Overseas Investment Projects Open, Australia Ready For More Malaysian Investors

Overseas Investment Projects Open, Australia Ready For More Malaysian Investors

Overseas Investment Projects Open, Australia Ready For More Malaysian Investors

Australia has been a migrating destination most sought after by Malaysian investors for many years.

Driven by the country’s economic and political stability that offers diversity of opportunities, education and human rights protection, Australia is ranked by UNDP (United Nations Human Development) as the second-best country in the world for quality life following their “Human Development Index” statistics assessment.

Australia one of the most medically-advanced country

Australia is also in the top 10 of most medically-advanced countries in the world with over US$5.5 billion invested in their medical research, which ensures better medical assurance and treatment quality. [2]

Better and more trusted law equity

One of the top reasons that makes Australia one of the best choices for migration is their better and more trusted law equity. Australia is best known as a country that spends every dollar of its tax-payers money on the well-being of its citizens.

4th best country for education

Education has been one of the primary factors taken into consideration when choosing a country to migrate for the family. With Australia ranked as 4th best country in the world for education [3] many have made it one of their top migrating destinations for the betterment of their children’s education.

Though national standards were implemented in 2014, each state is tasked in managing their own education system to ensure its quality education is up-to- par with their high Human Development Index.

One of the best countries for Business and Investment

In Australia, the state government has zero interference over the conduct of private businesses, another plus point for business migrants choosing Australia as their preferred investment destination.

With its strong, sustained economic growth, Australia has opened up more projects that target overseas investors, intending to expand their business and migrate to Australia.

Migration into Australia is made even more appealing by its cultural diverse and beautiful natural environment, its world-class sporting facilities as well as an enviable lifestyle.

Australia also tops a one of the best countries for retirement [4] showing an increasing numbers of migration by successful investor opting to settle down and retire in Australia.

The Australian Migration Agents Pty Ltd (AMA) invites qualifying business owners and investors to a cost-free seminar. This seminar will allow you to understand and strategize your business and investment as a gateway to obtaining Australian Permanent Residency in Australia.

There will be discussions on the latest Commonwealth government migration regulations, eligibility rules and policies on State Nomination, types of visas and details on projects available for overseas investors.

Eligible investors will be expedited for a meeting with State Nomination Body to discuss their intentions.

Presenting at the seminar is a prominent Australian Migration agent with over 27 years of practice hands-on experience, CEO of Australian Migration Agents Mr. Robert Chelliah.

Exclusively made available for seminar participants is a question-and-answer session with Western Australia Investment and Business Specialist Mr. Hermann Steeger.

Through AMA they will assist you in your business strategizing and expansion into Australia, providing a one stop platform, step by step guidance and assistance to the applicant and their family from beginning to Post Arrival Support Services (Final and settlement stage for successful applicants.)

Australia is hoping to attract more overseas investors with the availability of projects in the selected fields such as Ecotourism, Food & Beverage, Hospitality Industries, Property Ownership and Development, Agro cultivation and Commercial Horticulture.

AMA has hundreds of proven and outstanding winning records in facilitating investors with their business expansion and investment plans into Australia.

Chelliah is an expert in legislative migration and handling complex cases, he is a skilled strategist and also a well known media commentator.

With a 100% success track record, Chelliah has over 40 years of working experience with the Australian Commonwealth government Immigration Department making AMA one of the longest serving migration agents in Australia.


Chelliah added,

“Now appears to be the best time for investors to truly ride on these investment opportunities before the Australian Department of Immigration again revamps their migration legislatives.”

Take part in the benefit of their excellent education system that is made available and affordable by the Australian Government Department of Education, in an effort to ensure they retain their 99% literacy rate while working towards a 100% literacy rate. [5]

Australia is confident of seeing an increase in overseas investors with the amount of investment projects offered by its financial institutions and government bonds. It is through these investments, applicants have a better opportunity to migrate and experience living in Australia.

Register now to secure seats at a seminar near you!

Kuala Lumpur

Venue:Hilton Hotel,PJ
Date:Sunday, 23rd July 2017
Time:02:00 – 06:00 PM


Venue:Bayview Hotel, Penang
Date:Saturday, 22nd July 2017
Time:02:00 – 06:00 PM

Johor Bahru

Venue:KSL Hotel, JB
Date:Friday, 21st July 2017
Time:02:00 – 06:00 PM

Speak to Robert: +60123482961

*Admission is strictly by pre-registration ONLY owing to limited seats.

