Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Laidback Charm

Town Break, Going Places (MAS in-flight magazine), October 2008

If there was ever an article borne out of serendipity, this must be it.

Last year, Philip and Siew Ee read an arty I wrote about Sungai Petani and asked on a whim: would I like to follow them to her hometown Kluang for a weekend getaway?

This travelogue is the result of that spontaneous trip :)

I love the quaint town, non sequiturs, anomalies, quirks and all: Every shop seems to display the Malaysian flag alongside the Johor one! Somebody dish out a patriotism award, quick!

Everybody was so lovely. How can I ever repay all of them for their generosity?

From the Lims who were my hosts, to the Kluang Tourism Department secretary who gave a lift to a stranded stranger with little persuasion, to the enigmatic Mansor Poh, a Johor icon I got to know under completely serendipitous circumstances, Kluangites are shining beacons of true Malaysian hospitality.

To Philip, Siew Ee, Uncle Lim, Li Poh, Jit Pang, Barney, Jit Chiang, Ash, Mansor, Kelvin Oon (for those fantastic photographs!), and anyone else I may have inadvertently missed out:

Thank you for reminding me why I love travel writing. As a writer, I am occasionally privileged to enjoy the perks of the job: glitzy hotels, five star restaurants, and glamorous itineraries.

But nothing could ever match the heartfelt warmth of the people who make going places such an joyful affair.

Must cam-whore lah! (Hamming it up with cobbler Ng Chen Lim, of Kedai Kasut Guan Kim)

If anybody wants the full text, you're welcome to write to me at alexandra.lywong@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Skypark at Subang

The latest jewel in Malaysia's aviation crown
MillionaireAsia, Issue 3, Volume 1, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Simple Life

Local Traveller, Going Places (MAS In-flight Magazine), May 2008

Sometimes, life just sneaks up on you and whisks you away on an adventure.

Well, Pulau Ketam - a quaint, quirky little island that is entirely road-less (i.e. carbon-monoxide free!!) - was serendipity in motion, and one of the reasons I love what I do for a living: travel, eat, and partake in other people's lives.

Oh and my folks were spot on: Good manners always take you far. So the next time you see an old man, remember to give up your seat.

You never know where it will lead you :)

Here are some pixels from my personal collection:

Yes, everybody - from two-feet-tall pipsqueaks to adults, pranced around brandishing these strange umbrella-cum-hats, while nobody bats an eyelid!

They maximise every inch of their real estate, all right.

Aww. No words required.

My venerable host (can you guess which one?) and his homies :)

Playing tourist, ahem. On my return visit, to hand out copies of the magazine when the article was printed.

*If you'd like to view the full text, please email me at alexandra.lywong@gmail.com and I'll be most happy to share it with you.


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