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27 Jul 2015

Dinner in the Sky Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Dining in the Sky KL Malaysia

For the first time ever, a unique Dinner in the Sky Kuala Lumpur will be held in August 2015 and this incredible event is organised by 2Spicy Entertainment. This is also the first time that the unique thrilling aerial dinner will be held in Southeast Asia and for 31 days too. There will be 2 seating a day which is one at 6.30pm and another at 8.30pm where diners will experience a 5-course dinner. 

Dinner in the Sky or DITS is a thrilling one-of-a-kind experience where diners have will have amazing view of Kuala Lumpur city while being elevated into the sky before being served dinner up there. The 5-course 'Modern European' meal is also prepared specially by chef de cuisine Marc Fery of the Hilton Kuala Lumpur.

Dining in the Sky KL Malaysia
A once-in-a-lifetime experience, are you up for this? 
This experience will see diners being strapped to your special harness seat before being hoisted up 50 meters above the ground. The seats are rotating seats to let diners turn around to see the beautiful city views. The special dinner platform is a 5 meter x 9 meter structure which only has a table, chairs and a working platform for the staff to serve you your meals. A total of 22 people at one time will be served during dinner up in the sky. 

The price per person? A cool RM599 and it is non-refundable, even if weather is bad, the dining will be moved indoors as a contingency. Amazingly, the seats were fully sold out on the launch for DITS KL. Just take a look at some of the amazing photos below of diners experiencing this around the world. 

*Photos above are from DITS Malaysia.

Dining in the Sky Kuala Lumpur 
Start Date: 1st Aug to 31st Aug 2015
Venue: KL Tower or Menara Kuala Lumpur Car Park
Price: RM599 per person 
Age: 18 years and above (No Children)
Dinner Times: 6.30pm and 8.30pm 
Website: www.dinnerinthesky.my

This is also part of a world-class experience where DITS has hosted over 5,000 dinners in 40 iconic locations around the world and for the first time ever in Southeast Asia, Dinner in the Sky is now available here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Are you up for this? 

26 Jul 2015

Umeda Sky Building Tower

Umeda Sky Building Tower Osaka

Among some of the must-visit attractions in Osaka, the Umeda Sky Building Tower is one not to miss as this will give visitors the opportunity to see the amazing Osaka skyline in 360 degrees. This interesting building is also located in the Kita-ku district which is walking distance from the Umeda and Osaka train station. 

Standing at 173 meters (568 feet) tall building, the Umeda Sky Building consists of two main towers which are connected to each other on the 39th floor. This is where visitors will head as it houses the Floating Garden Observatory with an admission fee of  ¥700 per person. 

Panoramic view of Osaka City
Panoramic view of Osaka City from the Umeda Sky Building Observatory Deck
As for what to do here, there is a  open top 360 Degrees viewing deck and an interesting souvenir shop here. The rest of the building is occupied by businesses while there is an interesting Japanese food street called Takimi-kojion the ground floor. during any festive season, this place is bustling with activity. 

As I visited this attraction in Osaka during Christmas, there was a lot of lights, local Japanese food, souvenirs and even Christmas snacks being sold by local and foreigners at the local street market at the bottom of the building area. 

Replica Umeda Sky Building
Umeda Sky Building Replica 
Osaka Umeda Sky Tower Wishing
A visitor hands a Wishing Star here at the Umeda Sky Tower
During festive seasons, the building area is decorated to the theme and there is also the well known love locks section where couples can express their love by placing a message and securing a lock which is a romantic gesture and widely popularised in Japan.

During the Christmas period, there was a section dedicated to Christmas wishes where visitors could write notes and wishes on a gold or white star paper and hang it up. 

Umeda Sky Tower Photo
A glimpse of the the Osaka Sunset from the Umeda Sky Building
Top 20 buildings around the world Umeda tower
As acknowledged by the Times
This magnificent building is also listed as one of the Top 20 buildings around the world. by the Times, a UK newspaper. Before going up to the observatory deck, you will also see a scaled replica of the building in a glass case. 

Information on Umeda Sky Building
Umeda Sky Tower Information
Umeda Sky Building Information
Open: 10:00 am to 22:30 pm (Entrance Open Till 22:00)
Open: 7 days a week
Tickets: ¥700 yen

Visitors to Osaka should not miss this opportunity to visit the Umeda Sky Tower and it is best done in the mornings or just before the evening as this is one of the best places to see the beautiful Osaka sunset. This is also a beautiful place to bring a loved one as well.