Details of available projects:

  • W.A seafood and honey – Export Stock Ownership >AU$500,000
  • Supermarket – Grocers – Investment Value >AU$500,000
  • Property Development – Apartment, townhouse project – Land ownership >AU$1Million
  • Commercial Warehouse – Poultry and food produce – Ownership > AU$1Million
  • Manufacturing – Business Ownership AU$1.2Million
  • Property Development – Luxury villas project >AU$1.5Million
  • By the end of the settlement process, investors will obtain partial refund of their professional fees upon the confirmation of their consignment with the available proposed projects.

    Types of business visas and financial requirements:

    VISA 132 – Business Talent; Stream A – Business History. (Permanent Visa)

  • Business owners with businesses annual turnover of at least AU$3 million
  • Business ownership with 30% business equity
  • At least AU$400,000 business equity value
  • Personal and business assets of at least AU$1.5 million
  • 2. VISA 188 – Business Innovation Stream. (Provisional Visa)

  • Business owners with businesses annual turnover of at least AU$500,000 over 2 years
  • Personal and business assets of at least AU$800,000
  • Business ownership with 30% business equity
  • 65 score points assessment
  • 3. VISA 188 – Business Investor Stream. (Provisional Visa)

  • Business and personal assets of at least AU$2.25 million
  • Interest bearing capital guaranteed investment of at least AU$1.5 million
  • Business ownership with 30% business equity
  • 65 score points assessment
  • 4. VISA 188C – Significant Investor Visa (SIV)

  • Total assets of AU$5 million in managed funds
  • Points test exemption, no age and language proficiency requirements
  • No Australian residence tax obligations
  • Complete 160 days of residency in 4 years
  • *Other business visa categories available
    *Private counselling available post seminar

    Other business and investment fields open to investors:

  • Commercial and domestic property development
  • Eco tourism
  • Hospitality Industry
  • Food and Beverage
  • Agro cultivation and Commercial Horticulture
  • Retail Outlets
  • Many other areas
  • Attend the seminar and discover how you can make your migration plans a reality.

    AMA is an Australian migration agency established in 1994 that practices with the highest integrity and ethics complying with their mission statement of:


    Australian Business Investment Migration Seminar

    Australian Business Investment Migration Seminar

    Australia is experiencing strong and sustained economic growth. Driven largely by an expanding diversity of business opportunities combined with an enviable lifestyle, it has been the preferred destination for migration and most sought after by Malaysian business owners and investors for many years.

    The Australian Migration Agents Pty Ltd (AMA) of Petaling Jaya (Reg: 995541-P) invites qualifying business owners and investors to a cost free seminar to find out about various business opportunities in Australia.

    In this seminar AMA CEO Robert Chelliah will outline about:

  • Readily available investment projects in Australia.
  • How to expand your business into Australia.
  • Commonwealth government migration rules.
  • Engaging the right ethical MARA coded agents.
  • Types of visas suitable for your investment.
  • Eligibility rules and policies on State Nomination
  • Suitable state and investment field.
  • Strategizing and undertake due-diligently for a successful visa grant.
  • How to obtain partial refund of your professional fees.
  • There will be a question-and-answer session exclusively for seminar participants with Mr. Hermann Steeger, a Western Australia-based experienced investment and business specialist.

    Key Speaker

    Mr. Robert K Chelliah
    CEO Australia Migration Agents Group of Companies

    Special Guest

    Mr. Hermann Steeger
    Western Australia Investment and Business Specialist

    Why Australian Migration Agents Pty Ltd?

  • Longest serving migration agent in Australia since 1990.
  • 27 years of hands-on practicing experience.
  • Investors deal directly with an Australian registered agent at all times.
  • Hundreds of proven outstanding winning records in facilitating investors with business expansion and investments into Australia.
  • Headed by an industry expert, migration media commentator, specialising in advocacy cases before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Migration & Refugee Division).
  • Expert in legislative migration and handling complex cases.
  • End to end hassle-free migration application, advocacy and support services.
  • Investor’s best interests are a top priority, no high risk investments involved.
  • Team of expert in strategic business planning, competent in assisting business set up.
  • Pre-investment tours arranged for the contracted investors.
  • Eligible investors will also be given an appointment to meet directly with visiting Australian State (NSW) Nomination Body Representative to discuss their intentions.

