Brunei Darussalam


I had the privilege of visiting Pulau Langkawi with Tourism Malaysia during the July 2010 Mega Fam trip and I’m delighted to share my island-hopping, cable car ride and hotel inspection photo journey. We lived 3 wholesome days at the multi award-winning Frangipani Langkawi Beach Resort & Spa and inspected The Andaman Langkawi and The Danna Langkawi all 3 of which are awesome luxury accommodation. As much as the islands are shrouded with a heritage of myths and legends, it is no myth that Langkawi is an extremely popular holiday and wedding destination. It’s evidently hugely popular with the Middle Eastern tourists and an opportune run-in with Christiana from Cyprus whom we met on Beras Basah Island.


“My name is Christiana and im from Cyprus. im the girl i was writing on the sand if you remember…we met in Langkawi on 25th of July, you took some pictures of me during i was writing on the sand and you told me that you will send me an email to inform me about the pictures. by the way i’ve seen a lot of ur photos on ur website and are really nice!!! congrats!” — Christiana, Love from Cyprus!
Immortalizing a honeymoon declaration on the beach of Beras Basah Island in Langkawi on July 25, 2010
Calm, clear blue waters of Beras Basah Island right a perfect spot for honeymooners who want a tranquil surrounding to chill. Just the place to sit by the rocks and dip your feet in cool shallow waters.
Backdropped by the Awana Porto Malai Langkawi’s Mediterranean architecture in the distance are boats that ferry tourists all over the islands.
Spectacular view of what are believed to be privately-owned residences up the hill which offers a great view of the marina.
Noted for its Mediterranean architecture and as a terminal for ocean-going cruise ships, Awana Porto Malai Langkawi features a hotel, restaurants and shops lining the waterfront as well as a small marina.

The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa was formerly known as Langkawi Village Resort. This resort attained a sound reputation as a value-for-money property with a superb location along Langkawi’s premier beachfront, Pantai Tengah. In the beginning of 2006, Frangipani Hotels & Resorts Sdn Bhd took over the property and set about investing considerable capital to create a deluxe resort befitting its excellent location.  This secluded and eco-friendly resort is situated on a 400-metre stretch of soft golden sand along Pantai Tengah, southwest of Langkawi. We are located 10km from Langkawi International Airport and walking distance to restaurants, cafes, bars and shops. All 117 rooms, villas and suites are spacious, tastefully decorated to provide a calm feeling and relaxed atmosphere, and bathtub. The Garden and Sea View villas feature a private patio and a semi-outdoor shower. The suites are themed after unique attractions in Malaysia. Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa is the first resort in Langkawi to implement Green practices to preserve the environment.

Frangipani Langkawi’s commitment and dedication to Green practices is evident in its elaborate use of recycled material.
A standard room at the Frangipani I shared with United Daily News journalist. Other types of rooms available are: Superior, Deluxe, Garden View Villa, Seaview Villa and Suites.


At the Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa, there’s a foot reflexology walk path that’s believed to “improve blood metabolism, remove toxic waste, improve digestion and relieve tiredness.”
Breakfast at the deck of the Frangipani comes is accompanied with nature’s acoustics as waves crash against the clean beaches merely a stone’s throw away.
This is one of my personal favourites. Shot in the evening on an overcast day, the relaxed moment between two friends on the Frangipani boat makes up for the absence of a promised sunset. The “boat bar” is made from an actual fisherman’s boat salvaged from the Asian tsunami—a symbol of strength and tenacity just like Frangipani flowers ability to withstand “a high degree of moisture stress and urban pollution.
Shot from the roof top garden of a double-storey bungalow suite shows the expanse of Fragipani’s selection of accommodation including a swimming pool. One has to stay there to appreciate their Green commitments.

How Green is the Frangipani Resort? Check out their Green Hotel Concept.
[other eco-friendly resort I’ve visited includes Gayana Eco Resort in Kota Kinabalu]

We are continually assessing our relationship with the environment and incorporating sustainable management practices to ensure that the very assets that guests come to enjoy remain as they found them for many generations to come. We have implemented a water treatment plant to recycle the resort’s waste water. This is used to water the tropical gardens. Energy efficient light globes have been utilised and attempts have been made to reduce our energy needs throughout the resort by using more sustainable building materials. Where possible, we have also incorporated solar energy. We have also adopted a policy of: “a small change to make a small change.” While we can’t change the world, we can influence our immediate environment.

