Upcoming Event: Holi Festival 2015 in Kuala Lumpur

One of the things we love about Kuala Lumpur is its multi-ethnic character. Each group has its own traditions, events and celebrations. This of course also includes the Indian community which celebrates the annual Holi Festival this coming Saturday, 21 March.

For those who are not familiar: Holi is an ancient Hindu spring festival, also known as the festival of colours and the festival of love. Today it is not only celebrated in India and Nepal but also in other parts of the world wherever you find Indian communities. Celebrations start with a traditional fire called “Holika Dahan” which symbolises the burning of devil. On the following day the actual carnival of colours takes place. Participants chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water. Singing and dancing underlines the cheerful character of this event.

Here in KL the Holi Festival is organised by SDS Youth, a local youth organisation. Its members have been working hard to make the 2015 Holi celebrations the best ever and we have no doubt that they will achieve their goal. If you want to participate in the festival, make sure you go there early as the number of participants is limited to 3,000 people. For more info and FAQ go to SDS Youth’s event page on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/929302317102022/

We wish everybody a cheerful Holi Festival 2015!

 

Advertisements

The sky is the limit – at the 7th Intl Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Putrajaya

P1060082Hot Air Balloons are one of those things that have fascinated us since childhood. In our imagination they are the thing that comes closest to a ride on the magic carpet. And we dream that one day we will cross the Alps and the Pyrenees, fly over the Lake District and Cappadocia. Even though the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Putrajaya does not offer this possibility, nothing could stop us from getting up early, very early, to watch 19 hot air balloons take to the skies.

P1060066Coming from Kuala Lumpur it took us no more than 40 minutes to reach Putrajaya around 7am. With seven years of experience, things here are well organised and convenient. We instantly found parking just across the launch area and were able to identify a spot with great view. While the support crews were busy preparing the balloons for their morning flights (or rides, to be correct), we had our first coffee. Others brought a full breakfast and enjoyed an early picnic in the park. Above us a mini Zeppelin (we termed it “the support ship”) circled in the air. Why don’t we have wings? Finally, around 7.30am it was all “action” and the first hot air balloon took off. Perfect timing, beautiful light and striking colours. Soon all hot air balloons were up in the sky moving gently across Putrajaya lake in north-eastern direction.

We decided it was time for a proper breakfast. So we got into our car and drove over to Cyberjaya for Nasi Lemak and Nescafe Ice. Perfect morning. Mission accomplished. Of course we will be back next year. We still haven’t watched the “Night Glow” of the hot air balloons which is always accompanied by beautiful fireworks. This is an event not to be missed. Just google the Night Glow pictures and you will understand. We can’t wait to take you there 🙂

The Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is back!

Image 3From 12-15 March the skies above Malaysia’s administrative capital Putrajaya will once again turn into magic with the return of the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. For already 7 years this annual festival has been bringing together hot air balloon enthusiasts from all over the world. This year’s event promises to be no different: 19 hot air balloons, two daily flight shows, the famous night glow and loads of other activities such as helicopter joy rides or a paramotor exhibition. We will definitely not miss out on this spectacle nor should you, if you happen to be in KL. For more details and information go to http://www.myballoonfiesta.com. See you there!! 🙂

The 5th Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Putrajaya

Image 1 Image Image 2 Image 3 Image 4From 28th – 31st March the 5th International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta took place in Malaysia’s administrative capital Putrajaya. This year 18 balloonists from all over the world participated in the “Fiesta” which is a spectacle that should not be missed by anybody who visits Malaysia during that time.

Our original plan to go see the “Night Glow” (a light and music show that culminates in a fireworks) was drowned by a heavy downpour in Kuala Lumpur. So we left KL early next morning to witness the regular Hot Air Balloon Show. By 7am there was already a lot of activity around the launching field. Crews were busy to prepare the balloons for take off and families cued up to go for trial rides in tethered hot air balloons. Around 7.30am the first balloons took to the sky – a magnificent moment that brought back childhood memories. As in previous years, the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta was accompanied by a number of side events for children and adults. Participants of the KL Jazz Festival provided musical entertainment. All in all a great event. We will certainly be back next year. Meanwhile, we will look out for an opportunity to go for a long ride in a hot air balloon ourselves. It’s one of these dreams that we have had for a long time. No more delays. Gotta work on it 🙂

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

This time it’s been a while since our last blog entry. We hope that our friends and guests will forgive us – we haven’t lost our passion for blogging. But traditionally the weeks between Xmas and Chinese New Year are high season. And so we, too, have been very busy.

In Kuala Lumpur the Chinese community is getting ready to usher in the Year of the Snake. And as is customary here in Malaysia, you need not necessarily be of a certain ethnic group or religion to celebrate with your friends the highest holidays of the year. Kudos to DBKL (the city administration) for putting up so many Chinese style lanterns and other street decoration and for pushing ahead with the renovation and beautification of the city center. We particularly love the new greenery along the renovated sidewalks in the downtown area. It looks great and makes a huge difference in the way visitors experience the city.

No doubt, the coming Year of the Snake will bring us new opportunities and also a few innovations. As far as we are concerned, they are intended to further improve the feel-good experience of our guests. As we introduce these changes, we will introduce them here in this forum as well. For now, we would like to wish all our Chinese friends and guests a Happy Chinese New Year and “Gong Xi Fa Cai”!

Ramadan Food Bazaar

Ramadan in Malaysia is unthinkable without the Ramadan Bazaar. These food bazaars (that’s what they are) are held annually during the holy month of Ramadan and can be found in many neighborhoods. Rows of stalls sell local delicacies and popular drinks, sometimes food that is hard to find in other places. Business is limited to a few hours daily and basically comes to an end with the breaking of fast. On busy days it can also happen that vendors are sold out earlier. The Ramadan Bazaar continues to be hugely popular not only with Muslims who do not cook their own food at home but also with non-Muslims and of course visitors of Malaysia. At the Nest we are blessed to have a really good Ramadan Bazaar just a few minutes away from our place. So if you happen to stay with us during Ramadan, do not miss out on this great food carnival. You will certainly love it! PS: Timing is important when visiting a food bazaar. Too early and stalls are not open yet, too late and all good things may be sold. Anytime around 5pm should be perfect. Enjoy 🙂