The Grassi family, who originate from Zurich Switzerland, wanted a 2-week holiday and promptly chose Perak because of its natural wonders on offer. The family of three, Astrid, Philipp and son Eric, 11, had heard of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and its Twin Towers but wanted more of nature than big city activity and even gave Penang a miss. “We just wanted to have more of nature,” said mum Astrid. Their 2-week itinerary included one night in KL, three days in Ipoh then onwards to Belum and a few days in Langkawi before going home.
Ipoh Echo caught up with them before they left for Belum and got their insights of what they saw here.
The family took the train from KL to Ipoh and were picked up by tour guide Raja at the railway station. “For a 3-day stay in an unfamiliar place it is perfect to have a tour guide,” said Philipp Grassi.
Their first day tour took them to the tin museum in Kampar and Gopeng, Lata Kinjang waterfalls, Gua Tempurung (“the inner cave is huge”) and the adventure playgrounds of Gopeng including Nomad Adventure Camp where Eric saw monkeys.
The next day took them north to the Royal town of Kuala Kangsar and over to Taiping where the highlight of their visit was to the Matang mangrove swamp. “It was different from Bangladesh, here the trees are so tall,” exclaimed Philipp. A bonus here was seeing woodpeckers on a tree.
At Taiping they found the Lake Gardens fascinating, where they took a boat ride and saw “a huge iguana/monitor lizard swimming to our boat”, a first for the family. Lunch was at Kuala Sepetang coastal village. “We ate so much we didn’t want to move after that,” said Astrid.
Around Ipoh they visited the cave temples and the pomelo orchards at Tambun and enjoyed Ipoh’s famous chicken and bean sprouts. Astrid enjoyed the Indian food at Little India and was amazed that the “different Indian and Chinese communities could live peacefully side by side.”
Philipp, an architect thought positively of the way Kong Heng Hotel has been adapted and similarly of Burps and Giggles. For Eric, he was thrilled that he got a photograph of a White-breasted Hawk at Gunung Lang.
As for Ipoh town they remarked that everything was nearby, the pace of traffic not heavy and generally ‘is not too crowded’ and had an easy-going feel about the place. The Grassis rated the 3-day Ipoh visit a high 9 for nature and nice tourism products.
Their main negative point was the difficulty in accessing the tourism products “without a tourist guide a walkabout visitor would not be able to visit all the products”.
The Grassis were looking forward to going to Belum and were surprised that both Belum and the Perak Man at Lenggong were all found in the same state, adding that Perak had so much to offer the nature lover.
Based on their observations it appears that Ipoh’s tourism products are excellent and it is a pity that a large segment of the European market are still unaware of them; also what is evident is that the issue of easy accessibility to the tourism products, which has been highlighted umpteen times, has not been addressed at all.
Ipoh Echo thanks the Grassis for sharing their holiday with our readers and for their photos.
To further promote angling tourism in Perak, Tourism Malaysia Perak has come up with packages for one of the state’s top fishing spots around the waters off Pulau Sembilan and Pulau Jarak. These packages are tailor-made to meet the requirements of anglers, depending on the species of fish they target.
Those aiming for Grade A species like jenahak, kerapu, gerut-gerut and merah, will be taken to an area about five hours from the LKIM (Lembaga Kemajuan Ikan Malaysia) jetty in Sg Acheh, Sitiawan, in the Straits of Melaka for bottom fishing. Here battery-operated fishing reels are used to fish from depths of 50 to 90 metres. The recommended time period for fishing these species is between 7pm to 9am, as that is their feeding time.
According to fishing expedition organiser, Mizie of D Kaki Pancing, the fish here, due to strong undercurrents, do not have the trademark muddy taste; hence they fetch a higher price in the market.
There is no particular fishing season, but anglers are advised to stay away one week around the middle and one week at the end of the month, according to the Muslim calendar, because the sea is too rough. Boats have to be booked at least two months in advance, due to its popularity, as anglers consider this area to be the second top fishing spot in Malaysia.
Depending on the size, a boat can accommodate up to 12 anglers and will be manned by at least three men per boat. The 2D/1N package is approximately RM2800 while the 3D/2N trip is about RM5200. Rate depending on the boat chartered, is inclusive of full-board, ice, live bait, and three meals a day. Special menus are available if requests are made in advance. A guide can be arranged for those who have no fishing experience, while those who lack the equipment can rent them.
