Home –  Archive
Monthly Archives: Dec 2016

Magic on Bukit Nanas

Think Kuala Lumpur, and images of massive shopping centres, fun-filled theme parks, meandering traffic, bustling eateries and street food come to mind. As Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur continues to capture the hearts of locals and tourists alike with abundant opportunities and attractions that it has to offer.

One of the oldest and well-known areas of Kuala Lumpur is Bukit Nanas where the KL Tower, the 5th tallest telecommunication tower in the world, calls home. Although Bukit Nanas is known for its serenity and tranquillity in the midst of the booming modern metropolis, many have yet to discover the hidden gems and attractions that the sprawling verdure have to offer.

Breath of Fresh Air

Throbbing with life in the middle of the bustling city centre is KL Forest Eco-Park, a small patch of greenery known as the only remaining virgin tropical rainforest in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. The forest reserve is teeming with wildlife as a plethora of flora and fauna finds refuge within its premises. KL Forest Eco-Park, also known as the ‘Green Lung’ of Kuala Lumpur, boasts paved footpaths for enjoyable nature trails, including an impressive 200-metre canopy walk where visitors can enjoy a light trek with a wonderful aerial view of the treetops and the city beyond.

Reach for the Sky

Forget KLCC, the latest adrenaline-pumping, sightseeing experience is at the Sky Box at KL Towers, which officially opened its doors to the public on 20th May 2016. Located 300 meters from the ground, the Sky Box is an extension from the Sky Deck ledge and is made of glass (not for the faint-hearted!) so that visitors can enjoy an unobstructed panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur.

Since its completion in 1996, the KL Tower (known locally as Menara Kuala Lumpur) has been an icon for Malaysia before the KL Twin Towers took its limelight a year later. Unbeknownst to many, the KL Tower blends Eastern designs with Western architectural technology, and its interior is designed with Islamic motifs to reflect Malaysia’s Islamic heritage. The main lobby is decorated with glass-clad domes designed and arranged in the form of the ‘Murqarnas’ by Iranian craftsmen from Esfahan.

Gastronomic Treasures

Looking to have a nosh after an adventure in the reserve? Relish in local fanfare at Lot 10 Hutong, a ‘gourmet heritage village’ that offers signature Malaysian cuisine from well-known eateries, all clustered under one roof (within the comfort of an air-conditioned food court). For a more authentic experience, the renowned Yut Kee Kopitiam, a stone’s throw away from KL Tower, is where locals rave about their signature Roti Babi (pork bread), and Beef Rendang and Kaya Toast.

Respite in the City

At the foot of Bukit Nanas and nestled in the quiet cul-de-sac of Lorong P. Ramlee, guests looking for a quiet respite in the heart of the bustling city will find comfort at Oasia Suites Kuala Lumpur. Redefining and setting new standards to city hospitality experience as the destination of choice for the wellness-conscious, Oasia Suites Kuala Lumpur is a restorative retreat in the city that inspires and empowers guests to Journey Well when travelling through three wellness pillars – Refresh, Refuel, and Recharge.

Explore the treasures of Bukit Nanas that is Kuala Lumpur’s gold mine of nature and adventure for thrill-seekers and visitors alike! An idyllic green sanctuary for all, this is the ideal hideaway to escape from the hustle and bustle of the cityscape and revivify your senses

How To Staying Safe When Meet Bears

Anyone embarking on the exciting wildlife experience of bear tours is highly unlikely to encounter a confrontational situation with one of these majestic animals. It is still very wise, however, to educate yourself on how to react if you ever did come into close contact with a bear, by understanding the psychology of how and why they attack. While on reputable bear tours you’ll always be accompanied by an expert guide, but the information below will outline the basics.

Why Might a Bear Attack?

Determining how to react depends a lot on the situation. A bear may attack either because they are being defensive or because something is standing in the way of their food source. If the animal sees something as a threat it will not stop attacking against the tactics of ‘playing dead’ or shouting and it requires a little more imagination in defensive tactics. Instances of threat include a mother protecting cubs or a hidden food stash, or if it feels its space has been encroached upon. It may also be more predatory if it is exceptionally hungry.

How to React to an Encounter

Bear experts say that the first rule of thumb, however difficult it may seem, is to remain calm and not panic, as a panicked person exhibits behaviours that resemble potential prey. The advice is to try to make yourself bigger than you really are; you can do this by holding your arms above your head and standing with your legs apart. If you have a jacket on, wave it above you to make you appear larger and wider, and leave any backpacks on as they also add to the illusion of size.

