Gaya Travel Magazine
Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort: Exclusive Above Water Hideaway

Hotels & ResortsMalaysiaSelangor

Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort: Exclusive Above Water Hideaway

As an alluring oasis set along Sepang’s 22 kilometre shore, Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort blends traditional elements with luxurious features that are ideal for sun-seekers and eco travellers. It is located in the district of Sepang in the southern part of Selangor, far enough from Kuala Lumpur city centre to feel like a truly secluded tropical experience. Yes, this is also the only resort that is shaped up in the form of a palm tree above water in Malaysia. I have been there twice, yet it still feels wonderful each time. For a start, its signature welcome drink called ‘Red Touch’ (a mixture of Sprite and dragon fruit puree) is incredibly delicious and refreshing, that I was tempted to ask for a […]

Rethinking Japan through Okinawa – Part II of II

Japan

Rethinking Japan through Okinawa – Part II of II

Okinawa, as described in our previous issue, makes a perfect all-inclusive destination for travellers who want to experience it all: rich history, tropical islands with crystal-blue waters and white sandy beaches; deliciously varied food; and interesting mix of cultures. But the list does not stop there, as this Japanese prefecture offers extensive shopping options for shopaholics and browsers alike such as popular luxury goods, meticulous artisanal crafts, tasty snacks, cute souvenirs or exotic street products. Be sure to bring along an extra empty bag and bring plenty of cash! Kokusaidori Kokusaidori reminds me of Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur – it is busy, vibrant and rich with history. This is, in fact, the place where they held the annual Naha Tug-of-War festival […]

Rethinking Japan through Okinawa – Part I of II

Japan

Rethinking Japan through Okinawa – Part I of II

“Why didn’t I consider visiting Okinawa before?” I thought to myself, after finishing the ‘Ku Tinggalkan Cinta Di Okinawa‘ drama series marathon starring the sweet Hanis Zalikha, witty Sharnaaz Ahmad and a handsome Okinawan actor, Shogen Itokazu. This southernmost prefecture of Japan is certainly beautiful, and comes with a unique culture that is entirely distinct from the rest of the country. I have to admit that the images of Okinawa in the show have won me over, leaving me feeling determined to see the show’s trail with my own eyes. Fortunately, when the Okinawa government via Mabui Stone Corporation invited Gaya Travel Magazine on a trip to discover the prefecture, I jumped right on it. ARRIVING & DEPARTING Naha Airport is only 90 minutes […]

Andaz Singapore: A Temple of Design and Practicality

DestinationsHotels & Resorts

Andaz Singapore: A Temple of Design and Practicality

Andaz Singapore, with its unrivalled conveniences, resonates well among travellers, especially millennials who would not only value the hotel for its function but also for its refined aesthetics.

Swasana Spa – The Art of Relaxation

Hotels & Resorts

Swasana Spa – The Art of Relaxation

Busy pedestrian streets, buzzing shopping scenes and infamous traffic congestion – the Golden Triangle in Kuala Lumpur is not an area known for its tranquillity. But this is where Swasana Spa at Impiana KLCC steps in, an ideal antidote to the city’s hustle and bustle.   The spa – an award-winning establishment which recent accolades include the World Luxury Spa Awards 2016 and Hospitality Asia Platinum Award’s Spa of the Year 2016-2018 – is marvellously scented, chic and impeccably designed; I felt enveloped in immediate calmness just by walking into it. There are several beautiful design touches that make the best of the space too, especially the clever use of light, water feature, wood and spice-inspired decorations that create an intimate cocoon-like […]

Vita Spa Mont Kiara

Articles

Vita Spa Mont Kiara

After a week-long of fun under the Fijian sun, I came back home with a sense of joy and restored gratitude, and feeling completely rejuvenated. However, my skin seemed to be the other way around: dry and tight with tell-tale redness, perhaps due to too much exposure to the rays when I was out adventuring. Besides, the 10-hour flights made my body weary. I knew at that moment, it needed preening and pampering; hence, a trip to Vita Spa was warranted. Established since 2008, Vita (meaning ‘life’ in English) is an Asian-Balinese spa offering various treatments including massages, facials, body scrubs, body wraps, waxing and manicure, including pedicure. It has three outlets, each located at Solaris Mont Kiara, Bukit Kiara Equestrian & […]

Huawei Mate 10: The Phone that (Almost) Does It All

Gaya Tech

Huawei Mate 10: The Phone that (Almost) Does It All

This is the phone that delivers yet won’t cost your arm and leg.

