May 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm
Just in case you missed it, it seems that you can now experience snow right here in Malaysia! According to a news report by Bernama, snow is now available at Snowalk at i-City, Shah Alam. The facility is a 4,645 square metre Arctic ‘edutainment’ attraction centre in Shah Alam, with temperatures of 5 degrees below Celsius and 0.1-metre-thick edible snow on the ground.
So for those who have not had the chance to experience snow can now make their way to i-City. There are a few more places in Malaysia that offer a snow experience, including one in Genting Highlands. While Malaysia’s fascination with snow might bemuse foreigners who are from temperate climates, they should bear in mind that the average Malaysian has never even seen a real snowflake before. For most Malaysians, snow is a fun and cool thing, unlike the snowstorms and cold winters that most people who live in colder climates dread when they see snow.
So love it or hate it, it does seem that snow is here to stay. At least in Snowalk, i-City.
Read the full article below:
People from all walks of life, together with Dora the Explorer and i-City, welcomed the first snowfall at Snowalk, the latest attraction at the City of Digital Lights on March 19 this year, when the highly-awaited snowfall technology from South Korea was launched.
Snowalk, a 4,645 square metre Arctic ‘edutaiment’ attraction centre in Shah Alam, boasts temperatures of 5 degrees below Celsius and 0.1-metre-thick edible snow on the ground.
This first snowfall experience in Southeast Asia uses latest Korean technology, in which purified filtered water is frozen and turned into snow that is safe enough to taste.
Tourism Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen recently said that innovative and attractive tourism products, such as the Snowalk@i-City would help attract more visitors to Malaysia, besides spurring domestic tourism.
“In the past, I used to tell foreigners that we, in Malaysia, can offer them anything except snow. But with Snowalk, we can say that we also have snow in Malaysia,” she said.
INNOVATION AND GROWTH IN TOURISM
i-City’s Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Eu Hong Chew, said the opening of Snowalk reinforced i-City’s position as an innovative company and knowledge hub.
“As a knowledge hub, our focus is on getting innovative companies to come to i-City. For this reason, when we wanted to develop tourist attractions, it was natural to focus on innovation to provide the competitive edge.”
When i-City was launched about six years ago, it was planned as a digital city. It was an innovative idea at that juncture and even today, i-City is regarded by Multimedia Development Corporate (MDeC) as the benchmark for future cyber centres in the country.
Eu added that i-City continued innovating when it launched its first tourist attraction, The City of Digital Lights, in December 2009.
Eu said, “That is why when the Snowalk attraction was plann ed, we sought technology that created a unique experience with real falling snow, instead of depending on some FX-type of snowfall.
Snowalk introduces the concept of snow and cold climates i n a fun, entertaining and educational way. Among the attractions are the Snowalk igloo, castles, ships and bridges, penguins, swans, illuminated Barney and Baby Bop replicas in snow, as well as several types of winter games for all age groups.
SNOWFALL TECHNOLOGY FROM SOUTH KOREA
Eu said i-City uses Korean technology to create snow fall through a rotating 16-drum machine using purified water. Visitors will be able to experience snowflakes that are very similar to snow that falls from the sky.
As a cold environment with ice sculptures is not new in Malaysia, Eu said i-City wanted unique technology to make a difference with snowfall.
Some places, such as Mines Wonderland and Genting Snow World, have already created special effects using artificial snowfall in Malaysia.
“Therefore, we asked the Korean company, BarsKorea, to custom-build a unique snow machine for i-City to generate snow in a tropical environment. We told BarsKorea that we wanted edible snow,” Eu said.
On Feb 24, Eu, on behalf of i-City, signed a strategic alliance for exclusive rights in Malaysia with Snow Ice Maker BarsKorea in Incheon Metropolitan City, South Korea. BarsKorea has been supplying snow machines to the food and beverages industry for the past 10 years.
BarsKorea took almost ten months to build the 16-drum snow machine, which is able to generate six tonnes or approximately 6,000 kilogrammes of soft and powdery snow per day.
As part of the agreement, Eu said i-City allows BarsKorea to bring business customers to view the snowfall machine in operation.
Without mentioning the cost of the machine, he said the first phase was to install the machine above the ceiling at the grand entrance to Snowalk.
The machine has three components: a chiller to cool purified water from room temperature to 15 degrees Celsius, a condenser unit to refrigerate the snow drum to -35 degrees Celsius, and finally, blades in the snow drums to convert ice into soft and powdery snowflakes.
Besides experiencing real falling snow, Eu said, visitors could also admire the LED lightscapes set among 100 tonnes of creatively designed ice sculptures.
Workers from Harbin, China, a city famed for generations of ice cavers and town-sized annual ice sculptures, brought their expert skills and home-made tools to Shah Alam to construct every piece by hand.
A LIGHTSCAPE DELIGHT
Showcasing the latest LED technology, i-City is an exciting and fascinating place to visit, as it combines LED lights technology and traditional elements for a unique sight.
It is being dubbed as the first lightscape tourist destination in Malaysia. Eu said that visitors can stroll around a colourful forest that resembles a four-season park filled with dozens of interesting sculptures.
The township accommodates high-tech infrastructure allowing a unique display of digital lights. These attractions are located at CityPark and CityWalk.
“The digital city includes trendy shopping streets and is equipped with a theme park to cater to visitors looking for a place to unwind,” Eu said. He added that it was aimed at night destination tourism.
FAMILY-ORIENTED LEISURE DESTINATION
To further strengthen its position as a family-oriented leisure destination in Klang Valley, i-City Marketing Director, Monica Ong, said that i-City has tied-up with Nickelodeon to provide international and themed promotional events.
With 90,000 visitors a week, i-City’s tie-up with Nickelodeon will also add domestic and international dimensions in promoting Malaysia as a tourist destination.
Nickelodeon is a leading brand in entertainment, well-known to children and parents of all ages.
“This is going to be an exciting year for i-City. We have lined up US million for international promotional and theme programmes,” she said.
Dr Ng Yen Yen was quoted as saying that her ministry has been promoting i-City globally and this Nickelodeon/i-City tie-up would reinforce the ministry’s efforts to promote i-City as a family and leisure destination around the region.
Photo (c) DerFussi