Saturday, February 18, 2017

Best Shopping Malls to Visit in Kuala Lumpur KL

Best Shopping Malls to Visit in Kuala Lumpur

Not your regular Top 10 list but this is a list of the Best Shopping Malls to Visit in Kuala Lumpur or KL based purely on the popularity of the malls for tourism purposes. Many visitors come to Malaysia in search of some good places to go shopping in Kuala Lumpur or KL, but with so many top 10 list out there, most of them are just plucked from the internet and interlinked to some online hotel booking sites or just for the sake of getting people to click on their links. 

So, as I have been born and bred here in Kuala Lumpur, and occasionally moving around the city, I can vouch for these shopping malls to visit in Kuala Lumpur as I frequent most of them regularly. In no order, here is the list of the best shopping malls to visit in KL, in the Golden Triangle and also the outer rim of Kuala Lumpur. Again, thee places are purely tourism focused.
Berjaya Times Square Shopping Mall
Berjaya Times Square, one of the mot popular shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur. Photo from www.gowhere.my
Berjaya Times Square Shopping Mall

Having been around for a number of years, the Berjaya Times Square has moved to be one of the top shopping malls in KL to visit, simply because of the variety of shops available here. You will not find high end brands but more of the local brands and many boutique and speciality shops here. On some floors, you can find some real bargains for ladies clothes and accessories as the shops here remind me of a Bangkok style mall, with lots of retailers and cheap clothes, mostly imported from Thailand, China and Korea. 

Berjaya Times Square is also one of the multi-concept malls where you can find a huge indoor theme park, a Japanese and Taiwan Street, Hotel and Serviced Apartments which are all housed in one huge complex. Perfect for those wanting a city holiday and very suitable for couples, families or those on business trips. 

Berjaya Times Square Address;
Location: Opposite Melia Hotel and Amoda building. You can exit straight into the shopping mall from Imbi Monorail Station. 
Address: No. 1 Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: (603) 2117 3111
Opening Hours: Daily, 10:00 – 22:00
Suria KLCC Shopping Mall
Suria KLCC, a very popular shopping mall in KL. Photo by www.thousandwonders.net
Suria KLCC Shopping Mall

This is one of the most famous and popular shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, located underneath the Petronas Twin Towers, you get a two-in-one experience when you visit Suria KLCC Shopping Mall in Kuala Lumpur. Visitors to this mega mall will find local and international tenants and international department store chains here. The mall is also comparison to many other international mega malls in other countries. The crowds are not only on weekends, but just about everyday. One of the bonus points is that the Suria KLCC is connected to the main KLCC LRT train line. This station is linked to KLCC and also the mall opposite, called Avenue K.

Apart from browsing the many floors and the Petrosains Centre on the top floor, visitors can spend a full day here in the mall, or simply going outside to the KLCC Park and also Aquaria KLCC. The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and Mandarin Oriental Hotel is also located just outside Suria KLCC. From Bukit Bintang City Center, it is only a 10 minute walk here. 

Suria KLCC Address; 
Location: Under the Petronas Twin Towers
Address: Lot. No. 241, Level 2, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone: (603) 2382 2828
Website: http://www.suriaklcc.com.my/index.html/
Opening Hours: Daily, 10:00 – 22:00
Shopping Malls Kuala Lumpur
Pavilion Shopping Mall in KL. Photo from www.pavilion-kl.com
Pavilion Shopping Mall Kuala Lumpur 

The mother of all shopping malls, the Pavilion Shopping Mall in Kuala Lumpur is a world-class mixed-use urban development and also a multiple award winning mall. The entire project comprises a seven storey premier shopping mall, two blocks of Pavilion Residences, Pavilion Tower office block and the 5-star Royale Pavilion Hotel. With all that mentioned, I can say that this is the place to find top international brands, chic cafes, restaurants and other high end boutique shops. 

Located in the core area of the Golden Triangle of KL or the BBKLCC, this place pulls in all walks of life, including the shopping tourist. Think Channel, Burberry or Fendi and you can find it here as these are the kind of tenants that occupy the main area of Pavilion. A must visit for any luxury shopping lover and is a five minute walk from the Bukit Bintang Monorail Station. 

Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Address;
Location: Right next to Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur, across the street from JW Marriott and Starhill Gallery. 
Address: 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 
Telephone: (603) 2118 8833
Pavilion KL Website: http://www.pavilion-kl.com/
Opening Hours: Daily, 10:00 – 22:00
Low Yat Plaza in Kuala Lumpur, the best place to get gadgets and electronics. Photo from www.wikimapia.com
 Low Yat Plaza Shopping Mall

This is the place to go for cameras, smartphones, IT. electronics and gadgets in Malaysia. Plaza Low Yat has been serving local or foreigners over a decade and is well known as the IT and Gadget Center of Kuala Lumpur. People visit Low Yat Plaza in Bukit Bintang to get their IT items, repairs or upgrades. Whatever is new in the market, you are sure to find it here. Whatever smart phone or gadget launched worldwide, you can find it here first too. There are a total of five floors for shoppers to explore and the location is about five minutes walk from the Bukit Bintang Monorail Station.

Having been around for almost thirty years, this one-stop Camera, Smartphone, IT and gadget shop offers supermarkets, chain stores and private vendors and you can most likely get some of the best prices and deals here. Accessories for smart phone, tablets, laptop, desktop and cameras are also found here too. Definitely a must-visit place for any gadget lover. 

Plaza Low Yat Address;
Location: Behind Amoda Building, which is across the street from Berjaya Times Square, and right beside Bukit Bintang Plaza/Sungei Wang Plaza.
Address: No. 7, Jalan Bintang, Off Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang Central,
Low Yat Plaza Website
Tel: (603) 2148 3651
Opening Hours: Daily, 10:00 – 22:00
Nu Sentral Shopping Mall KL
Nu Sentral Shopping Mall in Kuala Lumpur
Nu Sentral Shopping Mall

One of the new players to enter the shopping mall scene in KL is no other than Nu Sentral, located in the KL Sentral core area. This interesting mall opened in 2014 and is connected directly to KL Sentral, which is also the main transportation hub of Kuala Lumpur. At Nu Sentral, you can find the standard retail shops, cafes, fast food joints and restaurants here but do not expect a lot of luxury brands here.

Most travelers or locals would use the mall as a gateway to Brickfields where the main KL Monorail station is located. All train services in Kuala Lumpur and the main Malaysia Railway is found here. For those travelers who are waiting for their trains or even arriving early to take the KLIA Express train to the airport, you can just go over to Nu Sentral to shop or even have some food at the many restaurants and cafes there.

Nu Sentral Address;
Location: Connected to KL Sentral
Address: No 201, Jalan Tun Sambanthan 50470, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (+603) 2859 7177
Website: http://www.nusentral.com/
Opening Hours: Daily, 10:00 – 22:00
Mid Valley Megamall Kuala Lumpur
Mid Valley Megamall, one of the successful shopping malls just out of KL City. Photo from www.panoramio.com
Mid Valley Megamall 

One of the largest shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur is no other than Mid Valley Megamall, located just ten minutes drive outside of KL main city area. This gigantic mall which opened in 1999 has seen some of the best choices of brands, in terms of general retailers. In terms of shopping, you would most probably spend a lot of time here as the mall is so huge, it takes a lot of walking around.

Mid Valley Megamall also has its own convention hall called the Mid Valley Convention Centre and two hotels which are also connected to the mall. However, to get here, you need to take a taxi from the city and avoid coming during peak hours as the place can get really crowded. For tourist coming here, a tip would be to change your money in the city before coming here as the money changers here have really long lines. This mega mall in KL is one of the best overall malls for couples, businessmen and families.

Mid Valley Megamall Address;
Location: 15 minutes out of KL main city area and 5 minutes from KL Sentral.
Address: Mid Valley Megamall, 75, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City, 58000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (+603) 2938 3333
Website: http://www.midvalley.com.my/
Opening Hours: Daily, 10:00 – 22:00
Suria KL Shopping Mall
Suria KLCC, located under the Petronas Twin Towers in KL
The shopping malls in KL mentioned above have been personally visited by me on numerous occasions, hence you are getting exact information. If you are heading out of KL to the suburb of PJ, you can check out my Shopping Malls in Petaling Jaya article which I did previously as this is in the outer region of Kuala Lumpur.

There are many other new shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur, but I have not listed them as they are still considered new and many are still in the soft period while not all of them are completely occupied. So, to recommend these new malls would be useless, considering that when you go there, the place looks empty, lacking tenants, but I am keeping an eye out to see which are the ones who stand out after the first half of 2017 and update it here.

So in the mean time, this article is strongly focused on popular malls that are relatively important to tourist visiting KL and I hope that this list of best shopping malls to visit in Kuala Lumpur provide you with more than enough information. Do ask if you have any questions or feedback and leave them below.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Bird Watching in Flores

Flores Bird Watching

If you are into birding, then this article on Bird Watching in Flores would be of great interest to you. I visited Flores twice in 2016 and both on a mission to explore this amazing destination which is relatively unknown to the general tourism world, perhaps many may know of Komodo Island as this is currently one of the top places to visit in Indonesia. 

