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Perak

THE HAVEN: LUXURY AND NATURE COMBINED

Nestled away from the hustle and bustle of Ipoh, the capital city of the state of Perak, The Haven (thehavenresorts.com) is not an ordinary place where you sit, sleep and relax. This 5-star award-winning accommodation is more than a mere hotel, going above and beyond to deliver a luxurious experience to those looking for quiet rest in the arms of nature.

Located within a prehistoric valley dating back some 200 million years old and against a backdrop of stunning limestone outcrops, The Haven is, quite simply, a serene resort that exudes a chill and relaxed vibe. Stepping into its grounds, one can heave a big sigh of relief as though a huge burden has been lifted off one’s shoulders.

Perhaps it is the primary forest that surrounds the area, a green lung that supplies an abundance of oxygen, so you can breathe easy. Perhaps it is the calm natural lake at the heart of the resort which beckons you to release all worries. Or perhaps it is the air of tranquillity that seems to envelop the entire space.

For nature lovers, the place exceeds all expectations. The resort blends itself well with nature. In fact, not a single tree was cut or a hill blasted during its development. The gigantic 14-storey high 280-million-year-old limestone rainforest outcrop amidst the pristine lake was preserved and is now a major landmark of the resort.

Meanwhile, the landscaping in the area creates a garden ambience that even attracts birds, butterflies and other insects. Trees, shrubs, creepers and flowering plants have been cleverly used to define areas, provide shade, improve air quality, conceal security fences, create a smooth flow of passage, and provide a habitat for natural wildlife; several species of tropical plants were incorporated into the garden as natural mosquito and insect repellent, too.

Set against this lush flora and fauna is a 600-metre jogging track that loops around the lake, a restaurant, badminton, squash and tennis courts, a gym, a clubhouse, a 60-metre sea-horse shaped swimming pool, full conference facilities, a spa, and more.

Its garden setting is a choice wedding venue, especially for those who prefer an outdoor party with a difference.

The Haven takes pride in its 100 renewable energy practices from composting to rain-harvesting, from usage of LED lights with sensors to architecture that enhances the natural flow of wind, air and light – and aims for a cleaner and greener earth.

Just a 15-minute drive from Ipoh, the capital of Perak, The Haven offers 150 units of 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom suites. Each comes with a spacious living hall, dining area and balcony.

With all facilities and amenities in place to cater to any traveller, this Malaysia Tourism Award-winning resort is the ideal place to unwind or chill with family members – or all by yourself!

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

BEING IN THE ZEN

Ahhh…who doesn’t love a good massage? In fact, just entering a spa centre and inhaling its pleasant aromas already melt away half of your aches and pains. Imagine what a good hour of pummeling and kneading would do to the rest of it!

 

Due to our multi-cultural population, Malaysians are the lucky recipients of some awesome traditional treatments that combine massage techniques, tools and local ingredients that are prepared into massage oils and potions.

 

After a tired day of touring your favourite spots in Malaysia, surely a massage would be a welcome relief? If you have a chance, book a session at these award-winning spa centres, who were duly recognized at the 20th Malaysia Tourism Awards 2016/2017. You won’t be disappointed!

 

SPA VILLAGE BY TANJONG JARA

WINNER OF BEST SPA (HOTEL/RESORT CATEGORY), MALAYSIA TOURISM AWARDS 2016/2017

 

Location: The Tanjong Jara Spa Village is located by the sea in Terengganu’s beautiful coastal village of Dungun. It sits within the sprawling grounds of Tanjong Jara luxury resort, a relaxing hideaway reminiscent of a Malay kampong.

Ambience: The spa pavilion faces the South China Sea and offers the chance for quiet reflection and contemplation. It is nice to have the wide open sea right in front of you as well, and one can easily be lulled into a restful state just by watching the waves come to shore. This beautiful complex of structures, gardens and pools, houses a therapy centre featuring programs for relaxation, reinvigoration and stress relief based on traditional healing methods.

 

Treatment philosophy: Spa Village’s treatment philosophy is rooted in the ancient Malay way of life that emphasises purity of spirit, health and well-being, a philosophy they call “Sucimurni.” Local ingredients are sourced and concocted into potent oils, creams and scrubs.

 

These unique restorative Malay treatments have been handed down from generation to generation, ensuring their authenticity, and therapeutic value. With a history of more than a thousand years, the practices are believed to have their origins in the convergence of Malay, Arab, Indian and Chinese influences during the days of the Malacca Sultanate.

Signature touch: Try out the Malay Signature Experience that extensively uses parts of the Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) in a “three-course” experience consisting of the asam relaxing massage and the Roselle cream scrub, ending with a perfect cup of Roselle tea. The Roselle flower has vitamin C, fruit acids, calcium, iron, potassium and has long been used in traditional medicines. Together with other local herbs and spices such as galangal, ginger, nutmeg and coconut, the treatment delivers a soothing and aromatic experience.