Hotel guests rehydrate after a blissful day on the beach or by the pool.
Beras Basah Island is popular with Caucasian tourists who are ready to catch some sun. Paragliding and ‘Banana Boat’ rides are offered at this stop.
According to local folklore, the name Langkawi derived its name from the eagle or ‘helang’. In old Malay, ‘kawi’ denotes reddish brown, hence Langkawi means ‘reddish brown eagle’ which the iconic Eagle Square or Dataran Lang represents. Pictured here is a sea eagle with its catch in its claws, a popular ‘sea eagles feeding’ activity.
Watching and photographing sea eagles feeding on the mangrove a popular item on the itinerary. Boatmen brings chicken chunks, tosses them into the water and signals to the eagles by revving the motor. Apparently the eagles are accustomed to this which tells them it’s chow time!
Holiday makers or honeymooners alike, Langkawi has a charm for everyone. A couple shares a moment of intimacy at the Lake of the Pregnant Maiden (Tasik Dayang Bunting), the largest freshwater lake in Langkawi.
A group of Middle Eastern visitors at Tasik Dayang Bunting having a great time tossing kids into the freshwater lake as part of a team building exercise.
On the other platform is Chai with his telephoto lenses at which this kid fingers a double peace sign.
The kids seem to have a time of their lives. The once tranquil Tasik Dayang Bunting is replaced by the roar of excitement as visitors toss one kid after another into the lake.
As we made our way to the jetty to catch our boat, visitors continue to visit Pulau Dayang Bunting.
Telaga Harbour Park has an array of facilities such as the Petronas and Perdana quay, customs house, harbour office and the headland watchtower.
With a length of 919.5m, the Langkawi Cable Car has been recognised as “The Longest Free Span Single Rope Cable Car” by the Malaysia Book of Records. It also has one of the steepest gradients in the world at 42°
At the middle and top stations, walking trails and viewing platforms are available for visitors to further enjoy the panoramic views. Here is a picture of another impressive attraction, the 125m suspension bridge which I shot on descent (standing in a moving cable car cradling my 5DII/70-200mm)
The Langkawi Cable Car is seriously steep—it isn’t called the world’s steepest for nothing and sitting inside the car just as it’s about to launch can be nerve wrecking.
Here's another scene from a higher vantage point. Note the drop point to the right of the station canopy
Here’s another scene from a station higher up. Note the drop point to the right of the station canopy.
A view of Telaga Harbour Park from the second highest viewing platform at 705m above sea level (it was here I had a scoop of vanilla ice cream).
I see a number of ice cream flavours ranging from yam, chocolate and an all time favourite, vanilla. It’s quite an experience having one at 705M above sea level.
The Andaman features a walk-in wine cellar not only houses a selection of venerable wines but also caters to discerning guests who want a more intimate dining experience in lovely venue for a private dinner.


The Andaman is an inviting oasis of enchanting elegance on Langkawi Island. A beachfront sanctuary surrounded by mountains and pristine rainforest, gentle sea breezes and the chorus of tropical rainforest bird creates a symphony for the senses.
Afelda Ghani takes a photo of Chai on the beachfront sanctuary surrounded by mountains and pristine rainforest. This is my favourite piece with auspicious Feng Shui elements in one composition.
The Deluxe Lanai Room located on the hotel’s first floor, our 43-square-meter Deluxe Lanai Rooms features an extra large balcony overlooking the rainforest, where birds and other wildlife frolic before your eyes.
The Deluxe Lanai Room features an extra large balcony overlooking the rainforest or sea view.
A very Zen pation of The Spa. Upon our arrival, we were each served a glass of chilled ginger tea with a twist of fragrant lemon grass. Not only was my thirst quenched, I was  inspired.


A Middle Eastern hotel guest at The Spa of The Andaman begins her journey to rejuvenation and an afternoon of blissful pampering.

Lastly, The Danna Langkawi is located on the most stunning 2.80 acres of land in the west coast of the exquisite Langkawi Island. The resort’s cleverly mixed design of old charm British Colonial architecture with a modern bust of Mediterranean warmth and style, set in a five storey building featuring a breathtaking three-tiered infinity pool which overlooks white sandy beaches and the marina. On the day of our visit, much of The Danna was under construction and it was a privilege to be the first group to be given a guided tour of the hotel.

