Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival celebrates its 3rd year

Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival 2019
Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival 2019

I grew up with jazz music as one of my soundtracks of my youth. I can clearly remember beach trips with family with smooth jazz setting the mood in the air while lounging by the sand and sharing stories with siblings and parents. Kenny G, Swing Out Sisters, Style Council where blaring through cassette tape players then. Then came modern jazz artist that accompanied travels like Norah Jones, Michael Bubble and some Everything But the Girl. I may not listen to them as often lately but memories associated with them are always pleasant and strong. Music somehow makes our lives more sweeter. Memories of road trips more vivid with songs. And with much excitement I’ll be visiting Kuching, Malaysia next week for the Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival. Now on its third year this 2019, this festival brings together a round of talented jazz art from Asia and beyond on a 2 day musical festival this 27-28th of September, 2019. It would be a good opportunity to get familiar with other talents from our neighbouring countries.

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Charm of Old George Town and Street Art Spice

A couple of Zacharevic's murals in George Town
A couple of Zacharevic’s murals in George Town

The gorgeous colonial city of George Town consists of more than 12,000 old buildings and structures of varying Asian and European influences. From Charming shophouses, jetties and temples, colourful Indian temples, Muslim Mosque and British colonial government offices earning its place under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 2008. It’s a real delight to stroll around the city and feel being transported back in the old world of Penang. In 2012, Penang municipality decided to breath life into this old walls by incorporating street art into public spaces. While I love street art, done wrong can make the place messy. But seems like George Town found just the right artist for the job.

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Chew Jetty of George Town’s Clan Jetties

Sundown view at Clan Jetties
Sundown view at Clan Jetties

The Philippines is no stranger to water world communities or people living on stilt houses by the sea. Like the Badjao’s of Mindanao or the community of Rio Hondo in Tawi-tawi, the UNESCO-listed George Town interestingly have their own version in Clan Jetties. But unlike our communities here, these jetties are owned by different Chinese “clans” or families which often can-do merchants or rich families. There are currently seven Clan Jetties. I visited a couple including the tourist-friendly Chew Jetty. This was still part of the KKDay Historical George Town tour but I managed to return to the area for my own exploration of this intriguing seaside community.

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The Colonial Penang Museum: Insights Into British and Penang Opulence

The Colonial Penang Museum
The Colonial Penang Museum

I had little sleep in transit from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. While waiting for my check-in time at my hotel, it was a good decision to go out for a cursory heritage tour of Penang with KKDay. It’s a good way to orient myself with the city of Goerge town being a first timer here. One of our early stops was the Colonial Penang Museum. It wasn’t listed on the itinerary so I wasn’t expecting much. But lo, my eyes were kept peeled from fascination with over a thousand pieces of items painting a rich history of Penang’s British colonial era. An ideal starting point that gives insight on Penang heritage.

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Taipei Tourist Spots: Chiang Kai-shek Memorial, Taipei 101 and Ximending

The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

It’s always fun to allow yourself to be touristy at times, especially when new to a destination. And since it’s my first time in Taiwan, I was interested to see the famous spots that makes Taipei distinctive. The significant attractions that iconize and built the country throughout the years. Here’s a visit to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial, Taipei 101 and Ximending.

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Dadaocheng: Strolling the Lively Old Street of Dihua

Busy street of Dihua
Busy street of Dihua

After exploring adventure-filled destinations in the outskirts of the main capital, we’re excited to wander finally through Taipei, Taiwan’s metropolitan city. And what better place to start than Dadaocheng, where some of the country’s oldest streets are found. There are more than a 100 year old culture and businesses that still thrive until this day. We had a full afternoon to experience the dazzling array of sights, sounds and even taste as we walk through the lively and charming Dihua street.

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4 Places To Visit at Yangmingshan National Park on a Day Trip

Cherry blossom lane at Yangming Park
Cherry blossom lane at Yangming Park

With only an hour’s drive from Taipei, Yangmingshan is one of the favorite getaways from the city, especially during summer time. Yangmingshan National Park is one of the nine national parks in Taiwan. It is the only national park in Taiwan that has a volcanic geography and hot springs. The elevation may be low at 200-1100 meters above sea level but is endowed with magnificent landscape, breathtaking valleys, scenic hills, waterfalls and hot springs. If one does not have much time to go around for adventurous hikes, these places below can be enough to fill your Yangmingshan experience for a day or two.

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