    Founder and CEO Robert Chelliah stated “With the availability of many Australian financial institutions and government bonds open to overseas investors, now is the best time to expand your business into Australia”

    Register for a pre-assessment seminar to realise your investment plans.

    Venue: Hilton Hotel, Petaling Jaya.
    Date: Sunday, 23rd April 2017
    Time: 02:00 PM – 06:00 PM

    Venue: Bayview Hotel, Penang.
    Date: Saturday, 29th April 2017
    Time: 02:00 PM – 06:00 PM

    *Admission is strictly by pre-registration ONLY owing to limited seats.

    Details of some available projects:

  • F&B – Modern Australian/Seafood Restaurant – Investment value < AU$500,000.
  • Supermarket – Grocers – Investment value > AU$500,000.
  • Resort Management – Beachside holiday town – Investment value < AU$1million.
  • Lifestyle property – Vineyard – Investment value > AU$1million.
  • Property development – villas, townhouses, house and land packages – investment value > AUD 800K – AU$1million
  • Some other readily available business and investment fields open to investors:

  • Commercial and domestic property development
  • Eco tourism
  • Hospitality Industry
  • Food and Beverage
  • Agro cultivation and Commercial Horticulture
  • Retail Outlets
  • Many other areas
  • Types of business visas and financial requirements:

    1. VISA 132 Business Talent; Stream A – Business History. (Permanent Visa)

    • Business owners with businesses annual turnover of at least AU$3 million
    • Business ownership equity of at least AU$400,000.
    • Personal and business assets of at least AU$1.5 million

    2. VISA 188 – Business Innovation Stream. (Provisional Visa)

    • Business owners with business annual turnover of at least AU$500,000.
    • Personal and business assets of at least AU$800,000.

    3. VISA 188 – Business Investor Stream. (Provisional Visa)

    • Business and personal assets of at least AU$2.25 million.
    • Interest bearing capital guaranteed investment of at least AU$1.5 million

    4. VISA 188C – Significant Investor Visa (SIV)

    • Investment and assets of at least AU$5 million.
    • Point testing exemption with minimal residency, no age and language proficiency requirements.
    • No Australia residence tax obligations.

    *Other business visa categories available

    *Private counselling available post seminar

    Invest and experience living in Australia that offers endless opportunities and a better quality life for you and your loved ones.

    Benefit from their better and more trusted law equality and rights, and excellent education system. Australia is also one of the top 10 most medically-advanced countries in the world that will offer better medical assurance.

    AMA is an Australian agent that carries their practices with highest integrity and ethics complying with their mission statement of:


    Cherating is beautiful, but…

    Cherating is beautiful, but…

    Cherating is beautiful, but…

    Stephen Ng   |   6th Feb 2017

    Year 2017 is supposed to be Visit Pahang Year but instead of attracting tourists enjoy what Cherating has to offer, people are forced to take a short drive across the border to Kemaman, in Terengganu, where the happenings are.

    The beaches in Cherating are indeed a spectacular sight. Although without going into the sea when the tides are high and the red flag is up, just being able to sit by the beach and listening to the waves is already so relaxing.

    This is why I have always fallen in love with the beaches here since visiting the Legend Cherating on several writing assignments back in the 1990s, I have not been back to Cherating until this long holiday to show my children places that I have visited in the past.

    No Changes

    Over 20 years, Cherating has never changed. The town is basically still the same with the old hawker stalls along the East Coast Highway, with not much improvement or anything to really shout about.

    We tried out the local restaurant but decided that we would not visit the same stall a second time. Instead, we decided we would try out the famous Tong Juan seafood restaurant in Kemanan on the second night.

    Disappointingly, I have to say that several of the places that were the highlights in the 1990s are now gone.

    One of the batik proprietors could only say,

    Cherating is a dead town during off peak seasons

    But when exactly is peak and off peak seasons? Most local tourists would prefer to avoid these places during peak seasons. Interestingly, on the first night that we were there, the hotel was fully booked. There were both Malay as well as Chinese local tourists visiting Cherating.

