Flew to Brunei in a hurry and was back after a day. Got to meet some kind fans who came to the hotel with gifts! Sorry to those who I couldn’t respond to. Got to love Brunei. Will be back soon.

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I flew to Penang to shoot with one of the friendliest photographers I’ve ever worked with, M Ridzuan Kamil of PADI Studio. It seems that this fear of being shot in a professional setting just went up in thin air while working with him. Can’t wait to show you all the end results. Behind the scenes videos and photos shot by Muhammad Amin. New suit, new album, new song, let’s do it!

Follow PADI Studio on Facebook now!

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If you are wondering why I am wearing all black at the beach, I was, literally, under the weather, hiding under the shade off the coast of South China Sea. 1 big night of seafood at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah a few days earlier didn’t go well with me, but I jumped out of bed and made my way through the zig-zag inner-roads of Johor to get to Mersing. I had NO IDEA that these was where the beautiful beach islands were all located, like Perhentian and Tioman. If I had done my Google Maps prior, I would have packed some sunblock, soak in some sun.
Alas, my visit was purely an educational one. My team and I were invited to speak about Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media, and we had done so in the capacity of the invitation extended to us via Kolej Komuniti department. If I was not mourning over my sensitive stomach, I would have dived into a fresh catch of prawns, in huge abundance, as the border of Johor-Kuantan is famous for. Next time, janji!

Thanks to the kind people at SMK Mersing, Johor.

1. Make sure you’re logged into your YouTube account.
2. Go to this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDrK-2qBc7M

3. In the comments, type out ALL the titles of the FREE DOWNLOADS that I have promoted on imranajmain.com since 1st April. There are 24 MP3s in total. Include No.25, which is the title of the new song at the end of the video at the link above.
4. The FIRST comment to name all 25 titles correctly will win a pair of tickets to Singapore + Universal Studios Singapore sponsored by Roam Holidays.
5. Contest closes at 6pm, 25th April 2012.

Open to Malaysians in Malaysia only.

When you come from Singapore, the words ‘Indian Ocean’ is not in one’s daily vocabulary often. The crew had decided to pop by Scarborough Beach, 20 minutes drive from the Perth city centre. There it was, the Indian Ocean, at sunset, no less. Some of us had burnt ourselves at Rockingham the other day, so shirts on this time. Plus a dip would have been rather chilly during the ‘sunny winter’ as they call it there. This doesn’t apply to surfers.

If you’re planning to stay here, there’s a host of cheap seaside hotels, but be very careful, as the area is quite suburban. Crime rate can be a little high here after dark. The beach is a long open stretch, might also want to keep the smaller ones close.

Australians are BIG on barbecues, they don’t need a reason to setup a grill and start cooking meat in their backyard, on the beach, at the back of their van, anywhere. Got meat, will BBQ! Halal meat, of course.  And when you’re here, you will never be short of the ever-so-frequently-mentioned, kebab.

Scarborough Beach is beautiful in the evening. Go see it for yourself.

This post was brought to you by Roam Holidays a travel management expert dedicated in-depth quality travel solutions to educational institutions, business entities and the leisure market. Wherever you want to go, whatever you need when you get there, they’ll get it done. We’re coming up with Perth packages soon. Stay tuned!


Felt a bit like going to Tekong Island. Considering the ferry ride is only 5 minutes and you’re going somewhere where the grass is greener. Hah, kidding. Penguin Island is off the coast of Rockingham, 45 minutes south of Perth, Western Australia. It’s chilly but like I said before, surf’s up with the bikinis and sunblocks, everybody’s having a whale of a time here, like as if it was back in Asia.

I’ve shown you how pretty most of Perth is. Now you must check out Penguin Island. It is unbelievable how clearer the sky can get. I’ve particularly obsessed with the botany bits; the trees and the leaves are so unfamiliar. I shot them all like a scientist. If you live a crazy hectic life, this one’s better than a massage.

