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First time to the Premium Outlet in Genting Highlands.

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2017 by vincentloy

The Genting Highlands Premium Outlet has opened its door for a month and yesterday is the first time I paid a visit to the outlet. With only about a month staying in Malaysia before flying back to Australia, I pick last weekend as the time for me to go up to Genting for at least once. I treat it as a short getaway to catch the colder air on the resort up on the hills.

The last time I went to Genting was in the past January. That was just 6 months ago. When I went up this time, I’m lost in direction. The whole First World Plaza is now closed and is replaced with the new Sky Avenue Mall. The mall is partially open when I visit in the last January. Some areas in the mall now are still empty and unfinished. The former casino in the First World Hotel’s building has also moved to a much more grand setting in the Sky Avenue Mall. It is now re-branded as ‘Sky Casino’.

That is the place where I lost RM500 on the roulette game on last Saturday’s evening. That was after a not-so-good meal in Madam Kwan’s Restaurant. The food served there are too sweet (the chef love to pour a lot of sugar into the dishes), the quantity are small and the price are unreasonable. Me and my parents moved to the other casino in the Genting Hotel on midnight to try our luck but we lost again. Another RM300 gone from my wallet. Hmm…I will take it as a charity donation to Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay to further develop the resort. View from the hotel room below:

So, we ended up not going into the casino anymore on Sunday on fear of losing more money. We instead had an awesome lunch at Din Tai Fung Restaurant. The food is delicious, the service is excellent, the price is reasonable, and the quality of every aspects are magnificent. Everything is great. Highly recommended place to have a nice meal. After the lunch, we took the new Awana Skyway (RM8 for a person) cable car ride down to the Premium Outlet as mentioned earlier. From there, we get to see some amazing views of the surrounding (the resort, the Chin Swee Temple, Awana Resorts, Gohtong Jaya, the Premium Outlet, and the hills).

From the ride, we also noticed that the construction of the 20th Century Fox World Outdoor Theme Park is super slow. There are still a lot to be done and I think it is highly likely that the opening for the theme park will be delayed again to possibly end of 2018.  Okay…back to the premium outlet. It is the second outlet of its kind in Malaysia (first one is in Johor). It is just an outdoor mall with famous branded stores selling slightly cheaper stuff. There are a lot of people there because it is still new. I won’t go there often if I have been there once.

On our way back home, we stopped by at the Chin Swee Temple for a short visit. The last time I visited the temple was way back many years ago when I was still a teenager. There are many new stuff (new plaza with Genting founder Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong’s statue, new sculptures depicting Chinese legends or beliefs, new vegetarian restaurant and observation tower building, etc) or things to visit and discover in the temple complex now. It also manages to attract a lot of foreign tourists. I’m tired during the visit and so I didn’t climb the pagoda tower. I always climb the tower every time I visit the temple in the past. Not this time.

That’s the end of our short trip up at Genting. Very ‘costly’ (due to gambling…haha) but rewarding in other sense that I got to visit new places this time. In the past, it is always the same for every corners in this mountain resort that has been here for like 50 years. It’s good news that the resort is now evolving to stay relevant and to continuously attract more visitors.

(Copyrights reserved to all images in this post.)

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Top 10 Landmarks in the World on 2017 by TripAdvisor

Posted in Wonders and Places with tags , , , , , , , on May 29, 2017 by vincentloy

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel website company that provides reviews of travel-related content and also includes interactive travel forums. The website has been here since year 2000 and has claimed to have more than 315 million members and over 500 million reviews and opinions of hotels, restaurants, attractions and other travel-related businesses. Recently, the website released a ranking of the top 10 landmarks in the world on 2017 as reviewed by its online members. Besides than posting the 10 landmarks below, I will also delighted to share to you which one I have personally visited too.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia. *

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, Cordoba, Spain.

St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Italy. *

Taj Mahal, Agra, India. *

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St Petersburg, Russia.

Great Wall at Mutianyu, Beijing, China. *

Machu Picchu, Peru.

Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain.

Duomo di Milano, Milan, Italy. *

An asterisk at the end of the landmarks’ names indicate that I have personally visited the place. Out of the 10, I have visited 5 of them. Not bad. I enjoy travelling (who doesn’t?) and my family has this habit of travelling oversea at least once in a year and it usually takes place during our lengthy Chinese New Year break annually. We just went to Hanoi, Vietnam early this year (awesome to see the beauty of Halong Bay as the main attraction of Hanoi) and we will go to Bangkok, Thailand next month during the Hari Raya holiday. That’s the time when I’m already back to Malaysia for my mid-year break.