    For us, Cherating is just a three-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. When we love the place, we can come during off-peak seasons and just enjoy the sea and the beautiful beaches.

    Imagine what a big disappointment it must have been to many tourists who come this way and go back, not enjoying their holiday in Cherating to the fullest.

    Using the Waze to locate the handicrafts complex was also a disappointment, as the building no longer hosts the handicrafts. I told my children that it could have been converted into a school of hospitality. But where then is the handicraft complex? Nothing seems to appear on the map although Pahang Tourism mentions about the complex.

    Along the way there are only a couple of small batik painting shops. I remember back in the 90s, there were some bigger workshops with lots of batik painters. Tourists were flocking to this batik outlet to see how the batik handpainting is done, and some bought the batik to bring home along with them.

    The next big thing in Cherating is the turtle conservation. It is a great place to educate the young people about conserving the leatherback and hawksbill turtles.

    The turtles are now considered endangered species, but the place has not changed very much since 20 years ago. The State tourism should at least have provided educational guides to talk to people about the turtles or project some video on conservation efforts undertaken by the government. Nothing of that sort is being done!

    It is the same old pools with turtles in them. There is one area that we merely assumed to be the turtle eggs hatchery, as signboards were not even placed there to explain to children how long it normally takes before the eggs are hatched. How do you expect the public to learn and appreciate turtle conservation if the explanations are not given?

    Despite attracting so many local and foreign tourists, no one was there to even sell drinks or ice cream. We would have enjoyed some coconut drinks if they were sold here at prices we could never get in Kuala Lumpur!

    I believe a lot could be done to improve the charms of Cherating if only the Pahang State Government gives it some attention, instead of being busy approving the bauxite mining and the Lynas rare earth mining company.

    Some good suggestions

    Deep sea fishing for fishing enthusiasts: Despite the high tides, some tourists would love to go out into the sea, provided that there are bigger boats that are safe to go out into the deep sea.

    I remember years ago, the general manager of Legend Cherating took me out into the sea to watch the seagulls. It was a fascinating experience.

    The Best of Cherating Food: The state government should put together some of the best hawkers in one location for people to enjoy the local cuisines. At the moment, there appears to be just one famous item to bring home – the keropok lekor. Besides that, what else can tourists enjoy while visiting Cherating?

    Kite Flying: The beaches here are beautiful, but if we cannot go into the sea, where can we find the kites? Where can we find a place where we can show the children how to play tops? Forget about the karaoke, where in Cherating can we find a place at night to show them what a wayang kulit show is like?

    Pahang Tourism and the state exco for tourism should do more work to promote Cherating especially during its “off-peak” seasons. People do like to come to Cherating during the long weekends, and not only during school holidays.

    Kemaman attractions

    We ended up staying in beautiful Cherating but spending our money in Kemanan. It is such a big contrast between the two border towns. One is well-developed, the other clearly shows a big neglect by the state government.

    One highly recommended restaurant is Restoran Kopi Hai Peng. Although it is a simple restaurant, it has a history of over 76 years.

    The restaurant was started in 1940 by 102-year-old Wong Sang Hai, who arrived from the province of Hainan in China. The restaurant is the equivalent of Restoran Kow Poh in Bentong, which offers the famous Bentong ice-cream.

    Here, it is like a muhibbah coffee shop, because people of different races sit together under one roof to enjoy the patriarch’s specially brewed coffee and roti bakar. They have since added the nasi lemak, the laksa and a number of other local cuisines.

    Prices are still reasonable. This is important as tourists do not like to feel they are being slaughtered when they eat here.

    The place is kept clean and presentable. A local person, for example, would not hesitate to bring foreign tourists to try out the coffee here because it is still affordable.

    I must commend the grandson of the Wong Senior, Richard Wong is able to keep up with the times. One cannot visit Kemaman without trying out the coffee in Restoran Hai Peng.

    Kemaman is also famous for its fisherman’s jetty where people can buy the fish straight from the day’s catch. There are also a number of homestay chalets in Kemaman, which we may try out on our next trip here if Cherating no longer offers all the attractions one would expect.

