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26 Feb 2015

Miri Diving Sites

Miri Diving Sites

For those who have not dived here, the Miri Diving Sites are well scattered just outside the resort city of Miri in Sarawak and while Miri is not that well known for diving, it is now being promoted by the Sarawak Tourism Board and also Tourism Malaysia as one of the must-dive areas in Sarawak Malaysia, apart from Sabah and the East Coast Islands of Malaysia.

While Malaysia has abundance of beautiful dive sites, the dive sites in Miri are absolutely not to be missed for any adventure and leisure diver. Miri's dive sites has some of the worlds healthiest hard and soft corals according to research and was recently discovered in the last five years or so making this dive destination a desirable and unique one to visit.

Diving sites in Miri, Sarawak
Various diving photos in Miri
Dive sites in Miri

There are a total of 37 dive sites in Miri and the below are the most popular ones for beginners and advanced divers. 

Eve's Garden 10 Minutes
This shallow reef of just 20 to 40 feet is carpeted with soft corals such as leather corals, elephant's ear and dead man's fingers. Giant anemones and clown fishes are all over the reef. The schooling yellow tail fusiliers and angelfishes also characterise this reef.

Anemone Garden 20 Minutes
One of the most interesting reefs with a depth range of 10 - 16 meters, with hard and soft corals, anemones and their symbolic clown fishes, bubble corals, anchor corals, colorful dendronepthya soft corals, feather stars, giant clams, nudibranches and schooling yellowtails.

Siwa Reef 25 Minutes
The largest reef in Miri, some 800m in length, and the depth ranges from 8-18m. Divers will certainly be left aawed by the many large boulders, huge and undamaged table corals of Miri. Leopard Sharks, huge Marble Rays, and mixtures of wonderful contrast marine life can be sited here.

Sea Fan Garden 30 Minutes
This unique 16 meter deep reef provides an excellent environment for an amazing variety of gorgonian sea fans, sea whips and schooling batfish.

Sunday Reef 35 Minutes
Large hard corals make up this richly inhabited 11-16 meter deep reef, populated with anemones, clown fishes and nudibranches.

VHK Reef 40 Minutes
This reef is named after our respectful instructor, Mr Voo Heng Kong, and is covered with sea-whips swaying among the hard coral and sea fan. Average diving depth is around 17 metres, where divers will find schools of jacks, small barracudas, anemones, clownfish and many more species of marine life.

Tukau Drop-Off 50 Minutes
An exciting drop-off reef (20-40 meters) with a vertical wall. Schooling jacks, barracudas, napoleon Wrasses, yellowtail fusiliers and large groupers are always present, and sharks and trumpet fish are occasionally seen here.

Batu Belais 45 Minutes 
A picturesque reef covered with gorgonian trees and seafans. Batfishes are common among the long swaying sea whips - a photographer's heaven.

Grouper Patch 60 Minutes
Giant groupers inhabit this reef of 15-18 meters depth. Spiny lobsters are also present together with yellowtail fusiliers and other schooling fishes.

Atagu Maru Wreck 10 Minutes
A World War II era Japanese warship wreck just off Lutong. The 100 meter ship sits upright with the top deck just 10 meters below the surface. Most of the hull is covered with cave corals. A large moray eel has made its home here and travelly, jacks and barracudas are frequently seen.

Sri Gadong Wreck 60 Minutes
A small 30 meter cargo ship sits on an 18 meter sand bottom. The whole wreck is teeming with life; jacks, yellow grunts, batfish and barracudas circle the wreck while giant groupers swim in or out of the cargo holds.

Dive Sites in Miri-Sibuti
Miri Dive Sites
Miri Diving Information

Miri has long been known for the many national parks and caves over the years and now, the beautiful undersea landscape and marine life is gaining attention of scuba divers ever since the untouched coral reefs were discovered in recent years.

In general, the reefs in Miri are all patch reefs with varying depths from 7 to 30 meters with average visibility of 10 to 30 meters. This highly depends on the currents and season for diving and also weather permitting.