Out of the 5 places I have visited and mentioned above, the ones that fascinated me the most are Angkor Wat, St. Peter’s Basilica and Taj Mahal. I noticed most of the 10 listed landmarks are religious buildings. I think people are more friendly towards religion-sensitive sites when putting their reviews. Whatever they are, they are all impressive man-made structures. Of the remaining 5 that I have not visited, I would love to visit Machu Picchu and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. I’m also surprised that no landmarks in North America made it into this Top 10 list. On the other hand, if there is a chance that one of Malaysian landmarks get to contest in this top rankings, I think it must be our iconic Petronas Twin Towers which now still stand tall as the world’s tallest twin buildings.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Top 10 Tallest Buildings in the World (as of April 2017)

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2017 by vincentloy

The two cities that witness the birth of skyscrapers are Chicago and New York City in United States. That was over a hundred years ago after the introduction of steel framed construction and passenger elevator that enables buildings to be built much taller. Now in 2017, only one building in United States that is placed within the top 10 tallest buildings in the world currently. The other 9 are generally all located in Asia. Here below is the current top 10 tallest buildings in the world as of April 2017. The list only includes completed buildings and does not include television towers, observation towers, masts, antennas or buildings with very little percentage of habitable floors.

  1. Burj Khalifa, 828 metres, 163 floors, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (completed in 2010).

2. Shanghai Tower, 632 metres, 128 floors, Shanghai, China (completed in 2015).

3. Makkah Royal Clock Tower, 601 metres, 120 floors, Mecca, Saudi Arabia (completed in 2012).

4. Ping An Finance Center, 599 metres, 115 floors, Shenzhen, China (completed in 2017).

5. Lotte World Tower, 555 metres, 123 floors, Seoul, South Korea (completed in 2017).

6. One World Trade Center, 541 metres, 104 floors, New York City, United States (completed in 2014).

7. Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, 530 metres, 111 floors, Guangzhou, China (completed in 2016).

8. Taipei 101, 508 metres, 101 floors, Taipei, Taiwan (completed in 2004).

9. Shanghai World Financial Center, 492 metres, 101 floors, Shanghai, China (completed in 2008).

10. International Commerce Centre, 484 metres, 108 floors, Hong Kong, China (completed in 2010).

This list will change drastically from year to year due to rapid increase of construction of supertall skyscrapers in the world in recent decade. More and more new buildings are reaching further to the sky. Out of the current top 10 tallest buildings in the world, half of them are in China (this doesn’t even include Taipei 101 in Taiwan). 8 of them soar above 500 metres in height respectively too. Also noted is that every buildings in this top 10 tallest list has over 100 floors respectively. The tallest in the world, Burj Khalifa has been on the top of the list for over 7 years now. By 2020, it is expected to be defeated by Kingdom Tower, a skyscraper currently under construction in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. That tower is projected to soar above 1000 metres (1 km!) when completed in 2020.

The oldest supertall in this list is Taipei 101 which is only 13 years old by now as it is built in 2004. More and more new buildings are joining the list with two newcomers this year; Ping An Finance Center and Lotte World Tower at No.4 and No.5 placing respectively. Former world’s tallest buildings and still the current world’s tallest twin buildings, the Petronas Twin Towers are kicked out of the top 10 list this year as they are now placed at No.11 (and 12) with height of 452 metres. Too bad…my home coutry’s famous twin towers are now out of the ranking. Anyway, in few years to come, Malaysia will have another new supertall; PNB 118 Tower that will certainly join this top 10 list with a height of over 600 metres.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

New Year 2017 Fireworks!

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2017 by vincentloy

Didn’t get to watch any new year fireworks live yesterday in KL since I’m at home with family on 12am last night. Well, I do not have the urge to watch the fireworks here in Malaysia eventhough I enjoy doing so because the displays here are simply too plain and boring every year.

So, I have to look up on new year fireworks display from other major cities across the world that were much more exciting to watch! YouTube is the best place for me to do so today after all cities across the globe has already celebrated the occasion from one time zone to another.

The best fireworks display goes to Sydney, Australia as usual. It is one of the largest new year’s fireworks display and its 12-minutes show was really overwhelming and beautiful. View of the massive fireworks shooting up from the Sydney Harbour and the iconic Harbour Bridge impressed me every year.