Therefore, I wrote this article on bird watching in Flores for any serious birders who would like to increase their bird numbers. Before I continue, I would like to confess that I am only a beginner bird watcher as I have been doing this only for the last five to six years, mainly around Malaysia, especially at Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo Island. 

My birding activities have taken me to many national parks, forest reserves, conservation's, shorelines, islands and highlands. Even backyard birding is on my list at times. In general, I may have seen over 500-600 species of birds in the last five years or so and in Borneo, perhaps around 300 plus birds. As my job takes me to many places, I somehow manage to find the time to do some birding and in Flores, I was lucky to have time to explore some of the birding spots. 

Flores is located in the east most part of Indonesia, after Bali and Lombok Island and just before Papua Indonesia. To get here, the best possible way is by taking a flight. I would recommend using Skyscanner for flights to Flores as it would narrow down the cheapest and easiest ways to fly here from anywhere in the world. Let us get to the birding in Flores.
Green Pigeons Komodo Island Flores
A pair of pigeons seen at the Komodo National Park on Komodo Island
Bird Watching in Flores

There are at least 10 popular spots to do birding in Flores and the best place to start is no other than the town of Labuan Bajo in the west most part of Flores. Labuan Bajo also serves as the main gateway to Komodo Island, where birding is also recommended. There are specialized bird guides found in this town and you can book them by getting in touch with some of the tour companies here. 

Labuan Bajo also offers some really nice hotels and resorts for your accommodations and the facilities are up to general tourist standards, or birding standards. By saying this, I mean you will not find a Nikon Optics shop in Flores, so please bring all your equipment and spares if you have to. 

Bird Watching Spots in Flores

The entire island is literally bird-watchable as there is no major development whatsoever being done here. However, there are a few notable places around Flores for bird watching which are listed from Labuan Bajo and heading outwards. This means for those planning a short birding trip to Flores can just focus around Labuan Bajo areas.

Dolat Wetlands - Only 4 kilometers south of Labuan Bajo, you can come here twice a day. Spot the Wandering Whistling-duck, Malaysian Plover, Mees’s Nightjar, Sunda Teal, Black-faced Munia, Beach Thick-knee, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Javan Plover, Flame-throated Sunbird, Crakes and Rails among the many bird here.

Potawangka Road - East of Labuan Bajo and 10 kilometers from the town area. Spot Bonelli’s Eagle, Wallacean Cuckooshrike, White-rumped Kingfisher, Flame-breasted Sunbird, Zebra Finch, Flores Green Pigeon, Elegant Pitta, Yellow-spectacled White-eye, Black-fronted Flowerpecker, Wallace’s Hanging-Parrot, Black-naped Fruit-Dove, Orange-footed Scrubfowl, Green Junglefowl and many others.

Komodo National Park - This will be everyone's must-go place when you are in Flores and apart from seeing the Komodo Dragons, you will be in for a good bird watching experience here. Some of the park guides know quite a bit about the Komodo Island birds.
5 colored Munia in Flores
The beautiful five colored Munia in Flores
Lake Sano Nggoang and Nunang Village - Southeast of Labuan Bajo along the Flores Highway to Ruteng. Spot Wallace’s and Moluccan Scops-Owls, Glittering Kingfisher, Flores Crow, Flores Green Pigeon, Pacific Black Duck, Flame-breasted Sunbird, Elegant Pitta, Flores Minivet, Flores Monarch, Golden-rumped Flowerpecker, Yellow-ringed White-eye, Black-fronted Flowerpecker and many more.

Puarlolo - East of Labuan Bajo and easy to do as a day trip. Spot  the famous Flores Monarch, Flores Crow, Rufous-backed Kingfisher, Short-toed Eagle, Green Junglefowl, Thick-billed Dark-eye, Flores Hawk-Eagle, Chestnut-capped Thrushes, Russet-capped Tesia, Wallace’s Hanging-Parrot, Rufous-chested Flycatcher and many others.

Golo Lusang and Danau Rana Mese Lake - South and East of Ruteng, on route to Bajawa. Spot the Flores Minivet, Golden-rumped Flowerpecker, Pacific Black Duck (lake area), Russet-capped Tesia, Wallace’s Scops-Owl, Black-backed Fruit Dove, White-rumped Kingfisher, Timor Leaf-warbler, Scaly-crowned Honeyeater, Helmeted Friarbird, Pale-shouldered Cuckooshrike, Brown-capped Fantail, Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon, Blood-breasted Flowerpecker and many other birds.

