For the first time ever, Gaya Travel Magazine features Mexico (Page 84), experienced first hand by one of our team members, Ed Junaidi. Contrary to what many people who have never been to this Latin American nation might think, Mexico is actually bursting with life (they even celebrate the dead), colour, history and remarkable heritage, evidenced by the Mexican sites that are listed as part of UNESCO World Heritage. Hardly “wild, wild west”, it is a vast country that is bound to leave travellers spellbound. The first part of the story is on this issue while the remaining two parts are allocated in the respective upcoming two issues. So readers, be sure to catch Gaya Travel Magazine’s future issues to follow the rest of Ed’s journey around Mexico.
However, if travelling to Mexico takes some time for you to save up and make arrangements, why not start out somewhere simpler, like Melaka, especially its UNESCO World Heritage area? The last time we covered the city of Melaka was almost nine years ago when the city had not yet been enlisted as a World Heritage Site. It is indeed refreshing to see that Melaka city and its river have been spruced up by the forward-thinking state government and industrious businesses, consequently turning Melaka into a more vibrant, youthful and charming destination, suitable for short getaways. During our walk around the UNESCO World Heritage area, we discovered several establishments that we think travellers might find appealing (page 48). Each corner of the heritage area and beyond oozes charm, including the Mediterranean-inspired Casa del Rio (page 110). Since we are now smitten with Melaka, we can see ourselves visiting it over and over due to its proximity to Klang Valley, Johor and Singapore.
Speaking of heritage, we are also incorporating relevant stories on Japan (page 74), Vietnam (page 92) and Spain (page 100), destinations filled with UNESCO enlisted sites, leaving history/culture/heritage buffs salivating. However, to be fair to other fellow readers with different interests, we are also balancing out the contents of this issue with futuristic destinations like Putrajaya (page 60), Taiwan (page 66) and Singapore (page 106) to excite those who prefer destinations that are well developed and urban. It is our hope that readers will find viable travel ideas when reading through the pages of Gaya Travel Magazine.
Lastly, we just would like to briefly share that our magazine garnered the award for Best Tourism Publication 2014/2015 during the recent Malaysia Tourism Awards held at the Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur last 17 February 2016. It was indeed unexpected – to be mentioned in the same breath as the other more reputable and stronger nominees was already an honour for us. This win wouldn’t have been possible at all if it were not for the support and guidance received from industry players and tourism organisations like Tourism Malaysia and state tourism bodies, including critics and valued readers. Receiving the award poses a new challenge: that Gaya Travel Magazine now has no choice but to continuously strive to become better than before. Since we hope to sincerely do justice to the award, we welcome everyone to share their ideas with Gaya Travel Magazine on how it can be improved further.
Look forward to seeing you in the next issue…
JUHAN KAMARUDDIN @ JEREMY KHALIL
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Cover Art Direction by Shamsul Bahrin Zainuzzaman.
Cover Photoshoot by Norsuliana Natasya.
GAYA SPECIAL FEATURE
Tourism Malaysia: Shila Amzah appointed Malaysia’s Tourism Ambassador for China, pg. 18
Starbucks: Connecting Communities in Malaysia, pg. 30
Blooming Japan, pg. 19
MUDKL is a MUST, pg. 26
Shooting effortlessly like-a-pro with Sony Alpha A7s II, pg. 32
Skips the Hotel, Stays in a house, pg. 34
GAYA CAFE CULTURE
Backlane Loving, pg. 36
Tasting the Thrill of Grill & Such, pg. 38
How to be a Minimalist Wanderlust, pg. 40
Datuk Seri Haji Hasim bin Haji Ismail, pg. 44
Savouring the Charms of Melaka, pg. 48
ATF 2016: Thoughts on ASEAN Destinations 2016, pg. 54
Exploring Putrajaya through our Tummies!, pg. 60
Eat.Travel.Write Putrajaya Food Trail 2015
Quintessentially Taiwanese Experience, pg. 66
Ambon, Indonesia’s Emerging Tourism Frontier, pg. 71
Hokuriku-Shinetsu Region Beyond Expectations! – Part II of II, pg. 74
Hola Mexico! – Part I of III, pg. 84
Ha Long Bay: Nature’s Finest Work, pg. 90
Heritage-Rich Vietnam, pg. 92
Ola España! Andalusia – Part II of II, pg. 100
Singapore, The All-Round BTMICE Destination, pg. 106
HOTELS & RESORTS
Casa Del Rio Hotel: Exclusive Mediterranean inspired Bolthole by the Melaka River, pg. 110
The KL Journey Hotel: Memorable Jottings on ‘The KL Journal’, pg. 114
Premiera Hotel: Windows on the World, pg. 116
Adya Hotel Langkawi: Impeccably Shariah-Compliant, pg. 122
Club Med Resort: 10 Worthy Experiences at Club Med Cherating, pg. 124
Palm Garden Hotel: Embracing the Bleisure Experience, pg. 126
Kejora Garden Resort: Pangkor’s Secluded Budget Retreat, pg. 128
Cristina Suzanne Stockstill
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