On the 22nd to 24th November, Tourism Malaysia & Perodua as the main sponsor, launched a media exploration race (TOMER). The media race’s purpose is to get influential people in the media to help promote local tourism while completing a scavenger hunt.
A total of 88 individuals in 21 Perodua cars representing media from multiple niches (from travel, lifestyle bloggers to car reviewers) took part in the TOMER race, including 11 people from Indonesia, Thailand & Brunei.
Unfortunately, due to Carlist’s busy schedules, I was the only one available to represent the Carlist.my team in this race.
So, without further ado, it would be my honor to share local tourist attractions that I bet not all Malaysians know while reviewing the Perodua car that I drove for 3 days.
Flag Off from BoraOmbak Putrajaya
On 22nd November, we all gathered & registered at BoraOmbak Putrajaya, a popular event space especially for wedding venues.
I arrived around 6:30 am, registered, and got my goodie bag containing 3 t-shirts, my Perodua car key fob & some pocket money to pay for tolls throughout the event.
At around 7+ am, the event started with a speech by Dato’ Hj. Zainuddin Abdul Wahab, the Director for Malaysian Tourism Malaysia. We then took a group photo before dashing to our designated car.
Luckily, we got the latest Perodua Myvi Advanced with all the bells and whistles. The car was relatively new, with only 6,000 km on the odometer & I was excited to see the differences between this new Myvi against my 2017 Myvi (the previous generation).
Selangor Fruit Valley (SFV)
Our first destination was a 2-hour drive (through rush hour traffic) to Selangor Fruit Valley.
Selangor Fruit Valley is a development by Perbadanan Kemajuan Pertanian Selangor (PKPS), a subsidiary of the Selangor State Government.
The purpose is to educate the public & offer first-hand experience tasting fresh produce sold by local farmers.
There are many attractions at SFV & it would make a perfect full-day family trip, especially with young kids.
Due to the nature of the race, we only had time for 2 stops, each a scenic drive through the huge farm.
Making Our Own Salted Eggs
The first stop was at what appeared to be a petting zoo with ducks near a pond.
Our first task of the scavenger hunt was for each team to make 12 perfect salted eggs from scratch within a set time frame.
Salted eggs are usually made from duck eggs as the yolks are creamier due to the higher fat content over chicken eggs.
We had to make the salted eggs in the petting zoo while the zookeepers threw bread crumbs on our feet so the ducks distracted us from our task.
It was a fun & lively experience with many screams from the other teams. We then were scored on how perfect our salted egg mixture was.
Traditional Selangor House + Nangchem + Chef Ismail
The next stop was further up the hill with a traditional kampung house. Our task was to take photos of our team doing specific things throughout the compound.
Due to our event race, there was a celebrity, Chef Ismail (the owner of the famous Restoran Rebung in Taman Botani KL) was there to introduce us to a new fruit smoothie that I didn't know existed called Nangchem.
Chef Ismail (middle) & me on the left of this picture:
Nangchem is the hybrid of nangka & cempedak. A super sweet & meaty fruit that blew me away. Why is this fruit not mainstream yet?
Highway Drive to Gopeng in the New Perodua Myvi
Our next stop was a 150 km highway drive to Gopeng, Perak. A perfect setting to test out the new Perodua Myvi Advanced.
The latest Myvi is equipped with a new D-CVT transmission to address the slow responsive 4-speed auto in the previous generation Myvi + impressive safety tech:
- Built-in dashcam
- Pre-collision warning & braking
- Blind spot monitor
- Lane departure warning
- Adaptive cruise control
- Auto high beam
- Auto fold side mirror
I particularly enjoy the blind spot monitor as it constantly helped me prevent an incident while I was changing lanes.
All these safety features in a car that costs less than RM60k? You’ll be surprised that some premium European car brands costing upwards of RM200k+ don’t have these features as standard. I’ll give credit to Perodua where credit is due!
