By Dian Hasan | July 8, 2010
Outside Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur with her impressive modern skyline, after a 3-hour drive and boat-ride, a very different skyline awaits your discovery. That of swaying palm trees on a private island where the only soundtrack you’ll hear is nature itself.
Welcome to the private paradise of Pangkor Laut Resort, a charming little island with a gem of a resort set in an overgrown jungle facing emerald waters in the Straits of Malacca.
The villas of Pangkor Laut Resort are scattered throughout the gardens, beach or hillside, or stand on long wooden stilts over the sea. Spacious, they accept an Asian traditional design and use the local materials such as teak and bamboo. The floors and wood blinds with thin perforated blades add a colonial touch in whole. Simplicity and tranquility, the atmosphere of Pangkor Laut Resort is relaxing. A long rectangular pool offers a magnificent view over the sea. Many restaurants in various ambiance offer an Asian cuisine, punctuated with western tastes.
The serenity of Pangkor Laut Resort is accentuated by the Spa Village, a space dedicated to wellness and spa, embellished with fountains and ponds filled with lotus flowers. The care, massage and programs of fitness use the techniques and philosophies inspired by Ayurveda and Chinese, Thai and Malay medicine. Whirlpool, steam room and herb garden. Continue reading
While the average traveler may not be familiar with the name, any SCUBA diving aficionado will tell you that Sipadan ranks as among the world’s best diving destinations. Rated consistently as top-5 dive sites, Sipadan will leave any traveler breathless. Both under water to experience the spectacular coral gardens, and coral reef teeming with over 3,000 species of marine life, and above water. Any water-bound activity you choose will put you in direct contact with sharks (yes, but there are of course good sharks and bad sharks!!), barracudas, hawksbill sea turtles and manta rays.
In the vicinity of Tioman Island lies another hidden gem of an island that’s brimming with beauty. Rawa Island (Pulau Rawa), a privately-owned island is enveloped by sugary-white sandy beaches and translucent waters reminiscent of the Aegean Sea.
There’s only one place to stay on Rawa, but the boat trip to uncover this pristine corner of paradise is certainly worth your time.
The Four Seasons Langkawi
Langkawi Island A string of 99 islands south of Phuket in the Andaman Sea make up Langkawi. The island is a Duty Free Island, and was recently given Geopark status by UNESCO. Langkawi is the easiest to access of all the islands (40 mins direct flights from KL) with gorgeous sandy beaches. Boasting some of the most luxurious hotels, such as The Four Seasons, The Datai, Westin, The Andaman, Casa del Mar, and others. You’ll be spoilt for choice!
Tioman Islands The largest of Malaysia’s east coast islands, Tioman is famed for its soft, sandy beaches, warm waters and coral reef.
Most of the resorts are strung out on isolated bays along the western coast. Diving and snorkelling is excellent but also jungle hiking and sunbathing. Best luxury hotel is Japamala resort – to simply die for!
The resort that sits on Pangkor Laut Island steals the limelight from this idyllic tropical island. This island is more famous for the stunning resort that’s on it than the island itself. Pangkor Laut Resort ~ an ultra luxe resort that’s attracted the world’s celebrities and A-listers. The late Pavarrotti helped inaugurate it with an Operatic on its official opening day. Voted as best romantic hotel, best spa, best hotel in Malaysia – Pangkor Island Resort is the ideal romantic getaway.
This hotel on stilts was fashioned after Malay floating villages where fishermen live. For a truly outer-worldly experience, book yourself any treatment from the Spa. The Spa is situated in one of the over-the-water Villas. Close your eyes, it will just be you and the ocean, and the aroma of frangipani, lavender and jasmine wafting through the air. Pure Bliss!
Another diving hot spot in Terengganu, that’s not far from Perhentian.
One of the largest and most beautiful of the east coast islands, Redang is also the most developed. Redang Archipelago is made of 9 islands that together constitute a protected marine park. With crystal clear waters and some of Malaysia’s best coral reefs, the island offers excellent diving and snorkeling.