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The road less traveled is the road to adventure, and what every great adventure has in common is someone with a passion to discover something new in this vast a beautiful world we share.
These articles are your personal guide to a whole new bucket list of exploration and a lifetime of new adventures.
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Explore the protected Pulau Payar Marine Park

Pulau Payar Marine Park 3

The Pulau Payar Marine Park is a protected area comprising of 4 uninhabited islands, about 30 Kms from Langkawi. This marine park is best known for the opportunities it offers to explore the undersea world. Located a short trip from Langkawi by ferry, the park is the perfect place to try your first underwater experience. The park has the only coral reef garden near Malaysia and is a must visit when visiting the country.

You can explore the deep open waters of the Andaman sea or just swim and snorkel in the calm shallow waters. Being a protected park, the water is clean and pristine, which is perfect for spotting a whole bunch of underwater life. Swim with the black tipped baby sharks that stay near the seabed or spot the great barracuda, resident to the area.

Pulau Payar Marine Park

Things to do and see

The Pulau Payar Marine Park has a jetty that leads you from your boat to the island and offers spectacular views of the horizon and the sea. The best place to spot most of the marine life is right under the jetty, and with the clear waters, you can spot most even as you snorkel in the sea. Furthermore,the park has numerous diving spots where you can find specific kinds of marine life. Pick one which will show you the life underwater that you haven’t seen before.

Pulau Payar Marine Park

Moreover, if you aren’t keen on getting in the water, the park also has picnic tables and barbecue spots for you to enjoy your food and sit back and watch the sunset over the horizon while other tourists enjoy swimming in the sea.

Places like these are best visited along with a local guide who would know the ins and outs of it. A local travel guide from Locaguide will be able to help you plan and book a trip to the marine park as well as rent underwater gear from reliable vendors. Make this visit to the Pulau Payar National Park a memorable one and keeping it hassle-free with the help of a local expert and soak in the natural abundance.

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Detox at the natural springs in Ayer Hangat Village

Ayer Hangat Village 3

A short drive from Langkawi’s Kuah town is a scenic little village called Ayer Hangat, which literally translates into Hot Water. Known for its naturally found saltwater hot spring, a dip in these waters is said to have multiple health benefits. The village is actually a complex built around the hot spring wells and includes a hot water Jacuzzi, pond and spa and beautifully landscaped gardens.

Ayat, Malaysia, hot spring

The Ayer Hangat Village may not be in at the top of people’s list of places to visit in Langkawi, but it is highly underrated. The hot springs offer the perfect setting for unwinding and letting go of any physical or mental stress. Spending a whole day at the village is equivalent to a spa getaway as you start off by soaking your feet in the hot spring wells and then go on to take a full body dip in the Jacuzzi. Rich in mineral content, the spring water is known to heal skin irritations and joint aches naturally.

Ayer hangat, malaysia, hot spring, spa

The various offerings

If you prefer to be pampered with a foot reflexology treatment instead of sitting in a Jacuzzi, the Ayer Hangat village has a service that offers a variety of foot massages and you can select one to your liking. The gorgeous landscaped gardens also boast of a reflexology pathway, where you can walk and enjoy the relaxation that a foot massage would provide. Made of small river stones of various sizes, the pathway has a dry and wet section and is quite relaxing to walk on.

Plan a trip to this unique attraction in Langkawi with Locaguide‘s customised itinerary planning feature and discuss with your designated local travel guide on how to make the most of this visit. Opt for a visit to the Ayer Hangat Village instead of a typical day at the spa and let nature spell its magic on your mind and body.

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Get acquainted with local culture at Mari Mari Cultural Village

Mari Mari Cultural Village 4

A short trip from Kota Kinabalu, Mari Mari is a village where the ethnic culture of the Borneo tribes is kept alive. The village houses five of the indigenous Borneo tribes, who continue to live in their old ways. The lifestyle, culture and history of each tribe is shared with the tourist who visit Mari Mari Cultural Village.

You can see first hand how they lived, how they worked, what they wore and their customs and traditions that set them apart from each other. Tales of the tribe’s rich past are told and ancient customs of the tribes are shared with everyone who visits them. You can partake in the customs and activities to experience them personally. Each tribe showcases their hunting skills and survival skills to the tourists who come to experience the cultural village.