Poco Ranaka - East Ruteng near to Lake Rana Mese, chances to spot Bonelli’s Eagle, Chestnut-backed Thrush, White-browed Shortwing, Tawny-breasted Parrotfinch and the Pygmy Wren-babbler.

Pagal - North of Ruteng and you can find Elegant Pitta, Wallace’s Hanging-Parrot, Yellow-spectacled White-eye, Flores Green-Pigeon, White-rumped Kingfisher, Ruddy Cuckoo Dove, Brown-capped Fantail and Russet-capped Tesia, which have been recorded around here.

Kisol Village - Southeast of Ruteng. Spot the rare Orange-footed Scrubfowl, Brown-capped Fantail, Yellow-spectacled White-eye, Flores Green Pigeon, Flores Crow, Thick-billed Dark-eye, Black-fronted Flowerpecker, Flame-breasted Sunbird, Flores Hawk-Eagle, Moluccan and Wallace’s Scops-Owl, Black-naped Fruit-Dove, Mees’s Nightjar, White-rumped Kingfisher, Elegant Pitta, Flores Crow, Russet-capped Tesia, Chestnut-capped Thrush.
Kelimutu National Park in Flores
One of the sign boards at Kelimutu National Park, Flores
Kelimutu National Park - Near Ende and Maumere, you can spot montane endemics like Bare-throated Whistler, Flores Green Pigeon, Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon, Crested Dark-eye, Ruddy Cuckoo Dove and Five-coloured Munia. The best is to trek using the general path all the way to the peak. It takes about 20-30 minutes trek up.

What Kind of Birds Are Found in Flores

Because Flores is an island and sitting between certain flyways, you can see lots of migrating birds here. But Flores is also home to many endemics like the Flores Crow and Flores Green Pigeon just to name a couple. Check the Flores Bird List below for endemics. Varieties include coastal birds, lowland birds, hill birds, sub-montane forest birds, montane birds, raptors and even unique birds.
Flores Birdwatching
A Rainbow Bee Eater spotted in Flores, near Labuan Bajo
Bird List of Flores

