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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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Discover Penang’s history at the Clan Jetties

Clan JettiesSeries of Clan Jetties

Forming an important part of Penang’s rich heritage, the clan jetties are more than a picture-perfect tourist speciality. Originally giving the local Chinese immigrants a place to call home, each jetty came to be distinctively known for the clan it housed. Starting with seven such clans, this Chinese settlement did not have a smooth start, until the local government body officially gave them an identity.

History of the Clan Jetties

Out of the original seven, six jetties have houses that were built over a century ago. And if you know exactly where to look you’ll still be able to see some of the original stilts. The slits those used by the Chinese when they first immigrated to Penang. Named after the Chinese clan who first lived on the jetties, each jetty is a village in itself. It reflects the traditions and beliefs of the clan. Each village has its own temple, and its own stories to tell. Take a guided tour of this place with your local travel expert from Locaguide. The guide will help you with the difference in the temples and tell you the tales of the clans.

When to visit the Clan Jetties?

Probably the best time of the day to visit the clan jetties is late afternoon. This will allow you to round up your visit by watching a glorious sunset at the jetty. The setting sun brings with it a change in the neighbourhood and a tinge of excitement in the air. Hence, everyone makes sure to pause by and witness the gorgeous sight. 

A view of clan jetty at dusk
A view of clan jetty at dusk

The iconic long wooden planks make for gorgeous walks be it solo or with your loved ones. If there is one place to see in Penang that you shouldn’t miss then this is it. With ample souvenirs to purchase and local restaurants, the jetties are the perfect place to spend an evening.

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A peek into local culture at Baba-Nyonya Museum

Baba-Nyonya Museum

Baba is the term used to refer to a Straits-born gentleman, while Nyonya is used to address a Straits-born lady. The Baba-Nyonya Museum in Malacca showcases the lives of the affluent families of the past. Built on restoring three townhouses, the museum shows the rich culture of the Peranakan homes before the World War.

About Baba-Nyonya Museum

Located on Millionaire’s street, the later generations of the original family maintained and restored the Baba-Nyonya Museum. As you walk in, you can spot the red lanterns on either side of the elaborate columns. One of the lanterns bears the household name while the other invites good luck into the house. Large intricately carved teakwood doors lead you inside the museum. Extensively covered in hand-painted tiles the house tells about the beliefs and traditions of the past.

Baba Chan Cheng Siew, a second generation Strait’s born Chinese established the house in the year 1985. Before turning the house into a museum, four generations of the Chan family lived here.

 Inside the Baba-Nyonga Museum
Baba-Nyonga Museum

The Victorian lamps and chandeliers show the extent to which the families flaunted their wealth. You can’t help but notice the detailed dark wooden furniture in the interior. The floral designed wrought iron castings outside the windows add to the extravaganza of the place. The museum holds numerous stories and the antiques show how well the immigrants adopted the traditions.

This heritage museum takes you back in time and makes up for one of the best attractions in Malacca. If the place eagers you then consider creating a customised itinerary with Locaguide. The local tour expert will walk you around and give the details of the museum. He may also help you interact with the family that lives there, and give you the chance to hear stories from them about their ancestors.

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A’Famosa Fort – A slice of Colonial History in Malacca

FortA'Fomosa Fort, Malacca

The Rich History of A’Famosa Fort

Built more than 500 years ago, the name A’Famosa Fort actually translates to The Famous Fort. Constructed by the Portuguese at the foot of St Paul’s Hill only a tiny part of the fort is still left standing. It is in the form of a small Gate House named Porta de Santiago making it a must visit attraction.

Canons, markings and graves show that the fort lived as a part of all the three colonies that ruled Malaysia. With every colonial rule, the Fort remained altered as per their likings to leave proof of the respective reigns. Also, changing the purpose of the fort. Built at the foot of St. Paul’s hill, the fort is located between the city of Malacca and the sea. Meanwhile, the neighbourhood has a village vibe and the fort extends the grandeur and royalty of the Portuguese era.

