By Adela Roslan on October 16, 2015
Putrajaya Enchanted Night
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC), in collaboration with Gaya Travel Magazine, organised the three-day programme called Eat.Travel.Night Magic of the Night (MOTN) 2015 from 28 until 30 May 2015. This programme was joined by selected media, bloggers and travel agencies to experience and promote interesting tourism attractions in Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with the launch of MOTN in Putrajaya on 29 May 2015 through various media and social networking channels.
Besides the launch of MOTN, MOTAC also held the Photography and Selfie competitions for the public to participate that offered the total prize money of RM13,800.
Gaya Travel team with other the media representatives, including 75 international media and tour agents under Tourism Malaysia’s Mega Fam programme, witnessed the spectacular MOTN launch. With the theme of Endless Celebrations, MOTN showcased decorated floats that traverse the water from various states in Malaysia, including an entry from the Suzhou region of the People’s Republic of China.
Putrajaya Lake Cruise
Our first day of programme started with a boat cruise along the Putrajaya Lake, which allowed us to witness Putrajaya’s amazing architecture, including the city’s new attraction, SkyRides, from the water. Throughout the cruise, the boat guide shared with the passengers about the packages that Putrajaya Lake Cruise provides, including the cruise package specifically tailored for Magic of the Night whereby members of the public can ride together with the resplendent floats along the three-kilometre Putrajaya Lake.
SkyRides Festivals Park Putrajaya
Located next to the Monumen Alaf Baru (Millennium Monument), a family-oriented theme park SkyRides Festivals Park Putrajaya (SkyRides) is the new iconic tourism destination that caters to the entertainment needs of all ages. Right after the cruise, we soared up 120 meters into the sky on SkyRides Balloon, which is Malaysia’s first and largest tethered balloon. From the air, we were able to see Putrajaya’s magnificent landscape that is characterised by elegant eclectic architectural designs set amidst lush greenery. For those who seek physically-challenging activities, they can head straight to the SkyWarrior Rainforest Challenge at only RM10 per entry. Children and those who are young at heart can visit the SkyKids section that consists of SkyDemo, SkyGallery and SkyStage to experience art, music and crafts. It was at SkyGallery that we were able to catch the interesting top-spinning and crafts-making demonstrations.
Putrajaya International Convention Centre
After having an enjoying time at SkyRides, we then proceeded to the Putrajaya International Convention Centre for lunch at its Cafe. Simply known as PICC, this impressive convention centre is at par with the other established international conferences centres. The Café @ PICC served up scrumptious seafood-based meals including local dishes like as tom yam, caramelised chicken and beef, including mouth-watering desserts. We were then given a tour around the centre to have a look at halls, conference rooms, VIP lounges and facilities. The tour culminated with a showcase of Malaysian traditional musical performances comprising the much loved local tunes like “Dia Datang” and zapin, including Indian dance, Chinese fan dance, ngajat (dance performed by Iban warriors who are based in Sarawak), which were then concluded by Malaysia Truly Asia dance-and-sing-along number. We even joined the dancers and performed simple dikir barat moves. To enjoy the fun-filled show while savouring delicious buffet spread, the experience only costs RM50 per adult and RM25 per child.
Swiss Garden Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Since our theme was to eat, travel and write places of interest in Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur, we then headed to the latter to check in at the Swiss-Garden Hotel & Residences. Situated in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Swiss-Garden Hotel’s central location makes it an ideal place of stay. The hotel’s rooms were sufficiently spacious, cosy and contemporarily designed. After a quick rest, we congregated at restaurant at the hotel’s rooftop for the early dinner cum launch ceremony of Eat.Travel.Night MOTN 2015 programme by MOTAC’s Deputy Secretary General (Tourism) Datuk Rashidi Habullah. All participants and guests alike feted on the scrumptious buffet spread while relishing the relaxing rooftop ambience and good company.
KL City Tour Hop-On Hop-Off
The second day of the Eat.Travel.Night MOTN 2015 programme began with us riding on a double-deck bus operated by KL City Tour Hop-On Hop-Off (HOHO), which took us around Kuala Lumpur’s touristy areas (there are 42 of them in total). Travellers who need extra tanning can access the blazing sun by sitting on the front part of the upper deck and take in the city in all of its glory, while the rest can remain in the sheltered areas of the bus and enjoy the city through the large windows. Along the journey, we were given information regarding KL’s attractions such as Petaling Street, the National Museum, Little India, KLCC and the National Mosque, among others. The HOHO bus stops at each of the 42 attractions for tourists to disembark and explore them. The tour was such an eye-opener for many of us – even though many of the participants hailed from Kuala Lumpur, we learned many things that we never knew before about Malaysia’s much loved capital city, thus further deepen our love towards the city.
Fabulous Food, Marina Putrajaya
After touring Kuala Lumpur, we then returned to Putrajaya for the official launch of the Magic of the Night 2015 festival, which took place beside the Putrajaya Lake. Prior to feasting our eyes over spectacular flotillas over the lake’s a few minutes’ walk from the street performances. The stalls carry dishes that are popular in the Malaysian states. Some of the food that we found downright lip-smacking were mee kolok from Sarawak, satay tulang from Negeri Sembilan, nasi dagang from Terengganu, pulut mangga from Perlis and mee udang from Kedah (we were not able to taste some more since we did not have all night to savour everything). We were definitely torn between trying more food and viewing the floats – we finally decided to drag our feet to the stand to catch the illuminating flotillas blazing in the night.
Launching of Magic of the Night 2015
Right after the sound of banging drums, Magic of the Night 2015 commenced with Malay, Chinese and Indian performances. Adding merriment to the atmosphere were glow-in-the-dark decorations, dancers in dazzling costumes and children playing kompang (Malay traditional handheld percussion), amazing fireworks display, including Disney’s prince and princess characters, further pulling the crowd.
Each of the flotilla showcased during MOTH 2015 represented a state in Malaysia, bedecked with colourfully lighted displays and effects on board. There was also an international entry from Suzhou as part of the city’s promotional effort in luring the Malaysian market. All of the flotillas competed for overall best flotilla, most creative flotilla and best-lighted flotilla categories, which judged by professional judges; as for the popular flotilla category, it was voted by the public. We took photos of the flotillas and the performances non-stop, not only for publishing through our respective media channels but to win the photography and selfie competition.
By the end of the night, Sabah was declared the winner for the overall best flotilla category. Irrespective of whichever flotilla won that night, the event was a great success and became one that is worth remembering. MOTN 2015 indeed captured the hearts of all visitors, locals and foreign alike.