The bird list below is not complete but better than anything because there is no offical list out there. The birds of Flores list here is provided by Burung Nusantara (http://burung-nusantara.org/) and a bird watching trip report. Note the Flores birds in bold are endemic while from No.1 to No.50 are mostly the star birds to spot.
  1. Green Junglefowl
  2. Orange-footed Scrubfowl
  3. Flores Hawk-Eagle
  4. Wallace’s Hanging Parrot
  5. Leaf (Rainbow) Lorikeet
  6. Dark-backed Imperial Pigeon
  7. Black-backed Fruit Dove
  8. Barred Cuckoo Dove
  9. Parzudaki’s (Ruddy) Cuckoo Dove
  10. Black-naped Fruit Dove
  11. Flores Green Pigeon
  12. Flores Scops Owl
  13. Wallace’s Scops Owl
  14. Moluccan Scops Owl
  15. White-rumped Kingfisher
  16. Cerulean Kingfisher
  17. Stork-billed Kingfisher
  18. Collared Kingfisher
  19. Elegant Pitta
  20. Flores Minivet
  21. Flores Crow
  22. Flores Monarch
  23. Flores Warbling-flycatcher (Russet-backed Jungle-Flycatcher)
  24. Trumpeting (Brown-capped) Fantail
  25. Bare-throated Whistler
  26. Chestnut-capped Thrush
  27. Chestnut-backed Thrush
  28. Flores (White-browed) Shortwing
  29. Pygmy Cupwing (Wren Babbler)
  30. Russet-capped Tesia
  31. Flores Leaf-Warbler
  32. Scaly-crowned Honeyeater
  33. Wallace’s Heleia (Yellow-spectacled White-eye)
  34. Eyebrowed Heleia (Yellow-browed Dark-eye)
  35. Thick-billed Heleia (Dark-eye)
  36. Crested Heleia (Dark-eye)
  37. Golden-rumped Flowerpecker
  38. Black-fronted Flowerpecker
  39. Flores (Blood-breasted) Flowerpecker
  40. Flame-breasted Sunbird
  41. Flores Spangled (Wallacean) Drongo
  42. Pale-shouldered Cicadabird
  43. Wallacean Cuckooshrike
  44. Pale-headed Munia
  45. Five-coloured Munia
  46. Black-faced Munia
  47. Scaly-breasted Munia
  48. Timor Zebra Finch
  49. Bulwer's Petrel (Komodo)
  50. Streaked Shearwater
  51. Wedge-tailed Shearwater 
  52. Red-throated Little Grebe
  53. Red-tailed Tropicbird
  54. Great Frigatebird
  55. Lesser Frigatebird
  56. Little Pied Cormorant
  57. Red-footed Booby 
  58. Brown Booby
  59. Abbotts'Booby 
  60. Great-billed Heron
  61. Purple Heron
  62. White-faced Heron
  63. Intermediate Egret 
  64. Little Egret 
  65. Pacific Reef Egret 
  66. Cattle Egret 
  67. Javan Pond-Heron  
  68. Little Heron
  69. Rufous Night Heron
  70. Cinnamon Bittern
  71. Woolly-necked Stork
  72. Oriental Honey-buzzard
  73. Black-winged Kite 
  74. Brahminy Kite
  75. White-bellied Sea-Eagle 
  76. Chinese Goshawk 
  77. Variable Goshawk 
  78. Brown Goshawk
  79. Japanese Sparrowhawk 
  80. Bonelli's Eagle
  81. Rufous-bellied Eagle
  82. Changeable Hawk-eagle
  83. Spotted Kestrel
  84. Wandering Whistling Duck
  85. Lesser Whistling Duck
  86. Sunda Teal 
  87. Pacific Black Duck
  88. Buff-banded Rail
  89. White-browed Crake
  90. White-breasted Waterhen
  91. Common Moorhen
  92. Black-winged Stilt 
  93. Pacific Golden Plover
  94. Kentish (Javan) Plover
  95. Greater Sand-Plover
  96. Whimbrel
  97. Common Redshank
  98. Common Greenshank 
  99. Red-necked Stint
  100. Marsh Sandpiper
  101. Wood Sandpiper 
  102. Broad-billed Sandpiper 
  103. Red-necked Phalarope
  104. Pomarine Jaeger
  105. Whiskered Tern
  106. Black-naped Tern
  107. Sooty Tern 
  108. Greater Crested Tern
  109. Lesser Crested Tern
  110. Brown Noddy
  111. White-throated Pigeon 
  112. Island Collared Dove 
  113. Spotted Dove
  114. Ruddy Cuckoo-dove
  115. Barred Dove
  116. Green Imperial Pigeon
  117. Yellow-crested Cockatoo
  118. Great-billed Parrot
  119. Rusty-breasted Cuckoo
  120. Oriental Cuckoo
  121. Common Koel
  122. Lesser Coucal
  123. Large-tailed Nightjar 
  124. Edible-nest Swiftlet
  125. Glossy Swiftlet
  126. Fork-tailed Swift
  127. Blue-tailed Bee-eater
  128. Common Dollarbird 
  129. Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker
  130. Australasian Bushlark
  131. Barn Swallow
  132. Pacific Swallow
  133. Striated Swallow
  134. Grey Wagtail
  135. Richards Pipit 
  136. Pale-shouldered Cicadabird
  137. White-shouldered Triller
  138. Black-naped Oriole
  139. Large-billed Crow
  140. Great Tit
  141. Flyeater
  142. Mountain Tailorbird
  143. Arctic Warbler
  144. Yellow-breasted Warbler
  145. Golden-headed Cisticola
  146. Zitting Cisticola
  147. Little Pied Flycatcher 
  148. Black-naped Monarch 
  149. Asian Paradise Flycatcher
  150. Common Golden Whistler
  151. White-breasted Wood-swallow
  152. Hill Myna
  153. Helmeted Friarbird 
  154. Brown-throated Sunbird 
  155. Olive-backed Sunbird
  156. Oriental White-eye
  157. Mountain White-eye
  158. Lemon-bellied White-eye
  159. Tree Sparrow 
  160. Eurasian Coot 
  161. Little Grebes
  162. Spectacled Monarch
Orange-footed Scrubfowl Flores
An Orange-footed Scrubfowl spotted at Komodo Island, Flores
When is the Best Time for Bird Watching in Flores

Overall, the entire year is great for bird watching in Flores, but there is a rainy season from December to March and if you don't like the rain, avoid these months. Also, in February, the seas have high waves as it is the peak of the monsoon season, so avoid mid January to mid March. July to August is Komodo High Season, so Labuan Bajo will be pretty crowded and so will Komodo Island. If you do not like large crowds, avoid these couple of months. 

How Much is Bird Watching in Flores

Depending on the type of package you choose, the price of bird watching in Flores varies anywhere from US$1000 to US$2000 per person. A couple of tour companies provide bird watching tours in Flores and for a 7 Day Bird Watching Package, the price is around US$1625.00 per person with a minimum of 2 persons.