For timing, visitors can spend anywhere from 1-2 hours exploring this place while getting here from the main train stations, it will take about 10 minutes walk to the Umeda Sky Building Tower in Osaka.

24 Jul 2015

10 Places to See Street Art in Malaysia

Places to See Street Art in Malaysia

In recent years, the Street Art in Malaysia has picked up quite a bit where many local and international artist have done some art pieces here and there. Not to be confused, but there are a few terms that this form or art is being called. Most call it Street Art while some call it Street Paintings or Street Murals. 

While it may be new to some, many would already know the one who started it all, Ernest Zacharevic who got the ball rolling in Penang in 2012. Today, there are mainly 10 cities around Malaysia that hosts these amazing street art paintings in various locations. Depending on where you visit in Malaysia, you may most likely encounter some of them without even trying as they are usually located in high tourist areas. 

Just for the record, we are not pointing out exactly where each of these paintings are. When you are at these places, you can explore the town areas to look for them. No point in telling exactly where they are, if not, where's the fun in exploring? So, where are these places to see street art in Malaysia? The list below is in no order too.

1. Penang Street Art

Street Art Penang
Some of the interesting Penang Street Art
Penang Island got the ball rolling back in 2012 when the street art phenomenon took off on a huge scale, especially with the help of social media, locals and foreigners were raving about it and wanting to see the art, better still to photograph and share it on their social channels. This sprouted nationwide interest which led to all kinds of trick art museums, 3D museums and so on.

Currently, the Penang street art murals stand as cultural landmarks at various locations around Georgetown, complete with plaques and constant queues of people waiting to have their photographs taken with the works, especially on the weekend.

Ernest Zacharevic Street Art Painting Penang
Ernest Zacharevic's most famous painting in Penang
Ernest Zacharevic Street Art in Penang

The most famous street art painted in Malaysia is Ernest Zacharevic who is from Lithuania and based in Penang for a number of years. He was commissioned to paint 6 street art pieces as part of the George Town Culture Festival in 2012. Ernest style depict scenes of everyday Malaysian life using local people as the models. Among them, there are two extremely popular pieces which have been featured the world over. They are Children on Bicycle and Boy on Motorcycle, where a clever combination of installation and painting allows admirers to interact with the artworks. 

His style of realistic paintings are usually combined with found objects, and then creating murals that are interactive their surroundings. In February 2014, Ernest held his first solo exhibit at the Hin Bus Depot  here in Penang and called it 'Art is Rubbish is Art'. He has since traveled around the world having exhibitions. 

Martin Ron Penang Art Piece
Martin Ron's street art piece. Image from streetartnews.com
Martin Ron from Argentina

The latest street art painting in Penang is by Martin Ron who did a masterpiece in early 2015. You can see this massive piece of work in Raja Uda at the Hin Bus Depot Art Centre. This street art is also currently the largest mural ever painted in Malaysia. The painting shows an occidental man holding his hand out to feed turtles symbolising the city's turtle conservation plan.

Martin Whatson Penang Street Art
Angel by Martin Whatson seen here in Penang. Image from streetartnews.com
Martin Whatson from Norway

Another interesting few pieces of new Penang Street Art is from Martin Whatson, a Norwegian who recently in early 2015 painted two pieces of artwork. One titled Angel and the other Riot Cop, both can be seen at one of the busy streets of George Town. 

Julia Volchkova Penang Art
Julia's beautiful piece in Penang. Image from streetartnews.com
Julia Volchkova from Russia

One of the latest works to be seen in Georgetown Penang is by Russian artist Julia Volchkova who specialises in portraits. Yulia has been traveling around the world and in April 2014, she painted a photographic piece of a local boy which can be seen at Lebuh Klang in George Town. The realistic painting is also called Photorealism. 

Penang Street Art Photos Rone
RONE's beautiful street art in Penang. Image from streetartnews.com
Rone from Australia

Another talented artist, Rone did some unique pieces of street art around the Hin Bus Depot in George Town. His work shoes images of women's faces done on a large scale which blend in with the natural environment. Very impressive work which was done towards the end of 2014.

2. Kuching Street Art

Street Art in Kuching
Orangutans in a Wheelbarrow by Ernest Zacharevic
Kuching being one of the new players in the street art scene has also engaged Ernest Zacharevic to do some street paintings here. The beauty about the artwork is that it is based on the local orang utan and the rainforest. Painted in early 2014, Ernest did some amazing work which was sponsored by a local company. Those exploring Kuching will have an opportunity to spot;

• Orang Utans in a Wheelbarrow (Ape-Scape)
• Orang Utan Sipping Kopi O Peng
• Orang Utan and Bananas

The Kuching street art paintings can be found around the Kuching Waterfront area and its surroundings so get those walking shoes on and happy spotting. For extra activities, you can also find out what to do in Kuching, Sarawak.

