everyday.
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Last but not least, the beautiful Masjid Ubudiah of Kuala Kangsar located in Bukit Chandan Royal Mausoleum. We got fascinated looking at the exterior and interior especially the main features of the mosque which is the golden dome and minarets. It shared the same designer and architect of Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur Railway Station.

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Our new friends, a group of students from Indonesia enjoying the delicious and famous dessert, Cendol Kuala Kangsar.

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For more information about Railway Tourism Packages please visit Railway Tourism Association Malaysia (RTAM).

Our compliments goes to Railway Tourism Association Malaysia (RTAM), Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia, KTM Berhad, M-Mode Berhad and Coordinator of Homestay Kampung Beng, Lenggong, Perak for organizing and inviting us to the familiarisation trip of Railway Tourism in conjunction with VMY 2014.

Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

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Things to do in Cherating

Let us continue from our previous post. It’s been quite a while. As mentioned previously, there’s a lot to explore in Cherating. We were definitely wrong at the first place. It’s just not a beautiful beach lies along the stunning coastline, but it’s more than that. It was found to be convenient as a weekend and  short getaway too as it’s much closer to the Kuala Lumpur city centre with just a 3 hours drive. If you are happened to be in Cherating and plan for a holiday trip soon, this is definitely what you can do and explore in Cherating. So, let’s go!

Turtle Sanctuary and Information Centre

With a vast coastline facing the South China Sea, Pahang regulary sees turtles to land and nest in various location of the local beaches. One of it is in Cherating, Pahang and to be exact, along Pantai Chendor. Therefore, it was found that there is a needs and concern of preserving the turtle population as it was one of the endangered species. The centre was actually operated as a small hatchery place in 1972 and it was then officially open to public in 1988 in order to educate locals on the importance of the conservation programme. It was fully managed by the Department of Fisheries Malaysia together with the Pahang State Government as a center to provide turtle protection and conservation programme.  Some of the main activities carried out by the center which includes a collection of turtle eggs and relocation of the eggs as part of the turtle hatching programme.

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You can spotted the turtle hatchery area just right by the beach. This is where the eggs are kept in the incubation period of 50 to 60 days and monitored around the clock by the management.

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The cute baby turtles

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Pantai Chendor

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We were informed that we will experience releasing the baby turtles to the sea too! Priceless moment for us as this is our first experience releasing baby turtles to open sea. As mentioned to us, only a small numbers of turtles could survive to become an adult turtle based on studies and research by the center. If you’re in Cherating, you should do this and experience it once in a lifetime.

Be safe baby turtle. Be strong!

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If you are a turtle lover, this is the place to visit and shall not be missed! Not to forget, do enjoy a short video by Ashraf Saharudin on a live shot of turtle watching and conversation programme.

Additional Information:
Admission Fee – Free (But please donate to the center for the conversation programme)
Address – 26050 Balok, Cherating, Kuantan, Pahang.
Contact No – 09-581 9087
Visiting Hours – 9.00am to 12.00pm and 2.00pm to 5.30pm (Tuesday to Sunday), 9.00am to 12.00pm and 3.00pm to 5.30pm (Friday). The centre is closed on Mondays.

Hafiz Friendly Fireflies Watch

We managed to join the Hafiz’s fireflies tour on the mangrove river and we got blown away by it! Hafiz itself is a very informative and knowledgeable guide. You’ll be impressed to see how the fireflies come from right to left and left to right when Hafiz is calling with his torches and hand motions. It was once in a life time experience under million of stars light up the sky. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to capture the moment with a flash light as we’ve been reminded earlier that it will be distracting the fireflies to draw nearer. Just sit back and enjoy the mother nature. We were informed that the fireflies species in Cherating river is slightly different from the fireflies species in Kuala Selangor as Kuala Selangor has 4 types of fireflies.

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Additional Information:

Address – 7/1156 Kg. Cherating, 26080 Kuantan, Pahang
Contact No – 017- 978 9256 / 017 – 940 6898
Blog – http://hafizcheratingactivities.blogspot.com

Cherating Mangrove River Cruise

On the next day, we hopped in the boat again to explore the Cherating River, the same river that we went to catch the fireflies trip. During day time, it’s best to explore the nature and wildlife in their natural habitat. You can actually spotted some wildlife such as monkeys, snakes, monitor lizards, kingfishers and others.