To give media representatives and travel agents first-hand experience, some 30 participants from Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Perak were taken on a 2D/1N angling expedition on three boats. Participants, mainly with zero knowledge on fishing, were taught on finding suitable locations in the sea, the varying depths required, ocean tides, baits and identifying the different species of fish.
Though considered novice, some participants were lucky to land a sizable fish for dinner. They did so after going through the process of first fishing for small fish and squid and then using them as live bait for a larger catch.
Some unfortunate participants failed to gain a footing on board and felt dizzy. Wan Munirah Dato’ Wan Puteh, a sales and marketing director of a travel agency, was one of those who suffered from seasickness. Even so, she said that she would not mind going on board the Seagull again, for a new experience. According to her, RM2800 for a 2D/1N angling expedition is reasonably cheap, especially with the good choice of food on board.
While experienced anglers know what to expect on fishing boats, Wan Munirah cautions beginners not to expect too much when it comes to living conditions. “Basic amenities are in place, but they are definitely not 5-star,” she remarked.
Muhammad Faiz, a fishing journalist with a magazine called “Umpan”, who was on board “Peter”, was not satisfied with his catch. He attributed it to Lady Luck.
After almost 24 hours on board, particularly for those who stayed up till the wee hours of the morning for a better harvest, it was a tiring end to the expedition. That was indeed the most fruitful hours for serious anglers. On the whole, it was a great experience for new and seasoned anglers alike.
There are currently about three local organisers who cater for such angling trips. Certain travel agents are also in the midst of putting angling packages together.
For details on angling tourism call Tourism Malaysia Perak at 05-255 9962.
Delegates from the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia visited Ipoh recently for a dialogue with players in the local tourism industry, and to discuss plans to prepare Perak ahead of Visit Malaysia Year 2014.
It was launched by Dato’ Hamidah Osman, State Executive Councillor for Tourism. Addressing the press after the formalities, Dato’ Hamidah revealed that state tourism agencies are working closely with the federal government to develop local attractions, especially Kellie’s Castle and Lenggong Valley.
This year, the Ministry of Tourism has allocated RM5 million to enhance Kellie’s Castle and to improve upon it by offering spooky tours. The idea of “ghost tourism” came from the Minister of Tourism, Dato’ Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen and Kellie’s Castle is ideal for such a unique experience.
Lenggong Valley, on the other hand, will benefit from an allocation of RM30 million from the Ministry of Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage, which will be used to upgrade its infrastructure.
Tourism Perak is working closely with local travel agents to come up with six 3-day/2-night packages to the six tourism clusters in Perak. This is in addition to the ten packages that will be launched at MATTA Fair on Friday, March 15.
On a related issue, Dato’ Hamidah expressed her disappointment that the completion of the musical fountain in front of Ipoh Railway Station has been delayed by six months. Ipoh City Council, who is overseeing the project, should buck up.
During the launch of the Ipoh International Waiter’s Race recently, Dato’ Mohammed Nor Khalid, better known as Lat, agreed in principle to allow his cartoon characters to be painted on walls of buildings in Ipoh. Lat who was present at the launch had designed the logo for the Ipoh race scheduled for May 25 in conjunction with Ipoh’s 25th Anniversary. Mayor Dato’ Roshidi Hashim suggested buildings near the Ipoh Padang for a start but would leave it to Lat to make the final decision. The cartoons would enhance Ipoh’s image as a tourist destination just like Brussels. He pledged RM20,000 to the Perak Tourism Association to kick-start the project.