However, for those who are on a budget, you can also do bird watching in Flores for less than the prices mentioned above. Probably for under US$1000 per person, but it would be mostly around Labuan Bajo and Komodo National Park.

If you are visiting this island in East Nusa Tenggara, do read my other article on things to do in Flores as it sheds some information about what else you can do around this beautiful island. You should also read my other article on things to do in Labuan Bajo, as that is the most popular area in Flores.
Flores Birds
One of the colorful birds spotted just outside of Labuan Bajo, Flores
For me, being a beginner birder, I use very basic equipment for this hobby. My birding equipment is a Nikon D5100 DSLR camera with a 300mm Nikkor Telephoto Lens, an Omicron Barbet RF 8x32 Binoculars, a Cabin Zero Bag and mid range tripod. To date, they have served me pretty well as I travel around quite a bit, therefore I need easy and light equipment.

The beauty about traveling from place to place on a short time is that you get to see multiple places, but for the serious birder, this would be frustrating. Well, for my work, I only have very little time to bird watch or photograph, therefore I make the best of what time I have. And this is also one of the main reasons that I travel light, due to my work schedules.
Omicron Binoculars, which I use for my bird watching. 
I have to admit that I do not know most of the birds spotted during my trip here as I did not have the Flores Bird Guide Book. I have ordered it and on my next birding trip to Flores, I will bring it along to identify all the birds. You can also visit my Facebook album on Flores birds, where I have posted more photos there. 

In general, Flores is one of the new places for bird watching as it is located far from the main commercial Southeast Asia region and closer towards Papua New Guinea. With minor development happening, flora and fauna is still considered to be rich all over the island. And for anyone wanting to do Bird Watching in Flores, I strongly recommend you engage a good bird guide who speaks the local language. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

OPPO R9s Smartphone Camera Review

OPPO R9s Camera Review Malaysia

This OPPO R9s Smartphone camera review is probably one of my rare articles as I hardly do any phone reviews for Malaysia. Anyway, over the years I have been using various smartphones, dating back to the first ever smartphone, the Apple Iphone which I had shipped in the next day after it was released in the USA on June 29, 2007. I had a very good friend send two units over from the US and the joke was on me when I started using it here in Malaysia. Friends laughed at me back then, but nowadays, it is the most important gadget that almost every human must have. 

Back to the OPPO R9s Smartphone photo review. I bought the R9s on the launch date in January 2017 here in Malaysia as previously, I was using a OPPO F1s and before that, I was a Samsung Note user. Why the change? You may have guessed it, due to the Samsung issues and also how the previous Samsung's heat up on heavy usage and also the high price factors nowadays for branded smartphones. Yeah, I know right, RM3,000+ for a smartphone is a bit too much. Buy hey, it's totally up to anyone. 
OPPO R9s Photography
A temple in the Chinatown area of Bangkok. Photo taken with OPPO R9s. All photos unedited. 
OPPO R9s Smartphone Camera Review

What made me decide to change from the F1s to the R9s? Well, since I started to pay more attention towards my smartphone photography, I wanted to explore this area and many friends and even reviews out there have been quite interesting. In the top of the list was the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus which has been getting top reviews for their camera and Leica lens. 

So with some free time one early January day, I paid a visit to my regular phone shop and Danny, a good old friend has informed me that OPPO was in fact launching a new model, the R9s which was superior to the F1s and on par with the Huawei P9. His staff had a test unit which they took out the Huawei P9, P9 plus and did a side by side comparison. 

In the end, the OPPO R9s photo quality was actually a little better than the P9, in terms of realistic colors. Plus the price difference was huge, RM1799 for the R9s versus RM2099 for the P9. So, they say the dual lens on the Huawei is supposed to be a step forward in technology, but again, after doing the general user comparison, I saw no difference. Perhaps for those professional users, there may be but again, a majority of buyers are just simple users like me. 

OPPO R9s Smartphone Photos 

Below are photos taken in various places around Bangkok, Thailand in early February 2017 as I paid a personal shot visit here for a quick escape. Instead of lugging my Nikon DSLR, I just brought the OPPO R9s as my main camera to see how it would capture photos. The photos you see below are all straight from the smartphone and not edited at all. I simply resized them for this article, that is all.
A Thai Temple Pagoda
Camera Review OPPO R9s
River life along one of the rivers in Bangkok 
Photos taken with OPPO R9s
Facade of a Thai Temple in Bangkok


Food Photos in Thailand 2017
Thai Dry Yellow Noodles

Smartphone Pictures of OPPO R9s
Thai Tom Yum with Master Noodles

OPPO R9s Phone Pictures
The Giant Ferris Wheel at Asiatique Waterfront in Bangkok

Street Food Photo Bangkok
Thai Duck Noodles

Thai Sweet Dessert
A type of Thai sweet dessert
OPPO R9s Specifications:
The Oppo R9s is powered by 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor and it comes with 4GB of RAM. Retail price is RM1799.00 in Malaysia. 

