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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 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 sandy beaches 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 at Ayer Hangat

The various offerings at Ayer Hangat

The Ayer Hangat Village does not find a place on people’s must-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 foot reflexology instead of the Jacuzzi, then Ayer Hangat offers a variety of foot massage services — you also get to select one as per your liking. The gorgeous landscaped gardens also possess 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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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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Marvel at the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque 1

Built to give the impression of floating structure, the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque is a must-see sight in Kota Kinabalu. Four minarets, a blue dome and a golden dome remain the striking features of the mosque. The Kota Kinabalu City Mosque closely resembles the Medina’s Nawabi Mosque and thus forms an architectural marvel in itself!

 

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque at dusk
Kota Kinabalu City Mosque at dusk

Things to do at the Kta Kinabalu City Mosque

A walk through the mosque lets you explore the intricately designed Arabic influenced architecture. Locally known as the floating Mosque, the true beauty of the mosque strikes when paddle boating on the man-made lagoon. 

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

Being a place of worship of the Islamic community you need to dress modestly with your head covered. It’s considered respectable if you remove your footwear at the entrance. Once you remove your footwear, wash your hands and feet before you enter the inner parts of the mosque. A non-muslim cannot enter during prayer hours, but the call to prayer is something you should stop and listen.

An aerial view of the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque
Aerial view of the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

The locals may help you with the mosque’s history and also help you understand certain rituals carried out in the mosque. Especially a local travel guide can help you in this regard. You can find yourself a suitable travel guide from a portal like Locaguide. The guide will help you understand the cultural, historical and social significance of these beautiful structures.

Upon having 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 on North Borneo Railway

The North Borneo Railway takes you back into the history of Malaysia! Previously employed to transport tobacco from the centre of Malaysia to the coastal places. However, now, the railway serves as a means of transportation to the locals and tourists. But tourists who wish to spend time watching the countryside and enjoy a good bit of souvenir shopping take the train ride.

The North Borneo Railway
The North Borneo Railway

Departing at 9:30 am from Kota Kinabalu to Kinarut town, the train offers you a choice of local breakfast options. With breakfast, you can watch the train pass through the open fields, across the coastline and the city. At Kinarut, disembark the train and get ready to explore the town. A popular place for shopping, the town owns a selection of souvenirs shops and many options you can select from.

Things to do and see 

From Kinarut, the train further goes to Papar, where you can interact with the locals before heading back to Kota Kinabalu. On your way back, the North Borneo Railway tour offers you a meal for lunch. Furthermore, you can even get an opportunity to chat with the railway engineer. So, learn about the old wood fire engine restoration and know how the railway works. 

A bridge through which the Railway passes
A bridge through which the Railway passes

Do not miss the enthralling experience the North Borneo Railway ride offers. Get a glimpse and soak into the rich history of Malaysia or simply just chose to relax. You can also take a long ride to watch the gorgeous landscapes of the surrounding. No trip to Kota Kinabalu is complete without spending a morning aboard the North Borneo Railway. Thus, when in Kota Kinabalu, look forward to 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 on including this attraction.

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Bask in the sun at Tanjung Aru beach

Tanjung Aru beach 1

Known for its spectacular sunset and laid-back vibes, the Tanjung Aru beach in Kota Kinabalu makes for a perfect getaway. You can spend your day 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 it calls for a quick escapade from the city.

The blue hues of Tanjung Aru beach
The blue hues of Tanjung Aru beach

Things to do at Tanjung Aru beach

Spend your day amidst the locals at Tanjung Aru beach and play a game of frisbee or football on the sandy beach. Or just sit down and observe the evening pass by. Said to own the best sunset spot in all of Malaysia, the beach forms a great place to sink your feet in the cool sand and soak up the warmth of the sun. Consequently, the calm waters of the beach make for perfect swimming and walking trails. 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 happen to spend a day here.

The setting sun will leave you in awe of the multiple shades of orange and yellow melting into the horizon. You can enjoy the gorgeous sunset while munching on some local delicacies from the multiple food stalls. Relish the sea breeze which brings down the temperature as the day progresses. Moreover, the Tanjung Aru beach is well known for its food courts serving street-style satays, noodles and fresh seafood.

Sun setting over the calm waters
Sun setting over the calm waters

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 there. However, if you run short of time then consult a local guide from Locaguide. The guide will help you plan a complete itinerary of Kota Kinabalu city and a quick visit to Tanjung Aru.

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Visit the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

A beach at the Marine Park

Located a short ferry ride from Kota Kinabalu, the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is a group of five islands. They are situated off the coast of the Sabah state of Malaysia, in the South China Sea. The islands remain the perfect place to just spend a day eating, relaxing and enjoying the view. If you wish, you can spend all day on one of the white sandy beaches or go explore the islands. Known for their marine life, the islands constitute for some spectacular underwater life.

Aerial view of the Marine Park
Aerial view of the Marine Park

Out of the five islands, Gaya island is the largest and one of the more developed ones followed by Manukan and Sapi. These three islands attract all the tourists in the marine park, and for good reason(s). While Gaya holds some of the best resorts, Manukan and Sapi have world-class diving and snorkelling spots. 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 to Tunku Abdul Rahman Park?

