BENTONG - Those who wish to enjoy the sights, sounds and flavours of Bentong, Pahang, can now do so with the aid of mobile technology.
Its MP Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai launched the Go Bentong app on Saturday, a mobile application that pinpoints the location of local delicacies and places of interest.
With just a few swipes and taps, foodies and tourists will be guided to specific stalls selling, among others, Bentong's famous siew pau, red bean ice cream potong, taufu fa and wan tan mee.
The app is also accompanied by a website and Facebook page featuring local businesses for free.
Liow, who is also MCA president, pointed out that the initiative was aimed at improving the economic conditions of Bentong residents.
"From MCA's tour to China last year, we realised that building amenities for a new village or a small town is not enough.
"The most important factor is still its economic prospect, which will gradually transform a rural area into an urban town," he said during the app's launch at Bentong Chinese Town Hall.
Liow pointed out that tourists would now have easier access to local food, thanks to technology.
"To ensure that Bentong does not get left out, we need to leverage on the convenience of mobile apps as well as the Internet.
"The power of the smartphone will bring a new lease of hope to Bentong," he said.
A testament of the Go Bentong website's effectiveness is a siew pau shop named BE Station.
Ever since a video on the making of its buns was featured on the website, the shop's sales have increased almost twofold.
Maybo Tieo Bee Poh, 21, who works at the shop, said its customers travelled from as far as Seremban, which is renowned for its own siew pau, to grab a taste of its Bentong version.
"Our pau are handmade. We do not use moulds. Each pau looks different," she said, pointing to a carton of siew pau at her stall.
On Saturday, some 400 siew pau were sold out in less than three hours.
The app, as well as the launch of Bentong Walk - a street where tourists can get a taste of local cuisine and produce - had given the stall unprecedented business, said Tieo.
Go Bentong's website is only two weeks old, but its videos have already garnered more than 140,000 views and its Facebook page nearly 10,000 likes.
Check out Go Bentong's website at www.gobentong.com. The Go Bentong app is available for download on Apple's App Store and Google Play.