For anyone out there who is contemplating on what your next smartphone will be, please do your own fact finding and it is always best to find a phone that suites your lifestyle. If you are a simple person, then go for something simple and easy, instead of the highest end model where you only use 20% of the smartphone functions. 

If you cannot live without selfies, then find a smartphone that can cater to vanity, built in beauty mode and a good reverse camera with a huge storage. If your whole life revolves around social media, then get a powerful smartphone to cater to your needs. 

To me, after a decade of using smartphones, I have been a simple user, taking photos and videos. What matters to me is the battery life, good clear camera, the RAM, processor and storage. Other things do not really matter much but from what I have noticed in Southeast Asia is that most people want to be in trend and have the latest smartphones. Perhaps it is a lifestyle trend, society status or just having too much money to spend. 

You can also see my OPPO R9s Video Review as I did one in January for YouTube. Let me know what you think about my OPPO R9s Smartphone camera review as I would be interested to hear what people think. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Megadeth Live in Malaysia 2017

Megadeth Live in Malaysia 2017

After all these years, the time has come for metal fans as Megadeth Live in Malaysia 2017 takes place this 4th May and at Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur. Organised by IME Malaysia, the Megadeth debut performance in Malaysia will see a huge crowd, especially from the outskirts of the city and possibly from as far as neighboring countries like Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei. 

Megadeth has been around since 1983 and has performed all over the world, being known as probably the worlds most famous trash metal band that ever existed. As part of the Megadeth Dystopia World Tour, one of the stops include Malaysia, apart from also performing in Singapore and Indonesia. 

Megadeth Live in Malaysia 2017

According to Megadeth founder Dave Mustaine, he mentioned in an interview that Kuala Lumpur is one of the places that the would love to play when the band tours Asia. The 2017 tour is also to support the band's latest album titled Dystopia and is their first album in three years. In total, they have released 15 albums to date. 

Dystopia, he new album which was launched on 22 January 2016, also earned a Grammy Nomination for Best Metal Performance of 2017 and in the first week of release, they sold almost 50,000 units. The new Megadeth album is also listed as one of the 20 Best Metal Albums of 2016 by Rolling Stone magazine. 

With a total worldwide album sales of 50 million copies in three decades, the band has also earned many accolades and 12 Grammy Nominations. Megadeth's line up currently consist of Dave Mustaine on vocals and guitar, David Ellefson on bass, guitarist Kiko Loureiro and drummer Dirk Verbeuren. You can also get more information on the official Megadeth website

Megadeth Live in Malaysia 2017 Ticket Prices 
  • RM428 (Deth Pitt Zone, Free Standing)
  • RM388 (VIP, Numbered Seat)
  • RM358 (Rock Zone, Free Standing)
  • RM288 (CAT1, Numbered Seat)
  • RM198 (CAT2, Free Seating)
Megadeth Live in KL, Malaysia
Seating position for Megadeth Live in Kuala Lumpur at Stadium Negara
Where to buy Megadeth Live in Malaysia 2017 Tickets


You can get your Megadeth Live in Malaysia tickets from;
  • TicketCharge Online
  • Website: www.ticketcharge.com.my
    Hotline: +603-92228811 starting from 10th February 2017.
  • Speedy Video
  • Victoria Music
  • Rock Corner
  • Chambers Music
  • PJ Live Arts
  • The Mines Shopping Mall information counter
  • 1 Shamelin information counter
  • Eden Ultimate (Kuantan)
  • Blonde Brunette (Penang)

All ticket prices are inclusive of 6% GST but exclusive of RM4 processing fee.

Megadeth Live in Malaysia 2017
Date: 4th May 2017 (Thursday)
Time: 8.00 PM
Venue: Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur
Poster Megadeth Live in Malaysia 2017
Megadeth Live in Malaysia Poster

Traveling to Kuala Lumpur
For those travelling to Malaysia to catch the Megadeth Live in Kuala Lumpur concert, you should make your hotel bookings as soon as possible. This is because hotels tend to get fully booked towards the concert date. There are many hotels located near Stadium Negara (National Stadium), which is very close to Petaling Street or Chinatown Kuala Lumpur. If you are staying in the Chinatown area, you can just take a 5 minute walk to the concert venue. 

