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17 August, 2014

Thailand takes No.1 spot in new Global Beachfront Awards

Le Paradis Boutique Resort at Chewang, Koh Samui
Le Paradis Boutique Resort at Chewang, Koh Samui - Photo John Everingham
Firstly, congratulations to Thailand for taking top spot in this award. Next, I was quite surprised that Malaysia never did make it into this list but then again, after reading the criteria carefully, these awards goes to "the number of true beachfront accommodation establishments a country offers, and include all levels from beach bungalows to luxury, 5-star resorts" and this is something that Malaysia has never pushed for. 

I guess Malaysia is still a great place as our beaches are not over-crowded. We do have some really amazing and beautiful beach fronts around Malaysia where there are high end resorts to beautiful natural lodges scattered throughout our coast line in peninsular and also over in Sabah and Sarawak Borneo. I recently also wrote an article about the Best Beaches in Malaysia a couple of weeks ago too. 

Beautiful Malaysia Beaches
Some of the less-crowded beaches of Malaysia, this one at Langkawi Island
Thailand takes No. 1 spot in new Global Beachfront Awards with an amazing 1,250 beachfront hotels; Samui takes top Destination Award

Anyway, the new darling of beach-lovers worldwide, Thailand is riding a crest in humanity's age-old love affair with the beach that has helped it overtake traditional beach countries like Spain, Mexico and Greece in the new Global Beachfront Awards.

Thailand, a rising superstar in global tourism, has beaten the world's most famous, traditional beach destinations including Spain, Mexico, USA, Greece and Turkey to take the number one position in the newly announced Global Beachfront Awards.  Thailand won top spot with over 1,250 true beachfront hotels and resorts, followed by the USA with 1,016, Mexico with 943, Spain with 736 and Greece with 576.
Global Beachfront Awards Top 10 Countries
Global Beachfront Awards Top 10 Countries
This win follows Thailand's meteoric, 88% rise in tourist numbers over the past five years, overriding both the global depression and its own well-publicized, internal political upheavals. Street violence and grenade attacks in Bangkok did little to slow the country's burgeoning tourism business, which consistently outperformed all other global players by wide margins over the last five years. Figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (WTO) show that in 2013, for the first time, Thailand rose to join the world's Top 10 most visited countries. This world-winning performance was powered by millions of international visitors flocking not to its golden temples but mainly to its beautiful tropical beaches. Last year 12 of Thailand's 27 million international tourists visited the island of Phuket alone – and it has 12 more widely scattered beach destinations with over 30 beachfront resorts each.


Issued by The Beachfront Club, whose website maps beachfront hotels in detail not seen elsewhere, the Global Beachfront Awards claim to have accounted for over 12,000 accommodation establishments on beaches in 109 countries. The awards are a measure of the number of true beachfront accommodation establishments a country offers, and include all levels from beach bungalows to luxury, 5-star resorts. 'True beachfront', by the criteria of this Club, includes only those hotels directly on a beach or oceanfront with no road or traffic between the rooms and the water. Read more at Global Beachfront Club.

16 August, 2014

Sarawak Diving Packages

Diving Packages in Sarawak

Sarawak has always had diving spots which have not been popularized but recently, Tourism Malaysia introduced six scuba diving packages to help make Sarawak the next diving haven. The "Sarawak Adventure Dive" 2014/15 package was launched at the Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Travel Fair at Mid Valley shopping centre on the weekend of 8, 9 and 10 August 2014. 

Tourism Malaysia has also collaborated with four local tour agencies to produce the dive packages. They consist of the Borneo Exploration Tours & Travel Services and CPH Travel Agencies in Kuching; and Minda Nusantara Tour & Travel Agencies and Planet Borneo Tours & Travel Services in Miri. The six Sarawak dive packages that are being offered until December 2015 are:-
  • Sarawak Wreck Dives (Kuching) - A 4D/3N package from RM1,860 - RM2,400 per person (a minimum of four people without equipment)
  • Sarawak Dive Package 1 (Kuching) - A 3D/2N package, starting from RM719 per person
  • Sarawak Dive Package 2 (Kuching) - A 4D/3N package, starting from RM1,132 per person
  • Miri Dive Packages - A 4D/3N package, starting from RM850 - RM1,350 per person (minimum two people)
  • Miri Dive Holidays - A 5D/4N package, starting from RM1,080 - RM1,450 per person
  • Miri Dive and Stay Package @cocohouse - A 4D/3N package, starting from RM748 per person
Diving around Kuching - Photo by David ST Loh
Diving around Kuching - Photo by David ST Loh
Dive spots in Kuching

One of the popular and favourite dive spots is a World War 2 shipwreck near Santubong which is suitable for local and international diving enthusiasts, who revel in the chance to explore the remnants of Japanese warships, such as the Katori Maru, Hisyoshi Maru and Sagiri.

Wreck diving Kuching, Sarawak
The remnants of the warships also play an important role in the marine ecosystem, because they act as shelters and artificial habitats for the local marine life. The shipwrecks are about 22 metres below the water's surface, which is considered an easy depth for divers to explore. This includes beginner divers with their open water licenses. 

Aside from diving, there are plenty of other tourist activities, such as a visit to the Sarawak Cultural Village, the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Bako National Park, or even an exploration of Gua Sireh and Gua Sebayan in Bau.