    Building the Malaysia – Singapore HSR

    Building the Malaysia – Singapore HSR

    Building the Malaysia-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR)

    "Is it worth it?"

    In July of 2016, Malaysia and Singapore signed an agreement to build a high speed rail system that would extend 350 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur’s Bandar Malaysia to Singapore’s Jurong East.

    The project, estimated to cost between RM 50 – 60 billion and slated to begin its construction in 2018, will be completed by the end of 2026, connecting 8 cities across Malaysia and Singapore.

    The initiative is part of the Malaysian government’s Economic Transformation Program (ETP) that aims to further develop the local economy through investment and infrastructural development.

    Do we need the HSR?

    It is estimated that trips between Malaysia and Singapore will more than double by 2060. This presents a problem because the causeway between Singapore and Johor in Malaysia is already overly congested and in need of a re-assessment.

    The railway is expected to cut the travel time between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to 90 minutes instead of the current 4-5 hours by road or 3 hours by air.

    The high speed railway is also expected to cause a boom along the towns and cities along the line due to the ease of transportation of labor, goods and tourism.

    The Japanese Shinkansen Network

    The Japanese company that has expressed the bid for the construction of the Malaysian high speed railway is Shinkansen. A company with a long and impressive history with high speed railway development.

    Not only does Shinkansen hold the record for the fastest high speed railway in the world, it also boasts impeccable safety accomplishments. The Japanese high speed railway has not had a single fatal accident in more than 50 years, despite having passenger numbers that have surpassed 10 billion.

    The Japanese regularly smashes its own speed records, establishing and breaking its own top-speeds in 1997, 1999, 2003, 2015 and recently when the Japanese Maglev reached speeds of 603 km/h in 2016.

    The train that broke the recent 2016 record, the floating Maglev, earned its name because, unlike traditional trains, the Maglev doesn’t use metal train tracks. Instead, it floats 10cm above the rails through the use of magnetism. The magnetic levitation means that the train has no contact with the ground whatsoever, allowing for friction-less movement.

    Shinkansen’s advanced technology has not only been used inside Japan, but has also been adopted by other countries like China’s CRH2 Railway, which is designed after Shinkansen’s E2-1000 series. Or Taiwan’s high speed rail which operates the 700T series which was built by Japanese engineers. India also decided to adopt the Japanese high speed railway system. In addition, the Japanese system, Shinkansen, is expanding to Thailand and the US.

    If the Japanese Maglev technology was applied to the Malaysian high speed railway, it would take about 50 minutes to reach Singapore from Kuala Lumpur.

    HSR’s impact on local economic growth

    High speed railways do have an indisputable reputation of growing local businesses by allowing ease of transportation of goods, tourism, services and labour.

    A research paper co-authored on the effects of the HSR on Japanese businesses by economists from Dartmouth College, the University of Oslo, and Japan’s Research Institute of Economy, Trade, and Industry took into consideration the linkages formed between different businesses and their suppliers by the construction of high speed railway systems found that the construction of advanced transportation such as the high speed rail allowed smaller businesses to compete with its bigger counterparts.

    This is because smaller firms may not have the capability to transport goods from their respective suppliers across long distances, which may cause a lapse in quality.

    So far, Japan, Germany, Spain, France and China have all expressed tender intent to the Malaysian government, but Malaysia has yet to make a decision on who will be the main contractor of the HSR.


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    Gastronomical delights amidst Desa Aman Puri

    Gastronomical delights amidst Desa Aman Puri

    Gastronomical delights amidst Desa Aman Puri

    Stephen Ng, Writer, Malaysia
    3 January 2017

    Desa Aman Puri is like a melting pot and a haven for various types of gastronomical delights.

    From the authentic Italian cuisines served at Bel Pasto Italian Pizza and Tak Fook Hong Kong Seafood Restaurant to the famous Hakka Lui Cha at the Big, Big Bowl Cafe and Indian Nasi Beryani at Anuja Restaurant, Aman Puri has a lot to offer to people, both to the locals and those living in the Klang Valley.

    Although it is a mere 10-minutes’ drive from One Utama heading towards Bandar Sri Damansara at the tail end of the Puchong-Damansara Highway (LDP), the prices of food here are far more reasonable by comparison to restaurants in Petaling Jaya.

