Category Archives: Off the Beat

Call of the wild in Uganda

The writer saw a lioness so up close he could see her ears twitch, a rare encounter even for the local guide. – Photos: WONG CHUN WAI It wasn’t part of the plan. We were merely supposed to sit in […] Continue Reading

Chasing waterfalls in Lusong Laku, Sarawak

It isn’t exactly crystal-clear waters, and certainly, it’s almost unheard of, but the waterfall at Lusong Laku, Belaga in Sarawak must surely rank as the most magnificent and majestic cascade in Malaysia. The area deserves to be known as the […] Continue Reading

Lake Baikal: A Siberian land frozen in time

Lake Baikal presents visitors with many picturesque views. Photo: Cliff Lai I wasn’t good in both Maths and Science subjects in school. I recall one infuriating teacher threatening to banish me to Timbuktu or Siberia, as punishment. At that point, […] Continue Reading

On the Falcon’s Crest in Doha, Qatar

It was my first visit to Doha, the capital of Qatar and like any first timer, I was left mesmerised by its dazzling skyline. But I wasn’t there to be impressed by skyscrapers or the glitzy shopping malls stocked with […] Continue Reading

Rumble in the jungle of Sabah

Danum Valley has the world’s largest concentration of orangutans. — Photos: WONG CHUN WAI. It’s a terrible shame, really. Almost every Malaysian from the peninsula that I speak to has never heard of Danum Valley in Sabah, and many of […] Continue Reading

Close encounters of the croc kind in Darwin, Australia

The plan began quite simply – I would pay AUD45 (RM132) and join other tourists at the Adelaide River in Darwin, Australia. Located about 65km east of Darwin, we just need to hop on a cruise boat and look out […] Continue Reading

Gorillas in East Africa: ‘Off The Beat’ adventure of a lifetime!

It had taken over a year of planning and some serious saving, too, for me to make the long journey to East Africa to spend the year-end holidays trekking in the jungles of Rwanda and the Uganda-Congo border. The point […] Continue Reading

A Noah’s Ark in Hong Kong? You better believe it!

  It’s just bizarre. I never would have thought a Christian-based theme park could exist in money-worshipping Hong Kong. I have visited this hardcore capitalist city for decades and no one ever told me about a replica of Noah’s Ark, […] Continue Reading

In search of… durians in Australia!

Very few compelling reasons exist for Malaysians to visit Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory. Most of the time, it’s hot … and I mean blazing hot and dry. And coming from where we do, there is barely a need to […] Continue Reading

Up close with the Rafflesia, the largest and smelliest flower on Earth

You’d have to be like Indiana Jones and hack your way through a thick jungle if you want to find the rafflesia – and even then, this beautiful flower doesn’t just grow on trees, because it literally sprouts from the […] Continue Reading