It is not certain how far could Malaysians travel overseas while waiting for the worldwide roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine. However, that does not mean Malaysians aren’t able to enjoy travelling; on the contrary, they are now free to roam to most parts within Malaysia as long as they adhere to the safety and health protocols like maintaining good hygiene practices and observe social distancing. Should you miss setting your foot overseas, fret not: the following is a list of places in Malaysia that look and feel like you are travelling to somewhere foreign!
1. Japanese Village at Colmar Tropicale, Pahang – Tea House, Japan
The Japanese Village – a series of Japan-themed attractions in the Colmar Tropical retreat – is a peaceful and perfect getaway from the city. Surrounded by lush flora and fauna, the Zen-inspired gardens enveloping the Japanese Tea House, Ume Tatami Suite and Tatami Spa is perfect to heal the weary soul. The tranquil and serene ambience of the village melts your troubles away. You can even experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and rent a kimono to complete your wonderful experience, just like in Japan!
2. Rawa Island, Johor – Maldives
Visitors who had been to Rawa claim that the island is likened to the Maldives due to its pristine beaches, marvellous marine life and scenic natural views resembling the South Asian archipelagic nation. At Rawa, you are surrounded by crystal-clear water ideal for diving, snorkelling and kayaking. If water sports are not your thing, you can instead stroll along the beach or go on a 15-minute hike up to the hilltop on the island. So, save up on those expensive flight tickets and instead head to Rawa for a wonderful island getaway experience!
3. Kokol Hill, Sabah – Bali, Indonesia
It is almost impossible to find someone who has never heard of Bali since it appears on almost everybody’s travel list. However, for those who haven’t got the chance to experience Bali, you can still find a similar landscape in Sabah when you head to Kokol Hill in Kota Kinabalu, where the vista of Mount Kinabalu at sunrise and sweeping panorama facing the Kota Kinabalu city at sunset welcome you. Just like the Bali Swing, Mega Swing in Kokol Hill Elf is the latest attraction where visitors can take Instagram-worthy shots on swings overlooking the city. You might need to bring a light jacket or sweater with you as the weather gets chilly at the top.
4. Tiarasa Escapes, Pahang – Anmon Bintan, Indonesia
As avid travellers, it is a delight to learn that a glamping resort in Pahang could stir up the feeling of staying at Anmon Resort Bintan in Indonesia because it features similar concept through the adoption of safari-styled tents amidst nature. Tiarasa Escapes is situated in a valley surrounded by hills and mountains that offers a perfect escapade for families, couples, friends, corporate retreats and even weddings. Being transported into an oasis of nature with fun activities like going for nature walks, have picnics at the riverside, making bonfire and watching movie under the stars when the weather permits is something that urban centres would not be able to offer.
5. Langkawi Sky Bridge, Langkawi – Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge, China
If there is just one place you should go while in Langkawi, it should be the Langkawi Sky Bridge! Also dubbed as ‘Malaysia’s Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge’, this bridge sets over 600 metres above sea level and offers breathtaking views of Machinchang Range, Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls and the sister islets surrounding the Langkawi archipelago. The design of the bridge is unique as it curves to go between the peaks of Machinchang to offer great views of Langkawi’s lush landscape. This 125-metre cable-stayed bridge can be reached by cable car, where you can disembark at the top deck, then walk down all the way to the bridge or pay extra for a ride on the tram.
6. Astaka Morocco, Putrajaya – Mahkama Du Pacha, Morocco
If you are a photography enthusiast, your first step into Astaka Morocco (The Moroccan Pavilion) will leave you in awe. The distinctive features of the building replicates Morocco’s oldest imperial cities and the artsy mosaic arrangements of every touchable surface of the building are embellished with carvings of geometrical patterns, Arabic calligraphy and materials imported from Morocco to maintain its authenticity. The entrance is free but you are required to pay MYR3 per adult and MYR1 per child to enter the gallery room.
7. BookXcess Sunway Big Box, Johor – Starfield Library COEX Mall, Korea
The Starfield Library in Korea has become one of the most popular photo spots in Seoul but did you know that Malaysia has similar floor-to-ceiling bookshelves bookstore as well? Known as one of the biggest bookstores in Malaysia’s southern region, BookXcess store in Sunway Big Box Johor are filled with genres ranging from self-help and autobiographies to non-fiction and children’s books. Other than the eye-catching illuminated cube-like bookshelf in the middle of the store for your Instagram itch, there is also a cafe within the bookstore where you can grab some coffee while taking in the bookstore’s inspiring interior!