You should always avoid eye contact but never turn away from the animal, as you need be aware of what it is doing at all times. Noise can be helpful, but be warned that in some cases it can have the opposite effect-some larger bears are more curious about noise and may well be attracted to it, while others will run away, especially if the sound is of a metallic nature.

After Dark

If you encounter a bear at close quarters at night, shine a torch in their eyes and, although you might feel the urge to run, the advice from expert guides on bear tours is don’t. Sudden movements may cause the animal to give chase. It’s a common misconception that climbing a tree will keep you safe in the case of a bear attack, but this is not true. Some bears can climb very fast and, while a bigger animal may not be exactly nimble, it’s never a guaranteed escape route. Distance is your best tactic, so try to put something large between you and the animal, such as a tree or a rock.

Bear attacks on humans are actually extremely uncommon (and never on properly organised bear tours). However, it’s always prudent to understand the right way to behave in unlikely event you ever come face to face with this most impressive and intimidating of creatures.

Tips To Loving Outdoors Vacation

Obviously today’s society is a very stay at home, anti social group of individuals who see the outdoors as the equivalent of running a marathon. Well over the years I’ve come to understand that the wild IS for everyone, they just don’t know it yet. In many cases, a camping trip is one outdoor enthusiasts trying to talk someone, usually of the opposite sex, into joining them in the great outdoors. And in most cases the person who has never been camping usually has a difficult time adjusting to sleeping outside. I believe every person has that primeval wild side inside them, it just needs to be drawn out slowly. So from my experience, turning many city dwelling individuals into wanting to be the next Bear grills, I’ve put together a simple guide to help get your friends or significant other to take a walk on the wild side with you.

The Guide to Getting Anyone to Love the Outdoors!

Question Their Experience

First and Foremost find out what experience your guest has with the outdoors. Did they grow up in a rural area or in a downtown apartment? Have they gone camping in the past? What are the details of the trip? Did they stay in an RV with a TV and shower, or was it in a tent and they used baby wipes as their shower. Usually people always say they have been on a camping trip where they were “roughing it!” Obviously err on the side of caution because roughing it for some people may be a full blown survival situation and for others it may be going without Phone Service.

Start Small and Simple

Once you have an idea about how far you can push them, you have to use the acronym KISS to plan a trip! Keep It Simple Stupid! You might be a survivalist badass who can climb Everest in a single bound, or pull salmon out of the river with your beard, but remember, your guest probably don’t even know what a beard is. Start small with what I like to call “cheater camping!” Rent a Cabin, a Yurt, an RV, or find a campsite with all the amenities like hot showers, temperature controlled clean bathrooms, etc. The shorter and simpler the outdoor adventure is, the less chance for things to go wrong, and more likely that your guest will return. Plan short hikes that aren’t difficult, or drive to the great view instead of hike. Avoid any areas with mosquitoes or really cold weather! Those two things will end a great trip real quick.

Make Them Overly Comfortable

Now that you have the perfect plan and you’ve got them outside, make their outside experience as cozy as their home. Whatever everyday items your guests just can’t live without, find a way to bring that into the outdoors. Maybe your guest can’t go a day without brushing their teeth, blow drying their hair, Starbucks coffee, checking their email or missing a home cooked meal. Many campsites offer electrical hookups, and showers which can be a life saver for someone who isn’t use to roughing it. Bring pillows and extra blankets to place in the tent to keep it soft and warm instead of just the old ground pad and sleeping bag. Bring a French press for Starbucks on Trail! Get creative with the cooking and take the kitchen outside. This also gives you the chance to show off your cast iron cooking skills, your guest will rave about. Nothing smells better than bacon and eggs on a cast iron grill over an open flame!

Teach and Be Taught

Be a Mentor, a supporter, and then learn. Teach the student, then have the student teach the teacher. Most people like to learn new skills, and are excited, but people are usually nervous or embarrassed when trying something they don’t know. Get your guest involved in the trip, don’t act like a know it all, be humble and teach them the cool skills you know and love. Show them the best way to pack a bag, build a tent, bait a hook, or make a fire. Then on the next night give them at a shot at making the fire, or building the tent, but don’t let them get discouraged and make sure you are always motivating them. Explain the calls of the wild to them. People see the outdoors as something to be feared instead of embraced. Explain that the sounds you hear at night are beautiful and not to be feared. Sounds like the howling of coyotes, the hoot of an owl or the call of a moose are all to be enjoyed. Explain the different animal tracks on trail. Nothing is cooler than your friend heading into work on Monday to brag about all the new stuff they learned.