 

Tip: Being in the east coast by the sea will get you closer to the traditional Malay way of life and it’s an opportunity to see how the farming and fishing communities here survive in such a beautiful and relaxing environment. Dungun is a fantastic small town that delivers on great food, beautiful seaside scenery and the authentic Malay lifestyle.

 

BANYAN SPA, IPOH

WINNER OF BEST SPA (INDIVIDUAL PREMISE CATEGORY), MALAYSIA TOURISM AWARDS 2016/2017

 

Location: Banyan Spa is strategically located right in the middle of Ipoh town in the state of Perak. While the vibe within this wellness centre is so “zen,” the central location means that we get the best of Ipoh, too, recently hailed as a hip and happening destination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ambience: What used to be a century-old colonial house has been transformed into a warm and cozy wellness centre that’s very inviting. Considered one of the best wellness centers in Ipoh, it brings about a “kampong feeling” despite being located within a busy city. The tropical-styled zen garden is home to individual attap sheds where private treatments are carried out.

 

Due to its location within a thriving city centre, Banyan Spa intends to provide a sanctuary for its guests to escape the hustle and bustle. The spacious compound, soothing sounds of water and aromatic air immediately lend a sense of peace.

 

Treatment philosophy: It provides a full range of treatments such as massages, facials and manicures and pedicures for the busy person working in the city. As a one-stop centre, it offers detox, lymphatic drainage, body peeling, Chinese traditional massage, reflexology, aromatherapy massage and others. In other words, you can get all your wellness needs addressed here.

 

Signature touch: The Banyan Exclusive Spa Treatment begins with a luxurious rose bath, which then proceeds on to a bamboo-and-lotus body scrub. The client is then wrapped up in clay, algae and marine minerals, before finally receiving a gentle aromatic massage to bring balance and harmony.

 

Another unique treatment here is the Chroma Therapy which uses the seven colours of the spectrum to enhance the body’s seven chakras and stimulate the healing process.

 

Tip: When in Ipoh, one must certainly indulge in its street food offerings. After all, in a New York Times article “Why Ipoh, Malaysia, should be on your travel radar,” its vast choices of local fare was highlighted as a star attraction. Ipoh is also a great starting point to learn about Malaysia’s colonial history and a walking tour of its heritage area is highly recommended as many of the old buildings and landmarks still stand.

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE

Malaysia may not have a city of love like France but this country isn’t short of romantic places to go or romantic things to do especially in the month of love. Let us share with you some ideas on how to spend a special day with your loved ones. Follow the Cupid’s arrow to see these top five activities:-

1. Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra, Kuala Lumpur
Spend a romantic evening by watching Conductor Karen Durgaryan and the Ballet of Armenia entertain their audience with memorable performances of scenes from Tchaikovsky’s greatest ballet scores, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. Swan Lake, one of the most popular ballets in the world, tells the story of evil sorcerer Von Rothbart who turned Princess Odette into a swan. The ever-popular Christmas Eve tale of Clara and The Nutcracker never fails to delight audiences of all ages.

The Petronas Philharmonic Hall is a premier concert hall providing a world-class musical experience. It is the home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), an internationally acclaimed home-grown orchestra. The annual schedule here includes chamber music, contemporary music and commissioned works

Getting There:
By Train
Take a train from any station within Klang Valley area and make your way to KLCC Station (KJ10).

By Taxi
Numerous and convenient, taxis are a popular way of traveling. Always request the driver to switch on the fare meter before your journey. The taxis can easily drop you off around Suria KLCC’s main entrance.

By Car
Access KLCC through Jalan Ampang, Jalan P. Ramlee and Jalan Kia Peng.
Tunnels at Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Tun Razak, and the Ampang – Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (AKLEH) are also directly connected to the KLCC Parking Bays.

Date: 2-4 February 2018
Venue: Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra
Level Two, Tower Two, PETRONAS Twin Tower
Kuala Lumpur City Centre
50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel : +603 2331 7008 (General Line)
+603 2331 7007 (Ticket Booking)
Website: http://mpo.com.my

The Petronas Philharmonic Hall is a premier concert hall providing a world-class musical experience. It is the home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), an internationally acclaimed home-grown orchestra. The annual schedule here includes chamber music, contemporary music, and commissioned works.

2. Kampung Kuantan Fireflies, Kuala Selangor

The fireflies of Kampung Kuantan gained prominence in the early 1970s when a local businessman saw the commercial potential of this miracle. Now, the tourism experience has been entrusted to and developed by the Kuala Selangor District Council. It has expanded rapidly with the addition of 27 small boats that are provided for the visitors. Today, Kampung Kuantan is known for the magical fireflies not only to the local visitors but also around the world.