    The restaurateurs here have to learn that if they raise their prices, especially after more people flock this way, they will no longer be attractive be attractive to foodies from Petaling Jaya and beyond.

    In the past few years, the place has become popular for all kinds of cuisines, with more new restaurants such as Restoran Fei Fei Crab and Restoran Lan Je being set up here. The original Fei Fei Crab is in Petaling Jaya, while the first Lan Je restaurant started in Rawang.

    Those that fail to maintain their standard or where the food is pricey simply do not survive here due to very tough competition not only within Aman Puri but also from other restaurants within a radius of 5 kilometers.

    A number of restaurants have come and gone, but the ones that survive more than a year are doing well.

    Nancy Choo, 63, for example, used to operate a stall in Aman Puri where most people know her as Auntie Nancy’s eatery. Since closing down her stall, she has joined forces with her daughter, Angie Lim, where the mother-and-daughter pair has a bigger variety to offer at Lim’s Big, Big Bowl Café. Choo has a strong following; therefore, her presence at Big, Big Bowl has helped to boost the business a lot.

    Judging from the photographs in their Facebook page, Lim also was operating a successful business when her restaurant was previously based in Kepong.

    Nancy Choo, 63 and her daughter Angie Lim

    One of the dish from Big Bowl

    Apart from their signature dish, the Hakka lui cha, I like Lim’s fish fillet noodles and her pan mee. Her laksa noodles is also good and worth trying. What is interesting is that her noodles are all hand-made. I have yet to try her mother’s cooking. I will do it when I travel in that direction.

    Adjacent to Lim’s Big, Big Bowl Café is Love Earth organic restaurant, which is also worth checking out especially its Taiwanese soup noodles. However, most guests may not like their self-service concept, which is sometimes a big letdown especially when there are hardly any other clients during off peak hours.

    For the crabs, both Tak Fook and Fei Fei come to mind. During special promotional seasons, Tak Fok for example can offer crabs at RM25 a kilogramme. The owners are a young couple from Hong Kong. This is their original restaurant, where it is mostly packed at night.

    Restoran 168 specialises in both dry and soup pan mee but surprisingly, despite pan mee being a very common dish, the place is often packed in the morning. Just behind is the Penang Chew Jetty where the proprietor once operated from a small stall in Aman Puri.


    One of the dish from Bel pasto

    The best restaurant in my opinion is still Bel Pasto, operated by one Italian chef, who prefers to be known only as Sam.

    This restaurant is famous for its authentic Italian cuisines because the chef is Italian himself and very passionate about his food. Try his Tiramisu, and comparing his prices and the quality to other café, it is value for money! Every time I introduce guests here, they give him the thumbs-up!

    Bel Pasto is the kind of place I would bring my foreign guests. A year ago, when I had some visitors from Canada along with their children, they enjoyed the food so much that they decided to give us a treat in return at the same restaurant.

    Food is good, but…

    Like in most other places around the country, Desa Aman Puri needs a good facelift.

    Alfresco-style seating may be popular with Malaysians who prefer the street food to posh restaurants, but having huge but ugly looking canvases will not do a lot of good to guests from overseas. It is time that the local council improve the image of the township.

    Rubbish is also strewn all over the place and some drains remain uncovered after the concrete slabs used had been removed. If properly covered, some of these public drains could provide some useful parking spaces.

    Selayang Municipal Council Zone 23 councillor, Ng Wei Keong, has promised that he will look into the facilities and the cleanliness of the place, but it may take a while before the local council staff work on improving the area.

    The state government has sponsored the bins; they should therefore keep their own places clean.

    Selayang Municipal Council Zone 23 councilor, Ng Wei Keong, has promised that he will look into the facilities and the cleanliness of the place, but it may take a while before the local council staff work on improving the area.

    As for the littering, we have to keep monitoring the contractors to make sure that they do their jobs well.

    With a little effort from the restauranteurs and the public perhaps to keep the place clean, Aman Puri can become a haven for all the salivating food lovers.

    Tranquility of The Night at Kuala Sepetang

    Tranquility of The Night at Kuala Sepetang

    Tranquility of the Night at Kuala Sepetang

    Stephen Ng, Writer, Malaysia
    3 January 2017

    In the past, it was only Pulau Ketam, but in recent years, both Sekinchan and Tanjung Sepat have emerged as attractive local tourist destinations to Malaysians.