A Photography retreat

The fort is a perfect spot for photography and the ruins of the fort lend an almost tragic stricken feeling. Take your time to explore and learn about the fort on your walk around capturing history in your photos. Moreover, it goes without saying that the A’Famosa Fort has a lot of history associated with it. This comes to light if you have the patience to dig deep. 

Ruins of A'Famosa Fort
Ruins of A’Famosa Fort

With so much to see and learn here, make sure to include the A’Famosa Fort in your itinerary. Build a personalised itinerary with Locaguide and plan a trip to this historic site. Upon exploring the fort you can take a leisurely walk around the neighbourhood. Shop for souvenirs or savour at the food stalls set up across the street. As the sunset nears trek uphill for a view of the mesmerizing city of Malacca. Thus, the visuals of the sun setting over the sea brings a perfect end to the tour.

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An evening at Jonker Street Night Market

Jonker Street Night Market 1

The perfect end to a day-long city tour of Malacca is shopping and dinner at Jonker Street. With the setting sun, the street starts bustling with life. The square lights up filling the air with mouthwatering smells as hawkers start shouting to sell their wares. It goes from being a quiet street in the day to resembling a party at night. 

Things to do at Jonker Street

The night market at Jonker Street on the weekend proves to be the perfect setting for the locals and tourists to mingle. So, enough varieties in the food will help you eat like a local. Sample and nibble at the multiple hawker stalls and restaurants around.

The night market at Jonker Street
The night market

The quirky presentation and aromatic smell of the food will make you want to taste everything that catches the eye. The entire street turns into a stage with live performances and music events set up. The setting seems magical and will truly make you feel like a local.

Among locals, Chicken rice balls, Satay Celup, Nyonya Laksa and Gula Melaka cendol stay on the top of the list.

Shop till you drop

On your walk along the street ensure to keep an eye out on the merchandise available for sale. You can buy anything and everything during the night market. The street is lined with antique shops, shops selling handicrafts, local art pieces, jewellery and a lot more. The night market offers a whole variety of street shopping so haggle for the best prices.

Opt for a local travel guide if the chaos and the bargaining overwhelm you. Connect with a local tour guide from Locaguide before planning a trip to Malacca. Make sure to take suggestions and tips from your guide while purchasing stuff on the Jonker street. An evening at Jonker Street takes you on a completely different note because of its infectious energy.

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The Malay-style Melaka Sultanate Palace

Melaka Sultanate Palace 1

The Sultanate Palace built at the base of St Paul’s Hill in Malacca forms an identical replica of the original 15th-century palace. It is a cultural museum, home to the Malay side of Malacca’s history and a prominent cultural icon in this part of Malaysia.

Exploring the Sultanate Palace

As you walk in, the sultanate palace requires you to remove your footwear outside and enter the building bare feet. Moreover, the palace gives you a glimpse into the rich past of the region. Relive the curiosity the locals felt upon seeing the immigrants and traders in their costumes. Along your way, you will the mannequins dressed as traders from across the seas.

The sultanate palace
The sultanate palace

The museum also displays the local tools used for daily activities and recreational purposes. As you walk through the palace note if you can spot any nails used for building the palace. You won’t find because the whole place employs the traditional method of ingeniously carved wood that fits together! Furthermore, you can check out the grand throne room and learn about the life of the Malay heroes. Once outside the palace building, you can cherish the gorgeous gardens built around it. Known as the “forbidden garden”, the Sultan built the museum for his harem.

A Guided Experience

Not sure how to make sense of all this history? Opt for a guided tour with a local travel guide from Locaguide. He/She will share the tales associated with the kings, royals and the palace. Moreover, the artefacts and architecture on display at the palace allow you to sense the grand lives of the royals. Also, shows how they spent their time all those years back.

At the end of this tour find yourself witnessing and reliving all the grandeur and royalty of Malacca Sultanate Palace. Unwind and shop for souvenirs or gorge on some local food at the end of your city tour.

