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Ready, Jet Set, Go

Traveller's Tales
Izzat Haziq

One of TV’s most versatile Malaysian actors, Ungku Ismail shares with us his fair share of travel stories.

Active in both theatre as well as on-screen productions, YM Ungku Ismail Ungku Abdul Aziz started a career in acting as an extra while he was pursuing his diploma in Mechanical Engineering. He is particularly remembered for his outstanding performance as a preacher gone astray in the telemovie Antara Garisan, landing him a nomination for Best Male Actor for Drama in Anugerah Skrin ke-14. The passionate actor also starred in various stage productions such as the Malay folklore Bawang Putih Bawang Merah, the theatrical adaptation of hit tv-series Mok Cun and the historical piece Tun Sri Lanang, just to name a few. More recently, the talented thespian is starting to dip his toes into writing, directing and producing as he shares how he will be busier behind the camera instead of in front of it in days to come. However, it’s not all work and no play for Ungku Ismail as he does take pleasure in travelling and exploring the world, one postcode at a time. Here’s what he has to say about going places.

Ungku Ismail with his fellow cast members Janna Nick and Shukri Yahaya filming Suami Tanpa Cinta in Paris.

Does travelling influence your style of acting? If yes, how so?

I wouldn’t say that travelling influences my acting directly but it does inspire me in terms of other aspects of life - learning about the culture, people’s behaviour and more. You meet a lot of people when you travel. In a way, it does help in terms of getting new ideas on how to execute the characters or role I’m currently playing.

Fun times at Tom Sawyer’s Island, Disneyland Tokyo (L) Exploring the ancient ruins at Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia (R).
With friends at Aviemore, Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands.

What are the top 3 destinations on your Bucket List, and why?

I’ve never been to Switzerland, I’d love to see the scenery and the mountains there. Next would be New Zealand. Their Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden is such a wonderful person and after the whole Christchurch incident, it touches you to actually go and see the wonderful and kind people there. Finally, I think it would be India because I have heard of so many interesting things about India and I want to go and experience it for myself.

What is the one destination that you reckon everyone must visit at least once if given the opportunity?

Barcelona! I’ve been to Barcelona and it’s a fantastic place with a lot of good sports facilities. The people are so nice and beautiful, too.

Which cafe or restaurant will you always stop at when at KLIA or klia2?

I’m a big fan of Dome. I would actually just sit there and grab a quick munch when at klia2.

When going through KLIA or klia2, what services or facilities do you find most appealing?

I like how the signages at KLIA are very helpful so it's clear on where to head to around the airport so that you don't get lost or confused.

If you could go on a road trip anywhere in Malaysia, which destination would you choose and why?

I like Penang. There are a lot of things to do and a lot of different places to go to. They also have their own culture and slang. I think there are plenty of good spots to visit there.

Where would you go for a weekend getaway in Malaysia?

For now, I’d say it's best for us to stay at home right. When all of this is over, go somewhere that you can spend time with your family and friends.

Enjoying the breathtaking sights of Cape Rachado in Port Dickson after a steep hike up a hill back in March 2020.

Share with us ONE memorable episode during any of your holiday experiences ... something you still talk about to this day.

That one time I was in South Africa with my friends and we went to see the penguins by the beach. One of the penguins that I saw was standing so still, you’d think the penguin is dead! So I came closer to the penguin and I touched it because I just wanted to make sure that the penguin is okay. It was quite funny and my friends were laughing at me.

Posing at the pyramids in Cairo, Egypt.

What is your idea of THE perfect vacation?

My idea of a perfect vacation would be somewhere nice, cosy and not too expensive, definitely nothing too extravagant or too lavish! The perfect vacation is when I can spend as much time with my friends and family. I think it’s not really about the place, but rather, with whom you’re enjoying the moment.

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