3. Malacca Street Art

Street Art Melaka
Melaka Street Art by the river
Melaka or Malacca is another melting pot of Malaysia, similar to Penang with rich cultural and historical heritage. Just after the street art boom in Penang, Melaka immediately jumped on board as tourism was in fact the biggest contributor to the state. 

There are so many street paintings all over the old town of Melaka, it is almost impossible to list them here. One of the most famous ones would be that huge Orang Utan mural at the Orang Utan House which has been there for ages, since around 2008/09.

Melaka Orang Utan House
The famous Orang Utan House
The main Jonker Street or Jonker Walk area has pretty much most of the paintings while along the Melaka River, there are even more to spot, especially when you take the Melaka River Cruise. Popular areas to explore are along the Melaka River, starting from the Hard Rock Cafe Melaka and also around Jonker Street and Heeren Street.

4. Ipoh Street Art

Street Art in Ipoh
Ernest's Old Uncle Drinking Coffee. Image from Old Town White Coffee
As Ipoh is one of the older cities of Malaysia, much character lies within it's old town area hence this was a perfect opportunity for Ernest Zacharevic to leave his mark here. Nostalgic moments captured the artist heart where he compiled 7 pieces of his work all over Ipoh Old Town in 2014. This campaign was also sponsored by Old Town White Coffee under the theme "The Art of Old Town".

Street Art in Ipoh Perak
Kids on a Paperplane. Image from Old town White Coffee
Images of local Malaysian lifestyle was transformed into art where you see packets of iced black coffee hanging to an old man drinking a cup of hot coffee. You can find the various Ipoh street paintings in the core of the old town area here. All you need to do is park your car and start walking around to spot these murals. 

• Kids on a Paper Plane 
• Ipoh Mining Town
• Working Trishaw
• Kopi O Peng
• Girl on a Wall
• Hummingbird
• Old Uncle Drinking Coffee

Street Art Paintings in Ipoh
One of Ernest's work showing the old mining days of Ipoh
Ernest said;
Ever since I first visited Ipoh, Old Town I’ve been touched by how cosy and intimate the town is. Its architecture, culture, food and people have continued to captivate and inspire my heart and soul. I’ve wanted to come back to Ipoh, Old Town, take my time, soak in its rich culture and heritage and perhaps leave my mark here. I was truly honoured and amazingly excited when OLDTOWN approached me to make this a reality.

5. Sibu Street Art

Street Art Paintings in Sibu
Wharf Coolie Painting in Sibu, 1st street art in Sibu. Image from ccwen08.blogspot 
Sibu in Sarawak has also jumped on the bandwagon with some local artist doing street art of daily life here. The Sibu Municipal Council or SMC formed a special committee which is made up of council staff and local artists to explore the trendy street art paintings. This is also a line up to next year's Visit Sibu Year 2016 tourism campaign. 

The 2nd Street Art in Sibu. Image from Sarikeians Facebook
Most of the street art in Sibu can be found around the Khoo Peng Loong Road , Jalan Market and around Sibu Central Market area. To date there are only 3 paintings seen and more to come over the next few months. However, there are a few others which are graffiti or random paintings. 

• Wharf coolie at work
• Local Delicacies
• Chicken and Duck on Bench

6. Kuala Lumpur Street Art

Street Art Paintings Kuala Lumpur
Some of the street art paintings in KL city. Image from TheStar
It is no wonder that Kuala Lumpur finally saw the light and produced their own street art paintings, especially with all the hype that Penang and Melaka are getting. So, there are a few places around KL where you can find street art paintings. Namely around the Chinatown area or Petaling Street. There are also some around Lebuh Ampang area as well. 

KL Graffiti along the Klang River
KL Graffiti along the Klang River
One of the other areas to see real art is at the Annex Gallery in Central Market. Around here, you may even chance upon some street art on the walls of buildings. However, if you look towards the Klang River just nearby, you will see a lot of Graffiti Art along the river walls. 

Ernest Zacharevic Kuala Lumpur Street Art
Ernest Zacharevic Kuala Lumpur Street Art Piece
Even Ernest Zacharevic was in Kuala Lumpur to have one of his street art paintings of a child in a sampan with a kampung house on stilts over water. This piece was also done in 2014. 