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The Iconic St. Paul’s Church of Malacca

St. Paul's Church 2

St. Paul’s Church makes up for one of the most interesting attractions because of its ruins. So, make sure that you do not miss it on your tour to Malacca. Built some 500 years ago it sits peacefully on top of the St. Paul’s Hill. The St. Paul’s Church church ranks as one of the first churches built in Malaysia because its past remains deeply rooted in history.

Ruins of St. Paul's church
Ruins of the St. Paul’s church

Discovering the St. Paul’s Church

With locals setting up food and souvenir stalls on the way uphill may seem a bit crowded. The St. Paul’s Church’s sight forms a popular spot for photography, gorging on some mouth-watering street food and buying souvenirs. Walk past the crowd so that you can relish the grandeur of the church and learn more about its history.

St. Paul's Church in the back and St Francis Xavier Statue in the front
St. Paul’s Church in the back and St Francis Xavier Statue in the front

Take your time to explore and absorb the vibe of the spiritual antiquity of the place. Despite being in ruins, the St. Paul’s Church still holds the majestic vibe of the Dutch era. Discover the Church’s history right from the Dutch to the British period to the Sultanate’s gain and loss of power. Walk around the church and look for signs which give you the proof of stories from the past. The sight of St Francis Xavier statue and it’s lost arm adds to the ancient history of the place. Not only does the stained glass enhance the mystic appeal of the church but also shows the recent additions to the place.

Given the rich and extensive history of the church, hiring a local travel guide would seem a good idea. Build a customised itinerary and find a local guide from Locaguide to show you around the St. Paul’s Church. While the church takes you back in time, the view from St. Paul’s Hill shows the modern beauty of the city. So, your extra walk uphill does not go in vain because the view that it offers is worth it!

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Langkawi Cable Car: Experience the steepest cable car ride in the world

steepest cable car 2

If you want to feel on top of the world, then riding the Langkawi Cable Car is a must! Also known as the Langkawi SkyCabs, the cable car ride offers a panoramic view of entire Langkawi and its surroundings. High enough to get a direct view of the waterfalls and flora, the cable cars also allow you to spot the wildlife on the island.

Langkawi Cable Car
Cable Car

The enthralling Langkawi Cable Car ride

Starting at the foot of Mt. Machincang, the cable car rides to the top of the mountain. It goes about 708 meters above sea level. The entire ride is split into two halves and you have the option of getting down at the middle stop.

The middle station allows you to walk till the viewing deck and get a closer look at the flora and birds around. And luckily, you can also see some wildlife catching up on their daily nap. If you want to try other activities then take the Sky trail and trek up from the middle station. The rewarding view at the end motivates enough to ensure that you complete the trek.

The Sky Bridge at Langkawi
The Sky Bridge in Langkawi

Further up, an unparalleled view of lush tropical forests and the surrounding ocean and islands will welcome you. You can see the bigger picture with multiple sites and monuments all visible in the same frame. Once at the top, walk along the Sky Bridge if you want a diverse view of the mountains. Later, indulge in a meal 700 meters above sea level. A perfect reason to just cherish the view for a bit longer, before you begin the ride down

A Guided Experience

When planning your Langkawi itinerary, add a pit stop at the Langkawi Cable Car for a thrilling experience. Build a personalised itinerary with Locaguide and talk to your designated local travel expert to make time for this activity. Ask your local guide to plan your day such that you do not miss the mountain view.

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Explore the protected Pulau Payar Marine Park

Pulau Payar Marine Park 3

The Pulau Payar Marine Park forms a protected area comprising of 4 uninhabited islands. The many opportunities that it offers to explore the marine world make it the best marine park. Located a short ferry ride from Langkawi, the park makes up for an ideal first underwater experience. Here, you can find the only coral reef garden near to Malaysia.  

You can either explore the deep waters of the Andaman sea or snorkel in the calm shallow waters. The water here is clean and pristine, thus forming a perfect place to spot a whole bunch of underwater life. Swim with the black tipped baby sharks that stay near the seabed or spot the great barracuda, a resident to the area.