It is unfortunate that 13 years into the new millennium, cleanliness is still an issue that continues to haunt us and thus is a cause for concern. It is not enough to just keep our homes or the streets clean, but we have to make a conscious decision to also save and protect the environment as a whole, before further damage is done. In fact, it is the collective effort of everyone to ensure that we do not destroy Mother Nature. I am disappointed that quite a number of our tourist attractions have already been marred due to littering caused by careless visitors. Littering is an act that not only disrupts civil society, but if plastic bags were washed into the sea, turtles could mistake these bags as jellyfish, their main source of food. Trash is a hazard, whether on land or sea. Coral reefs, which have taken thousands of years to form, are threatened, or even destroyed altogether by pollution or human activity. Many people do not realise that a seemingly harmless touch could kill the corals. Worse is when a boat anchors on the reef ecosystem instead of using a mooring buoy. On the home front, a simple reduction in, or better still, elimination on the use of chemicals, pesticides and fertilisers, would promote a healthier ocean environment. This is what we can change, so why not start from now? As Royal Belum State Park is featured in this volume of the Perak Tourism Newsletter, let this serve as a good reminder to all tourists and tour operators, to be responsible in preserving natural treasures in Perak for the benefit of our future generations. A well-kept, clean and beautiful Park is what they want to inherit from us. While research on the rich flora and fauna is highly encouraged, we have to follow the guidelines, as stipulated by the authorities, when we visit the forest. Let us just take photographs and leave only our footprints behind.
The Enchanting Beauty of Royal Belum
Royal Belum State Park in northern Perak, estimated at 130 million years old, is much older than that of the Amazon and the Congo. Gazetted as a State Park on May 3, 2007, it covers an area measuring 117,500 hectares encompassing over 90 per cent of the Belum Forest Reserve. It is now known as “Royal Belum” after being bestowed the royal title by HRH Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah in July, 2003.
It is said that the name “Belum” originated from the noise emitted from stick grasshoppers (belalang ranting) that sounds like “Belummm, Belummm…”
So, what is there to do or see in Royal Belum?
According to Dato’ Hj Abdul Karim bin Osman, General Manager of Perak State Park Corporation, the agency that oversees the Park, visitors MUST check out the Rafflesia, the largest flower on Earth. While this flower is found in tropical rainforests throughout Southeast Asia, the Rafflesia is an iconic symbol for Royal Belum.
A “normal” Rafflesia flower has five petals but recently, a flower with ten petals, measuring 40 cm in diameter was discovered at Sungai Gadong. It was definitely the first of its kind in the world.
Another attraction for visitors is the Sungai Rouk Waterfall, which is not any ordinary waterfall. This is where various species of local freshwater fish are bred specifically to promote aqua-tourism. Popular species are Kelah, Tengas and Temonggeh.
While on the subject of waterfalls, Royal Belum has quite a few to offer. The most unique is the Sungai Kooi Waterfall, with a height of 50 metres. The water does not cascade but showers down!
Those who prefer to check out the wild animals in Royal Belum are recommended to visit the salt lick. There are 12 areas where wild animals would come by to obtain their salt nutrients. The famous licks are Sira Papan, Sira Damar Siput and Sira Rambau, to name a few.
On the other hand, those who prefer a simpler life are invited to experience the Sungai Kejar or Sungai Tiang Tourism camps. These camps are located some 30 minutes by boat from Pulau Banding. Facilities provided, besides the camping sites, are community sheds, bathrooms, toilets, kitchens and barbeque equipment.
Those who opt for Sungai Kejar Tourism Camp should also visit the Kejar Hilir Village, a village of the Orang Asli Jahai. This isolated tribe originated from the Austroasia group, similar to Orang Asli Temiar found in central Peninsular Malaysia.
A trip to Royal Belum is not complete without watching the birds, especially the hornbills. Ten species of the bird are found here. In fact, bird-watching is a popular activity, although it takes a lot of luck to spot specific species of the birds.
Royal Belum is indeed an experience of a lifetime. Explore all that it has to offer personally. Be blown away by the thousands of species of flora and fauna that make the forest their habitat. Today’s guide is a good starting point.
Incidentally, a permit is required to enter the State Park. This can be easily handled by tour operators registered with the Perak State Park Corporation. For more information, contact them at 05-791 4543 or 05-791 7858 during office hours.
April 3-5 – Kembara Cuti-Cuti Malaysia by Gaya Travel / Tourism Perak.
April 6-7 – GP Fishing Competition – Teluk Senangin, Lumut by Tourism Perak / Berita Harian / Majlis Perbandaran Manjung. Harian. Tel No: 605‑208 3600. Fax No: 605-241 0671. Website: www.peraktourism.com.my.
April 19-21 – Penang MATTA Fair 2013 – Penang. Contact: Perak Tourism at 605‑208 3600. Website: www.peraktourism.com.my.
