Gaya Travel Magazine Issue 18.2

Gaya Travel Magazine Issue 18.2

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Issue 18.2 – Keep Calm and Continue Travel in 2024

Here’s your ticket to explore, learn, and create memories that will last a lifetime

Here’s your ticket to explore, learn, and create memories that will last a lifetime

By the end of 2023, the number of tourist arrivals to Malaysia is expected to surpass the target of 18 million. This is further facilitated by the Malaysian government’s decision to offer 30-day visa-free entries for travellers from China and India beginning 1 December 2023, on top of the other countries already on the list like Turkiye and Jordan. International travellers, especially those who hold the United States Dollar (USD) and the Singaporean Dollar (SGD) get more bang for the buck when they come to Malaysia. Hopefully all Malaysian travel and tourism industry players would take advantage of this situation by actively promoting more travellers to come and visit the country, while continuously improving and enhancing their products and services.

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However, the same can’t be said for those who earn in the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR), therefore there are not many places for them to stretch their money. This is because, to put it in simple terms, the currency seems to be inversely related to the US Federal Reserve interest rate – the higher the rate, the higher the demand for USD denominated assets for better returns, spurring capital flight to the USD, and decreasing the demand for MYR, including currencies of other emerging markets.

The plunging value of the MYR is among the factors driving Malaysians to flock to Southern Thailand destinations like Hat Yai and Krabi, which brims with delicious Thai food at prices comparatively lower than in Malaysia, cheaper accommodation options, and more liberal nightlife. As a matter of fact, word has it that the high influx of Malaysians to the city has made Hat Yai earned the nickname ‘Mini Malaysia’. To capitalise on Southern Thailand’s increasing popularity among Malaysians, including Indonesians who are in proximity, the other provinces and districts in Southern Thailand such as Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat are attempting to have a piece of the pie.

Since it is foreseen that the US’ Federal Reserve intends to keep the interest rate levels higher for longer, thus keeping the value of the MYR down, come 2024, Malaysians might prefer more affordable destinations, meaning they might not travel too far, travel too long, or spend as generously as before. Based on this trend, Gaya Travel Magazine recommends for the tourism industry players from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, including other Asian nations, to capture more of the Malaysian market by continuing to promote their destinations vigorously, especially when 2024 has also been declared as the Visit Year for the Malaysian states of Perak, Melaka, and Perlis.

As the curtains rise on the eagerly anticipated Visit Perak Year (VPY) 2024, it’s time to dust off your explorer hats, because Perak is about to unveil its finest treasures. In this issue, we’re zooming in on Perak’s 12 tourism icons, each radiating the state’s irresistible allure – think cultural treasures and awe-inspiring natural wonders.

The VPY 2024 campaign is expected to lure eight million domestic travellers and 350,000 global explorers, rolling in a whopping MYR10 billion of tourism receipts, setting the stage on what’s to be expected during Visit Malaysia Year 2026 (TMM2026).

That said, while Perak takes the spotlight, our pages in this issue venture far and wide. Join us as we unravel Japan’s artistic mastery (page 20), whether it’s sword-making in Kyoto or an immersive dive into Japanese culture via world-renowned museums. Then, pack your bags and head to Taiwan (page 28), where you can explore the destination’s Muslim-friendly experiences from Miaoli County to vibrant Taipei via Inspirasi Kembara.

But hold on, we’re not stopping there. Get ready to peek into South Korea’s buzzing health and beauty industry on page 36 and feel the pulse of Ho Chi Minh City’s energy on page 42.

Closer to home, we invite you to indulge in Kuala Lumpur’s secret gems and mouthwatering culinary delights (page 48 and page 96). Discover archaeological wonders in Kedah (page 68), relish the king of fruits in Segamat (page 74), and immerse yourself in Kelantan’s eco-tourism and cultural escapades (page 82). Don’t miss Marriott Bonvoy’s commitment to sustainable travel on page 108 too, which highlights a conscientious path for responsible stay at selected properties in Langkawi.

So, dear readers, here’s your ticket to explore, learn, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Onward to Perak and beyond. 

Safe travels!

JUHAN KAMARUDDIN @ JEREMY KHALIL
Email your comments to jeremy@gayatravel.com.my


Gaya Travel Magazine Issue 18.2
Gaya Travel Magazine Issue 18.2

Cover illustration by: Emila Yusof

DEPARTMENTS
Page 10. Editorial Jottings

GAYA ITINERARY
Page 16. Getting Excited to Know Hulu Selangor Again

GAYA SPECIAL FEATURE
Page 14. Mesmerising Putrajaya!
Page 52. Exploring the 12 Icons that Define Perak’s Splendour
Page 88. Unveiling Langkawi’s Best Kept Culinary Secrets: Hidden Eateries Guide
Page 90. Ecotourism Marvels in Malaysia Worth Experiencing
Page 96. Vibrant Kuala Lumpur: A City for All
Page 104. Unveiling Johor’s Hidden Jewels: Batu Pahat and Pontian

DESTINATIONS
Page 20. Japan, the Land of Never-Ending Discoveries
Page 28. A Salam to Taiwan, A Rising Muslim-Friendly Tourism Destination
Page 36. Korea: A Utopia for Lovers of Korean Drama, Skincare, and Health
Page 42. Experiencing Ho Chi Minh City with Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon as the Base
Page 48. A Guide to Art, Adventure and Eateries in Kuala Lumpur
Page 64. #TravelPerakLah to Discover 14 Incredible Gems!
Page 68. Exploring Geo, Archeo and UNESCO Sites of the Northern Region
Page 74. Segamat – Off Durians, Waterfalls and People
Page 82. Kelantan: Like Never Before
Page 92. Unveiling The Other Side of Kuala Selangor

HOTELS & RESORTS
Page 108. A Journey with Marriott Bonvoy: Experiencing Good Travel in Langkawi
Page 114. Pullman Miri Waterfront: Championing MICE and CSR in Miri
Page 120. Courtyard by Marriott Melaka: A Convenient Stay Within the UNESCO World Heritage City
Page 124. Limasan Villa Langkawi: Where Javanese Heritage Excellence Meets Langkawi’s Village Opulence
Page 128. Mercure Langkawi Pantai Cenang – Truly Value For Money

GAYA SNAPSHOT
Page 132. Gaya Snapshot: Wonders of Perak

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