Posted in OMAN, Tourism, Travel

Muscat, Oman.


The Sultanate of Oman occupies the southeastern tip of the Arabian peninsula – 300,000 sq. km boasting some 1,700 km of coastline stretching along the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf.  It has a population of 2.9 million people and about 30% of them are foreigners.  It is the second largest country in Arabia, and has the most diverse landscape including fjord-like rugged mountains in the far north, magnificent tracts of desert and a lush south.

An ancient civilization, Oman’s history can be traced back to 12,000 BC. The country is strategically located on the crossroads of several trade routes that linked the ancient world. It became a center of power in the 17th century with Omani rule extending from Zanzibar in East Africa to parts of Persia and Pakistan.

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

There are many beautiful designed mosques in and around Muscat.  Above are some of the mosques that you can see in Muscat.

Oman takes pride in its rich cultural and architectural heritage bestowed by hundreds of years of international trading and foreign occupation. Evidence of a glorious ancient past is spread all over the country which spread all over the country which boasts more than 500 forts, castles, and towers. Their diversity and numbers reflect the high standards achieved by Omanis in architecture.

Oman enjoys many unique features including an unspoiled culture and lifestyle traditional in almost every aspect. The people are friendly and offer incomparable hospitality. A rich variety of flora and fauna abound, together with panoramic beauty witnessed in its mountain ranges, deserts and sand dunes

Grand door is a common features in Oman; as seen at Al Harthy Mall Complex

A view of a popular public beach in Muscat.


Muscat is the capital and largest city of Oman.  It is also the seat of government and largest city in the Governorate of Muscat.  The population of the Muscat metropolitan area is estimated at 1,090,797 people.  The metropolitan area spans approximately 1,500 square kilometre.

Oman is developing country.  Rich with natural resources.

As an oil producing country, a common view to see the oil rig. Relic or monument of onshore oil rig at Qurum, Muscat.

The Muscat Gate Museum; situated on Al Saidiya Street, Muttrah. In the museum one can find displays about Oman’s history from the Neolithic times to the present days. The museum makes for a fascinating day trip to visitors, giving a deep understanding into the city’s sometime turbulent past. With informative displays about the city, one gets to see a special exhibit on Muscat’s water springs, the ancient wells, underground channels, the souqs, houses, mosques, harbors and forts. Visitors also get a wonderful aerial view of the city scenery of the Rocky Mountains and also the beautiful beach from the top of the museum. The Muscat Gate Museum opened its doors to the public in January 2001 on the site that was once the boundary of the city. It is housed in a fort-like building.

Governourate of Muscat is situated on the Gulf of Oman at the south part of Al Batinah coast. It is confined between Gulf of Oman and the mountains of AI Hajr Al Sharyi. The Governorate is the most populous area of the Sultanate. The average density exceeds 24 times the average population density in the Sultanate.  Muscat Governorate is considered the pulsating heart of Oman. It is linked to Port Sultan Qaboos by Muttrah Corniche where the visitor to Muscat can view the wonderful variety of nature: golden beaches, mountainous heights, and golden sand dunes (Bawshar Sands).

Perhaps what is striking about Muscat Governorate and its states is the breathtaking intermingling of ancient cultural heritage and modern style. You will see houses, gates, old markets, small shops, and winding roads redolent of authentic history, side by side with modern markets, shops, buildings, and streets stamped with modern architecture. This allows Oman to preserve its historic character, and at the same time enjoying its contemporary spirit. Muscat is renowned as one of the cleanest Arab capitals, and has gained the honour of winning the Cleanest Arab City Contest several consecutive times.

In Muscat and its wilayats we can observe this remarkable harmony between the ancient heritage and the modern contemporary features. You can see the old houses and markets, small shops and narrow roads, next to the modern markets, shops and wide streets. This preserves Oman’s historical and cultural identity on one hand and gives it at the same time the spirit of the age and modernization on the other hand.

Qurum Natural Park: The park is the largest in the whole of Muscat. The aim of building the park was to bring into use the natural and topographical features of the area to create an idyllic park for the visitors. The park is success story of its unique location and artistic design. The total area of the park is 17,15,449 square metre.

Muscat is the capital of the Sultanate of Oman and the headquarters and the administrative apparatus of the state. It is an old city that played an important role as a commercial station since the early ages of Islam. It is also one of the most important trade centers because of its strategic and special location. It is famous for Al Jalali and Al Mirani forts.

Muscat as a city has played a prominent historical role due to its strategic location.

The Governorate of Muscat consists of six wilayats: Muscat, Muttrah, Bowshar, A’Seeb, Al Amerat and Quriyat.