Operational Hour             : Daily: 7.00pm – 10.30pm
Fare/Rate                           : RM53.00 per boat (4pax)

Getting There
Transportation System to Kampung Kuantan

The journey from Kuala Lumpur to Kampung Kuantan takes about 45 minutes. Taxi service is available from Kuala Selangor to Kampung Kuantan at RM40.00 for a ride (4 people). However, there are few places of accommodation that provides transportation facilities to Kampung Kuantan.

Public Facilities

The administrator of the firefly’s area provides free parking space, food stalls and souvenir stalls. There is also a playground specifically for those who bring their children. Cruising the river using the traditional way will provide satisfaction for the visitors to watch the beauty of the magnificent fireflies. The usage of the small boats will also avoid sound and smoke pollution that can disrupt the firefly’s habitat.

Who to Contact                : Kuala Selangor District Council
E-mail                                                   : [email protected] / [email protected] / [email protected]

Tel                                          : 03-32891439 / 1549

Website: http://www.mdks.gov.my/en

DAZZLING LIGHTS OF THE FIREFLIES AT KAMPUNG KUANTAN

3. Love Boat, Putrajaya

Show your loved ones how special they are by treating them to a romantic evening on the lake of Putrajaya. Take a ride on a traditional wooden boat called the “Dondang Sayang”. Let the Love Boat set the stage for a nostalgic or romantic evening, with uninterrupted views of Putrajaya’s most breathtaking sights.

The boat is manned by a single boatman. It is best to enjoy the ride in the evening from 5pm or any time before sunset as you will get to witness an astonishing view of Putrajaya from the lake. The Love Boat package is inclusive of an hour ride, as well as food and beverages.

This is one of the main bridges in Putrajaya, connecting Precinct 2 to the residential area of Precinct 8. The design of this cable-stayed bridge resembles a futuristic ship. Spanning 2.4km, this bridge can accommodate motorized traffic, bicycles, and pedestrians. Highly visible even from afar, it has become one of the beautiful icons of Putrajaya.

Getting There  :

By rail:

  • 25 minutes on KLIA Transit from KL Sentral to Putrajaya ERL station
  • 15 minutes on KLIA Transit from KLIA to Putrajaya ERL station

By bus:

  • 30 minutes by Rapid KL bus or Metrobus from Kota Raya bus stop (KL)

 By taxi or car

  • 30 minutes from KL City

 Contact Information

Should you wish to charter a boat for a private function or merely visit the scenic spots of Putrajaya, you may contact for more details:

CRUISE TASIK PUTRAJAYA
Jeti Putra, Jambatan Putra, Presint 1, 62000 Putrajaya, Malaysia.
Tel: (603) 8888 5539
Fax: (603) 8888 3769
E-mail: [email protected]

Website: http://www.cruisetasikputrajaya.com

4. Couples’ Healthy Getaway @ The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Perak

Treat yourself and your other half to a truly romantic and healthy getaway at the award-winning, luxurious 5-star retreat, The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, located in Ipoh, Perak. It is perfect for all love birds out there who are in need of a rejuvenating experience. Here in this lovely retreat, you can choose to do as much or as little as you want on your couples healthy holiday.

From a couple’s spa treatment massage to dipping at the geothermal hot springs dipping pools, to soaking in the natural sauna formed in the dark interiors of the thermal steam cave, it is guaranteed that all these sessions are sure to leave you and your partner feeling brand new.

As an adults-only resort, your romantic holiday here will not be interrupted by the presence of screaming babies or running toddlers. It’s also serious in helping guests achieve their goals for optimum health with holistic tailor-made programmes and pre-planned packages for as short as 2 nights or as long as three weeks. Besides the geothermal hot springs treatments, guests can request for weight-loss management and detox programmes, colon hydrotherapy, and antioxidant restoration therapy, among others.
After all, couples who sweat together, stay together.

THE BANJARAN – PERAK

Getting There

Travel by Car/Taxi

The Banjaran is just 15 minutes away from the city of Ipoh, 1.5 hours from Penang and 2 hours from the capital of Kuala Lumpur by road. Ipoh is located on the North-South Highway, to the north of Kuala Lumpur. Take the Ipoh South Toll Plaza Exit No. 138 if you come from Kuala Lumpur, and the Ipoh North Toll Plaza (Jelapang) Exit No. 141 if you come from Penang. Do look out for road signs that lead you to The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat along the road from either one of the exits.