The island is not made up of penguins; it’s made up of seagulls actually. They put some cute little penguins in a sanctuary instead. You can pet some penguins, watch a sea lion and a dolphin show. Brilliant time for the kids, and also for yourselves. If you’re without kids in your group, you can go check out the limestone cliffs and caves at the sea-side.

I told you it’s beautiful. That’s my iPhone, with no filter/apps by the way.

Penguin Island Ferry
A 5 minute ferry ride is all it takes to meet the world’s smallest penguins! Visit the Discovery Centre to see the penguin feeding (daily at 10.30am, 12.30pm & 2.30pm) or spend your day exploring spectacular bays & beaches perfect for swimming and snorkelling. Go fishing, surfing, enjoy a picnic or just soak up the relaxed island atmosphere of this A class nature reserve.


Includes
  • Unlimited return ferry transfers for the day
  • Optional entry to penguin feeding at the Discovery Centre (10.30am, 12.30pm & 2.30pm)

Departs
  • Hourly: 9.00am and 3.00pm
  • Extra ferries may be scheduled on busy days
  • Operates Daily (Closed Dec 25th for Christmas)
  • Season: September 15, 2011- June 4, 2012

Return
  • Ferries depart Penguin Island at 10.10am, 11.10am, 12.10pm, 1.10pm, 2.10pm, 3.10pm and 4pm sharp.
  • Extra return ferries are scheduled as required on busy days

Tickets
  • Purchase from our shop on the day
  • See table below for current prices
  • Groups of 10 or more can book ahead

Penguin & Sea Lion Cruise (Glass Bottom Boat Cruise)
Enjoy a 45 minute glass bottom boat cruise through the wildlife sanctuary zone of the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. Get up close to the rugged natural beauty of these spectacular islands and learn about the local wildlife from our friendly skippers. The highlight is visiting Seal Island to watch rare Sea Lions at play before concluding on Penguin Island to see the penguin feeding at the Discovery Centre.


Includes
  • Unlimited return ferry transfers for the day
  • 45 minute glass bottom boat cruise
  • Entry to penguin feeding at the Discovery Centre  (10.30am, 12.30pm & 2.30pm)

Departs
  • 10.15am, 11.15am & 1.15pm from Penguin Island.
  • Please allow enough time to purchase tickets and catch your ferry transfer prior to your departure. (Weekends and public holidays allow 30 minutes)
  • Operates Daily (Closed Dec 25th for Christmas)
  • Season: September 15, 2011- June 4, 2012

Return
  • Ferries depart Penguin Island at 10.10am, 11.10am, 12.10pm, 1.10pm, 2.10pm, 3.10pm and 4pm sharp.
  • Extra return ferries are scheduled as required on busy days

Tickets
  • Purchase from our base on the day.
  • See table below for current prices
  • Groups of 10 or more can book ahead

If you’re going to be here all day, pack lunch ahead, there’s nothing but ham sandwiches at the nearby cafe. Drink a lot of water, as you will ALREADY be dry from the change in the weather. Read my previous post on Perth. When I get back to Perth, I’m coming back here! Rockingham rocks.

This post was brought to you by Roam Holidays a travel management expert dedicated in-depth quality travel solutions to educational institutions, business entities and the leisure market. Wherever you want to go, whatever you need when you get there, they’ll get it done. We’re coming up with Perth packages soon. Stay tuned!

I’ve only been to Sydney and that was 9 years ago. I can’t remember much of the weather and how it felt as I was there one moment and I left the next. But this, right here, in Perth, you can smell the sea in the breeze. The way the sun shines on the trees and make its green leaves turn gold in the light and the sand that whirls into a mini-cyclone right before your eyes and disappears before you can react is something you can’t easily forget. Even the seagulls want to make an impression.

We didn’t go to the city centre as all of our businesses were either at the universities, the suburbs or well, the beach(es). We had moved to a nice home-stay at Tuart Hill amongst Malay families who have moved there. Just a stone’s throw away was an Iranian joint offering sheesha and kebabs til late. I couldn’t stand the kebabs any longer. Take me back to Freo for the mussles or give me rice. Halal food is widely available, don’t get me wrong. But most retailers, shops and cafes retire by sundown, so dinner is early; something most of us were unprepared for especially since we had to do some offline editing throughout the night. So if you’re here, and don’t intend to sit down for dinner at 6ish, 7ish, then better buy take-away. Kebab pun kebab lah!