Miri Marine Life
Among what you can see while diving in Miri are mostly healthy corals like Gorgonians, sea-whips, anemones, sponges and crinoids. Marine life include loads of reef fish like angel fish, butterfly fish, fusiliers and larger fish like groupers, stingrays, trigger fish, parrot fish and wrasses. For nudis, a total of 40 or more species of nudibranchs have already been sighted to date. 

Miri Diving Style
The only style of diving you can do in Miri is boat diving. There are no islands in the vicinity of all the dive sites therefore your surface intervals are done on the boat, especially on route to your next dive site. Most of the dive locations have next to no currents and the water temperature averages around 30 degree Celsius so you can use a 3mm wetsuit with no problem. 

Visibility in Miri - 10 to 30 meters 
Best time to dive in Miri - March till September
What to see while diving in Miri - Cuttlefish, rays, whale shark, nudibranches, all kinds of corals
Nearest Dive Site from Miri - 15 minutes boat ride
Dive Packages in Miri - RM615 to RM1,000 per person
Divers per boat - per day: 16 divers max

You can also read my other article on Diving in Miri as I did my last dive there in May 2014 and the next time you plan a diving trip in Sarawak and want something totally different compared to the usual busy dive centres, you can check out Coco Dive as they specialize in all the Miri Diving Sites and comes highly recommended by many people who have been here. 

24 Feb 2015

Smokie Live in Malaysia

Smokie Live Malaysia 2015

This 8th March 2015, Smokie will perform live in Malaysia for the second time and also as part of their 40th Anniversary World Tour. Smokie will be appearing as a special international guest at the Malaysia My Music Festival 2015, the inaugural 'Malaysian Live Music Festival' which will be taking place at Sunway Surf Pool at Sunway Lagoon, Petaling Jaya on the same date. 

The last time Smokie was in Malaysia was back in November 2006 and this time around, you can catch legendary British rock band Smokie on stage and this event is also a Free Entrance Concert, so no tickets needed to see them live. Plus they will be performing with 20 other top Malaysian Live Bands and musicians from around the country. 

Smokie in Malaysia 2015
My Music Festival with Smokie Live in Malaysia
Smokie is well known in the late 70s and 80s bringing you Brit rock music with their most famous hit "Living Next Door to Alice" and "If you think you know how to love me" to millions of rock fans around the world. Currently, the band consist of musicians Terry Uttley, Martin Bullard, Steve Pinnell, Mike Craft and Mick McConnell who make up the current line up of Smokie. 

The rock band started back in 1974 in England playing Pop rock, Soft rock and Glam rock right throughout the years until now. The last album released by Smokie was "Take A Minute" which was in August 2010 where they continued the legacy of Alice by featuring their new hit "Sally's Song" which is the other character from "Living next door to Alice". 

Smokie in Malaysia 2006
The last time Smokie was in Malaysia 2006
In total, the band has released 22 albums in their music career and watching them perform live is something legendary for any rock fan as they have kept to their roots in terms of music over the last four decades. 

For Malaysians and Southeast Asian Smokie fans, here is your chance to catch these British Rock Stars - Smokie Live in Malaysia this 8th March 2015. Again, the event is free and all you need to do is show up at the venue for this amazing music festival - My Music Festival 2015.

Smokie Band in Malaysia
Smokie to perform Live in Malaysia 2015
Smokie Live in Malaysia 2015 Information

• Date: 8 March 2015 (Sunday)
• Venue: Surf Beach at Sunway Lagoon, Petaling Jaya
• Time 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm
• Organiser: OX Entertainment, a division of Memories

For Smokie fans traveling to Malaysia, you can make your travel arrangements around Sunway area as there are a number of hotels available ranging from luxury to budget. Hotels in the direct vicinity include Sunway Resort Hotel, and Sunway Pyramid Hotel. Around Sunway Area, there is the Holiday Villa Resort, Grand Dorsett Subang and also Empire Hotel. 

My Music Festival 2015 is brought to you by Ox Entertainment and is fully supported by Malaysia Major Events (MME), a division of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia. 

This event is part of the My Music Festival 2015, the first Malaysian 'Live Band' Music Festival in the country on a large scale with 20 Live Bands and Musicians performing in one evening and the highlight, the performance of Smokie Live in Malaysia. 