Dive Spots in Miri

Diving around Miri
Miri Diving
Miri is among the earliest places that have been designated as a diving destination for many years now. There are more than 30 dive sites around Miri's waters, with a visibility of 10 to 30 metres. The best season to dive in Miri is from March to September or November, depending on the weather.

Aside from its natural dive spots, Miri also has 5 shipwreck dive spots. Among the most beautiful of them are the artificial reefs named the Kenyalang Wreck, which was a joint development by Shell and Petronas from 7 years ago. Other areas to explore include the Anemone Garden, Siwa Reef and Hawa Reef. All being out in sea and takes about minimum 20 minutes one way to the dive sites. Popular dive company running these dive tours is also Coco Dive who in return works hand in hand with pioneer tour company Planet Borneo Tours.
Beautiful dive sites around Miri, Sarawak
Some of the beautiful dive sites around Miri, Sarawak 
Nudibranch taken at Miri dive sites - Photo CoCo Dive 
Dive Sites for Miri
                                     Diving around Miri and some of the dive sites - photos from Coco Dive Miri

The effort to develop the "Sarawak Adventure Dive" 2014/15 package is a continuation of the ‘Product Introduction & Packaging - Kuching Adventure Dive' programme which was organised by Tourism Malaysia Sarawak on May 2013 in Kuching, Sarawak.

The programme received the attention of the Sarawak Tourism Minister, YB Datuk Amar Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari, who visited the Katori Maru Wreck dive site in Santubong on 25 May 2014. Since diving has escalated in tourism over the recent years, many divers have shown interest apart from visiting Sabah in Borneo. You can also contact new Malaysia online dive and travel store Explorer Lifestyle which offers various dive packages around Malaysia, Borneo and also Sarawak Diving Packages. 

14 August, 2014

Mariah Carey Tickets Launch in Malaysia


Mariah Carey Tickets Launch in Malaysia will be held this Sunday 17th August at Paradigm Mall in Petaling Jaya and IME Productions is proud to announce 'ME. I AM MARIAH' Live in Malaysia 2014. This much awaited concert which is supported by Malaysia Major Events, a division of Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia and the mega show will be kicking off on 22nd October 2014 at 8.00pm at Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur. After a good 10 years, Mariah Carey is coming back to Malaysia to perform a concert that many will remember. 

Mariah Carey is also the best-selling female artiste of all time with more than 250 million albums sold to date and 18 Billboard #1 singles (seventeen self-penned) including 'Fantasy', 'Always Be My Baby', 'Hero', 'Touch My Body', 'One Sweet Day', 'Without You', 'We Belong Together' and the global smash hit Christmas single 'All I Want for Christmas Is You', more than any solo artiste in history. With her distinct five-octave vocal range, prolific song writing, and producing talent, Mariah has defined the modern pop performance.

As a singer, songwriter and producer, she has been recognized with five Grammy Awards, nine American Music Awards, Billboard's "Artist of the Decade" Award, the World Music Award for "World's Best Selling Female Artiste of the Millennium," and BMI's "Icon Award" to name a few.

In 2012, after her post-pregnancy hiatus, she joined the brand new panel for season 12 of the ‘American Idol’ and topped the dance charts worldwide with her smash hit single ‘Triumphant (Get’ Em)’. Mariah also filmed ‘The Butler’, a movie by Lee Daniels. He had previously cast her in the critically acclaimed ‘Precious’, a role which won Mariah unprecedented accolades for her dramatic performance.

Mariah Carey Live in Malaysia 2014 Poster
Mariah Carey Live in Malaysia 2014 Poster
This year, Mariah released her fourteenth studio album, ‘Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse’ by Universal Music. The album features key singles such as ‘Beautiful’ (featuring Miguel), ‘Make It Look Good’ and ‘Camouflage’ have featured prominently on music charts globally. Mariah also plans to launch her album on her Asian Tour instead of doing it back in the USA. 

The Mariah Carey ticket launch will be held on this Sunday, 17th August 2014 at Paradigm Mall Level UG, Upper Atrium from 11a.m. until 5p.m. Everyone is welcome while early birds can enjoy a 10% discount for their ticket purchases.

Update 17th August Sunday 2pm - See photos of the Mariah Carey Ticket Launch at Paradigm Mall

Mariah Carey Kuala Lumpur Concert Tickets
  • RM680 (VVIP number seat)
  • RM580 (number seat)
  • RM480 (number seat)
  • RM380 (number seat)
  • RM280 (free seating)
  • RM120 (free seating)
Mariah Carey Online Tickets are available from 17th August 2014 through official ticketing agency;
  • Phone In: TicketCharge hotline +603 92228811
  • IME Productions hotline: +6011-23166198 or +603 21666166 
Mariah Carey Live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 2014 Information
  • Date: 22nd October (Wednesday)
  • Time: 8.00 PM
  • Venue: Stadium Merdeka, KL
Mariah Carey Live in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 2014 is fully supported by Malaysia Major Events and Tourism Malaysia. The event organiser for this is IME Productions who won the bid to bring the superstar back to our shores again for the second time after 10 years. IME Productions is also in charge of the Mariah Carey Tickets Launch in Malaysia. 

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