Previously back in 2013, Ernest also did a piece for an art gallery called ArtSquare in Bangsar, KL. To say he's made his name all over Malaysia is quite right as Ernest has left his trademark in almost every major city here. 

Kenji Chai Malaysia Street Art
Fighting Cockerel by Kenji Chai in KL
Kenji Chai from Malaysia

A local Malaysian artist Kenji Chai, did an amazing piece for Nando’s Chicken Headquarters along Jalan Sultan in KL. The massive building art totals 2100 square feet, and Kenji used 90 spray cans over a period of 4 days to complete his Fighting Cockerel concept. A landmark here is the Kota Raya building, you are bound to see this huge chicken at the side of the Nando's outlet.

7. Johor Bahru Street Art

Street Art in Johor Bahru
One of Ernest artworks in Johor
Ernest Zacharevic does it again, this time painting some interesting street art in Johor Bahru or JB. There's a twist to this painting which you will find at the end of this section. First, where else in JN can you find these street murals or paintings? A majority of them are found around the Bazaar Karat or Lorong Pasar Karat in the JB town area. The area has also been renamed Stesen Seni in 2014.

Street Art Bazaar Karat Johor Bahru
Akeem poses with his interesting MonaPod piece at Pasar Karat
One of the iconic street art paintings here is the MonaPod by Akeem. This quirky version of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is depicted as taking a selfie using a smartphone with a monopod. The artist used an existing hole on the wall to create the image of the smart phone thus giving you a 3D effect. 

When Legoland Malaysia opened in Nusajaya, Johor in 2012, the popular street artist came up with an interesting yet controversial Lego themed street art depicting a masker Lego robber waiting around the corner of a shophouse.

Ernest controversial Lego Street Art in Johor, which has since been removed. No.1 is the original, No.2 was the 1st touch up, No.3 was the second touch up. Then it was whitewashed. No.4 are stickers which are found around JB and even in Penang. 
Johor Bahru council authorities removed the paintings after much drama erupted. A Lego Policeman was added, flowers replaced the knife and eventually, it was white washed. Not long after this, tribute versions popped up in Johor and also in Kuala Lumpur while the original wall was sticker bombed with the same Lego characters.

8. Petaling Jaya Street Art

SS2 Street Art Paintings
Some of the beautiful street art paintings found in SS2, Petaling Jaya
The latest street in Petaling Jaya or PJ is found at the main SS2 area. This was actually a SS2 Wall Art Competition which was held in November 2014 where the theme was called 'Bestnya Malaysiaku'.

It was held around the main commercial area where a total of 22 walls were selected for the artist. A clever concept to beautify the business district and many talented local artist took part to win part of the RM10,700 prize money.

One of the murals at the side lanes of SS2, Petaling Jaya (Image from Yeo Bee Yin)
The art competition ended up with some amazing and beautiful street paintings which have become a permanent attraction here, for both local and tourists. Just so you know, SS2 in Petaling Jaya is a well known food area and there is also the 'All You Can Eat Durians' center around here too.

SS2 Street Art Paintings Location Map
The SS2 Street Art Location Map. (Image from Says.com)
If you notice, I have included a map for the SS2 Street Art as his area is way out of Kuala Lumpur and for any tourist wanting to come here, it is a 30-45 minute drive from KL. Once yo get here, you can simply go on foot to spot the street art murals. You need to walk around the main commercial area shops and use the side lanes. Best time to go is on a weekend or early in the mornings because after 11am, cars would be parked there blocking your street art views.

9. Shah Alam Street Art

Street Art in Shah Alam Selangor
A classic Malaysian Mini Bus at Laman Seni 7 Shah Alam. Photo by Azuan Zahdi
Shah Alam, located about an hours drive from KL has also participated in the local street art scene. The council created an area specially for artist to show their skills at a place called Laman Seni 7 in Section 2 of Shah Alam, Selangor.

Turning back lanes into walk through art galleries was a big hit with the locals where 37 pieces of art paintings are found all over here. The project which is fully funded by the Shah Alam Council initially started in 2013 and in 2015, Laman Seni 3 will be opened at Section 3 in Shah Alam.

If you are into art and street art, Laman Seni 7 is a place worth exploring to see the Malaysian artist and their creative work. You can also see more pictures of Laman Seni from Azuan Zahdi.

10. Kota Kinabalu Street Art

Sabah Street Art KK
The street art scene or graffiti in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
While this is the last major city to embrace the street art culture, Kota Kinabalu or KK has not yet seen any international or local artist doing proper street art paintings here. The only prominent street art you will see is just near the Suria KK Shopping Mall where an old abandoned building left with pillar structures and a few walls decorated with graffiti.

