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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Pantai Merdeka - RM20m facelift in the works

PANTAI Merdeka is set for a major facelift from a mere idyllic seaside with swaying casuarinas to a bustling seaside resort complete with facilities and amenities to cater to
a new niche tourist market under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

Sungai Petani Municipal Council Planning Department chief Mohd Amin Ali said, currently, the resort drew mainly locals and domestic tourists from the northern states and not many foreign visitors.

He said the resort was a favourite venue of government departments from the northern
states for holding conventions and meetings.

Mohd Amin also said the federal government had approved an allocation of more than RM2Omil for the project which would be carded out in two phases.

He said the first phase, costing RM8mil, would involve turning the place into a premier tourist attraction in Kedah.

The second phase, he said, would involve the construction of a jetty with four landing spots.
Currently, he added, there was no jetty for visitors to hop on and off the boats at the beach.

The waiting area at the jetty would have covered roofing, comfortable seats and guardrails for the safety of the people, he said.

"We will also demolish the 21 existing food stalls, upgrade the pedestrian walk and landscape the area." He said. adding that 30 new food stalls would be constructed.

A surau, public toilets, a playground, an information centre and souvenir shops would also be provided.

"We will retain the existing casuarinas trees and coconut trees. We will also put up attractive new signboards all the way to Pantai Merdeka." he added.

He said tourists could go "island-hopping" from Pantai Merdeka to nearby Pulan Bidan,
Pulau Bunting and Pulau Song Song.

"Pulan Bidan and Pulau Bunting have sandy beaches all around the islands. The clear water is suitable for swimming, fishing and snorkelling.

"Pulan Bidan, which is surrounded i0 corals, is a favourite among Japanese tourists," he added.

He also said once it was completed and the infrastructure was in place, Pantai Merdeka could be the northern region water-sports centre.

"Why should we allow all the water activities to be centred in states like Penang, for instance, when we have the islands, jell and water-sports activities here," he said.

How to get There ( Pantai Merdeka )

Tourists can take a bus from Alor Setar ot Butterworth to Sungai petani. From them one can catch a bus to Tikam Batu to transfer to another bus to Pantai Merdeka.

For those driving there, head towards Tikam Batu town and follow the signboards all the way in for the approximately 15km drive to Pantai Merdeka.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The beguiling secrets of Pantai Merdeka

Photos editing by

MANY people are aware of the splendour of Langkawi and its azure blue sea but few know the beguiling secrets of the white sandy beach at Pantai Merdeka on mainland Kedah.

The kilometre-long stretch of sandy beach is the only seaside in mainland Kedah.

This charming and scenic beach is shaded by tall swaying casuarinas and coconut trees and is an ideal spot for visitors to stop by for a picnic, or just to relax and gaze at the sea to unwind from the day's stresses.

About 25kin from Sungai Petani, it is also a popular seaside holiday destination for locals and domestic tourists from the northern states.

Facilities include chalets, a rest house, camping site, swimming pool, restaurant, hawker site, beach bazaar and public restrooms.

For those with a taste for some island marooning and island-hopping, there is a cluster of three islands off Yan district near Kota Kuala Muda. They are Pulau Bunting, Pulau Song Song and Pulau Bidan.

The waters off these, uninhabited offshore islands are ideal for snorkelling, scuba diving and fishing. Or, visitors can take a dip in the sea to check out the lovely corals. They can also check out the jungle tracks on the untapped islands.

The local boatmen with their sampan docked at the beach area are readily available to ferry visitors to the islands.

For water-sports enthusiasts, water-skiing, kayaking and sailing are also popular along the stretch of coastal water.

The beach at Pantai Merdeka is also surrounded by verdant green hills from which flows cool mountain air, making it ideal for picnicking and relaxing.

For those who like to savour the delights of fresh seafood, take a boat-ride across Pantai Merdeka to the fishing village of Tanjung Dawai.

There, the enterprising villagers are famed for their ikan bakar and air assam. Also available at reasonable prices are fresh crabs, prawns, stingray, ikan kembong, pomfret
and cuttlefish.

Tanjung Dawai is also famed for homemade belacan (prawn paste), processed anchovies of various sizes and quality, and dried cuttlefish and prawns.

For an insight into the fishing village lifestyle, visitors can take a 10-minute boatride to Telok Nipah and Kampung Pulau Sayak.

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Map to Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC)

1.The map of parking at open-air car parks along Jalan Ampang ( near Zouk & Saloma)
2.The map of parking at Suria KLCC

3.The map of parking at Mandarin Oriental Hotel

4.The map of parking at open-air car park in between Madarin Oriental Hotel & KL Convention Centre

5.The map of parking inside KL Convention Centre

Map contribute by Sharon Ee