To celebrate the annual Citrawarna festival, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MOTAC) Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur Tourism Bureau (KLTB), Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and Tourism Malaysia collaborated with Gaya Travel Magazine in organising a media familiarisation programme called Eat, Travel, Write & Doodle (ETWD) 3.0 to promote the Citrawarna extravaganza held annually in Kuala Lumpur.
The trip was joined by almost 30 participants comprising journalists, bloggers, and social media influencers, including doodlers and illustrators from the country. The familiarisation trip not only promoted Citrawarna but also attractions in Kuala Lumpur through conventional and new media platforms through creative postings and live updates.
For 2017, Citrawarna was held at Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur, on 28 October 2017 with the theme “The Sunrise, The Green and The Echo Within”, inspired from the World Tourism Day’s theme, “Sustainable Tourism — A Tool for Development.”
Speaking at the media session during the launch of Citrawarna 2017, the Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz said the ministry hoped that the festival served as a platform to remind the public through arts, heritage and lifestyle regarding the significance of nature and the imperative need to conserve it. At the same time, Citrawarna is also a tool to promote ecotourism in the country.
The festival kicked off that day – at 7:30 a.m. to be exact – with the “Kids Eco Dash” running event at Taman Eko Rimba, Bukit Nanas. Joined by children aged between 4 to 12 years old, the race aimed at raising the children’s appreciation towards the outdoors while promoting healthy lifestyle at the same time. The event also offered families the chance to spend quality time together. Other activities held concurrently were recycling games, craft sessions and petting zoo visit.
Back at Merdeka Square, visitors were treated to various exciting activities at the Chillax Zone beginning at 4:30 p.m., including buskers’ performance, traditional games such as galah panjang (long elephant) and batu seremban (tossing stones). The zone also had dedicated picnic areas for relaxing as well as selfie opportunities at the #SayangMalaysia photo wall. It was a beautiful day that brought people – both locals and international visitors alike – together.
Because the organisers knew that full tummies also lead to happy faces, a food truck fiesta was also held in front of the iconic Sultan Abdul Samad building. The fiesta implemented a ‘cashless’ food purchasing method using smartphones through a mobile wallet app called Boost, developed under the collaboration of BARRA and BOOST (subsidiary of Axiata Group) with one objective: to realise the government’s vision of a cashless society through simplified and integrated transaction system.
On top of these, sticking closely to the festival’s theme, the organiser have also collaborated with LOCCO and Daun.com.my to carry out ‘Bring Your Own Plant’ initiative at the festival, whereby each visitor was invited to donate a plant and a special message to Mother Nature. RapidKL, on the other hand, extended its public transportation services until 1:00 a.m. on the day to encourage more visitors to use carbon-free transport modes like the LRT and MRT to and from the festival.
But of course, the main star of the event was the dazzling theatrical performances executed by hundreds of dancers led by popular celebrities, Nadia Aqilah and Kai Chalmers. The show opened with a traffic dance scene ala “La La Land” and continued with Nadia’s character travelling with her foreign husband (Kai) around Malaysia to introduce to him the country’s best holiday places, especially ecotourism destinations such as Kilim Geoforest National Park in Kedah, Mulu Caves in Sarawak, Royal Belum State Park in Perak and National Park in Pahang.
The show was further enlivened with multiethnic cultural performances by various communities in Malaysia such as Malay, Chinese, Indian, Aboriginal and Eurasian against the backdrop inspired by the tropical rainforest and the expansive seas. Finally, it concluded with a spectacular fireworks show and a soulful performance by the Malaysian popular songstress, Ning Baizura.
Islamic Arts Museum
Prior to the staging of Citrawarna 2017, the ETWD 3.0 participants visited the beautiful Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, located close to more Malaysian landmarks like the National Mosque, Bird Park and Perdana Botanical Garden. The museum was first established in 1998 and now houses more than eight thousand artefacts of the Islamic world. The vast collections are displayed in 12 galleries according to genre rather than geography. The style of the building itself is impressive; the museum’s iwan-style entrance embellished with ceramic tapestry incorporating verses from the Quran by skilled Iranian tile craftsmen creates an enigmatic and spiritual aura upon entering, while its five indoor domes flaunts the exquisite intricacies of Islamic artisanal touches.
Entrance fees: Adult (MYR14) & Child (MYR7)
The National Planetarium
Managed by the Malaysian National Space Agency (ANGKASA), the National Planetarium exhibits numerous astronomical technologies and mock-up interior of the International Space Station. There is also the space suit worn by the first Malaysian astronaut on display. The main highlight however would be the Omnimax-style film show projected fully onto the interior of the domed theatre, which serves as the screen. There are four different films screened every day, and the participants managed to catch the afternoon show entitled ‘Journey to a Billion Suns’, explaining the basic technologies of star-mapping and bringing the audience on a fascinating journey around the Milky Way. The projection on the huge interior of the dome makes viewing more immersive. It also brought back childhood memories to some of the participants who had visited the planetarium before when they were in school. Besides the aforementioned features, the National Planetarium also introduces the Space Pod as its latest attraction, offering an exhilarating ride in various simulated environments.
Entrance fees (for the full dome show): Adult (MYR12 / MYR6 for Mykad holder) & Child (MYR8 / MYR4 for Mykid holder)
Travellers should take in the beautiful cityscapes of Kuala Lumpur while standing 300 metres above ground inside the Sky Box, a cantilevered all glass and enclosed viewing platform that juts out from the ledge of KL Tower’s Sky Deck. Those who are faint hearted can opt for similar experience at the revolving Atmosphere 360 restaurant instead, which offers the panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur while indulging in hearty buffet spread for lunch or dinner.
Entrance fees (for the Sky Deck and Sky Box combo): Adult (MYR105 / MYR75 for Mykad holder) & Child (MYR55 / MYR39 for Mykid holder)