Here below are the other new year 2017 fireworks display in other cities that look great too:

London, UK – from the London Eye ferris wheel. Amazing and is always the second best.

Hong Kong, China – I like the idea of fireworks shooting from some buildings in the city but that only happened in the 10-seconds countdown to 2017 and not in the entire show which would make it much better.

Dubai, UAE – from the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa and its surrounding. I’m impressed by the LED projection screen all over the facade of Burj Khalifa during the fireworks show.

Taipei, Taiwan – from Taipei 101, former world’s tallest building. Taipei 101 is the only stand-alone tall building in the city and so shooting fireworks from the tower itself in all angles is possible. And that is what makes their fireworks show every year spectacular. The inclusion of dramatic play of light of the building during the show is also great.

These fireworks shows above are way much better than our pyrotechnic show in KLCC. We couldn’t deliver intense and interesting display every year. It’s always the same one spot and same one style. It would be much better if our city presents a unified show by shooting fireworks from some major buildings in the city with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower as the main highlights.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – from the KLCC Park with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers as the backdrop.

That’s it. Happy New Year 2017 to everyone once again! Have a great year ahead!

(All videos in this post are from YouTube)

Contradicting early predictions, Donald Trump won the US Election 2016 to become the next President

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2016 by vincentloy

I kept refreshing news website today to check on the updated results of the election for the United States presidency as live updates keep rolling in. Eventhough the election is supposed to be none of my business since I’m not an American, but we have to certainly admit the impact this election may have to the world’s economy and politics from some major political decisions in future.

The two candidates running for the top post are Hillary Clinton of Democratic Party and Donald Trump of Republican Party. The current President, Barack Obama is of course supporting Clinton since they are in the same party. Before the elections, there were many early polls and predictions going on and most of them were expecting Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton, to win this election. Then, as the final days before the election arrive, people are predicting a much tighter race as Trump zooms ahead in popularity.

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And then, election came and the result is now made known. Donald Trump won the election and will become the 45th President of the United States of America from January 2017 onward. He had won over 270 seats required while Clinton has nothing to do besides than accepting this shocking defeat. She could not make history by becoming the first female president of the country unfortunately.

I don’t really like both of them as the candidates for this top post. I don’t think both are capable for this job. Electing either one of them is considered a joke for me. Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman who suddenly ventured into politics and made a lot of harsh and racist remarks. Hillary Clinton, a former president’s wife who is physically weak and couldn’t propose something really good for the country. But if you let me to vote, I’ll pick Clinton.

But right now in reality, Donald Trump won. He better think before he act from now on because he now has a real huge responsibility as his actions will not only impact his country but also may affect the whole world. He immediately promised he will go a great job (we will see) after election result confirmed that he will be heading successfully to the White House.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

World’s 10 Tallest Buildings in 2016.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2016 by vincentloy

It’s been quite some time since I last compiled a list of the world’s top ten tallest buildings. I think the last time I worked on that was about a year or two ago and I’m very sure that the data in that particular post would be inaccurate as of now due to the world’s high interest on building supertall skyscrapers in recent years. So, if you are looking for the latest and the most accurate list of world’s top 10 tallest buildings as of June 2016, this is the right place to be.

The list only includes buildings (structures that contain mostly habitable or functional floors) and excludes tv masts, telecommunication or observation towers, antennas, etc. This list also includes the buildings that are still under construction but have already topped out (reached final height).

< 1 > Burj Khalifa, 828 metres, 163 floors, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (completed in 2010).

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< 2 > Shanghai Tower, 632 metres, 121 floors, Shanghai, China (completed in 2015).

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< 3 > Makkah Clock Royal Tower, 601 metres, 120 floors, Makkah, Saudi Arabia (completed in 2012).

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< 4 > Ping An International Finance Center, 599 metres, 116 floors, Shenzhen, China (topped out, to be completed in 2016).

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< 5 > Lotte World Tower, 556 metres, 123 floors, Seoul, South Korea (topped out, to be completed in 2016).

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< 6 > One World Trade Center, 541 metres, 104 floors, New York City, United States of America (completed in 2014).

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< 7 > CTF Finance Centre, 530 metres, 116 floors, Guangzhou, China (completed in 2016).

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< 8 > Taipei 101, 509 metres, 101 floors, Taipei, Taiwan (completed in 2004).

台北101, 台灣台北 (Taipei 101 and skyline, Taipei, Taiwan)

< 9 > Shanghai World Financial Center, 492 metres, 101 floors, Shanghai, China (completed in 2008).