22 Feb 2015

Borneo Jazz Festival 10th Anniversary Performers

Borneo Jazz 10th Anniversary

This year's Borneo Jazz Festival 2015 will be the 10th Anniversary here in Miri, Sarawak and to celebrate this special occasion jazz festival, the lineup of performers will be 9 of the best acts that performed throughout the 10 years of the festival. 

This inaugural jazz festival in Sarawak started in 2006 as the Miri International Jazz Festival before changing the name to the Borneo International Jazz Festival and now simply the Borneo Jazz Festival. 

This year, the BJF 2015 will take place on 8-9 May at the ParkCity Everly Hotel in Miri, Sarawak. Jazz fans will be in for a treat with all the favourite bands lined up for the two day show here.

Scene at last years Borneo Jazz Festival
Line up of  jazz artist for this years BJF2015 are;

1. Shafiee Obe and All The Best  (Sarawak - 2006)
2. Lluis Coloma (Spain - 2006/07)
3. Dirty Dozen Brass Band (USA - 2007)
4. Koh Mr.Saxman & Takeshi Band (Thailand - 2012)
5. Jump For Joy (Sweden - 2013)
6. Mo'Blow (Germany - 2013)
7. The Nylons (Canada - 2013)
8. JunkOFunc (Malaysia - 2014)
9. Anthony Strong (UK - 2014)

BJF 2015
Anthony Strong performing last year
This year's Borneo Jazz line up is very promising with the selected best acts over the years and you can be assured of an exciting time a the festival. There will also be a food and craft bazaar for visitors over the two days here. For the jazz lovers and fans out there, you can check out this list of Jazz Festivals in Malaysia which are on different months throughout the country.

Behind the scene of BJF
Borneo Jazz 2014
Borneo Jazz 2015 Venue
ParkCity Everly Hotel Miri
Jalan Temenggong Datuk Oyong Lawai
98000, Miri Sarawak, Malaysia
Telephone: +6085 440 288
Website: Jazz Borneo

For ticket prices and all the additional information on how to get there, accommodations and logistics, please refer to my earlier article on the Borneo Jazz Festival 2015

Borneo Jazz Fest
BrassBallet performing at Borneo Jazz 2014
As Sarawak plays host to a number of music festivals, the BJF2015 is one of the pioneer music festivals here while the most famous being the Rainforest World Music Festival which takes place in August. A build up to this is also the Borneo World Music Expo 2015 taking place a week before the RWMF 2015.

There are also a number of other Music Festivals in Sarawak which cater to niche genres and also ethnic types. The Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) is also in charge of most of the music festivals here and for a surprise to fans, they made sure that the this years festival would be something to remember with an incredible line up for the Borneo Jazz Festival 10th Anniversary Performers. 

21 Feb 2015

Amazing Malaysia HDR Photos

Malaysia HDR Photography

While not many photographers use HDR for their photography, there are some pretty amazing Malaysia HDR photos taken by a number of photographers from around Malaysia and the world. Basically what I have done was search the web for photos of Malaysia in High-Definition-Range or simply HDR to be featured here. Most of these photographers are amateurs or semi-professional who shoot for fun as a hobby while some actually have a photography business. 

With photography growing on a very fast scale, I took the initiative to highlight some of the beautiful Malaysia HDR photos in this article and hope you enjoy them. If you know of someone who does HDR photography, do point them here or if you are a photographer and want to feature your photos, please feel free to contact me. Also if you are the owner of the photo and want it removed, please let me know too. Also, there are some unknown photographers here and if you know who they are, do share their names so I can update the information. 

