Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Malaysia, Queensland and Brisbane

Malaysia and Queensland of Australia have much in common. Malaysia has a tropical climate. Queensland has a tropical and sub-tropical climate. The population is also culturally diverse. In Malaysia, you have Malay (or what is now officially referred to as Bahasa Malaysia) as the official language. Chinese (Mandarin and the various Chinese dialect) plus the Indian languages (I think mainly Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi) is also widely used. The people of Sabah and Sarawak in the Borneo Island speak distinct dialects of Malay and many other ethnic languages. English used to be widely used, and still is, but a large section of the younger generation have lost that advantage in this world of globalization and Internet.

Australia has no official language, English is the de facto official language. People in Queensland, just as in other parts of Australia, speak English widely both at work as well as at home, with some speaking Mandarin, Cantonese, Italian, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Greek, Spanish, German, Tagalog (Filipino), Polish and Russian at home. There are also the native languages like Gangulida, Garwa, Bundji, Wanyi, Punthamara, Kalali, etc. Queensland is a multi-racial, multicultural and multi-lingual society just like Malaysia.

There are close trade connections between Queensland and Malaysia. Nu-Lec, a member of the Sneider Electric group established in Brisbane in 1981, sold $2.6 million of network development protection system to Tenaga Nasional Bhd, (TNB) Malaysia. Queensland's main merchandise export to Malaysia is high quality sugar. Others are live animals, dairy, halal (the Muslim equivalent of kosher for Jews) meat products, seafood, fruit and vegetables, cotton and other agricultural products.

Brisbane is the capital of Queensland, and the third largest city in Australia. The advantage of Malaysians visiting Brisbane is that they don't have to worry about winter clothing. There are interesting things and places to do and see in Brisbane. Among them are Mt Coot-tha Lookout. From the top of Mt Coot-tha Lookout, you can get a view of the whole of Brisbane city, the winding Brisbane river and the skyline of the Central Business District. If you are lucky and happened to be there on a clear day, you can see as far as the distant ranges, the Moreton Bay and places far away in every direction. The South Bank's beach has open grassy spots for picnic. There are shops plenty of eating places, cinemas, live entertainment and many festivals and fireworks throughout the year. And don't forget to see the many Australian wildlife, kangaroo and especially that lovable Australian mascot, the Koala at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. And when a beautiful river flows through a beautiful city, no visit is complete with a cruise down the river. This you can do with the CityCats. You can cruise up and down the river and stop wherever you fancy, pass under the Story Bridge, a historic cantilever bridge which connects Fortitude Valley to Kangaroo Point. Plan your visit to coincide with the many major festivals, which are the Paniyiri (Greek festival in May), Energex Brisbane Festival in July, Brisbane International Film Festival in August, and Riverfestival in September, Brisbane Writers Festival in September/October and Out of the Box, a children’s festival next in 2008. If you like plants and trees, don't miss a visit the City Botanic Gardens where you get to see the exotic and gorgeous plants that flourish in Brisbane sub-tropical climate. The City Botanic Gardens are in a strategic spot beside the river and an short walk from the busy Central Business District. Experience walking through the mangroves on the boardwalk. There is also the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens 7 kilometers from the Central Business District. Don't forget the Roma Street Parkland featuring theme gardens such as the topiary maze, rainforest walk, lake, celebration lawn and amphitheatre. The Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens has a magnificent tropical display dome, a lagoon, Japanese gardens, themed gardens on 52 hectares and you can also visit the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.

And if you plan to visit Brisbane, don't forget to book your accommodation in Brisbane ahead of your arrival. Making a last minute visit? Try the Last Minute Deals (inside 21 days). If you have plenty of time to plan your visit, try their All Year Deals and choose from over 20,000 heavily discounted properties with specials.

No comments:

Post a Comment