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< 10 > International Commerce Centre, 484 metres, 118 floors, Hong Kong, China (completed in 2010).

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Burj Khalifa remains as the world’s tallest building, holding on to the title for the 6th year. It is also still the world’s tallest man-made structure and is likely to remain at the top of the list for another few years before being taken over by Kingdom Tower (now under construction in Jeddah) in 2020. Half of the 10 buildings in this list above are in China, further displaying the country’s massive economic boom and interest on constructing tall buildings. Also discovered from the list above is that for the next newly completed building to be able to be ranked in the world’s 10 tallest, it has to be at least 500 metres high. 500 metres (above 100 floors as well) is now the minimum mark to get into top 10 tallest’s ranking. Back in 10 years, 400 metres is the mark. Now, an extra 100 for that.

My beloved Petronas Twin Towers are out of the list since they are only 452 metres tall. They are now placed at 11th (and 12th) tallest. Goldin Finance 117, a tower planned for completion this year and nears topping out in Tianjin, China is currently on-hold and is awaiting funding. Its completion date is now pushed to end of year 2017. The tower is expected to reach final height of 597 metres (117 floors) and will be the 5th tallest once topped out either by end of the year or early next year.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

A new tower taller than Burj Khalifa to be built in Dubai.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2016 by vincentloy

The current world’s tallest building is Burj Khalifa. It stands at a breathtaking height of 828 metres above ground in Dubai and is nearly 200 metres taller than the world’s second tallest. It has held on to this record for quite a few years already, until its neighbouring country, Saudi Arabia is planning to build a megatall skyscraper called Kingdom Tower in Jeddah. That tower which is now under construction is expected to reach beyond 1 kilometre high.

Recently, another new plan is revealed to build another tower taller than the Burj Khalifa and is to be located at Dubai’s Creek Harbour. It is set to be completed in 2020 (as a gift to the city before Dubai World Expo 2020), which means that there is only about 4 years only for it to be constructed. That’s a very short amount of time for a supertall skyscraper to be built. That’s a challenge but I think Dubai can still make it. Why? Money solves everything. The country is never afraid of spending billions on building countless skyscrapers in the middle of the desert.

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The final height for this planned tower is not disclosed yet but it has been announced that it is going to be taller than Burj Khalifa as mentioned earlier. However, would it be taller than the 1-km high Kingdom Tower for it to be the world’s tallest? Maybe. It is designed by a famous Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava who said the design is inspired by the profile of a lily flower while also mimicking a minaret (Arabic for lighthouse/beacon), a distinctive building commonly found in Islamic architecture and symbolism. The contours of his design will be formed using a cable system that will also anchor the tower to the ground.

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The tower itself will feature fully-glazed rotating balconies and observation decks (of course) as well as interior landscaping that takes influence from the hanging gardens of Babylon (now at dizzying heights). The showpiece observation area will be called “The Pinnacle Room” and will offer  views over Dubai. Alongside this, up to 20 stories will house mixed-use facilities such as restaurants and a boutique hotel. The core of the building, as depicted, will rise up supported by the cable structure, housing all the building facilities and services. At the top, where the diameter is widest, will be the Pinnacle Room that will house an array of greenery.

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“The slender stem serves as the spine of the structure and the cables linking the building to the ground are reminiscent of the delicate ribbing of the lily’s leaves,”said Calatrava’s firm. “The structure also provides a beacon of light at night, with lighting that will emphasize the flower-bud design of the building.” “The design has clear reference to the classic art from the past and the culture of the place while serving as a great technological achievement. In my whole career, I have perceived technology as a vehicle to beauty and to art. This project envisages an artistic achievement in itself, inspired by the idea of welcoming people, not only from Dubai and the UAE, but from the entire world. It is a symbol of an abiding belief in progress.”

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What do I think of this building? It’s a sleek and a slender design, something that is non-typical to present skyscraper’s architecture. However, I wonder how can the huge long cables work to anchor this building to the ground? Is that possible with this height? How can the huge windows at the top floors withstand the extremely strong wind at that level? On the other hand, I’m actually bored of seeing plants and trees inside building again…it’s a popular trend now but isn’t usually successful. Not that excited to this tower except for its mysterious height.

(Images and information in this post are from the following source: http://archpaper.com/2016/04/calatravas-dubai-tower-will-be-taller-than-the-burj-khalifa/)