The Pangkor-Lumut Sea Festival, held from February 28 to March 3, attracted some 10,000 people. With entertainment provided by rocker Ramli Sarip and Salem Iklim, it was an event not to be missed. Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, who officiated the festival at Lumut’s Dataran Putra, also launched the state-level Visit Malaysia Year 2014. He proudly announced that the Manjung Municipal Council clinched fifth place in the national ranking for Best Local Authority. Zambry is confident Perak’s Visit Malaysia Year 2014 will be successful with strong commitment from the three major tourism agencies; Tourism Perak, Tourism Malaysia (Perak) and the Ministry of Tourism (Perak). Out of the 6.5 million tourists who came to Perak last year, almost half of them visited Pangkor and Lumut. This is testimony to their popularity as a tourist haven. Pangkor and Lumut, according to Dato’ Hamidah Osman, Executive Councillor for Tourism, will enhance Malaysia’s aim of attracting 36 million tourists to its shores by 2020.
Hamidah Goes Cruising
Dato’ Hamidah Osman, Executive Councillor for Tourism and staff of Perak Tourism Sdn Bhd set sail on a yacht. This ‘cruising’ launch gimmick was in conjunction with Pangkor-Lumut Sea Festival 2013 held recently.
Fishing enthusiasts, especially those who fish for lobsters (udang galah), will be delighted to know that the International Lobster Fishing Fiesta in Teluk Intan is back for the second consecutive year. To be held on Sunday, March 17, from 8am to 1pm, cash prizes amounting to RM21,650 will be up for grabs. Besides the lobster-fishing competition, other activities planned include a carnival where four local food products will be promoted. They are the succulent Selabak pineapples, young coconuts, mee rebus and lobsters. A cooking competition with local ingredients will be held with the main fares featured. The fishing spot will be a stone’s throw away from Jeti Perikanan Teluk Intan, along a 1-km stretch on both sides of the Perak River banks. Teluk Intan is famous for its lobsters, which are available all year round. Some 400 participants are expected to descend on the town for the competition. For details on the competition, go to www.facebook.com/JoranBH.
Dato’ Hamidah Osman
State Executive Councillor for Tourism
In spite of the many glitches, which had happened due to errors of commission rather than omission, Visit Perak Year (VPY) 2012 was a success. I base this on a number of determinants, increasing tourist arrivals being a major factor of our achievement despite claims to the contrary. The increment is attributable to the many strategic initiatives taken by Tourism Perak and its affiliates in promoting the state to all and sundry. The many tourism-related events organised within the state throughout the visit year were conducted with a measure of success. I take cognisance of this and wish to thank those concerned, from the very bottom of my heart, for their dedication and hard work. I too wish to congratulate Perak Tourism Sdn Bhd, Tourism Malaysia (Perak), Ministry of Tourism (Perak Chapter), Perak Tourism Association and others for their meaningful contributions. The end of VPY 2012 does not mean that those at the helm of the tourism industry can let their guard down. The upcoming Visit Malaysia Year 2014 looms big on the horizon. Its existence provides us the impetus to bring tourism to a different level in Perak. With this in mind, I have conceptualised a three-year tourism programme for the state, named Discover Perak 2013-2015. The programme is aimed at instilling a new vigour in tourism growth beginning from infancy to maturity. The time frame may look lengthy but three years will come to pass in a blink. One major shortcoming, which I find disturbing, is the absence of detail relating to people and agencies in the tourism industry. This has affected the way tourists view us and the industry, on the whole. To correct this little flaw, the emphasis in this issue on tourism newsletter is information regarding agencies, both public and private, associations and individuals who play a major role in the promotion of tourism in the state. The availability of these seemingly insignificant details will be a good start to my three-year Discover Perak programme. We shall begin with Tourism Perak Sdn Bhd.
Tourism is a major money spinner in Perak. The continued growth of the tourism industry in the state is contingent upon factors conducive to its expansion. Therefore, those who have a role to play in the development of tourism need to be exposed and highlighted, however, insignificant they may be.
The responsibility of tourism propagation in Perak lies entirely with Tourism Perak Sdn Bhd. This entity, formed as a private limited company, was incorporated in 2012. It started as an adjunct to the Perak State Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) co-located with the SEDC building along Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab (opposite Royal Ipoh Club).
As its roles and responsibilities expanded over time, the office was moved to the government building in Jelapang. It remained there till mid-2012 when a centralisation exercise, mooted by Dato’ Hamidah Osman, Executive Councilor for Tourism, was in place. It is now located on the first floor of the State Secretariat Building, Ipoh.
