Monday, March 30, 2009

Adventure packing check-list

Packing for travel on the road is rarely easy. Deciding what or what not to bring gets even tougher with the stricter weight restrictions on airlines!

So packing for work on something like a travel documentary shoot or a media trip into the rainforest was even more challenging! But although I had to laugh at myself for often being over-prepared, it did make me feel more secure. Hee hee! And feeling more secure, I was ready to get into the great spirit of adventure!

My “Exploring Malaysia” shoot was an intense and amazing experience. Something I have since been doing a lot more of than usual, just for fun! So if you ever get the urge to go on an adventure and start off on something like a great jungle or nature trek, here’s a list of what I found useful:

· Non-cotton hiking clothes (reduces sweat evaporation & dehydration)

· Small back-pack or bum-bag

· Salt & potassium tablets, small bottle water

· Mini-size Minyak Kapak or salt for the leeches

· Plasters & anti-septic ointment

· Sunblock (natural type better if going in sea to protect marine-life)

· Long socks & good hiking boots

· Hat and sunglasses (hat is also great for rain)

· Since I’m short-sighted, Acuvue Oasys contact lenses which can be worn comfortably for long periods of time, letting through a lot more oxygen. And for overnight stays in places like the jungle chalets in Belum-Temenggor rainforest, I used Acuvue Moist daily-disposable lenses, which I could just throw away, replace & not worry about cleaning.

· Digital camera + spare battery, kept dry in a small tupperware

· Travel-size packet of tissues, wet-wipes &/or sanitizer (for conditions without water)

· Energizing snack, like an apple or energy-bar etc.

· My mini-size Evian facial spray

· Water sterilizing tablets

· Disposable plastic mackintosh/raincoat

Although surprisingly in primary rainforest (real jungle), mosquitoes were never a problem (eco-system is balanced), other than that, my motto is that one can never have too much anti-mozzy supplies for where you may be camping out. Which items depend on whether you’re staying in a hut, jungle chalet, Long-house or Resort. I had to be prepared for all so I brought:

· Mosquito spray (water-based)

· Mosquito repellent (natural-type, spray or stick)

· Mosquito repellent, circular stick-on patch

· Mosquito coils and travel-size plug-in mats

It’s safer and informative to trek with a guide and it’s always great when he/she has a good relationship with the villages of indigenous tribes who you can ask to visit. If you do plan to visit, make sure you are invited and bring a gift. A bag of rice, snacks, biscuits and any useful supplies etc. will always be appreciated and is a good exchange for your visit.

Happy adventuring!

Catch "Exploring Malaysia" on BBC World News (Astro channel 512) beginning 4th April 2009!


Saturday, March 21, 2009

BBC World Programme "Exploring Malaysia" with Joanna Bessey

Exploring Malaysia is not simply a travel show, although eager globe trotters will be inspired.

This three-part series, presented by Malaysian actress and environmentalist Joanna Bessey, gives viewers an insider's track on the people, the places and the tastes of Malaysia as the country emerges into the 21st Century.

Look out for it on BBC World news (Astro 512), starting 4 April 2009.

BBC World News, is the BBC's commercially funded international 24-hour news and information channel reaching 283 million homes and more than 1.6 million hotel rooms, in over 200 countries and territories worldwide.