Nikon D5600: The Instagrammers’ Best Friend

Gaya Tech

Nikon D5600: The Instagrammers’ Best Friend

  As content creators, we understand that visual aids – be they image stills or videos – are essential to effectively deliver a message. In the case of Gaya Travel Magazine writers or any other travel enthusiasts, we complement the stories of our journeys we took by not only recording the beautiful panoramas of the destinations we visited but also the precious travel moments and emotions that accompany the journeys. Hence, a top-quality gear during a trip is a must.     So, we searched the gadget universe for the ideal camera that fits such purpose, and we came across some promising products. And one of them happens to be Nikon D5600, an entry-level camera that promises quick, easy and stunning shots. […]

Tanjung Lesung: A Novel Getaway No More

Indonesia

Tanjung Lesung: A Novel Getaway No More

Tanjung Lesung is blessed with picturesque beaches and stunning views of the mighty Krakatau volcanic mountain, a low-key place that still holds little recognition among foreign travellers, but has been an absolute favourite among the Jakartans. The place is imbued with soul and romance and the locals want to keep this dreamy paradise all to themselves.

To Travel Under the K-Drama Spell

South Korea

To Travel Under the K-Drama Spell

I recently had the privilege to explore various places that have been featured in some of K-Dramas in 2016. And hence, below are the locations that I have visited…

Shelling It Out in Little Paris

Dining

Shelling It Out in Little Paris

Prepare the bib, and get ready to get messy – again! Yes, we love the Crab Factory – so much so that we can’t stop talking about it. In case you missed it, we’ve published a review about this marvellous seafood joint in our previous Issue 11.6/12.1. But this time around, I’d like to invite readers to Carb Factory’s latest outlet in Johor Bahru, located along a row of French-inspired shoplots christened as Little Paris in the perfectly manicured Taman Mount Austin neighbourhood. The first Crab Factory opened in SS2 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, roughly four years ago and business has been booming since then. Speaking to the owner of Crab Factory, T.Y., the second opening marks the joint’s latest adventure in catering […]

Gazing on History of Kanchanaburi

Thailand

Gazing on History of Kanchanaburi

About 129 kilometres – or roughly two and a half hours’ drive by car from Bangkok – sits Thailand’s third largest province called Kanchanaburi, a land covered with timber, evergreen forests and most famous natural wonders in the country. But having said that, Kanchanaburi’s greatest yet saddest draw probably comes from its deadliest tragedy: the Death Railway, which dates back to World War II period during Japanese occupation, attracting thousands of travellers, particularly history lovers and World War buffs to visit the area. I began my first ever journey to Kanchanaburi together with 30 travel agents from across Malaysia in a familiarisation trip organised by Tourism Authority of Thailand last May 2017, making our first stop at the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, […]

G is for GORGEOUS

Hotels & Resorts

G is for GORGEOUS

G Hotel Kelawai must have done something right to have regulars who keep coming back to stay at this entirely gorgeous hotel (I heard that the shoe design mogul Datuk Jimmy Choo and celebrity interior designer Eric Leong are part of that list). But this doesn’t come as a surprise because being design stars themselves, the hotel ideally fit their chic, luxurious and exacting standards! Strategically located on the bustling Jalan Kelawai that is famous for a diverse array of attractions ranging from traditional temples, shopping malls (Gurney Plaza and Gurney Paragon), and the vibrant food scene including Gurney Drive (home to the congregation of roadside iron chefs), G Hotel Kelawai makes for a perfect base for both first-timers and seasoned travellers […]

Hilton KL’s Master Chefs Went Head to Head in The Ultimate Cook-Off

News

Hilton KL’s Master Chefs Went Head to Head in The Ultimate Cook-Off

Vasco’s at Hilton Kuala Lumpur played host to a one night only showcase where seven chefs battled out in showcasing their two signature dishes in ‘The Ultimate Cook-Off’ competition held recently. The participating Master Chefs and their two signature dishes were: Chef Lam Hock Hin, Executive Chinese Chef from Chynna presented his exquisite eight treasures vegetables with abalone sauce and Oyster blade served with butterfly bun. Chef Ricky Kamishi, Executive Japanese Chef from Iketeru, prepared his Maguro tataki and Temaki hand rolls. Executive Chef Michael Donlevy and Chef Suhalmi Md. Tasir from Vasco’s brought their A-game with Pizza al fungi, Homemade pasta Aglio olio as well as Braised beef cheeks and potato Mousseline. The master of spice, Chef Leo Michael presented mouth-watering assorted seekh […]

Latest Recipe from Heaven

Dining

Latest Recipe from Heaven

Rally up the troops, we might have found the best all you can eat restaurant in town! Established over five years ago, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur’s all-day dining outlet, Latest Recipe, has built strong reputation for serving some of the finest gastronomic delights that will satisfy even the most demanding palates. The menu – ranging from Indian, Chinese, Malay, Japanese and Western cuisines – leaves discerning gourmands spoilt for choice, with more international fares added to the menu from time to time. The flatteringly radiant space has a simplistic white scheme, accentuated by a high ceiling and dramatic colour-stained glass as its centrepiece. The outlet’s well thought out floor plan helps to enhance diners’ overall experience too, allowing them to move freely […]