There is this wonderful squarish town called Subiaco. The locals call it Subi. Vintage book stores, coffee houses, pre-loved clothing galore. We missed the market which I imagine to be a flea-market circus kind of affair. It opens only Fridays through the weekend. Didn’t have time to go back there though. Would have been grand.

Although it is chilly, and can be rather cold this time of year, if you can go without wearing warm(er) clothes, you probably will still suffer the case of the chapped lips. The quality of water, the quality of the air, the temperature, the humidity and the kind of plants they have is all different. This adds up to the regular Asian tourist like me having dry lips, peeling cheeks, and superdry hands and arms. After a few days of adjustment you will be fine lah, stop complaining. But do watch out for your young ones as this change will be very unfamiliar to them.

A very touristy thing to do would be to visit the museums, chocolate factory, honey factory, botanical gardens, and yes, watch a movie. Got to catch The Hunger Games with the crew, and it was nice how everybody, strangers mind you, reminded each other to shut up.  Wait, did someone say Chocolate Factory? There’s one on Fremantle and also the famous Margaret River Chocolate Factory. They even shaped the entrance to look like a chocolate bar! (Sorry, no pictures!) That, you must go.

This trip have been amazing so far. Can’t wait to show you the beaches. Went to a few, and yes, Penguin Island off Rockingham. Penguins! Til next time. Check them out on my Instagram for now. Username: imranajmain

This post was brought to you by Roam Holidays a travel management expert dedicated in-depth quality travel solutions to educational institutions, business entities and the leisure market. Wherever you want to go, whatever you need when you get there, they’ll get it done.

I’m on a working holiday, so I have to do the sightseeing at the places where I’m having the meetings. Took the midnighter from Kuala Lumpur. The last long flight I had was to Los Angeles and from Kuala Lumpur to Perth, was peanuts compared to it! To think that the flight is only 5 hours; that’s just like Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. Although I was on a budget flight, AirAsiaX is just like any regular carrier. It’s not bad at all actually. You just get reminded you’re on a budget flight when you have to pay cash for a bottle of water! Heh, well, no frills, right?

First stop, Fremantle. The locals call it Freo. They have an awesome Maritime Museum, but honey, I’m here for the seafood. Went to Kaili’s, and ate molluscs and shellfish like a whale scooping krill. The most magnificent thing on the menu is the muzzles in tomato gravy.

If you grew up in a (semi) culturally-conservative Malay family and your idea of Western food is nasi goreng with fried chicken, and some coleslaw on the side, then you’ll be OK with the fish & chips; you name the fish, they have it. But I went for the kill; poached prawns, garlic prawns, fried sardines, oysters. Hold the fries, and ermm, the vinegar. Not my thing. Dorang suka makan cuka kat sini, peninggalan datuk nenek dari empayar Inggeris kot. Orang sini boleh tuang botol cuka sampai habis atas ikan atau kentang. You can substitute it with lemons. The chilli sauce here is not your usual Asian fair ya. Bring your own kalau kemaruk nak pedas. Went crazy with the raw oysters, and had quite a conversation about it over on my fanpage on Facebook.

There are plenty of Malaysian/Singaporean Malay students here, and they told me the same thing; they thought it’s going to be boring, but after a while, some of them don’t want to leave even after they’ve graduated. Plus, the 5 hour travel, makes it easier for them to make plans for short holidays back home especially during festive periods unlike those who study in London or Europe. Ada duit apa pun boleh kan! Datang negeri orang, belajar lah rajin-rajin, jangan sibuk nak enjoy!

The weather is fabulous here, clear blue skies, and at night, it’s a sky full of stars. It’s a bit chilly, but tak payah berangan bawak winter wear if you’re going mid-year. Right now, it’s autumn. You can sleep without the air-conditioning on at night, but still enjoy a warm swim in the afternoon. I’m staying near Swan River! Sebelah sungai, sebelah pantai!