Cruising the Cherating River

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Capturing the moments

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Be mesmerized with the nature

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We spotted ‘Pakcik’ catching ‘ketam nipah’. He managed to catch a few of it. Just his lucky day.

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Catch a video by BeatTV on the Cherating Mangrove River Cruise taken during our recent trip.

Experience Batik Painting at Limbong Art

While you were in Cherating, you can actually learn the art of batik painting at one of the stalls which is Limbong Art. It was managed by such a lovely couple, Abang Mazlan and Kak Umi. We were given an explanation on the process of ‘Batik’ making. They even provide a ‘Batik’ painting lesson for those who are interested and keen to learn with a very affordable price ranging from RM 35 to RM 75.

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Additional Information:
Operating Hours – 10.00 am to 10.00 pm, daily
Address – 2/1000 Kampung Cherating Lama, 26080 Kuantan, Pahang

Keropok Cap Intan

After quite sometimes exploring all the activities of the day, our stomach growling asking to be feed. We were then brought to try one of the most famous local delicacies in the East Coast which is the ‘keropok lekor’. What make us surprise is when the bus stopped at a shop which look very familiar to us as our families often bought it from here.  They served the best ‘keropok lekor’ in town.

‘Keropok lekor’ is a fish sausages made from a fish meat blended with sago flour and other essential spices. This will be rolled into small sausages and fried or steamed based on our preferences. They even sell fish crackers too.

‘Keropok lekor’ in the making.

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The drying process of fish crackers under the sun

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The prepack fish crackers

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The dipping sauce. Must have!

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Additional Information:
Contact No. – 09 – 868 4678 (Puan Rohani binti Awang @ Mamat)
Location – Kg. Kuala Kemaman, Kemaman, Terengganu

Besides all the activities listed, you can actually explore more in other kind of activities such as snorkelling trip, deep-sea fishing trip, river kayaking, wind surfing, surf boarding and others. We really look forward to come back to the calm and serene Cherating soon.

Our compliments goes to M-Mode Berhad, The Legend Resort Cherating, Grand Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Tourism Malaysia, Pahang Tourism and Santai Travel Magazine for organizing and inviting us to the ‘Sahabat Media Cuti – Cuti 1 Malaysia to Cherating, Kuantan, Pahang’.

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

The Legend Resort Cherating

Last September, we were given a chance to join a Media Familiarization trip jointly organized by Tourism Malaysia, Santai Travel Magazine as well as The Legend Resort Cherating to Cherating, Pahang aiming to promote the popular beach resort area on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia destination in conjunction of the upcoming Visit Malaysia Year 2014. Cherating is basically located 40 km away from Kuantan Town and it is also called as the ‘Surfers Paradise’. Cherating is one of the only beaches in Peninsular Malaysia offering a good waves for surfing in the monsoon season. The 3 days and 2 nights stay was a courtesy by The Legend Resort Cherating.

What was our first impression when we first step in to the hotel? The answer is – It’s a family oriented resort which offers a whole range of activities.

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A unique sea view grand deluxe room (with a private balcony) that we had throughout the stay. We were told that it was newly renovated. Lucky us! The room are equipped with facilities includes minibar, coffee and tea making facilities, hot and cold water, a flat screen TV and etc. In overall, everything are in place perfectly!

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One of the thing that caught our eyes is definitely the big swimming pool at the resort. This is one of the best things that a beach resort could offered. There are 2 large swimming pools up to 6 ft deep and a children’s pool which provide endless hours of fun for the whole family. Kids would love this! The landscape of tropical plants surrounding the pool add the signature of the resort as well.

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Apart of the swimming pools, visitors will not only enjoy the refreshing breeze of the South China Sea and sound of the waves, but they could enjoy a wide range of activities around the resort. Not far from the swimming pool, there is a small booth of Mizi Watersport hosting adventurous activities such as All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) jungle trekking ride, snorkelling, kayaking, canoeing, banana boat, island trip, fishing trip and etc with such a reasonable rates. What a resort by the beach without any water sport activities right? We managed to try the AT  ride!  Amazing! Worth trying!

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Both ATV and scrambler ride will bring you to the nearest fisherman village. And from here, you can actually witness and get a glimpse of the daily life in the fisherman village, if you’re just lucky enough.