In general, graffiti is more acceptable here in Sabah and we feel that the Sabah Tourism Board or the Kota Kinabalu city council should invest in promoting this place using street art. After all, KK is a walking city and the best possible place to do this is around the Gaya Street or Kampung Air areas of the city. Their neighbours, Sarawak has already participated with two cities featuring street art.

Malaysia Street Art Photos
Visitors taking photos of the street art in Malaysia
There you go, 10 places to see street art in Malaysia compiled exclusively for those who love this form of art. Most of the information is sourced from various websites, blogs and portals and credit goes back to them. Thanks to Says.com, AzuanZahdi.com, Yeo Bee Yin, StreetArtNews.com, Kenji Chai, Ipoh Old Town Coffee and TheStar for the resources.

Note that this article was written by David from Malaysia Asia who frequently travels all over Malaysia for work. Not one of those online writers who sit in the office all day scraping content and re-writing them for their lifestyle portals, and most of the time, wrong information or just surface general information.

If there are any other places where street art can be found, please do share it in the comment form below and I will gladly edit it in this article. And just so you know, there are also quite a number of 3D Art Museums and Trick Art Museums mushrooming around the country. I hope you enjoyed this article on the 10 Places to See Street Art in Malaysia, and if you visit any of them, take some great photos!

23 Jul 2015

Glass Cliff Walk at Yunyang Chongqing

Glass Cliff Walk at Yunyang Chongqing

A very interesting attraction known as the Glass Cliff Walk or Glass Plank Road ( 绝壁栈道) will surely impress anyone who loves a little bit of outdoor adrenaline. This fascinating structure is located along the Longgang National Geological Park in Chongqing and opened in 2012. Currently, the national park is undergoing completion to be one of the premier tourism destinations and this is one of the much talked about things to do in Chongqing.

This spectacular wooden and glass cliff walk takes visitors through a 3200 meters (10,500 feet) walk along the cliffs here where portions of the walkway have glass bottoms allowing visitors to see below. The walkway is a mere 1 meter (3.2 feet) wide and glass which is 3 inches thick, which is what keeps you from falling below! Are you up for it? Just take a look at the amazing glass walkway in the photos below.

Chongqing Glass Cliff Plank Walk
Visitors walking along the glass cliff walk. In the distance, you can see two of the resting gazebos, one straight ahead while the other is on the far left.  
Chongqing Glass Cliff Walk China
Many areas have stairs leading up the walkway. There is a lot of walking to do her, so come prepared with a pair of good walking shoes, not slippers. 
Glass Cliff Walk Chongqing Photo
The sections of glass where you can see below. Note this photo was taken during the midst of a heavy tourist season, hence the glass was dirty. There are two main sections where you walk through the glass and wood walkway here too. 
There are a few sections to this walk where each section has its own Chinese name. For instance, the first part of the cliff walk is called the Hand-in-Hand Plank Walk and the second part is Moon Cave Plank Walk.

One of the main reasons it is called Hand-in-Hand Plank Walk is because if your loved one is too scared to make that walk, the partner will take his or her hand to complete the journey here. This is also direct translation from Chinese.

Yunyang Glass Cliff Walk
Spectacular views from the Glass Cliff Walk. Note this photo was taken in May 2015 and the weather was not favorable then. It looks so much better in spring or autumn. 
Yunyang Moon Cave Chongqing
The Moon Cave seen from a distance
Along the way, you will pass the famous Yunyang Moon Cave which serves at one of the exit points through this cave. In the distance, you will also see various Chinese styled gazebos which serve as resting or stopping points of the Glass Cliff Walk here. Again, this walk will test your fear of heights and is a must to attempt for anyone seeking some adventure.

Yunyang Longgang National Park Chongqing
The beautiful view of the Yunyang Longgang National Park
This glass and wood walkway eventually leads you to the Longgang Heavenly Pit which is another amazing attraction at the national park. From here, you can exit at Longgang Heavenly Pit Tourist Center. There are facilities like toilets, souvenirs and the main tourist center. Note that you need a translator here at all cost.

Cliff Walk in Chongqing China
A view of one of the sections of the cliff walk
Just to be clear, this is one of the three glass cliff walks in China as there are another two more similar ones which are Guigu Cliff Path on Tianmen Mountain and the Glass Trail at Zhangjiajie, which are also a must experience.

However, the one here is combined with wood and glass and sections of the walk have glass bottoms while it is interconnected to other tourist attractions in the Yunyang Longgang National Park.