To reach the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, try getting onto the first ferry from Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal. Why first? so that you get ample time to island hop or spend exploring the underwater world. The last ferry back to the mainland leaves around 5 pm, so you get enough time to explore the islands. However, if you feel extra adventurous, you can camp or stay in a resort on one of the islands, if the weather permits it.

A jetty at Manukan Island
A jetty at Manukan Island

To make the most of your island discovering day, it is a good idea to be accompanied by a local tour guide. The one who would know how to explore the marine park and help you take your mind off the logistics. Consult a guide from Locaguide to plan your whole day and help you select the best diving and snorkelling spots.

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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 must definitely feature in your places-to-visit list of central Jakarta. Get a glimpse of daily life and meanwhile also browse and eat to heart’s content at this one-stop marketplace.

Clothes on display for sale at Pasar Baru
Clothes on display for sale at Pasar Baru

History of Pesar Baru

Built in 1820, it remains one of the oldest pedestrian markets still functioning in Jakarta. Ironically, the name Pasar Baru means New Market. Often referred to as “Little India”, the market is filled to the brim with items you would end up bargaining for. Known for its massive selection of quality textile and fabric, this vibrant market will truly test your bargaining skills. If that’s not your forte then 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.

Take the help of your local guide to taste the soul of Jakarta’s culinary culture right at this market. Filled with hidden gems for a foodie, the market definitely classifies as food heaven for those who love exploring food. Meanwhile, the legendary noodle shops remain one of the best places to visit in Jakarta for anyone obsessed with food.

Pasar Baru shopping street
Pasar Baru shopping street

Not only a paradise for shopaholics and foodies but also for those who love to sightsee and enjoy religious history. The oldest temple in Jakarta, Sin Tek Bio temple constitutes a part of every Jakarta city tour. Located at the end of a narrow alley in Pasar Baru, the temple stands well-known for its candles lit for protection of individuals and families. Thus, the altars covered in candles placed in circles form a hidden gem of Pasar Baru.

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

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CultureLocale

Senggarang Village – Bintan Island’s smallest village

CandlesCandles glowing at a temple

If you plan on spending a whole day at a rustic Indonesian village, then Senggarang village remains the best choice. Do not miss the old-world charm of the Senggarang village. Located in Bintan island of Indonesia, this amazing village serves as a melting pot of various ethnic groups — Chinese, Indonesian, and Malay origins.

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

Of the smallest villages in Bintan, the Senggarang village holds a very distinct population and culture, unlike elsewhere in Indonesia. The village remains home to an ethnic Chinese community that arrived about 1800 years ago. They 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 holds a lot of other tourist destinations. Destinations in the form of 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. Meanwhile, a local guide could come in handy for taking you to the best places around.

How to get at Senggarang Village

Do not miss the two most renowned temples — Tay Ti Kong Temple and Tian Shang Miao Temple(Banyan Tree Temple). To avoid all the hassle it is recommended to opt for a guided tour with a local guide from Locaguide. If you plan on travelling to Bintan Island from Bali or Jakarta, you can easily get a flight to Bintan Island. If you travel from Singapore, you may take a ferry or a flight to Jakarta and an onward flight to Bintan. The rustic ambience and the beautiful coast 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

Ancol DreamlandContemporary art

Ancol Dreamland on the Jakarta Bay comprises of multiple amusement parks, making it a must-visit on a holiday to Indonesia. The largest of its kind in Southeast Asia,  one can visit it with friends and family. A place suitable for people of all age groups!

Statue of Dufan in Ancol
Statue of Dufan in Ancol

What does the Ancol Dreamland comprise 

The amusement park built in 1966 adheres to a combined concept of entertainment, art, and education. This recreational park stands perfect for a perfect family getaway. The park holds many interesting rides and activities not just for kids but adults as well. Thus, an international golf course, a hotel resort and a marine theme park, makes the Ancol Dreamland Park a complete package.

Given the vast size of this amusement park, it’s easy to lose track of which rides and sections should not be missed. Meanwhile, the visit becomes hassle free with a local travel guide from Locaguide. He/She will help you through the various parts and also suggest suitable activities for your family. But just for an overview, these below are the key sections of the park you should definitely check out.

Dunia Fantasy (Dufan); one of the largest outdoor entertainment centres in all of Indonesia. It contains more than 40 rides and activities, all divided into regional segments — Jakarta, Indonesia, Asia, Africa, America, Europe, and Fantasi Hikayat (Ancient Egypt and Greece)

A colourful Ferris Wheel
A colourful Ferris Wheel

Ocean Dream Samudra is a section of the theme park that showcases marine life through an aquarium. It hosts a dolphin and sea lion show.

Atlantis Water Adventure; a water park comprising of a wave pool, a flowing river pool, rainbow ball pool, waterfall pool and several slides.

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

Thus a complete family entertainment park, the Ancol Dreamland Park stays a perfect place to visit for a fun-filled day.

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