If you have children, Fremantle is good for you. The boats, the seagulls, and the fish and chips will keep them occupied quite a bit. Weekdays is fairly quiet here even during lunchtime, weekends are packed with tourists who look like each other. We’re driving here so it’s quite easy with the GPS. But if you have time, take the ferry from Swan River, get off at Fremantle and walk pass a lot of what we would call the five-foot ways selling trinkets and maritime-themed souvenirs. There’s a free bus too that goes to the city centre. Just get there by any means!

A girl thinks she recognizes me with my zero-sleep face, and then tries to convince her friends that I’m that ‘Seribu Tahun’ guy, and nobody bought it. I was standing right there! Then she tweets much later “Thought I saw Imran Ajmain at Subi today. Maybe I’m just missing Malaysia.” I replied to her in private, “Apa yang boleh dimakan kat Perth ni selain dari kebab?“. Retis sangat.

Loving Perth, I will blog ya’ll again soon. In the meantime, download my songs from the previous posts; the links work til my birthday this 25th April. Can’t wait. Also check out my tweets and check out the #roamholidays hashtag that I started on Instagram. Both usernames: imranajmain and Roam Holiday’s FB too.

Leave your comments ya.

This post was brought to you by Roam Holidays, a young and vibrant travel advisor. For reasonable tickets and hotel bookings; packaged tours without the loud tourist guide and hectic itinerary, anywhere in the world from Singapore & Malaysia, visit http://www.roamholidays.com


I’ve just announced on Twitter that I’m the new Travel Ambassador for Roam Holidays (follow @letsroam on Twitter)! I’m off to my first trip! Thank you to all who made it possible! You’ll be hearing a lot from me! Check out their website at http://roamholidays.com


I accompanied Fazley in the shooting of TV3′s ‘GPS Iman’ an Islam-centric program for teenagers, and for the fardhu kifayah bit, I got to accompany Fazley on his episode where he helped slaughter a cow for lunch. Yes, for lunch. The other pictures are not really safe for blogging, but you can check out the gallery over at Fazley’s Facebook.

Had an event in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Sang, ate, laughed, and then the next day, hit the radio stations. SuriaFM has recently launched a Sabahan frequency with programmes in dialect. We were reunited with Farish Aziz from our Hero Malaya clan and me with Rey who did the Suria (MediaCorp, Singapore) + RTM Hari Raya show a few years back with me. Later on, we visited KKFM. Missed the chance to meet Alvin from Infinatez who is also a presenter there now.

Had monster cockles for buka puasa, and was back in KL soon after. The last time I was in Sabah was when I did the Borneo tour with Aliff Aziz, Adam, Diddy, Farawahida and Erna. I’ll look up the pics! For the recent pictures, look up my Facebook.

The song “Macam Di KK” by Janrywine, a local musician there, was playing everywhere all day! Made me think about how songs about Singapore are mostly sung leading up to National Day. Time to change that.

p/s: Independent radio rocks!

Here’s Syazwan and Ucop, my two guitarists for the 100 Hari Acoustic Tour. It was their first time on a plane, first time in Singapore, first time having Murtabak, real Aglio Olio pasta and hand-made pizza but within 24 hours we were back in Kuala Lumpur/Shah Alam for the 4th show. Promised to bring them back to Singapore soon. (Picture taken with Instagram; add me!)

I edited this video of my niece, Dahlia, playing with the animals at the petting zoo during our recent trip to Bukit Tinggi.

Brought my niece to a rabbit park at Bukit Tinggi near the Colmare Tropicale Resorts at the Berjaya Hills. I heard her speak to them in complete English sentences. Happy Konijn! They loved the smell of my shoes, or feet, maybe.

I had the wonderful pleasure of visiting Cameron Highlands whilst working. I stayed at Heritage Hotel and visited some farms while I was there. Awesome weather. Avoid the dim-lit roads to and from the Highlands at night. Try local tea and check out the extraordinary line up of strawberry paraphernalia.  (Click on the image above to see a larger photo)