Qingshui Mirror Lake Longgang National Park
View of the Qingshui Mirror Lake from the cliff walk. This photo is zoomed 60x.
While walking, apart from seeing the scenery, you will most see a beautiful river below which is part of the Qingshui Mirror Lake. This is also where you can book a traditional river cruise to see the stunning mirror effect on the lake. The boats will also pass the glass walkway so if you look up, you will see the structure which is hundreds of meters above you.

Longgang National Park Chongqing
A sign showing the various places at the Longgang National Park 
For photographers, this is an amazing place for photography, especially from March-April and October-November. Try to get here as early as possible and avoid peak weekends or holidays as the place will be filled with local tourist. There is a minimal entrance fee here and the standard access point here is being dropped off at one end, walk the walkway and exit at the other end. Promotional park tickets allow you to visit multiple locations here too.

Glass Cliff Walk Information

Just to remind anyone wanting to visit this place, there is quite a bit of walking to do while there are quite a number of steps leading up to the main walkway. This place is not disabled friendly too. A tip is to bring a couple bottles of water, wear comfortable walking shoes and pace yourself. Don't try to hurry your walk as you will most likely be out of breath halfway. You probably need to spend a minimum of half a day here as the trip to the national park is about 4-5 hours from Chongqing city via bus.

As for what else to do around the Yunyang Longgang National Park, you can also check out the stunning Cloud Bridge and Glass Skywalk which is one of the world-class attractions that recently opened in May 2015.

Overall, Chongqing offers countless tourism attractions all over the province and to get here, AirAsia X flies directly to Chongqing from Kuala Lumpur (4 x Weekly) and also from Bangkok, Thailand. So the next time you visit the Longgang National Geological Park, make sure you at least try the Glass Cliff Walk or Plank Road here as it will definitely be something to remember. 

21 Jul 2015

RWMF 2015 Performers List

RWMF 2015 Bands Performers List

The RWMF 2015 will be taking place this 7-9 August at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Kuching and this is also the 18th year for the world renown Rainforest World Music Festival. Do you also know that every year, more and more new international and local acts are brought in to perform to world music lovers. 

And for this year's RWMF 2015, the list of performers or artist is pretty amazing with some rare and unique groups performing on stage. In total, there will be 24 different performers throughout the three day festival here. One to look out for is our own Malaysian Mah Meri ethnic group, one of the oldest ethnic groups in the country and very little known about them. Other highlights would also be the Ndima, a rare pygmy tribe from Congo, Africa and a Kecak group from Bali, Indonesia.

RWMF Performers 2015
Some of the 2015 RWMF Performers
List of RWMF 2015 Performers in alphabetical order are;

1Drum.org (Malaysia)
1Drum.org is a wonderful celebration of rhythm and spontaneous percussive beats; where everyone, young and old are invited to participate in a musical experience that is second to none. 1Drum Circle is a great way to meet like-minded people and an opportunity to reconnect with your inner rhythm. Drums will be provided for 100 pax per session.

Alaverdi (Georgia)
The four-piece ensemble Alaverdi from Georgia has specialised in the traditional Georgian folk music and church chants which are hailed as one of the most unique musical traditions around the world. Performing on the most traditional folk instruments, such as string, wind and percussion instruments, the band brings back the original sound of Georgian music and creates a mystical atmosphere.

RWMF Bargou 08
Bargou 08 from Tunesia at the RWMF
Bargou 08 (Tunisia)
The band BARGOU 08 from Tunisia brings back the almost forgotten music of a region in the north west of the country which is isolated between the mountains and the Algerian border. Their music is the gateway to old Tunisian traditions and stories which are embedded in the lyrics, the melody and the dance.

Culture Shot aka La La Li La Tam Pong (Penang, Malaysia)
This six-headed band from Penang, Malaysia, combines different musical traditions and instruments into a multiracial music style based on old Hokkien music. Using instruments such as Er-hu, Lang Tin Tang, Rebana, Gongs and a Gendang, they mix sounds from different regions and create a new sound representing the diversity of their country. 

Driss El Maloumi (Morocco)
The talented artist from Agadir, Morocco, mixes Arabic music with classical Western music and has not only worked with various famous musicians from all over the world such as Montserrat Figueiras or Omar Bashir, but also composed music for shows and films such as “La Source Des Femmes”. In 2013 Driss El Maloumi released his album “Makan” which he recorded in a trio with two percussionists Said El Maloumi and Lahoucine Baquir.