Things to see and do

You can taste and eat the local food of the tribes and see how they prepared the food and maybe even try your hand at preparing a dish. Moreover as you sit to eat with them, each tribe will share tales of their ancestors and how their tribe name came about and what it stands for. The experience of eating in a village that is ancient beyond time is something you are bound to remember forever.

Spending half a day at the cultural village of Mari Mari is something you will truly enjoy, as the experience is something unlike any other you will find elsewhere. However, being a short trip from Kota Kinabalu, the surrounding is a natural habit of rainforest trees and the silence you hear is an escape from the hustle bustle of the city.

Furthermore, the experience of visiting the Mari Mari Cultural Village gets even better if you have a local travel guide accompanying you, who can help you translate and understand the stories of the tribes and help you grasp the true essence of the cultural village. Find yourself a suitable local guide from Locaguide and plan a personalized itinerary with their help. Visit this cultural village with him and get a glimpse of tribal life in the Borneo islands.

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Marvel at the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque 1

Built to give the impression that it is floating on water, the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque is a must-see sight in Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah in Malaysia. Four minarets, a blue dome and a golden dome are the striking features of the mosque. Closely resembling Medina’s Nawabi Mosque, the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque is an architectural marvel in itself!

As you walk through the mosque you’ll notice that the design is highly influenced by the Arabic form of architecture. Known locally as the floating Mosque, the true beauty of the mosque can be seen when paddle boating on the man-made lagoon towards the mosque.

 Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

The mosque hopes to incorporate the local community’s religious, social and economic aspects and has a joint project of a fish farm within its grounds. It also houses four madrassas and a healthcare clinic for the community’s welfare.

Being a place of worship by the Islamic community you are required to dress modestly with your head covered. It’s considered respectable if you remove your footwear at the entrance. Once you remove your footwear you can go to the taps and wash your hands and feet before you enter the inner parts of the mosque. If you are a non-muslim, you won’t be allowed in during prayer hours, but the call to prayer is something you should stop and listen to at least once when you are in Malaysia.

Ask the locals in the mosque for the history of the mosque and they will happily tell you why certain things are done in a particular manner. A local travel guide can also help in this regard. You can find yourself a suitable travel guide from a portal like Locaguide, who can not only accompany you on your Kota Kinabalu city tour but also help you understand the cultural, historic and social significance of these beautiful structures.

 Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

Once you have had your fill of the inside of the mosque, head out to watch the sunset over the city of Kota Kinabalu and the man-made lake. Just sitting around in the shade can calm you, allow you to deeply introspect and find some peace within yourself.

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Take a ride on the North Borneo Railway

North Borneo Railway 1

The Experience

The North Borneo Railway takes you back into the history of Malaysia! Previously used to transport tobacco from the center of Malaysia’s to the coastal places, However now, the railways is  a common trip taken by tourists who wish to spend half a day watching the countryside go by and enjoying a good bit of souvenir shopping and local food.

Departing at 9:30 am from Kota Kinabalu, the train offers you a choice of local breakfast options, as you ride the train to the town of Kinarut. As you enjoy your breakfast you can watch the train pass through the city and across the coastline, through open fields. At Kinarut you are free to disembark the train and explore the town. A popular place for many tourists to shop, the town has a selection of souvenirs shops and options you can select from.

North Borneo Railway

Things to do and see

From Kinarut, the train takes you ahead to Papar, where you can walk around and interact with the locals before the train turns around to head back to Kota Kinabalu. On the journey back, the North Borneo Railway tours offer you a meal for lunch, and you can even get an opportunity to chat with the railway engineer to see how the old wood fire engine is restored and hear how the railway works. 

North Borneo Railway

The North Borneo Railway is an experience not to be missed if you want to get a glimpse of and soak in the rich history of Malaysia or simply just chose to relax and go for a long ride to watch the gorgeous landscapes. No trip to Kota Kinabalu is complete without spending a morning aboard the North Borneo Railway and experiencing the city from a different perspective. 

Not sure how to go about booking a trip on this historic train? Let Locaguide’s local travel experts help you out. Build a personalised Kota Kinabalu itinerary of your choice and consult with your guide about including this attraction as per your convenience.

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Bask in the sun at Tanjung Aru beach

Tanjung Aru beach 1

Known for its spectacular sunset view and laid-back vibes, the Tanjung Aru beach in Kota Kinabalu is perfect for a day of sunbathing and swimming in the calm waters of the shallow sea. Named after the Casuarina trees that line the beach, Tanjung Aru beach is an urban oasis, often flocked by the residents of Kota Kinabalu for a quick escapade from the city.