    Kuala Sepetang in Taiping, Perak is hardly known to most people, including people living in Perak. Although some bloggers have written about it, it is only in recent years that, along with the Matang Mangrove Reserve, the fishing village has become an interesting tourist spot, especially for its dolphins and eagle sighting.

    There are also the beautiful fireflies which decorate the plants by the riverside at night that would mesmerise both adults and children alike.

    And, of course, the fresh seafood and the fried porridge, besides also learning how the charcoal is produced locally in Sepetang. Frankly, before this visit, I never knew that charcoal was man-made.

    Staying overnight in Sepetang

    Although it was pricey, we stayed overnight in Kuala Sepetang because we wanted to experience living in a fishing village.

    There are currently not many hotels in the fishing village. Happy Eight, for example, charges between RM200 to RM400 a room, and each room has its own theme. By the end of the year, I was told another hotel would be up, and maybe by then, the prices would be more competitive.

    The beauty of the experience of living in the fishing village was the tranquility of the night. Instead of birds chirping early in the morning or the engine noise from the early rush hours, over here at Sepetang Fishing Village, there were only the trawlers returning to the jetty from the sea. But, that is fine, when you know you are on holiday here.

    One downside, however, is that the local council has not paid enough attention to cleaning up the river here. It is not the kind of place that you would bring foreign tourists to visit. The fishermen, the majority of whom are not locals, do not care about the environment.

    One fisherman, for example, threw his plastic bottle into the river after filling up the motor engine. When I told him to look after the river, he merely shrugged his shoulders. I wish that the local council would just pay some attention to giving the fishing village a facelift.

    Apart from that, there was the smell of salted fish and the fresh breeze coming from the sea. For the dolphin sighting, the cruise starts as early as 7am, but according to Rachel Ho of Eagle Sight Seeing Tour, dolphin sighting is seasonal.

    “We can never guarantee that we will be able to see the dolphins,”

    she said. However, if there are 15 persons, the boat can go further out into the sea where the dolphins are more likely to be sighted.

    Although the local fishermen were willing to take us out into the sea supposedly to look for the dolphins, Ho refused to bring us out because she knew that the dolphins would not be easily sighted.

    It is also possible for people to stay overnight in Ipoh or even in Taiping, and take an early drive to the fishing village for the dolphin sighting tour. The drive from Ipoh to Kuala Sepetang is only slightly more than an hour, but it is still possible to do budget homestay in Kuala Sepetang.

    The dolphins sighted here are mainly the beautiful pink Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. According to the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society, these pink dolphins are nearly extinct, with their numbers declining from 158 in 2003 to 61 in 2014.

    One no longer has to travel all the way to Hong Kong to see the beautiful sea creature when it is available in Kuala Sepetang. After all, to the local people, the name Sepetang came from the idea that it takes only one evening to cycle from Taiping.

    Lots to do in Ipoh

    Although Ipoh may be a smaller city compared to Kuala Lumpur, there are really a lot of places to eat some of the best of Ipoh street food and buy biscuits.

    The most popular place now is around Jalan Theatre, where we bought as many as eight packets of salted baked chicken from Aun Kheng Lim’s shop on behalf of family and friends! Although there are several other stalls selling the salted chicken selling at almost the same prices, Aun Kheng Lim happens to be the one on The Star’s Street Food Guide.

    There is also the famous Ipoh chicken and taugeh at either Lou Wong restaurant, which could be quite pricey, too as well as the dim sum at Foh San Restaurant at Jalan Leong Sin Nam. There are in fact several other dim sum restaurants in the same area.

    The Funny Mountain Soya Bean at No 49 Jalan Theatre is so far the best, but it is better to eat there on the spot for only RM1.50 instead of packing it, costing an additional 90 sen.

    Over in Ipoh, we also managed to catch up with some old friends whom we had not met for at least 25 years. Thanks to the online application Waze, it is now easy and possible for anyone to find any location and this, along with the currency depreciation, is a boost for local tourism.

    Tomorrow, I will introduce you where and what to eat around Desa Aman Puri, where the prices are still reasonable, especially if you are living in the Klang Valley.

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