RWMF Enkh Jargal
Enkh Jargal or EPI from Mongolia
Enkh Jargal Danfarvaanchig aka EPI (Mongolia)
Epi is a Mongolian Moorin Hoor (Horse Fiddle), a traditional Mongolian instrument, player who grew up in the countryside and is therefore deeply rooted into the traditional and nomadic way of life that his people live in Mongolia. He studied the Moorin Hoor at the Music-Conservatorium of Ulaanbaatar and has performed all over the world and also on TV to bring back the awareness towards Mongolian traditional music.

Harubee (Maldives)
Harubee is 16 young men exploding with energy. Boduberu music evolved from the 11th century, brought in from the sailors traveling from parts of Africa. It is the relief found in dance for the common people. The songs are about everyday life, often heavy with satire. The drumming and dancing are frenetic, crescendo-ing into immense passionate climaxes.

Kapela Maliszow (Poland)
Kapela Maliszów is a family band of three members, led by the multi-instrumentalist Jan Malisz and inspired by the traditional music of Beskid Niski and Pogorze in South Poland. Their instruments have been played by family members since the early 20th century and they have won a variety of prizes playing folk songs and dance music from Gorlice County using their traditional instruments (violin, basolia and drum).

Kenwy Yan-Qin Ensemble (Sarawak, Malaysia)
The yangqin or the hammered dulcimer of China originally came from Persia, and it’s characterised for its bright tones yet extreme expressive range. Ken Wy is a master at this instrument and has established a Music & Arts Academy in Kuching. He brings an impressive ensemble of yangqins and percussion to the festival playing a range of traditional Chinese songs.

Kobagi Kecak RWMF 2015
Kobagi Kecak from Indonesia
Kobagi Kecak (Bali, Indonesia)
The sixteen headed band Komunitas Badan Gila was formed in 2008 in Bali, Indonesia and has developed a special performance style they call Angga Suara Murti, which is a mixture between Balinese masked dance, puppetry, the processional ensemble balaganjur and contemporary music. Kobagi combines the western body percussion with Balinese music using their own bodies as primary instruments accompanied by stamping tubes made of bamboo.

Kobo Town (Trinidad/Tobago)
Kobo Town was founded by the Trinidadian Drew Gonsalves, who spent half of his childhood in Canada and was inspired by Calypso music from early age and consists of a few Trini expats from Toronto and some of Gonsalves’ old band members. Since feeling a strong boundary towards his home country Trinidad, he has developed a unique calypso style inspired by Jazz, Funk and Disco music as well as other elements which he performs with his band to bring back the old sounds of Caribbean music.

Korrontzi (Spain) 
The Spanish band Korrontzi has specialised in traditional Basque music merging with music styles from different cultures and countries such as Flamenco, Fandango, Portugese fado, arin-arin, Italian sounds and others. They have reached no. 6 in the “European World Music Charts” and have gained international fame.

Solomon Lan E Tuyang
Solomon from Lan E Tuyang
Lan E Tuyang (Sarawak, Malaysia)
Lead by Sarawakian Mathew Ngau, the master sape player and story teller, this band has been touring Europe several times in the last couple of years. Mathew Ngau Jau, leader of Lan E Tuyang, has been playing the sape or the boat shaped lute of Sarawak since he was little.  This is music of the Kenyah from the Orang Ulu tribe in Sarawak – the lonely strains of the boat lute with the dances of the warriors.

Le Blanc Bros Cajun Band (Australia)
This Australian band performs the music and language of the Cajuns which traditionally comes from southern Louisiana and is a popular dance music with French influence. This would be an interesting act to catch for those who love traditional Cajun music. 

Lindigo (Reunion Island)
The band members of Lindigo from Reunion Island have always felt passionate about the traditional Maloya music and dance, characterised by complicated percussion rhythms. Their lyrics tell Reunion’s symbolic stories of complex sentiments and personal experiences which the band spreads by performing all over the world.

RWMF 2015 Mah Meri Performers
Mah Meri from Selangor, Malaysia
Mah Meri (Selangor, Malaysia)
The Orang Asli are the indigenous people from Peninsular Malaysia who have been living there since even before 1000 BC. They were traditionally animists led by their shamans, and the Mah Meri show their reverence for this from their carvings of spirit animals. They come to the festival with their fearsome masks, log drums, ladies in mengkuang skirts, and bring with them the ancient rites and folklore that they still maintain in their community in Carey Island.