While waiting for management of The Danna to show us around, we checked out the marina a short distance from the hotel.
If there’s a better view than the infinity pool and white sandy beaches it is the view from the balcony. The landscape is simply magnificent and it’s such an honour to have visited The Danna while it’s raw.


To top things off, management included a surprise food testing at The Planter’s (the main and fine dining restaurant that overlooks the infinity pool and beach.
This is just one of a number of fine dishes we sampled at The Planter’s.
The Danna promises grandeur and opulence. Workers are dwarfed by the massive awning at the entrance of this magnificent hotel. I look forward to visiting the hotel when it officially opens.


For more information about events or places of interest in Malaysia,
contact Tourism Malaysia Brunei office

Unit 1.14 – 1.15, First Floor, The Rizqun International Hotel
Gadong BE3519,  Negara Brunei Darussalam
Tel: 673-2381575 / 673-2381576 | Fax: 673-2381584
Official Tourism Malaysia website

Brunei Darussalam


Once in ancient China, there was a cunning Prince who fought against the Mongols. With the help of his Senior Deputy, the Prince devised an ingenious plan to reclaim the city that was occupied by the invaders. The plan was very simple. His Senior Deputy was to dress up as a Taoist Monk and, while disguised, walk through the city and hand out uniquely made mooncakes to the people. The people found a secret message inside these special mooncakes. The Prince asked for their assistance to aid him and his soldiers in reclaiming the city from the Mongols. With the people’s help, the Emperor-to-be was thus able to take over the city and claim his throne.


From ancient Chinese legends to present day penchant for the traditional, award-winning Chinese Restaurant, Tai Zi Heen, located on Level 2 of Prince Hotel & Residence in Kuala Lumpur celebrates Moon Festival between August 1 to September 22, 2010 and offers their home-made signature mooncake creations. Many thanks to Tourism Malaysia Brunei and Shirley Hoo, Director of Marketing Communications of Prince Hotel, we had a princely opportunity to bring these award-winning mooncakes home in exquisitely packaged box set—white lotus paste with single egg yolk, Pandan with single egg yolk and melon seeds, low sugar Hong Kong white lotus paste, etc. with tea leaves to complement the flavour.

Related post: Mooncakes Our Annual Obsession











Winding down our week long tour of Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi on July 27th, we returned to Prince Hotel to be ushered into the award-winning Tai Zi Heen Chinese restaurant located on Level 2 where it’s also very popular for their Dim Sum. Moments after sitting down, inspired by their signature dishes, I quickly forgot how exhausted I had been and whipped out my PowerShot G11 to share these delights with you all. I know, food these sinful, it’s wrong to be selfish!

A unobstructed view of the Yin Yang prawns with what appears to be white and black sesame seeds. Did I also mention they’re super delicious?
Chicken Double Boiled Soup with Fish Maw and Abalone
Baked Cod Fish with Cheese. Incidentally, I was told this is Singapore Actor Gurmit Singh’s favourite item when he’s in town.
Mongolian Rack of Lamb. OMG, this is one juicy item and it so happens that I really dig ‘rack of lamb’ which I occasionally order at Fratini Restaurant in Seria.
More Rack of Lamb goodness from a different vantage point. Regardless of perspective, this remains my hot favourite. The chunky Kai Lan presumably HK variety’s really good too!
Stir Fried Prawns with Australian Asparagus and Belachan
Mini Snow Skin Chocolate Whiskey Mooncake easily the most “sinful dessert” for the mid-autumn celebration that melts in your mouth. Chocolate Whiskey was named one of the Best Mooncake in Town in the “Battles of Mooncakes” organised by The Star newspaper
Mango Puree with Pomelo, Sago and Vanilla Ice Cream

If you’re in Brunei and would like more information about events or places of interest in Malaysia,
email Noorezamy or contact Tourism Malaysia Brunei office:

Unit 1.14 – 1.15, First Floor, The Rizqun International Hotel
Gadong BE3519,  Negara Brunei Darussalam
Tel: 673-2381575 / 673-2381576 | Fax: 673-2381584
Official Tourism Malaysia website