Amazing Malaysia HDR Photos

Cameron Highlands Malaysia HDR Photo
Cameron Highlands, Pahang - Photographer: May Wong
Batu Caves, Selangor Photo
Batu Caves, Selangor - Photographer: Unknown
HDR Photo of Batu Caves
Inside Batu Caves - Photographer: Unknown
Gayang Beach, Kota Kinabalu Sabah
Gayang Beach, Kota Kinabalu Sabah - Photographer: Azman Shah
Jeram Tinggi Waterfalls Johor
Jeram Tinggi Waterfalls, Johor - Photographer: Fauzi Ahmad Ghazali
Kuala Lumpur Sunset Skyline HDR Photography
Kuala Lumpur Sunset Skyline - Photographer: Azman Shah
Khoo Kongsi Temple Penang HDR Photography
Khoo Kongsi Temple Penang - Photographer: Hartmut Bardtke
KLCC Malaysia HDR Photography
KLCC HDR - Photographer: Azman Shah
Romantic Dinner in Langkawi
Romantic Beach Dinner in Langkawi - Photographer: Andrew Beirne
Kota Darul Ehsan Arch, Selangor Photography
Kota Darul Ehsan Arch, Selangor - Photographer: Azman Shah
Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Blue HDR Photography
Kuala Lumpur Blue HDR - Photographer: Unknown
Aerial View of Kuala Lumpur City Centre HDR Photography
Aerial View of Kuala Lumpur City Centre - Photographer: Unknown
Kuching, Sarawak HDR Photography
Kuching, Sarawak HDR - Photographer: Victor Marz
Bandaraya Mosque Kota Kinabalu Sabah Photo
Bandaraya Mosque Kota Kinabalu Sabah - Photographer: Azman Shah
Ubudiyah Mosque, Perak HDR Photography
Ubudiyah Mosque, Perak - Photographer: Takara Sakana
Melaka HDR Photography
Melaka River Art - Photographer: Azman Shah
Dataran Lang in Kuah, Langkawi Photography
Dataran Lang in Kuah, Langkawi - Photographer: Jeremy Lee
Paddy Field in Malaysia HDR Photography
Paddy Field in Malaysia - Photographer: Mohd Ameer @ Momoc
Malaysian HDR Photography
Padi Machinery HRD - Photographer: Marki Photography @ Zulgadli 
Pavilion Shopping Mall, Kuala Lumpur HDR Photography
Pavilion Shopping Mall, Kuala Lumpur - Photographer: Unknown
Kampung House, Perak HDR Photography
Kampung House, Perak - Photographer: Takara Sakana
Kuala Lumpur City Construction HDR Photography
Kuala Lumpur City Construction - Photographer: Azman Shah
Putrajaya Mosque HDR Photography
Putrajaya Mosque HDR - Photographer: Unknown
Sanyan Shopping Mall, Sibu Sarawak Photo
Sanyan Shopping Mall, Sibu Sarawak - Photographer: Jennifer Lau
Langkawi Island HDR Photography
Langkawi Island Water Villas - Photographer: Unknown
Petronas Twin Towers HDR Photography
Twin Towers View from SkyBar - Photographer: Unknown
Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge HDR Photography
Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge - Photographer: Unknown
Sunway Shopping Mall HDR Photography
Sunway Shopping Mall Lion - Photographer: Mohd Ameer @ Momoc
Tabung Haji and Darby Park KL HDR Photography
Tabung Haji and Darby Park in KL - Photographer: Azman Shah
Kanching Waterfalls in Templer Park, Selangor
Kanching Waterfalls in Templer Park, Selangor - Photographer: Unknown
University Sains Malaysia in Penang HDR Photography
University Sains Malaysia in Penang - Photographer: Polar Bear
Alor Lempah, Ampang Pecah Kuala Kubu Baru Selangor
Alor Lempah, Ampang Pecah in Selangor - Photographer: Buyie
Chiling Waterfalls, Kuala Kubu Baru Selangor
Chiling Waterfalls, Kuala Kubu Baru Selangor - Photographer: Buyie
Colmar Tropicale Bukit Tinggi HDR Photogrpahy
Colmar Tropicale, Bukit Tinggi - Photographer: Syed Omar Fadzil
Tua Pek Kong Temple in Sibu, Sarawak Photograph
Tua Pek Kong Temple in Sibu, Sarawak - Photographer: Jennifer Lau
Mabul Island Sabah HDR Photography
Mabul Island, Sabah - Photographer: Nikz Arifz
Well, there you have it, a compilation of beautiful HDR photos taken around Malaysia by various photographers over the last few years. If you would like your stunning photo to be featured, please contact me. I also have a new section for 'Featured Travel Photographer' and if you would like to be featured, please contact me in the form below. Requirements are 5-10 of your best travel photos and a short bio of yourself with your social media and website links. 