Al Seeb lies to the West of Wilayat Bowshar, occupying a narrow strip of  coastline along the rim of the Gulf of Oman for a distance of 50 kms. Its population is around 223,267 persons distributed among 24 villages and townships

Aerial view of As Seeb


Posted in MALAYSIA, Sabah, Travel

Kota Kinabalu

pa220480Beautiful scenery near old Jesselton Port in Kota Kinabalu

This is the first time I have visited Kota Kinabalu.  If not because of duty I would not set my foot on the eastern part of the country.  I was in Kota Kinabalu on 21 & 22 October 2008

Kota Kinabalu formerly known as Jesselton, is the capital of Sabah, a state in Malaysia. Kota Kinabalu is located on the northwest coast of the island of Borneo facing the South China Sea and Tunku Abdul Rahman Park on one side, and with Mount Kinabalu in the background. Kota Kinabalu sprawls for kilometers along the coast and towards inland. With an estimated population of 543,765 in the city and 700,000 in the urban area, it is the largest urban centre in Sabah and the sixth largest in Malaysia. 


pa210471View of Kota Kinabalu from the aeroplane 

pa2104721Another aerial view of Kota Kinabalu 

Kota Kinabalu traces its beginning to 1881, as a tiny British settlement on Pulau gaya, the biggest of five islands directly across the bay from present day KK City.  In 1897, Pahlawan Mat Saleh and his men faought and burnt the island settlement.  The Brisitis relocated to the mainland at Kampong Gantisan, a small fishing village.  In 1899, the British named the new settlement ‘Jesselton’ after Sir Charles Jessel, the Vice-Chairman of the British North Borneo Charted Company.

pa210473Beautiful underwater island and its clear water

pa210474View of Kota Kinabalu while the aeroplane approaching the airport 

pa210475Another view from the aeroplane

Kota Kinabalu is named after Mount Kinabalu, situated about 90 kilometres east-northeast of the city. The meaning and origin of the name Kinabalu is uncertain. One theory suggests it means “Chinese widow”, where Kina meaning “Chinese” (person) in Kadazandusun language, and balu meaning “widow” in Malay language.



pa220481Icon of Kota Kinabalu; Wisma Tun Mustapha formerly known as Yayasan Sabah Building

The city’s population today is a mixture of many different races and ethnicities. The city consists of mainly Kadazans, Chinese, Bajaus and Malays. Most of the Chinese people in the city are Hakkas and can be found mainly in the Luyang area. The area of Penampang is populated mainly by Kadazans, while the Bajaus mainly reside in Likas and Sembulan. The people of the city have lived peacefully side by side.  

pa220482New and beautiful building in Kota Kinabalu 

pa220486Another interesting facade view of a building in Jalan Pantai Kota Kinabalu 

pa220485In the city centre, Jalan Pantai 

pa220484New icon, Kota Kinabalu City Mosque at Likas Bay.  It is the biggest mosque in KK can accomodate between 9,000 to 10,000 people

Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) serves the city of Kota Kinabalu, the state capital of Sabah, Malaysia. It is located about 8 km southwest of the city centre. It is the second busiest airport in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) with over 4 million passenger movements in 2006 for domestic and international flights

In mid 2005, major renovation and extension of BKI worth RM1.4 billion that will see the present 2,988 m runway extended to 3,780 m and the size of the main airport Terminal 1 building (Terminal 1) increased from 34,000 m2 to 87,000 m2. The new airport terminal building will be able to accommodate four Boeing 747s, one Airbus A330, seven Boeing 737s, three Fokker 50s and three Dorniers at any one time. It will also have 12 jetways for passenger use. The old air traffic control tower which is attached to the main terminal building have been demolished and constructed as stand alone tower.  

pa210478Terminal 1 of Kota Kinabalu International Airport 

Terminal 1 is the main terminal of BKI. It is accessed via Jalan Putatan in Petagas nearby Kepayan. Currently its technical facilities includes 12 gates, 5 airbridges, and 4 baggage claim belts. It has the capacity of handling 2.5 million passenger annually. It also features duty-free shops, other shops, lounges, travel agents, restaurants, and many others. It’s massive renovation and expansion just completed recently 

pa220489View of boarding area at Terminal 1 KKIA

pa220490Interior view of Terminal 1 KKIA 

Terminal 2 used to be the original terminal building of the airport when it was first built. It is accessed via Jalan Mat Salleh in Tanjung Aru and is located on the other side of the runway from Terminal 1. Terminal 2 is really for charter and low cost carrier. Sometime, it is called LCCT. Terminal 2 has recently undergone a major renovation and extension and it re-opened on January 1, 2007 in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2007. It was completed 27 months ahead of schedule. Although it is renovated to serve the low cost carriers, namely AirAsia, it is not a low cost carrier terminal (LCCT) as that of Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s LCCT, as here, other full service airlines may utilize the terminal. It has 26 check-in counters for domestic and international flights and 6 parking bays for B737 and A320 aircraft as well as 7 luggage x-ray machines, a VIP room and 13 immigration counters. The terminal has the capacity to handle 3 million passengers annually. This airport was the second airport to have separation between normal carriers and low cost carrier

