All posts tagged: malaysia

Crater lake, taal lake, taal volcano

5 Offbeat Travel Destinations in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is so much more than an oasis of Chinese culture. Its unique  landscapes and hidden islands are waiting to be discovered by mainstream tourism, and until that happens, it will be sure to please any travel-lusting wanderer. The isolation of  its beauty is perhaps what sets it apart from every place else in the world. I originally wrote about these 5 undiscovered places in Southeast Asia as a guest post for GotSaga. 5. Perhentian Islands, Malaysia There is nothing like a rejuvenating getaway amid turquoise waters and white sands. Add to that snorkeling in an underwater world of sharks, smoking shisha on the beach under the stars, riding a speedboat on low tide under the moonlight, and an upbeat atmosphere created by half a dozen small cafes serving up the most delicious milkshakes. Flickr image by papaija2008 4. Taal Volcano, Philippines Welcome to a volcano within a lake within a volcano within another lake! Hidden somewhere among the clouds, Taal Volcano is the world’s smallest active volcano, located on the island of Luzon in …

Maxwell Hill: Malaysia’s Oldest Charm

One minute, the clouds are descending upon you, transporting you to the heavens. The next minute, you’re running for shelter and watching the rain, intimidated by its intensity and the gusty wind. Just then, the rain and the mist both go into hiding, revealing an untouched blue sky. Most people think Cameron Highlands or Genting Highlands when choosing a hill station getaway in Malaysia. Their lesser known cousin, Maxwell Hill aka Bukit Larut, therefore still retains its quaint English ambiance and a mystic poetic isolation. A mere 4-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur takes you to the base of the hill. To get to the peak or midway up, you need to rent a 4-wheel drive or trek for 4-5 hours. Neither option is for the faint-hearted; the road is as steep as it is winding, and the jeeps appear to be from the era of the British rule in the region! In our impromptu trip, the tickets for the 4-wheel drive were sold out early on a Sunday, resulting in a great deal of negotiation and …

pangkor laut, singapore, malaysia, weekend getaway, offbeat, spa

5 Weekend Getaways From Singapore to Pamper You.

Close to each weekend, I desperately resort to Google to find offbeat ideas for weekend getaways from Singapore. In the midst of my travel research, I came across these 5 weekend getaways in Malaysia and Indonesia that will pamper your senses and indulge you. So ditch your weekend travel to Kuala Lumpur, and rejuvenate in lesser know Southeast Asian hideouts! 1) Tempat Senang, Indonesia An hour’s ferry-ride away from Singapore, in the neighborhood of Batam Island (Indonesia), lies this exotic little gem. It’s a boutique resort, with under 10 suites, each designed, decorated and modeled after an Asian country. Besides the likes of Bali room, Indian room and Japanese room, there’s a Tree Room with a bed suspended in mid air. It’s also home to a traditional Balinese spa with a wide range of rejuvenating massages, and a pampering staff. Also read: Tempat Senang: Rejuvenation 2) Nikoi Island, Indonesia Close your eyes and imagine you are sprawling on a beach chair on white sands, in the company of crystal blue waters, sipping a drink. Just across the …

Port Dickson: Living on Stilts!

Many people tend to diss Port Dickson as a disappointment on the shores of muddy seas. I was skeptical too, but my impulsive trip to this little town near Malacca turned out to be a pleasant surprise! Another weekend getaway from Singapore’s bustling city-life, Port Dickson’s real charm lies in the chalets built upon stilts rooted in the sea bed. The Legend Water Chalets and The Legend International Water Homes are modelled on an open-living concept and are both extremely affordable. The Water Chalets will charm you with their open-rooftop showers within the rooms – showering under the starry night sky is both chilling and beautiful, as is showering under the sunspots cast by the sun during the day. Each chalet has a private balcony that looks over the Straits of Malacca and is an endearing way to spend an afternoon. The day bed by the window overlooking the sea, and the marble bathtub in the living-room make you feel right at home in the chalets. The floor of each chalet has a small glass panel so …

Climbing Mount Kinabalu

Climbing the 20th highest peak in the world is probably my greatest achievement thus far! It was exciting, daunting, exhilarating and surreal, in that order. We started our climb via the Timpohon Gate, located 90 km from Kinabalu National Park, Borneo (East Malaysia). The first day’s target was to climb 6 km horizontally and 1300 m vertically. The initial stretch was relatively easy, alternating between clearings and small steps, amid tall trees and dense vegetation. The second half was slightly more taxing, with steeply inclined rocks and steps, where trees were gradually replaced by shrubs and bushes. The trick was to save as much energy as possible by finding an alternative way to climb the steps through rubble and using small rocks as stepping stones. The view became more scenic with height and we were shrouded in mist for certain stretches. I would typically describe it as breath-taking, but I must reserve the term for the summit.     It is mandatory for all climbers to spend the night at Laban Rata or one of its …

Viva la vida!

Good days are here. I am off to Malaysia early tomorrow morning, to scale the 4th highest peak in South East Asia – Mount Kota Kinabalu!  Coldplay is coming to Singapore! Yes, finally. I’m ecstatic at the thought of hearing them play Violet Hill live! 23rd March, here I come. I have 2 subsequent Malaysia trips brewing! Tentatively, Malacca and Cameron Highlands.  I am working on a community service expedition with Habitat for Humanity, to build homes for slum-dwellers in a village near Bangalore. We are in the midst of launching a social media campaign to create social awareness. Look out! And in the middle of all this excitement, I’m turning 21!  “The future looks so bright, we’ve got to wear shades…”

Desaru, A Getaway in Malaysia

I’m still in holiday mood. The last 3 days were nothing short of bliss. No work, no stress, no deadlines. 72 hours of pure randomness, some spookiness, loads of gossip, and drunken tequila talk. A bunch of us packed our bags and headed to Malaysia, with no plans and no maps. The idea was to go on a trekking trail which starts at Gunung Lambak near Johor Bahru, but by the time we made it to JB, the evening sun was already sinking, and a jungle trek didn’t seem very appropriate. The trip was exactly that, random. We got onto a bus and a couple of broken cabs, and made our way to Desaru. Desaru is a beach resort, with clear blue sea, whitish sand, jungle trails, white colored scurrying crabs, komodo dragons and fireflies. Luckily, our trip was a weekday trip, which meant Desaru showed scant signs of civilization, and we pretty much had the entire place to our happy selves. The night was full of stars (a rare sight in Singapore), a shiny moon, and what we identified as …