Bagas Zakariah & Durian Orchard
Bagas Zakariah is a compound of 3 traditional kampung style houses renovated for modern living while retaining the kampung vibe. It's next to a 5-acre durian orchard & near a clear river stream.
You can book any of the kampung houses online.
Here we had our lunch & our first task was for everyone to race inside the durian orchard & find 2 ripe durians (that fell to the ground) per team.
Here's a picture of everyone rushing into the orchard tyring to find durians on the ground:
Not bad, our team got both durians within 3 minutes:
Our next task was to crack open both of the durian with only 1 glove & a screwdriver.
Tanjung Tualang Tin Dredge No.5
Our next stop was a 30 km drive to the Tanjung Tualang Tin Dredge No. 5, the last tin dredge in Malaysia.
The tin rush began in 1848 in Taiping, Perak. Unfortunately, due to the decline in tin price, tin mining shut down one by one & in 1997, the Malaysian Mining Corporation (MMC) donated the TT5 to the Perak State Government, which is now a tourist attraction.
We didn’t have time for the guided dredge tour, so we continued our scavenger hunt in the TT5 Maze park. Here's a picture of me trying to make it out in one piece:
The fastest team to find their way out of the maze gets the highest score.
Our final destination for the day was to drive to the Riverside Camp, which was a 20 min drive through the deep & dark forestation area.
Luckily, the LED lights (both low & high beams) of the Perodua Myvi were super helpful to drive safely in such conditions.After eventually reaching the Riverside camp at around 9pm, we registered, set up camp & had dinner. We closed off the night with an impressive & unexpected fireshow in the middle of the forest.
The following morning, we all went in the back of a truck like a bunch of wrangled cattle to be transported upstream to the starting point of the whitewater rafting activity.
The rafting took us around 1.5 to 2 hours long & we ended down the stream at Riverside camp, where our base is.
It was one of the highlights of the entire trip. At a price of less than RM150 per person, I think this is an activity you should not miss in Perak, Malaysia.
We then packed our tent & drove back to Kuala Lumpur. It was another opportunity to test the Perodua Myvi with the new D-CVT gearbox.
It is more responsive than my pre-facelift Myvi with the 4-speed auto. The new Myvi with D-CVT always felt like it was in the correct gear, and therefore feels responsive to drive. The Myvi feels less of a budget car after each facelift upgrade. Truly impressive & beneficial for the rakyat.
2nd Night at Steg Hotel Chow Kit
For our 2nd night, all of the TOMER race contestants stayed at Steg Hotel, in Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur. A recently refurbished hotel with a blend of contemporary design & historical heritage that jives with the younger crowd.
With a nightly price starting less than RM200 a night, and newly renovated rooms with funky interior design, I think this hotel deserves a mention for anyone looking for value accommodation or staycation hotel in KL city center.
Majlis Apresiasi Media
The highlight of the 3-day TOMER was the Majlis Apresiasi Media which was to show appreciation to media practitioners & the participants of TOMER that helped Tourism Malaysia promote local tourism.
The dinner was held in an event space in Quill City Mall, Kuala Lumpur on the 23rd of November & the dress theme was black & gold.
It was a lively event with guest appearances from Chef Ismail, cabaret dances from Istana Budaya & local artists; Ernie Zakri dan Khai Bahar.
The winners for the TOMER scavenger hunt were announced and unfortunately, team Carlist (me) did not make the top 3, but I think we scored around the 5th place out of 21 groups & won a consolation prize.
The entire 3-day TOMER event was tiring but was a lot of fun. We get to network & strengthen our media partnerships with Tourism Malaysia, Perodua & other content creators in various niches.
I was happy that I got to drive a new Perodua Myvi & test out the car & all its safety tech in real-world conditions. Mighty impressive for a sub RM60k car. Well done Perodua!
I was also pleasantly surprised with all the local tourist destinations I didn't even know existed if I did not join TOMER. So I hope my sharing has taught you a thing or two about local tourism in Malaysia.
Did you learn anything from this article? Share your thoughts in the comments below!