Pulau Payar Marine Park  diving center

Pulau Payar Marine Park diving center

Things to do and see at Pulau Payar Marine Park

A boat ride from Pulau Payar Marine Park’s jetty leads you to the island. The boat ride offers spectacular glimpses of the horizon and the sea. The best place to spot most of the marine life remains right under the jetty. And with the clear waters, you can spot several as you snorkel in the sea. Furthermore, the park has numerous diving spots where you can find specific kinds of marine life. So, pick a spot which shows you the life underwater that you haven’t seen before.

The barbecue pits on the shore come to your rescue if water does not please you. Cook your own scrumptious grilled food and savour at it while enjoying the setting sun and the beautiful sea waves. 

Blacktip shark
Blacktip shark

Places like these are best visited along with a local guide because they know the ins and outs of it. A local travel guide from Locaguide will help you plan and book a trip to the marine park. He/ She will also help you to get the underwater gear from reliable vendors. Make your visit to the Pulau Payar National Park a memorable one and keep it hassle-free with the help of a local expert. 

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Detox at the natural springs in Ayer Hangat Village

Ayer Hangat Village 3

A short drive away from Langkawi’s Kuah town lies a scenic little village called Ayer Hangat. Ayer Hangat means Hot Water. Known for its naturally found saltwater hot spring, a dip in these waters results into multiple health benefits. The village denotes a complex built around the hot spring wells. It includes a hot water Jacuzzi, pond and spa and beautifully landscaped gardens.

Hot springs
Hot springs at Ayer Hangat

The various offerings at Ayer Hangat

The Ayer Hangat Village does not find a place on people’s places-to-visit list because it remains highly underrated. The hot springs offer the perfect setting for unwinding and letting go of any physical or mental stress. So, spending a whole day here almost equals to a spa getaway. Start off by soaking your feet in the hot spring wells and then take a dip in the Jacuzzi. Rich in mineral content, the spring water is known to heal skin irritations and joint aches naturally.

Gazebos to relax at Ayer Hnagat
Gazebos at Ayer Hangat

If you prefer a foot reflexology instead of the Jacuzzi, then Ayer Hangat offers a variety of foot massage services. And you also get to select one as per your liking. The gorgeous landscaped gardens also boast of a reflexology pathway. Here you can take a walk and enjoy the relaxation that a foot massage would provide. Made of river stones of multiple sizes, the pathway contains a dry and wet section which seems quite relaxing to walk on.

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

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CultureLocale

Get acquainted with local culture at Mari Mari Cultural Village

Mari Mari Cultural Village 4

A short trip from Kota Kinabalu, Mari Mari constitutes 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. Every tribe’s lifestyle, culture and history tell a different yet fascinating story.

The tribes of Borneo in their traditional costumes
The tribes of Borneo

You get a first-hand view of their way of life, work, customs, traditions and their clothing. Also, know what sets them apart from each other. Everyone who visits the village learns about the tribe’s rich past and ancient customs of the tribes. You can partake in each of the custom and activity to experience them personally. Every tribe showcases their hunting and survival skills to the tourists. Thus, altogether making it a fun excursion.

Things to do at Mari Mari Cultural Village

You can taste their traditional food, see how the dish is prepared and perhaps even try your hand at it. Moreover, while dining, each tribe will share with you how their tribe name came about and what it stands for. The experience of eating in an antiquated village will stay with you forever.

A traditional Rungus house
Traditional Rungus house

Spending half a day at the cultural village lets you explore activities each belonging to one of the five tribes. You can also sit back and enjoy the cultural performances or take part in them alongside the locals. The village surrounding remains a natural habitat of rainforest trees thus keeping you away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

A group of tourists observing traditional cooking
Group of tourists observing traditional cooking

Gain hands-on experience in traditional bamboo cooking, fire starting or play a game of Congkak(Malay game).

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

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