The company is being helmed by Tuan Haji Musa Dun, the Chief Executive Officer who took over the hot seat in August 2012.
Next in line and in importance is the Ministry of Tourism (Perak Chapter). The office is located at Jalan Medan Istana, Bandar Ipoh Raya, Ipoh. Its role is to act as a conduit between the Ministry of Tourism and the state tourism apparatus. The current director of the Perak chapter is Syahruddin Abdul Hamid.
The Tourism Malaysia (Perak) plays an equally important role in the dissemination of information on tourism. However, it is more international in nature taking its cue from its headquarters in Putrajaya. The office is located across the road from where the Ministry of Tourism (Perak Chapter) is.
The above mentioned are government-related agencies directly involved in tourism development in Perak. There are a number of private entities whose presence is to complement the roles of the public agencies. They are located in Ipoh and are within striking distance of one another.
Tourism-related non-governmental organisations too, play a role in tourism promotion. Though their contributions may be overshadowed by the major players in the industry, their responsibilities are in no way insignificant. One such entity is the Perak Tourism Association (PTA). The association’s office is in Greentown Square along Jalan Dato’ Ahmad Said, Ipoh (next to Restoran Simpang Tiga). Tuan Haji Mohd Odzman Abd Kadir is the association’s current president.
Of similar importance is the Perak Tourist Guides Association. The association is responsible for the training and conduct of its members whose role in the state’s tourism industry is entrenched. Roselyn Lim is the current president and the office is located at Jalan Musa Al Bakri, Ipoh.
Tourist information centres, better known by the abbreviation TIC, have a much larger role to play. They act as front-liners as tourists deal with them almost on a daily basis. There is one in Ipoh, Taiping, Kuala Kangsar and Lumut.
These centres are, essentially, a good source of information, as they provide tourists with little-known facts about the places they are visiting. Most of the centres’ staff speak English and can provide the sort of assistance sought by visitors.
The centres in Taiping, Kuala Kangsar and Lumut come equipped with brochures and trail and route maps.
Here are addresses and phone numbers of agencies (public and private), associations, non-governmental organisations and tourism information centres for your convenience:
Aras 1 Bangunan Perak Darul Ridzuan, Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab, 30000 Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan.
Tel: 05-208 3600 (ask for Tourism Perak)
Fax: 05-241 0671
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.peraktourism.com
Tourism Perak Information Centre (UTC Ipoh)
Pusat Transformasi Bandar, Lot LA12, 2nd Upper Floor, UTC Perak,
off Jalan Dato’ Onn Jaafar, 30300 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel: 05-241 3423 /241 3424/241 3425
Office hours: 8.30am – 10pm daily
(Closed on public holidays)
Tourism Malaysia (Perak)
Add: 12, Medan Istana 2, Bandar Ipoh Raya, 30000 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel: 05-255 2772 / 05-255 9962
Fax: 05-253 2194
Office hours: 8am – 5pm (Mon – Fri)
Face Book : Tourism Malaysia Perak
Perak State Ministry of Tourism Office (Pejabat Kementerian Pelancongan Negeri Perak)
Add: 7 & 9, Jalan Medan Istana 3, Bandar Ipoh
Raya, 30000 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel: 05-255 0413
Fax: 05-253 6027
Office hours: 8am – 5pm (Mon – Fri)
Director: Syahruddin bin Abdul Hamid
Tourist Information Centre (TIC) Kuala Kangsar
1A, Jalan Kangsar,
33000 Kuala Kangsar, Perak.
Tel /Fax: 05-777 7717
Office hours: 9am – 6pm (closed on Monday)
Tourism Information Counter (TIC) Lumut
Pusat Penerangan Pelancongan,
Kompleks Pelancongan Waterfront Lumut, Jalan Titi Panjang, 32200 Lumut, Perak.
Tel: 05-683 4057
Fax: 05-683 8443
Office hours: 9am – 5.30pm daily
Ipoh Tourism Information Counter (ITIC)
Ground Floor, Old MBI Office,
30000 Jalan Bandar, Ipoh.
Tel: 05-208 3155
Fax : 05-208 3150
Taiping Visitor Information Centre (TVIC)
Menara Jam J.K.R. 355, Jalan Kota, 34000 Taiping, Perak.