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On the next day, we woke up as early as in the morning since we really wanted to witness the beautiful sunrise by the beach. The shy sun is just started to make their appearance of the day.

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The amazing view of sunrise by the beach
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All the delicious foods of breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet spread were well served at the Coconut Grove Coffee House through out the trip. All room booking are including the complimentary breakfast ranging from local to continental dishes.

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Well, the resort could also catered to all your request by having a candle light dinner by the beach or pools. This is what you’re getting if you wanted to have a romantic getaway here in the resort.
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On the last night of the trip, the host treated us with a dinner by the beach. Oh ya, it’s a ‘Pirate Night’ theme!

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In overall, being part of the media trip was such an amazing experience for us. The Legend Resort Cherating has lots to offer from being an ideal spot for a family retreat, a romantic getaway or mix of business and leisure in the heart of Cherating, Pahang. What are you guys waiting for?

Additional information:

Effective from 1st August 2013, the resort introduce weekly shuttle service (via van) between The Legend Resort Cherating and Grand Season Hotel Kuala Lumpur from both destination every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with a transfer rate of RM 90.00 per person / per way (subject to a minimum of 2 person per way). This is definitely a great news if you in tend not to drive to Cherating, Pahang.

The Legend Cherating Beach Resort,
Lot 1290, Mukim Sungai Karang,
Cherating, 26080 Kuantan,
Pahang Darul Makmur,
Malaysia.
Toll Free: 1800 88 8866
Tel: (6) (09) 581 9818
Fax: (6) (09) 581 9400
Website: http://www.legendresort.com.my/
E-mail: reservation@legendresort.com.my

Kuala Lumpur Sales Office
No. 72, Jalan Pahang
50300 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.
E-mail: klsales@legendresort.com.my

Our compliments goes to M-Mode Berhad, The Legend Resort Cherating, Grand Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Tourism Malaysia, Pahang Tourism and Santai Travel Magazine for organizing and inviting us to the ‘Sahabat Media Cuti – Cuti 1 Malaysia to Cherating, Kuantan, Pahang’.

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

#TSDayOut – Subang Skypark Airport Tour

Assalammualaikum and Hi there!

#TSDayOut? Yeap! It’s Tourism Selangor Day Out. That was our first time joining in. It all started when we saw the twitter announcement, we sent out an email to the administrator and the rest is all history. We got attracted to be part of the programme since most of our travel blogger friends that we knew had made an involvement with it. So, we thought that why don’t we just give it a try. #TSDayOut is just not a day out to show what Selangor can really offer but it is also a platform and medium to get to know other bloggers and make new friends.

Subang Skypark Terminal and Firefly

The whole #TSDayOut this time around will covered the tour to the Subang Skypark Terminal with an overview of the Firefly Airlines operation and SimFlight KL simulator. And not to forget an introduction to Peugeot Lounge  as well.

Talking about Subang Skypark, this is definitely where i had my first plane ride back to Kuantan and Kuala Lumpur during my school days. I even had my first ‘TRAVELLING ALONE’ trip with Malaysia Airlines System (MAS) at the age of 8 from here and Kuantan. It really hold back a lots of memories. At that point of time, it is still known as Terminal 3.  I still remembered how busy the terminal is where this terminal is the only terminal hosting local flight (inter state) before  the existence of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT). The terminal had undergone a major renovation in 2008 and it was fully completed in 2009.

Subang Skypark Terminal Building Exterior
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For security purposes, we’re required to register in and individual pass were given to us.  We’re then been welcomed by Mr. Francis Anthony, the Head of Operation for Subang Skypark and his ground crews who assisted us all the way for the tour.
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Currently, Subang Skypark Terminal serve Firefly Airlines, Berjaya Air and private aviation. But you can actually purchase the Air Asia ticket here as well. Oh ya, we were told that Malindo Air will be joining them as well somewhere in June 2013. Wow!
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From here on, En. Rusdi from the Firefly Airlines then take charged on giving us the full explanation on the Firefly operation. We are then been highlighted on the destination that Firefly flies which includes Penang, Langkawi, Kuala Terengganu, Kerteh, Johor Bahru, and Alor Setar with regional routes includes Koh Samui, Medan, Pekan Baru and Batam from two hubs which is Subang and Penang.