Things to do

Spend your day amidst the locals at Tanjung Aru beach, as you play frisbee, or football with them on the sandy beach or just sit down and observe the evening go by. Said to have the best sunset spot in all of Malaysia, the beach is a great place to observe the life of the locals as you sink your feet in the cool sand and soak up the warmth of the sun. The calm water of this part of the beach makes its perfect for swimming and walking in the shallow parts of the sea. Alternatively, you can also try walking on the reflexology track set in the path of the adjacent Prince Philip park, or work up an appetite at the exercise area. This park also acts as a perfect picnic spot if you are looking to spend the day here.

As the sun starts to sets you will be left in awe at the multiple shades of orange and yellow melting into the horizon. The gorgeous sunset is best enjoyed while munching on some local delicacies from the multiple street food stalls that set up shop as the day progresses and the sea breeze starts to bring down the temperature. Moreover the Tanjung Aru beach is well known for its open food courts serving street-style local snacks ranging from satays to noodles to fresh seafood.

How to get there

Tanjung Aru is easily accessible from the city centre. Only about 15-20 minutes driving time away, you can hop on a bus or a cab to get here. However if you are running short of time and want to include a quick visit to Tanjung Aru as part of your Kota Kinabalu city tour, consult a local travel expert from Locaguide who can help you plan a complete itinerary for the same.

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Visit the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park 1

Located a short ferry ride from Kota Kinabalu, the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is a group of 5 islands off the coast of the Sabah state of Malaysia, in the South China Sea. The islands are the perfect place to spend a day eating, relaxing and just enjoying the view. If you want, you can spend all day on the sandy beach of one island, or you can choose to island hop and visit them all for a couple of hours each. Known for their marine life, the islands are the perfect place to see some spectacular underwater life.

Out of the 5 islands, Gaya island is the largest and one of the more developed ones along with Manukan and Sapi. These 3 islands attract all the tourists in the marine park, and for good reason. While Gaya island has some of the best resorts, Manukan and Sapi have world-class diving and snorkeling spots teeming with marine life. You can choose to dive down and explore the coral reefs, or snorkel and watch the life underwater. Alternatively, activities like kayaking or parasailing are also popular ways to enjoy the marine park’s beauty.

How to get there.

To get to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, try getting on the first ferry out to the islands from Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal in Kota Kinabalu so that you have ample of time to island hop or spend exploring the underwater world. The last ferry back to the mainland leaves around 5 pm and one whole day is ample of time to spend exploring the islands. However, if you are feeling extra adventurous, you can camp or stay in a resort on one of the islands, if the weather permits it.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

To make the most of your island hopping day, it is a good idea to be accompanied by a local tour guide who would know exactly how to explore the marine park and help you take your mind off the logistics. Consult a local guide from Locaguide to plan your whole day, help you select the best spots to dive in or snorkel at and also help you reserve ferry tickets for a smooth journey. 

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Pasar Baru – Jakarta’s Oldest Pedestrian Market

post 42 passar baru img1Pasar Baru

Experience the local culture and get to haggle like an expert in the oldest street market in Jakarta: Pasar Baru. A pedestrian market, Pasar Baru should feature in your places to visit in central Jakarta list. You can browse to your heart’s content and eat till you burst at this one-stop marketplace while getting a glimpse of the daily life of the locals.

History of Pesar Baru

Built in 1820, Pasar Baru is the oldest pedestrian market still functioning in Jakarta, even though, ironically, the name Pasar Baru means New Market! Often referred to by the locals as “Little India”, Pasar Baru is filled to the brim with items you would love bargaining for. Known for its massive selection of quality textile and fabric, this vibrant market will truly test your bargaining skill if you want to get a fair price for your find. If that’s not your forte, take help from your local travel guide to make purchases at a fair price. Antiques, art, footwear, spices and much more can be bought from the lanes of Pasar Baru lined with small stalls.

Pasar Baru

Take the help of your local guide to also get to taste the soul of Jakarta’s culinary culture right at this market. Filled with hidden gems for a foodie, it would definitely classify as food heaven for those who love to experience culture through the food of the locals. The legendary noodle shops here are some of the best places to visit in Jakarta for anyone who is food obsessed.