The WOW Factor

This tip is the icing on the cake! Make sure that first adventure has a WOW factor somewhere in the trip. Find one visual scene that will burn a lasting memory in your guest’s mind that will have them itching to come back for more! Whether it’s a beautiful sunset/sunrise, a splendid mountain view, endless night sky or close encounter with wildlife, make it EPIC! A picture worthy shot of your friend with the special scene will go a long way.

Surprise and Reset

The Surprise and Reset part of the trip can be as simple as extra candy on trail, to a night at a 5 star hotel. It’s up to you, depending on the difficulty or duration of your adventure, to determine when the best time to use this will be. It may be earlier than later depending on how hard you pushed your guest. Once you have hiked all day, camped multiple nights in the back country, or lived off mountain house meals, execute the Surprise and Reset tip. Take your guests into town to grab a beer and a sit down meal, order a pizza, have an extra box of chocolates for them that you pull out when they run out, or ditch the tent for a warm cabin to cap off an amazing trip. Whatever you do, surprise your guests so they aren’t wondering when all this nature will stop. Let them have a brief, relaxing moment that will reset them from all the new outdoor experiences.

Prep and Push The Envelope

The Final stage is to prep and push the envelope. Once you are on your way home, reminisce about the great times you had and the funny mishaps. Motivate your guest, explain how impressed you were with how they handled their first camping trip and prep them for the next adventure. Now that they have experienced a small piece of the outdoors, ask them what they are willing to give up in the future. Maybe they can shower in the stream, eat a mountain house, or bring a solar panel to check their emails on trail. Push them a little further each time and do whatever it takes to get them back in the outdoors. Follow this guide and you will have given someone the greatest gift of all. A Love for the Outdoors!

I hope this helps you get that significant other, friend or family member off the couch and into the great outdoors. Feel free to send me some ideas you’ve used in the past to make someone fall in love with the outdoors.

All About Garner State Park

Would your ideal vacation spot be a perfect natural haven filled with hiking, canoeing, tubing, geocaching, and even dancing? For many the answer is yes, and each year many outdoor enthusiasts choose Garner State Park as their ideal summer destination. Chock full of numerous nature-based activities, loaded with Mother Nature’s wonders, and highlighting the beauty of The Frio River, this state park could be your prime location for summer outdoor adventures as well. Are you unfamiliar with this amazing state park in Uvalde County? Here are 5 cool facts to know about Garner State Park.

1. Location

This beautiful state park is located in Concan, Texas on the southwestern edge of what is known to be the Edwards Plateau in the Balcones Canyonlands. It was created during the Cretaceous age due to fault line activity. Deep cliffs and mesas define this picturesque canyon land and surround clear rivers and streams perfect for fishing, canoeing, and tubing. The location, although visited by many year after year, remains mostly unchanged by human activity. The natural changes that occur due to weathering, flooding, or plant growth are allowed to constantly redefine the landscape without human intervention.

2. Wildlife

Being that the naturalness of this park is preserved as much as possible, much wildlife live and thrive there. Visitors to the park will frequently spot this wild life around them. Squirrels, raccoons, and white-tailed deer are the most common, but more exotic animals exist there too. Look for Rio Grande turkeys and mourning doves amongst a whole selection of various birds. If you are a bird watcher then you are in for a treat. The golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo, both endangered species, nest in the park from spring until summer.

3. The Frio River

Rising from springs as the West Frio River, it promptly joins 2 other tributaries and flows southeast for 200 miles before draining into the Nueces River. The name Frio means cold in Spanish and this name perfectly describes the fresh cool waters that lure swimmers and campers up and down the length of its banks. This river is given a shout-out in the song, “All my Ex’s live in Texas,” by George Strait who grew up in Frio County.

4. Geocaching

Merge the joys of hiking and exploring with a scavenger hunt and you have geocaching. Hundreds of geocaches are hidden throughout the park and can be found using a GPS device or an app on a smart phone with GPS capabilities. The GPS device tells you how far away a geocache is and you must go off searching for it. They can be hidden in trees, under rocks, or even placed behind signs and landmarks. Often times a geocache will house a log book so you can write in your name and claim victory over that treasure forever.

5. Dancing

Back in the 1940’s during summer evenings, people would gather at the park’s concessions building and host a dance. This tradition has survived to this day and the park hosts dances each evening. They are very popular and require early arrival as they fill up quickly.

As you can see, this national park is a wonderful vacation destination filled with wildlife and natural beauty.