Firefly check in counter.
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The check in counter personnel. She’s been soo kind enough giving us her fullest smile when requested by both of us.
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One of the best part is that we’re given a chance to sneak peek on the day-to-day Firefly operation office. This is where all the ground operation works are in action from observing the weather, flight and route schedule and others related. I even overheard a tele-conversation in between a flight operation personnel and a captain regarding on the amendment of schedule. Not to be ‘KIASU’ but just being an observer. Everything seems new to me! Hahaha. What a safe words there!

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The flight schedule
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We are then brought to the departure and arrival hall. Even though all of us are not flying out, we’re still required to pass by the security check and to surrender all our belongings upon the x-ray scanning.

The way to the Departure Hall.
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We even bumped with the Firefly cabin crew flying off to Johor Bahru.
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Saw a lil boy staring at the bunch of passengers queuing up. I guess this is what on his mind – “Hey, are we ready for take off? How about me? I want to be on the plane as well!”
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The overview of the Firefly ATR72.
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While browsing around and chit chatting with the rest of the participants, my eyes caught up with this lady wearing a pair of shirt, a cargo pants, safety boots with a Firefly safety vest. OMG! It’s Hui Ping. My primary and secondary schoolmates. We haven’t met each other for the past 1-2 years. I never thought of seeing her there. The only things that i knew is that she’s previously working with Malaysia Airlines System and busy focusing on her exam. She told me that she’s currently attached with Firefly Airlines and she’s now a certified aircraft maintenance engineer! She finally passed the exam. What a joy! She had a degree in a Quantity Surveying (QS) from UM but maybe because of her enthusiasm and interest, she finally decided to change her career from being a QS to an aircraft engineer. You rock girl! I had to say goodbye since i need to catch up with the group tour.

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We are then walked towards the Arrival Hall before we end our airport tour.
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As we passed by the Arrival Hall, you’re then welcomed with shopping and dining ambience. It’s just not a terminal but you can actually shop and dine here too. And not to forget other kind of facilities such as Bank, ATM and even a postal services by POS Malaysia. It really suits their tagline which is,

“Don’t just transit, stay on for a unique retail experience at Subang Skypark”

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SimFlight KL

After the airport tour, the whole group headed to the 1st Floor which is to SimFlight KL. This is definitely where you can get your hands on the control panel of the Airbus and Boeing kind of things. I guess, every one of us out there would dream to fly a plane and to sneak into the plane cockpit. Currently, SimFlight KL is offering their best simulator for both Airbus A320 and Boeing B737. The whole replica was made exactly and close to the real plane. How cool is that?

The interior of SimFlight KL
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Briefing was made by Pilot Wafi on the introduction of SimFlight KL assisted by another to Pilot. He answered to all of our questions even on air pocket and etc before we could be on board. All the so-called ‘pilot’ are then given a chance and they can actually choose where to take off and land which includes KLIA, the most challenges airport in the world which is Kai Tak Airport (International Airport of Hong Kong) or only touring around Kuala Lumpur.

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Boeing B737 Simulator.
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On board, I’m Captain Lily Riani, your captain for today! *How cute is she?
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Last but not least, “KEEP CALM AND LOVE A CAPTAIN”!
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Peugeot Lounge @ Subang Skypark
With trumbling stomach on, we then headed to our final pit stop which is the exclusive Peugeot Lounge where lunch was served by Bubba Gump. Super delicious! Just in time! We were informed by En Azman, General Manager of Nasim Sdn Bhd, a proud owner of Peugeot can just show their Peugeot car keys and a privilege card as one of the admission criteria here.

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It’s about time when we gathered for a short speech by all the VIPs right after lunch. Everyone was soo excited for the prize giving ceremony of the Best Blog Write Up for #TSDayOut – Amazing Race FRIM and for today Best Photograph. FF won this time around and it was our first time of #TSDayOut.
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Getting around in an airport is not something new to us but touring in and out until the flight operation office, trying the simulator and having lunch and mingling around with new friends at an exclusive lounge was really something. It was such an experience. Again, million thanks to Tourism Selangor #TSDayOut, Subang Skypark, Firefly, SimFlight KL and Peugeot Lounge  for making it possible!

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

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