Pasar Baru

Not only is it a paradise for shopaholics and foodies but it also offers a little something for those who love to sightsee and enjoy religious history. Sin Tek Bio temple is one of the oldest temples in Jakarta and is part of every Jakarta city tour. Located at the end of a narrow alley in Pasar Baru, the temple is known for its candles lit for protection of individuals and families. The altars covered in candles placed in circles is one of the hidden gems of Pasar Baru.

We suggest you make up the craziest list of items you want to shop and taste and set off to explore this buzzing market with a little help from your guide from Locaguide.

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Senggarang Village – Bintan Island’s smallest village

If you’re planning to spend a whole day at a rustic Indonesian village, the old-world charm of the Senggarang village is not to be missed. Located in Bintan island of Indonesia, this amazing village is a melting pot of various ethnic groups belonging to the Chinese, Indonesian, and Malay origins.

The stilt cottages-fringed coastlines, the spicy seafood, and the quaint ancient Chinese village set up express the fundamental aspects of the Riau Archipelago, Indonesia.

The Senggarang village is the smallest village in Bintan and has a very distinct population and culture, unlike what you find elsewhere in Indonesia. The village is home to an ethnic Chinese community that arrived about 1800 years ago and settled here while on their route to India.

The villagers live in beautiful fishing hamlets facing the waters, and most of them follow the Buddhist religion. Apart from the beautiful cottages, the Senggarang village also has a lot of other tourist destinations like the Buddhist shrines and temples filled with Buddhist iconography and depictions of various Chinese legends. You can also see various forms of Buddha statues and sculptures dotting the entire village. That’s why a local guide could come in handy for taking you to the best places around.

The Senggarang village, Riau, Indonesia, Bintan
The Senggarang village

What to do there.

Two of the most renowned temples that you shouldn’t miss are Tay Ti Kong Temple and the ancient Tian Shang Miao Temple, which is also called the Banyan Tree Temple. In order to enjoy your time without worrying about all the hassle it takes to find the popular tourists spots in Senggarang village, it is highly recommended to opt for a guided tour by a local guide from Locaguide. If you’re planning to travel to Bintan Island from Bali or Jakarta, you can easily get a flight to Bintan Island. If you’re travelling from Singapore, you may prefer travelling by ferry or a flight to Jakarta and an onward flight to Bintan. The rustic ambience and the beautiful coast, lined with quaint houses and traditional Chinese temples makes Senggarang Village one of the top places to visit in Indonesia with family.

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The Magical Ancol Dreamland Theme Park in Jakarta

post 33 deamland img1Ancol dreamland

Ancol Dreamland is a part of a huge tourism resort on the Jakarta Bay that comprises multiple amusement parks, making it a must-visit on holiday in the capital city of Indonesia. The largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, the Ancol Dreamland is a fascinating place to visit with friends and family across all age groups!

Ancol Dreamland
Ancol Dreamland

The amusement park was built in 1966 with a combined concept of entertainment, art, and education. This recreational park is definitely perfect for family vacation, but it has a lot of interesting rides and activities that are not just fun for kids, but adults as well. Complete with an international championship golf course, a hotel resort and a marine theme park, Ancol Dreamland is a complete fun package for the family.

Ancol Dreamland

Given the vast size of this amusement park, it’s easy to lose track of which rides you should not miss and which sections of the theme park you must visit. Your travel guide from Locaguide will be able to easily take you through the various parts of this huge park and also suggest suitable activities for your family. But just to give you an overview, these are some of the key sections of the park you should definitely check out during your trip to Jakarta.

What can you see there ?

Dunia Fantasy (Dufan) is the largest outdoor entertainment center in all of Indonesia with more than 40 rides and activities which are divided into regional segments – Jakarta, Indonesia, Asia, Africa, America, Europe, and Fantasi Hikayat (Ancient Egypt and Greece)

Ancol Dreamland

Ocean Dream Samudra is a section of the theme park that showcases marine life through an aquarium, dolphin and sea lion shows and a 4D theatre.

Atlantis Water Adventure is a water theme park comprising of a wave pool, a flowing river pool, rainbow ball pool, waterfall pool, several slides, and two children’s pools.

Ancol Art Market, also known as the Pasar Seni Ancol, is the local open-air market in this theme park with hundreds of stalls with painters, souvenir shops and other artists selling their handcrafted goods. 

A complete family entertainment park, the Ancol Dreamland theme park is the perfect place to visit in Jakarta with kids, for a fun-filled day.

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