GPS Coordinates to The Banjaran:

4° 37′ 51″ N 101° 9′ 20″ E

Travel by Train

Enjoy scenic views during the 2.5-hour journey to Ipoh on the ETS Train. There are daily services from KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur to the Ipoh train station. Ipoh is on the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur-Penang-Bangkok route, so there are also trains to and from Penang and all the way to and from Bangkok. The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat can arrange for transfers from the train station.

Travel by Air – Chartered Helicopter

The Banjaran has its own on-site helipad facility for helicopter travel. Please call in advance as landing is strictly by appointment only. For more details on chartered helicopter services and helipad facilities please contact the Sales and Marketing Department at +603 7495 1791 or email them at [email protected]

Who to Contact

The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat

Tel          : +60 5 210 7777

Email     : [email protected]

Website: https://www.thebanjaran.com

  1.  Watch the Sunset @ Kuching Waterfront, Sarawak

“ sunset is the sun’s fiery kiss to the night.”

― Crystal Woods

WATER FRONT – SARAWAK

Some things are inherently romantic and a gorgeous sunset is one of them, so cuddle close to the one you love and watch the magnificent sunset change colors right before your eyes at the Kuching Waterfront in Sarawak. Also known as Kuching Esplanade, the sunset here is very dramatic and with the wooden sampan and wooden houses on stilts in the background, it is not just romantic but will also conjure up scenes of yesteryear. What could be more romantic than that?

You can sit with your other half at one of the many wooden benches provided along the Kuching Waterfront that run parallel with the Sarawak River, or you can opt for a sunset cruise and enjoy the environment and the scenery of this city of contrast.

For more information on Kuching Waterfront, please visit https://kuchingwaterfront.com, or contact:

Sarawak Tourism Board

Tel          : +6082 423600

Email     : [email protected]

Website: https://sarawaktourism.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

Divine Diversions

Malaysia is known for its freedom of religion as enshrined in its constitution. And this right is evident in the many religious symbols and buildings seen throughout the country. Mosques, temples, churches, gurdwaras and others…they cater not only for the believers, but with the popularity of “religious tourism” more people are interested to visit, see and learn about the religious, cultural and aesthetic significance of such places of worship.

With Chinese New Year just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to visit some of the temples in Malaysia.

If you are in the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, there is just no shortage of temples to visit. Among the notable ones is Thean Hou Temple that sits along Jalan Klang Lama or Old Klang Road. Built in 1894, it is believed to be one of the oldest and largest Chinese temples in Southeast Asia. The name is derived from Goddess Tian Hou who protects the fishermen.

This magnificent Chinese temple has golden roofed pagodas and strings of lanterns. Located inside are three majestic statues of deities, including the main deity Thean Hou. Within its grounds are statues of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac

The Temple is also known as the Temple of Goddess of Heaven, and reflecting this is its beautiful 6-tiered structure that houses a zen turtle pond, the sacred Bodhi tree and many prayer halls. A visit here is to escape the chaotic traffic jam that Jalan Klang Lama is famous for, and a balm for the stressful mind.

Tourists heading north along the PLUS highway will find temples of a different kind, partly a reflection of the unique geological contours of Perak known for its splendid limestone hills and caves.

Perak, once famous as a tin mining haven, attracted many Chinese workers to the area in search of riches. Naturally, there are many temples in the area to serve the burgeoning community.

As a capital city of Perak, Ipoh is dotted with various temples, mostly nestled among the hills and hidden away in caves. One such temple is the Sam Poh Tong Temple. It is said to be one of the oldest temples, even as old as Ipoh itself.

SAM POH TONG TAMPLE – IPOH

The temple gained popularity for its unique landscape and the caves which were carved and made into chamber halls and altars. Practically built into the limestone

inside a mountain, the temple’s unique ambience and peaceful nature adds to the sanctity of the place.

Apart from that, the temple is also popular for its collection of tortoise ponds. According to Chinese beliefs, turtles and tortoises are much associated with longevity and wealth.

Traveling east to Muslim-majority Kelantan, known as “Serambi Mekah” or  Verandah of Mecca,” one might not expect to see any temples. Surprise, surprise, one of the popular tours in Kelantan is to visit all the Buddhist temples in the state!

Whether they are Chinese or Siamese temples, the existence of such places of worship only drive home the fact that religion is freely practised throughout the state.

Tok Mek Temple in Kampung Cina, Kelantan, stands out among all other temples for its historic significance and origins. Officially known as Tin Hin Kong temple, it is reputedly the most famous Taoist temple in the state.

TOK MEK KONG TAMPLE

Known to the locals as Tokong Mek, it welcomes visitors with a bright red arch into an inner courtyard designed with colourful murals and wall relief. What is so special about the place is that therein lies within the temple a drum that was a royal gift from the Sultan of Kelantan.