There are many more photographers out there who shoot in HDR but this compilation was done in a short time so these are just general photos selected based on the various states to promote tourism in the country. Hope you like this compilation of Amazing Malaysia HDR Photos and if you do, please do share this. 

19 Feb 2015

My Music Festival 2015

My Music Festival 2015

This 8 March, My Music Festival 2015 or MMF2015 will take place at Sunway Surf Pool and will be  recognised as the 'Largest Malaysian Live Band Music Festival' ever held in the country which will also be featuring a special appearance by international British Rock Legends Smokie who will be performing in Malaysia as part of their 40th Anniversary World Tour.

My Music Festival 2015 is supported by Malaysia Major Events (MME), a division of Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia. In conjunction with the Malaysia Year of Festivals 2015 or MyFEST 2015 celebrations, MMF2015 is pleased to showcase the best in Malaysian Live Band entertainment in one venue. 

MMF2015 is expected to gather Twenty (20) Top Malaysian Live Bands with different genres of music varying from indie, jazz, pop rock, fusion, funk, R&B, & reggae and this will be the first of its kind on such a large scale. Among the live bands and musicians featured, top Malaysian artist like Alleycats, Joe Flizzow, Kyoto Protocol, Heavy Machine, the Blues Gang and many more popular names. Imagine a massive music festival with all your favourite live bands and artist!

MyMusicFest 2015 Bands and Artist
MyMusicFest 2015 Bands and Artist - Click to see full size
List of bands and performers for MyMusicFest 2015;

• Joe Flizzow
• Alleycats
• Kyoto Protocol
• Blues Gang
• Heavy Machine
• The Union
• Hydra
• JunkOFunc
• Enterprise
• Fazz
• Back2Basixx
• Coca D Monday
• JaggFuzzBeats
• Jumero
• Froya
• 9 Lives
• Paperplane Pursuit
• Dotters' Division
• A.P.U (Aseana Percussion Unit)
• The Strollers 2 featuring Vijay David
• Smokie
My Music Festival 2015
My Music Festival 2015 Poster
The highlight of the evening will be a special International Artist Performance by the legendary “Smokie” who captivated music lovers around the world with their smash hit single "Living Next Door To Alice" and other hits like “Needles & Pins”,“Don't Play Your Rock ‘n’ Roll To Me” and “If You Think You Know How To Love Me” and performing for their Smokie Live in Malaysia 40th Anniversary World Tour. 

MMF2015 is all about being connected through music – A Festival for ALL Malaysians and Tourists who seek good fun and enjoy great music! There will also be food and drinks available at Sunway Surf Pool area.

Also great news for Tourist and International School Students as there is a special access lane dedicated for you when you attend this event. 

My Music Festival 2015 Information

• Date: 8 March 2015
• Day: Sunday
• Venue: Surf Beach at Sunway Lagoon
• Time 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm
• Organiser: OX Entertainment, a division of Memories
• Enquiries: Email OX Entertainment

MMF2015 Ticket Information

• The event is FREE and Open to Public.
• International tourists are required to register at the venue entrance.
• International school students and tourists will have a dedicated entry lane.
• A limitation of 15,000 visitors will be observed for this music festival therefore it is recommended to come early.
• Drinking Zones are open to those aged 18 and above only and limited to only non-Muslims.

Parking and Public Transport to MyMusicFest 2015

• Vehicle Parking is available at Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall, Sunway Resort Hotel, Sunway Pyramid Hotel, Dataran Sunway and the surrounding areas.
• Public Bus (RapidKL) U63 - Pasar Seni LRT - USJ 8 via Sunway Pyramid and U67 - Pasar Seni LRT - USJ 8 via Sunway Pyramid.
• Taxis - All taxis will know the way to Sunway Lagoon.

Map to Sunway Lagoon Surf Park

For those planning to attend this inaugural Malaysia Live Band Music Festival, be sure that you make your way early as the doors open at 5pm and there is a limitation of 15,000 visitors for this event. A hashtag is being used throughout the event and you can use the hashtag #MMF2015 to spread the news to friends for this event.

Each band will take stage and perform for 15-20 minutes throughout the night and this is a great opportunity to catch Malaysia's top live bands and artist perform all together in one evening at the largest gathering of live bands and artist for My Music Festival 2015. 
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