Georgetown Streets, Malaysia

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On arrival, visitors are usually intrigued by the narrow, congested streets of Georgetown and its pulsating waterfront. It is here, on the waterfront, that Penang is linked to the 20th century by the flotilla of freighters and streamers anchored in the harbor, which cause the ferryboats from Butterworth to zigzag a 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) winding course to reach the landing at Weld Quay.

Penang is a Far East warehouse for everything imaginable, from electronic gadgets to plastic toys. There are silks from Thailand and India, fabric from England, cameras from Germany and Japan, textiles from America and from Malaysia, brocade and sarongs. Jalan Pinang (Penang Road) is the main shopping market. Shops open in the early morning and do not close until the bars are empty and the late moviegoers have cleared the streets.

Lebuh Campbell, just off Penang Road is the main “Chinese” shopping center where Nepalese street vendors sell nylon shirts, fake alligator-skin shoes, laughing jack-in-the-boxes, and precious stones, guaranteed to cut glass.

Perhaps the most exciting shopping in Penang is in the many junk shop along Rope Walk. Here, shoppers must literally climb over mounds of discarded gear. Those who do not mind getting their hands dirty are certain to discover a dusty thing or two. One London boutique saleswomen found a luxurious Chinese emperor’s robe salvaged from the local opera stage. So, why don’t you give a try and you might find something more interesting that you expected.

Swish: A Great Travel Companion

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Since the Philippines is a country where it rains for most months in a year, I always make it a point to fully take advantage of summer and do all sorts of fun activities. This is when I travel to wonderful places here and abroad, go to the beach and enjoy the warmth of the sun and coolness of the sea, go bungee jumping, wild water rafting, hiking, mountain climbing, road tripping, ride a zipline, go fishing, horseback riding etc. I am looking forward to another memorable and enjoyable summer this year with my family and friends.

If you are going to travel, do not forget to bring the things that matter the most. Make a checklist so as to avoid forgetting something. Some of the travel must-haves are first aid kit; personal-hygiene items (soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash); sunscreen; sunglasses; gadgets (camera, video camera, smartphone, laptop); chargers; healthy snacks; maps and directions (if driving); some reading materials; and cash, credit cards, ATM cards, and traveler’s checks.

When it comes to mouthwash, there is no other brand for me than Swish. A quality product of Unilab, it has a lot of things going for it such as its Surefresh Technology that kills bad breath causing bacteria, removes tartar and plaque, and stops gingivitis, periodontitis, and other gum diseases. I am also more confident because I know that my breath smells great all day. Aside from the mouthwash, I also bring the Swish Breath Spray with me whenever I travel since it is handy, so much so that I just put it inside my pocket. Furthermore, it is alcohol free so I do not get that burning sensation whenever I gargle and it is safe to use everyday.

Swish Philippines has a Facebook page ( that people can visit for the latest news about Swish. Do not forget to like the page while you are there.

Central Market, Malaysia

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The Central Market, stand where the original building, according to Swettenham “a very insecure shed” , once the house market seller from out of town, displaying fruits and vegetable, as well as household products and handicraft. The present building, completed in 1936, initially served as a produce market, was recently spruced up with its artistic décor feature and high ceilings renovated and repainted in pastel pink and baby blues, and how now became a “handicraft central”. Insides, there is a good selection of handicraft at a fairly reasonable price, though bargaining is still advisable. Besides housing various shops, stall and restaurant, the Central Market also has a programme of live shows. Pick up a brochure here or at the tourist information office and you might be lucky enough to catch music, dance or a shadow puppet performance.

At the end of the Central Market is the business center. This juxtaposition of the old and new creates an interesting alleyway. There is a shop house complete with a tree growing out of its wall on one side, small food stalls in the middle and the stark wall of a high rise building on the other.

After a walk in Central Market, you may want to visit the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, once the colonial secretariat head quarter and the house of the Supreme Court. It just takes you 10 minutes walking distance from Central Market.