31 August 2009
If I'm free, I'd usually try to be one of the spectators lining up the parade way. I guess, I'm patriotic this way. Well, since there is no parade this year for me to take photos of, I leave you with some photos I took from the last year's parade.
1. Visit the PETRONAS Twin Towers, go for the free skybridge tour. I worked here before and for the record, the highest floor I’ve been was Level 81.
2. Visit KL's old and new train stations, which are one stop from each other. Experience the old and new KL.
3. Stand in Masjid Jamek, the muddy confluence of Klang and Gombak Rivers, where KL began figuratively and literally.
4. Visit the Islamic Arts Museum.
5. Shop in Bukit Bintang, from venerable Sungai Wang and Bukit Bintang Plazas to new Pavillion and Berjaya Times Square.
6. Shop for handicrafts and gifts at Central Market.
7. Have a picnic at the Lake Gardens and visit the surrounding attractions like the Malaysian National Monument, Deer Park, KL Bird Park, Butterfly Park, Hibiscus Garden and Orchid Garden.
8. Dinner at Seri Angkasa (revolving) Restaurant, KL Tower. Superb views especially when there’s rain, thunder and lightning.
9. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea, dinner, supper at the many food outlets around the city, some are even open 24/7.
10. Catch a performance at Istana Budaya and/or PETRONAS Philharmonic Hall.
30 August 2009
29 August 2009
My hope is that the "10 Things to Do" lists will help you start the ball rolling in visiting a particular place. You don't have to follow my list. Well, that's why we call it my list in the first place. Mine would most likely include places like a museum or two, historical related, nature related and most importantly, food related.
Go ahead and make up your own based on your likes and interest. If you can, don't forget to share them with fellow travellers. You can read my earlier list for Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia and Bangkok, Thailand.
28 August 2009
The list with some remarks is below. My own comments, only applicable to cities I’ve been to, are in brackets.
- National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh - completes knowledge of Angkor Wat. (No comment).
- National Museum of Singapore - fresh modern approach and history back to 14th century. (Hah, I beg to differ. When I last visited about 10 years ago, the period between 14th century and 1824 was a blank. Anyway, the Asian Civilizations Museum at Empress Place is a much better choice).
- Sarawak Museum, Kuching - arguably Malaysia's best museum. (I don't want to argue but it's a good museum).
- Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Hanoi - most comprehensive museum. (No comment).
- Islamic Arts Museum, KL - works from Persia & Middle East to China and India. (I enjoyed visiting this museum very much).
- Royal Palace Museum, Luang Prabang, Laos - formerly a royal residence. (No comment).
- Sono-Budoyo Museum, Yogyakarta - country's most complete museum. (I also enjoyed visiting this museum very much).
- Natural History Museum, London - botany to zoology. (I've never been here but I enjoyed my visit to the British Museum. I practically spent a whole day there).
- Hall of Opium, Chiang Saen, Thailand. (No comment).
- National Palace Museum, Taipei - on par with Lourve & MOMA and features Chinese architects. (No comment).
This is a follow-up to my previous post. The more I look, the more depressing the figures become. The table below shows the operating revenue and operating expense of Malaysia Airlines from 2005 to Quarter 2 2009.
It seems that out of 18 quarters, operating revenue exceeded operating expense only 5 times. How do your sustain your core activity if no profits are derived from your core business activities? I think the airline should look into more efforts in reducing its costs.
I read somewhere once that Tony Fernandes the CEO of Airasia once said that costs is Airasia’s enemy and not other airlines or other modes of transportation. Perhaps, Malaysia Airlines should take heed of this statement.
When I look at companies, one of the things that I like to know is its operating results. In the airline industry, among other things, you’ll look at revenues, passenger/cargo load factors and yields. Other than revenue, profit or loss from operations figures would indicate how a company is doing financially in its core business activity.
Based on data from Malaysia Airlines website, here are the profit or loss from operations figures in (RM’000) from 2005 to Quarter 2, 2009 (figures in brackets indicate loss):
Total (558,730) (Q1-Q2)
For 2009, here’s what the airline has to say:
- The Group's targets are: RM499 million loss - RM50 million net income (on target), RM51 million - RM500 million (exceeding) and RM501 million - RM 1 billion (outstanding).
- In July 2009, Aviation Week announced Malaysia Airlines as one of the top 3 airlines in the world (together with Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa) capable of weathering the current crisis.
27 August 2009
Frankly, I've nothing against Indonesians. I've a number, not many I admit, of Indonesian friends. I enjoy Indonesian music (all bought legally in Indonesia or here). I like Indonesia food - Nasi Padang, Pecal, Gado-gado, Gudeg, anytime. In fact, I've lost count of the number of times I've been to that country, either for business or leisure. What I don't understand is why are some people are like hell breaking loose on issues like Pendet, Reog, Rasa Sayange and so on. We are from the same archipelago and as our people move from one place to another, we are bound to share a lot of things, culture included. Having said that, however, I'm seriously thinking of not going to Indonesia anytime soon or even anytime at all.
26 August 2009
About a couple of weeks ago, I was at the weekly Gaya Street Fair and was pleasantly surprised to see local dance performances by a young dance troupe from a local primary school and gamelan performances by a gamelan group from a local secondary school. It's heartening to see their performances being showcased to local and foreign tourists at the street fair.
This is all part of the Pusat Seni Setempat or Culture Hotspot organised jointly by the Kota Kinabalu City Hall and the Sabah National Culture and Arts Department. There were also performances by local singers and the department's cultural troupe. One improvement the organisers should consider is a proper stage for the performances. If you are interested, you can catch the next one on Sunday in the third week of October.
Here are some photos of our young dancers.
Another traditional dance