While these three temples stand out among Malaysia’s landscape as unique, there are hundreds of other temples scattered all over Malaysia that deserve a visit. Some examples are the Centipede Temple in Seremban and the Snake Temple in Penang. It’s just a matter of choosing whichever temple is nearest to you, and don’t forget your photography gear to capture that viral-worthy shot!

 

Temple:   Thean Hou
Address:  65, Persiaran Indah, off Jalan Syed Putra, Kuala Lumpur
Telephone:  +603-2274 7088

Temple:   Sam Poh Tong
Address:  Gunung Rapat, Ipoh, Perak
Telephone:  +605-255 2772

Temple:   Tok Mek
Address:  Jalan Kampung Cina off Jalan Pantai Cinta Berahi, 15300 Kota Bharu, Kelantan
Telephone:  +609-748 4477

 

*number may be updated/changed without prior notice

 

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New Year Resolutions the Malaysian Style

Right after midnight, people from northern to southern hemispheres will celebrate the first glimpse of the New Year with lively concerts, spectacular fireworks, as well as a public holiday. Of course everything new is exciting but the beginning of a new year seems to be a good time to reflect on how far we’ve come and where we hope to go next.

And every time a New Year rolls in, people around the world will have one thing in common, which is making a New Year’s resolution. It is actually a 4,000 year-old tradition and dates back to the Babylonians. So what are our goals for the New Year? Mostly, our New Year’s resolution involved topic such as health, love, career, finance and education, right?

So far, I think many people have failed to keep their resolutions but come to think of it, I believe that it will be much easier if we keep a resolution that is tied to the things that we love. For travel aficionados, creating a New Year’s travel resolution list is the perfect way to start dreaming about where and how they want to wander in the coming year. It can also be about starting a healthy travel lifestyle or trying more outdoor activities, searching for the best local food or learning new skills or volunteering.

So, whether you live here or are simply on holiday in Malaysia, here are some 2018 resolutions to consider. Here goes nothing!

GET FIT

I think numero uno in most people’s minds every time the New Year comes is to exercise more and have a healthy lifestyle. There are lots and lots of gymnasiums in Malaysia either in shopping malls or provided by hotels or resorts for you to exercise, but if your new resolution is to engage in more outdoor activities, you don’t have to worry because we have plenty of that too.

The easiest and cheapest way to get fit and enjoy the outdoor activities at the same time, as well as savouring the beauty of nature is by doing the running, hiking and climbing circuit. And Malaysia definitely has places and events for that in abundance and here is the list for some of the popular activities that you can do in 2018:

Broga Hill in Semenyih, Selangor

The best way to see the sun rise above both the rainforest and the city is by climbing the Broga Hill as early as 5 am. It will take at least 40 minutes to reach the peak but the view is so magnificent that you will forget about your sore muscles. There are four peaks on Broga Hill and additional jungle trail from the summit to the peak of Gunung Tok Wan, which will take another two hours to reach. You have to overcome a series of ascending and descending hilly terrains to reach the top, which is simply a perfect workout in nature.

Broga Hill in Semenyih takes about 45 minutes from Kuala Lumpur. It sits on the edge of the Titiwangsa Range and is frequented by casual hikers. It is approximately 400m in altitude and takes its name from the local river, Buragas.

Mt Kinabalu Via Ferrata

Via ferrata (or iron road in Italian), is a mountain path consisting of a series of rungs, rails and cables embracing the rock face. There are more than 300 via ferrata routes around the world and the world’s highest via ferrata can now be found on Mount Kinabalu in Malaysia, whereby the highest point starts at 3,400 m and ends at 3,800 m. This is the first time that the sport of via ferrata climbing is being introduced in Asia.

An activity for everyone, the via ferrata is devised to give people with little or no climbing experience access to rock faces normally reached by mountaineers and rock climbers. There are several requirements for one to take part in the via ferrata activity, including having an average fitness level, being able to hike up to 3,200 m in 6 hours, being at least 10 years of age, being at least 1.3 metres tall; and, especially, not fear heights (or willing to conquer their fear of heights).

This is a challenging adventure, and those interested to experience via ferrata on Mount Kinabalu should note that the beginner’s route will let the climber take their first experience along the granite walls of Mount Kinabalu (a journey of about 2–3 hours).

The intermediate route will let the climber experience a 4- to 5-hour journey, which will reward the climber with a breathtaking view of the heights and sights.

Marathon Fun Run

The easiest way to get fit is through running and there are lots of public parks and gardens equipped with jogging tracks all over the country. However, I believe that it will be much more meaningful if you can get fit but at the same time doing it for charity. Here in Malaysia, come rain or shine, there is not a month that goes by without a half or full marathon or fun run being organised by various organisations for myriad of reasons.