Tel: 05-805 3245
Fax: 05-806 3139
Office hours: 10am – 5pm (Mon – Sat) & 2pm – 6pm (Sun)
MATTA – Perak Chapter Secretariat No. 3A, Medan Istana 3, Bandar Ipoh Raya, 30000 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel: 05-241 2802
Fax: 05-241 2802
Chairman: Mr Ranjit Singh
Perak Tourist Guides Association (Persatuan Pemandu Pelancong Negeri Perak)
2nd Floor, No. 75-77, Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri, 30000 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel: 05-242 0897
Fax: 05-243 0897
Office hours: 9am – 6pm (Mon – Fri)
President: Roselyn Lim
Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Perak Chapter
(Persatuan Hotel Negeri Perak) c/o Syuen Hotel Bhd., 88, Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil,
Greentown, 30300 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel: 05-253 8889, 012-521 8339 (Rains Chong)
Fax: 05-255 9284
Office hours: 9am – 7pm (Mon – Fri)
President: Vincent Ee
Perak Tourist Association (Persatuan Pelancongan Negeri Perak)
D-5-3, Greentown Square, Jalan Dato’ Ahmad Said, 30450 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel / Fax: 05-242 4588
Office hours: 9am – 5pm (Mon – Fri)
President: Hj. Mohd Odzman Abd Kadir
Tourism Counter – Perak UTC
A tourism counter catering to visitors to Perak was opened recently by Dato’ Hamidah Osman, Executive Councillor for Tourism Perak. The siting of the counter in the newly-opened Perak Urban Tourism Centre (UTC), at the now defunct Super Kinta Shopping Complex, signifies the importance attached to tourism development in the state.
The counter provides visitors with the much-needed information on Perak, especially its numerous attractions. Some of the items available on request are travel brochures, tourism newsletters, travel guides and maps.
It also acts a one-stop counter for those wishing to make Perak their visit destination. The counter is open from 8.30am to 10pm daily (Monday to Sunday) except on public holidays. To get to the counter call UTC’s reception at +605-2413423 /2413424/2413425.
Heavy downpour did not dampen the spirit of the Royal Belum World Drums Festival 2013, as the beat of drums and percussion reverberated from Dataran MBI on Sunday, February 24. The annual fest, the second in a row, was attended by thousands of locals and foreigners and was graced by the acting Sultan of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, who officially closed the event. He was accompanied by his consort, HRH Raja Puan Besar of Perak Tuanku Zara Salim.
Perak Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, State Executive Councillors, Heads of Departments and other dignitaries were also in attendance.
A total of 11 cultural groups from eight countries across four continents put up an astounding performance that brought the audience to their feet. They were Harubee (Republic of Maldives), Nakhonsawan Rajabhat University and Absolutely Thai (Thailand), Egyptian Nile Folkloric Musical Troupe (Egypt), Wicked Aura (Singapore), Tataloe Percussion (Indonesia), Pancasura (Indonesia), Wild Marmalade (Australia) and Natiq Rhythm Group (Azerbaijan). Malaysia was represented by home-grown talents, Purkusi Gatra, Aswara Percussion Ensemble and Rhythm of Malaysia.
Rhythm of Malaysia, comprising students from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, won the national-level Royal Belum Perak Drums and Percussion Challenge held at Mydin Hypermarket, Agromall RTC in Gopeng earlier. They walked away with a cash prize of RM18,000.
Of particular interest were the Egyptian Nile Folkloric Musical Troupe, which incorporated the tanoura folk dance; the two-men Wild Marmalade with Matt Ledge at the drums and Simon Mullumby at the didgeridoo; and Tataloe Percussion, who created music out of recycled items such as pots and pans, brooms, bottles and even water tanks.
A day earlier, at the Gerik airstrip, the opening show for Royal Belum World Drums Festival was held. Launched by the state Executive Councillor for Tourism, Dato’ Hamidah Osman, it was attended by over 10,000 people.
This drum fest, along with a number of pocket shows held over a couple of weekends in February, certainly drummed up interest and support for this annual musical extravaganza. Perakeans, in particular, got to enjoy and experience first-hand world-class music live.
The success of the musical festival confirms the event’s popularity as a premier tourist attraction.