South West Western Australia: The Door to Wonders

Australia

South West Western Australia: The Door to Wonders

“Look, it’s a shooting star!” There are millions of small rocks colliding with the Earth’s atmosphere every night (and day), each resulting in bright flash of light across the sky, which is also referred to as the shooting star. Such sightings are fairly common on every cloudless night – if only one has the patience to watch out for them. Sadly, in all my life, I’d never spotted one myself, until I set foot in the South West of Western Australia, where Mother Nature showcases some of her finest works, and where I spotted my first ever lucky omen. This disarmingly simple joy apparently happens all the time at this side of the world, especially in the countryside. But more interestingly, the […]

10 Destinations to Find Inspiration

DestinationsListicles

10 Destinations to Find Inspiration

Cliché as it sounds, travel is indeed therapeutic – a journey to somewhere foreign tend to transform, change, mature or even inspire oneself. So here are the top places found in the region that we believe are both inspiring and educational. 1. Sipadan Island, Malaysia Situated off Borneo’s south coast and just an hour by boat from Semporna lies the tropical island of Sipadan, a designated national marine park blessed with colourful coral reefs and spectacular marine life. But did you know that Sipadan was also created out of an extinct volcano? The island is made up of essentially coral that has been growing from the cone of the volcano, developed over thousands of years. This volcanic history contributes to its world […]

10 Best Glamping Spots in South East Asia

Listicles

10 Best Glamping Spots in South East Asia

Glamourous camping, or glamping as it is known, is a trend that is increasingly popular, allowing travellers the chance to connect with nature through luxury and comfort. It is interesting that under the ‘glamping’ category there are so many sub-categories for travellers to choose such as eco lodges, huts, tents, tipis, villas and tree houses. Below are our top choices of glamping spots in South East Asia that readers are welcome to check out: 1. Canopy Tribes, Malaysia www.canopytribes.com Nestled in the rustic Kampung Sungei Melayu, just 10 minutes from Legoland, Johor, lies a bell-tent-styled accommodation luxuriously furnished with Queen Bed, side table, storage bench, ice cooler and a patio with relaxing chairs. The resort also provides ample activities such as flying […]

From Palestine with Love

Dining

From Palestine with Love

“This is not a hipster cafe; never have and never will be.” And I couldn’t be more than glad to hear that. Located in Section 3, Shah Alam, there is no doubt that Spiced Pumpkin Cafe & Bakery faces strong competition in the local gastronomic scene, especially amongst the plethora of eateries within the area that mostly project ‘hipster’ vibe (read: Instagram-worthy décor but mediocre food). Spiced Pumpkin Cafe & Bakery, on the contrary, indulges its customers with remarkably satiating menu that makes the best dining experience, minus the hype or Instagrammable decor. This didn’t come as a surprise considering the owners – Mas Zuhairin Zubir (Mas) and Nur Azizarin Kusyair (Nur) who fondly dubbed themselves ‘pumpkins’ – have years of practice […]

Top 10 Colonial Heritage Inspired Accommodations

Listicles

Top 10 Colonial Heritage Inspired Accommodations

The presence of colonial power and European mercantile in South East Asia started when the Portuguese came to Malacca in 1511. Since then, other colonial powers and merchants like the Dutch, Spanish, French and British followed suit and left indelible marks throughout the region that still can be seen today. Below is the list of Gaya Travel’s choices of colonial heritage inspired accommodations in the region that bring back romance into travel that might interest our readers: 1. Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang (www.eohotels.com) The Eastern & Oriental Hotel represents the true essence of colonial history, especially when it is located in Pulau Pinang. The hotel possesses elegant colonial charm and characteristics. Built in 1885, the property marks the beginning of the […]

Experience Taipei with Malindo Airlines: See, Shop, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

Taiwan

Experience Taipei with Malindo Airlines: See, Shop, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

Taipei is vibrant and progressive, don’t you agree?   Great care has been taken to make this place truly liveable for its citizens and convenient for travellers of all backgrounds – regardless of race, belief, age, financial status and interest – to roam around and explore the city and beyond. Now, allow us to introduce some of its must-sees and must-eats of the city. Are you ready?   Arriving & Departing Flight information: 1. Malindo Air’s flight OD 632 departs daily from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 7:15 a.m. and the return flight OD 633 departs from Taipei at 12:45 p.m. and arrives at KLIA at 5:30 p.m. The flight duration is approximately 4 hours and 3o minutes. 2. The fares are all-inclusive, […]