Among the interesting marathons that you can participate in Malaysia this year include:

  • The iHero Charity Run 2018 involves a 7 km and 12 km marathon, a 3 km fun run and a 1 km wheelathon for participants with mobility issues. This run is a nationwide call for action to help make a meaningful change in the lives of people with disabilities. (21 January 2018, Menara DBKL).
  • KL World Urban Run 2018, an event by PERSADA and Urbanice Malaysia in conjunction with the Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum. This session in Kuala Lumpur will be the second session hosted in Asia after 10 years. The categories comprise 5 km, 10 km and 15 km run (11 February 2018, Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur).
  • International Orangutan Run 2018 is held to create awareness on the plight of the critically endangered orangutan in Borneo and Sumatran Islands, as well as commemorate and celebrate the “World Wildlife Day 2018”. It will be a 30 km run for the heavyweights while the beginners can run for 8 km. (24 March 2018, Sandakan, Sabah).
  • Route 68 Challenge is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Now into its fourth year, the race will see participants run for 168 km (two loops) and 84 km through the beautiful and scenic landscape of remote Gombak. The route will start and end at an orang asli settlement, winding through hilly roads surrounded by lush green forests. It will give participants some of the most unique ultramarathon race experience. (28-29 April 2018, Orang Asli Community Multi Purpose Hall at Km. 24 Gombak, Selangor).
  • Penang Eco 100 was the first ever ultra trail event in West Malaysia with a 50 km and 100 km category before an additional category of 160 km and 30 km were added. Held in Bukit Mertajam (Penang, Malaysia), the 30 km, 50 km and 100 km categories start from the eco village of Sungai Lembu, taking runners through oil palm plantations, rubber plantations, pineapple plantations, several Malay kampungs, Chinese new villages, and Indian temples, paddy fields, the challenging hills of Seraya, Mengkuang, and the by now iconic Tokun Hills. This race showcases the typical Malaysian geographical, social and cultural heritage where the runners will meet and see ordinary Malaysian people and wildlife, flora and fauna in the rural settings with a distinct small town feel. During the race, the runners will be sampling the local cuisines in the food and drinks provided at the aid stations along the course of the race. (12-13 May 2018, Bukit Mertajam, Penang).

For more info on other marathons and fun run, please visit www.runsociety.com.

WATCH YOUR DIET

Come New Year, you may plan to drop 10 kg, lower your cholesterol or simply to create a clean eating habit. Is it possible to watch your diet when you are travelling to a country that is well-known as food paradise? Wouldn’t you want to try the delicious food that the locals consume day in and day out?
I might as well recommend a list of the best local food for you to try and you can worry about your diet later, much, much later. Here are some of the local dishes that any sane human should try when they are in Malaysia:

Nasi Lemak

No visitors will leave Malaysia without tasting our very own Nasi Lemak. Hot cooked rice with pandan aroma steamed with coconut cream goes heavenly well with sizzling spicy sauce or “sambal”. Generous sprinklings of roasted peanuts and salty dried anchovies with a hard boiled egg perfect this dish. A platter of everything good all wrapped up in banana leaves to further enhance its unique taste. Nasi Lemak is truly a national heritage of Malaysia. (Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa in Kg. Baru, Kuala Lumpur).

‘Char Kway Teow’

‘Char Kway Teow’ or ‘stir-fried ricecake strips’ is arguably one of the most popular dishes among Malaysians of all races. The name is derived from the Hokkien term for ‘fried’ which is ‘char, while ‘kway teow’ refers to the ‘flat rice noodles’, which is the main ingredient. The latter is stir-fried over very high heat with light or dark soy sauce, chili, prawns, de-shelled cockles, bean sprouts, chinese chives and eggs.

‘Char kway teow’ was said to have its origins in Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei) but the common consensus is that the Penang version tops the list when it comes to taste and originality. (Sisters Fried Kway Teow, Penang).

Laksa

Laksa is a famous noodle soup from Peranakan culture with coconut soup as a base to which are added tofu puffs, fish sticks, shrimps, cockles and others. It is served with a spoonful of chilli paste or “sambal” and traditionally garnished with Vietnamese coriander, or laksa leaf. There are many varieties of delicious Laksa in Malaysia such as Sarawak Laksa, Johor Laksa, Kelantan Laksa, Penang Laksa and many others. Try out as many as you can. (Restaurant Puteri, Kuala Lumpur).

Banana Leaf Rice

It’s a traditional method of serving rice dishes on banana leaves instead of plates that was brought over to Malaysia during the migration of South Indians. A unique dining experience, it will tickle your taste buds with all kinds of flavours, while filling your tummy with contentment. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to banana leaf rice. No two restaurants are alike, with each having their own specialties. Indian restaurants are aplenty at Brickfields, home of Little India in Kuala Lumpur and it’s easily accessible by public transport.