Other places include Bukit Bintang and Pudu area, where you can find many other hotels, guesthouses and homestays. However, you will need to take the LRT train, bus or taxi to Stadium Negara. You can walk too, but it will take about 20-30 minutes. 

KL Sentral, the main train hub in Kuala Lumpur is also located about 20-30 minutes walk, but we advise not to do so and instead take a coupon taxi to your designated hotel or directly to the stadium outdoors. If you are traveling from KLIA airport to Kuala Lumpur, it is best to take the KLIA Express train as it only takes 28 minutes one way. 

Those driving to the stadium, please not that parking will be quite full, so it is best to park at some of the private car parks outside the stadium. Note that these car parks may charge you around RM50 to RM100, depending on how close it is. From the car park, it takes about 5 to 10 minutes walk to the stadium.

Fans looking for the latest updates on the Megadeth concert in KL, visit @IMEAsia on Facebook, @IME_Asia on Instagram, @IMEProduction on Twitter, or @IMEProductions on WeChat. IME will be updating information for those planning to attend the Megadeth Live in Malaysia 2017 concert.

Friday, February 10, 2017

AirAsia X Flights To Hawaii via Osaka

AirAsia X Flights To Hawaii USA

The long awaited AirAsia X Flights To Hawaii via Osaka has been officially launched and the four times weekly flight starts on 28 June 2017. This will connect Kuala Lumpur to Osaka and then to Honolulu, making this the first budget airline in the region to enter the Unites States. 

With the launching of the Kuala Lumpur - Honolulu flights, AirAsia X will be offering fares from as low as RM499.00* from 11 to 26 February 2017 for travel from 28 June 2017 to 6 February 2018. During this offer period, guests wanting to travel in greater comfort can experience AirAsia X's award-winning Premium Flatbed from RM2,999.00*, which will be one of the lowest fares to Hawaii from Asia. These promotional flight tickets are also available for booking on the website only. 

Please note that the one-way all-in fare inclusive of taxes and fees. Terms and conditions apply.​ Subject to Japanese government approval.

AirAsia X Flights To Hawaii via Osaka

With the introduction of AirAsia X flights to the US, this will allow Asians to now choose Hawaii as one of the destinations for their vacation or even honeymoon. Hawaii will serve as the main gateway into other cities in the west coast of the US, namely Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Seattle. 

Flight Schedule for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL) to Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL) via Osaka, Japan (KIX)

Flight No.
From
To
Departure
Arrival
Flight Schedule
D7 001
KUL
KIX
1400 hrs
2125 hrs
Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat
D7 001
KIX
HNL
2325 hrs
1230 hrs
Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat
D7 002
HNL
KIX
1600 hrs
2025 hrs
Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat
D7 002
KIX
KUL
2200 hrs
0400 hrs
Tue, Thu, Sat, Sun
Note: All times listed are local unless otherwise stated.

AirAsia X Flights To Hawaii - Visa Questions

For passengers heading to Hawaii and transiting in Osaka, they do not require a Japanese visa during the two-hour stopover, and can return to their seats on the flight after clearing security with any carry-on luggage or belongings. However, you are required to get your US Visa for anyone wanting to fly to Hawaii. 

AirAsia Fly-Thru Service

Passengers can also make use of AirAsia's Fly-Thru service to connect seamlessly to Honolulu from other cities within AirAsia and AirAsia X’s extensive flight network with just one additional stop.

AirAsia Multi-City Option

Passengers who want greater flexibility in travel planning can opt for the Multi-City option, which allows them to spend a few days in Osaka (Japanese visa required) before travelling onward to Honolulu. For more information, visit the AirAsia website.

Hawaii is also nicknamed the Paradise of the Pacific, is formed by eight islands located right at the heart of the Pacific Ocean. Famed for its stunning natural beauty and unique indigenous culture, this tropical paradise is the only US state located in the Oceania. Honolulu, the capital city, located on the most populous island O'ahu, is a modern city that boasts island charms, including the world-renowned Waikiki Beach, once the site of vacation homes for the kings and queens of Hawaii.

In January, we had issued an article of AirAsia X flights to the US as they received clearance from the FAA. It has only been a month before the multiple award-winning budget airline announced the follow up for the flights. For those wanting to visit the US on a budget, you can now start to plan as soon, AirAsia X Flights To Hawaii via Osaka will start on 28 June, 2017.