Friday, 6th February 2015
It was so far the longest bus ride I ever had in my life so far. It has beaten the 10 hours bus ride record from Shah Alam, Selangor – Pasir Puteh, Kelantan that I had way back in 2002. This time, it was a 14 hours bus ride from Kuching to Miri, Sarawak. I did it because of the Miri Country Music Festival 2015 and for the sake of an adventure. Our bus departed from Kuching Central at around 9PM on Thursday, 5th February and reached Miri bus terminal at 12.30PM the following day.
Despite the long hours ride, I’m glad that we chose to take the VVIP coach, Asia Star by Biaramas. The comfy seats and multi-channel on-board entertainment was top of the class. Each seats has their own heads up entertainment unit and the programs runs as long as the bus is running. There are 8 channels to choose from. However, you will need to bring your own headphones or earphones to use the entertainment system.
What makes this VVIP Coach Asia Star is very comfortable is that each rows only have 2 seats instead of 3. That means, you have more space to seat and move around. The leather cushion also contribute to the cozy sensation. There are power points next to the seats to charge your electronic appliances on-the-go, but unfortunately it wasn’t functioning during our trip. By the time we reached Miri yesterday, most of our gadgets are running out of power.
The ride to Miri could have been shorten by shortening the time spent during having a break at every pit-stop that we have to stop by. Instead of having the break in 30 minutes, make it like 5 to 10 minutes, except for the major pit-stop like Jelukong and Selangau, these stops can be extended to 30 minutes or more depending on the numbers of passenger.
More info on the Asia Star’s bus routes, booking and fares, please read more here: http://www.asiastar.my
Anyway, we arrived at Miri bus terminal at around 12.30PM and stright after, we went for check-in. This time, we are staying at Coco House. A very nice budget dorm/bunk style stay in Miri. This place is very famous among the divers.
More in depth review about Coco House will be on the next entries.
Albeit the exhaustion being on a very long bus ride, we till need to catch up with the MCMF’s pre-festival schedule and conferences. Our schedule was like:
- Media Pass collection and registration at Lambir Room at 2.30PM onwards
- Press Conferences with the performers at Lambir Room at 4PM
- Welcome cocktail at Ruai Lounge at 6.30PM
After having a very quick lunch at Warong Puteri and bath back at the Coco House, we rush to Parkcity Everly hotel where everything is going to take place. We arrived just in time for the Press Conference session.
The Miri Country Music Fest is believed to be the only country music festival in South East Asia. The one-day event was introduced in 2014. This year, the festival will be held on 7th February, 2015 in Parkcity Everly Hotel Miri, in Miri, Sarawak. A festival for both the young and the old especially country music lovers, the activities line-up at the festival include the Bazaar offering various stalls selling wide varieties of food, games and souvenir items, the music and dance workshop and the night concert. The night concert features country music bands from all corners of the world.
This year’s performers line up are:
- Kareem Salama (USA)
- Country Sisters (Czech Republic)
- Hi Breed (Kuching, Sarawak)
- Mel and Joe (Singapore)
- Os Pombos Band (Kuala Lumpur)
- Starlet Band (Miri, Sarawak)
- Rani and Westom Country Band (Indonesia)
From the press conferences and the jamming session during the welcoming cocktail, I can tell that these bands are very-very good and entertaining. For those country music lovers out there, you are not going to miss this chance to celebrate and enjoy your favorite music played by these bands. They are AWESOME!
Miri Country Music Festival (MCMF) is not just about celebrating and appreciating country music, but also remembering our root music and appreciating music as a life itself. That is why during this year’s MCMF, the organizers and secretariat have took an effort to remember and provide some aid to the recent flood victims in Miri, and the recipients this year are from a Penan community in Mulu.
With the press conference adjourned by a quick group jamming session, this year’s Miri Country Music Festival is officially started.
If you guys are seeking information on the ticket prices and brief info on the performers, you guys can check the Miri Country Music Festival’s official website at: http://www.miricountrymusic.com
I’ll update you guys more on the concerts and festival grounds on the next entries. Stay tuned!