SHE may not be as famous as singer Datuk Siti Nurhaliza, but Abby Fana is not an unfamiliar face to Malaysians. Born Habsah Omar 41 years ago in Muar, Johor, Abby Fana is a well-known name in Malaysia's broadcasting industry, both TV and radio.
As DJ for Sinar.fm and host for Astro's breakfast programme Sarapan Di Mana, she is known for her bubbly and chirpy personality.
The two decades spent in the broadcasting industry has made her a celebrity on her own. And whenever her job takes her around the country, she easily attracts her fans with her warm friendly smiles. Still, between her jobs at the TV and radio stations, Abby Fana manages to find time for some R&R.
Tell us about your most interesting travel experience.
A group trip to Beijing, China in 2003. The weather was wonderful and I managed to visit the Imperial Palace which is better known as the Forbidden City, home to many China dynasties like the Ming and the Qing Dynasty. It's just amazing! I used to read a lot about China; actually I studied the history of China for my A levels, so it was not that hard to understand and appreciate everything that I saw there. And of course, The Great Wall of China. You'll never know how wide it is until you actually set foot and walk along it. There are a few ways to get there and we chose the closest which is The Great Wall at Badaling, about 26 feet high and 23 feet wide!
Have you ever had a really bad experience?
Can't recall one.
How best do you unwind on your holiday?
Sauna and foot reflexology.
What type of holidays do you prefer?
Packaged tour and family holiday.
Who do you usually go holiday with?
What can't you leave home without when you travel?
Perfume and skincare
Which is your favourite holiday destination in Malaysia? Does it also give you the best holiday memory?
Damai Beach Resort in Sarawak. It has a commanding and beautiful view of the South China Sea which is simply soothing and very relaxing.
What's the best hotel you've stayed in so far? Why?
The Golden Sands Resort, Shangri-La overlooking Batu Feringghi beach in Penang.
What or who do you miss most when you go away on vacation?
My bed, my pillow and bolster (laugh).
What do you hate most while travelling?
I'm not good at shopping. I'll get very worried when friends ask me to get things for them, for example, handbags, clothes, or shoes. What if they don't like what I've bought for them? Shopping for others can be a hassle, especially for those who give cash in advance.
Where next would you like to go?
Sipadan Island in Sabah.
Where would you recommend your friend to go?
Damai Beach in Sarawak and the many fishing villages in Terengganu.
What was the best thing you bought on your travel and where?
A set of white pearl jewellery from a pearl centre in Beijing.
What was the best food you ever tasted during your travel and where?
I'm not that adventurous with food but I cannot forget one tiny restaurant in London which is called Tiger Under The Table. I just loved its mee siam!
Are you a compulsive traveller or do you follow your budget and itinerary carefully?
No, I'm not a compulsive traveller due to my work commitment. Since I don't like to travel alone, I'll find the most suitable time to get my two teenaged boys to come along and enjoy the holiday together.
Any advice or tips for travellers?
Bring along a novel or your favourite book/magazine or an i-pod.