Satay

Satay is a Malay food made up of meats that are marinated, skewered and grilled on sticks and served with delicious peanut sauce. In Malaysia, the more popular type of skewered meat would be the chicken and beef served with a sauce dip, and slivers of cucumbers and onions. (Sate Kajang Hj Samuri, all over the Klang Valley).

LEARN NEW SKILLS

Experts say you’re never too old to learn to play the guitar, dance the waltz or cook a delicious dinner. Mastering new skills offers many benefits for the mind, body and soul. So, let’s make 2018 our year to learn new skills and here are some new skills that we can acquire here in Malaysia:

Hands-On Pewtersmithing Workshops

Founded in 1885, Royal Selangor is the world’s foremost name in quality pewter, a brand synonymous with design and craftsmanship. In the hands of its skilled craftspeople, this versatile alloy of tin, copper and antimony is transformed into an endless variety of homeware and gifts, sold today in more than 20 countries around the world.

Its Visitor Centre is located in Setapak Jaya, just 20 minutes from the Kuala Lumpur city centre. A modern glass-clad foyer set within a scenic lush landscape, greets visitors upon arrival at the Visitor Centre. You certainly won’t miss it as there is a giant-sized Royal Selangor tankard fronting the entrance.

Visitors with a little more time on their hands may not want to miss out on making their own pewter products. For a nominal fee, visitors may participate in Royal Selangor’s School of Hard Knocks pewtersmithing workshop where the participants create their very own pewter dish, or The Foundry where they get to make pewter accessories from scratch.

Royal Selangor

General Line: +603 4145 6000

Art of Shoemaking

What better way to channel your “inner Jimmy Choo” than learning the art of shoemaking at the place where the world renowned shoe designer Jimmy Choo learned his craft. Hong Kong shoe store, located in George Town, Penang, was where 15-year-old Choo started his apprenticeship under Master Wong, a famous shoe maker in Penang.

Today, Master Wong Jr has created a 4-hour Introduction to Shoemaking course for anyone who wants learn the art of shoemaking using traditional methods.

Hong Kong Shoe Store
Address: 20 Kimberley Street, 10100, George Town, Penang
Telephone / Fax: +604 261 4695
Hotline: 019-409 4663

A Chef In the Making

Malaysia is a melting pot of culinary delights. Being at the crossroads of so many cultural influences has made Malaysia a gastronomic heaven which promises a potpourri of wonderful food to please and enchant every palate from all four corners of the world.

So, grab the opportunity to learn how to cook an authentic taste of the Malaysian cuisines by joining the LaZat Malaysian Cooking Class. Each day of the week, the instructor will teach a different ethnic menu and provide detailed explanations of ingredients and cooking methods. Students will individually prepare their own 4-course lunch, usually consisting of an appetizer, main course, side dish and dessert.

For more details on LaZat Malaysian Cooking Class, please visit http://malaysia-klcookingclass.com.

VOLUNTEER MORE

Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but at the same time we as volunteers get the benefits too. This is because volunteering and helping others can help us reduce stress, combat depression, keep us mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose.

In tourism, we called it voluntourism, which is a combination of volunteering and tourism. It is a popular form of international travel that allows you to contribute to sustainable development while exploring a new country and culture. Among the voluntourism activities that we can participate in include:

Heart2Heart with Orangutan

The Heart2Heart with Orangutan programme is a unique conservation initiative run by Sarawak Forestry in collaboration with the Sarawak Convention Bureau. It is a one-day programme, which allows participants to actively participate in orangutan rehabilitation at the Matang Wildlife Centre and Semenggoh Wildlife Centre. It aims to showcase the orangutan conservation efforts in Sarawak to the global community and to raise awareness on the importance of saving the orangutan from the brink of extinction.

The Heart2Heart with Orangutan and Adoption programmes will definitely give its participants a renewed sense of purpose and fulfilment. No matter how small your contributions are for the rehabilitation and preservation of the orangutans, I’d like to believe that your tiny efforts will bring in big benefits in the larger scheme of things.

SARAWAK FORESTRY Corporation Sdn. Bhd.
Tel: +6082 610088   Fax: +6082 610099
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.sarawakforestry.com

Juara Turtle Project

TAT (Tengku Arif Temenggong) Turtle Sanctuary is a turtle hatchery facility located in Kampung Juara, on the eastern coast of Tioman Island, Malaysia. It is operated and maintained by a small group of dedicated individuals with the help of local and international volunteers. The Juara hatchery was established in 2006 when Juara’s Riverview Resort adopted a local government-run turtle hatchery at the end of its five year contract. Over the last few years the project has grown steadily as a “minimal interference, strictly conservation-aimed” hatchery.