Ndima at RWMF
Ndima from Congo
Ndima (Congo Brazzaville)
NDIMA is a group consisting of members of the pygmies aka, a tribe in the forests of Republic of Congo which still lives in its traditional way in the forest and whose culture is endangered nowadays. Their traditional music is an important cultural heritage for the pygmies aka, as it is played every day to accompany certain rituals. To remain their culture and to create an awareness for it, Ndima perform in countries all over the world letting their audience experience the magic of this spiritual music.

Sangpuy (Taiwan)
RWMF Taiwan
Sangpuy from Taiwan
This musician from an old tribe in Taiwan sings songs from ancient ceremonies dedicated to gods of the natural world. Sangpuy's forceful, penetrating voice has the ability to teleport audiences from urban settings to a place where Aborigines believe the wind is their friend, and can be summoned by whistling.

When the musician talks, he frequently uses natural metaphors like insects, rivers and trees to get his point across.

Sarawak Cultural Village Group (Sarawak, Malaysia)
'Penjan Kasih' dance group has performed internationally and an awards winning cultural dancers led by the choreographer Mr. Othman Hassan. The artistes are the resident dancers and musicians of the international acclaimed living museum, the Sarawak Cultural Village of Sarawak, East Malaysia.

Sayu Ateng Echoes of Borneo (Sarawak, Malaysia)
In Borneo, among the Orang Ulu people, Sayu Ateng means “welcome”. Sayu Ateng, an eight piece band, cuts a cool swathe with a little bit of contemporary pop sound textures and World Beat Music while never straying far from its principal roots of Sarawak. Taking ancient and modern sounds and fusing them with their own infectious character, the original sound and lyrics are based on the historical makeup of Sarawak.

Shooglenifty (Scotland)
Shooglenifty from Scotland combine traditional sounds of their homeland with devilish rhythms and an international flavour.

Son De Madera (Mexico)
This trio from Mexico has specialised in interpreting and composing a traditional genre of Southern Mexico called Son Jarocho and is hailed as top band in its genre.

RWMF Sona Jobarteh
Sona Jobarteh from Gambia
Sona Jobarteh (Gambia/United Kingdom)
This woman has broken through the traditions in her patriarchal environment and is the first female Kora virtuoso to come from a West African Griot family. The Kora is an African harp which is traditionally only allowed to be played by male members of these families wherefore Sona is an exceptional talent being trained in Europe and performing with many famous artists.

Ukandanz (France/Ethiopia)
uKanDanZ plays an unique style.  It’s an unusual meeting between an electric quartet from France and Asnake Guebreye’s terrific voice. This charismatic lead singer originates from the vibrant music scene in Addis Abeba. With impertinence, they rock it wildly.  Their music is inspired by traditional and popular Ethiopian songs. uKanDanZ is a blast of real energy and emotion. Ethiopia meets rock, jazz, and noise.

The above are 24 performers from around the world and also locally which is scheduled to perform over three days here at the Rainforest World Music Festival 2015. For the full performance schedule and detailed information on the festival, please visit the official website of the RWMF

Media Preview of RWMF 2015
The Sarawak Tourism Board CEO (4th from left), staff, supporters and performers at the media preview in Kuala Lumpur on the 13th July.
Recently in Kuala Lumpur, the Sarawak Tourism Board held a Rainforest World Music Festival media preview at No Black Tie in the city on 13th July.  At the preview, two of the Malaysian performers - the Mah Meri and Lan E Tuyang, gave a special performance to members of the media for the upcoming RWMF 2015.

For those attending the Rainforest World Music Festival 2015, you should have already secured your accommodations and transport in Kuching. Note that it takes about 45 to 60 minutes travel time from Kuching to the Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong. There is a shuttle service available both ways to the festival at a cost of around RM5 or RM8 one way.

Hotels Near Rainforest World Music Festival

There are in fact quite a number of Hotels near the RWMF but you need to check and see which of them have available rooms as it is most likely all fully booked. There are a number of guest houses in the Petrajaya as well, but I would safely say that you would stand a better chance at getting a hotel in the Kuching city area.

If you are staying in Kuching area and have extra time, you may also want to know what to do in Kuching as there are many attractions and things to do here. A must try is taking a Sarawak River Cruise from the Waterfront area. And for those who are into food, a recommendation is to try eating the local food in Kuching as it is one of a kind too. The famous Sarawakian dishes are Kolo Mee and the Sarawak Laksa.

Other than that, over at the Sarawak Cultural Village where the venue is, there are ample activities for adults and kids, a craft bazaar, various food stalls and souvenirs available for festival goers.

Remember, the festival is held over three days and I will most likely be there to attend this. One of the main reasons is also to see the many interesting  world music artists, bands and groups perform for this years RWMF 2015.

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