Shopping Guide in ASEAN

Listicles

Shopping Guide in ASEAN

Buy local, support local – this is one of the basic principles that every traveller should embrace whenever visiting foreign countries. The purchases made do not only support the economy of home-grown artisans and businesses, but also help to maintain local traditions and craftsmanship. Below are Gaya Travel’s picks as wonderful souvenirs – fashion pieces to be exact – that travellers can hunt when being in the ASEAN region.   1. Woven sedge bag in Malaysia Since weaving is one of Malaysia’s important heritage, travellers can discover arrays of highly crafted hand woven products across the nation, including songket in Peninsular Malaysia’s East Coast, pua kumbu in Malaysian Borneo, and those made from local plant fibres such as mengkuang leaves and rattan. […]

10 Ways to Enjoy London and Beyond with Girlfriends

DestinationsUnited Kingdom

10 Ways to Enjoy London and Beyond with Girlfriends

Top 10 suggestions on how to make London (and beyond) the perfect getaway to bond, relax and try new things with your girlfriends.

10 Worthy Experiences at Club Med Cherating

Hotels & Resorts

10 Worthy Experiences at Club Med Cherating

Club Med Cherating, Club Med’s first resort in Asia, offers a splendid hideaway on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

Family-friendly Dining at Owlery

Dining

Family-friendly Dining at Owlery

Owlery Cafe Dine & Grind could just be your next ideal place to bring your family. Established since May 2016, this family-friendly dining establishment has been attracting a steady stream of young families and large dinner parties due to its generous portion sizes and relatively affordable prices. And that’s just the way Mr. Shah Fariz, one of the co-owners of Owlery Cafe Dine & Grind, likes it. Rather than attempting to replicate a hipster-ish dining, the ambience here strives to strengthen bonds and spur conversations by providing comfortable seating with a designated area for children to play. At Owlery Café Dine & Grind, parents can actually enjoy the experience of dining without having to constantly worry about their little ones and entertaining […]

Savouring Jumbo Flavours of Thailand at myELEPHANT

Dining

Savouring Jumbo Flavours of Thailand at myELEPHANT

On a recent trip to Chiangmai, Thailand, a wise man once told me: “When you’re feeling hungry, eat Thai food.” Thai food not only fills up really well, but also has rich aromas and flavours that heighten our senses and increase the sensitivity of our taste buds, making the entire dining experience more gratifying. So on one fine afternoon, I purposefully headed to myELEPHANT, one of the best Thai restaurants in Kuala Lumpur for the past 10 years that shows no sign of waning. The owners had previously run another Thai restaurant called Dodee in Kuala Lumpur city centre; however, when they decided to move the business to Petaling Jaya, the restaurant was injected a fresh look and given a new name, […]

13 Places To Play Tourist at Putrajaya

Putrajaya

13 Places To Play Tourist at Putrajaya

Putrajaya, considered as the Intelligent Garden City are blessed with world class infrastructure and careful planning that promise high quality of life for residents and visitors alike. The city have been progressing well over the years and already becoming destinations in their own right.

5 Head to Toe Travel Gears

Listicles

5 Head to Toe Travel Gears

There’s such a thing as travelling the right way, and that means having the right travel gear. Here are some tried and tested accessories that can help make our long journeys more comfortable, packing more manageable, memories easier to record and overall experience more enjoyable! 1. SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick (www.lazada.com.my) The benefits of having a flash drive during travel are many: to back up photos, serve as extra entertainment storage and even store encrypted important documents. Travellers can choose any flash drive brand available in the market, but SanDisk Connect Wireless Stick gives you more, allowing users to share content anywhere wirelessly and simultaneously up to three devices. Now you can even stream HiRes video together with your friends while on the […]

In Case You Didn’t Know (#ICYDK) Melaka

Melaka/Malacca

In Case You Didn’t Know (#ICYDK) Melaka

Follow my journey through the #ICYDK programme in conjunction with Citrarasa Homestay Malaysia 2016 Carnival, to explore the other parts of Melaka, the land where the past meets the present.

Grooving in Selangor, the Traditional Way

Selangor

Grooving in Selangor, the Traditional Way

It is interesting to learn that Selangor actually brims with colourful sights and sounds, which mostly resulted from the major influx of various influences like the Orang Asli (Peninsular Malaysia’s aboriginals), Javanese, Banjar, Bugis, Minangkabau, Chinese and Indian throughout the years due to trade and commerce, interracial marriages and even political disputes. Regardless, these influences become cultural assets that make Selangor a unique destination to visit and explore. One facet of Selangor that arose from this beautiful blend of various influences is the traditional music and dance. Since almost every ethnic group has a rich musical heritage, visitors to Selangor are able to learn more about its society and important events. After all, a deep-rooted musical heritage defines a group’s identity and solidarity. In light of this, the Selangor Executive Councillor […]