Categories
Tourism Malaysia

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.

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Categories
Tourism Malaysia

Three Award-Winning Attractions To Explore In Malaysia

When planning a visit to Malaysia, don’t forget to include these three award-winning attractions into your itinerary. They were recently given the highest Malaysian honours at the Malaysia Tourism Awards for being the best tourist attractions in the country.

It wasn’t easy to get on the list – these three were shortlisted by a panel of judges comprising leaders in the industry, after a thorough and long process of evaluation. The awards show comes around only once every two years, so it’s worth checking out these prime selections!

OLD-WORLD RAIL TRAVEL

Fancy the Orient Express ala Malaysia? Then you’ll definitely love a ride on the North Borneo Railway’s British Vulcan wood-fuelled steam locomotive. Stepping inside the old-style train carriage will transport you to the nostalgia of train travel in the early 1900s.

What is it? The North Borneo Railway offers you the experience of train travel on Borneo’s oldest running steam locomotive. Plying between Sabah’s state capital, Tanjung Aru and Papar, an agricultural town known as the rice bowl of Sabah, this 58 km route takes passengers through scenic villages and coastal towns, paddy fields, rainforests and plantations of rubber and coffee. During the four-hour journey, you’ll see the heart of Sabah unfolding before your very eyes and and get a glimpse of the colourful and unique local lifestyle. Stops are made along the way to visit traditional temples, heritage shops and the local markets. A local breakfast is served on board, while lunch is presented in a tiffin carrier, reminiscent of the old days, and highlights Sabah cuisine using local produce such as their brown hill rice and jungle ferns.

The experience: This is definitely for the dreamers who love a good dose of culture and tradition mixed into their holidays. After all, rail travel has always been romanticized with beautiful vistas, excellent service and comfort…something that you can certainly expect with this North Borneo Railway experience.

Website: www.suteraharbour.com

A PASSAGE TO THE PAST

The island of Langkawi in the northern region of Malaysia is full of legends, folklore and beautiful geological landscapes at the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, a 100 square km nature reserve. The best way to experience it? By taking a slow and lazy ride down the Kilim river that will transport you to a place hundreds of millions of years old.

What is it? Here is a collection of geo-sites full of amazing flora and fauna, and stunning geological formations like mammoth limestone rocks, fossils, caves, lagoons, beaches and seascapes that will astound and mesmerize you. One of the best ways to explore and appreciate the area is with a boat or kayak ride down the Kilim river, an area said to be some 500 million years old. Your passage down the river passes dense wetland mangroves on one side and gigantic limestone rocks on the other rising from the river bed. Expect to see white bellied eagles and other species of birds, crocodiles, mud crabs, monkeys, monitor lizards, and if you’re lucky a dolphin or two. Stop to explore caves with amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations, fossils and limestone cliffs, and chance upon hidden lakes, mysterious caves and small uninhabited islands.

The experience: This is geology and natural history classes rolled into one, and what a great way to learn! The experience here is nothing short of fascinating as you personally witness life and nature unfolding before your very eyes. A great excursion for the entire family.

Website: langkawigeopark.com.my

A PLAYGROUND FOR YOUNG AND OLD

Looking to “escape” from the hustle and bustle of urban life? Try out this adventure theme park called “Escape” in Teluk Bahang, Penang. Think of it as a huge outdoor playground for all ages, but be prepared to do lots of jumping, leaping, crawling, running, sliding and more…just like when you were kids!

What is it? Escape is basically an outdoor jungle gym that offers kids and adults alike an opportunity to play with abandon at its two themed parks, namely “Escape Adventureplay” and “Escape Waterplay.” There are over 20 attractions within the “dry” park, Escape Adventureplay, consisting of obstacles and challenges of different difficulty levels. Face your fear of heights and challenge your stamina, core strength and balance as you swing from tree to tree like a monkey, leap through the air, climb trees and towers, bounce down slopes on tubby racers or become a cave explorer. Meanwhile, at Escape Waterplay, prepare to get wet! Here, you can opt to swim at a beach-pool with constant waves, slide through the Banana Flip that will launch visitors into the air and send them flying into a 5-metre deep pool, play with your children at the Tots Pool, or even race with your friends and zoom down at 45 km per hour on the slides called Speed Racer.

The Experience:  This place is like your long-lost playground from your childhood days. Spend a whole day here and re-live childhood memories of outdoor adventures with friends and family. Be warned that it is both fun AND will challenge your physical strength.

Website: www.escape.my

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Categories
Cuisine in Melaka

MELAKA RIVER CRUISE

A cruise worth taking in Malacca I WOULD like to congratulate the Malacca River Cruise for being awarded the Malaysia Tourism Awards 2010/2011 under the Man-Made Attraction category. I have taken the cruise a few times and each time I have come away with great satisfaction. The cruise itself I

s a success story which can be used as a point of reference for other tourist sites. I remember years back when Malacca River was nothing more than a dirty river. Visitors to the historical city would never want to look at the dirty, smelly river. Kampung Morten was dimly lit. Mangrove and lalang grew on both sides of the river. Clothes hung everywhere as the river served as a backyard to houses. Today, throughout the cruise, the river is beautifully and colourfully lit. The stench is no longer there. Kampung Morten is a great example of Malay traditional houses and it glows majestically at night. A jogging track has replaced the mangrove swamp and lalang and pedestrians can now walk along the river that has many benches for visitors to rest. Many bridges were renovated and upgraded with beautiful sculptures. The laundry has been replaced by creative wall murals painted by art students depicting historical events of Malacca. Wow! What a transformation! The Malacca River today was rejuvenated through collaborative efforts and hardwork by many departments and also the people of Malacca. Congratulations again to all who were and are involved in this project. Please continue to further improve this river cruise. I hope to see new things added the next time I take the cruise. Do continue to make Malaysia and Malacca proud! Tahniah. T.K. TEH, Kuala Lumpur.

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