pa220491Looking to the aeroplane at parking apron from boarding area 


Posted in MALAYSIA, Pahang, Travel

Bukit Ibam, Rompin and Pulau Tioman

On 21st October 2008, I get the opportunity to go to Kota Kinabalu with Malaysian Airlines. Because the flight early in the morning I was asleep after departing from the KLIA. Approximately 30 minutes later I was awake and look out of the aeroplane’s window. Look under there, one of the interesting sight for me is view of a lake, in blue colour water, in the place surrounded with jungle greenery. “Where is this place?” I asked to myself.

pa210462Aerial view an area within Bukit Ibam in Pahang 

Several minutes later, the flight flying across a scenery that familiar to me. View of number of aquaculture ponds rearing eel, which is located in coastal area of Rompin. Then I know that the lake with blue water actually is former mined iron ore mine in Bukit Ibam. Bukit Ibam in 1960an was famous because of iron ore mining activities and its company RompinCo. Then, in the early of the 1980s some business in producing green jade stone in Bukit Ibam existed. However, the business of producing green jade stone was not viable and force its closed down several year later.

Bukit Ibam then was busy with mining activities, is now deserted. Muadzam Shah has taken over its role as the administration centre. There are only a few activities such as the existence of TUDM’s radar complex, also plans to build the first in ASEAN and the 16th of its kind in the world of the Facilities Monitoring not worth USD29 million in Bukit Ibam.

pa210463The lake with blue water attracts my attention actually were ex-iron ore mine in Bukit Ibam 

There is an effort to revive the former mine which operated from 1962 and had produced approximately 22 million tonnes of haematite and magnetite ore and closed its operations in 1970. Now, Grange Minerals Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned Malaysian subsidiary, holds 51% project equity in a joint venture with a privately owned Malaysian mining company, Esperance Mining Sdn Bhd begins it mining operation. Following successful resource drilling, metallurgical test work and viability studies Grange Resources announced Joint Venture capital expenditure approval to develop the Bukit Ibam magnetite mine in June 2008. It is planned to commence production at a rate of 100,000 tonnes per year magnetite concentrate for sale on the spot market and shipping out of Kuantan Port. Hopefully Bukit Ibam will continue to survive!

pa210464Aerial view of aquaculture ponds rearing eel for export market in Rompin, Pahang 

Bukit Ibam is has the special place in my life. That’s was the place where my first career in the field of engineering begins. However, my destiny to serve in Bukit Ibam was to short. PWD’s Office in Bukit Ibam only required 2 technicians for waterworks, but the information provided by the Head Quarters, Bukit Ibam’s Office requires 20 technicians. Therefore, 3 months later I was transferred back to the Head Office in Kuala Lumpur. My life would be different if I continue to set work in Bukit Ibam. This is because I have felt harmonious living there and the desire to contribute my motherland Negeri Pahang Darul Makmur.

pa210465Another view of the eel’s ponds in Rompin thats create havoc when its begins its operations of pumping water from the ground to fill up the pond.  Its effect ground subsided arround the area.  Now the area regain nature.

pa210466Eel produced from this business venture find a market for export to Japan and Taiwan

A few minutes later I saw an island that I believe is Pulau Tioman. I never set foot to this beautiful island. Pulau Tioman is a small island and well known for its legend and history. Pulau Tioman is located 32 km off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia in the state of Pahang, and is some 39 km long and 12 km wide. According to legend, Tioman Island is the resting place of a beautiful dragon princess. Whilst flying from China to visit her prince in Singapore, this beautiful maiden stopped to seek solace in the crystal-clear waters of the South China Sea. Enraptured by the charms of the place, she decided to discontinue her journey. By taking the form of an island, she pledged to offer shelter and comfort to passing travellers.

pa210467Aerial view of Pulau Tioman 

Pulau Tioman has eight main villages, the largest and most populous being Kampung Tekek in the north. The island has three of its peaks rising to about 1,000 metres and visible far out in the South China Sea. Much of its 114 square kilometers is covered with tropical rain forest. A narrow coastal strip is partly cultivated, and on it are found small villages and settlements, with a local resident population. The waters around the island are fairly clear divers can expect better visibility conditions in other waters, but one can generally expect between five and 10-metre visibility around Tioman. This, however, does not detract from the beauty of its coral reefs, which are a veritable underwater garden of colourful marine life.

pa210468Pulau Tioman known for its legend, coral and clear water 

Then, one and a half hour later, I safely landed in Kota Kinabalu International Airport.