The facility looks forward to and will appreciate working with anyone who supports similar perspectives on conservation efforts, through funding, environmental education, or physical participation.

Juara Turtle Project
Email:  [email protected]
Phone:  +6 09 419 3244
Mobile: +6 017 438 3038
Website:http://www.juaraturtleproject.com

 

Teach Refugee Children in Malaysia

While most refugee children would like to go to school, there is only one problem – their education expenses and needs are not met. According to UNHCR, the foremost refugee agency in Malaysia, there are over 11,000 displaced children of school going age yet less than 40% of them have access to any formal education. To fill this need, many communities and NGOs have set up their own education centers.

Come “voluntour” at the local refugee school which has about 60 students mostly from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Voluntourists help teach English, History, Geography, Mathematics and Physical Education. The school is open year round but closed on Malaysian school holidays.

For more details, please visit http://volunteeringinmalaysia.org.

MANAGE STRESS

Come New Year, do the thing you need the most to take care of yourself so that you can start the year stress-free. The most pleasant way to do that is by visiting spas, which can be found all over Malaysia. A good dose of pampering can truly revive the mind, body and spirit, I promise!

In Malaysia, influences from various ancient therapies have been infused with modern spa therapies in a designer ambience, offering you a delightful experience. Here, one can find age-old Javanese beauty and wellness regimens, ancient Ayurvedic treatments from India, and reflexology, acupressure and Shiatsu practices founded in China, among others. Masseurs are well-trained and have a deep understanding of the human body, dispensing herbal recipes for baths, massage oils and scrubs.

Set against lush tropical backdrops, and presented with nutritious and detoxifying fresh fruits and herbal drinks, most of these luxury spas are also equipped with Jacuzzis, steam rooms, saunas, swimming pools and double baths. While there has recently been an influx of designer spas in the capital of Kuala Lumpur, most spas are tucked away in resorts, nestled in lush rainforests or overlooking the lapping seashore.

Spa Village

The award-winning Spa Village brand is the epitome of a luxury spa retreat. Located in all YTL properties in Kuala Lumpur, Pangkor Laut, Tanjong Jara, Cameron Highlands, Gaya Island and Melaka, it uses unique Asian healing rituals and natural resources to give you the most amazing rejuvenating experience.

For more information on Spa Village, please visit http://www.spavillage.com.

Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Tambun, Perak

The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is nestled in a 22.7-acre valley, cradled by 260 million-year old towering Paleozoic limestone hills, verdant rainforest, rejuvenating geothermal hot springs, natural caves and cascading waterfalls. Your getaway to regain balance and rediscover your sense of true self, this unique hideaway is designed to luxuriate in, with therapeutic value in mind.

Restore what life takes from your body and soul as you dip into the Geothermal Hot Springs Dipping Pools, or stare and be overwhelmed by the near-vertical rock formations around the retreat. Perhaps take a relaxing stroll through the jungle to breathe in the sights of rarity. Otherwise, simply immerse in a state of enlightenment and inner peace in the Meditation Cave.

This sanctuary of bespoke holistic wellness in the northern state of Perak is only 15 minutes drive from Ipoh city and 2 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur.

For more information on Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, please visit

https://www.thebanjaran.com.

The Chateau Spa Organic Wellness Resort, Bukit Tinggi, Pahang

Rising majestically amidst a lush rainforest in Malaysia, The Chateau is an organic spa and wellness resort, modeled after a 12th-century ‘Haut Koenigsbourg’ castle in Alsace, France. La Sante, the jewel in The Chateau’s crown, is the first destination spa in Asia that ingeniously blends European spa expertise with renowned Asian hospitality.

The Chateau offers a complete organic experience and advocates a lifestyle approach to personal wellness in a non-regimented way. The Chateau is not only a retreat that embraces holistic ideas and relaxing principles but one that defines the eminent journey towards wellness.

For more information on The Chateau Spa Organic Wellness Resort, please visit http://www.thechateau.com.my.

The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur Iridium Spa, Kuala Lumpur

The spa suites are a standout at this St. Regis relaxation haven: each comes equipped with a private Jacuzzi and sauna room. The spa uses ESPA products and technology from Endermologie to achieve lasting results.

Consult with your therapist for a massage that’s tailored to you, with a de-stresser, jet-lag reviver, immune booster, Balinese and hot stone massage as options. In addition to scrubs and wraps, the spa offers signature rituals like the 210-minute Heritage Tea Aficionado inspired by the classic St. Regis Afternoon tea. Begin with a rice and green tea exfoliation, followed by a red chai tea bathing ritual designed to improve circulation.

For more details on The St. Regis Kuala Lumpur Iridium Spa, please visit http://www.stregiskualalumpur.com/spa.

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/